Power to Heal – Sept Fourth Friday/Films of Vision and Hope – film and discussion

Friday September 27, 7:30-9:30pm 
Fireside Room, Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, 505 E. Charleston, Palo Alto

Power to Heal shows both the destructive legacy of racism in American health care and the potential for collective action to redress these wrongs. We should be inspired by Medicare’s role in desegregating our nation’s hospitals, and should insist on further reform…to address the systemic racism that plagues patients of color to this day.” Dr. Claudia Fegan, National Coordinator, Physicians for a National Health Program

As we as a society continue to struggle with persistent, systemic racism and the urgent need for universal, affordable healthcare, Fourth Friday will take a close look at a little known, but remarkable connection between the two issues.

More about the film…

power to heal film

Power to Heal recounts a poignant chapter in the historic struggle to secure equal and adequate access to healthcare for all Americans. Central to the story is the tale of how a new national program, Medicare, was used to mount a dramatic, coordinated effort that desegregated thousands of hospitals across the country in a matter of months. 

Before Medicare, disparities in access to hospital care were dramatic. Less than half the nation’s hospitals served black and white patients equally, and in the South, 1/3 of hospitals would not admit African-Americans even for emergencies. 

Using the carrot of Medicare dollars, the federal government virtually ended the practice of racially segregating patients, doctors, medical staffs, blood supplies, and linens. Power to Heal illustrates how Movement leaders and grass-roots volunteers pressed and worked with the federal government to achieve a greater measure of justice and fairness for African-Americans. 

After the film, we hope you stay to reflect together on the film and the lessons it might have for the continuing struggles for social justice and equal access to healthcare.

Sharing at the Craft Faire



It had been five years since we last had a Crafts-only swap – and we were back at Opal’z Soap and Scents, but in a new location. A hot, sunny Saturday midday brought out bags and boxes of everyone’s craft discards, but also lots was taken home to be newly repurposed.

There was such a range of things – papers, potpourri items, soap-making, candle-making, fabrics, containers, bottles, stickers, kits for kids, paints and colors, small supplies, and a few things that would need some creativity to be repurposed!

We had a steady trickle of people come in, and TPA is also the owner of a new tent canopy for events.

Thanks to our dedicated few volunteers (notably Kenneth Meng and Barbara Weinstein), and our demoers Suzanne Fouche, who showed lace-making and kumihimo, Amanda Kovattana, who displayed and discussed various types of shoes she had made, and William Mutch who showed different types of bracelet weaving, plus the several kind people who dropped off some fruit from their gardens, we had a lively event filled with community and crafty kindness.

Thank you also to Annie of Opal’z, Zero Waste Palo Alto, and everyone who came to share and participate!

Eating your values


Our very own Peter Ruddock will be participating in a panel hosted by Kim Acker on Thursday, August 15th, 7pm entitled “Eating Your Values” at the Los Altos Library. A second panel will be held the following week as well on the Future of Food.



Inner Transition  – August 19th


Session 7: Engage Jack Kornfield

Sounds True – Waking up in the World

For Third Monday, on August 19, 2019 the plan is 6:30p potluck, 7p viewing of a session of “Sounds True –  Waking Up in the World”, 8:15p Discussion. Location TBD in Sunnyvale or Los Altos. We’ll continue this month with Session 7: Engage.

Jack Kornfield, PhD

Tending the Heart in Uncertain Times

We live in uncertain times. How can we keep our hearts open and wise without being lost in the confusion and fears presented to us daily? How can we serve our community and our world with loving awareness and act with the gracious spirit of the bodhisattva? Join Jack Kornfield, bestselling author and cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society, for an important and nourishing conversation. Jack will explore:

  • Practices for tending the heart and setting our inner compass
  • The power of our highest intention and the joy of the bodhisattva
  • Skills for peace amidst all that is happening

To RSVP or ask any questions, please feel free to contact Victoria varmigo at earthlink dot net

6:30pm Monday, August 19th. 6:30pm potluck, 7pm viewing, 8:15 discussion. Check email for details.

Craft Swap

Craft swap 2019 (1)

We return this month (and year!) with our first Craft swap in a long time. We will have this event at our old haunt Opal’z – but in a new, larger location.

Join us to trade arts and crafts supplies, beads, baubles, paper, yarn, sewing needs, instruction books,  and other crafty items in good condition. Bring supplies you won’t use, and take home something new to you. A light lunch will be available.

Would you like to demonstrate a craft? Contact us at bacraftswap at gmail dot com

Where: Opal’z Soap, 897 Independence Avenue, Mountain View building 3, suite C (behind Costco)

When: Saturday, August 10th, 12-2pm (note new time, day, and date!)

A few guidelines:

  • Due to the presence of needles and soap supplies, babies and toddlers should not be unattended indoors.
  • Take home anything left unclaimed at the end.
  • If you have a large amount of one type of item (an entire box or more), please remember to take them home if they are left at the end. Please contact us if you have more than this.
  • Opal’z is a soap-making business with fragrances – if you are sensitive to fragrance, you may wish to take precautions or contact us.

Free and open to all – RSVP not required, but please check in here.

Let’s have fun sharing and creating!


Inner Transition  – New Group Continuing this Month


Session 6: Engage Seane Corn

The Revolution from Within
Sounds True – Waking up in the World

Join Seane in this lively and inspired conversation on what it means to advocate for social change from the inside out, our role as conscious leaders, and how to engage our communities during these complicated times with awareness, compassion, and mindful action. Because stress and trauma live in the body, yoga practice is a perfect opportunity to confront and change some of the patterns that keep us stuck and suffering. When we change on an individual level, we are changing the collective level. If you’re interested in seeing the world become a more healed and integrated place, curious about your own personal contribution, or overwhelmed by the state of the world, this session will offer insights and practices that can provide guidance, lead toward purpose, and ultimately inspire you to be the change you wish to see.

  • How to bridge the gap between yoga, transformation, social justice, and action
  • Understanding the mind-body connection and the impact of trauma on our health, wellness, and reactivity to crisis and conflict
  • What it means to be a conscious leader and ally in the world today

To RSVP or ask any questions, please feel free to contact Victoria varmigo at earthlink dot net

6:30pm Monday, July 15th. 6:30pm potluck, 7pm viewing, 8:15 discussion. Check email for details. Facebook event link. 

Fourth Friday/Films of Vision and Hope: Living in Future’s Past

Friday July 26, 7:30-9:30pm 
Fireside Room, Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, 505 E. Charleston, Palo Alto


In this beautifully photographed tour de force of original thinking, Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges shares the screen with scientists, profound thinkers and a dazzling array of Earth’s living creatures to reveal eye-opening concepts about ourselves and our past, providing fresh insights into our subconscious motivations and their unintended consequences.

Living in the Future’s Past shows how no one can predict how major changes might emerge from the spontaneous actions of the many.  How energy takes many forms as it moves through and animates everything.  How, as we come to understand our true connection to all there is, we will need to redefine our expectations, not as what we will lose, but what we might gain by preparing for something different.

Director Susan Kucera’s documentary “Living in The Future’s Past” brings together scientists, philosophers and politicians to share fresh insights on our subconscious motivations and their unintended consequences. See the trailer…


FREE, Donations appreciated. RSVP here.

Sponsored by Transition Palo Alto.

Fourth Friday: Stories of Food and Farming in Cuba

Friday June 28, 7:30-9:30pm 
Fireside Room, Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, 505 E. Charleston, Palo Alto

This Fourth Friday, learn about the Organic Revolution that started in the 90s in Cuba and how it has progressed in the last 30 years. With the continued opening of Cuba, more change is in the wind:

We’ll begin by watching Tierralismo, the story of Vivero Alamar an urban cooperative farm on the edge of Havana, founded during the Special Period to feed its community. The 153 owners of the farm live in the neighborhood, work on the property and share in the bounty it produces and the profit from sales.

We’ll conclude with a travelogue from Peter Ruddock, who recently visited Cuba as part of the first Slow Food California trip to that country, where he visited urban farms, including Vivero Alamar, local restaurants, Cuban food and farming experts and much, much more, all while learning how fast the landscape is changing as Cuba continues to open to the world.