Distributed to Village members and to others who have expressed an interest.

The Ashby Village Member Digest, published between newsletters, is available to members only.


In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Word on the Street
Volunteers & Vendors

Contact Us

2330 Durant Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704

(510) 204-9200

On the Web


August 2011


As many of you know from our last Newsletter, Ashby Village just passed the one-year mark. We doubled our membership, and nearly all of our members renewed. We consider this an extraordinary success.


Now's the time to take a look at what makes us so successful -- and what we still need to do to better serve our members as well as those who are not yet members. So we've begun a strategic planning process, and we hope many of you are involved.


We are fortunate that Bill Webster and Steve Lustig have volunteered to head this process. Both are former professors with extensive administrative backgrounds. Both played key roles in the development of Cal's 2002 academic strategic plan that is still in use.



We'll look at how far Ashby Village should extend its services and what services we should offer. We'll ensure Ashby Village doesn't duplicate existing services in the community, and we'll seek to forge links with organizations that provide services that would be useful for our members. We want to find ways to link Village members with the larger community as well as build stronger relationships with organizations in the community, such as the university and city agencies. We'll look for ways to build a more cohesive sense of community within Ashby Village.

All of this requires your help. All along the way, we'll hold forums to get your ideas and update you with the progress of the plan, as well as focus groups for members and nonmembers. We count on you to give feedback and bring your creative ideas.

We expect to come out of this process, which we expect to take about a year, with a business plan that will help Ashby Village serve our members in the best possible way while ensuring that our model is sustainable financially. We're excited about this process and look forward to hearing from you.

Village Picnic at Briones, Maze
Join us for the Ashby Village First Annual Picnic
and experience the maze at Briones Park


Activities sponsored by Ashby Village


FRIDAY, AUGUST 19, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.   Crab Cove

Summer means sandcastles, surf and sunshine.  Join Nancy Ceridwyn to embrace all of the above in a summer saunter from  Crab Cove in Alameda toward the Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary (2 mi) on paved paths.  View shorebirds, windsurfers and lapping waves.  Remember to bring a favorite poem or short writing to share.      
  • Open to members and up to two guests
  • Wheelchair-accessible
  • RSVP here, or call our office at (510) 204-9200 
  • Let us know if you need a ride 


BrionesParkSUNDAY, AUGUST 28, 1:00-4:00 p.m.


Food, Friends & Fun at Briones Regional Park   

Village Picnic at Briones
Part of building a Village is meeting new people and having fun together... and our members are an amazing group! Bring your friends and family and come spend a leisurely Sunday afternoon in the beautiful Oak Grove picnic site at Briones Regional Park. Ashby Village will provide plates, cups, napkins, plastic ware, charcoal and sunscreen...and a ride if you need one!

Please bring:
  • FRIENDS, other Villagers, family, grandchildren-the more, the merrier!  
  • FOOD & DRINK:  a salad, dessert, something for the grill, (enough for 6-8 folks) and water!
  • MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS: if you play or sing or know someone who does-bring that guitar, accordion, harmonica. Our very own troubadour, Bob Davis will play his guitar...
  • GAMES, FOLDING CHAIRS so we can enjoy our time together

Briones Regional Park is a short car ride from Berkeley. The site is fully wheel chair accessible and outfitted with grills, picnic tables and benches. It is located at the Bear Creek entrance to the park and there is a $3 fee per car. We encourage carpooling!

  • Wheelchair-accessible picnic area and bathrooms 
  • RSVP here, or call our office at (510) 204-9200.   
  • Let us know if you need a ride       
Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire


 WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 3:00-5:00 p.m.  


An Inspirational Afternoon
Come meet author, activist, folk singer (sang with the weavers), poet, and photrapher Marianne Robinson.  Marianne will be reading from her book Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire.   

  • Jewish Family and Children's Services, Suse Moyal Center for Older Adults, 2484 Shattuck Ave. (corner of Dwight Way). Street parking is available in front for 90 minutes (there will be a break to move cars) or on Blake Street for two hours.   
  • Wheelchair-accessible 
  • RSVP here, or call our office at (510) 204-9200  
  • Let us know if you need a ride


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 12:00-2:00 p.m.   

LUNCH at Nizza La Bella

Nizza La BellaNizza La Bella is a casual, reasonably priced, neighborhood bistro that features the lively French and Italian Riviera inspired cuisine of the city of Nice. They serve simple rustic style comfort food in a relaxed and intimate atmosphere. The heart of the restaurant is the kitchen's massive imported French wood-fired oven, where pizzas, roasts, seafood, fish, gratins, desserts and hearth breads emerge from its fire-lit glow.

  • 825 San Pablo Ave., Albany, right after Solano Ave on the right side 
  • Wheelchair-accessible
  • RSVP here, or call our office at (510) 204-9200 
  • Let us know if you need a ride 
  • TestimonialsWORD ON THE STREET


    I'm  stunned and very happy that you were able to find  a volunteer at such short notice.  Thank you for the effort and time; but also my apologies that I put you to  such a search with my last minute request.  I spoke with volunteer Tom Boyden yesterday,  and he is unflinchingly gracious about coming Monday.   Thank you VERY much. 

    --Ellen  Barth  


    Member/Volunteer Paul Axelrod came today, and he has been here an hour and a half helping with the computer and a couple of other things as well.  He did a wonderful job and I wanted to say he was just excellent.

     --Nell Haskell 


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    Village needs and opportunities



    Are you excited about Ashby Village?  Want to introduce it to your friends and neighbors?  Do you and a group of your friends want to learn more? "Word of mouth" is how people learn about Ashby Village, and we're seeking people to host a Living Room Chat.  It's really quite easy and a lot of fun. Please email Jane Selby to set up your Living Room Chat.



    Music is the song of the soul, and we're seeking to incorporate more of it into our potlucks, picnics and gatherings. Do you have a band, play an instrument, sing or lead sing-alongs?  Do you have children or grandchildren who are musically talented?  If you do, or know someone who might be interested in creating music for and with us, please contact the office.


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    VolunteerProgramVOLUNTEERS & VENDORS 



    SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

    Volunteers are needed to assist Ashby Village and its members in a wide assortment of tasks. Volunteers support members with transportation, easy home maintenance tasks like changing light bulbs, assistance at medical apointments, home safety assessments, and more. Volunteers help with many administrative and clerical tasks, as well as communications and outreach. To learn more about becoming a volunteer, please contact the Ashby Village office.  

    • Ashby Village office, 2330 Durant Ave., Berkeley 
    • Wheelchair-accessible
    • If you would like to participate, please contact us immediately at (510) 204-9200 so we can begin the application process.


    This month we celebrate two volunteers who have become integral in the financial management of Ashby Village.  The skill, patience, and determination of both Lula Green and Joanne Backman has helped us to manage, and improve, our bookkeeping and accounting, giving us a clear vision of where we are financially.  Ashby Village member Marion Benedict conducted interviews with them, and presents their stories below.


    Lula GreeneLula Greene

    Forty-four years ago in a small town in North Carolina, twenty year old Lula had just received her BS in biology from Shaw University in Raleigh, NC and wanted to learn more, but money was a problem. Then she found out that the US Forest Service would not only pay for work, but would pay for a higher degree in science.  This was perfect for her.  "Science is about problem solving and discovery" she said "and problem solving is just what I love to do." 


    With that kind of enterprise and her quiet charm, Lula went far. A job with the Forest Service brought her to the Bay Area and to 34 years of working for the Forest Service, first as biologist and finally retiring as a systems accountant, having picked up an MBA degree along the way.  Lula has lived in south Berkeley since 1987 and serves actively in 66th Street Neighborhood Group where they concentrate on earthquake preparedness, crime prevention, and good relations among the neighbors. 


    She began volunteering at Albany Village at the suggestion of Gloria Bayne ("my running buddy.") It appeals to her that Ashby Village operates as a team.  "For a team to function you have to leave your ego at the door." That's just what Lula does- she can work alone and is also a good team player.  Lula volunteers four hours a week doing general office tasks, acting as a liaison with Lifelong Medical, and, "most importantly, I respond to member's requests for service."    


    Joanne BackmanJoanne Backman 

    As soon as her friend Andra Lichenstein told her about Ashby Village Joanne Backman volunteered her financial expertise.  "I believe in the mission", she said, "and am impressed by the dedication of the founding members." And Joanne isn't so easy to impress. A powerful and winning personality, she has a long history of service with non-profit organizations - service that uses her sophisticated planning and management skills and her math talent to do the hard stuff of crunching the numbers, budgeting, managing, planning - and  whatever else needs doing: "Often I end up doing what nobody else wants to do." I enjoy using my skills to tell an organization's story in numbers, to help move it forward in new directions." In other words, she is the ideal C.E.O.  


    Her professional experience includes: Chief Financial Officer for Jewish Family and Children's Services/SF; Major Gifts Manager for Chabot Space and Science Center; Chief Operating Officer for Jewish Family and Children's Service/East Bay; Acting Executive Director of the Judah L. Magnes Museum; Regional Financial Officer for the Southwest Region of National Fish and Wildlife Foundation; Chief Financial Officer for the Jewish Museum in S.F. And more... She has helped us with our financial management, budgeting and office procedures, and will continue to help "tell our story with numbers." Aren't we lucky! And aren't we grateful!


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    Retirements, book publications, art openings . . . 

    Tribute to Theodore Roszak  

    As most of you know by now, our dear friend and fellow Ashby Village member, Ted Roszak, died on July 5.  As one of the pioneers and deep thinkers in the movement of redesigning our lives as we age, Ted, was a vital part of catapulting Ashby Village from a small neighborhood organization to one that included all of Berkeley and many surrounding communities.  To read more about Ted's life and work, CLICK HERE


    A tribute to Ted Roszak, being organized by his family and dear friends, will be held Saturday, September 17, 2:00 p.m. at Northbrae Church (941 The Alameda, Berkeley) 


    Betty Roszak, Ted's wife, supported the establishment of The Ted Roszak Memorial Fund.  If you would like to make a donation to this fund, CLICK HERE.  Checks can be sent directly to Ashby Village, 2330 Durant Avenue, Berkeley, CA. 94704.  (Please make checks payable to "Lifelong Medical Care" and put Ashby Village: Ted Roszak Memorial Fund in the note). We will notify the family of your gift in Ted's memory.



    Committee Chairs


    MEMBERSHIP:  Betty Webster, 


                                                                                 Barbi Jo Stim, 

    SERVICES:  Joann Sullivan,  

                           Judy Boe,

                           Shirley Haberfeld, 


    REVENUE ENHANCEMENT:  Andra Lichtenstein, 

    NOMINATING COMMITTEE: Patricia Sussman,

    MARKETING AND OUTREACH: Marcia Freedman,













    CHAIR:  Patricia Sussman

    VICE CHAIR:  Shirley Haberfeld

    SECRETARY/TREASURER:  Andra Lichtenstein

    Bob Davis,  

    Marcia Freedman

    Laura Peck

    Jane Selby

    Barbi Jo Stim

    Betty Webster

    Marj Wolf,   


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