Page 1


ise A Unli dventu r invites m you to ited es


Join u s


See ad

, page

February 10, 2012

kings follow in 11 for g week more details

Girls’ bake sale raises money to help sick friend HOWARD GELLER


Mt. Diablo – The jewel of Clayton Valley Families do not move to Clayton because it is close to freeways or major shopping. Instead, they move here because they love the quaintness of our town that is nestled in the foothills of Mt. Diablo. My reason for moving to Clayton in the Spring of 1975 was clear when I saw Mt. Diablo for the first time. This feeling has been reinforced daily. Moving from the east coast, Mt. Diablo continues to remind me of the seasons I miss. Snow-capped peaks on cold and wet winter days, the colors of Fall before the leaves drop, the array of wildflowers that bloom after our rains and our hot summer days when we can see the grasses do their dance in the gentle breezes, all remind me of home. I stopped by our local Park Ranger Station at the end of Mitchell Canyon Road. I had a wonderful chat with some of the friendly staff. Walking away with a handful of free pamphlets and a quick education about what this awesome mountain has to offer, I realized I had to share with you.

See Mayor, page 6

Tamara Steiner/Clayton Pioneer

FIVE MDES FIFTH-GRADERS PULLED TOGETHER LAST WEEK TO HOLD A BAKE SALE IN THE GROVE to raise money for a friend recently diagnosed with leukemia. From left Julia Deely, Miya Quesada, Kaylie Quesada, Kalli Malnick and Rebecca Snyder.

CVHS students to perform in local and state honor bands SARAH ROSEN Clayton Pioneer

This year, several Clayton Valley High School band students have been selected through an intensive audition process to represent the school by participating in various honor bands both within the district and across the state. CVHS will be represented by 16 students for the MDUSD High School Honor Band, six students for Contra Costa County Honor Band, two students for All-Northern California Honor Band, and one for All-State Honor Band. CVHS junior Josh Warzecha is the sole student to be selected to play in all four of the honor bands, making this his second year playing clarinet in the All State Honor Band. For the audition, each applicant was required to submit a CD recording of their performance at the California All-State Scales and excerpts from various required pieces. Warzecha was one of 26 clarinetists selected from a pool of 50 to join the All-Northern band, which is organized by a group of northern Cali-

fornia band directors. After being selected, all players had to re-audition for their specific placement. “By playing in honor bands, I hope to achieve a greater sense of musicianship and to meet other

See Honor Band, page 4

JASON FERNANDEZ ON THE EUPHONIUM and Josh Warzecha on the clarinet will represent CVHS in several local honor bands.

What’s Inside Around Town . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Car Tuned . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Classified . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

Club News . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Community Calendar . . . . . .12 CVHS Reporter . . . . . . . . . .14 Directory of Advertisers . . . . .5 DVMS Reporter . . . . . . . . . .14 Estate Planning . . . . . . . . . .13


learn Thur more sday, about M cr arch Lesh 1, 6:1 uising er Ce 5 p.m nt Specia ., l incen er for th e Art tives f made or bo s the o


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What do you do when you find out your best friend has leukemia? Kallie Malnick, and four of her friends found their answer in the kitchen. The girls spent a whole weekend baking – turning out everything from cakes and cookies to brownies and lemon bars – for an impromptu bake sale in The Grove last week to raise money to help with the medical expenses faced by her friend’s family. Nick Steffan, a 5th grader at Valhalla School in Pleasant Hill, has ALL – acute lymphocytic leukemia. The girls set up their table after school and within minutes had customers lined up for the goodies. One woman stopped for a chocolate chip cookie, another just to donate to the cause. “Even the FedEx guy made a munchie stop,” said Kallie’s mom, Nicole Malnick. “He was really generous, too.” The girls publicized their sale with a “dancing sign” in front of Ed’s Mudville Grill, with flyers around campus and on Facebook. This was their first fundraiser and, judging by the results and their enthusiasm, definitely not their last. “It feels really good to be able to help,” said Rebecca Snyder. “Besides, it’s just really fun being out here.” The bake sale will be a surprise to Nick, said Kallie. “When he can eat again, we’ll tell him.” Nick’s parents, Tim and Julie Steffan, are both local real estate agents. Tim Steffan was a 1988 graduate of CVHS.


City and school district conflict continues over gym fees, ball field rent TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer

It may take more than a handshake and an olive branch to heal things between the city of Clayton and the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. City officials were outspoken supporters of the recent effort to convert Clayton Valley High School to a charter school. The district denied the petition, sending the charter school supporters to the Contra Costa County Board of Education to appeal the decision. The county overrode the district’s denial, unanimously approving the application. The months-long wrangling and the final decision have left relations between the city and the district tense, at best.

See Conflict, page 8

In this issue

Commitment and compromise keep these couples loving for more than 60 years DENISEN HARTLOVE Clayton Pioneer

Valentine’s Day…meh. Sure, roses are lovely, and diamonds last forever. But once the flowers have wilted, the chocolates are eaten, and the $1.98 heart-shaped Hallmark poems get swept up in stacks of household bills and children’s homework assignments, what keeps true love alive for longer than 72 days? “Take off the glasses and turn down the hearing aid,” quipped Barbara Goldsmith, who – Lasik and fresh batteries notwithstanding – has been together and raised four children with her partner of over 32 years. However diverse their lives and backgrounds, the several couples who spoke with us all agreed on one point. Staying together for the long-term means deciding to take one thing off the table – splitting up. Tucked into matching blue recliners in their Diamond Terrace apartment, Bill and Yvonne Billo have been married 67 years. Handsome in his

Fashion Over 50 . . . . . . . . .16 Fit with Levity . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 From the Chief . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Garden Girl . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Letter to the Editor . . . . . . . . .5 Mind Matters . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

Denisen Hartlove/Clayton Pioneer

YVONNE AND BILL BILLO SAY they’ve stayed married for 67 years because they never considered the alternative.

uniform, and sweetly pretty with a flower in her hair, the couple beam out from a photo picture taken in 1943 when they were first wed. Then in training to fly B-17s in World War II, Bill travelled

Obituaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Pets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Police Log . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Sports Shorts . . . . . . . . . . . .11

See Couples, page 18 Teen Speak . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Theatre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 The Charter Papers . . . . . .13 Trouble with Teens . . . . . . . .9 Weather Words . . . . . . . . . .17


Page 2

Clayton Pioneer •

February 10, 2012

Around Town Friends celebrate friendship in weekly get-together

Jennifer Gonsalves and Brandon Herrera to exchange vows in September Jennifer Gonsalves and Brandon Herrera announced their engagement to family and friends at the Rutherford Hill Winery last May. They will marry on Sept. 15. Both are 2004 graduates of Clayton Valley High School. Jennifer graduated from Chico State in 2009 and Brandon graduated from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, also in 2009. Jennifer is the daughter of Steve and Debra Gonsalves of Clayton and works in the family owned business, The Conco Companies. Brandon is employed by the Bank of America in the foreign exchange department. He is the son of Mike and Lesley Loyola, also of Clayton.


Love will reign this Valentine’s Day. And not just the kind of love symbolized by the chocolate hearts and red roses being feverishly delivered around town, but by the love of friendship. Valentine’s Day falls on Tuesday, the same day of the week that “The Table of Nation’s Coffee Club” meets at Nation’s on Clayton Road. The informal club celebrates the gift

of friendship weekly. What started as a chance meeting of two former employees from the same company at a barber shop in Clayton turned into a club of eight friends that keeps the mood light, but is there for each other through the darkest days in life. Organizer Bob Blachly of Concord says, “Laughter and love is our bond.”

102 and still counting for this Concord man


Clayton woman makes the U of Portland Dean’s List Kimberly Cerruti, a sophomore nursing major at the University of Portland made the Dean’s List for fall semester 2011, achieving a GPA of 3.5 or better. The University of Portland has a state of the art nursing program which offers a very

realistic simulation facility, says Kimberly mother, Tammy Cerruti. “The facility closely resembles a hospital wing and it has many realistic patients, says Tammy. “ Sometimes she is frightened by how realistic they look!” Kimberly plans to be a labor and delivery nurse and plans to be a nurse practitioner after she gains more experience in a hospital setting.


Cole Thomas, measuring in at 20 inches, and 6 lbs 14 ounces, joined his parents Nathan and Rhiana Limpus and 3-year-old brother Carson Andrew at their Clayton home on September 2.

COFFEE CLUB MEMBERS Dennis Filler, Gary Casteel, Conrad Bazinet, Dave Gardner, Bob Blachly, Tina of Nation’s, Ray Otto, Jerry Erdmann and Joe Marion.


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Gordon “Sam” Samuelson celebrated his 102nd birthday on January 28 with close friends and family at his home in Montecito Oakmont Senior Living in Concord. Sam moved from Oakland and has lived in Concord since he was 11 years old. He is proud of being a successful, self-educated businessman who built a trucking business from the ground up. He enjoyed his roles as mechanic, salesman and entrepreneur. After selling the trucking company, Sam went to work in real estate as an appraiser for Contra Costa County. Family is what keeps Sam young. He has children, grandchildren and great grandchildren in Hawaii, Michigan and Concord.

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14 Nottingham Cir................$400,000 112 La Encinal Ct ................$620,000 1377 Shell Lane...................$249,900 17 Capistrano Ct..................$500,000 316 Ahwanee Lane ..............$628,000 9 Donner Court ....................$187,000 968 Tiffin Drive ....................$489,000 1288 Shell Circle .................$315,000 8114 Marsh Creek Road......$680,000 1538 O’Hara Court .............$295,000 719 Tally Ho Court ...............$625,000 374 Blue Oak Lane..............$590,000

SF . . . .2262 . . . .2427 . . . .1355 . . . .2552 . . . .2448 . . . .1050 . . . .1670 . . . .1367 . . . .3717 . . . .1436 . . . .2300 . . . .3008



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February 10, 2012

Clayton Pioneer •

Around Town

To bean or not to bean …

Brandon Roberts on his way to West Point


Clayton senior Brandon Roberts put ink to his commitment on Feb. 1 to play for the

Army Black Knights golf team of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Brandon starts West Point on July 2. He was nominated to attend a service academy by Congressman George Miller based on outstanding academics, contributions to the community and teacher recommendations. Due to his golf success and visibility, West Point recruited Brandon for their golf team. Brandon will major in mechanical engineering. Brandon previously played for Oakhurst Country Club and is now playing his fourth year

...that is the question. Some say that “Chili is not chili without beans.”

Others say that “True chili is meat and spices, no beans about it!”

for De La Salle. He competes in the American Junior Golf Association and the Future Collegians World Tour circuits. Brandon started playing golf at 5 years old when his home was on the 10th hole of Oakhurst. His father, Kevin, let him golf hit balls on the green until he was sleepy enough for bed. The precision of his golf game now translates to his future field of study. He says, “I am interested in getting things to move quickly and very efficiently.”

Julie Berruto to marry Mark Mandetta Julie Berruto will marry Mark Mandetta on July 27 in North Bergen, New Jersey. The two were engaged on Christmas Day, 2011. Julie was visiting family in California when Mark flew in from New Jersey to surprise her with the proposal. Julie works as an account director for Integrated Marketing Services. She graduated from CVHS in 1995 and San Diego State University in 2000. She is the daughter of Diana and the late Brian Quinn of Clayton and Christine and Greg Berruto of Sonoma. Mark is an environmental consultant for USA Environment, LP. He graduated from Watchung Hills Regional High School in 1999 and Blooms-

Page 3

ANNUAL CHILI COOKOFF AT THE CLAYTON CLUB on March 4 bring chili cooks and chili lovers together to find the best of the best. The winner will walk away with $500.

No matter what your persuasion, there is sure to be a chili for every taste at the Clayton Club Saloon’s 12th Annual Chili Cook Off on March 4. Cash prizes will be awarded the top three contestants as judged by a distinguished panel of local officials. “There are few rules,” says Clayton Club’s Steve Barton. “No canned chili is allowed and contestants must sign up in advance at the Clayton Club.” There is a small registration fee. Contestants must arrive between 10 and 11 a.m. The viewing public can watch the judging from noon to 1 p.m. followed by a tasting party and the chance to sample an excellent selection of Clayton’s finest chilis. Dig out the family recipe and dust off the crock-pot. This year’s field will be limited to 20 contestants so sign up early. Further details are available at

Historical Society honors Clayton’s oldest families at annual Camellia Tea


burg University in 2003. He is the son of Donna and Robert Mandetta of Warren, New

Jersey. Julie and Mark live in New Jersey.

Descendants of local Clayton pioneering families will gather once again at the Clayton Museum for the 35th annual Camellia Tea. The guestbook reads like a street map of Clayton with members of the Stockfleth, Duncan, Mann, Frank and Russelmann families (to name just a few) who gather each year to share memories and catch up. The event is set for Feb. 12, at the Clayton Museum from 1-4 p.m., 6101 Main Street. Come for tea and tour the museum. For more information, call Mary Spryer, 672-7232, or visit



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Page 4

Clayton Pioneer •

February 10, 2012

Apartment fire claims one life A Concord woman died on February 1 from injuries sustained when a two-alarm fire destroyed her apartment. Elise English, 34, was sleeping in her apartment at Clayton Creek, across from the Clayton Valley Bowl, when fire broke out on January 30, just before 2 p.m. Firefighters found her unconscious and not breathing and performed CPR at the scene. She died two days later


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when her family took her off life support. English lived in the apartment with a roommate who was not home at the time. Cause of the fire is still under investigation, according to Fire Marshall Lewis Broschard. The fire was the second major blaze in three weeks at the complex. A January 6 blaze sent one person to the hospital for smoke inhalation.

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A TWO-ALARM BLAZE on Jan. 30 was the second major fire in three weeks at the Clayton Creek apartments. Boyce Nichols - Owner

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Dancing for a good cause

Clayton Resident

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SARAH ROSEN Clayton Pioneer

pinched nerve?

On Feb. 18 and 19, Clayton’s own Karly Lee, Miranda Lutz and Gelsey Mehl will be dancing for 26 hours straight alongside fellow UCLA students to raise both money and awareness for pediatric AIDS and HIV. The UCLA Pediatric AIDS Coalition, which is the largest student-run philanthropic organization on the West Coast, hosts an annual dance marathon. Since the marathon’s inception in 2002, it has raised nearly $3 million in the process and draws in thousands of students, activists, and celebrities to help combat pediatric AIDS and HIV. In 2011, the dance marathon drew in more than 3,000 participants, grossing $410,000, said UCLA student Kelly Gomer. The proceeds benefit four organizations: the Elizabeth

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from page 1

it was the best part of their freshman year and that it is an experience you can’t do without.” Mehl said she, as a dancer, was initially intrigued by the event because it’s a dance marathon. When she learned it was for such a worthy cause, she wanted to participate even more, as she knew she’d be doing something that could potentially save many lives. “The general sense around campus seems to be that it’s a really fun, really wonderful event that you have to participate in at least once in your time at UCLA,” Mehl said. “Something to check off the bucket list, I guess.” She said she is “terrified” at the thought of staying on her feet for 26 hours, but in the end, “I know it will be an amazing experience and that my actions will help a lot of mothers and children.”

You are invited to

Clayton Valley Charter High School’s Approval Celebration Sat., Feb 11, 3 – 6 p.m. Clayton Valley School Gym


The entire community is invited to celebrate the historic approval of the Clayton Valley Charter conversion.



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Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Project Kindle and One Heartland, two free summer camp programs, and the UCLA AIDS Institute, an organization dedicated to the elimination of HIV and AIDS. According to Mehl, participants are divided into several teams. Each team changes from one crazy costume to the next to coincide with the changing theme every few hours. This year’s overall theme for the marathon is “Dream Out Loud.” “I’m looking forward to seeing how much stamina I have when it comes to fighting off the urge to sleep,” said UCLA freshman Lee. “A lot of girls in my sorority are on the [dance marathon] committee, so they plan the event,” Clayton resident and UCLA freshman Lutz said. “My house encourages girls to participate. Everyone I talked to said

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people with similar goals,” Warzecha said. “It’s also fun to see how I compare against other musicians in the region.” Although he has been playing the clarinet for just shy of eight years, he also has played the piano for more than 12 years. He plays the clarinet in CVHS’s Wind Ensemble, Marching Band and Rally Band. “My favorite part about playing in the band is being exposed to new music, both in style and composer, and being able to perform in a concert hall with good acoustics,” Warzecha said. “The experience also allowed me to meet new people with like interests and also to see people I had met previously at such band events.” Fellow CVHS junior Jason Fernandez was the second CV student to be selected to play the euphonium in the All-Northern California Honor Band. He is one of five All-Northern euphonium players in the band. “Working with a variety of conductors who each bring something unique to the experience helps make us better musicians,” Fernandez said. “It allows me to feel a sense of accomplishment.” While Fernandez started his music career at the age of four by playing the piano, he has since moved on to play the trumpet in fourth grade, then the euphonium for the past four years. At CV, Fernandez has played in the Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, Rally Band and the drum line. Additionally, he has taken part in several regional honor bands, the Diablo Wind Symphony, and St. Bonaventure’s 9 a.m. choir. “It’s the memories, the bonding, the jokes, the friends, the competitions, and the anxiety that makes band fun,” Fernandez added. “You are able to creatively express yourself in a collective way with your peers. It’s like riding a bike – it’s a talent that will follow you for the rest of your life.”

All Workshops: 7- 8 P.M. Refreshments served. Door prizes. Questions we will address: • How can I feel less overwhelmed? • What do I do with all this ‘stuff’? • Who can I trust to make repairs & move my belongings? • How do I prepare my home to sell? • How do I ensure my legal & financial requirements are met? • How do I choose my next home?

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February 10, 2012

Clayton Pioneer •

Letter to the Editor Thank you to Good Samaritans

P.O. Box 1246 6200 Center Street, Suite H, Clayton, CA 94517 TAMARA


On the evening of Jan. 25, three neighbors came to my husband’s aid. He was walking the dog which pulled him over and he hit his head on the pavement. One of the men immediately called 911, a second one came to the door to get towels for the man’s bleeding head, not knowing that it was my husband. The third man went after the dog to bring her back. The next day Mots came by

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, Lou Fancher, Nicci Shipstead, Pam Wiesendanger, Mike Dunn

We remember Jill Bedecarré - Her spirit is our muse


sex, religion, nationality, family status or disability. The Clayton Pioneer reserves the right to reject any advertising we believe is unsuitable.

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

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.

Tamara Steiner Send ads to Send Sports News to Send Club News to Send Church News to

Send School News to

CLASSIFIEDS Classified rates per insertion: Non-profit: $12 for first 30 words, $.20 each additional word Individual/non-commercial: $18 for first 30 words, $.30 each additional word Commercial: $48 for first 30 words, $.40 each additional word

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Correction to “The Way We Were” “The Way We Were,” history piece in the Jan. 27 issue contained a typo. Construction on the Clayton School began in 1947 (not 1974). During construction of the school, the students attended school in Concord.

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Clayton Valley Shell Corner of Clayton Road & Kirker Pass Road  (925) 672-3900

Appliance Repairs by Bruce, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2700

Snyder, Ken . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .270-3617

$ .88 + cert. with $10 Free Gas

Full Service Auto Care

Construction and Trades

Prosperitas Wealth Management . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-7700

SMOG Special


Coflin Chiropractic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6500

Miller, Tom, CPA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .354-1385

Official smog check and repair station

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


Littorno, Richard - Attorney at Law . . . . . . . . . . . .432-4211

combined and expire 3/15/201 2. Must presen t coupon at tim e of work estim ate.

Free shuttle service for major repairs

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

Held, Chris - Wells Fargo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .609-9415

With Coupon Only.

ASE Certified Technicians

Business Services

Dawn King Bookkeeping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .933-0553

Includes 5 qts. of Oil, Filter and Inspection.

With Coupon Only.

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

Clayton Valley Charter High School . . . .

30K, 60K, 90K

With Coupon Only.

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



Brake Inspection Scheduled Factory (when work needed Maintenance


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



Directory of Advertisers

Steffan Smith Kitchen & Bath Remodeling . . . . .914-0497

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

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,

to see how my husband was doing. A few days later I called Mots to ask if any of the men had seen my husband’s eye glasses the evening of the accident. Eric was visiting Mots and Eric came to look for the glasses. He found them in the area and brought them to our home. I know these gentlemen primarily by their first names Mots, Eric and Richard. Both by husband and I are very grateful to them for their acts of kindness. - Don and Shirley Boyd

Page 5

FURNITURE FOR SALE Round oak dining table, 48 inches, with three leaves and eight captain’s chairs. $750. Will deliver in Contra Costa County. Call Bob or Robin 672-2390.

TUTORS NEEDED Diablo Valley Literacy Council needs English tutors. Tutor training class begins Mar. 3. Call Maureen 685-3881.

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

Nichols Landscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9955 Utopic Gardens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .524-0055 Waraner Bros. Tree Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .831-2323 Mailing Services The UPS Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-6245 Optometry Foresight Optometry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-4100 Pet Services Monte Vista Veterinary Hospital . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-1100 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

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

Vujnovich, George - Better Homes Realty . . . . .672-4433 Recreation and Fitness All Out Sports League . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .203-5626 Clayton Valley Bowl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-4631

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Help Fight Hunger Anna Chan – AKA: The Lemon Lady needs your help! Weekly commitment appreciated. Please contact Anna at 672-1988 or 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

Diablo FC Soccer Academy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-4625 Earthquake Arabians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .360-7454 East Bay Regional Park District . . . . . . . . . . . Levity Fitness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2995 Senior Services CourtYards at Pine Creek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-3900 Diamond Terrace Senior Retirement Living . . . . .524-5100 Montecito - Oakmont Senior Living . . . . . . . . . . .852-6702 Services, Other Ararat Exterminators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-7020

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

Computers USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9989

Clayton Historical Society Museum Greeter needed for two hours per month from 2-4 p.m. Wednesdays or Sundays. Call the museum at 672-0240 and leave your name.

Cruise Adventures Unlimited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .935-7447

Clayton Community Library Needs volunteers. Minimum age 13. Minimum commitment is 6 months. Some training provided. Contact: Arlene @ 673-9777 or email:

Net Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6029 Recycling Center & Transfer Station . . . . . . . . . .473-0180 The Maids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-6243 Specialty Shops Blessed Brides by Sarah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-1200 Travel

Self Discipline Do the Right Thing

Page 6

Clayton Pioneer •

February 10, 2012



Refinance your home loan!

Frank A. Lagau 1945 – 2012 Frank Anthony Lagau, 67, of Clayton died unexpectedly on January 23, 2012 in Walnut Creek. He was born in San Francisco and graduated from Balboa High School. Frank was retired from management with Pacific Bell after 22 years of service. After retirement, Frank began a new career as a physical trainer, owner and operator of Clayton Fitness Club in Clayton. He loved the outdoors and was an avid gardener and loyal

fan of the San Francisco Giants Baseball Team and the San Francisco 49ers Football Team. Frank is survived by his wife, Diane, sons, Paul and Michael and a sister Jerri Sorg as well as many friends and clients. A Celebration of Frank’s life was held on February 4, 2012 at Frank and Diane’s home in Clayton. Memorials in Frank’s name may be made to ARF, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek, CA 94598.

Harry Alvin Liming Jr. February 23 1932 – January 6, 2012

Rates haven’t been this low since the 1950’s. Refinance to a low-rate 10-year, or 15-year mortgage and you’ll pay less interest over the life of your loan. Depending on your current mortgage, you could cut years off your loan payments and own your home sooner.

Al Liming as Mayor circa 1966

Harry Alvin “Al” Liming Jr. died at home in El Dorado, Calif., on January 6.

10-year fixed

As low as


% APR1

15-year fixed

As low as






Take advantage of record-low interest rates and refinance your current home loan to a new 30-year fixed rate. You’ll enjoy lower monthly payments and free up more cash for other things.

Ann Rose Kelley, 91, a 47 year resident of Clayton died Feb. 1, 2012 in Walnut Creek with her family by her side. Ann was born August 26, 1920 in Eagle River, Wisconsin. After graduating from high school, she became “Rosie the Riveter” during WWII. She was a homemaker who enjoyed tending to her vegetable garden, fruit trees and raising her chickens. Ann received many awards for her canning and was given an opportunity to market some.

Ann is survived by son, Phillip Kelley (Robin), grand-

For those of you that have not been to the park entrance on Mitchell Canyon Road, you owe it to yourself and your children to embrace our mountain. You can start your trek at any of our connecting trailheads. They will eventually lead you to Mt. Diablo. Please check out the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association’s website at to discover organized hikes to see the wildflowers, hikes to the waterfalls and their famous tarantula hikes in the Fall, to name a few. Kids will love the

Junior Ranger Programs. I can’t think of a nicer way to spend family time. Leave your cell phones home, pack a bottle of water and enjoy the jewel of Clayton Valley. I hope to see you on the mountain soon. CLAYTON MEDIANS For those of you that noticed and for those of you who have not, the street medians on Clayton Road, between Mitchell Canyon Road and Center Street, are now treeless and bare dirt. Many of these trees and plants were diseased or dis-

Offering All-Season Training & Riding Instruction Yes. You can join.® (888) 698-0000 Apply online:

Private Riding Lessons Birthday Parties  Camp

Clayton Valley Branch: 5442 Ygnacio Valley Road, Suite 10 Concord Branch: 1257 Willow Pass Road Mon. – Fri., 10 am – 5:30 pm; Sat., 10 am – 2 pm 1. APR as low as 3.75% fixed for 10 years, based on 80% loan-to-value or less. For $200,000 loan, payment would be $2,001.22. 2. APR as low as 3.99% fixed for 15 years, based on 80% loan-to-value or less. For $200,000 loan, payment would be $1,478.37. 3. APR as low as 4.49% fixed for 30 years, based on 80% loan-to-value or less. For $200,000 loan, payment would be $1,012.18. Rates as of January 20, 2012, subject to change until locked. Financing available up to $417,000 (or the conforming loan limit for your county) for owner-occupied California primary residence properties only. Applies to no cash-out refinances. With cash-out, loan-tovalue limit is 75%. Payment example does not include insurance or taxes. Property insurance required. Some restrictions may apply. If impound account for taxes and insurance is desired, you are responsible for those set-up amounts and any charges assessed by your current lender such as reconveyance fees, payoff demand fees, pre-payment penalties and any interim interest collected at closing. Please consult your tax advisor regarding the deductibility of interest and charges. Offers cannot be combined with other discounts or promotions. Everyone who lives, works, or attends school in Contra Costa or Alameda County, part of our 12-county area, is eligible to join. Certain membership requirements may apply. NMLS registered. Equal Housing Lender

Memorial contributions may be made to the Clayton Historical Society, P.O. Box 94, Clayton, CA 94517.

August 26, 1920 – February 1, 2012

Mayor, from page 1


War, serving as an X-ray technician. He graduated from San Jose State University with an industrial relations degree and worked as a pharmaceutical representative until he retired. Al enjoyed gardening and reading. Al is survived by his sons, Perry and Derek, and grandson, Tyler. The family held a private memorial service.

Ann R. Kelley


30-year fixed

As low as

Al served on the first city council of Clayton and remained on the council for 10 years. He and fellow councilman George Abbott hand carried the city’s incorporation papers to Sacramento for prompt processing. Al also served one term as mayor of Clayton from 1966 to 1968. The decorative street lights in Clayton are a visible reminder of one of the projects Al worked on. Al was born on February 23, 1932, in Jacksonville, Illinois. He was a veteran of the Korean

ease-prone, in poor soil and the sprinkler systems antiquated. Our new median design includes 27 Columbian Sycamores, 5 specimen Live Oaks and 10 Crape Myrtle trees. There will be many native grasses, colorful plants and ground cover that are drought resistant. This new design, a vision of Maintenance Supervisor John Johnston and approved by the City Council, will offer a spectacular entry to our downtown from both directions. CV CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL APPROVAL CELEBRATION The entire community is invited to celebrate the historic approval of the Clayton Valley conversion on Saturday, February 11, 2012 from 3:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. at the Clayton Valley Gym. Come enjoy the food, fun and festivities. Charter Board and Committee Members will be on hand to answer your questions. Refreshments will be sold to help raise funds needed during the transition stages until our grants kick in. For additional information, visit or e-mail VALENTINE’S DAY Valentine’s Day is not only a holiday for lovers. In fact, teachers receive more valentines than anyone else. Don’t forget to acknowledge your special valentine.

Western & English For all Levels of Rider Horsemanship Full-Service Training Competitive Show Team Certified Instructors 3141 Morgan Territory Rd., Clayton

children, Curtiss Kelley, Patrick Kelley, Christi Kelley, Kathleen Trent-Kelley, Franklin TrentKelley and Rick Trent-Kelley as well as great-grandchildren, Dakota Kelley and Gemma Kelley. She is also survived by a sister, Alice Paulin. She was predeceased by a son, Curtiss P. Kelley in 1982 and her husband, Curtiss Kelley in 1987. Funeral services were held Feb. 8 at St. Bonaventure Catholic Church. Memorials may be made to St. Bonaventure Food Pantry.


Send questions and comments to

Clayton Pioneer •

Have a strategy in place for getting the home you want Q I lost out on a house that I planned to make an offer on. The seller’s agent said they were going to wait seven days before they would look at offers. Only four days later it was reported as a pending sale. My agent said they had accepted a “preemptive” offer. Do I have any recourse and how can I keep this from happening on subsequent offers? A Unfortunately you have no recourse. Sellers can accept offers whenever they want. In a low inventory market like we are experiencing now, you and your agent should have a strategy for going after properties that you want to buy. Real estate can be a fast business. When a property comes on the market that you might be interested in, have your Realtor show it to you right away, before

the public open house if possible. If you really want to buy the property, have the agent find out if the seller will look at a preemptive offer. If they say they want to wait a period of time before they look at offers, make sure the agent knows that you want to make an offer. That way they might not accept another pre-emptive offer before seeing yours. In fact, you might even write an offer and get it to the seller. The listing agent is required to present any offers to the seller. You can put in an expiration date earlier than their named offer date. They will have a decision to make. Do they want to reject your offer not knowing if they will get a better one? If they do, you can present another offer on the prearranged date. Maybe they won’t get another one. Then you can write a lower offer. To encour-

age the sellers to consider your offer early, it better be very strong. You might wonder why a seller would accept a pre-emptive offer before the home was fully marketed. One reason is making buyers wait to present their offer could backfire. On the offer date there might not be any other offers. The majority of properties in our present market don’t get multiple offers. Another reason is many sellers find the marketing experience particularly disruptive to their life. People with pets, small children, elderly homeowners etc. would be an example. Q During my search for a property to buy will I be competing with investors? I have heard that numerous investors are getting into the market. This seems to make

Code enforcement in Clayton driven by citizen complaints The Code Enforcement Program is a necessary government tool that helps keep the city of Clayton an attractive, clean, healthy, and safe place to live, work and play. City employees work with residents to take an active role in improving and maintaining the quality of their neighborhoods, as well as maintaining property values. This is accomplished through the enforcement of the Clayton Municipal Code (CMC). CMC violations are addressed by the city’s code enforcement officer when a violation is observed by a resident and subsequently reported to city staff. Our city’s Code Enforcement Program is complaint driven and is designed to address problems that occur on private property. In most instances, code (law) violations that occur in the public domain, such as on public streets, sidewalks, or in city parks are typically criminal offenses (usually minor) and enforced by our police department. On occasion, when CMC violations occur on both private and public property and violations are also considered criminal offenses, the code enforcement officer and police officers work together to address the code violations. Some of the more common enforceable neighborhood problems include  Discarded appliances, furni-





ture and debris Illegal land use  Operating a business without a city business license  Illegal signs and business displays  Building code violations (such as construction without a permit)  Basketball hoops in the street  Illegal dumping/discharge into storm drains. In addition to the CMC violations described above, the code enforcement officer, can also enforce other CMCs which require property owners to store garbage cans out of public view, to properly maintain homes and landscaping to keep them neat, clean, and healthy; remove inoperable motor vehicles from private property or store them out of view; and store recreational vehicles, boats behind a solid 6foot fence in the side or rear yard out of the public view. RVs parked on the public street must 

have a temporary parking permit issued by the police department. In addition, it is unlawful to store inoperable motor vehicles on a public roadway. Motor vehicles parked on the street must be driven at least every 72 hours. To report a CMC violation, contact city staff at (925) 6737300, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or, visit the city’s web site at Click on “Feedback”, then on “Report a Problem.” You can assist city staff, by providing your name and phone number, the address of the CMC violation, and the nature of the violation. To report a vehicle that has been parked on the public roadway over 72 hours, or obtain an RV permit, please call the police department at (925) 673-7350, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. Residents may also request an RV permit via the city’s web site. If you require additional code enforcement information please call one of the phone numbers, listed above, or stop by City Hall and pick-up a Code Enforcement Program flyer which are available on the third floor.

Thirsty Third Thursday @ Skip’s 2nd Annual Pizza and a Preview Everyone knows there is only one place for pizza in these parts: Skipolini’s. What you might not know is Skip’s has a (relatively) new neighbor: Prosperitas Wealth Management. Put the two together, and what do you have? A fun night with some great food and drink as well as a chance to come learn more about what we have to offer at PWM. Please RSVP if you plan on stopping by, so we have a few slices waiting for you!

See you at

February 16 th 1026 Oak Street, Suite 200

5:30 - 7:30 PM

Clayton, CA 94517

High quality professional tax preparation at a reasonable rate Tax Preparation, Planning & IRS Representation


(925) 672-7700

We are committed to serving the Clayton Community. California Insurance License #: 0C99169 Securities offered through Investors Capital Corporation Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory Services offered through Investors Capital Advisory.

Thomas J. Miller, Certified Public Accountant


(925) 354-1385 Local resident

sense since prices and interest rates are low. A Investors are expected to outnumber traditional buyers three to one for the next two years. If you are a first time buyer you will be competing with them. However the investor will often be more bottom-line oriented. Here are some interesting statistics from a national survey by “” Two thirds of the investors expect to have the same problems as traditional buyers with financing their mortgages. One in five says that they plan to purchase property with cash only. Of these, 80.5 percent expect cash discounts on the properties they buy. 22 percent of investors expect prices to rise in the next 12 months and 53 percent expect prices to decline or remain flat. 50 percent plan to hold their properties for five years or more and 11 percent expect to sell within 12 months of the purchase. 50 percent of them expect a 20 percent profit. 50 percent plan to live in the property until it is rented or sold. Send your question and look for your answer in a future column. Email French is the broker/owner of Windermere Lynne French & Associates and a Clayton resident. For any real estate needs or questions, contact her at 672-878 7or stop in at 6200 Center St., Clayton.

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Acknowledging your story is the purpose of our story. Since 1973, The Neptune Society of Northern California has honored cremation wishes and celebrated life stories. Call for information or go to Ironda Long, Manager Clayton Resident

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Opportunity is Knocking on Your Door! KNOWLEDGE 4 BEDROOM HOME ON A HUGE LOT! SERVICE  

This older ranch style custom built home has a huge living room, formal dining, hardwood floors, is 1,737 sq. ft. Plus a 300 sq. ft. Basement, and has been freshly painted! A Detached 2-Car garage, patio area and huge lot for the small contractor that may want to run his business from his home!



Dan Lawrence is Clayton’s Police Chief. Please send your questions, comments or topics you’d like to see covered to

Page 7


This clean 4/2 with Family Room, Dual Pane Windows, Pergo Flooring, Sky-light and central Air is vacant and ready to sell with a regular seller! Call Pete to see Today!





February 10, 2012


Pete Laurence, Broker, Realtor, GRI

Cell 890-6004 Fax 937-0150 2950 Buskirk Ave., Ste.. 140, Walnut Creek

Page 8

Clayton Pioneer •

“ Let Us Light Up Your Life” Residential


What ‘Love Language’ do you speak?


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Ceiling Fans, Recessed & Track Lighting  Kitchen or Bath Remodel Exterior/Security/Landscape Lighting  Electrical Service Upgrade Complete Home Wiring - Old & New  Spa Installation

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STEPHANIE HO MIND MATTERS Couples often come into therapy and cite problems communicating as one of their top concerns. So often, it is not a matter of how they communicate but how they make meaning of what is communicated to them. At the heart of most couples’ struggles is the basic question, “Do you love me?” and fear of what that answer might be. Dr. Gary Chapman, a marriage counselor with more than

30 years of experience, found that couples struggled most when they showed love in ways that were not getting through to or being well-received by the other person. Each one of us has a primary love language, a way that we express love and interpret love. If we know our partner’s love language, then we can respond to our partner in a way that meets their essential emotional needs for reassurance that they are indeed loved without question. Here are the five primary love languages: Words of Affirmation: You appreciate hearing unsolicited compliments, the words “I love you,” and all the reasons why you are loved. However, criticism and insults will wound deeply and not be easily forgiven or forgotten. Quality Time: You appreciate having undivided attention from your partner, which

Conflict, from page 1 FREE Regular

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At a recent school board meeting, Councilmen Joe Medrano and David Shuey both acknowledged the strain and called for a joint committee of district representatives and charter school supporters to work together. “We realize the city doesn’t have a good working relationship (with the district),” Medrano said. “We want to repair that and work together for the kids.” Medrano said the request fell on deaf ears. “They didn’t say anything, no response.” Later, in an interview with the Pioneer, School Board Pres-

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ident Gary Eberhart said the district already has a process for addressing joint concerns between the schools, district and cities. “We’re willing to meet, but first they have to stop bashing us in the blogs. I don’t know anyone who has been bashed publicly that is willing to get together and mend fences.” The city and the district have more to talk about than mending fences over the charter school. They are at loggerheads over the fees charged by the district for the city to use the gym and the rent the district is supposed to be paying to the city

means one-on-one without distraction. Having a partner who is distracted, does not listen or is unavailable to their partner will be very hurtful. Receiving Gifts: You appreciate the care, thoughtfulness and attention your partner shows in selecting a gift for you. The effort your partner puts into gift selection lets you know how much you are cared for. Similarly, if a special occasion is forgotten or if gifts feel more like an after-thought, then this will impact you negatively. Acts of Service: You value having a partner who helps ease your burden of responsibilities. Whether asked for or spontaneously initiated, having your partner take care of tasks on your to-do list lets you know how much you are loved. If your partner is lazy, creates more work or to-do tasks for you and does not follow

through on what they say they will do, then you are left with trampled feelings. Physical Touch: You want to be in close physical proximity to your partner and be able to show physical affection with each other. Touch allows you to feel connected, cared for and loved by your partner. A partner who is aloof and disconnected, or one who is abusive and threatening, can be incredibly destructive. If you want to learn more about what your love language is, the love language of your partner, or the love language of those around you, then visit w w w. 5 l ove l a n g u a g e s. c o m / assessments/love/.

for the use of the ball fields. An agreement between the district and the city gives the city rent-free use of the gym during non-school hours. The city reimburses the district for the utilities and janitorial costs allocated to city use. The city says the district has been inflating these charges and won’t pay until the district provides backup documentation for their calculations. The issue stalled out two years ago. Eberhart was quoted by the Contra Costa Times as saying the city of Clayton had “stopped paying rent” for the gym “I incorrectly used the term rent,” said Eberhart.

The gym fees are not the only thing going unpaid. The school district rents the ball fields at Clayton Community Park from the city but stopped paying rent in 2010. There has been no response to the late notices. According to City Manager Gary Napper, the district owes the city $19,039 for Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2011. “Costs continue from July 2011 to current as well,” notes Napper. “I don’t believe (the two issues) are related,” said Eberhart. “But I don’t know.” Eberhart declined to discuss either issue further because of “anticipated litigation.”

Stephanie T. Ho is a licensed psychologist. She has a private practice office in Walnut Creek and also works at UC Berkeley. She can be reached at

February 10, 2012

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 9

Exercise: easy does it, but do it





Getting started and continuing an exercise program can be a challenging yet rewarding undertaking. Fifty percent of those who begin an exercise program will drop out within six months. You can implement various techniques to improve your adherence to these new lifestyle changes. Determine where you are going to exercise. Some people find it more convenient to exercise at home. Others may find they have less distractions at an

exercise facility. If you choose to exercise at a gym, pick one that is nearby since you may be less likely to exercise at a club that is further away. You are more likely to stick with your program if it is fun and convenient. Choose the most convenient time to exercise with the least distractions. Find activities that you enjoy. Your first few workouts should be brief and well within your abilities. Gradually increase the duration and intensity of your exercise Individualize your program and begin back gradually. Work out with a partner. When working out with a partner try to choose someone with a similar fitness level. As a beginner, you may work too hard if you exercise with an experienced partner. Studies have demonstrated you are less likely to continue your program if you exercise at higher intensities too soon. Likewise, long workouts are also associated

with higher drop-out rates. Commit to your goals. Initially you may be very motivated to stick to your program. It is not unusual for your motivation to dip occasionally. To get yourself through these times, try these techniques: 1) Establish a routine so physical activity becomes a habit. Plan on a definite time to exercise. Write these times in your planner as you would an appointment. Set recurring alarms on your watch or Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) just before your scheduled time to exercise. Set out your workout clothes or pack your workout bag the night before. 2) If you feel like not working out, agree to yourself to have a very short, light workout. Quite often, after getting ready and warming up, you will find enough motivation to push through a full workout. If you miss your scheduled workout, realize not all is lost.

3) Perform a variety of exercises and activities. Engage in simple activities such as walking to the store, walking the dog, or catching up on yard work. Try new activities you think you may enjoy. Perhaps plan and train for an adventure vacation or sports event. Learn about these new activities by reading an instructional book, joining a training group or hiring a personal trainer. Check to see if your company offers wellness incentive programs, fitness facilities or corporate sports competitions. Share your goals with those close to you or others that are likely to ask you about your progress. Ask them for their support. As with any challenge in life, don’t give up – just stick with it. Ilima Heuerman holds multiple fitness certifications. She trains at Levity Fitness studio in Clayton. Email Ilima at

Does the Social Host law really work? One of the things I loved most about the holiday season was having my college-age daughter home again, hanging out with her friends in our back room, playing wii, watching movies, baking cookies and having fun. It seems odd that I could have been unknowingly breaking the law. The “law,” such as it is, is the social host ordinance, which in California means me and/or my husband could be held criminally liable if we knowingly provide alcohol to underage drinkers. Luckily, we don’t subscribe to the notion of “I’d rather my kids drink here at home, rather than somewhere else, where I can’t keep an eye on them.” We





have never offered our kids or their friends the opportunity to drink alcohol. (Sometimes we need the designated drivers!) Frankly, I don’t want my kids to drink. I wish I hadn’t drank so much when I was a teen. But this isn’t Fantasy

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Island, and I know that, especially with college-age kids, underage drinking happens. But it terrifies me that I might be held liable if a sedate party like my daughter’s gets out of hand, and underage drinking is discovered. That was the case for Bill Burnett, a Stanford professor, and his wife. On the Friday after Thanksgiving, the Burnetts hosted a party for their 17year-old son and his friends, supplying the house, chips and soda. They did not supply alcohol, and made it clear that spirits were not allowed. After an anonymous complaint, police arrived at the house and found kids consuming alcohol that was smuggled in by the cagey youngsters. Burnett was arrested on the spot: handcuffed, booked and jailed for the night. He was charged with 44 counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor – one for each teen at the party. The city of Menlo Park’s law takes the state law a step further, and can hold the parents or guardians responsible even if they don’t know alcohol is involved. Eight states have specific social host laws that say parents can get in trouble if underage guests are drinking, even if no one gets hurt, according to the New York Times. Some of those states allow parents to serve alcohol to their own children in some

situations. Sixteen other states have laws that hold parents legally responsible for underage drinking under certain circumstances – for example, if a teen who drank at their home got into a car accident. In other states, parents can get in trouble under more general liability laws. It’s a slippery slope. On one hand, I support anything that will be a detriment to underage drinking and destructive decision making. On the other hand, what more could Burnett have done? He had told the kids he was going to check them all before they left to make sure there was nothing sneaky going on. I have found the best way to deal with my own kids’ potential partying is to tell them the truth: that if they or their friends drink at our house, regardless of whether we know about it, we can be held responsible. Arrested. Even prosecuted. And then life will get really nasty for them. For now, it’s a scare tactic that seems to work.

Peggy Spear, copy editor for the Clayton Pioneer, is the former editor of Bay Area Parent and Teen Focus magazines and the mother of three teens. She often writes about parenting, youth, education and teen health issues for local and national publications. Contact her at

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Page 10

Clayton Pioneer •

February 10, 2012

Sports Eagles soccer teams in the hunt for NCS berths

Photo courtesy Clayton Valley High School

CLAYTON VALLEY’S PROUD GIRLS SOCCER TEAM recently had the past and present together on the field for its annual alumni game. The alumni beat the varsity 5-1. The alumni team included, front row, from left, Tayler Nichols, Kristen Elms, Sarah Shaw, Kaila Wakida, Shayana Gois, Ali Roberts, Kelsey Booth, Victoria Kobold, Samantha Walker, Lindsey Parscal, coach Sissi, Chelsea Fredenburgh, Renee Roccanova; back row, alumni goalie Morgan Nichols, alumni coach Pat Middendorf and varsity members Megan Elms, Sam Boeger, Marina Arcaya, Janelle Bandayrel, Daniela Garcia, Jasmine Bandayrel, Kiana Mason, Alex Tate, Krista Bartzi, Marissa Merrigan, Casey Adams, Megan Coppa, Rachel Lanfranchi, Amber Booth and coaches Scott Booth and Jack Boeger. JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

The Clayton Valley High School boys and girls soccer teams ruled the roost in the Diablo Valley Athletic League for the past two seasons but the

2011-2012 league campaign has found the two Eagle squads scrambling to finish second in the DVAL and earn berths in the North Coast Section playoffs beginning next week. Scott Booth’s girls varsity team has been fighting Ygnacio

Valley for second place in the league behind College Park. After the Eagles handed the Falcons their first loss of the season CVHS was alone in second at 7-2-1 with a pair of winnable games this week that could improve their record to

9-2-1 in league and 11-7-4 overall. Last year only the Eagles reached NCS Division 1 playoffs from DVAL while four league teams were in Division 2. College Park is a Division 1 team, which makes it impera-

tive for the Eagles to win out in order to go back to NCS for the seventh successive season. On the boys side coach Rory Gentry’s team is also behind an undefeated team – Ygnacio Valley – as it looks for a third successive section play-

off berth in the coach’s fourth year at the helm of the Eagles. The Eagles sat third in the standings entering this final week of play with a pivotal game against rivals Concord

See Soccer , page 11

Ipsen heads to London to dive; not in the Olympics just yet JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Clayton’s globe-trotting diver Kristian Ipsen is outdoing himself this year. The Stanford freshman is leaving for an international meet in London next week. The English capital is site of the 2012 Summer Olympics but Ipsen’s trip this time is for the Feb. 20-26 FINA World Games, which will inaugurate the new London Aquatics Centre host site of swimming, Paralympic swimming, diving, synchronized swimming and the swimming element of modern pentathlon this summer. Ipsen will be competing for the United States with his partner Troy Dumais in the men’s synchronized 3-meter event in London and also as an individual in the three-meter springboard along with USA teammate Chris Colwill. Dumais and Ipsen took second at the 2010 World Cup in synchro. The FINA competition is the last opportunity for athletes to

qualify for individual and synchronized diving at London 2012. Ipsen has settled in at Stanford and is undefeated this year on the one- and three-meter boards for the Cardinal. He competed last week in a dual meet at USC and will return to collegiate diving at the NCAA championships Mar. 22-24 in Federal Way, WA. He will miss the Pac-12 meet while he’s in London. This spring Ipsen will be heading to Moscow for the FINA World Series April 13-14 and a week later will be in another World Series meet in Mexico. His dad, Kent Ipsen, reports that Kristian will be taking a lighter load of classes in the spring as he gets his final training in before the United States Olympic Trials June 1724 back in Federal Way. “While in London Kristian will be Photo courtesy USA Diving

See Ipsen , page 11

CLAYTON’S KRISTIAN IPSEN (LEFT) AND PARTNER TROY DUMAIS are headed to London for the FINA World Cup, which will inaugurate the new London Aquatics Centre Feb. 20-26. They hope they will be back in the English capital diving for the United States in the Summer Olympics this July.

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February 10, 2012

Clayton Pioneer •


Page 11


AOSL PRESENTS Registration now open for

capacity and sometimes even plays as a small forward. He is an excellent rebounder for his size.” In his third year of varsity basketball, Ihle was a second-team All-DVAL selection last season. “We are trying to make a push for NCS and his contribution is vital to the success of the team.”

Athlete Name: Craig Ihle Age: 18 Team: CVHS Basketball Sport: Basketball Senior Craig Ihle is capping his high school basketball career in fine fashion for Clayton Valley. The 6-1 guard earned all-tournament honors in a pair of pre-season events and has been the leading scor-

Photo credit: Scott Anderson


er (15 points per game) for CVHS, which is in the hunt for a North Coast Section berth which will be handed out in a week. “Craig is a wonderful kid, an excellent student and a great teammate. He is one of


Youth T-ball Youth basketball academy Youth volleyball Youth Cheer Adult volleyball Adult coed softball Adult dodgeball 

DIABLO FC 9TH ANNUAL CRAB FEED THIS FRIDAY The ninth annual Diablo FC Crab Feed, Auction and Dance is this Friday, Feb. 10, at Centre Concord. Tickets are available at the door, priced at $50 per person. Social hour is at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 and dancing concludes the evening’s festivities. Visit for more details.

SPRING SIGNUP DEADLINE FOR MT. DIABLO SOCCER FEB. 15 Mt. Diablo Soccer is accepting applications for its spring program until Feb. 15. 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

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

Now offering Personal Training for kids Student-Athlete Websites available formation

our team captains and definitely a team leader,” coach Troy Sullivan says. The coach adds, “He really occupies three roles for us. Primarily he is an offguard but he sometimes handles the ball in a point guard

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

2001 can tryout. To pre-register online for the free tryouts and a complete schedule visit Tryouts for U15-U19 teams will be in April.

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Spring youth basketball academy for boys and girls of all skill levels in first through ninth grades is returning to Clayton Community Gym for seven Friday evenings starting April 6. Signups are also being taken for spring youth volleyball league, which will run on Saturdays from Mar. 3-April 28. Spring adult leagues for co-ed softball, dodgeball and volleyball are gearing up. For more information or to register for any program offered by All Out Sports at the gym, visit


Competitive soccer team tryouts in Diablo FC for boys and girls in the under 12 through under 14 age groups will be held in Concord Feb. 9, 12 and 16. Players born between Aug. 1, 1998 and July 31,

Soccer, from page 10


High in the season finale possibly earning them a tie for second place in DVAL. CVHS was 15-4-3 overall entering play this week. The girls took a break from league play for the annual Alumni game which saw the former Eagles, featuring several current college players, beating the varsity 5-1. Athletic Director Pat Middendorf, who handed over the reins of the varsity coaching position to Booth three years ago, coached the alums. A pair of sisters found themselves on opposite sides in the game. Kelsey Booth (CVHS

Class of 2011, now at San Diego State) scored the first goal. Her sister Amber Booth is a freshman on the Eagles. The last goal was scored by Kristen Elms (2008, Cal State East Bay) against her sister Megan, a junior, who was in goal at the time for CV. Also playing for the alumni were sisters Morgan Nichols in goal (2011, Vermont) and Tayler (2008, Boston University). The alumni got a hat trick by Lindsey Parscal (2011, DVC). North Coast Section playoffs begin next Wednesday, Feb. 15 and conclude Feb. 25.

from page 10 taking a final exam for a winter quarter class at Stanford,” the elder Ipsen explains. All of the travel hopefully culminates with a USA berth in London July 27-Aug. 12 for the Summer Games. The 19-yearold Ipsen is seeking to make the team with Dumais in synchro and also on the three-meter individually, both events in which he is reigning national champion. In fact, Dumais and Ipsen are undefeated nationally since they began their pairing in 2009. Dumais is a three-time US Olympian.

Submit Sports Items Online You can now submit competition results, ideas for stories, nominations for Athlete Spotlight and Sports Shorts on our Website. Go to www.claytonpioneer.c om. On the left side of the page, under “Sports Items” you will find links to the proper forms.

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Clayton Valley High School Athletic Boosters will hold their 18th annual Crab Feed and Auction on Saturday, Mar. 17, at Centre Concord. Tickets are $50 each if purchased before Mar. 15 ($60 after that date) and sold on a first come, first served basis. The popular event sold out last year. Must be 21 or older to attend. For more info email or go to to order tickets.


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Thursday, March 1, 6:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts,1601 Civic Dr,Walnut Creek Complimentary admission. Reservation required: 935-7447 Parking available at Lesher Center for a fee or free meter parking on the streets after 6 p.m. *If you are unable to attend, call and mention flier for benefits. (925) 935-7447, 1610 Locust St., Walnut Creek

Page 12

Clayton Pioneer •

February 10, 2012


IN CLAYTON Feb. 12 Camellia Tea 35th annual celebration. Coffee, tea and treats to honor Clayton’s pioneering families. 1 – 4 p.m. Clayton Museum, 6101 Main St. Mar. 4 Chili Cook Off 12th Annual celebration. Enter the contest or come for the fun. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Clayton Club Saloon, 6096 Main St. Mar. 23-25 Creekside Arts Celebration 9th Annual celebration and 17th anniversary for the library. Entertainment for all ages and interactive workshops. Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road.

EVENTS AND ENTERTAINMENT Thru Feb. 10 “Rent” Rock opera about a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create. 8 p.m. Las Lomas High School Theatre, 1460 S. Main St., Walnut Creek. $14-$17. 324-7359.

Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3. 4 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $39-$69. 943-7469. Mar. 6-10 Percussion Discussion Ken Bergmann returns with his smashing spectacle of drums, cowbells, chairs and more. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $13. 943-7469. Mar. 9-23 “Steel Magnolias” A group of gossipy southern ladies in a small-town beauty parlor in an alternately hilarious and touching play. Diablo Actors’ Ensemble, 1345 Locust St., Walnut Creek. $10-$25. Mar. 24 Contra Costa Wind Symphony Great music inspired by great authors, including Mark Twain and William Shakespeare. 3 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $6-$22. 943-7469.

CHURCHES AND RELIGION Feb. 10 Baha’i, interaction, fellowship and discussion. Topic: The Journey of the Soul. Dr. Diane Hill discusses video about Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor’s experience. 7:30 p.m. Free. For directions, call 672-6686.

Thru Feb. 25 “Arms and the Man” A charming tale of romance going awry. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $38-$43. 9437469.

“Arms and the Man”

Sundays thru Feb. 12 “The Foundations of Western Civilization” Group discussion based on video. 9 a.m. Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church, 1578 Kirker Pass Road, Clayton. 672-4848. Tuesdays thru Mar. 6 Christianity for Progressives 101 Group discussion based on Marcus Borg’s book “The Heart of Christianity.” 7:30 p.m. Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church, 1578 Kirker Pass Road, Clayton. Call to attend, 672-4848.

FUNDRAISERS Feb. 18 Red & White Ball Concord High School Band Boosters’ post-Valentine’s Day celebration. 6 p.m. CHS Multi-Use Room, 4200 Concord Blvd. $30 by Jan. 31; $35 after., 676-5905.

Thru Mar. 3 “A Light in the Piazza” Romance and intrigue in Italy during the summer of 1953. Willows Theatre, 1975 Diamond Blvd., Concord., 798-1300. Feb. 10 thru Mar. 3 “The Philadelphia Story” Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $22. 943-7469. Feb. 10 thru Mar. 3 “Legally Blonde” Elle Woods proves being true to yourself never goes out of style. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $34$48. 943-7469.

Feb. 25 An Evening in New York - Broadway Bound Clayton Valley High School bands’ evening of entertainment, dinner and auction. Entertainment by CVHS Jazz Band and Wind Ensemble with special guest Greg Fogg. 6 p.m. CVHS Multi-Use Room, 1101 Alberta Way, Concord. $15 by Feb. 10; $20 after., Mar. 3 Crab Feed Concord High School Choir’s Big Kahuna crab feed, no-host bar and dancing. 6 – 11 p.m. Centre Concord, 5298 Clayton Road, Concord. Tickets must be purchased by Feb. 24. $45 single or table of 10 for $400. Contact Tammy Brumley at or 250-2264.

AT THE LIBRARY The Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. 673-0659 or

GOVERNMENT 1st and 3rd Tuesdays Clayton City Council 7 p.m. Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 6737304 or 2nd and 4th Tuesdays Clayton Planning Commission 7 p.m., Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 6737304 or

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 or Clayton Valley Woman’s Club Meets 9:30 a.m. second Tuesday of the month except July and August, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 1092 Alberta Way, Concord. 672-9448. 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. Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association Meets 6 p.m. first Saturday of the month for a potluck. Open to members and guests. CMDTRA, 1600 Trail Ride Road, Clayton. Contra Costa Chess Club Meets 6:30-9:30 p.m. Thursdays, Starbuck’s, 1536 Kirker Pass Road, Clayton. Players of all ages and skill levels welcome. Contact Mike at 639-1987 or Contra Costa Genealogical Society Meets 7 p.m. second Thursday of the month, LDS Church, 3700 Concord Blvd., Concord. Contra Costa Mineral and Gem Society Meets 7:30 p.m. second Monday of the month, Centre Concord, 5298 Clayton Road. 289-0454, 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 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, 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,

Feb. 11 Chamber Music SF The Tokyo Quartet. 2:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. Tickets on sale Feb. 10 at 12 a.m. 943-7469.

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

Feb. 12 Diablo Symphony Orchestra Bay Area violinist Karen Shinozaki performs. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $12-$20. 943-7469.

Thru Feb. 29 Go Bananas for Books Children kindergarten through third grade. Pick up reading record at Information Desk. Color banana for each book read. Pick up prize after 29 books.

Feb. 14 That’s Amore A romantic evening of international music and song performed by celebrated musician and singer Naresh Michael. 7:30 p.m. Campbell Theatre, 636 Ward St., Martinez. $25., 798-1300.

Thru Mar. 6 Patty Cakes Story time for babies to three-year-olds. Attend with caregiver. Drop in at 11 a.m.

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,

Thru Mar. 8 Picture Book Time Story time for three- to five-year-olds. May attend without caregiver. Drop in at 11 a.m.

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

Feb. 18, Mar. 17, Apr. 21 Help for Distressed Mortgage Holders Series of community workshops sponsored by volunteer experts and experienced homeowners. 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Salvation Army, 3950 Clayton Road, Concord. Free. Register at for more information. Feb. 26 Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra Performing four of Mozart’s greatest compositions. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $10$30. 943-7469. Mar. 1-4 “The Princess and the Pauper” Two look-a-likes decide to switch places. The audience plays an important role in this real life shell game. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $14. 943-7469. Mar. 2, 3 “Inside the Dancer’s Studio” Diablo Ballet featuring West Coast premiere Pas de Deux from “Mercurial Manoeuvres” by Christopher Wheeldon. Text-perts invited to Twitter live during Friday show. Must apply. 7:30. Shadeland Arts Center, 111 N. Wiget Lane, Walnut Creek. $28$37. Mar. 4 California Symphony Internationally renowned pianist John Novacek plays

Feb. 13 Book Club Sunny Solomon leads discussion of “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration” by Isabel Wilkerson. Open to anyone interested. 7 p.m. Feb. 14, Feb. 21, Feb. 28, Mar. 6 Paws to Read Grades 1 through 5. Read aloud to a dog to encourage children to read. Maximum three sessions. Registration required. 4:30 p.m. Feb. 23 Kindle Confusion 2 Get acquainted with Kindle. Bring your Kindle, questions and library card. Registration required. or Clayton Reference Desk. 3 – 4:30 p.m.

SCHOOLS Feb. 11 Charter School Celebration Clayton Valley Charter High School celebrates historic approval of charter conversion. The entire community is invited to celebrate and get questions answered. Proceeds from refreshment sales benefit CVCHS. 3 – 6 p.m. CVCHS Gym, 1101 Alberta Way, Concord.

Knights of Columbus Meets 7:30 p.m. first Tuesday, St. Bonaventure Church, Ministry Center, 5562 Clayton Road, Concord. Art 672-1850, or Chuck 849-5466, MOMS Club of Concord/Clayton Meeting dates vary. 331-0674, or

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.-1:30 p.m. second Thursday of the month. Boundary Oaks, 3800 Valley Vista Road, Walnut Creek. 946-1192 or 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. Strike a Chord Woman’s chorus. Rehearsals 7 – 9 p.m. Mondays. Openings for new members. Schedule audition. or contact Benedikte at 935-4313. 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. Word Weavers 400 Toastmasters Meets 7-8:15 p.m. Mondays, first floor of Montecito – Oakmont Senior Living, 4756 Clayton Road, Concord. Visitors welcome. Contact Marion at 686-1818 or

February 10, 2012

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 13

Due diligence required when taking charitable deductions Estate planning and charitable planning often go hand in hand. For many people, leaving a legacy of philanthropy is as important as providing financial security for their families. If your estate plan includes charitable contributions, it’s important to understand their tax implications. The availability of income tax deductions for lifetime donations affects a contribution’s cost and, therefore, the amount you can afford to give without jeopardizing your other estate planning goals. One important requirement that applies to charitable deductions is that the recipients of your largesse must be organizations that are eligible to receive deductible contributions. These include qualified public charities, schools, museums, churches, certain supporting organizations and private foundations. To ensure that your contributions are deductible, it’s critical to monitor the tax-exempt status of

RICHARD LITTORNO ESTATE PLANNING the organizations you support. CHECK THE LIST Generally, the easiest way to check whether an organization is likely eligible for taxdeductible contributions is to make sure it’s listed on IRS Publication 78. Publication 78 also indicates whether a listed organization is a public charity or a private foundation. This is significant because income tax deductions for contributions to private foundations are subject

to lower percentage-of-income limits than contributions to public charities. Another option is to consult the IRS Business Master File (BMF). In fact, if you’re donating to a private foundation, the BMF is preferable because, unlike Publication 78, the BMF indicates whether a public charity is considered a “supporting organization.” To maintain their tax-advantaged status, private foundations that make grants to certain supporting organizations must exercise “expenditure responsibility,” which means monitoring how the grant recipient spends its funds. Just because an organization is listed in Publication 78 or the BMF, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s currently eligible to receive tax deductible contributions. What if an organization’s tax exemption has been revoked? For example, an organization’s tax-exempt status is revoked automatically if it fails to file an annual informa-

tion return (the Form 990 series) for three consecutive years. Under recently updated IRS rules, if an organization loses its tax-exempt status, contributions or grants to the organization are still allowable provided 1) you’re unaware of the revocation, and 2) you make the contribution or grant before the IRS makes a public announcement that the organization no longer qualifies. Generally, these announcements are made on the IRS website and in the Internal Revenue Bulletin, but they may also be published “by such other means designed to put the public on notice of the change in the organization’s status.” DO YOUR HOMEWORK To ensure that your charitable contributions are taxdeductible, check to see whether potential recipients are eligible and remain in good standing with the IRS before you get out your checkbook. It’s also a good

idea to document the steps you take to confirm an organization’s status – such as checking Publication 78 and the IRS website – to protect yourself in the event of an IRS challenge.

Richard A. Littorno is an attorney specializing in estate planning. He has offices in Walnut Creek and Pittsburg. Send your questions to

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Citizenship is the act of voluntarily taking control of a community in a positive, constructive way without compensation – Kyra Ortiz and Kathie Osterkamp. The above quote is a thesis statement for a group project entitled “What is Citizenship?” for Mr. McChesney’s English class and Mr. Perreira’s World History class at Clayton valley High School. The words ring true rather poignantly this month as our school community and our city communities united stronger than ever, to win approval from the Contra Costa Board of Education, for Clayton Valley High School to become Clayton Valley Charter High School. A week later, the work of transforming a district school into OUR neighborhood public charter high school is already underway. A new chapter is


THE CHARTER PAPERS unfolding for our students and our community. We want you to be a part of this new volume and help write the history that will be CVCHS, home of the New Ugly Eagles. I volunteered to write this continuing column for the Clayton Pioneer to bring the CVCHS efforts closer to home. My hope and intent is to keep our readers informed of the challenges, progress and tri-

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umphs of CVCHS as the Governing Board, sub-committees, teachers, students, staff and parents collaborate and move forward to transition Clayton Valley into the great school we envision. The official date of transfer from the Mount Diablo Unified School District to Clayton Valley Charter High School is July 1, 2012. By the time you read this column, families should have received a Release of Information letter from the Mt. Diablo School District for current and new students from Diablo View and Pine Hollow Middle Schools. All information regarding enrollment can be found at, under the “Enrollment” tab. The Governing Board and sub-committees meet regularly and are chipping away the first “To Do” lists. Their agendas and minutes are posted online

ARRESTS Jan. 22, Midnight. Police arrested a Clayton woman, 59, for DUI after stopping her for a Vehicle Code violation. Jan. 24, 2:26 a.m. A 25-year-old man from Auberry, CA was arrested on a prior warrant. He was cited and released on a signed promise to appear. Jan. 25, 2:52 a.m. Police stopped a Concord man, 51, at Ygnacio Valley Rd and Park Highlands Dr. for a Vehicle Code violation and arrested in on an outstanding warrant. BURGLARIES/THEFTS Jan. 20. Diablo View Ln. Petty Theft Jan 21. Stranahan Cr. Petty Theft Jan 25. Regency Dr. Burglary – Vehicle Jan 26. Diablo View Ln. Burglary – Vehicle

April Winship is a parent of two CVCHS students in the Public Service Academy. She lives in Clayton with her family. If you have any questions, comments or simply have an idea to share, email

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under the “News” tab. To learn how you can lend your expertise, a tab for “Volunteer Opportunities” has been created, and check out the new “Jobs” tab as well to learn what skills and qualities we are looking for in our new Executive Director. Every community member, on and off campus, is a stakeholder in this endeavor and your involvement and “citizenship” is encouraged and welcomed. In the coming weeks and months refer often to the new CVCHS website at as new information is added and the site evolves.

Week ending Feb. 2 ARRESTS Feb. 1, 2012. 8:50 a.m. Main St. Burglary. A 34-year-old man from out of the area was arrested for burglary after stealing alcohol from two Clayton stores. Early in the morning, Sam Sandhu, owner of the Village Market, watched the man leave his store with a bottle. Sandhu stopped the man in the parking lot and retrieved the item. Later that day, an employee of CVS Drugs at Clayton Road and Center Street witnessed the man steal a bottle of wine and leave the store. She called 9-1-1 and police arrested the man on the trail behind Ed’s Mudville Grill. He was booked at the Martinez Detention Facility. According to police, the man has a long criminal record.

BURGLARIES/THEFTS: Jan 28, 11:20 a.m. Vehicle burglary, Mountaire Parkway. VANDALISM: Jan 31, Marsh Creek Road.

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Clayton Pioneer •

Can young love survive the test of a college acceptance? TAYLOR TOVREA TEEN SPEAK With Valentine’s Day just around the corner and love in the air, what better time is there to discuss the timeless topic of young love? Throughout history, romance has always thrived during the adolescent years, whether tragically as in Romeo and Juliet or to ‘80s pop hits as in every John Hughes movie. The students of Clayton Valley High School are no exception to this rule; in fact, the evidence of their vulnerability to the potent love potion known as copiousamountsofhormones can be seen every school day up and down the hallways and in the quad in between classes. Couples embracing or walking to class hand in hand, girls donning their guy’s jersey on game day and boys staging dramatic and thoughtful prom

proposals. Having a successful and healthy high school relationship can be one of the best feelings in the world. However senior year brings a chilly reality check that can affect even the happiest of couples. With college increasingly becoming a necessity for a successful future, today’s graduating couples often must face separation from their partner in addition to all of the other changes that accompany receiving one’s diploma and officially entering the “real world”, conditions many relationships fail to survive and are even expected to. However, some couples manage to rise above the limitations of puppy love and overcome the obstacles of age and circumstance to be together. Clayton Valley senior Ryan Dodge and his girlfriend, Clayton Valley alumnus Lauren Warzecha, are a prime example of such a commitment. The two began dating in 2011 but broke off their relationship once summer rolled around,

not wanting to date long distance with Ryan still at CV and Lauren at UC Irvine the next fall. However it wasn’t long before they changed their minds, deciding that long distance was worth a try to stay together. Five months into the school year the couple is still going strong, glad that they didn’t give up so easily. Seniors Kaylee Andrews and Aaron Calimlim are similarly determined to continue their relationship after graduation. The two have been an item since the fall of their sophomore year and after such a long time, Kaylee says that she can’t imagine experiencing such an important milestone in my life without him. “College is just another thing that we will face together,” she says. The couple intends to enjoy the rest of their senior year and then pursue their undergraduate studies in southern California together next fall. Knowing the odds facing couples after graduation, one

Managing time merely a matter of choice ROBBIE PARKER

CVHS REPORTER Everyone on the planet is allotted the same number of hours in a day to fulfill all of their wants and needs, but its how one uses them that counts. While some may take advantage of their time, others neglect it.

Visualize a scenario: two diligent high school students with the same classes, on the same varsity sports team. After returning home, they start their homework prior to heading off to practice. One student finishes before, but the other is still trying to memorize formulas for a geometry test at eleven-thirty at night. You have to ask why the students weren’t finished at the same time. The answer is relatively simple; it’s all about time

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What exactly does it mean to manage time well? It’s essentially organizing, scheduling, and budgeting one’s time in order to generate more effective and productive work. Battling against the clock is a common source of stress for me, and for many of my peers. Now that I am attending high school, homework has only increased. It’s always been a bit difficult to fit in the rest of my homework after athletics. I always manage, but still, balancing multiple extracurricular activities and homework isn’t something easy to achieve. Now that spring sports are starting at Clayton Valley, it’s time for swim season. To stay healthy and in shape before and after swimming, I have been participating in kung fu. Kung fu is one of the most exciting, dynamic sports activities I have been a part of. However, as I began to think of being part of both sports, I knew managing my time would be a challenge. I am normally busy during the week and I keep a strict routine. I wake up at six in the morning, head off to school, come home and hit the books. I usually have a couple of hours of homework and on days I have kung-fu I leave at 6:15 p.m. Later I return to finish studying until I head to bed at 10:30. Thinking about adding daily swim practice into the mix made me wonder how I was going to make all of this work. I needed to make a choice. I stressed over the decision of how I could manage my time. School is first, yet I didn’t want to give up on either sport. In the end, I spoke with my parents, and my kung fu instructor. With their support I made the decision to wait to return to kung-fu after the swim season at CVHS. Deciding between what one wants to do, and what can actually be accomplished isn’t easy. Finding balance and managing time well is difficult. Even though I would love to do everything at the same time, I know can’t. Robbie Parker is a freshman at Clayton Valley High School. Send comments to

February 10, 2012

New mural part of campus beautification

might question the point of having a relationship in high school, especially senior year. Having entered a relationship myself this year, only a few short months before graduation, I would say that the experience is entirely worth it, regardless of what happens after we don our caps and gowns. My boyfriend and fellow Clayton Valley senior Ted Hall summed it up best: “Although many relationships don’t last, high school is a time to live for the moment and follow your heart. What happens in the future happens, but there is no need to stress about it now.” There’s already enough stress in our lives. Taylor Tovrea is a senior at Clayton Valley High School. She is a regular contributor to the Pioneer. You can Email her at taylor@

Concord Chamber, PG&E offer scholarships

GARY KHACHADOORIAN, Katie Nolan, Brandie Gallagher, Marissa Khachadoorian, Micki Walls, Mary-Ellen Iwuc McGrane and Derek Weinmann participate in a campus clean up day.

On a recent CVHS clean up day, the Parent Faculty Club and Student Leadership’s Camp Beautification group volunteered to clean the campus and add new trees and bushes to flank the new mural in the lower quad. Included in the mural design are Mt Diablo, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Delta. The design and construction was a collaborative effort among art students, Katie Nolan art instructor at CVHS and Mary-Ellen Iwuc

McGrane of the PFC’s Campus Beautification committee. Much of the material for the project was donated or funded by the PFC. Over 6000 pieces of broken tile and cut mirror were used to construct the mural. Pieces of slate were used to create Mt Diablo. The mural was completed during art class over a period of one month. Once all the material was attached, every tile and mirror piece was hand polished and shined.


The program is for students in the greater Concord area who are entering college this year. Up to six $500 scholarships will be available for students entering college for the 2012-13 academic year. The Greater Concord Chamber promotes and facilitates the involvement of business in schools, works to increase educator and student awareness of the business environment and helps to prepare today’s students to become the future leaders of tomorrow. Applications are available online at or from the Concord Chamber office at 2280 Diamond Blvd., Suite 200, Concord, CA. Applications are due at the Chamber office by March 16, 2012 by 4 p.m. For more information, contact the Greater Concord Chamber at (925) 685-1181. PG&E OFFERS $1 MILLION Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will award up to $1 million in scholarships to enable high school, community college and “non-traditional” students to complete their higher education paths. The scholarship winners will receive full-ride scholarships of up to $30,000 per year; program finalists will receive $2,500 towards their studies. The PG&E Bright Minds scholarships will be awarded based on a combined demonstration of community leadership, personal triumph, financial need and academic achievement. Eligible students will be enrolled in a full-time undergraduate program at an accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school for the duration of the 2012-2013 academic year – and live within PG&E’s service area, which includes 44 of California’s 58 counties. All applications must be submitted online at The deadline is Feb. 17. Winners will be announced in the spring.

Students share ideas and films at DVMS Film Festival

CELINE HERRERA DVMS REPORTER DVMS’s annual Film Festival was held on January 24. After a slideshow showing the film making process, five student groups presented their short films. The students worked on their films all semester. Each group wrote a 10-15-page script and learned new leadership skills. The five groups and their films were- Bear Claw Productions with “Where’s Waldo;” Applesauce Productions with “00-Ugly: License to Model;” Bulls Eye Productions with “Unlucky Lock;” Oh La La Films with “Priceless;” and Kit Kat Productions with “Benny.” All the students shared bits and pieces of their ideas with each other during the film-making, but they all got to see each other’s films for the first time at the Film Festival. In the beginning of the semester, Mr. Ross told the student film-makers, “Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there because your movies will probably be better when you show what you are capable of.” At the beginning of the

semester he told the students to “try to work with people you won’t argue with, because you will not have time to argue. Each second counts.” He stressed time efficiency and meeting important deadlines for completing the script, filming and editing. Filmmaker Audrey Annison, gave me an insight on what creating a story line is like, and how her group came up with their “Priceless” movie. “While we were brainstorming story ideas, there were a ton of ideas flying around. It was getting really chaotic so we all decided it was becoming a bit of a mess trying to combine all of our ideas into one. We decided to start from scratch, forget our old ideas, close our eyes, stop talking, and think. We decided to just do that for just one minute, without saying anything. If we came up with an idea we would write it down. The idea popped into my head of a girl going back in time to save her town, but liking it better the way it used to be. I wrote down my idea, and we all loved it!” Their movie’s theme was “money can’t buy happiness.” You can see all five short videos on YouTube. The username for the channel is dvmsvideoproductions. The next DVMS Film Festival will be June 5. Celene Herrera is in the eighth grade at Diablo View Middle School. Email comments or questions to

February 10, 2012

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 15

Avoiding the bite of the canine flu



PET PALS It is flu season again and we are all hearing from the media about ways to protect ourselves. But do our pets contract the flu as well? Yes, there is a canine influenza virus, CIV, caused by the H3N8 virus. This emerging infectious virus has joined other organisms of the Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC), commonly known as Kennel Cough. Canine influenza was first reported in Florida in January 2004 in racing greyhounds. Some of the dogs exhibited mild symptoms while others developed severe pneumonia and died. Subsequently, canine influenza has been found in animal shelters, adoption centers, pet stores, various greyhound

tracks, boarding kennels and animal hospitals. By 2011 CIV had been found in 38 states. CIV causes an acute respiratory infection that is highly contagious to other dogs. All dogs are susceptible unless there is immunity from prior infection. There is no breed or age predisposition. Of infected dogs 80 percent develop clinical disease, 20 percent do not show signs, and less than 5 percent die of pneumonia. Our local shelters are closely monitoring for this and other canine diseases. So far there have not been any reported cases of CIV in northern California. Contra Costa Animal Services follow the recommendations of the UC Davis Koret Animal Shelter Medicine Program to monitor and prevent CIV. Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation also frequently tracks the disease, and shares information with animal shelters, universities and other pet-related agencies. The CIV incubation period is very short, only two-to-four days. This is the peak time of virus shedding, before there are clinical signs. Virus shedding continues for seven to 10 days.

The virus is spread through coughing and sneezing but also via fomite exposure. Fomites are objects that the virus may adhere to such as feeding dishes, brushes, clothing and human hands. Diagnosis is often difficult for two reasons. First, CIV cannot be differentiated from other causes of respiratory infections by clinical signs. Secondly, timing of testing is critical. Three tests are available, a nasal/throat swab test, a blood antigen test and blood serology. For best results the first two tests must be run within the first four days of symptoms. There is no specific treatment for CIV. Cough suppressants are used if appropriate. Lab work and X-rays will be required to diagnosis pneumonia, followed by hospitalization for IV fluids and antibiotic injections to treat secondary bacterial infections. Exposure depends on your dog’s lifestyle. High risk exposure occurs in any situation where multiple dogs interact and socialize, such as at shelters, boarding and day care facilities, training classes, dog parks and adoption centers.

Traveling presents a tremendous risk. If you are traveling to a state where CIV is common, be sure to have your pet vaccinated. Have your dog get two doses, with the second dose given at least two weeks prior to travel. Many boarding facilities are now requiring CIV vaccination, along with Bordetella vaccine. To protect your dog, the Koret Program recommends for owners to follow a vaccine schedule that includes DA2PP, Bordetella and CIV. If you board your dog, make sure that the kennel is clean and well maintained, and has a plan for immediately isolating and caring for any dogs that develop signs of “kennel cough” or other disease in a completely separate area. Don’t take your pet to dog parks or other places with lots of dogs if showing signs of kennel cough, and for two weeks after recovery. And keep your pet in overall good health. A strong immune system will be your dog’s best defense against infection.

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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.


GARY TAYLOR CAR TUNED One question I am asked a lot is about diagnostic computers and equipment. It seems that people are under the impression that there is a special computer that we can hook-up to the vehicle that will tell us what problem caused the “check engine” light to come on, and then fixes the problem right on the spot. This would be a Godsend if true. The truth is, the diagnostic

valve, discontinuity in the system or a combination of any or all. The engine may set a code for a misfire, lean fuel system, rich fuel system, ignition detonation detected, coolant temperature out of range, or any combination of reasons. The transmission may set a code if the on-board computer detects the shift points are not right, fluid pressure is too high or too low, the shift solenoids are not responding as they should, the speed input sensor does not agree with the speed output sensor, or the torque converter lockup solenoid is

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Diagnostic computers can’t solve your car’s problem scanner we use will tell you what the codes are and what system it is connected to. It will also let you see the readings being sent to the computer by the different sensors. It then is up to the technician to figure out if the data is correct or not, and what is at fault by going into that system and checking all the components and circuits. The “check engine” light can be turned on by the computer for number of reasons, from a number of systems. For example, the evaporation system can set a code for anything from a loose gas cap, bad vacuum pump, bad purge valve, bad vent

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Snitzer and Peanut are ARF’s Stars outings on the trail. Attending a Basic Manners training class might be a great way for Snitzer to bond with his new adopters while learning the basic doggie skills. The adoption fee for adult dogs is $225 and includes 60 percent off one 7-week dog training session.

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malfunctioning. Or, again, it can be a combination of reasons. The only true mystery of the computer is the one inside the technician’s head – his ability to correctly interpret the codes, check all components and circuits involved, and his ability to repair in a reasonable and costeffective way. Gary Taylor is service manager at Clayton Valley Shell. Call him with questions at (925) 672-3900



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Page 16

Clayton Pioneer •

We can tell your story. No matter what it is

February 10, 2012


Willows brings extraordinary ‘Light’ to Concord Mainstage TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer

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Director Eric Inman stepped out on a limb when he chose the “The Light in the Piazza,” a challenging and ambitious show, to lead off the Willows Theatre 2012 season. The gamble paid off last Friday when the opening night curtain dropped on this lyrical and complex love story, bringing the cheering audience to its feet. This story is set in Florence in the summer of 1953. Margaret Johnson and her daughter, Clara, are on vacation together when Clara falls in love with an Italian boy. The deceptively simple “boy meets girl” story quickly gets very complicated. Clara isn’t “normal.” A childhood head injury has left her brain unable to catch up with her body – she is a very young girl in

Photo by Judy Potter

DEBORAH DEL MASTRO AS MARGARET JOHNSON and Rachel Robinson as Clara star in “The Light in the Piazza” playing at the Willows Theatre, Jan. 30 – March 3.

the body of a 26-year-old woman. Margaret is now caught between protecting Clara from what she fears is an impossible future, or letting go and trusting in love. Although the score is written by Adam Guettel, the grandson

of Richard Rogers, this very adult musical is not a toe-tapper, singa-long. More modern opera than traditional musical, there were no big dance numbers and much of it was sung in Italian. The payoff was in the richness of the lyrics, the harmonies and counterpoint

and the huge, spectacular voice of Deborah Del Mastro as Margaret Johnson. Few places are a lovely as Florence with the golds, sepias and terracottas of the buildings and plazas and visually, the show is captivating. “The Light in the Piazza” was nominated for 11 Tony Awards when it opened on Broadway in 2005. The Willows Theatre begins its triumphant 2012 season as phoenix rising from the ashes. Plagued by funding and management problems, the 35-year-old company was forced to close the Concord Mainstage in 2009. After retrenching and regrouping, the theatre reopened in March of 2011 and has continued to attract new audiences. “The Light in the Piazza” plays Wed.-Sun. through March 3. Purchase tickets online at or call the box office at (925) 798-1300.

A.C.T. brings ‘Scorched’ to SF stage for West Coast premier San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre (A.C.T.) introduces a celebrated Middle Eastern voice to the Bay Area with the West Coast premiere of Wajdi Mouawad’s haunting play “Scorched,” with Emmy Award winner and Golden Globe- and Academy Award–nominated actor David Strathairn (“Good Night, and Good Luck” leading the cast. In “Scorched,” after their mother’s death, twins Janine and Simon are given two letters with clues about their family’s myste-

rious past. They embark on an lic Alphonse Lebel, who acts as unforgettable journey to the a guide to the two twins as they Middle East in search of the try to unearth the truth about father and brother their family. The they never knew they Emmy Award winner had. The play weaves last appeared on the its riveting mystery A.C.T. stage as into a captivating tapProspero in The estry, inviting us to Tempest, which was slowly unravel an the inaugural proastonishing truth. The duction at the chaos of conflict has A m e r i c a n never been so immeConservatory diate – or so human. Theater after it Strathairn plays reopened in 1996 bumbling notary pub- DAVID STRATHAIRN following the devas-

tation of the Loma Prieta earthquake. Called “a work of raw power . . . delicately lyrical and unforgettable” by “Philadelphia Weekly” and “suspenseful and engrossing” by the “New York Times,” “Scorched” performs a limited run Feb.16–March 11, at the American Conservatory Theater (415 Geary Street, San Francisco). Tickets (starting at $10) are available by calling the A.C.T. Box Office at 415.749.2228 or at

Take a risk with colors to brighten your look JUDITH MARSHALL

FASHION OVER 50 The new year is a good time to press the refresh button on your look. When it comes to choosing colors, remember your color wheel. Often our instincts tell us to keep pieces in the same color family. Boring. Think across the circle. Try taking a risk with more adventurous combinations like navy and yellow, coral and turquoise or lime and fuchsia. Color shouldn’t be reserved for spring or summer. It can perk up a dreary winter day. The same goes for shoes.

Don’t just reach for your black shoes to go with your black dress. Try an interesting neutral like blush, metallic or an animal print. (Yes, animal prints are considered neutral.) Or better yet, go for a pop of color like hot pink to throw something unexpected into the mix. Another option is to punch up a muted and simple outfit with a vibrant handbag. However, if you’ve ventured into bold territory with the color palette of your outfit, stay with a calmer bag that doesn’t compete. And remember, your shoes and purse don’t have to match – in fact, they shouldn’t. At age 50 and beyond, many of us become confused on how we should present ourselves.

We’re unsure about the kind of image we are projecting. Are we dressing too young? Too old? Are we trying too hard to conform to the trends we see in fashion magazines? The answer is everyone has to find their own style. However, in experimenting with your style, the following combinations DO NOT go together and thus should be avoided:  A nose ring and bifocals  Spiked hair and bald spots  A pierced tongue and dentures  Ankle bracelets and bunion pads  A belly button ring and a gall bladder surgery scar  A low-cut neckline and a heart monitor

How NOT to wear a scarf.  

In-line skates and a walker Short shorts and varicose veins Live long and pester!

Judith Marshall is the author of “Husbands May Come and Go but Friends are Forever,” available at the Royal Rooster in Clayton

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Clayton Pioneer •

Page 17

Life changes as quick as the weather Occasionally I’m asked how I decided to become a meteorologist. The short answer is that it was a long and winding road. A sharp turn on that road occurred 40 years ago this month when I left the Midwest and headed out to sunny California. That decision was partially weather related as I had grown impatient trying to snowplow through another long Ohio winter. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was an important first step toward a career in weather. To understand the motivation for my westward journey, a little background information is necessary. In the summer of 1970, within a month of obtaining a degree in political science from a small liberal arts college in North Carolina, my student draft deferment status changed to “1-A.” My draft lottery number was 199 (out of 366). With the Viet Nam war in full tilt, it looked like good bet that I’d serve a two-year stint


WEATHER WORDS in the Army. Because of my draft status the job market evaporated, not that political science majors were in heavy demand anyway. I moved back to my parent’s house in Ohio, obtained a job selling cars, and waited for the call from Uncle Sam. As luck would have it, the highest lottery number called that year was 195, and I would not be drafted. The next year was spent selling cars during the day and com-

plaining with friends about small town Ohio life at night. Everyone talked about getting out but no one left. I hated the rust belt winters and in the middle of a cold and sleepless night in February, 1972, I’d had enough. Even though I’d never been west of the Mississippi, a hauntingly powerful urge to just pack my car and head to California kept me up all night. That morning I quit my job, packed my car, gathered my life savings of a few hundred dollars and hit the road. California, here I come! After road wandering for a few weeks, either staying with college friends or sleeping in the large back seat of my land yacht sized Ford Galaxie, I was in the Golden State. I ended up visiting a high school buddy who was stationed at Travis Air Force Base. It was early March and wonderfully warm. You could see snow in the mountains and

not have to shovel it…what a novel concept. My friend decided to go to back to school. He was a medic in the service and decided to become a doctor. Going back to school appealed to me, and I decided to pursue a technical degree. I took an introductory meteorology class and was hooked. Entering a university meteorology program required several years of preparatory math, science and physics classes. The long and windy road finally straightened out in 1977 with an admission into the meteorology program at San Jose State. The following summer I landed an internship in the Meteorology Department at PG&E. The rest, as they say, is history. Woody Whitlatch is a meteorologist with PG&E. Email your questions or comments to

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Club News Clayton Rotary adopts a village in Africa

CLAYTON VALLEY/CONCORD SUNRISE ROTARY member Torsten Jacobsen, second from left, recently met with Rotarians from the club’s adopted village in Uganda. LAWRENCE HUTCHINGS Special to the Pioneer

Clayton Rotarian Torsten Jacobsen, who along with his wife Tineke, recently returned from Uganda visiting the village that the Rotary Club of Clayton Valley/Concord Sunrise has “adopted”, describes the project as “inspirational and extremely successful”. Through a Rotary Global Grant spear-headed by the

Clayton club in partnership with the Muyenga, Uganda, club, more than $37,000 was raised to lift a cluster of small villages of about 2500 people deep in a jungle-like rural setting from poverty to self sufficiency in less than a year. “The people now see light at the end of the tunnel and are so thankful for the assistance that they have been given to unfold their hidden talents and industriousness. This has boosted their pride and self-confidence immeasurably. Their spontaneity and

enthusiasm is captivating.” “The key to this success” Jacobsen explains “is that Rotary has developed an all encompassing formula that such projects must be eventually self-sustaining - meaning that they must contain three key components-sanitation, education and occupation.” “These people are truly dirt poor and living without any utilities whatsoever while suffering from water borne bacterial, parasitic and infectious diseases including malaria. Absence of clothing and food made it difficult for many children to attend school. Despite this, they are enormously warm, affectionate and demonstrate true generosity by sharing what little they have”. The project which was started only a year ago has resulted in 80foot deep borehole wells for clean water, sanitary latrines, handwashing stations, insecticide-treated mosquito nets for malaria prevention, seeds for corn cultivation, chickens for egg production, and pregnant pigs for piglet distribution. The villagers on their own initiative have even managed to set up a mini-investment bank where villagers can place their funds for future seed and live-

CBCA donated $90,000 in 2011 GARY CARR Special to the Pioneer

The motto of the Clayton Business and Community Association is “For the Good of the Clayton Community.” At its Jan. 26 meeting at Oakhurst Country Club, CBCA proved that it does indeed put its money where its motto is. CBCA community events like the Art & Wine Festival, scheduled this year for May 5 and 6, raise funds that are plowed back into programs that benefit Clayton. Treasurer John Garrett’s report showed that CBCA donated some $90,000 to 24 different organizations and projects in Clayton in 2011. This amount does not include $20,000 in college scholarships granted to qualified high school seniors living in the Clayton area. The club donated to a wide variety of charities, organizations, projects and school activities, including: Mt. Diablo Elementary School (teacher computers), CVHS Charter School (attorney fees), Clayton Concerts in the Park, Diablo

Valley Ranch (flooring, etc.), VFW Post 1525 (flag pole), Contra Costa County Blue Star Moms, Clayton Counts Down (New Year’s Eve program), CVHS Football (Equipment), Christmas for Everyone, Concord Child Care Center, CVHS Baseball (portable backstop), CVHS Lacrosse (uniforms), CVHS Golf, Vestia, CVHS Choir, Junior Achievement, CVHS Grad Night, Monument Crisis Center, CBCA Cares, Do the Right Thing (banners), Soap Box Derby, Meals on Wheels, CVHS Boys Basketball and Diamond Terrace. CBCA president Keith Haydon emphasized the quid pro quo nature of the donations. CBCA stipulates that each funded organization volunteer to help on CBCA projects like Art & Wine and Oktoberfest. “We’re pleased that everyone does their fair share in volunteering to support our fund-raising events in return for the funds they receive,” Haydon says. “It keeps the process alive and well for Clayton.” At the January meeting,

CBCA members also voted to donate $10,000 to the Clayton Valley Music Boosters to be used for scholarships for band members to attend the band’s trip to New York City in March. The CVHS band will give a concert in Central Park and tour New York area universities. Band Boosters estimate the total cost of the trip to send 77 band members and 10 chaperones to New York at $120,000. CBCA members also approved $1,125 in matching funds to the Clayton Chapter of the AAUW to send three seventh grade girls to Tech Trek Camp at Sonoma State this summer. In addition, Meals on Wheels received a $1,000 grant to help sponsor their upcoming Crab Feed fundraiser in February. CBCA membership has risen to 195, according to Haydon. Membership is open to anyone who lives in Clayton, or on the border with Concord, as well as any owner of a business located in Clayton or serving Clayton residents. More information is available at 925-672-2272 or on their website: .

stock purchase. A neighboring Rotary project started by the same assisting Ugandan Rotary club has gone even further with a different Rotary Grant to establish a source of biofuel from cattle manure that provides for lighting and cooking (and thus helps preserve native tree) as well as family planning, crop experimentation, milling of grain and bread baking and

See Rotary, page 18

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Clayton Pioneer •

February 10, 2012

Couples, from page 1 with his intended all the way to Hobbes, New Mexico where, in order to keep from living in sin after previous wedding plans had fallen through, they found a priest and were married at 10 that night. “Marriage is a time when a man chases a woman until she catches him,” Bill joked. Though no marriage – least of all one lasting over 60 years – is without the occasional spat, Bill said the trick to making a relationship last is to stay focused on staying together. “I believe that what people need to do to keep from breaking up is have the last they think of be separation and divorce,” he said. “He turned out to be the best thing that happened to me,” Yvonne twinkled from her chair. “It turned out great.”

WILLIAM SHAHAN wooed wife Stella while dancing to “slow music.”

Sixty-three years after their whirlwind two-week courtship led to marriage, Stella and William Shahan cuddled in beside each other on their couch.

William recounted memories of going dancing on Saturday nights in Antioch when they were younger. “Slow music,” he said, smiling, when asked what songs were best to dance to. “He never left and came back,” said Stella, sharing a bit of what kept their love alive all the years. “We discuss our problems. Whoever feels it was their fault, we apologize and vice-versa.” He nodded in agreement. “Everybody has their own personality and way of living,” he said. “We just don’t start slugging around.” Charlie and Pat Bon, married almost 62 years, produced pictures of them cutting their wedding cake on March 2, 1950. Today she beams at Charlie, still in love. “He was a good kid,” she said of what led her to marry him. Asked what he thinks the difference is between a marriage that sticks together versus those that disintegrate, Charlie shook his head. “I think they aren’t willing to compromise, or to listen to what the other one wants,” he said. Lovers should be flexible and listen to each other, he counseled instead. “There isn’t any alternative. The only way you get a divorce is if you think you’re going to get a divorce.” They took a moment to demonstrate what made their marriage work so well. “I love you,” said Pat, taking Charlie’s hand. “Good,” replied Charlie with a smile. “That’s important.”


GARDEN GIRL The coolness of winter intensifies the color of many shrubs in our Clayton Valley landscapes. One of the stunners of the cold season is the family of Nandina, or you may know it as Heavenly Bamboo. Heavenly Bamboo is one of those evergreen shrubs that is hardly noticed at the nursery, sitting quietly throughout the spring and summer getting passed by as plant lovers grab blooming perennials and groundcovers and shrubs. As the winter begins to takes on a chill, the colors of the Heavenly Bamboo come to life. With each cold day, various hues of scarlet, bronze, orange and yellow emerge. Depending on the age of your landscape, you may have your own feelings regarding Heavenly Bamboo. Some of the original selections installed 20-30 years ago had character traits that are now not considered desirable. They grew too tall, often looking leggy, and spread by runners crowding out more desirable plants. Today’s Nandina has been

hybridized to be a wonderful landscape addition. There is a variety available for almost any application—perfect shapes and sizes with faithful cool season color. Sienna Sunrise is a patented selection of Nandina. This variety will reach only about 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. The Sienna Sunrise has a leaf style reminiscent of the traditional Heavenly Bamboo. It looks like a true miniature. When the new leaves emerge, they are the color of paprika. During the cool months, the Sienna Sunrise’s color deepens to a rich wine. Plant this evergreen in full sun. Be sure to breakup and flare the roots when installing, they are commonly planted wrong. Sienna Sunrise would make a great companion plant for Phormium Dusty Chief, and Coral colored Drift Roses. This combination of plants would achieve evergreen interest, flower and foliage color, water-wise consumption and

loads of curb appeal. If you are craving a smaller Nandina in your landscape, Firepower may be the selection for you. The look of this Heavenly Bamboo is shrubby. The leaves are larger than the parent varieties, resembling a basil leaf. During the cool months Firepower Nandina’s color molts into a fantastic creation. The leaves bleed colors of orange, gold and scarlet. They almost appear to become textured with color. You can expect 2 feet of height and 18 inches of width with this evergreen. In a landscape, I like to use the Firepower Nandina to form a living border. It is very well used surrounding a Mediterranean style fountain, or installed within a concrete planter. When using in a container, plant terracotta colored million bells beneath for flower power, and sedum Angelina for additional foliage to trickle over the side. Nandina Firepower would be great planted with Sedum Autumn Joy, and Bulbine f.

Rotary, from page 17 sewing of nets and school clothing. “It is encouraging to see that now with hope, many of the children are inspired in school to learn and become leaders in their own right.” Indeed, many of Uganda’s current leaders and

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grants programs, sponsored by many of the 30,000 clubs all over the earth, span the world to do just that—through our motto of Service Above Self—Rotarians are happy to improve the quality of life with so little effort and without political interference, religiosity or administrative expenditure.” Jacobsen relates.

Rotarians have come from such villages when just given the chance of education,” says Jacobsen. “It is gratifying to help people by giving them the opportunity to help themselves. Every year Rotary International’s matching

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yellow. Together these plants would make a flowering, beeattractive sturdy garden statement. One of the first hybrids Nandinas that caused this plant family to get noticed again is the Gulf Stream. Once patented and expensive is now affordable and widely available. Gulf Stream will reach 3-4 feet tall and about half as wide. It is well liked when used beneath a deciduous tree, like a Flowering Plum, or a Crape Myrtle. The color of the Gulf Stream makes it a nice contrast evergreen for lavender or Westringia. Those of you who grow Lavender Otto Quast may consider installing the Gulf Stream Nandina. Together they look swell. The Westringia is a larger growing evergreen with hazy, gray leaves. Mixed along a property, or fence line with the Gulf Stream Nandina, the two leaf colors would be striking. They are both sun loving, drought tolerant, and need little to no fertilizer. It would be a great combination. Check out what is new with the Heavenly Bamboo. They have been around a while, they are proven, and a great way to get winter interest in your landscape.

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0500 M AYOR ’ S C ORNER H OWARD G ELLER See Honor Band, page 4 See Couples, page 18 See Mayor, page 6 F IVE MDES FIFTH - GRADERSPULLEDTOGETH...