September 2021 Senior Center News

September Senior Center News by Carol Kaneko, Jean Yamashita

Photos by Jean Yamashita

SENIOR CENTER EVENTS

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and for the safety of our Seniors, the Watsonville-Santa Cruz JACL Senior Center has suspended Thursday gatherings, activities, special events, and trips until further notice.  If you need help while sheltering-at-home (e.g., picking up groceries), please contact Carol Kaneko or Jean Yamashita (408-813-6539).

Note: Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local health departments is being used to determine when it is safe to reopen the Senior Center.  Protecting the health of our Seniors is of utmost importance.

~ EARLY REMINDER ~

It’s fall so time to set our clocks back!

Daylight savings time ends Sunday, November 7th at 2 am.  Before you go to bed Saturday night (November 6th), set your clocks back one hour and enjoy an extra hour of sleep!

LET’S BEAT COVID-19!

From the California Department of Public Health (CDPH):  Recommends that everyone (vaccinated or unvaccinated) wear mask indoors statewide. 

Please follow the CDPH link below for further information:

https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/nCoV2019.aspx

On September 24, 2021, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the following news regarding COVID-19 booster shots:

CDC recommends:

  • people 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series,
  • people aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine atleast 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series,
  • people aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks, and
  • people aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks.

Many of the people who are now eligible to receive a booster shot received their initial vaccine early in the vaccination program and will benefit from additional protection. With the Delta variant’s dominance as the circulating strain and cases of COVID-19 increasing significantly across the United States, a booster shot will help strengthen protection against severe disease in those populations who are at high-risk for exposure to COVID-19 or the complications from severe disease.

CDC will continue to monitor the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines to ensure appropriate recommendations to keep all Americans safe. We will also evaluate with similar urgency available data in the coming weeks to swiftly make additional recommendations for other populations or people who got the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Please follow the CDC link below for further information regarding COVID-19 booster shots:

https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/p0924-booster-recommendations-.html

The CDC emphasizes the importance of getting the flu vaccination, ideally by the end of October.  Unfortunately, the Senior Center will not be able to conduct a Flu Shot Clinic so you will need to make your own arrangements through your normal healthcare professional or other means.  Many if not all pharmacies in Santa Cruz County offer flu shots at no cost to Medicare recipients.  The CDC says you can get the COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine at the same time; however, if you have concerns about getting both vaccines at the same time or if you have any questions regarding the vaccines, you should talk to your health care provider.  We hope that everyone will continue to be safe from COVID-19 and this season’s flu.  A flu shot is the best protection available against the flu.  It’s time to get your shot – don’t delay.  It takes a few weeks for the vaccine to become fully effective. 

“It feels like an early Christmas” a Senior commented when the huge bag of goodies arrived on September 16th.  Inside the bag were many wonderful items to unwrap and enjoy:

Imura Japanese Restaurant prepared delicious sushi (two futomakis and four California rolls) and miso soup purchased by the W-SC JACL Senior Center.  Jee Kajihara/Imura made the bento extra special by adding a yummy apple muffin, shiso and bok choy patty, and potato salad. 

Pictured: Jee Kajihara poses with the lovely bento box she made for the Seniors

Pictured: Eileen Byers carefully created the pretty takeout favors, complete with clever ‘chopsticks’ and surprise sweets inside.

Susan AmRhein and her daughter, Yuan AmRhein Gorham, prepared a tasty homemade snack mix for all the Seniors and packaged the treat in attractive “Made with Love” containers in celebration of Susan’s September birthday.

Ken Tanimoto purchased cute huckleberry bear lollipops as a souvenir for all the Seniors of his Yellowstone adventure this summer.  Ken said huckleberries grow wild in Yellowstone.  Ken’s warning: Make sure no one bites hard on the lollipop because it is a hard candy and can break a tooth!

Pictured: Ken Tanimoto looking down at Old Faithful in Yellowstone.

Pictured: Jane Sugidono donated yummy green bean pastries from Baker’s Village bakery in celebration of her September birthday.

Pictured: Hisako Kodama truly has a green thumb and grows a variety of vegetables in her spacious garden.   With the abundance of cucumbers, Mrs. Kodama spent days making many jars of sweet pickles.  With the help of her daughter Nancy, Mrs. Kodama beautifully packaged each pickle jar for the Seniors.

Mitsuyo Tao celebrated her momentous 90th birthday on September 19thMrs. Tao and Paul and Kim Tao Family wanted to commemorate this special birthday by generously treating all the Seniors to two manju favorites and luscious “P&K Farms Organic Strawberries”.

Pictured (L-R):  Mitsuyo Tao and Kim Tao hold the beautifully packaged surprise gift bags they put together for all the Seniors in celebration of Mitsuyo Tao’s 90th birthday.

We are so fortunate and thankful for the abundance of wonderful goodies this month – ‘Domo Arigato!’ to all our thoughtful and generous donors!

Our very hardworking delivery team jumped right in to help with delivery bag preparations that turned out to be quite a task this month with all the items to distribute: Susan AmRhein, Sharon Bobo, Reba Condon, June Honda, Paul and Carol Kaneko, Gail and Bill Wurtenberg, and Jean YamashitaKim Tao and Mitsuyo Tao also graciously pitched in to assist.  Many thanks to all our awesome volunteers!

Top row – pictured (L-R): Susan AmRhein, Sharon Bobo, Reba Condon
Bottom row – pictured (L-R): Paul and Carol Kaneko, June Honda, Gail and Bill Wurtenberg

SENIORS AT THE SANTA CRUZ COUNTY FAIR

September 15, 2021

Pictured (L-R): Iwao Yamashita, Jean Akiyama and Fumi Tanimasa, Toshi Yamashita, Bill and Gail Wurtenberg

Nice to see Senior friends at the fair! 

We love to see your smiling faces so if you have photos that you would like to share, please email or contact Jean Yamashita.

HAPPY SEPTEMBER BIRTHDAYS!

Wishing our September honorees “a very Happy Birthday!”.

A note:  As we continue to shelter-at-home, birthday honorees living locally are receiving a mini bundt cake on their birthday month with their monthly delivery.

WHERE TO FIND JAPANESE PRODUCTS

“HBJ Oriental Store & Food To Go”, 205 E. Lake Avenue, Watsonville, 831-722-4784

This small Filipino store has some Japanese products and is trying to expand its Japanese stock based on demand and suggestions.  Fresh tofu and fresh vegetables are delivered from San Francisco to the store usually on Saturday mornings.

[Thank you to all the contributors for sharing this find.]

DONATIONS

Birthday donations gratefully received in September from: Satoko Yamamoto, Mas Hashimoto, George Stewart, Mitsuyo Tao, and Pat Marr.

Special donations gratefully received from: Toshi Yamashita and Paul and Carol Kaneko in memory of Haruko Yoshii; Dan and Karen Nitta in memory (3rd year) of mother Helen Mito; and Miyoko Yoshii and Yoshii Family in memory of mother Haruko Yoshii.

For those who wish to donate during this time when the Senior Center is closed, please make out your checks to ‘W-SC JACL Senior Center’ and send them to Carol Kaneko at 1835 Silvana Ln, Santa Cruz, CA 95062. Thank you for your generous support of our Senior Center.

Special Note:  Because the Senior Center has had to (sadly) close its doors due to the coronavirus, birthday donations and senior center anniversary donations are optional until the Senior Center can reopen again.  Voluntary donations are much appreciated. 

COVID-19 and flu vaccines are one of the strongest tools we can have to fight COVID-19 and the seasonal flu.  Practice the following healthy habits to prevent illness: wear a mask in public (covering your nose and mouth) especially indoors; distance yourself from other people (at least 6 feet); wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; get plenty of sleep; eat nutritious meals; manage your stress; and try to stay active (both body and mind).  Stay hydrated – drink plenty of water.  Try to do your balance exercises three times a day!

We are grateful to our Senior community for continuing to support each other as we cautiously maneuver through these challenging times. Thank you for caring!

Stay safe everyone!

TAKE CARE!

Note:  Please direct any questions or comments regarding monthly Senior deliveries and/or the monthly Senior newsletter to Jean Yamashita (408-813-6539).  Thank you.

August 2021 Senior Center News

August Senior Center News by Carol Kaneko, Jean Yamashita

Photos by Jean Yamashita

SENIOR CENTER EVENTS

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and for the safety of our Seniors, the Watsonville-Santa Cruz JACL Senior Center has suspended Thursday gatherings, activities, special events, and trips until further notice.  If you need help while sheltering-at-home (e.g., picking up groceries), please contact Carol Kaneko or Jean Yamashita (408-813-6539).

Note: Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local health departments is being used to determine when it is safe to reopen the Senior Center.  Protecting the health of our Seniors is of utmost importance.

Through difficult times, it’s so nice that we have family and friends to lend a hand and boost our spirits.

Stay safe everyone!

LET’S BEAT COVID-19!

From the California Department of Public Health (CDPH):

As of 7/28/21: CDPH adds recommendation for everyone (vaccinated or unvaccinated) to wear mask indoors statewide.  

The COVID-19 vaccines are effective in preventing serious disease. Unvaccinated persons are more likely to get infected and spread the virus which is transmitted through the air and concentrates indoors. About 15% of our population remains without the option for vaccination (children under 12 years old are not yet eligible) and risk for COVID-19 exposure and infection will remain until we reach full community immunity.

With the emergence of the more contagious Delta variant in California which now accounts for over 80% of cases sequenced, cases and hospitalizations of COVID-19 are rising throughout the state, especially amongst those that remain unvaccinated.  

Despite ongoing outreach and improving COVID-19 vaccine access, as of July 27, 2021, a significant proportion of Californians throughout the state are not yet fully vaccinated. The Delta variant is two times as contagious than early COVID-19 variants, leading to increasing infections.

Get vaccinated!  Vaccines prevent serious illness, save lives and reduce the further spread of COVID-19.  Getting vaccinated is your best defense against the severity of the Delta variant and our best shot at ending the pandemic.

Please follow the CDPH link below for further information:

https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/nCoV2019.aspx

From the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding booster shots:

COVID-19 vaccines are working very well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. However, with the Delta variant, public health experts are starting to see reduced protection against mild and moderate disease. For that reason, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is planning for a booster shot so vaccinated people maintain protection over the coming months.

When can I get a COVID-19 vaccine booster?

Not immediately. The goal is for people to start receiving a COVID-19 booster shot beginning in the fall, with individuals being eligible starting 8 months after they received their second dose of an mRNA vaccine (either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna). This is subject to authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and recommendation by CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). FDA is conducting an independent evaluation to determine the safety and effectiveness of a booster dose of the mRNA vaccines. ACIP will decide whether to issue a booster dose recommendation based on a thorough review of the evidence.

Please follow the CDC link below for further information regarding boosters:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html

August was a joyous month as thirteen Seniors celebrated a birthday!  Bobby and Nancy Tamaki wanted to do something special for the Seniors in memory of Akira Kodama (Hisako Kodama’s husband and Nancy’s father) who would have turned 100 on August 19th so they generously donated delicious Miyuki lunch boxes (salmon teriyaki, tempura, rice, salad, and miso soup).  Eileen Byers and June Honda also celebrated August birthdays so Eileen created charming ‘I love baking’ apron favors complete with intricately constructed baking utensils and filled with sweets provided by Eileen and JuneNobue Fujii kindly added yummy Jelly Fruit Snacks to the goodie bags, and the W-SC JACL Senior Center contributed the Milano cookies.  Thank you so very much to our thoughtful donors!  Hope everyone enjoyed the August 19th treats!

Pictured (L-R): Akira Kodama celebrating his 98th birthday, August 2019.  The cartoon figure on the bento box label reflects Mr. Kodama’s joy of ice cream and fishing.  Also pictured: Nancy and Bobby Tamaki.

Pictured: Eileen Byers displays all the lovely favors that she meticulously created.  The Biscoff cookie and Kit Kat in each favor were purchased by Eileen Byers and June Honda.

Pictured: Nobue Fujii donated tasty Fruit Snacks for all the Seniors. 

Miyuki Japanese Restaurant (Chris Ishikawa owner) worked tirelessly for hours to churn out all the lunch boxes for the Seniors.  Much appreciation to Chris and crew for doing a fantastic job! 

Pictured (L-R): Jenny, Chris, Lynn

It turned out to be a muggy day, but the dedicated delivery team endured the heat and packaged up their goodie bags and cheerfully distributed the treats to the Seniors.  In appreciation, Hisako Kodama kindly gave the volunteers a bag of cucumbers and squash – thank you, Mrs. Kodama!  Extremely grateful for our wonderful delivery volunteers:  Susan AmRhein, Sharon Bobo, Reba Condon, June Honda, Paul Kaneko, Gail Wurtenberg, and Jean Yamashita

Top row – pictured (L-R): Sharon Bobo, June Honda, Carol and Paul Kaneko
Bottom row – pictured (L-R): Bill and Gail Wurtenberg, Susan AmRhein, Reba Condon

HAPPY AUGUST BIRTHDAYS!

Wishing our many August honorees, a very Happy Birthday! 

A note:  As we continue to shelter-at-home, birthday honorees living locally are receiving a mini bundt cake on their birthday month with their monthly delivery.

IN MEMORIAM

The W-SC JACL Senior Center extends its deepest sympathies to the Yoshii Family in the passing of Haruko Yoshii on August 26, 2021 at the age of 104. 

PILGRIMAGES – By Kimiko Marr

Contact: Kimiko Marr kimiko@jampilgrimages.com

(831) 244-3522

http://www.jampilgrimages.com

KENT, WA (August 1, 2021) – From August 29, 2021 to September 25, 2021 Japanese American Memorial Pilgrimages (JAMP) in partnership with the National Park Service will co-host the second annual Tadaima! A Community Virtual Pilgrimage. This pilgrimage will run continuously for four weeks, with new content provided daily. The pilgrimage is free and open to the public and will be available online at http://www.jampilgrimages.com. Registration opens on August 15, 2021.

Due to COVID-19, most organized annual pilgrimages to WWII incarceration sites were cancelled in 2020. Tadaima! A Community Virtual Pilgrimage was developed in an effort to provide a safe space for the Japanese American community and allies to learn, communicate and collaborate as they normally would during pilgrimages. Tadaima 2020 focused on Japanese American history, from the 1800s to today, and the archived program can be found at https://www.jampilgrimages.com/tadaima2020.

Tadaima 2021 will expand upon Tadaima 2020 to address identity, indigeneity, and intersectionality as they relate to the WWII incarceration of Japanese Americans. This program will showcase Japanese American artists, live panel discussions featuring a diverse collection of speakers, and opportunities to engage in meaningful discussion for Nikkei and allies alike. Tadaima 2021 is a collaborative effort between Japanese American and ally organizations worldwide. This year we hope to forge new connections within and around our diverse Nikkei community, to rebuild relationships fractured by intergenerational trauma, and to begin the journey to healing collectively through mutual respect and understanding.

Once again, we are thrilled to invite the general public to participate in this historic community driven event, to celebrate the diversity and resiliency within and surrounding the ethnic Japanese community. Scholars, artists, educators, and expert panelists will collaborate to deepen our understanding of the after-effects of WWII Japanese American incarceration, and to highlight lesser-known intersectional, indigenous, and intergenerational perspectives. Please join us in our journey this year, we welcome those from all walks of life to this year’s pilgrimage!

LOOKING FOR JAPANESE PRODUCTS?

With the closure of Yamashita Market, here’s a reminder of an alternative store that may carry Japanese products that you are looking for. 

Oriental Store & Food To Go”, 205 E. Lake Avenue, Watsonville, 831-722-4784

It was discovered that this small Filipino store has some Japanese products and is trying to expand its Japanese stock based on demand.  Tofu and vegetables are delivered from San Francisco to the store Saturday mornings.

[Thank you to all the contributors for sharing this find.]

DONATIONS

Donations gratefully received in August from: Shirley Nishimoto, Jo Ann Vear, June Honda, Yoshiko Nishihara, Eileen Byers, Paul Kaneko, Gail Wurtenberg, and Reiko Yamamoto.

Special donations gratefully received from: Bobby and Nancy Tamaki in memory of Akira Kodama (100th birthday); Shirley Nishimoto for Senior Center’s 50th Anniversary; and Riiko Yoshida donation.

For those who wish to donate during this time when the Senior Center is closed, please make out your checks to ‘W-SC JACL Senior Center’ and send them to Carol Kaneko at 1835 Silvana Ln, Santa Cruz, CA 95062. Thank you for your generous support of our Senior Center.

Special Note:  Because the Senior Center has had to (sadly) close its doors due to the coronavirus, birthday donations and senior center anniversary donations are optional until the Senior Center can reopen again.  Voluntary donations are much appreciated. 

COVID-19 vaccines are one of the strongest tools we can have to fight this pandemic together.  Practice the following healthy habits to prevent illness: wear a mask in public (covering your nose and mouth) especially indoors; distance yourself from other people (at least 6 feet); wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; get plenty of sleep; eat well; and try to stay active (both body and mind).  Stay hydrated – drink plenty of water especially during hot summer days.  Try to do your balance exercises three times a day!

Reminder: Protect your skin – wear sunscreen!  From the internet:

Wearing sunscreen is one of the best — and easiest — ways to protect your skin’s appearance and health at any age. Used regularly, sunscreen helps prevent sunburn, skin cancer and premature aging.

TAKE CARE!

Note:  Please direct any questions or comments regarding monthly Senior deliveries and/or the monthly Senior newsletter to Jean Yamashita (408-813-6539).  Thank you.

July 2021 Senior Center News

July Senior Center News by Carol Kaneko, Jean Yamashita

Photos by Jean Yamashita

SENIOR CENTER EVENTS

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and for the safety of our Seniors, the Watsonville-Santa Cruz JACL Senior Center has suspended Thursday gatherings, activities, special events, and trips until further notice.  If you need help while sheltering-at-home (e.g., picking up groceries), please contact Carol Kaneko or Jean Yamashita (408-813-6539).

Note: Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local health departments is being used to determine when it is safe to reopen the Senior Center.  Protecting the health of our Seniors is of utmost importance.

As we continue to remain vigilant in this COVID-19 battle, we thank everyone for remaining connected with their Senior friends and helping each other whenever needed.   

Stay safe everyone!

LET’S BEAT COVID-19!

Sadly, with the emergence of the Delta variant which is highly contagious, COVID-19 cases are increasing in California, largely among unvaccinated populations.

From the California Department of Public Health (CDPH):

The risk for COVID-19 exposure and infection continues as a number of Californians remain unvaccinated. With the emergence of the more transmissible Delta variant, there is a renewed urgency to get all eligible Californians vaccinated as quickly as possible and complete their two-dose vaccination process if they are receiving Pfizer or Moderna.

Continued use of face coverings helps prevent COVID-19 transmission among people with higher risk of infection (those who are unvaccinated or immunocompromised), those with prolonged, cumulative exposures, and individuals whose vaccination status is unknown.

Please follow the CDPH link below for further information:

https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/guidance-for-face-coverings.aspx

On 7/27/21, The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its mask guidance:

To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.

As you sat outside, basking in the idyllic Watsonville sunshine on a July 22nd summer afternoon, you thought “hmmmmm … wouldn’t a pizza snack be perfect right now?”.  Then ‘voila!’ – your doorbell rang, and a smiling senior center volunteer presented you with a goodie bag that contained PIZZA!  As you savored your Mountain Mike’s mini pepperoni pizza, you discovered the other yummy treats in your goodie bag: pack of strawberry shortbread cookies (pizza and cookies from W-SC JACL Senior Center), clever 4th of July favor put together by Eileen Byers, delicious crunchy cucumbers from Hideko Nagamine and Family, and a little pack of cocoa dusted almonds from Jean Yamashita.

Hope everyone enjoyed a happy and safe 4th of July!

Pictured: Eileen Byers holds all the patriotic favors that she patiently created.

Thank you, Eileen, for all your hard work and generosity!

Pictured: Hideko Nagamine stands next to two huge boxes of cucumbers that the Nagamine Family donated for the Seniors.

Thank you, Hideko Nagamine Family, for your thoughtfulness and generosity!

Pictured: Jean Yamashita donated little packs of cocoa dusted almonds.

Our vibrant delivery team gathered together at Mountain Mike’s Pizza in Watsonville to assemble the July treat bags for their Seniors.  We are so fortunate to have such a kindhearted, hardworking group of volunteers!  Huge ‘THANK YOU! to:  Susan AmRhein, Sharon Bobo, Reba Condon, Paul Kaneko, Gail Wurtenberg, and Jean Yamashita

Top row – pictured (L-R): Reba Condon, Sharon Bobo and Paul Kaneko, Bill and Gail Wurtenberg
Bottom row – pictured (L-R): Susan AmRhein, Paul and Carol Kaneko, Sharon Bobo

Several Senior Center members helped out at the Watsonville Buddhist Temple (WBT) fireworks booth (July 1st -4th).  The WBT greatly appreciated all the support that contributed to a successful WBT fund raiser.

Pictured: Standing (L-R) – Toshi Yamashita, June Honda; Sitting – Iwao Yamashita

HAPPY 4th of JULY!

HAPPY JULY BIRTHDAYS!

Wishing our July honorees, a very Happy Birthday! 

A note:  As we continue to shelter-at-home, birthday honorees living locally are receiving a mini bundt cake on their birthday month with their monthly delivery.

Welcome home Emiko Stewart (daughter of Eiko and George Stewart) and her dog, CarterEmiko returned to Watsonville on July 9th to continue her teaching career after teaching in Hong Kong for several years.

Pictured: Emiko and Eiko helping with the Senior Center Easter Cookie Buffet on 4/18/19.

IN MEMORIAM

The W-SC JACL Senior Center extends its deepest sympathies to the Osato Family in the passing of Wally Osato on July 9, 2021 at the age of 88.  (Obituary appeared in 7/23/21 Pajaronian)

A fond memory: On 11/7/19, Wally Osato drove from San Jose to Kizuka Hall in Watsonville to bring kaki (persimmons) and pomegranates for the Seniors and to re-connect with old friends. 

PILGRIMAGES – By Kimiko Marr

Contact: Kimiko Marr kimiko@jampilgrimages.com

(831) 244-3522 http://www.jampilgrimages.com

KENT, WA (August 1, 2021) – From August 29, 2021 to September 25, 2021 Japanese American Memorial Pilgrimages (JAMP) in partnership with the National Park Service will co-host the second annual Tadaima! A Community Virtual Pilgrimage. This pilgrimage will run continuously for four weeks, with new content provided daily. The pilgrimage is free and open to the public and will be available online at http://www.jampilgrimages.com. Registration opens on August 15, 2021.

Due to COVID-19, most organized annual pilgrimages to WWII incarceration sites were cancelled in 2020. Tadaima! A Community Virtual Pilgrimage was developed in an effort to provide a safe space for the Japanese American community and allies to learn, communicate and collaborate as they normally would during pilgrimages. Tadaima 2020 focused on Japanese American history, from the 1800s to today, and the archived program can be found at https://www.jampilgrimages.com/tadaima2020.

Tadaima 2021 will expand upon Tadaima 2020 to address identity, indigeneity, and intersectionality as they relate to the WWII incarceration of Japanese Americans. This program will showcase Japanese American artists, live panel discussions featuring a diverse collection of speakers, and opportunities to engage in meaningful discussion for Nikkei and allies alike. Tadaima 2021 is a collaborative effort between Japanese American and ally organizations worldwide. This year we hope to forge new connections within and around our diverse Nikkei community, to rebuild relationships fractured by intergenerational trauma, and to begin the journey to healing collectively through mutual respect and understanding.

Once again, we are thrilled to invite the general public to participate in this historic community driven event, to celebrate the diversity and resiliency within and surrounding the ethnic Japanese community. Scholars, artists, educators, and expert panelists will collaborate to deepen our understanding of the after-effects of WWII Japanese American incarceration, and to highlight lesser-known intersectional, indigenous, and intergenerational perspectives. Please join us in our journey this year, we welcome those from all walks of life to this year’s pilgrimage!

YAMASHITA MARKET CLOSES

Pictured (L-R): Shizu, Goro, Sumi
Photo taken by Phil Shima

It is with great sadness that the Yamashita Market, a historical icon of the Japanese community, is closing its doors in July.  (Article appeared in The Pajaronian, April 16, 2021 and the July issue of the W-SC JACL “The Bridge”.)

Enjoy your retirement, Shizu, Sumi, and Goro!  Thank you for serving the Japanese community for so many years and providing wonderful memories!

Suggestion: “Oriental Store & Food To Go”, 205 E. Lake Avenue, Watsonville, 831-722-4784

It was discovered that this small Filipino store has some Japanese items and is considering expanding its Japanese stock per demand.  Tofu and vegetables are delivered from San Francisco to the store Saturday mornings.

[Thank you to all the contributors for sharing this find.]

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Donations gratefully received in July from: Phil Shima, Jean Yamashita, Nobue Fujii, Kim Tao, Judy Hane, Sunao Honda, Connie Dimas, and Mary Perez.

Special donations gratefully received from: Toshi Yamashita “in appreciation for the bentos”, and Chie Sakaue and Family “in appreciation for your hard work”.

For those who wish to donate during this time when the Senior Center is closed, please make out your checks to ‘W-SC JACL Senior Center’ and send them to Carol Kaneko at 1835 Silvana Ln, Santa Cruz, CA 95062. Thank you for your generous support of our Senior Center.

Special Note:  Because the Senior Center has had to (sadly) close its doors due to the coronavirus, birthday donations and senior center anniversary donations are optional until the Senior Center can reopen again.  Voluntary donations are much appreciated. 

COVID-19 vaccines are one of the strongest tools we can have to fight this pandemic together.  Practice the following healthy habits to prevent illness: wear a mask in public (covering your nose and mouth); distance yourself from other people (at least 6 feet); wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; get plenty of sleep; eat well; and try to stay active (both body and mind).  Stay hydrated – drink plenty of water.  Try to do your balance exercises three times a day!

TAKE CARE!

Note:  Please direct any questions or comments regarding monthly Senior deliveries and/or the monthly Senior newsletter to Jean Yamashita (408-813-6539).  Thank you.

June 2021 Senior Center News

June Senior Center News by Carol Kaneko, Jean Yamashita

Photos by Jean Yamashita 

SENIOR CENTER EVENTS

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and for the safety of our Seniors, the Watsonville-Santa Cruz JACL Senior Center has suspended Thursday gatherings, activities, special events, and trips until further notice.  If you need help while sheltering-at-home (e.g., picking up groceries), please contact Carol Kaneko or Jean Yamashita (408-813-6539).

Note: Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local health departments is being used to determine when it is safe to reopen the Senior Center.  Protecting the health of our Seniors is of utmost importance.

Thank you to our Senior community for continuing to help each other while we navigate through the unpredictable COVID-19 climate.

Stay safe everyone!

LET’S BEAT COVID-19!

Thanks to the COVID-19 vaccines and falling transmission rates, California has reopened its economy on June 15th.  Protecting the health and well-being of Californians remains a priority which entails continuing to encourage vaccinations and providing suitable guidance.

From the California Department of Public Health: Excerpts from “Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings”

The COVID-19 vaccines are effective in preventing infection, disease, and spread. Unvaccinated persons are more likely to get infected and spread the virus which is transmitted through the air and concentrates indoors. About 15% of our population remains without the option for vaccination (children under 12 years old are not yet eligible) and risk for COVID-19 exposure and infection will remain until we reach full community immunity.

The purpose of this guidance is to align with CDC recommendations and provide information about higher risk settings where masks are required or recommended to prevent transmission to persons with higher risk of infection (e.g., unvaccinated or immunocompromised persons), to persons with prolonged, cumulative exposures (e.g., workers), or to persons whose vaccination status is unknown. When people who are not fully vaccinated wear a mask correctly, they protect others as well as themselves. Consistent and correct mask use by people who are not fully vaccinated is especially important indoors.

Please follow the link below for further information:

https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/guidance-for-face-coverings.aspx

Hope all the fabulous fathers and families enjoyed a cool Father’s Day after the withering heat last week.  On June 21st, the Senior Center celebrated all our super dads with an old time favorite – Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) – which brought back fond memories of Ray Sako, who was a big fan of KFC.  The tasty KFC meal consisted of a chicken thigh and leg, mashed potatoes with gravy, corn, and biscuit purchased by the W-SC JACL Senior Center along with the bag of kettle corn.  Eileen Byers created sporty Father’s Day favors with sweet treats inside for all our Seniors.  Thank you so much, Eileen!

Pictured: Eileen Byers presents all the terrific Father’s Day favors that she painstakingly assembled.

The hardworking delivery team met at the Watsonville KFC and efficiently put together their June treat bags and helped out where ever needed.  We are so grateful to our volunteers for all their support:  Susan AmRhein, Sharon Bobo, Reba Condon, June Honda, Paul Kaneko, Gail Wurtenberg, and Jean Yamashita.  Many thanks!

Top row – pictured (L-R): June Honda with Colonel Sanders, Sharon Bobo, Gail and Bill Wurtenberg
Bottom row – pictured (L-R): Paul and Carol Kaneko, Susan AmRhein, Reba Condon

HAPPY JUNE BIRTHDAYS!

Wishing our June honorees, a very Happy Birthday! 

A note:  As we continue to shelter-at-home, birthday honorees living locally are receiving a mini bundt cake on their birthday month with their monthly delivery.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

YAMASHITA MARKET CLOSING:  It is with great sadness that the Yamashita Market, a historical icon of the Japanese community, is closing its doors sometime in July.  (article appeared in The Pajaronian, April 16, 2021)

Donations gratefully received in June from: Reba Condon, Eiko Nishihara, Leigh Sakaguchi, and Sharon Bobo.

Special donations gratefully received from: Alice and Ken Tanimoto in memory of Gary Shigeo Nakase (brother of Carol Kaneko); and Virgil and Tina Katsuyama for Mitsuye Katsuyama’s First Memorial.

For those who wish to donate during this time when the Senior Center is closed, please make out your checks to ‘W-SC JACL Senior Center’ and send them to Carol Kaneko at 1835 Silvana Ln, Santa Cruz, CA 95062. Thank you for your generous support of our Senior Center.

Special Note:  Because the Senior Center has had to (sadly) close its doors due to the coronavirus, birthday donations and senior center anniversary donations are optional until the Senior Center can reopen again.  Voluntary donations are much appreciated. 

New W-SC JACL Senior Center member:  Nancy Shikuma

“Get vaccinated” to continue the current downward trend in coronavirus numbers in California and to try to avert coronavirus variants.  The following practices are still healthy habits to prevent illness: wear a mask in public (covering your nose and mouth); distance yourself from other people (at least 6 feet); wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; get plenty of sleep; eat well; and try to stay active (both body and mind).  Stay hydrated – drink plenty of water.  Try to do your balance exercises three times a day!

TAKE CARE!

Note:  Please direct any questions or comments regarding monthly Senior deliveries and/or the monthly Senior newsletter to Jean Yamashita (408-813-6539).  Thank you.

May 2021 Senior Center News

May Senior Center News by Carol Kaneko, Jean Yamashita

Photos by Jean Yamashita 

SENIOR CENTER EVENTS

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and for the safety of our Seniors, the Watsonville-Santa Cruz JACL Senior Center has suspended Thursday gatherings, activities, special events, and trips until further notice.  If you need help while sheltering-at-home (e.g., picking up groceries), please contact Carol Kaneko or Jean Yamashita (408-813-6539).

Note: Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local health departments is being used to determine when it is safe to reopen the Senior Center.  Protecting the health of our Seniors is of utmost importance.

Thank you to our Senior community for continuing to help each other during turbulent times.  Stay safe everyone!

LET’S BEAT COVID-19!

Every Californian 12 and up is now eligible for vaccination.  If you wish to be vaccinated, please contact your health care provider/doctor for vaccine information or if you have questions and/or concerns regarding the vaccine.

Thankfully, COVID-19 infection rates are declining in California.  Let’s continue the downward trend by encouraging vaccinations and remaining diligent in wearing masks, social distancing, and washing hands often. 

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): “Get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can.  Widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic.”

Aloha!  On May 20th, we celebrated our fantastic mothers with a special Hawaiian treat!  The W-SC JACL Senior Center purchased delicious lunch boxes for our Seniors prepared by Pono Hawaiian Grill (Timmy Hunt owner) consisting of tasty teriyaki chicken, a variety of veggies, macaroni salad, and rice.  Eileen Byers made incredible Mother’s Day miniature purses filled with candy for everyone.  A custard cream pastry for Iwao Yamashita’s 94th birthday was provided by the Iwao Yamashita children.

Pono Hawaiian Grill (Timmy Hunt owner) [3744 Capitola Road, Santa Cruz; 831-476-7458] did a wonderful job preparing and packaging all the meals.  Much appreciation to Timmy and crew for all their hard work!

Note: Michiko Hamada was Timmy Hunt’s aunt.

Pictured: Eileen Byers created all the lovely Mother’s Day favors filled with chocolate.  Eileen is so talented and creative, and we truly appreciate her generosity and all her painstaking efforts in handmaking the multitude of amazing favors!  Thank you, Eileen!

Pictured: “Happy 94th birthday Iwao Yamashita” and thank you for the pastry!

The delivery team battled strong winds as they distributed the May goodie bags on May 20th.  Kudos to our terrific crew for unselfishly donating their time and effort every month! Susan AmRhein, Sharon Bobo, Reba Condon, June Honda, Ken Tanimoto, Gail Wurtenberg, and Jean Yamashita.  Thank you, team!

Top row – pictured (L-R): Ken Tanimoto, Sharon Bobo, Reba Condon
Bottom row – pictured (L-R): June Honda, Bill and Gail Wurtenberg, Susan AmRhein

HAPPY MAY BIRTHDAYS!

Wishing our May honorees, a very Happy Birthday!

A note:  As we continue to shelter-at-home, birthday honorees living locally are receiving a mini bundt cake on their birthday month with their monthly delivery.

BEWARE OF PHONE SCAMS

Various phone scams are unfortunately circulating in the public, attempting to steal people’s identity and/or money – below describe a couple of phone scams.

DELAYED DISCONNECT PHONE SCAM  Submitted by Donna Fujita

The delayed disconnect phone scam involves landline phones.  Below is a brief description:

Scammer calls your landline phone pretending to be a bank representative.  The scammer tells you that there is suspicious activity on your credit card and instructs you to immediately call your credit card company.  You hang up your phone and dial your credit card company – the scammers, however, have remained on the line (did not hang up).  Scammers on the connected line play a recorded dial tone then pretend to answer the call you dialed.  The scammer then pretends to be a credit card representative and proceeds to get personal information from you – this enables the scammers to rack up charges on your credit card.

Beware: Unfortunately, with landlines, if the other caller stays on the line, they can hold it open for long periods, thus pretending to be the number just called.

Lesson learned:  Do not give any personal information to people you do not know.

For full description of this scam: https://bc.ctvnews.ca/beware-of-the-delayed-disconnect-phone-scam-1.5375708

USPS SMISHING TEXT SCAM Submitted by Phil Shima

This scam involves cellphones.  Below is a brief description:

You get a text message on your cellphone that looks like it’s from USPS.  The message says that your scheduled delivery time for your package has changed.  The message then prompts the victim to click on a link to reschedule the delivery.  Unfortunately, the link downloads malware onto your phone and/or shares personal information from your phone with the scammers.  The scammers then proceed to empty victim’s bank accounts and/or steal their identity.

Note:  USPS never sends out unsolicited text messages about a package.

For full description of this scam: https://www.bayfed.com/advice-planning/learning-center/may-2021/beware-the-usps-smishing-text-scam

Stay alert and stay safe!

ANNOUNCEMENTS

YAMASHITA MARKET CLOSING:  It is with great sadness that the Yamashita Market, a historical icon of the Japanese community, is closing its doors sometime in July.  (article appeared in The Pajaronian, April 16, 2021)

Donations gratefully received in May from: Iwao Yamashita.

Special donations gratefully received from: Jackie Yamashita for “surprise meal appreciation”; Eiko Stewart for “monthly treats”; and Hans Goto “in appreciation and gratitude on behalf of Masako Miura”.

For those who wish to donate during this time when the Senior Center is closed, please make out your checks to ‘W-SC JACL Senior Center’ and send them to Carol Kaneko at 1835 Silvana Ln, Santa Cruz, CA 95062. Thank you for your generous support of our Senior Center.

Special Note:  Because the Senior Center has had to (sadly) close its doors due to the coronavirus, birthday donations and senior center anniversary donations are optional until the Senior Center can reopen again.  Voluntary donations are much appreciated. 

To continue the current downward trend in coronavirus numbers in California and to be wary of coronavirus variants, we need to remain diligent in protecting ourselves and others by continuing to practice the following healthy habits:  Remember to always wear a mask in public (covering your nose and mouth); distance yourself from other people (at least 6 feet); wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; get plenty of sleep; eat well; and try to stay active (both body and mind).  Stay hydrated – drink plenty of water.  Try to do your balance exercises three times a day!

TAKE CARE!

Note:  Please direct any questions or comments regarding monthly Senior deliveries and/or the monthly Senior newsletter to Jean Yamashita (408-813-6539).  Thank you.

April 2021 Senior Center News

April Senior Center News by Carol Kaneko, Jean Yamashita

Photos by Susan AmRhein, Jean Yamashita

SENIOR CENTER EVENTS

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and for the safety of our Seniors, the Watsonville-Santa Cruz JACL Senior Center has suspended Thursday gatherings, activities, special events, and trips until further notice.  If you need help while sheltering-at-home (e.g., picking up groceries), please contact Carol Kaneko or Jean Yamashita (408-813-6539).

Note: Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local health departments is being used to determine when it is safe to reopen the Senior Center.  Protecting the health of our Seniors is of utmost importance.

Thank you for continuing to help and support each other as we battle COVID-19 and anti-Asian racism.  Please be careful and report any racist incidents to the police.

Note:  On April 18th, a disturbing anti-Asian incident was experienced by Melissa Tao, granddaughter of Mitsuyo Tao and daughter of Paul and Kim Tao.  After briefly parking in Capitola, Melissa found a disgusting urine filled cup on her car windshield with hateful Asian verbiage scrawled on the cup.  The troubling event has been reported in several publications, including an article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel on April 21, 2021.

Hope everyone can stay safe during these troubling times.

LET’S BEAT COVID-19!

Every Californian 16 and up is now eligible for vaccination.  Hopefully, the vaccine supply and distribution will become more readily available so people can get easily vaccinated.  If you wish to be vaccinated, please contact your health care provider/doctor for vaccine information or if you have questions and/or concerns regarding the vaccine.

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): “Get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can.  Widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic.”

Vaccinated or not, please remain diligent in wearing masks, social distancing, and washing your hands often to keep yourselves and others safe. 

An anonymous donor wanted to do something special to make the Seniors happy so generously purchased Miyuki lunch boxes for the Seniors to enjoy on April 22nd.  The tasty Miyuki meal consisted of sesame chicken, salmon teriyaki, miso soup, salad, and rice – yummy!  Also included with the delicious obento was a lovely handmade Easter basket with jelly beans from Eileen Byers, a juicy lemon from Nobue Fujii, and Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookies from the W-SC JACL Senior Center.

Many thanks to the anonymous donor and Eileen Byers and Nobue Fujii for their kindness to our Seniors!

Miyuki Japanese Restaurant (Chris Ishikawa owner) [452 East Lake Avenue, Watsonville; 831-728-1620] did a fantastic job preparing and packaging the many lunch boxes.  Much appreciation to Chris and crew for all their hard work!

Pictured (L-R): Chris, Lynn, and Jenny
Pictured: Eileen Byers created all the colorful Easter favors

The April goodie bags were cheerfully picked up and delivered by our outstanding delivery team: Susan AmRhein, Sharon Bobo, Reba Condon, June Honda, Paul Kaneko, Gail Wurtenberg, and Jean Yamashita.  Thank you, team!

Top row – pictured (L-R): June Honda, Susan AmRhein, Sharon Bobo
Bottom row – pictured (L-R): Bill and Gail Wurtenberg, Reba Condon, Paul and Carol Kaneko

Hope everyone had a HAPPY EASTER!

Pictured (L-R): Helen Nakano, Susan AmRhein, and Shari Nakano
(photo from Susan AmRhein)

HAPPY APRIL BIRTHDAYS!

Wishing Mrs. Kaita and Mrs. Hashimoto a very Happy Birthday!

A note:  As we continue to shelter-at-home, birthday honorees living locally are receiving a mini bundt cake on their birthday month with their monthly delivery.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

YAMASHITA MARKET CLOSING:  It is with great sadness that the Yamashita Market, a historical icon of the Japanese community, is closing its doors sometime in July.  (article appeared in The Pajaronian, April 16, 2021)

The W-SC JACL Senior Center congratulates Jean Yamashita for receiving a Daruma Award at the JACL-NCWNP District Awards Virtual Celebration on March 27, 2021. She was honored as the “Unsung Hero” of our W-SC JACL chapter. Several letters were written on her behalf, detailing all the time, effort, and care she gives to our senior center members and all the ways she helps to make our lives better. Thank you, Jean, for all you do!!

Donations gratefully received in April from: Emiko Kaita, Marcia Hashimoto, Louise Sako, and Ken and Alice Tanimoto.

Special donations gratefully received from: Harvey and Laurie Kamigawachi; Louise Sako for the Senior Center’s 50th Anniversary in 2021; Hisako Kodama in memory of husband, Akira (one year); Gini Matute-Bianchi to help with our monthly treats; and Jean Yamashita, who wrote:

W-SC JACL Senior Center,

Thank you so very much for the Daruma Award Recognition. The honor truly belongs to all our wonderful W-SC JACL Senior Center volunteers who unselfishly donate their time and effort in helping our senior community. The W-SC JACL Senior Center is also grateful for all the support received that enables us to continue reaching out to our seniors during this pandemic.

            “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

With much appreciation, Jean Yamashita

For those who wish to donate during this time when the Senior Center is closed, please make out your checks to ‘W-SC JACL Senior Center’ and send them to Carol Kaneko at 1835 Silvana Ln, Santa Cruz, CA 95062. Thank you for your generous support of our Senior Center.

Special Note:  Because the Senior Center has had to (sadly) close its doors due to the coronavirus, birthday donations and senior center anniversary donations are optional until the Senior Center can reopen again.  Voluntary donations are much appreciated. 

As coronavirus variants continue to emerge in the country, we need to remain diligent in protecting ourselves and others by continuing to practice the following healthy habits:  Remember to always wear a mask in public (covering your nose and mouth); distance yourself from other people (at least 6 feet); wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; get plenty of sleep; eat well; and try to stay active (both body and mind).  Stay hydrated – drink plenty of water.  Try to do your balance exercises three times a day!

TAKE CARE!

Note:  Please direct any questions or comments regarding monthly Senior deliveries and/or the monthly Senior newsletter to Jean Yamashita (408-813-6539).  Thank you.

March 2021 Senior Center News

March Senior Center News by Carol Kaneko, Jean Yamashita

Photos by Jean Yamashita

SENIOR CENTER EVENTS

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and for the safety of our Seniors, the Watsonville-Santa Cruz JACL Senior Center has suspended Thursday gatherings, activities, special events, and trips until further notice.  If you need help while sheltering-at-home (e.g., picking up groceries), please contact Carol Kaneko or Jean Yamashita (408-813-6539).

We are so fortunate to have so many caring individuals in our Senior community who thoughtfully help each other during this trying pandemic.  Thank you all and stay safe!

LET’S BEAT COVID-19!

Vaccinations opening for all Californians aged 50 and up April 1st, and 16 and up April 15th.  Hopefully, the vaccine supply and distribution will increase so people can get easily vaccinated.  If you wish to be vaccinated, please contact your health care provider/doctor for vaccine information or if you have questions and/or concerns regarding the vaccine.

Vaccinated or not, please remain diligent in wearing masks, social distancing, and washing your hands often to keep yourselves and others safe. 

ONE YEAR AGO …

.. the Seniors celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at Kizuka Hall on March 12, 2020.  Who knew that that day would be our last Senior gathering for over a year?  It feels like eons since we’ve been able to laugh with our friends and play bingo.  How we miss seeing all these smiling faces!  The COVID-19 vaccine and the current declining coronavirus numbers gives us hope that Kizuka Hall may open its doors for Seniors again someday. 

On March 18th, the W-SC JACL Senior Center volunteers bundled up and braved the cold, rainy weather to prepare and deliver special March goodie bags.  The amazing Hideko Nagamine celebrated her 100th birthday on March 6th and kindly treated all the Seniors to a delicious bento box (the delivery team were also presented with lovely fruit tarts).  Other surprises in the goodie bags were cute Easter favors handmade by Helen Nakano and clever St. Patrick’s Day favors handmade by Eileen Byers.  Green bean pastries were provided by the W-SC JACL Senior Center.  We also distributed more of the Senior Center donated perishable bingo prizes to our Seniors, most of which were the homemade jams (a bingo prize favorite) prepared by Eiko Nishihara.

Many thanks to Hideko Nagamine and Family, Helen Nakano, Eileen Byers, and Eiko Nishihara for their thoughtfulness and generosity to our Seniors!

Pictured (L-R): Hideko Nagamine, Kenny Cross, Janet Nagamine with bento box

Pictured (L-R): Helen Nakano, Susan AmRhein, and Shari Nakano with Easter favors
Pictured: Eileen Byers with St. Patrick’s Day favors
Pictured: Eiko Nishihara with jar of strawberry jam

The monthly treats could not be enjoyed by our Seniors without the time and effort of our awesome delivery team:  Susan AmRhein, Sharon Bobo, Reba Condon, June Honda, Paul Kaneko, Gail Wurtenberg, and Jean Yamashita.  Thank you, team!

Top row – pictured (L-R): Susan AmRhein, Carol and Paul Kaneko, Sharon Bobo
Bottom-row – pictured (L-R): Reba Condon, Bill and Gail Wurtenberg, June Honda

HAPPY MARCH BIRTHDAYS!

What a remarkable birthday month with Louise Sako turning 104 and Hideko Nagamine turning 100!

Chie Sakaue’s family commented on how unusual it was for Mrs. Sakaue to be the young one of a group at the age of 91!

“Happy Birthday!” to Hideko Nagamine on celebrating her momentous 100th birthday!  Mrs. Nagamine continues to be very active and is so energetic and youthful that it’s hard-to-believe that she is 100 years old!  Congratulations, Mrs. Nagamine!  You are an inspiration!

Pictured: Hideko Nagamine

A note:  As we continue to shelter-at-home, birthday honorees living locally are receiving a mini bundt cake on their birthday month with their monthly delivery.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Donations gratefully received in March from: Eiko Ceremony and Chiyeko Shikuma.

Special donations gratefully received from: Sharon Bobo, Anonymous for April treat, and Dennis Hamada “for use when times improve.”

For those who wish to donate during this time when the Senior Center is closed, please make out your checks to ‘W-SC JACL Senior Center’ and send them to Carol Kaneko at 1835 Silvana Ln, Santa Cruz, CA 95062. Thank you for your generous support of our Senior Center.Special Note:  Because the Senior Center has had to (sadly) close its doors due to the coronavirus, birthday donations and senior center anniversary donations are optional until the Senior Center can reopen again.  Voluntary donations are much appreciated. 

As new coronavirus variants emerge in the country, we need to remain diligent in protecting ourselves and others by continuing to practice the following healthy habits:  Remember to always wear a mask in public (covering your nose and mouth); distance yourself from other people (at least 6 feet); wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; get plenty of sleep; eat well; and try to stay active (both body and mind).  Stay hydrated – drink plenty of water.  Try to do your balance exercises three times a day!

TAKE CARE!

February 2021 Senior Center News

February Senior Center News by Carol Kaneko, Jean Yamashita

Photos by Reba Condon, Jean Yamashita

SENIOR CENTER EVENTS

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and for the safety of our Seniors, the Watsonville-Santa Cruz JACL Senior Center has suspended Thursday gatherings, activities, special events, and trips until further notice.  If you need help while sheltering-at-home (e.g., picking up groceries), please contact Carol Kaneko or Jean Yamashita (408-813-6539).

Many thanks to our Senior community for caring and helping each other during this unrelenting pandemic. Thank you all and stay safe!

LET’S BEAT COVID-19!

It is encouraging to hear that many of our Seniors have been vaccinated against COVID-19.  Hopefully, the vaccine supply and distribution will increase so more people can get easily vaccinated.  If you wish to be vaccinated, please contact your health care provider/doctor for vaccine information or if you have questions and/or concerns regarding the vaccine.

Vaccinated or not, please remain diligent in wearing masks, social distancing, and washing your hands often to keep yourselves and others safe.

Below is a flyer from the “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention” (CDC) as to “What to Expect after Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine” that we hope is helpful:

Some informative vaccine links: 

On February 18th, the W-SC JACL Senior Center treated the Seniors living in/around Watsonville to a hearty meal of beef chow fun from Happy Garden Chinese Restaurant (1980 Freedom Blvd, Freedom) and mandarin orange cup.  The Seniors also received special treats from Reba Condon (yummy chocolate raisin nut trail mix) and from Grace/Donna Fujita (delicious butter cookies).  Thank you so much, Reba, Donna, and Grace for your generous donations!

Many thanks to our lovely delivery team who continually volunteer their time and energy to bring monthly treats to our Seniors: Susan AmRhein, Sharon Bobo, Reba Condon, Paul Kaneko, Gail Wurtenberg, and Jean Yamashita.  Please note:  The delivery team is not expecting any tips/gratuity for deliveries (please do not give us anything).  It is our pleasure to bring treats to our Seniors to enjoy 😊.

HAPPY FEBRUARY BIRTHDAYS!

As we continue to shelter-at-home, birthday honorees living locally are receiving a mini bundt cake on their birthday month with their monthly delivery.

We had two special 88th birthday honorees this month: Jean Akiyama and Hisako Kodama – both were presented with a pretty orchid plant and a mini bundt cake.

From the internet: “In Japanese culture, the 88th birthday, or “Beiju” (米寿), is known as the long life celebration. Beiju is a play on the kanji characters for rice and 88. “Bei” (rice米) is important in Japanese society because it sustains life and represents purity and wholesomeness.”

IN MEMORIAM

The W-SC JACL Senior Center extends its deepest sympathies to the Matsunami Family in the passing of Sadao Matsunami on February 2, 2021 at the age of 84.

The talented Sadao Matsunami beautifully sang at the Senior Center Hanamatsuri events.  We will miss him.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Donations gratefully received in February from: Carol Kaneko, Gary and Cindy Mine, Hisako Kodama, Eiko Ceremony, Jean Akiyama, and Haru Ishibashi.

Special donations gratefully received from: Chiyeko, Donna, and Kathy Fujita in memory of son and brother, Philip Fujita; Yaeko Cross and Gary and Cindy Mine for Senior Center’s 49th Anniversary in 2020.

Special note to the W-SC JACL Senior Center from Jean Akiyama: “Thank you for the Beef Chow Fun dinner and for the special treats from Jean, Reba, Donna and Grace.  Also for the birthday cake and a beautiful orchid plant for my 88th birthday. Appreciate all the nice things you do for the Seniors.”

For those who wish to donate during this time when the Senior Center is closed, please make out your checks to ‘W-SC JACL Senior Center’ and send them to Carol Kaneko at 1835 Silvana Ln, Santa Cruz, CA 95062. Thank you for your generous support of our Senior Center.

Special Note:  Because the Senior Center has had to (sadly) close its doors due to the coronavirus, birthday donations and senior center anniversary donations are optional until the Senior Center can reopen again.  Voluntary donations are much appreciated. 

With more contagious coronavirus variants emerging in the country, we hope everyone can remain diligent in protecting themselves and staying safe at home as much as possible.  To avoid the coronavirus as well as the flu, it’s even more critical to practice the following healthy habits:  Remember to always wear a mask in public (covering your nose and mouth); distance yourself from other people (at least 6 feet); wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; get plenty of sleep; eat well; and try to stay active (both body and mind).  Stay hydrated – drink plenty of water.  Try to do your balance exercises three times a day!

TAKE CARE!

January 2021 Senior Center News

January Senior Center News by Carol Kaneko, Jean Yamashita

Photos by Jean Yamashita

SENIOR CENTER EVENTS

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and for the safety of our Seniors, the Watsonville-Santa Cruz JACL Senior Center has suspended Thursday gatherings, activities, special events, and trips until further notice.  If you need help while sheltering-at-home (e.g., picking up groceries), please contact Carol Kaneko or Jean Yamashita (408-813-6539).

It’s a brand new year with, hopefully, good times ahead!  We are truly grateful to all our Senior friends who continue to care and help each other while we cautiously wade through this pandemic.  Thank you all and stay safe!

LET’S BEAT COVID-19!

COVID-19 vaccines are available (yeah!), but information as to who, when, where a person can get the COVID-19 vaccine varies at the moment. As information solidifies, we will try to share with you.  Please contact your primary care physician for recommendations or if you have questions and/or concerns.

Below is some COVID-19 vaccination information taken from the “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention” (CDC) website:

Question:  Can a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?

Answer:  No.  None of the COVID-19 vaccines contain the live virus that causes COVID-19 so a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.

Some notes on COVID-19 benefits from the CDC:

  • COVID-19 vaccination will help keep you from getting COVID-19
  • COVID-19 vaccination is a safer way to help build protection
    • COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening complications, and there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you.  And if you get sick, you could spread the disease to friends, family, and others around you.
  • COVID-19 vaccination will be an important tool to help stop the pandemic

Question:  Do I need to wear a mask and avoid close contact with others if I have gotten 2 doses of the vaccine?

Answer:  Yes.  Not enough information is currently available to say if or when CDC will stop recommending that people wear masks and avoid close contact with others to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

As a footnote:  Some Seniors have received the first COVID-19 vaccination and have had no issues except for some arm soreness where shot was administered.

Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu!  Happy New Year! 

In celebration of 2021, the W-SC JACL Senior Center provided Nijiya Market lunch boxes to all the Seniors on January 21st.  

Alice and Ken Tanimoto generously donated yummy green bean pastries from Baker’s Village for everyone!

Thank you, Ken and Alice!

Nobue Fujii wanted to wish everyone ‘good luck’ in the new year and patiently folded many colorful origami cranes for all the Seniors.  Domo arigato, Mrs. Fujii!

Our exuberant delivery crew arrived at Kizuka Hall, assisted in bagging their goodies, and cheerfully drove away to their awaiting Seniors.  Many thanks to our wonderful delivery team who are always willing to help when needed:  Susan AmRhein, Sharon Bobo, Reba Condon, Paul Kaneko, Gail Wurtenberg, and Jean Yamashita

Pictured – top row (L-R): Bill and Gail Wurtenberg, Susan AmRhein
Bottom row (L-R): Carol and Paul Kaneko, Reba Condon, Sharon Bobo

We hope everyone enjoyed the January treat!   Cheers to happy times in 2021!

HAPPY JANUARY BIRTHDAYS!

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Donations gratefully received in January from: Bette Garcia, Karen Sugidono, Terry Hirahara, and Eiko Stewart.

Special donations gratefully received from: Bette Garcia for the Senior Center program; The Takayo and Kenichi Nakase Family Foundation for Senior Center programs; Bruce Fujii for Fujii family in memory of Kimiyo Fujii; Kim Shiraishi in memory of Hisako Uemura; Jackie Yamashita for New Year’s donation; Toshi Yamashita in memory of Kimiyo Fujii and Ken Hane; Patt and Mark Takeuchi in memory of Kimiyo Fujii; and also from Patt and Mark Takeuchi “To help with delivery of care to our seniors who are sheltering in place. You helpers and volunteers rock!”

The W-SC JACL Senior Center is most appreciative of the many kind and generous special donations that we have received in the past few months. Your generosity will enable us to continue our monthly outreach to our sheltered-in-place seniors. Arigatō!

For those who wish to donate during this time when the Senior Center is closed, please make out your checks to ‘W-SC JACL Senior Center’ and send them to Carol Kaneko at 1835 Silvana Ln, Santa Cruz, CA 95062. Thank you for your generous support of our Senior Center.

From the W-SC JACL: Thanks to all who have sent in their local JACL dues for 2021.

Special Note:  Because the Senior Center has had to (sadly) close its doors due to the coronavirus, birthday donations and senior center anniversary donations are optional until the Senior Center can reopen again.  Voluntary donations are much appreciated. 

New W-SC JACL Senior Center members: Mas and Marcia Hashimoto

With a more contagious coronavirus variant surfacing in the country, we hope everyone can remain diligent in protecting themselves and staying safe at home as much as possible.  To avoid the coronavirus as well as the flu, it’s even more critical to practice the following healthy habits:  Remember to always wear a mask in public; distance yourself from other people (at least 6 feet); wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; get plenty of sleep; eat well; and try to stay active (both body and mind).  Stay hydrated – drink plenty of water.  Try to do your balance exercises three times a day!

TAKE CARE!

December 2020 Senior Center News

December Senior Center News by Carol and Paul Kaneko, Jean Yamashita

Photos by Jee Kajihara, Jean Yamashita 

SENIOR CENTER EVENTS

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and for the safety of our Seniors, the Watsonville-Santa Cruz JACL Senior Center has suspended Thursday gatherings, activities, special events, and trips until further notice.  If you need help while sheltering-at-home (e.g., picking up groceries), please contact Carol Kaneko or Jean Yamashita (408-813-6539).

It’s been a very trying year, yet we still have so much to be thankful for this holiday season.  We are truly grateful to all our Senior friends who have cared and helped each other during this unprecedented pandemic – even a simple phone call can mean so much to a fellow Senior staying at home.

Thank you!

HOLIDAY SURPRISE FROM IMURA RESTAURANT

On December 14th, Imura Restaurant surprised the W-SC JACL Seniors living in/around Watsonville with a delicious meal of soup, sushi, noodles, and muffin with the following message:

“Imura Restaurant would like to wish Happy Holidays and warm thoughts to W-SC JACL Seniors.”

Each meal was packaged in a bag beautifully decorated by the Kajihara and Song children making the gifts extra special.

Pictured: Mia Song

3-year-old Mia Song proudly displays the bags she decorated for the Seniors.  She is so cute!

Imura Restaurant worked so hard to prepare numerous meal bags for the Seniors – an amazing effort!

Pictured: Jee Kajihara and her mom, Mrs. Song

Many thanks to Imura Restaurant for their continual thoughtfulness and generosity to the W-SC JACL Seniors!

With Christmas fast approaching, Santa and his elves were busy preparing Christmas gift bags for the W-SC JACL Seniors.

On December 1st, Goro Yamashita/Yamashita Market kindly delivered to Kizuka Hall the 5 pound rice bags purchased by the Senior Center for the Senior Christmas gift bags.

Pictured: Goro Yamashita

Thank you, Goro/Yamashita Market!

Toshi Yamashita generously donated a splendid assortment of 2021-2022 pocket calendars.

Pictured: Toshi Yamashita

Thank you, Toshi!

Nobue Fujii spent days folding colorful origami Christmas ornaments for all the Seniors. 

Pictured: Nobue Fujii

She also generously donated a variety of chocolates.  Domo arigato, Mrs. Fujii!

Jean Yamashita provided a few snacks in little penguin bags. 

Thank you, Jean!

Pictured: Jean Yamashita

Reba Condon purchased boxes of superb mandarin oranges then spent hours washing and beautifully arranging the fruit in the red mesh bags.

Pictured: Reba Condon

Thank you, Reba!

By December 17th, the snowman gift bags were stuffed with holiday goodies and ready for distribution.  Our delivery elves met at Kizuka Hall, quickly loaded up their ‘sleighs’, and merrily dashed away with their precious cargo.

Many thanks to our jolly delivery team: Susan AmRhein, Sharon Bobo, Reba Condon, Paul Kaneko, Gail Wurtenberg, and Jean Yamashita

Pictured – top row (L-R): Sharon Bobo and Susan AmRhein, Paul Kaneko
Bottom row (L-R): Gail Wurtenberg, Reba Condon

The W-SC JACL Senior Center was sadly unable to hold its annual Christmas party this year but hopes the Christmas gift bags brought a little holiday cheer to our Seniors.  MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

IN MEMORIAM

The W-SC JACL Senior Center extends its deepest sympathies to the Fujii Family in the passing of Kimiyo Fujii on December 11, 2020 at the age of 94.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Donations gratefully received in December from Gail Wurtenberg and Gini Matute-Bianchi.

Special donations gratefully received from: Shirley Nishimoto in memory of Kimiyo Fujii; Jean Yamashita in memory of Tomiko Yamashita; Yamashita Market in appreciation; Sharon Bobo in appreciation; Eileen Byers in memory of Philip Fujita and Ken Hane; Reba Condon “in appreciation for monthly drop-offs to keep our seniors connected”; Joyce, Karl, Miles, and Dean Tsuji in memory of their great-aunt, Chiyoko Yagi (“We are grateful for the enrichment that Kizuka Hall brought to her retirement years”); Jean Akiyama in memory of Kimiyo Fujii and Ken Hane; Chiyeko Shikuma in loving memory of Hiroshi Shikuma; Leigh Sakaguchi in appreciation; Amy Dobashi “for Senior Center”; Jean Yamashita in appreciation; Gini Matute-Bianchi for 49th Anniversary of Senior Center; and Gerald and Nancy Yamada in memory of Yoneko Mizokami and Paul Mizokami.

The W-SC JACL Senior Center is most appreciative for the kind donations received.  For those who wish to donate during this time when the Senior Center is closed, please make out your checks to ‘W-SC JACL Senior Center’ and send them to Carol Kaneko at 1835 Silvana Ln, Santa Cruz, CA 95062. Thank you for your generous support of our Senior Center.

Special Note:  Because the Senior Center has had to (sadly) close its doors due to the coronavirus, birthday donations and senior center anniversary donations are optional until the Senior Center can reopen again.  Voluntary donations are much appreciated. 

YEAR-END MESSAGES

Looking back at 2020 … with gratitude.

This past year has been a challenge to us all due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We closed the Senior Center in March, and we are still sheltered-in-place and staying safe at home. (Who knew that a roll of toilet paper should have been the grand prize instead of third place?)

Although we are not meeting at Kizuka Hall to socialize, celebrate special occasions, and play bingo with our friends, there has been outreach to our seniors thanks to the efforts of some of our seniors and community friends. We are grateful for their many contributions.

In March, May, and December, Jee Kajihara and family from Imura Restaurant in Watsonville provided our seniors in or near Watsonville with beautifully decorated goodie bags filled with delicious food. They also provided extra goodies for some of the later monthly treats from the Senior Center. We are so grateful for their generosity and care for our seniors. Thank you to Imura Restaurant and the Kajihara/Song families!

Starting in June, Jean Yamashita has been the force behind the other regular monthly treats from the Senior Center. Jean researched potential treats and arranged for their purchase and delivery by the delivery crew. Thanks to Susan AmRhein, Sharon Bobo, Reba Condon, June Honda, Paul Kaneko, Ken Tanimoto, Gail and Bill Wurtenberg, Jean Yamashita, and substitutes Shirley Inokuchi and Eiko Stewart for being a dedicated and dependable delivery crew. Thanks also to Cindy Mine for Valley Height deliveries (and also for addressing senior health concerns as they have arisen) and Marcia Hashimoto for managing Kizuka Hall pickups for our special anniversary bento.  Our seniors are most appreciative of the outreach and care given to them by our volunteers. We are grateful for all the time and effort you all devote to the care of our seniors.

There are others who have donated items for our delivery crew or for our goodie bags. We are grateful to: Hisako Kodama, Hideko Nagamine, Jackie Yamashita, Nobue Fujii, Reba Condon, Toshi Yamashita, Emi Kaita, and Jean Yamashita

In addition to coordinating our monthly outreach/treats to our seniors, Jean Yamashita also writes and posts our monthly Senior Center News.  The Senior Center gives a big shout-out to Jean for her dedication and service to our seniors. THANK YOU, JEAN!!! (The Senior Center has sent Jean a well-deserved Costco gift card in appreciation for her many hours of dedicated service to our seniors.) We are so grateful for your commitment to our senior community.

We are grateful for the work of Kimiko Marr as she provided us with nine weeks of a virtual pilgrimage. It was nice to have the time to view all the presentations as we were sheltered-in-place at home.

On a sad note, we lost seven of our senior friends this past year with the passing of Chiyoko Yagi (99), Akira Kodama (98), Michiko Hamada (98), Jim Kawamoto (93), Hisako Uemura (92), Mitzi Katsuyama (100), and Kimiyo Fujii (94).  We are grateful for all the years they enjoyed being with us at the Senior Center and we will miss each of them.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to call or check in on our seniors to see if there was anything they needed help with. We are grateful for your care and concern.

Last, but not least, we are grateful for all our seniors and friends who made donations to the Senior Center so we can continue to stay in contact with all our senior members. We are grateful for all the kind words of encouragement and support that were sent with your donations.

With the vaccine for the coronavirus being distributed, we are hopeful that we can resume our activities at the Senior Center sometime in 2021. We may soon be able to gather together again to shout BINGO! and see our friends and celebrate all that we are thankful for.

Stay safe, everyone, and Happy Holidays!

Warmest aloha from Paul and Carol

Who could have imagined a year like this one?  Reluctantly, the Senior Center had to close in March – I had guessed maybe for one or two months – boy, was I wrong.  With nothing to do, time passed slowly, at first.  Eventually, I think we found other ways to fill the time:  The house may now be a little neater (well, at least my dad’s house – not mine!), the garden has less weeds (and unfortunately new bugs – ug), and the homemade tsukemono is now somewhat edible (after many failed attempts).  Several Seniors spent days canning (although mason jars were scarce) and sewing (e.g., making masks); some Seniors had increased grandchildren babysitting duties as parents worked-from-home; and a lot of people could be seen enjoying the outdoors more, especially dog-walkers (except when smoke filled the air from the devastating fires).  Seniors were also very ambitious and painted the outside of the house (and survived – whew!) and re-strapped patio furniture (what a challenge!). 

As the tumultuous year comes to a close, I have to reiterate “thank-yous” to the gracious volunteers who were always willing to help whenever needed: Susan AmRhein, Sharon Bobo, Reba Condon, June Honda, Paul Kaneko, Eiko Stewart, and Ken Tanimoto.  I am truly grateful for their kind assistance without which the Senior Center activities could not be performed.

I would also like to express appreciation for Paul and Carol Kaneko who quietly handle all the “behind-the-scenes” administrative duties of the Senior Center such as addressing Senior Center issues and inquiries as they arise; managing finances; handling correspondence; dealing with membership; communicating with the W-SC JACL board; etc.  Carol and Paul also review and contribute articles to the monthly Senior Center News.  With their efforts, the Senior Center continues to operate smoothly. 

Thank you to everyone for their thoughtfulness and support this year!  I miss seeing your smiling faces!  Hopefully, we may gather together again in 2021!  In the meantime, please take care of yourselves and have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

– Jean Yamashita

With the coronavirus surging across the country, we hope everyone can remain diligent in protecting themselves and staying safe at home as much as possible – so difficult during the holidays.  To avoid the coronavirus as well as the flu, it’s even more critical to practice the following healthy habits:  Remember to always wear a mask in public; distance yourself from other people (at least 6 feet); wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; get plenty of sleep; eat well; and try to stay active (both body and mind).  Stay hydrated – drink plenty of water.  Try to do your balance exercises three times a day!

TAKE CARE!