July 2018

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

Phone: 508-994-4972

Email Address:


Publisher: Bob Branco

Editor: Terri Winaught

Proofreader and Secondary Editor: Leonore Dvorkin

Formatter: David Dvorkin


In this magazine' s Table of Contents, each article' s title will be followed by three number signs, ###. Those number signs will then be followed by the article' s author.

If your preference is that I use asterisks *** moving forward, please don' t hesitate to let me know by contacting me:; 412-263-2022 or 412-595-6187. I will also put three number signs ### between each article to make searching for them easier. Again, though, and with Publisher Bob Branco' s permission, I am willing to replace the number signs between articles with asterisks.

1. LETTER FROM THE EDITOR ### by Terri Winaught


2. HEALTH MATTERS ### by Leonore Dvorkin

3. THE IMAGE OF YOURSELF ### by Dennis R. Sumlin

4. TECH CORNER ### by Stephen Théberge

5. A DISEASE CALLED PREJUDICE ### by James R. Campbell


7. SOCIETY' S TRENDS ### by Bob Branco

8. WEATHER OR NOT ### by Steve Roberts


10. THE HANDLER' S CORNER ### by Ann Chiappetta, M.S.

11. TURNING POINT ### by Terri Winaught

12. ALMOST NO ACCOLADES (A tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen) ### by Terri Winaught


13. TIPS FOR VIPS ### by Penny Fleckenstein

14. RECIPE COLUMN ### by Karen Crowder


16. MARCY' S SCHOOZE TINNIH ### by Marcy J. Segelman




Hello, Consumer Vision Readers.

As in past months, June has been characterized by wild weather: In Pittsburgh, for example, flooding last week resulted in the death of 64 year old Wendy Abbott. Since other areas of the United States have been even more negatively impacted in terms of more rain and a higher death toll, my prayer is that none of you have lost loved ones. If any of you have endured this tragedy, though, my heart, compassion, and prayers go out to you.

In addition to wild weather in Pittsburgh and nationwide, Pittsburgh in particular has also been rocked by the shooting of unarmed 17 year old Antoine Rose Jr. This unarmed African American teen was killed by a white East Pittsburgh officer who shot the teen in the back three times as he fled from police, who had pulled over the car in which he and two others were riding. This heartbreak for the gifted teen' s mother, friends, and loved ones has resulted in four nights of protests throughout the city. If there are any additional protests, my hope is that they will remain peaceful. My hope and fervent prayer are also that this family will get answers quickly and that justice will be served.

Lest anyone misunderstand my perspective, I am not saying that young Antoine might not have been engaging in some illegal actions. After all, two guns were found in the car, and an empty magazine clip was found in the young man' s pocket. What I am saying, though, is that no one deserves to be shot while fleeing and is therefore no longer a threat. No one deserves to be shot in the back, not only once, but three times! As some of the demonstrators rightfully said,  Why couldn' t the police have tazed him? What I would add to that is that if tazing had been done and was unsuccessful and the officer found it necessary to shoot, why not shoot the fleeing youngster in the knees or legs? That certainly would have stopped him, and it is unlikely that his wounds would have been fatal.

Since I know that some of our readers are sighted, I would like to hear especially from a sighted reader who either was or has been a police officer. In the same way, if any of you are blind now but were sighted at one time and worked in law enforcement, I would very much like to hear your perspective, since I also welcome perspectives and views that are different from mine. As I love saying:  There is no reason we can' t disagree without being disagreeable.

Before I conclude by thanking everyone who makes this magazine possible and giving you my contact information, I want to share that July is Minority Mental Health Month. If any of you live in communities where events will be held in July to acknowledge this designation, I' d love to hear from you about those events. You can email me at My home phone is 412-263-2022. My cell phone is 412-595-6187. Or send braille letters to me, Terri Winaught, at: 915 Penn Ave., Apt. 307, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.

Many thanks always to publisher Bob Branco; secondary editor and proofreader Leonore Dvorkin; her husband, David; and you, our faithful readers, without whom this magazine would not  have its many milestones of success.

With appreciation that you' re reading with me,

Terri Winaught, Editor


2. HEALTH MATTERS: More Health News You Can Use

by Leonore Dvorkin

Eventually, I will do more single issue articles on the benefits of certain foods or on various health conditions. For now, I am briefly summarizing some more recent health reports from a variety of publications that I receive in the mail or read online.

From THE WEEK magazine from 6/22/18:

a. Walk Faster, Live Longer

The walking speeds of 50,000 Britons were analyzed for nine years. The conclusion: Walking speed is linked to the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. Speed categories were slow, average, brisk, and fast. The faster the pace, the lower the risk. Older walkers seemed to benefit the most from picking up the pace. Even progressing from a slow pace to an average one can produce substantial benefits.

b. Reducing the Risk of Dementia

We all know that eating right and getting exercise are important for good health at any age. But new research confirms that daily mental activities such as playing cards, reading books, and playing board games can all help ward off dementia in later life.

c. The Opioid Epidemic

It is now deadlier for Americans than the Vietnam War was in its worst year. In 2016, 1.5% of Americans died due to opioids. In 1968, 1% of Americans died in Vietnam.

From the 6/8/18 and 6/15/18 issues of THE WEEK:

Leg Movement Key for Brain Health

New research shows that using your legs in weight bearing exercise is critical for brain health. Walking, climbing stairs, and running trigger the production of stem cells in the brain, helping it to renew itself.

The Truth About Weed and the Brain

The ingredient that causes the  high, delta 9 THC, can dampen motivation and interfere with a social life. It can lead to the hallmarks of addiction: tolerance, dependence, and craving. Teens who smoke weed regularly have reduced brain activity in brain circuits critical to noticing new information and making decisions. They are 60% less likely to graduate from high school. They are at substantially higher risk for addiction to heroin and alcohol and are seven times more likely to attempt suicide. THC can even turn on or off genetic expression in a teen' s epigenome, making young users' children at increased risk for mental illness and addiction years before they are conceived.

From the November 2017 issue of Consumer Reports  On Health Newsletter:

Five Ways to Protect Yourself from a Stroke

1. Control your blood pressure.

High blood pressure is responsible for 48% of strokes. While you might need medication, help control your BP with limiting sodium, losing weight if you need to, and getting regular exercise.

2. Manage other health issues.

Those include high cholesterol, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, and depression.

3. Check your pulse monthly.

Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, affects 5% of those over 65 and 10% of those over 80. It can raise the risk of stroke by 500%. Alert your doctor if you notice your pulse fluttering or racing or a pounding sensation in your chest. You may need an anticoagulant.

4. Eat for brain health.

A Lancet study found that about 20% of strokes can be linked to poor diet. The DASH diet is a good choice. It is low in sodium and packed with fruits, vegetables, and low fat dairy products. It can reduce stroke risk by about 14%. General dietary guidelines also include eating fatty fish such as salmon or tuna at least twice a week; eating three to five weekly servings of unsalted nuts, seeds, or legumes; and avoiding or limiting sugary drinks.

5. Keep moving.

More than one third of strokes could be prevented by regular exercise. People who exercise at least four times a week are 20% less likely than couch potatoes to have a stroke. Physical activity helps you maintain a normal weight, lowers blood pressure, and improves overall blood vessel health. Do at least 150 minutes per week (30 minutes five times as week) of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise, such as swimming laps or jogging. If you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, you' ll need 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise three to four times a week to reduce your stroke risk.

About 30% of strokes can be tied to air pollution. Avoid being outside near busy roads; don' t smoke, and ban smoking in your home; use exhaust fans in the bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry area; and do not use air fresheners. Stay inside if the Air Quality Index is 101 or higher. Check the level at

Launder Those Cloth Grocery Bags!

Bacteria including E. coli can grow in unwashed bags. Laundering in hot water can reduce bacteria by more than 99%. Cut contamination risk by reserving a bag for raw meat, poultry, and fish, which should first go in plastic bags to contain leaks. And do not store dirty grocery bags in your car, because bacteria levels spike in the heat.

Don' t Bother with Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight Loss

There is little evidence to support claims that apple cider vinegar helps with weight loss or with controlling blood sugar. It may help people with Type 2 diabetes slow their digestion of carbohydrates, but there is no evidence of long term effectiveness. Control your blood sugar with a healthy diet, exercise, and medication if it' s prescribed. Apple cider vinegar can irritate the throat, interact with medication, and harm tooth enamel if it' s undiluted.

Big Benefits of Dog Walking

A U.K. study of older adults found that people who walked their dogs at least once a day were 20% more active than those who had no dogs. They also got more physical activity in bad weather. If you have no dog, you can at least walk for 30 minutes on a regular basis. In very hot or cold weather, use a treadmill or an exercise bike. My husband and I have and use both of those, as well as walking along the lovely creekside path near our home here in southwest Denver.

About the Author

Leonore Dvorkin tutors languages (in person and by Skype), teaches weight training classes (exercises with weights), and edits books. She is an award winning exercise instructor and is the author of four published books, both fiction and nonfiction, plus a great many articles. The articles are mainly on health, fitness, and nutrition.

She and her husband, the prolific author David Dvorkin, have been married since 1968 and have lived in Denver, Colorado since 1971. Since 2009, they have been running DLD Books Editing and Self Publishing Services. Thus far, they have edited and produced close to 60 books, both fiction and nonfiction, by some 40 clients, most of whom are blind or visually impaired.

Leonore and David invite you to visit any of their three websites and to write them with comments on their work or with inquiries regarding any of their services.

Leonore' s website:

Leonore' s email:

David' s website:

David' s email:

Information about DLD Books Editing and Self Publishing Services:


3. THE IMAGE OF YOURSELF: An Essay of Acceptance

by Dennis R. Sumlin, CPC

What is acceptance, anyway? In terms of human psychology, acceptance is a person' s assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition. Many times, this situation or process is negative. As you can guess, people rarely agonize over acceptance of a positive situation.

Acceptance is at the heart of human happiness. If we are resistant to what is, then we can remain in a limbo state, constantly focused on the thing that needs acceptance.

The Lack of Acceptance

The lack of acceptance is a need to control the need to control an image, outcome, flow of events, and so on. This need to control will slowly but surely eat away at us as we continue to try to control things that cannot be controlled.

The death of a loved one, the ending of a relationship, and the loss of a job can all be shocks to the system, but once the initial feelings are dealt with, acceptance will light the way forward.

The lack of acceptance is also an assault on ourselves. If we do not like our appearance, voice, physical limitations, and other things about ourselves, we are expressing a rejection.

This rejection will sit at the back of our mind, pumping negative energy into our daily awareness. How can we expect to be fully happy when the very body we live in is being rejected by its occupant? How can we expect others to accept us if we cannot do it first? Double standard alert!

Acceptance = Happiness

Once we let go of the need to control every outcome, once we accept and embrace what is and who we are, the better our life will be.

I have found that when I let go of the need to control, the more I got my way. The more I accepted who I was, the more confident I became. Everybody has something that maybe they would not have chosen. Everybody' s life goes in directions that they may not want. The key is knowing what parts of life you can control, and what parts you cannot.

Nobody expects that everybody will love everything about themselves, but when you accept the things that cannot be changed, then more energy is available for positive relationships, business goals, and happiness.

How are you with acceptance?

Be sure to tune in to The Core Confidence Life Podcast for more talk on living from your soul.



4. TECH CORNER: Accessibility, Activists, Anger, and Anarchy

by Stephen Théberge

Many people are quick to pass new laws when it comes to accessibility issues. Many times, people don' t realize that the problem isn' t the lack of a specific law, but rather that the legislation on the books isn' t being enforced. I am in favor of good laws, but as in every other aspect of the system, we don' t need a flood of edicts making lawyers the only way we can navigate the muddy water.

Another common problem is how some activists go on a crusade. They take a narrow view and run with it. A specific case is a man who is advocating a particular piece of hardware to make prescription drug labels more accessible. The idea isn' t bad in and of itself, but we must realize that even in the blind and visually impaired community, there are many different levels of ability and needs.

Some on the opposite side would rail against any technology for prescription labels and push for an old-fashioned approach. They' d say,  Have the prescription labels in braille! This idea is fine if one knows braille and doesn' t have diabetic retinopathy, preventing them from feeling in their fingers, making braille an impossibility for them.

In the area of public transportation, on which I could write much, as I' ve been testing in the field for nearly three years, we find a lot of gray areas and similar problems. There might be specific procedures and laws, but the real world and practical experience are much different. I would only clarify one point here.

When I went to Rhode Island College, there was no mechanism for me to have free public transportation, even though I was a resident student there. It was, admittedly, before the Americans with Disabilities Act was in existence. According to my supervisors at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, free public transportation is not a right for people with disabilities, but only a courtesy. In Rhode Island, this is still the case. One has to purchase their pass to ride the buses and pay every five years for a new one, which costs about $20.

Most would agree that Apple TV is accessible for blind and visually impaired people. This is a good thing, except that many shows are not audio described. We can debate specifics as to whether it is a requirement that programming should be in this format. Most people would probably agree that it is so. The Americans with Disabilities Act touches briefly on companies being granted a hardship if they can' t afford to make some things accessible. There is no specific requirement that it must be free for the people with disabilities.

It certainly would be nice to have an artificial intelligence program on every television and phone to describe YouTube videos and any other content needing audio description. That would no doubt be a very expensive project. I am very grateful for volunteers who do this kind of work. Many people don' t realize how expensive it would be if they had to hire a person to do this for them.

Our community is just as diverse as any other group of people. We have many differing views as to how we are going to achieve accessibility. We get into heated debates as to who will pay for it. The most common argument is either that the government should be funding it, or that companies should be investing their resources to do this. Large companies like Microsoft and Apple are doing a relatively good job with this issue.

I am not proposing a debate here as to whether Microsoft or Apple is doing a better job with accessibility, or which company is superior. This is a matter of opinion which is derived from different experiences and skills.

Just in the blindness community alone, let alone other disability communities, we have to educate one another about ourselves and stop making assumptions. Recently, a totally blind person who once had partial sight incorrectly stated that all people with some usable vision are basically the same in terms of ability and needs. There are so many variances in this area that I dare say an ophthalmologist would be better at explaining these things.

The main point is that one size or solution doesn' t fit all people. We are so vocal and at times angry at the  normal sighted world that we forget to listen to each other. I am not singling anybody out. I know I have been guilty of emotionalism. It is human nature.

That leaves us where we started. No one solution can be applied to all of us. Even if we had the exact same conditions causing our blindness, our intellectual capacities, life experiences, and temperaments would still have us advocating different solutions to the same accessibility problems.

I realize that many will be angry at hearing me say that we are our own best advocates. It is frustrating at times. Many days when I am working, I sometimes don' t want the job, but I remember when I was in vision rehabilitation being told that I had no choice. I actually can choose not to engage with others, but it is much more fulfilling and worth doing.

In the end, we must balance out laws, opinions, and facts to arrive at a mutual solution to our problems. The consensus will be that one solution may not be suitable for everybody. Another caution I would give is that we in the blindness community should work with people having all types of disabilities, whether we are comfortable doing so or not. It is human nature to want our own group, but we can understand and get more done working together. Rather than accusing one another of fighting for a piece of the pie in terms of governmental budgets, we should all try to make our own pies.

Follow me on Twitter at @speechfb

Read and post on my writer' s blog:

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

The sequel to The MetSche Message is coming soon! The title is The MetSche Maelstrom. Look for that on Amazon and Smashwords sometime in August of this year.

Watch my YouTube channel. Many blindness related issues, and the latest Branco Broadcasts.



by James R. Campbell

© June 1, 2018

In 1981, I worked my first stint at the Central Boys and Girls Club in Odessa. My boss was the executive director, Marty Freedman. He was from a small town in New York. He and I had many conversations about the children I worked with as a counselor.

These are disadvantaged youth from poor homes. Many are abused, lacking guidance, or living with alcoholic parents. Marty wanted my help with discussions with the kids. One of the topics he was concerned about was a disease called prejudice.

We hear that word a great deal today. Police officers who are involved in shootings of African Americans are often accused, justly or unjustly, of being racially biased. Prejudice is a dark cloud that hangs over society in many ways. It is nothing new. It has been with us from the beginning. In our history, blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, and other minorities, including the blind and disabled, have been its victims.

Prejudice is a partiality that prevents consideration of an opposing viewpoint. My generation grew up with it, possibly within our own families. My mom was prejudiced against blacks and Hispanics. She often used slurs when referring to these people. This trait never passed to me, thanks to Dear and Mamma. The first maid Dear had was black. After Dear talked to me, this woman and I became good friends.

Each of us has our own biases. It' s a uniquely human trait that animals don' t seem to possess. A biased person may have a stated preference. A prejudiced person ignores or denigrates those he or she despises.

Prejudice is a disease. Most enlightened people refer to it as a character flaw. Tell that, for instance, to somebody who dislikes blacks or Hispanics. They are the ultimate right fighters. It' s their way or the highway. They are right, and everybody else is wrong. There are people who can' t be reformed, and no matter what you do, they will not change. If you are black, Hispanic, blind, a woman, or a member of a minority they don' t like, you are different. Bigots like these want the world made in their image, and if you are a member of a minority, you don' t belong in it.

What if there were a chance that prejudice could be treated as the mental defect that it is? A growing body of evidence suggests that thought patterns actually have an influence on brain chemistry and the action of neurons in the brain. Enter the field of neuroplasticity, the study of how the brain changes in response to training.

One of the researchers who is in the forefront of the developing field is Jeffrey M. Schwartz, MD, a psychiatrist at the University of California, Los Angeles. His book Brain Lock, which is available on the BARD website, DB90301, discusses a program he and his group developed to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder. OCD is a mental illness in which obsessive thoughts drive the patient to perform compulsive rituals in order to rid themselves of the fear that underlies the obsession. One typical example is frequent hand washing by a person who is obsessed with fear of germs.

The program Dr. Schwartz developed has four parts:

Relabeling. It' s an obsessive thought that I am dealing with.

Reattributing. This thought is the result of a medical issue.

Refocusing. Engaging in an enjoyable or constructive activity to disengage from the troublesome thought.

Revaluing. Recognizing that the unwanted thought and corresponding behavior pattern are worthless and consume valuable time.

Dr. Schwarz and his colleagues report that people whom they have encouraged to use this self treatment method are calmer, use their time more wisely, and in some cases have been able to lower the dose of medication or stop the medicine altogether.

Let' s apply this same principle to overcoming prejudice. If we, for example, don' t like blacks and think that they should be segregated, we might use the four step method as follows:

Relabel. This is a thought pattern that I have learned from my parents.

Reattribute. This is a mental disease, not merely a manner of upbringing.

Refocus. This step may be more complicated. It would ultimately involve a gradual process of exposure, first through positive news stories of contributions of blacks, pictures of wholesome activities, and eventually association with African Americans in a group of people.

Revalue. Ultimately, our subject would come to see his former prejudice as destructive and harmful.

How many people would be willing to engage in an experiment like that? It' s worth a shot, given the volatile nature of our society today. What better place than here, and what better time than now? If one person is helped, this progress, no matter how small, might spread to others who would benefit. Ultimately, the greater society as a whole could gain from an experiment like this. What do we have to lose?

As always, thanks for your time.

With loving kindness, 

James R. Campbell



Note: No name was attached to this submission, so I do not know who wrote it. If that information is provided later, we will be happy to insert it into the August issue.

 Leonore Dvorkin

I had a wonderful time attending the Joni and Friends retreat from June 3 7. The retreat was held at the Barbara C. Harris Center in Greenfield, New Hampshire. Every morning we had worship in song, Bible studies, and discussion groups. I participated in the group for women with disabilities. The purpose of the discussion groups was to share how we could apply the Bible studies to our lives. Throughout each day, there were other activities. One afternoon, I played a game of Scrabble with some friends. (My Scrabble is in braille and print.) On another afternoon, I went to a workshop on how to help those who are hurting. Monday evening, there was a dance to a live band. Tuesday evening, there was a patriotic band. Following the wonderful patriotic music, we had homemade pies, which were scrumptious and were provided by a local church. Wednesday evening, we had a banquet. The food at retreat is always very good. Following the banquet, I participated in a talent show and sang  Better than a Hallelujah, by Amy Grant. The retreat is always a time of spiritual encouragement, Christian fellowship, and fun.

On Saturday, June 16, I went to the Walnut Hill community church in Bethel, Connecticut to see Joni  Eareckson Tada and her husband, Ken, who were here from California. If you are not familiar with Joni, she is a well-known Christian speaker, singer, and author who was paralyzed from the neck down many years ago due to a diving incident. Despite her paralysis, Joni travels around the country, revealing her faith in God and inspiring people to put their faith and trust in Him. Joni has a heart for people with disabilities and has established retreats for them throughout the country and the world. Her heartfelt goal is for people with disabilities to put their faith and trust in God.

First there was a reception in which people enjoyed Christian fellowship, popcorn, and lemonade. I had the opportunity of having my picture taken with Joni. Then we saw the movie showing the diving accident in which she became paralyzed and God' s impact on her life. Following the movie, one of the pastors talked with Joni about God' s impact on her life. It was my second time to see Joni, for I had seen her once previously at a WIHS Christian luncheon. She is truly an inspiration.

Joni' s most powerful statement was that she would rather be in her wheelchair and know God than be out of her wheelchair and not know Him.


7. SOCIETY' S TRENDS: Promotions with Conditions

by Bob Branco

Before I give my thoughts about one of the latest promotional ads that I heard during a Red Sox game last night, let me say that I heard several reasons why these ads are aired. However, despite any explanation I am given, these ads still rub me the wrong way.

I forgot the name of the business involved, so, for the sake of this discussion, I will call it Jones Brothers. Here' s what was said during this commercial:  If the Red Sox bullpen pitches a save, Jones Brothers will donate $200 to the WEEI Jimmy Fund telethon to help fight cancer in children. Then they go on to say,  Save a game, save a life. So, what if you don' t save a game? What does that mean? Let me alter a few words in this commercial without changing its meaning:  If the Red Sox bullpen does not pitch a save, Jones Brothers will not donate $200 to the WEEI Jimmy Fund telethon to help fight cancer in children. Now what do you think of this ad? Just follow the if/then concept to see my point.

First of all, I think it' s very commendable that Jones Brothers wants to donate money in order to help fight cancer in children. Despite how much money we are willing to give to charity in order to help the sick, the elderly, the disabled, the dying, etc., this commercial implies that unless the Sox bullpen pitches a save, too bad. Wouldn' t we prefer hearing commercials that simply say things like this?  The Jimmy Fund needs your help.  The American Cancer Society needs your help.  The March of Dimes needs your help.  The Make a Wish Foundation needs your help. The commercials that are on during Red Sox games imply conditions which must be met before certain people or groups donate. Those with cancer, those who are hungry, and other needy people can' t afford to wait for a condition to be met before they get help. Maybe Jones Brothers and other companies donate money anyway. If so, they should just say so. Why these ads? Just say that these victims needs your help, and that' s all there is to it.

Bob blogs at For more information about Bob' s several self published books, go to


8. WEATHER OR NOT: Future Heat Waves and Climate Change

by Steve Roberts

As the earth warms, the number of days in which temperatures reach or exceed 90 degrees will increase. The result will be more heat waves. According to Climatologist Dr. Heidi Cullen of Climate Central, in a warmer world, heat waves will be more frequent, more severe, and more protracted.

As the world heats up, the jet stream will slow down. A slower flowing jet stream will become increasingly wavy.

These waves will feature troughs and ridges. Within troughs, the jet stream undulates to the south, causing cold air to spill out of the Arctic into the middle latitudes.

Within ridges, the jet stream bulges to the north, allowing warm air from the tropics to flow into the middle latitudes. Over the next several decades, we are going to see a great increase in the number of heat ridges around the Northern Hemisphere.

Within heat ridges, the air sinks, compresses, and heats up. The hot air dries out soils and vegetation, causing further warming. As the environment dries out, more of the sun' s energy can go into the heating of the ground, which will result in higher air temperatures.

The sun warms the ground and the ground warms the air. The warmer the ground is, the more heat it will release into the overlying atmosphere. This process of radiation transference is much more effective under drier conditions.

Heat ridges warm the world in yet another way. The sinking air within heat ridges discourages cloud development. With few or any clouds to block the sun, the sun has unlimited access to the surface of the earth, where it will have drastic warming effects upon the atmosphere.

Once a heat ridge becomes established, it can persist. As the earth warms, heat ridges will get stuck more often. In the future, heat ridges will get locked into place for weeks at a time, bringing unremitting misery and mortality to the people who are under their influence.

These heat ridges will result in excessive heat warnings and heat emergencies that extend for many days, if not longer. In the worst case scenario, a mega heat wave will become established, resulting in a truly protracted heat emergency for millions of people.

Note: Steven P. Roberts is the author of the nonfiction book The Whys and Whats of Weather (C 2014) and one novel, The Great Winter Hurricane (C 2015).  For details, see his book related website:



You are cordially invited to a picnic at Houghton' s Pond on Saturday, September 8, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The address of this location is 840 Hillside Street, Milton, Massachusetts. The cost is $15 per person, payable in advance. There will be plenty of delicious food, musical entertainment, and lots of fun activities.

The food will be provided by Carol Monteiro, and the activities will be provided by Meg Robertson, director of Orientation and Mobility at the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind. These activities may include kayaking, hiking around the pond, a geocaching event, musical talent, and exercises for stretching, breathing, and self defense.

If you wish to attend, please make your check payable to Robert Branco, and send it to me, Robert Branco, 359 Coggeshall St., New Bedford, MA 02746. You may RSVP no later than Saturday, September 1 by emailing me or calling 508-994-4972. If you need driving directions for yourself or for those who are driving you, I can get them to you upon request.

Please note that this event is not affiliated with the Perkins Alumni Association. We look forward to seeing all of you at our picnic.

Warm regards,

Bob Branco


Drawn to You

A debut romance novel by J. D. Hart / C 2018 / 451 pages in print.

In e-book ($3.99) and print ($16.95) from Amazon, Smashwords, and multiple other sellers.

Sarah Parker is a small town girl with big dreams. For her, there' s beauty in the simplicity of her life, but she' s driven to achieve more, and romance has never been something to stand in her way. But as her plane arrives in Seattle, she has no idea that her life is going to change more than she ever thought possible.

Jace Williams is a handsome, wealthy man who has no idea what he' s been missing until he lays eyes on Sarah. There' s something about her that he' s drawn to, something that he can' t explain. But he' s about to find out that his complicated past has secrets, many of which will hold the key to his future.

Drawn to You takes romance to new heights as two people are thrown together, only to face challenges that will threaten their devotion.

Review quote from Amazon:  Whew. What a read. I thought for a minute there, I was reading a movie. I usually don't read novels this long unless it's got sequels and it's a series, but this book was detailed from start to finish. And the story was so very relatable. Felt real. It was more than just a novel. It is the start of something great from this writer.

For the cover, a free text sample, and handy buying links, visit the author' s website:

The book was edited and prepared for publication by Leonore and David Dvorkin of DLD Books Editing and Self-Publishing Services:


A Handbook for the Prospective Guide Dog Handler, 4th Edition

from Guide Dog Users, Inc.

In e-book ($2.50) and print ($6.00) from Amazon, Smaashwords, and other online sellers.

90 pages in print.

For full details, the cover image, a free text sample, and handy buying links, go to:

Here is a wonderful review of the book by Ann Chiappetta, M.A., lifetime member of GDUI:

When I first explored what it would be like to become a guide dog user, it was like traveling to a strange land full of unfamiliar routines, feelings, nomenclature, and equipment. I wish this handbook had been available back then, but am so pleased that it has finally become a reality to help from this point forward.  


This concise and informative handbook answers questions not only for the prospective guide dog team, but also the general public. Part One, Section One sets the stage with heartfelt accounts from multiple guide dog users. The handbook then covers it all, from filling out the first application to learning how to handle the myriad responsibilities of being the human part of the team. It is an accurate and comprehensive reference.   

It is also important for the reader to take note of how much GDUI supports us, especially during those times of access denial, in the wake of disaster, and in those instances of the retirement or death of a beloved canine partner.

In conclusion, this is the perfect manual to support a partnership and path of independence. I hope you share it with your family, friends, colleagues, blindness and disability advocacy organizations, and other guide and service dog handlers.


Below is a letter from Jalil (Jay) Mortazavi to Bob Branco and others. It is a wonderful illustration of how a book, even a self published one, can find success when it conveys an appreciated message, finds the right audience, and is helped on its way by others. Heartiest congratulations to Jay!    Leonore Dvorkin, Editor, DLD Books

Full details about the book, the cover image, a free text sample, and handy buying links are all at:

Dear Friends and Interested Media Groups,

 To everything there is a season. There was a time to write a book, a time to sell it, and a time for you to buy it. I would like to thank those of you who have purchased my latest book, The Mystery of America: What I Learned and Love About This Country, C 2017. I am more than happy to report to you that Dr. Alan Dalton, a college professor from Vermont, has purchased more than 22 copies. He informed me that most of his colleagues and students who have read the book seem to enjoy it. So far, you have collectively purchased 329 copies of my book. If it weren' t for you, I couldn' t have done it by myself. I' m still hoping to meet the challenge of 500 copies before the summer is over.

As I indicated before, if anyone is not satisfied with the book, I will be glad to buy it back from that person. So far, not a single book has been returned. In the meantime, I am so grateful to many of you who have promoted my book as well as made excellent suggestions about how I can improve future sales. I would also like to thank the Lions Club in Massachusetts, who helped me spread the word about the book.

 Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity, as well as your hard work in order to promote this book. If you for any reason haven' t purchased the book by now, please contact me and I guarantee that you will enjoy reading it. Again, it is entitled The Mystery of America: What I Leaned and Love About This Country. If this book doesn' t make you feel good, nothing will.

Once again, I can' t thank you enough. I hope you all enjoy a nice summer.

 Best wishes,

Jalil Mortazavi




10. THE HANDLER' S CORNER: Living and Working with Guide Dogs

by Ann Chiappetta, M.S.

Hello, readers. Happy Independence Day to all! I hope you and your dogs are enjoying the warmer weather, and if you are experiencing hot temperatures, I hope you get some relief.

I wanted to share some information for readers who may be thinking about applying for a guide dog and who may require more factual information.

First, there is Facebook. Once you create your account, use the search function to find groups or pages about guide dogs and the guide dog lifestyle. You can join groups and ask questions.

Next, the Hadley Institute has a free course for prospective guide dog handlers. Here is the link:

This gave me the confidence to apply to more than one guide dog training program and helped dispel some of the myths I believed regarding guide dogs and training.

Also, another great resource is the manual Pathway to Freedom, by Shelley McMullen:

Published earlier this month and advertised above is A Handbook for the Prospective Guide Dog Handler, 4th Edition, from Guide Dog Users, Inc. It is for sale in e book and print from Amazon, Smashwords, and other sellers. For details and buying links, go here:  

Finally, most, if not all, quality training programs will connect you with a graduate. Talk to that person about training, their dog, and other questions you may have.

Remember, information is power, and educating yourself will help you choose the right program for you.

Note: Ann Chiappetta is the author of two books and is a public speaker. Look her up on, or go to for more information about her books. Those are Upwelling: Poems and Follow Your Dog: A Story of Love and Trust.  Ann' s blog is another way to get to know her:



by Terri Winaught

Since July is Minority Mental Health Awareness month, a designation that has existed since 2008, that was the topic I wanted to write about for this month' s Turning Point column. This topic is very important, because minority populations have often been underserved when it comes to receiving behavioral health services.

Since I work for a Pittsburgh based mental health organization, I contacted our Communications Department to see if we were having any special events to acknowledge this designation, and was told that we were not. I also conducted a Google search and saw many references to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Because I was able to obtain no specific information on special events, however, I encourage anyone who is interested in exploring this topic further to contact his or her local NAMI chapter. Residents living in western Pennsylvania may visit Individuals living in other parts of the United States may visit or do a Google search using the key words  National Alliance on Mental Illness followed by the name of one' s city and state. If unable to locate a NAMI chapter in your area, your Internet search is likely to lead you to the call center in Virginia, from which you can obtain a wealth of information.

In section #12 below, you will find a poem of mine,  Almost No Accolades, that my employer published in the July issue of our monthly newsletter for employees. I would like to thank Marilyn Brant Smith from the Behind Our Eyes writing group, since she and others on the editorial staff for an upcoming anthology suggested revisions that made significant improvements in the poem.

In my August column,  Out of the Darkness, I will discuss nationwide walks. These annual nationwide walks, which usually take place in the fall, are sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, You will see from the statistics I will cite in August' s issue, including the story of a young man who jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and survived, that having someone recognize that a person might be in crisis and showing care can truly be a turning point.


12. ALMOST NO ACCOLADES (A tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen)

by Terri Winaught

I am from Tuskegee;

I fought in World War II.

I served our nation bravely;

It was my duty to do.

Now back home from fighting,

Sure hope some things have changed.

Some attitudes need righting,

Policies rearranged.

Once home with our families,

We all went out to eat.

We were treated rudely;

 You folks can' t have a seat!

 We' re pilots back from World War II,

We said with voices proud.

 That don' t matter in these parts;

No Negroes are allowed!

 No matter that we gave our all?

Some died to serve this nation.

Over there we went everywhere

Now it' s back to segregation!

Six decades of denial passed,

Then insistent cries were raised.

Finally! Accolades!

These airmen have been praised!

First trained there in Tuskegee,

They served in a war that' s passed.

Their place is one of honor;

They received their due at last!

Author' s note: The U.S. Military was segregated until 1946, when then President Harry S. Truman issued an order to integrate the Armed Forces.


13. TIPS FOR VIPS (Because Visually Impaired People Are Important, Too)

by Penny Fleckenstein

Who blogs at:

Email me at:

My three-bedroom apartment is still crammed with unpacked bins and boxes that need sorting and organizing, but at least these are the last of them. My goal is to be finished before my 12 year old grandson joins us in just a few days for a three week visit. Some do well under pressure. I do not. I unpack and clean slowly and deliberately. I believe in doing my best. I love to reward myself by reading a book, eating a small piece of chocolate, purchasing an item, or going on a bike ride.

I feel so overwhelmed. Thus I felt elated when my friend Jeanne invited my grandson, my son Zachary, and me to accompany her on vacation. I am missing important meetings, but I leave with no guilt. We deserve this vacation.

My mom says that one of the most tiring activities is shopping. I like shopping, especially for material items that will ease my life.

In my kitchen, I have butcher block countertops that need to be oiled with butcher block oil and washed with a spray of white vinegar diluted in water. I was getting the butcher block wet when I washed dishes, so I went shopping for a dish drainer mat to go underneath my three tiered dish drainer. I already have one for the big dish drainer on my right. I searched the Red White and Blue Thrift, Target (which had lots of dish drainers but no dish drainer mats), Kmart, and Walmart, which had the wrong dish drainer mat. I was beside myself when my friend John recommended I look at Bed Bath and Beyond. He was right on. I found the right one for $9. I' m glad I went there, since I also purchased a Tornado battery operated can opener and a cheese slicer. I' m impressed with their supply and the quality of their utensils. I will be a repeat customer.

Soon I will buy a countertop dishwasher. Before I moved in, I envisioned a portable dishwasher with wheels. I have a spongy kitchen floor that damages easily, so a countertop dishwasher will be my best option. I spend four hours a day washing dishes.  I' ll feel delighted when my machine does some of the work.

My newest acquisition is a mobile Life Alert button that hangs on a string around my neck. I had a base unit in my home that covered me for about a block. This mobile unit gives me coverage anywhere in the United States where there is cell service, and it has global positioning. I really like that idea. It gives me great peace of mind. It detects falls and will automatically send out an alert. I' ve had to cancel many alerts, but that is a slight aggravation when help is so easily reached.

I have been battling sickness for almost three weeks and have a very powerful cough. A lady named Erin suggested I drink green tea with honey and apple cider vinegar. I love it so much, I' m going to make it one of my regular beverages. It has helped, along with cough drops, Delsym cough syrup, garlic pills, and vitamins.

We currently have no window coverings and lots of windows. I really like the cordless cellular shades from Home Depot or Lowe' s. They are so expensive ($40 a window), that I will have to buy a few at a time.

My basement is too wet, so I can' t use it for storage. That too must be remedied before wintertime, so I don' t have to make trips to the garage.

I' ve learned these things: Never have a conversation while on the steps. My refrigerator has to be pulled out all the time with a large space behind it, so we have full access to the inside of the fridge and freezer. I need more attentive care of the wood floors, butcher block counter tops, and spongy kitchen floor. I can find flea and tick medicine in the hardware store.

I spend a lot of time waiting for UPS. Is there a better way of being on UPS or Fedex watch? My doorbell is quiet. Does anyone have any good ideas about a loud doorbell? Please email me and let me know. I love hearing from you. May this summer be joyous and fun filled with family and friends.



by Karen Crowder

As I edit this July column on June 26, temperatures across New England are in the 70s on this beautiful summer evening. However, from June 29 through July 3, temperatures will reach the 80s and 90s. In July, people travel, with kids and teens out of school. Beaches and pools are often crowded, as are roadside and ice cream stands across New England. Families have barbecues on Independence Day. When Marshall and I owned our home in Fitchburg, with few exceptions around July 4th, we looked forward to a family barbecue.

Many July 4th festivities begin before July 1. Examples are Civic Days in the Fitchburg Leominster area, and the week long Boston Harborfest. There is the famous concert and fireworks display on July 4th at the Esplanade. It is near the Charles River. Independence Day falls on a Wednesday this year. The NFB convention begins on July 3 and ends on July 8. The ACB convention begins tours June 30, and the convention ends around July 6.

This month, I am treating readers to three recipes: for cheeseburgers, tossed salad, and a refreshing beverage.


A. Juicy Outdoor/Indoor Cheeseburgers

B. Delicious Tossed Salad

C. Hot Weather Refresher

A. Juicy Outdoor/Indoor Cheeseburgers

My favorite foods at any barbecue are cheeseburgers, barbecued chicken, and tossed salad. Marshall and Pam knew the right technique for grilling burgers. The burgers were cooked just right, their flavor enhanced by our charcoal grill. You can buy your own ground beef, but be sure it is 80% lean. Some frozen food delivery companies and supermarkets have delicious readymade beef patties.


Two to five pounds of ground beef. Alternatively, 18 to 20 wrapped frozen hamburger or steakburger patties

One package 24 slices real American cheese or Cabot cheddar cheese slices

One tablespoon garlic powder

One tablespoon oregano

One tablespoon fresh or dried chives

Dashes of allspice, salt, and white pepper; optional

Twenty to 24 hamburger rolls

Ketchup and relish


1. If you are shaping hamburger patties, with clean hands, divide each pound of ground beef into four to five patties. Place all patties on a large dinner plate lined with either parchment or wax paper. Put spices in a bowl and stir them with a spoon. Rub all patties with spice mixture. Cover burgers with wax or parchment paper and refrigerate them until they are ready for the grill or skillet.

2. Grill the first side of burgers for five to seven minutes. Turn and put one slice of cheese on cooked side of burger if cheese is requested. Grill again for five to six minutes. Put burgers in rolls with an extra slice of cheese if requested. Serve, and if requested, add ketchup or relish.

If you are serving a large group of people or grilling outside, it is advisable to have some sighted help. Everyone should wear protective oven"length gloves and use tongs when grilling food.

3. If cooking burgers indoors, use a 12-inch cast iron or nonstick frying pan. Heat pan for five minutes, and cook first side of burgers for three to five minutes on medium heat. Turn over burgers with turner and place one slice of cheese on cooked side if cheese has been requested. Cook for another three to four minutes on medium heat. Toast buns in toaster oven for two minutes. If requested, add another slice of cheese to hot roll. Put burger between buns, adding condiments if requested.

4. One burger is never enough. Your guests will ask for seconds, along with the chicken ribs, hot dogs, and salad.

B. Delicious Tossed Salad

When we had barbecues, I always let the kids prepare the tossed salad. Guests always had two or three salad choices tossed salad, coleslaw, and occasionally a fruit salad. The tossed salad usually disappeared.


One head of lettuce. Alternatively, two packages of rinsed Veggie Lover' s salad

One or two garden fresh tomatoes

One onion, preferably Vidalia sweet onion

One cucumber

One sweet red pepper, one carrot, and one stalk of celery, all optional

Optional packaged or homemade croutons

Cottage or cheddar cheese

Ranch or vinaigrette dressing.


1. In a large bowl, break up rinsed lettuce and place it in a large salad bowl. Cut tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and optional celery, carrot, and pepper into small pieces on a cutting board.

2. Toss ingredients and serve in paper, glass, or wooden salad bowls. Upon request, top with cheddar or cottage cheese, croutons, and dressing.

A tossed salad with cottage cheese, croutons, and dressing makes an easy, nutritious meal on a hot evening.

C. Hot Weather Refresher

When I had my first apartment in Quincy, I came up with this drink on a hot July day.


Grapefruit, cranberry, or orange juice

Ginger ale, tonic water, or sparkling soda

Ice cubes


1. In each of two large glasses, put two to four ice cubes. Fill half full with cranberry, grapefruit, or orange juice. Add ginger ale, sparkling soda, or tonic water.

B. Stir beverage briefly with a spoon. It is thirst quenching on a hot summer afternoon. To make this beverage more festive, add a scoop of raspberry or lime sherbet.

I hope Consumer Vision readers have a happy, relaxed July. Let Americans hope and pray on

America' s 242nd birthday for a new appreciation of our unique republic. Let us all begin being more civil and trusting toward each other.



by Immigrant

In recent years, a number of new TV sets adopted voice guide, also called talking guide and voice guidance, a feature that enables a blind user to set menu options and scan in channels independently, browse channel selections, etc. Most of these are smart TVs with a screen diameter of at least 32 inches. They require a wireless connection and have a number of additional Internet-related apps and features, such as games, Netflix, and many more. If you didn' t have room for a larger TV set, or didn' t have a wireless connection, or were not interested in all those additional features that came packaged with voice guide, you were seemingly out of luck.

But I recently found out about an inexpensive, smaller set with the built in voice guide. Since my apartment cannot accommodate a 32-inch TV, I was interested in this set, and I purchased it on Amazon for $167.99.

Today, I set it up and was quite impressed. The set is AXESS TVD1805-19. It has a built-in DVD player and can double as a computer monitor, if needed.

You can purchase it from Amazon or from the Walmart site. As far as I know, it is not available at Walmart stores. You need to connect a digital over the air antenna to the set before setup. A View TV antenna from Amazon is a very good choice. You may need sighted help with the initial setup, but once voice guide is enabled, the spoken prompts will walk you through channel selection and through menus. During the initial setup, select Audio from the menu options, then choose Accessibility, and then choose Voice Guide to enable it. I was told the picture is great, and I know the sound is impressive.



by Marcy J. Segelman

Shalom! I would like to take this time to talk about something very personal and close to me.

In April, I went for a regular mammogram, as I do every year. I was called back for another mammogram using three way imaging and a dye. That shows a better image, and the radiologist can get a better look. So I do this, and I find out that I have breast cancer. Let me tell you, when you are told this, and you are there by yourself, your world just changes in a flash. The people in this kind of unit are very special. There compassion and understanding are so wonderful.

As a lot of you know about me, I have a very tight bond with my brother. I always go to him for any kind of major problem or project. So I call him and tell him that WE have a big problem, and I introduce the person who is sitting with me over the phone to him, and they chat for a while. Then she starts to set up all my appointments for the start to my new journey.

First, an appointment was made to meet with a surgeon and decide what kind of plan would be best for my kind of surgery. Everyone is different and is taken care of in their own way. Care is mapped out especially for them. So a date is set. Then you go through all of the prep work of tests before you are even admitted to the hospital EKG, blood work, and whatever else they want you to do. Oh, yes, let' s not forget the paperwork.

The day of the surgery can be overwhelming as you meet again with a lot of people, and you are nervous and very scared. I do not think anyone would ever be okay just going in and seeing all this and not have some kind of feelings. This part took about an hour.

I was in recovery. I woke, and it took me a while to get my bearings. My brother came in and sat with me for some time. I got my instructions on the medication and how to take care of my wound/incision. We then left the hospital. Went to get my medication at the pharmacy. Then got some food in me after not eating all day. Then went to bed.

Then came rest, taking care of myself by eating right, getting a lot of sleep and, yes, keeping myself calm and collected. Sounds easier than it is. In many ways, it can make you want to run from the world. People do mean well, but there is a big difference between advice and the feelings one is going through. Feelings are hard to separate after something big like this has happened.

(To be continued in the August issue of The Consumer Vision.)

A note from Leonore Dvorkin: 

As some of you know, I am a 20 year survivor of breast cancer. On August 11, 1998, I had a left side mastectomy with no reconstruction. Thus I can certainly relate to the emotions that Marcy describes! Also, she called me a couple of weeks ago, and we had a very good talk; I tried to encourage her, and I hope I helped her some.

A few years after my surgery, I wrote a book about my experience and how it had changed my life and many of my attitudes for the better. That book is now in its third edition, C 2012. The title is Another Chance at Life: A Breast Cancer Survivor' s Journey. It is for sale in e book, print, and audio (from Audible). It' s also in Spanish, translated by a talented Peruvian American translator, Gloria H. López, whose husband is a physician.

Full details are here: 



Here is the answer to the trivia question submitted in the June 2018 Consumer Vision. The 1980s television comedy show that ended all its episodes with  Sit, Ubu, sit! Good dog! was Family Ties. Congratulations to the following winners:

Jan Colby of Brockton, Massachusetts

Daryl Darnell of Urbana, Illinois

Nancy Hays of Oakville, Connecticut

Shelley McMullen of San Antonio, Texas

Steve Theberge of Attleboro, Massachusetts

And now, here is your trivia question for this month' s Consumer Vision. According to the nursery rhyme, who could eat no fat? If you know the answer, please email or call 508-994-4972.