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
New Members

Contact Us

2330 Durant Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704

(510) 204-9200

On the Web


December 2011

The Gift of Ashby Village Membership 

What is the perfect gift for someone who already has all the "things" they need?  Consider the value of giving the things that money can't buy - peace of mind, a sense of community, some tools to address the challenges that aging unexpectedly throws our way.  Consider giving a membership in Ashby Village either as a personal gift or in conjunction with a group of friends. If you're not an Ashby Village member why not give yourself a gift of membership. For more information, contact Andy or Andrea at the office.   


It Takes a Village Membership Fund

In a recent letter to its members, the Ashby Village Board of Directors stated:

"We treasure the socio-economic, racial and cultural diversity in the East Bay. We want our services and programs to be accessible to a broad range of older adults, for our own benefit as well as for the neighbors and friends who can not yet partake of them."

Please join the members of the Ashby Village Board and make a donation to the "It Takes a Village Membership Fund," a new, designated fund to subsidize reduced-fee memberships for low-income older adults. If you'd like to make a pledge,  CLICK HERE. 


Presenting Village Linkages: Lifelong Medical Care

Ashby Village is part of a broader network of organizations serving our community. We've established some key linkages that have helped us build and establish our programs. In the coming issues, we will be highlighting several of these special organizations so you can know more about those who are key to making Ashby Village successful.


Lifelong Medical Care, an established non-profit organization,  has made it all possible for us: they are our mentor, our sponsors, our helpers.  Like us, they are a nonprofit. Their goal mirrors ours: "working together to provide members with the confidence to remain in their own homes as they grow older."  It is through them that we have our nonprofit status - which we hope to have independently before long - as well as liability insurance, human resources, and financial services. Thanks to their guidance and support our accounts are in order and we are able to function smoothly and efficiently.        


Lifelong was first founded through the Berkeley Gray Panthers - a senior citizens advocacy organization - as the Over 60 Health Center. The unique model of geriatric practice at Over 60 incorporates full care management, blending medical and social services into a team approach. Although the mission is to serve low-income older adults, Over 60 is open to all older adults - no matter what their income. It is known today as one of the best geriatric practices in the country.


Over 60 Health Center has evolved into LifeLong Medical Care - a community health center with nine sites - that has become the primary safety net provider for the uninsured, the sick, and the needy. It operates on many levels - primary medical care, dental services, mental health services, supportive housing adult day health services, social services and case management, outreach to the homeless - just about everything you can think of. LifeLong's mission is to provide high-quality health and social services to underserved people of all ages; to create models of care for the elderly, people with disabilities, and families; and to advocate for continuous improvements in the health of our communities.


A number of overlapping personal relationships exist between Ashby Village and Lifelong. Marty Lynch, the CEO of Lifelong serves on Ashby Village's Advisory Board. Pat Sussman, an Ashby Village founder and Board Chair, is on the Board of Lifelong Medical Care and was previously their Chief Operating Officer. Jane Selby, Ashby Village Board Member, has  been the Director of LifeLong's Berkeley Primary Care clinic. Andra Lichtenstein, also an Ashby Village Board Member, was the Planning and Development Director of Lifelong. She is currently a consultant to Lifelong, helping them to finance their new West Berkeley Family Practice clinic site. Steve Lustig, Ashby Village volunteer and co-chair of the Ashby Village Sustainability Planning Process, was a longtime Board Member of LifeLong.


We are proud to be affiliated with such a great organization, and we thank them for their support.   Check them out at

 -- Written by Marion Benedict


Activities sponsored by Ashby Village

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.  

Lake Merritt Nature Walk (see more about nature walks below)

  • The walk will begin at Children's Fairyland, Bellevue Ave at Grand Ave
    Oakland, CA.   
  • Wheelchair-accessible.
  • RSVP here or call our office at (510) 204-9200.  
  • Let us know if you need a ride.    

Nature walks are open to members and prospective members. Here's more information about this key part of the world of Ashby Village:


Although it was not daffodil season, Martin Friedman closed the Ashby Village July nature walk with Wordsworth's poem celebrating the yellow beauties.  It was a foggy day at Inspiration Point, prompting each of us to feel as if we had "wandered ... as a cloud," as the poem says. We enjoyed the incomparable beauty of Tilden and shared thoughts, memories, and good conversation along the path. This richness of nature and of friendship continues each month.   

Nature Walk at Cesar Chavez
Welcome at Cesar Chavez Walk


So far, we have been to Jewel Lake in Tilden Park, Cesar Chavez Park, Inspiration Point, the Berkeley Pier, and Point Isabel.  With each hike we have made modifications. The variety of walking styles has resulted in two groups: a) the wanderers and b) those who like to kick up a little dust. At walk's end, we often share a nature poem brought by one of the members and then go out to lunch together.


This would not be a community gathering without your thoughts on where to walk and where to lunch. Leaders Barbi Jo Stim, Audre Newman, and Nancy Ceridwyn would like to hear your ideas.  


Join our community of walkers over the next few months and let us know what you think.

  • February 17 -- Arrowhead Marsh; Highlight: Bird Migrations
  • March 16 -- Cesar Chavez Park; Highlight: Burrowing Owls
  • April 13 -- Redwood Park; Highlight: Ferns
  • May 18 -- Inspiration Point; Highlight: Wildflowers
  • June 15 -- Joaquin Miller Park; Redwoods  
  • July 2 -- Lake Temescal or Aquatic Park; Water 

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16, 5:00-8:00 p.m. 

Ashby Village (Second) Annual Holiday Party        

Berkeley Broadway SingersPlease come experience the vitality and growth of our Village. Our celebration will include food and wine; music and singing by and with the Berkeley Broadway Singers; and connecting with your local neighbors by a specially planned activity over dessert. 


Ashby Village members and volunteers are welcome and encouraged to attend, along with their families and friends.  

  • Northbrae Community Church, 941 The Alameda in Berkeley.
    There is a parking lot in the rear of the building, and street parking is available.
  • Wheelchair-accessible.
  • RSVP here or call our office at (510) 204-9200.  Potluck information will be sent upon receipt of RSVP. 
  • Let us know if you need a ride.    


SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 3:00-5:00 p.m.    

Creative Movement with Executive Director Andy Gaines

Andy in clown garb in the late 90's

Creative movement is a powerful forum for activating the body and connecting with others. In his earlier life, Andy Gaines received an MA in Dance/Movement Therapy and facilitated dance classes with youth, adults and the aging.  This fun, interactive class will allow participants of all physical levels and abilities to leave the class feeling positive, energized, and cared for.   


THURSDAY, JANUARY 19, 12:00-2:00 p.m.    

Ashby Village Community Lunch at Picante
Details to follow



The First Ashby Village Salon

Slides and discussion of current events in Ethiopa; suggested readings to be posted.   

Hosted by Audre and Roger Newman

Details to follow


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 Article published by Bay Area News Group   (578,000-circulation newspaper chain in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News, the Contra Costa Times and the Oakland Tribune)
November 26, 2011
Suzanne Bohan

New "villages" help aging Americans stay at home   

"When Bob and Lynn Forthman joined Ashby Village in July 2010, they never figured they'd need its services so soon..."


"A month after the Forthmans joined, a driver ran a red light in West Berkeley, smashing into Lynn Forthman as she drove to her haircut appointment. The driver fled and was never caught, but the 86-year-old woman had five shattered ribs..." 


"I called Ashby Village and asked 'Could you people be of any help?' " Bob Forthman said. "They said 'Of course we could.' "

Volunteer Paul Axelrod assists Joan Strand (Credit: Bay Area News Group)


Article in San Jose Mercury News

November 15, 2011

Joan Aragone

Village movement spreading around California    

"...For all their variations, (villages) share a common thread: they support independence for those who want to remain in their own home as they age. And they seem to be well on the way to doing just that."



Volunteers Fill A Vital Niche 

"My parents, Margaret and Bernard Harvey, joined Ashby Village at about this time last year.  We would like to continue their membership for another year again, and I don't know if you will send a reminder notice or not.  If not, please let me know, and we will send the check."


"My Mom, Margaret, died in August.  She and my Dad had greatly benefitted from the Ashby Village volunteers by that time.  My Dad remains in their Berkeley home, assisted by professional help who come in at lunch time and again at dinnertime.  We are there for him every weekend.  But your volunteers fill a vital niche - taking my Dad to doctor visits, doing the occasional shopping, etc.   We truly appreciate all that you do.  The volunteers are wonderful, and my Dad feels completely comfortable with them."

 -- With Appreciation, Alison Harvey

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SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2012, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.    

Volunteer Orientation &  Training

Members are increasingly calling in for support, which is wonderful!  In order to effectively satisfy their requests, we need to continue growing our volunteer program.  Some of the particular areas where volunteers are needed for Ashby Village include transportation, home handywork, support of members at medical appointments, and communications (newsletter, digests, website). 

To learn more about becoming a volunteer, or to know what volunteer services are available to you as a member, please contact the office. 

  • The Ashby Village Office, 2330 Durant Avenue, Berkeley 
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • If you would like to participate, fill out an application online or contact us at 510-204-9200.

Appreciation: Paul Axelrod 

A man for all occasions, Paul Axelrod brings richly varied experience, as well as formidable expertise, to helping out at Ashby Village. As a college student he was "a geek with a slide rule on my belt." Then he went to medical school, which he quit after

Paul Axelrod
Paul speaks at the Jan, 2011, Volunteer Forum

a year and a half in favor of IBM. In 1969, he joined a friend in creating a company to

sell computer services. He became head of accounting of Parents Magazine, bringing them new methods of data processing. Then a stint in the food industry, other ventures, and 10 years after his first degree, an MBA.  


At the same time during all this he was skiing and scuba diving and hiking and getting married (twice) and volunteering to help students at Kings School with their math. All this has left him - or perhaps, through all this he has retained - a sense that by far the most important thing in life are relationships: "We're all part of something bigger and can help each other out."  


Everybody loves to see Paul coming in the door. With his pleasant smile and air of competence he exudes helpfulness. Some help he's given recently includes: assisting a member with her filing, explaining that financial statements over five years old don't need to be retained; the banks will do that, online, and that that all those probably obsolete pamphlets we have around are now also often found online. Paul has solved computer problems, driven a member to the hospital to visit her hu

sband, and even changed the batteries in smoke and fire detectors. Most recently, Paul joined our newly formed "Planning for Sustainability Work Group" that is brainstorming the long-range plans for Ashby Village. See Word on the Street for recently published photos of Paul doing his thing - helping out. See Word on the Street for recently published photos of Paul doing his thing - helping out.  

-- Written by Marion Benedict


Nod to the "Fighting Amish"

"Two days ago, I asked Ashby Village if they could send an electrician to my house at 25 Stonewall Road, to fix a tangled set of half-broken study lamps I have had for forty years (when in the past they were the best lamps good libraries used). Two men came to the house confronted with the tangled mess of my failures. They were Dean and Inder Rottger of Fighting Amish Electric. They were superb: fully equipped with modern tools, quick to analyze the problems and my wishes, totally successful. Please let your records show that I have lived in several cities and several houses and used many electricians, including some highly touted commercial ones in this area. None came close to the Fighting Amish. I recommend them as better than any of the many electricians I have used in my life."

--Ben Bagdikian

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  • Carol Bernstein
  • Madeline Duckles
  • Donald and Katherine Foley   
  • Jane Jacobs
  • Kathleen Kahn
  • Clive and Alice Lonsdale
  • Ann Middleton
  • Danuti Nitecki
  • Wanda Nustad
  • Phyllis Plate
  • Elizabeth Raymer and Ragna Boynton   
  • Gene Rochlin  
  • Ann Smith
  • Joan and Carl Strand
  • Keiko Yamanaka

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Committee Chairs


MEMBERSHIP:  Betty Webster, 


                                                                             Barbi Jo Stim, 

SERVICES:  Joann Sullivan,  

                       Judy Boe,

                       Shirley Haberfeld, 


FUNDRAISING:  Enid Pollack,















CHAIR:  Patricia Sussman

VICE CHAIR:  Shirley Haberfeld

SECRETARY/TREASURER:  Andra Lichtenstein

Bob Davis

Marcia Freedman

Laura Peck

Roberta Pressman  

Jane Selby

Barbi Jo Stim

Betty Webster

Marj Wolf 


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