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IT’S YOUR PAPER www.claytonpioneer.com

November 25, 2011


Clayton man climbs to new heights EDITOR’S NOTE: In October, attorney and Clayton resident Keith Haydon, who has backpacked through the Sierras and through other mountains for more than 35 years, took the climb of a lifetime. Despite age (64) and past medical issues (he had open heart surgery five years ago) last month, Haydon traveled to Nepal and hiked to the Mt. Everest Base camp, situated at more than 17,000 feet above sea level. Here is his story.



We’re still doin’ the right thing Well, the saga of Clayton Valley Charter High School is not over yet, but we did get to move to what we believe will be a more neutral and fair forum. On Nov. 8, the school district voted to deny our petition based essentially on financial reasons. It is sad when the Board that we elected to represent our interests chose to completely ignore the overwhelming support of the teachers, students, parents, staff, the City of Clayton, the mayor of Concord and Congressman

See Mayor, page 10

KEITH HAYDON Special to the Pioneer

HIKING TO THE MT. EVEREST BASE CAMP HAD BEEN ON KEITH HAYDON’S “bucket list” for many years. Last month, at age 64 and five years after open heart surgery, Haydon made the 45-mile trek to the 17,800 ft. camp in 12 days. Haydon, at right, celebrates with Hira Lamichhane, his Nepalese trek leader.

Rescuing a home on the range Save Mt. Diablo buys Historic Thomas Ranch property PEGGY SPEAR Clayton Pioneer

Scott Hein/Save Mount Diablo

THE THOMAS HOME RANCH AT KIRKER PASS AND NORTONVILLE ROAD, recently acquired by Save Mount Diablo, is a critical link between Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve and open space plans in the development of the Concord Naval Weapons Station.

When Save Mt. Diablo purchased the Thomas Home Ranch for nearly $1.4 million earlier this month, some might say it was no big deal. After all, they’ve rescued the historic property before. The 145-acre ranch, located at the intersection of Kirker Pass and Nortonville Roads, just south of Pittsburg, includes a historic 1880s farmhouse and barns. But its accessibility has been an attraction See Thomas Ranch, page 8

What’s your favorite holiday tradition? The holidays are here and celebration is in the air. We asked several Claytonians about their favorite holiday traditions. Their answers were varied and fun. CHRISTINE HERNANDEZ Every year the family gathers on Christmas for a the same restaurant in Alamo for a special holiday dinner.

SHERMANE VERDUZCO It’s when my daughter and I decorate the house and put up the tree. LEO STONE Thanksgiving dinner at our house is our special tradition with five children and 13 grandchildren all around the table.

HEIDI CELENTANO Every year we make hot cocoa, load up the car and drive around looking at all the Christmas lights. JOBERTA WILSON On Thanksgiving, the entire family gathers around the table and each in turn,

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

Club News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Community Calendar . . . . . .16 Directory of Advertisers . . . . .5

shares what they are thankful for – a 20-plus year tradition and there is always plenty of Kleenex for the special moments which include both laughs and tears. AMY DESEELHORST Every year on New Years day we drive to Point Reyes national seashore. It is a refreshing way to welcome in the New Year. DVMS Reporter . . . . . . . . . .10 Estate Planning . . . . . . . . . . .7 Fashion Over 50 . . . . . . . . .11 Fit with Levity . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Food for Thought . . . . . . . . . .9 Garden Girl . . . . . . . . . . . . .20

For 30 years I have been planning a trip to Kathmandu, Nepal, and a trek deep into the Himalayan Mountains to the base of Mt. Everest. I have always been intrigued by the majesty of Mt. Everest, and knew I wanted to see it while I still could. I flew into Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, and toured the city for two days before flying to

See Haydon, page 6

Holiday events light up Clayton Annual tree lighting is scheduled for Dec. 3 DENISEN HARTLOVE Clayton Pioneer

Whether you light candles on a menorah or gather around a Christmas tree, myriad holiday celebrations are planned in and around Clayton. From carriage rides and Christmas carols to concerts, cookie contests and, well, more caroling, here is a listing of what Clayton has to offer to help add Norman Rockwell moments to your family’s holiday season. OAKLAND GAY MENS’ CONCERT Festivities start on Friday, Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. with a concert by the Oakland Gay Men’s Chorus at the Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church. The concert, titled “Pacem,” will include modern as well as classical pieces from the Renaissance sung by the 45 members of the group. Tickets range from $12 to $20, with a portion of the proceeds going to support the local Rainbow Community Center. DOWNTOWN TREE LIGHTING FESTIVITIES As in times of yore, families are invited to gather in the town square on Saturday, Dec. 3 for the annual Tree Lighting celebration. Beginning at 4:30, the

See Events, page 16 History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Holiday Guide . . . . . . . . . .18 Pets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Police Report . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Safety Zone . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

So Anyway . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Sports Shorts . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Teen Speak . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Theatre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Weather Words . . . . . . . . . . .6


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Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

November 25, 2011

Around Town Megan Michelle Dickey weds Daniel James Harris Megan Michelle Dickey and Daniel James Harris were married on July14 at Heavenly Mountain Resort in South Lake Tahoe. Paul Cotruvo, a close family friend, officiated the ceremony. Sister of the bride, Jessi Stercks, was the maid of honor, followed by bridesmaids Marlena Tamayo (sister), Elise Moore, Alexis Haagensen and Brittany Delmon. Long-time friend to the groom Alex Grauer was the best man, followed by groomsmen Jeremy Kawamura, Sean Manley, Ryan Moore, Matt Christensen and Max Lazar. The bride’s parents, Kathleen Stercks and Jon Dickey, and the groom’s grandmother who raised him, June Bankson, all live in Clayton. The bride is pursuing a career in nutrition and fitness and the groom is enlisted in the United States Army, deploying to Afghanistan in 2012. The newlyweds honeymooned in Cancun, Mexico, and live in Pleasant Hill.

DtRT students honored for RESPECT

The City Council recognized four outstanding students at the Nov. 15 meeting for showing high RESPECT, one of the six character traits that are the backbone of the community-wide Do the Right Thing program. The other traits are Integrity, Courage, Kindness, Self-discipline and Responsibility. Diego de Trinidad and Lily Wilcox, both second-graders at Mt. Diablo Elementary School were nominated by their teachers. Diego’s teacher, Debbie Howard, described him as “the perfect gentleman, always.” Lily’s teacher, Lynne



John Rubiales, Jr. and Drina Valdivia welcomed baby daughter Sofia on Sept. 8. Sofia’s grandparents are John and Jan Rubiales of Clayton.


Peacock Creek at Oakhurst Country Club! Fantastic “Coronado model!

Vice-mayor Howard Geller, Alex Jennings, Pat Middendorf and Noel Creamer.

Vice-mayor Howard Geller, Diego de Trinidad, Lily Wilcox, Lynne Vogensen, Debbie Howard

Charming Single Story Rancher!

Vogensen, says she is “always respectful to everyone – teachers, peers and parents.” CVHS sophomores, Alex Jennings and Noel Creamer, were nominated Athletic Director Pat Middendorf. Both students play water polo, not something that was possible last year because their grades were too low. “They were even too low to qualify for an academic waiver,” Middendorf said. But, they didn’t give up. At the beginning of this school year, they persuaded Middendorf and Coach Bledsoe to give them an academic waiver in exchange for a promise to bring up their grades. “Then the Bs and As started coming,” Middendorf said. “At first I thought ‘well, it’s just the beginning of the quarter, it probably won’t last.’” But, it did. By the end of the quarter, both students had grade point averages above 3.0. “They showed an incredible amount of respect,” said a

proud Middendorf, “for themselves, for the coach and for the system.” 1000 ACTS OF KINDNESS In December, KINDNESS is the spotlight trait and the program leaders are looking for community participation in logging at least 1000 Acts of Kindness by the end of December. Did someone help you across a rainy parking lot with a load of packages? Maybe one neighbor helped another neighbor chase his runaway dog. Or, perhaps you know someone that quietly left a bag of groceries on a hungry person’s front porch. “We want everyone to be on the lookout for those little, and not-so-little, acts of kindness they may witness or receive and Blog them in at .ClaytonDTRT.com.,” says committee member Bob Steiner. “Watch the Pioneer in January for a full report and see just how kind Claytonians can be.”

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Clayton 4.58 Acre Horse Property!

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Each Office Is Independently Owned & Operated. Better Homes DRE#00933393


model with with 1st floor bedroom & full bath! 3 bedrooms, 3 full baths, approx. 1708sf with inside laundry, fireplace & attached 2 car garage! Living and dining areas. Walk to community pool/spa, downtown & access to miles of trails! $320,000

Concord Newhaven Estates! Spacious home built in 2005!

Clayton Chaparral Springs at Oakhurst Country Club! “Manzanita” model 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, approx. 1,355sf, fireplace, inside laundry & a 2 car attached garage. Neutral décor throughout! Cozy private patio. Walk to community pool & spa as well as downtown! Short Sale Call for more info

PENDING 5 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, approx. 3448sf and 3 garage! Gourmet kitchen boasts slab granite counters, island, recipe desk & full backsplash & stainless steel appliances! Living and family rooms both feature fireplaces. Formal dining room with dramatic chandelier. Huge master with jetted tub. Custom deck and patio with views. $584,900


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


1433 El Camino Dr...................$330,000 1456 Yosemite Cir ....................$506,600 1240 Buckeye Terr ...................$478,000 60 Mt. McKinley Ct ...................$680,000 16000 Marsh Creek Road ........$577,000 144 El Portal Pl ........................$523,000 327 Semillon Cir.......................$525,000 3249 Aspara Dr ........................$395,000 1261 Shell Cir...........................$280,000 380 Blue Oak Ln ......................$699,900 20 Mt. Olympus Pl....................$505,000 7 Donner Creek Ct ...................$198,000 3109 Windmill Canyon Dr ........$520,000 975 Kenston Dr ........................$300,000

SF . . . . .1352 . . . . .2218 . . . . .1639 . . . . .2722 . . . . .1716 . . . . .2400 . . . . .2032 . . . . .2444 . . . . .1355 . . . . .3008 . . . . .2135 . . . . .1113 . . . . .2481 . . . . .1725



. . . . . .3/2 . . . . . . . .11/16/11 . . . . . .3/3.5 . . . . . .11/10/11 . . . . . .3/2.5 . . . . . .11/10/11 . . . . . .4/1 . . . . . . . .10/31/11 . . . . . .3/2 . . . . . . . .10/31/11 . . . . . .5/2.5 . . . . . .10/28/11 . . . . . .4/2.5 . . . . . .10/27/11 . . . . . .4/3 . . . . . . . .10/27/11 . . . . . .3/2.5 . . . . . .10/26/11 . . . . . .4/3 . . . . . . . .10/26/11 . . . . . .4/2 . . . . . . . .10/25/11 . . . . . .3/2 . . . . . . . .10/20/11 . . . . . .4/3 . . . . . . . .10/11/11 . . . . . .3/2 . . . . . . . .10/11/11

November 25, 2011

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

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Around Town Standing on the Great Wall

Gold Star memorial dedicated on Veteran’s Day

EAGLE SCOUT JULIAN HOUGHTBY received an award of special recognition from Congressman George Miller at a Veteran’s Day dedication of Contra Costa County’s first post-Vietnam era memorial honoring Gold Star Moms and families of 13 fallen soldiers from Concord.

Craig Merrill

CLAYTON POLICE officers Allan Pike and Richard Enea with CSAA member Jim Diaz

The ceremony was made more emotional because Houghtby’s father, Michael Houghtby, suddenly passed away less than a week before, on Nov. 4. The fallen soldiers’ names are engraved in stone in front of the flag pole memorializing their ultimate sacrifice for freedom: James Ahearn, John Aragon, Scott Barnett, Mick Bekowsky, James Coon, Nicholas Dodson, Gabriel Guzman, John Hallett III, Erick Hodges, Sean Langevin, Patrick Magnani, Benjamin Tollefson, Benjamin Zieske. by Nicci Shipstead

The Forbidden City in Beijing and the Great Wall were just two of the stunning sites that Brenda and Scott Righter visited on their October vacation in China. They spent five days in the modern, burgeoning city of Shanghai before taking the bullet train to Beijing, which Brenda described as “certainly more traditional,” than Shanghai. “I’d have to say without a doubt that the Great Wall was the highlight of the trip” she says. “When you stand on it, you know you are in the presence of history.” In Beijing, they visited Tian’anmen Square, where hun-

Rodie’s celebrates happy bird-day

Police officers honored by special agents The Chief Special Agents’ Association (CSAA) of Northern California recently recognized the outstanding police work done by two Clayton officers, honoring them with the association’s Investigative Merit Award.

In a bittersweet Veteran’s Day ceremony, Congressman George Miller awarded Eagle Scout Julian Houghtby of Concord Troop 317 recognition as the community dedicated Contra Costa County’s first war memorial to Gold Star Moms, honoring 13 service members killed in recent combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Houghtby put together the memorial at the suggestion of the Gold Star Moms, which includes gold stars on red, white and blue background mosaics surrounding a walkway to the flagpole at Baldwin Park in front of the Senior Center. It was installed last June.

Officers Allan Pike and Rich Enea were each recognized for their outstanding investigative effort in solving a residential burglary in the City of Clayton. During their investigation of the case, Pike and Enea recognized a possible trend that pointed to a particular person and resulted in an arrest and recovery of all of the victim’s property as well as property from other area burglaries. Because of their outstanding police reports, the district attorney was able to file charges for burglary, possession of stolen property, and possession of a controlled substance. The CSAA, founded in 1927, is an association of criminal and civil investigators from both the public and private sectors.

Clayton resident David Williams and his bird Duffy were among more than 50 who gathered at Rodie’s last month for a full day’s workshop on exotic birds with world renowned animal trainer, Barbara Heidenreich. Heidenreich, often seen on Animal Planet, travels the world teaching zoo staff and avian vets

dreds were killed in the protests of 1989. “To stand where others stood hoping to change the direction of their lives and the lives of their fellow countrymen was awesome,” says Brenda.

Face to face in Tokyo

how to train birds. The full day covered a variety of topics including how to read bird bodylanguage and how to trim beaks and nails without drugs. “The workshop was a sellout,” said Rodie’s owner Sarah Rodenburg. “We’ve already talked to Barbara about coming back next year.”


Clayton residents Masha Rosenthal and Scott Kambic visited their daughter in Tokyo at the end of October. They brought the Clayton Pioneer along to Harajuku, an upbeat neighborhood that is very popular with teens. Their daughter, Jarusha, works at Tokyo

Disney as a face character. Face characters are any one of Disney’s characters who meet and greet park visitors. These employees are chosen with their facial features in mind so that once in makeup instead of a mask, they look like the characters.


Lynne is offering FREE consultations with a 3095 Windmill Canyon Dr., Clayton $559,000 Oakhurst – 5BD plus office/den & 3 baths is updated to please. 1BD/BA on the main level. Soaring ceilings & cherry floors, beautiful baths. Private flat lot backs to open space and offers large yard.

2997 Bella Drive, Concord $399,000 Solar Home – Lovely 4BD/3BA plus spacious loft area & laundry room. Nearby BART, shops & downtown. Custom touches throughout: built-in cabinets, surround sound, dual HVAC.


91 Mount Rushmore Place, Clayton $649,000 Dana Hills – 4BD/2.5BA offers craftsmanship & style throughout! Elegant kitchen w/elongated breakfast bar. Exquisite deck & outdoor kitchen. Call to discuss options available for this treasure!

Clayton Resident & Broker Owner

5318 Vista Point Court, Concord $569,900 Vista Point – 4BD/2.5BA on nearly ½ an acre. 2,101 s.f. open floor plan w/newer richly toned flooring, baseboards & moulding. Great Mt. Diablo views!

REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY on matters of Short Sale, Foreclosure & Tax implications. To take a step forward, you need the right guide. Don’t wait another day! Call to hear about Lynne’s

Total Protection Plans. Schedule an Appointment!

John Silvester (925) 980-2896

DRE# 01122025

(925) 672-8787

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Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

November 25, 2011

Jennifer Jay runs for leukemia in NYC marathon JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

How are the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, the death of a fifth grade boy to leukemia a decade earlier and Oprah Winfrey running her first marathon all connected in the person of one energetic and adventuresome Clayton woman? To hear Jennifer Jay tell it, this triangulation of events has shaped her social and recreational life in ways she never would have imagined, including prompting her first-ever visit to New York City earlier this month to run in the New York City Marathon. Running a marathon was not on Jay’s radar back in 1989 when the Loma Prieta earthquake hit. She was so “freaked out” by that she wanted to move off a fault line – and ended up in Clayton. She’s been in town ever since, now living with her husband John Woodworth, a cat and three dogs. But athletics have never been high on her priority list – ever. She had even bargained with her high school principal to get out of physical ed classes so she could take more college prep courses to assist her college chances. “The

deal was I had to join one afterschool sports team. I signed up for track. Since I wasn’t fast I mostly cheered and helped out. One time someone was sick so I ran a leg on a relay. That was it for me and sports.” BLAME OPRAH As Jennifer established herself in a banking career as a project manager she was able to work almost exclusively from home. That worked well since she “loved Oprah” and could watch the “Oprah Winfrey Show” nearly every day. Oprah famously ran a marathon before she turned 40 and that inspired Jennifer –the non-athlete who never exercised – to decide she would do the same. When she was 37 and without any training to speak of she entered the 2004 KNBR Bridge to Bridge run in San Francisco. “This was my very first race that I ever completed. It was only a 7K, but crossing the finish line was exhilarating and I haven’t stopped since.” Two weeks later she entered the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco. As she ran she noticed runners and supporters in purple outfits. She finally asked one of the people in purple what it was all


about. She was told they belonged to Team in Training, a national group that trains people for runs, triathlons, hikes, bike rides and other athletic endeavors, all the while raising funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. All of that “clicked in” with Jay, especially when she thought back to Erik, her best friend starting in kindergarten who died of leukemia when they were in fifth grade. She joined Team in Training and exactly two years later before she turned 40 she completed the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. The NYC Marathon was her fifth full stand-alone marathon plus two marathons as part of two Ironman Triathlons. She’s also had a couple swims from Alcatraz to San Francisco, a 104-mile bike ride and another bike race to the top of Mt. Diablo. Never one to duck a challenge, the diminutive Clayton woman has signed up for the Tour of Anchorage cross country ski event next March with Team in Training. Only thing is that Jay has no idea how to ski. She’ll throw herself into learning how to ski and prepping for the zero degree weather in Alaska just like she does everything else.


Realtor®, DRE#01874255

Realtor®, DRE#01370548





Photo courtesy of Jennifer Jay

JUST HOURS AFTER COMPLETING THE NEW YORK CITY MARATHON in her first visit to The Big Apple, Clayton project manager Jennifer Jay headed for Rockefeller Center to watch the live broadcast of The Today Show on NBC. Just like she systemically does her professional work and training for events Jay spied the crowd for the best signs and planted herself next to the one she thought would ensure her air time. While wearing her NYC Marathon medal Jay got “my two seconds of national television appearance” and also met hosts Al Roker and Ann Curry.

And, she’s going to raise money in memory of Eric (“my first crush”). LIFELONG PASSION “I love to cook and I love to eat, so if I wasn’t burning calories with all my exercise, I’d be fat,” she says with a smile and twinkle in her voice. “Clayton is a great place to run on the trails.” She recently went on a

tour by Save Mt. Diablo of the newly-acquired Thomas Home Ranch. Jay is thrilled about the recreational prospects this key piece of land will open up for runners and hikers. She explains her passion, “The reason I sign up for races and spread them out is because it gives me a goal and purpose to keep moving forward and staying active. At races it’s always





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Spectacular flagship lot with private gate. 4b/2.5ba single level beauty with pool! Huge master suite/walk-in closet and more.

Weight loss, detox & nutritional support consultations with Sarah Coflin, R.N.

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Join The Dynamic Realtor Group, The Moresi Family Restaurants, and the P2C Foundation for the 3rd Annual

“Holiday Horse and Carriage Ride”

Price w e N

(925) 672-6500

Dr. Dan Coflin, D.C.

so inspiring to see athletes in their 60s, 70s and 80s still continuing to do full marathons or full Ironman triathlons. I hope to be able to continue to race until I’m 80. I’ve only done endurance events for the past six years, so I’m still considered a newbie and have lots of years left to improve my skills and speed.” Since it was her first ever visit to New York City Jay spent nearly as much time taking photos along the route – which covers all five boroughs of The Big Apple and also crosses five bridges –that she wasn’t even aware of her pace. She finished in six hours and five minutes for the 26.2-mile course. Next year she hopes to win the lottery again (nearly 100,000 people who apply for the NYC Marathon are turned down annually) so she can return to the event and finish in under five hours. “The New York Times publishes the names of all the runners who finish in under five hours since, that is all they can do and meet their publishing deadline. I want to be in The Times next year!” To view hundreds of photos Jennifer Jay took during her tour of NYC, both running the marathon and as a tourist, visit her Facebook page (“Where I document my life”). You can find out more about Team in Training at teamintraining.org.

You are invited to our Holiday Eyewear Showcase Saturday, December 3, 2011 10:00 a.m.—2:00 p.m. Preview the complete collection of eyewear from top designers such as

Oakley, Dior and Tommy Hilfiger

Prime Lafayette location - downtown and 10+++ schools just steps from your front door! 3 bedrooms 2 baths - gorgeous custom kitchen! Soaring plank ceilings and huge master suite! Offered at $789,000

50 off

Saturday, Dec. 3rd, 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. (just before the tree lighting) in Magical Downtown Clayton

$ purchase of complete eyewear Not valid with other offers or insurance.



Dr. Jeanette Hochstatter, O.D

5442 Ygnacio Valley Rd. #180

Sporty & Sparkling Eyewear for the Holidays


Eyewear & eyecare qualify

Clayton Valley Center


with your flex spending account

November 25, 2011

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

Page 5

Directory of Advertisers Auto Mike's Auto Body . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-1739 P.O. Box 1246 6200 Center Street, Suite H, Clayton, CA 94517 TAMARA


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

Equipped to handle all your electrical needs

R OBERT S TEINER , Publishers

TAMARA S TEINER , Editor P ETE C RUZ , Graphic Design P EGGY S PEAR , Copy Editor J AY B EDECARRÉ, Sports PAMELA W IESENDANGER , Administration S TAFF W RITERS : Denisen Hartlove, Jay Hartlove, Lou Fancher,

New construction Remodel Trouble Shooting Low Voltage Wiring

Nicci Shipstead, Pam Wiesendanger, Mike Dunn

Speakers Multi Media Alarm Wiring & Monitoring We can do it all!

No job is too big or too small. For a free estimate give us a call.

We remember Jill Bedecarré - Her spirit is our muse


PIONEER INFO CONTACT US Tel: (925) 672-0500 Fax: (925) 672-6580 Tamara Steiner tamara@claytonpioneer.com Send ads to ads@claytonpioneer.com Send Sports News to sports@claytonpioneer.com Send Club News to clubnews@claytonpioneer.com Send Church News to churchnews@claytonpioneer.com

Send School News to schoolnews@claytonpioneer.com

CLASSIFIEDS Classified rates per insertion: Non-profit: $12 for first 30 words, $.20 each additional word Individual/non-commercial: $18 for first 30 words, $.30 each additional word Commercial: $48 for first 30 words, $.40 each additional word To place your classified ad over the phone, call the office at (925) 6720500 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. Or, you may fax your typewritten ad and credit card information to (925) 672-6580. All classifieds must be paid for in advance by credit card (Master Card or Visa) We will not accept any ad that discriminates on the basis of race, color,

sex, religion, nationality, family status or disability. The Clayton Pioneer reserves the right to reject any advertising we believe is unsuitable. LET US KNOW Weddings, engagements, anniversaries, births and deaths all weave together as part of the fabric of our community. Please let us know of these important events. We ask only that the announcement be for a Clayton resident. You will find the appropriate form for your announcement on our Website. Attach your photo to the form. Make sure the image size you are about to send is at least 3 MB but not bigger than 6MB. The only format we accept is JPG. You can also mail or bring your print to the office and we can scan it for you. Also on our Website are forms for submitting Community Calendar items and press releases for your organization. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Clayton Pioneer welcomes letters from our readers. As a general rule, letters should be 250 words or less and submitted at least one week prior to publication date. Letters concerning current issues will have priority. We may edit letters for length and clarity. All letters will be published at the editor’s discretion. Please include your name, address and daytime telephone number. We will not print letters from “anonymous.” E-mail your letter in a Word document to tamara@claytonpioneer.com. Letters MUST be submitted via E-mail.

Jake Pauline, Owner Clayton Resident

www. B lack D iamond E lectric.com Ca. License # 724171

Correction to Owl story In the last issue of the Clayton Pioneer, in a story on owl boxes installed at the Cemex Quarry, we misidentified the type of owl that preys on barn owls. Great Horned Owls prey on barn owls. We regret the error.



From Oktoberfest: Koala Kids hat; Cherokee youth, medium plaid flannel shirt; Sprockets size 5T, pink, reversible vest; Bodega Bay ladies, large hoodie; one pair of sunglasses. Call Marilyn 914-0778.

Curry Creek. Country living on Morgan Territory Road. Three cabins. Available now, small cabin, 2 rooms, recently remodeled with granite counters, $850/mo; Available Jan 1, 1 BR with window seat overlooking creek $1100/mo; 2 BR with yard backing up to hill - $1200. Water, garbage included. Satellite dish available for Internet and TV. Call Al Schwitalla, 673-0190.

PUPPIES FOR SALE Lhasa Apso puppies, American Kennel Club pedigreed. Two females. One male. White toes, noses. Ready for Christmas. Calm, loyal companion and watchdogs. Good with children. Vaccinated. $450 and $475. 890-8314.

SERVICES Girl Gardening Garden care, monthly pruning and fertilizing services. Plant suggestions and installation. Call or email Nicole Hackett 673-1746, or gardengirl94517@yahoo.com.

WANTED Come join Mazzei Realty! Currently interviewing and hiring new and experienced real estate agents. Call 925-693-0757 for details. Real Estate Agents Be Successful! Lynne French is expanding and interviewing for a few agents. Call her today 672-8787.

Your lender for

Ragtop & Rooftop

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Help Fight Hunger Anna Chan – AKA: The Lemon Lady needs your help! Weekly commitment appreciated. Please 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@att.net. Hospice of the East Bay – Anna’s Attic Volunteer at Anna’s Attic Thrift Shoppe, located at 5350 Clayton Road. For information call 6749072. To learn more about volunteering for Hospice of the East Bay please contact 887-5678, or email volunteers@hospiceeatbay.org.

Yes. You can join.®

(800) 877-8328


Clayton Valley: 5442 Ygnacio Valley Road, Suite 10 Concord: 1257 Willow Pass Road Antioch–Slatten Ranch: 5819 Lone Tree Way Antioch–Terrace Center: 2721 Lone Tree Way Richmond–Hilltop Plaza: 3300-A Klose Way

Everyone who lives, works, or attends school in Contra Costa or Alameda, part of our 12-county area, is eligible to join. Certain membership requirements may apply. NMLS registered. Equal Housing Lender

Clayton Historical Society Museum Needs a greeter for two hours per month from 2-4 p.m. Wednesdays or Sundays. Call the museum at 672-0240 and leave your name. Clayton Community Library Needs volunteers. Minimum age 13. Minimum commitment is 6 months. Some training provided. Contact: Arlene @ 673-9777 or email: nielsenjanc@aol.com.

Chiropractor Coflin Chiropractic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6500 Construction and Trades Appliance Repairs by Bruce, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2700 Belfast Plumbing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .457-5423 Black Diamond Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .777-3440 Burkin Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 212-3339 Campanella’s Custom Contracting . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0172 Diablo View Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .822-5144 J&J’s Final Coat Painting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .625-5849 Smith & Bernal Roofing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-0138 Tipperary Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216-2679 Dentist Children’s Dentistry of Walnut Creek . . . . . . . . . .938-2392 Dining and Entertainment Clayton Club Saloon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-0440 Memo’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .914-0395 Ravioli’s Italian Market Place . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-3819 Subway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0621 Willows Theatre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-1300 Financial and Insurance Services Dawn King Bookkeeping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .933-0553 Kommer, Paul - Merrill Lynch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .988-2111 Littorno, Richard - Attorney at Law . . . . . . . . . . .672-6463 ProFit Business Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216-1025 Prosperitas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-7700 Snyder, Ken . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .270-3617 Travis Credit Union . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1-800-877-8328 Van Wyck, Doug - State Farm Insurance . . . . . . .672-2300 Funerals Ouimet Funeral Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-4242 Home and Garden Abbey Carpet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .686-9901 Clear Splash Pool Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216-6245 Danmer Shutters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .202-1220 Diablo Lawnscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .381-3757 Nichols Landscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9955 Utopic Gardens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .524-0055 Waraner Bros. Tree Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .831-2323 Mailing and Shipping The UPS Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-6245 Optometry Foresight Optometry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-4100 Pet Services Monte Vista Veterinary Hospital . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-1100 Peace of Mind Pet Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9781 Pet Suites Inn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .432-7387 Rodie’s Feed and Pet Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-4600 Real Estate and Mortgage Services French, Lynne - Windermere Real Estate . . . . . .672-8787 Klock, Leigh - Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . . . . . .212-5593 Laurence, Pete - RE/MAX Realty . . . . . . . . . . . .890-6004 Lopez, Stephanie - Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . .932-7329 Mazzei, Matt -Mazzei Realty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0757 Vujnovich, George - Better Homes Realty . . . . .672-4433 Recreation and Fitness All Out Sports League . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .203-5626 Clayton Valley Bowl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-4631 Levity Fitness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2995 Senior Services Diamond Terrace Senior Retirement Living . . . . .524-5100 Services, Other Ararat Exterminators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-7020 Computers USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9989 Net Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6029 Recycling Center & Transfer Station . . . . . . . . . .473-0180 Specialty Shops Blessed Brides by Sarah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-1200 Travel Cruise Adventures Unlimited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .935-7447 Travel to Go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9840 Holiday Guide A & H Limo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .200-2824 Bella Mia Spa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .680-7792 Clayton Business & Community Association . . . .672-2272 Clayton Furniture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .686-2299 Divine Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .349-9490 Earthquake Arabians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .360-7454 Ghost Golf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .521-1913 Lollipop Cake Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .270-7902 Moresi’s Chophouse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-1333 Personal Chef Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .212-1418 Postal Annex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-5246 R&M Pool, Patio, Gift & Gardens . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-0207 The Maids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-6243 The Royal Rooster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2025 Vintage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .vintagetrio.com

Kindness Do the Right Thing

Page 6

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

Haydon, from page 1 Pokhara, a lakeside resort city to the west of Kathmandu that serves as the trailhead for treks into the Annapurna range of the Himalayas. After two more days spent touring that area, I headed back to Kathmandu to meet my team of fellow trekkers to begin our 12-day trek to the Everest Base Camp area. My trekking party was an interesting mix of three Israeli professionals, two realtors from the Cleveland area, and me, as well as the three Nepalese guides and three Sherpa porters that supported us, which made for diverse discussions throughout the trek. We started by flying in a small plane to Lukla, with its short mountainside airstrip at 9,100 feet. We began our 40-45 mile trek into the heart of the Himalayas with a five-mile hike to our first teahouse for the night. We stayed in teahouses every night, getting to know the local people and fellow trekkers from around the world. After two days on the trail, we got to Namche Bazzar, the largest Sherpa village in the Everest region, with many teahouses, lodges, shops and Internet cafes. It is located on a high mountain shelf at 11,280 feet, and has a beautiful view of the high mountains in the area. We had to stay there an extra day to help acclimate to the higher elevation, but that allowed us to hike up to the school that Sir Edmund Hillary helped build for the local children. Our days started with a knock on the door and a cup of tea from one of our guides. We would have a hearty breakfast,

hike for three or four hours, take a leisurely lunch break, then hike for awhile in the afternoon to our next teahouse. We would also usually hike a bit in the late afternoon, exploring the local area, then have dinner at the teahouse, often visiting with other trekkers. We hiked five to 10 miles a day during our trek, getting up to a high point of just over 18,000 feet when we climbed Kala Patthar, a mountain overlooking the Everest Base Camp area, for great views of Mt. Everest and the surrounding area. While we were short of breath, no one suffered any altitude sickness, which was fortunate. Although this is the most popular time for trekking in Nepal, the trails were never crowded, which allowed us to enjoy the mountains and the small villages. The day we finally reached Everest Base Camp, at 17,600 feet, a light snow began to fall, adding an appropriate touch to the experience. But the snow melted quickly and didn’t pose a problem. In fact, other than a short rainstorm during our first 15 minutes on the trail the first day of the trek, we had great weather, with crystal clear mornings and early afternoons, just as predicted for October. While climbing to the base camp was my reason for taking the trip, the experience of hiking through the many mountain valleys and villages and being exposed to the culture and people of Nepal was an unexpected bonus. Although the trip was more physically demanding that I expected, the overall cultural experience was much more rewarding than I ever expected.

The Way We Were

Endeavor Hall was built in 1863 on the southwest corner of Oak and Center Streets on land donated by Joel Clayton. It was originally built by volunteers as a Methodist Church. In the early 1890s it was sold to the Congregational Church’s Christian Endeavor Society for $500, hence the popular name — Endeavor Hall. In 1932, the Society sold it to the remaining church members who formed a trust and operated it as a de facto community center. After the Oct. 17, 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, engineers determined that it’s sandstone foundation could not withstand another serious tremor and it was closed on June 30, 1990. The city of Clayton used Redevelopment Agency funds to acquire the property and restore it to its present beautiful condition. It is currently used for both public and private events. During its 130-year colorful past, the hall has been the used by 4 H groups, dance classes, dog obedience-training, and all sorts of community and club events. For several years, it was the venue for live melodramas on Saturday nights. During Clayton’s early days of incorporation, both the city council and the planning commission meetings were held there. Today it stands as a lovingly restored reminder of Clayton’s past.

o Videur c i s Mu y Ho

November 25, 2011

Look for La Niña to cool off Clayton

WOODY WHITLATCH WEATHER WORDS October was a great weather month in the Clayton area. There were only four days last month when afternoon temperatures failed to reach the 70degree mark. On nine October afternoons, temperatures climbed into the 80s. Now it’s November and the transition into winter has begun. We’ve turned our clocks back and sunset occurs at dinnertime. As the cooler and wetter weather patterns arrive, we start looking for the first dustings of snow on top of Mt. Diablo. What kind of weather can we expect this winter? To answer that question most meteorologists refer to guidance provided by the National Climate Prediction Center (NCEP). The most recent NCEP forecast discussion notes that for the second consecutive winter season La Niña conditions

are developing. La Niña events are characterized by unusually cold ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific. This is opposite of the definition of El Niño which occurs when ocean temperatures in that area are abnormally warm. Consecutive La Niña winters are not uncommon, and climate records show five multi-year La Niñas since 1950. The most recent multi-year La Niña began during winter 1998-99 and lasted for three winters. Similar to its better known cousin, the El Niño, La Niñas can produce unusual winter temperature and rainfall patterns in the United States. El Niño winters tend to be wetter in the south and drier in the

north. Conversely, La Niña winters tend to be drier in the south and wetter in the north. NCEP recently published rainfall forecasts for the upcoming winter months of December through February. Rainfall predictions are displayed in the accompanying map. In the forecast, the darker shades in the north (“A”) mean greater chances of above normal rainfall, darker shades in the south (“B”) indicate greater chances of below normal rainfall. The white areas indicate equal chances of above or below normal rainfall. The current is forecast features a typical winter rainfall pattern for moderate La Niña events. There is a greater poten-

NATIONAL CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER map shows where higher and lower than normal rainfall is expected this winter.

tial for above normal rainfall in the northern half of the US, and greater chances for a winter of below normal rainfall in the southern US. The NCEP forecast indicates that the Bay Area has equal chances of above or below normal rainfall this winter. NCEP also produces a winter season temperature prediction, and that forecast indicates we have a greater chance for below normal temperatures than above normal. Regardless of the forecast, the warm days of October are behind us and winter is just around the corner. After the end of the season, meteorologists will analyze the strength of the current La Niña and the weather patterns it produced. That information will be used to increase the accuracy of future winters. Some day we may even get it right. If you are interested in more information regarding the current La Niña event, visit the National Weather Service website at www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/elNiño/laNiña-story.html. Woody Whitlatch is a meteorologist with PG&E. Email your questions or comments to clayton_909@yahoo.com

Don’t paws to get a pet emergency plan Most families have plans in place for emergencies: earthquake kits, fire alarms, telephone trees, a drawer full of batteries. But have you ever stopped and thought about how to prepare your family pet in case of emergency? Without opposable thumbs, they may be hard-pressed to work a flashlight. Here are 10 steps to help you prepare for the needs of your animals in the event of an emergency. A good rule of thumb – a plan that is best for your family is typically what will be best for your pets. Your family emergency plan (what to do, where to meet, where to go, etc.) should be well thought out. For more information on creating a plan, visit www.claytoncert.com If you must evacuate, take your pets with you if possible. If you are heading to a public shelter, animals may not be allowed inside. It’s best to plan an alternative to shelters that will work for both you and your pets. If you can’t care for your animals yourself, have a back-up emergency plan. Create a buddy system with your neighbors, relatives, or friends to make someone can care for your pets in the event you’re not available. Be sure to let them know about your Pet Emergency Kits and how to access them. Plan how/where you can meet once you are available or back in the area to care for your pets.


SAFETY ZONE Prepare two Pet Emergency Supply Kits: The first one will be used to take with you and your pets in case you have to get away. This kit will be small and light and will contain only the basics for survival – like water and food to last for at least three days. The second kit should contain the food, water, medicines, first aid items, medical records, leashes, records, favorite toys/treats, sanitation (litter box, bags, towels, etc.) and everything your pets will need to stay where you are. Both kits should be checked regularly to ensure freshness of the supplies. The food and medicines should be kept in airtight, waterproof containers. The first aid materials should include cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors, antibiotic ointment, flea and tick prevention, latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol, and saline solution. Include a pet first aid reference book. Your pets should always be wearing a collar with ID tag

and/or rabies tag, harness or leash. Include a backup leash, collar and ID tag in your pet’s emergency supply kit. Consider having a crate or pet carrier as it may be helpful to transport your animal during an emergency situation. Have a picture of you and your pet together in case you become separated during an emergency. This will help others identify your pet. Put this in your second kit. Consider permanent identification such as micro-chipping and enrolling your pet in a recovery database. Your veterinarian should have more information about this. Gather and have contact information for your reference,

including your phone numbers and names of your veterinarian, kennels and SPCA. Place that info in your second kit. Create some “Pets Inside” stickers and place them on your doors and windows with information on the number, types of pets, and your contact info. This will help alert rescue workers. If you flee with your pets and have time, be sure to write “Evacuated with Pets” on the stickers. Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving and Holiday celebration! Harun Simbirdi is a resident of Clayton and member of the City of Clayton Citizen Corps Council (C5CERT). He can be reached at simbirdi@yahoo.com

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November 25, 2011

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

Protect your privacy, avoid probate Keep family matters in the family Although probate can be time consuming and expensive, perhaps its biggest downside is that it’s public — anyone who’s interested can find out what assets you owned and how they’re being distributed after your death. The public nature of probate can also draw unwanted attention from disgruntled family members who may challenge the disposition of your assets, as well as from other unscrupulous parties. The good news is that, by implementing the right estate planning strategies, you can keep much or even all of your estate out of probate.

RICHARD LITTORNO ESTATE PLANNING probate places strict time limits on creditor claims and settles claims quickly. CHOOSE THE RIGHT STRATEGIES

PROBATE, DEFINED Probate is a legal procedure in which a court establishes the validity of your will, determines the value of your estate, resolves creditors’ claims, provides for the payment of taxes and other debts, and transfers assets to your heirs. Is probate ever desirable? Sometimes. Under certain circumstances, you might feel more comfortable having a court resolve issues involving your heirs and creditors. Another possible advantage is that

There are several tools you can use to avoid (or minimize) probate. (You’ll still need a will — and probate — to deal with guardianship of minor children, disposition of personal property and certain other matters.) The simplest ways to avoid probate involve designating beneficiaries or titling assets in a manner that allows them to be transferred directly to your beneficiaries outside your will. So, for example, you should be sure that you have appropriate, valid beneficiary designations for

assets such as life insurance policies, annuities and retirement plans. For assets such as bank and brokerage accounts, look into the availability of “pay on death” (POD) or “transfer on death” (TOD) designations, which allow these assets to avoid probate and pass directly to your designated beneficiaries. Keep in mind, though, that while the POD or TOD designation is permitted in most states, not all financial institutions and firms make this option available. For homes or other real estate — as well as bank and brokerage accounts and other assets — some people avoid probate by holding title with a spouse or child as “joint tenants with rights of survivorship” or as “tenants by the entirety.” But this has three significant drawbacks: 1) once you retitle property you can’t change your mind, 2) holding title jointly gives the joint owner some control over the asset and exposes it to his or her creditors, 3) there may be undesirable tax consequences. A handful of states permit TOD deeds, which allow you to designate a beneficiary who will succeed to ownership of real

estate after you die. TOD deeds allow you to avoid probate without making an irrevocable gift or exposing the property to your beneficiary’s creditors. This tool may become available in more states in the future. DISCUSS YOUR OPTIONS Because of its public nature, avoiding the probate process is a top goal of most estate plans. Implementing the proper strategies in your estate plan can protect your privacy and save your family time and money. Discuss your options with your estate planning advisor. Richard A. Littorno is an attorney specializing in estate planning. He has offices in Clayton and Pittsburg. Send your questions to Richard@LittornoLaw.com.

Page 7

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Nov. 5, 1:25 a.m. Easley Dr./Colombard Ct. A Clayton male, 47, was arrested for DUI after being stopped for a vehicle code violation. Nov. 8, 6 p.m., Clayton Rd. Police arrested a male teen for fraudulent charity solicitation. He was released at the scene. Nov. 10, 6:30 p.m., Kenston Dr. Police arrested a Clayton woman, 34, for possession of drugs and probation violation after doing a probation search. Nov. 13, 9 p.m., Mt. Shasta Pl. A Clayton man, 36, was arrested for domestic battery

From cyberspace . . .

after police responded to a call for service. Nov. 17, 6:56 a.m. Clayton Rd./Lydia Ln. An Oakland man, 31, was cited for driving on a suspended license after being stopped for a vehicle code violation. He cited and released on his signed promise to appear. BURGLARIES/THEFTS: Nov. 4, 2 p.m. Herriman Drive. Vehicle burglary. Nov. 4, 3:30 p.m., Residential burglary. Nov. 4, 9:40 p.m., Bettencourt Dr. Grand Theft Nov. 6, 9:15 p.m., Clayton Road., robbery

Nov 7, 2:46 p.m/, Clayton Rd. Petty theft. Nov 7, 8:56 p.m., Pebble Beach Dr. Petty theft. Nov. 8, 9:30 a.m. Mt. Palomar Pl. Residential burglary. Nov. 8, 1:24 p.m. Yosemite Cr. Petty theft. Nov. 9, 8:43 p.m., Windmill Canyon Dr. Grand theft. Nov. 10, 3:34 p.m. Kenston Dr. Residential burglary. Nov. 15, 2:49 p.m. Herriman Dr. Petty theft. Nov. 15, 7:18 p.m. Mt. Sequoia Pl. Residential burglary.

VANDALISM: Nov. 7. Atchinson Stage Pl.


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are more unemployed politicians 8. I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. 9. We hang petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. 10. The only difference between the tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin. 1. John Adams; 2. Winston Churchill; 3. James Bovard. 4. Ronald Reagan; 5. Voltaire (1764); 6. Pericles; 7. Edward Langley; 8. Will Rogers; 9. Aesop; 10. Mark Twain

1. In my many years, I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a congress. 2. I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to life himself up by the handle 3. Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.

4 .Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. It it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. 5. In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other 6. Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you. 7. What this country needs

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Page 8

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

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Q. I am concerned that right after I buy a house, the mortgage interest deduction will be eliminated. Which political party is trying to do away with it? A. The mortgage interest deduction is probably the most popular tax deduction in the tax code. It is a huge driving force of the housing market. And, it is a political “hot potato,” as some people refer to it. In all of the polls I have seen the majority of

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Q. Do you think I can end up with a better rates and terms for a loan going with one of the big banks or with a mortgage broker? A. If you have a relationship with a bank it doesn’t hurt to check their rates, but I strongly suggest you also check with a mortgage broker. Get a referral, preferably from your Realtor. They have the experience to know which brokers get the job done. Realtors don’t benefit financially from the lender you choose. Your Realtor is there to assist you in getting the transaction closed. Borrowers might not realize that mortgage brokers get wholesale pricing and the lenders they represent are competing for their business. The mortgage brokers could have 40 or more lenders to choose from. When you borrow straight from

the bank, you are still getting the bank’s retail prices. Another avenue you might explore is credit unions. If you are a member of one through your job, you should give them a chance. In addition, there are many credit unions that the general public can join. Just remember, when you compare lenders, look not only at interest rates but fees and points as well. Also, look at the ability of the lender to get the transaction closed on time. If you have a Realtor they could go over the comparison with you to help you decide.

constituents in both political parties, as well as independents, are in favor of keeping it. That being said, the mortgage interest deduction is too tempting to ignore when lawmakers are trying to produce more revenue by cutting tax loopholes. It has been looked at time and again since it was instituted. It always ends up being perceived as (and is, in my opinion) in the best financial interest of the country, and should not be abolished. The housing industry needs to be strong for a strong economy. Also, all the concern about this issue is affecting consumer confidence negatively. Right now the housing market must be stabilized so the economy can recover. Please know that the National Association of Realtors, a

huge lobbying group, is fighting relentlessly for this and other issues affecting the housing market. So, to answer your question, neither political party is pushing for eliminating the deduction, but both keep examining it. Please contact your representatives and let them know your views on this issue. You really can help to make a difference. Send your question & look for your answer in a future column. Email: Lynne@LynneFrench.com. Lynne French is the Broker/Owner of Windermere Lynne French & Associates and a Clayton resident. For any real estate needs or questions contact her at 925-672-878 7 or stop in at 6200 Center Street, Suite E, in Clayton.

Club News Haydon will lead CBCA in 2012 GARY CARR Special to the Pioneer

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to land developers since the 1990s, when SMD stepped in the first time, helping stop a proposal to annex over 2,700 acres stretching through the Thomas Ranch property up Nortonville Canyon to overlook Clayton. More than 1,500 houses were proposed. The property is a critical link in a wildlife and recreational corridor between Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve and a new regional park proposed at the Concord Naval Weapons Station. Also known as “Thomas North,” the Home Ranch is being acquired at the same time that East Bay Regional Park District is purchasing the 160-acre “Thomas Central” and 852-acre “Thomas South.” It also comes just a few months after its purchase of the 798-acre Barron property, another Thomas property and the final gap between Mt. Diablo State Park and Black Diamond Mines. Although those properties are bigger, they are also more rugged and remote than the “Home” property. SMD will eventually hand over the land to the East Bay Regional Park District. “The Park District is very

from page 1

grateful for Save Mount Diablo’s role in protecting this strategic property at the mouth of Nortonville Canyon,” said Nancy Wenninger, Assistant General Manager/Land Division for the district. “We were very interested in this acquisition but we weren’t going to be able to complete the purchase.” The purchase occurred at an auction, where SMD outbid another party who Save Mount Diablo’s Executive Director Ron Brown says was “almost certainly a developer.” The group worked with 83year-old Gloria Thomas, who was born on the Thomas Home Ranch in 1928. The Thomases, who moved to the area to work in the mines further up the canyon in Nortonville homesteaded the property in 1869, loved their land and resisted the outsiders who wanted a piece of it. Save Mount Diablo’s purchase ends the threat of development on the property. SMD will conduct a guided tour of the Thomas Home Ranch on Dec. 3 at 9:30 am. For information and reservations, go to SaveMountDiablo.org.

The Clayton Business and Community Association elected its 2012 officers at its recent meeting at the Oakhurst Country Club, as well as approved donation requests for an array of community projects, from basketball uniforms to linoleum. Leading the organization as president next year will be Keith Haydon. Jennifer Giantvalley will serve as vice president– programs, and Jim Diaz will serve as vice president–membership. John Garrett was elected treasurer, and Gitty Hatambeiki will serve as secretary. Besides elections, CBCA members were given the happy news that the recent Oktoberfest netted more than $70,000. CBCA sponsors the annual Art and Wine and Oktoberfest festivals as major fundraising events, and distributes the proceeds to a number of local schools, organizations and projects. At this last meeting, the group approved: a $4,000 donation to the Concord Child Care Center for their meal program. The center provides care and education to young children of low-income families in the Central County. a $2,500 donation to Clayton Counts Down, a safe and alcohol-free family and community New Years Eve Party. a nearly $4,000 donation to Diablo Valley Ranch now,

With the Holidays fast approaching, CBCA needs volunteers to help decorate downtown Clayton. All are welcome to meet at the Gazebo on Nov. 26 at 9 a.m. The job will wrap up by 1 p.m. The annual treelighting will happen on Dec. 3, beginning at 6 p.m. And on Dec.10, Mrs. Claus will once again greet all the kids at Endeavor Hall. CBCA membership information is at www.claytoncbca.org or 925672-2272. Monthly dinner meetings are open to the public and held on the last business Thursday of the month.

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with an additional $3,000 to be voted on next month, to replace carpeting and linoleum in their Serenity Room and kitchen and for flooring in the Oak Knoll House. DVR’s manpower contributions to CBCA-sponsored projects are key to the success of events like Art & Wine and Oktoberfest. DVR is a substance abuse rehab facility located on Marsh Creek Road. a $1,250 donation to the “Do the Right Thing” program for posters and banners. a $670 donation to the Clayton Valley boys varsity basketball team to help purchase warm-up suits. a $4,000 donation to the CBCA Cares Committee for its Adopt-A-Family program and for the Monument Crisis Center.

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Tradition and taste make Memo’s memorable PAMELA WIESENDANGER Clayton Pioneer

“Did you take the order?” Adelio Touri, owner of Memo’s Mexican Cuisine in Concord asks. “Yes, Dad, I’m making it,” daughter Ivalina Touri says. He, dressed in a blue striped apron, and she in a red apron and puffy red chef ’s hat, move quickly and quietly through the sparkling clean, stainless steel kitchen as they prepare and serve the late lunch crowd. Being a father-daughter team is their strength and what makes Memo’s in downtown Concord, special, says Adelio. “I believe we have a very unique restaurant.” The authenticity of the foods prepared at Memo’s is indisputable. Most of their recipes were hand-carried in a box by Ivalina’s maternal great-greatgrandmother Claudia from the state of Zacatecas in north-central Mexico. The rest of their menu changes often based on

new creations. The Touri’s pride themselves on selecting fresh, all natural foods prepared on site. “We don’t serve anything unless it is made from scratch in our kitchen,” Adelio says. Gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan/vegetarian dishes are all dining options in addition to soups, salads, burritos, beef, chicken, pork and seafood entrees. Adventurous patrons can partake in exotic dishes made with cactus and countless herbs and spices like the Chef ’s Special “steak ala negra.” The Touri’s passion for sharing flavorful food and an inviting décor of warm, spicy colors and Mexican art bring many customers back on a regular basis. “It has to be the best; otherwise, it won’t be good for our guests,” Adelio says. Don Bates of Walnut Creek says if he does not dine at Memo’s at least once a week, “I feel like something is missing.” He has several favorite items on

FATHER AND DAUGHTER TEAM, IVALINA (LEFT) AND ADELIO TOURI make fine dining a family affair at Memo’s in downtown Concord. Many recipes have been handed down through the family for generations. the menu, but the sauces are what make his mouth water. He describes them as “complex,” with the richness in flavor result-

ing from the culmination of many herbs and spices. The especial burrito, the mole sauce in particular, is Clay-

One potato, two potato … more





October is the prime harvest time for potatoes – the number one vegetable crop in the U.S. Potatoes haven’t always been a popular food among Europeans and Americans, and even today they get a bum rap from some nutritionists. The ancient Incas of Peru cultivated potatoes as far back as 500 B.C. The conquistadors brought the potato back to Spain, where it was thought to be a kind of truffle (and named tartuffo). Over the next 50 years, the potato was introduced to Italy, England, Belgium, Germany, Austria and France. However, many thought the potato caused leprosy and it was implicated in syphilis, sterility, and early death. Sir Walter Raleigh, the wellknown British explorer and historian, brought the potato in the late 1500s to Ireland and then to England, where it was served in the court of Queen Elizabeth.

Untrained cooks were known to discard the potatoes (which are actually tubers that grow underground) and serve the stems and leaves (which are poisonous), resulting in considerable distress and sometimes death. French scientist Parmentier (1737-1813) championed the potato and found nefarious ways to encourage its cultivation. In 1785, he convinced King Louis XVI to plant potatoes in a useless tract of land just outside Paris. The land was guarded by soldiers and this intrigued the locals. One night, when the soldiers were deliberately pulled off duty and the locals flooded the fields, pulled up the potatoes and planted them in their own gardens and fields. History congratulated Parmentier, whose name is associated with quite a number of French potato recipes. There are literally thousands of potato varieties, but we’re

only familiar with a handful in our American market. (Actually, this same problem is what caused the great potato famine in Ireland, when blight decimated the potato crops and caused more than a million people to flee to other lands in the 1800s.) Potatoes can be “waxy” or have a moist smooth interior like a red potato or white rose. Otherwise, potatoes are classified as having a floury texture with a drier texture that becomes fluffy when cooked and prepared (as for mashed potatoes). Russet potatoes are the most wellknown floury potato. Developed by Luther Burbank of Santa Rosa, the Russet is the mainstay of Idaho potato farms. Potatoes take some heat from a nutritional standpoint. Most fear its carbohydrate count, but it’s a low calorie food (110) with 45 percent of the daily value for Vitamin C, more potassium than

ton customer Kim Bellino’s favorite item. “It’s the best authentic Mexican food you could have. The family is won-


Memo’s serves lunch and dinner, and caters and hosts private parties. It is located at 2118 Mt. Diablo St., Concord, near Todo Santos Plaza, 914-0395.

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Nicole Hackett at R&M Pool, Patio, Gift and Garden says:

“Working with the Clayton Pioneer has been a wonderful experience. The paper has

a banana, 2 grams of fiber (in the skin) and no fat or cholesterol. Most of us don’t realize that the best French fries in the world are twice-fried. Here’s a recipe to try. THE BEST FRENCH FRIES 2 lbs russet potatoes (4”-5” long) 2 quarts canola or peanut oil 1 Tbsp sea salt Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/3” slices, then into 1/3” sticks. Soak the potatoes in water for at least 30 minutes (up to 24 hours). Heat the oil in a deep fryer or heavy stockpot to 325 °F. Remove the potatoes from the water and pat dry. Add 2 handfuls of potatoes to the oil (oil should be about 1” above the potatoes). Cook until lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes. Remove potatoes to a rack to drain. Repeat with all potatoes. Raise the heat on the oil to 350 °F. Cook the potatoes a second time – until golden brown (about 2-3 minutes). Shake off the oil or drain on paper towels. Season with salt and serve.

derful,” Bellino says. Monica Bartling and her husband Shane from Walnut Creek bring their four daughters over at least twice a month for a family feast and hired Memo’s to cater parties as well. “There is variety for all of us,” Monica says and “they make you feel like part of the family.” The Touris have owned Memo’s since 2003. Cooking was a hobby for Adelio while he worked as a salesperson at Sears. “And I love to eat. It was my dream to open a restaurant. My daughter said, ‘Let’s go for it.’” Adelio and Ivalina do all the cooking, assisted only on the floor by wait staff. “We agree and disagree,” Ivalina says, but “we complete each other at work; you can say we’re a perfect team.”

become a valuable venue to initiate and generate local business. The overwhelming readership of our Clayton paper makes advertising in its pages a necessity.” Call the Pioneer to help your business grow: 672-0500

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One need not look far in the media before coming across news of the recent Pennsylvania State University debacle. While it is utterly disgusting, and shocking that such a secret of abuse could be kept out of the spotlight for so many years, I personally find the situation to be a pivotal moment in history. Historically, child molestation and sexual abuse laws have been difficult to navigate. While sexual assault is considered a criminal offense, the cases are difficult to prosecute due to either a lack of proof aside from a verbal accusation or due to the fact that so many children don’t speak up about the abuse. Furthermore, it has become clear that withholding knowledge of sexual abuse from authorities should be considered illegal in an effort to protect the few rights that children do have.

For the past 10 days Diablo Valley Middle School has definitely displayed November’s “Do The Right Thing” character trait: Kindness. DVMS lead-

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As news of the Penn State scandal released, the nation learned that the university’s former assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky, along with the school president Graham Spanier, legendary head football coach Joe Paterno, and two other top administrators were fired. I cannot help but see this situation as a truly eye-opening moment in history of child sexual abuse and the journey to consistently hold all silent witnesses accountable. Finally, people are being held culpable for their actions, regardless of what their role in the abuse was. How is suppressing news of such abuse any better than the abuse itself ? Merely standing by enables the abuse to continue, and this must be seen as an equally punishable offense. As Albert Einstein said,

“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” Following the news release of Paterno’s termination from the head coach position, hundreds of students rallied behind the legend. Armed with signs while publicly protesting, students chanted, “Hell no, Joe won’t go!” To me, this is shocking and somewhat sickening. While I certainly can understand the influence that this coach held over the students and the difference he has made at the university, I cannot sympathize with the students. They are defending a man that allowed sexual abuse to multiple children to occur over the course of 15 years. In response to scandal, lawmakers across the nation have

SARAH ROSEN TEEN SPEAK been tightening their child abuse laws in hope of protecting children from any further abuse and avoiding future incidents, particularly on school campuses. If people like Paterno and Spanier who allegedly knew about the abuse and choose to conceal it, abuse and allow childhoods to be stolen, we must insist that they be held accountable. It’s time for each of us to recognize our own accountability and realize that we all have an obligation to make Einstein’s words a thing of the past. Sarah Rosen is a senior at CVHS. E-mail her at sarah_rosen@claytonpioneer.com.

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ership students organized the annual food drive with the goal of helping others in the community not hear the “voice” of hunger. The school exceeded its goal of 2,500 canned goods for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano and the Mt. Diablo School Unified School District Food Pantry with 3,013 canned goods. The food drive was held from Nov. 7 through Nov. 16. The food will be distributed equally between the food bank and the pantry. To celebrate the food drive’s success, students were given a special treat on Nov. 16: No homework. All homeroom classes participated, with Mrs. Ginoza’s seventh grade class donating the most cans with 448 food items. The class received a special breakfast on Friday, Nov. 18. The students who had the most donations were eighth grader Jessica Drum, seventh grader Ethan Doig and sixth grader Alyssa Stadie.

Celine Herrera/DVMS

MRS. GINOZA’S 7TH GRADE CLASS AT DVMS collected the most food for the Food Bank of Contra Costa food drive earlier this month. The class was rewarded with a “homework free zone” on Nov. 16.

DVMS leadership students say they extend their thanks to the students, teachers, and the community who donated canned goods, rice, beans, and other food to the school. Donations can be made to the Contra Costa Food Bank throughout

the year – not just during the holidays. For more information, visit the organization’s website at http://www.foodbankccs.org.

Celine Herrera is an eighthgrader at DVMS. Send comments to. Celine@claytonpioneer.com.

Live long and be sure you are secure with long term care plan KEN SNYDER Special to the Pioneer

Nowadays, living a long life is almost a certainty, isn’t it? However, living a long life doesn’t guarantee that it’ll be a healthy one. The longer we live, the more likely we will need long-term care. An accident, illness, Alzheimer’s or other disability may strike at anytime. Or we may just become too frail to be independent as we get older. If you are part of the Baby Boomer generation (born between 1944 and 1964), it’s important to understand the serious emotional and financial threat a long-term care need can have on your loved ones, your retirement plans and your estate. Long-term care is not just an individual concern; it is a multigenerational family concern. Many people do not realize that health insurance and Medicare cover virtually none of the cost of nursing homes, assisted livening facilities or in-home care – the care many people require late in life. Long term care is one of the most pressing issues and, likely, the greatest

retirement expense facing many Americans today. By definition, long term care must last at least 90 days. However, many people need help for much longer, sometimes for years. Those who plan to tap their hard-earned nest egg and retirement income to cover the possible cost of long-term care are in for a shock. In our area the cost for long-term care can easily range from $45,000 to $87,000 per year, depending on the level of support a person requires, and where they receive services. (Care can be provided in your home, in Adult Day Care Centers, in Residential Care Facilities – also called Assisted Living Facilities – or in a Nursing Home). Consider this: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services predicts that at least 70 percent of people over age 65 will require some long term care services at some point, and more than 40 percent will need care in a nursing home. Long-term Care Awareness Month sends us all this message: don’t delay taking a hard look at how you will pay for long-term care should you or a family member need it. If you find that


Long-term Care Insurance is your best option, sooner is better than later. The older you are the more your insurance premium will cost. More importantly, one’s health status can change overnight, no matter what your age, possibly making you uninsurable. While most people don’t like to think of this aspect of retirement planning, it is just as important as drafting a will, saving for retirement and estate planning. Ken Snyder is a long-term care planning and insurance professional. He can be reached at 925-270-3617. California License 0H12142.

November 25, 2011

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

Page 11

Open your eyes and accessorize


FASHION OVER 50 There’s no need to buy a new wardrobe, or even a new outfit to look fashionable. You can achieve an updated look with a few carefully chosen accessories. Shoes: This Fall, shoes come in all shapes and sizes from fur-trimmed wedges to prim and pointy pumps. The choices are so diverse that every woman can find something for herself. Both pike and round

toes are popular, so you can stick to your favorite toe box and still look current. Reptile leather (especially python) and suede are the materials of choice for day and satin reigns for night. (Remember those satin pumps you had died to match your prom dress?) Buckles and laces add style and texture. One new shoe trend that looks especially promising is the heeled oxford, which would work well with pants or a skirt and textured hose – the perfect opportunity to put a little prep in your step. The main thing to remember is that shoes shouldn’t look like furniture.

Bags: A sleek clutch that fits neatly in your palm or an oversized version that fits under your arm may be all you need to perfectly accent last year’s favorite outfit – think emerald green, ruby red or even banana yellow for an unexpected pop of color. If you’re addicted to a strap, try a handy mini-satchel or a square doctor bag.

Hats: Okay, maybe a floppy brimmed hat doesn’t fit into your lifestyle, but a slouchy knit beret can make an old coat look new. Jewelry: Hang onto your costume jewels – statement necklaces aren’t going anywhere this fall, but chokers make a chic statement with tailored separates. If you don’t want to call attention to your neck (and who does?), stick with a bold disc or button earring to attract the eye upward. The bottom line is you don’t have to spend a lot to update your look. Adding a new accessory (like the black and white polka-dot scarf I bought at H&M last week for $6.50) can make you look and feel beautifully turned out. Live long and pester.

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Mayor, from page 1 Miller. I think it is important for all of us to remember when election time comes around next year that only board members Cheryl Hansen and Lynne Dennler were supportive and gave us a fair shake. In any event, we have appealed to the County Board of Education and we hope and believe that they will review our appeal and petition fairly and reasonably. We may need to call on you for further emails, phone calls and meeting attendance to show our commitment, so stay tuned. The joy of kindness: The word for our Do the Right Thing program this month is “kindness,” which means marked by

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goodness and charitable behavior and concern for others. It seems appropriate to have this word as we approach Thanksgiving, Christmas and other holidays. We would all do well to practice random acts of kindness daily and to also remember and help those less fortunate than us during this time. So please get out there and make a difference. We are teaching our children this virtue and you can also help there by visiting the newly created website, www.ClaytonDTRT.com, and submitting your act of kindness or one you witnessed. Perhaps, in honor or our recent Veteran’s Day, you can help a veteran in need? This campaign hopes to “pay it forward” and make

Clayton a better place. Bravo! Speaking of kindness: In this vein, I will remind you that you can drop toys off for the Toys for Tots program in the bin at Mudville Grill. I have also been advised that MDUSD foster youth and homeless program needs your help. Last year, this program helped 515 homeless students and 212 foster youth overcome their hurdles, stay in school and thrive. You can help by sponsoring a family or giving a donation. If you want to help in this regard, please email hope@mdusd.org or woganj@mdusd.org. As a bonus to you, it is tax deductible and 100% goes to support these kids. Tree tech: You may have noticed the median work going on by our staff. This is your landscape maintenance tax dollars at work as those trees that are sink-

ing, tilting and are root-balled (ouch, sounds painful) are being replaced. Maintenance is keeping the trees that have grown properly and are not root-balled. In addition to tree replanting, crews upgraded the irrigation system in the noses to current technology for enhanced irrigation application and landscape growth. Yes, even our irrigation is going hitech. Finally, two quotes to end this column. Mark Twain once said, “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” And a reader sent me this nugget, “There is finally conclusive evidence that Osama bin Laden and Muammar Gaddafi are dead. Yesterday, they both registered to vote in Chicago.” Sorry Chicago. Email me at shuey@ rankinlaw.com

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Dance your way through the holidays to stay fit and have fun ILIMA HEUERMAN




How fast the holidays get here. As I walk through town, I begin to see so many decorative lights and bows. I am encouraged, excited and a bit worried all at the same time. The busy lives we lead put us all under constant pressure and now tensions are about to increase. While we carry-on with the business of everyday life, we must now rush to meet yearend deadlines, cook a decent turkey, coordinate many more demanding schedules, find someone to pick up Uncle Bob, and methodically plan Christmas shopping lists. Holidays should bring about joy, love and a sense of giving. However, all too often it brings about poor health, both physically and mentally. So we all need to remember to take care. Pace ourselves while still getting the job done. Continue to eat right and balanced while exercising both your body , mind and spirit. While increasing our loads, holidays bring about special times and opportunities for new expression. There are several forms of expression that make people cheerful, healthy and happy. One such form is dance. Dancing is enjoyed by

everyone. If you have ever noticed a person while they are dancing, you will see they have a big smile on their face. Smiling and laughing while dancing is absolutely natural. This is because it allows you to enjoy movement, relax and be present in the moment. There is no age barrier in dancing unlike other forms of exercising. A person of any age can dance and enjoy its benefits on health. There are many forms of dancing. Don’t like to Zumba or Salsa? Then try Ballroom Dance, Contemporary Dance, African Dance, Exotic Dance, Jazz Dance, Pole Dance, Hip Hop Dance or Hula. Every dance form is equally beneficial. Any type of dancing can provide several ways in which to gain a healthy body, spirit, and mind. The only thing is you have to decide which dance form you would like to take up. The sky’s the limit and the creativity is up to you. PHYSICALLY, DANCE CAN: • Increase strength in the lung and the heart. • Strengthen the body muscles. • Fight osteoporosis as it makes the bones stronger. • Increase the flexibility, agility and the coordination in the body. • Increase spatial awareness.. • Enhance physical confidence. • Enhance the functionality of mind and the nervous system.

• Enhance the expenditure of energy and its flow in the body. • Aid weight loss. • Enhance the overall well being.

ways to exercise because it doesn’t have to be the same old thing. It can a refresh a routine and improve your outlook for life in the New Year.

So, remember to preserve yourself this holiday. Make your holiday about joy and love while fostering your sense of giving. Try experiencing new

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Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

November 25, 2011

Clayton Sports Herc Pardi named Clayton Valley baseball coach JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

After the surprise departure last summer of highly-successful head coach Bob Ralston to Cal State University East Bay the Clayton Valley High School varsity baseball coaching position suddenly came open. Athletic Director Pat Middendorf has filled that void with her selection of long-time CVHS football coach Herc Pardi as the interim head coach for the 2012 Eagles season. Pardi is a Clayton Valley alumnus who has made his mark as a head football coach for the past three decades, first at Pittsburg High and then at CVHS since 1996. Pardi, who was an all-league baseball player in his senior year for the Eagles and then played two years at Boise State, is not unfamiliar with the Clayton Valley baseball program. He’s served as pitching coach for the past three seasons, all of which ended in Diablo Valley Athletic League championships. The Clayton resident has been head varsity baseball coach at both Mt. Diablo (1982) and Pittsburg (1989-95) while also serving as junior varsity coach at Alhambra High in Martinez and Pittsburg. Pardi’s Pirates won the Bay Valley Athletic League playoffs in 1989. His first coaching experiences came in the

Concord Department of Leisure Services, St. Bonaventure CYO where he founded the track program and then the Clayton Colts Pony League team. “I’m excited about the challenge of continuing the outstanding tradition of excellence of Clayton Valley baseball since 1995 under the guidance of Joe Panella, Casey Coakley and Bob Ralston,” Pardi says. He takes over a program that has reached the North Coast Section championship game four times since 2002, winning the title in 2009 during the Concord’s school Silver Anniversary year. Last spring the Eagles lost to defending champion Campolindo in the NCS finals. Since 2007 the Eagles have reached at least the semi-finals of the NCS playoffs every year. In July Ralston was chosen as the head coach at Cal State East Bay, his alma mater. Ralston was considered a long shot to land the job but his 11 successful years at Clayton Valley interrupted by a two-year stint at Diablo Valley College proved the winning ticket and left a surprise vacancy on the CVHS staff. Past coaches Coakley and Ralston endorsed the selection of Pardi. Pardi is familiar with all the players on the Eagles baseball roster since he has been on the varsity staff during the time

Mike Dunn/Clayton Pioneer

LONG-TIME CLAYTON VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL COACH HERC PARDI has been appointed to run the varsity baseball team filling the vacancy left by the summer departure of Bob Ralston to Cal State University East Bay. Pardi is in his 16th year at the helm of the Eagles football program. He’ll be naming a new baseball staff in the months ahead.

every current CVHS player has been at the Concord school. Pardi will be using his contacts to assemble an entire new 2012 Eagles baseball coaching staff. CVHS assistant coach David Jeans has been hired to take over

at De La Salle High School as the head baseball coach and Eagles hitting coach Mark Reed moved to the Tahoe area since last season. Clayton Valley football has made the NCS playoffs 12 of

the 16 years Pardi has been in charge. Among his many accomplishments was being named NCS Honor Coach in 2010, only the third CVHS coach in the 53-year history of the school to receive that honor.

His Pittsburg High team in 1992 is the last Northern California team to defeat De La Salle football and Clayton Valley is the only NorCal team since then not to lose to DLS, having tied the Spartans 17-17 in 2004.

MDSA grabs 4 championships at AYSO Area Cup JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Photo courtesy of MDSA

MDSA U14 ADRENALINE FC TOOK FIRST In the AYSO Area Cup this month. The team includes, bottom row from left, Richard Seeno, Rohan Castelino, Jake Haddad, Jacob Kirkpatrick, Ben Schoffstall, Emmanuel Rojas, Blake Cathcart, Joel Gonzalez; top row, coach Susan Lamb, Rey Chavez, Kyle Glantz, Zach Lamb, Joseph Hornsby, Justin Lavezzoli and coach Eli Haddad.

The fall AYSO soccer season locally came to a conclusion two weeks ago with the Area 2C Cup where Mt. Diablo Soccer teams claimed four of the six titles up for grabs in games played in Clayton, Concord and Pleasant Hill. MDSA swept both the boys and girls under 12 championships while the U14 boys Adrenaline and U10 girls Cranberry Crushers also took firstplace honors in the competition that featured top finishers from fall league at AYSO regions of MDSA, Concord AYSO, American Canyon, Delta, Pleasant Hill-Martinez, Richmond, Stockton and Mountain House. In the U14 boys division MDSA Adrenaline relied on a high-scoring offense to win three games and qualify for the finals. In the championship match they squared off with American Canyon and registered a 6-3 victory. Adrenaline scored the game’s

first three goals and never looked back. Ben Schoffstall, Rey Chavez and Jake Kirkpatrick scored goals, teammate Blake Cathcart had two and American Canyon even put one into their own net. Adrenaline’s defense was anchored by Rohan Castelino, Justin Lavezzoli, Joel Gonzalez and Emmanuel Curiel while midfielders Jake Haddad, Richard Seeno, Kyle Glantz and Joey Hornsby linked the offense and defense for head coach Elias Haddad and assistant Susan Lamb. The Cranberry Crushers came in third in the Mt. Diablo World Cup yet still received an invitation to participate in Area 2C Cup. After pool play on Saturday, they were undefeated and unscored upon with three shutouts. The Crushers were nearly as good Sunday with semi-final and final victories giving up a single goal in five games. The team coached by Will Duke and Javier Castenda included Grace Duke, Hop Hoffmeister, Katelyn Walling, Isabella Castaneda, Sydney Kupsh, Serena Connel, Alyssa Asuncion, Aliye Adams and Anna

Flores. The MDSA U10 girls coached by Walt Urias took third. MDSA also took care of business in the U12 divisions. The boys team coached by Joern Weigelt tied Delta in a free-scoring 5-5 game to conclude the preliminary rounds. The next day the two teams each won a semi-final and met again in the finals with MDSA coming out on top 4-20. In the U12 girls MDSA dominated with local teams taking first, third and fourth. Roberto Lopez’ MDSA squad defeated Concord AYSO in the finals while MDSA teams coached by Pete Villa and Peter Valero took third and fourth place, respectively. In the youngest boys division, U10, MDSA again were third and fourth with Troy Amerine and Mernard Werner – coached teams meeting in the consolation finals. The AYSO Section 2 Tournament in the U10-U14 age groups is coming up the weekend of Dec. 10-11 in Foster City. Teams who won the Area 2C Cup will have first opportunity at participating in the Section tourney.


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Page 13

Clayton Sports had at Clayton Valley in the 16 years I have been here. He appreciates our offensive line, especially Jesse Medrano, our lead blocker on most runs,” Pardi says. The six TDs broke the school record set in 1994 by Dominic DeMartini. To show his two-way process Protheroe is second on the team in tackles to Medrano from his defensive back position.

Athlete Spotlight Name: Joe Protheroe Age: 17 Team: CVHS Football Sport: Football This year’s Clayton Valley High School football team is as young and inexperienced as any veteran coach Herc Pardi has ever had. Junior Joe Protheroe, who transferred to CVHS as a sophomore, helped guide the young Eagles to their eighth North Coast Section playoff berth in the

past nine years, and in the process set a school record by scoring six touchdowns in a lopsided win over his former school Mt. Diablo earlier this month. Protheroe’s sophomore brother Mike was involved with many of those TDs as the Eagles quarterback handing off to his older

brother. Joe gained 114 yards on the day and rushed for 906 yards prior to the Eagles entering NCS playoffs. He ran for 14 touchdowns and caught passes for two more during the regular season. His 16 TDs were nearly 60 percent of the team’s total. “Joe is one of the best running backs we have

The Clayton Pioneer congratulates Joe Protheroe and rewards his achievement with a gift certificate to Rocco’s Ristorante & Pizzeria.


Registration for Clayton Valley Little League is open for the spring 2012 season. Baseball programs for players ages four to 14 and softball for girls six to 15 are both open for registration. Players must reside within the CVLL boundaries. Go to cvll.org for complete information and to register. The online Clayton Valley Little League merchandise store is open in order to stock up on CVLL gear before the season or for holiday gifts at cvll.org.


Do you know a young athlete who should be recognized? Perhaps he or she has shown exceptional sportsmanship, remarkable improvement or great heart for the sport. Send your nomination for the Rocco’s Pioneer Athlete Spotlight today to sports@claytonpioneer.com.

The 11th annual Diablo FC Winter Soccer Academy is now accepting registrations. The program for boys and girls 5-12 years of age is held Jan. 6-Feb. 16 on Mondays and Thursdays from 5-6 p.m. at Willow Pass Park in Concord. Camp Director Brian Voltattorni says the Academy is a developmental soccer program that teaches basic dribbling, juggling, passing and shooting skills to players of all ability levels from novice to players on competitive teams. For complete details and to register visit diablofc.org.


Back to the Future for MDSA Barcelona players, coaches

Mt. Diablo Soccer is now accepting applications for its spring program. Players who participated in the just-completed fall season are charged only $50 for spring. Boys and girls 3-1/2 to 18 years of age can take part. Under 12 and older divisions in spring league are co-ed. Spring league ends in mid-May and is generally less formal than fall with players getting the opportunity to play soccer without any post-season playoff pressure. Registration is being taken online at mdsoccer.org.

JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

It was 10 years ago in the fall of 2001, when an under 8 girls team was formed in Mt. Diablo Soccer Association. For many of the Purple Panthers this was their first organized soccer team. The squad was made up mostly of Clayton second graders who were friends going back to kindergarten at Mt. Diablo Elementary School. The following spring additional friends joined the team to make up the Army Girls. Over the ensuing years some of the girls went on to play competitive soccer with MDSL and later Diablo FC while others continued recreational soccer with MDSA and some girls took up other sports. Some eventually left soccer altogether. What never left was their love of the game and the memory of that great time together. Fast forward to this year when the coaches of the Purple Panthers, Randy Rowland and Ralph Stelzner, over a beer or two at Ed’s contemplated what it would be like to reunite the girls from that team and others each had coached along the way for one last hurrah of their daughters’ soccer careers. Through word of mouth, they were able to bring a team together for a final season of soccer as the U19 MDSA Barcelona.

See Barcelona, page 14

TRYOUTS FOR 2012 DIABLO FC TEAMS SET FOR JANUARY, FEBRUARY Competitive soccer team tryouts in Diablo FC for boys and girls in the under nine through under 14 age groups will be held in Concord during January and February. Players born between Aug. 1, 2001 and July 31, 2005 can tryout Jan. 22-29 for U9 through U11 teams. The U12-U14 tryouts Feb. 9-16 are for players born Aug. 1, 1998 to July 31, 2001. To register online for the free tryouts and a complete schedule visit diablofc.org.

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RECREATING THEIR FIRST SEASON TOGETHER IN 2001, the MDSA Barcelona under 19 girls team this fall reunited for a final soccer fling before college. The team includes, front row from left, Paige Reilly, Jenna Stelzner, Avery Van Horn, Katey Hunter; middle row, Julia Czarnecki, Ashley Williams, Marisa Khachadoorian, Camila Rowland, Raelyn Pamela, Audrey Detmer; back row, Ashley Gingrich, Sarah Okimoto and Megan Dwyer. Not pictured, Amanda Barr, Ashley Klekar, Audrey Van

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Horn, Sarah Alitaha and Makenna Walls. Players Rowland, Stelzner, Khachadoorian, Okimoto and Hunter were on the Purple Panthers and Barcelona. Other girls played on subsequent teams coached over the years by Stelzner and Rowland.

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Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

November 25, 2011

Clayton Sports Barcelona, from page 13 Coach Rowland said, “The idea was to have one last fun season so that the girls’ memories of soccer would be positive and long lasting. We knew this would be their last year playing together and we wanted to give them something they would remember for a long time.” With 18 girls from Clayton Valley and Concord high schools including five original members of that Purple Panthers MDSA team, the girls were excited to play and get to know each other

again. The premise of the team from Day 1 was to make the game fun above everything else and to see the girls happy and laughing as they took this experience forward with them. With so many girls working, playing other sports and having senioritis, it was sometimes a challenge for the coaches to keep them focused on the game and committed, but there is no doubt the team was having a great time together before they headed their own ways next year for college.

Photo courtesy of MDSA

TRYING TO BRING THINGS FULL CIRCLE, coaches Randy Rowland and Ralph Stelzner brought together players from their 2001 MDSA Purple Panthers under 8 team with girls they had coached on other teams over the years for a final U19 season this year as MDSA Barcelona. The original Purple Panthers were, front row from left, Alana Bryant, Allison Addiego, Courtney Dubovsky, Marisa Khachadoorian; middle row, Amanda Howard, Camila Rowland, Tori Bryant, Sarah Okimoto; back row, coach Stelzner, Jenna Stelzner, Katey Hunter, Tera Bell, Tia Johnson and coach Rowland.


f f O % 0 1

Stelzner adds, “When Randy suggested putting together a ‘reunion team’ based on the Purple Panthers team that my daughter Jenna was on 10 years ago, I thought it was a novel and fun idea. Then after thinking about it some more I was a bit skeptical as so many girls had stopped playing soccer years ago because they weren’t having fun. However, once the team came together for a few practices it was obvious that this would be different. Not only did they enjoy playing with old friends, they were relaxed and they enjoyed competing again. It was great to see the long buried skills and desire to play come out. As a parent and the assistant coach I couldn’t have foreseen a better situation.” The girls bonded to form new friendships and renew old ones. An original Purple Panther, Marisa Khachadoorian, noted, “I was excited to be reunited and play again with the girls I’ve known my whole life. It turned out even better than expected. Randy and Ralph are the best coaches and they fit our team perfectly. I love this team and am so thankful for the whole experience.” Katey Hunter said, “It’s been a blast playing with all of my old teammates and even though we lost touch for almost 10 years, right when we started playing on Barcelona again we all became friends and started hanging out again. I love playing for this team and I’ve made new friends and got back in touch with old ones.” Sarah Okimoto added, “At first I was hesitant, not being sure if I wanted to keep playing. But I am really glad I did. Playing for Randy and Ralph again made me feel like I am back in first grade, especially being around the same girls. It has been the best experience it could have possibly been, we reconnected with everyone on and off the field. I think it was a perfect way to end soccer for a lot of us.” The teammates said some of

their best times with the Barcelona team were at the offfield activities such as pasta feeds and rafting down the American River. On the field MDSA Barcelona continued to improve their play over the course of this season. They began by playing in difficult US Club Soccer tournaments in Solano, Pleasanton and Sacramento where they learned to play as a team and showed marked improvement by the end of the summer, winning two of their three games at a Labor Day tournament. AYSO area league commenced in late August and Barcelona went undefeated in league games. Barcelona had another great run winning two games at the Diablo FC-hosted Bob Fowler Memorial Tournament and just finishing short of the championship round. The team is taking the winter off and ending their soccer careers in Carson City and Concord Cup next spring. The coaches’ daughters, Camila Rowland and Jenna Stelzner, concur, “This was a great way to reunite us at the beginning of our senior year. Being on this team has been a great experience and we are glad we got close to all of the girls again. We wanted to have a fun last year and we definitely accomplished that.” Joanne Stelzner contributed to this story.

Diablo FC Ambush girls rock Breast Cancer Awareness uniforms

Photo courtesy Diablo FC

Diablo FC 94 Ambush soccer team made their own custom pink uniforms to wear at selected games during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. The under 17 competitive team coach by Rene Guerrero sported their “Let’s Ambush Breast Cancer” jerseys to highlight their support for breast cancer awareness. The team, which just concluded fall league play, includes, front row from left, Ashley Delgado, Krystal Aceves, Cassandra Carson, Sabina Nunn, Nikki Chand, Amanda Chrisco, Hayley Herrera; second row, McCaul Prince, Meghan Lauer, Amanda Ecklin, Danielle Finley, Ashley Deichler, Courtney Kleczka, Veronica Guerrero; back row, assistant coach Kurt Ecklin, Devin Shaver, Juliana Di Loreto and coach Rene Guerrero. Not pictured, Kristen Hines, Hannah Villano and Haley Lowe.

CVHS sends two runners to State Meet in Fresno this weekend Clayton Valley High School will have a pair of runners competing this Saturday in Fresno at the CIF State Cross Country Championships with senior Alexandra Tate making her third trip to the State Meet where she’ll be joined by rapidly improving junior Emma Schoenstein.

Tate was seventh and Schoenstein ninth at last Saturday’s NCS finals in Hayward. The joy of their individual accomplishments barely masked the disappointment of the CVHS girls team of missing qualifying for State Meet by one place. The Eagles of coach Michelle Howisey

were fourth at NCS and only the top three teams advance to State. The Eagles sweated out the final results after the meet before finding out their fate. They were actually much closer to first place than fifth, making it all the more frustrating.

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CV lacrosse player leads community toy drive SARAH ROSEN Clayton Pioneer

This winter, Clayton Valley High School junior and Varsity lacrosse player Jack Zuercher, along with the rest of the CV Men’s Lacrosse team, will be spreading the holiday cheer as they collect and donate toys for kids throughout the Bay who otherwise probably wouldn’t be receiving gifts. Zuercher has been coordinating with Bay Area Crisis Nursery, a local charity that supports families and children yearround, local businesses and various sponsors in order to make the collection possible. You can find donation barrels in several local businesses, such as the Clayton CVS, Bill’s Ace Hardware and the Clayton Walgreen’s, where unwrapped toys for kids of all ages can be donated. Zuercher says his idea for the toy drive stemmed from a family volunteer project a few years ago during the holiday season. “A few years ago, my family and I volunteered to wrap gifts for the Bay Area Crisis Nursery,” Zuercher said. “When we were wrapping the gifts, I was struck by the gifts the kids were going to receive and thought a lot about how different their Christmas would be than what my friends and I would be experiencing. I realized then that it would be a great

A VOLUNTEER DAY AT THE BAY AREA CRISIS NURSERY a few years ago inspired CV lacrosse player Jack Zuercher to organize his teammates in a toy drive for the organization this year Drop toy donations off at the Clayton CVS, Bill’s Ace Hardware on Clayton Road and the Clayton Station Walgreen’s.

idea to start a toy drive to increase the amount of gifts the Nursery could collect.” Zuercher said that this past summer, he met with Sandy

Hathaway, the Nursery’s Development Manager, and pitched the toy drive idea to her as a community service project for the lacrosse team. After

gaining her support, he met with local retailers, working hard to put together all the details for sponsors, signage, toys barrels and communications. Others sponsors include Karen O’Leary’s My School Preschool and the Clayton Community Church, both of which will be collecting toy donations for the team. “I have had tremendous support from Clayton City Hall, my coaches, Michele and Matt Hill, my teammates and our sponsors,” Zuercher said. The CV Men’s Lacrosse team will also be collecting toys in Clayton’s The Grove park gazebo for the first annual toy drive-by drop-off from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10. Zuercher said that he encourages all community members to “participate and bring an unwrapped new toy for kids in need this holiday.” Team members will be on-hand all day, prepared to accept toy donations. “I hope that this event will now become one of our team’s community service legacies that we will work to coordinate every year,” Zuercher said. Although he said he doesn’t know how many toys the team will collect, Zuercher has set a personal goal of 100 new toys. “I am very excited to bring the toys to the Crisis Nursery before Christmas.” he said. “ I hope that we meet and exceed this goal for our first year.”

November 25, 2011

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

Cat happy furniture will keep kitty from ruining your recliner ELENA BICKER

PET PALS Cats are highly intelligent creatures and with guidance, positive reward and patience, a cat’s natural and healthy urge to scratch can easily be redirected to “their furniture” – not yours. Similar to when a child draws on a wall and is redirected to draw on paper, cats that don’t have proper outlets for their scratching instinct inevitably will

turn to your favorite chair. Start your kitty off on “the right paw” by providing many different kinds of scratchers. There are plenty of scratch-worthy toys and cat furniture available in all shapes, sizes and materials. Kitty condos are a wise investment, as they provide not only a great place for your cat to scratch, but are also a fantastic spot for them to escape the elements of a busy household. Also, cardboard scratch pads can be placed all around your home and take up minimal

space. To spice things up for your cat, sprinkle a little cat nip on the cardboard scratchers. Sisal scratching posts are also a great addition to a cat’s home. Cats want a strong, stable surface to scratch –something they can really dig their claws into. A tall, stable, well-constructed scratching post made of sisal carpet or rope makes for a welcomed cat scratching treat. Praising your cat tends to get far more effective results than punishing them. Introduce them to their condos/scratching posts

Stanley and Cormac are ARF’s adoption Stars


Stanley is a sweet, sophisticated boy. He appreciates gentle attention and quality snuggle time. Attending a Basic Manners training class would be a handy way for Stanley to bond with his new adopter while also boosting his confidence. The adoption fee for adult dogs is $225 and includes 60% off one 7-week dog training session. Cormac,





rounded face, is a true delight! He loves attention and petting and enjoys exploring his world. The adoption fee for adult cats is $50. Meet your forever friend at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek, during adoption hours: Noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday, 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The pri-

mary 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.

Facing up to the perils of Facebook JOE ROMANO

SO ANYWAY Once upon a time it seemed that everyone and their mother was a blogger. Let there be no doubt, blogs were very hot back in the day, and by “back in the day” I mean before Facebook. On Facebook there are so many people “posting” all day, every day, about everything, that no one has the time or the attention span to read anything longer than a two-line post. People want their updates short, crisp, pithy and less than 20 words. Who has time for a 250 word blog post? “Come on, Joe, ya longwinded cretin, cut to the chase!” Fine, I’ll just say it. Facebook is starting to annoy me. There are too many people “talking;” so many that I think a lot of us have stopped listening, and frankly don’t really care what anyone is saying anymore. Or maybe I just don’t care what you’re saying anymore. Everyone else is sitting in rapt attention waiting to see what you’ll say next. We’ve all become too vocally opinionated. I’m tired of people who think they’re too smart for

something as archaic as faith and spirituality and who’d rather openly mock it to show their superiority, At the same time I’m tired of those who use Facebook to forever expound on their faith and ram it down my throat. I’m learning more than I want to know about some people. There was a time, in the not too recent past, when we weren’t necessarily privy to our friends and neighbor’s every thought and opinion, nor did we want to be. Facebook unintentionally strips off a bit of the facade that we might otherwise present to the world, allowing a bit more of our true colors to bleed through. Maybe that’s a good thing. Should we not be particular about choosing our friends? But on Facebook we are often friends with people we barely know, and never spend time with. Why are we so interested in sharing so much with people we hardly know? I’ve actually had occasion to question why I’m “friends” with someone after reading some of their posts. I’m sure some of you have had the same experience. Please understand that I’m not anti-Facebook. There are some things that I really love about it. I’m in touch with family and friends that I haven’t seen in years and probably wouldn’t talk to otherwise.

Much of my family is far away and Facebook allows me to actually have a relationship with them. We’re closer because Facebook keeps us involved in each other’s daily lives, even if it is just a post from one of my Bostonian cousins calling me a “wicked loosa.” But it’s all gotten out of hand; this constant need to keep tabs on each other. We used to call this stalking. Now the tables have turned. Instead of being stalked we’re TELLING everyone where we are, who we’re with and what we’re doing; living our lives entirely out in the open. We used to crave privacy, now we crave attention in the form of comments and “pokes.” As I said, it’s not just Facebook. I’ve made no secret of my Luddite tendencies. I’m tired of our culture’s addition to smartphones and all this other social media stuff I see couples sitting together in restaurants, both of them playing with their phones instead of having a conversation. It’s crazy. Let’s stop broadcasting our lives and get back to living them. Clayton resident, Joe Romano, is a family man, a free-lance writer for hire and regular contributor to the Pioneer. E-mail him at jromano01@yahoo.com

with something enticing, such as toys, treats or cat nip. Remember to let them know how proud you are that they’re using their claws in the right place with a treat or a fun play session. For the few cats that are more stubborn and a bit harder to train, there are options such as Soft Paws. Soft Paws are vinyl caps that you place over your cat’s nails with a little bit of adhesive. They’re comfortable, easy to use and last about four to six weeks, at which time they fall off and can be replaced by a new set. Another alternative is covering the furniture ends with Sticky Paws or double-sided tape. After a few weeks of getting tangled and stuck to the tape, cats usually gets tired and give up scratching your furniture, at which time the tape can be removed. While cat scratching is healthy, normal behavior, excessive scratching could be a symptom of anxiety, illness, or boredom from lack of attention or enrichment. Cats cannot talk so their claws and scratching are one of their main means of communicating with humans, and with other pets in their household. It is always wise to visit you veterinarian or an animal behaviorist for additional guidance and personalized suggestions. Cats provided us with unconditional love and entertainment. Scratching is an integral part of your cat’s daily activities that make them so enjoyable to live with. Providing proper places for them to follow their natural scratching instincts will make for a balanced and happy home – and a safe place for your furniture.

Elena Bicker is the Executive Director of Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation. She can be reached at (925) 256-1ARF (1273)

Page 15

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Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

November 25, 2011




FOR HIGHLIGHTS OF HOLIDAY EVENTS AROUND TOWN Nov. 14-Jan. 15 Nunset Boulevard The Nuns are back at Willows Theatre in the “Nunsense Hollywood Bowl Show.” 1975 Diamond Blvd., Concord. $17-$32. willowstheatre.org, 798-1300. Nov. 20 through May 2012 Yum, Yum, Bubble Gum See the latest exhibit at the Clayton Museum which and learn about Clayton’s sweet connections. The exhibit celebrates the history of candy in the United States. The museum is open Wed and Sun, 1-4 p.m. and by appointment. 6101 Main Street, Clayton. claytonhs.com

Nov. 25-Dec. 4 “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas” Two buddies put on a show in a picturesque Vermont Inn and find their perfect mates in the process. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $17-$48. diablotheatre.org.

Dec. 9 Lecture, Worldwide Economic Problems Peter Nelson, UC Berkeley professor, discusses sustainable economic recovery. 7:30 p.m. Free. Call 672-1095 for more information.

Contra Costa Chess Club

Dec. 11 ‘Tis the Season Holiday concert by women’s ensemble, Strike a Chord. 3 p.m. Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 4000 Clayton Rd., Concord. $8-$10. strikeachord@gmail.com.

Dec. 16, 17 “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” This beloved American holiday classic comes to captivating life as a live 1940s radio broadcast. Diablo Actors’ Ensemble, 1345 Locust St., Walnut Creek. $20. diabloactors.com.

FUNDRAISERS Dec. 3 MDE Holiday Vendor Fair Mt. Diablo Elementary’s Holiday Vendor Fair will have dozens of local vendors and craft booths for your holiday shopping. 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. MDE Multi-Use Room, 5880 Mt. Zion Dr., Clayton. Contact Amy at amy@deseelhorst.net or Melissa at mibkidd@yahoo.com.


Nov. 27 Diablo Symphony

The Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. 673-0659 or claytonlibrary.org.

Performance with pianist Brenda Vahur and trumpeter Leonard Ott. 2 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $12$20. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469.

Wednesdays Book Buddies

Nov. 29 Holiday Concert Walnut Creek Concert Band performs seasonal favorites the entire family will enjoy. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $14-$17. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469.

Dec. 1-3 “Story of the Nutcracker” Contra Costa Ballet’s hour-long, narrated version of the holiday classic is perfect for children. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $20-$33. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469. Dec. 1-24 “A Christmas Carol” A.C.T. performs this sparkling, music-infused celebration of goodwill. American Conservatory Theater, 415 Geary St., San Francisco. $15$105. act-sf.org or (415) 749-2228.

Dec. 1-30 “The Winter Wonderettes” Come see the Wonderettes as they entertain at the 1968 Holiday Party for Harper’s Hardware. Full of humor and classic melodies for the whole family. Campbell Theatre, 636 Ward St., Martinez. $25$30. willowstheatre.org. 798-1300.

Dec. 2-11 “The North Pole Revue” Come meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus, the elves, plus Santa’s reindeer as they sing and dance you into the holiday spirit. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $14. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469.

Dec. 5 Clayton/Concord Tree of Lights Hospice of the East Bay celebrates its 25th annual Tree of Lights. 5:30 p.m. John Muir Medical Center parking lot, East St. and Almond Ave., Concord. 887-5678.

Dec. 5-17 Youth Theatre Training Program Registration now open. Students 8-18 rehearse and perform “Seussical the Musical” through Willows Theatre. willowstheatre.org or Rachel Robinson 957-2500.

Dec. 8-18 “A Christmas Carol” Brimming with music and dance, love and laughter, spectacular special effects and scary ghosts. Center REPertory Company, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $41. centerREP.org.

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

A volunteer will read stories for children of all ages. 1-2 p.m.

Tuesdays through Nov. 29 Patty Cakes Story time for babies to 3-year-olds. 11 a.m.

Dec. 6 Stretching to Beat the Winter Blues Mary Lyons, certified Royal Academy of Dance instructor, teaches this class to help seniors beat the winter blues and keep fit for the holidays. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Space limited to 10. Sign up at Information Desk or call 673-0659. 10:30 a.m. Story Room.

GOVERNMENT 1st and 3rd Tuesdays Clayton City Council 7 p.m. Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 673-7304 or ci.clayton.ca.us.

2nd and 4th Tuesdays Clayton Planning Commission 7 p.m., Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 673-7304 or ci.clayton.ca.us.

CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS Claycord 4-H The group meets 6:45 p.m. second Tuesday of the month, Farm Bureau Hall, 5554 Clayton Road, Concord.

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

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

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 ccchess.com.

Contra Costa Genealogical Society Meets 7 p.m. second Thursday of the month, LDS Church, 1360 Alberta Way, Concord. cccgs.ca@gmail.com.

Contra Costa Mineral and Gem Society Meets 7:30 p.m. second Monday of the month, Centre Concord, 5298 Clayton Road. 289-0454, ccmgs.org.

Creekside Artists Guild Meets 7-8:30 p.m. second Wednesday of the month, 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. third Wednesday of the month, Ygnacio Valley Library, 2661 Oak Grove Road., Walnut Creek. 946-0469, dvdems.org.

East Bay Prospectors Meets 6:30 p.m. first Thursday of the month, Oasis Christian Fellowship, 2551 Pleasant Hill Road, Pleasant Hill. Clayton resident Douglas “Pucky” Junghans is the founder. 672-1863, eastbaygpaa.webs.com.

Knights of Columbus Meets 7:30 p.m. first Tuesday, St. Bonaventure Church, Ministry Center, 5562 Clayton Road, Concord. Art 672-1850, shanone@comcast.net or Chuck 849-5466, cecooper3@comcast.net. Or 7:30 p.m. first Tuesday, St. Agnes Church, Cauchi Hall, 3966 Chestnut St., Concord. Contact Rayce at 683-9717 or rayce@aol.com.

MOMS Club of Concord/Clayton Meeting dates vary. 331-0674, concordclaytonmomsclub@hotmail.com or concordclaytonmomsclub.webs.com.

Rotary Club of Clayton Valley/Concord Sunrise Meets 7 a.m. Thursdays, Oakhurst Country Club, 1001 Peacock Creek Dr., Clayton. Includes breakfast and a speaker. 566-8166, claytonvalleyrotary.org.

Scrabble Club 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. Call Mike at 639-1987 or scrabbleassoc.com.

Sons In Retirement (SIRs) Branch 19 meets 11:15 a.m. first Thursday of the month, Crown Plaza Hotel, 45 John Glenn Dr., Concord. 429-3777. Branch 146 meets 11 a.m.-1:15 p.m. second Thursday of the month. Boundary Oaks, 3800 Valley Vista Road, Walnut Creek. Jack at 933-7998 or sir146.com.

Soroptimist International of Diablo Vista Meets 12 p.m. second, third and fourth Wednesdays of the month, September-June, Sizzler, 1353 Willow Pass Road, Concord. Contact Nicole at 692-2224.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Breakfast 8-11 a.m. second and fourth Sundays, 2290 Willow Pass Road, Concord. Eggs, pancakes, sausage, beverage. $4, $2 children under 12.

Clayton Valley Woman’s Club

Word Weavers Toastmasters

Meets 9:30 a.m. second Tuesday of the month except July and August, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 1092 Alberta Way, Concord. 672-1163.

Meets 7-8:15 p.m. Mondays, 4756 Clayton Road, Concord. Visitors welcome. Contact Marion at 686-1818 or marion48@live.com.

Holiday Events, from page 1

the kind assistance of the Clayton Business and Community Association, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Mrs. Claus invites local children to join her for tea and dessert. Santa will be on the patio waiting for kids of all ages to bring him their Christmas wish list. The event is free of charge, but donations are accepted to help off-set costs.

clip-clop of horses’ hooves on pavement will begin as two brightly lit carriages squire the townsfolk through the downtown. The free carriage rides will go until 6:30 p.m. Hot apple cider will be provided by the folks at Clayton Community Church while Santa Claus visits. Around 6 p.m., everyone will gather at the gazebo in The Grove to sing Christmas carols before the magical moment when the tree is lit with thousands of sparkling lights to celebrate the season. Stephanie Lopez, who along with Leigh Klock, Ed Moresi and the P2C Foundation sponsors the carriage rides, spoke of the magic of the season. “It’s a big favorite for all the kids, the Cinderella carriages all lit up. It’s very festive and adds to the charm. It brings you back nostalgically to Clayton’s history.” TAPESTRY CONCERT Cindy Krausgill of Clayton will lead the musical group Tapestry in a voices and handbells concert celebrating the sounds of the season at 4 p.m. on Dec. 4 at the Walnut Creek United Methodist Church. While admission is free, attendees are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to the Open Heart Kitchen, which has been feeding the hungry since 1995.

CLAYTON HOMES TOUR Looking for inspiration for decorating your home for the holidays? On Dec. 9, owners of six different homes in Concord and Clayton will throw open their doors to attendees of the annual Holiday Homes Tour. Starting at noon, ticket holders can visit homes showcasing exquisite handmade quilts and wall hangings, a collection of nativity scenes from around the world, and a collection of Spode Christmas china. “They’re regular people’s homes, so you could actually say, ‘I could do that because I have a house like that,’” said Mary Spryer, curator of the Clayton Museum and organizer of the tour. The icing on the cake will be the opportunity to tour the museum decked out in all its holiday splendor, in the style of 100 years ago, including a Christmas tree and reproductions of antique toys. Tickets cost $20 and are available right until the day of the event by visiting the Clayton Museum or online at www.claytonhistory.com THE CLAUSES COME TO CLAYTON After Santa’s visit on Dec. 3, Mrs. Claus and Santa come to the Clayton Library on Dec. 10. With

CLAYTON PIONEER CHRISTMAS COOKIE CONTEST Do your rugelach rock? Are your spritz stupendous, or are you just mad for macaroons? No matter which is your favorite, you’re sure to find something good starting at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 13 at the Christmas Cookie Contest Judging Party to be held at the Clayton Public Library. Children are invited to decorate sugar cookies and gingerbread men in the Kids Kookie Korner, while live music is performed by Clayton’s own band Vintage, and a panel of expert (a.k.a., hungry) judges decides which cookies are yummiest. A panel of seven judges, headed by the Pioneer’s Food for Thought columnist Linda Wyner and including Garden Girl Nicole Hackett and last year’s Junior Baker-class winner Sara Cook, will taste entries, and award prizes in categories including Junior Baker (ages 6-12), Teen Baker (ages 13-19) and Master Baker (ages 20-timeless). Forms for entering the con-

test should be submitted by Dec. 10.. A form is available in this issue of the Clayton Pioneer. Or, go online to claytonpioneer.com, load the pdf of the current issue, scroll down to page 20 and print the entry form. Winners will be awarded certificates and have their prize-winning recipes printed in the Pioneer. CHANUKAH Families of all faiths are invited to visit Clayton’s own menorah throughout the holiday season. Originally installed by City Councilman Howard Geller more than 20 years ago, another “candle” is lit each night of the eightday Jewish Festival of Lights. This year’s celebration begins at sundown on Dec. 20. CLAYTON COUNTS DOWN Come one, come all to share your favorite memories of 2011 and your fondest hopes for 2012 at the annual Clayton Counts Down event on New Years Eve. Attendees can enjoy hamburgers and hot dogs free of charge (sodas are $1 each), play carnival games, and sing karaoke, all in an alcohol free environment at the Clayton Community Gym from 5 to 8 p.m. Clayton City Council member Julie Pierce summed up the spirit of the season’s events. “We each celebrate the holidays in our own way,” she said, “but together as a united family in Clayton.”

November 25, 2011

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

Page 17

Theatre We can tell your story.

‘Tis the season for A.C.T’s traditional ‘A Christmas Carol’

No matter what it is

A happy Scrooge (James Carpenter) sings with Tiny Tim (Kai Nau) in A.C.T’s annual tradition “A Christmas Carol,” opening Dec. 1.

The Bay Area’s favorite holiday tradition returns Dec. 1–24 to American Conservatory Theater. Featuring a lively cast of dozens, gorgeous costumes, and those deliciously spooky ghosts, “A Christmas Carol” at A.C.T. is a sparkling, music-infused production. “We’re hearing from parents and grandparents that the “Carol” experience is more important to their families now than ever. This story has particular resonance at this particular moment when issues of greed and generosity must be part of

the discourse about our humanity and civility,” says A.C.T. Artistic Director Carey Perloff. “We’re thrilled to continue to present this production, featuring a multigenerational cast including our very own M.F.A. Program and Young Conservatory actors, and to keep it affordable for everyone who wants to make this a part of their family holiday traditions.” Adapted from the Charles Dickens’ original by Carey Perloff and Paul Walsh and directed by A.C.T. resident artist Domenique Lozano, this family-

friendly show celebrates its 35th anniversary on the A.C.T. stage and has introduced generations of Bay Area residents to the magic of live theater. Tickets, starting at $15, are available by calling the A.C.T. Box Office at (415) 749.2228 or online at www.act-sf.org Special family four-packs allow you to share this magical show with your loved ones: Get four tickets for the price of two when you use the code MARLEY when purchasing. This limited-time offer ends Dec. 1 and is subject to availability.

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Mystery, music and mayhem usher in ‘13 Days of Christmas’ Young Clayton actors take the stage in Wish Upon a Star production GARY CARR Special to the Pioneer

When the curtain goes up on the Peter Pan Foundation’s holiday show in Walnut Creek, Clayton will be represented by five very talented performers. Troy Carlson and two brothersister pairs, Jacob and Jordan BenShmuel and Dwayne Oliver and his sister Chandani Ahuwalia, will be singing and dancing along with 60 other East Bay kids in the Foundation’s fourth annual holiday musical, “The 13 Days of Christmas.” The show plays six performances, December 16-19, at Del Valle Theatre in Walnut Creek. The musical is a fundraiser for Children’s Hospital Oakland and other East Bay charities and is the brainchild of its producer-director-musical arranger Leslie Noel. Noel, whose musical training stu-

dio is in Lafayette, began the Peter Pan Foundation in 2007. She is proud to point out that, in its short history, the Foundation has raised tens of thousands of dollars for Children’s Hospital. “The 13 Days of Christmas,” subtitled “a Christmystery” uses more than 100 children and young adults who alternate in six different casts for each of the performances. They come from all over the East Bay and range in age from 5 to 25, mostly teenagers, with a few adults sprinkled in. Written by two teenage members of PPF, Andrew Cope, a sophomore at Acalanes High School and Jayne Skinner, a junior at Campolindo, the brand new full-length play features original songs and musical arrangements. The plot of “13 Days” revolves around a series of mysterious holiday mishaps, including a blackout during the holiday pageant in the town of Evergreen, missing ornaments during the tree lighting, and the disappearance of all but one of this year’s most

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From left Jacob Ben Shmuel, Troy Carlson, Jordan Ben-Shmuel

popular toys – and how the townspeople work to regain their holiday cheer. It’s tuneful, funny and family-friendly all the way. CVHS junior Jacob BenShmuel plays Jack, the unfortunate kid who gets blamed for all the wrongdoings in Evergreen. His sister, 13-year old Jordan, plays the villainess of the piece. Without revealing too much of the surprise ending, let’s just say that the Ben-Shmuel siblings bring some interesting conversation to the family dinner table. The two are experienced performers, appearing in a number of plays at the Willows Theatre.

Troy Carlson, a senior at CVHS, plays Klauss, a reporter from a foreign country. When not texting back to his editor, Klauss is in pursuit of Coco, whom Carlson describes as “the town hottie.”

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Book Review

Zone in on the Zombie Apocalypse Colson Whitehead, winner of a MacArthur Fellowship, the Whiting Writers’ Award, and a keen observer of the American way of life, has written a story widely identified as a zombie novel. This reader isn’t so sure, even though the undead, with their distasteful choice of food and their unpleasant appearance and odor, are part and parcel of this narrative. A world-wide plague, an event both cataclysmic and apocalyptic, has occurred and “Zone One” describes a small area of Manhattan, walled off and targeted for rebirth. Far upstate, a military and political cadre has bivouacked in Buffalo. From there, the U.S. Marines have been detached to Zone One with orders to seek out and eliminate the infected, who, although killed by the plague, return in an altered state better known as zombies, or the undead. But stragglers, a sort of subspecies of the infected, persist and once the Marines have moved out, trained civilian teams are sent in, a macabre mop-up crew moving through Zone One, building by empty building. The novel takes place over a three day period in the company of a member of one of the civilian teams, ironically nicknamed Mark Spitz by his comrades. Spitz is the ideal survivor as “His aptitude lay in the well-

SUNNY SOLOMON FOR THE BOOKS executed muddle, never shining, never flunking, but gathering himself for what it took to progress past life’s next random obstacle.” He, like every other uninfected, has his Last Night story; the retelling of what it was like for him when the plague hit, his loss of family, and his terrifying escape. Last Night flashbacks move the narrative both in time and emotion. Last Nights are something all survivors have in common. “Zone One” is a novel of loss and hope, but mostly loss. Spitz displays a youthful and unassuming courage. He came from parents who were “holdouts in an age of digital multiplicity, raking the soil in lonesome areas of resistance: a coffee machine that didn’t tell time, dictionaries made out of paper, a camera that only took pictures.” He is Whitehead’s everyman, trying to figure out

what has happened and not sure he will survive. By the time the wall begins to crumble as hordes of the undead continue to seemingly pour into Manhattan in spite of redeployed Marines, the reader may begin to think of the “Zone One” as something more than zombie pulp fiction. Whitehead has created a world both frightening and hauntingly familiar. The undead are gathering not only in Manhattan, but in cities across America. Spitz wonders “If the beings they destroyed were their own creations…” And “whatever the next thing was, it would not look like what came before.” Could this post-apocalyptic world be the present? Perhaps the undead are already here. “In the stream of the street the dead bobbed in their invisible current. These were the angry dead, the ruthless chaos of existence made flesh.” Spitz must keep moving to survive. It is time to sink or swim. And that’s apt advice for anyone looking for a deeply entertaining read. Sunny Solomon is the former Book Lady from Clayton Books and currently heads up the Clayton Book Club. Visit her website bookinwithsunny.com for her latest recommendations or just to "talk books."

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Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

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Lollipop Cake Shop started with two local moms baking cakes for their friends. Today, the two have a professional working space in the Clayton Station and fill orders by appointment. Without the overhead of a store front, the proprietors have been able to grow their business to allow them to provide cakes and cupcakes for special occasions of all kinds. Shapes and frostings and flavors are changing for the holidays. Just place orders one week in advance for festive goodies like cake pop bouquets, snowflake cookies and Yule log cakes. “We are proud of everything we make,” co-founder Meredith Muratori says. “It’s all made from scratch specifically with you in mind.” Bella Mia Spa - Where Life is Beautiful Come let us pamper your body, mind and spirit in our luxurious day spa. Water fountains, cupid fairies and grape vines add to the Italian-inspired atmosphere. The spa’s customized European Facial incorporates a cleansing, exfoliation, face, neck and shoulder massage, extractions, a hydrating facial mask and aromatic moisturizer and sunscreen. Our massage therapy and spa body treatments are of the highest quality and are customized to your personal health and beauty needs. We specialize in professional skin care providing facials, manicures, pedicures, waxing, microdermabrasion, cellulite treatments, airbrush tanning and body wraps. Bella Mia is in the Clayton Station next to Travel to Go. 680-7792. The Royal Rooster “Loyal local shoppers are so important to our business,” says owner Sara Skow. . Every year, this delightful little gift and home decor shop on Diablo Street in quaint downtown Clayton offers a close-by alternative to the crowded malls.

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Themed trees throughout the store make a stunning display and there is a wide variety of new merchandise for the holiday season. The Royal Rooster carries a large selection of jewelry, fragrances, handbags, Vera Bradley, seasonal decor, candles, furniture, greeting cards and gourmet food with complimentary gift basket design and gift wrap. Clayton Furniture There’s no tlace like home for the holidays, and Clayton Furniture has everything to make that home comfy, cozy and inviting. One of the oldest furniture businesses in Contra Costa, the store has been continuously family owned and operated since 1988. Clayton Furniture’s success is built on service, integrity and value. Visit their spacious showroom with displays presenting traditional, everyday furniture balanced with unique imports and domestic treasures. For those who have more in mind than what is on display, Clayton Furniture offers catalog ordering with short one to two week deliveries. Divine Elements This year, give the perfect holiday de-stressor to yourself or someone you love. Divine Elements is the ultimate destination for relaxation and therapeutic massage. Therapists are expertly trained in several massage modalities, including Swedish, Deep Tissue, Prenatal, Reflexology and Hot Stone Massage, as well as many other spa treatments. Massage can help eliminate daily stresses, leaving one feeling rejuvenated and balanced. Take the first step towards the best in relaxation and pampering at Divine Elements. Call and book an appointment today at (925) 349-9490. Ghost Golf Remember miniature golf in Concord? Well its back and it’s a totally unique and one-of-a-kind INDOOR course called Ghost Golf. Created by Clayton residents Daryn & Janice Coleman, Ghost Golf is mini golf in a spooky old graveyard where you’ll experience a “show” at each of the nine spooktacular holes. Ever wanted to sit in a coffin? Have your exclusive, private party here and you will be eating pizza at our Sarcophagus Table while sitting on Coffin Couches that are made from real coffins! Ghost Golf is scary fun for the whole family. 1913 Salvio St., (925) 521-1913. Open year round. A & H Limousine Service has been owned and operated by Clayton resident, Sanjay Behal since 2005. A & H offers 24hour service to all Bay Area airports at no extra charge. Limos, party buses, Hummer Limos, sedans and mini-vans are available. Experienced drivers will take you to on wine tours, to proms, birthday parties or a night out in San Francisco. Get to holiday parties, concerts, weddings or any special event in style. Seniors can take a 10 percent discount for any round-trip booking. Please call (925) 200-2824 or email AH4LIMO@gmail.com

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November 25, 2011

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

Page 19

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Postal Annex It’s time to wrap and mail your Christmas packages to those far-off loved ones. Turn this annual chore into pure pleasure at the Postal Annex counter in the Clayton Station. They will package your treasures for safe delivery while you browse the assorted gift items for stocking stuffers. And while you are celebrating, sadly the identity thieves are plotting. Rent a mailbox to keep your mail and personal information safe and out of harm’s way. Open a mailbox now that any mail carrier can deliver to and receive three months free on a one-year rental with this ad. Postal Annex also offers services including notary, shredding, copying, passport photo and key cutting. Visit today at 5433 Clayton Rd K, in the Clayton Station Shopping Center or call 673-5246. Personal Chef With the days getting busier, your lists getting longer and company coming, do you sometimes wish you had a personal chef ? The husband and wife team of Rosario and Alberto Chang, both chefs and former owners of Cholo’s Peruvian Restaurant on Clayton Road, have taken their talents home – yours or theirs. They will prepare a full holiday dinner for 20 for $120 (No, this is NOT a misprint) or for a small family gathering. After the holidays, they will help you plan menus and prepare nutritious, delicious meals on a regular schedule – all more affordably that you can imagine. The Personal Chef is NOT just for the rich and famous, anymore. Moresi’s Chophouse At Moresi’s the atmosphere is warm and inviting and the perfect place for an intimate dinner for two or to meet friends. VIP treatment begins at our front door when you are greeted by our personable staff that shares a commitment to your dining pleasure. Moresi’s has a wide selection of delicious entrees, appetizers, side dishes and desserts. Check out the menu online at .moresischophouse.com for all the options. To complement your experience, there is a full bar and wine list with over 70 wines by the bottle. Moresi’s Chophouse brings people together to celebrate, to socialize and enjoy the full dining experience. 6115 Main Street, downtown. (925) 672-1333.

$120, For 15 people Served in your home (925) 212-1418 Rosario & Alberto Chang Clayton Residents


Nothing speaks “love” quite as sweetly as that special bond between horse and rider. Earthquake Arabians prides itself on promoting and strengthening the Arabian horse influence on today’s youth and adult rider. At the same, Earthquake Arabians helps the rider build confidence, self-esteem, pride and the understanding of the responsibilities involved with horses whether it is the rider’s first time in the saddle or they dream of competing at the National level. The Earthquake Arabians staff is dedicated to helping clients achieve their goals. Individual instruction gives each rider an opportunity to advance at their own pace and create individual goals for successful riding. Earthquake Arabians also offers fun-filled “Horsin’ Around” camps and birthday parties. Their lessons, camps and parties make memories that last a lifetime. www.earthquakearabians.com The Maids is locally owned by Clayton Residents. They built their business with the understanding that time is valuable and trust is priceless.

Sporting Events




d gne, an . a p m a h ine, c u shop Enjoy w vres while yo ry oeu be mer hors d’ d n a y b

all gi

s Garden & s t f i 07 ,G l, Patio k Road, 672-02 o o P R&M Marsh Cree Come


Call Sunny for reservation (925)200-2824 or (925)270-7181 AH4LIMO@GMAIL.COM


The Maids set themselves apart by cleaning homes in teams of four. The professional employees are bonded and insured, trained and certified. The Maids furnish their own products and supplies, like specialty vacuums with HEPA filtration that remove 99 per cent of all dust and allergens. Cleaning products are environmentally safe to insure they do not leave behind harsh odors or cause damage. The Maids backs their service with a 100 per cent satisfaction guaranteed policy. (925) 798-6243. Melanie’s Gifts inside R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Gardens, is all decked out for the holidays. The trees are trimmed with exquisite ornaments. Stylish accent pieces, elegant serving dishes, cheese trays, spreaders and inspirational platters and plaques are on display. Festive and traditional candles, table runners, placemats and pillows will brighten your festivities this year. Peruse this unique specialty store located within R&M Pool, Patio and Gardens at 6780 Marsh Creek Road in Clayton, Tuesdays-Sundays. 672-0207.

finfteriors o nd

2 ra o c e d , s ft

Airport service to Oakland, San Jose, SFO daily. 24 Hour Service with no extra charge. Concerts





YOUR FIRST CLEANING. Call now to receive a free, no-obligation estimate

925-798-6243 www.MAIDS.com ®

Referred for a reason.

New customers only. Not valid with other offers.


Let the journey begin

Christmas songs by the Mt. Diablo Elementary School Choir

See Santa Claus in person!

Treat yourself to a massage or spa treatment.

$10 off if you book now.

FREE hot apple cider & donut holes provided by CBCA and served by Clayton Community Church (on Main St.)

Or finish your shopping early – buy a Gift Certificate today.

One Hour Massage Gift Certificates

Meet at the Gazebo

One Certificate for $60 ($10 savings) Two Certificates for $115 ($25 savings) Three Certificates for $165 ($45 savings) Four Certificates for $200 ($80 savings)

and bring your flashlight

The more you buy the more you save!

hosted by the Clayton Business & Community Association

Call or go online:


(925) 349-9490

divine-elements-massage.com Monday-Saturday Therapeutic Massage Owner Andrea Searle CMT 4415 Cowell Road, 210A, Concord

4 gift c ertifica tes & a Ts h i r $ t: 25 ($52 va lue ) while s uppli

es last

e v a h e Com

t r e s s u s a l e D s. C PartyPrizes, Favors, r Candy Canes & see Santa, too M th


Join us at

Historic Endeavor Hall Saturday, Dec. 10 11 - 2 p.m. Bring your camera

Owned by Clayton Resident



1913 Salvio St., Concord


Donation appreciated Free for children 12 & under Children must be accompanied by an adult

CHRISTMAS in CLAYTON is hosted by the elves of the CBCA (Clayton Business & Community Association.)

CBCA: 672-2272

Page 20

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

November 25, 2011

h t i w r o l o c Fall into ant trees vibr This year will be our eighth annual Christmas Cookie Contest and your chance to stir, bake and taste up a storm of those sweets that bust the diet and send us over the moon. So, dust off the cookbooks and dig out Uncle Charlie’s sugar cookie recipe, bake a few practice rounds & enter this year’s contest. Judging Party is Dec. 13, 6:30 p.m. in the Clayton Library Community Room. Be there for live music and caroling led by Vintage, games and crafts for the little ones and photos with Santa. Recipes and photos of winners will appear in the Dec. 23 issue.

Deadline for entry is December 9. Clayton Pioneer’s

2011 CHRISTMAS COOKIE CONTEST ENTRY FORM Name (Please print) Address

(Must be 94517 or 94521 resident)

Phone Number Email address (so we can mail instructions) Name of Recipe

Master Baker (20+)

Contestant agrees to being photographed at the competition. Recipes used from published books must identify source.

Teen Baker (Ages 13-19) Your age____


Junior Baker (Ages 6-12)

Mail your entry to: the Clayton Pioneer, PO Box 1246, Clayton, CA 94517; or drop off at our office at 6200 H Center Street, Clayton. If the office is closed, slip it through the mail slot.

Your age____ Parent's Signature (for Junior Bakers)

Deadline to enter is Friday, Dec. 9


GARDEN GIRL The colors of the Clayton Valley this year are tremendous. Gold, scarlet, burgundy and orange leafed trees are standing proud this autumn, showing off their colors in stunning displays. Usually Clayton has beautiful falls, but this year, our fall color is superb. For all this color you can thank the Chinese Pistache, Liquid Amber, Crape Myrtle, Japanese Maple and Raywood Ash trees planted around town. These trees, when planting in the right place, add visual appeal, shade, privacy and color to any Clayton Valley landscape. Chinese Pistache trees are the medium-sized rounded head tree that lines Oakhurst Drive. This deciduous shade tree is very Clayton friendly. The size fits well in many landscapes, reaching 2025-feet tall and almost as wide. During the early spring, buds of leaves swell along knobby branches, breaking way for long stems of five to seven thin leaves. All summer long, the Chinese Pistache creates bright shade with its

canopy style growth. When fall approaches, the leaves of the Chinese Pistache begin to transform to a melody of autumn colors. Every Chinese Pistache “falls” differently, and no two are alike. If you crave for your fall color to be more on the scarlet side of autumn, install a male Chinese Pistache called Keith Davy. If you desire a golden orange fall display, female trees are easily spotted, since they are the ones with the red berries that the bird life feasts upon. Liquid Amber trees had that star-shaped leaf that burns like a great sunset in autumn. In the right spot, the Liquid Amber is breathtaking. However this tree is not the right selection for any small yard, or as a property line tree. Liquid Ambers are towering trees, and they will reach heights from 25-40-feet tall. The width of the Liquid Amber is about onethird its height, making it a nice selection in a grouped planting. You must be careful of this tree’s roots system, it is shallow and will wander. Crape Myrtle trees are the ornamental trees that we value for our summer color. Most Crape Myrtle trees also have exceptional fall color as well. Natchez is a wonderful white blooming Crape Myrtle, which has deep golden colored leaf in the autumn. Peppermint Lace Crape Myrtle turns a color of totally deep wine. Each leaf becomes completely winecolored, which makes it fantastic. Japanese Maples are a group

of slow growing valuable trees that really make a statement during the autumn. Bloodgood is a hardy, Clayton Valley favorite of Japanese Maple whose leaf transforms into a bright scarlet color that almost glows. Fire-Glow is a harder to find hybrid of the Bloodgood Japanese Maple whose color is even more dramatic. Sango Kaku is called a Coral Bark Japanese Maple. This variety has green leaves all summer long, but when fall begins to approach the green becomes an intense gold. When compared to its coral colored bark, the contrast is stunning. A Raywood Ash tree has a deep, dark burgundy-colored autumn. This tree has a strong, fast growth, and you can easily expect 30-feet of height and almost as wide. Be careful where you install this tree. When purchased in a five- or 15-gallon container, it will look smallish, and you may plant in too narrow of an area. Give this guy some room to grow. I don’t know really why this autumn is so much prettier than the last few that I can remember. All I can do is appreciate the displays, and soak them in with my eyes. Happy Planting. Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden and the 2011 Clayton Valley Garden Club president. Contact her with questions, comments or suggestions at gardengirl@claytonpioneer.com

13 Days, from page 17 Shelter Kittens

Family owned & operated since 1981

Carlson calls the show’s two writers “incredible for turning out such a great script, even though they are only 15.” Two other Claytonians are Dwayne Oliver, a Junior at CVHS, who is cast as Rev. Malakai. His sister, five-year-old Chandani Ahluwalia, is in kindergarten at Odyssey School in Richmond. She plays a Starlett. “The 13 Days of Christmas” plays Dec. 17 through 19 at the Del Valle Theatre, 1963 Tice Valley Blvd. in Walnut Creek, with evening performances Friday through Sunday at 7 p.m. and matinees Saturday through Monday at 1 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for 18 and under. Purchase by phone 925-943-SHOW (7469) or online at peterpanfoundation.org.

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