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What’s it like to work with Maria Shriver? Donna Lucas Knows.

Posted by on Mar 30, 2016 in Blog, Featured, News | 0 comments

What’s it like to work with Maria Shriver? Donna Lucas Knows.

The last interview I conducted during my series at the Dole Institute was one I looked forward to the entire time.

Donna Lucas HeadshotDonna Lucas of Lucas Public Affairs is among the top 100 insiders at the California State Capitol. And she’s worked hard, achieving top roles in state government as Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Chief of Staff to former California First Lady Maria Shriver.

Donna currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) and serves on the Board of Directors for the California Chamber of Commerce, College Futures Foundation, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Maria Shriver’s A Woman’s Nation Foundation. She is routinely named one of Sacramento’s 100 most powerful people and is often listed as one of the state Capitol’s most influential people.

I’m proud to share this video of one of California’s most remarkable public relations professionals — take a moment to hear Donna Lucas!

The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics celebrates public service and promotes civil discourse and the legacy of Senator Bob Dole by providing public programming, research and educational opportunities, a museum gallery, and other offerings. Museum gallery features include the world’s largest stained-glass American flag, Kansas veterans WWII memory wall and World Trade Center beams. It is home to the Robert J. Dole Archive & Special Collections, which includes over 35 years of congressional papers, as well as objects and materials from the Senator’s entire life.

“In America we take pride in the past, but we live for the future. To the young people who will come here for inspiration as well as information, may you never stop reaching for the stars – whatever the difficulties.”  – Senator Bob Dole, July 22, 2003, Dole Institute dedication.

Interview with former Under Secretary of State Ellen Tauscher: Survivor, Leader, Public Servant [Video]

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016 in Blog, Featured, News | 0 comments

Interview with former Under Secretary of State Ellen Tauscher: Survivor, Leader, Public Servant [Video]

It was 220px-Ellen_Tauscher_US_State_Dept_photoreally important to me to include former Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher in the series on extraordinary women at the Dole Institute. I had seen Ellen in action as my representative in the U.S. Congress and watched her ascend to one of the highest levels of government as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.

Since leaving the State Department in 2012, Tauscher has assumed a number of publicly-held corporate and non-profit board positions, including serving on the boards of Southern California Edison, SpaceX, and the Executive Committee of the Atlantic Council. She recently took on a new role helping with bipartisan citizens redistricting at You Draw the Lines.

But the story I most wanted to tell is the story of Ellen as a survivor. It’s not just about surviving Washington, D.C. It’s about surviving one of the most severe forms of cancer. Esophageal cancer is among the deadliest cancers, with only a 10% relative survival rate after five years. Ellen just had her 5th anniversary of being cancer-free, making her an even more remarkable woman than I even realized. Watch my interview with her here.


The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics celebrates public service and promotes civil discourse and the legacy of Senator Bob Dole by providing public programming, research and educational opportunities, a museum gallery, and other offerings. Museum gallery features include the world’s largest stained-glass American flag, Kansas veterans WWII memory wall and World Trade Center beams. It is home to the Robert J. Dole Archive & Special Collections, which includes over 35 years of congressional papers, as well as objects and materials from the Senator’s entire life.

“In America we take pride in the past, but we live for the future. To the young people who will come here for inspiration as well as information, may you never stop reaching for the stars – whatever the difficulties.”  – Senator Bob Dole, July 22, 2003, Dole Institute dedication.

Meet Ellie Schafer: Special Assistant to President Barack Obama [Video]

Posted by on Jan 31, 2016 in Blog, Featured, News | 0 comments

Meet Ellie Schafer: Special Assistant to President Barack Obama [Video]

ES BO PlaneWhat’s it like to meet the Pope? Or Jimmy Buffett?

Ellie Schafer knows. She’s the Director of the White House Visitor’s Office and someone I have known for more than 20 years. She has a very unique and interesting story which began when she was the face of “Mr. Bubbles”, around age five.

Since then, she helped her father, a Republican, become Governor of the State of North Dakota and did advance work for the Dali Lama prior to working for Senator Barack Obama on his book tour, prior to his becoming President.

Now, she’s on First Family detail, running the White House Visitor’s Office and is a top adviser to the President of the United States. She has revolutionized the way the White House Visitor’s Office works.

This interview at the Dole Institute of Politics was one of my favorites at the University of Kansas. It’s a story of bipartisanship and friendship. Through the years, we have worked against each other for different candidates in different parties, but I’m so proud of what Ellie has achieved.

Watch it here. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics celebrates public service and promotes civil discourse and the legacy of Senator Bob Dole by providing public programming, research and educational opportunities, a museum gallery, and other offerings. Museum gallery features include the world’s largest stained-glass American flag, Kansas veterans WWII memory wall and World Trade Center beams. It is home to the Robert J. Dole Archive & Special Collections, which includes over 35 years of congressional papers, as well as objects and materials from the Senator’s entire life.

“In America we take pride in the past, but we live for the future. To the young people who will come here for inspiration as well as information, may you never stop reaching for the stars – whatever the difficulties.”  – Senator Bob Dole, July 22, 2003, Dole Institute dedication.

 

Top Woman in PR: Ambassador Lisa Gable Discusses Zig-Zagging Through Life [Video]

Posted by on Jan 20, 2016 in Blog, Events, Featured | 0 comments

Top Woman in PR: Ambassador Lisa Gable Discusses Zig-Zagging Through Life [Video]

Yesterday, Ambassador Lisa Gable was named a “Top Woman in PR” by PR News. She was a guest for my second study series program at the Dole Institute of Politics.

Ambassador Gable is a female role model who is one of the most efficient, intelligent women I know.

DIOP Yellow Brick RoadShe currently serves as President of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, a CEO-led initiative aimed at helping to reduce obesity, especially childhood obesity, in America. The foundation grew from 21 founding members to over 200 members in the first 24 months. She is also a National Trustee, Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

Gable achieved the rank of Ambassador when she was appointed by President George W. Bush appointed U.S. Commissioner General, 2005 World Exposition, Aichi, Japan. She moved her family to Japan and served overseas to fulfill her duties in this important role. She also had the opportunity to serve in the Reagan White House in the Office of Presidential Personnel. You can read more about her background here.

Lisa has been a mentor to many women, including me. In this session, she tells the story of how she was able to manage her work and family time – zig-zagging through life – to achieve her personal and professional dreams.

The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics celebrates public service and promotes civil discourse and the legacy of Senator Bob Dole by providing public programming, research and educational opportunities, a museum gallery, and other offerings. Museum gallery features include the world’s largest stained-glass American flag, Kansas veterans WWII memory wall and World Trade Center beams. It is home to the Robert J. Dole Archive & Special Collections, which includes over 35 years of congressional papers, as well as objects and materials from the Senator’s entire life.

“In America we take pride in the past, but we live for the future. To the young people who will come here for inspiration as well as information, may you never stop reaching for the stars – whatever the difficulties.”  – Senator Bob Dole, July 22, 2003, Dole Institute dedication.

My First Program @DoleInstitute: Lydia Beebe, the first woman officer at Chevron [Video]

Posted by on Oct 25, 2015 in Blog, Events, Featured, News | 0 comments

My First Program @DoleInstitute: Lydia Beebe, the first woman officer at Chevron [Video]

We kicked off the fall program at the Dole Institute with an interview with Lydia Beebe, the first woman officer at the Chevron Corporation.

Lydia was a popular guest due to her background as a graduate of the University of Kansas, both undergrad and at the law school. She currently serves in high profile capacities at the University of Kansas on the Governing Board of the KU Endowment Association & KU Law Alumni.

Lydia has had an extraordinary career which includes being named an appointee of Governor Pete Wilson at the Fair Employment & Housing Commission where she was named a Civil Right Hero as well as being appointed by President George W. Bush to the Presidio Trust in San Francisco. She is currently Of Counsel at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics celebrates public service and promotes civil discourse and the legacy of Senator Bob Dole by providing public programming, research and educational opportunities, a museum gallery, and other offerings. Museum gallery features include the world’s largest stained-glass American flag, Kansas veterans WWII memory wall and World Trade Center beams. It is home to the Robert J. Dole Archive & Special Collections, which includes over 35 years of congressional papers, as well as objects and materials from the Senator’s entire life.

“In America we take pride in the past, but we live for the future. To the young people who will come here for inspiration as well as information, may you never stop reaching for the stars – whatever the difficulties.”  – Senator Bob Dole, July 22, 2003, Dole Institute dedication.

Lloyd on #2016POTUS

Posted by on Oct 16, 2015 in Blog, Events, News | 0 comments

View More: http://swiftkurrent.pass.us/carly-swiftOccasionally, I serve as a trusted source for commentary on the Presidential races, due to my long time service since the 1984 Reagan campaign. That was a long time ago — but I’m still involved.

Special Note: Carly is a great role model for women who started as a hairdresser and rose to the top job at HP. Since I conducted the women’s program at the Dole Institute of Politics on the campus of Kansas University this fall, I had a chance to ask a lot of remarkable women their points of view on her and Hillary Clinton.

There are other choices for President. Christie, Bush, Kasich and Rubio, would be excellent as a top of the Republican ticket. I’ve had a chance to spend time with them as well and as offer my support for what they’re doing.

Here’s my insight on Carly Fiorina’s campaign, highlighted by Josh Richman of the Bay Area News Group.

Judy Lloyd, of Danville, a former Senate aide and George W. Bush administration Labor Department appointee who now runs a public affairs consulting firm, said after attending the event that she’s “intrigued by a number of GOP candidates,” but Fiorina “strikes me as remarkably Reaganesque.”

That’s high praise coming from someone who’s now running a weekly study group at the University of Kansas’ Dole Institute of Politics called “First in Their Class: Authentic Women and the Originality that Got Them There.”

“She definitely delivered — she has grown so much since she ran for U.S. Senate here. Like anyone who loses an election or suffers a loss of any kind, if you take the right lessons you get stronger, and I believe she has,” Lloyd said, adding she was particularly impressed by Fiorina’s point that true leaders differ from managers because they challenge the status quo.

“It was a very strong message about her own leadership — she’s not afraid to be challenged,” Lloyd said. “She didn’t talk in platitudes or rhetoric; it was all authentic. … And she probably shook every hand — everyone who wanted to meet her had the opportunity.”

Read Josh Richman’s entire column in the Contra Costa Times here and his previous article on Californians pondering their 2016 choices here.

Special Preview: Lloyd Fellowship @DoleInstitute highlights remarkable women [Video]

Posted by on Oct 2, 2015 in Blog, Events, News | 0 comments

Special Preview: Lloyd Fellowship @DoleInstitute highlights remarkable women [Video]

October 2, 2015 — Lawrence, Kansas — William B. Lacy, Director of the Dole Institute of Politics on the campus of the University of Kansas has announced that Judy B. Lloyd will join the Institute as its Fall Fellow, conducting a study group each week on extraordinary women in business and politics.

“Titled “First in Their Class: Authentic Women and the Originality that Got Them There,” this semester’s Study Group will take a look at women leaders in public service and business and their many accomplishments. Judy is a longtime veteran of political affairs and community engagement and has a passionate interest in women in leadership.”

Lloyd, a 32-year veteran of public service, will welcome women leaders to discuss their careers in business and government and offer insights to students at the University of Kansas and the greater Lawrence community on how to become the best they can be in their chosen profession.

The study group commences on October 6, 2016 and runs through November 17. All six sessions will be shown via live stream from 12:00 – 1:30 PM CST and will feature instant Twitter commentary. They will also be available on You Tube. Learn more at the Dole Institute.

The announcement of Lloyd’s fellowship may be found at this link:

2015-10-02 Memorandum from Bill Lacy, Director, Dole Institute of Politics

 

Finding Joy on 9-11

Posted by on Sep 11, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Today I had a feeling I’ve never felt before on the anniversary of 9-11 – joy.

The early morning sky was baby blue with elegant ripples of clouds over Mount Diablo.

I shed a tear as I do every 9-11.

Then I smiled, thinking about the 2,977 people America lost that day – so many brave firefighters. People like Tom Burnett, who worked nearby at Thoratec in Pleasanton – and Todd Beamer, a software engineer on Flight 93 whose heroism is recognized worldwide as the guy who called a GTE operator, assessed the situation, and finished with “let’s roll”, defying the hijacker’s tactical strategy to turn the plane around and destroy the U.S. Capitol.

I remember these heroes and those we lost – reflecting on my son’s first memory that day, and my first memory as a child.

I was 3 1/2 years old when JFK was shot. I remember playing with my dolls singing on the floor as my mother cried for the first Catholic President and his young family.

Years later, I realized that my son’s first memory was 9-11. He remembers me whisking him from his bed and holding him close early that morning.

My husband had woken early to go to the gym. Realizing that America was under attack, he turned his car around to come home, wake me up, and share the reality that terror was in the sky, destroying the Pentagon, just a mile and a half from our former home in Arlington, Virginia.

Our first vivid childhood memories were of America’s saddest days – mine of the young American President being shot and my son’s of terrorists crashing airplanes into the World Trade Center.

I realized today that his may be the last graduating class at Monte Vista High School to remember what happened that dreadful day.

These reflections pave the walkway of our lives in good times and in bad.

Mom & Dad on the CouchFourteen years ago, I lost my father — just two weeks after 9-11. It was hard to get a flight across the country. We had to cancel my son’s 4th birthday party. We buried Dad on his birthday.

My mother passed ten years later. I find joy that they are together.

My son has grown into an amazing young man who will be 18 in just a few short weeks.

He finds joy in baseball, friendship, school, country music (and rap) and has a great love of family. (He’s even quite polite to those who are the most eccentric in the family).

He got his first car this week. I thank God every day that we live in a safe community.

2015-09-08 Michael's MercedesI find joy for the love of my life, a beautiful home, and the hike we took together, looking at Mt. Diablo, this morning before work.

I find joy in my amateur photography of the roses in my garden which somehow will withstand the California drought and bloom again next year.

2015 Malibu Rose1

Fourteen years later, I appreciate life.

I respect and admire those who keep us safe – our police, firefighters, and veterans.

Today, I’ll thank them all for their sacrifices.

It is these gifts in which I find joy, living in America, truly the land of the free, because of the brave.

#neverforget911

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Remembering Disney’s Dean Jones, Boomers Cultural Icon

Posted by on Sep 4, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Herbie, The Love BugI feel like I’ve known Dean Jones all my life.

Though I lost track of him over the last 20 or so years — his death still brings back fond memories of my childhood.

We loved Dean Jones for his slapstick comedic genius alongside some of the funniest actors and actresses of our time – Hayley Mills, Michelle Lee, Buddy Hackett, Suzanne Pleshette, and the legendary Tim Conway.

Read the rest here at SafeinHome.

Lloyd takes prominent role on Senator Glazer’s Staff

Posted by on Jul 26, 2015 in Blog, News | 0 comments

Lloyd takes prominent role on Senator Glazer’s Staff

Lloyd with Senate certificateSeveral area residents have joined the staff of newly elected state Sen. Steve Glazer, who has named his staff both for his office at the Capitol in Sacramento and his 7th District office in Walnut Creek.

Walnut Creek-based staffers are senior field representatives, including:

  • Judy Lloyd of Danville. The president of Altamont Strategies, Lloyd serves on the California Leadership Council for the National Federation of Independent Businesses and is a member of the Danville Area Chamber of Commerce. Lloyd served as a special assistant to U.S. Majority Leader Bob Dole from 1988 until 1992.

Read the full article here at the Contra Costa Times.

As Republican Field Grows, Californians Ponder Their Best Choice

Posted by on Jul 13, 2015 in Blog, News | 0 comments

CC Times Graphic on POTUS GOPI continue to do political commentary from time to time. It’s in my blood. Here’s a great in-depth article by Josh Richman of the San Jose Mercury News on how the GOP field is shaping up in California. (I’m at the end so read it in its entirety!)

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign launch Monday means 15 GOP candidates now are seeking the White House with at least two more on the way, leaving California Republicans with an embarrassment of riches — or maybe just embarrassment, in some cases.

Donald Trump was in Los Angeles last week, Jeb Bush will be all over California this week, Ben Carson is coming to Alameda County next week, but who will still be standing next June when Golden State Republicans go to the polls for what’s often a you-no-longer-matter presidential primary? And next November, who might appeal most or offend least in this deep-blue stronghold, which hasn’t supported a Republican for the White House since George H.W. Bush in 1988?

Read the rest here.

Glazer-Bonilla 5 Day Countdown

Posted by on May 14, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Glazer signContra Costa County’s 680 corridor and Alameda County’s Tri-Valley region are once again hosts to the most hotly contested race for state legislature.

In 2014, my talented friend Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, beat Mayor Sbranti – 51.6% to 48.4%. She defied the odds in a Bay Area district where voter registration shows Democrats outnumbering Republicans, 39% to 32%, with Decline-to-State voters at 22%.

Previous to the general election runoff, Orinda Mayor Steve Glazer (a candidate in the Special Election) waged a spirited, independent primary campaign, coming in 3rd behind Baker and Sbranti.

At the time, few looked through their crystal ball and saw Glazer entering the State Senate Special Election just a few months later. Assemblywomen Joan Buchanan and Susan Bonilla were already cued up to run.

But on the last day of filing, Glazer entered the race, winning the March primary by 8.8%. He was the top vote getter, garnering 33.7% of the vote.

Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla came in 2nd with 24.9%, knocking former Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan out of the race. Though Buchanan was a popular, termed-out officeholder, Glazer won the Republican vote and enough Independents and Democrats to make him formidable for the run-off.

So here we are – 5 days from the run-off Special Election.

001Voters in Assembly District 16 (where Glazer previously ran) comprise 60% of the district.

Voters in Assembly District 14 (where Bonilla is the sitting Assembly member) comprise about 20%.

The other 20% (represented by neither Bonilla nor Glazer) is in Assembly District 11.

Though Democrat registered voters outnumber Republicans 43% to 28%, mail ballots currently show a larger than expected turnout among Republicans.

These voters think Glazer will be easier to work with and more business-friendly than Bonilla. Glazer’s activism against BART strikes supports the region’s economy and resonates with workers and families. He also has the support of small business’ most important advocacy organization.

This morning’s story stating that BART workers violated a code of conduct by conducting anti-Glazer campaign activities on BART property will catch voters’ attention.

Read the rest here.

 

Lloyd, Altamont Strategies featured in 2015 NFIB Small Business Playbook

Posted by on May 5, 2015 in Blog, News | 0 comments

NFIB Small Biz Playbook (Cover)In April 2015, more than 300,000 NFIB members received a new publication from the national headquarters of the National Federation of Independent Business.

The 2015 Small Business Playbook contains important information and articles that will help small businesses thrive and become successful.

Altamont Strategies president Judy Lloyd, who serves on the NFIB Leadership Council, was among those interviewed for the publication, under its section on “What Makes a Good Leader?”

Flip through the digital publication to page 42 to see the full interview.

Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant

Posted by on Apr 3, 2015 in Blog, News | 0 comments

The legislative process in Sacramento is screwed up. The public can only find out about what’s happening when they watch TV, read the newspaper, or know a lobbyist. Even then, the “Average Joe” has little time to prepare for a potential regulatory burden that could impact his business or his livelihood. Navigating the bureaucracy is about as appealing as real life sausage making.

A team at California Polytechnic State University, led by former State Assembly Leader and Senator Sam Blakeslee, saw this lack of transparency as a problem and decided to do something about it.

They built a new online platform that features a searchable database of state legislative committee hearings, allowing the user to search videos by keyword, topic, speaker or date. It’s something the most sophisticated journalist or even an average citizen can use. And its the first tool of its kind –

“In committee rooms, decisions are made that affect the lives of millions. But except for insiders, these rooms are often empty – no public eyes, no public ears, and no public voice are present when decisions are being made.

 

We’ve developed an exciting new tool that fundamentally changes the balance of power.” — Dr. Sam Blakeslee

Click to learn more about Digital Democracy and other projects at the Institute for Advanced Technology and Public Policy.

If you live in the Bay Area and want to get involved, just give me a call.

Digital Democracy launches statewide in California at the end of April.

I’m Judy Biviano Lloyd. The story of my life began in my Mother’s kitchen.

Posted by on Mar 9, 2015 in Blog, Featured, News | 0 comments

I’m Judy Biviano Lloyd. The story of my life began in my Mother’s kitchen.

Chapter 1 – The Story of My Life Began in my Mother’s Kitchen

Josephine (1950 with frame)When I was three or four years old, I realized I was Italian. Family, cooking, and stories – in that order – defined my existence.

But the story of my life began in my mother’s kitchen.

It was there that I sat in my first high chair and learned to eat homemade pasta with butter and a little olive oil.

It’s also the place where I learned to make Grandma’s Perfect Meatballs with my son, Michael.

I started writing Petite Cucina because of a promise I made in 2011 (more on that in subsequent chapters).

Like most home cooks, I’ve collected stories and recipes from some exceptional Italian cooks – my mother’s family, our neighbors, and friends – all of whom emigrated from neighboring towns in Castelforte, Italy and Lipari, Sicily in the early 1900’s.

Most people who aren’t Italian don’t realize that throughout Italy, the cuisine is very different, depending on the region.

That’s what’s great about Italian home cooks who learned from their mothers (and sometimes their fathers) how to cook! Here are a few entries to peak your curiosity.

Castelforte (Giacomo Baldini on Flickr)1 – The Story of My Life Began in My Mother’s Kitchen

30-Minute Pasta with Veal, White Wine & Pine Nuts

Grandma’s Perfect Meatballs

Winter Veal Chop with Mustard Rum Sauce & Polenta

Photo Credit: Castelforte at Flickr Creative Commons (Giacomo Baldini collection)

Will Voters be Deceived By Mail in Senate District 7 Special Election?

Posted by on Mar 9, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Will Voters be Deceived By Mail in Senate District 7 Special Election?

Hertle-flier2 (AASB)Most of the time, Independent Expenditure Committees back individuals who they believe will support their various cause – whether it is pro-business or pro-union.

Yesterday, an independent expenditure group, the Asian American Small Business PAC, filed an IE on behalf of Republican Michaela Hertle.

Hertle is the Republican who dropped out of the race earlier this month. She has been quite clear of her intentions.

Read the rest here at Fox and Hounds Daily.

District Attorney Cites “Rampant Fraud” and “Pure Greed” in Elder Abuse Scandal

Posted by on Feb 19, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

District Attorney Cites “Rampant Fraud” and “Pure Greed” in Elder Abuse Scandal

In a post earlier this month, SafeinHome highlighted efforts to fight elder financial abuse.

Just this week in the county where our corporate office is based, “rampant fraud” and “pure greed” appear to be the motivations of an elder care franchise owner who will serve 60 days in jail and pay restitution after pleading guilty to theft of wages, workers compensation violations, and tax fraud in the operation of several facilities in the cities of Antioch and Brentwood.

Florinda Yambao, 62, who ran the operation, will have to pay back $453,000 in back wages to her workers.

Read the rest here.

30-Minute Pasta with Ground Veal, White Wine & Pine Nuts

Posted by on Feb 8, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Santa MargaritaItalian cooking is timeless. In my family, recipes are passed from Grandmother – to Mother – to Daughter – to Son. Add in the extended family, and the meals last a lifetime!

Still, there’s nothing better than the 30-minute pasta recipe. If you love veal, wine and pine nuts, you’re destined to love this pasta recipe!

Experience the recipe: 30-Minute Pasta with Ground Veal, Rosemary, Pine Nuts.

From Josephine’s Petite Cucina.

30-Minute Pasta with Veal & Pine Nuts

 

What You Need to Know About the Special Election in Senate District 7

Posted by on Feb 5, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

What You Need to Know About the Special Election in Senate District 7
Steve Glazer & Family

Steve Glazer & Family

About 9 months ago, the race for State Senate in District 7 seemed boring. Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla would face term-limited Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan. Each Democrat woman would garner predictable endorsements from labor unions as well as regional officeholders. It would be a horse race between two well established Democrat women, both of whom are friendly with organized labor.

Then came fall and the inevitable election of Mark DeSaulnier to Congress, forcing a special election. Mark Meuser, a Republican who ran against DeSaulnier in 2012, entertained the thought of running and formed a campaign committee.

Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan

Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan

GOP Leadership expressed interest in 3 County Officials: Costa DA Mark Peterson and Contra Costa Supervisors Candace Andersen and Mary Piepho. All three have credibility with voters and have won previous races with respectable margins. Piepho and Peterson faced no opposition in their last race. Read the rest here.

Note: A few days after this writing, the Contra Costa Times endorsed Steve Glazer, remarking on his independence as well as the credibility of Joan Buchanan. Their assessment was spot on and worth reading. View it here.

Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla

Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grandma’s Perfect Meatballs

Posted by on Jan 3, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Grandma’s Perfect Meatballs

Grandma Jo's SauceJanuary 3, 2015, would have been Josephine’s 84th birthday.

It’s the perfect day to share the story of when Grandma taught her 13-year old grandson, Michael, to make her famous meatballs from scratch. 

It’s a memory I’ll never forget and a timeless cooking lesson from an authentic Italian cook.

Sharing the family recipe makes me happy.

Click here to learn our story and how to make Grandma’s Perfect Meatballs.

From Josephine’s Petite Cucina

Winter Veal Chop with Mustard Sauce, Rum & Polenta

Posted by on Dec 28, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Winter Veal (Mustard, Rum)The weather in Northern California allows my husband and me to enjoy grilled meats year round. But what do you do when it’s a stormy December with torrential rain that lasts three days?

The answer became apparent when we cooked this pan-seared veal chops and polenta dish. It features a touch of mustard, olive oil, and rum and is the most succulent veal chop I’ve ever tasted!

This recipe is the second entry in a series of Italian-inspired cooking. It will become part of the book I’m writing to honor the memory of my mother, Josephine Biviano, called Josephine’s Petite Cucina. You can download the recipe here: Winter Veal Chop with Mustard, Rum, and Polenta.

From Josephine’s Petite Cucina.

Debit Card Fraud: 6 Places to Be Careful

Posted by on Dec 18, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Debit Card Fraud: 6 Places to Be Careful

Just the other day, I came across this article from the AARP blog on debit card fraud. It is illuminating and I felt obligated to share it.

Bank and credit union debit cards look nearly the same as credit cards and people use them interchangeably. The one thing that many people don’t realize is that there are different protections for consumers on credit cards than there are on debit cards.

Read the rest here.

Elizabeth Dole & Easter Seals Team Up to Help Military Caregivers

Posted by on Dec 5, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Elizabeth DoleHere’s something great! A series on Hallmark’s “Home and Family” network is designed to help military caregivers. The series ran the week of Veteran’s Day and focused on the challenges many young caregivers face when their loved ones return wounded on the battlefield.  The series features former U.S. Senator and Cabinet member Elizabeth Dole and Easter Seals CEO Jim Williams.

I learned about the series from U.S. Senator Bob Dole, who just returned from touring all 105 counties in Kansas and was getting in touch with friends.

You may recall that Senator Dole served as the U.S. Senate Majority Leader, a 1996 Presidential contender, and a World War II veteran who received the purple heart for his bravery on the battlefield.

While Senator Bob Dole represents the older generation of war heroes, younger heroes return to their U.S. homeland each week. Some are severely wounded from more recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. When they return, they are oftentimes cared for by younger caregivers – people in their 20’s and 30’s – who didn’t expect to be in the position of caregiver quite so soon in their young lives. Read the rest here.

Hearty Turkey Soup, Summer Savory and Vegetables

Posted by on Dec 5, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

turkey summer savory veg soupI came up with the idea for this soup last Thanksgiving.

I decided to perfect it this year using leftovers from the Thanksgiving turkey. It has simple, fresh ingredients. The secret herb which flavors the dish is Summer Savory – the perfect touch for soups made with turkey or chicken.

This recipe is the first entry in a series of Italian-inspired cooking. It will become part of the book I’m writing to honor the memory of my mother, Josephine Biviano, called Josephine’s Petite Cucina.

You can download the recipe here: Hearty Turkey Soup with Summer Savory.

8 Ways to Give Thanks to Family Caregivers this Holiday Season

Posted by on Dec 5, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

8 Ways to Give Thanks to Family Caregivers this Holiday Season

It’s one of the most giving, stressful jobs imaginable. And it impacts every family at one point or another in their lives. That’s why its important to give thanks to family caregivers this holiday season.

Many people don’t realize it, but in the United States, there are 34 million family caregivers who provide care for people aged 50 and over.

Of that number, 9 million provide informal care for someone with dementia.

Since 90% of seniors want to live in their own homes and be independent, the burden shifts to families for their care at home.

80% of senior care is provided by unpaid family members who work about 20 hours a week in this role.

Read the rest here.

 

Assembly District 16: Weird and Wacky Antics Put Bay Area Seat in Play

Posted by on Nov 2, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Assembly District 16: Weird and Wacky Antics Put Bay Area Seat in Play

A very wise political consultant once told me that the last 7 days of a close campaign weren’t the ones to watch – they were the ones to watch out for. It’s that magical time when your opponent hurls lies about you in the mail.

It’s getting pretty whacky in Assembly District 16 where Republican Catharine Baker is turning up the heat against her Democrat opponent Tim Sbranti.

Most pundits believe that the seat currently occupied by Democrat Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan would be in solid Democrat hands. Democrats hold a registration advantage of 39.42% to 32% over Republicans, with Decline-to-State voters at 22.15%, according to the latest figures.

In what’s expected to be a low-turnout, lackluster election cycle,the race showcases one of the great business vs. union battles of the 2014 cycle. Some polls show the race tied.

Read the rest here.

Joan Lunden’s Work as Caregiver Prepared Her to Battle Breast Cancer

Posted by on Sep 28, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Joan Lunden’s Work as Caregiver Prepared Her to Battle Breast Cancer

A few weeks ago, I met Joan Lunden at a small group session at the AARP’s Idea’s at 50+ Conference in San Diego. At the time, I didn’t know she had breast cancer.

Joan was candid in talking about the disease and new challenges she faces daily. She talked about her upcoming article in People Magazine that made it to grocery store shelves today.

She shared her challenges as a family caregiver and responded without missing a beat to a question from a very emotional young woman who seemed overwhelmed by caregiving.

“It’s OK to be a little imperfect,” said Lunden.

Women really do worry about perfection – the perfect mom, the perfect wife, the perfect caregiver. Read the rest here.

First Day of Fall – It’s Falls Prevention Day

Posted by on Sep 22, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

First Day of Fall – It’s Falls Prevention Day

The National Council on Aging has proclaimed Tuesday, September 23rd as Falls Prevention Awareness Day.

What better day to build awareness than the first day of fall?

The 2014 theme is Strong Today, Falls Free® Tomorrow.

Last year, 47 states participated in the day.

You can use the resources at this link to plan a falls prevention day in your own community.

There’s a handy infographic here that lists key statistics and things you can do to prevent a fall.

For example, did you know that every 15 seconds an older adult is seen in an emergency room for a fall-related injury? Read the rest here.

Staying Fit, Eating Healthy for Active Aging Week

Posted by on Sep 20, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

chopped salad, mustard viniagrette dressingThere are a variety of activities with notable dates associated with them throughout the year. Among them are Active Aging Week and World Alzheimer’s Day – both of which begin today, September 21st.

Activity is a sign of healthy aging. That goes for those of us like me who are 50+ as well as our Moms & Dads who we may care for at home.

Active aging is about fitness and wellness. The mission of Active Aging Week is to celebrate adults aged 50 and older and their contributions to society and community. The week highlights the benefits of an active, healthier life and the ability of older adults to live well — regardless of age, related limitations or health conditions.

There’s an annual one-week series of events promoted by the International Council on Active Aging that takes place every year during the last week in September. Click here to see a webinar describing specialty days and activities.

It all sounds great to me as someone over 50 – but what about Mom? Read the rest here.

What Kevin Spacey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Levar Burton, and Valerie Harper said at AARP’s Ideas@50+

Posted by on Sep 16, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Kevin SpaceyAARP’s “Ideas@50+” Conference in San Diego hosted some of the most beloved actors of our time.

Who can forget Valerie Harper as Rhoda on the Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Or LeVar Burton as Kunta Kinte in the ABC mini-series, Roots, based on the book by Alex Haley?

They joined for a panel on one of AARP’s keynote topics – Life Reimagined – an effort to empower and attract baby boomers to re-create themselves, discover a meaningful work-life balance, and earn new life skills. AARP volunteer leaders offered their own stories on health, financial security and enjoyment in our 50+ years.

Also on hand on a panel that discussed the convergence of Hollywood and Washington, D.C. were Kevin Spacey (House of Cards) and Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep).

Read my observations here and view inspiring comments these amazing actors made on life as a baby boomer –

Should Baby Boomers Fear Technology?

Posted by on Sep 9, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Should Baby Boomers Fear Technology?

I had the chance to get to San Diego for AARP’s Ideas@50+ Conference this past week. First on my “to-do” list was attending a media discussion on the debut of the AARP’s first consumer product – the RealPad.

This tablet technology was developed in partnership with Intel Corporation to respond to the needs of some 70 million Americans over age 50. Many of us want to learn to use technology but may be apprehensive about learning, with too many choices and features.

RealHelpIt’s no wonder that the Convention Center was completely abuzz about the new tablet technology tool.

It’s sleek, simple design and ease of use is sure to be a winner with today’s seniors and those of us a little less senior at 50+ who want to learn how to use a tablet.

The tablet, shown here, comes with pre-loaded tutorials and simple to use features. It’s tutorials are in plain language that make it easy to connect with family, browse & shop online, and keep your mind active with a variety of games. Read the rest here.

Rhinestone Cowboy Glen Campbell’s New Documentary on Battle With Alzheimer’s

Posted by on Sep 2, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Glen Campbell1Country music superstar Glen Campbell is doing what he can with the time he has left.

Earlier this month, Campbell announced that a documentary of his last shows and battle would Alzheimer’s would debut on October 24th in theaters.

Filmmaker James Keach has documented every moment – good and bad. The documentary encompasses 151 shows with 1300 hours of footage, and features superstars like Bruce Springsteen, Taylor Swift, and Keith Urban. In the documentary, Campbell talks about his battles with substance abuse and his diagnoses with Alzheimer’s. Read the rest here.

JFK, the Village Movement, and Societal Answers to Aging

Posted by on Aug 28, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

JFK, the Village Movement, and Societal Answers to Aging

As we get older, it becomes more and more evident that what we once considered “middle age” has changed.

People are living longer due to many things – better drugs, treatments, and cures, better technology

JFK which enables better living, and emphasis on a healthier, more thriving lifestyle.
Like the hybrid Prius has increased energy efficiency and saved consumers money, aging in place ain’t your father’s Oldsmobile anymore. There are many things you can do to make the experience for yourself and your loved one a quality one at a place where they want to live.

Recently, an AARP survey indicated that 90% of of seniors want to stay in their homes as long as possible.

One movement that’s starting to take shape all around the United States is the Village Movement. It’s concept is simple.

Read the rest here.

 

Does Lack of Vitamin D Cause Dementia and Alzheimer’s?

Posted by on Aug 20, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Vitamin D-DementiaA study just released has linked lack of Vitamin D to a higher risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

In fact, older adults with too little vitamin D in their bloodstream could face two times the risk of developing Alzheimer’s in their senior years.

So, as we age and consider the golden retirement years in golden sunshine, does it make sense to up the intake of the “Sunshine Vitamin”?

The research — based on more than 1,600 adults over age 65 — found the risk for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia increased with the severity of vitamin D deficiency. But the findings aren’t enough to recommend seniors take vitamin D supplements to prevent mental decline. “Clinical trials are now urgently needed in this area,” said study researcher David Llewellyn, a senior research fellow in clinical epidemiology at the University of Exeter Medical School in England. Read the rest here.

The Role Parkinson’s Disease May Have Played in Robin Williams’ Death

Posted by on Aug 14, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Robin Williams starToday, Robin Williams’ wife, Susan Schneider, lent some insight into health issues the comedian faced – namely his battle with Parkinson’s Disease.

“Robin spent so much of his life helping others. Whether he was entertaining millions on stage, film or television, our troops on the front lines, or comforting a sick child — Robin wanted us to laugh and to feel less afraid.

Robin’s sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson’s disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly.

Read the rest here.

What You Don’t Know About Elderly Falls Could Hurt

Posted by on Jul 17, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Every day, there’s a new story or statistic about seniors falling in their homes, outside their car, or on a simple walk around the block.

People are living longer. They are becoming frailer with age. This leads to significant increases in falls among seniors.

Older adults count for 84% of all fall-related deaths and 68% of hospital stays for fall-related injuries, according to the Bureau of Health Information, Statistics, Research and Evaluation at the Massachusetts Department of Health.

Mom after Fall

“Mom after her 2nd fall.”

These are scary statistics because many people don’t know what you’ll take away from this article.

The fact that falls are the leading cause of death due to injury among the elderly is startling.

According to documented research, one of every three seniors will report a fall this year – many more are unreported. It’s also well documented that the time that elapses between a fall and receiving help has a direct impact on the outcome of the fall.

It’s important to find an elderly person who has fallen as early as possible. Read the rest here.

Why the Government is Concerned about Elder Abuse

Posted by on Jul 11, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Why the Government is Concerned about Elder Abuse

Yesterday, the Administration for Community Living, a division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, issued a joint media release with the U.S. Department of Justice calling for action to address elder abuse.

This subject always makes me weary. I hate to think of seniors being abused by anyone – for any reason. It takes away the dignity that older Americans have earned through their hard work in society and their communities.

Elder Abuse - graphicBut the facts are clear that elder abuse is rising. Research suggests that 1 in 10 Americans over age 60 has experienced elder abuse or neglect. People with dementia are at a higher risk for such abuse.

Though it is an uncomfortable subject for many of us, it’s important to have the conversation about elder abuse to daylight things we can do to protect our elderly parents – some of whom may be living at home alone.

Read the rest here.

Alarming Facts About Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness

Posted by on Jun 27, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

ALZ Hours of CareThe folks at SafeinHome participated in local efforts to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease on the “Longest Day”, June 21st. This is a date chosen by the Alzheimer’s Association to represent the plight of family caregivers who face the disease daily by caring for their loved ones. There are alarming facts about Alzheimer’s that you need to know.

Now, co
mpared to a decade ago, there is a greater awareness of the disease. Maybe it’s because of celebrities like Norman Rockwell, Charlton Heston or President Ronald Reagan getting the disease in the latter years of their lives.

Or it could be the simple fact that we now know more about the disease, as baby boomers ourselves.

Some of the facts are alarming – brace yourself as you read them.

According to the most recent study published by the Alzheimer’s Association, 2014 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures –

“Millions of Americans have Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. The number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias will grow each year as the size and proportion of the U.S. population age 65 and older continue to increase. The number will escalate rapidly in coming years as the baby boom generation ages.”

ALZ in USA graphThe study cites statistical data gathered in the United States on Alzheimer’s Disease, which is the most common form of dementia, which accounts for between 60% and 80% of all diagnosed cases.

Though Alzheimer’s disease was first identified more than a century ago, research into its symptoms, causes, risk factors and treatment has gained momentum only in the last 30 years.

The greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s is getting older. Most people with Alzheimer’s disease are are diagnosed at age 65 or older. Read the rest here.

East Bay Republicans Surprise Democrats in Top Two Primary

Posted by on Jun 10, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

They say that politics makes strange bedfellows and that certainly was the case last Tuesday as voters appear to have retired former Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, State Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett and political heavyweight Steve Glazer.

Assembly DistricBaker-signst 16: The strongest is clearly Catharine Baker, the sole Republican and top vote-getter who won with 36.5% of the vote. Baker ran a great race, raised money, and is well prepared to face union-backed Tim Sbranti, who garnered 29.7% in the sweepstakes. Latest figures show some $5.6 million spent on this race. Of that chunk of change, about a third was spent by IE’s like the California Realtors PAC, JOBS PAC, and the Charter School Association on behalf of Orinda councilman and Jerry Brown consultant Steve Glazer, who fell short of Sbranti with 22.5% of the vote.

Glazer may have run the best race ever to lose in AD-16.

Watch for a classic independent-businesswoman-mom vs. owned-by-organized-labor battle here that could go down to the wire.

Five questions remain unanswered that will have a significant impact on the race –

  1. Where will Glazer voters go? Undecided, independent voters may sway towards Baker or come home to their respective parties.
  1. Will Glazer back Tim Sbranti – the Dem who ousted him with allegations of a bad record on the environment and ties to big tobacco? That’s up to Steve. He’ll likely have pressure from party.
  1. Where will the 11% who backed Danville councilman Newell Arnerich go? My guess is to Baker. They are San Ramon Valley residents who live in a good school district and care about STEM education and their schools. Though Sbranti is a teacher, his loyalties are clearly to the unions.
  1. Will business IE’s go “all in” for Baker? The answer is “yes” if they really want a small business advocate as well as a “pro-kids, pro-classroom” vote on education funding. Parents yearn for more dollars to the classroom, rather than feeding the bureaucracy.
  1. Will Governor Jerry Brown go in “big” for Sbranti or take a pass? Only Glazer knows that answer.

Read the rest here.

 

Why I’m Voting for Neel Kashkari

Posted by on Jun 2, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Why I’m Voting for Neel Kashkari

I really wasn’t planning to get involved in the California Governor’s race, but I felt the need after seeing Tim Donnelley’s outrageous comments about Neel Kashkari a couple of weeks ago.

Let me take a moment to set the stage for why you should vote for Neel Kashkari – whether you’re a Republican, Democrat, or Independent.

If you’re a Californian, you are paying higher taxes than most to keep your house, run your business, and put food on the table. Gov. Jerry Brown will probably get re-elected even though California’s glitter as the “Golden State” is more like seeing yourself in tin foil now. Still, Brown shouldn’t go unchallenged.

You might ask why it matters if Gov. Brown faces Neel Kashkari or Tim Donnelley?

Here’s why it matters.

Tim Donnelley has demonstrated that he is unfit for the top job in the largest state in the U.S. Donnelley’s recent tirade alleging that Neel Kashkari is associated with fundamentalist Islam and Sharia Law proves his unfitness to serve as California’s commander in chief.

Here are the facts. Neel Kashkari was recruited by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury to run the Troubled Asset Relief program. He was unanimously confirmed as Assistant Secretary by the U.S. Senate (no small feat in a partisan Congress) as the best person to run this program.

Yes, it was an unpopular program during the bank bail-out in 2008, but Kashkari turned a major negative in to a big positive by writing and passing legislation that prevented economic collapse of the country’s financial institutions.

In managing the program, Kashkari not only recouped all the government money that was spent, but made a $13 billion profit for taxpayers. For this, he received the Alexander Hamilton Award – the Department’s Highest Honor.

Neel KashkariKashkari: He’s Young, But He Can Play

If you take a moment to look at Neel’s story, you’ll be impressed. His story is woven into the fabric of the American dream – the kind of dream my Grandparents came here for – and the kind of dream we thought of when we first heard Ronald Reagan’s “city on a hill” speech.

Kashkari is only 40 years old now, 6 years after achieving such success in turning a negative program into a financial success.

Sounds like Neel is an over-achiever, doesn’t it?

Maybe that’s why his rival on the Republican side – Tim Donnelley – accused him of being associated with radical Islam – once again. After all, desperate times call for desperate measures.

Though Kashkari was born in the USA, his family emigrated from India. Tim Donnelley doesn’t seem to know the difference between India and Arab nations, their culture, their religion, and most importantly, their laws.

As the story goes, Kashkari once attended a financial conference sponsored by the Bush Administration that discussed micro-financing in Arab countries who practiced Sharia Law. It turned out that the conference on Islamic finance was in reality, a conference to talk about how free market principles could work in the Muslim world.

Diplomacy Matters.

Many people don’t realize is that though President Bush was strongly against terrorism, he, like Ronald Reagan, wanted to promote America’s free market principles and our way of life to help other people become financially independent across the globe.

President George W. Bush was very serious about diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Arab nations whose cultures were very different than our own.

I know it first-hand. In 2004, I served as a delegate on the Inaugural Mission of the Partners in Participation program at the U.S. State Department. I was a Member of the Bush Administration and among a team of Republicans and Democrats that were hand-picked by the International Republican Institute and the International Democrat Union to travel overseas to Doha, Qatar. The mission trained Arab women from 6 countries to run for office and serve in public service. It was a great honor and a mission I was proud to be a part of.

This conference in an Arab country and the Islamic finance conference in the United States were ways President Bush’s Administration helped to educate others and build a better relationship between the United States and the anti-terrorist Muslim world.

It’s because of this that I personally find Tim Donnelley’s actions abhorrent, anti-Bush, and racist against Mr. Kashkari. Kashkari is smart. He has worked hard, built alliances across party lines, and has gotten things done that save taxpayers money. All at the young age of 40.

If you care about California, consider joining former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, Congressman Darrell Issa, and former California Governor Pete Wilson in supporting Neel Kashkari.

It’s a choice you won’t regret and one that won’t embarrass you.

Judy Lloyd served as Western Region Rep for the U.S. Department of Labor during President G.W. Bush’s Administration and also as Correspondence Officer at the U.S. Department of Agriculture during President Ronald Reagan’s Administration. She served as Special Assistant to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole and has been involved in every Presidential campaign since 1984. She owns her own business in California, is the wife of an innovator and mother to a high school baseball player.

Assembly 16 – Is the East Bay Seat Really Worth $5 Million?

Posted by on May 30, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Assembly 16 – Is the East Bay Seat Really Worth $5 Million?

Cross-posted at the Fox and Hounds Daily

The “top two” primary in Assembly District 16 is once again shaping up to be a battle of special interests vs. those outside the system. Let me tell you what’s going on here in the district from the standpoint of a former candidate who ran when the seat was last open in 2008.

Independent expenditure committees have spent about $3.5 million “for” and “against” the candidates in the 4-way primary. This is in addition to what the candidates themselves have raised and spent on their own behalf, making it more like a $5 million race.

In baseball-page 1Is one seat really worth all this money?

Voters in Assembly District 16 have received enough mail to clog recycling bins for at least three weeks. This phenomenon – along with high profile billboards on Highway 680 (paid for by Orinda Councilman Steve Glazer) — television ads, front page newspaper stickers, advocacy calls and paid promotion of social media campaigns – is not just ridiculously expensive – it’s nasty.

Demographics

The region’s strong economy, demographic make-up, and spacious geography includes picturesque areas like LaMoRinda, parts of Walnut Creek, all of the San Ramon Valley, and the Tri-Valley areas of Dublin, Pleasanton, and Livermore. The region has two of the highest real estate markets in the East Bay, regularly attracting high level CEO’s, technology professionals, scientists and venture capitalists, legal and financial professionals.

Residents of this district care about good school districts and moved here for that reason. There is an influx of Asian and Indian voters who bought new houses when prices were low to move to good school districts.  They care deeply about STEM education and enjoy their quality of life, just stone’s throw from Mt. Diablo.

Here’s what voters are seeing –

Orinda Councilman and Governor Brown political consultant, Steve Glazer (Dem) is shrewd, smart, and acts independent. His tactical strategy in the last two debates was to question Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti, who has refused to disclose his responses to special interest questionnaires, particularly those involving the unions. He jumped on Sbranti like a pit bull, but Sbranti ignored the line of questioning.

Glazer enjoys strong backing by business interests in Sacramento, who have spent more than $1.7 million spent on his behalf.

Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti (Dem) would definitely tie Danville Councilman Newell Arnerich (Dem) for the “nice guy” award. Both are exceptionally likeable – the kind of guys you’d feel comfortable having a beer with.

Sbranti’s most recent mailer boasts that he’s an “all around good guy – the kind of guy you really want to vote for.” That’s true if you don’t mind his strong labor ties, particularly to the teacher’s union and BART workers union. They’ve ponied up more than $1.6 million elect him. Glazer calls him a “BART union Democrat”. That won’t go over well with East Bay professionals who commute into San Francisco each day.

Arnerich boasts that he is “supported by people, not money”. That’s certainly true. Will he somehow squeak through to make the “top 2” the same way Abram Wilson edged out Robert Rao, Scott Kamena, and me in 2008?

Arnerich’s stealth, under-the-radar campaign could pay off since his Democrat opponents (Glazer and Sbranti) are in constant attack mode against each another.

Baker-kidsCatharine Baker (Rep) shows great poise, confidence, knowledge, and discipline. She’s outside the system – a moderate Republican who has volunteered in the education community and served as an attorney for small businesses and non-profits. She has benefitted from some $132,000 spent on her behalf from IE’s. She is the only candidate in the race with school age children. This will resonate with “soccer moms” in the district who want more money going to the classroom rather than the Sacramento education bureaucracy. (Full disclosure: I’m supporting Baker).

Most Deceptive Mailers: It’s a tie. The Glazer mailer targeted towards women – Equality for the Next Generation – features his wife and daughter. Though they are beautiful, this is the classic Democrat “war on women” strategy. All the candidates’ views on gay marriage and choice are consistent with district voters, so this is a non-issue, but one that Glazer is using to try to pull female votes from Baker.

Anther deceptive mailer features Glazer telling Republicans that “a vote for Baker is a vote for BART union candidate Tim Sbranti.” He says their votes won’t matter and suggests that the GOP has given up on AD-16. This and a similar mailer drew a strong rebuke from California Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte, that the Contra Costa Times called the “Brulte smack-down of Glazer”.

There are also several impressive mailers by Sbranti backers who suggest that Glazer is in the pocket of “big tobacco” and “not an environmentalist”. Those are deceptive as well, as Glazer has a decent record on these issues.

Best Execution Mailer: JOBS PAC on behalf of Steve Glazer for “In Baseball, Everyone Has to Play by the Rules”. This direct hit on Sbranti is clever because everyone loves baseball and the mailer doesn’t look like a campaign mailer.

Baker-Glazer ContrastBest “Truth” Mailers: Catharine Baker’s “look at two Candidates for Assembly”. It contrasts her with Glazer, leading one of my family members in the district to say “Steve Glazer is a Democrat? And he supported the $6 billion tax hike?” An accompanying mailer also targeted at Glazer suggests that California’s $340 billion in debt is “more than $1 million a day since Columbus landed in America.”

Will voters in this district fall for the trickery? Who knows?

My prediction is Baker makes top two. Glazer could edge Sbranti and Arnerich for the second spot. Stay tuned. It’s a wild ride!

Maria Shriver’s Inspiration

Posted by on May 22, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Maria Shriver’s Inspiration

Shriver-What's Happenning to Grandpa

I first met Maria Shriver when she was the First Lady of California. It was at the Governor’s Conference on Women – an event Shriver revolutionized through her focus on “Agents of Change.”

That campaign set in motion her “Architects of Change” focus on her new website. At the women’s conference, I bought her book for children called What’s Happening to Grandpa?

It was the first time I saw Shriver as the courageous family caregiver and realized her yearning to give back. I still have the book, which I’ve read twice.

It reveals the struggles of Kate, a young girl who adored her Grandpa’s storytelling only to realize that he had been repeating the same stories again and again. When he forgets Kate’s name, she realizes his struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease, and the impact it will have on her life forever.

My fascination with Shriver is probably not dissimilar to anyone who grew up in the 1950’s and 1960’s. We all knew the Kennedy family – their trials and tragedies are part of the American fabric today. That’s why when she used her celebrity to take on Alzheimer’s and the challenges of caregiving for both her Mother, Eunice Shriver, and her father, Sargent Shriver, we paid attention. Recently, Shriver was AARP Cover - Maria-Shriver-300interviewed for the AARP Magazine.

She talked about the challenges she faced – feeling sandwiched caring for both kids and parents – and what the experience was like:

It’s emotionally challenging trying to raise your kids — and your parents at the same time. That’s challenging no matter what economic group you’re in. There’s a gaping hole in my day that was taken up talking to my my brothers about my parents, talking to doctors about them, going cross-country, managing stuff. But not a day goes by that I don’t miss my parents. If I had a choice to have them here, I’d do that all again.”

The story is not dissimilar to any I’ve heard from family caregivers – especially when you’re far away — living your own career and family life. Shriver hosted a series on Alzheimer’s, calling it a “boomer’s disease”. She focused on what’s in front of young people who will end up caring for their parents – financially, emotionally, and physically – and how it changes the family dynamic.

According to Shriver, every 68 seconds, someone in America develops Alzheimer’s. Also in the AARP piece, Shriver talks about “the power of pause” — the importance of stopping and evaluating where you are in life. She says she had to work hard at taking the time to figure things out – certainly that had to be true as California’s First Lady, as a media personality, as a Kennedy, and as a Mom.

Maria Shriver probably could have enjoyed a great career in media as a news anchor, producer, or reporter or just hung out at the family compound on Hyannis Port. But she chose to expose people to the personal struggles she had as family caregiver, first for Dad with Alzheimer’s and then for Mom, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who stood as a trailblazer for American women today.

Those who knew her mother knew that Eunice Kennedy Shriver didn’t buy into women being soft and submissive. Instead she took courageous stands in a family with high expectations. She understood the value and character of women and what they could bring to society. She started the Special Olympics and gave people with intellectual disabilities the right to play on any playing field. Learn more here about her legacy.

It’s no wonder that Maria Shriver isn’t afraid to share her life and her experiences as a family caregiver. Photos of AARP cover and Maria’s book may be found at www.MariaShriver.com.

This Mom’s Story Might Help You Like It Helped Me

Posted by on May 12, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

This Mom’s Story Might Help You Like It Helped Me

bigstock-Mother-and-daughter-outdoors

My friend, Haley is a family caregiver who figured out how to get her life back.

I call Haley “Super Mom”. She has it all — a career, an active family life, and balance.

One day, Haley looked worn down and said to me –

“Caring for Mom and the kids is starting to take a toll on both my family life and work life. It’s frustrating.”

Haley has two kids: Tommy plays high school baseball. Valerie is in the 6th grade and loves to dance. Haley also has a very loving, busy husband who is managing a technology company.

Her Mom lives in her own home. She’s alone, but not too far away. Since Haley is the closest, she’s taken on the burden of managing caregiving responsibilities, with little help from her extended family.

A few months ago, Haley was pulled in too many directions. It was Thursday. Haley had a presentation at work and needed to take off a little early to get Valerie from school to dance rehearsal. It was raining. She was worried about her Mom who was more tired lately.

Tommy SMS

She texted Tommy to see if he could check on his Grandma. She forgot that he had baseball practice and would be home late.

She called her Mom three times. There was no answer. Knowing that the day would be out of control soon with the presentation in only a few hours, she drove to Mom’s house to check on her.

She understood the responsibility she had to her work colleagues, but she also had a responsibility to Mom.

Traffic was horrible and Haley was stressed.

She worried the entire way to Mom’s house.

Why didn’t she pick up the phone?

Mom didn’t hear Haley knocking on the door. She walked in to find Mom asleep in her favorite chair – television blaring.

Haley asked her Mom a rash of questions.  She didn’t know if Mom had fallen asleep and never got upstairs from the night before or if she was just taking a nap on a rainy day.

Mom was a bit overwhelmed having just woken up. Haley made her sandwich, helped her to the table, and stayed to make sure she was OK.

Then she dashed back to the office for the presentation. She had rain-soaked high heels and wind-blown hair, but she pulled it together and did a great job. It was 30 extra minutes before she arrived back at her desk. She checked her iPhone. There were three calls and three texts from her daughter.

2-10-2014 5-00-42 PM (cropped)

Haley dashed to her car, called her daughter and apologized profusely.Valerie was soggy, but at least she was safe. She picked her up and got her to dance practice 10 minutes late.

I can relate to Haley’s story because I dealt with the same struggle — sandwiched between caring for my Mom and my own child. The difference between our lives then and now is that now there’s a way to get your life back and check in on Mom. It’s called SafeinHome.

Haley has a smart phone. It’s an easy install. It lets her know that Mom’s OK, even when she’s having a hectic day.

Now, Haley checks on her Mom throughout the day to see if she has been out of bed, moved her pill box, gone into the kitchen, and where she last was. She can see what Mom’s up to and how her day is going. She can manage her medication and knows her daily routine.

Having real data in real time lets Haley breathe easier.

She installed it in 30 minutes. Now, Mom doesn’t have to do anything but live her life. She knows Haley is there and checking in.

If you know a Mom who is struggling with the stress of caregiving, tell her Haley’s story.

Feel free to call the team at SafeinHome for a free consultation at 1-(855)isMomOK.

Spring Holiday Reflections – Take Time to Share the Care

Posted by on Apr 25, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Spring Holiday Reflections – Take Time to Share the Care

We often overlook the Springtime holidays, centered around renewal, bounty and kinship. We spend our time outside, enjoying the lengthening days, early harvested produce and, of course, our families.

 

Some of us have an aging parent living at home. This is hard for those who live closest and have the largest responsibility in caregiving.

If you live far away and came together to celebrate, did you reflect on things you can do to share the care?

Step back and think about it.

What do these moments mean when we have a parent aging in place?

In the case of my family, I travel long distance to spend the time with my sister, aunts and uncles to visit Mom for Easter. The opportunity affords itself the time to connect with one another, see how Mom is doing, and evaluate everyone’s needs.

If your family is anything like mine, you may find yourself thinking about the stresses of caregiving and the fact that Mom doesn’t move around as well or remember things like she used to. These conversations can be hard and it can be especially difficult for the caregiver who is closest.

Read the rest here.

Hey Girlfriends, Got a Life That’s Out of Whack?

Posted by on Apr 23, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Balanced_Life_2014May 29, 2014 — Women are constantly asking themselves the question:

When will I find the time 24/7 to get it all done?

We’re constantly out of whack – sandwiched between paying the household bills, getting the chores done, carpooling kids to school, and for some, balancing a professional life on top of all that.

That doesn’t even count the quality time you want to spend with your husband, kids, Mom or Dad, and your friends.

Not to worry though — Michelle Perry Higgins has the answers. She’s talking about women just like us – and her book is especially relevant to East Bay Moms who are juggling day-to-day, struggling to have it all.

Join me and other women at the Danville Veterans Hall on Thursday, May 29th, for an enlightening dialogue for women —

7 Steps to a Balanced Life

It’s a discussion that could change your life.

Get your tickets here at California Women Lead.

 

Partnering Organizations:

California Women Lead

Danville Area Chamber of Commerce

East Bay Commercial Real Estate Women

Teen Esteem

What’s For Work

 

 

 

Peace of Mind, Even Though I’m Far Away

Posted by on Apr 12, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

peace of mindBrenda is a baby boomer. Her Mom is 82.

She lives across the country, but her brother, Mark, is retired and lives near their Mom in Connecticut.

Cold in Connecticut

It’s been snowier than usual with the harsh winter of 2014, but someday her brother will move to a warmer locale.

For now, he stays in Connecticut, because of Mom. His teenage son lives at home with him.

Sunday is one of the days that Brenda’s Mom always goes out – a friend picks her up and she’s usually home before dark.

“I can tell what time she left. I’ve set an Alert to tell me when her keys have left so I know what time she has gone out for the day.

If she’s gone longer than expected, I can tell by the inactivity Alerts I receive on my smartphone.

If I’m worried I can call my brother to check in on her. He gets to have his Sunday to himself because I’m checking in on Mom using SafeinHome”.

Read the rest here.

Puppy Love for Seniors

Posted by on Apr 11, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Puppy Love for Seniors

April 11th is National Pet Day and there’s nothing better than a little “puppy love”!

What better way to recognize our feline and canine friends on National Pet Day than to talk about the role they play helping seniors age in place?

Whether you’re a dog fan (like I am) or a cat fan (like my aunt), pets give us a sense of well-being. They love you unconditionally and are happy to see you when you walk through the door after a hectic work day.

I found a foundation that might be of interest to you – it’s called the Pets for the Elderly Foundation – and its based in Arizona. It helps seniors adopt pets that have been rescued.

The Pets for the Elderly Foundation is a non-profit that strives to provide companionship for seniors. They support pet ownership and their good work includes rescuing animals from shelters who may have otherwise been destroyed due to abandonment, lack of a home, or other aspects which leave pets unattended.

Read the rest here.

Lincoln Club Pebble Beach Retreat: Haley, McConnell, Johnson Among Star Power

Posted by on Mar 30, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Gov Nikki Haley-Google GlassesBeing a Republican in California is a lonely job only made bearable with a little help from our friends across the country.

That was certainly evident at the Annual Spring Seminar, hosted by The Lincoln Club of Northern California, an organization of high profile business leaders and Republican donors who favor freer markets and less government. The Seminar was held in gorgeous Pebble Beach this past weekend.

The Club has been a favorite for national players. High level donors and business people in the Club serve as policy advisors and give generously on the national, state, and local levels.

Even in the liberal Bay Area, the Club enjoys a 70% win rate among local Republicans it backs.

“A” list players like Condoleezza Rice, George Shultz, Henry Kissinger, Governor Chris Christie, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Governor Jeb Bush, and U.S. Senator Rand Paul, have been featured and honored at past events in Northern California.

This year’s Spring Seminar’s political energizers included South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Ron Johnson (R-WI), Congressmen Mac Thornberry (R-TX) and Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).

National pundits and policy leaders on hand for the weekend included new RNC CTO Andy Barkett, national pollster John McLaughlin and Students Matter Founder David Welch.

Gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari spoke at the opening reception, just prior to launching his jobs plan for rebuilding the middle class. Secretary of State Candidates Pete Peterson and Dan Schnur were also on hand and talked about making the office more business-friendly, reducing fees, and upgrading technology, which is desperately needed.

Governor Haley, had just tested Google Glass the day before and discussed progress on Google’s new campus in Charleston, South Carolina. Haley, whose first job was keeping the books for her family’s clothing store – at the age of 13 – is an articulate and accomplished woman role model for Republicans. She discussed efforts to improve education and promote a jobs friendly environment. South Carolina unemployment is at its lowest point, 6.4%.

“I learned how hard it is to make a dollar and how easy it is for government to take it,” said Governor Haley.

Business leaders are quite familiar with California government’s ability to tax anything they can, in this land where Democrat super majorities rule our legislative chambers.

I was anxious to hear Andy Barkett’s thoughts as a big data guy on what went wrong in 2012 and what we can do to fix things now. Barkett has worked with some of the largest data sets in the world, managing infrastructure engineering teams at Facebook and Google. He’s an impressive addition to the national effort who gets it when it comes to engaging voters online. I’m a fan.

Pollster McLaughlin, a friend of 30 years who I know as a straight talker, reviewed national trends on Obamacare, jobs, and national security. He’s fresh off Rep. David Jolly’s special election victory in Florida’s 13th Congressional District. If Republicans follow McLaughlin’s advice, we might win a few.

With take-back of the U.S. Senate a national priority for Republicans, it was refreshing to hear U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell say that he intends to be the offensive coordinator of the U.S. Senate next year.

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin was exceptionally generous with his time with Club members and gave a rousing speech about the failure of national health care. He challenged small business leaders to fight for what they believe –

“Business people must be force multipliers. Get thoroughly involved. If we are united, we have a chance of saving our country,” said Senator Johnson.

Congressman Adam Kinzinger, a 36-year old Iraq War veteran talked of country, heart, soul and generations who were better in 1989, just after Reagan was President when America was stronger and communism was coming to a halt. He got emotional talking about veterans and so did everyone else. Kinzinger is among a group of exciting young leaders the Lincoln Club has featured in its programs.

Recently, Republicans have enjoyed victories in special elections across the country as well as in the state senate and San Diego. While we have a lot of work to do, the retreat energized Republicans who know they can make a difference with the help of strong business advocates across the country.

Cross-posted at Fox and Hounds Daily

Protect Dad. Korean War Veteran is Safe in his Home

Posted by on Feb 21, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

These words define the American military and are most often related to retired General Douglas MacArthur’s farewell visit to the West Point Military Academy in 1962.

Daniel was just two years old then, but he remembered his father’s tone and the cadence of his voice when he repeated them. He knew these words growing up – and he knew that they were indicative of the strong bond his father had with his military service after his tour of duty in the Korean War.

Daniel’s father was just 18 when the U.S. reinstated the draft, after the reduction in forces after World War II.

Though he grew up thinking of it as the “forgotten war”, Doug heard his Dad’s stories – especially the one about the first invasion in 1950 which represented the first military action of the Cold War.

Korean War memorialAmericans thought it was a war against the forces of international communism itself. As such, they needed to be there to protect American interests.

That word – protect – has taken on an even greater meaning now for Daniel.

You see, his Dad lives alone since Mom’s death and wants to stay in his own home. It’s peaceful there — and it’s his.

He’s a bit stubborn about it, actually, and who would blame him? He has served his country and just wants to enjoy the freedom he is accustomed to in his own home.

Read the rest here.

Love 4 Grandma

Posted by on Feb 17, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

The bond between a Grandmother and Grandson is strong – especially when Grandma lives far away.

I remember many times when my own Mom sent a box of valentine’s candy and trinkets to my son, her only Grandchild.

At ages four, five and six, he meticulously opened the box to see what was inside.Hugs

Even if it wasn’t his exact candy choice (and it oftentimes wasn’t), it always made her Grandson smile.

Time passes – and the young boy is now a teenager in high school.

He thinks about life so far away from Grandma – life across the country where its colder and grayer.

He knows that ten years ago, there was no smartphone, no Facebook, no Instagram, and no Twitter.

He thinks about how his life has changed over the last ten years and the things he’d be able to do now to check in on Grandma, with the help of SafeinHome.

Imagine when Grandma calls now. It would still be the usual bantering about the New York Yankees or Syracuse basketball. But there would be more that he would share with Grandma – about what he was able to know about her day yesterday – and the day before – because he could know, with the help of SafeinHome.

He would know if she had been outside because he could tell if the door had been open and if the Key Fob had left the home.

He would know if she had left the stove on, used her Pillbox, or gotten out of bed a little later than usual.

He would be able to check if she had a good night’s rest – and talk with her about it if she hadn’t.

He could talk to her about all these things that would make him worry less about her being so far away.

Read the rest here.

When Do I Get My Life Back?

Posted by on Feb 12, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

When Do I Get My Life Back?

Caregiving is hard work – and it’s stressful.

This is especially true if you are part of the “sandwich generation” – sandwiched between caring for your kids and your aging parents.

Here’s a story my friend Haley told me. It has to do with her family and the stress caregiving has put on her.

She was upset and one day said to me –

“Caring for Mom and the kids is so hard. When do I get my life back?”

Haley has two kids: a daughter in the 3rd grade and a son, who is a teenager. She has a very busy husband who is managing a start-up. She also has her Mom living at home alone.

Haley has pretty much managed the caregiving responsibilities well, with little help from her extended family. You see, her sister, Anne, lives across the country and is not around to share the responsibilities. It leaves the majority of the work on Haley’s shoulders.

A few weeks ago, Haley had a rough day and was pulled in too many different directions.

She had some deadlines at work and had to take off a little early to get her daughter, Chelsea from school to dance rehearsal because it was raining.

She was running late and dashed out to get some soup for lunch.  She sent her son, Tommy, a text message at school to see if he could check in on his Grandma.

2-10-2014 5-00-42 PM

Read the rest here at SafeinHome.com.

 

 

You can’t afford not to have SafeinHome

Posted by on Feb 4, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Money ($100)SafeinHome is the answer for people who want to make sure that Mom is OK 24/7.

But this isn’t the only reason to use the SafeinHome systemit’s really about money and your family budget.

Here are some compelling reasons why you can’t afford not to have SafeinHome.

If your family is like mine, you’ve probably planned for your family’s future and aging in place.

What you may not have anticipated is the high cost of caregiving – and how that is increasing exponentially.

These facts are well documented and well known –

The national average monthly base rate in an assisted living community was $3,550 or $42,600 annually.

The national average daily rate for a private room in a nursing home was $248 per day or $90,250 annually.

The national average hourly rates for home health aides was $21 or $21,840 annually – based on 4 hours per day, 5 days per week

The national average daily rate for adult day services was $70, annual rate $18,200- based on 5 days a week

Source: 2012 MetLife Market Survey of Long Term Care Costs

Staggering, isn’t it?

Denise Yarmlak, the marketing director at SafeinHome has done extensive research in this area and added the following –

Assisted Living is the new Nursing Home.

Today, most seniors requiring long-term care enter Assisted Living Facilities rather than traditional nursing homes due to cost and availability of  beds.

The average age of residents in Assisted Living Facilities is 86 years old. About half of these facilities provide Alzheimer’s and dementia care – and 60% of those charge an additional fee, according to the literature.

 

It all adds up and it gets more expensive the longer our parents are around.

But we want them around – right?

The value of SafeinHome is not just its economic cost in comparison to assisted living and nursing homes – which come with limitations, bureaucratic red tape, and additional fees.

The SafeinHome system saves you time, gives you peace of mind and helps let your loved one live at home longer.

This puts you in charge of your loved one’s care.

It works on your smart phone, tablet or computer. Its easy setup includes motion sensors in your Mom or Dad’s home.

You can choose from different packages that fit your family’s needs.

It’s not obtrusive. In fact, the senior doesn’t need to take any action.

They can just live their lives as they normally do. And you can tell what their day looks like using your smartphone.

Visit the SafeinHome home page to see demos of how the app works.

Really, you can’t afford not to have it as a family caregiver.

Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons

Is your business thriving under President Obama?

Posted by on Jan 28, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Is your business thriving under President Obama?

Today, the National Federation of Independent Business released a new video today which questioned President Obama’s policies and whether they are working for small businesses.

The association is asking a simple question:

Have you as a small business owner seen the relief promised by President Obama in your own business?

You can view the NFIB video which outlines promises made here:

I serve on the California Leadership Team for the NFIB and I’m curious too about whether or not small business owners in my state are thriving under President Obama.

Coincidentally and also of interest — the the NFIB has yet to find a single business whose costs have decreased under Obamacare.

View Neil Cavuto’s interview on this subject here:

Is your business thriving? Let us know what you think!

 

We Could Have Lost Her

Posted by on Jan 25, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

We Could Have Lost Her

We all hear of caregiving stories that are scary. These near-miss stories are especially stressful when they happen during the holidays and winter months when it’s cold and hard to get around.

Here’s one that just happened to two brothers I know – Mitch and Lew.

Their mother – Gina – is 91-years old with dementia that appears to be advancing.

Long Distance Stress

The oldest son, Mitch, lives in Illinois and checks in on his Mom long-distance since she lives upstate in New York. It’s especially snowy there right now and Gina’s younger son, Lew, lives in the house next door to her. Lew checks in on her every day, being right next door.

It all seemed to be working out well – until a few weeks ago. Here’s Mitch’s story:

Mitch calls his Mom every day at 8:30 in the morning and every evening at 7:00 PM to check in on her. It was especially important this weekend as Lew had planned a family overnight ski trip and would be out of town.

It was Saturday morning and Mitch called Gina as scheduled. He let the phone ring 10 times and there was no answer. Was she in the bathroom? Had she possibly been taken out to breakfast by one of her friends?

Mitch always wondered about his Mom when she didn’t answer. She lives so far away.

snow winter houseOn this particular Saturday, Mitch waited 10 minutes and then called again. After the sixth ring, Gina answered with a gasping voice. She sounded like she was not breathing well –

“Help me! Help me!” said his Mom.

Gina never said, “Hello”. She had no idea who was calling.

Mitch immediately hung up and called his brother Lew to see where he was and if by chance, he had left any of the neighbors in charge since he’d be away.

Who’s Close Enough to Help?

Lew was about an hour away. He and his family were headed back from their ski trip early – the snow was too slushy. Unfortunately, he wasn’t close enough to help.

Read the rest here.

Richard Sherman’s Rant a Discredit to MLK & the NFL

Posted by on Jan 21, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Richard Sherman’s Rant a Discredit to MLK & the NFL

MLKRichard Sherman really blew it. He blew it as a stand-out football player, a Seattle Seahawk, and a Black American. And he did it all in the 24 hours surrounding the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s birthday.

Let me tell you why I’m so incensed with this incident and why I think it is such a black mark on the NFL and on African Americans.

Lots of folks like me are NFL football fans. We love to see our team win (#HTTR) and we love the game in all its glory.

Part of the glory is the NFL players themselves and their quirky personalities.

Peyton Manning-headshotFans are falling in love all over again with Peyton Manning – and who wouldn’t? Manning has been a standout 4-time MVP quarterback with 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts under his belt and has reinvigorated the Denver Broncos after his return to the position after injury.

He’s hilarious on Saturday Night Live and recently wrote a book with father, Archie Manning, where he opens up about his Christian faith and life-lessons he learned growing up. According to the excerpt:

“Like my dad, I make it a point when I speak to groups to talk about priorities, and when it’s schoolkids, I rank those priorities as: faith, family, and education, then football. For me generally it had always been the big four: faith, family, friends, and football. And I tell all of them that as important as football is to me, it can never be higher than fourth.”

That’s rhetoric from a role model I can relate to. It turns out that most families with children who grew up middle class in small towns like I did feel the same.

Contrast that with Seattle Seahawks corner back Richard Sherman’s rant which took place directly after the Seahawks victory over the San Francisco 49ers this past Sunday –

My first thought – which I took directly to Facebook – was –

“Are you kidding me with this? What unsportsmanlike conduct. Throw a yellow flag on Facebook!”

Now some people will say that I’m contrasting a Lilly white, Christian with a black guy with well documented anger management issues. Others will say its because of Sherman’s youth – that “it’s all part of the game” — and that the football rants are a post-game phenomenon to psych up the fan base. But there’s more to the story.

Here’s the thing: Sherman did another interview right after this one on FOX, which was slightly worse. He went to the locker room and spewed similar misguided rants again on Sunday night, after he was showered, clean, and had a chance to think about things.

This led me to dig a little deeper. Watch this one from March 2013, where Sherman dresses down ESPN’s Rich Bayless, telling him he’s “better at life” than him. It’s startling!

What bothers me most about Sherman’s rant is this –

Not only was it an unsportsmanlike attack on the 49ers’ Michael Crabtree (which apparently stemmed from a previous encounter at a charity event), it was delivered without any thought of the ramifications against the Seattle Seahawks, the San Francisco 49ers,the National Football League, or any little boy who picks up a football, gets inspired by the game, and looks up to a superior player.

A superior pro-football player and role model knows that his loyalty is not just to himself. Sure, Richard Sherman has accomplished a lot as an all-pro from Stanford and a heck of a corner back in the NFL. He might even be the best. But his loyalty cannot end there. He must represent his team, the National Football League, and he must be a role model.

Richard Sherman would be an outcast in the colorblind society Martin Luther King envisioned. Had he learned anything from the King legacy, he would have adopted a kinder, more respectful tone when the media frenzy erupted on MLK Day. Instead, he gave a tacit apology but clearly couldn’t find enough inspiration to say he made a mistake, move on, and represent his franchise with some shred of dignity.

Hopefully this week, he’ll eat a little humble pie and take a page from the playbook of his own teammate, Russell Wilson, another all-pro athlete. He and Manning are what make little boys admire the game of football and all who have the honor of stepping onto the field on Super Bowl Sunday.

Russell Wilson1Russell Wilson2

 

Photo Credits: Flickr Creative Commons

Follow Russell Wilson on Twitter.

Follow Judy Lloyd on Twitter.

Hey Kids! Play the Obamacare Numbers Game

Posted by on Nov 14, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Numbers11-14-13

All the network news shows are asking Obama officials penetrating questions about the Obamacare website and how many people have enrolled.

Here’s a simple way to remember the numbers — so simple that you can teach it to your kids and talk to your friends so they can remember.

It comes courtesy of our friend Rich Galen — a talented writer and former Capitol Hill press secretary who also served in Iraq. He compares the numbers to the population of Carbondale, Illinois.

The population of Carbondale is 26,794.

It also is about 1,000 people higher than the town I grew up in – Cortland, New York, a small town just south of Syracuse.

Now I have an easy way to remember the number who have enrolled in the Obamacare program on the web. It also makes me realize how small that number is and the hurdles that President Obama and his Administration face in funding the plan. Read the rest here.

Sentinels of Freedom: Rebuilding Veterans Lives

Posted by on Nov 14, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Sentinels of Freedom Logo11-11-13

Veterans Day is a day when we thank our veterans for their service. Some small businesses offer discounts to veterans and their families as an act of gratitude and acknowledgment of their service. These generous acts often take place on one day or in one week.

However, there are some organizations who give back to our veterans year-round. One such organization which recently won CNN’s Hero Award is the Sentinels of Freedom, based in the San Ramon Valley in California.

The Sentinels of Freedom Foundation helps those most severely wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan and was founded by my friend Mike Conklin, father of three Army Rangers, who was inspired to start the organization after one of his sons was injured a decade ago in Iraq.

The work that this organization does for returning veterans who have served and bear the scars of war is nothing short of phenomenal. I think you’ll find Mike’s letter at the Sentinels website inspiring — read the rest here.

Courage, Calm, Clarity – Soul Surfer’s Message to Teens

Posted by on Oct 11, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Bethany Hamilton (stage)

10-11-13

Oceans have a way of defining clarity in one’s life. Some visit the ocean to surf, play in the sand, or reflect on the future with the help of calm ocean breezes and blue waters. Bethany Hamilton’s clarity came not just from the ocean–but from her faith.

Earlier this week, Bethany Hamilton (a.k.a., “Soul Surfer”) shared reflections of oceans present and past with kids at Teen Esteem in Pleasanton, California. It was one of the first appearances for the Soul Surfer in a motivational, free form, interactive group setting.

I brought three teens with me to listen to Bethany’s story. She has been a source of inspiration to millions through her determination, hope, and faith.

Bethany Hamilton (at 13)Bethany’s life changed eleven years ago. On October 31, 2003, she was attacked by a 15-foot tiger shark while surfing off Kauai’s North Shore. The attack took her left arm, and could have ended her life as well as her career as a rising surf star. She was only 13.

Instead, the incident that could have crippled her spirit became a source of inspiration. Through faith and unwavering hope, she has overcome physical challenge to become a role model for young teens today.

Read the rest of the story here.

Obama’s Relationship Problem

Posted by on Oct 8, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

2013237743_4a9843f8f9

10-5-13

In the wake of the partial government shut-down, with the vivid reminder of closures of our national monuments, many people blame the President and Democrats who agree with him. Others blame the Republicans in Congress.

Neither side appears to have wavered much from their mantras, shown much independence, or any ability to negotiate.

And that’s the problem.

Without strong leaders in Congress willing to negotiate to get things done on key policy issues, the mantra falls to the President. When the President and the Congress fail to agree, the government shuts down.

Read the rest here.

Michael Reagan Speaks Out–Part I

Posted by on Oct 8, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Michael Reagan

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I had the honor of spending about 45 minutes this week with Michael Reagan, son of President Ronald Reagan. Some of what he said surprised me and I think it will surprise you too. The conversation reinforced everything I knew about “The Great Communicator” and solidified my own beliefs.

I told Michael my story about why Ronald Reagan had been an amazing role model to me–someone who put purpose before politics.

I worked on the Reagan-Bush ’84 election campaign nearly 30 years ago and also in President Reagan’s Administration at the USDA. I have been a donor and occasional visitor to the Reagan Ranch near Santa Barbara. Through these experiences, I have a strong bond to Reagan, his legacy, and his common sense, disciplined approach.

Read the exclusive interview here.

 

How Far Women Have Come in the Workplace

Posted by on Sep 24, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Meg Whitman

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Executive Editor’s Note: Living in California can be challenging as a small business woman. But, with challenges come opportunities.  In 2010, I had the chance to work with Meg Whitman on her campaign for Governor of California. While Meg would have had political challenges as Governor of our nation’s largest state, I still believe she was a better choice for California businessmen and women than Jerry Brown. Here’s a story from Meg about how far women have come in the workplace since 1979. I liked it and I thought you would too.

Here’s a story that tells you just how far work place equality has come since 1979.

That’s when HP CEO Meg Whitman began her career. She was hired at Procter and Gamble in Cincinnati, where she worked in a marketing role until 1981.

Whitman would one day become one of the most powerful women in the tech industry, but in 1979 she was one of four women hired by P&G, she recounted while speaking at the Montana Economic Development Summit last week, reports The Missoulian’s Jenna Cederberg.

“After the first day of training, everyone got a credit card except the four girls,” Whitman said. “We told the instructor, ‘I’m sure there’s a mistake here but we’re the only four here that didn’t get credit cards.’ ”

But the women were told it wasn’t a mistake. They weren’t given a credit card because the company didn’t think it was safe for women to travel alone.

Read more at Business Insider here.

Make Parenting Fun!

Posted by on Sep 12, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

FUN (stage shot)

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When you’re the mom of a teenager today, there are so many things to worry about – texting and sexting, the prescription drug problem, abuse of illegal drugs and alcohol. These are modern day realities affecting our teens at both public and private schools.

Sometimes its difficult to gain your teen’s trust. I remember when I was a teen doing some inappropriate things, getting caught, getting grounded for 40 days and 40 nights of the Lenten season (I’m Catholic) and now being a bit strict with my own son as a result.

One thing that keeps me young and connected to my teen is our mutual love of music – especially rock and roll. My first concert was Hall & Oates in 1978 at Clarkson University.

My son’s first concert was Jimmy Buffett at the Oakland Coliseum when he was only six years old. Buffett actually pointed at him on his father’s shoulders at the show during “Margaritaville“, touched his wrist like he was touching his watch, and said: “time to put the kids to bed!”

Read the rest here.

Why I Cry on 9-11

Posted by on Sep 11, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Laura Bush rose photo

9-11-13

Like many Americans, I’m continually reflective on the days just prior to 9-11 each year. I couldn’t sleep last night and found myself waking around the time the second plane hit the World Trade Center twelve years ago. That’s early on the left coast.

On 9-11-01, I was asleep in my bed at the time the first plane hit. My husband arose early that morning for a workout at the gym. My four year old son had wandered into my room to cuddle just before dawn. My husband never got to his workout because he was listening to the radio and heard the news of the first plane penetrating the World Trade Center. He pulled off the road, nearly physically ill, and headed back home.

I woke to the sound of my husband running up the stairs at our home to turn the television on. At that time, the replay of the first plane hitting the World Trade Center was on television. Drowsy from sleep, I thought it was a lone pilot suicide until my husband yelled: “Judy, it’s a terrorist attack. Someone hijacked the plane from Washington.”

Just then, the second airplane hit and we could see the debris of the World Trade Center crumbling before our very eyes. I had forgotten that my husband’s parents were traveling in NYC, staying in Manhattan at the time.

Read the rest here.

Limitless Profile: Rep. Jeff Denham (CA-10)

Posted by on Sep 9, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Denham food bank

 

9-9-13

I  had a chance to catch up with Congressman Jeff Denham last month while he was in the Bay Area. He is one of the hardest working Members of Congress – a straight talker who is an almond farmer, veteran, and family man.

Congressman Denham is passionate about America’s veterans, largely because his public service career began in the U.S. Air Force. He served 16 years between active duty and the reserves, fighting for us in Operation Desert Storm (Iraq) and Operation Restore Hope (Somalia).

He represents and area with a large farm worker population. Denham is a Republican Member of Congress elected in a Democrat district. It’s easy to see why he is so well liked by his constituents, regardless of party.

We had a chance to get an inside look at how Congressman Denham thinks about Syria, immigration reform, farm policy, and energy independence.

Read the rest here.

Labor Day Struggles for Young and Old

Posted by on Sep 2, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Frank Biviano retirement ring

9-2-13

I was really laboring over what to write on Labor Day, but I found inspiration through young and old. As the former Labor Representative for the southwest in President George W. Bush’s Administration, I’m constantly looking at trends and statistics.

If you’re a baby boomer (which I am) you may have found that its difficult to find a job in the new knowledge economy. This economy is less about physical labor like it was in the days when my Grandfather and Father worked.

My Mom was an accountant by trade and worked in our County Treasurer’s Office when I was growing up, going through elementary school and Junior High. Her skills set would still transfer today – but many people my age lack the skills to compete in this new economy.

I took a look — West to East — to see what the current labor force looks like and the challenges therein. I found two particular articles I wanted to share which describe the situation well.

Read the rest here.

New POTUS Desk Shot Now Part of History

Posted by on Sep 2, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Obama foot on desk

9-2-13

There are many things which defy reason that the White House has done over the last five years. Among them was releasing this desk shot of President Obama with his foot up on the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.

Many of us who have had careers in government and respect for the institutions care deeply about history. My service was for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Whether you liked them or not, they were two Presidents who cared deeply about White House history and its sacred traditions.

I saw this photo last night on my nightly news, and I won’t share here what expletives came out of my mouth.

Read the rest here.

 

Allen West Promotes ‘Twibbon’ for Benghazi 4

Posted by on Aug 30, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Benghazi4 Twibbon

8-30-13

Today, I received this announcement from my friend, John McLaughlin of McLaughlinonline.com. Those of us who have been reading Thoughtful Women since 2012 will remember that John is a national pollster who we interviewed several times during the 2012 Presidential campaign.

I just had to share this announcement with our readers. I believe that Col. Allen West is a great patriot who cares about our national security. The coalition he is working with wants to honor the memory of Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods, who were killed on the anniversary of 9/11 in 2012.

You can participate too – just follow the instructions below to download your ‘twibbon’ to your Facebook page or Twitter feed. I already did it!

Find out more here.

Women’s Equality 2013 vs. 1964

Posted by on Aug 26, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Archie Bunker

8-26-13

I would have missed Women’s Equality Day 2013 yesterday had I not received an email recognizing the historic day from Carol Hadley, President of the California Federation of Republican Women. (Yes, Republicans recognize it too).

With this week’s focus on the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech on the Capitol Mall, all of us are taking a moment to examine race relations in the United States as well as other milestones which have happened over the last 50 years.

I was four years old in 1964, but I remember Dr. King’s speech, his eloquence and poise, and his horrible assassination in 1968. It was a time when our nation was still in a delicate state after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy five years earlier.

Life was so much simpler back then. Our news programs featured the Vietnam War, hippies, and the love-rock musical Hair. We didn’t have Facebook, Twitter, the iPhone, or even a cell phone.

We dialed phones rather than having touch-tone phones. You didn’t walk around with a portable phone. Instead you struggled not to get the phone chord caught on the kitchen chairs if you decided to walk and talk on the phone.

Read the rest here.

The Next Obama: Cory Booker

Posted by on Aug 13, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

cory booker

8-13-13

Newark Mayor Cory Booker seems to be the tasty flavor of the month for Democrats. Booker is running for the United States Senate in New Jersey and is expected to coast to an easy victory in today’s Democrat primary.

Mayor Booker is exceedingly popular with New Jersey’s electorate, having approval ratings in the high 6o’s. He’s rescued people from burning buildings, fixed potholes, and seems to be that kind of public servant everyone wants to hang around.

Actress and Latina entrepreneur Eva Longoria recently fawned over Booker at a fundraiser in New Jersey. It doesn’t get much better than this!

Read the rest here.

Marin County Bucks National GOP, Supports Gay Marriage

Posted by on Aug 1, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Wedding Cake Figures

7-31-13

The gay marriage debate has played out on Capitol Hill, at the 2012 Republican Convention Platform Committee, and last month at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Last week, Marin County Republicans in California decided to buck the national party platform by expressing tolerance of same sex marriage.

Let me lend a little background on the move, which took place in my neighboring county.

Read the rest here.

Huma Abedin: The Latest “Good Wife”

Posted by on Jul 28, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

goodwife

7-26-13

We’ve seen it all before in real political life. Hilary Clinton stands by her man after he has engaged in oral sex with Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office. Huma Mahmood Abedin, now the latest victim, stands by her sexting-addicted husband Anthony Weiner.

It’s like a season of CBS’s epic drama, The Good WifeThe show examines the twists and turns of a political wife who stood by her husband after torrid affairs and a corruption scandal landed him in jail. The Good Wife, Alicia Florrick, is left to pick up the pieces for her family. She re-enters the workforce as a junior associate with a prominent Chicago law firm. Four seasons later, she’s granted partnership in the firm.

The Good Wife, Alicia Florrick remains by her husband’s side. Last season, her law firm defended husband Peter Florrick and his campaign as they dealt with charges of voter fraud after he is elected Governor of Illinois. Alicia defends him along with the senior partners. Its’s ironic under the circumstances. It’s why we keep watching.

Read the rest here.

 

Is Racism Worse in America Because of Media, Celebs?

Posted by on Jul 16, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

6851505796_e34ec68438

7-15-13

What would have been the responsible thing for the media to do regarding the case of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin?

I’ve been asking myself this question since the media injected themselves into this tragic case where a young black youth was killed.

The mainstream media played a huge part in hyping this as a story racism in America. Some believe it was irresponsible. Others see it as the media just doing their job.

Some reckless media types decided that this was a racist act without regard for the facts. In the case of NBC, they sought hype and they’re paying for it.

Read the rest here.

 

Honoring Stan Musial is More Than Just a Christian Act

Posted by on Jul 11, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

162458390_72bae8839f

7-11-13

I am a devout Major League Baseball fan. I love the game. My son has played Little League since he was four years old, and I used to live very close to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

I think I own most all of the great baseball movies: Bull Durham, For Love of the Game, Major League, The Sandlot, and The Rookie.

Being a devoted fan, I understand the value of the streak, baseball rituals, and what makes great players exceptional in the Major Leagues. Part of that is the ritual itself.

Stan Musial is in an elite group of baseball greats elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. His passing this January was a huge blow to the City of St. Louis and his fans nationwide.

Musial, a devout Christian, was remembered recently by a grounds keeper at the St. Louis stadium who etched a cross and Musial’s #6 onto pitcher’s mound before every game.  Apparently one fan complained.

Read the rest here.

Thoughtful Women Hits 2.3 Million in Year 1

Posted by on Jul 5, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

TW 1 year old

7-3-13

I’m proud to report that ThoughtfulWomen.org, a new media, niche publication for women, has hit 2.3 million readers as of its one year anniversary today!

As the photo graphic shows – we’ve gone from crib to crawl – from crawl to walk – and now we are ready to rock!

Looking back to the first day of our journey allowed me to reflect on why we are here and why we are growing.

Thoughtful Women started because we thought the liberal media’s War on Women needed some balanced commentary on issues women care about – their family budget, their health care, working in and out of the home, and our personal security – to name a few.

At the end of our first month, an average of 825 people had visited the website and read our stories each day, with 23,925 people participating in our daily polls and discussions both on the website and our Facebook page.

Today, a short year later, more than 11,000 readers visit us each day. More than 240,000 women and men have become fans on Facebook. See more at www.ThoughtfulWomen.org.

 

 

 

The BART Strike’s Unintended Consequences

Posted by on Jul 2, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

BART strike1

7-2-13

Question: What’s the one thing that could wipe the gay marriage celebration from the headlines in San Francisco?

Answer: A strike by Bay Area Rapid Transit workers.

The contracts between the taxpayer funded government transit organization that serves the region and it’s union workforce expired late Sunday night, bringing the first strike of workers since 1997.

This is a catastrophe which has stranded 200,000 people in the San Francisco Bay Area who depend on BART daily – right before the July 4th holiday. Now, they must find another way to get around. Their options are limited since congested bridges don’t have the capacity to handle additional cars.

BART management and its unions have indicated that they have no plans as of this writing to return to the bargaining table. They are far apart on issues involving compensation and safety issues, though most who have been polled blame the unions for walking away from the bargaining table.

Read more here.