January 2018

Address: 359 Coggeshall St., New Bedford, MA 02746

Phone: 508-994-4972



Publisher: Bob Branco

Editor: Terri Winaught

Proofreader and Secondary Editor: Leonore Dvorkin

Formatter: David Dvorkin


In this Table of Contents, the title of each article will be separated from its author by three asterisks ***.

Three asterisks *** will also be placed before and after each article both to separate them and for ease of location. To make searching even easier, each article is also preceded by a number.

In columns like Karen Crowder's recipes, Readers' Forum and Special Notices, letters will be used to separate items, starting with A, B, C, etc., depending on the number of items.


2. LETTER FROM THE EDITOR *** by Terri Winaught

3. HEALTH MATTERS: Dangers of Canola Oil / Benefits of Olive Oil and Avocado Oil *** by Leonore Dvorkin

4. THE IMAGE OF YOURSELF *** by Dennis R. Sumlin

5. TECH CORNER: Radio is Not Dead: The Marriage of Technology *** by Stephen Théberge


7. WEATHER OR NOT: Snow Bombs: Winter's Hurricanes *** by Steve Roberts

8. SPECIAL NOTICES *** Submitted by Leonore Dvorkin

9. NO MORE RACISM: Poem *** by Bob Branco

10. THE HANDLER'S CORNER: Living and working with Guide Dogs *** by Ann Chiappetta, M.S.

11. TIPS FOR VIPS (Because Visually Impaired People Are Important, Too) *** by Penny Fleckenstein

12. RECIPE COLUMN *** by Karen Crowder




On behalf of James R. Campbell, I would like to correct a mistake he admittedly made in his November 2017 column about the missing girl. The reward for finding her was $200,000, not $20,000, as was stated.

Bob Branco



Hello, Consumer Vision readers.

As I write this letter, the temperature in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is 11 degrees. With the wind chill factored in, the “feel-like” temperature is 0. Cold though this is, I know that conditions in other parts of the country are much worse.

At Boston's Logan Airport, for example, a plane skidded on the runway, forcing shaken-up passengers to stand in the cold while awaiting transport to the terminal. In Utah, police had little time to spare when rescuing a small boy from a pond. Not far from Pittsburgh in Erie, residents saw snow fell at two to three inches an hour, with a resulting historic total of 56 inches in three days.

Given the combination of dangerous precipitation and brutal cold, I hope all of you are safe, warm, and well. For persons experiencing homelessness, Pittsburgh has a winter weather shelter that operates from November 15 to March 15, no matter the temperature. For individuals who are struggling to stay warm in their homes, Pittsburgh also has “warming” centers. If you need services like that and don't know what's available in your area, contact your local United Way or Mayor's Service Center. In Pittsburgh, the Mayor's Service Center is 311, and United Way is 211.

On a different note, Karen Crowder often concludes her popular recipe column by expressing her prayer that division be replaced by peace. Though Karen puts it much better, that is also my prayer as we greet a new year.

To those of you who celebrated Hanukkah, I hope that the festivities of the Festival of Lights will gladden your spirits and souls. To Christmas celebrants, I hope that Christmas joy so stole your hearts that it will wrap them in happiness throughout 2018. Finally, with Kwanzaa having started on December 26 and lasting until New Year's Day, may each candle lit during the seven day brighten your lives with the richness of this African-American celebration.

As always, I welcome your feedback, so please reach out to me by phoning 412-263-2022, or 412-209-9818, to which you can also send a text. You can also email:

Thanks for reading with me. Stay warm, be safe, and Happy New Year!

Terri Winaught



Dangers of Canola Oil / Benefits of Olive Oil and Avocado Oil

by Leonore Dvorkin

January 1, 2018

My husband and I recently read a report in Science Daily (12/7/17) on the newly discovered link between the consumption of canola oil and the development of Alzheimer's. We immediately decided to investigate healthier oil alternatives, and we settled upon olive oil and avocado oil.

To briefly summarize the bad news about canola oil: The study found that canola oil is linked to worsened memory, worsened learning ability, and weight gain. The same study found that olive oil reduced amyloid plaques in the mouse brains, and the mice that consumed the olive oil weighed a lot less than the others. You can read the report here or find it in many other places on the Web. Just Google “the connection between canola oil and Alzheimer's.” In addition, I found that canola oil is produced in a highly unnatural way, with pressing, heating, and various industrial chemicals, including the toxic solvent hexane.

Now for the good news on olive oil. There are dozens of online summaries of its benefits, but one I found on is called “11 Proven Benefits of Olive Oil.” Below, I will summarize some of the benefits that I read in this article and elsewhere.

1. Olive oil helps prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes. It does this best if combined with the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, fish, poultry, little red meat, and red wine in moderation (optional).

2. Olive oil is high in healthy monounsaturated fats, mainly oleic acid, which reduces inflammation. Chronic inflammation has been linked to many diseases, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer's.

3. Olive oil may help fight Alzheimer's by removing beta amyloid plaques inside brain cells.

4. The monounsaturated fats are resistant to high heat, making olive oil a good choice for cooking.

5. Olive oil does not cause weight gain or obesity, and some studies have even shown weight loss with its regular consumption. David and I have found that consuming a couple of tablespoons a day of olive oil or avocado oil helps suppress our appetites. It also aids in elimination. One article I read recommends one tablespoon of olive oil in the morning on an empty stomach to relieve constipation.

6. Olive oil may help prevent strokes. Studies with a total of 981,000 subjects showed that those who consumed olive oil were at a lower risk of stroke.

7. Olive oil appears to be protective against heart disease. One way it accomplishes this is by reducing blood pressure.

8. Olive oil is loaded with antioxidants.

9. Olive oil can help treat rheumatoid arthritis, especially if combined with fish oil. One study showed that this combination reduced joint pain and morning stiffness. (David and I take fish oil in capsules.)

Now I will summarize the benefits of avocado oil. Here, too, I found an article from Healthline to be very informative, but there are numerous articles about its benefits.

1. Avocado oil is about 70% oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat.

2. Like olive oil, it reduces cholesterol and improves heart health. Avocado oil and olive oil are the best at increasing HDL, the “good” cholesterol.

3. Avocado oil is high in lutein, which can only be obtained from the diet. My eye doctor recommended this as a supplement. Lutein may reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.

4. Avocado oil enhances the absorption of nutrients from plant foods. That's why it's important to have an oil-based dressing with your salad.

5. Avocado oil may reduce the symptoms of arthritis, especially hip and knee osteoarthritis.

6. It may help prevent gum disease.

7. It improves the skin and enhances wound healing. It's in some skin products. I even see some pure avocado oil marketed for use on the skin. Online, I saw one lotion that combines olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil. (Mmm, I may order that one!)

8. It's easy to use. Just spoon some down your throat, as we do, or use it on a salad, in a smoothie, for baking, in hummus, or… Well, just use your imagination. We find that it has almost no taste at all.

A few personal notes: Our niece Zara, now in her late forties and an energetic, hard-working grandmother, is very fitness-minded and strong. The last time we were visiting my family in Kansas City, we noticed that Zara was using avocado oil for most of her cooking. That got us interested in this oil, which was new to us. We searched the Web and ended up ordering Chosen Foods brand 100% pure avocado oil, “cold-pressed and naturally refined,” as it says on the bottle.

We ordered both that and some Bertolli Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil from Amazon. David does not much like the rather strong taste of regular extra virgin olive oil, so we are now mixing equal parts of the Bertolli Extra Light olive oil, California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil, and the Chosen Foods avocado oil, then storing the mixture in an old 16-ounce olive oil bottle that we had. The mixture has a mild taste that is quite acceptable to both of us.   

I had been using canola mayonnaise, Spectrum brand. To replace it, I ordered Primal Kitchen brand avocado oil mayo, which is yummy. It tastes agreeably lemony to me, but it contains vinegar, not lemon juice. It also contains eggs, sea salt, and rosemary. 

I was sorry to discover that ranch dressing, my favorite, also consists of mainly canola oil. So that's gone, too. At the grocery store, I found Alpine Dressing brand Avocado Vinaigrette, and at another store, I found Primal Kitchen brand Greek Dressing and Marinade with avocado oil. Both are outstanding.  The Primal Kitchen dressings can be ordered online. 

We're glad that we made these changes, and we encourage you to do the same. It's never too late to learn what's bad, what's good, and then to change our habits, right?

About the Author:

Leonore Dvorkin and her husband, the prolific author David Dvorkin, have lived in Denver, Colorado since 1971. They both lift weights regularly and try to eat healthily. Leonore has taught exercise classes, mainly weight training, since 1976. She also tutors several languages. She is the author of four published books, both fiction and nonfiction, as well as numerous articles on health, fitness, and nutrition.

Since 2009, Leonore and David have been running what is now DLD Books Editing and Self-Publishing Services, helping other authors prepare their books for self-publication via Amazon and Smashwords in print and e-book format. The large majority of their 35 or so clients are blind or visually impaired. Many of the contributors to this newsletter, including Bob Branco, are among their clients.

Leonore welcomes comments on her articles. Her email is: .

Her website is: (books, articles, services, and more).

Full details about DLD Books are here: .



by Dennis R. Sumlin

In this month's article, we are taking on the F word. No, not that F word. This F word does have four letters, though. If you need help with the challenge of battling the F word, let's talk.

How To Flip the F Word

We all have it to one degree or another. Some let it control their lives, and some look it in the eye and move forward, anyway. That something is fear. defines fear as “a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.”

This is one of the most powerful “F” words around. Fear can freeze us, make us turn back, second guess, run and hide, and do other back flips. People have a whole host of different fears: fear of meeting new people, public speaking, clowns, insects, flying, your wife's cooking, death, taxes, water, dogs, your in-laws, and more.

Fear is like a broken record playing the song called “what if.” What if I give this speech and royally mess up? What if I go on this date and she does not like me? What if I forget the lines in the play? What if I look stupid in front of your mammy? What if the cat attacks the mailman?

Fear of Success

There are many people who have a fear of success. Yes, that's right: a fear of success. This may sound odd, but it is true. One can understand fearing failure, but why fear success? Many people fear success because:

1. Change is scary. It is easy to kick back, chill on autopilot, and fly around your comfort zone.

2. People will expect you to succeed again. The pressure of people watching you and putting expectations on you can be scary. This can create the double fear of both failure and success.

3. More attention. When you succeed, you will get more attention, and for some, this is a new and scary development.

4. You wonder if you can do it again. When you succeed, you may wonder whether the first time was luck, and you may question whether you can do it again.

5. You do not want to conform. When a person succeeds, they may feel that they may have to conform to things that they do not want to.

Which one of these do you identify with the most? I have definitely felt numbers 2 and 5. How do you deal with it? How do you get around it?

Flip the “If”

You must stare down this fear. I know you have goals and passions that you want to pursue. In order to reach those goals, you must succeed at overpowering the fear of success.

Like many people, as I moved through life getting closer to my goals, the fear factor stood naked before me. Every time I took a step forward, I was grabbed by the tentacles of fear. Sometimes, the cold stare of this monster froze me in my seat. How do I deal with this? How do I break free of the vice grip? I decided to flip the “If.” I decided to take all those repeating questions and turn them around. I made myself answer the flipside.

“What if I fail at my goal?” flips to “What if I do not follow my dreams?”

“What if I suck at this speech?” flips to “What if I do not give that speech?”

“What if I perform badly at that event?” flips to “What if I do not take that opportunity?”

“What if nobody likes me?” flips to “What if I do not meet any new people?”

What I did was turn the fear around and become afraid of not following my path. If I do not step out and present myself to the world, then I will spend my life wishing I had. I will spend my life in regret mode. Can I live like that? Can I live knowing that I passed up a chance to move forward? Can you?

What if you did this? What if you looked at fear and flipped it? What if you took one step each day to get closer to your goals? How would that affect your life? What if you succeeded? How would that make you feel?

Take a fear and flip the scenario. Keep a list of your favorite quotes. Keep people around you who inspire you as they move forward. What are some of your fears, and how will you turn them around?



Radio is Not Dead: The Marriage of Technology

by Stephen Théberge

According to Alexa on my Amazon Echo, the printing press was invented in 1440. I knew it was sometime in the 15th century. One could probably argue that this was, and probably still is, one of the greatest advances in technology.

Although enhancements and improvements were made on the printing press, the real advantage came in the 1600s, when public libraries were started. Before that time, books were reserved for wealthy people.

The application of electricity is probably the greatest discovery of all time. The “marriage” of electricity to all kinds of technology is amazing. The electric motor, electric typewriter, and the electrification of things that used to be done manually are almost too many to count. I feel the electric motor, and later the transistor, really changed the world.

The invention of radio really kickstarted the twentieth century. For the first time in history, people all over the world could get information as it was happening. Well, they probably had to wait for news, but live events and fascination with things being observed as they were happening began our obsession.

Of course, entertainment blossomed. The use of television is really two technologies. The use of radio waves was expanded to use a picture, but the principle is the same. TV definitely marked a new explosion in information and entertainment that is still going on today. Now we have cable, satellite, and standard TV, although it's all digital over the airways.

I have not forgotten the vast competition given to television by the internet. While transistors revolutionized radio, the first integrated circuit began the new rush to vast computing power. The chips have evolved in leaps and bounds. They are married to smart phones, are in our microwaves, and of course computers. It is hard to find a piece of electronics sold today without some kind of chip. It is just as hard to find a radio or TV with a tube. I can't even imagine the days when computers had tubes.

I started thinking of this yesterday after I had my interview on my local radio station. People often talk of how radio is a dying industry. Certainly, it has evolved and changed a lot since the days of “old-time” radio. I think radio is growing, and will not die.

I am excluding the term “internet radio” from this article. What I mean by internet radio is a “station” that is only on an online server. I feel that actual on-air radio has married to the technology of the internet very well.

Almost every radio station, or let us say a large number of stations, stream “live” on the internet. Actually, there can be a considerable delay. I got a real kick out of listening to my local radio station both on the radio and online. The host often says the delay is 42 seconds, so he may not remember what he was talking about when he starts reading his “remote correspondence,” which simply consists of texts from listeners.

Many radio stations today have standard, old-fashioned phone-in, texting, and email. I could “call in” with three different identities. My morning talk host, the one I had my interview with, is very liberal about texts. When a new text from a new person comes in, he gives them an agent number. This is because he loved the old television show Get Smart. One day, I sent a text and later called in. He thought there were two different Steves.

I'd have been nervous enough if the station had only 50 on-air listeners. Knowing I'd be online as well didn't help. Technically, people “all over the world,” as the host says when he gives the Web address, could be listening. I suppose a few people that used to live in my home town and moved overseas could be listening, but realistically, I didn't think there would be many listeners. Naturally, I put those thoughts out of my head. The host was very good at making me feel comfortable, and I think I did a pretty good job for a first radio “appearance.” It was at this point I started thinking about radio and its future.

I like listening to Canadian radio stations online. There is such a wide variety of actual on-air stations you can listen to online. Most if not all of the stations archive their shows, so they can be listened to later. Not only that, but they can be copied and spread on YouTube or other file streaming services. In the old days, you would be lucky to record a broadcast in your home. It was difficult if not impossible for the general public to get copies of previously aired content.

I haven't discussed syndicated radio programs, although they too could be part of the discussion. People often lament the downfall of radio. I take the opposite view. I have never found so much local flavor in radio stations from all over the world. People can keep a sense of their cultures this way. Others can learn about differences in them.

I will wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year. If anybody from China is reading this, please forgive me, as I know your New Year will be on February 16, according to our calendar. So, I'm a bit early there.

Best regards.

Follow me on twitter at @speechfb Now over 1,100 followers.

Read and post on my writer's blog.

Check out the Web page for my coming of age science fiction novel, The MetSche Message:

Watch my YouTube channel, with many blindness-related issues and the latest Branco Broadcasts.



by Bob Branco

Thirty-six years ago, when I joined one of the two most popular consumer organizations of the blind in this country, I was told that the unemployment rate of the blind was 70 percent. After being with this particular consumer organization for a while, I assumed that the organization would work hard to try lowering that rate because it's the organization's job to let the public know how the blind can lead independent lives. Despite my assumption, the unemployment rate of the blind today is 70 percent, exactly the same as it was 36 years ago. In fact, some say it's gone up to 80 percent.

With all the accomplishments made by these blind consumer organizations and other advocates who believe in what the blind can do, how could one think that the unemployment rate of the blind would stay the same or even increase as time goes by? It should be the other way around. More and more blind people should be joining the work force.

While I ask these consumer organizations why they have yet to lower this terrible statistic, I also have to consider other factors that contribute to the status quo of the unemployment rate of blind persons. In Massachusetts alone, a former governor closed down a workshop that employed 25 blind workers, and prior to that, a well-known agency shut down its braille program, resulting in the removal of a blind executive or two. I realize how bad the economy is in general, so I don't expect the blind to find jobs that no one else can find. All I expect is for the blind and the sighted to compete equally for available jobs. With the adoption of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the belief by the consumer organizations that the blind can compete on equal terms with the sighted in a job setting, again I must ask the question, “Why the status quo in the blind work force?” Are the State Commissions for the Blind working closely with their clients to help them with self-advocacy? Are these same Commissions doing more to sell their clients' skills to companies? If for no other reason, they should be doing that to convince the companies that it's not a challenge to have a blind person on the job.

I would like to hear feedback about this topic in the Readers' Forum.



Snow Bombs: Winter's Hurricanes

by Steven P. Roberts, author of The Whys and Whats of Weather, C 2014, in e-book and print


What Is a Snow Bomb?

A snow bomb is a fierce nor'easter that develops explosively. In order for a nor'easter to be called a bomb cyclone, its central pressure has to fall at a rate of one millibar an hour for 24 straight hours. The process of bomb cyclone development is called bombogenesis.

A snow bomb can produce winds of 35 to 50 miles per hour. These storms can dump snow at rates of one to two inches per hour. Heavy snow and high winds from snow bombs result in blizzard and whiteout conditions. A typical snow bomb will leave a foot or more of snow in its wake.

A winter hurricane, otherwise called a wintercane, is a snow bomb at its worst. These great tempests can produce snow that falls at rates of three to four inches an hour, whipped around by winds of 60 to 80 miles per hour. A winter hurricane can leave feet of snow in its wake, leading to a complete shutdown of society.

Banding Features and Heavier Snowfall

A snow bomb can dump snow at rates of one to two inches an hour over a vast area. This is what is typically called synoptic scale snowfall. Within snow bombs, you can get bands of heavier, embedded snow. These waves of heavier snow are the result of mesoscale banding features.

Let's say that a bomb is cranking out snow at one to two inches an hour. Mesoscale banding features may put out as much as three inches of snow per hour. If one of these bands sets up in your area, the amount of snow can be great.

These banding features can also result in higher winds. This is due to the fact that these bands can take higher winds from the upper levels down to the surface of the earth.

A bomb that is producing a widespread area of 50 to 60 mile-per-hour winds may see hurricane force winds in banding features. This is because the banding features drag the higher upper level winds down to the surface.

The Shock and Awe of Thundersnow

Within bomb cyclones, there can be lots of convective activity. These convective towers can produce thunder and lightning. A snow thunder squall can also produce locally heavier snow and higher winds.

Within a thundersnow squall, the snow can fall at three inches an hour or more. It is not unheard of for snow to fall at rates of five to six inches an hour in some thundersnow squalls.

Another aspect of thundersnow squalls is locally higher winds. If a squall is in your area, a snow bomb's winds may go from 50 to 60 miles per hour up to 70 to 80 miles per hour or more.

As air rises, it reaches the upper-level wind field, which features stronger winds than the winds at the surface. The ascending air is then deflected back to the surface, causing the downward transfer of these stronger upper-level winds to the surface.

An Alberta Clipper Can Clobber

An Alberta Clipper is a dynamic but moisture-starved little system that screams to the east/southeast out of the Alberta province of Canada. These storms will leave an inch or two of snow in their wake.

Should an Alberta Clipper get its feet wet out over the waters nearest the northeast coast, that storm may bomb out. Clippers that bomb out in this way can dump up to ten inches of snow in the areas hardest hit.

A clipper can also clobber when it phases up with a moisture-laden system coming out of the southern United States. A bomb resulting from this cyclonic link-up can deposit a foot or more of snow along its path. What happens is that the polar branch of the jet stream takes the clipper to the east coast. The subtropical branch of the jet stream carries a moisture-rich southern system from Texas to the East Coast beaches. Where these two jet stream flows link up, the two storms can phase up and bomb out.

An Upper-Level Low Is a Bomb Cyclone Blasting Cap

An area of upper-level low pressure is a pocket of low-pressure, low-temperature air in the upper levels of the atmosphere. When an upper-level low goes out over the waters to the east of Cape Hatteras, the warm, moist air overlying the ocean rises to fill the void that is created by the area of upper-level low pressure.

As that warm, buoyant air reaches the chilly confines of the upper-level low, the moisture that is carried in the ascending air condenses, releasing lots of latent heat, which causes the air to rise all the faster. Thunderstorms erupt violently, sparking the birth of a bomb cyclone. The bombs that form in this way can dump one or more feet of snow in the northeastern U.S.

If an upper-level low captures a surface feature, a bomb will detonate. As an upper-level low captures a surface low, the air rises from the surface feature to fill the void created by the upper-level low. As the air within the surface feature rises, the air pressure decreases quite rapidly. Eventually, the surface and upper-level lows are linked and a bomb is born. These bombs can produce one to two feet of snow in the areas they impact.


8. SPECIAL NOTICES *** Submitted by Leonore Dvorkin

A. David L. Faucheux on the radio

David L. Faucheux is the author of Across Two Novembers: A Year in the Life of a Blind Bibliophile, C 2017, 515 pages. 
On December 26, 2017, David was a guest on a Baton Rouge, Louisiana radio show. That was "Talk Louisiana," with Jim Engster, on wrkf89.3. The entire program lasts 45 minutes, and David is the first guest, speaking for 12 minutes. Mr. Engster is a first-rate interviewer, asking excellent and varied questions.
To listen to the show, go here:
Just click "Listen" to start the recording.
The other guests on that show were Jeff Rossen, Charles Duhigg, and Post writer Sally Quinn.

Across Two Novembers has garnered many positive reviews on the Amazon site. The book is available in e-book and print from Amazon and multiple other online sellers. The e-book is text-to-speech enabled.

Short synopsis:

Friends and family. Restaurants and recipes. Hobbies and history. TV programs the author loved when he could still see and music he enjoys. The schools he attended and the two degrees he attained. The career that eluded him and the physical problems that challenge him. And books, books, books: over 230 of them quoted from or reviewed. All in all, an astonishing work of erudition and remembrance.

For full details, including a photo of the cover, the longer synopsis of the book, a free 10% text sample, author bio and contact information, and more, see the author's website:


B. Ad for Red Eyes, a terrific crime thriller 

A novel by Gary H. Hensley, C 2015

In e-book ($4.99) and paperback ($15.95) on Amazon, Smashwords, and other online buying sites. 413 pages in print.

Website with cover photo, author's photo, free 10% text preview, and buying links:

About the book:

Set primarily in Tennessee and Virginia from 1924 to 1976, this is the adventure-filled life story of Jim Taylor: lawman, lover, family man, churchgoer—and murderer.   

After Jim's beloved sister Annie is raped and murdered at the age of 13, he becomes obsessed with finding her killer and meting out “payback.” The story of that pursuit, Jim's revenge, and the stunning surprise ending of the book make up the central story. 

When we first meet Jim, he's madly in love with young Lilly Mae Larkey, an ambitious beauty he's known since childhood. Between them and their eventual happiness, there are many twists and turns, a long separation, and a serious rival for Jim.

Along his journey from besotted teenager to respected, experienced lawman in Dawson, Tennessee, Jim has a series of torrid relationships with other women and numerous encounters with lawbreakers, some of them extremely dangerous. One man leaves him with a nearly fatal head wound. The June 1943 race riots in Detroit are the impetus for reflections on the sad state of race relations in that era. 

 The author's father was a lawman in Sullivan County, Tennessee. His life was the inspirational starting point for this work of fiction. 

About the author:

 Gary H. Hensley grew up near Kingsport, Tennessee and now lives in Maryville, Tennessee with his wife, Sherry. He served as a drill sergeant in the U.S. Army and is a retired city manager. Red Eyes is his first novel. 

The cover features Hensley family property in rural Tennessee. Cover design by David Dvorkin. The book was edited by David and Leonore Dvorkin, of DLD Books (

See the Amazon listing of the book to read many enthusiastic review quotes.


C. David and Leonore Dvorkin on “In Perspective,” with Bob Branco and Al Hensel 

On December 23, 2017, “In Perspective” was pleased to host David and Leonore Dvorkin. They  discussed their thriving editing and self-publishing business (DLD Books), mainstream publishing vs. self-publishing (they have decades of experience with both), and tips for marketing one's books. To listen to the 28-minute program, go here:





by Bob Branco

When God had everything else in place,

He decided to create the human race.

There are males and females, but that's not all.

Some are short, while others are tall.

Some have straight hair, while others have curly.

Most people are kind, but many are surly.

Our skin is black, brown, red or white,

We could be blind, or have full sight.

While we take most of our differences for granted today,

Our color is not thought of by some people that way.

Color is a characteristic, like other features we possess,

It shouldn't be thought of any more or any less.

There are riots, protests, discrimination and such

Because color is criticized way too much.

Some think color is a cause for much insult,

Which doesn't make for a good end result.

When President Obama first won the election,

I thought this country was headed in a different direction.

A black man was in charge, and that was okay,

But did that mean the end of racism today?

Despite the black man who became in charge,

Racism remains extremely large.

We must emphasize love, and follow God's word.

That message, for sure, must always be heard.

So what if we are different, we are all one race.

When it comes to racism, there is no such place.

If you see someone different, please heed my call.

What could annoy you? Nothing at all.

Like you, he is God's special child,

There is no need for you to go wild.

If we all live as one major group,

God will help us remain in the loop.



Living and working with Guide Dogs

by Ann Chiappetta, M.S.

Two weeks ago, I got the opportunity to meet a group of dedicated professionals who donated matched funds for my guide dog school, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, on Giving Tuesday. It was a wonderful day, because not only was I able to visit the canine development center where puppies are born and nurtured, but also because I got to be present for a live Facebook feed featuring seven-week-old Labrador puppies and how the program prepares them for guide dog work.

Bailey was such a good dog, too: curious about the puppies but also respectful and maybe even a bit intimidated. It is hard to believe that this majestic and noble dog was once a little, wiggling, blond ball of energy. My smile widens as I think of what he must have been like as a puppy. I have heard that while he still retains a hint of the puppy look in his adult phase, his personality hasn't changed much. Bold, curious, and goofy—that's my dog.

The visit allowed me, the graduate and “end user,” to see first-hand how the puppy program develops potential. This is the most important underpinning of understanding whether or not a puppy has the ability to become a guide dog. I and the other guests glimpsed only an hour of weeks and months of this purposeful and nurturing development. The puppy learns to seek out what it needs from humans, and there begins the journey.

Think about it; consider how a puppy's purpose intertwines with our lives, how it learns, how we learn, and what the final result means to everyone involved. The raiser witnesses the dog's transition from pup to adult dog, the instructors witness and guide the new team through an intense training protocol, and the individual who receives the dog must open his or her heart and trust another to be his or her eyes. Being the recipient of so much work and love, I wake every morning and say thanks for being able to benefit from such a gift.

I hope you and your loved ones enjoy a very happy and blessed New Year.

Read my nonfiction book, Follow Your Dog: A Story of Love and Trust (C 2017) or my poetry collection, Upwelling: Poems (C 2016).

For full details and free text samples, go to

Read more about me at

Note: As of December 2017, Ann Chiappetta was the best seller among all 35 author clients of DLD Books. I'm sure it's because her wonderful new nonfiction book, Follow Your Dog, appeals to any dog lover, not just guide dog handlers. It's touching, informative, and beautifully written. Give yourself the pleasure of reading this outstanding book!

—Leonore Dvorkin, Editor, DLD Books



(Because Visually Impaired People Are Important, Too)

by Penny Fleckenstein


Blogs at:

Happy New Year to all, and here's hoping everyone had a very merry Christmas season. To me, a new year is significant. I examine the old year wondering if I really met my goals and how much closer I am to my dreams. Did I do a good job of showing appreciation and being less critical? I hope I have, and I hope I have made a difference.

On the new year, I celebrate my birthday, the date given me by the Thai government.

I have been hit by an economic tornado, necessitating drastic economic change. With that has come downsizing and making available a lot of things which I am letting go of and gifting to others--even strangers. As frazzled as I've felt with this unexpected frenzy to downsize, I am feeling more appreciation for the things I am keeping. I am appreciating the economic whirlwind that has entered my life, opening new possibilities, forcing me to be adaptable by changing my outlook and personality. My 2018 goal: changing my “fix, manage, and control” attitude to an accepting, easygoing, surrendering, and prayerful attitude. I plan to turn around my economic tornado by opening my eyes and heart to the new possibilities that come my way. While reading Quantum Love, by Dr. Laura Berman, I realized that my attitude has caused me a lot of health problems. In 2019, I hope to have positive news to report.

One of my struggles has been to find a smaller place to rent. It seems that everywhere I turn, my friends are moving from one location to another. I go into panic mode even thinking about moving because I did so much of it as a child. I love and crave stability. It's been almost 11 years in this one house. Now it's time to move on to hopefully a better situation. It's been tough, because looking for a rental property exposes one to more visible discrimination toward the blind. Please pray that I find a good home for my family and that one day we'll be able to purchase one.

I've been going through things methodically. So far, I've tackled books, stuffed animals, toys, and now dolls. I've found out that Christmastime is the worst time to sell things. I had my friend take a box of books to Half Price Books, and I only got $4.35. Hardly worth the time and effort. The books they didn't buy, they will donate to a school or hospital. They told my friend that they don't pay as much around Christmas since everyone brings books in to sell for extra money for Christmas. I've donated a fair amount of stuff and plan to give some away as gifts.

Yesterday, Beth and I started to clean up Bratz, Barbie, and baby dolls. We saw on the internet that soaking the dolls' hair in boiling hot water and conditioner makes their hair easier to untangle. Some of the dolls have had tangled hair for years, so after we comb it, Beth will give the each doll a hair trim. Doing this project has taken me back to my childhood and reminds me of all the fun I had with my dolls. Getting them ready for new homes to bless other little girls' hearts has been time consuming but also joyful.

One of the steps I've taken towards owning another home is to request my credit report in braille by calling 877-322-8228 and following prompts. They can also send it to you in large print or audio. I did this years ago and have let this slip, but I know it works. I did it this year because I found out something from years ago has been put on as a new debt. From there, I plan to repair my credit and find programs that will allow me to buy a new home. I've got a lot to do besides improving my health through diet, exercise, and spiritual and emotional growth. Please continue to pray for me as I progress in my life journey. I love to pray for you.

For the first time in December, I had my son Eric help me order a Prime Pantry box from . You fill a box with up to 45 pounds of food items and pay $6 for shipping. The spices were well protected. One of my Triscuit boxes was a little squished, but the Triscuits inside were delicious and undamaged. The only mistake I made was that I ordered a restaurant-size can of vegan hot dogs. I've since opened the can and put them in the freezer. Next time, I will buy smaller cans. I appreciate the convenience of Amazon's Prime Pantry.

I've also signed up for on the Amazon Echo Dot. I got two free books for my 30-day trial, and most places only give you one free audiobook. I am in audiobook heaven because Alexa reads my Kindle books. Wouldn't it be great if we could find a way for her to read Library for the Blind books? Someone please work on that for me.

A great big smile to you. Thank you so much for your email correspondence, comments, and suggestions. You warm my heart. What a great cure for wintertime!



by Karen Crowder

As I sit here revising this recipe column, New Englanders are experiencing the coldest weather in decades. Nighttime temperatures might be near or below zero until January 3. With another New Year, there is the inescapable feeling of hope and optimism. In January, Louis Braille's birthday is Thursday, January 4, and Martin Luther King's birthday occurs on Monday, January 15.


My husband Marshall and I had New Year's parties at our house in Fitchburg. I have had company at my apartment during the holidays. Delicious breakfast is a wonderful way to celebrate the coming of another year. Due to such a busy holiday season where I have company, this column will be shorter, with three recipes.


A. Old-fashioned Pancakes

B. New Year's Day Fruit Salad

C. Stormy Day French Toast


A. Old-fashioned Pancakes

It was January 5, 1994. Because of a large snowstorm, two guests left on January 5. A plate of delicious pancakes and hot coffee was a wonderful way to send them on their way to Boston on a bone-chilling day.

Note: The original name for this recipe is All-American Pancakes. This recipe has been taken from the Pancake and Waffle Cookbook, brailled by the Massachusetts Association for the Blind during the 1990s. I have published it in Bob Branco's book What We Love to Eat and in an email newsletter. I made several changes, using melted butter with vegetable oil and adding two more tablespoons of sugar.


One and three-fourths to two cups all-purpose flour

Three teaspoons baking powder

One-half teaspoon salt

Two to four tablespoons granulated sugar

Two tablespoons vegetable oil

Two tablespoons butter

One and three-fourths to two cups milk


1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder. In another mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and melted butter. Add them to the dry ingredients.

2. Stir batter with a wooden or plastic spoon until batter is smooth. Grease frying pan with butter and vegetable oil. Preheat pan for five minutes before adding pancake batter.

3. Use one-half cup of batter for each pancake. Pour batter into pan. Begin timing for two and a half minutes on low to medium heat. If pancake is not firm enough, time it for another minute. Flip pancake over and time for two minutes. Put finished pancake on large dinner plate lined with paper towels.

Use this procedure for cooking pancakes you wish to serve. Serve them with real butter and real maple syrup. Your guests will love them and will ask for them again. Store extra batter in airtight plastic container. Refrigerate, using within five days.

Note: For thinner pancakes, use one and three-fourths cup flour and two cups milk. For thicker ones, use two cups flour and one and three-fourths cup milk. Use glass or plastic measuring cup for milk. Use a stainless steel, cast iron, or non-stick skillet. If you are not serving pancakes right away, keep them warm in an oven set at 225 degrees.

B. New Year's Day Fruit Salad

It was New Year's Day, 1993. Everyone had a light breakfast of fruit salad, cinnamon rolls, and hot coffee.



Two bananas

One pink grapefruit

Three oranges

One quart strawberries

One pint blueberries


1. Peel and cut oranges and grapefruit into small sections and put them in a large container.

2. Cut up bananas and strawberries and mix with citrus fruit.

3. Add rinsed blueberries and toss with other fruit.

If you're not eating right away, refrigerate fruit salad until serving time. This salad is delicious year round, especially when strawberries and blueberries are in season. However, it was a nice way to bring in 1993.


C. Stormy Day French Toast

It was a Friday right after New Year's Day in 2014. It was a perfect late morning to make French toast with piping hot coffee.


Four slices Scala white or whole wheat bread

Two large eggs

One-half cup milk

Dashes of cinnamon

One-half stick butter

Real maple syrup


1. In small mixing bowl, put eggs, milk, and cinnamon.

2. With a silicone or metal whisk, beat all ingredients until smooth.

3. Melt butter in 10-12 inch skillet.

4. Dip slices of bread into milk-cinnamon egg batter.

5. Place bread slices on plate and put them in skillet. Cook French toast for 7 minutes on each side.

6. Serve this with fruit, optional bacon, and hot coffee. Put real maple syrup on French toast.

The French toast, fruit, and coffee made a delicious late morning brunch as the first snowstorm of 2014 was ending. Like 2017, late December was unusually cold.

I hope all Consumer Vision readers have had a joyous holiday season. I pray all Americans have a peaceful, successful, and happy 2018.



Here is the answer to the trivia question submitted in the December edition. During the Watergate era, President Nixon's chief council was John Dean. Congratulations to the following winners:

Jan Colby of Brockton, Massachusetts

Jo Smith of West Dennis, Massachusetts

Roanna Bacchus of Orlando, Florida

And now, here is your question for the January 2018 Consumer Vision. What is unique about the following sentence? “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” If you know the answer, please email or call 508-994-4972.