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The New Jersey Council of the Blind
April, 2008

The New Jersey Council of the Blind's mission is to strive for the betterment of the blind and visually impaired community. The purpose of this publication is to provide a forum for the free exchange of ideas, opinions and information that are of concern to blind people.

The New Jersey Council of the Blind (NJCB) is a 501 (c) 3 corporation and all gifts are tax deductible. Tax deductible donations should be sent to the Treasurer of NJCB.

Four quarterly newsletters are sent to members free of charge in either large print, audio cassette or E-mail. Non-members may request the NJCB Chronicle by E-mail and for an annual donation of $5.00 may receive copies in large print or cassette. If anyone would like their newsletter by E-mail, please let us know and you will be put on the group list.

In order to make the Chronicle better, we need and appreciate information from our chapters, from individuals and from agencies and other outside groups and organizations which serve the blind and visually impaired. Articles to be included in the NJCB Chronicle, requests for copies of the newsletter or membership information should be sent to NJCB, 520 Ewingville Road, Ewing, NJ 08638. They may also be e-mailed to njcounciloftheblind@gmail.com. All information must be received by June 1st to be included in the next issue of the Chronicle.

The NJCB officers are: President Lauren Casey, 609-912-0657, 153 Franklin Corner Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648; First Vice President John Vernon 609-392-3674; Second Vice President Frank Schack 973-595-0116; Secretary Ottilie Lucas 609-882-2446 and Treasurer Bob Lucas 609-882-2446, 520 Ewingville Road, Ewing, NJ 08638.


The next NJCB quarterly meeting is being held on April 26th at the Monmouth County Association for the Blind's clubhouse at 3401 Belmar Blvd., Wall Township, NJ starting with lunch at noon followed by the business meeting until 4 PM. Attendance responses should be called in to 732-280-2326 no later than April 16th. The Monmouth County Association for the Blind will be selling candy at the meeting. The building will not be open before 11:30 AM.

Directions: From the Garden State Parkway:

Get off at exit 98 onto Rt. 138 east.

After first traffic light take jug handle marked Glendola.

Cross Rt. 138 onto Allenwood Rd.

Clubhouse is on the left corner of Allenwood Rd. and Belmar Blvd. Parking is across the street.

From Rt. 195 East:

Route 195 east becomes Rt. 138 east. Follow above directions.

From Rt. 18 South:

Get off at exit to Rt. 195 heading to Trenton

Allenwood Road is at second traffic light.

Clubhouse is on the corner.

From Rt. 35 South:

Turn right onto Belmar Blvd.

Clubhouse is 2 miles on left.


Hi Everyone!

The NJCB quarterly meeting will be held on Saturday, April 26th, from noon until 4 PM. Our meeting will be hosted by the Monmouth County Association for the Blind at their clubhouse in Belmar. More information and directions to the clubhouse are in another article in this issue of the newsletter.

We will start with lunch followed by the business meeting. We will not be having a guest presenter but are hoping to have some of our own members sharing resources and demonstrating items of interest to members at the meeting. I look forward to visiting with everyone once again this spring at the MCAFB clubhouse.

Lauren Casey, NJCB President


The Trenton Elks again invite any blind person in New Jersey and a guest to a dinner on Sunday, May 18th to their hall on Decou Ave. in West Trenton. There is no charge for this event (as in free)! They are gracious hosts and serve a delicious dinner. We will eat, sing and dance to music by Larry Kasar and just have an all around good time. It's as much fun as a wedding reception. Don't miss it. It is one of the highlights of the year!

Date: Sunday May 18, 2008

Time: 1:00 to 4:00 PM

Place: Trenton Elks Lodge, 42 Decou Ave. in West Trenton (the cross street is Parkway Ave.) 609-771-0105.

Make your reservations by phoning Bob Rindt at 609-912-0657 by May 8th.


From the North:

Take Rt. 31 South; turn right onto Rt. 95 South one mile south of the Pennington Circle. Get off at exit 2 turning right toward West Trenton, Turn left at the second traffic light (West Upper Ferry Road). Turn right onto Decou Ave. where road bends right. If you go under the railroad overpass, you've gone too far. The Elks Lodge is on the left where Decou Avenue bends to the right.


Take Rt. 1 South and take Rt. 95 South after passing Mercer Mall on the right and Quaker Bridge Mall on the left.

Get off at exit 2 and follow above directions.


From the East:

Take Rt. 195 West to Rt. 295 North, which becomes Rt. 95 South. Get off at exit 2 and follow the above directions.


From the South:

Take Rt. 206, Rt. 130, Rt. 295 or Turnpike north to Bordentown. Pick up Rt. 295 North, which becomes Rt. 95 South. Get off at exit 2 and follow the above directions. Have a safe trip and we hope to see you there.

Thank You NJCB

Dear ladies and gentleman,

I am writing this letter to thank you all for approving me for a scholarship to help pay for school tuition, books and equipment.

You all were so very generous to vote me this scholarship, and I will be putting it to good use towards my summer credits at Liberty University's distance learning program. The school is actually located in Lynchburg, Virginia; but through the miracles of technology, I can get my full Bachelor's degree in Psychology on line. I am very excited about school which started Monday, January 14th.

I will continue to keep you all posted as to my progress in school.

Thank you again for your consideration and generosity, and I covet your thoughts and prayers.


Leanne Cherry

News from NJLBH

New Youth Services Librarian. We are also pleased to announce the appointment of our new youth services librarian, Liz Burns. Liz previously worked at the Ocean County Library System, and has a wealth of experience in library work with teens and children. Liz is an accomplished writer having published many articles in magazines and co-authoring an upcoming book about using popular web culture to help libraries improve relationships with customers. She has also given presentations about the potential for using Web 2.0 to create online communities with library customers.

LBH Book Club. Have you ever wanted to talk about a book you've read with someone? Well, now you have the chance. The Library is hosting a book discussion club on selected Saturdays at the library from 11 a.m. to noon. Karen Carson, Readers Advisor, will lead the discussion. At the March 1 Book Club, Jodi Picoult's novel, Second Glance was discussed. In it, a developer slates an ancient Abenaki Indian burial ground as the location for a new strip mall resulting in strange happenings that have the tiny town of Comtosook, Vermont, talking of supernatural forces at work. More dates are being scheduled - please call the Library's Readers Services Division at: 800-792-8322 for an update.

Catch The Reading Bug @ Your Library. This summer, with the New Jersey Library for the Blind and Handicapped's Summer Reading Program, kids can "Catch the Reading Bug @ Your Library" and teens can explore "Metamorphosis @ Your Library". This year, LBH is doing something a bit different; it's not how many books you read, it's about how many hours you read. Read any Braille, large print, or audio books. Will you hit the six hour mark? Twelve? Eighteen? Look for more information in future issues of LBH's Rapsheet and on our webpage, www.njlbh.org


Blind women don't get breast cancer -- or at least their risk for breast cancer is substantially less than sighted women. And the reason has to do with two things: light and a hormone called melatonin.

Most people who have heard of melatonin know it as a supplement that can help with sleep (more on that in a moment). And that it's great for jet lag. But the melatonin story is a lot more interesting -- and complicated -- than its ability to serve as a natural cure for insomnia. Melatonin may have a role in protecting you against cancer. It also supports the immune system and is one of the most powerful antioxidants we know of.

Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland, a gland in the brain that helps regulate circadian rhythm. It's actually made along the same metabolic assembly line as serotonin. Both start out as the amino acid tryptophan, which then gets converted into 5-HTP and then to serotonin. Two more steps along the pathway and you've got melatonin.

Melatonin is stimulated by darkness, and turned off by light. One reason scientists believe that the risk for breast cancer is lower in blind women is that they have less exposure to light and presumably more melatonin. We don't know for sure if that's true, but we do know that in one study, scientists grafted human breast cancer tumors on to rats and then exposed them to blood taken from women during darkness and after exposure to light. The blood taken during darkness slowed the growth of the cancers by a whopping 80 percent; meanwhile the blood taken after light exposure accelerated it.

Then there's melatonin's most famous use -- helping regulate sleep. Melatonin helps set the brain's internal clock. It's terrific for jet lag and for anytime that your sleep cycle is artificially disrupted. A good deal of research shows that melatonin is useful for insomnia, though there's some debate about which is best -- regular melatonin or the time-released kind. The immediate release kind might be more effective for decreasing the time it takes to fall asleep, but the time release kind might be better for improving sleep quality and maintenance.

If all these benefits weren't enough, melatonin is one of the most potent antioxidants known. It's believed to be many times more effective at protecting cell membranes than vitamin E, and more effective than glutathione (one of the body's antioxidant stars) at neutralizing one of the most dangerous of the free radicals -- hydroxyl radicals. And on top of it, melatonin supports immune function in a variety of ways. Melatonin may interact with certain medications, especially benzodiazepines, antidepressants, and CNS (central nervous system) depressors like alcohol. Don't take it and drive. If you're going to try melatonin for a better night's sleep, start with 3 mg right before bedtime, though you may find 6-10 mg more effective.


BRAILLE WRITER REPAIR. We now have a certified Braillewriter repairman in New Jersey. His name is Richard Heigh and he is certified by Howe Press. Simply send your Braillewriter as Free Matter f/t Blind to the address listed below. You should probably insure it for about $400.00. Put a print note inside the mailing carton including your name, address and phone number along with specific details of the problem. He will send you a bill. His basic fee is $50.00 for cleaning and lubrication. Additional charges will include parts and insurance for the return shipping.

Richard Heigh

412 West Monroe Ave.

Lynwood, NJ 08221

(609) 601-0557

E-mail: rck532@verizon.net

CELL PHONE NUMBERS BEING RELEASED. All cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive sales calls. YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR THESE CALLS. To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone: 888-382-1222. It is the National DO NOT CALL list. It will only take a minute of your time and it blocks your number for 5 years. You must call from the cell phone number you want to have blocked. You cannot call from a different phone number.

DC Tours. Next time you're in DC, you might want to check out the availability of these tours. These new tours, offered on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, make the collections of the National Gallery of Art more accessible to adult visitors with vision impairments through detailed descriptions of famous works of art. Some tours include tactile elements. Call 202-842-6185 or check their online calendar at www.nga.gov for more information.

Techie Tidbits. Dean Martineau sends out a weekly message including many interesting techie points of interest. Visit the Tidbits page at http://www.topdotenterprises.com/tidbits.htm where you can subscribe to the RSS feed and grab back issues. All that welcome information for future issues can come to me at dean@topdotenterprises.com. People can subscribe to Tidbits via e-mail: tttt-join@topdotenterprises.com (Make sure to get all 4 t's into the address!). Some examples of the info Dean sends out: To follow up on an item from Tidbits, here's another website devoted to sharing hotkeys for different applications: http://allhotkeys.com We learn from the Braille Forum that Internet Speech has recently updated its netECHO software that allows anyone to access the Internet using any phone and user's voice, without a computer. The website is http://www.InternetSpeech.com.

Buy, Sell and Trade Assistive Technology. AT Bay is a new Florida-based website where people can buy, sell and trade assistive technology (AT for short). If your organization has used assistive technology devices stored for lending out or donating, list them on AT Bay. If you are interested in listing equipment for selling or trading, go to http://atbay.faast.org/ AT Bay is a program of the Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology, Inc.

University Without Walls.Innovative classes are now available to seniors by telephone. Stay at home, and learn with others! Did you know that you don't have to leave home to continue learning and engage in lively conversation? Through University Without Walls (UWW), students 55+ are connected to LIVE classes via weekly telephone conference calls. All you need is a regular telephone and an interest in learning and meeting new people. Over 100 courses are being offered in the Spring/Summer UWW semester. Topics range from health and wellness, to literature, art, music, and history, to name just a few. Support groups are also offered, helping older adults to cope with conditions such as vision loss and Parkinson's disease. All classes are interactive, and are taught by professional experts. Joining UWW is easy! There is a one-time registration fee of $10.00 and each course is just $15.00. There is no charge for the phone call, which is paid for by DOROT (the sponsor of UWW, is a not-for-profit social service agency whose mission is to enhance the lives of older people). Mention this notice and receive your first course for free! To receive a free course catalog, call 877-819-9147 or 973-763-1511, or log on to www.dorotusa.org.

Chapter Reports

Garden State Guide Dog Users. GSGDU has elected a new slate of officers. They are President Lauren Casey, Vice President Jean Cannella, Secretary Ottilie Lucas and Treasurer Bob Rindt. They are having a question and answer session with a dog groomer, Dorothy Johnson, who will be speaking at their next meeting on Saturday, June 7, 2008 from 1 to 3 PM at the Library for the Blind and Handicapped following the Friends of the NJLBH meeting. All are welcome to attend

Mercer County Association of the Blind is growing. They have had several new members joining since the beginning of 2008. They had David Hammond with the Talking First Aid Kit speak to their members in January. In February, Their own members, Marcia Morgan and Mustafaa Shabazz, gave talks about their life experiences. MCAB is enjoying learning more about their members with these talks.

Joyce Christensen, another member, spoke at the March meeting about heart healthy eating. She also brought a heart healthy dessert. John Vernon gave us an update from the last meeting of the Commission's Central Regional Consumer Advisory Board.

MCAB is planning additional activities in May, August and December. They hope to see many of you at the upcoming NJCB quarterly meetings.

The Monmouth County Association for the Blind sends a great big hello. On February the 8th they enjoyed a wonderful time with old and new friends at their wine party. There was good food, drink, raffles and music. One of the good things that came from the party was a family with a visually impaired member who attended. They plan on having other parties in the near future.
Eleven visually impaired and four associate members of the Monmouth County Association for the Blind received the honor of becoming charter members of the Lions in District 16B. This is the first charter group in seven years as well as the first visually impaired group.
Since the renovations of their building, the Monmouth County Association for the Blind has reunited with the community not just through their programs for the visually impaired but also through their fellowship with the Lions and other social groups.
Work continues on the clubhouse. The improvements include outside renovations of a new driveway area and landscaping. Inside work includes a second floor computer lab and offices with new lighting and carpeting.
The Monmouth County Association for the Blind will be celebrating their 57th Anniversary on April 15th at the Barkley in Belmar. If anyone is interested in attending please contact them at 732-280-2326 for information. The evening will be a night of good conversation, drawings, food, music, and dancing.
On a social note the day programs at the Monmouth County Association for the Blind is expanding to include day trips, speakers, and other in-house activities. Trips will be to Monmouth Park, Atlantic City, Smithville, the Winery and a concert. Check your email for further information or call them at 732-280-2326.


Thursday, April 17, 2008: Mercer CAB monthly meeting at the Trinity United Methodist Church at 1985 Pennington Road in Ewing. The meeting is from 7:30 to 9:30 PM. Call Bob Rindt with any questions at 609-912-0657.

Saturday, April 26, 2008: Quarterly meeting of NJCB at the Monmouth County Association for the Blind's Clubhouse. Call Liz Walzer by April 16th to let her know you are coming at 732-280-2326.

Thursday, May 15, 2008: Mercer CAB monthly meeting. See prior notice.

Sunday, May 18, 2008: Elks Dinner Dance. See prior article.

Saturday, June 7, 2008: Friends of the Library meeting at the Library for the Blind and Handicapped from 10 AM to 12 Noon. Join them for lunch for a charge of only $5.00.

Saturday, June 7, 2008: Garden State Guide Dog Users meeting at NJLBH from 1 to 3 PM. Dorothy Johnson will be giving tips on dog grooming. All are welcome. Call Lauren Casey at 609-912-0657 for further details.

Thursday, June 19, 2008: Mercer CAB monthly meeting. See prior notice.

Saturday, July 26, 2008: Quarterly meeting of NJCB will be held at Camp Happiness in Leonardo, NJ from 12 Noon to 4 PM. Details and directions will be in the July issue of the NJCB Chronicle.

Saturday, August 9, 2008: Mercer CAB summer picnic at the Trenton Elks on Decou Avenue in West Trenton. Details and directions will be in the July issue of the NJCB Chronicle.

Saturday, October 25, 2008: NJCB Annual Convention. Watch future issues of the NJCB Chronicle for more information.


NOTE: Disclaimer. The views and opinions expressed in this newsletter are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the New Jersey Council of the Blind officers and/or members. The editor reserves the right to edit articles submitted for both length and content.