President’s Message

We are well into the Fall season and soon Winter will be upon us. We’re seeing color in the trees and feel a bit of crispness in the air. I’m relieved to see these signs. I look forward to the transitions of each season as it marks a point in time – an end and a beginning.

I’m ready for the change because I know that with change comes new opportunities, new things to learn, new perspectives. Each season of the year has its own kind of beauty, its own reasons to be anticipated and celebrated.

The change in season, much like changes in life, provides a means for measuring progress, and how we can tell that we are growing and improving. We all find meaning and a sense of comfort in things familiar to us. And while it is tempting to hold onto those things familiar, I am grateful that time marches on anyway. As good as things are now, they will get better, but only if we are willing to change. Living is not being static. It is a pursuit of something that is just beyond the horizon, something that we occasionally get glimpses of as we move toward it.

The Buddhist faith believes it is only by recognizing how precious and how short life is that we are most likely to make it meaningful and to live it fully. The way in which we live our lives influence our future. By understanding the purpose of death we also understand the purpose of life.

Within the past few months, we’ve lost 3 individuals who have been a vital part of Moss-Bradley: Gladys Elwood, Marge Klise and most recently Dr. Richard Lee. Each have contributed so much to our organization over the years, providing us an insight and direction into being a better neighborhood and better neighbors. In mentioning these 3 individuals, I by no means am slighting those individuals who have passed before them as they too have been an important part of who we are as a
collective society.

I recall a conversation with Dr. Lee and his wife Jane discussing why we all own older homes. Dr. Lee made a very simple but apt comment, “We are simply caretakers for the next generation of home owners.”

Marge Klise was always one to look back, preserving our history, but always moving us forward. Her newsletter submissions, Thru the Windshield, always presented us a with a perspective of being more than we were, making the most of our lives and the impact this had on us as neighbors and as a neighborhood. And there are and will be others with the same impact and mindset as Dr. Lee, Marge Klise and those before them.

This month’s newsletter is dedicated to of looking back, addressing current issues and presenting future trends. Read on!

It’s Time to Hang the Holiday Greens!

The holidays will soon be upon us, which means that time to Hang the Greens!!  Please mark your calendar with the details and join us if you can.

  • Saturday, November 19th, 9:00 AM
  • Meet at Ed & Joanne’s house: 1705 W. Moss Ave.
  • Please bring work gloves, and a sturdy ladder if you have one!
  • Trucks are also needed for delivery of greens and bows.
  • Pizza Party for all volunteers afterward at Westminster Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall

We’re looking to expand our ‘experienced’ volunteer base with some younger and agile helpers.  Come to meet a few neighbors and decorate our neighborhood for this beautiful season.


A Look Back – Thru the Windshield

reprinted from December 2013 MBRA Newsletter

How do we look to those passing by? Observations…questions…hopes…concerns
by Marjorie Klise

I was in San Francisco last week, and as usual when I am there, I attended a particular church service. It is one of those situations that reassure me of the amazing breadth of humanity.

The first clue that this is not your usual congregation is the fact that if you drive to church you just double park along a very busy street and give your keys to a total stranger! Some of these people are church staff and some are members of the local homeless community. They are able to move cars to let those who have parked on the inside depart if necessary. There is no tip or payment required when you retrieve your keys and drive away….just a smile and a thank you.

Upon entering the church it doesn’t take long for someone to recognize you as a newcomer, so you get a hug and a hearty welcome…and someone motions you to join them in a pew. I sat with a gentleman who is HIV positive, a public defender with the SF courts, an accountant and a homeless woman who is wheelchair bound and sight impaired. (Robin Williams was a congregant when I was there last time.) We found many ideas and thoughts to share and when the loud, brash and totally professional choir began to sing with the aid of a great band, we stood and clapped and swayed and finger-clicked and hugged some more. I am not normally a big hugger but there is no stopping these folks.

When the homily began with the statement that “we are all part of a radical inclusive community” it occurred to me that the Moss-Bradley area also is a radical inclusive community. Here on the west bluff we step up to offer our services to each other and don’t expect anything in return. We welcome the newcomers with coffee and hugs. We are a mix of color, politics, race and profession. And we take a risk. We attempt to include, not exclude.

So if you see a bit of a swagger in our step it is just because we know this inclusive life can not only work but that it is the only way to make this world a better place…and to pass on our rich radical heritage to those who come after.

(And if you go to San Francisco head for the Tenderloin and see what radical inclusiveness can look like on Sunday AM.)

A Look Back – November 1985


Councilman Chuck Grayeb

Time is passing as the “dying embers” of November approach. Completion of the Sheridan Road Bridge cannot come soon enough. The Cottage District traffic circles have been completed. We are busy installing temporary speed humps on Barker with the ensuing metrics.

Again, this street lies smack-dab in the middle of one of the most densely populated zip codes in the State, adjacent to a university campus. If the humps are well received, I will place them in the budget to be made permanent next year.

Currently, I have tasked Staff with the job of developing a nonreactive way of assessing where cell towers may go in our City and what they can look like. Much valuable input came from the representatives of the West Bluff Council during its September meeting. Verizon is proposing a huge tower behind the Innovation Center on West Main. Bradley University has no dog in the hunt, and they indicate that they very much want to proceed in accord with the wishes of our community. I believe there is a middle ground which allows us to protect our heritage neighborhoods and meets the needs of cell phone users.  December is the month for a coherent report back.

BU VP Gary Anna was at the September WBC Meeting and indicated that an almost 90 million dollar project may commence in 2017 with the new Convergence Center, placing the schools of business and engineering under one roof. I have stressed to BU officials the need to share their plans once they gel. Gary Anna assured all of us that this would happen. This new structure will face Main Street and have a plaza.

Finally, we will have yet another colloquium in 2017 to unveil a design for the new Douglas A. Macarthur Bridge.  This new bridge will be a key transition area between two proud Council districts. I am confident that it will be a huge plus for our City. The bridge now has a rating of 8 out of 100 for structural integrity!!! It has been disintegrating for many years. It will be constructed in all likelihood in 2018.

I want to thank all of you for your engagement and want to  thank At-Large Councilors Jensen and Ruckriegel for their assistance in D2 and their service to our City.

Best wishes, Chuck

Upcoming Events at Westminster Presbyterian Church

We welcome you to Jazz Vespers every Sunday at 4 p.m. – If you have not been, come check it out!  A fully professional Jazz Quartet leads the music of the service which also includes a short meditation on the scriptures for the day, silence and prayers for our common life together.

There are volunteer opportunities at the WestMark Food Pantry.  Each month we see some 2000 families pass through our doors to receive surplus food items from the food bank.  It is a vital ministry for many in our area who live in the area ‘down the bluff’ from Moss Avenue.  You can give your service through lending a hand with the deliveries. Come lend a hand if you can. Delivery dates for November are:

Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 11:30 a.m.
Thursday, Nov. 10 at 12:45 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 11:30 a.m.
Thursday, Nov. 24 – No food Delivery

Sunday, November 6 – The 10 a.m. service will be dedicated to Celebration of All Saints, with candle lighting for friends and loved ones who have passed away in the last year.

Sunday, Dec. 4 – A service of worship and music at 10:00 am, with the preaching of the Word in song by the Westminster Chamber Choir. The Choir will  present a Christmas Cantata, “Welcome All Wonders” by the contemporary British composter, Richard Shephard, who blends ancient texts and poetry to his warm, embracing contemporary style of composition.

Sunday, Dec. 11 – At 4:00 pm. The traditional Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols sung by the Westminster Choir and the gathered congregation will help you welcome the Christmas Season in your life.

Sunday, Dec. 18 – A Jazz Christmas led by David Hoffman and the Westminster Jazz Quartet.  Carols in swing, and poetry and scripture from a new angle make this an exciting and different Christmas experience. Festivities begin at 4:00 p.m.

Saturday, Dec 24 – An early service for Christmas Eve allows families to celebrate Christmas around the family table that evening.  We begin at 4:00 p.m. with music starting at 3:45.  Join us and make Westminster your church home this Christmas.

Sunday, Dec. 25 – A Service in celebration of the Nativity at 10:00 a.m.   Come and join us around the manger as we again sing the carols of Christmas and hear the joyous message that God is indeed with us!



New Tech for Old Homes: 5 Easy Upgrades

Even if you live in an older home, there’s no reason not to satisfy your high-tech inner geek with these five smart wireless innovations.

By Michael Franco from

There was a time when someone who loves old homes would have found it tough to satisfy his inner high-tech geek. But with the proliferation of all things wireless, achieving a bit of the Jetsons’ style in a vintage bungalow, Victorian, or Cape has become nearly as easy as clicking a mouse. Here are five technological innovations that can rocket your old home straight into the 21st century.

Video Doorbell
Speaking of the Jetsons, remember the video intercom? Phone manufacturer VTechCommunications has brought that tech of tomorrow into the here and now via your home phone system. Their video doorbell is simple to install—you just put the doorbell module outside your front door and plug in the phones. It’s shockingly simple to use, too. When someone rings the bell, the system snaps a photo and sends it to all of the phone handsets. At that point, you can decide to go answer the door or—even more fun—simply start the streaming video from the doorbell unit and talk to your visitor through the handset.

In addition to providing instant info on who’s standing outside, the system also captures up to 100 photos that can show you everyone who stopped by when you weren’t home. It even has night vision! And lest you forget, this is a phone, too, so you get other neat features like Caller ID that announces the name of the person calling, 14 minutes of digital answering machine recording time, and an audio equalizer that lets you choose the sound profile that’s easiest on your ears. Plus it doubles as an in-house walkie-talkie.

Home Automation Systems
Life is busy today. So busy, in fact, that a lot of us don’t spend nearly as much time at home as we’d like. But just because we’re on the road, in the skies, or slaving away at the office doesn’t mean we can’t stop in at home—at least virtually—through the latest home automation systems.

The Insteon suite of monitoring equipment consists of a main hub and modules that plug in around your home. The system uses two types of frequencies—radio and electrical—to connect all the modules to the hub and each other. Once the plug-and-use system is installed, you can control things like the lights, electric garage door openers, and thermostats from your smartphone or tablet. You can also install motion sensors and cameras that will alert you to movement in the home. You can even program lights to turn on and off at specific and varying times.

Lowe’s solution for home automation is called Iris and works much like the Insteon system. Although there is no monthly charge for either Insteon or Iris, the Lowe’s version does have an $9.99 upgrade that allows you to create what they call “magic” rules, which allow you to keep an eye on kids or elderly relatives who are supposed to be following a set routine.

Smart TV
Of course, the easiest and most powerful way to bring an older home into the modern era is to install Wi-Fi. Assuming you’re nottruly living in the past and have already done that, one of the coolest ways to take advantage of the Internet-everywhere signal is through smart TVs.

Samsung makes a line of TVs with built in Wi-Fi that let you surf the Internet; watch services like Hulu, Netflix, and more; and take advantage of apps, like the one that lets you play Texas Hold ‘Em right from your sofa. If you’re not quite ready to upgrade your TV, you could consider going with an external Web TV box like Apple TV, Roku, or a Web-enabled Blu-Ray player. They all let you stream extensive content from the Web, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars a year should you decide to ditch your cable company.

Touch-Screen Refrigerator
The refrigerator has long been a place to store your applesauce, but your apps?  The ponderously named RF4289HARS refrigerator from Samsung has an 8-inch LCD display built into the door that functions like a mini Wi-Fi–enabled tablet. It comes bundled with apps that let you leave notes for other family members, find the perfect recipe for dinner, and check the weather. It also lets you pull in your Twitter feed, stream music from Pandora Internet radio, and get the latest news from the AP. Oh yeah, and about that refrigeration part: You can control the fridge’s temp settings and ice-making function right from the touch screen too! It’s a refrigerator sure to satisfy even the most modern family’s appetite for tech, no matter how old their home is.

Steam-Powered Washer & Dryer
For a relatively old technology, steam is all the rage in today’s cutting-edge washers and dryers. Steam molecules, the thinking goes, are smaller than water molecules, so they do a better job penetrating fabrics to carry away dirt and allergens. LG manufactures a line of dryers that can be set on a “TrueSteam” or “SteamSanitary” cycle to release wrinkles from clothes or get “unwashable” items like stuffed animals completely clean. They also manufacture a washer featuring a steam-specific “Allergiene Cycle,” which supposedly removes more than 95 percent of common household allergens. Even Jane Jetson would have been impressed.

The use of steam isn’t the only thing that makes the washers and dryers smart. Many of them also feature what LG calls Smart Thinq technology, which can run the washer when electric rates are the lowest, and can interact with your smartphone to help diagnose operating issues and download new and improved wash cycles from the Internet.