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January 31, 2014

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CV Charter looks to expand for 2014-15 school year Improved academics, test scores, attracting students from public, private schools JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

The parking lot at Centre Concord will be overflowing Tuesday evening

and the action inside will be high stakes for many local families. Clayton Valley Charter High School rented the facility in order to hold a lottery drawing to determine the priority of acceptance for about 1,000 students who have applied to enroll at the Concord school for the 2014-15 school year. In order to accommodate as many

applicants as possible Executive Director Dave Linzey and his Clayton Valley Charter staff and governing board have developed plans that would allow the school to increase its total enrollment from just under 2,000 currently to 2,300 for the new school year, which begins Aug. 13. Ironically, those plans to add 300 students potentially could displace almost an identical number of

Clayton Valley Little League players who have used two ballfields on the Concord campus for exactly 40 years. (See story, page 10.) 'BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME' Space on the CVCHS campus off Academy Rd. housing the local youth baseball league’s Major and Minor B division ballparks seems the prime can-

didate for locating new classrooms. That land could be used to place 10 portable classrooms this summer making it possible for the increased high school student body needs. “We are pursuing options to expand our campus,” Linzey said in explaining that no final decisions have been reached.

See CVCHS page 7

Bocce park rolls towards approval HANK STRATFORD

MAYOR’S CORNER

Council zeroes in on traffic safety, recycling It’s a new year, so we’ve set new resolutions at the city council. We recently held the annual Clayton City Council/City Manager goal-setting session. Each year we review our list of work in progress. We decide what items we, as a city, want to continue to work on, what items have been completed, and what no longer needs our attention. We also add new goals to the list. One of the items that stays on the list each year is to “Increase Traffic

GATES +ASSOCIATES

A FOUR-COURT BOCCE PARK PROPOSED FOR THE CORNER OF MAIN AND OAK STREETS IS EXPECTED TO PROVIDE a much-needed kick start to Clayton’s commercial district by mid-summer. The Ipsen Family Bocce Park is a major “give back” to the community, says Skipolini founder Skip Ipsen.

See Mayor page 6 TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer

Barring any last minute surprises, the Clayton Planning Commission was expected to approve a four-court bocce park for the corner of Main and Oak Streets last Tuesday. The park is part of a major remodel project for Skipolini’s Pizza which will include a bigger

No common ground for Common Core PEGGY SPEAR Clayton Pioneer

[Editor’s Note: This is the second in an ongoing series about Common Core, the new public school curriculum.] With just a semester left before California students encounter Common Core State Standards in their classrooms, educators are scrambling to develop lesson plans, opponents are organizing to stop it and parents are scratching their heads in confusion. By now, most parents are at least familiar with the term, as local schools and the Mt. Diablo Unified School District have held informational meetings about the curriculum change. Common Core was adopted by state legislatures in most states across the country to “modernize” education and share state standards. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia will share K-12 goals, which include more relevant lessons

See Common

Core pg 6

kitchen, new outdoor lighting, playground and upgrades to the patio. “We’ve wanted for a long time to give something back to the town that has been so good to us,” said Skipolini’s owner Kent Ipsen. The family-owned business first opened on Main Street in 1974 and now includes six locations in Northern California. The Ipsen Family Bocce Park has

had wide support from local merchants and the Clayton Business and Community Association. According to city staff, there has been no opposition. “We’ve had no emails, no letters and no phone calls,” said Community Development Director Charlie Mullens. There were no objections to the project at the first public hearing on Jan. 14. Local merchants are hoping the

bocce park will generate some muchneeded economic energy to the town. “Anything that brings people downtown is good,” says Steve Barton, owner of the Clayton Club Saloon. The bocce park will encourage pedestrian traffic downtown, a goal consistent with the Town Center Specific Plan.

See Bocce page 3

CVHS grad returns home to wrestle with city finances TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer

A tall, dark haired, wiry kid with a big, wide grin who spent his senior year in high school wrestling his fellow jocks to the mat is back in town. And he has Clayton’s chart of accounts in a half-Nelson at City Hall. Kevin Mizuno, a 2004 Clayton Valley High alum and recipient of the Pete Laurence Wrestling Scholarship, is the city of Clayton’s new Finance Manager, replacing Merry Pelletier who retired in December. Mizuno’s first course of business, he says, is to plow through the city’s long chart of accounts, learn a bit about the history and figure out all the “sticky notes” left behind. In 2010, the city purchased a new accounting software package and the transition was complicated. The training was limited and resources were low. The city fell behind and is just now complet-

What’s Inside Around Town . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Book Review . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Classified . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

ing the audit and reporting for fiscal year 2013. Mizuno expects to present the final audit at the Feb. 4 city council meeting. Although only 27, Mizuno comes to the city well prepared from a four-year stint as an audit manager for municipal and public agency accounts with Vavrinek, Trine, Day & Co., a large regional public accounting firm. “We’re very excited to have Kevin working with the city,” says Mayor Hank Stratford. “His previous experience auditing government entities and the fact that he is a CPA will be great assets to Clayton.” Stratford is himself a certified public accountant. Pete Laurence, a former city councilman and mayor of Clayton and sponsor of the CVHS wrestling scholarship, remembers Mizuno as a “standout” wrestler and student. “Wrestling builds character,” says Laurence. “You can’t be a quitter or a wimp. And it’s all about the team. We’re fortu-

Club News . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Community Calendar . . . . .12 Concord City Beat . . . . . . . . .6 DVMS Reporter . . . . . . . . . .8 Garden Girl . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Get Up & Get Out . . . . . . . .16

nate that Kevin is bringing those qualities and dedication back to his hometown. We expect him to do a great job.” Mizuno holds a BS in Business Administration and Accounting from San Diego State University with a minor in German. During his senior year, he served a professional internship in Stuttgart. Mizuno lives in Concord with his wife, Katrina, a pediatrics RN in ICU at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland. They plan to move to Clayton soon to begin their family. Along with hiking the local trails, the pair loves adrenalin charged fun – bungee jumping and skydiving top the list. They travel as much as their schedules will permit, most recently spending the first week in January in Peru with family. Mizuno’s mother lives in the family home in Jeffry Ranch in Clayton. His father died in 2009. He has two sisters, Stefanie and Debbie, both graduates of Clayton Valley High.

Northgate Reporter . . . . . . . .8 Performing Arts . . . . . . . . . .14 Pets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Pine Hollow Reporter . . . . . .8 Pioneer Photo Album . . . . . .4 The Pocket Parent . . . . . . . .7

Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Sports Talk . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Teen Reads . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Teen Speak . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Voyage of the Eagle . . . . . . .9

Tamara Steiner

KEVIN MIZUNO CLAYTON FINANCE MANAGER

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Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

January 31, 2014

Around Town Clayton dancers are back in the spotlight Country dance couple, Joan Lundahl and husband Craig Johnson danced their way to Second Place Overall in the Couples Crown Division at the Country Dance World Championships last month in Nashville. The Couples Crown Division is a professional division for the highest skill level of country dancers at least 40 years of age. It is an elite ranking earned by winning a World Championship title or meeting other qualifying criteria. Lundahl also placed first with David Walkup in the Masters Jack and Jill Two-step. Johnson placed second with Rachele Smith in Advanced Jack and Jill Two-step.

Clayton kids get kudos from Council for “Kindness” Eight exceptional Clayton kids received accolades from the Clayton City Council last week when they were honored for showing exceptional kindness to their friends and teachers. Each student was introduced by a representative from their school with individual remarks, but one common theme prevailed—each of the students go out of their way to recognize the needs of a fellow student or teacher and meet it. On Back to School Day at MDES this year, one student was upset that his father wasn’t at the event. First-grader, Cody Ross took the youngster in hand, said teacher, Helen Coverdale. “Just hang with me and my dad,” he told his friend. “We’ll do it together.” The recognitions are part of the on-going community-wide, character-building initiative, Do

Emma Hall wins Scouts’ Gold Award Clayton’s Emma Hall has achieved the highest award granted by the Girl Scouts of America, the prestigious Gold Award, comparable to the Boy Scout Eagle Award. To win the award, girls spend months or even years completing requirements that develop leadership and culminate in an extensive service project that makes a difference in their community or even across the world. To earn her Gold Award, Emma Hall organized and ran the Clayton Family Fair and Picnic in The Grove last June. She was assisted by Julie Pierce, her mentor and mayor at the time and a committee of city leaders.

Emma first met with the mayor and her committee over last year’s winter break to begin

planning the event which included a stunt bike show, CERT presentations, CPR lessons, representatives from the fire department, Clayton’s vintage police car, craft, game and educational booths and music by local school bands. A Girl Scout since 2003, Emma Hall began working on her Gold Award in January of 2013. She is a junior at The Athenian School and the daughter of Pam and Leon Hall. Her brother, Ted Hall, earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 2012.

1008 Pebble Beach Dr. – Clayton

The Right Thing. Throughout the year, specific character traits are emphasized, rotating between Courage, Responsibility, Respect, Self-discipline,

Integrity and Kindness. For more information about the DTRT program, go to claytondtrt.wordpress.com.

Pioneer Travels to London In December, we went along with Janet Powell to visit daughter, Natalie, in London. First stop, Piccadilly Circus, where we all shopped ‘til we dropped. Then it was tea at Kensington Palace and a beautiful Christmas Carol service at St. Paul’s Cathedral and on

to St. James Park. Here we are at Buckingham Palace. At the end, we headed home with Janet while Natalie stayed on in London to continue studying for her master’s in public policy at King’s College.

Woot! We get to do everything that’s fun. Last month, CVCHS senior Evette Guest took us along when she performed with more than 500 other high school cheerleaders in the world famous London New Year’s Day Parade. She was among 500

To learn more about Girl Scouts of Northern California, visit www.GirlScoutsNorCal.org

EMMA HALL

MAYOR HANK STRATFORD STANDS WITH DTRT HONOREES: Back: DVMS students David Wishnow and Rachael Carr; CVCHS students Annemarie Hurley, Tyler Llacuna and Connor Calimlim. Front: MDES students Bree Meyer and Cody Ross. Not pictured, Christofer Corpus, CVCHS.

407 Wawona Lane – Clayton

selected for the event as an All American at a summer camp hosted by several national cheerleading associations. We didn’t spend the whole time in her backpack. There was plenty of time for sightseeing. Here we are with a birds’ eye view of the London skyline.

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January 31, 2014

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

Page 3

Amateur radio enthusiasts are dialed in to help out [Editor’s Note: The letter/number designations after some of the names are their call signs for ham radio, and are generally used in identifying the individuals.]

be on the air legally. SATERN Diablo Valley is one resource that can help local enthusiasts. The organization and co-sponsor Mount Diablo Amateur Radio Club offer training for a Technician Class license, General Class license and Amateur Extra Class license. They also administer the license exams. Operators are not allowed to have hands-on experience until licensed, but once licensed, they can get this experience in SATERN Diablo Valley’s “Getting on the Air” seminar.

PAMELA WIESENDANGER Clayton Pioneer

As the Morgan Fire burned through the first night, charring 2,540 acres, homes were threatened, people and animals evacuated, and roads closed. The need for reliable communication was high. Multiple agencies were engaged, including the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network, SATERN Diablo Valley. SATERN Diablo Valley members used amateur radio to help get people and supplies where they needed to go during the fire. Amateur or ham radio is a technology that has been around for 100 years, but is still vital for clear, prompt communication during an emergency. Chuck Graham, KI6DCD, chairman of SATERN Diablo Valley says, “People are listening; people are helping all the time.” Amateur radio uses two-way, wireless radios on designated frequencies to bounce radio waves off the ionosphere from the transmitter to the receiver’s antenna for noncommercial purposes. There are numerous amateur radio clubs. Hams do not have to belong to one to volunteer, “but you almost have to be part of a group to be helpful in some sort of organized style,” Graham says. VITAL IN EMERGENCIES SATERN Diablo Valley sends a flier to local first responders stating their readiness for disasters, including fire, flood, search and rescue, bomb

CHUCK GRAHAM uses the Canteen ham radio to guide volunteers to the scene of a fire when a nearby intersection is closed.

ALL TYPES OF OPERATORS Ham operators are all ages and from all walks of life. Like Larry Loomer, KI6LNB, station trustee, many older operators

or terrorist threats, earthquakes and evacuations. A mobile Canteen feeds emergency personnel and victims alike. Ham radio operators assist with guiding the Canteen and volunteers, communicating with other agencies and outside locations. During the Morgan Fire, hams provided detour information to the Canteen, coordinated food supplies and even prepared and served meals. They also kept in contact with members rescuing animals and the Red Cross evacuation site. In many disasters, cell phone service is down or overloaded. Ham radio allows one-to-many calls and proceeds in an orderly fashion. The Concord Auxiliary Emergency Radio Services has ham radio operators volunteering to assist the Concord Police Department during a crisis. The Clayton Police Department has amateur radio equipment on site. “Let’s hope we never have to use it,” says Police Chief Chris Thorsen. A user must be licensed to

source of funds, developers have not been beating a path to Clayton’s door. Over the years, there have been several serious attempts to bring bocce courts to Clayton— first as a part of The Grove design. In 2005, a private group proposed a 7-court park on city property. The cost proved prohibitive and the plan died until the Ipsens proposed the courts for the vacant gravel lot they own next to the restaurant. The Ipsens will retain ownership of the land and commit the first $125,000 toward the park’s $250,000 construction cost. The CBCA will donate the other $125,000 and will solicit donations from the community for benches and naming rights. Ed Moresi, owner of Ed’s Mudville Grill and Moresi’s Chophouse has pledged $25,000

Photo by Mike Dunn

With the growing popularity of this sport, local parks in Concord and Martinez are booked to capacity. Clayton Business and Community Association member and vice-commissioner of the Concord Bocce Federation, Ed Hartley, projects the Clayton courts could see full league play all week, bringing upwards of 80 people into downtown four or five nights during the week. “They have to eat and drink somewhere,” says Hartley. “It should be in Clayton.” The city has long hoped for a bustling commercial Town Center with a retail base to generate sales tax revenues. But, with Clayton’s relative isolation from any other commercial center, a major recession with a slow recovery and the demise of the Redevelopment Agency as a

A 7’ STONE FLANKED TRELLIS will mark the entrance to the 4-court bocce park planned for Main Street. The lot was once the site of the little red house that was the original Clayton city office. The property has been a vacant, gravel lot since the building burned down Thanksgiving weekend, 2010.

for naming rights to the first court. The CBCA will partner with the Ipsens to operate the park which will include open time for community use. The Planning Commission was expected to approve the project on Tuesday

PENDING IN ONE DAY!

$689,000

ters worldwide. SATERN Diablo Valley is based at The Salvation Army Concord Corps and has trained more than 600 students in the last six years. They currently train radio operators for emergency and public services, whether a civilian or member of an agency like the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Their goal is to become a full training center to include emergency preparedness topics. They have a radio station on site that will undergo a renovation to accommodate a softwaredefined radio, allowing ham communications through a computer. For more information about amateur radio training and emergency response, visit saternconcord.org.

Bocce, from page 1

JUST LISTED!

Clayton

rekindle an interest in ham radio from younger days. “I built one from a kit as a teenager,” he says. “My allowance didn’t permit more than listening.” Some operators start early. John Primus, AF6RJ, training director of SATERN Diablo Valley, says their youngest graduate, a 9-year-old girl, just earned her license. Many people are interested in amateur radio as a hobby for communicating with people all over the world. Primus says others “come to be involved in CERT and prepare for emergency training in their own community.” SATERN has been the official emergency communication service of The Salvation Army since 1988, responding to disas-

on the condition that the Ipsens and CBCA submit a final operations and management plan prior to final approval. Construction is expected to begin immediately and the park should be ready for play by this summer.

COMING SOON

70 Weatherly Drive, Clayton

Clayton

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Regency Woods – Spectacular views of Mt. Diablo, ridges, and oak trees along the creek! 3BD/2.5BA home offers living and dining room as well as kitchen/family combo with dining nook. Indoor laundry. Newer fencing, RV/Boat parking.

Black Diamond Duet – Wonderful curb appeal, privacy, and a large yard w/patio and mature trees. Largest model 3BD/2.5BA Presley home has an open floor plan and dual fireplace in living and family rooms. Master suite w/bay window & organized closet.

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Updated 4BD + bonus room and 3BA has a great kitchen with cherry cabinets, breakfast bar, high end appliances, tile floor, and recessed lights. Nice pool and private location at the end of a cul-de-sac.

Morgan Territory – Built by student of Frank Lloyd Wright, this 3BD/3BA home sits on 5 acre creekside lot in the rolling foothills of Mt. Diablo. Fresh carpet & paint. Great decks & walls of windows surround you in nature. Fantastic potential in a very private home.

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Assisting More Buyers & Sellers than Anyone Else* *Statistics based on Clayton closed by sales volume (1/2012 – 12/2012). Data by Trendgraphix

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Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

January 31, 2014

Creekside Arts calls for participants for 2014 Festival

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The Clayton Community Library Foundation is seeking participants for its 11th annual Creekside Arts Celebration as the library celebrates its 19th anniversary, Mar. 21-23. This year’s theme, “Mount Diablo...Rising from the Ashes,” highlights the Morgan Fire and regeneration on the mountain. Join together as a community and celebrate recovery, renewal and restoration at this fundraising benefit that creatively explores the arts, culture and nature while supporting environmental education programs in the library’s certified creekside wildlife habitat. Interactive entertainment for all ages is planned, including workshops in visual and performing arts, art sales, cultural performances, storytelling, poetry, authors, illustra-

tors, music, environmental education groups and guided nature, culture and art tours throughout Clayton. Awards, including a People’s Choice Award, are presented to artists who creatively interpret this year’s theme, juried by a panel from local art businesses, gallery museums, writer's clubs and the Arts and Culture Commission of Contra Costa County. Pick up an entry form at the Clayton Library or go to claytonlibrary.org. to download. The deadline is March 1. For more information, contact Arlene Kikkawa-Nielsen, event director, at 6739777 or akiksen@aol.com. The event is from 6 to 8 p.m. on Fri., March 21; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sat., March 22 and 23, 12 to 5 p.m.; at the Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton

Road. There is a fee for entries, but admission to the event is free.

A scene from the library courtyard during the 2004 Creekside Arts Festival.

Boyce Nichols - Owner

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Pioneer Photo Album Nancy Salmon was out for an early morning walk last month on Atchinson Stage Rd. when a beautiful Red Hawk flew by with his breakfast. “It was quite amazing,” Nancy said. “When he landed on the fence, I started taking pictures and he never flew away.”

Remodeling Specialist Kitchens Bathrooms Windows Mouldings Decks Siding Painting interior & exterior  Kevin Schmidt, Clayton Resident  Family Owned and Operated license 962284

925-822-5144 738 Bloching Circle, Clayton Postal service is for the birds, says Bruce Feld, who snapped this great shot of long time buddies, Perico and Lilly Bags taking a few minutes to perch for a chat at the Clayton Post Office. Perico is a Red Lord Amazon that was rescued by Feld. His BFF is Lilly Bags, a Sun Conure. The two can frequently be seen hiking the trails with their humanoid counterparts.

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The Pioneer is proud to spotlight our readers’ photos. Email your photo in a highresolution format to tamara@claytonpioneer.com with a description of the photo, where and when it was taken and a little about why you like it. Include your name and phone number. Then look for it in the next Pioneer.

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I N S P I R E D R E A L E S TAT E

(925) 672-9840 *Fares are based on Star Princess® 5/12/14. Fares apply to minimum lead-in categories on a space-available basis at time of booking. Fares for other categories, sailings and cruisetours may vary. Fares are per person, non-air, cruise- or cruisetour-only, based on double occupancy and apply to the first two passengers in a stateroom. These fares do not apply to singles or third/fourth-berth passengers. Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses of up to $195 are additional and subject to change. This offer applies to new bookings only, is capacity controlled and may not be combinable with any other public, group or past passenger discount. Offer is available to residents of the 50 United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico and the District of Columbia who are 21 years of age or older and receive this offer. Fares quoted in U.S. dollars. Please refer to princess.com for terms, conditions and definitions that apply to all bookings. Reference promotion code: RX-, RC-. Offer expires: January 31, 2014. Note: For assistance reserving a wheelchair-accessible stateroom, please contact customer service at 1-800-774-6237. © 2014 Princess Cruises. Ships of Bermudan registry.

www.myDynamicRealtors.com

January 31, 2014

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

Page 5

Directory of Advertisers Business Services Rising Moon Marketing & Public Relations . . . . .672-8717

P.O. Box 1246 6200 Center Street, Suite H, Clayton, CA 94517 TAMARA AND R OBERT S TEINER , Publishers TAMARA S TEINER , Editor P ETE C RUZ , Graphic Design P EGGY S PEAR , Copy Editor J AY B EDECARRÉ, Sports PAMELA W IESENDANGER , Administration

Construction and Trades Appliance Repairs by Bruce, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2700 Belfast Plumbing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .457-5423 Burkin Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-1519 Diablo View Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .822-5144

S TAFF W RITERS : Denisen Hartlove, Pam Wiesendanger,

Gary’s Home Repair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .787-2500

Peggy Spear

Iron Horse Concrete . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .566-8666

We remember Jill Bedecarré - Her spirit is our muse

PIONEER INFO

Sponsorship programs available  Birthday Parties  Camp

can also mail or bring your print to the office and we can scan it for you. Also on the website are forms for calendar items, events & press releases.

CONTACT US

Tel: (925) 672-0500 Fax: (925) 672-6580

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Clayton Pioneer welcomes letters from our readers. As a general rule, letters should be 250 words or less and submitted at least one week prior to publication date. Letters concerning current issues will have priority. We may edit letters for length and clarity. All letters will be published at the editor’s discretion. Please include name, address and daytime telephone number. We will not print anonymous letters. E-mail your letter to tamara@claytonpioneer.com. Letters must be submitted via E-mail.

Tamara Steiner tamara@claytonpioneer.com Send ads to ads@claytonpioneer.com Send Sports News to sports@claytonpioneer.com Send Club News to clubnews@claytonpioneer.com Send Church News to churchnews@claytonpioneer.com

Send School News to schoolnews@claytonpioneer.com

Send Classified Ads to classified@claytonpioneer.com

sh & Engli nced Western inner to Adva t  Beg to Adul us!  Youthome ride with C

earthquakearabians.com 925-360-7454

3141 Morgan Territory Rd.

Dining and Entertainment Clayton Club Saloon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-0440 Oakhurst Country Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9737 Events Home Expo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .338-1563 Financial, Insurance and Legal Services DuRee, Daniel – The Law Office of . . . . . . . . . . .210-1400 Littorno, Richard – The Law Office of . . . . . . . . .432-4211 Sorensen, David – Wells Fargo . . . . . . . . . . . . . .296-3086 Van Wyck, Doug – State Farm Insurance . . . . . .672-2300

CIRCULATION

CLASSIFIEDS

Total circulation of the Clayton Pioneer is 15,500. Papers are delivered to households in ZIP codes 94517, 94518 and 94521. In Clayton, all papers are delivered Every Door Direct by the US Post Office. We cannot start or stop delivery to individual addresses. All Concord delivery is by carrier and delivered twice a month on a Friday morning. To stop delivery for any reason, call the office at (925) 6720500 or email circulation@claytonpioneer.com. If you are NOT receiving the Pioneer, please check the distribution map on the website. If you live in the shaded area and are not receiving the paper, please call us or send an email to circulation@claytonpioneer.com. If you are not in the shaded area, please be patient. We will come to your neighborhood soon.

Classified rates per insertion: $48 for first 30 words, 40 cents each additional word Non-profit: $24 for first 30 words, 20 cents each additional word To place your classified ad over the phone, call the office at (925) 6720500 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mon.Fri. All classifieds must be paid for in advance by credit card (Master Card or Visa) We will not accept any ad that discriminates on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, nationality, family status or disability. The Clayton Pioneer reserves the right to reject any advertising we believe is unsuitable.

LET US KNOW Weddings, engagements, anniversaries, births and deaths all weave together as part of the fabric of our community. Please let us know of these important events. We ask only that the announcement be for a resident in our home delivery area. Submit on our website and be sure to attach a JPG photo that is at least 3 MB but not bigger than 6MB. You

Funerals

It could be a virus, or it could just need a tune-up. Prevent problems caused by viruses and spyware with regular proactive maintenance.

Ouimet Funeral Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-4242 Groceries Doorstep Farmers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .349-4568

TOTAL DESKTOP CARE & SERVER WATCH Low cost, fixed fee services that monitor & maintain your network Call Mark 925.672.6029 or to minimize info@netsolutions-ca.com IT problems

Home and Garden Clayton Furniture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .686-2299 Diablo Lawnscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .381-3757 Interiors Panache . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-7920 Just Floors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .681-4747 Nichols Landscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9955 The Floor Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .969-9890 The Maids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-6243 Utopic Gardens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .524-0055

SUBSCRIPTIONS

Waraner Bros. Tree Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .831-2323

To subscribe, call the office at (925) 672-0500. Subscriptions are $50/year and are for full year only.

Waraner Tree Experts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .250-0334 Mailing Services

Classified Clayton Ranching Or Farming Acreage! 20.3 Prime Acres for only $650,000!

Pet Services Cat Hospital of Clayton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2287 Monte Vista Veterinary Hospital . . . . . . . . . . . . . .276-5744 Pittsburg Pet Resort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .432-7387

FOR LEASE

This parcel with hills overlooking a large, flat area is ideal for a custom home with dramatic views of Mt. Diablo. Great location for livestock, vineyards or orchards to thrive (think Livermore Valley). CC water is at the Marsh Creek frontage, ready for buyer to bring in. This spectacular land is priced at only $27,000 per acre.

For more info or showings, call your agent or

Pete Laurence, Broker, Realtor, GRI

Cell: (925) 890-6004 Serving Clayton and ALL of C.C. County. Walnut Creek office DRE#00344166

PETE LAURENCE! (925) 890-6004 SERVICE

Flower Gardening by Nicole Hackett Perennial, ornamental, rose and container care. Keep your garden in flowers this year with monthly fertilizing and pruning visits. Email for consultation or details. Gardengirl94517@yahoo.com.

Office and retail space for lease in Historic Clayton City Center: Village Oaks Center, 6200 Center St., Clayton. Call Nick Adamson at (408) 371-8770, ext. 21.

46 Acres for only $1,275,000!



GARDEN

The UPS Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-6245

Rodie's Feed and Pet Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-4600

This close-in land at Clayton’s border already has corrals, electricity and a well. Buyer can bring in CCWD water from Marsh Creek Rd. Ideal terrain for a custom home, barns, a possible caretaker cottage and your orchard, vineyard or livestock.

KNOWLEDGE

Tipperary Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216-2679



INTEGRITY



RESULTS

HELP WANTED Coaches Clayton Valley Charter High School is looking for Frosh and JV softball coaches for 2013 - 2014 season. Paid positions. Contact CVCHS Athletic Director Amber Lineweaver at amber.lineweaver@claytonvalley.org.

French, Lynne – Windermere Real Estate . . . . . .672-8787 Geddes-Sinclaire, Christine – Alain Pinel . . . . . .286-7593 Howard, Don – Better Homes Realty . . . . . . . . . .408-3184 Howard, Emily – Better Homes Realty . . . . . . . .408-1871 Johnson, Terry Mohr - Prudential . . . . . . . . . . . . .914-0061 Klock, Leigh – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . . . . . .212-5593 Landgraf, Linda – Prudential . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .876-0311

Computer Tech Growing business has position for onsite pro computer tech in Contra Costa County. Must have experience in Windows and Mac OS, network repair and troubleshooting. ComputersUSA! 672-9989.

Laurence, Pete – RE/MAX Realty . . . . . . . . . . . .890-6004

Sales Associate Retail feed and pet supply store, full or part time. Apply in person at Rodie’s Feed, 8863 Marsh Creek Road, Clayton.

Vujnovich, George - Better Homes Realty . . . . . .672-4433

Come join Mazzei Realty! Currently interviewing and hiring new and experienced real estate agents. Call 693-0757 for details.

Diablo FC – Soccer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-4625

Lopez, Stephanie – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . .932-7329 Mazzei, Matt – Mazzei Realty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0757 Stojanovich, Jennifer – Better Homes Realty . . .567-6170

Recreation and Fitness Earthquake Arabians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .360-7454 Levity Fitness Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2995

Real Estate Agents Be Successful! Lynne French is expanding and interviewing for a few agents. Call her today 672-8787.

Services, Other

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

ComputersUSA! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9989

Help Fight Hunger Anna Chan – AKA: The Lemon Lady needs your help! Weekly commitment appreciated. For more info, go to thelemonlady.blogspot.com. Clayton Historical Society Museum Greeter for two hours per month from 2-4 p.m. Wednesdays or Sundays. Call the museum at 672-0240 & leave name Clayton Community Library Needs volunteers. Minimum age 13. Minimum commitment is 6 months. Some training provided. Contact Arlene at 673-9777 or nielsenjanc@aol.com.

Refreshments served

Real Estate and Mortgage Services

Meals on Wheels Looking for volunteer drivers one day a week between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Make a tremendous difference to seniors in your community. Contact Sharon Fitzgerald at 932-8607 or sfitzgerald@mowsos.org today!

1-800-Junkster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .800-586-5783 Net Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6029 Recycling Center & Transfer Station . . . . . . . . . .473-0180 Travel Travel to Go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9840

Self Discipline Do the Right Thing

Page 6

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

January 31, 2014

City, hotels to promote tourism Design • Installation Maintenance License # 958849

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Bruce & Zoey

We repair all major appliances, most major brands, and we’re local

Over 35 years Experience Bruce & Holly Linsenmeyer Clayton residents Office: (925) 672-2700 Cell: (925) 956-8605 State of California B.E.A.R

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The UPS Store Independently owned and operated

New Year, new business, better Mailbox.

Concord is not only a great place to live, it is a great place to visit. Soon there will be advertising supporting that fact. This advertising will be paid through an assessment district made up of hotel businesses in Concord for marketing efforts designed to increase hotel business and tourism in the city. The hotels in Concord, led by the Concord Hilton and Crowne Plaza, have determined that it was in their best interest to form a Tourism-based Business Improvement District (TBID). Funds are being raised through a small assessment on lodging stays. The funds are used to provide services desired by and directly benefitting the hospitality businesses that form the district. This is the latest move by the city and local businesses to recov-

RON LEONE

CONCORD CITY BEAT er from economic woes. The city of Concord, like most California cities, was negatively impacted by the state’s actions that eliminated Redevelopment and by the national economic downturn. Redevelopment was one of the principal engines that provided resources and tools to cultivate

economic development and facilitate job creation while eliminating blight. The national recession that began in 2007 significantly impacted Concord’s office and commercial leasing, vacancy rates jumped to more than 20 percent and many office buildings went into foreclosure. In coming to terms with the loss of Redevelopment and the economic downturn, the city of Concord has searched for opportunities to implement a postRedevelopment action plan to foster economic development. One of the strategies in this plan was to partner with our hotels and the Chamber of Commerce to help them establish an assessment district to help create advertisement to make Concord a “destination.” The Concord TBID Board held its monthly meeting on Jan. 8. The marketing consultant, Good Creative Group, provided an update on the branding work

that has been done to date and logo/tagline concepts for Board review. The logo and tag line are part of the brand positioning process reflecting the area’s attributes, personality and brand cornerstones. The development of the name and tagline takes into account the surrounding area’s amenities along with the understanding that the Concord TBID may grow to include other neighboring areas. The selected name and tagline is Diablo Valley: Defying Expectations, Concord, California. I am pleased to announce that the logo design with the name and tagline will be unveiled this month.

Enforcement.” If you were a recipient of a ticket this past year you may not appreciate this goal. However, we all have benefited from increased safety that results from strong traffic enforcement. I want to publicly thank our police officers for their efforts in keeping us safe. Recycling is also an important issue that seems to be everpresent in the city. The state has set a target that each household recycle 50 percent of their generated waste. As a city Clayton’s residents come close to this target but we often fall short. One easy way to increase your recycling and save some money is to reduce the size of your blue garbage can. I know that some of you like to keep your extralarge blue garbage can, but I think you will be okay if you have some garbage (that can’t be recycled) that has to wait until the following week.

I see some households that have a large brown recycle can and a smaller blue can. I think they have the right idea. Remember that the focus in January and February is Self-discipline. In our Do the Right Thing program Self-discipline is defined as: Practicing self-control, setting goals and working toward them, and striving for personal improvement. Know that your city council is always trying to make our city better. Meanwhile, we had to say goodbye to another city employee recently, as Clayton Police Officer Daren Billington accepted a position with the Concord Police Department. We will miss Officer Billington and the good work that he did for us. We wish him well in his new position.

OPPOSITION GROWING That is just one of the worries shared by the Clayton mom, who has become the voice of Common Core opposition in the district. “I don’t have an agenda, I just don’t think it’s good for students.” She is part of a growing number of California parents who are addressing school boards, city councils and legislators with their concerns. She said she is getting contacted by many parents in the district who share her opposition. “People fear students will not get the breadth of knowledge they need,” she says. Karen Duggan has another perspective. They Clayton mom of four is also a sixth grade core teacher at Foothill Middle School “I believe that Common Core is another pendulum swing in education. I don’t think it is a permanent change, because so far it is not successful in some states.” Duggan says that she sees some merit in Common Core, such as having nationwide standards for all students, and that it is no longer a “guessing game” for what skills need to have upon leaving school to succeed in college and “the real world. .” “However, I don’t see that in sixth grade that I’m going to have a whole lot of impact on an 11-year-old’s career path, which will probably change several times,” she says. “There are very few out there who know what they want to be when they grow up, before they are 18.” She said she also concerned

that as the curriculum delves deeper into certain books, students won’t get the opportunity to study a wide range of literature. “Students need a huge variety of reading materials, especially in the younger grades.” That is one of the question marks still being determined by local educators: specific reading lists. But if you ask Pursche, it’s just one of many. “Common Core was not developed by educators, but by politicians,” she says. “How can they insist we change to something that no one knows is going to work?” Duggan agrees. “Being a mom of four and a teacher, I can honestly say that I don’t know enough about common core to say I support it. We haven’t tried it with any kind of measurable results. “The number-one thing that can be done for students in California is to reduce the class sizes in public education,” she says. “I don’t care how many ‘new’ fixes there are, if you keep doing what you’ve always done, with large, maxed-out classes, you’ll get what you’ve always got, Common Core or not. And if people say, ‘We can’t afford small class sizes,’ then they need to see how many billions of dollars are being spent on this ‘new’ Common Core program. I bet we could have smaller class sizes for a fraction of the cost that Common Core will bear.” For now, though, Common Core is headed to local schools. And just what that means continues to be a question without a good answer.

Ron Leone, Vice Mayor of the city of Concord and former mayor, welcomes comments and questions. Call him at 925-680-1776 or ronaldleone@comcast.net.

Concord Citizen Police Academy seeks applicants Mayor, from page 1 The Concord Police Department is currently accepting applications for the spring session of the Citizen Police Academy. The academy provides community members with an inside look at local law enforcement, giving an overview of the police department’s function and operations. The deadline for applications is February 20. The 10-week academy embraces real examples of police work. The weekly sessions, however, are not designed to train participants as police officers. While attending the academy, students will be introduced to a variety of topics and training taught by police executives and veteran police officers. Participants will have the opportunity to meet with Concord Chief of Police Guy Swanger and staff members. Classes meet Tuesday evenings from 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. at the Concord Police Headquarters, 1350 Galindo St., beginning

March 4. Applicants who are accepted to the program will be notified of their selection at least two weeks prior to the first meeting. Candidates must be at least 16 years old, live or work in the Concord area, have no felony convictions, and have no minor misdemeanor convictions within one year of application. Interested candidates can visit the City of Concord website at http://www.cityofconcord.org/ police/joinin/academy.aspx to obtain more information about the Citizen Academy and to download an application. Applications can also be obtained in person at the Concord Police Headquarters in the front lobby. Completed applications should be returned to Margaret Romiti, manager, Office of the Chief, Concord Police Department, 1350 Galindo St., Concord CA 94520, 925-671-3184.

Feel free to contact me with questions and comments at hstratford@ci.clayton.ca.us.

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Common Core, from page 1 and higher critical thinking skills, and in return receive funding from President Obama’s federal “Race to the Top” initiative. But opponents of Common Core feel the standards are detrimental to the well-rounded education of children and serve corporate and political interests and not those of children. Many states are already asking their legislatures to hold off on or repeal Common Core entirely. Locally, educators are fullsteam ahead in planning for its 2014-15 implementation. “We believe in the purpose and focus of the Common Core State Standards, which is to better prepare students with 21st century skills of higher level thinking and literacy,” says Clayton Valley Charter High School Executive Director David Linzey. “We want to insure that all of our students are better prepared for success in college and in their future careers.” He says that the advantages of the new program is that students will have “a more rigorous and relevant curriculum.” IN THE CLASSROOM The previous California State Standards focused more on breadth of knowledge by testing students on a high number of standards for each content area, Linzey says. “The new CCSS were developed to be fewer, clearer and higher. Fewer standards so the content can be

taught to a greater degree of depth, utilizing more critical thinking skills, and to apply those to real-world situations.” He says that the work will be aligned with colleges and work expectations, so that “all students are prepared for success upon graduating from high school.” In the classroom, he says that students will see increased focus on incorporating literacy skills across all content areas, such as improving vocabulary, increasing reading comprehension levels to prepare students to be more “college-ready,” and integrating “evidenced-based writing.” He says teachers will also integrate more problem-based and project-based learning. “For example, taking a real world problem and using mathematical formulas to help justify a solution. The increased rigor and relevance should provide students with a more authentic education better aligned to the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in the 21st-century workplace.” But local mom Denise Pursche doesn’t believe that. “I’m afraid Common Core will keep kids from getting a diploma,” she says, citing a report that said only 35 percent of New York students passed the Common Core standards test. “What will that mean? Do 65 percent not get high school diplomas?”

January 31, 2014

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

Some ‘staging’ can improve sale Q. My husband and I recently had a local realtor come over to give us a comparable market analysis on our home, as we are planning to sell. Our home is in a great cul-de-sac, has a large desirable floor plan, beautiful landscaping and a new 50year roof. We are the original owners. When the agent left I felt like I should be ashamed of our home. I know you always talk about “staging” the home for sale but how far does that have to go? The agent said I couldn’t get anywhere near what it is worth if I didn’t remove the very expensive wall paper in all the rooms, remove the acoustic ceiling and put all my beautiful things collected from around the world travels in storage. She said my updated kitchen is not a plus because we updated it in 1983 (same with the bathrooms). What do you really think needs to be done to get top dollar for a home?

A. I am always puzzled that the majority of home buyers lack the ability to imagine what a house might look like with different wall treatments. It is hard for them to picture their things in a home if the seller has different taste in accessories. In fact, the more beautiful your things are the more distracting they can be. I would say the cheapest thing you can do where you will more than recoup your money is remove wallpaper and paint a home a neutral color, remove what we call “popcorn” ceilings, change carpet if it is worn and de-clutter (or we say de-treasure) the home. You will have to pack your things away to move anyway so you might as well do it before you show the home. Another benefit of de-cluttering your home before you try to sell it is you will have less to clean up before a showing. It sounds like you have a great yard and location so you should capitalize on “curb appeal.” Take a critical look at your home from the street. Your

CVCHS, from page 1

LYNNE FRENCH

REAL ANSWERS goal is to identify cost-effective changes you can make to the house and yard that will make it more appealing to buyers. This could be as simple as cleaning up the yard, adding colorful plants, power washing the entry walk and washing dirt off the exterior of the house. Your home will sell more quickly and for a better price if you put the time and money into improving its curb appeal. Send your question and look for your answer in a future column. Email Lynne@LynneFrench.com. French is the broker/owner of Windermere Lynne French & Associates. Contact her at 672-878 7or stop in at 6200 Center St., Clayton.

Help your child grieve when beloved pet dies

PETE CALDWELL

THE POCKET PARENT Q. My husband and I have a 4-year old daughter and a 12-year old Golden Retriever “Jasper” who has been having some health issues. We’re realizing we won’t have him around for long and aren’t sure how to break it to our daughter when “it” happens. A. First, my condolences; losing a pet for anyone – regardless of age – is hard. It sounds like you’re going to be great help to your daughter through the process, so she’s lucky you’re thinking about it. Here are the key issues I’d keep in mind. Don’t wait until you’ve already lost your pet. Start to prepare her now for what’s coming and in language she can understand. It’s tempting to use euphemisms, but

depending on a child’s age, they end up just making the situation more confusing. Use language like, “Jasper is getting old now and there’s going to be a time pretty soon when he will die. We want to be very kind to Jasper now and enjoy him and help him be happy.” This can help elicit the kinds of questions that, while hard for parents, are important for your child to ask and get answered. J. Viorst has an excellent children’s book about the death of a pet called “The Tenth Good Thing about Barney” and this can be an excellent way to help your conversations. Let them be sad. It’s a perfect time to practice one of the things that’s hardest for parents: letting their kids feel what they do without trying to make them feel “better.” Try not to assume what you’re feeling is what they’re feeling. Pay attention to what’s going on with your child, as it may be quite different from your experience. Know too that a child that’s too young to understand death, or even really get that your pet is gone, can pick up on the grief in the household. Not understanding is not the same as not being affected. Make sure they know they

Page 7

weren’t the cause and that this sort of thing happens as part of life. If your child had been angry with the dog, or wished he would “go away” and then the dog dies, she can feel responsible. Have a ceremony. There’s a reason they exist in society, and we’re probably hard-wired to draw comfort from them. This goes for just about any loss, and certainly for the loss of a much-loved pet. You can see too if any local shelters accept unused food or other items and let your child see that act as Jasper’s gift to dogs that didn’t get as much love as he did. Let your child’s teacher or any other caretakers know of the loss so they can contextualize any behavior changes on the part of your child. Finally, don’t rush right out and get another pet. Being sad for a while without being distracted really helps children mature around feelings. A new pet shouldn’t be seen as a replacement, but as a new member of the family.

He anticipates discussions with the Mt. Diablo School District, which owns the campus property and facilities, and Superintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer hopefully will conclude with a positive outcome during February. Linzey ascribes to the adage “Build it and they will come.” The school’s governing board has been looking into solutions on how to accommodate additional students for more than a year. The primary off campus option for expanding CVCHS enrollment at Cal State East Bay across Ygnacio Valley Rd. was approved last March but did not work out and in December the board directed Linzey to see how expansion could be accomplished on the Alberta Way grounds. According to Linzey and long-time staff at the school Clayton Valley had enrollment “as large as 2,500 about 15 years ago” but since then over a dozen portable buildings have been removed. The school had 1,850 students in 2011-12 (before the charter) and 201213, (first year of charter) and increased to just under 2,000 this year. There are a few campus classrooms being used for storage or other purposes which can be added to the inventory for the fall. MORE DEMAND The school has implemented a number of changes in the year and half it has been a charter. Test score results announced in the fall placed CVCHS No. 1 in Academic Performance Index improvement among all California large comprehensive high schools, with the biggest scores growth in Contra Costa County for elementary, middle and secondary schools. This ratcheted up demand for a place in the school. Linzey assures that every eighth grader (more than 450) within the Clayton Valley charter feeder school system will be admitted for 2014-15. Openings for 10th, 11th and 12th grades (before any expansion) will also go first to feeder area applicants. School officials initially estimated 700 students would apply for next school year but as the Jan. 31 application deadline loomed they were gearing up for as many as 1,000. This forced a move off campus to Centre

Concord for the lottery drawing in order to accommodate the large turnout expected. Every applicant will be placed in priority for acceptance based on the lottery drawing. Mt. Diablo Unified must consent to any facility modifications at CVCHS. It is a two-edged sword as many students would likely be coming from MDUSD schools and thus cost the District the $35 per student average daily attendance payment which comes from the state. Linzey explained that a number of transfer students from local parochial schools transferred to CVCHS before the start of spring semester. Administrator Pat Middendorf added that a local private school recently informed CVCHS that their school is getting more inquiries from eighth grade families for CVCHS information rather than the private school which was typically the first choice. An increase of 300 students would necessitate the hiring of

10-15 teachers, one counselor and one administrator. There would be a need for additional parking, restrooms, maintenance and food service areas. Linzey adds that any installation of leased portables would be temporary (three years maximum) while a permanent solution is developed and constructed. He pointed to the modular science building added a year ago as the type of structure being discussed for a long-term solution. CVCHS Governing Board president Megan Kommer says her board is unanimous in being “passionate about what we’re doing and would like to accommodate as many kids as possible.” She adds that a majority of the board wants to keep everyone on campus so that each student “can have the full Clayton Valley experience.” Kommer recognizes that nothing is finalized and expansion plans could “all fall through.” She attended last year’s lottery drawing and said “it was heartbreaking to see students and families who were not drawn to get a place for this year.”

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Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

January 31, 2014

Broncos must wait to dive into pool construction

IVAR LAANEN NORTHGATE

REPORTER The push for Northgate to build its own state-of-the-art aquatics and training facility hit troubled waters this month, just weeks after a groundbreaking ceremony in December, and now school officials are saying construction will likely be delayed until March. “The company that won the bid to construct the pool was going to move forward when the district caught word that this company was not bonded so they couldn’t do this project,” said

Principal John McMorris. “So now we have to restart the process and open the project up to new bids.” Organizers say this is just a delay, and won’t derail the project. “The pool contract paperwork is getting worked out,” said Ralph Austin of Northgate Community Pride Foundation, which spearheaded the pool’s fundraising efforts. “Unfortunately it delayed the start two months, although the actual start date is still to be determined.” Excitement about the project blossomed over the past year when blueprints of the proposed plan flurried around the community, which featured a new weight room, swimming pool, and Sports Medicine facility. Fences were set up from the back of the gym up to the teachers parking lot, restricting access to the back lawn. The fences are still up, waiting resolution to the construction paperwork glitch. “[The delay] is disappointing for the younger guys on the swim

team who were looking forward to the new pool,” said senior varsity swimmer Michael Wardle. One positive to the situation is it gives the community more time to raise the necessary funds for the lights and the deck equipment. Northgate received $6.7 million from the Measure C bond, and NCPF has raised an addition-

al $500,000 in the last two years, but its not enough yet. “The Northgate Community Pride Foundation has been fundraising the last two years, but we need to raise another $500,000 to get the lights and around $250,000 for the pool equipment, diving boards, water polo goals etc,” said Austin.

Luckily for Northgate, maintenance and operation will be handled by the MDUSD, making the financial situation less of a burden. Although there will most likely be a few months of delay, future Broncos will get to swim on this campus. “No fear, the pool will be built,” Austin assured.

When the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’ became my Smartphone ROBBIE PARKER

TEENSPEAK Over the winter break, I was fortunate enough to spend a few days at Disneyland with my family. As the proud owner of the newest, most high-definition

phone in my family, I became the designated photographer for the duration of our stay in the park. Combine that with frequent texting, web browsing, Snapchat, Instagram, and music consumption, and the result is a dead-as-adoornail battery by the start of the first afternoon. My first concern was over all the photo opportunities I would

DVMS reaches into closet for one warm coat What do you do when it’s cold? You grab a jacket, of course. But what about the hundreds of thousands of people who don’t have a jacket or coat to stay warm? Wouldn’t it feel great to help? To give that feeling of warmth to others? All that’s needed is one fuzzy, warm coat, that ONE coat way in the back of the closet that never gets worn. Here at Diablo View Middle School, the student body and staff are participating in a coat drive with the foundation

ALISON EWING DVMS REPORTER known as One Warm Coat, an organization that, with help from local businesses and

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Ivar Laanen is a senior at Northgate High School. The “Dutch speaking, German born man with a Swedish name” has a passion for journalism and enjoys turning events and ideas into stories freshly printed in newspapers. Contact him at ivar@claytonpioneer.com.

organizations, donates hundreds of thousands of coats to people in need. Donating a coat is like saving a life. If someone sees someone else on the side of a street shivering and they can do something to help, are most going to? To get the chance to save someone doesn’t come around very often and if it just takes the effort of finding old coats that don’t fit, it’s worth it. But the real question is, why does this even matter? “This is so important because you need to stay warm in these winter months and it always feels good to give back,” said DVMS student Giselle Castianada. “It’s the right thing to do,” said student Levi Taylor.

“People out there need these things so they won’t freeze, so they can feel and enjoy warmth,” said Sophia Andrews. Everyone approached had the same message. We’re doing the right thing for those in need. One Warm Coat began in 1922 during Thanksgiving week at one location, with one drive. Since then they have collected close to four million coats. This is why the students and teachers at Diablo View are working together to help. Alison Ewing is a sixth-grader at DVMS. She loves to write and has a passion for “anything in the arts.” Email her at alison@claytonpioneer.com

miss; however, disappointment soon changed into mild frustration. I thought about all the texts and notifications I was failing to receive, and ride wait times went from inconvenient to unbearable without my device at constant access. After returning to the hotel room, I immediately gravitated toward the charger and eagerly anticipated all the notifications waiting for me, like a junkie scrambling for his next fix. I carried around my charging cord for the remainder of the trip, and I found myself searching for power outlets around the park. It was not long before I found myself huddled around a solitary outlet. Precious vacation time slipped away as I sat on the cold concrete, and I still hadn’t questioned my unwavering dedication to the phone. Instead, I noticed the dozen other people loitering around me, waiting for their chance at a quick charge. Immediately realizing how similar I looked, I felt foolish for letting my phone own me. Pangs of regret surged through me as I reflected on the amount of real social interaction I may have sacrificed for my little digital world. Although this experience considerably humbled my cellular activity, the same isn’t the case for many other Smartphone users. Smartphone addiction is real, and it is more prevalent than it sounds.

In fact, a recent survey by the research firm Harris Interactive reveals that 63 percent of Americans check their phone at least once every hour, and 9 percent check every five minutes. The anxiety one experiences when separated from the phone even has a name: nomophobia. Apprehension, compulsively anticipating or responding to notifications, and sensing phantom alert sounds are all signs of phone dependence. Sure, it may sound like a bit of a stretch to refer to constant cell phone usage as an addiction, yet this phenomenon fits the description of an addiction on point. In a society where texting drivers cause lethal accidents and businesses must ban the use of “disruptive electronics” on property, cell phones do more than interfere. Like most sensible Smartphone owners, my usage presents no hazard to my health or lifestyle. I tend to keep the phone away in class, and I usually put it aside at bedtime. Cutting back is no easy feat. As a New Year’s resolution, and as a pledge for a healthier lifestyle, I will demote my phone priority from necessity to accessory. Who knows, maybe the world really is more interesting in person? Robbie Parker is a junior at Clayton Valley Charter High School. Send comments to Robbie@claytonpioneer.com

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CARLIE BEESON

PINE HOLLOW REPORTER Traffic problems are occurring at schools all around the Bay Area, so Pine Hollow Middle School has contacted a program called Street Smarts Diablo to keep its students safe. Street Smarts Diablo is a bicycle and pedestrian safety program to help inform all public schools, parents and the community on how to keep the students safe while traveling to and from school. This program is completely free and gives students something to look forward to after finishing a challenge. The program has already provided information to almost 40 schools throughout the Bay Area in the last school year. Representatives from Street Smarts Diablo will be at Pine Hollow for three days, showing students how to be safe to and from school. They will also be observing the parking lot and pickup/drop-off area to help re-route it to keep the students safer.

For the three days that they will be at Pine Hollow, they will be putting on activities each day, such as “Walk and Roll Day” and “Bring your Bike to School Day,” and including challenges, activities and prizes. They will also be holding a parent meeting to inform the parents on their children’s safety. I believe that this program will be a good thing for our school because with our location and the

way the school is designed, there are a lot of traffic problems. After school, the students will walk in the street because there are cars parked along the walkway. Also, the parents are not careful about the speed limit, and for pick-up, there are a lot of cars just lined up. This is causing the students to be in more possible danger, because of the sheer number of parents and students. Hopefully Street Smarts Diablo will be able to help

Pine Hollow with these issues. We all cannot wait to see what Street Smart Diablo will be able to do with our traffic problems, and how the students will use the information that they will learn. Carlie Beeson is an 8th grader at Pine Hollow Middle School. She enjoys reading, playing soccer, and singing. Questions or comments? Send her an Email at carlie@claytonpioneer.com

Lovato inspires fans one page at a time EMILY YORK

TEEN READS Demi Lovato has faced a lot of struggles in her life; some, you probably aren’t aware of. From eating disorders to substance abuse, Lovato had a hard time getting out of that dark period and rekindling her inner happiness. But she eventually tried to put the past behind her when she landed a role on “As The Bell Rings” on Disney Channel. Even though she was still fighting her depression, she found something that lifted her spirits: her dedicated fans.

When Lovato appeared in “Camp Rock,” her fan base grew tremendously. On Sept. 23, 2008, Lovato released her first album, “Don’t Forget.” With her fame rising, she went on tour and released her selfwritten book, “Staying Strong” (Macmillan) in November, 2013, which evolved from tweets from her fans. In this book, you are supposed to read one page a day. All the pages have dates on them from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31. Each and every page includes an inspirational quote, Lovato’s interpretation of the quote, and a goal for the day. With quotes from people like Abraham Lincoln, Princess Diana, Buddha and

many more, this book is truly dignifying and touching. You can tell that Lovato put lots of time and effort into what she said and see that she really poured her soul into writing this page-a-day book. When I opened this up on Christmas morning I nearly leaped for joy. It was well worth the anticipation. This is a book you can read if you’re 14 for 54. Either way, by the time you finish it, you will learn quite a few things from Lovato’s experiences and end up adoring her even more. I guarantee it. Emily York is a freshman at CVCHS.

January 31, 2014

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

Academies raise the bar at CVCHS

DAVID LINZEY VOYAGE OF THE EAGLE If you look at the vision statement in our charter petition, there are three words in bold and all caps – RIGOR, RELEVANCE, and RELATIONSHIPS. These core values drive our program at Clayton Valley Charter High School and we strive to keep them at the forefront of every decision we make as we continue on our journey from good to great. Perhaps our greatest realization of the three “R”s can be found in our academies. Academies, also known as small learning communities or schools within a school, are defined by the California Department of Education as follows: “Generally, a small learning community (SLC) is any individualized learning unit within a larger school setting. Schedules allow students and teachers to meet together often. Combinations of small learning communities, teacher teams, and vertical looping are used to create learning environments where students and teachers come to know and care about one another. A growing body of research shows that when large schools are reorganized into smaller, discrete learning communities and a distinct group of adults team to teach together and support each student, young adolescents experience more psycho-social comfort and demonstrate increased achievement.” Clayton Valley Charter High School is proud to offer four different academy programs: The Clayton Arts Academy is our oldest academy, started more than 15 years ago. A three course integrated program comprised of an English/social science core with a visual or performing art specialty, the purpose of the CAA is to provide an artistic avenue for students to fulfill their academic

requirements and to provide them with intensive, in-depth training in their area of artistic interest. The Public Service Academy has been around since 2004. The PSA is focused on rigorous academic achievement through English and Social Science with an embedded theme of citizenship and service. They offer a project/problem-based curriculum while providing meaningful involvement in the community and top-notch preparation for post high school education and careers. The Engineering and Design Academy is a successful career pathway program designed to provide a firm educational foundation in the areas of math and science enhanced by problem-solving and engineering applications. Emphasis is placed upon the critical thinking, collaboration, and teamwork skills necessary in our increasingly technological world. The Medical Careers Academy is our newest addition to the academy options. They aim to prepare academy students for medical careers in the 21st Century by providing the educational foundation, community mentorships, leadership training, and hands on skills in the field of biomedical sciences. A science/English core program, the MCA has also established a site HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America) chapter. Both the EDA and the MCA are members of the nonprofit organization “Project Lead the Way.” PLTW is the nation’s leading provider of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs, offering world-class curriculum, high-quality teacher professional development, and outstanding partnerships. Each of these academies are managed by a team of dedicated and experienced teachers who are passionate about their programs and spend countless hours making them effective. If you ask a teacher or student involved how they feel about their academy the most common descriptor is the word “family.” This is truly a mark of success. At CVCHS we will continue to support our small learning communities and grow

Club News THE CLAYTON VALLEY WOMAN’S CLUB The Clayton Valley Woman’s Club invites guests to attend their monthly meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 11. Guest speakers are Janet Long of Elaine’s Toffee Co. and Sara Skow of Clayton’s The Royal Rooster. They will talk about the successes of these two popular businesses and how they work together. Janet Long’s family has been making toffee for 45 years using her parents’ secret recipe. The toffee was so popular, Long’s family started the company and named it after her mother, Elaine. Sara Skow long had a passion to open her own store. She opened her first location in Clayton in 2006 and quickly moved to a larger space in town. The store has a strong local customer base that enjoys a personal relationship with this small business. The Clayton Valley Woman’s Club meets at 10 a.m. on the second Tuesday of the month, except July and August, at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 1092 Alberta way, Concord. For more info, call 672-9448 or go to claytonvalleywomansclub.org.

Janet Long of Clayton is the CEO of Elaine’s Toffee Co.

opportunities for students to be involved. Academy applications for the 2014-15 school year are now available on our website (claytonvalley.org) under the “academic programs” tab. Academy applications are due

no later than Feb. 7. If you have questions please use the contact information on the website. David Linzey is executive director of CVCHS. Contact him David.linzey@claytonvalley.org

Page 9

Travis announces teen scholarships Travis Credit Union of Vacaville announced recently that it will award 20 $1,500 scholarships to deserving high school students. Each applicant must be a high school senior with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, bound

Recycling contest for area youth In an effort to encourage the youth of Contra Costa County to share their recycling knowledge and inspire the greater community to increase their recycling behavior, Mt. Diablo Recycling is launching its first ever Recycling Contest for elementary, middle school and high school students. Each contest entrant is being asked to answer the question, “How are you encouraging your family, friends and community to recycle?” by drawing a picture, writing an essay, or creating a video, depending on their age. Entry forms and full instructions for each age group can be found on the Mt. Diablo Recycling website, www.mtdiablore-

cycling.com/RecyclingContest. “There is no better way to influence the entire community about the importance of recycling than to educate and embolden our kids to share their knowledge,” said Mt. Diablo Recycling’s Community Relations and Public Outreach Manager Nicole Impagliazzo. “Small, daily steps that keep more and more items out of landfills will have a lasting effect on the health and sustainability of our neighborhoods.” First, second and third place winners in each age category will be announced at Mt. Diablo Recycling’s second annual Earth Day event on April 26, 2014, taking place at

the Mt. Diablo Recycling Center, located at 1300 Loveridge Rd. in Pittsburg. Cash prizes range from $50 to $500. Recipients will be chosen by a panel of community experts based on the applicant’s creativity and clarity, and the overall effectiveness of the recycling project. Completed entries with application form must be submitted via email to Irecyclethemost@Garaventaent.com by 5 p.m. on April 4, 2014.

For more information, visit www.mtdiablorecycling.com, a division of recycling and resource recovery company Garaventa Enterprises.

for a two- or four-year college or university and a member of Travis Credit Union in good standing. Students who live in Travis Credit Union’s 12-county service region and are not yet members may join the credit union and apply for a scholarship at the same time. Scholarship applications are available at any branch location or students may apply online at Travis Credit Union’s website at www.traviscu.org. In addition to a completed application other requirements include a 250-word essay, a certified high school transcript and a letter of recommendation from a teacher. Completed applications must be received no later than the close of business Monday, March 10, 2014.

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Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

January 31, 2014

Sports CVCHS student expansion requires little league to seek new fields

Photo by Jay Bedecarre

FOR THE PAST 40 YEARS CLAYTON VALLEY LITTLE LEAGUE has utilized property off Academy Rd. on the Clayton Valley High School campus for its Major, Minor A and Minor B fields plus a snack shack and league storage. With the local charter high school in serious discussions about increasing its student body size by 15% for the 2014-15 school year the youth baseball Minor B (left) and Major diamonds are targeted as the site for 10 portable classrooms. CVLL is making plans for moving its 2014 schedule for those divisions to alternate sites around Clayton and Concord. JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Plans to increase the student body size at Clayton Valley Charter High School will have long-term impact on young athletes, as little league players may need to find new fields and CVCHS sports teams look to move up a division in North Coast Section play. FIELDS NEEDED FOR CLASSROOMS

As Executive Director David Linzey and his board look for ways to accommodate more students, it may be at the expense of three main ball fields on the high school campus that have served Clayton Valley Little League for 40 years. Clayton Valley has nearly 1000 students applying to enroll for the next school year and current facilities to accept only about half that many. To accommodate the additional students, Linzey and his administration must add up to 10 portable classrooms, and the favored location is where the CVLL Major and Minor B fields sit right off Academy Road. Little League officials were notified Jan. 16 that they should make contingency plans for their upcoming season after the school decided to proceed with expansion at its monthly meeting. (See story, page 1.)

“Needless to say, as a board, we were stunned and completely surprised to hear on Jan. 16 that the league would be losing the fields we’ve used for the last 40 years," said little league president Kevin Christiansen. "Although CVLL has technically been a guest of the district and school, the league has maintained, improved and taken great care of the fields. We’ve been told that we could lose access to one or more as early as March of this year and as late as June.” The league concluded its baseball tryouts last weekend, teams begin practicing in a week and opening ceremonies at CVCHS are scheduled for March 23. In this, its 50th anniversary season, CVLL is also adding the new International Little League Intermediate (50/70) Baseball Division for 13-year-olds. Christiansen says “roughly 250 baseball and softball players and 65 children and young adults that make up our Challengers Division” utilize the on-campus fields. That total nearly mirrors the number of additional students the high school hopes to accommodate with its expansion. The field used for CVLL Major division games doubles as the home of the CVCHS girls varsity softball team while JV softball and Minor B baseball

share another field that is not targeted for removal. LOOKING FOR ALTERNATIVES With the news, CVLL is working hard to find a solution to the loss of fields. “As you can imagine, this is traditionally the busiest time of the year for the CVLL board and now we’ve got a handful of people working overtime to develop a series of solutions for this predicament,” Christiansen says. The league has reached out to the city of Clayton about using Clayton Community Park for more programs as one alternate site should the CVCHS fields become unavailable before or during this season, which concludes in June. The league may collaborate with nearby Concord American Little League on fields for some softball and baseball programs. The league president says his board has two common threads running through any possible solutions for the field dilemma: • To ensure that the children who participate in 2014 CVLL do not have a lessened experience whatsoever, including the children and young adults that make up our Challengers Division for boys and girls with physical and mental challenges. “We are proud to have one of the largest Challenger Divisions in Northern California,” he adds.

• To ensure the longevity and availability of Little League for children and young adults for years to come. CVLL already uses Highlands Elementary and Highlands Park, Mt. Diablo Elementary and Clayton Community Park for games. Leaving the CVCHS site also takes away snack shack revenue and storage space. Clayton councilman Dave Shuey, a member of the CVLL board for more than a decade, has met with Linzey twice in recent days and expects that the on-campus fields may be unavailable well before opening day. As a driving force in establishing the charter school he has mixed feelings about this predicament but is focused on the immediate league needs and the long-term challenges and opportunities for both the school and little league, he says. Linzey says CVCHS will pay any increased costs CVLL incurs should a displacement happen this year. Each of the high school administrators and governing board members contacted have had their children in little league and say it’s unfortunate that the best solution for the school may so suddenly impact the baseball program. The CVLL board is also looking past 2014 to examine longterm playing field options.

Sports Shorts SARAH NELSON NAMED PACWEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK Dominican University of California’s Sarah Nelson has been named this week’s Hawai’i Tourism Authority PacWest Women’s Basketball Defensive Player of the Week. The award was selected for games played Jan. 13-19. The Clayton Valley HS grad averaged 10.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game on the week for the Penguins. She recorded a doubledouble with 16 points and 11 rebounds, along with a seasonhigh six blocks, in a narrow loss to Hawai’i Pacific University. DIABLO FC SOCCER TRYOUTS FOR 2014 TEAMS THIS WEEK Tryouts for girls and boys Dia-

blo FC competitive teams in the under 9 through U14 age groups are being held now through Feb. 9. Players born between Aug. 1, 2000 and July 31, 2006 can try out for teams in the area’s premier competitive soccer program which is affiliated with the San Jose Earthquakes. U9-U12 tryouts conclude this Thursday, Jan. 30, and Sunday, Feb. 1 while the U13-U14 age groups will hold sessions Feb. 1-9. There is no cost to try out and players can register online at diablofc.org. 11TH DIABLO FC CRAB FEED & AUCTION FRIDAY The 11th annual Crab Feed and Auction to support Diablo FC youth soccer programs is next Friday, Feb. 7, at Centre Concord. Besides the crab feed dinner and fund-raising live and silent auc-

EAGLE TEAMS MOVE TO DIVISION I This expansion proposal has short- and long-term implications not only for CVLL but also for the charter school’s athletic teams. Clayton Valley, as a member of North Coast Section, is entered in playing divisions for each sport based on school enrollment. For the past decade or so Clayton Valley teams in several sports, including football, have been in Division II (schools under 2,000 students). This year the school is brushing right up against that 2,000 maximum D-II level. Should any expansion take place CVCHS will be Division I in every sport and competing in section playoffs for teams and individual athletes against the largest NCS schools. In football, for example, the Eagles would be in playoffs against the likes of De La Salle, Pittsburg and Monte Vista. For the past two years CVCHS football has enjoyed success in D-II, winning the school’s first-ever NCS football championship in 2012. In the last two seasons the team’s only regularseason loss was to D-I powers Pittsburg and DLS, respectively. The change doesn't worry football coach Tim Murphy. “There are a lot of applicants [for CVCHS enrollment] and the word is out about our academic achievements, improved test scores and the success of our

sports teams. [Linzey] knows how to build a school and all phases of it; he won't let us have anything but success.” Clayton Valley would be the only school in the Diablo Valley Athletic League in D-I for all sports. College Park, Concord and Northgate are primarily in DII while Ygnacio Valley and Mt. Diablo are Division III and Berean Christian is Division IV. “I welcome the opportunity to compete at D-I," says baseball coach Casey Coakley. "We want to play the best competition we can. We used to be D-I (prior to 2009) and fared quite well in baseball. “As a baseball coach I would be excited. As a fan of high school sports I would love to see our CVCHS teams compete against the likes of Pittsburg, California High, Deer Valley, DLS and all the other quality athletic high schools D-I has to offer.” Currently, Eagle teams in basketball, baseball, football, cross country, volleyball, wrestling and softball are categorized as D- II. CVCHS teams in soccer, lacrosse, water polo, golf and tennis are already D-I. Track and field and swimming competition is not segregated by divisions. Should CVCHS increase its enrollment over 2,000 students for this next school year its NCS division placement would not change until the 2015-16 school calendar.

tions, there will be dancing. Tickets are $50. To get more info or to buy tickets visit diablofc.org.

dates are Mar. 12 and Apr. 11 from 6:30-8 p.m. at Oakhurst Country Club. Early registration discounts are available before March 12. Information is available at oakhurstorcas.com.

LOTS OF YOUTH, ADULT PROGRAMS COMING TO

CLAYTON GYM IN MARCH A variety of spring programs at Clayton Community Gym begin in March and signups are open through All Out Sports League. Youth hip hop classes are every Monday for 5-16 year-olds from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Registration for youth volleyball and basketball leagues plus tee ball and tot soccer are underway. Adult Sunday softball league begins March 16, a week after a coed softball tournament Mar. 9 in Clayton. For complete information on all the programs, visit alloutsportsleague.com. OAKHURST ORCAS SIGNUPS FOR 2014 UPCOMING Oakhurst Orcas summer recreation swim team registration

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES WINTER ACADEMY RUNS ALL FEBRUARY San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer and Diablo FC are holding the 13th annual Regional Development School Winter Soccer Academy on Mondays and Thursdays through Feb. 27 under the lights at Willow Pass Park in Concord from 5-6 p.m. Girls and boys 5-10 years of age are eligible for the Academy, which brings professional coaching experience to youngers of all skill levels in a non-competitive environment. For more information visit the Earthquakes Youth Alliance Partner’s website at diablofc.org.

January 31, 2014

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

Page 11

Sports CVC High School slapped with Title IX complaint about girls sports program

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As if they didn’t have enough on their plate already with a potential expansion of the school swirling around and causing major impacts to its athletic program, Clayton Valley Charter High School administrators have until this Saturday to answer an anonymous complaint filed by the Legal Aid Society and California Women's Law Center concerning inequities in its baseball and softball programs impacting female student athletes. In December, just as the school was preparing for a three-week holiday break between the first and second semesters, the filing was made. It claimed that the softball facilities for the girls’ teams are substantially inferior to those for the boys baseball teams. The school had one month to answer the charges but was granted an extension until Feb. 1 due to the

extended winter break. Pat Middendorf, the school’s Director of Operations and Athletics, has been working on the response. It’s interesting to note that her daughter, Kendra, was a standout for the Eagles softball team before graduating 12 years ago. A decade ago the baseball field and adjoining batting cages underwent a major upgrade funded largely by local businessman and CVHS parent Matt Mazzei. The Eagles baseball team is a perennial North Coast Section title contender. Girls softball had an outstanding season last year, reaching the NCS championship game. Both Clayton Valley baseball and softball have sent players to college programs on a regular basis in recent years. Title IX was enacted in 1972 to ensure gender equity in all educational programs, including sports. Since then there has been an explosion in athletic opportunities for females.

The complaint also mentioned there are not enough sports for girls on the Concord campus. Middendorf counters that CVCHS has more girls teams than any other school in the Diablo Valley Athletic League or Mt. Diablo Unified School District. The school’s lacrosse (only one other in MDUSD), freshman basketball, varsity wrestling and frosh soccer are unique or rare in the area. These are in addition to a full complement of girls varsity and JV teams in tennis, water polo, swimming, track, basketball, volleyball, softball, cross country, golf and soccer. The school has ensured that baseball and softball players have equal use of the batting cages located behind the visiting bleachers of Gonsalves Stadium. Softball facilities are something Middendorf acknowledges need addressing, even more so if the varsity softball field that doubles as the Clayton Valley Little

League Major division park is displaced by portable classrooms to facilitate a school expansion by this summer. Junior varsity softball is played on a field adjacent to the varsity (doubling as CVLL Minor A park) and that field may need to be used by both varsity and JV teams this spring if the other diamond is taken out of commission. “We would need to make some upgrades [to the V softball field] for this year, such as adding a warning track in front of the outfield fence,” Middendorf says. Part of the Title IX complaint addressed the shared use of the little league fields with softball. The claim mentions that CVCHS softball has to vacate the fields as soon as its games are over so that CVLL can have practices or games. Middendorf says the athletic facilities masterplan for the campus includes a new softball stadium and that part of the plan is the school’s No. 1 priority.

St. Mary’s College Gaels women cheered on by St. Bonaventure under-10 girls basketball St. Mary’s College women’s basketball has enjoyed an outstanding season including winning 10 consecutive home games heading into this week’s schedule. Their latest home victory was 78-74 over Loyola Marymount with the under 10 St Bonaventure CYO girls team rooting on the Gaels. Coaches Tara Mann and Ian McGee brought their players, from left, Mia Hobson, Cami McGee, Jules Greeley, Lana Anwar, Sofia Carmichael, Sydney Mann, Madison York and Gianna Canesa to Moraga for the game. Photo courtesy St. Bonaventure CYO

Seahawks crush 49er’s Super Bowl aspirations Along with rain, the city of Seattle has something the Bay Area does not: A team in the Super Bowl this Sunday. The San Francisco 49ers goal of going to back-to-back Super Bowls was cut short when they lost to the Seattle Seahawks. In a battle of hardnosed, gritty and determined football teams in the presence of 67,000 rabid and boisterous Seahawks fans, the 49ers came up short. This wasn’t how the 49ers planned to end their season. They had aspirations of hoisting the gleaming Lombardi Trophy over their shoulders, smiling in pure euphoria as they won the Super Bowl. This was their dream, but it did not come to fruition, because the 49ers still could not manage to beat the Seahawks in Seattle. This is not to say that they can’t, because if various mistakes didn’t happen from multiple players, namely Colin

TYLER LEHMAN SPORTS TALK Kaepernick, then the 49ers would have most likely won. Kaepernick was able to manage three turnovers in the fourth quarter, which is where the great quarterbacks build their legacy. It is a time where quarterback legends like Joe Montana and Steve Young put the team on their shoulders and carry them to victory. Kaepernick could not have been anything further from a great quarterback in the final

quarter of the NFC Championship game. When the 49ers needed him to step up most and be the level-headed, intelligent leader they needed, Kaepernick shrunk in the spotlight and crumbled under the pressure. He threw two interceptions and lost a fumble on an illadvised scramble, greatly hurting the 49ers chances of victory. It is important to note that football is a TEAM sport. You win as a team and lose as a team. Kaepernick is going to face endless criticisms until next season and many are now starting to question if he is even a franchise quarterback. He has amazing arm strength, which is certainly not in question. He has tremendous athleticism and has the speed to outrun almost any player on the defensive side of the ball. Can Kaepernick overcome the mental obstacles of playing

quarterback? Will he ever learn how to read defenses properly; how to set his feet in the pocket with fluid acuteness? One of Kaepernick’s interceptions in particular stood out, which illustrates just how little he has learned in the NFL about reading defenses. He attempted to throw a short out route towards the sideline and completely glanced over the Seahawks cornerback who was dropped down low in a zone defense. He threw the ball up and the cornerback slid backwards and intercepted the ball with ease. This type of play is unacceptable from a quarterback who wants to perform at the highest level. Tyler Lehman is a sophomore at Diablo Valley College and a 2012 CVHS graduate. He plans to major in journalism and wants to be a sports writer. Email your comments or questions to Tyler@claytonpioneer.com.



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January 31, 2014

Book Review

‘Bird’ is a poignant, humorous look at abolitionist movement

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It’s not any wonder that James McBride’s latest book, “The Good Lord Bird” (Riverhead Hardcover; August 2013) won the 2013 National Book Award. I won’t be the last reader to declare that Huck Finn now has a worthy traveling companion in McBride’s narrator, Henry (Onion) Shackleford. McBride first came to national attention with his memoir, “The Color of Water.” Working at Bonanza Books, I remember droves of high-schoolers ordering the book, which, by then, was required reading. Next came “Miracle at St. Anna.” I was hooked, so that when “Song Yet Sung” hit the store, I had already read the advance review copy. It’s been five years and “The Good Lord Bird” was worth the wait. If McBride has anything to say about it, John Brown’s body is not moldering in his grave. The prologue tells us of the narrative

of a very old black man, recorded in a series of interviews and then secured in a metal box and hidden under the office floorboards of The First United Negro Baptist Church of the Abyssinia. The box and its contents were all that survived the church’s burning to the ground in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1966. Got your attention, right? Oh, no, another grim African American tragedy! No, this fire was caused by faulty wiring, the very first indication that the reader is bound for some darkly funny and envelope-pushing storytelling. The narrator is one Henry Shakleford. His story begins when he is freed from bondage, a bondage which until the day John Brown “rescued” him, had afforded him good food, an insufficient, but loving father, and a master, a well above-average slaveholder. In an almost burlesque rendering of a free-

for-all between John Brown and Henry’s master, Henry’s pa is accidently killed and John Brown, in a successful retreat, takes young Henry with him. Henry, “who wore a potato sack like most colored boys did in them days,” being small and light skinned with curly hair, was taken for a girl and nicknamed Onion by John Brown. It is this young colored boy, acting as a girl, who tells the story of his years in the company of Brown and his ragtag gang of abolitionists, from that day in the bloody Kansas Territory of 1856, until another fateful day in 1859 at Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. With a keen sense of humor and a knack for the absurd, McBride opens some longlocked doors to the truth of John Brown. Readers who find themselves laughing out loud may also find their laughter silenced by these truths. Onion becomes

SUNNY SOLOMON

FOR

THE

BOOKS

Brown’s good luck charm, almost saving him from Harper’s Ferry, but it is a feather, a piece of lightness from a rare bird, that offers more than good luck. Wonderful biblical misquotes, abandonment by Frederick Douglass, the slow hiving of bees, a financially and emotionally strapped abolitionist movement, and John Brown’s heartfelt belief that he was doing the Lord’s work come together, like much of James McBride’s writing, with a beat that marches on. Sunny Solomon is a freelance writer and head of the Clayton Book Club. Visit her website at bookinwithsunny.com for her latest recommendations or just to ‘talk books.’

Community Calendar PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR CLAYTON COMMUNITY CALENDAR EVENTS BY 5 P.M. FEB. 5 FOR THE FEB. 14 ISSUE. ITEMS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY EMAIL TO calendar@claytonpioneer.com

IN CLAYTON Feb. 16 Camellia Tea Clayton Historical Society’s 37th annual Camellia Tea and Open House. Camellia display and refreshments. Current and former mayors of Clayton will be honored by pouring tea. Children welcome with adults. 1 – 4 p.m. Clayton Museum, 6101 Main Street. Free. 672-0240. First Thursdays Oakhurst Business Network Meets first Thursday of the month for social hour. Hosted hors d’oeuvres, cash bar. 6 – 7:30 p.m. Oakhurst Country Club, 1001 Peacock Creek Drive, Clayton. oakhurstcc.com.

IN CONCORD Feb. 8 Home Expo Meet local home improvement vendors. Presentations, food, drink, playground. Hosted by The Bennett Team. 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. The Crossings, 4465 South Larwin Ave., Concord. Free and open to the public. 338-1563. Tuesdays Farmers’ Market Tuesdays year round, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. cityofconcord.org.

ON THE MOUNTAIN Mount Diablo Interpretive Association programs listed are free with the exception of park entrance fee. Go to mdia.org and click on Events Calendar for more information.

Feb. 7 – Mar. 1 “Guys and Dolls” Romantic comedy performed by Diablo Theatre Company. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $49-$53. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469. Feb. 8 Leap Before You Look Presented by Ready or Not Improv. 8:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $15. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469. Feb. 8 The Eroica Trio Presented by Chamber Music San Francisco. 2:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469. Feb. 8 The Sun Kings Marking the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ arrival in 1964, The Sun Kings perform The Beatles’ releases from that year. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $25-$27. elcampaniltheatre.com. Feb. 9 Peter and the Wolf Performed by the Diablo Symphony Orchestra. 2 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., WC. $12-$28. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469. Feb. 11 Be My Valentine Cabrera conducts music inspired by the greatest love story of all, “Romeo and Juliet.” California Symphony. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., WC. $15-$65. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469.

Feb. 2 Black Point Hike Mitchell Canyon to White Canyon to Black Point. 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon trailhead.

Feb. 13 – Mar. 9 “The Maltese Falcon” A story about what it’s like to want something so badly until the chase itself means more than what you’re chasing. Cue Productions Live, 1835 Colfax St., Concord. $12-$18. b8company.com.

Feb. 23 Frog Pond and Green Ranch Hike Hike Curry Point to Frog Pond, Green Ranch and Oak Knoll before returning to Curry Point. Covers area burnt by the Morgan Fire; early season wildflowers should be abundant. 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Meet at Curry Point trailhead.

Feb. 16 “2 to Fly” Acrobatic and aerial duo. 3 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $10-$20. elcampaniltheatre.com.

Save Mount Diablo programs listed are free unless otherwise noted. Go to savemountdiablo.org and click on Activities/Guided Hikes for more information. 947-3535. Feb. 1 DiRT Day Assist the Diablo Restoration Team with weeding and watering activities and cleaning up restoration debris from initial plantings on the property. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at 3240 Aspara Drive, Clayton. Response required to Jim Cartan at jcartan@savemountdiablo.org or 947-3535.

EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT Thru Feb. 1 Edge and Entertainment Performed by Company C Contemporary Ballet. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $10-$48. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469. Jan. 31 – Feb. 1 Emotions Into Movement Performed by Diablo Ballet. Shadelands Art Center, 111 N. Wiget Lane, Walnut Creek. $24-$39. diabloballet.org. Jan. 31 – Feb. 15 “The Book of Liz” Fun and quirky comedy performed by Onstage Theatre Company. Campbell Theatre, 636 Ward St., Martinez. $12-$18. onstagethhm@aol.com. 518-3277. Jan. 31 – Mar. 1 “Clybourne Park” Jokes fly and hidden agendas unfold as two different generations tip-toe the dance of social politics. Performed by Center REP. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $39-$57. centerrep.org. 943-7469. Feb. 1 Mariachi Divas Get ready for a south-of-the-border evening of cheerful music. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $25-$27. elcampaniltheatre.com. Feb. 1 Pops and Broadway Performed by Music Repertoire. 2:45 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $10. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469.

Feb. 16 Crazy Eights Performed by the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $10-$30. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469. Feb. 20 Damon Runyon A reading of selected works of Damon Runyon. 8 p.m. Butterfield 8 Theatre at Cue Productions Live, 1835 Colfax St., Concord. Pay-whatyou-can admission fee. b8company.com.

CHURCHES AND RELIGION Feb. 7 Baha’i, interaction, fellowship and discussion. Topic: Science and Religion – Disagree or in Harmony. Speaker: Dr. Stephen R. Friberg, physicist living in Silicon Valley. 7:30 p.m. Free. For directions, call 672-6686. Feb. 15 Daddy Daughter Dance Fun night out for Dads, Stepdads, Granddads…with daughters, granddaughters. Dancing, photos, snacks. Sponsored by Clayton Community Church. 6:30 – 9 p.m. Oakhurst Country Club, 1001 Peacock Creek Drive, Clayton. $25 per couple; $5 for additional daughters and guests. Contact Dorothy Patrick at dorothy.patrick@astound.net.

FUNDRAISERS Jan. 31 thru Mar. 22 Biggest Loser? Biggest Giver! Weight loss contest benefiting the biggest loser and Imagine No Malaria. Sponsored by the Concord United Methodist Church. Register by Jan. 31. Beginning weigh in Feb. 1; ending weigh in Mar. 22. $30. For registration and weigh in information, go to concordumc.org. Feb. 8 Crab Feed Crab feed; no host bar. Proceeds support programs of the Knights of Columbus 6038. 6 p.m. Saint Bonaventure Large Hall, 5562 Clayton Road, Concord. $40. Tickets available through Parish Office at 6725800 or call Chuck Cooper at 849-8566. Feb. 22 Crab Feed Crab feed and auction. Sponsored by St. Agnes School. 5 p.m. cocktails and auction; 6:30 p.m. dinner. Silvio E. Garaventa Sr. Center, 1133 Winton Dr., Concord. $55. stagnesauctioninfo@yahoo.com. 689-3990.

Feb. 22 Dinner Dance Mardi Gras theme featuring Concord High School Jazz Bands and Orchestra. Auction and raffle. Proceeds benefit CHS Instrumental Music Program and Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. 6 p.m. Clarion Hotel, 1050 Burnett Ave., Concord. $30 through Jan. 31; $35 after. Contact Theresa Dowd at trephone@gmail.com or 586-0889. Mar. 29 The California Philharmonic Youth Orchestra Performance benefiting Imagine No Malaria. Sponsors needed also. Coordinated by the Concord United Methodist Church. 3 – 5 p.m. California Theater, 345 S. First St., San Jose. $30. Contact Betsy Mcleod at 212-7459 or the church at 685-5260.

AT THE LIBRARY The Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. claytonlibrary.org or 673-0659. Tuesdays Thru Mar. 4 Patty Cakes Story time for babies to 3-year-olds. Child attends with caregiver. 11 a.m. Wednesdays Book Buddies A volunteer reads for children 3 and older. 1 - 2 p.m. Call in advance. Thursdays Thru Mar. 6 Picture Book Time Story time for 3- to 5-year-olds. Child may attend without caregiver. 11 a.m. Feb. 1 – 28 “Bee a Reader” Kids’ winter reading program. Read 10 books for a prize. Children grades kindergarten through second grade. Feb. 25, Mar. 4, 11, 18, 25 Paws to Read Learn to read by reading aloud to a dog. Grades 1 – 5. Registration required. 4 or 4:35 p.m. Feb. 12 Ruth Bancroft Garden Come find out the history of this amazing botanical resource. Brian Kemble, curator and lecturer, will present and provide a selection of plants for purchase. 6:30 p.m. The Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. ccclib.org or 646-5455. Friday and Saturdays, Feb. 1 thru Apr. 14 Free income tax assistance from AARP to low and middle-income people. Appointment required. Feb. 1 Computers and Technology If you need help with your mouse, come to our house. Drop-in assistance to learn how to use computers, smart phones and tablets. 12 2 p.m. Additional dates and times offered. Check library calendar. Feb. 3 Get Covered, California! Join representatives from Covered California’s Community Outreach Network for answers to your questions about Covered California healthcare. Enrollment counselors on site to help you sign up. 5 - 8 p.m.

GOVERNMENT 1st and 3rd Tuesdays Clayton City Council 7 p.m. Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 673-7304 or ci.clayton.ca.us. 2nd and 4th Tuesdays Clayton Planning Commission 7 p.m., Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 673-7304 or ci.clayton.ca.us. 1st, 2nd and 4th Tuesdays Concord City Council 6:30 p.m., Council Chamber, Concord Civic Center, 1950 Parkside Dr. cityofconcord.org.

Meeting dates and times for local clubs and organizations are listed at claytonpioneer.com. Click on ‘Links’

January 31, 2014

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

These attractive, hardy shrubs can be drought-resistant

NICOLE HACKETT

GARDEN GIRL Westringia Wynyabbie Gem, Manzinita Wayside and Rhaphiolepis Pink Lady are three of the toughest mediumsized shrubs around town. Each of these bushes are evergreen, they reach four- to six-feet tall , are absolutely drought tolerant and have showy flowers or foliage. They are perfect shrubs for our Clayton Valley soil, heat and water situation. Manzinita Wayside has a round growth habit. It is expected to grow slightly wider than tall in the landscape as it slowly matures. The famous red bark peaks through the dense, oval shaped olive green leaves. In spring Manzinita Wayside hosts

the familiar whitish-pink blossom that Clayton Valley residents have become so fond of. Another attribute worth mentioning is the summer’s new growth. As the new leaves emerge they are a bright copper color. This leaf color provides bold contrast to the other leaves and flowers of the summer’s landscape. Manzinita Wayside can be utilized in challenging landscape situations. It can tolerate the rough conditions of steep hillsides and fence lines. Plant this native now. When installing take care to dig a wide rather than deep hole. This is a gardening rule when planting in clay soil. Use a bit of soil conditioner at the time of planting. Avoid using water-retaining potting soils, or soils with built in fertilizers. Rhaphiolepis is a huge, very hardy, familiar plant that you probably already know of. The common name for this shrub is Hawthorn. Rhaphiolepis has been around for decades and still is extremely desirable, featuring evergreen, oval-shaped leaves on woody stems. During

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UTOPIC GARDENS

the spring simple pink flowers are born in clusters. These flowers are followed by reddishcolored new foliage and in fall attractive berries sit where the flowers once were. Rhaphiolepis Pink Lady is a larger growing variety of Hawthorns. The shrub grows in a vase shape fashion and would one day neatly cover a fence line without a lot of maintenance. Westringia Wynyabbie Gem has been talked about many times before. When a particular shrub is so hardy and drought tolerant, you can’t help but keep taking about it, especially considering our current water situation. This shrub’s arms of tiny, gray leaves give a fern-like appearance in the landscape. Westringia Wynyabbie Gem did suffer minor tip-burn in the freezes of early December but it quickly recovered with the rest of the month’s warm days. Now the shrub is back in bloom and is a stand-out within the landscape. Once you take your droughttolerant plants home install

MAXIMIZE!

immediately. If you can’t get to them, or your waiting for your weekly service to plant them, make sure they are watered every few days while they wait. Do not install a distressed drought-tolerant plant. Thoroughly water your droughttolerant installations after planting by hand a few times to build up the water table in the ground. There are wonderful shrubs, trees and perennials that we can grow that tolerate and thrive during this unique weather year. We can change our outlook of landscapes altogether and embrace these challenges. Together we can continue to make our neighborhoods beautiful, responsibly Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. Contact her with questions or comments at Gardengirl@claytonpioneer.com

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What’s white, purple, red? Carrots, of course DEBRA J. MORRIS Pacific Coast Farmers Market

Contrary to popular belief, carrots don’t just come in orange. This common root vegetable is available in a wide variety of colors, from white to red to almost purple-black. The unusually pigmented carrots have flavors that can accommodate many tastes. According to the USDA, yellow carrots contain xanthophylls, a substance that supports vision and lowers lung cancer risks. Red carrots contain lycopene, which helps prevent heart disease and some cancers, including prostate cancer. Purple carrots contain anthocyanins, pigments that act as powerful antioxidants to neutralize harmful free radicals.

Anthocyanins also regulate blood clotting, a helpful factor in preventing heart disease. White carrots lack pigment, but may contain other health-promoting phytochemicals. “Orange” carrots should be a bright orange to an orange-red in color with a bright green top unless the carrots are purchased packaged in a plastic bag. The deeper the color, the more betacarotene contained in the carrot. The bright green tops don’t guarantee a fresher carrot. Before storing carrots, remove their green tops, rinse, drain, and put the carrots in plastic bags and store them in the coldest part of the refrigerator with the highest humidity. They’ll last several months this way. To keep the carrots crisp and colorful add a little bit of water in the bottom of the plastic storage bag; this will keep the carrots hydrated.

Carrots should be stored away from fruits such as apples and pears, which release the ethylene gas that cause carrots to become bitter. ROASTED WHOLE BABY CARROTS WITH HONEY AND ROSEMARY 2 pounds whole baby carrots in as many colors as possible 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 tsp. kosher salt 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 2 to 4 Tbsp. honey 3 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary Preheat oven to 425°. Line a baking pan with foil. Cut all but 1/4-inch of greens off of the carrots. Thoroughly scrub the carrots. (Peel if you wish, but they have a more rustic look with the skins left on, as well as more vitamins.) Arrange the carrots in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and roll to coat. Place in the oven to roast until tender when pierced with a knife, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and season generous-

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ly with salt and pepper. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with rosemary. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Performing Arts

Sometimes nutty, Shellie Awards showcase top local talent

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January 31, 2014

Spotlights circled the evening sky and excitement filled the air as the 35th Shellie Awards took center stage at the Lesher Center for the Arts on Jan. 11. The annual event brought some Broadway glamour to Walnut Creek as members of the local theater community donned glitzy gowns and tuxedos (or in the case of Butterfield 8 Theatre Company’s artistic director, a kilt and boots) to celebrate the local arts community. Patterned after Broadway’s Tony Awards, the Shellies honor more than 120 individuals and theater companies in musical and non-musical productions that took place between Sept. 1, 2012 and Aug. 31, 2013. According to founder Scott Denison, the awards began in 1979 at the old Civic Arts

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Theatre, where the Lesher Center now stands. “The name Shellie derives from the venue, which was originally a walnut packing warehouse – lovingly called the ‘Nuthouse’ by all who performed there,” says Denison. “During the off-season of the walnut harvest, the Walnut Growers Association loaned the building to local theater companies who constructed a temporary stage.” As the community of Walnut Creek grew and walnut production moved elsewhere, the theater companies were able to purchase the building and make it a yearround performing venue. Nine regional companies participated in this year’s Shellie Awards. At one point, there had been 13, but financial woes and other factors limited this year’s entrants as well as attendees. The well-wrought productions of Concord’s Willows Theatre and Walnut Creek’s Diablo Actor’s Ensemble have certainly been missed as those two stalwart companies closed their doors. Performing arts lovers are hoping the newly founded Clayton Theatre Company will add its own mark to the local scene. Denison and his staff put together video from past Shellie presentations, causing many audience members to cringe at former hairstyles or to look back fondly at having hair at all. Clips from famous celebrities wishing award nominees well (including Mary Wilson of the Supremes and the Four Tops) added more glitz to the evening. A special clip featured Michael Wright, president of Turner Broadcasting (who got his start in Contra Costa’s theater scene) wishing everyone well from the set of Conan O’Brien’s talk show – a fun bit ensued when Conan came out and asked for his desk back. MCs for the evening were Jeff Collister, Jerry Motta, Kerri Shawn and Michael White with Ken Bergmann conducting the

Photo by Mike Kirwan

AWARD PRESENTERS, MS. SHELLIE, Jerry Motta, Michael White, Kerri Shawn, and Jeff Collister head for the stage at the 2013 Annual Shellie Awards on Jan. 11.

Shellie Awards Orchestra. Production numbers from each of the nominated musicals, along with scenes from each of the nominated plays, gave a taste of the various productions and performers vying for awards. A rousing musical number from Contra Costa Musical Theatre’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” became the highlight of the night as the large youthful cast sang and danced through the audience. Colorful balloons and streams of confetti descended on the audience at one point – an exciting reminder of just how vibrant the arts can be. Winners included Molly Bell (Best Actress/Musical for Center Rep’s “Sweet Charity”), Jennifer Brown Peabody (Best Actress/Play for Onstage Theatre’s “Spots of a Leopard”), Keith Pinto (Best Actor/Musical for Diablo Theatre’s “Singin’ in the Rain”), Ben Johnson (Best Actor/Play for Center Rep’s “The 39 Steps”), Dyan McBride (Best Director/Musical for “Singin’ in

the Rain”), and Mark Anderson Phillips (Best Director/Play for “The 39 Steps”). Best Overall Production kudos went to Diablo Theatre’s “Singin’ in the Rain” (musical) and Town Hall’s “The Farnsworth Invention” (play). In addition to awards for specific shows, Outstanding

Clayton Theatre Company general auditions wrap up Feb. 5 After a successful inaugural season last fall, the new Clayton Theatre Company is gearing up for a busy spring. Feb. 5 is the last chance to audition for its April play, “Night of January 16th.” Actors should arrive at 7 p.m. prepared to perform 32 bars of a Broadway song, and a one- to two-minute monologue. Bring a head shot and resume, if possible. Call-backs for those who already auditioned will also

Family fun soars at El Campanil Antioch’s El Campanil Theatre hits new heights with their presentation of “2 to FLY,” a high-flying family matinee performance featuring aerial acrobatics, clowning, and more. The show is on Sunday, Feb.16 at 3 p.m. and features Max and Jojo, an acrobatic and aerial duo. They have performed for many celebrities and organizations, and have most recently been touring on

Contribution to the Arts awards went to Barry Gordon (Center Rep), Mark Barry (Onstage Theatre), Denise Altaffer (Town Hall), and Danny Boyle (Contra Costa Musical Theatre). A complete listing of award recipients is available at www.lesherartscenter.org.

Norwegian Cruise Lines as guest entertainers. Joining the duo is the Ring Brothers’ distinctive flair of creativity and humor and Partner Acro’s dance, this entertaining romp is perfect for the whole family. For tickets and information, contact the Box Office at El Campanil (925) 757-9500, 602 W. Second St., Antioch, elcampaniltheatre.com.

occur then, and actors will be asked to do a cold-reading from the script. No appointment is necessary. The audition is at Diablo View Middle School, 300 Diablo View Ln. in Clayton, at the back of the school by the gym. There is limited parking in the back of the school, but more parking in front of the gym. Please follow the signs to the audition site. For more information visit Claytontheatrecompany.com, or email claytontheatrecompany@comcast.net, or call 925222-9106. Meanwhile, the company is planning a fundraiser on Feb. 18 at Ed’s Mudville Grill between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. Present a flier for dine-in or carry-out orders and Ed’s will donate 20 percent of all pre-tax receipts to the company. The money raised will be used to produce “Night of January 16th.” You can download the flier at claytontheatrecompany.com, as well as sign up for the company’s newsletter. To volunteer, email claytontheatrecompany@comcast.net.

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Page 15

‘Guys and Dolls’ dance onto Lesher stage

One of Broadway’s most popular musicals, “Guys and Dolls,” comes to Walnut Creek in Diablo

Theatre Company’s production that captures the romance and humor of Damon Runyon’s Depression-era urban fable about fancy-talking gamblers and the “dolls” who love them. The Tony Award-winning show, running Feb. 7 through March 1, features a book by Abe Burrows and music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, who penned such immortal tunes as “Luck Be A Lady,” “Adelaide’s Lament” and “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat.” Premiering on Broadway

in 1950, “Guys and Dolls” was inspired by Runyon, a sportswriter and newspaperman whose New York-based tall tales are famously filled with colorful tough-guy characters and a poetic and distinctly American slang. The play centers on the romantic misadventures of four iconic Broadway characters. Prim Salvation Army Sgt. Sarah Brown wants to reform the evildoers around Times Square until she meets her match in slick, highrolling gambler Sky Masterson.

He tries to seduce Sarah on a bet made with Nathan Detroit, who is trying to find a spot for his floating crap game while fending off a big-time Chicago mobster and demands for marriage by Adelaide, his long-suffering showgirl fiancée. For Diablo Theatre Company’s production, Kikau Alvaro returns to direct and choreograph after helming this past fall’s popular and critically acclaimed “Shrek: the Musical.” Veteran Bay Area performers

starring in the show are Tom Reardon, Gene Bencomo, Kimberly Nearon and Mary Kalita. The music director is Matt Smart, and vocal director is Brandon Adams.

There are 16 performances of “Guys and Dolls” at the Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. For tickets, call 925-943SHOW (7469) or visit www.lesherartscenter.org or www.diablotheatre.org.

Contra Costa Ballet Summer Intensive Auditions, Feb. 12

Civic Arts foundation offers all-age arts scholarships The Friends of Civic Arts Education Foundation is awarding music and visual arts merit scholarships to artists intent on continuing their studies regardless of their age. Last year, the Friends introduced the first-ever Kathy Nelson Music Merit Scholarship. The scholarship, named after longtime foundation program manag-

er Kathy Nelson, helped six talented music students continue their studies. This year, in addition to music scholarships, the Friends will also offer a Drawing, Painting, and Printmaking Merit Scholarship. A total of eight $250 scholarships will be awarded – four in music and four in arts. According to Sally Hogarty, press contact for the group, the

first Friends scholarships were limited only to youth. This year, with the addition of the visual arts awards, the program is open to all. “The merit scholarship program is still in its infancy,” Kathy Jakel, a member of the Friends board, says. “The Friends of Civic Arts Education Foundation wants to encourage students to continue

Diablo Symphony to perform unique version of ‘Peter and the Wolf’ “Peter and the Wolf,” with the Fratello Marionettes, will highlight the Diablo Symphony concert on Feb. 9 at the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek. Prokofiev’s beloved musical story of “Peter and the Wolf ” is the central part of this family friendly program, which is part of the symphony’s 51st season. It will be brought to life by the Fratello Marionettes and narrated by Gregory Stapp, who will also be performing a selection of well-loved arias ranging from

“The Magic Flute” to “South Pacific.” In part 2, the symphony will perform an evocative work by Italian composer, Ottorino Respighi. It describes in sound four different fountains in Rome, from dawn to dusk. He uses the whole palette of the orchestra to paint the magical colors of the light playing on the water, all infused with an appreciation of the natural surroundings. The Diablo Symphony

Orchestra is a central Contra Costa-based community orchestra, and in its second season under the leadership of Music Director Matilda Hofman. The orchestra performs five concert sets a year as well as additional concerts and events through its Outreach Program. For more information and tickets, stop by the Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek, call 925-943SHOW (7469) or visit www.lesherartscenter.org.

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their studies while increasing the visibility of our programs and instructors. We hope to continue the expansion of the scholarship program in the future.” In addition to the application, a letter of recommendation from the student’s music or art instructor is needed as well as a DVD showing a solo performance on a single instrument for music students and three to five art pieces created in the last two years for art applicants. Judging is based on levelappropriate technique, material and artistic and/or performance musicianship. The Friends will perform an initial screening and a non-Civic Arts Education judge will make the final award decisions. The deadline for entries is March 14. Awards are announced on May 31. For more information on the music awards, contact Monica Williams at monicaw14@hotmail.com. For more information about the visual arts awards, contact Esteban Longoria at eolongoria@gmail.com. For applications, go to friendsartsed.org or call 9435846.

Contra Costa Ballet Center will hold auditions for its fourweek Summer Intensive Program on Sun., Feb. 12. The Summer Intensive features an extensive curriculum with an international faculty. Students follow a carefullystructured syllabus designed to gradually increase their technique, stamina and discipline in accordance with their physical and mental development. The curriculum consists of technique, pointe or men’s class, variation, jazz and contemporary, repertory, and physical conditioning which is a Pilates-based, strength-andstretch class designed to address the dancer’s individual needs and areas of weakness. Seminars on injury prevention, nutrition and other dance-related topics are held in addition to

the regular class schedule. The Summer Intensive ends with a workshop performance in which intermediate and advanced-level students perform selected pieces from their repertoire classes. Auditions are at the Contra Costa Ballet Center, 2040 N. Broadway, Walnut Creek. Students aged 9-12 with previous ballet training will audition from 1:30 – 3:15 p.m. Students 13-18 at the intermediate to advanced-level will audition from 3:15-5 p.m. Dancers should arrive for registration a half-hour before audition time and bring a full-body photo. There is a $20 audition fee. For complete information on the Summer Program, contact the Contra Costa Ballet Centre at (925) 9357984 or online at www.contracostaballet.org.

Page 16

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

January 31, 2014

Gold Country offers rich biking

CAMPO SECO nearly demolished by a fire in 1854. Luckily, the rich copper placers were still abundant, allowing most of the town to be rebuilt. There are still the remains of the old Adams Express Building that was once bustling with miners and their earnings. You can also see the remaining unusual green stone used in the buildings of the Chinese section of Campo Seco, and other artifacts. The town also contains the largest living cork oak tree in California, which was planted in 1858. The first reservoir you pass is Pardee, the largest dam of its kind when work began in July 1927. Then you’ll see Comanche, completed in 1963, and Hogan, completed in 1963. From the Valley Oak Shopping Center in Valley Springs on Highway 12 you will cross over the highway heading back the way you came for the first right turn on Chestnut. Go right on Daphne Street, which becomes Paloma Road and nothing but hills. At 1.5 miles follow the sign to Watertown Road. At 1.9 miles go right on Campo Seco Road, making an immediate left on Sandreeto Road, becoming Pardee Road after you cross the dam. At 7.6 miles go left on Stony Creek Road you’ll take a

SHARON ANDERSON

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If you are itching to bike along beautiful countryside and see three reservoirs amidst rolling hills and steep climbs, travel to Valley Springs in the California Gold Country and you’ll find some fun road riding with spectacular views and wildlife. Valley Springs is located on Highway 12 near a trio of recreational reservoirs, Pardee, Comanche and Hogan. You’ll ride across a one-way Dam seemingly putting you in an old black-and-white German war movie, and then taking you through historical Campo Seco. Campo Seco was established by Mexicans in 1849 and translates to “dry camp” in Spanish. This mining camp was very diverse for its time, boasting more than 40 different nationalities. Unfortunately the town was

long descent, and at 8.3 miles make a left on Buena Vista Road. Continue to follow the sign toward Comanche South Shore. Once you cross a bridge over Comanche it becomes Comanche Parkway South. Take a left on Campo Seco Road at 13.6 miles. Continue to Watertown Road. Go right at 17.5 miles and backtrack to town for a total mileage of about 20 miles. There is some good climbing coming out of Campo Seco. To lengthen this ride from where you started, head up Highway 12 and take a right at the gas station on Lime Creek Road. Go right on St. Petersburg Road, then right on New Hogan Parkway. Take a right on Hogan Dam Road to drop to Highway 26, with a right turn to your car on Highway 12. This additional loop packs on another seven miles. A great place for lunch or dinner is the Thai House in the Valley Oak Shopping Center. This ride is best in winter, spring or fall. These country roads are narrow and not for someone who wants bike lanes. Always take a map. Mileages are approximate. Sharon Anderson is a Clayton resident and lifelong hiker. This is the second of a four-part series on hiking in the Sierras.

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