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s y a d i l o H y Happrom all of us f

f you o l l a to


December 18, 2009


Clayton lights up for the holidays HANK STRATFORD

MAYOR’S CORNER New mayor shares hopes for coming year Shortly after I become mayor, Tamara Steiner, the editor and publisher of this paper, let me know that my first column would be due the following Wednesday, six days later. My first question was, “How long does the column need to be?” She replied that I should try to keep it to less than 750 words. She misunderstood my question – I wasn’t worried about the maximum length, but I wanted to know if there was a minimum. I also wondered if the font size could be increased if necessary. Writing this column is one of the mayoral responsibilities about which I was most worried. Originally I thought I would offer an introduction and make some recognitions. However, I decided that I would like to introduce a couple of ideas that

See Mayor, page 18

Stratford to focus on character development The Clayton City Council underwent its annual reorganization on Dec. 2 with the election of Hank Stratford as mayor and Dave Shuey as vice-mayor. Stratford, who was elected to the council in 2006, will take up the gavel from Councilwoman and four-time mayor, Julie Pierce. Clayton, a general law city, does not elect the mayor in an open election. Rather the largely ceremonial seat traditionally rotates between members. The mayor has no more authority than the other four elected council members.


See Council, page 18

Photo by Pete Barra

HORSE AND CARRIAGE RIDES SPONSORED by Stephanie Lopez and Ed Moresi added to the festive atmosphere downtown as Clayton’s annual Tree Lighting officially kicked off the holiday season. ANDRÉ GENSBURGER Clayton Pioneer

The annual tradition of the downtown tree lighting Dec.5 drew a large crowd of about a thousand people fighting off the rapid chill-down that led to the amazing snowfall two mornings later.

With the angelic songs of the Mt. Diablo Elementary School choir under the guidance of Michael Hanna at the gazebo, carriage rides around the square and visitors gathering at local eateries as they waited for Santa, the chill seemed to bother no one – adding instead

to the holiday charm. “This is really cute,” said Lindsay Bradburn, holding little Brook as she stood against a park bench so she could see, with daddy Keith and sister Lindsay by her side. “It’s amazing,” said Keith. New to the festivities this

year, was the horse and carriage sponsored by local Realtor, Stephanie Lopez and Ed Moresi, owner of Moresi’s Chophouse and Ed’s Mudville Grill. Over 100 riders clipclopped their way around town in the the old-fashioned car-

riage lit up with white lights. “This is such a fun way to give back to the community,” said Lopez. Farther down Main Street, Geri Engberg, Michael Hanna’s wife and their dog Blue, decked

See Lights, page 2

Historic snowfall blankets downtown, hillsides TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer

It was a strange sight for Claytonians last week, when the whole town turned white under the first measurable snowfall since 1976. Big, fat, fluffy flakes started falling on Dec. 7 around 1 a.m. and by dawn a dozen or more “snowpeople” stood guard in the park and on lawns and hillsides all across town. Kids and adults, some still in pajamas under their ski parkas and wrapped to their noses with scarves and hats, poured into the streets and neighborhoods and shrieked with the cold as snowballs hit their targets. Snowboards and sleds found their way out of summer storage and onto the slopes of the Oakhurst hills.

See Snow, more photos, page 6

Linda Pinder

A DEC. 7 SNOWFALL TURNED THE VIEW FROM CANDACE BASS’ OAKHURST backyard into a Courier and Ives postcard. Snow on Diablo is not unusual during the winter months, but the last time locals can remember measurable snow in downtown was 1976.

What’s Inside Around Town . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Church News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Classified . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

Club News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Community Calendar . . . . . . . . . .18 Cookie Contest Winners . . . . . . .17 Deal With It . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Directory of Advertisers . . . . . . . . .5

Garden Girl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Holiday Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Letters to the Editor . . . . . . . . . . .13 Pets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

Senior Moments . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Teen Speak . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Weather Words . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Upcoming Events . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

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Clayton Pioneer •

December 18, 2009

Around Town for the Holidays Lights, from page 1 out with antlers, waited for the crowds to work their way to the tree. Twenty-one-year old Jeff Holmes was also waiting, as he paced and climbed ladders to the roof of the Clayton Community Church – where his handiwork of technological organization in the form of 13,000 lights needed finishing adjustments for the show that the church would put on after the tree lighting. “It’s three years for me doing this,” Holmes said enthusiastically, “and two years at the church.” He got interested after watching a similar setup on YouTube, the online video portal. “The first year I did it at my house,” Holmes said. “Then the pastor (Shawn Robinson) saw it.” Holmes says Robinson had a “big vision.” The church show choreographs musical numbers to the lights, which include light-emitting diodes that allow images to form as

Downtown Tree Lighting photos, clockwise from upper left: Clayton Community Church glittered with more than 13,000 lights set to music, designed by Jeffrey Holmes. Photo by Pete Barra

well as letters. The show runs through Christmas, every night at 6, 7 and 8 p.m. thanks to the computer system that controls everything and requires only minimal work to maintain. “It’s all automated once we set the program,” Holmes said. In his 90 or so shows, there have only been two glitches which he confesses to being caused by his last-minute

Julie Clairmont

adjustments. At the tree, the crowd waited for Santa. Kids were perched atop parent shoulders, vapor from a multitude of open mouths creating a winter mist against the few street lights. With an adjustment of his hat, Santa ordered the lights on and the tree lit up – a pretty jewel of light in the heart of what would soon become a winter wonderland.

Vickie Coker REALTORTM


As people moved away, the church came to life and families braved the cold to stay and watch. Off to one side, Holmes enjoyed his handiwork. This is a passion for him and one that he has turned into what he hopes will be a business. “It takes a community of people to make this work,” he said. “Without all the people here who helped get it all together, it wouldn’t happen.”

Across the street at the old pizza joint, families huddled beneath the gas heaters so that they could watch the show. “You’re drinking cold wine,” one passer-by shouted to a woman standing up. “I know,” she said. “Can’t be helped.” “It’s a wonderful life,” said Mariette Hammond, who watched the lights with her grandson Jacob. “This is what Clayton is all about.”

Local dentist Keith Bradburn and wife Lindsay with Brooks and Alyssa. Photo by Andre Gensburger The park sparkled with Christmas lights and it seemed the whole town turned out. Photo by Pete Barra.

Rachel Siver checks the bulbs on the town’s menorah at the end of Main Street. Photo by Tamara Steiner “Ten, nine, eight . . .” In his first official duty as mayor, Hank Stratford joins Santa in the countdown. Photo by Julie Pierce

Nancy D’onofrio

Sophia Duran

Michelle Gittleman




(925) 639-7906

(925) 939-7259

(925) 998-7705

(925) 586-0948

(925) 768-0352






Heather Gray REALTORTM

Shelly Gwynn TM


Bonnie Manolas

Walter Merlino

Maria Sanchez




(925) 765-3822

(925) 207-3069


(925) 216-8162

(925) 672-5044

(925) 864-3556





John Silvester

Carol vanVaerenbergh



Stacy Hengemihle, Buyers Specialist;

Lynne French, Top-Producing Agent/Owner/Mentor; (925) 980-2896

(925) 672-1772

Inge Yarborough,



Client Care/Staging Professional

Lynne French Team

December 18, 2009

Clayton Pioneer •

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Clayton Pioneer •

December 18, 2009

Around Town 101st bash for Diamond Terrace resident

MARJ SCOTT, bottom row, second from left, was honored at a 101st birthday party at Ygnacio Valley Christian School on Dec. 7. Other Diamond Terrace residents attending included Marie Sutton, Bob Case and Fred Stromberg.

Two days before her 101st birthday, Diamond Terrace resident Marjorie Scott was given a surprise party by fifth-graders from Ygnacio Valley Christian School. She shared how she was born prematurely, at only 2 pounds, in a Montana farmhouse during one of the worst blizzards of the time. Before the age of incubators, her parents put her in a boot box and laid it on top of a wood-burning stove. Marj’s life was filled with volunteerism, including more than 70 years in the Salvation Army. She offered her secret weapon for beating illness and staying healthy – oatmeal for breakfast everyday for as long as she can remember.

The Pioneer travel journals

The Pioneer loved the tenth wedding anniversary cruise with Brian and Diana Quinn. We cruised to Italy, Croatia,

The Pioneer spent some time with Jerry, Stacey and Sarah Okimoto on the East Coast this summer. Here we are at the WWII monument in Washington D.C

Montenegro, and Greece. After spending two nights in Venice, we all boarded the Costa Fortuna for Mykonos. “The three weeks were filled with once in a lifetime experiences,” says Diana Quinn, “including being without our luggage for 18 days.” The two met in cyberspace and were married at Oakhurst Country Club in Clayton. They have two children, Julie Berruto of New Jersey and Brian Berruto who lives in Clayton.

Clayton activist receives Jefferson Award ANDRÉ GENSBURGER Clayton Pioneer

These days she goes by many names, usually associated with her blog site The Lemon Lady, but Anna Chan can add Jefferson Award recipient to the list of accolades she has received for her work. The award which she received Dec. 1 from local affiliate CBS-5 is a huge honor, a recognition of public service named after the country’s third president, Thomas Jefferson, that awards both national and local recipients. Chan, a one-woman campaign against hunger, began her program of asking for excess fruit from neighborhood trees a year ago. She has collected and delivered more than 13,000 pounds worth herself, as well as more from the many volunteers

FOOD BANK EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR LARRY SLY WITH ANNA CHAN as CBS5 reporter Kate Kelly and cameraman prepare for her interview.

who transport their own excess to places like the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. “The accolade is nice,” Chan says, “but I don’t want the focus to be on me; it is about getting the fruit and vegetables to those

Dessert with Mrs. Claus

During September and October, we went along on an extended road trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina with Jeanne and Don Boyd. Along the way, we all stopped at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. Jeanne and Don’s bluetick hound Pepper traveled with us.

If you were at Endeavor Hall last Saturday for Dessert with Mrs. Claus, you couldn’t help wonder if anyone was left holding the fort at the North Pole since Santa and Mrs. Claus, along with all the elves, were at the CBCA event. Assisting were Jodie Sparks and event coordinator Sydney Alcock (standing) with elves Lauren Sparks and Mikayla Alcock.

who need it. Did you know that the Food Bank accepts fresh fruit?” Apparently many people do not, assuming that only non-perishable items are needed. “When the hungry get to eat something fresh, they are getting a far healthier meal,” Chan says. The Jefferson Award committee had tried reaching her by phone but was unable to. Instead, CBS-5 producer Stephanie John emailed her the news. The segment which aired on Dec. 9 allows Chan to highlight the excess of fruit that she sees daily throughout the county. She hopes that people will call her to come and get it. While she does not get paid for what she does, Chan is bothered that some people think that this is a paying job. “There are other groups out there where it is,” she says, “but for me this is about giving.” Her route includes the Concord and Clayton farmers markets, where she yields about $2,000 worth of produce from

See Chan, page 20

December 18, 2009

Clayton Pioneer •

Winter Kids Camp! Dec. 28 - 30 P.O. Box 1246 6200 Center Street, Suite H, Clayton, CA 94517 TAMARA AND R OBERT S TEINER , Publishers TAMARA S TEINER , Editor A NDRÉ G ENSBURGER , Reporter and Feature Writer P ETE C RUZ , Graphic Design B EV B RITTON , Copy Editor J AY B EDECARRÉ, Sports B ETH N EUDELL , Advertising Sales C HRISTINA S CARLOTT , Administrative Assistant We remember Jill Bedecarré - Her spirit is our muse

PIONEER INFO CONTACT US Tel: (925) 672-0500 Fax: (925) 672-6580 Tamara Steiner André Gensburger Beth Neudell Send ads to Send Sports News to Send Club News to Send Church News to

Send School News to

CLASSIFIEDS Classified rates per insertion: Non-profit: $12 for first 30 words, $.20 each additional word Individual/non-commercial: $18 for first 30 words, $.30 each additional word Commercial: $48 for first 30 words, $.40 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. Or, you may fax your typewritten ad and credit card information to (925) 672-6580. 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 Clayton resident. You will find the appropriate form for your announcement on our Website. Attach your photo to the form. Make sure the image size you are about to send is at least 3 MB but not bigger than 6MB. The only format we accept is JPG. You can also mail or bring your print to the office and we can scan it for you. Also on our Web site are forms for submitting Community Calendar items and press releases for your organization.

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 your name, address and daytime telephone number. We will not print letters from “anonymous.” E-mail your letter in a Word document to Letters MUST be submitted via E-mail.

Horseback riding, hiking, cooking, arts & crafts Only 5 minutes from downtown Clayton! Day Camp (ages 6-10) 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., $200 Overnight Camp (ages 11-16) 9 a.m. Dec. 28 – 5 p.m. Dec. 30, $250

For more info or to register visit or call Chris Harvey 510-862-0960 or email No horse experience necessary. Registration end date: 12/24/09.

Wishing all of you the best during these joyous Holidays May the New Year 2010 be filled with Health, Happiness, and Prosperity for all of you! During the holidays our homes take on even great meaning to us as we fill them with the sights and sounds of the season! My pride and integrity is based on making this possible for you to enjoy all year long! Warmest regards, Helen Rahimzadeh


(925) 932-7375 Email:

Upcoming Events DEC. 31 CLAYTON COUNTS DOWN Celebrate New Year’s Eve with the whole family this year at the annual Clayton Counts Down no-alcohol celebration at the Clayton Community Gym. Begins at 6 p.m. and ends at 9, leaving plenty of time for grown-up celebrations later in the evening. BBQ, games, crafts and Crazy Hat Contest. Sponsored by the city of Clayton and the YMCA. For more information or to volunteer call the city of Clayton at 673-7300.

Classified HELP WANTED Advertising Sales Experienced salesperson needed to help with advertising sales for the Clayton Pioneer. Part time or full time. Generous commissions. Send resume to, or drop off at the Pioneer office, 6200 H Center Street., Clayton. Servers Diamond Terrace in Clayton is seeking energetic servers for dining services. Serving breakfast and lunch to residents. 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 pm. Excellent work environment. Benefits available for all staff. $8.25 - $8.75 per hr. Apply in person. 6501 Center St., Clayton. No phone calls, please. Real Estate Agents Be Successful! Lynne French is expanding and interviewing for a few agents. Call her today (925) 6728787. VOLUNTEERS WANTED Meals on Wheels Drivers 1 – 1 1/2 per week. Drivers and relief drivers needed for delivery of Meals on Wheels in East County. Call Jim at 673-0300 or e-mail Anna’s Attic Volunteers Anna's Program. To volunteer at the Hospice of the East Bay thrift store at 5350 Clayton Road. Call store manager, Debbie at 674-9072 or Lamont Campbell at (925) 766-5066.To apply for free training, call Hospice of the East Bay at (925) 887-5678 or email Clayton Historical Society Museum Greeter for two hours per month from 2-4 p.m. Wed. or Sun. No experience is necessary. Call the museum at 672-0240 and leave your name. Clayton Community Library Needs volunteers. Minimum age 13. Minimum commitment is 6 months. Some training provided. Shelver - to shelve and sensitize library materials. Various days/times. Tutors - no prior experience necessary! You determine the grade level and subjects you are comfortable with and the days/times. Requires good communication skills, patience and a desire to help students

in the community. Contact: Arlene @ 673-9777 or email:

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Directory of Advertisers Auto Clayton Valley Shell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-3900 Diablo Car Wash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .691-4529 Dirito Brothers Concord Volkswagen . . . . . . . . . .887-6000 Mike's Auto Body . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-1739 Niello Infinity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .866-443-1740 Children’s Services Music Together . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .946-2990 Construction and Trades Belfast Plumbing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .457-5423 Burkin Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .212-3339 Ken Mitolo Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2460 Olde World Mill & Cabinets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .915-0822 Smith & Bernal Roofing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-0138 Tipperary Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216-2679 Dentist Bradburn, Keith D.D.S. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-0110 Children's Dentistry of Walnut Creek . . . . . . . . . .938-2392 Chong, Jenny D.D.S. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .827-5595 Gardner, Randell D.D.S. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-0110 Renner, Jason D.D.S. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-2800 Rissel, Richard D.M.D. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-2800 Dining and Entertainment Canesa’s Brooklyn Deli . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .691-4529 Clayton Club Saloon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-0440 Willows Theatre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .957-2500 Financial and Insurance Services Benton, Mureleen - Ameriprise Financial . . . . . .685-4523 CD Federal Credit Union . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .825-0900 Ferrante Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .674-1755 Littorno, Richard - Attorney at Law . . . . . . . . . . .672-6463 Van Wyck, Doug - State Farm Insurance . . . . . . .672-2300 Fitness Butterfly Clayton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-4238 Coach Terry Fit Body Boot Camp . . . . . . . . . . . .586-3649 Snap Fitness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0110 Funerals Ouimet Funeral Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-4242 Gifts Gift Baskets by Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .687-8878 Keenan Heinz Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .288-0159 The Royal Rooster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2025 Home and Garden Abbey Carpet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .686-9901 Clayton Furniture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .686-2299 Clear Splash Pool Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216-6245 Floors to Go Danville . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .820-8700 Pacific Coast Flooring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .609-2151 Nichols Landscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9955 Pans on Fire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .600-7267 Utopic Gardens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .524-0055 Welcome Home House Cleaning . . . . . . . . . . . . .584-5980 Mailing and Shipping Postal Annex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-5246 The UPS Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-6245 Personal Products and Services A Perfect Tan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-8261 Bella Mia Spa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .680-7792 Clayton Mind and Body Connection . . . . . . . . . .673-0686 Permanent Solution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-8990 Roberta Claire Photography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .625-1123 Sport Clips Haircuts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-5686 Susan Cardoza C.M.T. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .746-4710 Weight Watchers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1-800-379-5757 Pet Services Monte Vista Veterinary Hospital . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-1100 Vet Tech Pet Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .899-7354 Peace of Mind Pet Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9781 Rodies Feed and Country Store . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-4600 Real Estate and Mortgage Services Flannery, Patty - Diablo Realty . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-0541 French, Lynne - Windermere Real Estate . . . . . .672-8787 Kavanaugh, Mike - RE/MAX Town & Country . . .383-6102 Laurence, Pete - RE/MAX Realty . . . . . . . . . . . .890-6004 Lopez, Stephanie - Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . .932-7329 Morucci, Kim - Intero Real Estate Services . . . . .280-8563 Rahimzadeh, Helen -Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . .932-7375 Vujnovich, George - Better Homes Realty . . . . .672-4433 Recreation Castle Rock Arabians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .937-7661 Clayton Bicycles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2522 Clayton Valley Bowl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-4631 Inner Trails . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .510-862-0960 Oakhurst Country Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9737 YMCA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .889-1600 Senior Services Aegis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .692-5853 Diamond Terrace Senior Retirement Living . . . . .524-5100 Services, Other Appliance Repairs by Bruce, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2700 Computers USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9989 Recycling Center & Transfer Station . . . . . . . . . .473-0180 Shopping Donna’s Quilting Loft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-0401 Rose Liquor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-1010 Sports Chalet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .521-7009 Travel Cruise Adventures Unlimited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .935-7447 Travel to Go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9840 Worship Clayton Presbyterian Church . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-4848 Eternal Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .524-0295 St. Bonaventure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-5800

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Clayton Pioneer •

December 18, 2009

w o n s t i t e L Linda Pinder


Linda Pinder


auter Russ K

w o n s t Let i

land Bob Strick

w o n s t i Let

Sharon McNulty

Tamara St einer

er Tiffany Welk

Rita Howe Allen White

Tamara Steiner

unn Mike D

hite Allen W

Steve Pierce

Snow, from page 1 The school bus got stuck in the snow on Oakwood Circle and had to be towed. No kids were on board, though. Clayton police officer Allan Pike was on duty around 3 a.m.

“He couldn’t even get to the top of Keller Ridge,” said Sharon McNulty. “There was too much snow!” Marsh Creek Road was parking lot at the Divide as surprised

commuters braked to get a better view of what looked a lot like Tahoe. Friends, family and associates from “real” snow country snickered as Clayton went nuts for a day. “It will all be gone tomorrow,” laughed Sheri Laurence. “Just the way I like my snow.”

The National Weather Service does not keep statistics for Clayton, but estimates put the snowfall downtown at about three inches. There was at least twice that on the higher hills around town and at the Divide on Marsh Creek Road. So, why did it snow in a town where mud is the expected win-

tertime groundcover? For an explanation of the weather conditions that caused this snowy phenomenon, see Woody Whitlatch’s Weather Words column on page 8. Share your memories and weather records with Woody and help him compile a “snow history” for Clayton. Send your

information to or drop off at the Pioneer office, 6200 H Center Street. The Pioneer received more than 150 photos of this historic day and we sincerely thank everyone who sent their pictures. We wish we could have printed them all.

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer .com

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Rare snowstorm puts a positive spin on stressful holiday for local family JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

The Enders family of Clayton wasn’t looking forward to this holiday season. Just a week before Christmas, they have to move out of the Clayton home they’ve lived in for the past two years and are going to temporarily cram their entire family into a two-bedroom apartment in Concord.

JILL ENDERS CALLED the early mornng snow experience “priceless” as her family faces a difficult holiday season.

In the midst of this uprooting, in the early morning hours of Dec. 7, 12-year-old daughter Sophia shrieked for her mom to look outside. When Jill Enders saw snow falling, it didn’t take long for her to spring into action. Since this is such a rare occurrence in our corner of the

world, the Clayton mom, who home-schools her children, bundled up her kids with makeshift snow gear and escorted them and the family puppy out to play. It was just past 2 a.m., but Jill wanted her children to have a chance to experience the unusual snowfall in Clayton first-hand. Joining their sister Sophia in the snow were Tristan, 14, and Nicholas, 4. The Enders began constructing a snowman and making snow angels in the snow. It was a great time for a family in the midst of a stressful transition. The only problem was it was very early in the morning and a neighbor called the Clayton Police about a loud commotion outside their home. Officer Allan Pike drove up in his black and white and told the Enders they had to tone down their fun. It was obvious how much fun the family was having and he had a big smile on his face while posing for a photo with the wet and happy kids. Husband Randy, who was taking time off from his vice president’s position with a major brokerage firm to finish the family move, wasn’t too keen on playing in the snow. However, he brewed hot chocolate and was ready to warm the three kids and mom when they came inside all


REAL ESTATE Q. My husband and I are considering a short sale. Our Realtor is going to negotiate with the bank to accept a lower payoff than what we owe. How much will we be taxed on the settled debt? – D.N., Clayton A. Assuming this is your principal residence, you may not be taxed at all on the debt relief amount. The Mortgage Relief Act of 2007 generally allows taxpayers to exclude income from the discharge of debt of their principal residence. This applies to debt forgiven in 2007 through 2012. The lender forgiving the debt will send you a form 1099C Cancellation of Debt. You will file this as well as a form

for Infants, Children & Teenagers Jason M. Renner, D.D.S. Richard C. Rissel, D.M.D 2875 Willow Pass Rd., Concord

wet, cold and happy. The Enders moved to Clayton two years ago after spending a dozen years in the Pleasant Hill area. The home they were renting went into foreclosure and they attempted to purchase it from the owner on a “short sale” transaction. Instead, the landlord twice sold the house to someone else, only to see each deal fall apart. The landlord finalized a third sale and the Enders were given 60-days notice to vacate, with the final date right

advantage of some of the government programs which have been extended and expanded. For example, the “up-to” $8,000 tax credit for first-time buyers or anyone who has not owned a home in the past three years. Interest rates are historically low, though they have gone up a tick recently. A move-up buyer might have to accept less on their present home than they hoped for but will more than make it up on the purchase of the more expensive home because these are the homes that have lost more value. They are also potentially eligible for a new tax credit program. Q. Should I wait until the market goes up before I sell my home? – D.F., Concord A. If a seller chooses to wait until the market goes up

See Real Estate, page 20

before Christmas. Like so many others in these perilous economic times, the Enders were forced to move against their will as they continue to search for a home to buy. “I probably know every property on sale in Clayton,” Jill Enders says. “I was sure it was not going to be a good Christmas,” she adds. “However when this (snowfall) happened, it shows that what matters most is family. Ordinary Christmas miracles are not dependent on fickle finance! And Officer Pike was so wonderful. We have loved Clayton and hope we are able to stay close by when all is said and done.” On so many levels, this will be a Christmas the Enders will long remember.

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Photos courtesy of the Enders Family

OFFICER ALLAN PIKE was called out to a noise complaint in a generally quiet Clayton neighborhood during the early morning hours of Dec. 7. It turned out the Enders family was frolicking in the rare snow storm that hit the area. From left, Tristan, Sophia and Nicholas Enders

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Short sale could end up being a tax benefit 982 on your tax return. There are other instances where you might be able to exclude income due to debt relief for other matters such as student loans and credit card debt. You can read Publication 4681 on the IRS Website or consult with your tax professional. Q. Is the current market a better time to buy or sell a house? – M.B., Clayton A. I believe that there is a little envelope of time right about now where it is the best time to buy and to sell. This doesn’t happen very often in the housing market. It is especially good for the first-time buyer and the move-up buyer. For sellers, there seems to be a pause in the decline in prices. There have been moratoriums on foreclosures all year. The inventory is down. Prices are pretty stable for now. Buyers are anxious to take


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Page 8

Clayton Pioneer •

All conditions met for our perfect little storm

Wishing you, your family & Clayton

A merry, merry Christmas and A Happy New Year filled with happiness & good times!


Let's also fill the coming year with good things for your real estate! KNOWLEDGE




Pete Laurence,


Broker, Realtor, GRI 2950 Buskirk Avenue, Ste. 140, Walnut Creek Direct 940-2777  Cell 890-6004  Fax 937-0150


Dead li exten ne ded: Dec. 25


With the Weight Watchers Momentum program you’ll learn how to stay full longer, so you can lose weight and keep it off.

Check out a meeting for FREE* Come see what all the excitement is about! Visit your local Weight Watchers location: Farm Bureau Building 5554 Clayton Road Clayton, 94517

Citrus Shopping Center 2242 Oak Grove Rd Walnut Creek, 94598

Park n Shop 1950 Market Street Concord, 94520

Call 1-800-651-6000 or visit for more meeting times and information.

December 18, 2009

Visit a meeting for free and receive $5 off a product purchase of $20 or more and get FREE registration until12/25/2009. Be sure to bring this ad with you!

Several times each winter Clayton residents wake up to the sight of snow on the peaks of Mt. Diablo. Once in a great while atmospheric conditions are just right to produce measurable snowfall in the neighborhoods of the valley floor. Monday, Dec. 7 was one of those rare mornings as a blanket of fresh white snow covered the area. The typical questions meteorologists receive after an unusual event like this are: ‘Why did this happen?” and “When was the last time it snowed so much?” The easier question to answer is why it snowed. There are three ingredients necessary to produce snow at low elevations in the Bay Area, an exceptionally cold air mass, a source of moisture and a mechanism to lift the air. On Dec. 7, all three conditions were met, and a rare event occurred. Snow fell at elevations below 500 feet in Clayton. The cold air was supplied a few days prior to the snow event. The jet stream associated with a strong ridge of high pressure over the Gulf of Alaska pushed

a mass of cold dry air from Canada to California. A second surge of cold air followed, but this cold air mass contained some moisture. On the days prior to our white morning surprise, an upper level low center formed in the cold air portion of the jet stream. The low moved off the coast of Oregon, picking up moisture from the Pacific. That pocket of cold air did not stay over the ocean long enough to greatly modify the temperature of the air mass. When the jet stream directed the cold and wet air back over land in the Bay Area, two ingredients for low elevation snowfall were in place. A combination of upward motion in the center of the low itself combined with the lift supplied by topographical features of the Bay Area, like Mt. Diablo, triggered precipitation cold enough to form snow crystals. The overnight snow stuck to the already cold ground, and all the ingredients for our white wakeup call were in place. Many children born and raised in the Bay Area have never experienced the sight of snow out their bedroom window. Parents documented the rare appearance of snow angels and snowmen in their back yards.

Years from now the next generation of children will hear stories of the great snow event of ’09. But what about previous snow events? That question is difficult for meteorologists to answer. The National Weather Service does not keep records of snowfall at low elevation sites. Even in this Google-knows-all Internet age, the best resource for determining when snow fell in Clayton is the memories of long term residents. During the last week I’ve heard quite a few stories of snow events in the area. I’d like to put together a climatology of snow events, and once again request the help of Clayton Pioneer readers. Please send me an email describing snow event that you remember. If possible, let me know how deep the snow was. Don’t worry if you don’t remember the exact month or day. I’ll compile the responses and summarize them in the next Weather Words article. Thanks, readers, in advance, for any information you provide.

Woody Whitlatch is a meteorologist with PG&E. Email your questions or comments to

Remember Weigh-in and registration begins 30 minutes prior to meeting time. *A Free meeting visit is available year-round. The Free meeting does not include Program materials. If you decide to join, you will get the first week’s Program materials and pay the fees then in effect to join. Available in participating areas only. ©2009 Weight Watchers International, Inc., owner of the WEIGHT WATCHERS registered trademark. All rights reserved.

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Entire family benefits from end of life care We hear the word hospice and automatically think of the worst, when in fact this amazing service can be a help to all involved in this difficult time. End of life care is designed to facilitate a “good death” – one that is free from avoidable distress and suffering for patients, families and caregivers and is in line with patient’s and families’ wishes. There is a growing concern about older individuals nearing the end of their lives.. Comfort care is crucial. Knowing that your loved one’s pain is being managed gives one peace of mind in a stressful situation. Rather than trying to cure an illness, hospice aims to make the terminally ill patient comfortable, ease pain and other troublesome symptoms and support the family through a sad and difficult time. A hospice care program tries to provide the best possible quality of life by providing a holistic approach. Spiritual, emotional,

mental and physical comfort are provided to patients, their families and other caregivers. Hospice allows individuals to live out the rest of their lives with dignity while offering the physical comfort and counseling their families need. Hospice will accept a case when a person is considered to be in their last six months of life. Sometimes a person in hospice care does make a recovery, in which case hospice will simply and happily close the case. These wonderful professionals and volunteers honor the end of life. I have seen this many times and always feel at peace when I know a hospice organization is involved. The support provided and resources available are more valuable than you can realize. Often families do not feel they are ready for hospice, but the benefit of having them involved far outweighs any insecurities one may have. Needing help and support is not a weak-


SENIOR MOMENTS ness. Utilizing their expertise and embracing their emotional support can be just the comfort a family and loved one may need. Please consult your doctor with any questions you may have or contact one of the hospice organizations in our area. Hospice of the East Bay – 8875660, Asera Care – 798-5791 or Vitas Hospice – 930-9373. Living with dignity is important; dying with dignity is just as important. Make sure you have all the information that is available in order to make the best decision possible for you and your loved ones. Kelly Ferro is Marketing Director for Aegis of Concord. Send comments or questions to

Pat Fraga, Elaine Loranger, Becky Estenson, Vicki Hufford, Mary Lou Ellis, Sarah Bingenheimer and Elaine Matheson.

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Where Life is Beautiful. Come let us pamper your body, mind and spirit in our luxurious day spa. Slate walls evoke the sense of Old Italian ruins, while water fountains, cupid fairies, and grapevines add to the Italian-inspired atmosphere. There are four treatment rooms, two pedicure stations, one manicure table, and a sunless tanning area in the spa. Relaxing music plays in each room and treatment areas. The spa’s customized European Facial incorporates a cleansing, exfoliation, face, neck, and shoulder massage, extractions (if necessary), a hydrating facial mask, and aromatic moisturizer and sunscreen. Our massage therapy and spa body treatments are of the highest quality and are customized to your personal health and beauty needs. We specialize in professional skin care providing facials, manicures, pedicures, waxing, microdermabrasion, cellulite treatments, airbrush tanning and body wraps. Let our friendly professional staff guide you through the journey to total relaxation. 5439 Clayton Rd., Ste. E, Clayton. 680-7792. BUTTERFLY CLAYTON

A Women’s fitness, Weight Loss and Yoga Center. We are the only all women’s fitness center in the Concord/ Clayton area that features weight resistant machines, free weights, personal training , weight loss and Yoga, along with over 50 different exercise classes. People always ask “Why personal training?” The answer is simple “if you could do it yourself you would have already done it!” Personal training can jump start your health and wellness program by giving you one on one attention, and most importantly, accountability, strength and flexibility. Dr. Oz says, “Practicing Yoga will make you look and feel younger. It will help clean your blood, improve your lungs and focus your mind.” Come experience

Clayton Pioneer •

supportive Yoga for the back, and relieve your pain and stiffness, and gain strength and flexibility. Butterfly Clayton is owned by a woman and run by women; women who understand women. Why exercise with men? 5439 Clayton Rd., Clayton. 672-4238.

ourselves on personal, excellent, and accurate services. This Holiday Season we are thankful for our member’s support that has contributed to the growth and the success of CD Federal Credit Union throughout the years. 1855 2nd St., Concord. 825-0900.


Family owned and operated since 1988, Clayton Furniture has an unrivaled selection of furnishings in its 15,000 square foot showroom located at 3400/3410 Clayton Road. Whether you are looking for adult or children’s bedroom furniture, a coffee table, or furnishing an entire room, Clayton Furniture has what you need no matter what your budget. And, with the ability to special order from a wide variety of catalogues, you are almost certain to find what you are looking for even if it is not on the showroom floor. Over the years, Clayton Furniture has built its reputation on service, integrity and value. The store has a friendly, knowledgeable staff ready to help you with your furniture decisions. Stop in for the biggest Thanksgiving sale ever November 27–30 and find beautiful furniture at great prices. Delivery service is available.


Established 3 years ago, Canesa’s Brooklyn Style Deli located inside Cup O’ Jo serves it up right. All sandwiches are hand crafted upon ordering using Boar’s Head brand meat. Creating hot and cold New York style heros from Hot Pastrami to a Stromboli – the true measure of East Coast Italian., there is something for everyone. Sides range from antipasto to fresh homemade Tomato Salad. To further enhance your experience this little piece of the East Coast features Wise Potato Chips shipped from New York. Don’t forget about Canesa’s during the holidays. They offer gift baskets and party platters for all your entertaining needs. Hours Mon. - Sat. 10:306:00 (925) 852-1650, callin orders welcomed. Having moved into Clayton just three months ago, we would like to thank all of our customers for their continued support, and the community for making us feel so welcomed. Happy Holiday’s from the Canesa’s! CD FEDERAL CREDIT UNION

Exceeding Expectations Since 1954. CD Federal is a memberowned, not-for-profit financial institution. Being a member makes you an owner! That means we give back to our members as much as we can in any way possible. Whether it is income, time, education, resources, great rates, and low fees-whatever we can do to help our members be financially successful. At CD Federal members are NOT just another face in the teller line. In the last eight years, CD Federal's employees and assets have doubled. Yet we still pride


Where YOU are a VIP. You are invited to come and enjoy a full 60 minute massage for only $45, 90 minutes for $65 or 30 minutes for $25. Massages are tailored to each individual and include Swedish, Deep Tissue and Shiatsu. Both male and female massage therapists are available. Other services include facials, herbal body wraps, salt scrubs, hot stone massages, hand or foot treatments and waxing. You may combine any of the services that we provide to create a special spa day or take advantage of a package we already offer. From the “Quick Start”, a package which includes a half hour massage and mini-facial to our “I Deserve This” package which takes

about 5 hours, we have just what you need. Remember that gift certificates do not expire. You can buy gift certificates online at We also accept SpaFinder Gift Certificates. Clayton Mind & Body Connections is located at 6200 Center St, Suite I Clayton, right behind Ed’s Mudville Grill. Call 925673-0686 or visit us online at COACH TERRY’S HEALTH AND FITNESS

So now you have all three parts of the synergy of supportive nutrition, strength training and cardio based intervals for a 1-2 knockout punch for permanent healthy fat loss. You can achieve the same results as the hundreds just like you who trained with Coach Terry and achieved phenomenal results. When you follow a program or attend a boot camp that has all these elements then you are guaranteed success. Coach Terry has an impressive grasp of what it takes to help a client reach his or her goals through a combination of effective exercise, proper nutrition and a championship attitude. He also makes it understandable and fun. Email question are answered the same day. t. Sign up for the next grocery store tour on January 22nd. 925-586-3649 CONCORD/ CLAYTON YMCA

The Clayton Valley YMCA is pleased to announce the start of Health and Wellness Classes! These classes will be held at Endeavor Hall (6008 Center Street, Clayton, CA 94517) starting on Monday, January 11, 2010. Please join us for an open house on Saturday, January 9, 2010 at Endeavor Hall to learn more about the classes being offered, meet the

Page 9

instructors, and a short demonstration of each class. We will be offering, Zumba, Zumba Gold, a Yoga Stretch Class, Boot Camp I and II, and Sports Conditioning classes. Saturday, January 16, 2010 is the start of the Winter Youth Basketball League for ages 4-13. Adult Volleyball and Adult Basketball will also begin new leagues in January. For more information please contact Brittney

Allen at 925.692.2362 or ; or Jennifer Beck at 925.692.2364 or You can also visit our website for more information.

Continued on page 10

New to the YMCA

Health & Wellness Classes for the whole family. Zumba Gold for Seniors Zumba, a Yoga Stretch Class and Boot Camp I and II classes for Adults  Sports Conditioning for Middle & High School Students Classes will be held at Endeavor Hall  

General info: Jennifer Beck: Brittney Allan:

889.1600 692.2364 692.2362

Open 9 am to 6 pm Clayton Community Gym 700 Gym Ct., Clayton

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Clayton Mind & Body Connections (925) 673-0686 6200 Center St. , Suite I

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Buy Gift Certificates or make appointments online at

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Page 10

Clayton Pioneer •

December 18, 2009

December 18, 2009

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 11

Pioneer Guide to Holiday Shopping Catering, Cold Cut Platters & Party Heros Mon

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1028 Diablo St., Clayton

Near Clayton Valley Highschool, on Clayton Rd. in Concord


(925) 827-5595


Diablo Car Wash and Detail Center is a full service car wash servicing the Concord/Clayton area. They offer a full array of quality car washes to fit every budget. From an Express (exterior wash) to their Premium Full Service car wash to Custom Detail Servicing, they do it all. Their detail services range from a quick professional hand wax while you wait to a Full Detail Package that includes buffing, waxing and a complete interior detail. You can also visit their Circle K store for any incidentals you may need. Make sure you try their Food Mill cookies. The Food Mill has been baking cookies since 1933. Come read the story and see pictures of where and how it all began in 1933. Ask about their Fundraising Program that has been helping schools, churches and other organizations alike. Don't forget a gift certificate for any car wash service is a great stocking stuffer/Christmas present.

One Hour is $50 (Regular $60)

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First established in 1995 in Walnut Creek and now recently relocated to Concord, Gift Baskets by Design has been producing elegant gourmet food and wine baskets for our customers for nearly 15 years. We are a small family-run business that takes great pride in every single gift

FREE ESTIMATES Lic. 542812 Fully Insured

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Rose Liquors Clayton Shopping Center (925) 672-1010 Korbel Brandy 1.75L . . . . . . .$11.99 Jack Daniels 750ml . . . . . . . .$16.99 Smirnoff Vodka 750 ml . . . . . . .$9.99 Capt. Morgan Spiced Rum 750 ml . . . . . . . .$11.99 Ketel One Vodka 750 ml . . . .$17.99 . . . . . . .$16.99 Bailey’s Irish Cream 750 ml .$17.99 Sauza Tequila 1.75L . . . . . . . .$24.99 Crown Royal 750 ml

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Cup O'Jo

Continued from page 9

Susan Cardoza C.M.T. Massage Therapy HOLIDAY 2009 Gift Certificate SPECIALS

O F F E R E X P I R E S JA N UA RY 3 1 , 2 0 1 0 .

We also have Specials on * Invisalign & * ZOOM Whitening


basket we create. Our chief designer and “Basket Guru” Lino Amaral chooses only the finest ingredients available in the specialty food industry for his designs. Our gift baskets are not mass-produced as most are these days. Every basket is painstakingly hand-wrapped with high-quality cellophane and beautifully topped off with one of our signature hand-made bows. We will NEVER wrap our baskets in shrink wrap as the heating process associated with shrinking the cellophane can actually damage the food and beverage items inside the basket...and we certainly do not want that! We ship Nationwide and offer hand-delivery in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more details visit or call 925.687.8878 today! DR. JENNY CHONG D.D.S.

Dr. Chong and her staff focus on the priorities of her patients, providing individual and personal care that is only available at a small private practice. Worried about pain, costs, or time? We have “The Wand”, an ouchless shot. We accept most insurance, our fees are always competitive and we provide interestfree financing. Ask about our recession-conscious promotions. In most cases there’s no wait and we have the latest digital x-ray to make your appointment efficient and fast. There’s no substitute for

Owned by a woman, Run by women. Women who understand Women

In-Office Bleaching

We Accept Most Insurance

quality chair time and Dr. Chong sits with each patient for a comprehensive consultation. Dr. Chong graduated from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and has practiced for eight years. More about our office is found at We can typically book appointments within a week, so call us today: (925) 827-5595. Our local office is conveniently located on Clayton Road, near Alberta Way (Across from Kmart). DR. KEITH BRADBURN & DR. RANDELL GARDNER

Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Clayton, our newly remodeled office offers the latest in dental technology and the comforts of home. Dr. Bradburn and Dr. Gardner are highly skilled dentists who are compassionate towards their patients and to their needs and wants, to create the healthiest smile possible! We know your time is valuable making multiple dental appointments a challenge. For that reason, our office provides one single appointment for crowns. We also offer an in-office teeth whitening process known as ZOOM, which can dramatically whiten your teeth in just about two hours. We are always welcoming new patients! We understand and embrace the importance of family and community. You can be assured that you will receive


6054 Main Street, Clayton, CA


phone 925.672.0110 fax 925.672.0365 email

(925) 852-1650

the highest standard of quality and care! Please stop by our office for a tour or to ask us any questions or call us at 925.672.0110. (Mon.-Fri. 8-5; some Sats.) KEENAN HEINZ

Located in downtown Concord, Keenan Heinz Company is truly a unique retail shop. Inside you will find such a diverse collection of items for home and garden that many customers say visiting the store is like being on vacation or going to a museum. As a matter of fact; they got their tag line 'Really Cool Stuff' from customers walking in and exclaiming "Wow! That's cool". As you enter the small building your life will be transformed into an escape from all the pressures of everyday life. Keenan Heinz Company is dedicated to providing a new kind of shopping experience; one in which beauty, art, function, and informal sophistication are combined in a very friendly and casual setting. Filled with hand-picked treasures Keenan Heinz Company offers unique gifts for you and your friends. Relax, breath deep, and stop to rub Buddha's belly. Life is too short to shop at the mall. 1700 East St., 288-0159. NICHOLS LANDSCAPE

The winter months are a great time to reevaluate

your home’s landscaping. You’ll have plenty of time to plan and plant your new grasses, trees, and shrubs before the blistering heat of the summer. Nichols Landscape is a full-service landscaping company featuring state-ofthe-art techniques, professional employees and heavy-duty equipment to handle all your landscape needs from start to finish. “We specialize in all kinds of installation, including the installation of sod and plantings,” says Nichols. “We can install pavers, concrete, patios, arbors, decks, sprinkler systems, low-voltage, lighting and retaining walls. We can also do awesome stuff like waterfalls and bridges.” Don’t trust your lawn and landscaping to amateurs! When you need a contractor you can trust with the design, appearance and uniqueness of your yard, call the professionals at Nichols Landscape. For a free estimate call (925) 672-9955, or email , or visit A complete photo gallery is available to view online. PERFECT TAN AND BODY WRAP

Perfect Tan opened its fourth location in Clayton! Owner run and operated by Jocelyn Jensen, Perfect Tan’s staff focuses on getting you fast and natural looking bronze results with tanning

beds, stand up booths and UV free spray tans. Tanners have higher vitamin D levels compared to non-tanners. Perfect Tan and Body Wrap is constantly growing and improving, adding new equipment and remodeling. There are now NINE tanning rooms at the Clayton Station location. Not just a tanning salon, Perfect Tan also offers body wraps to help you lose inches. Our wraps, soaked in warm minerals and herbs, are all natural. We measure you before, wrap you, and have you relax for 45 minutes. When we remove the wraps, you’ve lost permanent inches! The wrap detoxifies, tightens and tones your skin. Perfect Tan & Body Wrap has a friendly, trained staff ready to help you get that holiday glow. or call 6728261

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5 95

DIABLO CAR WASH & DETAIL CENTER 1024 Alberta Way At Ygnacio Valley 925-691-4529 Open 7 days, 8 am – Dusk


(Reg. $

Gift Certificates



E Outsid e Wind xterior Wash ow Wip & e Dow n




more products. PostalAnnex+- 5433 Clayton Road, Suite K, Clayton. (925) 673-5246. Mon- Fri, 9am - 6pm, Sat 9:30am - 4pm.

A Perfect Tan & Body Wrap

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Wa Windo ws Cle sh & Hand D aned In ry side & Wipe D Vacuum O own C u t Carpet onsole *One c & Mats , Dash oupon & per cu D oorjam stome No cas r. La bs rge Expire Vehicles ex s 3/1/1 tra. 0

are available for car washes and make perfect holiday gifts. Give a present everyone will really appreciate – a CLEAN car! We use environmentally friendly soaps and waxes.

Fundraising Diablo Car Wash and Detail Center supports our local community by helping with fundraising programs. For a limited time, we are giving organizations more net profit for your fundraiser. Call 691-4529 or 708-9332 for details.

Gift C Avai ards labl e

5435-L Clayton Rd. in Clayton Station (near Walgreens)


One of Concord oldest and best know liquors stores, Rose Liquor is a local favorite. They offer a vast selection of liquor, spirits, wine and fine cigars as well as a wide assortment of rare and hard to find liquor and smoking accessories. Do you have a Cigar aficionado in your life? Stop in and pick out a premium cigar or two from the wide selection stored at the perfect humidity and temperature within our humidor. Conveniently located in the Clayton Shopping Station at 5434 Ygnacio Valley Road, Suite 110, Rose Liquor offers a friendly, knowledgeable staff and ample parking. With a well stocked store, great prices on major brands and in store specials, why would you go anywhere else?

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Tired of the same old look available in every national chain store? The Royal Rooster has both hard-tofind antiques and customorder furniture to fit your needs. Not just a furniture shop, The Royal Rooster also sells unique gifts for friends and family of all ages, including

Continued on page 12

The UPS Store


h value .

reg. 29.99


Last September, Urmila Patel had a plan when she took ownership of the PostalAnnex+ location on Clayton Road: turn the store around so that the people of Clayton would have a place they could depend on for all their small business needs. Sean Hilly, Senior Vice President of parent company, Annex Brands, Inc. feels Patel accomplishes that goal: “Urmila was able to take a failing store and double its sales”. But Urmila knows that continuing customer satisfaction is a daily project. “We want our customers to drop in for help with any of their tasks,” says Patel. “I urge everyone to come see what our PostalAnnex+ offers.” It all can be found in one convenient spot…Packaging & Shipping, mailbox rentals, notary, faxing, copying, office supplies, business card printing, and so many


Wide range of Wines

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Clayton residents, take pride in the fact that their team of Stylists have all been with the shop for several years. You get quality hair care and consistency, something that is missing at many salons today. So, stop in and let them create a look which fits your lifestyle and is easy to recreate. The stylists at Permanent Solution have experience working with all hair types, and all ages. Don’t be bashful, men are welcome too. Close, convenient and friendly. Gift Certificates are available.

Established in 1993, Permanent Solution is a full service, family oriented salon located in the heart of downtown Clayton. Offering hair, nail, and waxing services, Permanent Solution offers you the ability to complete your holiday look with just one stop saving you time and money. Salon manicurist, Becky Walker, is currently offering holiday specials for all your manicuring and pedicuring needs. Shop owners Ann Welty and Wendy Trimble, both

Huge variety of Tequilas

reg. 16.99

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Notary, Stamps, Postal, Copy and Fax Services are also available.

Clayton/Concord Location:

Vineyard Shopping Center, (next to Lucky supermarket) 5100 Clayton Road, Concord, 925-689-6245




Limit one coupon per customer. This offer is not good in combination with any other offers. Valid at this location only (P). ©Mail Boxes Etc. Offer expires 01/31/10, The UPS StoreTM

Page 12

Clayton Pioneer •

December 18, 2009

Pioneer Guide to Holiday Shopping a i M a l l e B THE

Going Out of Business Sale $9.99 Fabric now $5.00/yd * FINAL SALE $8.99 Fabric now $4.50/yd*

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2190 Meridian Park Bl., #C Concord, CA 94520

Final Day is December 30

Clayton Furniture, Inc.

Continued from page 11

Family Business Since 1988

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the popular Webkinz and a line of Melissa and Doug Toys. Their French Country specialties include gorgeous stationary and bath items for every occasion, including distinctive lines such as Thymes Bath & Body, Caldrea, Lollia, Sonoma Lavender and LaLavande French Soaps. Corporate gifts and personal shopping services are also available. The Pantry is stocked with delicious gourmet foods including Stonewall Kitchens, Barefoot Contessa, A Perfect Pear and Elaine’s Toffee. The Royal Rooster is located at the corner of Center

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went. Unfortunately, barbershops are disappearing and the salons are full of chemical smells and one-hour haircuts. Now guys have a place that’s just for them. Sport Clips Haircuts is where guys can go to have a championship haircut experience. Sports on TV Guy smart stylists. Steamed towels. Shoulder and back massages. That’s what guys want and that’s what Sport Clips delivers. You won’t find chemical smells because we don’t perm or color. We just cut hair the way that guys want it cut. Check us out at the Clayton Valley Shopping Center (925) 673-5686. We are between Bronze Buddha and Tavo’s Pizza. Ask for the MVP treatment.


Happy Holidays from SNAP Fitness! Sabrina, Mike, Shaun, Don, George, Emily and Bob invite you to join in the celebration of the anniversary of our beautiful fitness club. We’ll show you how to make feeling good a way of lifefrom more energy and strength to improved cardiovascular health. Whatever your fitness level, we have something for you! We have a comfortable facility that’s safe and friendly. Work out when YOU want to – we’re open 4:00 am to midnight, 365 days a year! You’ll leave feeling refreshed and recharged. Our equipment is state-of-the-art, with personal entertainment on all cardio machines. Our Fitness Professionals will help you reach your goals even faster. Best of all, we’re convenient—right downtown, with easy parking. Stop by, meet our friendly staff, and take advantage of our anniversary offers! Why not give the gift of fitness with a gift certificate? The success stories are growing—make the next one yours! SNAP Fitness is at 6200 Center St. in Clayton. (925) 693-0110.


Remember me? I have massaged many Clayton residents since 1998, when I began working as a Massage Therapist at the newly opened Clayton Mind & Body Connections, with the original owner. Since 2000, I have had my own business, located one mile from downtown Clayton. My clients love being home within minutes, after their massage. During the past 11 years, my clients have thanked me for helping them feel better, naturally, while dealing with migraine headaches, sports injuries, and recovery from surgeries. And everyone feels more relaxed and rested with the traditional massage techniques of Swedish


When a guy needs a haircut, where can he go? His choices used to be limited to a local barbershop or the salon where his wife

and Shiatsu, as well as my specialties of Pregnancy Massage, Lymphatic Drainage, and Massage Cupping (tm). Call my Mobile (925) 788-9764 and speak with me directly. Or call my Office (925) 746-4710, any time, to hear my current availability. Hours: 10am-7pm, Monday-Friday. 168 Mt. Etna Drive. Gift Certificates Available for Any Occasion. THE UPS STORE

Do you have packages that need to be mailed? Pressed for time? Then stop by The UPS Store in the Vineyard Shopping Center and let owner Tricia Tamura and her knowledgeable staff help you get your gifts delivered safely and on time. The UPS Store offers both packing and mailing services so you don’t need to waste your time looking for the right size box. Working seamlessly with the US Postal service, they can offer you options on how to ship your gifts. With ample parking and a multitude of services, The UPS Store can save you the hassle of long lines and multiple stops. Besides shipping they can assist you with copies (B&W or color), FAXing, Notary Services, Passport photos, Mailboxes, Document Services & Binding and much more. Stop by and let The UPS Store help you make your holiday season more enjoyable. Call Tricia at 6896245 with any questions.

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December 18, 2009

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 13

Travis Credit Union meets local needs for food, money, toys



sort through toys for Christmas Wish

This holiday season, Travis Credit Union members and employees are reaching out to the community and people in need by taking part in the Solano and Contra Costa Food Banks annual food drive, Christmas Wish 2009, and the 2009 Children’s Miracle Network Holiday Stocking Campaign. Each year Travis Credit Union helps the working poor,

seniors, single parents, and the homeless in Contra Costa County through their annual food drive. Credit union employees, members and the general public are encouraged to bring non-perishable foods to all Travis Credit Union branches in Contra Costa County Monday, November 23 through, January 31, 2010. Another way Travis Credit

Union is helping others this holiday season is through the 2009 Children’s Miracle Network Holiday Stocking Campaign. Travis Credit Union employees and members can purchase and sign as many paper stockings as they want for $1 each to support the health needs of children. The stockings are available for sale and will be displayed at Travis Credit Union branches from November 30 through December 23, 2008. Proceeds from this year’s campaign will go to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento and Oakland’s Children’s Hospital. Last year members and employees donated more than $6,200. Take food donations or pick up Children’s Miracle Network stockings at Travis Credit Union in the Clayton Valley Shopping Center.

Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church 1578 Kirker Pass Road, Clayton "Open Hearted, Open Minded"

Christmas Eve Service 5:30 p.m. Lessons and Carols with candles, choir and children Pastor Gail Doering 925-672-4848

Join us this Christmas

Letter to the Editor I was sorely disappointed in your “Teen Speak” article in the December 4 issue of the Pioneer. While there are a number of non-Santa Claus believers in the world, there are a great many more believers. Clayton is a family based community, and I know a number of younger children that read the paper, my younger sister includ-

ed. Now, I understand completely that the author did not see the reason to believe in Santa Claus to make her holiday season merry. Yet, the paper should realize that the number of children who will start to question their belief by reading the paper, will very likely have their own holiday season ruined. There are few mysteries left

for a traditional message in a non-traditional setting

in our changing world, and Santa Claus is one of the only things that allows for wonderment in the life of a child. . . . whether or not a person believes in Santa Claus, the spirit of Santa cannot be denied. This spirit lives in the eyes of every young child on Christmas morning, and in the hearts of those who appreciate the joy children bring to the holiday season. Cristina Lloyd

s, Dec. 19, 10 a.m. to tm as for Kid 1 p.m Chris . t S h e g r i v l i e c e, Dec. 24, e Candl v E s 7 a : 3 0 p.m istm . Chr 10 am Sunday School & Bible Class, 11:15 am Worship

Bible-based & Christ-centered worship, education & fellowship

5554 Clayton Rd., Concord (in the Farm Bureau building)

Fabricated violence can sometimes be confused with reality SARAH ROSEN

TEEN SPEAK With all the extreme violence in life, one would think that the reality would turn people off from enjoying fake violence. I read enough about the harsh realities of violence in the news, and I don’t see the entertainment in simulating death in a video game. Some justify their chosen form of entertainment by stating “it’s not real.” However, it’s feeding a growing desire to be a part of violent ordeals. Last week while walking to the grocery store, I noticed a large crowd around two boys. I realized one of them wanted to fight the other. When nothing was happening, one of the viewers told one boy that he had a crowd waiting for him to hit the other and if he wasn’t going to hit him, he should just leave. Nobody cared to solve the issue; they just wanted to see someone bloody their hands. I talked to some of my peers to gain insight on the appeal of watching a fight or playing violent video games. “I find fights to be stupid but still entertaining,” says Clayton Valley sophomore Ryan Dodge. “I like seeing the competition, just like in boxing.” CV freshman Tim Myers states: “Violent video games are fun because they’re imaginative. It’s the same basis as for why people like action movies, except violent video games are more interactive. “Violence in real life is not entertaining to the regular person. It’s just that movies and video games are so obviously fake that it’s OK to enjoy it,” he adds. “If a movie were real footage of a person being murdered, no one would like it.” Glorified violence is often viewed as heroic in movies, but it’s still based upon occurrences in reality. One doesn’t need to travel far to find extreme violence; too

often it’s found in our own community. There is nothing entertaining about real people dying and their families losing a loved one, so why are we quick to disassociate ourselves from violence that doesn’t directly affect us? Audrey Van Horn, a CV junior speaks out against violence. “Sure, fights are entertaining, but most of the time they are for stupid reasons and nothing good comes from them,” she says. “Violent video games are teaching children that shooting people is a fun thing, when it’s not.” Our society is becoming increasingly violent and aggressive, as we display anger at the slightest annoyances and become accepting of an impulsively aggressive society. Blame may be placed on parents for poorly influencing their children. I coached a youth soccer team this past fall. During one of the

games, an argument between parents on each team’s side grew unmanageable. When talking to a parent, he said: “If the referee gets in my face again, I’ll have no problem pulling my knife and slitting his throat right there.” Immediately, his solution to the disagreement was violence. What example was he setting for his grandson? This isn’t teaching kids anything about successfully solving the issue at hand. Rather, it merely engraved the image of the threatening violence in the child’s minds. We are losing ourselves in the fabricated world of violence, and I wonder how long it’ll be until we find the line between reality and fantasy again.

(925) 524-0295

Member of WELS

William Kant, Pastor

2009 CHRISTMAS SCHEDULE Christmas Eve Masses - Christmas Day Masses Thursday, December 24 Friday, December 25 3 PM 5:30 PM 8 PM 11 PM

Early Childhood Christmas 8 AM Pageant & Mass 10 AM Children’s Christmas Pageant Noon with Children’s Choir & Mass Nativity of the Lord : Vigil Nativity of the Lord : Midnight Mass

Nativity of the Lord : Dawn Nativity of the Lord : Day La Natividad del Señor : El Dia

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5562 Clayton Road, Concord 672-5800

Sarah Rosen is a sophomore at CVHS. Email her at

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Page 14

Clayton Pioneer •

December 18, 2009

Clayton Sports Falcons cap undefeated Pee Wee football season with title JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

It was quite a season for the Clayton Valley Falcons this fall, with the four local youth football teams winning 35 of their 45 games – punctuated by the Pee Wee squad capping a 13-0 undefeated record with a 35-0 victory over Redwood PAL Golden Bears in the Super Championship game this month in Napa. “We are very proud,” Falcons athletic director Tony Guarino said in summing up the year. “We were one of very few organizations out of the 18 in our Diablo Valley Youth Football Conference that sent three football teams to the playoffs.” He added that the Falcons cheer squads also had much success this year. For the Pee Wees and coach Doug Brigance, this season was truly one to remember. After more than 20 years with the Falcons, Brigance announced this was his final season. He’s coached at all levels of youth football, where teams are categorized by a combination of age and weight. Pee Wee players are 911 years old and weigh 75-120 pounds at the beginning of the season. The Falcon Pee Wees finished the regular season 9-0, which moved them into the conference playoffs. There, they won games with West Pittsburg and East County. The McCann-Griffanti Turkey Bowl DVYFC championship game pitted the Falcons against their arch-rivals, San Ramon T-Birds, at San Ramon Valley High School Stadium. The Pee Wees scored an impressive 28-12 win over the T-Birds to become 2009 conference champions. The Turkey Bowl title allowed the Pee Wees to play one more game, the Super Championship pitting the best Pee Wee team from the North Bay Youth Football and Cheer Conference against the DVYFC champion Falcons at Justin Siena High in Napa. Like all their previous opponents, the Redwood PAL Golden Bears were no match for Clayton Valley as the Falcons posted a 35-0 victory to send Brigance off with an undefeated season. Only against Benicia, when

Photo by HomeTeam Sports Photography courtesy CVAA Falcons

CLAYTON VALLEY FALCONS PEE WEE DIVISION TEAM WAS 13-0 THIS FALL CAPPED BY WINNING THE TURKEY BOWL AND SUPER CHAMPIONSHIP BOWL. The team and its cheerleaders include, Front row, from left, Ashlynn Hengemihle, Shelbylyn Messier, Katarina Strong, Julia Kiester, Melissa Williams; Second row, Caroline Noble, Valerie Valerio, Jonathan Sullivan, Edwin Mundo, Nicolas Murcurio, Isaiah Ortiz, Sarah Levine, Erica Abbas; Third row, Jake Peralta, Sam Shorr, Anthony Sweeney, Luis Reyes, Cheer Coach Melissa Davis, Nohely Reyes, Cheer Coach Amanda Schiff, Jack Lilly, Richard Peralta, Curtis Oxman, Evan Gittleman; Fourth row, Armani Dickerson, William Hogan, Neil Gabe, Coach Miguel Dickerson II, Cheer Coach Caitlin McCluskey, Coach Dominguez Dickerson, Keith Tracy, Casey Roquermore, Robert Klarman; Back row, Joseph Nguenti, Zak Sandelin, James Dempsey, Tony Guarino, Coach Miguel Dickerson, Coach Zack Sims, Coach Rich Peralta, Teiauni Guarino, Harold Tidwell, Nico Craft.

Clayton Valley won 16-14, was the Pee Wee team held to less than a two-touchdown margin of victory during the season. The Junior Midget team of coach Jim Walker also reached the Turkey Bowl. This group is the next older after Pee Wee, with players 10-12 years old and 85-135 pounds. Walker’s coaching experience was a factor as the Junior Midgets finished the regular season 8-1 and then scored shutout playoff wins over West Pittsburg and San Leandro. In the Turkey Bowl, the Falcon Junior Midgets met their match in a well-played game against the East County Lions, 12-0. The team ended the year with a 10-2 record.

Tony Brigance, son of Doug Brigance, handles the Junior Pee Wee team (8-10 years old, 60-105 pounds). They finished the regular season 9-0, moved on to the conference playoffs and were winners in the first round over the Walnut Creek Marauders 32-6. In the semi-finals against one of the Falcons’ big rivals, Antioch Bobcats, the Junior Pee Wee s were defeated 13-6 in a close contest decided on the last play of the game. Signups for the 2010 fall season will start in February or March and continue through Aug. 1. Interested players and cheerleaders can visit or call 927-7377 for further information.

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Sports Shorts DEC. 21 – 23 BASEBALL SKILLS CAMP For players ages 7 to 15. Get ready for tryouts and the upcoming spring season. The camp is three days, Dec. 21-23 from 9 a.m. – noon, rain or shine. Cost is $100. Contact Coach Ralston at for more information and an application form. Visit for information on the coaches, facility and FAQs. CLAYTON VALLEY LITTLE LEAGUE SIGN-UPS CONCLUDE JAN. 4 Signups are being held now through Jan. 4 for 2010 Clayton Valley Little League teams. CVLL includes baseball for five to 16 year-olds and softball for six to 15 year -olds. In-person registration for new players will be at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 1092 Alberta Way, Concord on Saturday, Dec. 19, from 9 a.m. – 12 noon. For more registration information on Clayton Valley Little League, including residency requirements, fees and schedule, visit JAN. 9 CLAYTON VALLEY HIGH BOOSTERS CRAB FEED Clayton Valley High School Athletic Boosters Club will be hosting its 16th annual Crab Feed & Auction on Saturday, Jan. 9, 6 p.m. at Centre Concord. This major fundraiser directly benefits all the athletic programs at CVHS. Seating is lim-

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CLAYTON VALLEY HIGH 2010 HALL OF FAME NOMINATIONS Clayton Valley High School Athletic Hall of Fame committee is accepting nominations for the 2010 induction class. The initial Hall of Fame ceremony was held during the school’s 50th anniversary year in 2008. Individuals can nominate student athletes and coaches to the Hall of Fame. The requirement is that the nominee was a CVHS grad or coach in the years 1960-1989 who was allleague in at least one sport. Requests for a nomination form can be sent via e-mail to the CVHS Athletic Hall of Fame committee at Include a mailing address and an application form will be mailed to you, according to chairperson Bill Nelson.

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JAN 11. – FEB. 18 DIABLO FC SOCCER WINTER ACADEMY Diablo FC is holding its ninth annual Winter Soccer Academy Jan. 11 through Feb. 18 every Monday and Thursday from 5-6 p.m. at Willow Pass Park in Concord. The renowned Diablo FC professional coaching staff will teach boys and girls 5-12 years old basic dribbling and juggling skills, passing and receiving the ball and ball striking. Youth of all skill levels from novice to those ready for competitive soccer are invited to attend. There are no tryouts for Soccer Academy. You can sign up today at

Mention the Clayton Pioneer & receive a

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ited and tickets are on sale now for $50 at the school or online at Raffle and auction item donations are accepted by emailing

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December 18, 2009

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 15

Clayton Sports

Boom Boom Pow places third at Area Cup


Help the Pioneer cover the local sports scene. Send competition results, story ideas, announcements, sports shorts, etc. to Please attach a high-resolution photo whenever available.


starting at only

Two CV Eagles in prep allstar football game Dec. 26 Diablo Valley Athletic League co-MVP Vince Buhagiar and two-way AllDVAL lineman Jonathan Carlson have been selected to the East Bay team, which will be playing at Grant High School in Sacramento on Dec. 26 in a post-season all-star high school football game for the first time matching Sacramento and East Bay teams. CVHS teammate Holden Nakamura is an alternate on the East Bay

squad. Buhagiar had 92 tackles and two interceptions this year on defense and tied a school record set in 1994 by Dom DeMartini with 21 touchdowns. Carlson’s 69 tackles included seven sacks and two caused fumbles. He also made 15 “key blocks” on offense, each leading to a TD. Sacramento high schools have four of the five top-rated teams in Northern California, along with De La Salle.


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MDSA BOOM BOOM POW COMPLETED A SUCCESSFUL FALL SOCCER SEASON with a third-place finish at the AYSO Area Cup. Coach Stephanie Cicconi’s under 12 girls defeated a Pleasant Hill Martinez team 2-0 in the third-place game, avenging a loss to the same team by the identical score earlier in the tournament. Playing as Senegal, the team placed second in the MDSA World Cup to qualify for Area Cup. Boom Boom Pow includes, front row from left, Suzy Schofield, Cristina Daly, Jaycie Cellini, Ivy Turner; middle row, Lauren Reagan, Riley Travers, Kaytlyn Coyne, Chanel Taliaferro; top row, assistant coach Nicole Hotaling, Tori Klock, Hosna Opeyany, Savanha Groebner and Cicconi.

with the Pioneer 672-0500

41 Clayton Valley athletes receive All-DVAL honors for fall sports JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Clayton Valley High School athletes earned 41 places on AllDiablo Valley Athletic League teams for the eight fall sports. Among the Eagle honorees were league MVPs Vince Buhagiar in football and Alexandra Tate in cross country. Although no CVHS team won a team championship during the fall, the school’s athletes garnered a fair share of AllDVAL spoils – which are selected by the league’s coaches. In fact, seven of the eight Clayton Valley teams had first team AllDVAL players. The Eagles football team, which advanced to the second round of the North Coast Section playoffs, had their two-

way standout Buhagiar share the league MVP award with Travis Raciti of College Park. Lineman Jonathan Carlson earned AllDVAL laurels on offense and defense. Holden Nakamura was a defensive first-team choice, while Jeremy McKillip was named on offense from coach Herc Pardi’s squad. Kenny Johnson and goalie Derek Anderson, both juniors, were All-DVAL first teamers in boys water polo. The water polo team coached by Matt Vecchio also won its first NCS playoff game in many years. That performance earned Anderson and Johnson honorable mention All-NCS awards. The other boys fall team, cross country, had three runners earn All-DVAL honors but none on the first team.

All five girls teams nabbed All-DVAL awards. Megan Sullivan was a first team all-leaguer for golf coach Jennifer Moore’s second-place team. The tennis team of Suzanne Beck had top singles player Katie Marchant and the No. 1 doubles team of Aman Nijjar and Tatiana Guzman on the AllDVAL first team. Dennis Bledsoe’s water polo Eagles made it to the NCS playoffs before losing a one-goal match in the opening round. Junior Allyson Hansen was recognized for her scoring exploits with a first-team berth and she also earned All-North Bay/East Bay honors. Outside hitters Camille Condit, a junior, and Celeste Piper were coach Lisa Hobson’s All-DVAL first teamers for the

Eagles volleyball squad. The girls cross country team coached by alumnus Michelle Howisey was second at the DVAL championship meet. Tate won the varsity race and was named league MVP. Her teammates Melissa Del Bene and Megan Mayhew also were first team All-DVAL. The Eagles football team recently held its awards dinner. As expected, Buhagiar was the team MVP while Carlson was the outstanding lineman and Nakamura was named Mr. Defense. Three players, McKillip, Ruben Carbajal and T.J. Bossett, shared the Most Improved award. Nick Fabris and Ethan Ray were Most Inspirational. The Eagle Scholar

See Honors, page 16

Clayton resident, Mike Rose, has been in business for over 36 years and has always provided quality repair with excellent customer service!

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Page 16

Clayton Pioneer •

Making assumptions can send you down the wrong path




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While I was growing up, my father frequently chastised me for making assumptions about things. It was, he pointed out, a mistake to assume anything in life; life is too complex to be understood by a single assumption. To further punch this lesson home, he pointed out that if you split the word “assume” into segments you would find that if you “assumed” something you would make an “ass” of “u” and “me.” I have always remembered that little gem and although making assumptions is a natural human trait, I have endeavored

to limit it as much as possible. People like to simplify observances and understandings and frequently there is insufficient time to truly understand the complexity of a task or a decision. As a media-oriented society, we are spoon-fed information in easily digestible bits and this does us a disservice in the habit we form as a result. A poll some years ago showed that visual assumptions played a large part in some politicians getting elected. “I like the way he looked,” one pollster reported, while another “liked the sound of his voice.” Likewise in the courtroom, jurors are admonished to deal only with the facts – even while the interplay of counsel sways jurors on an emotional level. Often the jury is instructed to

Awards went to Adam Lee and Dominic Garaventa.

Guests are welcome at all meetings. For more information, call 429-3777.

Church News CLAYTON COMMUNITY CHURCH Christmas Eve Candlelight Services at Diablo View Middle School will be at 5 p.m. and at 7 p.m. The 5 p.m. service will be a family gathering with carols, stories and activities. The traditional Candlelight Service is at 7 p.m.

“I do all work myself. I am the only person that will be in your house.” - Leah Gomez Owner, Clayton Resident

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Richard A. Littorno Since 1979

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André Gensburger is a staff reporter and feature writer for the Pioneer. His email address is

SONS IN RETIREMENT Beginning Jan. 7, Chapter 19 will hold its monthly luncheon meetings at a new location – the Crown Plaza Hotel, 45 John Glenn Dr., Concord. The chapter has been holding its meetings at Oakhurst Country Club in Clayton. The new location should benefit more members who live in diverse places. SIRs is a non-profit public benefit corporation for retired men. The purpose is to assist men in renewing friendships and making new friends through SIR activities. There are no dues or initiation fees.


Salespeople are taught not to disqualify potential sales from people they assume have no money, for often these turn out to be the better sales. When I write this column, it is not with the assumption that the reader will hang on my every word. What I find frequently, however, is that readers will make assumptions about the intent of my column and about me as a person. In truth, most of the time the assumptions I learn of are not correct. However, if you read my column regularly, I will just smile and deal with it.

Honors, from page 15

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get past the impression of guilt because the accused looks “mean.” The wrong impression can have a profound effect upon a jury. Another study involving two black men dressed in urban wear walking down a street passing people of different races and genders found that many assumed the men were threatening and intimidating even though no words were exchanged. The men, they later learned, were police officers involved in a social experiment. Similarly, when Americans hear people with British accents the natural assumption is that the Brits sound more intelligent. This applies to the accents of people from the poorest parts of Liverpool – you know the city of the Beatles.

Club News

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Ferrante Insurance Services, Inc.

December 4, 2009

Living Trusts  Wills  Medi-Cal Planning Probate & Trust Administration  Elder Law Creative Estate & Tax Planning Asset Protection & General Business Advance Health Care Directives

Clayton Office:

Pittsburg Office:

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CLAYTON VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL ALL-DVAL ATHLETES Second Team and Honorable Mention Tennis: Amber Lucero, honorable mention. Girls water polo: Ashley Jennings, Lauren Jones, second team; Ashley Richman, honorable mention. Boys water polo: Kevin Adams, Taylor Bredell, second team; Jack Loflin, Aaron Blatter, honorable mention. Football: Jake Looney, Garaventa, Carbajal, second team; Zack Bangert, Rudy Ellison, Lee, Bossett, honorable mention. Girls cross country: Sarah Litwiller, Brigitte Leblow, second team; Marlena Alvarez, Mariah Llacuna, honorable mention. Boys cross country: Ben O’Connor, Adrian Capinpin, second team; Bryan Carbajal, honorable mention. Girls volleyball: Kelsey Rudd, second team; Michelle Stiller, honorable mention.

CVHS EAGLES ATHLETES EXCEL IN THE CLASSROOM, TOO This school year has started off strong for achieving student athletes at Clayton Valley High School. The just-concluded fall season found 17 of 18 CVHS teams, including all eight varsity squads, receiving the North Coast Section Distinguished Scholar Athlete Team award for maintaining a team grade point average of 3.0 or higher. “We almost reached our goal of 100 percent NCS scholar teams,” noted athletic director Pat Middendorf. “Only one team did not make it and they had a 2.9 GPA.” Football player Adam Lee, sporting a 4.2 GPA, won the Contra Costa County/Northern California Chapter Lineman Scholar Athlete award from the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete Program. “Since 1962, Clayton Valley has had five winners of this prestigious award,” said coach Herc Pardi. The previous Eagle winners are Jack Duncan (1970), Paul Belluomini (1974), Cameron Woolridge (1975) and Brett Ballard (2002). The award will be presented in February at a dinner in Burlingame. Last year, during the school’s golden anniversary, Middendorf reported that 50 of the 56 Eagles sports teams earned NCS Distinguished Scholar Athlete Team awards.

December 18, 2009

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer .com

Page 17

And a very cookie time was had by all Stir filling ingredients into beaten eggs. Spread over top of baked pastry (no need to cool.) Continue baking about 25-30 minutes until set. Cool and cut into bars. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. (This is an old family recipe from Grandma Clara Himes, Sarah’s granddaughter.)

Cookie contest brings out the best from local bakers LINDA WYNER Clayton Pioneer

Warm, buttery, spicy aromas met me just as I entered the library on December 10. It was an instant reminder (not that I needed one) that Clayton’s annual Christmas cookie competition was about to get underway. A privilege it is for me to head the judging committee and I was more than prepared to let my belt out another inch to be able to savor the entries of the evening. A nice crowd of adults and kids filled the conference room, and a long, long table groaned with competition entries. Another table courageously held


SANTA JOINED CONTEST JUDGES Linda Wyner, Shanna Decoite, Robbie Parker, Debra Nork, Andrew Geller and Jennifer Beck for a post-judging photo.

judges jumped into their roles with glee. Seriously approaching each cookie, they examined the appearance, texture and taste of each entry. Soon, the small plates that held the cookie tastings were overflowing. I could hear muted “ooh”s and “aah”s and “yum”s as the judges plowed through their duty. Finally the judging was over, tallies were made and the results announced. We are pleased to present the winners and their recipes here. Enjoy.

MASTER BAKER FIRST PLACE KATHY CHISHOLM SOFT GINGER COOKIES 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour 2 tsp ginger 1 tsp baking soda ¾ tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp ground cloves ¼ tsp salt ¾ cup butter ½ cup white sugar ½ cup brown sugar 1 egg 1 Tbsp orange juice (fresh preferred) ¼ cup dark molasses Glaze (see below) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat the egg, then stir in the water, orange juice and molasses. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture. Re f r i g e r a t e for 30

the cookie buffet that would follow the judging. The tension of the moment in the audience melted as soon as Vintage with Santiago and Joyce Martinez and Roxanne Pardi began singing carols. A new teen a capella group, Vivace, joined in the musical festivities, getting the audience up and moving with “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” The judges, City Councilman Howard Geller, Clayton Police Officer Shanna DeCoite, Jennifer Beck from the YMCA, Cookies by Design owner Debra Nork and two teens Robbie Parker and former contest winner Peter Pratt stood by eyeing all the cookies as E MASTER they were set T PLAC S 1 out and ER COOKIES T GING labeled for SOF the competition. Their excitement was palpable. When given the go-ahead, the

minutes. Shape the dough into walnut sized balls and place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten to ¼ inch. Bake for 8-10 min. Allow the cookies to cool on a baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Allow to cool completely. (Source: Glaze: ½ cup butter 1 cup powdered sugar ½ tsp vanilla Zest of one large orange Pinch of salt 1 tsp orange juice (fresh preferred) Mix together, then pipe or drizzle glaze onto cooled cookies. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar.


Hon. Mention

MARTHA’S PECAN BUTTER COOKIES 1 c butter, room temperature ½ c sugar ½ tsp vanilla 1 ¾ c flour ½ c chopped pecans 2 drops almond extract Pinch of salt Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream butter and sugar till fluffy. Add vanilla and salt, then mix. Gradually add flour and mix well then blend in


JUNIOR BAKER FIRST PLACE GRAYSON WRIGHT CHOCOLATE MINT DREAMS ¾ c butter, softened 1 c powdered sugar 2 squares (1oz. each) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled ¼ tsp peppermint extract 1-1 ½ c all-purpose flour 1 c miniature semisweet chocolate chips ICING

2 Tbsp butter, softened 1 c powdered sugar ¼ tsp peppermint extract 1 to 2 drops green food coloring 1 to 2 Tbsp milk DRIZZLE

½ c semisweet chocolate chips ½ tsp shortening Preheat oven to 375 degrees. LACE TEEN In a large bowl, 1ST P cream butter and HA’S PECAN powdered sugar MART R COOKIES until light and BUTTE fluffy. Beat in chocolate and e x t r a c t . Gradually add flour and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. (Dough will be soft). almond Drop by tablespoonfuls 2” extract. Stir in apart on an ungreased baking pecans. Divide dough into two equal amounts. Roll into logs, sheet. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until firm. Cool wrap in plastic wrap and chill for two the dough 1 hour. Slice ¼” to ½” thick and place on ungreased cookie sheet. LACE JUNIOR P T Bake at 325 degrees for 1S INT DREAMS 15 minutes. LATE M O C Teen Honorable O CH Mention went to Cherilyn Brock for her mouth-watering White Chocolate, Blueberry Macadamia Nut Cookies. Unfortunately, the recipe was

SARAH BROOKS CHERRY-COCONUT BARS Pastry: 1 cup sifted flour ½ cup melted butter 3 Tbsp powdered sugar With hands or fork, mix until smooth. Spread evenly in an 8” pan sprayed with Pam. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Filling: 2 eggs 1 cup white sugar ¼ cup flour ¼ tsp salt ¾ cup chopped nuts ½ cup shredded coconut ½ cup quartered candied red cherries

Photos by Tamara Steiner/Clayton Pioneer

VINTAGE SINGERS Santiago and Joyce Martinez and Roxanne Pardi brought their unique harmonies to traditional carols.

ALTHOUGH NOT an official judge, Santa nevertheless collaborates with Debra Nork at the judging table.

minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Meanwhile, combine the butter, powdered sugar, extract, food coloring and enough milk to achieve the desired consistency; spread over cooled cookies. Let set. In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Drizzle over cookies.


Hon. Mention cDAWSON o o &k GRAYSON i e s

MCDONALD CHRISTMAS CHERRY CHIP COOKIE DROPS 1 (18oz.) tube sugar cookie dough ½ c dried cherries 1/3 c white chocolate chips ¼ c chopped nuts ½ tsp vanilla Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Drop rounded tsp. sized dough on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten with palm. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Post Script: Before I waddled out of the library after the judging, I stopped to speak with Officer Shannon. I asked facetiously if she’d taken the “Donut Shop Break” class in police academy. She laughed and said no, but thought that the Clayton Police ought to add a “Judging the Cookie” course to its continuing education programs. Sounds like a plan to me! Merry Christmas and Happy Baking!

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Page 18

Clayton Pioneer •


HOLIDAY EVENTS Through Dec. 20 “Swingtime Canteen” A holiday musical revue from Diablo Actors Ensemble. 1345 Locust St., Walnut Creek. $10-$25. 866-811-4111 or Through Dec. 20 “A Christmas Carol” Center REPertory Company presents Charles Dickens’ classic tale. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. or 943-7469. Through Dec. 25 “The Northern Lights” View more than 13,000 bulbs during a 15-minute light and music presentation. Tune in to 91.3 FM to hear the music. 6, 7 and 8 p.m. nightly, Clayton Community Church office, 6055 Main St., Clayton. 673-9060 or Dec. 31 “Hollywood and Ward/New Year’s Party” Includes show, games and champagne toast. 9 p.m.-midnight, Willows Theatre, 636 Ward St., Martinez. $50. 798-1300 or Dec. 31 Clayton Counts Down Family and kids activities in an alcohol-free environment with refreshments, food, games and prizes. 6-9 p.m., Clayton Community Gym, 700 Gym Court. Contact the city clerk at 6737304 or

EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT Through Jan. 10 “Hats: The Musical” Willows Theatre presents a rollicking tribute to the Red Hat Ladies. 636 Ward St., Martinez. $22-$32. 798-1300 or

FUNDRAISERS Jan. 9 CVHS Athletic Boosters Crab Feed To benefit athletics at Clayton Valley High School. 6 p.m., Centre Concord, 5298 Clayton Road. $50. To make a donation, email or call 672-0418.

MEETINGS Jan. 5, 19 Clayton City Council 7 p.m., Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 673-7304 or

Jan. 12, 26 Clayton Planning Commission 7 p.m., Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 673-7304 or

December 18, 2009

s Year New Par tyed) Eve ions requir rvat


6096 Main Street, Clayton, 673-0440 All entertainment from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

. . .Bollinger Station Dec. 25, 26 . .Gerald & the Aces Jan. 1, 2 . . .Crossman Country Dec. 18, 19

YMCA Register at or 889-1600. Or, contact Jennifer at 6922364 or Through June 17 Middle School After-School Program Fun, safe, supervised environment for children with indoor/outdoor activities, homework help, healthy snacks and monthly special events. $220 a month for three days a week; $300 a month for five days.

Karaoke Wed. nights Open Mic Thur. nights

Beer only. Good anytime with original coupon. Exp. 1/8/10

2 for the price of 1

SCHOOLS Jan. 13 Diablo View Middle School Parent Faculty Club 7 p.m., DVMS library, 300 Diablo View Lane, Clayton. Jan. 27 College Admissions Workshop For parents of middle school students. 7-9 p.m., Diablo View Middle School multi-use room, 300 Diablo View Lane, Clayton. RSVP by sending a check for $10 per person or $15 per couple payable to DVMS PFC to Tami Smith, 5213 Keller Ridge Dr., Clayton CA 94517.

AT THE LIBRARY The Clayton Community Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Most programs are free. 673-0659 or Holiday Closures Due to county budget cuts, all county libraries will be closed Dec. 23-27 and Dec. 31-Jan. 3. Due dates will be extended so that no materials will need to be returned between Dec. 19 and Jan. 4. During the closure, all book drops also will be closed. The Website at will remain open. Jan. 5-March 2 Patty Cakes Story time for babies to 3-year-olds. Child attends with caregiver. Drop in 11 a.m. Tuesdays. Jan. 7-March 4 Picture Book Time Story time for 3- to 5-year-olds. Child may attend without caregiver. Drop in 11 a.m. Thursdays. Jan. 6 Low-Cost Job Training Seminar If you need to improve your skills to get the job you want, East County has several free and low-cost job training programs you should know about. Free workshop presented by Opportunity Junction. 7 p.m.

ter egis



ass l C r

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sic and movement f or infants, toddlers, Mu e l r o s o an h

d the gr . own ups who love them

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925 946 2990

py ys p a H ida



Patty Flannery Your local neighborhood REALTOR since 1986 Call me. Let’s talk REAL ESTATE

Mayor, from page 1 have been on my mind for the past few years. First, I want to say that I am honored to serve as the mayor of Clayton for this next year. A couple of years ago, I was giving a tour of City Hall to a group of young Scouts. As part of the tour, I explained how our city government works – how we have an elected City Council with a rotating mayor but our city manager and staff handle the main business of the city. I explained that the city manager oversees and runs the

day-to-day activities. After this explanation, one of the Scouts, Garrett, raised his hand and said: “So, basically the city manager does all the work and the mayor gets all the credit.” I thought he was pretty insightful. Fortunately for us, we have an excellent city manager and city staff, including our police department. One of the greatest traits of our employees is their love for Clayton. I could go on and on about our city employees, but suffice it to say that we are fortunate to have a great

Council, from page 1 The reorganization occurred without fanfare. Indeed, even the traditional sheet cake was missing, a victim of the budget slasher’s knife.. “When Marie Antoinette said ‘let them eat cake,’ she was obviously speaking in much flusher times,’ laughed Stratford as the city clerk switched the nameplates on the dais. Looking forward to yet another year of declining tax revenues and potentially more state diversions, Clayton’s biggest challenge will continue to be balancing the budget without cutting into essential services. “Due to prudent management, we have weathered this economic storm better than

most cities,” says Stratford. “We do have a reserve fund that could be used to balance the budget if we face a one-time non-systemic shortfall, however the goal is to live within our means.” Looking beyond the pressing economic issues, Stratford wants to work with schools and businesses to develop a communitywide Character-in-Action program which will focus on family activities that will build a sense of responsibility and respect. Stratford, 43, is a CPA and owner of Diablo View Cleaning and was raised in Clayton. He graduated from Brigham Young University and holds an MBA from UC Berkeley. He was elected in 2006.

Office: 925.975.5255

group of people working for us. I also want to thank the other members of our City Council. They are all good to work with and have the best interest of Clayton in mind. I want to especially thank Julie Pierce, the outgoing mayor. If Julie seemed at ease serving as mayor, it is because she has now served four times in that position. Julie does a tremendous amount for Clayton within our city limits as well as in the region. Now for a couple of ideas that I would like to pursue during this year. The first is a communitywide character development program that would emphasize

the development and practice of good character. It would build on what our schools are doing and would include the business community and the city. The other idea is to promote one night a week as family night. The objective would be to encourage families to carve out some time during the week to spend together. I would hope some of the restaurants and businesses in town would offer family night specials. I’ll devote future columns to these two ideas. Thank you for this opportunity to serve. If you have any suggestions, questions or feedback, feel free to email me at

Merry Christmas from


by Bruce, Inc. Bruce & Holly Linsenmeyer 30 year Clayton residents Office: (925) 672-2700 Cell: (925) 956-8605 State of California B.E.A.R license #A44842

home & fax: 925.672.0541

Cruise Adventures Unlimited Serving all cruise lines since 1987

Holland America Cruise Sale Dec. 18 - 28 Passengers will receive an Onboard Coupon Booklet valued at $354 and have a Reduced Deposit of only $100 pp for 7-Day Cruise or less, $200 pp for 814 Day Cruises and $300 pp for 15 Day or longer (Excluding Grand Voyages).

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

WHAT WENT WRONG? MORE IMPORTANTLY WHAT CAN WE PUT RIGHT? It’s time for a New Perspective Call (925) 685-4523 today to arrange your complimentary review.

Mureleen Benton, CFP®, Financial Advisor 5356 Clayton Rd., Suite 211, Concord, CA 94521 (925) 685-4523 CA License #0692378 Financial planning services and investments available through Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC. Your meeting will include a review of your existing financial situation and potential opportunities, gaps, or general strategies. You will not receive a comprehensive review or financial planning services for which fees are charged. © 2009 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved.

Owners Valerie O’Connell (Clayton resident, 30 years) & daughter Colleen O’Connell

(925) 935-7447

CST 2074362-40

1610 Locust St., Walnut Creek

December 18, 2009

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 19

Pets in their ‘winter’ years take a little extra care A graying muzzle and longer, more frequent naps in the sun aren’t the only signs that your pet is aging. The “winter years” for dogs and cats are similar to those of humans: The senses dull, activity levels change and less interest in social interaction is sometimes shown.

Senior dogs can be anywhere from 5 to 10 years old, though dogs of different sizes age at different rates. Cats are considered seniors when they reach 712 years old. Just like with people, older pets have different needs from younger ones. Older animals are more sen-

sitive to their environment. Their normal body temperature decreases, and they might need to be kept warmer when it’s cold. A loss of vision or hearing will diminish an animal’s awareness of its surroundings. Avoid startling senior cats and dogs by alerting them to your presence before touching them. Be mindful of moving around food dishes or furniture, and exercise caution if there are stairs or a pool. Watch for changes in behavior. Older animals have more difficulty handling stress. While confusion and disorientation can be signs that an animal is growing senile, sudden personality changes or house soiling could also be signs of serious health problems. Nutritional needs also change for senior cats and dogs. A difference in appetite, sudden weight loss or gain, and coat and skin conditions may be early indicators that things are amiss. Bad breath or a reluctance to eat dry food might mean dental problems. An increase in drinking water could mean kidney

problems or diabetes. Some animals need additional supplements for healthy joints, skin and intestinal tract functions. Visits to the vet are important for establishing a baseline for an older animal’s health. A blood-chemistry panel with a blood count can help determine what is normal for your pet. Older animals have weakened immune systems and aging organs. A yearly check for parasites and a general exam can help ensure that dogs and cats are in the best condition possible. Animals hide pain well, although they might act badtempered or listless. A vet can determine if your pet suffers from arthritis or other painful

conditions. Modern medications can help alleviate discomfort. Small adjustments in daily life can assist an aging pet. A change to softer bedding and less vigorous exercise, such as taking longer walks rather than chasing balls, can help ease aching joints. Lowering beds, food bowls and even the edges of litter boxes can make life easier on your senior pet. Training classes and games are excellent ways to keep animals mentally active and alert. ARF offers many fun classes to help keep your dog active; visit and check out ARF U for more information. With just a little extra care, a senior pet can provide years of love and companionship. While





they might not be able to run and jump like they did before, at least they no longer get into puppy mischief. They are the perfect old friend with whom you can share fond memories, peaceful moments and sometimes even a nap in the sun. Elena Bicker is the Executive Director of Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation. She can be reached at (925) 256-1ARF (1273)

Ernest and Dressy Bessy are ARF’s Adoption Stars

Clayton Resident. Licensed. Bonded. Insured. PSI member. References upon request.


ERNEST Ernest is a high energy fellow who is always on the go. He will thrive in an active home with a structured and consistent daily routine. Going to training classes is a great way for him to use his mind while meeting new people and socializing with other dogs.

The adoption fee for adult dogs is $225 and includes 60% off one 7-week dog training session. Dressy Bessy is one big cuddle bug! All she wants is to be petted and loved by her family. If you are looking for a


Dog Walking, Cat Visits, Pet Sitting,


Overnight & Nursing Care, Fine Art Pet Portraits

*with four day minimum. Overnights not included. New clients only.

VET TECH PET CARE for dogs, cats, horses & exotics Insured and Bonded

(925) 899-7354 Formulas for puppies, kittens, adults and seniors from The Blue Buffalo Co.

Aimee O'Brien

Registered Veterinary Technician with 10+ years experience with animals

CHRISTMAS CAMP Dec. 21, 22, 23

AFTER CHRISTMAS CAMP Dec, 28 & 29, 9 am – 3 pm Cost: $120/day. 2 or more days: $107.50/day Pack a lunch. We provide snacks and beverages.

Coupon expires 12-31-09

Would you like to be part of the heroic team that saves the lives of rescued dogs and cats? Can you share your talents to connect people and animals? ARF volunteers are making a difference! For more information see our website,, or call 925.256.1ARF.

Holiday Camps

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sweet, easy going, snuggly girl, Dressy Bessy is your kitty. The adoption fee for adult cats is $50. Meet your forever friend at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek, during adoption hours: 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The primary caretaker must be present to adopt. ARF also encourages kids 16 and younger and canine family members (dog adoptions only) to be present during the adoption process.


8863 Marsh Creek Rd. in Clayton

We offer Lesson Packages for Private, Group and Horsemanship Courses, as well as Birthday Parties – up to 35 children. See our website for details

GIRL SCOUT BADGES We are registered with approved insurance requirements with the Girl Scouts of the San Francisco Bay Area and Sonoma County. We follow the set requirements listed in the Girl Scout handbook for a Rider's Badge and cover these items in a two hour session with optional half hour snack break. Reservations are available for after school or weekends or during the school holidays. Cost is $70 per scout.

Castle Rock

Arabians 1350 Castle Rock Rd. Walnut Creek, CA 94598 (925)


Page 20

Clayton Pioneer •

December 18, 2009


Smith & Bernal

Roofing Tile repairs  Reroof  Ventilation


Gutter Cleaning  Inspections  Bird abatement

Free Roof Check-up (925) 672 0138 Clayton resident Lic. Number 727021

Installations – Repairs Toilets  Faucets  Water heaters Garbage disposals  Clogged drains

Belfast Plumbing Clayton Resident

(925) 457-5423 License. 906211

When the weather outside is your plants need extra protection Hard frost and snow on Clayton Valley landscapes is a homeowner’s garden nightmare. Once temperatures dip below 30 degrees, damage to certain shrubs and plants is inevitable. Of course, steps could have been taken before the frost hit. You could have fed your shrubs with 0-10-10 in September. You could have sprayed a frost-protection product like Wilt Stop or Cloud Cover. Perhaps you could have watered the landscape or even covered vulnerable plants with frost fabric. But that doesn’t really matter anymore. Many of our plants and shrubs and even some trees will show signs of frost damage, and it is only December. We have the potential for many more frosty nights, so be sure to take steps from this point on to ensure that plant damage does not mean plant death. WATERING AN EASY SOLUTION

Anytime the weather update calls for frosty conditions, simply watering your landscape will help your plants a lot. The extra water hydrates the shrub or plant. A hydrated plant will be stronger to the frosty nights and mornings. The extra ice on the plants may concern you, but the ice actually insulates the stems and the leaves of the plant – rather than letting the chill rob the

Real Estate, from page 7

py Holidays p a H

to all our Friends & Neighbors

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our First Annual Holiday Carriage Ride.

Sponsored by Stephanie, Leigh and the Coldwell Banker Dynamic Realtor Group and The Moresi Family – Ed’s Mudville Grill & Moresi’s Chophouse

E! C A E !P Y O J 0. 1 u 0 o 2 y ish S in ess and w S E e N W PPI You Achieve Sourcsc! A H elping ate Endeav and t d to H Es war r Real ok for u o o l Y e l W n Al erity i Prosp

Real ired vice p s n I r te Se Esta


Stephanie Lopez

For more listings and Real Estate Alerts, go to

to sell, it could be years before prices recover to a higher level. This is due to the fact that the moratoriums have ended and foreclosed properties are coming back on the market – though very slowly so as not to flood the market and drastically reduce prices. But there are 1.5 million homes in the country at different stages of default and this number could rise significantly over the next year. The banks can’t hold property indefinitely. Many homes are being sold at auction or sold in bulk to investors, but many will continue to be introduced to the market. The decline could continue at some level for the next year and a half. Q. Should I wait until next year to buy? J.S., Concord A. I don’t see the benefit in waiting. There are many unknowns. What will the interest rates be like? If prices go down, will rates go up? What programs will the government further extend or expand or will they implement new ones? Real estate is like the stock market in many ways. You try to buy low and sell high. You don’t have to buy at the very bottom or sell at the very top. One really doesn’t know when we are at the bottom until prices have already begun to go up – or at the top until prices have already begun to go down. Send your question and look for your answer in a future column. Email French is the broker/owner of Windermere Lynne French & Associates and a Clayton resident. For any real estate needs or questions, contact her at 672-8787or stop in at 6200 Center St., Clayton

enced a hard frost, using the product now will help your landscape prepare for future frosts.


GARDEN GIRL moisture from them. Spray products are great choices to help with frost protection. Wilt Stop is a natural product derived from the resin of pine trees. This flexible coating insulates the foliage and stems of the plants you choose to spray. Wilt Stop is often sold in a ready-to-use bottle. You just have to twist onto your garden hose and turn it on. The bottle will dilute itself as it sprays. Cloud Cover is the original frost-protecting product, using clear polymer to coat the plant. Cloud Cover is found ready-tospray and in concentrates. Both of these products do what they are supposed to do. You can use them as soon as you hear about upcoming frost, since they only need enough time to dry before it freezes. Even though the Clayton Valley area has already experi-

KEEP IT COVERED Frost fabrics are also available at nurseries and garden centers. This fabric is breathable, which is important, and usually has an elastic bottom so it wraps the plant better. Frost fabric carries a moderate cost, but compared to the price of replacing plants, it may be a good way to go. If you want to cut corners and save a little money, use bed sheets to protect your plants. If you are considering plastic sheets for frost protection, you must tent the plastic – making sure it does not touch the plant’s foliage. Plastic can freeze to the leaves, causing problems. Using 0-10-10 fertilizer is still a good idea. This should be applied every 4-6 weeks around all your tender plants. When fertilizing, you must make sure the ground is wet before application and re-wet after as well. Knowing what plants in your landscape are susceptible to frost damage is a good idea. We don’t want to wrap fabric around our whole yard or spray every inch of your garden. Tropical plants always take a hit during the frost. Those of you who grow banana plants, tuberose and various non-native fern, hibiscus and bougainvillea certainly need to be careful of frost.

Some of these plants may not survive a hard frost regardless of the extra steps you take, but it is definitely worth a shot. Gardenia shrubs hate when the weather gets this cold. They will survive, but they will look translucent and weepy for a while. Princess flower is toast when the temperatures dip into the upper 20s. Silvia lilies, agapanthus, lantana, citrus and fuschia will all get bitten in the frost. Succulents and agave are also tender. Knowing what to protect is part of gardening. As you notice the damaged caused by the frost in your landscape, ignore the urge to cut any damaged limbs. You need to leave all the black leaves and stems on each plant to further protect the roots. Even if you lose the whole plant, as long as the roots stay warm, the plant will re-grow when the soil warms in the spring. Keep your shears in the shed! Care for your landscape with water, frost-protector products and fabric. Next year when you’re installing plants, ask what the cold hardiness is of each new introduction. Plants and shrubs that are hardy to 25 degrees are usually safest. Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden Contact her with questions, comments or suggestions at

Children’s Dentistry office collecting Toys for Tots Dr. Randall E. Chang and his staff at Children’s Dentistry of Walnut Creek are not only great with your children, they are teaching their young patients the joy of giving to others who are not as fortunate. Teaming with Toys for Tots, Chang, his staff and patients have collected many toys and monetary gifts, as well as scheduled time to volunteer in assisting the Marines in distributing these gifts. The Toys for Tots program will distribute all the donated toys to local children as Christmas gifts. If you would like to donate toys or monetary gift, visit Children’s Dentistry at 3050 Citrus Circle, #110, Walnut Creek. Donations are accepted by mail at Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, Gift Processing Administrator, 18251 Quantico Gateway Dr., Triangle, VA 22172. You may also fax your completed form with credit card information to 703-649-2054.

DR. RANDALL CHANG and his staff will collect toys and help the Marines distribute for Toys for Tots

Chan, from page 4 the vendors that would otherwise be wasted. One farmer, whom she didn’t want to embarrass by naming, not only delivers the excess produce by the truckload from his Brentwood farm, but also has a day job as a postal worker. “It is so generous when people do this,” Chan says. Midweek, the deliveries are harder to place. In this case, the Salvation Army of Concord opens its doors, carefully saving the crates delivered to return to the farmer after his day job.

“There has been $75,000 worth of market collections,” Chan reports, “and about $13,000 worth of what I have gleaned from trees.” Food Bank executive director Larry Sly knows the value of what Chan delivers. “I’m always amazed by what she does,” he said. The Food Bank serves more than 108,000 people each month, with the need expanding significantly during the recession. “Despite the publicity, I’d be

happy just doing my own little thing,” Chan says. That “little thing” includes teaching her 2year-old daughter Ava about gardening, harvesting and helping those less fortunate. While the Jefferson Award means a lot of positive recognition and, she hopes, a lot more donated fruit and vegetables, Chan also received an email from someone who was the recipient of one of her donations. “The important part of the email was just the thank you,” Chan said. “I grew up without food,” she added. “You don’t forget that. It is not a crime to be poor.”

December 18, 2009

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 21

Memories still vivid for Pearl Harbor survivors ANDRÉ GENSBURGER Clayton Pioneer

At 89, Concord resident Adrian Pacheco can still recall the smallest of details about his life the day Pearl Harbor was bombed 68 years ago. Still spry though hard of hearing, Pacheco has enjoyed a colorful life after surviving the torpedo that could have killed him. Born in Richmond, he enlisted in 1938 for what he assumed would be a stint in the Naval Reserves. The tailend of the Great Depression still haunted the country and with the prospects of learning a skill, he volunteered for active duty in the Navy. In October 1940, he was assigned to the USS Honolulu and shipped out. “I was a fireman first class,” Pacheco explained of his job manning the fire for the boiler. These pre-nuclear ships relied on steam power. “It was a Sunday morning,” Pacheco said, “and I had just finished breakfast and was aft having a cigarette. The planes came in low over the fantail of the ship and dropped torpedoes.” His suspicions were confirmed by the General Quarters alarm that threw the ship into battle stations. However, the Honolulu was berthed – tied to the docks as it underwent maintenance. The furnace was not operating and it was a “sitting duck.” The torpedo broadsided the ship and exploded against the docks, buckling the metal plates of the vessel right at the compartment where the ammunition was stored. Quick

Army.” That turned out to be a number of weeks, with the men taking four-hour shifts. The concrete floor was too cold for comfort, so they would drink coffee and eat doughnuts to stay warm and pass the time. When the Army finally showed up, they were relieved of duty. “And then we were subject to the draft,” added the Diamond Terrace resident. “Those were the days that will never be forgotten.” A

André Gensburger/Clayton Pioneer

RECOGNIZED FOR HIS SERVICE DURING the Pearl Harbor bombings, Adrian Pacheco received the Call to Service Award from then president George W. Bush.

thinking by an officer on watch prevented a disaster by ordering the ammunition lockers flooded so they could not explode from the ensuing fire. Meantime, Pacheco, by the boilers, stoked the engines back to life so the ship could set sail. “That took most of the day,” he said. The Japanese war planes made two passes before leaving. “They were looking for aircraft carriers,” he said. “We were all scared. This was the first experience of battle for most of us. We had spent much time practicing for this so we knew what to do.” GUARDING THE BAY AREA For 94-year-old Clayton resident Bob Case, the memo-

ry of Pearl Harbor resonates more in its aftermath throughout the Bay Area. In the days that followed the attack, Case recalls a city in panic. “I was in the California State Guard,” Case said. “We became military when the news came out and took over.” Describing the reactions of the public as surreal, Case recalls everyone “speeding around trying to get to their post. The police were not ticketing anyone.” His guard unit was assigned to protect the Bay Bridge. “We were not very well-prepared,” he said. “We had summer uniforms and it was cold. We had to stay there until we were replaced by the


Looking back, Pacheco recognizes a different era – one of respect and fear combined. “Back then, you never spoke to an officer unless you were spoken to,” noted Pacheco, a member of the Clayton Veterans of Foreign Wars. Following the attack, the men aboard the Honolulu were given postcards to mail home so that family would know they had survived. It was only later when his ship was being repaired at Mare Island and he walked up the family driveway that he learned his parents had never received their card. They had assumed he was among the dead. “My dad became my buddy after that,” Pacheco said. His father, who was not in the military but had served as a guard in the Army Reserves, had always held his son to a standard of respect. Following Pearl Harbor, the two had a bond of understanding that Pacheco says all survivors shared.

“When the war ended, we were on a task force in Tokyo Bay at the surrender,” Pacheco said. “Our ship was able to see the Japanese going aboard the USS Missouri to sign the surrender.” These days, Pacheco volunteers at the V.A. Hospital, although his health limits his activities. In 2005, he received

a Certificate of Appreciation from President George W. Bush as well as a Call to Service award. “I put all that I can remember in writing for my kids,” he said. He hopes that it will help them to understand the meaning of sacrifice without having to experience the cost involved during a war.

The perfect holiday gifts are as close as the local library The Clayton Community Library Foundation has several suggestions for your Christmas giving. The Buy a Brick program is a great way to remember a loved one or honor someone special. The $55 fee includes three lines of engraving, and gift cards can be supplied. Or, how about a book bag in heavy duty red canvas? The bottom is gusseted and stands easily for filling – a bargain at $10. Buy a Book to honor someone who loves to read. Book plates are put into the book you choose. Fiction books are $25; non-fiction is $50. Another gift item is membership in the Clayton Community Library Foundation at $10 for an individual and $15

for a family, and higher categories. This is a gift any library/book lover is sure to appreciate. Membership forms are available online and at the library. T-shirts sporting the 94517 logo are available in a variety of sizes. Cost is $14 for adults and $10 for children’s sizes. All proceeds from sales go to purchase new materials for the Clayton Community Library For more information or for order forms for gifts go to, or stop by the library. The library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Hours are 1-9 p.m. Monday and Wednesday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday; and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. The library will not be open Dec. 23 or 24, so shop early.

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Page 22

Clayton Pioneer •

December 18, 2009

Diverse holiday celebrations part of the fabric of local life DENISEN HARTLOVE Clayton Pioneer

Barbara Goldsmith lights candles, Rhonda Cooper sets a special table, and Shohreh Misaghi gathers friends and family alike for a feast where news is exchanged and prayers of thanks given. While all three families’ holiday gatherings share a com-

children from a book of stories, and the living room filled with wrapping paper and the excited cries of children opening presents. Clayton City Councilman Howard Geller planned to celebrate Hanukkah in his home with family from throughout the area on Dec. 12. Geller’s 10-year old grandson Jaxon Pandelis will help

Tamara Steiner/Clayton Pioneer

JAXON PANDELIS, center, helps grandfather Howard Geller light the menorah candles in preparation for the family’s Hanukkah celebration dinner on Dec. 12. Geller’s fiance Debbie Mullins looks on.

mon time of year with Christmas, the holidays celebrated are diverse. Goldsmith recalls past Hanukkah celebrations with her family. Candlelight filled the house from menorahs – “lots and lots of them” – lit in remembrance of the victory in 165 B.C. of Jewish troops over Greek soldiers, where what was supposed to be one day’s supply of oil lasted for eight days. Scents of roast chicken, homemade applesauce and potato pancakes wafted from the kitchen, and excited children wiggled through prayers before the feast. Goldsmith read to the

light the candles before they all sit down for a holiday feast. Geller recalls building the city’s first menorah in his garage out of PVC pipe fittings twentysomething years ago. That menorah was stolen from its downtown spot and a subsequent, heavier one was damaged by vandals. Today, the Clayton Business and Community Association maintains the downtown menorah, selecting a different person each year to light the eight candles. “I think that Clayton is much more diverse than it was years ago,” Geller said. “We’re a multinational city that looks beyond

size, shape, color, religion or anything. We just accept people the way they are.” Cooper’s family celebrates both Christmas and Kwanzaa. Conceived in 1966 by Maulana Karenga, a professor of Africana studies at Cal State Long Beach, Kwanzaa recognizes and celebrates African culture and the values of cooperation and community. Cooper described the seven facets of the celebration, which this year runs Dec. 26-31. “We start off by setting up our table, because Kwanzaa has the seven symbols,” she said. Items including a mat, unity cup and candles are laid out, representing principles such as the rewards of productive and collective labor, African American traditions and history, and children and the future they represent. Misaghi’s family came to America from Iran in the 1990s to escape religious persecution. As members of the Baha’i faith, they were actively discriminated against by the government and stories were told in hushed voices about people being dragged from their homes and imprisoned – or worse by the government. Today, she and her family are free to practice their faith in Clayton. Gatherings called feasts are held every 19 days at community members’ homes so members can exchange news, eat and socialize. The next feast, described by Misaghi as “a time of giving and happiness,” is scheduled for Dec. 30. Father Peter Champion of St. John’s Episcopal Parish commented on the sometimes unexpected diversity found in the community at large. “I think gratitude and the celebration of community are core human impulses. In the past,

Christianity has borrowed elements from other cultures and ‘baptized’ them, making them part of our own celebrations,” he said. “I think that now we may finally be in a place we can honor the integrity of each culture’s and each faith’s way of living out our gratitude. “I’d hope that, rather than feeling threatened by this, we’ll feel enriched and drawn into closer relationships with our friends

and neighbors,” he concluded. Shadrick Small, the interim president of the Black Families Association of Contra Costa, invites community members of all faiths and ethnic backgrounds to join a Kwanzaa celebration on Dec. 29 at the Concord Senior Center. “The importance is seen in what comes about and what can be realized when we work and live cooperatively in the commu-

nity,” he said. Misaghi enjoys driving through neighborhoods near her home to admire the lights and decorations, and her family often gathers during the holidays for a party. Like many others, she sees the message of the holidays as universal.“I see the people on the corner with the bells, collecting money and things like that,” she said. “For me, it’s just a reminder to donate or do something good.”

Young singers raise money for competition with musical gifts Seven students from the Clayton Valley High School choir program have independently put together an a cappella septet they call Vivace! and plan to go to a national competition this April. In order for the talented teens to make it to New Orleans, they need to raise $7,000 to cover their expenses. Cristina Lloyd-Pratt, Zachary Pratt, Pablo Jara, Joaquin Jara, Marena McGregor, Troy Carlson and Aaron Camlimlim are all members of the CVHS Show Choir, Concert Choir and Honors Choir. They recently entertained guests at the Clayton Pioneer Cookie Contest Judging Party with a program of traditional and not-so-traditional Christmas carols. They brought the audience to its feet with their aerobic arrangement of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” To raise money for their trip, they have put together several attractive gift packages for the holidays. For $40, the group will

give a private holiday concert of seven songs. For $60, they will provide background music for your holiday party. And for a great gift for someone really special, they will deliver a “CarolGram” including three Christmas carols, a personal mes-

sage and chocolate for $20. Vivace will be singing for donations all around town in the next few weeks. Look for them at the Walnut Creek Ice Rink, Clayton Books and many other local businesses. To book a party or CarolGram or to donate to the effort, call Patti Pratt at 360-9779 or email

Tamara Steiner/Clayton Pioneer


features: (standing) Aron Camlimlim, Pablo Jara, Christina Lloyd-Pratt; (kneeling) Troy Carlson, Marena McGregor and Zachary Pratt. SEPTET



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DEC 18 Clayton Pioneer 2009.pdf  

See Snow, year,was the horse and carriage sponsored by local Realtor, Stephanie Lopez and Ed Moresi, owner of Moresi’s Chophouse and Ed’s Mu...

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