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IT’S YOUR PAPER February 22, 2013 925.672.0500 Camellia Tea is still a family affair for longtime Clayton residents TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer JULIE PIERCE MAYOR’S CORNER City to work with fire district on safety Thanks to all of the community members who attended the Fire Station 11 closure City Council ad-hoc committee meeting on Feb. 4. Councilmember Jim Diaz and I attended the Fire District Board meeting in Martinez on Tuesday, Feb. 12, to convey our community’s concern over the closure of Station 11 and our desire to be involved in any solutions that the district may consider for covering Clayton during the closure. Jim strongly conveyed the need for real answers to the questions raised in our previous meetings. I emphasized the need for district-wide discussions including all of the elected representatives of cities in the district. While the fire district is a special district over which we have no authority, their decisions directly impact all of our citizens and we must be included in their discussion on an advisory basis at a minimum. The Board endorsed the idea and directed the Fire Chief to initiate those meetings, which will also include all Contra Costa Fire Districts and the public. I’ll keep you posted on when those meetings will take place. See Mayor, page 13 Sex abuse victim files suit against MDUSD TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer The victim of a Diablo View Middle School teacher sent to prison last year for sexually abusing her when she was a minor has filed a lawsuit against the Mt. Diablo Unified School District, DVMS principal Patti Bannister and convicted abuser, Andrew Bruce Cottrell. According to court documents, Cottrell began “flirting” with “Jane Doe” as she is known in the lawsuit, when she was a student in his eighth grade science class. The flirting progressed to sexual activity when she was 14 and a freshman in high school and continued for about 18 months. She finally told her parents who notified police and Cottrell was arrested. See MDUSD suit, page 5 Tamara Steiner/Clayton Pioneer MANY FAMILY MEMBERS OF CLAYTON’S EARLY SETTLERS GATHERED AT THE MUSEUM Feb. 10 for the Historical Society’s annual Camellia Tea. On hand to pour were Charles Calhan, great-grandson of Joel Clayton, his daughters Ellen Culp and Diane Hoffman (standing) and their cousin Julie Clark (seated). The Clayton Museum opened its doors last week for the 36th Annual Camellia Tea, an event honoring the descendents of Clayton’s settlers and pioneering families. The little house on Main Street, which was once the home of Joel Clayton, was elbow to elbow with nearly 100 visitors on Sunday, Feb. 10. Tables in the back parlor were laden with home baked pastries and cookies. Every available surface was adorned with the seasonal camellias that give the event its name. Tea and coffee were poured from silver pots into antique china cups. The docents and volunteers all sported colorful hats from the museum’s extensive collection. Several descendents of Joel Clayton were on hand to help pour tea, including his great grandson, 93-year-old Charles Calhan, Calhan’s two daughters Ellen Culp and Diane Hoffman and their cousin Julie Clark. See Tea, page 4 Pet project is reaping great rewards for Clayton native Dogs 4 Diabetics founder Ruefenacht honored with Jefferson Award PEGGY SPEAR Clayton Pioneer Mark Ruefenacht doesn’t mind sloppy wet kisses from his dog. In fact, they can help save his life. Ruefenacht suffers from Type 1 diabetes, and his dog, Danielle, is trained to recognize when his blood sugar fluctuates. She alerts him by kissing him in the way dogs do best. The Clayton native has helped train Danielle, and more than 100 other canine companions, for Dogs 4 Diabetics, an organization he started more than a decade ago. It’s been so successful that in January Ruefenacht was honored with the prestigious Jefferson Award, to recognize individuals who promote volunteerism and community service. “I was so honored to get the award because of its commitment to volunteerism,” he says. “That’s what D4D is founded on.” Ruefenacht grew up with that commitment himself. Along with his parents, Les and Sandra Ruefenacht, he became interested in working with Guide Dogs for the Blind when he was still a child. An aunt suffered vision impairment because of diabetes and Ruefenacht loved the idea of helping dogs help others. It became much more personal for him later in life, during a business trip to New York. Traveling with Benton, a guide dog puppy-in-training, Ruefenacht had a severe hypoglycemic episode, and was almost unconscious. Benton, sensing a problem, aggressively aroused him from an incoherent state, allowing him time to recognize the problem and treat it before more harm was done. The experience planted the seed, and Ruefenacht began doing research – aided by Kaiser – into how dogs could use their phenomenal sense of smell to detect and alert on hypoglycemic episodes in diabetics. Ruefenacht was able to couple his professional experience in forensic science with years of experience with guide dogs for the Blind of San Rafael to develop the procedures now used to train dogs in this unique scentdetection effort. D4D was officially launched in 2004, and is the premier one of its kind in the world. These days, in a quiet training facility off of Willow Pass Road in north Concord, staff and a small army of volunteers conduct training for both dogs What’s Inside Around Town . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Book Review . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Car Tuned . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Classified . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Club News . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Community Calendar . . . . .14 and their “people” – diabetics who will be assigned a companion. The wait list is long, and D4D has placed teams throughout the West Coast and in Washington D.C. The dogs are trained to detect the scent, then use different methods to alert the human of a hypoglycemic episode. Some dogs learn to rub a taglike flag attached to their collar as an alert; others will nuzzle and lick. It really doesn’t matter how they do their job, Reufenacht says – just that they do it. In March Ruefenacht is headed to Europe on a volunteer vacation as an ambassador for Assistance Dogs International. There he will visit other assistance dog schools and guide dog schools to share information and some highlights about D4D and the Guide Dogs for the Blind puppy raising programs. It’s the latest in his newfound fame since winning the Jefferson Award; in the past weeks, he says, more than 35 assistance dog schools from all over the world have contacted him asking for Dogs4Diabetes, page 13 Photo: DIABETICS FOUNDER MARK RUEFENACHT gets a friendly pat from guide dog Jessa, showing how she is trained to alert her human to hypoglycemia. Ruefenacht was recently honored with a prestigious Jefferson Award for his work with D4D. CVCHS Reporter . . . . . . . . .7 Design and Décor . . . . . . . .15 Directory of Advertisers . . . . .5 Estate Planning . . . . . . . . . . .6 Fashion Over 50 . . . . . . . . .16 Food for Thought . . . . . . . .17 Garden Girl . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Living Well (Special Section) 8 Obituary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Performing Arts . . . . . . . . . .16 Pets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 PHMS Reporter . . . . . . . . . .7 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Sports Shorts . . . . . . . . . . .10 Tech Talk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 PRSRT STD US POSTAGE PAID CLAYTON, CA PERMIT 190

FEB 22 Clayton Pioneer 2013

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