help_outline Skip to main content
Add Me To Your Mailing List


News / Articles

September 2018 Newsletter

Village Network of Petaluma

Village Network of Petaluma
A nonprofit membership
community of connection and support
serving the Petaluma and Penngrove area.

Village Office: 955 Petaluma Blvd. South

Community - Support - Peace of Mind


The Village office will be closed on Labor Day, September 3
Table of Contents
Associate Membership Offers Expanded Levels of Engagement

Special Events and New Programs:
Interest Groups for Members and Active Volunteers
Weekly Walking Group
Our Life Stories and Legacy
Qigong Class
Film Discussion Group
Gentle Chair Yoga
Wednesday Morning Village Drop-in Coffee Hour
Women's Circle
Village Game Night

Gardening Group
Bocce Ball
Tech Workshop
Village Singing Group
Mindfulness-Based Meditation Group
Men's Discussion Group

Coming in October

New Associate Membership Offers Expanded Levels of Engagement
We are especially excited to announce our newAssociate Memberships, which will be offered at a starting donation of $30/month for individuals and $45/month for households of two or more. This new membership is for all the people who wish it were less costly! In response to that sentiment, we want to embrace more members into our community, and to move our Village community to another level of inclusion and engagement. We want to encourage more people who believe in the Village concept and who may want to join our community, but who don’t need volunteer services, to participate in the life of the Village.

Our vision in welcomingAssociate Membersis a vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable Village that will continue to be here for all of us, from age 50 to 100+!

Four years ago we launched an innovative community organization. Today, wearea community, in every sense of the word. We owe this achievement to every single member, volunteer, donor, and community partner who has supported our growing Village. We are also delighted to be part of a thriving coalition of Villages throughout our state – the newVillage Movement California.

The 230+ Villages like ours throughout the U.S. and worldwide are having a big impact in re-envisioning communities where the many stages of life past 50 offer meaningful opportunities for growth, connection, and joy. Since launching, we have steadily grown and broadened engagement, inclusiveness, and community support for the Village. Within a few months we will be supporting 20 people living on limited income through our subsidized memberships – ourMembership Partners Program.

We are deeply grateful toPEP Housingfor partnering with us in offering this program, and also for generously offering to share space with us. And for the many generous donors who helped make our move a reality! This month, we are settling into our new home at955 Petaluma Blvd. South(across from the bowling alley).

We are delighted to have two highly capable part-time staff members – Joanne Martin Braun, ourMember and Volunteer Manager, and Mary Cruz, our newAdministrative Assistant– as well as a dedicated volunteerCall Responders Team, and more than 80 volunteers providing a myriad of services for members and for the Village.

Come and see us in our new space!

Anne Greenblatt, Board President
Village Network of Petaluma

Joanne Martin Braun, Village Manager, and Mary Cruz, our new Administrative Assistant, celebrate our successful move to PEP Housing headquarters. Mary, recently retired, worked for the City of Monterey for 15 years, and most recently at the Novato Senior Center.

Special Events and New Programs

Learn What the Village Offers at Welcome Meetings
Thursday, September 13 and Saturday, September 22, 11:00 - 12:00 pm
New Village Network office, 955 Petaluma Blvd. South

Are you curious about aging better? Join us for aninformation meeting for adults 50+. The innovative Village movement is about expanding choices at all stages of aging. Village members are livingvibrant, active,and connected lives in our own homes as we age. Bring a friend or loved one, learn about Village programs and services, get your questions answered,and meet Village members and volunteers.

Volunteer 101 Training
Wednesday, September 12, 1:00 – 4:00 pm, Village office.
Village volunteers are deeply appreciated as they support members in living full, engaged lives in our community. All volunteers who are interested in working with members or in the Village office must complete this training. If you’d like a one-on-one meeting to discuss your interests, contact Joanne at776-6055, or RSVP for Volunteer 101 is required.

Working on a team with others in service of the Village is so rewarding – and such good things come of it!
- a Village member and volunteer
Important Conversations About Your Final Wishes
Monday, September 17, 1:00 – 3:00 pm, Village office.
This is a follow-up to our spring programs "Getting Your Affairs in Order" and "Making Your Five Wishes Known." How do you discuss sensitive issues with those youchoose to carry out your final wishes?We will explore some of those issues, potential problems, and options and resources for resolving them. Open to members and active volunteers; limited to 20 participants. RSVP to

Presenter Barbara Stagg is an attorney specializing in estates and trusts, trained in communication and mediation, and experienced in family dynamics and multi-generational conflict resolution.

Volunteer Driver Training
Thursday, September 27, 1:00 – 4:00 pm, Village office.
The Village Network has been steadily growing,which means our need for volunteer drivers, our most requested service, is also growing. Members are deeply appreciative, and have glowing feedback about Village drivers.Completion of this training is necessary before driving Village members. RSVP by Monday, September 24 is required:707-776-6055or


Weekly Walking Group
Tuesdays, 8:30 – 9:30 am. Meet at Walnut Park on 4th St.
We sharefun, great conversations, and exercise while exploring neighborhoods and gardens, or walking across the river. Everyone welcome. Email Sue Miller at
rmiller875@comcast.netfor info, and whether rain cancels.
Our Life Stories and Legacy
Tuesdays, 10:15 – 11:45 am, Village Network Office, Newcomers welcome.
Our life stories and legacy are unique and important both individually and as a community. We explore ways to preserve, celebrate, and honor our experiences using writing and creative projects. For more info email Members free, non-members $5.

Qigong Class
Thursdays, 9:30 – 10:30 am, Village office. Newcomers welcome.
Fridays, 3:30 – 4:30 pm, Petaluma Health Center,* 1179 No. McDowell
* Co-sponsored by the Petaluma Health Center and the Village Network

Qigong is a mindful movement training that supports balance, relaxation, vigor, and strength. Qigong is also a meditative practice that encourages awareness, focus, and calmness. Participants report feeling confident as they walk without a fear of falling. There are no restrictions on who may come -if you cannot stand, poses can be done easily in a chair. Members free, non-members $5.

Elad Levinson has studied QiGong for many years with teacher Teja Bell. He has also practiced meditation since 1975.

Film Discussion Group
Fridays, September 7 and 21, 10:15 – 11:15 am, in a member's home.
Would you like to join a group of film lovers who get together to discuss the latest hits? We agree on a movie to see on our own and discuss it at the next meeting. Please RSVP to Jerry Spremich at
415-827-3206, For Village members and volunteers.

Gentle Chair Yoga -To Improve Balance, Flexibility and Increase Vitality
Every Thursday beginning September 6, 11:00 – noon, Village office. As of September 6, Gentle Yoga move to a new day and will now be meeting every week on Thursdays.
Popular Yoga teacher Pat Martin leads a practice of gentle yoga, Eden Energy exercises, breath work, and meditation to promote your well-being. The focus is on stress reduction and improving strength and resilience. We do both sitting and standing yoga. (We do not do yoga on the floor). All are welcome whether or not you have ever practiced yoga before. We now have a large quiet room. Friends are welcome. This class is free to Village members and $5 for non-members.

Teacher Pat Martin, CMT, EEM-CP, CYT, focuses on optimizing health and managing stress using Massage Therapy, Yoga, and Eden Energy Medicine. Pat also teaches yoga at P.O.S.T. Wellness by Design.

Wednesday Morning Village Drop-In Coffee Hour
Wednesdays, 9:00 - 10:00 am, Aqus Cafe, 189 H St.
Village members and active volunteers are invited to a our weekly drop-in coffee hour.Member and volunteer Tiaga Liner facilitates this new way for Village folks to get to know each other.

Women's Circle
Fridays, September 14 (also October 12, November 16, and December 14), 9:00 – 10:30 am, at the home of a member.
This discussion group provides an opportunity to share thoughts and feelings about what life is like as we age, and the gifts and losses we experience. It is important to plan to attend all 4 sessions, and necessary to attend the first to participate. For Village members only, age 60+. Limited to 10 members. RSVP required to the office at776-6055or
Village Game Night
Friday, September 14, 4:00 – 6:00 pm, in a member’s home,newcomers welcome!
A great way to relax and have fun at the end of your week. We have several new games to play. You can also bring a game you like, finger food snack, or drinks (optional). Or just bring yourself. RSVP to the office for address at, or776-6055.

Gardening Group
Monday, September 17, noon – 1:30 pm, at the home of a member. (Meets 3rdMonday of the month.)
Join our monthly gardening interest group, meeting in each other’s gardens. This is not about having a showplace, but about seeking suggestions, new ideas, and having fun. Please RSVP to Suzanne Clarke for the address, at

Bocce Ball
Wednesday, September 19, 4:00 – 5:00 pm, Leghorn Park. (Meets the 3rdWednesday of each month.)
No experience necessary, rain cancels. We have a lot of fun! Newcomers are welcome. RSVP to George Beeler

Tech Workshop
Wednesday, September 26, 3:00 - 4:30 pm,Village office.
Members at all experience levels welcome in this workshop, which will assist you with computer, tablet, or cell phone issues. Learn new ways to get things done and make your life easier. Led by Village volunteers Tom Horst, Steve Schlich, and Paul Greenblatt. Please RSVP to

Reminder: If you are a member and need someone to come to your home to help with a computer problem, you can also schedule an appointment with a Village tech volunteer.

Village Singing Group
Thursday, September 27, 3:00 – 4:30 pm (Meets last Thursday of the month.)
No prior experience or talent necessary, just a love of making music. We try many kinds of music – and have a lot of fun! RSVP to Tiaga Liner at
tiagananda@gmail.comor658-1646for location.

Mindfulness-Based Meditation Group
Saturdays, September 8 throughOctober 27, 10:00 – 11:00 am, in a member's home.
TheMindfulness-Based Meditation Groupincludes two guided meditations per session, each with a brief introduction and a post-meditation check-in. Our goal is to hone our meditation skills and foster calmness, relaxation, compassion, gratitude, and nonjudgmental awareness.Registration is on a "first-come" basis for up to 12 Village members and active volunteers, and is now full.If you'd like to be added to a wait list for this series or learn more about the next 8-week series, please contact Darcy Levy at

Facilitator Freeman Humphrey is a retired psychiatric social worker who has led mindfulness-based meditation groups for over ten years. For more information,

Men's Discussion Group
Alternate Thursday afternoons.
We get together with other men on a regular basis to discuss men’s lives and other topics in a spirit of fellowship. The group islimited to eight participants.If you are interested or even curious, please call the office at776-6055to learn more.

I especially love the gardening, yoga, Qi Gong, and meditation interest groups ~ and have made wonderful friends while doing things I enjoy!
- a Village member and volunteer
The Third Third of Life: A Women's Circle - for members
Monday, October 8, 9:30 – 11:00 am, at the home of a member.
(First session of an 8-month series meeting second Monday of the month)

AdaptingThe Second Half of Life: Opening the Eight Gates of Wisdomby cultural anthropologist Dr. Angeles Arrien as a foundation for discussion, we will work on sharing and enriching our experiences in the “third third” of our lives. Limited to eight participants. RSVP to Anne at 772- 5132 or

The group will be facilitated Anne Greenblatt, Village board president. Anne has worked with this book in four women’s groups during the past 15 years.

Tour of Bodega Marine Laboratory
Thursday, October 11, meeting 8:45 am at the Village office and returning around12:45pm
Visit the best kept secret of the Bay Area, the UC Davis marine research facility at Bodega Bay. The cost is $5.00 per person for a 90-minute, docent-led tour featuring both underwater habitats of our ocean and a tide pool environment. Wear sturdy shoes, and bring a warm jacket (the tour is indoors and outdoors) and a snack if you need one. This tour is limited to 20 Village members and volunteers, so RSVP to776-6055orinfo@VillageNetworkofPetaluma.orgright away. We will be carpooling, and may have an offsite place where people will meet for the carpool, so we need to let you know where that will be.Also,let the office know, no later than October 1, if you need a ride to the carpool site. For more information, contact Jane Merryman atjane@sonic.netor707-775-1754.

Learn About Medicare Choices, Changes
Monday, October 22, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm, Petaluma Public Library.
This program is co-sponsored by the Village Network with our community partners,Senior Advocacy Servicesand thePetaluma Public Library. Open to the public and offered at the start of Medicare’s annual enrollment period (which ends December 7, 2018), the focus is on changes to Medicare coverage, Advantage Plans, and Part D premiums and formularies that take effect in January 2019. RSVP by October 15 to

Presenter is a registered HICAP counselor trained to provide free and unbiased counseling services for Medicare beneficiaries.

A New and Easy Way You Can Support Village Sustainability
If you have an Amazon account, please consider making it an AmazonSmile account, and naming the Village as your choice for charity donations.

What is AmazonSmile?
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you.

How do I sign up for AmazonSmile?
Go to The first time, it will prompt you to select or type in a charity – the Village Network of Petaluma. Every eligible purchase you make then result in a small donation to your favorite charity. Just remember to be sure you are on AmazonSmile, not the regular Amazon site. If you have any questions on how to sign up, please contact Paul

Couples Re-examine and Re-negotiate for a Happy Retirement
Some people count the days until it begins; others postpone it as long as possible. With so many mixed and often conflicting emotions around retirement, it’s no wonder that some couples find the early days of their “leisure years” fraught with relationship landmines. Too much togetherness or not enough? Time to get more active or to just relax? And what if one person retires while the other continues to work? The Village includes many retirees, and this article is a compilation of many of their experiences.

Retiring at the same time avoids conflicts that might arise if only one partner is contributing financially, and it prevents the working partner’s potential resentment of the other’s free time for enjoyable activities. On the other hand, the transition to retirement can be stressful, and having only one partner at a time experiencing that stress eases the transition for some.

Often life is utterly changed – the future and one’s place in it are difficult to imagine. Many more options may open up for the newly retired: volunteering, pursuing hobbies, “re-careering,” time with family, downsizing, to name a few. Exploring emerging interests and possibilities can present a bewildering array of choices.

As with any other important event in a relationship, communication is key. If one party needs more alone time, it’s essential to convey that in a way that does not make the other feel excluded. Pursuing different interests and activities, perhaps with different friends, can also help avoid too much inter-dependency while still maintaining the couple’s healthy bond. If a couple continues to enjoy a shared, active social life, they should be able to also do their own thing on their own time without threatening the integrity of their partnership.

Finally, both parties need to be patient in adjusting to their new lifestyle. People whose identity has been closely connected to their work may have a difficult time at first. Women may expect more domestic help and participation from their partners. Mutual support and understanding will generally help resolve these issues, and as both people learn what works for them, individually and together, they can look forward to a peaceful, fulfilling, and hopefully, long retirement.

'Smart Home' Technology Can Make Life Easier and Safer
New and supposedly life-changing technological innovations seem to pop up every day, and while some may prove truly helpful, others are simply perplexing and trivial (WiFi-connected refrigerators, anyone?). Understanding how technology can actually improve life, particularly for older adults, may help us decide which devices are worth purchasing, installing, and learning to use.

AnAmazon Echo( aSamsung Smarthingsmotion detector ( can assist those with mobility issues by turning lights on and off, locking and unlocking doors, and controlling the garden’s watering system, among other tasks. Google’sNestmanages home heating and cooling based on user activity and also offers a security system that includes a camera and “smart” doorbell.

A voice-activated intercom such asNucleus allows family members to communicate and check on relatives from a distance, while smart locks, offered by Google and Amazon among others, can provide home access to emergency responders. And devices such asTricellaPillboxandHerohealthHEROsimplify medication management and oversight by caretakers.

These and other smart home systems have the potential to prolong and facilitate the time that older adults live independently in their homes. Taking time to investigate the various technologies could pay off in an easier, safer lifestyle. Several websites offer more extensive information about smart homes:




Online calendar

Village Network office: 955 Petaluma Blvd. South



Patricia Arfsten
George and Ellen Beeler
Suzanne Clarke
Fr. Michael Culligan, St. James Church
Deborah Dalton
Becky Devine
Maria DoCeu, Out West Garage
Earl and Micky Dolcini
Laura Dunne and Stacey Banas
Selma Ehrlich
Paul and SherryEklof
Linda Endicott
Rabbi Ted Feldman, B’nai Israel Jewish Center
Ann and Mel Fox
Gopal Gauchan, Everest Indian Restaurant
Majida Gibson
Wayne and Robin Guptill
Marcia Hince
Kiwanis Club of Petaluma
Scotti Kluess
Lucy Kortum
Diane Judd and Ronald Krempetz
Robert Leichtner
Tiaga Liner
Maryann Marks andElad Levinson
Jeff Lyons, Adobe Creek
Pat Martin
Kathy MacDonald
Len and Charlotte Nelson
Teresa Nelson
Nora Pearl
Leslie Quadres
Kris Rebillot
Alice Rebizzo
Starr Rohrman
Robin Schaef
Paula Schafer
Vreni Schnirman
Eileen and Ernie Simard
Janine and Ray Slaughter
Lori Torkelson
Janny Van Aalderen and David Quist

Your donations are vitally important in building a sustainable organization.
All financial and in-kind donations are tax deductible,
as we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

If you would like to support the Village Network, make checks payable to:
"Village Network of Petaluma"
P.O. Box 442
Petaluma, CA 94953

Or you can donate on-line at


Diamond Sponsors - $1,000 to $5,000
Stanton Lawson andGabriella Ambrosi
Sequoia Senior SolutionsIn-Home Care Provider
Jan Conlon
Anne and Paul Greenblatt
Pat Martin

Major Donors-$500 to $999
Steve Ayala
George and Ellen Beeler
Lolly Burns
James and Harriet Coyne
Sherry and Paul Eklof
Marie Fletcher
Ann and Mel Fox
Linda Fox and Floyd Dickman
Robert Gallup
Marilyn Hartley
Gary and Lynn Imm
Janice Kearns
Darcy Levy
Sid and Gerry Lipton
Barbara and Jake Mackenzie
William McDevitt
Suzanne Miller
Diane Olberg
Nancy Porter
JoAnn Pozzi

Supporting Donors - $100 to $499
Doris Bowman
Joanne Martin Braun
Lyndi Brown and Anthony Tusler
Pat Burns
Chris and Sue Castellucci
Suzanne Clarke
Jodi Clinesmith and Chris Samson
Sam Doctors and Meredith Cahn
Ken Gertz
Peter HolewinskiHome Care Assistance
Gary and Lynn Imm
Kathy Lawrence and Rod Fraser
Kit Loofroos
Margaret Kullberg
Elad Levinson
Bill and Catherine Luther
Len and Charlotte Nelson
PEP Housing
Emil Perlsteiner
David and Cheryl Perry
Mike and Sue Riley
Eileen Simard
George Young and Kelly Corbett

Donors-up to $100
Bridie Acton
Janet and Vernon Burrows
Patricia Early
Bill and Margaret Fishman
Tina Hittenberger and Chuck Pyle
Marilee Jensen
Hilda Jobson
Kathleen Kestlyn
Nina Komiakoff and Paul Smith
Lucy Kortum
Nancy Kull
Joanne Martin Braun
Kathy MacDonald
Maryann McCourt
John Mazzella
Caroline O'Reilly and family
Paul Praetzl
Starr Rohrman
Jerry Spremich
Pam Torliatt

We extend our appreciation to Kathy Lawrence our newsletter writer/editor,
and to Denise Wilbanks, who handles MailChimp formatting,

for contributing their expertise.

Community-Support-Peace of Mind

As part of a national movement, the Village Network of Petaluma is a nonprofit membership organization empowering adults 50+ to live active, independent,
and connected lives in our own homes and apartments as we age.

955 Petaluma Blvd. South - -707-776-6055
Copyright © 2018 Village Network of Petaluma, All rights reserved.