Opportunity, Equality, Independence
PO Box 834
Twisp, WA 98856
WCB’s Newsline is a 2011 winner of the Hollis K. Liggett Braille Free Press Award presented by the Board of Publications of the American Council of the Blind promoting best journalistic practices and excellence in writing in publications of ACB’s state and special interest affiliates.
Steve Fiksdal, President
Federal Way, WA
Meka White, Editor
Federal Way, WA
Those much-needed contributions, which are TAX deductible, can be sent to the Washington Council of the Blind Treasurer, Deb Lewis, at PO Box 834, Twisp, WA 98856.
To remember the Washington Council of the Blind in your Last Will and Testament, you may include a special paragraph for that purpose in your Will or Trust. If your wishes are complex, please contact the WCB at
The WCB is a 501(c)(3) organization. For other ways to support the Washington Council of the Blind, visit our fundraising page found at www.wcbinfo.org
Table of Contents
Assistive Technology Assists the Sighted
Fast and Furious at the American Council of the Blind Conference and Convention
Summer Board Report
Introducing Skagit and Island Counties Council of the Blind
Experience a Journey of a Lifetime
Full Steam Ahead
Proposed Amendments 2016
Popcorn in the Front Row
Sluggers Travel to Anchorage Alaska
Bits and Pieces
Around the State
From Our Kitchen to Yours
Calendar of Deadlines and Events
By Holly Turri
As I do every six weeks, a while ago, I went to get a manicure. My manicurist is from Vietnam, and is a real artist. No decals for her. Everything she does is freehand, detailed, and I’m told amazing to look at. Some of her mini nail masterpieces I’ve enjoyed include: the Seahawk logo, the 12th man, butterflies, snowmen, a myriad of different flowers, Santa’s head, a mini flag, and many more.
One day, I told her that I love dolphins and was wondering if she could do them. She said “First we can paint your nails the aqua ocean color.”
Then she started thinking, and said “I wish I had my iPhone today. I could look up examples.” I pulled out my pink one and told her “mine is right here.”
After waking Siri up I asked her to find pictures of dolphins which she did. Then, I requested instructions on how to draw them.
With fascination, she was looking over my shoulder and suddenly cried joyously “There’s this nail artist we watched giving instructions 20 years ago on video in cosmetology school. Here she is on YouTube!!!” So she clicked on this woman, who directed her concisely and clearly in the finer points of dolphin making.
The instructions were followed with extra embellishments, and my gorgeous dolphin nails came to life. Sadly, last week they disappeared. Now, I have hot pink ones with peonies.
So often, we are rightly concerned whether an app, device, or product is accessible. How fun and thrilling it was to turn the tables. A sighted person was assisted in a visual process by a blind woman with an accessible iPhone. How cool is that?
By Steve Fiksdal, WCB President
This has been a happening three months. WCB has much to be proud of. Many members were recognized for their efforts. But let’s start with an accomplishment that has been in the making for 20 years. Recently a formal policy was established setting forth certain mandates that require state agencies to make their technology and systems accessible to all with disabilities. This is a big step forward. Policy 188, as it is called, came to be through the efforts of a small working group, among them our own Debbie Cook-Lewis.
Some of you may recall that at the WCB 1994 convention in Pascoe we passed a resolution calling on Washington State to make its technology in general, and its information kiosks in particular, accessible to people with disabilities.
The small working group that developed this policy reviewed and adopted the best from other states, the feds, and DOJ settlements, and added its own improvements, where the best there was could be made better. As of right now, Washington is the model. Here is a link to the policy: https://ocio.wa.gov/policies/policy-188-accessibility.
The American Council of the Blind’s (ACB) Conference and Convention was also a big event for Washington State. First, two WCB members were selected as ACB Leadership Fellows. This was a new award, funded by JP Morgan Chase, which honors leaders across the nation. Only eight ACB members were recognized with this distinction and two were from WCB. Congratulations to Debbie Lewis and Meka White.
But the honors don’t stop there. Denise Colley was elected to the ACB Board of Directors and Debbie Lewis was elected to the ACB Board of Publications. And United Blind of Seattle member Doreen Cornwell was selected as a first-timer to the convention by Blind Pride International. Congratulations to all.
Much will be said about our own convention so I will not elaborate in that regard other than to encourage you to attend. It shall be a great gathering!
August 20th was the WCB Board Meeting, once again held at the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library. A big thank you to Danielle Miller, WTBBL Director, for her hospitality. The room was packed with WCB members. We appreciate the support of all. Following the meeting, the Board met that evening and Sunday morning to discuss the future of WCB and to “dream” a little big. From the exercise came a variety of great ideas. There will be more to come in this regard.
It’s election time, not only nationally, but statewide. Vote. Cast your ballots. Let your voice be heard. It is also the time of year when we elect board members and officers. We have three open board positions (with two board members able to run for another term), and we’ll be casting our ballots for Second Vice-President and Secretary. Should you have an interest in serving in any of the roles, contact Julie Brannon, nominating committee chair, at .
I would like to extend a big WCB welcome to two new chapters of our family. In May we recognized the Wenatchee Valley Council of the Blind and in August, the Skagit and Island Counties Council of the Blind joined WCB as a new affiliate. These two affiliates alone added thirty new members to our organization. Welcome WVCC and SICCB!
I have to say that I am so proud to be a part of this incredible organization. You, our members, our board and officers and those who contribute in so many other ways – make me proud. As we grow and change I’d like to hear from you. I’d like to hear what is good so that we can continue to provide the programs you enjoy and rely on. And even more so, I’d like to hear about ways that we’ve fallen short. I’ve often said “I can’t fix something if I don’t know that it’s broken. If you feel something is broken, tell me. I want to hear from you – good or bad.
Thank you for being a part of this journey. I sincerely hope to see you in November at our annual convention.
By Gina Ontiveros
Hello to everyone!” “Convention was a blast!” It was seven days of action and adventure. It was my first time visiting Minnesota and my first national convention.
Before I tell my experience in Minneapolis, I would like to take time to personally thank the First-Timer Committee for selecting me to such a great honor. I never imagined that when I submitted my letter of application, I would be the one that the First-Timers Committee would select, so thank you all once again for such a great honor and privilege.
Nerves got the best of me packing, it took me three times packing and unpacking my guide dogs things before I got it all right. I decided to look up Minnesota weather on my iPhone. I found out that it was a lot like the weather in Wichita, Kansas, at this time of year. That is where I lived before moving to Yakima. So I finally decided on one elegant outfit to wear for our banquet night dinner would be nice, and the rest of my clothes would be casual and comfortable attire, shoes included.
I arrived in Minneapolis at about 6:10 pm. I was assisted by a wonderful volunteer named Margarine Beanan. She told me she was one of the volunteers that would be helping throughout the convention. Together we found the shuttle that would take me to the Hyatt Regency. While we were walking, Margarine told me that she had been volunteering for ACB conventions for about 20 years. As we were approaching the vehicle, I could hear that all familiar voice of Steve Fiksdal, our State President. We boarded the shuttle and began chatting about the coming week. I told him that I was very excited and he assured me that I would stay busy.
Arriving to the hotel my guide dog and I headed for the front desk to check in. We were escorted to our room by one of the volunteers. It was amazing how quickly Neela learned her way around. As we got in late on Saturday, I took some time to orient myself to the hotel.
Sunday morning a group of us went out to breakfast. We went to a place called the Nickolette Diner. The food was just average. Most of us didn’t like something on our plates. On our walk back to the hotel, Tim Van Winkle took the time to read the signs of some of the other businesses.
Registration was fast and furious. When I finally made my way there, the line was out the door. It was a great opportunity to begin meeting people. Finally it was my turn and I received my name tag and convention packet. I found the braille materials in there most useful. Every night I would read the schedule for the next day and make my choices of what to attend.
Convention officially came to order at 7:30 Sunday night. We began with the Pledge of Allegiance, and the singing of our national anthem. Then Kim Charlson, the ACB National President spoke.
That night Meka White, Deb Cook Lewis, Steve Fiksdal, Cindy Van Winkle, and Denise Colley were all recognized for awards. It felt good to see so many of WCB’s members being acknowledged. They all gave great speeches of acceptance.
The following morning and a few days afterwards, I made my way to the mini mall and to the exhibitor’s hall. I had to visit both places several times because everybody else wanted to go there too. I was very impressed with all of the exhibitors who were demonstrating various technologies. I bought a shirt, some jewelry, an exercise video and some dog toys for Neela.
The meetings and workshops were great places to exchange contact information and to hear how other chapters recruited members and what kind of fund raisers they did.
Finally, Friday came around and it was time for the banquet. As I was getting ready, I reflected back on the week. After passing resolutions, voting people in to office and hearing about new legislation, I realized that even one voice can make a difference. I will take all that I have learned back with me to share with my chapter members. Along with the guidance and wisdom of my WCB leaders, I believe that YVCB can effectively make changes in our community.
While my flight home was uneventful, my time at the convention was certainly busy!
By Alco Canfield
The WCB Board met on Saturday, August 20, 2016 at the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library. President Steve Fiksdal convened the board meeting at 10:04 AM and gave opportunity for board members, chapter representatives, and other attendees to introduce themselves.
A motion was made by Danette Dixon with multiple seconds to approve the board minutes of the last meeting as distributed and was passed.
Deb Lewis gave the Treasurer’s Report and urged those in each chapter responsible for sending Denise database information to be sure member addresses are correct. Stipend checks issued sent to incorrect addresses will not be reissued.
Kim Thiel, our bookkeeper gave us an overview of our tax return, Form 990. She reminded us of the importance of receipts relative to reporting accountability. WCB financial information is publicly disclosed and is of interest to potential donors as well as the IRS.
Steve Fiksdal then gave the President’s Report. Teleconference calls should be ended when business is completed because WCB is charged for the minutes used.
The WCB Board honored Denise Colley and Cindy Van Winkle with life memberships to the American Council of the Blind at the National Convention.
Steve told us that the Washington Access Fund (WAF) will loan the money to purchase software.
He reminded us that $100 is the cost of a lifetime membership in WCB. This money cannot be given to the local chapter. A lifetime member of WCB must pay dues to National and to the local chapter.
A WCB Leadership Institute has been formed. This institute is an outgrowth of the leadership seminar. The group will meet in September. It will discuss individual leadership skills as well as ways to assist others in developing their abilities.
The budget process has begun, and that committee will meet during the week after the board meeting. Committee chairs will be contacted to discuss their financial needs for the coming year.
All members are urged to contact President Fiksdal with any ideas they may have concerning the development of WCB.
Deb Lewis briefly discussed a new state policy which mandates state agencies to have accessible software. New websites must be accessible, and if they are not, the agency must request an Accessible Need Waiver. Priorities for fixing old inaccessible software need to be established.
Marlaina Lieberg attempted to work with Bartell Drugs for accessible prescription labeling. They did not follow through so she has filed a complaint with the Washington State Human Rights Commission.
The convention will be held from November 3-5 at the Seattle Marriott in Seatac. A motion was passed that a replacement name tag will cost $5. Exhibits will be open until 5:00 PM and members are urged to take advantage of the extra time. Sue Ammeter and Holly Turri were commended for their work on the convention bulletin.
There will be a student summit for high school students 14-21 at this year’s convention. DSB will provide financial assistance to those with a transition plan. This information will be on the WCB website.
Meka White discussed the Braille Challenge to be held at WTBBL on February 18, 2017.
Chris Coulter updated us on the activities of the history committee. A new history page will soon be on the WCB website.
Denise asked that those sending information for the legislative database include street addresses so that each member’s district can be determined.
New welcoming packets have been developed containing a letter from the president, a current constitution, ACB and WCB information, and a list of defined acronyms.
The quarterly deadline for the Newsline is being changed to the 10th, i.e., September 10, December 10, etc. Hats Off articles need to be sent to Steve Fiksdal.
In her scholarship report, Danette explained that 14 applicants have applied. The committee will be working hard to conduct interviews.
We have 295 followers on Facebook. The convention bulletin and registration form should be on the website shortly. Anyone having difficulty filling out the form should call Gaylen at: (253) 217-9586.
October 15 is the deadline to submit nominations to Julie Brannon, Chair. Those interested should submit a letter stating why they want to run and what they hope to contribute to WCB. Gaylen Floy’s position will be vacant. Denise Colley and Carol Brame are up for reelection. Sue Ammeter as Second Vice-President and Frank Cuta as Secretary are eligible to run again. An alternate delegate for national convention needs to be chosen as well.
Contact Hayley Agers with information concerning anyone with a serious illness, staying in the hospital, a new baby, etc. so that the WCB We Cares Committee can be in touch with them.
The SRC will spend several meetings hearing about the new rehab regulations to determine which WACs need amendment. She encouraged attendance either by phone or in person. There are openings for current or former DSB customers as well as representatives from the business community.
A motion was passed to have WCB donate $150 to WTBBL to thank them for the use of the library for this Saturday meeting. Outreach activities continue. WTBBL will have a booth at the Fiestas Patrias Celebration at the Seattle Center and will distribute brochures in Spanish. A prototype of a new reading machine will become available in 2018.
The new director for the state library, Cindy Aden will attend the October 13 Pac meeting.
The new Superintendent of WSSB, Scott McCalum will attend the WCB convention this year.
Denise Colley was elected to the ACB Board, and her first meeting will be October 22, 2016. ACB is establishing its budget for the coming year.
Access-a-med will be focusing on the elderly and will discontinue working with the blind market. Most pharmacies are using Script Talk.
The board meeting was adjourned at 3:08 PM.
By Andy Arvidson, President
In 2015 I was asked to restart a blind support group in Anacortes that had faded away due to the fact that no one wanted to be the lead person. At that time I was involved with a group in Burlington. That group had been around since 2004 and I had been there since 2013. It had become a social group and not really a support group. One of the members said, “Why don’t we get more involved in advocacy and informational strategies concerning blind issues?” That struck a note with me to see what direction we could go.
On the Guide Dog Users email list I was contacted by Randy Tedrow and knowing that I was a martial artist asked for some help at the 2015 WCB Convention with a Self-Defense class he was teaching. So, I said yes I would love to help him. Then he said that he would like me to do it because he was unsure if he could be there.
When I looked online and saw the convention on the web site I thought that I could just go down on Friday, teach the class and come home. Well we decided to stay and see what there was to this, after all we had a member that wanted more. So we went for the whole weekend and you sold me on the fact that this is where I needed to be. Carl Jarvis and Alco Canfield whom I had not seen in years asked why I waited so long.
Anyway, I started doing meetings in Anacortes every other month and found out that there are more blind and visually impaired people than I thought, so I started trying to combine the two groups. Transportation was an issue but we are working on that. We also met some people in Oak Harbor that wanted to get something going as well.
So, for the last eight months we have been putting this together with the help of WCB. My wife and I are graduates of the 2015 Leadership Seminar and have attended our first ACB Convention and started communicating with all the people we could.
On August 13, we organized the Skagit and Island Counties Council of the Blind. We were accepted as an affiliate by WCB on August 20th, 2016. We brought a list of 19 members to the board and had four of our members attend in person.
Our officers are as follows:
President: Andy Arvidson
1st Vice President: Travis Smart
2nd Vice President: Phil Blehyl
Secretary: Terri Downing
Treasurer: Colette Arvidson
We meet in Burlington, WA on the second Saturday of each month in the back conference room of the Washington Federal Savings and Loan, from 1 – 3 PM. The address is 300 E. Fairhaven Ave. Come and visit.
Full Steam Ahead Student Summit
By Lori Allison, Families with Blind Children Committee Chair
Attention high schoolers, ages 14 to 18!
Come join us on a wonderful journey of fun and fantastic experiences, while meeting with new and old friends. This trip has been designed to assist you in developing the independent future that you desire while having fun. This journey will be informative and will show different techniques and technologies that are used by other visually impaired students. You will have the opportunity for a hands-on gaming lab, as well as, travel through the exhibit hall where you will see the latest technological equipment and devices. Learn about recreational outdoor activities, employment options or college opportunities.
There will be a round table discussion where you can ask questions and receive some suggestions and answers from visually impaired people who have experienced the same situations. By the end of your journey you will have developed friendships and information for you to feel confident about your future.
This event will take place November 4th in conjunction with the Washington Council of the Blind Annual Convention. For more information visit www.wcbinfo.org or contact Lori Allison: 253-537-4428 .
By Marlaina Lieberg
Recently, Guide Dog Users of Washington State was approached with a question from a service dog handler about how to proceed when a neighbor’s dog continually interfered with a working guide. We were quite surprised that folks were unaware of Layla’s Law. We provide this article as a summary of the law and how it works. Please note that in this summary, the term guide dog also means service animal and may be shortened to the term guide. Please see the complete RCW at: http://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9.91.170 and if you are having issues with interference from individuals or their dogs, you may wish to print the RCW and carry it along with you.
History: In 2002, GDUWS was approached by a guide dog handler whose dog, Layla, was repeatedly attacked by a neighbor’s dog. We worked closely with this individual as well as staff from Guide Dogs for the Blind and the WCB Advocacy and Legislative Committees, and in 2003, we got Layla’s Law passed.
Summary: The actual title of this law is RCW 9.91.170, Interfering with dog guide or service animal, also known as Layla’s Law.
Any person who continually interferes with your guide dog after you have asked them to cease is guilty of a misdemeanor. If the behavior continues, such person is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
Anyone who allows their dog to interfere with a guide dog by obstructing, intimidating, or otherwise jeopardizing the safety of you or your guide dog continually after you have asked them to cease, is guilty of a misdemeanor. A second violation is a gross misdemeanor.
Anyone who, with reckless disregard, injures, disables, or causes the death of a guide dog is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
Anyone who allows his or her dog to injure, disable, or cause the death of a guide dog is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
Anyone who intentionally injures, disables, or causes the death of a guide dog is guilty of a class C felony.
Anyone who tries to exert unauthorized control over a guide dog with the intent to deprive you of your guide dog is guilty of theft in the first degree. If convicted, such person shall also be ordered to make full restitution for all damages, including incidental and consequential expenses incurred by you and your guide related to the criminal offense. For example: The replacement value of an incapacitated or deceased guide, the training of a replacement guide, or retraining of the injured guide and all related veterinary and care expenses. Additionally, compensation is available if you incur medical expenses, or training expenses such as lost wages.
As you can see, the law covers continued interference from individuals or their dogs. The critical thing is that you must first tell the individual to stop the behavior.
This is just a summary of what the law offers. Should you encounter interference from a person or dog, after you have asked that the behavior cease, you need to contact your local law enforcement and report the issue. We in GDUWS know that not all law enforcement personnel are aware of Layla’s law; thus, we are developing a public education campaign which we hope to roll out to all police chiefs and sheriffs in the state. Should you meet with resistance from law enforcement personnel who may not be aware of the law, please let us know. Again, we strongly recommend that you visit the link to the RCW and carry a printed copy with you. It is not lengthy, and it might help when law enforcement seem unclear about what to do.
If you are a guide dog handler but not yet a GDUWS member, please join us and help with our important work. Feel free to contact me at .
We wish you safe travels with your guide!
By Holly Turri
All aboard!!!Pack your bags, grab your friends, and travel full steam ahead down the tracks toward the education, advocacy, and fun stations at the State Convention of the Washington Council of the Blind. This is an unforgettable trip not to be missed!!! To take advantage of all the excitement, be sure to register by October 15, 2016.
We will meet from Thursday November 3rd through Saturday November 5th, 2016 at the Seattle Airport Marriot. The address is 3201 S. 176th Street, Seatac, WA.
Room rates are still $99.00 a night plus applicable taxes and fees. To get this great deal, phone 206-241-2000. Indicate that you are with WCB.
Shuttle service from the airport to the hotel is $4.00 round trip and is charged to the room. For this convention, internet service rates are $3.50 a day!!!
To register electronically, click on www.wcbinfo.org or phone 800-255-1147 and leave a message. Someone will return your call and assist you.
Once again the five meals plus registration package is $95.00. Other options are detailed in the convention bulletin.
For the first time this year on Friday from 2:00 until 4:00 there will be a Women’s Expo. Exhibits will be extended an hour until 5:00. Our meetings will include such topics as current research in ophthalmology, veterans’ affairs, reading technology, individual advocacy, consumer/fraud prevention, cooking, skiing, and of course reports from the National ACB office, library, School for the Blind, and Department of Services for the Blind.
Our scholarship reception and banquet will be the culmination of a fabulously fun and informative weekend.
By Frank Cuta
When the constitution and bylaws committee was created it was originally thought that it would just need to do its work within a month or two of the fall convention. Well, times change. My hard working committee has been working most of the year cleaning up the constitution and responding to requests from our leaders for several changes. Our committee is actually growing and now includes Frank Cuta, Rhonda Nelson, Stuart Russell, Danielle Maher, and Reggie and Lisa George.
We have just completed a major reformatting of the document to give it more consistency. This involved no wording changes except for two usage corrections. We used the following formatting criteria:
1. Headings will be left-justified, in all caps, with 2 spaces rather than a dash before the title of the Article, Section, or Bylaw.
ARTICLE III MEMBERSHIP, SECTION 2 JUNIOR MEMBERS, BYLAW 1 WCB STANDING COMMITTEES
2. Bodies of text in paragraph form will be indented.
3. Titles of officers or other elected positions and names of committees will not be capitalized within a body of text.
4. Numbers will be represented either in words or in digits, but not both.
EXAMPLES: written words for a fraction (two-thirds vote); numbers for a percentage (20%), an age (age 16), a dollar amount ($100), or a length of time (10 days)
5. Dates will not reflect designations such as “st,” “nd,” “rd,” or “th.”
February 10, March 1
The word usage corrections were principle principal and effected affected errors.
Xx Proposed Changes 2016
As part of our overhaul we found several untitled sections. Two of our proposed amendments 2016-5 and 2016-6 involve creating titles for these sections.
It was pointed out that nowhere in the constitution does it clearly state that the annual membership business meeting will take place at the fall convention. This will be corrected by proposed amendment 2016-1.
The bylaws provide a provision for an annual stipend to be awarded to each chapter but the language implies that updated chapter information needs to be mailed to the state. Amendment 2016-2 stipulates that all updated data and payment shall be submitted electronically.
Amendment 2016-3 will propose that we reconsider the funding for our alternate delegate’s travel.
Amendment 2016-4 will propose that we consolidate several of our committees.
The board is still discussing specifics.
All of the final language of these proposed amendments will be available on the WCB-l list prior to the convention. Or, if you want a personal copy emailed to you, let me know.
My committee usually does not propose substantive changes. Most often we respond to requests from the membership and the board to draft new language. We will meet face to face immediately following the pre-convention board meeting to give each of the proposed changes above, a do or do not pass recommendation. No new amendments will be considered after the meeting is called to order.
Movie Review Column
By Kevin Daniel
Movies Featured: “Sully” and “The Light Between Oceans”
As a lifelong movie enthusiast, I’m hoping to bring my perspective, insight, opinion, and recommendations on what to see and what to definitely miss to the WCB community. I want to inspire and ignite interest in theatrical offerings in the hope that readers might be compelled to go see a movie that could offer an escape, help discover a passion, inform, or simply present a wonderful opportunity to get lost in a cinematic vortex of entertainment. My reviews will span through all genres, ratings, and categories. I will rate each movie I review on a six point “Braille Cell” style system, where “6” dots is the very best rating a reviewed movie may receive; meaning it is extremely good and recommended, and “1” dot will be the worst rating. A “1” dot rating will indicate that the movie reviewed isn’t at all recommended and should be avoided. Each article will feature three recently release movies that I’ve screened. In addition, I’ll add fun facts, insightful tidbits, and general information about the featured films. I hope you’ll enjoy these articles and find my perspectives helpful and entertaining.
Movie #1 “Sully” Released in September of 2016 and is rated PG-13 (Mainly for strong language and intense situations). This wonderful and excellent movie recounts the January 2009 remarkable emergency landing on the Hudson River by Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger. Directed by Clint Eastwood and starring, Tom Hanks as “Sully”, this movie is a superbly fascinating recount of the actual incident and surrounding investigation on “Sully” as the piloting force that saved many lives that day. It delves deep into “Sully’s” world before and after that day. It is very easy for me to like a Tom Hanks acted movie, because he’s done so many great films over the past 30 years. It’s equally as easy for me to like a Clint Eastwood directed movie for the same reason. But, what is not easy is for me to watch the work of two great movie icons in a film adapted from an actual and relatively recent happening that most of America remembers, and figure out how this movie was so well done! The movie will take some criticism for how poorly the government officials are portrayed, but that is a small price to pay for such a good movie. Mark my words, Tom and Clint will be at the Oscars because of this film! I enthusiastically award this movie 5 out of 6 dots!
Movie #2 “The Light Between Two Oceans” Released in September of 2016 and rated PG-13 Romance, Romance, Romance, one of my favorite movie genres. And, this film delivers the goods in that area. It is a love story that encounters tragedy, disappointment, and loss. The two main characters, “Tom”, played by Michael Fassbender, who also starred as Steve Jobs in the “Jobs” film, and “Isabel”, played by 2016 Oscar Award winning best supporting actress, Alicia Vikander, for “The Danish Girl”, fall in love and marry, and then move to a very remote island. After a couple of devastating miscarriages and the mental strain of handling this, Isabel and Tom discover a baby washed to shore in a boat with no other occupants. This discovery, the tragic circumstances of their attempts to start their own family, and the thought that the baby may have been abandoned, makes clear and proper decision making more difficult than normal. I’ll start by saying the acting was outstanding! The cinematic direction was fabulous! The story was a little disjointed and felt forced. It felt like the movie wanted you to know the story before it chronologically played out on the screen. So it was hard for me to stay focused on the story flow as it was happening. The acting was so good that I almost didn’t care, but this dynamic made it hard for me to connect with the story. However, it was a compelling romance which featured really good actors. So the movie wasn’t horrible. I just wish the story flowed and connected better.
I give this movie 3 out of 6 dots – 1.5 for the fact that it was a romance and 1.5 for the great acting.
My movie viewing philosophy:
“In good times and in bad, happy times and sad, a great movie is always welcomed!”
By Anmol Bhatia
On June 25, nine players from the Seattle South King Sluggers beep baseball team along with Head Coach Kevin Daniel, three volunteers and umpire Russell Edwards boarded an Alaskan Airplane from Seattle to Anchorage, Alaska. The Sluggers were invited by the Anchorage Lions Club to play a game of beep baseball against the Anchorage Bucs. The Anchorage Bucs is a Summer Collegiate baseball team whose mission is to provide minor league level competition for NCAA college baseball players who wish to continue on into professional baseball.
The Slugger players who went were: Dino Sanchez, Mike King, Brandon Spence, Chad Morry, Anmol Bhatia, Abby Schmidt, Sam Rodriguez, Ricky Kim and Bob Miller. Others who attended were: Head Coach Kevin Daniel, Pitcher Benjamin Mariano, Empire Russell Edwards, volunteer Marsha Daniel and volunteer Bonnie Hartman.
When we landed in Anchorage, we were greeted by the members of Anchorage Lions Club at the airport. We then went to University of Alaska at Anchorage where we stayed during our visit. That evening we went to the Special Olympic Center for a meet and greet with the Lions, members of the public and the media. From there we went to a local karaoke bar.
After lunch on Sunday, we went to check out the Bucks Stadium where we played the next day and also met some of the Bucks players, did souvenir shopping, and attended a barbecue. Besides eating some delicious food, we demoed the sport of beep baseball.
On Monday, we received a guided tour of Anchorage Zoo where we saw polar bears, wolves and many other animals. The two ladies who guided us were very knowledgeable and did a good job describing to us what they were seeing. After we left the zoo, we went to Tastee Freez for ice cream. Tastee Freez is a restaurant in Anchorage which offers a variety of sandwiches and salads and of course ice cream. The owners had a sign that said “WELCOME SEATTLE SOUTH KING SLUGGERS”. From there, we returned to the University for some rest before our big game that evening.
Around 5:00 PM, we arrived at Bucks Stadium. The young men playing for the Bucks were nervous about playing under the sleep shade, but this worry soon went away. The stadium was full with about 1100 people attending. The game was broadcast live on Bucks Radio and many of our fans in Seattle and all over the nation could listen to the game. I had the opportunity to sit with the radio announcer and go over the play by play of the game and describe the sport of beep baseball and share information about the Sluggers until the fourth inning. At the end of the fourth inning I left to prepare to play and I was replaced by Mike King.
The Anchorage Bucks scored the first run of the game in the first inning. Abby Schmidt scored the first run for the Sluggers in the fourth inning. The Sluggers who scored a run were: Ricky Kim, Abbie Schmidt, Kevin Whitley and Dino Sanchez. Kevin Whitley is an individual who is blind living in Anchorage and is a member of the local Lions Club. He is trying to start a beep baseball team in Anchorage and initiated for the Sluggers to come to Alaska.
Unfortunately, the four runs that the Sluggers made was not enough to win and the Anchorage Bucks won the game 5 to 4.
After the game, many who attended came to the field to congratulate the Sluggers and asked to take pictures and even sign autographs! Some of the people who asked were blind children around the age of ten.
After the game, we went out to enjoy the last night in Anchorage. On Tuesday morning, we packed our things and headed back to Seattle. Our first trip to Alaska had come to an end.
We talked a lot about a winning spirit, a winning attitude and a winning atmosphere. After this remarkable trip to Anchorage, we will now have to add a winning community connection; even though in this instance the winning community is 1400 miles north, said Head Coach Kevin Daniel. This was the first year the Sluggers went to Alaska, but it will not be the last. In 2017, we will be returning to Alaska and visiting other parts of the state besides Anchorage.
By Chris Coulter
Greater Everett Area Council of the Blind has had a good summer. Although the pace was slow, we all had a great time between June and September.
Our June meeting was strictly a time for taking care of business. We put the finishing touches on preparations for our picnic, which was held on Saturday, July 16th. We also took some time to check up on whether chapter members are receiving and reading their copies of Newsline. Everyone is keeping up with Newsline and enjoying it.
It turned out that our July 16th picnic was held on the same day as the annual WCB day at the Seattle Mariner’s game. This meant that picnic attendance was small, but we had a lot of fun and good conversation. Thanks to Danette Dixon and Gale Chappell for making great sandwiches. Thanks also go to Donna Patchett for coming by with her traditional offering of KFC chicken hot out of the frying pan.
On August 20th several of us attended the WCB board of directors meeting at the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library in Seattle. There were many interesting topics discussed at the meeting and we all enjoyed an excellent lunch.
The break in our schedule of chapter meetings is coming to an end as we will be holding our next meeting on September 10th at Denny’s Restaurant in Everett. We are looking forward to getting back to work, starting with preparations for the WCB convention.
We hope everyone has had a great summer and that you’re enjoying our first taste of fall.
Guide Dog Users of Washington State
By Sheri Richardson
As the days get shorter and cooler, I am reminded that fall and winter (my favorite seasons in many ways) are on their way. That means I’d better get my act together for the annual GDUWS conference and business meeting. And that is exactly what we are doing.
As always, we will have our annual business meeting on Saturday, November 5th, at 7 AM. Yes, I totally agree that is inhumane! We will try to make it up to those who attend with lots of fun door prizes, some important officer elections, good food, and you never know what else.
As our tradition has also been, we will have a luncheon speaker/presentation at noon on Saturday. Keep your eyes and ears open for that announcement.
For the past couple of years, we have also met for dinner on Friday night. This is a completely informal gathering of guide dog teams as well as our family members and friends. Anyone is welcome to join us, but please let Sheri Richardson know at so we can be sure to have the appropriate space reserved.
One final announcement. We are almost ready to go live with the totally new GDUWS website at www.gduws.net. By the time you read this article, it may actually be fully functioning. The GDUWS board, especially Marlaina Lieberg and Deb Lewis, have worked very hard along with our web page designer, Scott Riley, to produce an informative and fun website. We hope you will visit often!
Peninsula Council of the Blind
By Cindy Van Winkle, Secretary
One thing this chapter knows how to do is eat. Each month we visit a local restaurant to enjoy a meal together. This usually means some delicious food, and always includes great conversation. In June we went to the Family Pancake House where meals ranged from breakfast for dinner to a full steak meal. In July it was on to Noah’s Ark for burgers and shakes; a local favorite! And in August it was off to Heidi’s Teriyaki.
Our summer picnic was held in the fragrant and beautiful yard of members Eric and Joanne Hunter. Kat Woofter did the grilling and many dishes were brought to share. We enjoyed having some of our previous members visit us from the other side of the water. We laughed, ate to beyond fullness, and just had a great time!
Food doesn’t stop with us though. In April we decided to make a change in our community by collecting change at each meeting for the benefit of a local food bank. Fortunately, many of our members give paper money as well.
Our All Ears book club continues to meet on the first Thursday of each month at Subway in Silverdale. Summer reading has included: “The Martian,” “The Blight Way,” and “The Rest of the Story.”
The summer kicked off with many of our members attending the Outback Steakhouse for a fundraiser for our neighboring chapter, the South Kitsap Council of the Blind, and ends with us preparing for our own fundraiser at Outback Steakhouse taking place October 1. Funds raised from this event will assist PCB members in attending the upcoming WCB convention.
The PCB meets on the second Saturday of each month at Allstar Lanes in Silverdale from noon to 2:00 pm. We’d love to have you visit.
South King Council of the Blind
By Meka White
The summer months have treated the South King Council of the Blind very well.
In June, many of us attended a Sluggers game in Seattle. They played against the Seattle Police Department. This was a first time game experience for some of our members, and they have now started going to games regularly. Great food, fun, and fellowship was had by all, and after the game, we held our meeting in the park.
A few of us attended the American Council of the Blind Conference and Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota and had a wonderful time learning about different technologies, attending seminars on leadership and membership, making new friends and meeting up with old, and getting to be a part of shaping the direction of ACB through the democratic process.
Birthdays were celebrated by several members, and we made certain to sing that quintessential song at a meeting, whether they always like it or not!
One of the biggest changes recently has been a move from Marlaina’s Mediterranean Kitchen to Denny’s in Federal Way. We meet on the second Saturday of the month, and cordially invite you to join us.
We look forward to meeting up with others and partaking of everything that the state convention has to offer.
See you then!
South Kitsap Council of the Blind
By Kim Moberg
Well, it is time for another Newsline article. This is a busy little chapter. First of all at the time of the last Newsline article this chapter was getting ready to do a fundraising event with Outback Steakhouse. It was a great success and we all had a great time. Thanks to everyone that came and helped to make this a success!
In July we had our annual picnic. We all had a great time in spite of the rain. If anybody went away hungry, it was their fault. Everybody brought yummy food to eat. I know I ate way too much. We also had a few games. We played one that had water balloons and I even managed to not get drenched by one of those things! Well, that is if you don’t count the rain that we had that day. It didn’t dampen anybody’s spirits though. We just ignored it and had a great time. Several of us got together and visited. There was a lively discussion about what the differences are between fully sited, visually impaired and total blindness. I learned a lot and I think those involved in the discussion learned a lot too.
At the August meeting Carl Jarvis was the speaker. He provided our chapter with a lot of great information. Thank you Carl for talking to our group.
In September our speaker is going to be the Radio Enthusiasts of Puget Sound. They are going to do an hour program for us. One of our members Bob Herman is a member of this organization. So after they do their presentation I will be able to tell you more in the next Newsline.
A member of our chapter, Dorothy Bryant will be 91 on September 18. Happy birthday Dorothy!
At the Puyallup State Fair this year where WCB has a booth a couple of our members are going to help out this year. Dorothy Bryant and Jim Bryant and one of our newer members, Marty Lounsberry, will also help out at the booth this year.
United Blind of Spokane
By Debby Clark
We are looking forward here in Spokane to seeing you all at the convention. We have eight great members going. We expect to reap a harvest of ideas, useful gadgets, and fun!
In June we hosted the Inland Northwest Lighthouse to see if we can partner together to influence Spokane’s blindness community. Our president followed up and the possibility is good. We checked out a local coffee place for fund raising. The samples were excellent!
In July we focused on relationships and finding out more about each other in a fun new way. We each got one minute to talk about things in our lives. We found out about a dog attack, a robbery, answers to prayers and much more. It was eye opening-no pun intended. We had great white elephant door prizes for more fun.
August saw us at a beautiful Manito Park for our picnic. The food was fabulous and the fellowship even better. Oldies music was provided and some did some dancing.
Please come and join us on the third Monday of the month at Lilac Blind from 11 to 1. We’d be glad to have you!
United Blind of Tri-Cities
By Frank Cuta
40th Birthday Party
Happy Birthday UBTC! Each year one of our members who has a beautiful large yard allows us to use it to hold our annual picnic. This year the weather gods were with us on September 8th when we held a special party celebrating 40 years as an active thriving group. We had over 40 members and guests chow down on sub sandwiches provided by the club and chocolate and strawberry cakes baked by our host.
When the Tri-Cities group organized in August of 1976 the two remaining Charter members Frank Cuta and Janice Squires were only 27. We reminisced and Frank provided the group with a five minute very condensed overview of the club’s accomplishments over the years. Then it was time to Play Ball!
We turned the party over to Kevin Daniel and his son Thaddeus. They set up a beep baseball batting experience for the group with Thaddeus pitching and Kevin catching and we proceeded to make their trip over here from Seattle worthwhile. There was clearly a serious repressed hunger in our group to smack that ball over the back fence because 11 members got up and took repeated determined swings at the beeping ball. Age was obviously not a deterrent as eight of the batters were over 60 and the oldest person to have her few minutes of glory was 90 years old. It is not easy to hit the beeping ball but nearly everyone who tried hit it at least once and Janice and a few others hit it three or four times. It was a good thing it was a nice cool day because Kevin and Thaddeus got quite a workout.
As usual everyone ate too much cake but needless to say we all had a great time pretending to be Babe Ruth or Ken Griffey Jr. Hats off to UBTC President Bernie Vinther who managed to get us both local newspaper and local TV coverage of the event. We got a large photo on the front page of the paper and there is more audio and video coverage out on http://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/article100740887.html.
We will continue to explore starting a local team. Of course, we need to find a few younger whipper snappers to join us before we can beat the pants off the notorious Seattle Sluggers.
United Blind of Walla Walla
By Alco Canfield
It has been very hot here, but that hasn’t slowed down UBWW.
In August, several of us met with public works director of Walla Walla, Ki Bealey, to further discuss accessible pedestrian signals. Summer is the time to address signal issues because this is the season when road construction is in full swing.
The Delta Gammas and UBWW have contributed money to this effort in the past. The Delta Gammas wanted to close out their Crosswalk Fund and the purpose of our meeting was to prioritize the streets with the greatest need for accessible signals. It was decided that the signal at 9th and Malcom would be addressed. The city agreed to make up the short fall to install an audible signal there.
At our August meeting, Alexann Tureman, a recent graduate of the Washington State School for the Blind told us about her experiences there, and introduced us to her new guide dog, Sangria. She is looking forward to attending Walla Walla Community College in the fall. She hopes to become a member of the United Blind of Walla Walla.
In July, Holly Kaczmarski, WCB Board Representative gave a very informative presentation about the latest WCB news. She discussed our upcoming state convention, Newsline, and the August board meeting in Seattle. She told us that President Fiksdal is compiling relevant resources and will be launching a website: www.blindlink.org.
If you find yourself in Walla Walla on the fourth Tuesday of the month, come and join us from 1:30-3:30 at Clarette’s Restaurant: 15 S Touchet St. (Just so you know, everyone here pronounces it “toushee” so if you pronounce it ”toushee” you can pass for a Walla Wallan.
If you are unable to visit us in person, check out the winter Newsline for the latest news from our little chapter.
Compiled by Meka White
This column is presented for your information and enjoyment. Inclusion of information, products, and/or services does not constitute endorsement by the Washington Council of the Blind. If you have items for inclusion, email and put “Bits and Pieces” in the subject line.
*American Council of the Blind’s Audio Description Project
Are you interested in finding out which new or current movies and shows are available with audio description on Netflix? Would you like to know if you can find movies with description on iTunes? Which DVD’s have a descriptive track? How many shows can you watch on cable television with this component? The Audio Description page from ACB is a one stop portal of information. You will find updated listings, samples of audio description, tutorials on accessing description on your device, and much more. Please go to www.acb.org/adp/ to find out more. Audio description has come such a long way. Have fun delving in to everything the site has to offer.
Blind Bargains is a website that shows deals on various products ranging from technology to vacuum cleaners, and everything in between. Run by a team of dedicated bargain hunters, they scour the internet for the lowest prices. Besides deals, you can also keep tabs with the latest developments in access technology from which vendors have specific updates for their devices, to podcasts featuring interviews with exhibitors at the various conventions, and much, much more. Check their site out at www.blindbargains.com.
By Hayley Agers
With fall and colder weather right around the corner, these recipes both take advantage of the fall harvest and also warm your belly. My 11-year old recently made this salad as part of a school project, where he was learning about a certain county in Washington. If I remember correctly, Washington is the second largest producer of cranberries and of course we know that pears are very abundant to us in this state.
The slow cooker oatmeal is my mother-in-laws favorite and she insists I make it for her when she comes to see us every October. As for the soup, this is a recipe that I make every Thanksgiving; we usually celebrate together for more than one day and this is always on the menu for one of the dinners I serve.
I pray you all have a wonderful Fall; is there anything better than the crisp cool morning, the crunch of leaves under your feet, the smell of cinnamon, and yes, the return of pumpkin to Starbucks?
Hope to see you all in November at the convention.
Cranberry Maple Slow Cooker Oatmeal
2 cups steel cut oats
8 cups, water
2/3 cup cranberries
½ cup maple syrup
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
3 Tbsp toasted slivered almonds
Combine all ingredients, except almonds. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. Stir well to combine and then sprinkle with almonds.
Freeze up to 32 months
Fridge for 3 days
Yields 3/4 cup oatmeal and 1 tsp almonds per serving
Spicy Squash Soup
The vibrant flavors of the Caribbean influence this soup. Any winter squash will do—Calabaza, Butternut or Hubbard squash—or a cooking pumpkin, such as a sugar pumpkin. Calabaza and plantains are available at Latin markets. If you can’t find green plantains, use a hard green banana.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large sweet onion, such as Vidalia, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Madras-style curry powder
1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, pared with a sharp knife
2 green plantains, peeled and cut up
6 cups chicken broth or canned low-sodium broth, as needed
2 sprigs of fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 sprigs of fresh sage or 1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish
Chopped fresh chives, for garnish
Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion and celery and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about eight minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the curry powder and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the squash and plantain, then the broth, oregano and sage. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer, partially covered, until the squash is very tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. In batches, pulse the soup in a blender or food processor to make a chunky puree. Return to the pot and season to taste with the hot sauce and salt and pepper. Reheat until piping hot. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with the pumpkin seeds and chives.
Spinach Salad with Bosc Pears, Cranberries, Red Onion,
and Toasted Hazelnuts
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries
8 cups lightly packed fresh baby spinach leaves, stemmed if needed
2 firm but ripe Bosc pears (do not peel), quartered lengthwise, cored, and cut into long, thin slices
2/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted (see *Cook’s Notes) and chopped
To make the dressing, in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper to taste. Cover tightly and shake vigorously to blend. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Set aside.
Place the onions in a medium bowl and cover with cold water. Let stand for 30 minutes. This crisps the onion and takes away the raw onion taste. Drain well and pat dry on paper towels.
In a small bowl, toss the cranberries with 2 tablespoons of the dressing to soften them. Set aside for at least 20 minutes or until ready to serve the salad.
To assemble the salad, place the spinach, onions, and pears in a large bowl. Give the remaining dressing a last-minute shake and pour over the salad. Toss to coat evenly. Arrange the salad in a large serving bowl or divide it evenly among 8 salad plates. Scatter the cranberries and hazelnuts over the top(s). Serve immediately.
Try to buy shelled hazelnuts (also called filberts) with the brown, papery skins removed as well. To toast, spread the hazelnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and place in a preheated 375°F oven. Toast for about 12 minutes until lightly browned. If the nuts still have the skins on, transfer them while they’re hot to a clean kitchen towel. (Use a clean towel that is old or you don’t mind washing with bleach, because the skins tend to discolor the fabric.) Rub the nuts to remove most of the skins (they never come completely off).
You can substitute unsalted cashews for the hazelnuts. Toast cashews, as directed above for hazelnuts, for 8 to 10 minutes until lightly browned.
Compiled by Steve Fiksdal
To Bob and Janice Squires (UBTC) on the occasion of their 45th wedding anniversary. They celebrated the event with a wonderful family dinner surrounded by their grandchildren.
To John and Sue Ammeter (JCCB) on the occasion of their 45th wedding anniversary. The couple took a wonderful trip to Astoria, Oregon where they had celebrated their 35th anniversary.
To Jim and Pat McIntosh (King County Chapter) on the occasion of their 25th wedding anniversary. The couple celebrated by taking a terrific train trip to attend the ACB Convention in Minneapolis.
To Sue Ammeter (JCCB) on her re-election to a second three-year term to the Board of Trustees of the National Braille Press in Boston, Massachusetts.
To Denise Colley (CCCB) on her election to the Board of Directors for the American Council of the Blind.
To Deb Lewis (GDUWS) on being elected to the Board of Publications for the American Council of the Blind.
To Jack Piggott (SKCB) on celebrating his 80th birthday with such vibrant humor and warmth.
To Pat Whitlow (SKCB) for celebrating her 75th birthday. Her daughter set up a phone number where people could express their wishes, and she spent the day listening to friends and family from near and far.
To the United Blind of the Tri-cities, on the occasion of that chapter’s 40th anniversary. Their first meeting was August, 1976.
6: President’s call, 8:00 pm
8: WA Talking Book and Braille Library Patron Advisory Committee meeting (conference call) 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
11: Technology Forum, 7 p.m.
15: Deadline to register and make hotel reservations for the WCB Convention
18: Book Club Forum, 7 p.m.
24: Diabetic Forum, 7 p.m.
3-5: WCB Annual Convention, Seattle Airport Marriott
8: Technology Forum, 7 p.m.
15: Book Club Forum, 7 p.m.
21: Diabetic Forum, 7 p.m.
1: President’s call, 8:00 pm
2: Department of Services for the Blind State Rehabilitation Council meeting, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Seattle
10: Deadline for submissions to the winter edition of the Newsline
13: Technology Forum, 7 p.m.
20: Book Club Forum, 7 p.m.
26: Diabetic Forum, 7 p.m.
The Newsline is available in large print, on cartridge, via email, and on our website at www.wcbinfo.org.
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Newsline Article Submissions
To be considered for inclusion in the winter issue, article submissions and other information for publication must be received by December 10, 2016. Articles should be sent as a Word document and should not exceed 750 words, while chapter updates should be no more than 350 words. Contributions may be edited for clarity and space considerations. Email to .
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