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July 9, 2010

925.672.0500

July 4th Star Spangled Spectacular lifts spirits

HANK STRATFORD

MAYOR’S CORNER ‘American Experiment’ must remain challenged On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress, comprised of representatives of the 13 colonies, voted to declare independence from Great Britain. The colonies had been at war with England since April 1775. Tension had been building between England and its colonies since the Stamp Act of 1765, when the British Parliament imposed a tax on printed material. The problem was not so much the tax, but the lack of representation of the colonies in Parliament. The colonies resented being governed without any representation. On July 4, 1776, the Congress approved the wording of the Declaration of Independence. The war with England continued for another seven years before America was recognized as a sovereign country. And it was another four years before the Constitution was adopted.

TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer

Economic woes and oil spill worries took a back seat to the stars and stripes Sunday as thousands lined a Main Street alive with red, white and blue for the annual July 4 parade. Spirits were high and there seemed to be an extra bit of energy behind the flag waving this year as Clayton eagerly embraced the patriotic celebration that began with the presentation of colors by VFW Post 1575 and the National Anthem, JESSICA LAW, 16, took the winning photo in the Pioneer’s July 4 photo contest and will take home $100. Photos were judged on composition, quality and how well they captured the spirit of the July 4 celebration.

For the rest of the winners, see page 3

See Mayor, page 8

this year sung by Clayton resident Julia Aguilar. Then the kids came--hundreds of them. Kids on decorated bikes and scooters, in wagons, prams and strollers waved to friends as they made their way down Main Street. “Are all these kids from Clayton?” joked Emcee Dan Ashley from the microphone. “I think they’re circling around two or three times.” This was the 15th year that Ashley, an ABC-7 News Anchor and former Clayton resident was Master of Ceremonies. “We know we’ve had some challenging times recently,” Ashley said on a more serious note, “but when you look at these kids and Clayton, you know things will be OK.” The kids were followed by City Council members waving from open convertibles and 37 entries from local clubs, businesses and churches, all moving along more or less smoothly. Things slowed just a bit when Hillbilly Doug’s Model T stalled

See July 4th, page 18

Clayton Museum’s classic car exhibit features memorabilia from bygone era JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

PRSRT STD US POSTAGE PAID CLAYTON, CA PERMIT 190

A mere 46 years ago, Charmetta Mann of Clayton purchased a used black, twodoor 1957 Chevrolet Nomad station wagon from a local family for $600. She knows the date of Sept. 19, 1964, well because it was her mother’s 51st birthday. Seems it was a pretty astute purchase, as she is still driving the car today. You can see the Nomad parked in front of the

Clayton Museum every Wednesday night until Sept. 15 as part of the fifth annual Clayton Classic Car exhibit at the museum. This year’s presentation, Classics of the Road and of the

Heart, was coordinated by assistant curator Renee Wing and new museum volunteer Debbie Musante. The museum’s summer hours are 2-4 p.m. Sundays and Wednesdays plus 6-8 p.m. Wednesdays to coincide with the

Photo by Mike Dunn

CHARMETTA MANN

CLAYTON

this 1957 Chevrolet Nomad in 1964 and still drives it 46 years later. The Nomad is the one and only car she’s ever owned, and it’s on display every Wednesday evening through September 15 as part of the Classics of the Road and of the Heart exhibit at the Clayton Museum. OF

BOUGHT

What’s Inside Around Town . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Book Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Church News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Classified . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

Two-wheeled trip filled with memories

weekly Main Street Car Show coordinated by Skipolini’s. ELVIS IS IN THE BUILDING Museum curator Mary Spryer explains that a student docent, Brad Shackleton, thought of the car exhibit five years ago when he was in sixth grade and Spryer asked him for ideas for interesting exhibits. “Every summer since then, we have had a Clayton’s Classic Cars exhibit. Fortunately, we have had numerous people who have collections related to cars, pictures of old cars, old cars themselves or friends with collections and/or old cars so each year’s exhibit has had a different, fresh look.” This year’s exhibit includes vintage gas station, drive-in restaurant and road signs, license plates, photos, owner’s manuals and the perennial life-size cutout

See Museum, page 4

Club News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Community Calendar . . . . . . . .14 Directory of Advertisers . . . . . . . .5 DVMS Student Reporter . . . . . .10 Estate Planning . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Financial Sense . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Food for Thought . . . . . . . . . . . .16

Photos courtesy of Britten Family

JERRY BRITTEN

from his 1744-mile bike ride with wife Carrie to visit his hometown’s namesake, Clayton, New Mexico. The town is near the Santa Fe Trail. TOOK A BREAK

JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Carrie Britten and her husband Jerry decided last October that their 2010 vacation would entail a trip from their Clayton home to their cabin in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, where

From the Chief . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Garden Girl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Letter to the Editor . . . . . . . . . . .5 Obituary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 On the Net . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Parenting Today . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Pets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11

Carrie’s family lives. But rather than flying or driving, they decided to ride their bikes. So began the planning of an adventure that culminated in them leaving Clayton on May 12 and arriving in Flippin, Ark., peddling up a dirt road to the

See Britten, page 8

Police Log . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Real Answers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Tech Talk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Teen Speak . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Theatre Review . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 What Really Matters . . . . . . . . . .7


Page 2

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

July 9, 2010

Around Town Pioneer columnist graduates with honors

Firefighter takes on a little light housekeeping

The Pioneer will bid farewell “On the Net” columnist Mark Freeman with this issue. Freeman received his BA in Economics from St. Mary’s College in June, graduating with highest honors, and will attend Pacific McGeorge Law School in the fall. In 2009 and 2010, he was named Editor of the Year of The Collegian, the St. Mary’s College newspaper. Freeman began writing for the Pioneer in July 2006 and has covered such diverse Internet topics as Twitter, tax software and digital music sharing. He will contribute future articles as time permits. Freeman’s younger brother, Robert (seated), also donned cap and gown for graduation from De LaSalle High School last month. Robert will attend St. Mary’s College in the fall.

AFTER A REQUEST FROM A DIAMOND TERRACE RESIDENT, Clayton firefighter Neema Mohammadizad took to the ground to spray-paint the fire hydrant at the senior facility. Fellow firefighter Rick Freeman joined him in the task. “It makes a great statement about how our fire station takes such great care of the seniors of Clayton,” notes Suzette Wong, marketing director at Diamond Terrace.

MARK (STANDING) AND ROBERT FREEMAN

The Pioneer Thai-s one on with the Hortons The Pioneer went along last month when Kahni and Dane Horton traveled 8,000 miles to the Gulf of Thailand for snorkeling, hiking and sea k a y a k i n g through 43 uninhabited islands in the A n g t h o n National Park.

New Manzeck grandbaby

What’s happening Around Town? We want to know what’s happening in your families and in your neighborhoods. Send your news of births, engagements weddings, anniversaries, celebrations, etc. to info@claytonpioneer.com. Please attach your photos to the email as JPEG files between between 3MB and 6MB and include a caption to identify people in your photos.

Aiden Charles Manzeck was born to parents David and Kristi Manzeck on June 15. He joins brothers Caleb and Tyler at their Tracy home. His proud grandparents are John and Linda Manzeck of Clayton. David Manzeck recently made headlines after the dramatic water rescue of a woman from the Walnut Creek flood channel.

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Clayton Market Update provided by George Vujnovich of Better Homes Realty ADDRESS

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4948 Morgan Territory Rd ........$540,000 . . . . .1323 5002 Raven Way......................$695,000 . . . . .2854 937 Douglas Ct ........................$1,650,000 . . . .8200 377 Mount Washington Wy ......$560,000 . . . . .2619 15 Weatherly Dr .......................$655,000 . . . . .2324 315 Chardonnay Cir .................$665,000 . . . . .2116

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July 9, 2010

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

Page 3

Congratulations to our July 4th Star s t r e c n o C G e rove h Spangled Spectacular photo contest winners T n i Every year, it gets harder and harder to pick a winner from the scores of great shots taken by our readers at the downtown celebration. In judging, we certainly look at the obvious – composition, color and overall quality. But, first and foremost, we ask “what does this photo say about our small town celebration?” Each of these pictures spoke to us – some loudly, some quietly. And each say something very important about what’s right with our country.

Saturdays 6 to 8:30 p.m.

At the Gazebo in The Grove July 17

The Michael Paul Band Country & Southern Rock

July 31

Laurent Fourgo & His Orchestra The Big Band Sound

Aug. 14

Diamond Dave Oldies to today’s top hits

Aug. 28 East Bay Mudd Soul, Funk, R&B

Sept. 11

The Hit Waves All the Greatest Hits

1st Place 12 & Under Melissa Cox, age 12

2nd Place 12 & Under Lynette Cox, age 12

2nd Place Adult

$50 prize

$30 prize

$75 prize

Sponsored by the city of Clayton, CBCA and Allied Waste Services

Gina Kearney

Local Food To Go Support your local businesses & restaurants. Takeout or dine in before or after the concert. Moresi’s Chophouse 6115 Main St., 672 - 1333 Ed’s Mudville Grill 6200 Center St., 673-0333 La Veranda Cafe 6201 Center St., 524 - 0011 Canesa’s Brooklyn Deli 6054 Main St., 852 - 1650 Skipolini’s Pizza 1035 Diablo St., 672 - 1111 Village Market 6104 Main St., 672 - 0188 Johnny’s Int’l Deli & Cafe’ 6101 Center St., 672-1203

3rd Place 12 & Under Sofia Brinkerhoff, age 9

3rd Place Adult

Honorable Mention

Gene Gracey

Kristina Schoell, age 14

$20 prize

$50 prize

Cup O’Jo 6054 Main St., 672-5105

NEW LISTING

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$479,000 1015 Feather Circle, Clayton Oak Hollow – 3BD/2.5BA in great neighborhood. Pride of ownership makes this one show like new! Gourmet kitchen and wonderful windows. Short walk to community pool. FeatherCircle.com

$499,000 1824 Princeton Court, Concord Down a Private Lane – Enjoy this wonderful 3BD/2.5BA offering fabulous kitchen & gardens galore with a quiet creek passing through meandering paths & fruit trees. 1824PrincetonCourt.com

$699,988 379 Mt. Sequoia Place, Clayton Dana Hills – 5BD/3BA located on the end of a court offers 3 car garage & RV parking. Beautiful pool & patio w/Mt. Diablo views. MountSequoia.com

5498 Michigan Boulevard, Concord $349,000 Clayton Valley Highlands – 3BD/1BA with large yard & potential RV parking. Bright, updated kitchen with ample storage & indoor laundry for great convenience.

53 El Portal Drive, Clayton $659,888 Regency Meadows – Sought-after location at base of Mt. Diablo. 5BD/3BA w/ full BD/BA downstairs. Curved staircase to master suite w/fireplace & soaking tub. ElPortalDrive.com

709 Acorn Drive, Clayton $799,000 Falcon Ridge – Largest one-story model with 4BD/2.5BA. Phenomenal views from poolside veranda & solar power to save big money. Shown by Appt. Call Today! 709AcornDrive.com

1957 Old Oak Drive, Walnut Creek $899,888 Near Downtown – 4BD/2.5 BA in park-like setting offers updated kitchen with granite & family room w/ vaulted ceilings & access to deck with views. OldOakDrive.com

NEW PRICE

605 Condor Place, Clayton $299,888 Diablo Ridge – Convenience is at an optimum in this 2BD/2.5BA condo with views featuring indoor laundry & two garages. Golf & community pool nearby.

Clayton Resident & Broker Owner

DRE# 01122025


Page 4

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

Obituary

Appliance

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Church News

Ann L. Hague

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July 9, 2010

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Clayton resident Ann Hague died May 22 at Diamond Terrace. She was 91. Prior to moving to Clayton, she lived in San Leandro and served the community for more than 40 years. She did volunteer work for schools, drug prevention, March of Dimes and served on many city committees. Her opinion was so respected that before big companies such as Costco located a store in San Leandro, they first called her at home. She was director of the Senior Services Agency and was an ombudsman investigating senior care facilities. She brought a much-needed Information and Referral program for seniors and established the first Friendly Visitor Program, asking for volunteers to transport seniors in their own

cars to doctor appointments. She also was instrumental in bringing Hospice to the Bay Area. According to Hague’s daughter, Jennifer, family members appreciated that their loved ones were able to die at home instead of a “sanitized environment” like a hospital.

Ann was president of Estudillo Estates Homeowners and also served on planning committees advising on development in San Leandro. She loved politics and campaigned for candidates and held fundraiser dinners in her home. She also was involved in Caucus, a drug prevention treatment program. She is survived by daughter Jennifer Mack and husband Larry, son John Hague and wife Rosemary, and grandchildren Laura, Allison, Joshua and Sabrina. A memorial service was held at Hull’s Walnut Creek Chapel, with interment at Lone Tree Cemetery in Hayward. Donations may be made to Sutter VNA Hospice, 1900 Bates Ave., Concord CA 94520.

CROSSROADS COVENANT CHURCH The church is hosting a day camp, “I Spy: A Lost and Found Adventure,” 9 a.m.12:30 p.m. July 19-23. The camp is for children ages 3 through sixth grade and includes games, crafts, music and drama. Each child will receive a hat and T-shirt. The church is at 5353 Concord Blvd., Concord. For more information, call 798-5905 or visit crossroadschurchweb.org.

What’s happening in your place of worship? New pastor or choir director? Special projects? Active ministries? Send your news of community interest to churchnews@claytonpioneer.com

Museum, from page 1 of James Dean, who represents a bygone era of cars and the road in California. This year, there’s also a collection of Elvis Presley miniatures and plates from the Mann family. Charmetta Mann is part of the Clayton pioneering Frank family, which has lived in the same house in Clayton for 137 years. She recalls when “the Concord cruise was Salvio Street and Willow Pass Road. The kids generally ended up in the parking lot of Rick’s Drive-in, owned by my father, Charlie Mann.” Other drive-ins in the area were A&W Root Beer (now Hunan Restaurant) on Clayton Road and Market Street and Chaps in Concord. “From 1957 until 1971, I was the night fry cook at Rick’s. I could make it from my home on Pine Hollow Road in Clayton to 2350 Salvio St. in five minutes flat,” she says. “The speed limit on the twolane Clayton Road was 65 mph with no stop signs all the way to Concord!” PIT STOPS WERE EASY IN CLAYTON In light of the hue and cry when a gas station was proposed on the current site of CVS/pharmacy, Charmetta has contrasting memories of Clayton. “There was a time when gas pumps were as common as eucalyptus trees in Clayton. Originally, there was a grocery store where Skip’s is now. The Rhine Store, owned by Charles Rhine, was sold to Hans Rasmussen and became the first Clayton Cash Store. It sported a Red Crown gas pump in front,”

she reports. “At Pa Rasmussen’s second Clayton Cash Store, now Cup o’ Jo’s, there was a Shell pump. The pump in front of the Growler, now Moresi’s, was another Shell. In the 1950s, there was a Union 76 pump at Thelma’s Village Grocery, now TLC Pet Grooming.” According to Spryer, most of the porcelain gas signs in the museum exhibit are from the collection of Bob and Eldora Hoyer, who loan different signs every year. The “Merchant’s Lunch 85 cents” sign is from Charmetta’s dad’s Rick’s Drivein. A model of the Chevy Nomad is part of the museum exhibit, but the real thing is available for inspection every Wednesday right in front – with its owner there to spin her stories. The Nomad gets 12 miles to the gallon around town. A couple years ago, Charmetta was at a Historical Society picnic when she began talking to a family from Concord at the trail grounds. Turns out they sold her the Nomad. They had purchased the car new for about $3,100 in October 1956. Mann’s mother, Willmetta, now 97, thought her daughter was silly for buying “that old car” eight years later. “It’s the only car I’ve ever owned,” she says with a smile. On the rare occasion when she needs parts, Mann has her mechanic try to obtain original parts. “Original parts are much better,” she says. Her biggest repair was a new transmission when the car was 52 years old.

Photo courtesy of Clayton Historical Society

SIGNS

FROM LOCAL DRIVE-INS

and gas stations dot the new classic car exhibit at the Clayton Museum which runs through Sept. 15.

MUSEUM A LINK TO CLAYTON’S PAST In addition to rotating exhibits in the dining room, the museum has several permanent exhibits. The next rotating exhibit, A Stitch in Time ... Sewing Notions from the Sewing Basket of Kathleen Calhan, begins Sept. 19 and runs through the end of the year. Calhan is married to Charles Calhan, Joel Clayton’s great grandson. The building that houses the museum is thought to be Joel Clayton’s second home in Clayton. “We always say ‘thought to be’ because there’s no paperwork to prove it,” Spryer says. “It was originally on his property located where the parking lot for the library is currently. It was moved closer to the Keller house (across the

bridge) in the early 1900s by the Keller family, who bought some of Joel Clayton’s land after his death, and was moved to its current location on Main Street in 1976 as part of the city of Clayton’s bicentennial project.” The museum is actually made up of two houses; the rear house was originally on Oak Street and believed to be built roughly the same time as the front house. They were both brought to the Main Street location in 1976. The museum was cleaned, stripped, repaired, painted and wall-papered by volunteers for over two years, then was dedicated in December 1978 and opened to the public the next month. The Clayton Museum is at 6101 Main St. For more information, call 672-0240 or visit claytonhistory.org.


July 9, 2010

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

Pioneer staff change The Pioneer is pleased to welcome Clayton resident Pamela Wiesendanger to the staff. Pamela will take over the administrative and customer support duties beginning this week. She replaces departing Administrative Assistant, Christina Scarlott. Pamela comes to the Pioneer with 25 years administrative experience with Long’s Drugs stores. She lives in Clayton with her husband and daughter. Our best wishes go with Christina who is leaving after two years to pursue other interests.

P.O. Box 1246 6200 Center Street, Suite H, Clayton, CA 94517 TAMARA AND R OBERT S TEINER , Publishers TAMARA S TEINER , Editor R ANDY W ENGER , Display Advertising P ETE C RUZ , Graphic Design B EV B RITTON , Copy Editor J AY B EDECARRÉ, Sports PAMELA W IESENDANGER , Administrative Assistant S TAFF W RITERS : Denisen Hartlove, Lou Fancher, Nicci Shipstead, Pam Wiesendanger, Mike Dunn We remember Jill Bedecarré - Her spirit is our muse

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

churchnews@claytonpioneer.com

Send School News to schoolnews@claytonpioneer.com

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

Music and AP Classes In response to the June 25th “Teen Speak” column, I agree with the author that today’s college admissions process is more competitive than ever and, regardless of what the universities and colleges claim they are looking for, it pays to be one of the best and brightest with a full spectrum of extra-curricular activities. However, this does not preclude participation in instrumental or vocal music. Students can take a full slate of AP and Honors classes in high

FLUSHES

Belfast Plumbing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .457-5423 Handyman Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .639-4209 PAMELA WIESENDANGER

school and also take four years of music. Many of the top academic students at CVHS, including the Class of 2009 Scholarship Altair, were fouryear band students who go on to attend universities such as Cal and UCLA. Participation in music , either instrumental or vocal, is not reserved for those who are not interested in rigorous academics. One does not need to sacrifice one’s academic future to be a music student. It is possible to do both! - Linda Minorsky, Clayton

LHI Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-9941

Dentist Children’s Dentistry of Walnut Creek . . . . . . . . .938-2392 Renner, Jason D.D.S. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-2800 Rissel, Richard D.M.D. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-2800 Dining and Entertainment Clayton Club Saloon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-0440 Willows Theatre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .957-2500 Events Pacific Coast Farmers Market

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .825-9090

Financial and Insurance Services Benton, Mureleen - Ameriprise Financial . . . . . .685-4523 CD Federal Credit Union . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .825-0900 Van Wyck, Doug - State Farm Insurance . . . . . . .672-2300

LESSONS

Gardening Services Garden care for your roses, perennials and ornamentals. Monthly pruning and fertilizing services. Plant suggestions and installation. If you want more flowers this year, call or email Nicole Hackett 673-1746, or gardengirl94517@yahoo.com.

Includes 5 qts. of Oil, Filter and Inspection.

With Coupon Only.

Offers may

Mechanical repairs and computer diagnostics including 30K, 60K, 90K factory maintenance on all European, Imported and domestic vehicles.

Construction and Trades

Violin Lessons Interested in learning violin? Lessons offered for beginners at a rate of $15/half-hour. Will drive to you. Please call Louie Jacobus at 925818-2636.

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Free shuttle service for major repairs

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SERVICES

LUBE, OIL & FILTER

With Coupon Only.

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Kid’s Choice Jumpers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .457-9543

Funerals

A/C SERVICE

With Coupon Only.

Children’s Services

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Mike's Auto Body . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-1739

Littorno, Richard - Attorney at Law . . . . . . . . . . .672-6463

SUMMER SPECIALS

CLAYTON VALLEY SHELL

Clayton Valley Shell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-3900

Letter to the Editor

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 tamara@claytonpioneer.com. Letters MUST be submitted via E-mail.

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 dis-

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

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.

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

Directory of Advertisers

Smith & Bernal Roofing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-0138

criminates 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.

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Page 5

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Ouimet Funeral Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-4242 Gifts The Royal Rooster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2025 Home and Garden Abbey Carpet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .686-9901 Clear Splash Pool Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216-6245 Diablo Lawnscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .381-3757 Floors to Go Danville . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .820-8700

WANTED Real Estate Agents Be Successful! Lynne French is expanding and interviewing for a few agents. Call her today (925) 6728787.

Nichols Landscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9955 Utopic Gardens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .524-0055 Mailing and Shipping The UPS Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-6245

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Help Fight Hunger Anna Chan – AKA: The Lemon Lady needs your help! Volunteers are needed to haul donated produce from Farmers' Markets to food pantries throughout the area. Weekly commitment appreciated. Contact Anna at 672-1988 or AnnaAndAva@gmail.com. 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 hairbyjim@sbcglobal.net. Hospice of the East Bay – Anna’s Attic Volunteer at Anna’s Attic Thrift Shoppe, located at 5350 Clayton Road. It's a way to make a meaningful difference. You’ll have the opportunity to help customers, stock shelves and prepare merchandise for sale. For information call (925) 6749072. Volunteering info: (925) 8875678, or email volunteers@hospiceeatbay.org. Clayton Historical Society Museum Greeter needed for two hours per month from 2-4 p.m. Wednesdays or Sundays. No experience or extensive knowledge of Clayton history is necessary. Call the museum at 6720240.

Pet Services Monte Vista Veterinary Hospital . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-1100 Peace Of Mind Pet Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9781 Pet Suites Inn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .432-7387 Rodie’s 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 . . .672-7800 Klock, Leigh - Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . . . . . .212-5593 Laurence, Pete - RE/MAX Realty . . . . . . . . . . . .890-6004 Lopez, Stephanie - Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . .932-7329 Mazzei, Matt -Mazei Realty

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0757

Robins Ranches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .550-2383 Vujnovich, George - Better Homes Realty . . . . .672-4433 Recreation All Out Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .510-282-4986 Castle Rock Arabians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .937-7661 Clayton Valley Bowl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-4631 Oakhurst Country Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9737 Senior Services Diamond Terrace Senior Retirement Living . . . . .524-5100 Seniors About Town . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 330-5090 Services, Other Air Cloud Communications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .260-4119 x 2

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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: akikkawa@ccclib.org

Appliance Repairs by Bruce, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2700 Computers USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9989 Contra Costa Water District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .688-8044 Household Hazardous Waste . . . . . . . . . 1-800-646-1431 Net Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6029 Next Energy Solar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-0600 Recycling Center & Transfer Station . . . . . . . . . .473-0180 Travel Cruise Adventures Unlimited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .935-7447


Page 6

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

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Low down payment may not appeal to lenders I recently competed with two Q other buyers to purchase a home. I didn’t get the house. Later I found out that my offer was the highest and they accepted another because they were putting down a larger down payment. I had an FHA loan and I was putting 5 percent down, which is more than was required. Why should the seller care how big the down payment is? I was very well-qualified. Sorry you lost out on that property. Low cash down financing can be risky. From the lender’s perspective, when buyers have little of their own money invested in a property, they focus more attention on a buyer’s credit worthiness and on the appraisal of the property when deciding whether to make the loan. Lenders have the right to foreclose on the property if buyers stop making their mortgage payments, but they don’t want to have to do this. A large down payment is a strong incentive for the borrower to keep the mortgage payments current, so they don’t risk losing their investment in a foreclosure. The reason the appraisal is so important is that it provides confirmation that if the buyers default and the lender has to resell it, the property will sell for enough to cover the mortgage payment. With a small down pay-

A

ment, there might not be enough equity for the lender to do this. In a market such as we are in and have been in for quite some time, lenders are extra cautious. There are several reasons that a buyer makes a low cash down payment besides not having the cash to put anymore down. Some buyers who have the funds to make a larger down payment prefer not to for tax purposes. They are looking for the maximum tax write-off possible. (Mortgage interest on a primary residence is usually tax-deductible.) Another reason is they have a better use for their cash, such as business or other investments. If you really want the house, one strategy is to show that you have the means to put more money in if the appraisal comes in for less than the purchase price – up to a certain point. Remember on a low cash down payment, the appraiser might be stricter with less margin for error.

money left for the state credit of $10,000. If you are not a firsttime buyer, there is a $10,000 credit if you buy new construction. There are restrictions on how the credit is paid, but it is available until the money is gone or 2012, whichever comes first. The money will probably be gone before the end of this year. Besides this, I believe there is a silver lining for buyers who didn’t get the tax credit. Since April 30, interest rates have gone down to record low levels. During the course of the loan, you could save much more than the credit. Many sellers are reducing their prices to make up for the absence of the credit and due to the lack of urgency from many buyers. Prices also usually soften in June for seasonal reasons. Now that you are qualified, you should get out there and take advantage of the great market. Good luck.

I am a potential buyer in the The housing market seems Q market for a home. I didn’t Q like it has been one big roller have my finances ready in time for coaster ride for the last six or the government tax credit before it expired at the end of April. Do you think another credit will come in for people like me? You didn’t say if you are a first-time buyer (not having owned a residence for three years). If you are, there is still

A

seven years. Are certain areas more impacted than others? I went to a quarterly report by Brookings Institute’s Metropolitan Policy Program (the Metro Monitor). They said the top 10 most recession proof (stable) cities are Albany, N.Y.;

A

LYNNE FRENCH

REAL ANSWERS Augusta, Ga.; Austin, Texas; Baton Rouge, La.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Columbia, S.C.; Dallas, Texas; Des Moines, Iowa; El Paso, Texas; and Honolulu, Hawaii. These cities didn’t see home prices surge in the first place. “Most of these cities have some general characteristics in common,” says the author of the report. “They didn’t experience huge housing bubbles followed by a crash, and their economies weren’t rooted in the auto industry.” When people would ask me about the best places for investment, I tell them that if they want consistent cash flow, they should consider investing in these type of areas. If they want appreciation, then places such as California are preferred. Send your question and look for your answer in a future column. E-mail Lynne@LynneFrench.com. French is the broker/owner of Windermere Lynne French & Associates and a Clayton resident. For any real estate needs or questions, contact her at 6728787or stop in at 6200 Center St. in Clayton.

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Moore’s Mission Funeral Home on Monument Blvd. in Concord has moved into their new spacious, location in Concord. A small gathering of friends and business people helped with a ribbon cutting ceremony and reception to June 24. “We’re the fifth different family to own the business. It’s never been passed on from one generation to the next. Generally it’s been passed on to employees. Younger employees would come along and the older people would retire and generally sell the business to an employee.” Said owner Garry Moore. Moore’s Mission Funeral Home moved into a new facility that was planned from the ground up for convenience of the client. “The facilities are new. We’ve actually been here in

n o i t n e v e r P l resentation l P a F Thursday, July 15th at 4:00 pm Guest speaker with the Fall Prevention Program of Contra Costa County will be providing helpful tips and suggestions to reduce preventable falls and the injuries, loss of independence, and costs related.

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Concord for about 110 years. But name of the business has changed throughout that time.” Said Moore.

Moore’s Mission Funeral Home is an Independent Family Owned & Operated Funeral Service in Concord. It’s located at 1390 Monument Blvd.,

Concord, CA 94520 and phone number is 925-682-1100. Visit mooresmissionfuneralhome.com

Mike Dunn/Clayton Pioneer

CUTTING THE RIBBON IN FRONT OF MOORE'S MISSION FUNERAL HOME on Monument in Concord, are, center, Beri Kaspar, Sheri Moore, Concord City Councilwoman Laura Hoffmeister and Garry Moore.

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July 9, 2010

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer .com

Page 7

Perhaps patriotism can pull our country back together Nothing focuses the mind and tests the spirit like a little pressure. And, boy, have we felt the pressure the last couple of years. Every day I report economic news and, just like you, I am looking for some glimmer of hope, some sense that we are finally turning a corner and that this withering recession is truly in our rearview mirror. Many of the numbers seem to be improving, or demonstrating “positive directionality,” as they say in statistics. But things still seem a bit dicey, don’t they? For some inexplicable reason, my name was passed over to replace Alan Greenspan as the Federal Reserve chairman so don’t take my advice on the economy, but I don’t think we are out of the woods just yet. My gut tells me that we are in for more of a struggle and I’ll bet yours does, too. SIMMERING ANGER Unemployment is abysmal, construction is weak and the stock market is still sputtering up and down like a crop duster that barely looks like it will stay in the air. America has been shaken like James Bond’s martini. But we should be buoyed by the knowledge that we have been shaken many times before. The list of great tests that we have faced as a nation is quite long: revolution, civil war, depression, world wars, assassinations, Sept. 11th, and on and on. But we face another, more insidious, challenge today. The tone of our nation has become decidedly nasty. It begins in Washington, is amplified by

talking heads on television and is finally reflected in our communities. When did America get so angry? By now, you may already be pointing fingers. “If the Democrats weren’t determined to destroy the country and all that is good or if the Republicans weren’t determined to destroy Obama and all that he stands for ... ” etc., etc. There is no more middle ground left to defend. If you’re not with us, you are against us, plain and simple. DIRTY POLITICS Politics seems a lot less like public service these days and more like a career path. It takes big money and a bigger ego to get elected to almost anything. And who would subject themselves to the level of scrutiny and vilification that is part and parcel of modern political life anyway? Living in the limelight of elected office has become adversarial to the extreme. The tone is nasty and the goal is scorched earth. It is not enough to defeat your opponent’s ideas; the objective is to obliterate him personally. Why ruin just his reputation when you can ruin his life as well? Attack! No blow is too low, no subject is off limits. The public discourse about the important issues that affect our lives is not about earnest debate and a search for solutions to our problems, it’s a TV show. Its bitter bile coughed up by the host to drum up attention and ratings. It is shrill invective from politicians jumping on any chance to attack the other side, whether it actually

Residents can speak with DeSaulnier at Clayton forum

matters to the issue at hand or is just a convenient excuse to pounce. Our inability to solve our problems or to move the country forward has contributed to a change in our national disposition. We seem so divided today, so consumed with angst and rancor. The new map of America is made up of red states and blue states and heaven help you if you live in the “wrong” one. One of the nice things about July 4th is that we all set aside our differences and celebrate what it means to be American. It is the annual patriotic catharsis of hot dogs, parades and fireworks that allows us to come together, if only for one day, and to truly appreciate what we have in this country. We enjoy a standard of living that the vast majority of the world’s population cannot even imagine, let alone achieve. We live with a level of personal freedom that hundreds of millions of people can never fully understand and will never see for themselves. We benefit from a system of government that allows each individual to decide for themselves what is possible to achieve and to create.

DAN ASHLEY

WHAT REALLY MATTERS were all too happy to spend time with an American reporter. Through my interpreter, I asked the children what they wanted to be when they grew up and I got a variety of answers all related to various trades. But one young boy told me that he wanted to become a painter. Naïvely, I asked the little boy of about 10 what sort of pictures he wanted to paint. My translator then explained that what he wanted to paint was houses, not portraits. Children in Peru, she told me, do not have the same ambitions that children in the United States have because they have no frame of reference, no notion that bigger dreams are possible. I’ve never forgotten that simple lesson about how fortunate we are to live in a nation where opportunities are as limitless as the dreams of people who have them. So as we climb out of the ring this Independence Day to take a much-needed break from the cage-match that has become our national dialogue, let’s remember What Really Matters about this great place called America. To live here makes us among the lucky people in the world. And that even includes those red staters! Happy Fourth of July.

DREAMING BIG I reported from Lima, Peru a few years ago on the El Niño weather phenomenon and got an unforgettable lesson about our good fortune here. I was talking with a group of kids who lived in the slums of Lima in poverty that is hard for us to even comprehend. They were delightful children with quick smiles and eager faces and they

Dan Ashley is an ABC-7 news anchor. Watch him weeknights on Channel 7 at 5, 6, and 11.

With estate planning, be sure to provide for removal of trustee RICHARD LITTORNO ESTATE PLANNING When estate planning, most people put a great deal of thought into selecting the right trustees to carry out their wishes and protect their beneficiaries. But it’s also important to establish procedures for removing a trustee in the event that circumstances change. Failing to do so doesn’t mean your beneficiaries will be

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stuck with an inadequate trustee. They’ll have to petition a court to remove the trustee for cause, which can be an expensive, time-consuming process. Courts are generally reluctant to remove a trustee that was hand-picked by the trust maker. Grounds for removing a trustee vary according to state law, but typically include:  Conflicts of interest or lack of cooperation with beneficiaries.  Insolvency or bankruptcy (if it would jeopardize trust



 

administration). Mismanagement, fraud or other misconduct. Poor health. Legal incapacity.

Your trust agreement also should include a list of successor trustees. If one trustee is removed, then the next person on your list becomes the new trustee. Another option is to appoint a trust protector — a “super trustee” empowered to make certain decisions, including firing a trustee and appointing a new one.

To avoid the need for court intervention, include procedures for removing a trustee in your trust agreement. You might allow beneficiaries to remove a trustee without cause if they’re dissatisfied with his or her performance. Or you might provide for removal of a trustee under specific circumstances defined in the trust agreement.

Richard A. Littorno is an attorney specializing in estate planning. He has offices in Clayton and Pittsburg. Send your questions to Richard@LittornoLaw.com.

State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier will hold office hours noon-3 p.m. Saturday, July 17, at the Clayton Library. The forum is an opportunity for residents to offer opinions on legislation that affects the community or seek help with a problem involving a state or local agency. According to Heather Schiffman, the senator is holding office hours at various locations throughout the county to reach out to his constituents. “It gives people the opportunity to share their opinions on legislation and to

hear his,” she says. Schiffman also encourages residents to bring up issues they have with public agencies, such as the Employment Development Department, the Department of Motor Vehicles or housing issues. DeSaulnier will have staff available to take notes and help provide follow-up for residents. Residents should check in at Hoyer Hall, but no appointments are necessary. The library is at 6125 Clayton Road. For more information, call 942-6082.

Concord man’s mustache named best in nation JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Larry McClure got out of the Navy 45 years ago and grew a beard and mustache, perhaps because he was forbidden to have facial hair in the service. Since then he’s always had a beard and/or a mustache. A couple years ago the Concord man shaved his beard, decided to grow out the mustache and now has won the title of Best Mustache at the first National Beard and Mustache Championships last month in Bend, Ore. With the title and trophy came $1000 and national notoriety. McClure, 67, appeared on local television which was picked up by CBS News and CNN and is now all over the Internet with nearly 90,000 views on YouTube alone. He’s been profiled in newspapers and quizzed on radio stations from around the country. What hasn’t changed is the in-person reaction to McClure and his white mustache, which has grown in the past two years to between 31 and 32 inches in width. “Ever since I started to have my mustache like this, everywhere I go people want to take a photo of the mustache or have their picture taken

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with me.” McClure, a retired truck driver who stands 6’3”, went on an Alaskan cruise with his wife of 42 years, Marilyn, and it was “non-stop photos. It was actually a pain in the neck. A man from Ireland followed me around and said my photo would be up in his Irish pub. I told him I hoped it wouldn’t be on the dart board,” McClure joked. He entered the contest in Oregon as a fluke. “Marilyn had a week off from work so we went up there.” McClure has now been in contact with the championship organizers from Beard and Mustaches Team USA about future events, including a potential world championship in Europe. McClure needs about 30 minutes every morning to use Marilyn’s hair spray and hair dryer to get his mustache just right.

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Page 8

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

July 9, 2010

Cars become death traps in summer sun The summer months are finally here and we can look forward to many hot days. Already this summer, Clayton Police have been called to investigate several instances where children and pets have been left unattended in unventilated cars. Hyperthermia from being inside parked motor vehicles is more likely to occur this time of year. It is estimated that a vehicle with a light-colored interior can heat up to at least 135 degrees on an 80 degree day – even with the windows slightly down. The temperature inside a vehicle with a black interior can reach 190 degrees. On an 80 degree day, the temperature inside your vehicle can reach

DAN LAWRENCE

FROM

THE

CHIEF

more than 105 degrees in just 15 minutes. Hyperthermia, referred to as heat stroke or sunstroke, is an acute condition which occurs when the body produces or absorbs more heat than it can dissipate. It is usually due to

excessive exposure to heat. The heat-regulating mechanisms of the body eventually become overwhelmed and are unable to effectively deal with the heat, leading body temperature to climb uncontrollably. This is a serious emergency that requires immediate medical attention. If not treated immediately, or if you have continued exposure to heat, hyperthermia can lead to death. Although all of us are susceptible to this condition, the elderly and young children are the two most likely groups to be affected if exposed to extreme heat for long periods. Pets are also affected by exposure to heat and should not be left unattended inside hot vehi-

cles. Leaving a pet or child in an unattended parked vehicle in hot sun can lead to death in a short time. As a matter of fact, it is against the law under certain situations. California Vehicle Code section 15620 states: A child who is 6 years of age or younger may not be left inside a motor vehicle without the supervision of a person who is 12 years of age or older. If an officer observes this condition, the fine can be at least $100. If this condition causes serious injuries or death occurs, criminal charges could be filed. If it becomes necessary to leave children over the age of 6, seniors or pets in an unattended car, try to park in a shady area

and leave the windows down for adequate ventilation. When your vehicle is parked in the driveway of your home, always keep it locked to prevent small children from entering the car and becoming trapped. The obvious advice is to never leave young children, seniors or pets unattended in a parked car without proper ventilation. If you see this situation, immediately call 911 or the Clayton Police Department at 673-7350. Your actions may save a life.

Dan Lawrence is Clayton’s Police Chief. Please send your questions, comments or topics you’d like to see covered to DanL@cpd.ci. concord.ca.us

Britten, from page 1 cabin on June 13. All went well – other than battling sandstorms in the Monument Valley to Canyon de Chelly portion of their journey in Arizona, which took them off their bikes for three days and a portion of the route. After visiting with Carrie’s family, Jerry returned home by plane to resume work as a chemical engineer at Livermore Lab. Carrie stayed behind for a little more time with her family and to clean the cabin. That’s where the rub came in. Sweeping inside the cabin, she fell down the stairs and broke a bone in her left foot. She’s now back in Clayton, on crutches for six weeks, unable to resume work as a registered nurse for a group of kidney doctors or take part in her thrice weekly visits to the gym for spin class. RIGOROUS ROUTINE After the Brittens came up with the trip idea, they enlisted her parents, Joe and Lou Hatcher, to drive out to California in their RV and be their escorts on the trip. “My folks did all the cooking, laundry and set up camp each night,” Carrie said. They charted a route using mapmyride.com. She outfitted her bike with a Garmin Edge 605 computer that had the route loaded and would show hills, distances, calories burned, elevations and provide GPS directions. They left home for the Central Valley and through the Tehachapi Pass. They ultimately went through Las Vegas, Arizona, New Mexico, St. George, Utah, and then through Oklahoma (“very flat and windy”) to Arkansas.

They would generally ride their lightweight road bikes for 15 miles and then take a fiveminute break. They tried to do about 70 miles a day. On flat terrain, they would go 20 mph. On hills, it might be 4-5 mph. Carrie rode a 30-speed and Jerry a 27speed. “With so many speeds on the bike, it was really easy. We rarely had to stand up when peddling uphill,” Carrie explained. The biggest impediment and hardship was “a sore bottom.” Their five-minute rest breaks were actually to give their bottoms some relief from sitting on the bike seats. WEATHER – OR NOT Mother Nature was at her crankiest when they were in Arizona. “There were winds in excess of 60 mph. We finally decided to drive through it in the RV, which actually had a fender blown off in the storm,” Carrie said. They had to completely take the bikes apart to clean out all the grit from the sandstorms. Then near Taos, N.M., they went through a pass at 10,531 feet and encountered snow on the ground. They also had hybrid bikes, which are heavier, studier and have fatter tires for patches with rough roads such as in Arizona and for the final 17 miles to the cabin in the Ozarks. Their Arkansas cabin is near Crocked Creek, which has great small mouth bass fishing and bird watching, something Jerry, 52, enjoys locally and in the Ozarks. They cycled 26 days of the 31 from start to finish – with only one day of rain. They ended up with six flat bike tires

Youths robbed in Clayton tunnel Two Concord teens, 14 and 15, were robbed and beaten last week in the Clayton tunnel while on their way to the park, reports Clayton Police Chief Dan Lawrence. Both boys suffered minor injuries. It happened around 2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 30 when three older youths, two African Americans and one white and estimated to be between 17 and 19, jumped the victims, punching and choking them, then taking a wallet, two cell phones and an iPod. The boys’ grandmother, who lives in Oakhurst, says the boys were jumped from behind. “We like to think we live in this nice little town,” she says. “This was pretty scary.” There were no witnesses and there are no leads in the case. Police are asking anyone with information to please call (925) 673-7350.

Police Log ACCIDENTS 4:29 p.m. June 24, Verna Way East. Non-injury accident. Photo courtesy of the Britten family

COMPLETING A 1744-MILE BIKE RIDE FROM CLAYTON to their cabin in the Ozark Mountains at Flippin, Arkansas were Jerry (second from left) and Carrie (second from right) Britten. Escorting them along the way in their RV were Carrie’s parents Joe (left) and Lou Hatcher and their dog Lotus Blossom. (all but one for Jerry) and three truck repairs for the Hatchers. They visited or stayed at 10 national parks and had their best meal at Antonio’s in Taos. They didn’t speak quite so highly of Blue Moon Cafe in Ponca City, Okla. Carrie, 51, participated in a short triathlon a few years ago. Their son Ned, 22, did the triathlon with his mom. He didn’t like the swimming or running but enjoyed the cycling and is now a member of the UC

Davis cycling team. His older sister, Audrey, lives in Concord and works for the Berkeley HeartLab. The family moved to Clayton from Oakley five years ago and Carrie says the area is conducive to bike riding with all the hills. In preparation for the long trek, Carrie rode every chance she got – including longdistance rides on Morgan Territory Road and hill climbs up Mt. Diablo. Carrie really got into riding

Mayor, from page 1 The best-known sentence of the Declaration of Independence states: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Historian Joseph Ellis wrote that this sentence contains “the most potent and consequential words in American history.” The Declaration of Independence helped shape our country and our Constitution.

There was no other nation in the world like America. In fact, the newly formed nation was often referred to as the “American Experiment.” As we celebrate the birth of our country at this time of year, I reflected on the meaning of this famous sentence from the Declaration of Independence. I hope to always remember that “all men are created equal.” I hope to always show kindness and respect to others – regardless of our differences. I hope to guard and protect our “unalienable rights” – the

during the last few years. “I go on many organized rides. The Bay Area has lots of century rides (100 miles),” she said. “Jerry would ride around but not on a regular basis. He has been involved with ultimate frisbee for 25 years, so he’s in great cardio shape, but I tell him bicycling is much easier on his knees.” You can read more about the Brittens’ bicycle adventure at carriebsbigadventure.blogspot.com.

right to life, the right to be free and the right to pursue happiness. I hope to have the courage to stand for these rights, even if I feel I am standing alone. I worry sometimes that the longer we are free, the more we will take our freedom for granted. I hope that we can always value the freedom that this great country provides for us. As we celebrate the birth of the United States of America, I am grateful for the men and women who lost their lives and those who have given their lives in forming and protecting this great “American Experiment.”

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ARRESTS 1:46 a.m. June 20, Ohlone Heights. A 39-year-old Clayton man arrested for domestic battery after a call for service. 3 p.m. June 20, Marsh Creek Rd./Diablo Pkwy. A 44-yearold Merced man arrested for driving on a suspended license after stop for a vehicle code violation. 1:06 a.m. June 21, Clayton Rd./Washington Blvd. A 37year-old San Francisco man arrested for public intoxication after officers observed him wandering in the street. 6:02 p.m. June 21, Clayton Rd. A 32-year-old Clayton woman arrested for possession of stolen/forged check, conspiracy to commit misdemeanor, probation violation and outstanding warrant after officers responded to a report of a person attempting to cash a forged check. A 36-year-old Concord woman also arrested for the stolen check violation. 7:43 p.m. June 26, Pacheco St., Concord. A 33-year-old Concord man arrested on outstanding warrant. 12:29 a.m. June 30, Clayton Rd. A male juvenile was arrested after officers observed him out after curfew. He became uncooperative and threatened the officers. BURGLARIES/THEFTS 12:35 p.m. June 18, Mt. Zion Dr. Petty theft. 11:37 a.m. June 19, Rachel Ranch Rd. Petty theft. 2 p.m. June 22, Easley Dr. Identity theft. 8:36 a.m. June 25, Oak St. Residential burglary. 5:38 p.m. June 27, Bigelow St. Residential burglary. 3 p.m. June 30, Clayton Rd. Robbery. VANDALISM 6:55 p.m. June 19, Mountaire Pkwy. 9:39 p.m. June 19, Main St. 10:30 p.m. June 22, Eagle Peak Ave. 6:10 a.m. June 25, High St. 8:59 a.m. June 27, El Camino Dr. 9:22 a.m. July 1, Marsh Creek Rd.


July 9, 2010

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

Page 9

Establishing routines helps children develop

Est.1972

Smith & Bernal In the midst of all the hustle and bustle in today’s fastpaced world, the presence of routines in a child’s daily life can offer predictability and calm. This helps to establish good emotional health for a child as he travels from infancy to adulthood. An infant soon learns that his crying will bring his parent to him and that he will then be fed, diapered, played with and put back to bed. The constant repetition of this routine brings about trust and predictability for the infant regarding his world. The infant who has learned to trust in his caregiver and in the predictability of routines can then become a secure and confident toddler. This toddler is then empowered to travel further away from the security of his parent’s arms and to happily explore his world. As the toddler becomes a 2-year-old, it’s particularly important to have predictabili-

SUE JACOBSEN

PARENTING TODAY ty in his world as well as the setting up of boundaries by his parents. The 2-year-old is all about wanting to get control of his world. However, he has very little self-control and is not capable of “being in charge.” It is, therefore, important for the parent to step up to the plate and to be consistent and predictable in expectations of the child. Offering choices throughout his day can go a long way in helping the child

to feel more independent. For example, ask: Do you want to wear the red shirt or the blue shirt? The nightly task of putting children to bed can be particularly challenging for parents. Setting up a bedtime routine can help to smooth out this process for everyone. Dan Sweeney offered the following suggestions in his “Sleep Challenges” seminar:  Set specific bedtimes.  Establish a consistent routine (brush teeth, say “good night” to family members, listen to story, etc.).  Supervise the routine.  Have children only sleep in their beds – no toys or books.  Avoid stimulating activities and media prior to bedtime.  Avoid discussing topics at bedtime that will encourage excitement or cause anxiety.  Establish specific wake-up times.

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The routine of a family sitting down together for meals is also of great importance for children, as it helps to establish a sense of belonging and self-worth. The family table enables children to feel acknowledged, as their thoughts and ideas are listened to by their parents and siblings. Respect for the thoughts of others should evolve as the children learn the art of conversation. It can be difficult being a kid in this fast-paced world. But if you give your children the extra support and nurturing that routines can provide, it will be worth the effort.

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Beware the double dip – and other market slang MURELEEN BENTON FINANCIAL SENSE Just when you thought you’d mastered the lingo, here comes another wave of financial jargon to describe what’s going on in the markets today. To help keep you up-to-speed, here’s a short glossary of some of the terms you might encounter. Double dip: In economic parlance, this refers to the risk that the economy will slip back into another recession, not long after coming out of a recession. In the current economic environment, some are raising the possibility that this could happen in the United States or elsewhere. U-, V- or W-shaped recovery: This concerns the pace of an economic recovery. A V-shaped recovery means the economy dips dramatically (the downslope of the V) and rebounds just as quickly (the upslope of the V). A U-shaped recession and recovery is less pronounced and slower to develop. A W-shaped recovery involves a sharp decline in certain economic metrics, fol-

lowed by a sharp rise, followed again by a sharp decline then finishing with another sharp rise. Deflation: Most of us are familiar with the concept of inflation, an increase in living costs. Whether modest or significant, inflation has been a way of life for Americans through recent generations. Deflation is the opposite: a period when prices for goods and services begin to fall. Deflation is typically associated with a decline in the standard of living, and some suggest that the risk of this has recently risen. Market correction: When the stock market declines by a level of 5 percent or more, up to 20 percent (as measured by a broad market index such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average or S&P 500), professionals generally describe it as a correction in stock prices. Bear market: The generally accepted standard to qualify for a bear market is when stocks (as measured by an index) drop 20 percent or more in a set period of time, perhaps within two months or less. Bubble: In economic terms, a bubble occurs when

the value of a particular item or industry rises dramatically over a short period of time, usually to unsustainable levels. In recent times, bubbles have occurred in the technology industry (the “dot-com” bubble of the late 1990s) and in real estate (the housing bubble that began to burst in 2007). Derivatives: This is the name given to a contract between two parties that derives its price from an underlying asset. The value is based on changes in the prices of the underlying asset, which can range from hard assets like gold or agricultural products to interest rates and stocks. While they provide a way to hedge risk, more regulation may be placed on those that attract speculators, which some believe has caused problems in the markets. High Frequency Trading (HFT): Much of the market’s recent volatility has been blamed on rapid trading strategies that large institutions execute through powerful computers. These machines can quickly crunch numbers to identify potential short-term price opportunities and then execute very large buy and sell orders. If it works right, it has

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Page 10

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

July 9, 2010

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For me, one of the most appealing aspects about starting college this fall is that I won’t need to drive. Call me Miss Daisy, but I enjoy being driven. I only got my license the summer before my senior year and would have happily accepted a personal chauffeur instead of my so-called “freedom” and keys to the family’s minivan. Yes – that stereotypical symbol of motherhood in suburbia carried me to school and extracurricular activities this year. After many failed attempts to learn how to drive a manual transmission in hopes of being able to drive the much

smaller family car, I resigned myself to driving the minivan. I received plenty of snark from my friends and acquaintances about my mode of transportation – especially since it contained my little sister’s car seat. But considering my general attitude toward driving, I took their teasing in stride. Besides being a reliable vehicle, there were many benefits to driving the minivan. First of all, my insurance rates are lower due to the age of the car and the model. Kids who receive new Mustangs when they turn 16 probably don’t have insurance rates as low as mine. And when police are monitoring the speed limit, the minivan has a subversive quality that lulls police officers into a false sense of calm (unlike

pretty sports cars). That could be why I’ve never received a moving violation – or maybe it’s the fact that I still keep my hands at 10 and 2 and am scared stiff of speeding. Another benefit of driving the minivan is learning to park it, which ensured that it will be a cinch for me to park any smaller vehicle. The fact that I drove the minivan even benefited others. At school events this year, I was able to provide rides for other kids, and for my school’s drama productions, I lugged furniture in the everuseful minivan. In retrospect, I don’t think I would have traded my year with the minivan for another car. The fact that I even have a car to drive is something for which I’m grateful. When you don’t

CADY LANG TEEN SPEAK enjoy driving, it’s easier to be practical about the resources available to you. Since I’ll be attending college in New York, I’ll be relying on public transportation for the next four years – which excites me. I’ll regain my commute time, free to study, read or just veg. But I know that I’ll remember my one year of driving the minivan fondly. Cady Lang is a senior at Berean Christian High School. She would like to major in English and eventually pursue a career in writing. Email her at cady_lang@claytonpioneer.com

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ROBBIE PARKER DVMS REPORTER This year, residents of Clayton once again came together on the Fourth of July and celebrated Independence Day. The annual parade filled the streets of downtown Clayton as families waved flags to show their patriotism. Many took part in the festivities and had picnics, barbecues and watched fireworks to celebrate the holiday.

I think it’s important to stop and think about why we celebrate this day. Centuries ago, we won our independence as a country from Great Britain. Brave men and women fought to establish freedom in the New World and to become a nation like no other. Our founding fathers battled to keep this dream alive and each contributed to the greatness of our country. From the time the Second Continental Congress approved a legal separation from Great Britain, we began celebrating the Fourth of July. America continues to be something special and unique. Many people around the world dream of the opportunities we have. We are so lucky to live in a country where you are in charge of your own life. In America, our rights tie back to the basic principles of

freedom. We can choose to be anything we wish to be. In some other parts of the world, this does not exist. Citizens here have the right to choose their religion, bear arms and express ourselves through free speech. We are given the opportunity to vote for those who represent our beliefs. We have the privilege of freedom. Most important, in our country, we can make our own choices. We can choose to honor our flag and remember how blessed we are to have our freedom we enjoy. However, we did not just gain freedom because we wanted it or because of luck. It was because of the brave people in this country who believe we are capable of anything. These people fought and are still fighting for our freedom from those who wish to take it from us.

Think of the soldiers fighting right now in the Middle East; those are the people who will put themselves in lethal danger to keep us and others safe. Each day, we should thank our troops because they are the only ones willing to do the job. So the next time you wave a flag, think of the people who cleverly crafted our Declaration of Independence and those who have died for our country. Think of those who continue to serve and protect our freedom. This is and should be the true reason why our community comes together and celebrates. The Fourth of July is truly about freedom. Appreciate every moment of our freedom and don’t take it for granted. Robbie Parker is a seventhgrader at Diablo View. Send comments to Robbie@claytonpioneer.com

Microsoft hits back at Google Docs with free Office 2010 This will be Mark Freeman’s last regular column as he heads off to law school in the fall. We know that our readers join us in wishing Mark the very best. While most people use Microsoft Office at work, Google has been putting pressure on the software giant with its free office suite, Google Docs. But last month, Microsoft struck back. On June 15, Microsoft released Office 2010, which includes the latest versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. In addition, Microsoft released free versions of these popular programs online. I tested the free edition of Office 2010, called Office Web Apps, to see whether it matched up to Google Docs, which I use on a regular basis. Office Web Apps (available at office.live.com) features stripped-down versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. These online programs look and feel like their regular counterparts, so users who have worked with Microsoft Office can immediately start working with Office Web Apps. The free version of Word functions well and even beats Google Docs (docs.google.com)

in some areas. First, Word will automatically detect spelling errors and offer dictionary suggestions. Just like the regular version of Word, the free version will correct some spelling mistakes for you. In contrast, Google Docs does not automatically check for spelling. Neither version checks for grammar errors. In addition, the Word app allows you to upload large pictures in your documents, while Google has a 2 megabyte limit. Finally, Word (and the other Office Web Apps) includes dozens of familiar fonts, while Google Docs only has 11. Alas, neither Word nor Google Docs has a word counter. Microsoft’s free version of Powerpoint is also well done and does nearly everything Google Docs can. It allows you to create presentations with the familiar Microsoft themes and fonts. You can also upload large pictures to your presentation, which Google can’t do. Unfortunately, there is no way to add video to slideshows at this time. In contrast, Google Docs allows you to embed YouTube videos into your presentation. However, you can’t upload a video from your computer

directly to the presentation. The two programs let you create presentation notes and view your work as a slideshow. Neither program features fancy slide transitions. Meanwhile, I was disappointed by Microsoft’s free version of Excel. While you can make basic spreadsheets and tables, you have to manually input formulas – which can be a pain. Also you can’t make charts using this version of Excel, which I believe is a big oversight on Microsoft’s part. Google Docs has a far superior spreadsheet program. You can sum up your numbers with one click, or select from dozens of other formulas. Likewise, you can easily create charts and graphs of your data. While much of Office Web Apps is equal or better than Google Docs, its downloading features are inferior. Although each Web App has a button that lets you open your document in the regular version of Word, Excel or Powerpoint, I had difficulty making this feature work with my older version of Office. It would probably work best with Office 2010 installed. Google Docs, on the other hand, makes it easy to download and access your work. You can

MARK FREEMAN

ON

THE

NET

download your documents, spreadsheets and presentations and open them with Microsoft Office. Both Office Web Apps and Google Docs allow you to upload your documents and edit them online. Be warned that your formatting may change. If you don’t need any fancy features and are used to the Office menu system, I would recommend trying Office Web Apps. But if you need more advanced features and want to easily access your documents, I suggest going with Google Docs. Since Office Web Apps is new, I believe it has some great potential. With a few more features, it might have some wondering why they should pay for Office 2010 when it is available for free online. Mark Freeman is a student at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, studying economics and English. He enjoys creative writing and is a reporter for the school paper. Questions/comments can be sent to mfreeman543@gmail.com.


July 9, 2010

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer .com

Lindsay and Myrtle are ARF’s Adoption Stars Lindsay is an athletic and energetic girl. She will thrive in a home where she can receive physical as well as mental exercise. Going to training classes is a great way for Lindsay to bond

with her new family members while meeting new people, socializing with other dogs and brushing up on her manners The adoption fee for adult dogs is $225 and includes 60%

off one 7-week dog training session. Myrtle is a lovely little girl that is looking for a calm home that will love her sweet

MYRTLE

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Page 11

Installations – Repairs Toilets  Faucets  Water heaters Garbage disposals  Clogged drains

personality. From July 1 to July 18, the adoption fee for adult cats will be waived in celebration of Cat Independence Days! 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 5 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. 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, www.arf.net, or call 925.256.1ARF.

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AAUW The Clayton AAUW Hiking group joined a Save Mount Diablo hike on June 19 as they explored the old Mangini ranch property that was acquired by SMD in 2007. The 108-acre parcel was known as the family’s “Railroad Ranch.” David Ogden and Julie

Seelen from Save Mount Diablo led the hike that began at the Crystyl Ranch gate on Ygnacio Valley Road. AAUW members on the hike included Linda Pinder, Carol Wolfe, Adela Oldford, Jennifer Jay and Janise Tresize. For more information on the Clayton branch of the AAUW, go to claytonaauw.org.

CLAYTON VALLEY GARDEN CLUB

club in the state for its class (up to 99 members). The group was recognized for its Website, claytonvalleygardenclub.org. Ted Meriam is the Webmaster. The club won awards for the design of the Club Yearbook/Directory and for the club newsletter, with edi-

During the California Garden Clubs convention at Westlake Village June 4-7, the Clayton club won the California Sweepstakes Award for winning more awards than any other

Clayton Garden Club newsletter editor Bob Frost, Diablo Foothills District director Sandy Rogers and Clayton club president Linda Cruz at the awards event.

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tor Bob Frost. Another award was for the club’s tours and field trips, with a nod to program chair Neal Richmond. The club also was honored for club promotion, as it doubled in size the past year. Individual awards were presented to Frost and Linda Cruz for articles they wrote for the club newsletter. Cruz, the club president, also won a Pacific Region award (first place in eight states) for an article she wrote about the Special Students Garden at Diablo View Middle School. Nancy Harvey won Propagator of the Year in the Diablo Foothills District. Carin Kaplan won Gardener of the Year, along with Walnut Creek Garden Club member Ursula Alders. Judy Bates won an award for the Diablo Foothills District M e m b e r s h i p Yearbook/Directory. “If felt like the Academy Awards, as our club was taking all the big awards this year,”

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Page 12

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

July 9, 2010

Clayton Sports Weary Diablo FC 97 claims Reno soccer title

Photo courtesy of Diablo FC

A NARROW 1-0 WIN IN OVERTIME GAVE THE DIABLO FC 97 GIRLS THE UNDER 12 CHAMPIONSHIP of the recent Nevada Zephyr Cup in Reno. The Aftershock team includes, front row from left, Kimi Dennis, Caleigh Silva, Taylin Ashley-White, April Frantz, Izzy Reyes and Izzy Ivy; back row, Courtney Sheffield, Jade Rafallo, Chelsea Bailey, Shelby Borenstadt, Kayla Hohenstein, Madison Teixeira, Jamee Bullock, Kaylie Collins and Kyra Trowbridge. Coach Lewis Woodward is in back. JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Playing five games in 30 hours at 4,400 feet elevation was a challenge the under 12 Diablo FC 97 girls were up to as they claimed first place at the Reno Zephyr Cup youth soccer tournament on Father’s Day weekend. The local competitive team, which goes by the nickname Aftershock, won four games and tied one in Reno. The busy schedule was culminated by an overtime match in the championship finals. Coach Lewis Woodward credited a “team effort,” with all 15 girls “getting the job done” to contribute to the title charge. In an “epic final,” Aftershock faced a feisty American River Rage team. At the end of regulation, the teams were in a scoreless deadlock. Overtime brought chances for both sides, highlighted by two dramatic saves from Diablo FC goalkeeper Kaylie Collins. With less than a minute to go, Kimi Dennis powered a shot to the goal that ricocheted off the crossbar and Jamee Bullock put it into the back of the net for the 1-0 game winner. The team started the tournament against the Pacifica Pioneers. It was a tough back and forth match leading to a 0-0 draw. Good defense from Clayton residents Kyra

Trowbridge, Courtney Sheffield, Jade Rafallo and goalie Collins held off Pacifica attacks. The second game against host Nevada Elite was a different story, with two scores each by Taylin Ashley-White and Clayton’s Dennis and additional goals by Rafallo, Concord’s Chelsea Bailey and Kayla Hohenstein leading to a 7-0 victory. The next morning was a must-win situation against Santa Rosa Frost. With the game tied 1-1 and about three minutes to go, Izzy Ivy put a beautiful ball into the net and Diablo FC 97 won 2-1. In the semifinals, Diablo FC faced the Pacifica Pioneers again and this time emerged with a 2-0 win to advance to the finals of the 10-team U12 bracket. Ashley-White and Ivy scored the goals. Many of the girls from Diablo FC 97 won the Northwest Futsal State Championship and qualified for the indoor game Nationals during July. The team had to withdraw after earning places in three major tournaments this month as they transition to the U13 age group at the Davis Legacy College Showcase this weekend, 11th annual Slammers Futbol Classic in Southern California July 17-18 and then the eighth annual Diablo FC Summer Classic July 24-25.

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Packed Dana Hills pool hosts 900 swimmers this weekend for 16th Pentathlon JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

The summer recreation swim season is in full swing and Clayton will be the epicenter this weekend with the 16th annual Devil Mountain Pentathlon. Hosted by the Dana Hills Swim Team, the meet features both Clayton swim clubs and five from Concord among the 11 teams. In this unique meet, each swimmer competes in all four strokes. Meet director Lauren Velez and her small army of DHST volunteers will be providing all the support needed for the 900 swimmers, each of whom will swim five races in one day. The Pentathlon was started in 1995 by DHST parents Toni and Mike Biel and serves as the

biggest annual fundraiser for Dana Hills. Saturday’s competition is for the 6 and under and 7-8 boys and girls and 9-10 girls. On Sunday, the 9-10 boys plus 1112, 13-14 and 15-18 swimmers take part. Each day’s meet begins at 9 a.m. Every swimmer competes in the freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly races and the individual medley, where they swim a lap of each stroke. The 6 and under age groups swims a 50-yard freestyle in place of the IM. Times from all five races are combined to determine which swimmers top the A and B divisions in each age group. Concord teams Walnut Country Stingrays, Springwood,

See Swimmers, page 13

Photo courtesy Joern Weigelt/Dana Hills Swim Team

DANA HILLS SWIM TEAM TEAMMATES MELISSA SCHOELL (LEFT) AND ALINA WEIGELT will be swimming in the 11-12 girls division Sunday at the 16th annual Devil Mountain Pentathlon this weekend at Dana Hills pool. Over 900 swimmers from 11 teams will take part in the meet.

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July 9, 2010

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

Clayton Sports

Page 13

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

Litwiller earns All-American honors at USA Junior track finals in Iowa

Sports Shorts BUSY SUMMER SCHEDULE AT CLAYTON COMMUNITY GYM All Out Sports is now programming the Clayton Community Gym and will be running a series of MEGA sports camps and programs open to kids 4-17. Soccer camp with Diablo FC coaches is July 19-23 and flag football July 26-30. Youth basketball and flag football leagues are also accepting signups. For more information or to register, visit alloutsportsleague-clayton.com.

JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Clayton Valley High grad Nathanael Litwiller capped his freshman season at Sacramento State by earning All-America honors at the U.S. Track & Field Junior Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, by placing sixth in the 800-meter run finals. The Concord runner clocked 1:50.82 in a field of the top runners under 20 years of age, won by Casimir Loxsom of Penn State in 1:47.45. Litwiller’s best time this year was 1:50.66 at the Sac State Open May 8. His fastest time in the 1,500 meters for the Hornets was 3:51.72. The USA Junior Championships is comprised of the top young talent in the nation. To compete, an athlete must meet a qualifying standard time or distance and not turn 20 years of age during 2010. Litwiller celebrated his 19th birthday this week. He is the second Sac State athlete in the last three years to earn Junior All-American honors. He began his collegiate career last fall by competing in six meets for the Sac State cross country team, earning his best time 8K of 25:35 at the Santa Clara Invitational.

STRIKER CAMP FOR LOCAL SOCCER PLAYERS The Diablo FC Striker Camp is July 19-22 in Concord. Diablo FC technical director Marquis White, a former MLS and international professional player, will teach boys and girls 8-14 of all skill levels shooting techniques, heading, crossing, dribbling for speed and attacking skills as well as show how all players can become more dynamic. To register, visit diablofc.org. CLAYTON VALLEY FALCONS FOOTBALL, CHEER SIGNUPS Clayton Valley Falcons football program for boys and girls 7-14 and cheer program for boys and girls 5-14 are accepting signups at cvaafalcons.com. Practice begins Aug. 2. Call 927-7377 for more information.

Photo courtesy Sacramento State athletics.

CLAYTON VALLEY HIGH GRAD NATHANAEL LITWILLER of Concord is a USA Track & Field Junior AllAmerican in the 800 meters after placing sixth at the USA Junior Nationals June 25 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Litwiller went to Sac State on the heels of a wonderful running career at Clayton Valley. As a senior, he was third in the 800M finals at the State CIF Track Meet in a time of 1:52.66, a mark he has lowered by two seconds in the past year. He was 2008 North Coast Section champ in the

Swimmers, from page 12 Vista Diablo Dolphins, Bishop Estates Barracudas and Ygnacio Wood Seahorses join the Oakhurst Orcas and DHST Otters as local competitors. Pleasant Hill Dolphins, East County Stingrays, Forest Hills Beavers and Pleasant Hill Aquatics Penguins round out the field. The host team will have more than 180 entries but does not compete for the team title. Oakhurst will bring about 40 swimmers, while the largest contingents from visiting clubs will be East County with 69 swimmers, Pleasant Hill Dolphins with 100 and Ygnacio Wood at 95. “This meet is a great chance for swimmers to see how they are doing,” says Springwood Sprinters invitational representative Tammy Brown. Springwood has 44 swimmers entered in the Devil Mountain Pentathlon.

“For many, this will be the first time they have swam their ‘off strokes’ since time trials,” Brown adds. “It’s wonderful when swimmers see how much time they’ve dropped since that first meet.” Another of the evergreen meets in the rec swim season is the Battle of the Ages Invitational at the end of June in Pleasant Hill. Dana Hills had 57 swimmers participating and finished fourth out of 20 teams at the 19th annual Battle, which splits swimmers into single-year age groups from 5 to 18 years old rather than combined age groups, such as 11-12, that are used at all other meets. This especially gives swimmers in their “down” or younger year of an age group a unique chance to compete only against swimmers their age. DHST head coach Kelly

1,600 meters and 2009 NCS winner of the 800. As a cross country runner, he climaxed his career with a runner-up finish at the 2008 NCS finals with a 15:10 time on the three-mile course. He was third at NCS as a junior, fifth as a sophomore and 40th as a freshman. He dropped his

McCabe had two high-point winners at the Battle of the Ages in Bekah Padilla, 17 girls, and Derek Anderson, 16 boys. Along with Nikki Palmer, three Otter swimmers combined to set eight meet records. Padilla established new marks in the 100 IM with a time of 1:03.22 and the 100 back in 1:00.98. Her 100 back time is also a new DHST team record. Anderson set four meet records in the 200 free (1:51.49), 100 IM (57.32), 100 Back (54.82) and 100 Free (49.23). Palmer established new 15 girls meet standards in the 200 Free (2:01.19) and 100 Free (55.20). Following the Devil Mountain Pentathlon, the swim season continues with the Woodlands Invitational in Walnut Creek July 24-25 and the Crossing Challenge July 24. On July 31, Springwood

time each year, from 17:29 as a frosh to the 15:10 as a senior. He was also eighth at the State CIF cross country meet in his senior year. His sister Sarah, a senior, will be a key member of the Eagles cross country team this fall in her fourth year on the squad.

and new member Walnut Country will be at the eightteam Diablo Community Swim League meet at Clarke Pool in Heather Farm Park. Dana Hills will be defending its first-ever Contra Costa Swim League title July 31Aug. 1. All the Concord and Clayton team will then gather at Concord Community Pool Aug. 6-8 for the 44th Concord City Swim Meet. Dana Hills has won the last seven Concord Cup City Meet team titles and 17 of the past 18, with only Springwood’s 2002 championship interrupting the Otters streak. Swimmers who have earned qualifying times during the year will then finish the season Aug. 14-15 at the Contra Costa County meet, this year at Diablo Valley College.

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DIABLO FUTBOL PRE-SEASON AYSO SOCCER CAMP Diablo Futbol Club professional coaches will present the first MDSA Pre-season Camp Aug. 9-13 for AYSO players getting ready for fall soccer league. The 9 a.m.-noon sessions will concentrate on a single skill each day. The camp is at the Boatwright Sports Complex in Concord. For more information, visit diablofc.org.

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Page 14

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

July 9, 2010

Clayton Community Calendar PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR CLAYTON COMMUNITY CALENDAR EVENTS BY 5 P.M. JUNE 28 FOR THE JULY 9 ISSUE. ITEMS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY EMAIL TO calendar@claytonpioneer.com

CLAYTON EVENTS

July 24 Friends of the Library Book Sale Unsorted paperback fiction $1 and children’s books 50 cents. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Saturdays through October Farmers Market 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays, Diablo Street between Main and Center, downtown Clayton. No markets Sept. 4 and Oct. 2. pcfma.com or 800-949-3276.

July 17 Office Hours with Sen. DeSaulnier No appointments necessary. Noon-3 p.m., Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 942-6082.

July 28 Fun with Duct Tape

FOR PARENTS July 20 Developmental Screenings/Art Activities

6-8:30 p.m., Grove Park, downtown Clayton. July 17: The Michael Paul Band plays country and Southern rock. July 31: Laurent Fourgo and His Orchestra offer the Big Band sound.

Free developmental screenings and referrals for children 1 month to 5 years old. Child development specialists will be available to answer questions about each child’s development. Plus arts, crafts and group social play activities. Sponsored by We Care Services for Children. 12-4 p.m., Concord Library, 2900 Salvio St. 685-0207.

2-4 p.m. Sundays and Wednesdays, plus 6-8 p.m. Wednesdays to coincide with the Main Street Car Show. Clayton Museum, 6101 Main St. 672-0240 or claytonhistory.org.

ENTERTAINMENT July 21 “Stars and Stripes and Sousa” The Walnut Creek Concert Band with guest conductor and historian Keith Brion. $12-$15. Lesher Arts Center, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. 925-943 or lesherartscenter.org.

“Avenue Q.” plays at the Willows Theatre through Aug. 1

Through Aug. 1 “Avenue Q” The Willows Theatre presents an adultoriented musical featuring puppets and live actors, based on “Sesame Street.” Campbell Theatre, 626 Ward St., Martinez. $30. willowstheater.org or 798-1300.

Through Sept. 16 Music and Market Series Concerts 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Aug. 3 and 6:30 p.m. Thursdays through Sept. 16, Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. ci.concord.ca.us or 671-3464.

FUNDRAISERS Sept. 19 Murder Mystery Dinner Sponsored by the Clayton Valley Woman’s Club. 4:30 p.m., Oakhurst Country Club, 1001 Peacock Creek Dr., Clayton. $45, includes dinner and the murder mystery with local celebrities. 969-9885.

Sept. 20 Friends of Camp Concord Golf Tournament Hosted by Dan Ashley at Oakhurst Country Club, 1001 Peacock Creek Dr., Clayton. friendsofcamp.com.

Meets 7 a.m. Thursdays, Oakhurst Country Club, 1001 Peacock Creek Dr., Clayton. Includes breakfast and a speaker. 566-8166 or claytonvalleyrotary.org.

Scrabble Club

4-5 p.m. Teens can make a wallet or card holder with duct tape.

July 17, 31 Concerts in the Grove

Through Sept. 15 Classic Car Exhibit

Rotary Club of Clayton Valley/Concord Sunrise

MEETINGS July 13, 27 Clayton Planning Commission

Meets 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. second and fourth Saturdays of the month, Carl’s Jr. Restaurant, 1530 Kirker Pass Road, Clayton. All ages and skill levels welcome. $3 fee. Call Mike at 639-1987 or scrabble-assoc.com.

Sons In Retirement (SIRs) Meets 11:15 a.m. the first Thursday of the month, Crown Plaza Hotel, 45 John Glenn Dr., Concord. The chapter no longer meets at Oakhurst Country Club. 429-3777.

Soroptimist International of Diablo Vista Meets 12:15 p.m. the first, second and third Wednesdays of the month, September-June, Sizzler, 1353 Willow Pass Road, Concord. Clayton resident Sue Manning is president. 672-2727.

Widows/Widowers Meets for dinner, brunch, theater, etc. This is not a dating service nor is it a grieving class - just a way to meet other people. Contact Lori at 998-8844 or lori@lorihagge.com.

7 p.m., Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 673-7304 or ci.clayton.ca.us.

July 20 Clayton City Council 7 p.m., Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 673-7304 or ci.clayton.ca.us.

CLUBS

Send your calendar announcements to calendar@claytonpioneer.com. Free listings must be from a non-profit, school, club or government agency. Business events are $25 for the first event and $10 for each additional. Call the office at (925) 672-0500 with your business event listings.

Clayton Business and Community Association Meets 6:30 p.m. the last Thursday of the month, except holidays, Oakhurst Country Club, 1001 Peacock Creek Dr., Clayton. Call Sue at 672-2272.

Clayton Valley Garden Club

Learn to

Meets 7 p.m. the second Wednesday of the month, Diamond Terrace, 6401 Center St., Clayton. Contact Nancy at 673-3522 or claytonvalleygardenclub.org.

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Meets 9:30 a.m. for coffee, 10 a.m. meetings, second and fourth Tuesdays of the month, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 1090 Alberta Way, Concord. Meetings begin again in September. Call Joan at 672-2471.

Established 1971

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1350 Castle Rock Rd. Walnut Creek

Meets 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Willow Pass Community Center Hall, 2748 East Olivera Road, Concord. Contact Karen at 686-3774.

Summer Camps

Approved by Girl Scouts of N. California

Birthday Parties See website for details

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Concord Stompers Square Dance Club Meets 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Mt. Diablo Women’s Club, 1700 Farm Bureau Road, Concord. Call Jennie at 672-9676 or angelfire.com/id/stompers.

www.castlerockarabians.com

Contra Costa Chess Club Meets 6:30-9:30 p.m. Thursdays, Starbuck’s, 1536 Kirker Pass Road, Clayton. Players of all ages and skill levels welcome. Contact Mike at 639-1987 or uschess.org.

Coming Soon

Contra Costa Mineral and Gem Society

AT THE LIBRARY The Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Most programs are free. 673-0659 or claytonlibrary.org.

Tuesdays through Aug. 17 Patty Cakes Storytime for babies to 3 year olds. Child attends with caregiver. Drop in 11 a.m. Tuesdays.

Thursdays through Aug. 19 Picture Book Time Storytime for 3-5 year olds. Child may attend without caregiver. Drop in 11 a.m. Thursdays.

Meets 7:30 p.m. second Monday of the month, Centre Concord, 5298 Clayton Road. 779-0698 or ccmgs.org.

Creekside Artists Guild Meets 7-8:30 p.m. the second Wednesday of the month, Clayton Library Story Room, 6125 Clayton Road, Clayton. All artforms and both emerging and experienced artists welcome. Contact Arlene at 673-9777 or nielsenjanc@aol.com. Creeksideartists.org.

Diablo Valley Democratic Club Meets 7-9 p.m. the third Wednesday of the month, Ygnacio Valley Library, 2661 Oak Grove Road., Walnut Creek. 9460469 or dvdems.org.

Diablo Valley Macintosh Users Group July 14 Shell Crafts 4-5 p.m. Teens can create projects using shells.

July 21 Bubble Mania 4-5 p.m. Teens can cool off and blow a few bubbles.

July 21 Tree Frog Treks This program introduces children to the natural world with the help of rescued “animal ambassadors.” Meet rainforest animals and learn about their wild, wet worlds. All ages welcome. 7 p.m.

Meets 6:30-9 p.m. the third Tuesday of the month. Bancroft Elementary School, 2700 Parish Dr., Walnut Creek. 6891155 or dvmug.org.

East Bay Prospectors Club Meets 7 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of the month, Gold Pan California, 1021 Detroit Ave., Unit D, Concord. Clayton resident Doug Junghans is president. eastbaygpaa.webs.com or 672-1863.

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Knights Of Columbus, Concord Council 6038 Meets 7:30 p.m. the first Wednesday of the month, except holidays, Cauchi Hall, St. Agnes Catholic Church, 3966 Chestnut St, Concord. Contact George at 685-9547 or visit kofc6038.org.

For rates, call Randy Wenger (925) 672-0500


July 9, 2010

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

Page 15

As summer heats up, your garden needs extra care

NICOLE HACKETT

GARDEN GIRL Garden and landscape care needs to be addressed now that summer is upon us. When the temperature spikes, we can’t just run inside and let the plants fend for themselves. There are things to do to keep your garden and landscape in top-notch condition. It is time to keep your lawn a touch taller than during the spring months. When the grass is tall, the blades shade their own roots – cooling down the lawn.

Watering is still an issue around our Clayton Valley area. Driving home during lunch, I often see people watering in the heat of the afternoon. Not only are you more prone to burning the landscape at this time, water is lost in vapor and evaporation. You need to water in the earliest parts of the morning, or if you must, water during the evening. Check your sprinkler system once a month or so to see if your sprays are pointed the right way and that the coverage is where it needs to be. Feeding a lawn will keep it strong during hot weather. Always follow the directions and don’t overuse – a little more fertilizer won’t get you lawn greener faster. With any fertilizing, water the area first and then after product application. If your lawns still looks questionable, apply a soil moist type product or surfactant to enable the ground to accept water again and not let it roll

away from where it’s needed. You can treat either the entire lawn or spot-treat where summer burn and browning is noticeable. Monterey Garden Supply has an excellent product called Perc-O-Late. This surfactant is combined with a minor amount of fertilizer. You will have to apply monthly. CITRUS TREES NEED TENDING

Citrus should have small fruit developing. Encourage the fruit to mature by using citrus food now, alternating monthly with a bud and bloom fertilizer containing no nitrogen, 0-10-10 for example. If your lemon, oranges or limes are young, less than 5 years old, limit the amount of fruit allowed to mature. Overproduction could stress the young plant, causing leaf loss. Every now and then, inspect your citrus stems and

branches for ants. Their presence could mean that you may have scale. Scale can be treated with neem oil applied during the early morning or evening hours. Spread a pest barrier along the trunk of the tree to discourage ants and other pests from traveling up the trees trunk. Gophers and moles are extremely active in the summer months. Traps, services, poisoning, planting in baskets – do whatever works for you. If you choose to poison, follow all package directions, wear protective gear and don’t overuse. When you are done applying the poison, return the product to the safety of the garden shed. Never leave poisons out where other animals can get to them. Go-Die-Gopher has been widely used and reported successful, and the mole killer by Tom-Cat has also had rave reviews when used properly.

ROSES RARING TO GO Roses had it rough this spring. All the rain wreaked havoc on rose leaves, breeding rust and black spot. Garden fungicides can be applied to discourage the spread of the fungus from leaf to leaf. You should physically remove any sick leaves, then spray. As you deadhead the roses, cut deeper than usual – again removing bad leaves. This is a great time of year for a granular feeding. Work a multi-purpose fertilizer into the drip line beneath the plant. A balanced feeding is great during the summer. Also, use some iron to keep the foliage lush and green. Spring blooming shrubs need to have a third of their growth removed now. This will encourage a fall repeat bloom. This should be done to spirea, hawthorn, escallonia, loropetalum, lavender and breath of heaven. After cutting,

feed with a multi-purpose fertilizer to encourage more growth. Remember to water before and after feeding. There are products available to help with leaf scorch and wind burn. Cloud Cover and Wilt Stop are similar products that you spray on the plant’s leaves to prevent moisture loss. These are excellent on Japanese maples, hydrangeas, fuchsias, gardenias and any plant that looks stressed by the summer environment. Test spray on plants with fuzzy leaves. Summertime is no time for laziness in the garden. Work early in the morning or in the evening to keep plants strong and healthy. Healthy plants make the people who care for them happier. Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden Contact her with questions, comments or suggestions at gardengirl@claytonpioneer.com

Both father and son benefit from experience abroad WOODY WHITLATCH Special to the Pioneer

Study abroad programs are popular at many colleges and universities. After taking two years of Italian, my son Don, a 2007 Clayton Valley graduate, decided to take advantage of a University of Oregon program in Siena, Italy. Having visited Italy on a few occasions and always looking for another opportunity to travel, I thought it seemed a prudent fatherly gesture to pay Don a visit. It didn’t take too much arm-twisting to convince his older brother Jay and his girlfriend, Jessica, to accompany me.

We spent a few days in Rome and Florence, large cities wellknown for their art and history. Siena would be quite different. It is a relatively small town, rich in both political and cultural history. The road from Rome to Siena takes you through the rolling hills of Tuscany. At first glance, it appeared similar to a drive in the wine country of California. Soon, we realized it was a journey through a different world. We observed several small towns built on ridgelines. Old stone walls built to protect inhabitants from invaders still stand, and the buildings inside the walls have changed little over the centuries.

Photo courtesy of Woody Whitlatch

Woody Whitlatch (left) with sons Jay and Don in il Campo, site of the famous Palio race in Siena.

Nearly a thousand years ago, Siena was a small town similar to the hilltop fortress towns we observed from the highway. When the Romans built a road from France to Rome through Siena, it grew in importance. In the medieval era, Siena became the center of a city-state government rivaling Florence. Several large churches and governmental buildings were constructed, making Siena a center of art, religion and culture. After a series of unsuccessful battles with Florence, Siena lost its political and military prominence in the early 15th century. For modern visitors, Siena’s loss of clout is a blessing. The growth and modernization trends that occurred in larger cities evaded Siena. Today’s Siena, especially the portion inside the original walled city, remains largely unchanged from its medieval roots. The dominant architectural structure in Siena is the Duomo (cathedral), built in the 13th century. It is a well-preserved example of Gothic and Romanesque architecture. The façade contains a unique blend of dark green and white marble. The marble inlaid floor was designed by the top Italian artists of the time. The town center is an area known as the Campo. At one of the many outdoor restaurants

Photo: ATPM.com

THE DUOMO, BUILT IN THE 13TH CENTURY, is a well-preserved example of Gothic and Romanesque architecture. The cathedral is the dominant structure in Siena. that surround the Campo, we enjoyed a few glasses of Chianti, the most famous wine from this region. Don explained the local tradition known as Palio, a horse race run around the Campo perimeter. It has been run annually since 1656, making it the oldest horse race in the world. Siena is divided into neighborhoods called Contrada, and to Sienese, their Contrada is their family. Horses represent-

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ing each Contrada compete in the Palio race. Palio means “prize” in Italian, and the prize for the winning Contrada is a month-long celebration in their honor. After telling us the story of Palio, Don commented that his favorite part of studying abroad was getting to know the people and immersing himself in a new culture. In my view, that means his semester abroad

was a success. Our short visit to Siena introduced us to a part of Italy that seems as if it were preserved in a time capsule. Don’s semester there gave him insights to a different culture and lifestyle. If your college-age students get the opportunity to study abroad, as a parent, I strongly recommend you visit them and share the experience.


Page 16

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

July 9, 2010

If fruit is stacking up, get jamming LINDA WYNER

FOOD

FOR

THOUGHT

Bushels of ripe fruit are bursting with summer goodness all around us. If you just can’t eat all those juicy peaches you bought at the farmer’s market, don’t despair – preserve summer’s goodness in a jar. I’m talking about jams, jellies, marmalades, conserves and butters. It’s time to haul out the big canning pot, measuring cups, wooden spoons, Ball jars and aprons. While that sounds like something Grandma would have done 50 years ago, it’s just as vital today with skyrocketing prices and a justified aversion to high fructose corn syrup. First things first: Here are the definitions of these fruity concoctions. Jams are made of crushed fruit cooked down to release pectin, a naturally occurring sol-

uble fiber that helps thicken and stabilize the product. Sugar is usually added, and to shorten the preparation time these days, boxed or liquid pectin is often added. Jellies are made in a similar manner but just with fruit juice. Preserves are also made in a similar way but use whole fruit. Spreads are low- or no-sugar jams.

Marmalades are made from the zest and pulp of citrus fruit – not the white pith, which would result in a bitter condiment. Butters are made from fruit and sugar and slow cooked to the desired consistency. Conserves use dried fruits and nuts and are usually quite chunky. Traditionally, jams were made of equal amounts of crushed fruit and sugar, simmered until the natural pectin released and the mixture reached the

“jelly” stage. There are three ways to determine if t h e “jelly” stage has b e e n reached: 1. The jam dripping off

the side of a wooden spoon forms two points that merge before dropping off. 2. A thermometer reads 200220 degrees F. 3. A half teaspoon of jam poured on a plate that’s been in the freezer will become firm to the touch after 30 seconds back in the freezer. I recall as a kid helping my mom put up strawberry jam every spring. We’d pick up a flat or two of berries from a local farmer, then rinse and hull them. We’d chop them up and throw them in the pot with roughly the same amount of sugar and a little lemon juice and watch them bubble away. Here’s my best reconstruction of that simple recipe, which makes a soft-set jam. MOM’S STRAWBERRY JAM 1 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled 2 c. white sugar ¼ c. lemon juice In a wide bowl, crush strawberries in batches until you have 2 c. mashed berries. In a heavy bottomed

Theatre Review

“Avenue Q,” the Tony-winning musical comedy making mischief on the Willows Theatre Company’s stage, is naughty and nifty. The show, featuring puppets and their onstage actor operators, quickly leaves behind the innocence of “Sesame Street.” Instead of primary-colored

Many years ago, my husband and I toured the Mid-Atlantic states and found a year-round indoor market with farmers and food producers showing off their wares. One young Amish woman, her table groaning under beautifully colored jams, caught my eye. Among her samples was a peach jam that tasted just like the fresh fruit. We got to talking and I mentioned that I liked to put up peach rum jam and she asked for the recipe. We exchanged names and addresses and I thought that was the end of it, until one day a little box arrived with Mary’s Amish Peach Rum Jam. She remained faithful to my recipe and said that it had become her No. 1 seller. I now share my recipe with you. The addition of

prepackaged pectin considerably shortens the preparation time and the jam is a bit firmer. PEACH RUM JAM 3 lbs. peaches, peeled and diced ¼ c. lemon juice 1 package powdered pectin 6 c. sugar ¼ c. rum (Mount Gay or Bacardi anejo) Follow instructions that accompanies the pectin box, but generally you will bring the peaches, pectin and lemon juice to a full rolling boil (one that doesn’t stir down). Add the sugar and bring the peaches back to a full boil and boil hard for exactly one minute. Remove from heat, stir in the rum (if you stand over the pot, you’ll get a nice snootful of rum aroma), skim and can using a water bath method. Linda Wyner, a local attorney and foodie, owns Pans on Fire, a gourmet cookware store and cooking school in Pleasanton. Direct your suggestions or questions to lwyner@claytonpioneer.com

Pioneer Photo Album

‘Q’ a naughty romp on a quite different street LOU FANCHER Clayton Pioneer

saucepan, mix together the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice. Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 220 degrees.

alphabets and swing-et competitions, the themes are racism, sexual orientation, homelessness and a driving quest for “purpose.” Jeff Whitty’s book, and the concept for the musical developed by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, rely on puppetry to break down social barriers. How else to explain – or excuse – audiences chuckling at the prevalence of Internet porn or watching two

Photo: Judy Potter

“Nicky,” Jason Bowersmith, “Rod,” and John Gay. Bowersmith and Gay are not puppets.

puppets “get it on” without dismay? Jon Marshall, who directed the production and built the puppets, has a deft hand with delivery. The lyrics and dialogue, laced with delicious twists, are never outdone by the staging. It’s remarkable, especially when most of the actors are times-two – meaning they sing, speak and move across the stage while also manipulating their corresponding puppet characters. Marshall’s cast is strong. On opening night, Jason Bowersmith stood out, playing multiple roles and imbuing his puppets with qualities from nasty to magnanimous. In his hands, the puppets are animated with all the movement and madness of real beings. John Gay, Nicole Helfer and Sarah Rozett astound with their rapid transformations from one puppet to the next. Isaiah Boyd and Jordan Delong play entirely human characters: Boyd is an attractive mover (more dance, please!) and Delong the perfect quiet bad boy to make the cast complete. Janine Burgener, whose Christmas Eve threatens to be cliché in early scenes, winds up stealing the heart of the show

with “The More You Ruv Someone.” Nicky and Trekkie Monster, operated by Bowersmith and Rozett, capture best what makes a great puppet. With an artist’s eye, Marshall has created the perfect angle for Nicky’s nose and mouth and placed just the right amount of mop on top of Trekkie’s head. The set, a simple tenement wall arrangement, is manipulated masterfully by the fast-moving crew, who might just deserve a bow along with the cast. Musical director Tim Hanson is teaching Willows’ audiences to take high production values and well-blended voices for granted. The intimate theater consistently produces musicals with a big sound and fine-tuned transitions. “Avenue Q” only occasionally lags in energy, getting bogged down in second act reprisals. Yet “The Money Song” and “For Now,” the closing song, blow enough energy into the show to leave the audience laughing. “Avenue Q” plays through Aug. 1 at the Willows Cabaret, 626 Ward St., Martinez. For tickets, call 7981300 or visit willowstheatre.org.

“This photo of my daughter Shelby was taken on the Regency Trail. Shelby loves the creek in springtime, skipping stones and wading in the cool waters whilst searching for tadpoles. Given the choice between Wiis, DSs or TV Shelby can’t resist the allure of our beautiful Clayton trails and “real” kid fun. Just another reason we’re proud to call Clayton our home.” - Angela D’Ambrosio Montgomery

Send in your cute pets, funny kids, great landscapes, favorite sites in town or whatever makes your heart beat a little faster. Email your photo in a hi-resolution jpeg or tiff format to album@claytonpioneer.com with a description of the photo, where and when it was taken and a little about why you like it. Include your name and phone number.


July 9, 2010

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer .com

Scenic views await on Black Diamond Way hike

Take a Hike

TROY BRISTOL Save Mount Diablo

Black Diamond Way is one of the most beautiful and easily accessible trails in central Contra Costa and gets you quickly to spectacular views. Begin at the small staging area on Clayton Road and follow the unpaved fire road (marked by the East Bay Regional Park District leaf logo) up the stream canyon. For the first half mile, Oakhurst golf course and the stream will be on your left. Just less than a mile in, the fire road veers left away from the creek corridor and immediately begins to climb toward Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve. This section of the fire road is mostly exposed to the sun. As you climb, pause periodically to enjoy views of Mt. Diablo, its foothills and valleys to your right. The valley sloping down to your immediate right is Irish Canyon. Notice the difference in the south and north-facing slopes in the canyon – with wind-swept grassland on the left broken with huge “praying” valley oaks and more dense, blue

oak woodland on the right, with smaller lobed leaves and a straight columnar “stick” formation until quite large in size. An occasional dark green live oak is viewed, evergreen as opposed to the two deciduous oak species. Most of Irish Canyon is in private hands, but Save Mount Diablo and East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) are working to preserve these lands and create a connection between Black Diamond Mines and Mt. Diablo for public access. At the crest, the view becomes even more spectacular – looking down through the Nortonville gap and its high,

steep knolls. As you continue, view the Pittsburg waterfront with the Sacramento River and Solano County beyond. Cross through the EBRPD gate into Black Diamond Mines and veer right to the Cumberland Trail. The Cumberland Trail ends at the paved Black Diamond Way. As you turn left and walk downhill on Black Diamond Way, you will notice you have reached a more shaded section of the hike. Not long after you start downhill on Black Diamond Way, you will arrive at Coal Canyon Trail. Go right onto Coal Canyon Trail. The single-track trail will

drop you into the canyon and the canopy will offer respite from the sun. After 8/10th of a mile, look on your left for a trail marker for the Black Diamond Trail to loop back up to Black Diamond Way. Make a left on Black Diamond Way to circle back to the Cumberland Trail. Once you have reached the Cumberland Trail, retrace your steps back to the main gate and back down the hill to Clayton.

FOR

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As I started to read “All We Ever Wanted Was Everything,” I found it petty, shallow and annoying. Thank goodness I kept at it because – as it turns out – that was exactly the point. Besides, these qualities are precisely what make good summer reading. Janelle Brown has turned out a stunner of a first novel, set in the affluence and excess of Silicon Valley at a time when investors couldn’t give away enough dollars and McMansions sprouted up like mushrooms after a good rain. “All We Ever Wanted” opens with Janice Miller learning that her husband has left her for her best friend. It isn’t that Janice is a pampered IPO wife who so richly deserves the smack-down that comes galloping her way,

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me,” becomes the school slut. Just when you think it can’t get worse for the Miller girls, it does. But here’s the beauty of hitting bottom: There’s nowhere to go but up. When the girls finally recover their sense of dignity and self-respect, it is hard-won and they own every inch of it. When they finally connect with one another, it is authentic and sweet. They are fabulous, they are powerful. Best yet, they get even. And who can’t love that? Cynthia Gregory writes book reviews, award-winning short stories and a blog. Visit her at www.twogirlstakeonlove.com or write ceegregory@aol.com

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Book Review

Angeles, Margaret also bottoms out. Her hot-hot-hot actor boyfriend’s star is rising and, as it turns out, he considers Margaret unnecessary baggage. Freshly dumped, thousands of dollars in debt and hounded by creditors, Margaret escapes LA and heads north to console her dazed mother. Considering they are both drifting rudderless in a sea of denial and bewilderment, they are not of much help to one another. I hope I’m not giving away too much to reveal that second daughter Lizzie is a 14-year-old hot mess of her own. Lizzie has finally managed to drop the weight that made her a junior high outcast. She joins the swim team, sheds her wallflower image and, as quick as you can say “kiss

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Troy Bristol is a land conservation associate at Save Mount Diablo. For more information, please visit savemountdiablo.org. Trailhead: Black Diamond Way, on Clayton Road just past the Oakhurst golf course. Distance: 7.25 miles roundtrip. Difficulty: Steep uphill at the beginning, fairly gentle once you get to the ridge top. Time To Go: Early morning or late afternoon; evenings also nice in summer.

because no woman deserves that kind of betrayal. It’s just that she has so completely bought into the dream life, has so clamped down any illusion she may have entertained for a career of her own in lieu of his success, that when real life comes knocking, you wonder how she can be at all surprised. But “poor” Janice is as detached from reality as it gets. When her husband’s company goes public and makes millions, thanks in part to her devoted support, she is left holding the proverbial bag, and it isn’t Prada, darling. In a legal sleight of hand that she only discovers after the fact, Paul Miller managed to write Janice out of the jointlyowned company’s holdings before abandoning her, leaving her nothing. Janice’s dream life quickly spins out of control and so does she. But wait, it gets better! While Janice falls to pieces and unbeknownst to her, Margaret, her oldest daughter, is facing a stone cold reality of her own. As owner of an edgy postfeminist magazine in Los

Page 17

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Page 18

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

July 4th, from page 1 in front of Clayton Community Church, but a few volunteers from the audience jumped in and pushed the vintage truck the rest of the way down Main Street. “The 4th of July is one of Clayton's hallmark festivities enjoyed by thousands of Clayton area folks every year,” says City Councilwoman, Julie Pierce. “While planned and organized by a very small group, it's success is due to our many wonderful volunteers who pitch in on the day of the 4th to make the event go smoothly. “ The 4th of July Committee is co-chaired by Sandy Johnson and Julie Pierce. Joe Medrano, Dan Richardson, Herb Yonge, Mike Williams. City staffers Laci Jackson and Laura Hoffmeister complete the committee with logistical support given by the city maintenance support and the police department. Volunteers manned the barricades and parking lots and took care of parade check-in and organizing the kiddie and main parade lineup. “Extra thanks go to those who stayed after and helped with clean-up,” Pierce notes. “Many of

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these people help out every year and say they love being part of making the day special for the community.” Missing from the celebration this year was the Kiddieland play area. At a cost of $4,500, there was no room in the city budget for it. “We just couldn’t afford it,” Pierce explains. “I wonder if anyone really missed it.” For the past 11 years, the Clayton Valley Sunrise Rotary Club has been kicking off the July 4 celebration early with a pancake breakfast at Endeavor Hall. An army of volunteers cook up more than 1,000 breakfasts to raise over $5,000 to support their charitable activities, which include support for literacy programs Clayton’s Independence Day celebration began back in the early ‘70s when a few kids decorated their bikes with balloons and flags and marched through their neighborhood streets. The festivities soon spilled over to the downtown and locals began to gather to celebrate in the eucalyptus grove which stood where the downtown park is now (which is why the park is called The Grove). There were horseshoe and greased pole contests. The local restaurants set up barbeque grills and food tables and the event grew from there.

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JUL 09 Clayton Pioneer 2010.pdf