April 2010


            

Many of us are currently watching HBO’s miniseries “The Pacific”,   which portrays the experiences of many United States Marine Corps veterans who served in the Pacific during the Second World War.   We rarely stop to think of the sacrifices made by the men and women who served in the armed forces during the Second World War and how different our lives would be, had the Allies not won the war. 

Most Americans are well aware of what happened in the European Theater, but are much less familiar with what happened in the Pacific Theater.   Names of islands important in the Pacific Theater are often unfamiliar to us – Peleliu, Kwajalein, Bougainville, Tinian,   to mention a few.    

Your Alameda County Library has many books relating to the Pacific Theater during the Second World War.   I myself will be reading many of them.  Among those books written by Marines portrayed in the HBO series are: 

With the Old Breed at Peleliu and Okinawa / E.B. Sledge ; [with a new introduction by Victor Davis Hanson] / New York : Presidio Press, 2007                                                                      940.54252 SLEDGE

Helmet for my pillow : from Parris Island to the Pacific, a young Marine’s stirring account of combat in World War II / Robert Leckie     New York : Bantam, 2010                           B LECKIE,R

Islands of the damned : a Marine at war in the Pacific / R.V. Burgin ; with Bill Marvel  New York : NAL Caliber, c2010                                                                                                                          B BURGIN,R

I’m staying with my boys : the heroic life of Sgt. John Basilone, USMC / Jim Proser with Jerry Cutter    New York : St. Martin’s Griffin, c2010                                                                    B BASILONE,J

Some DVDs relating the the Pacific Theater during World War II are: 

Remember Pearl Harbor [videorecording] : America taken by surprise   Chicago : IVN/Questar, c2001                       DVD 940.5426 REMEMBER

Uncommon valor : the story of the U.S. Marines in WWII. Disc 1, Guam, Midway, Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Rabaul [videorecording] / Dastar presents a Timeless Media Group production ; written and directed by the executive producer Bill Karn      Eugene, OR : distributed by Timeless Media Group, c2006       DVD 940.5426 UNCOMMON

Uncommon valor : the story of the U.S. Marines in WWII. Disc 2, Saipan, Tinian, Peleliu, Iwo Jima, Okinawa [videorecording] / Dastar presents a Timeless Media Group production ; written and directed by the executive producer Bill Karn     Eugene, OR : distributed by Timeless Media Group, c2006      DVD 940.5426 UNCOMMON

WWII, the lost color archives [videorecording] / produced by Carlton Television and Champion Television for A&E Television Networks ; executive producers: Alastair Waddington, Martin Smith ; producers: Alastair Laurence, Lucy Carter     New York : A&E Television Networks/The History Channel : distributed in the US by New Video Group, c1999                                                                                                               DVD 940.54 WORLD  v.1&2

Bees are coming to Dublin Library.    This Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. Uncle Jer’s Traveling Bee Show arrives for a Family Night program when the library is closed.  Jerry Johnson is a beekeeper from Elk Grove.  He has between 3 and 25 colonies of bees. He and his wife Ellen will be here along with two observation hives, a variety of honey samples and lots of large mounted photos with information about bees.  How and why do bees pollinate plants?  Why do bees swarm?  How many eyes do bees have?   Find out about pollination, honey making and harvesting, bee reproduction, the medicinal qualities of honey and other fun bee facts.  Better yet, get a chance to watch them working on a multitude of jobs.

Bees have a bad reputation because of their stingers, I know.  All of my life I have not been fond of bees–I’ve been stung and my dog has been stung.  Once outside the old Dublin Library, people came scooting in the front door alarmed at a huge swarm hanging effortlessly in a nearby tree.   Fly fishing along the Truckee River with my father years ago,  hundreds of bees coasted along the rocky riverbank and I tried not to let them bother me, but eventually I ended up back in the car, furiously rolling up the windows because there were just So Many of Them and I couldn’t shake the fear that I would be stung.  It just takes one….

But I AM fond of food like berries, cherries, melons, almonds, apples, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and squash.  Onions.  Pumpkins.  Broccoli.  Carrots. Peanuts.  Avocado. It turns out that all of these foods depend on bees. Bees get food from the flowers of these plants and when they do, they pollinate them, which means those plants keep on reproducing.  Without bees, there are no plants.  No plants, no food.

A few years ago beekeepers sounded an alarm:  honey bees were disappearing.  Hives were suddenly being deserted.  The estimates are now nearly one third of all honey bee colonies in this country have vanished.   That’s scary. It’s called Colony Collapse Disorder and scientists, beekeepers and agricultural experts are scrambling to understand why.  Since reading about this, I am trying to make friends with bees.  When I see them on my rosemary plant, I say welcome.  Glad to see you.   More , I’m anxious to understand how we humans can help them out, since they play such a key role in all the best food I like to eat.  So Saturday night is an opportunity to make friends with the bees, understand them a little and maybe go home with a little kernal of knowledge that can keep them from disappearing altogether…..

It’s Spring break and the kids are out of school for a week.  The homework center is closed this week after a really successful winter session.  Here is what Anne Reilly, Homework Center Coordinator, had to say:

“With 15 volunteers from Dublin, Pleasanton and San Ramon, 100 hours of homework help available and 348 student visits, we wrap up our winter 2010 trimester.  Our volunteers did a fantastic job helping with a variety of subjects, the top 3 requested subjects being math, science and language arts.  Volunteers have also helped students practice math facts, prepare for tests, and complete book reports.  We’ve even had volunteers work with students in other languages such as Spanish and Korean.  All of these showcase the amazing group of volunteers we are lucky to have here in the Homework Center.

Here’s what some of our volunteers have to say about their participation in the program.

“Helping students prepare for tests and having them come back and tell you how they did well, is just the best.”  Bhumika

“I enjoy meeting new people and working in an environment without distractions – no phone, computer or games.  I enjoy helping others complete their homework … and still having time to do my own.”  Kaushik

“Volunteering in the Homework Center has helped me be more patient and I like that I have really helped people.”  Karen

And what’s my own favorite thing about the Homework Center?  That would be hearing our favorite phrase – “Ah, now I get it!”

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As we move into spring, the weather is warmer, we have daylight for longer, and sports are being practiced and played, so why come to the Homework Center during spring?

–          To keep your homework assignments on track

–          To prepare for tests

–          To complete your homework between 3:30 and 5:30 and have the rest of the evening free!

The Dublin Library Homework Help Program spring trimester begins on Monday April 12 and ends on Thursday May 27, 2010.  We will have 3 or 4 high school volunteers available each day to help students in grades 3-8 with daily homework assignments.  The volunteers work with the students, not giving the answers but helping students work out the answers for themselves.

We look forward to seeing you in the Homework Center after Spring Break.  Come along and check it out – let our volunteers help you with homework.”

 I’d also like to add a special “thank you” to the Friends of the Dublin Library who funded appreciation gift cards for the volunteers.