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Preview pages 8-9


July 27, 2012


Clayton natives Kohler, Ipsen seek Olympic glory JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer



Thanks for another fantastic Fourth I’d like to offer a big Clayton “thank you” to all the volunteers who participated in making this year’s Fourth of July Parade a huge success. This year, we seemed to have even more children and parents participate and an increased number of floats and equestrian units. The challenge is on to make next year’s

See Mayor, page 13

Medrano to seek reelection despite trial set for Sept. TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer

A request to dismiss embezzlement charges against Clayton City Councilman Joseph Medrano was denied for a second time by a San Mateo County judge on July 20. A jury trial is set to begin Sept. 10. Medrano called the proceedings “a joke” and said he plans to run for reelection despite the pending trial. “There was no way the judge was going to reverse his own ruling,” Medrano said. Medrano claims San Mateo County does not have jurisdiction over the case. He plans to file another motion for dismissal, this time asking for a new judge. According to San Mateo District Attorney Steven Wagstaff, a new motion would again argue the jurisdiction issue. “This would be the same basis as the motion brought by the defense today,” Wagstaff said. “We would hope for the same outcome.” Medrano, an insurance broker and owner of IMC Services, is charged with allegedly embezzling $159,630 meant for insurance premiums from iPass Corporation and failing to turn the money over to Travelers Insurance. Medrano claims iPass breached their contract and that the money was owed to him. “While I am disappointed with what occurred today, I am more confident that the case will be dismissed or I will be found not guilty,” Medrano said. “I will be vindicated.”

Photo by John Beck Photography courtesy USA Diving

CLAYTON’S KRISTIAN IPSEN (second from right) joined in the celebration at the US Olympic Trials with his new fellow Olympians. The 11-member American diving team in London over the next two weeks includes, from left, Chris Colwill, Christina Loukas, Cassidy Krug, Ipsen and Troy Dumais. Krug is a former Stanford diver while Dumais is Ipsen’s partner in the three-meter synchro, which will be held next Wednesday. Stanford diving coach Rick Schavone is assistant coach of the American team, which hasn’t won a diving medal since 2000. He thinks both Ipsen, his current NCAA champion from Stanford, and Krug can medal in London.

A pair of young Clayton natives, Kristian Ipsen and Kara Kohler, will step onto the biggest international sporting stage over the next several days at the 30th Summer Olympics in London. Each homegrown athlete can visualize achieving the heights of glory next Wednesday that another Clayton resident, Don Bragg, reached with his pole vault gold medal performance in the 1960 Rome Olympics, four years before Clayton was incorporated as a city. Ipsen, a diving child prodigy and still a teenager of 19, is the youngest member of the USA’s Olympic diving team, where he is paired with the oldest American Olympic diver, Troy Dumais, in the three-meter synchronized event next Wednesday. Kohler at 21 is the youngest rower in the entire London Olympics. Unlike Ipsen, she came to her sport just three short years ago and will be in

See Olympians, page 8

BBQ fans get fired up for Rib Cook-off PAMELA WIESENDANGER Clayton Pioneer

Give it a little tooth. That is the advice from Yvonne Erb of Back Forty Texas BBQ – and official Kansas City Barbecue Society judge – who joins the crew at the Clayton Business and Community Association’s Third Annual Rib Cook-

Off on Aug. 11 at the Clayton Club Saloon. “A fall-off-the-bone rib is considered well done. It doesn’t allow you to grasp the flavors because you swallow before you get your tooth into it,” Erb says. An award-winning rib “tantalizes all parts of the tongue.” Contestants have just a few bites by the judge to show their cre-

ativity and the complexity of flavors they spend hours developing by trimming, rubbing and glazing their ribs. Break out the barbecue, tongs and spices and enter the contest or mark the calendar to bring an appetite downtown. The event is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Come early to buy a raffle ticket to win a spot as one of

Police chief to retire in November PAMELA WIESENDANGER Clayton Pioneer

POLICE CHIEF DAN LAWRENCE WILL HANG UP HIS BADGE in November after a 40 year career in law enforcement.

Soon, he will no longer be seen walking The Grove during concerts in his dark blues, driving Santa in the vintage patrol car to the holiday tree lighting, or even making a traffic stop. He will be wearing a leisurely uniform and walking a different beat by Christmas time. After seven years at the helm, Clayton Police Chief Dan Lawrence will retire from the force on Nov. 30. The date culminates a 40-plus-year career in law enforcement and marks the beginning of a new agenda.

See Chief, page 3

What’s Inside Around Town . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Book Review . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Car Tuned . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12

Classified . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Club News . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Community Calendar . . . . . .14

CVCHS News . . . . . . . . . . .12 Directory of Advertisers . . . . .5 Estate Planning . . . . . . . . . . .7 Fashion Over 50 . . . . . . . . .15 Fitness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

the People’s Choice judges. Winners are announced and cash and prizes will be awarded at 3 p.m. The first announced is the People’s Choice winner. “It is the biggest trophy, giving bragging rights,” says organizer Rob Robertson. First place wins $300, second place wins $200 and third place wins $100. Live music will be performed by Crossman Country, The Relyks, Shorty Bacon Revue and Desert Moon at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively. Drinks are available from the Clayton Club. Soft drink sales benefit the CBCA as do food sales. The cook-off is CBCA’s annual membership drive and community fellowship party. Kinder’s Meats is cooking ribs for sale to spectators this year instead of contestants doing the cooking so they can concentrate on their entries. Burgers and hot dogs round out enough food to feed the anticipated crowd of 2,500. Other ways of partaking in the day are to volunteer or be a sponsor. This year’s local judges are joined by experts from Armadillo Willy’s, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Kinder’s and Back Forty. Robertson says, “They certainly serve up enough ribs to know what’s good and bad.”

Food for Thought . . . . . . . . .18 Garden Girl . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Hiker’s Haven . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Obituary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Performing Arts . . . . . . . . . .17

RIBS, THE PERFECT SAUCE and a little smoke make for a tasty day on Aug. 11 when the Clayton Club hosts the third annual CBCA rib cookoff. Dozens of ‘que-meisters will compete for the $300 top prize. Pictured is Jim Frazier at the 2011 event.

The pork baby back ribs are judged on appearance, tenderness and taste following the rules of KCBS, the world’s largest organization of barbecue and grill enthusiasts. The hope is to someday have the event be a KCBS-sanctioned competition. Steve Barton, owner of the Clayton Club, says he will host for as long as his property is big enough. “I love the partnership with the CBCA. The public that attends the cook-off loves it.” For entry forms and more information, go to or call 925672-2272. Pets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Sports Shorts . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Tech Talk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Teen Speak . . . . . . . . . . . . .12


Page 2

Clayton Pioneer •

July 27, 2012

Around Town Hometown Olympians get cheers from local businesses Clayton has two (count ‘em, TWO) world class athletes competing in London this summer. Kara Kohler’s and Kristian Ipsen’s roots go deep in the Clayton community and their hometown isn’t missing a chance to share the excitement. Caryl and Mike Kohler got a little teary when they saw the rooftop banner

Clayton Club donates $1000 to Katie’s Dream

at Ed’s and lifesized doggie display at Rodie’s honoring the two Olympians. Kara posted a photo of the Ed’s banner on her Facebook page with the caption “I have always been in love with the spirit of my hometown of Clayton.” “We agree,” Mike said. “We’re overwhelmed by the community support.”

Katie Grace Groebner is a 10-year-old that continues to defy the odds. Katie Grace has PAD, a pulmonary arterial disorder and, according to statistics, she should not have made it this far. But, time is not Katie Grace’s friend. She needs a heart and lung transplant to continue to survive and her friends and neighbors are determined to help. Under the auspices of the Children’s Organ Transplant Organization (COTA), a national organization dedicated to assisting needy families in raising funds to cover transplant expenses, local organizers are working to raise $50,000 toward the estimated $500,000 cost of the operation. Donna Meisner and Debbie Wenrich have been working tirelessly to spearhead the “Katie’s Dream” fundraising effort and the Clayton Club Saloon joined the effort with a July 4 “buck a drink” fundraiser of their own. During the festivities, the Clayton Club owners pledged $1 toward Katie Grace’s transplant cost for every drink sold. On July 16, Steve and Cindy Barton and Dennis Mitchell helped her celebrate with a check for $1000.


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Isabella Mercurio, a seventh grader at Diablo View Middle School, was looking for a way to make a contribution. So she decided to gather up a few friends and flock the breezeway at St. Johns Episcopal Church as a way to raise money for the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life. Her flock of purple flamingos made their debut on Sunday, July 8 at the Clayton Relay for Life ice cream social. For more information on how to donate, go to or, if you’re a student and would like more information on how you can get involved with the flamingo project, contact Isabella at or call (925) 673-1150. The Clayton Relay For Life will be held at the Clayton Community Park on Aug. 11.

CLAYTON CLUB OWNERS CINDY AND STEVE BARTON (left) and Dennis Mitchell gave $1000 check to Katie Grace to help with the cost of her needed heart and lung transplant.

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July 27, 2012

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 3

Mt. Diablo Elementary will be full of hot – and cool – air Installation of new HVAC system, along with solar panels, is right on schedule NICCI SHIPSTEAD Clayton Pioneer

For generations, parents have been telling their kids that school is cool. This fall, students returning to Mt. Diablo Elementary School will realize that their parents are right. Construction and installation of a new, high-efficiency heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system, as well as the installation of the solar panels, is progressing on schedule for completion before classes resume at the end of August. “This long anticipated improvement to the school site will provide state of the art heating and air conditioning in the classrooms and administrative areas,” said MDUSD Superintendent Steven Lawrence. The HVAC project contractors began work during spring

THE MDUSD MEASURE C SOLAR PROJECT BEING INSTALLED THIS SUMMER at MDE includes ground-mounted arrays in this area of the old covered lunch shelter. The eucalyptus trees at the corner of the field were removed to prevent shading of additional ground-mounted arrays at the rear parking lot.

break and after hours last spring. “This project is extremely complex and involves the intensely detailed coordination of multiple trades within an extraordinarily short and compressed timeline,” said Lawrence. The HVAC systems will eliminate the need for natural gas heating, which will save money for the school district, said Pete Pederson, who oversees MDUSD Measure C facility improvement programs.

Chief, from page 1 “It’s really been a great ride,” Lawrence says. He wants to “go out on top.” Lawrence was born and raised in Contra Costa County. He graduated from Clayton Valley High School in 1965, earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from CSU, Hayward, and his master’s in public administration from Golden Gate University. After graduating from Hayward, Lawrence wanted to be a teacher, but the field was flooded with applicants. He served in the United States Army and joined the Alameda County

Sheriff’s Office instead, beginning his law enforcement career as deputy sheriff. Lawrence later transferred to the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office. During his 32 years with Contra Costa County, he served in every operational division and as Orinda’s police chief for his last six years. In January of 2004, Lawrence retired and served as police chief for the Contra Costa Community College District Police Department. Within two years, he was chief at the Clayton Police Department.


Lawrence says that he and his team are “keenly aware of the impact this ambitious construction project can have on the planned start of school in August” and the need to get back into classrooms and offices. In March 2011, as MDUSD solar projects got underway, Pederson voiced concern about MDE’s solar project design to be installed largely on the hardcourt play surface and along the

Lawrence is quick to say what he will miss most about the Clayton force: “The friendships and professional relationships.” But never having taken a break between jobs since he “threw papers onto front porches,” Lawrence is looking forward to traveling with family, continuing his fitness routine and volunteering with different agencies to continue working with communities. He would like to apply for the Juvenile Justice Commission and plans to start a business for one-on-one instruction for people who want to buy a gun for self defense. City Manager Gary Napper credits many of the Clayton

perimeter of the turf area. “You’re trying to preserve the turf,” Pederson said. “You don’t want to displace the Little League or the Soccer League.” The project was delayed to summer; meanwhile MDUSD administration, MDE staff and the PFC finalized design changes to alleviate adverse impact to those play areas. The solar project being installed includes two groundmounted arrays in the rear parking lot and in the area of the old covered lunch shelter. Two roofmounted arrays are being installed on the metal roofs of the classrooms installed during the 2002 Measure C program. “The Eucalyptus trees (at the field) were removed as an analysis revealed that they would have shaded the arrays,” Pederson explained. The bike rack area will house the HVAC equipment pad. All landscaping, including Mrs. Huaco’s tortoises, Shelly and Rocky’s, grass lounge area, will be restored to “pre-contract” condition.

Police Department improvements to Lawrence such as the Patrol Vehicle Decoy Program, the Community Emergency Response Team, new patrol bicycles and the mobile command trailer. “Of particular note is the fact that the Clayton Police Department holds the highest rate of success in solving felony cases in Contra Costa County, as measured by a three-year average (65 percent),” Napper says. Lawrence’s achievements “have been to the benefit and welfare of the Clayton community that he is quite fond of – we wish him and his wife, Sandy, great joy and happiness in retirement.”


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Page 4

Clayton Pioneer •

July 27, 2012

A little paradise close to home KEVIN PARKER

HIKER’S HAVEN Lime Ridge Open Space, Paradise Valley, Lime Ridge and Ridge Trails Difficulty: Easy Moderate, about 1 1/2 hours Trailhead: Montecito Parking Area at Ygnacio Valley and Cowell Roads.

hundred feet at your first junction, make a left heading back in the direction of the Montecito neighborhood. The low hum of Ygnacio traffic, BART and the sounds of the all-too-familiar rat race are traded for quiet peace and serenity after a mere five minutes of hiking. Maybe it’s the acoustics from the hills around Lime Ridge, or nature at her best, but I felt like I was miles away from civilization.

I am featuring another homegrown favorite for this week’s hike, and you’ll be amazed to find what awaits you in Lime Ridge Open Space. Pre-hike Disclaimer: Maps are not available at the trailhead (they used to be) and almost all trails have no markers (not sure why), but have no fear, this column will provide you with everything you need. Start from Montecito Parking Area (located at Ygnacio Valley and Cowell Roads). There are no facilities except for a sign with a trail map, warnings and general announcements about Lime Ridge Open Space. Ohlone Trail starts with a very gradual ascent from the park gate and within a couple

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GOOD SUMMER CONDITIONS Ohlone continues for short distance and picks up Paradise Valley Trail, which is a singletrack trail cut into a steep hillside that meanders up and into the heart of Lime Ridge. I was greeted by some wild turkeys watching

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their young as I continued up trail and knew I had this park to myself. The trail conditions this time of year made it easy for navigation as most trails were packed dirt with intermittent sandy spots. Paradise Valley Trail, from bottom to top, is almost entirely in the shade, so this hike is a great candidate for those hot days where you want minimal sun exposure. The trail itself follows a gradual uphill climb with sevento-eight switchbacks. The last few hundred feet of trail before the top provide excellent views of Crystal Ranch and surrounding neighborhoods, with Mt. Diablo as a panoramic backdrop. Hiking time from the park gate to the transmission tower atop Lime Ridge took about 35 minutes. A quick break up top on the park bench provided a bit of rest and views in every direction. Where Paradise Valley Trail ends, Lime Ridge Trail begins as you follow this single-track trail alongside a fence before dropping down into the park below. I love this trail because of the routing and what you can really see during your hike. The same philoso-

phy used on Paradise Valley was obviously applied to Lime Ridge Trail as it gradually descends via numerous switchbacks, making it easy on the legs. Each new section of trail revealed views that had me stopping to pull out my camera more than normal, a good sign of course. Grassy hillsides, groves of trees, sagebrush, sandy trails, and a light breeze make this trail, something not to be missed. This trail has also been meticulously maintained as the grass and foliage has been recently cut back away from the trail, helping hikers out in two ways, less chance of ticks and poison oak. TAKE THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED Lime Ridge Trail eventually bottoms out and joins Ohlone Trail much further down Ygnacio Valley Road. Hiking time to descend Lime Ridge Trail was approximately 20 minutes, but I wished it were longer. You can follow Ohlone Trail back to the parking area, which runs parallel for the most part to Ygnacio Valley Road, but I wanted to dive back into the heart of this park,

so I choose a better route home. Hike on Ohlone Trail until your first junction and make a right; you are now on Blue Oak Trail. This fire-road looks to be less travelled but with minimal sweat equity, you will find yourself up top quickly near an old water tower. This junction of trails will let you travel in literally any direction of the park, but I suggest choosing a single-track trail just below the water tower – this is Ridge Trail. Ridge Trail trades shade for fully exposed hiking, but with the day winding down, the sunlight was a welcome friend. Ridge Trail, obviously a popular trail for bicyclists (although I didn’t see any), drops down and up as you rollercoaster your way back towards the parking area. Wideopen fields, well maintained trails and a final descent back down to Ohlone Trail just before the parking area once again make this section of trail not to be forgotten. For more information on this hike or other outdoor experiences, contact Kevin at


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July 27, 2012

Clayton Pioneer •


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October 10, 1936 - June 29, 2012

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CLASSIFIEDS Classified rates per insertion: $48 for first 30 words, $.40 each additional word Non-profit: $24 for first 30 words, $.20 each additional word To place your classified ad over the phone, call the office at (925) 6720500 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. Or, you may fax your typewritten ad and credit card information to (925) 672-6580. All classifieds must be paid for in advance by credit card (Master Card or Visa) We will not accept any ad that discriminates on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, nationality, family status or disability. The Clayton Pioneer reserves the right to reject any advertising we believe is unsuitable.

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

Page 5

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

Glenda Lee (Butterfield) Gaunt passed away peacefully on June 29, 2012, after a valiant battle with cancer. Glenda was born on October 10, 1936 to Purcell and Francis Butterfield in Martinez, and raised in Walnut Creek. Soon after graduating from Acalanes High, Glenda met, married, and began a loving, lifelong union with Stan Gaunt on November 21, 1954. The fun, fantastic adventures Stan and Glenda had in their nearly six decades together were too numerous to describe, ranging from cruises to the Mediterranean, Alaska and Mexico, trips to New York and Washington D.C., family vacations in Lake Tahoe, Hawaii, Disneyland and Disney World, and hosting gatherings with family and friends in their Clayton home. In addition to working as a bookkeeper in the family business, Gaunt Machine, for 15 years and for Golden State Carpet for 30 years, Glenda loved to devote time to her family, while managing to mix in great shopping trips. She enjoyed many wonderful gatherings with longtime friends around the area. When Glenda was present, you expected her to have the most fun, while others were inspired by her joyful enthusiasm, bountiful exuberance, and infectious laugh. During her final year after diagnosis with aggressive cancer, Glenda remained deter-

mined through treatments from the wonderful staff at Kaiser Walnut Creek, and became even stronger when she learned the spread of cancer could not be contained. While her physical being was failing, the aura of her love for her family continued to shine brightly. Her loving spirit lives on in her family she created and taught by her example to love life. Glenda is deeply missed by her loving husband of 57 years, Stan; son William and fiancée Mary Renaghan of Concord; daughter and son-in-law Debbie and John Philipps of Temecula; sisters-in-Law Barbara Gaunt of North Carolina and Lois Butterfield of Walnut Creek; step-son and daughter-in-law Michael and Kathy Gaunt of Pittsburg; and loving grandchildren, relatives, and many friends. A “Celebration of Glenda’s Life” was held on July 21 at Moore’s Mission Funeral Home in Concord. In lieu of flowers, Glenda’s final wishes were for donations to be made to the Hospice of the East Bay, who gently cared for Glenda during her final months, as well as to the Concord Rotary Endowment Fund or Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation of Walnut Creek, who exemplify Glenda’s message that all life should be celebrated and nurtured to its fullest.

Lehmer’s Concord Buick GMC . . . . . . . . . . .888-610-8888 Business Services Rising Moon Marketing & Public Relations . . . . .672-8717 Construction and Trades Appliance Repairs by Bruce, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2700 Belfast Plumbing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .457-5423 Black Diamond Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .777-3440 Burkin Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 672-1519 Cheyenne Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .566-8226 Copa Painting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-2202 Diablo View Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .822-5144 Steffan Smith Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .914-0497 Tipperary Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216-2679 Dining and Entertainment Clayton Club Saloon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-0440 Ed’s Mudville Grill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-0333 Memo’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .914-0395 Ravioli’s Italian Market Place . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-3819 Subway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0621 Willows Theatre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-1300 Events Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .825-9090 Financial and Insurance Services Held, Chris - Morgan Stanley Smith Barney . . . .930-3815 King & Associates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .465-2565 Littorno, Richard - Attorney at Law . . . . . . . . . . . .432-4211 Prosperitas Wealth Management . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-7700 Travis Credit Union . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1-800-877-8328 Van Wyck, Doug - State Farm Insurance . . . . . . .672-2300 Funerals Ouimet Funeral Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-4242 Home and Garden Abbey Carpet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .686-9901 Clear Splash Pool Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216-6245 Diablo Lawnscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .381-3757 Earth Blend Mulch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .250-0334 Flooring City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .680-8220 Nichols Landscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9955 Utopic Gardens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .524-0055


Hawaiian Islands Cruise Escape to shores of bliss in the Hawaiian Islands Sail 15 days roundtrip from San Francisco to the Hawaiian Islands for two weeks of pure delight — including nine splendid leisurely days at sea in which to enjoy all that Star Princess® has to offer. Take in the Big Island’s striking black and green sand beaches, watch hula dancers on famous Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, take a helicopter tour over awesome Waimea Canyon in Kauai, and browse art galleries in Maui’s quaint former whaling village of Lahaina. Coming home, you’ll even get to enjoy a final stop in the festive Baja port of Ensenada, Mexico.


CRUISE HIGHLIGHTS HONOLULU Grab a spot on Waikiki Beach, order a mai tai and watch the sur fers — or take a lesson. The waves here are perfect for beginners.

The gorgeous Iao Needle, the ranches of the upcountry, the striking landscapes of the great Haleakala Volcano — Maui is an island diverse in its attractions.

KAUAI (NAWILIWILI) There is a good reason Kauai has been the locale of many motion pictures, including Jurassic Park. Where else on earth can you find such unspoiled primordial beauty?



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Princess reserves the right to impose a fuel supplement of up to $9 per person per day on all passengers if the NYMEX oil price exceeds $70 per barrel, even if the fare has already been paid in full.

PORT ORDER MAY VARY. Fares are USD non-air, per person, based on double occupancy, subject to availability and capacity controlled. Government fees and taxes are additional. Air add-ons are available. See applicable Princess ® brochures for terms, conditions and definitions that will apply to your booking. Other restrictions may apply. Offer available to residents of the U.S. & Canada.

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

Help Fight Hunger Anna Chan – AKA: The Lemon Lady needs your help! Weekly commitment appreciated. For more info and contact numbers, go to Meals on Wheels Drivers 1 – 1 1/2 hours per week. Drivers and relief drivers needed for delivery of Meals on Wheels in East County. Call Jim at 6730300 or

Klock, Leigh - Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . . . . . .212-5593 Laurence, Pete - RE/MAX Realty . . . . . . . . . . . .890-6004 Lopez, Stephanie - Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . .932-7329 Mazzei, Matt -Mazzei Realty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0757 Vujnovich, George - Better Homes Realty . . . . .672-4433 Recreation and Fitness All Out Sports League . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .203-5626 Clayton Valley Bowl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-4631 Earthquake Arabians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .360-7454 Kali Ball . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .276-0845 Schools Walnut Country Preschool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-9686 Senior Services

Hospice of the East Bay Help needed at Hospice of the East Bay Concord Thrift Shoppe located at 5350 Clayton Road, Concord. 674-9072. For information contact Carmen Siems, volunteer coordinator at 887-5678 or Clayton Historical Society Museum The Clayton Historical Society Museum needs a greeter for two hours per month from 2-4 p.m. Wednesdays or Sundays and June through August from 6 – 8 p.m. Wednesdays or 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Saturdays. Call the museum at 672-0240 and leave your name. Clayton Community Library Needs volunteers. Minimum age 13. Minimum commitment is 6 months. Some training provided. Contact: Arlene at 673-9777 or

Diamond Terrace Senior Retirement Living . . . . .524-5100 Montecito - Oakmont Senior Living . . . . . . . . . . .692-5838 Services, Other Computers USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9989 Net Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6029 Recycling Center & Transfer Station . . . . . . . . . .473-0180 The Maids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-6243 Specialty Shopping Candles Make Scents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .405-7199 Travel Cruise Adventures Unlimited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .935-7447 Travel to Go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9840

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Clayton Pioneer •

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July 27, 2012

West Nile threat on the rise; Vector Control fogs Brentwood for mosquitos Several birds have recently tested positive for West Nile virus in the East Bay, the Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District announced recently and urged residents to be on the lookout for standing water that may attract mosquitoes. The birds were found in Brentwood, Knightsen and Pleasant Hill. Vector Control sprayed in Brentwood on July 19 and 24, and will spray again as needed. The risk of West Nile virus is elevated due to several factors, including hot weather, the presence of infected dead birds, as well as high populations of mosquitoes in the area, according to Deborah Bass, public affairs manager for the district. Bass urges residents to check their properties for mosquito sources and to report any neglected standing water to the district, especially neglected swimming pools since they can produce more than 1 million mosquitoes and affect people up to five miles away. Reports may be made anonymously. Residents are urged to wear mosquito repellent when outdoors, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are present. West Nile virus symptoms of the mild form include fever,

headache, tiredness, body aches, and swollen lymph glands. While the illness can be as short as a few days, even healthy people have reported being sick for several weeks. Less than one percent of individuals (about 1 in 150 people) infected with West Nile virus will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent. West Nile virus infection can be fatal. Report neglected swimming pools by calling 925-771-6195 or visiting Since 2005, 39 people in Contra Costa County have been diagnosed with West Nile virus. In 2006, two people died from the disease. A recent study has shown that the majority of cases are undiagnosed and grossly under reported. This year, two groups of mosquitoes and six dead birds have tested positive for the virus. For information concerning human West Nile virus symptoms, prevention, or testing, please call the Contra Costa Health Services department at 888-

959-9911. For information concerning West Nile virus and horses, please call the California Department of Food and Agriculture Animal Health Branch at 916-654-1447.

Concord men charged in OSH incident The District Attorney’s Office filed charges against two Concord men in connection with an incident at Orchard Supply Hardware in the Clayton Valley Shopping Center on July 10. The suspects allegedly tried to steal a drill. When confronted by an employee, “the employee saw what they believed to be a handgun,” said Lt. David Hughes. The handgun was not located. According to Concord Police Department Lt. Bill Roche, 24-year-old Gabriel Guerrera, 24, and Michael Pratte, 28, were charged with petty theft. Pratte was also charged with resisting arrest.

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Whoever you are, regardless of your fitness level, chances are that from time to time you suffer tension and stiffness. Daily activities, whether sedentary or active, can wreak havoc on the body. Hours spent sitting behind the wheel of a car, sitting at a desk eyeballing the computer, even manual labor – all this places the body under strain. And how often do you take time to really think about your body? Usually it isn’t until we become sick or injured that we realize it needs some maintenance care.

An ideal fitness program includes core training, endurance training, strength training, and flexibility training. The most neglected component of a fitness program is one of the most important, flexibility. Flexibility refers to the range of movement across a joint while stretching is the act of the lengthening muscle and connective tissue. Reluctance to maintain your flexibility leads to poor posture, non specific aches and pains – usually in the lower back, neck and shoulder areas – while inhibiting breathing patterns and dramatically reducing energy levels. Muscles that do not readily stretch can result in injury, even in fit and strong bodies. When daily demands on the body are high and overall flexibility declines with age, inflexibility can have serious impacts on your quality of life. There is common belief that stretching without a warm-up will cause injury. That’s not true. Maintain a calm, focused approach to stretching. Pay

attention to your breathing and do not try to force your muscles. Warm muscles stretch more than cold ones, so if you want to increase your stretch, participate in a thorough warm-up. You perform stretch exercises to mobilize the joints and gently lengthen your muscles. This should be done over time, rather than radically or quickly changing their length. Be patient, use your breathing to help establish a comfortable but effective rhythm. Relax into a conversation with your body. Some days you will stretch more deeply and other days you will feel like you were made of steel. A good stretch will provide light resistance to your body and as your awareness grows, you will be willing to push yourself further. Remember, it is the continuous, cumulative effort that makes profound changes on the body. Ilima Heuerman holds multiple fitness certifications. She trains at Levity Fitness studio in Clayton. Email Ilima at

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July 27, 2012

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 7

Key strategies for protecting your Intellectual Property RICHARD LITTORNO ESTATE PLANNING If your estate includes forms of intellectual property (IP), such as patents and copyrights, it’s important to discuss with your estate planning advisor how to address them in your estate plan. Why? Because these intangible assets can have great value, but in many ways they’re treated differently than other property types. COPYRIGHTS AND PATENTS IP generally falls into one of four categories: 1) patents, 2) copyrights, 3) trademarks and 4) trade secrets. Here we’ll focus on only patents and copyrights, creatures of federal law that are “intended to promote scientific and creative endeavors by providing inventors and artists with exclusive rights to exploit the economic benefits of their work for a predetermined time period”: Patents. Patents protect inventions. A utility patent may be granted to someone who “invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or compositions of matters, or any new useful improvement thereof.” A design patent is available for a “new, original and ornamental design for an article of manufacture.” To obtain patent protection, inventions must be “nonobvious.” Under current law, utility

patents protect an invention for 20 years from the patent application filing date. Design patents last 14 years from the patent issue date. There’s a difference between the filing date and issue date. For utility patents, it takes at least a year and a half from date of filing to date of issue, and for business patents, it takes at least three years before an examiner even looks at the application. Copyrights. Copyrights protect the original expression of ideas in the form of written works, music, paintings, sculptures, photographs, sound recordings, films, computer software, architectural works and other creations. Unlike patents, which must be approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), copyright protection kicks in as soon as a work is fixed in a tangible medium. For works created in 1978 and later, an author-owned copyright lasts for the author’s lifetime plus 70 years. A “work-forhire” copyright expires 95 years after the first publication date or 120 years after the date the work is created, whichever is earlier. More complex rules apply to works created before 1978. TWO IMPORTANT ESTATE PLANNING QUESTIONS

For estate planning purposes, IP raises two important questions: 1) What’s it worth? and 2) How should it be transferred? Valuing IP is a complex process. So it’s best to obtain an appraisal from a professional with experience valuing IP. After you know the IP’s value, it’s time to decide whether

Candidates to vie for three council seats this November Three seats on the Clayton city council will be up for grabs in November when the 4-year terms for Julie Pierce, Howard Geller and Joseph Medrano are up. Hank Stratford and David Shuey will serve another two years. All three incumbents have indicated they will run for reelection. Council elections are held on even-numbered years with three members elected one year and the other two elected two years later. Citizens interested in running for one of the elected offices are encouraged to contact City Clerk Laci Jackson at (925) 673-7304. Candidates

must be 18 years of age, residents of Clayton and registered voters. The three candidates receiving the highest number of votes are elected. Each year, the council selects one member to serve as mayor and another as vice-mayor. The filing period is July 16Aug. 10. If one of the incumbents does not file nomination papers before 5 p.m. on Aug. 10, the nomination period is automatically extended to Aug. 13 for non-incumbents only. The last day to register to vote in the Nov. 6, 2012 election is Oct. 22. Voter registration cards may be obtained at City Hall, 6000 Heritage Trail.

to transfer the IP to family members, colleagues, charities or others through lifetime gifts or through bequests after your death. The gift and estate tax consequences will affect your decision, but you should also consider your income needs as well as who is in the best position to monitor your IP rights and take advantage of their benefits. If you will continue to depend on the IP for your livelihood, for example, hold on to it at least until you’re ready to retire or you no longer need the income. You also might want to retain ownership of the IP if you feel that your children or other transferees lack the desire or wherewithal to exploit its economic potential and monitor and protect it against infringers. Another option is to appoint a scientific or artistic executor or trustee with the appropriate skills and experience to manage the IP and maximize its value. An important benefit of this approach is that it helps avoid disputes among your heirs about how to exploit the IP. Such disputes can impair the IP’s value. Whichever strategy you choose, it’s important to plan the transaction carefully to ensure that your objectives are achieved. There’s a common misconcep-

tion that, when you transfer ownership of the tangible medium on which IP is recorded, you also transfer the IP rights. But IP rights are separate from the work itself and are retained by the creator – even if the work is sold or given away. Suppose, for example, that you leave a painting, a written manuscript or a film to your child. Unless your estate plan specifically transfers the copyright to your child as well, the copyright may pass as part of your residuary estate and end up in the hands of someone else.


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If you own patents or copyrights, you probably have great interest in who’ll take possession of your work after you’re gone. Addressing IP in your estate plan can give you peace of mind that your wishes will be carried out, but the law surrounding such property can be complex. Discuss with your estate planning advisor before taking any action.

If you died today, would your family members know where to locate your will, trusts, life insurance policies and other critical estate planning documents? What about bank and brokerage accounts, IRAs or other qualified retirement plans, mortgages and other loans, real estate documents, tax records, and automobile titles? The last thing you want is to force your heirs to search for key papers at such a traumatic time. Here are some tips for keeping your important documents secure and accessible: Ask your accountant or estate planning attorney to keep your original will and other documents, and provide your family with his or her contact information. Store documents in a fireproof lockbox and let your loved ones know where you keep it – and the key or combination. Rent a safe deposit box, let your family know where you keep the key and follow the bank’s procedures for authorizing them to open it. If you’re uncomfortable keeping the key at home, consider leaving it with a trusted advisor. To ensure that powers of attorney, living wills or health care directives are readily accessible, consider giving signed “duplicate originals” to the people authorized to make decisions on your behalf. (Although you should sign only one original will, it’s advisable to sign multiple originals of other estate planning documents.) In the case of health care documents, ask your physician to keep duplicate originals with your medical records. Make sure your family has access to digital assets, such as online banking and brokerage accounts, electronic bill-paying services and e-mail accounts. If you’re uncomfortable keeping a list of user names and passwords, consider an online service that stores this information for you and provides it to your representative when you die or if you become incapacitated. – Richard Littorno

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Clayton Pioneer •

July 27, 2012

July 27, 2012

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 9

Clayton celebrates hometown Olympians Olympians, from page 1 the women’s quadruple sculls beginning this Saturday and also concluding Aug. 1. Two Clayton kids, representing rival universities Cal and Stanford, are realizing something millions of athletes the world over can only dream about. For a city of less than 11,000, Clayton has a rich Olympic history that cities 20 times our size would envy. Besides adopted son Bragg, Clayton has been represented at four Winter Olympics and now a second Summer Games. Erin Dobratz won a bronze medal as part of the American synchronized swimming team in Athens in 2004. Daron Rahlves, whose parents developed the Dana Hills subdivision before moving to the Sierras so he could concentrate on a burgeoning skiing career, was in three Olympics (1998, 2002 and 2006) as an alpine skier and then competed in Vancouver 2010 in freestyle. Chuck Berkeley was living in the community when he was on the American bobsled team in Vancouver. Ironically both Berkeley and Rahlves saw their Olympic quests two years ago end in crashes. A STAR IS BORN Ipsen has excelled at every level from the time he began diving in 1998 at age 6. He burst onto the national scene in 2001 as he started a junior career that included 16 national championships and three world junior titles. He entered the 2008 US Olympic Trials as a 15-year-old and took fifth in 3M qualifying. It was soon after those Beijing Olympics that USA Diving officials paired Ipsen with three-time Olympian Dumais as a synchro tandem. They burst onto the international consciousness with a silver medal in Rome at the 2009 World Championships. Since

Olympic Rowing, Diving Primer Here’s a quick how-to guide on the men’s three-meter synchronized diving and women’s quadruple sculls competition at the Summer Olympics in London. NBC and its networks will be telecasting the Olympics from London. Check your TV provider for times and network including NBC, NBC Sports Network, Bravo, CNBC and MSNBC.

Women’s Quadruple Sculls Dates: Saturday, July 28 (1:50 a.m. PDT) Heats Monday, July 30 (1:40 a.m. PDT) Repechage (second chance) Wednesday, Aug. 1 (4:10 a.m. PDT) Medal Final

Photo courtesy USRowing

Venue: Set in a 400-acre park within a nature conservation area, Eton Dorney Rowing Centre at Dorney Lake is acclaimed as one of the finest rowing venues in the world. Located around 25 miles west of London. Competitors: Australia, China, Great Britain, Germany, New Zealand, Poland, Ukraine, United States Favorites: Ukraine has been pointing to this event with a veteran crew for many years. Germany won the 2011 World Cham-

pionship with the USA second, as they were also in 2009. China won its first-ever rowing gold medal in Beijing in this event, upsetting Great Britain. Germany has a long history of success in the women’s quad four and has been on the medal stand of every major event going back to Beijing. Event Description: 4 women in each boat. Each athlete sculls meaning they have an oar in each hand, unlike in the eights where they sweep with both hands on a single oar. Race length 2000 meters, lasting a little over six minutes. Team Kohler London rooting section: Mom Caryl, dad Mike and sister Stacie.

Men’s 3-Meter Synchronized Diving Date: Wednesday, Aug. 1, 7 a.m., PDT Venue: Designed by internationally acclaimed architect Zaha Hadid, the breathtaking Aquatics Centre is one of the permanent venues specially constructed for London 2012. Competitors: Canada, China, Great Britain, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, Ukraine, United States (Troy Dumais & Kristian Ipsen)

Favorites: The Chinese have won two of the three Olympic 3M synchro gold medals and Wang Feng figures to repeat his Beijing gold with a new partner this go round. The Russians were second and Mexico third at the 2011 World Championships. Dumais and Ipsen have been near or on the medal stand at most of their meets over the past four years. Event Description: 3M Men’s Synchro Springboard is run as a straight final, with eight teams competing. The event consists of six rounds of dives for each two-man team. A random draw is made in advance to decide the order in which teams dive. A panel of 11 judges assesses each dive on the approach, the flight and the entry, giving a score out of 10 which is then multiplied by the degree of difficulty of the dive. Some judges score only the diver on their side of the pool, some judges on the other side of the pool score their diver only and the rest of the judges score the synchronization and overall dive of the team. The team with the highest total score after six dives takes the gold medal. Team Ipsen in London: Mom Yvette, dad Kent, sister Lauren.

Don Bragg 1960 Gold Medal, Pole Vault

KARA KOHLER (SECOND FROM LEFT) IS THE YOUNGEST ROWER IN THE LONDON OLYMPICS and is surrounded by World Champion silver medalists, from left, Adrienne Martelli (University Place, Wash.), Megan Kalmoe (St. Croix Falls, Wis.) and Natalie Dell (Clearville, Pa.) for the USA in the women’s quadruple sculls. The Clayton woman was with the American rowing team in Princeton, NJ for the past 13 months training and competing for an Olympic berth.

then they have covered the globe competing against the world’s best. During that time Ipsen graduated from De La Salle High School as a fourtime high school All-America. He enrolled at Stanford last fall. After entering Stanford he also changed coaches from Phil Tonne, his long-time mentor with Diablo Divers, to Cardinal veteran coach Rick Schavone, treating his new coach to an NCAA championship this winter. Ipsen was the first male Stanford diver in 82 years to win an NCAA diving crown. Ipsen and alumnus

Cassidy Krug will be representing Stanford and Schavone in London. Schavone has spent 35 years on The Farm and now will also realize his dream of coaching in the Olympics, hoping to help the Americans end their medal diving drought dating back to 2000 in Sydney. Ironically, one of the closest times Schavone came to having his diver reach the Olympics before Ipsen and Krug made this US team was with another Clayton diver, his ”first great diver” Courtney Nelson Murrell, who trained

Kristian Ipsen 2012 Olympics, Synchronized Diving

Photo courtesy Ipsen family

The American flag in the background foretold the diving career path for 10-year-old Kristian Ipsen back in 2003, the year he won his first national and international junior diving titles. Next Wednesday he’ll compete in his first Olympic Games.

with Schavone for nine years and finished in the top six in two events at the 1992 Olympic Trials. IPSEN EDGED OUT Ipsen and Dumais, 32, will have to be at the peak of their powers next Wednesday. The 3M synchro event is competed as a straight final with the eight teams going through six rounds of dives. The event has been contested at the past three Olympics with the Chinese winning two of three gold medals and favored again this year. The U.S. has never medaled in 3M synchro, giving Ipsen and Dumais a chance to be American trailblazers. At the U.S. Olympic Trials Ipsen, who led most of the way, was caught and passed by both Chris Colwill and Dumais in the final two rounds of the 3M springboard. After missing a solo Olympic berth by 1.25 points Ipsen said. “I’m trying to think of it as a blessing, because going into international meets, I get really nervous. Only doing synchro gives me just one thing to focus on.” Ipsen is from a long-standing Clayton family. His grandfather Skip Ipsen opened Skipolini’s in 1974 in downtown Clayton and his father Kent runs the family business, which now includes five locations. On the other hand Kohler’s parents, Mike and Caryl Kohler, brought their three older daughters to a new home a few months before Kara was born. Kohler also has a much shorter history with her sport than Ipsen. She was an accomplished swimmer who grew up

in the Dana Hills swim pool just down the street from her family home on Mountaire Parkway. She was in the Otter Pup program as a three-yearold. Kohler was the 11-12 high point winner at the 2003 Contra Costa County Swim Meet where a soon-to-be Olympic gold medalist Natalie Coughlin presented her with the first-place medal. Kohler also competed in the Janet Evans Invitational while in high school. SWIMMER-TURNED-ROWER Kohler was deciding on her college selection when Dale Munk, a parent on the Crow Canyon Sharks US Swimming team Kohler competed with, suggested she check out Cal Berkeley and its rowing program. That was in the spring of 2009 as she was preparing to graduate from Clayton Valley. Cal head rowing coach Dave O’Neill was overseas in Poland when Kohler arrived on the Berkeley campus for her first training session. After getting a report from his assistant coaches about all the incoming freshmen, O’Neill told current U.S. Olympic head coach Tom Terhaar to “remember the name Kara Kohler.” This was before the Clayton woman had ever competed in a rowing event. A year later, after a successful freshman year on the Cal rowing team, Kohler was traveling with the United States Under-23 team to Belarus where she won a gold medal in the women’s eight. In 2011 she won gold again in the four at the World Rowing Championships and also captured titles at the Rowing

World Cup and Royal Henley Regatta in England. Ipsen sat out the spring semester at Stanford this year to concentrate on his Olympic quest. Kohler did him one better, taking off what would have been her junior year at Cal, spending the last 13 months training with the US team in Princeton, N.J., where she was much younger than any other athlete. “They still call me ‘newb’,” Kohler says. She lived with a host family and approached the time in Princeton “like a job.” She would look to family and coach O’Neill back in the Bay Area when she needed her spirits boosted competing against America’s best rowers for an Olympic spot. JUNE 22 MAGIC DAY The women’s quad lineup was announced June 22, coincidentally the same day Ipsen qualified for the Olympics at the Trials a continent away in Washington. Three members of the 2011 World silver medal quad team, Adrienne Martelli, Natalie Dell and Megan Kalmoe, were selected along with newcomer Kohler. She grabbed the final spot from nine finalists for the four-person crew. She displaced silver medalist Stesha Carle of Long Beach in the quad boat. Ipsen and Kohler share something else. Soon after the Games are over they will be back in the classroom and resuming training with their college teammates. But they will have with them memories of a lifetime, perhaps including an Olympic medal that will ensure them immortality in the history books.

Erin Dobratz earned Olympic medal then left the pool Photo courtesy the Bragg family

Starting at the age of nine Clayton’s Erin Dobratz spent 13 years as a member of the prominent Walnut Creek Aquanuts synchronized swim team and, for the majority of that time, traveled the world competing with United States National teams. Her career was capped in Athens, Greece when Dobratz and her American teammates won the bronze medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in the team competition. Following the Games Dobratz returned to Stanford University for her senior year, which had been delayed one year while she prepared for the Olympics. She decided she wanted to be a “normal person” and retired from swimming. “I was pretty waterlogged,” Dobratz says now eight years removed from Athens. Married

to Chris McGregor since 2008 she doesn’t have any regrets about hanging up her suit when she did. She devoted so much time to the sport and got much in return. At 13-years-old she needed to get a passport so she could go to Moscow for a meet. “It was quite a culture shock!” Over the next nearly 10 years she made countless trips to Europe as well as Peru and the Dominican Republic representing the USA. As her status in the sport rose so did the training regimen increase. Getting selected to the American Olympic team was an ordeal all its own: 12 to 18 months entailing a series of trials where the swimmers would compete individually and in groups. Unlike the majority of sports that have their trials fairly

Don Bragg felt like “a rock star” when he and wife Theresa traveled to Rome two years ago on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the 1960 Olympic Summer Games, where Bragg claimed the gold medal in the pole vault. The Braggs moved to Clayton in 1996 and are very excited to have a native son and daughter of their adopted hometown competing in London.

Photo by David Gonzales

ERIN DOBRATZ COMPETED FROM THE AGE OF NINE, when she moved to Clayton from Concord, through 22 at the highest levels of synchronized swimming, circling the world. She capped her career with a bronze medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics in the team competition.

close to the Olympics so that athletes in peak form are selected, synchronized swimming chooses its squad a year in advance, giving the team plenty of time to rehearse and perfect

Daron Rahlves Four time Olympian, Skiing

Photo courtesy US Ski and Snowboard Association

Former Clayton resident Daron Rahlves (middle) shared a winning moment with his parents Sally and Dennis Rahlves. The skier was a leading figure on the US Alpine Ski team at the 1998, 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympics. He retired from World Cup competition in 2006 but took up freestyle skiing and qualified for another go at Olympic glory in Vancouver as part of the inaugural USA ski cross team in 2010. Recently turned 39 he is running the Rahlves Banzai Tour and competing in and winning the final event this season.

its choreography and routine. And that time was spent in the water for not only synchronized swimming practice but also masters lap training and as well as plenty of dry land fitness work. Dobratz and her mates would be in the pool at 5:30 a.m. When they did their actual synchro work they would go over a small portion of their routine “hundreds of times a day.” The US team was placed third in the run-up meets to the Games and, although they “hoped they could move up,” the Americans finished behind Russia and Japan in the finals. The 2000 Clayton Valley High grad, who turns 30 in October, is “starting to miss the water.” She’s a great supporter of Stanford synchro and attends as many meets as she can. Professionally, she’s a web product manager for CBS Interactive in San Francisco where she spends her time working with engineers on the content for CNET.

Kara Kohler, 2012 Olympics, Rowing Natalie Coughlin,

Photo courtesy Kohler family

Both swimmer Natalie Coughlin (right) and rower Kara Kohler are in London with the United States Olympic team. One of America’s most decorated Olympic athletes, Coughlin has lots of local ties. She was a recording-breaking star for the Concord Terrapins and Carondelet High School

11-time medalist, Swimming

before reaching stardom at Cal Berkeley. In 2003 Coughlin presented Kara Kohler of the Dana Hills Swim Team with the Contra Costa County Swim Championships 11-12 high point swimmer award. Coughlin is married to Ethan Hall, who coached Kohler during her high school years on the Crow Canyon Sharks swim team.

Page 10

Clayton Pioneer •

July 27, 2012

Sports Over 900 competitors in Pentathlon swimfest JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

In a unique meet format that challenges each swimmer in five events on the same day, the Devil Mountain Pentathlon made its 18th visit to the Dana Hills swim pool this month with 13 teams providing 920 swimmers that resulted in 300 heats each day at the area’s largest annual meet. The host Dana Hills Swim Team was delighted with the large turnout and the positive response to the meet, which ended on time both days and for the first time included Twitter notices from the pool deck throughout both days. A LMYA representative said, “Congratulations on the conclusion of the meet’s first day of competition. You, the officials and the parent volunteers run a great meet. Many parents on our team commented on the level of professionalism and great spirit of competition DHST displays at this meet.” The Livorna coaching staff added, “Thank you for a great meet! We had a blast...” Nine local swimmers won their age groups. Each entrant swims a freestyle, backstroke, butterfly and breaststroke race and then concludes the meet with the individual medley (except the youngest age group which does 50-yard

Joern Weigelt ALLIE KLINGER (MIDDLE) AND MELISSA SCHOELL (right) were neck and neck through the Devil Mountain Pentathlon meet in the 13-14 age group at their home Dana Hills Swim Team pool. Klinger, 13, ended up winning the age group in a combined time of 3:01.60 and Schoell, 14, came in second.

freestyle). The cumulative time of each swimmer determines final placings in A and B divisions for the six age groups. In the team scoring race

Pleasant Hill Dolfins and Springwood Swim Team tied for first place with 46 points followed closely by Livorna Dolphins. Dana Hills, which has the largest contingent of

swimmers, does not count in the team standings. The host Otters had eight age group winners including Colton Seastrand (6 & under A), Jack Simpkins (7-8 B),

Sarah Hamilton (9-10 A), Anthony Vizental (9-10 A), Ryan Iannaccone (11-12 A), Allie Klinger (13-14 A), Chris Buzis (13-14 boys B) and Vicky Talens (15-18 A).

Audrey Burns of Clayton won the 7-8 A Division representing LMYA. Carolyn Silva won the 13-14 girls B Division for the Oakhurst Orcas.

Pentathlon results (1st place, local finishers) 6 & Under GIRLS – A Division 1 McGee, Campbell . . . . . . . . . . . .SPW 3 Callison, Gretta . . . . . . . . . .OAKCC 6 & Under GIRLS – B Division 1 Yasinsac, Jessica . . . . . . . . . . . .VDDC 3 Nielsen, Jessica . . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST 6& 1 4 5 6 7

Under BOYS – A Division Seastrand, Colton . . . . . . . . . . .DHST Brown, Tyler . . . . . . . . . . . . . .OAKCC Velez, Connor . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST Meyer, Logan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST Cline, Ethan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST

6& 1 2 4 8

Under BOYS – B Division Frietas, Hudson . . . . . . . . . . . . . .SPW Miller, William . . . . . . . . . . . .OAKCC Arvizu, TJ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST Maffei, Dominick . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST

7-8 1 2 3 5

GIRLS – A Division Burns, Audrey . . . . . . . . . . . . . .LMYA Seastrand, Karlie . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST Iannaccone, Stephanie . . . . . . . .DHST Smith, Grace . . . . . . . . . . . . .OAKCC

7-8 1 2 5

GIRLS – B Division De Luna, Brianna . . . . . . . . . . . .SPW Miller, Rachel . . . . . . . . . . . . .OAKCC Meyerson, Mandy . . . . . . . . . . .DHST

7-8 BOYS – A Division 1 Stanton, Soren . . . . . . . . . . . . . .PHA 7-8 1 5 6

BOYS – B Division Simpkins, Jack . . . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST Hetherton, Kyle . . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST Cichurski, Spencer . . . . . . . . . . .DHST

9-10 GIRLS – A Division 1 Hamilton, Sarah . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST 2 Greenberg, Victoria . . . . . . . . . .DHST 3 Sherman, Logan . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST 6 Landstrom, Paige . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST 7 Hamilton, Emily . . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST 8 Boland, Ryanne . . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST 9-10 GIRLS – B Division 1 Philson, Kate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .PHA 9-10 BOYS – A Division 1 Vizental, Anthony . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST 3 Seastrand, Clayton . . . . . . . . . .DHST 4 Bluth, Trevor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST 9-10 BOYS – B Division 1 Miller, Jaden . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .WCST 7 Sarna, Christopher . . . . . . . . . . .DHST 8 Moss, Kieran . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST

11-12 GIRLS – A Division 1 Farrell, Emily . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .PHD 5 Stagner, Lily . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST 6 Mancini, Gabi . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST 7 Brown, Alex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST 8 Cline, Camille . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST 11-12 GIRLS – B Division 1 McCabe, Isabella . . . . . . . . . . . . .PHA 11-12 BOYS – A Division 1 Iannaccone, Ryan . . . . . . . . . . .DHST 2 Trimble, Anthony . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST 3 Weigelt, Niklas . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST 7 Trimble, Jackson . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST 11-12 BOYS – B Division 1 Berten, William . . . . . . . . . . . .LMYA 4 Mingham, Luke . . . . . . . . . . .OAKCC 5 Williams, JD . . . . . . . . . . . . . .OAKCC 6 Birder, Adam . . . . . . . . . . . . . .OAKCC 13-14 GIRLS – A Division 1 Klinger, Allie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST 2 Schoell, Melissa . . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST 13-14 GIRLS – B Division 1 Silva, Carolyn . . . . . . . . . .OAKCC 7 Schau, Heidi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST

13-14 BOYS – A Division 1 Halbrecht, Kyle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .LIV 2 Iannaccone, Erick . . . . . . . . . . .DHST 3 Calkins, Liam . . . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST 5 Vines, Anthony . . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST 13-14 BOYS – B Division 1 Buzis, Chris . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST 3 Myers, Sean . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST 5 Aszklar, Jordan . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST 8 Hanson, Jacob . . . . . . . . . .OAKCC 15-18 GIRLS – A Division 1 Talens, Vicky . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST 2 Talens, Tricia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST 3 Trimble, Justine . . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST 6 Talens, Krystle . . . . . . DHST 7 Brown, Gabby . . . . . . DHST 15-18 GIRLS – B Division 1 Westerlund, Ashley . . . . . . . . . . .FHST 3 Rabbitt, Emily 15 . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST 6 Howard-Roles, Tianna . . . . . . . . .DHST 15-18 BOYS – A Division 1 Bloore, Sean . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .LIV 15-18 BOYS – B Division 1 Jennings, Alex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .SPW 2 McMurdo, Connor 15 . . . . . . . . .DHST 6 Nejad, Ryan 15 . . . . . . . . . . . . .DHST

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Clayton Pioneer •

Page 11



Clayton Valley hosts Deer Valley at American Jr. Legion baseball finals JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Undefeated Deer Valley will face off with Clayton Valley in a best of three series for the American Jr. Legion area championship this weekend at

Colin Cook runs 3000M Saturday in Baltimore Junior Olympics

Mazzei Field on the Clayton Valley Charter High School campus with a berth in the State tournament in Yountville at stake. The matchup was set after the San Ramon Slammers and Concord Zephyrs (De La Salle High team) pulled out of the area event at the end of the regular season. The Clayton Valley team has a 14-11-1 record and is coached by Josh Almond, Herc Pardi, Dave Leal, Dave Cooney and Mark Peterson. American Jr. Legion is for players 17 years and younger still in high school. The team has featured pitchers Gabe Taylor, Jordan Chin, Kyle Wickware and Ryan Williams and leading hitters Jack O’Leary, Ethan Utler, Ryan Kreske, Ryan Snyder, Brandon Truesdell, Kenny

Cuneo, Taylor and Chin.


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The Jr. Legion squad comes from the Clayton Valley High baseball teams that included a 20-6 varsity squad coached by Pardi which reached the North Coast Section playoffs for the 15th straight year. The junior varsity coached by Cooney went 21-3, won the Diablo Valley Athletic League championship and defeated East Bay Athletic League champs De La Salle 2-0. All three of the Eagles baseball teams were NCS Distinguished Scholastic teams. Snyder followed up his DVAL MVP award with third team all-East Bay laurels. Pardi said, “Ryan is an extremely hard worker; one of our most impressive hitters and fielders we have had.”

Freshmen Captain: Daniel Ferrell Most Valuable: Ryan Milligan Most Improved: Taylor Ashoo Most Inspirational: Gino Franklin Junior Varsity Co-Captains: Grant Meylan, Utler Most Valuable: Clayton Nodal Most Improved: Matt Schwerin Most Inspirational: Austin Cannedy Varsity Tri-Captains: Domenic Mazza, Ryan Kroll, Jesse Medrano Most Valuable: Mazza, Tommy Boyle Most Improved: Kyle Bradbury Most Inspirational: Graham Pimm Outstanding Hitter: Snyder

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Photo courtesy Cook family

Twelve-year-old Colin Cook of Clayton is ready for his 3000meter run at the 46th USATF National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships this Saturday in Baltimore. Representing The Heat track and field club coached by Darren Newell, Cook took fourth in the qualifying meet with a time of 11:41.91. He competed in San Jose, Modesto and finally Tulare to reach Jr. Olympic Nationals. For the St. Bonaventure CYO track team Cook competes in the 800 and 1500 and also was on the new St. Bonaventure cross country team last fall. The Diablo View Middle School seventh grader is accompanied in Baltimore by his father Richard and both grandfathers.

Fall sports now open for registration 

Youth Basketball, boys & girls: Ages 4 - 15  Youth Volleyball, boys & girls: Ages 8 - 15 Parent-child basketball 

Team skills competition August 18 Tuesday Nights

Open gym  Volleyball

PARENT/CHILD BASKETBALL SKILLS COMPETITION AUG. 18 Moms and dads can team up with their son or daughter in a series of basketball skills events (3-point shot, free throw shooting, passing and dribbling) at Clayton Gym on Saturday, Aug. 18. There will be four age groups (6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-14) with championship trophies for winning teams in each division. Registration is being taken online at for both leagues. Call 203-5626 for more info.

The popular youth volleyball and basketball leagues at Clayton Community Gym are full for the summer and fall registration is now open. Basketball for girls and boys from 4-15 begins Sept. 22. Deadline for registration is Aug. 24 and player evaluation day is Sept. 7. Volleyball league is open to kids 8-15. Everyone plays in this non-competitive, 7-week program which starts Sept. 15. Registration is being taken online at for both leagues. Call 203-5626 for more info.



The U17 Diablo FC 94 girls are in Waukegan, IL near Chicago this weekend for National

Diablo FC’s renowned Soccer Academy is taking signups now for its summer session which runs


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CLAYTON VALLEY COYOTES 10 AND UNDER travel baseball team finished runner at the USSSA AA State Championships in Manteca this month in their first tournament of the season. The Coyotes beat Concord Patriots 16-3 before losing 4-3 to Dublin Dawgs in the finals. The Coyotes are, front row from left, Anthony Tribendis, Seth Gwynn, Ethan Lerch, Joey Wheeler, Spencer Sinclaire, Eric Zimmer; back row, coach Ryan Covalt, coach Kevin Zimmer, Derek Luedtke, Jayson Downs, Mason Covalt, Chase Graves, Jake Enos, Jordan Glantz, coach Eric Enos and coach Paul Graves. The team is in its second year and returns to action Aug. 25-26 for the Summer Heat tournament in Woodland.

Cup XI competing against teams from Illinois, New York and New Jersey in their bracket. The team won the Davis Legacy College Showcase two weeks ago with Clayton’s Melanie Hines of Carondelet High School named player of the tournament. The local competitive team defeated Nevada Elite 95 in the finals. Ironically both finalists from Davis are in Chicago for National Cup. Diablo FC 94 also includes Jasmine and Janelle Bandayrel and Samantha Boeger of Clayton Valley Charter High. Follow National Cup XI results at

Call for details

Registration In

Photo courtesy Clayton Coyotes

SHUFFLE THE CARDS FOR CVCHS FOOTBALL TEXAS HOLD ‘EM BENEFIT AUG. 10 New coach Tim Murphy has announced a Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament and dinner on Friday, Aug. 10, benefiting the Clayton Valley Charter High School football program. Prize money of up to $500 for first place will be offered for the tournament. Tickets for poker and dinner or dinner only are available now. The event runs from 5:40 p.m. to midnight at Shadelands Arts Center in Walnut Creek. Dinner is catered by Kinder’s. Tickets available at Call 595-3851 for more information.


on Mondays and Wednesdays Sept. 9 through Oct. 24. Boys and girls 5-8 years of age can participate in the U8 Academy with instruction at Boatwright Fields from Brazilian Olympian Tafa, Diablo FC director of coaching Brian Voltattorni and District 4 coaching director Steve Shott. Registration and more info are available at


Girls and boys four to 18 years can still sign up for the 32nd AYSO season of Mt. Diablo Soccer Association. Registrants will be on a waitlist pending development of teams. Email questions to or go to to sign up.


Boatwright Youth Sports Complex in Concord will be the site of Future Stars Soccer Academy for boys and girls 6-16 of all skill levels ages July 30-Aug. 3. See to register and for more information.

FUNDRAISING CAR WASH FOR MDSA LEGENDS AUG. 11 MDSA Legends FC under 14 boys soccer team is holding a car wash to raise funds for tournaments on Saturday, Aug. 11, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Mountain Mike’s Pizza, 5358 Clayton Rd.


12 Benefitting field development and financial aid scholarships, the fifth annual Diablo FC golf tournament will be held Friday, Oct. 12, at Diablo Creek Golf Course in Concord. Golfers, sponsors and tee prize donations are being solicited. Email or visit for more information.

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Page 12

Clayton Pioneer •

Rotary summer camp proved to be a royal blast

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This summer seems much shorter than others I remember and when, all too soon, summer reached its halfway point, I began to feel like I had wasted the first half. I asked myself, what have I done so far? I’ve barely made a dent in my summer homework, haven’t visited any colleges, and have yet to visit my friends who live in other parts of California. That said, I did do what was probably the most important and meaningful thing that I will do all year: I attended Camp Royal.

Camp Royal is a Rotary-sponsored, week-long summer leadership camp, but really, it is so much more. During my week at camp, I met and befriended some amazing people, and learned so much that it is difficult to put my experience into words. I am not what one would consider a “camp person.” Although I respect and enjoy nature, I’ve never even been camping, and before going to camp, had no prior experience (or desire to experience) even one night sleeping outside, showering in cold water, and having no cell phone service. The only reason I applied to go to this camp was because of the glowing recommendation that was given to me by a friend who went two years ago. But despite

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ciation for them. Although I am looking forward to finally getting to enjoy the perks of senior year, “senioritis” has hit me early. There is no question in my mind that I am ready to graduate, and get on with my life. But Camp Royal has left me with a fresh perspective. I never in a million years thought that I would miss taking cold showers at 5:30 a.m., but I actually do. Maybe when I’m pulling out of the student parking lot for the final time in May, I’ll be surprised at the things I miss, too.

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what I heard about it being “lifechanging,” as my departure date drew near, I wanted to go less and less. Part of me wishes that at this point, I could have seen myself on the last day, tearfully agreeing with all my new friends that we wish we could stay there forever. I could fill an entire newspaper with the lessons I learned and valuable knowledge I gained at camp, and yet another one about the amazing friends I made, and the great experiences that I had building positive relationships with everybody there. But I’m not going to preach, and try to teach everyone anything that I learned. What I am going to say is this: for me, getting away from the stresses of my day-to-day life is exactly what I needed to renew my appre-

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“So,” one parent recently asked, “what has really changed now that CVHS is a charter school? “Attitude,” says Alison Bacigalupo, parent and governing board member. “What was impossible to achieve before, like simply making our school clean and safe, is now possible. We are making it a reality every day, with the community’s help.” And the “community” is on a roll. Last week volunteers gave the multi-use room a much needed working over. Crews sanded, scraped and cleaned the inside walls, prepping for paint, while more volunteers painted the outside of the building. “The journey from good to great has begun, says Pat Middendorf, director of operations. The governing board has approved the following programs and contracts for the coming school year. 

Foreign Exchange Student sponsored by the Concord Sunrise Rotary Club. To be a host family, contact Chris Ruzicka at

A new food service provider, new custodial service and new landscaping management service has been contracted for the new school year. New signs have been designed and ordered for the Alberta Way entrance and for the multi-use room. Two full time guidance counselors and a full time school psychologist have been hired. Casey Coakley is new Dean of Students

IMPORTANT DATES Campus Improvement Day, July 28, 8 a.m.-noon. Bring the family and meet in front of the school with gloves and garbage bags. Courtesy picture days, MultiUse room, Aug. 1, 1-4 p.m; Aug. 7, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Student Orientation/Regis-



CVCHS multi-use room for painting.

tration, July 30, Aug. 8 and 9. See schedule at Parent Orientation is Aug. 13, 7 p.m. in the CVCHS library. School Starts Aug. 15 8 a.m. For




message from Dave Linzey, go April Winship is the parent of two CVCHS students. She lives in Clayton with her family. Email comments to

The crude facts about your car’s oil Q. What oil should I use in my car? A. This is a question I get asked a lot. There are a lot of different types to pick from, and choices to make, such as what weight and how is it measured? Without getting too boring and technical I will try to explain. Oil weight is measured by heating

the oil to preset temperature, then pouring a certain amount through a preset opening. The time it takes to pour through is its weight, or viscosity. Different temperatures require different oil viscosities. In this area 5-30 weight oil is good. This means the oil will flow between ambient temperatures of -5 degrees to over 100 degrees. Another question I am asked is what is the difference between regular and synthetic oil? And why does a certain car requires synthetic oil? Regular oil is made from refined crude oil. Synthetic oil is man-made. Regular oil is slightly thicker than synthetic, with its small molecules, so it can’t flow as easy through the tighter clearances newer engines have. Synthetic oil also doesn’t break down at high temperatures like regular oil. Regular oil, on the other hand, has its benefits. One is the fact the molecules are larger and flow slower. So for older or high mileage engines this gives better protection . What about blended oil? Blended oil is a mix of 60 percent regular oil and 30 percent synthetic. This gives the benefits of the lubrication of regular oil and the high temperature protection of synthetic oil. However, it is not a substitute for synthetic oil. Blended oil is good for engines that have been made in the early 1990s to 2000. After year 200, newer model engines tolerances

GARY TAYLOR CAR TUNED got tighter. A lot of the hybrid engines need synthetic oil to maintain their high mileage rating. You can lose about five miles per gallon if the wrong oil is used in your engine. With the price of gas these days that can add up quick. Basically, for the health of your engine and the environment, it’s a good idea to follow the manufactures recommendation on both the weight and intervals between oil changes. Some people ask me that since they are driving less now a days, should they wait longer on oil changes. In my opinion if they aren’t driving that much they may want to change the oil sooner. The reason is the engine is not getting to the high temperatures for as long and condensation in the crankcase causes water to form. This mixes with the oil and can break it down faster. So you should have your car at least looked at ever six months, and follow the manufacturer’s recommendation on the motor oil and the oil change intervals. Gary Taylor is service manager at Clayton Valley Shell. Call him with questions at (925) 672-3900

July 27, 2012

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 13

A social puppy is a happy puppy


PET PALS Adding a cute, cuddly puppy to your family is an exciting time, but it is very important to remember that puppies are still learning about the world around them. One of the most essential aspects of training a puppy (or kitten) is providing it

with proper socialization. Socialization with other dogs is a crucial part of a puppy’s development. Interaction with other dogs will teach him necessary social skills, such as bite inhibition and basic manners – all important for teaching your dog what it

means to be a canine good citizen. Exposing him to other puppies is also a great, easy way to introduce him to their humans, thus socializing him to a variety of people, as well. Socializing your puppy is an essential factor in his development, but it is equally impor-

Free rabies shots for Grief support group helps dogs at cope with loss of pet Rodie’s Rodie’s Feed and Pet Supply is hosting a veterinary clinic with VIP Petcare Services on Sunday, Aug. 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Other vaccinations are available for dogs and other pets at competitive prices. Non-emergency vet care such as micro-chipping, flea and tick control, heartworm prevention and testing and deworming is offered. No appointment is necessary. Call Rodie’s at 672-4600 for more information.

When you lose your pet you often feel like a part of you is lost. The death of a beloved animal companion is one of the most difficult losses you may ever feel. This loss is sometimes made more painful by society’s seeming lack of support for pet grief. Hospice of the East Bay and the Tony La Russa Animal Rescue Foundation are offering a support group where participants can share memories and

Mayor, from page 1 celebration bigger and better. Start planning now for your neighborhood and specialty floats. A special “tip of the hat” to Master of Ceremonies, Cw Wolfe, for his awesome job as our Master of Ceremonies this year. Latest poop on the trails: In a personal quest to get into better shape, I have started to walk more. The Cardinet Trail leads from my house to City Hall. I want to make congratulatory note this trail has been trash and “dog poop-bag” free the past two weeks. Thanks for listening and doing your part to keep our trails clean. Daffodil Hill: The landscape work on Clayton Road is almost done. The contractor is finishing installing pavers and detailing the medians. Commendation to our Maintenance Department for the design and oversight of this major beautification improvement in our city. By press time, Daffodil Hill’s joint improvement venture with the Clayton Business and Community Association should be nearly complete. We will now have two enhanced entrances to our downtown. Water works: As summer

weather heats up, our water usage bills drastically increase. Contra Costa Water District has several free programs available to help you keep your water bills down. One is a free home water survey to help you identify ways to save water and money. They will provide useful tips to manage water usage, inspect existing irrigation and clock settings, provide proper scheduling information, explain how to read your meter and, if requested, provide high-efficiency showerheads and faucet aerators. Some of the programs offered are water–efficient landscaping rebates or rebates for the purchase of high efficient clothes washers and toilets. You can sign up for your free house landscape water survey on CCWD’s website or by calling 925-688-8320. Take a hike: Summer is also a great time to take advantage of guided hikes with your family offered by Save Mt. Diablo. The hills and trails abound with wildlife and flowers this time of the year. Information on these hikes may be obtained at

feelings and talk to others who truly understand and care. The group will begin Tue., Sept. 4 and will meet at the Tony La Russa Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek from noon – 1:30. For further information and/or to register, please call Bereavement Services at Hospice of the East Bay: (925) 887-5681. Pre-registration is required.

Groovin’ at the Grove: Our summer evening concerts continue to be successful at The Grove Park. I wish to publicly thank my team, Jim Diaz, Julie Pierce, Jim Lawrence, Mike Williams, Bruce Balha, Dan DeSousa, Debbie Mullins and volunteers from Diablo Valley Ranch for their tireless efforts to bring the Saturday concerts to you. I also want to thank the CBCA, Allied Waste Services and our city for being major sponsors. A round of applause goes out to our concert attendees for their continued generous donations. These donations help make the concerts possible next year. A personal note: Please, parents, do not allow your children to spray “silly string” or throw water balloons in this park. Besides annoying others, the taxpayer cost to clean the park of this mess is very high. Every once in awhile, I do receive e-mails that share some pearls of wisdom. Here is one: “Always keep your words soft and sweet just in case you have to eat them.”

tant to socialize him in a safe environment and to keep the experiences positive and not scary. Puppies, like babies, have underdeveloped immune systems, so they need to be introduced to public places gradually while getting their regular vaccinations. Here are some fun ways for you to begin socializing your puppy: Hold puppy parties at your house by inviting over a group of your friends and introducing your puppy to them. Encourage your friends to wear hats, glasses, different styles of clothing, and even have them show up with an umbrella or helium balloon to expose your puppy to lots of different items. Done weekly or more, this quickly makes your puppy comfortable with a variety of people and situations. Take your puppy to the local shopping center and carry him around to see and hear the different sights and sounds. (If you have a really big puppy, consider pulling him along – safely secured – in a wagon.) Sit at an outdoor table at a café in a moderately busy area with your puppy on your lap to let him watch traffic and work on letting strange people approach him nicely. Take treats and plenty of water with you, and watch him closely to be sure he doesn’t get overwhelmed or stressed out. A ride in the car to a local park lets your puppy view children, people on bikes, skate boarders, and other dogs at a safe distance while you soothe him with petting and treats. Park in a shaded area and roll down the window and let him listen to lots of new, exciting sounds, like cars, motorcycles, ambulances, and children playing. Hearing these for the first time in a safe, secure environment will boost your puppy’s confidence around unfamiliar noises. It is important to note you should not be bringing your puppy to dog parks or have him walk in public areas if he is less than four months old and not fully vaccinated. This is to protect your puppy’s delicate immune system from being exposed to dangerous communicable diseases, like parvovirus and distemper. Safe environments (puppy classes, your home, clean puppy social groups, and a friend’s house with healthy adult dogs) are all better choices. Have fun with your puppy while showing him what is new in his environment. Best of all, you will get lots of great bonding time with your newest fourlegged family member by watching him watch the world. Elena Bicker is the Executive Director of Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation. She can be reached at (925) 256-1ARF (1273)

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Clayton Pioneer •

Club News BENTON TAKES OVER AS ROTARY PRESIDENT When Mureleen Benton was inducted as president of the Clayton Valley-Concord Sunrise Rotary Club last month, she laughs that it was more of a coronation ceremony. “I call myself the ‘Queen,’” she says. “They’ve never had a ‘queen’ before.” Indeed, Benton is the first woman to lead the local service club in its 25 years, and says she looks forward to her new role. “I want us to have more fun than we’ve ever had before and to be the number-one medium club in the district,” says Benton, a financial planner and 37year Clayton resident. One of the top items on her agenda would be to work with another local organization to open a thrift store to benefit other charities. The 50-member Clayton

July 27, 2012

26TH ANNUAL CBCA CLAYTON CLASSIC GOLF HONORED JERRY COAKLEY Clayton Business and Community Association’s 26th annual Clayton Classic honored the

Valley-Concord Sunrise club is one 33,000 Rotary clubs in 168 countries around the world. Rotary is a non-governmental, non-religious, non-political service organization “serving humanitarian goals in the world.” It’s up to the local groups to make sure that philosophy works at home. Benton says that her club is already very involved in civic activities in and around Clayton. “Every Tuesday from 7 to 9

a.m. a group of Rotarians process food at the Food Bank,” she says. “We also donate dictionaries to third graders at three elementary schools, clean a portion of Clayton Road once a quarter, and donate money to many other charitable organizations.” The club participates in Adopt-A-Family during the holidays, and donates food to the Salvation Army at Thanksgiving. It donates money to local schools, helps out at the Fourth of July events, and maintains a portion of Markham Arboretum Park. By Peggy Spear

The club meets at 7 a.m. every Thursday at Oakhurst Country Club. If anyone is interested in joining, contact Jim Swanson at 925673-9040 or 925-566-8166 or email him at

TROOP 262 ON THE GO After volunteering for July 4 parade clean up duties, Clayton’s Boy Scout Troop 262, two Eagle rank alumni and parents hiked and camped for the weekend in Tuolumne Meadows. Yosemite’s Half Dome is in the distance on the right, which the troop hiked a few years ago. These trips mix beauty, bonding and building character.

late coach Jerry Coakley and benefited the golf team at Clayton Valley Charter High School coached by Bob Johnson and Ted Tellian. Our major sponsors were Allied Waste, Sheet Metal Workers Local Union 104, Diablo Ford, Jeff Martin at Wells Fargo Advisors, Skipolini’s Pizza, Clayton Club, and Ed’s Mudville Grill. Tournament winners were Miles Bell, Tom Walsh, Justin Pratt and Chris Kenyon. Ted Sudderth, Bell, Jim Diaz, Don Fitzgerald, Candass Bass, Sue Elliot, Skip Ipsen, John Hunter and Herb Yonge headed the volunteer effort getting sponsors, raffle and tee prizes.

Front row: Jim Louchis, Tony Thongurai, James Van Wyck, Nick Swiatko, Dave Wullenweber, Rob Pesmark. Back row: John Carr, Charlie Wullenweber, Andre Buckman, Charlie Pesmark and scoutmaster Dan Condon.


IN CLAYTON July 27, Aug. 3 Moonlight Movies July 27: “Muppets.” Aug. 3: “Courageous.” Activities for kids at 7:30 p.m., movie at 8:45 p.m. Clayton Community Church, 6055 Main St., Clayton. July 28, Aug. 4, 11, 18, 25 Farmers’ Market 8 a.m. – noon, Saturdays, Diablo Street between Main and Center streets, downtown, Aug. 4, 9, 18, 23 Concerts in the Grove 6 – 8:30 p.m. Grove Park, downtown Clayton. Free. For a complete concert series list, see Page 3. Aug. 5 Vet Clinic Free rabies shots for dogs. Other vaccinations and Non-emergency vet care available for dogs and other pets at competitive prices. 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. VIP Petcare Services at Rodie’s Feed and Pet Supply, 8863 Marsh Creek Road, Clayton. No appointment necessary. Call Rodie’s at 672-4600 for more information. Aug. 11 Rib Cook-Off CBCA’s third annual competition. Live music, food, drinks and fellowship. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Clayton Club Saloon, 6096 Main St., Clayton. 672-2272. Aug. 11 - 12 Relay For Life American Cancer Society fundraiser. Activities for participants and spectators. 10 a.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday. Clayton Community Park, Marsh Creek Road and Regency Drive, Clayton.

EVENTS AND ENTERTAINMENT Thru Aug. 19 “A Doll’s House” When the illusions of their marriage are exposed, Nora Helmer leaves her husband and children to forge a new identity. Willows Theatre, 1975 Diamond Blvd., Concord. $18-$36. 798-1300. July 27 - 29 “The Mikado” Presented by Lamplighters Music Theatre. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $49-$54. 943-7469. July 28, Aug. 4 Summer Jazz Series July 28: John Pizzarelli. Aug. 4: Wycliffe Gordon. 5 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $35. 943-7469.

July 29, Aug. 5, 9 Sierra Guitar July 29: Trio Seven. Aug. 5: Viviana Guzman and Jeremy Jouve. Aug. 9: Mesut Ozgen. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25. 943-7469. Aug. 1 – 26 “Pride and Prejudice” Jane Austen’s enduring tale of manners, upbringing, morality, education and marriage among the landed gentry of early 19th century England. Presented in two parts. Cue Productions, 1835 Colfax St., Concord. $10-$18. Aug. 2 – 12 “Beauty and the Beast, Jr.” Follow the adventures of Belle, a bright young woman who finds herself imprisoned in the castle of a mysterious beast. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $10-$14.75. 943-7469. Aug. 4, 11, 18 Summer Concert Series Aug. 4: Kit and the Branded Men. Aug. 11: You and I. Aug. 18: Comedy with David Studebaker and Ellis Rodriguez. 8 p.m. Campbell Theatre, 636 Ward St., Martinez. $18. 798-1300. Aug. 5 Suhaila Solo Show Presenting Suhaila Salimpour in a solo performance featuring Ziad Islambouli and the Salimpour Band. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $35-$50. 943-7469. Aug. 11 – 12 Summer Festival Japanese food, games, cultural performances, exhibits and demonstrations. Sat. 1 – 9 p.m.; Sun. 12 - 8:30 p.m. Diablo Japanese American Club Cultural Center, 3165 Treat Blvd., Concord. Free admission and free parking at Ygnacio Valley High School with free shuttle to festival. Aug. 17 – 18 Rossum’s Universal Robots Play depicting world where genetically engineered robots work alongside humans. 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $10-$14.75. 943-7469. Aug. 17 – Sept. 1 “6RMS RIV VU” Urban romantic comedy where a vacant apartment with six rooms and a river view is open for inspection by prospective tenants. Diablo Actors’ Ensemble, 1345 Locust St., Walnut Creek. $22-$25.

CHURCHES AND RELIGION Aug. 3 Baha’i, interaction, fellowship and discussion. Topic: Art – Its Creative, Spiritual and Healing Dimension. Speaker: Xiaojie Zheng, renowned Bay Area painter and art instructor. 7:30 p.m. Free. For directions, call 672-6686.

FUNDRAISERS Aug. 5 Taste of Concord Kiwanis Club of Greater Concord presents its sixth annual fundraiser. 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Restaurants, family area, silent auction around Todos Santos Plaza, Concord. $25.00 for adults, $10.00 for children under 12. Wine and beer tasting included in admission. Proceeds support local and international charities helping children. Call Rocci Barsotti at 285-2225. Aug. 9 Gourmet Gallop Food and wine walk for Diablo Ballet’s PEEK Youth Outreach. 6 – 9 p.m. Starting at Massimo Ristorante, 1604 Locust St., Walnut Creek. $40. 943-1775.

AT THE LIBRARY The Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. or 673-0659. Wednesdays, Book Buddies A volunteer will read stories for children 3 and older. 1-2 p.m. Tuesdays thru Aug. 14 Patty Cakes Story time for babies to 3-year-olds. Child attends with caregiver. 11 a.m. Thursdays thru Aug. 16 Picture Book Time Story time for 3 to 5-year-olds. Child may attend without caregiver. 11 a.m. Aug. 8 Marshmallow Art Using ordinary marshmallows, create extraordinary zombies. Grades 6 – 12. 4 – 5 p.m. Registration requested. Aug. 8 Peanuts: On the Go! Charles M. Schulz Museum is coming to the library. Draw Snoopy cartoons and make crafts while learning about the beloved artist and his characters. Grades K - 2. 7 p.m. Registration required. Aug. 9 Festival of Fun Crafts and other fun activities. Ages 4 – 11. Drop in 2 – 3 p.m.

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


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Take action with your accessories All it takes is a glance at your eyeglasses, watch, bag, or (especially) shoes to know your story. Accessories like the pillows on your couch or the paintings on your wall can reveal a lot about you. When it comes to updating your wardrobe they are the most important investment you can make. Whether you’re a minimalist at heart or someone who likes to push the envelope, the goal is to look your most attractive while maintaining a modern youthful edge. However, there are few areas with potential age-related pitfalls that deserve mentioning. Eyewear – Even a trendy new outfit won’t save you from looking old if you hold your menu at arm’s length in order to see it, or peer though your “readers.” If you need glasses, get them. There are hundreds of stylish frames to choose from. The top trends now


FASHION OVER 50 include vintage geek styles, cateye, translucent colors and unique textures. Watches – Avoid a small lady-like watch as your primary watch. It screams grandmotherly. Instead, choose a large, sporty, silver (almost masculine) watch for every day. Its style should

imply activity, vitality and youthfulness even if your idea of exercise is wrestling a sheet of paper out of your printer. Naked Necklines – Unfortunately, many women think that an older neck needs to be hidden at all costs. You’ve seen her, the woman who coils a scarf around her neck even on the warmest day. Who is she fooling? A well-chosen scarf can enhance an outfit, but it’s not for hiding behind. Instead, reveal your neck proudly. The vshape created by a simple cotton shirt with the top two buttons open and the collar turned up will elongate your neck and flatter your neckline. The absence of jewelry can be surprisingly dramatic and modern. Bags – The right bag will add to the overall success of your outfit. It’s wishful thinking to

believe one bag will work with every outfit. You need a selection of bags (and shoes) from sporty to dressy. A good choice for a multi-purpose bag is a metallic in pewter or bronze. Shoes – Although shoes can be a challenge as we age, you don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort. Dress shoes from Anne Klein’s iFlex series have a thinner, softer leather and extra padding. Tory Burch makes stylish, comfortable flats with padded insoles that look good with jeans. Fall trends include color-block and pattern shoes, shoe boots, and my favorite, menswear-inspired styles. Nothing looks sharper than a wingtip oxford with the skinniest of pants or jeans. Live long and pester! Judith Marshall is the author of “Husbands May Come and Go but Friends are Forever.” Send comments to

WINDOWS 8 FEATURES Windows 8 offers a number of new features, from its all new UI (User Interface – what you see on the screen) to the Windows App Store and

improved security features. Here’s a list of new features and improvements which will arrive with Windows 8: First, Windows 8 will support new ARM (tablet) CPUs along with the standard Intel and AMD processors. ARM CPUs are smaller and less power-consuming and are usually offered in tablets Speaking of the UI, Windows 8 certainly has a mind blowing interactive UI, which has been extensively redesigned to a “Metro-style” design, which shows the most important information to you, embodies simplicity, and gives you full control over it. The UI is designed to provide a fluid and intuitive interaction and navigation with touch, or a mouse and keyboard. First and foremost is the extensively redesigned user interface which has been optimized for touchscreens and tablets. Similar to Windows Phone 7.5 Metro, Windows 8 features a

new “Start screen” and includes live application tiles. The new start screen also displays the user’s name and avatar. Additionally, the new interface is primarily designed for 16:9 screen resolutions with larger screens capable of displaying two Windows 8 applications. Moreover, with such a large focus on apps in today’s user marketplace, the new Windows 8 is much more app-focused and allows users to sync their apps and content across devices as well as access the Windows Store on any supporting device. Live tiles populate the Windows landscape through a mosaic of tiles and traditional desktop icons designed to provide feedback to the user in the form of quick information. For example, let’s say you have Google mail. The tile displays how many new messages you have in your inbox without the need to log into your mail. Windows 8 also introduces the ability to perform all current copy operations in a single dialog box, instead of requiring separate dialog boxes for each app. The new dialog box for file copying lets you pause, resume, and stop each copy operation currently underway. It also warns you if you begin to copy one version of a file on top of another. Windows 8 also brings increased support for multiple monitors; the Developers Preview of the new OS includes first-time capabilities for extending the taskbar across two monitors, without any need for third-

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WILL CLANEY TECH TALK party apps. You can also stretch wallpaper across two monitors, or display the Start screen on one PC and the desktop on the other, for instance. It’s also easy to switch between multiple monitors. The primary monitor has a start button, and the secondary monitor has a switcher button. Clicking or tapping on the switcher button will swap it out for the start button, allowing you to turn the secondary monitor into the primary one. In summation, this is an awesome operating system that spans from smart phone to computer and every device inbetween, and it will be here in a blink of an eye. How much would you pay for this operating system? One million dollars? Half a million? $1000? How about $300? How about $69.95 and we throw in native USB 3.0 support? But, wait, there’s more. Stay tuned.

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The buzz on Windows 8 Microsoft has just announced it will release Windows 8 in October of 2012 – its latest, and best, operating system ever – slightly ahead of schedule. The release to manufacturing (RTM) edition of Windows 8 will be available in the first week of August, Microsofts’ CFO Tami Reller said. The October launch date coincides with the period when Microsoft’s hardware partners will begin shipping their PCs, tablets and hybrid devices that will run the new operating system. The release schedule also falls in line with predictions from critics and analysts, such as ComputerWorld, which has said the software will be available Oct. 25.

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“Bacopa, Copacabana, music and laughter were always the fashion at The Copa…” This is the song I sing to customers to help them remember the name of one of the easiest, trailing plants available for our Clayton Valley gardens, hanging baskets and containers. It’s called Bacopa, and a lot of you have already grown this evergreen with much success. Well, I am here to tell those of you that may not know that this plant is fantastic, long blooming and very reliable. Traditional Bacopa has a simple shaped white

flower, with tiny oval leaves. Today however there are other members of the Bacopa family to enjoy. Some that bloom simple pink flowers, others blue, and even a selection with gold and green variegated foliage. All Bacopa plants have a cascading growth habit that will reach a couple of inches tall and may stretch almost to three-feet wide, making it a perfect selection for a ornamental groundcover, or the trailer over the sides of a hanging baskets, containers, or retaining walls. Bacopa Snowstorm is the original white trailer that garden lovers love to plant. It can be included into many different styles of gardening from formal to cottage. A few years ago hybridizers created a new Snowstorm called Giant Snowflake. This selection of Bacopa has flowers which are almost the size of a fingernail, and that’s pretty big for a Bacopa. They create quite an impact in a hanging basket or container. Bacopa Snowstorm “Pink”

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has subtle pink flowers that are perfect for the pink garden lovers. Use the Snowstorm “Pink” Bacopa in a container with other pastels, like the Apple Blossom Penstemon, Cherry Blossom Superbells and Kent Beauty Oregano; together this combination would create a pretty planter for full sun. If you are feeling blue, there is a Bacopa for you too. Bacopa Snowstorm “Blue” has a light lavender gray flower that isn’t true blue, but pretty close. This Bacopa works well when combined with salmon shades, lavenders and yellows. Use the Bacopa Snowstorm “Blue” when designing a hanging basket for full sun. Mix with Southern Bell Calylophus, Agastache Lavender Martini and Salmon Diascia. This collection of plants will keep your hanging basket blooming from AprilOctober. Bacopa Gold’n Pearls is a variegated selection of the family. This plant has the same simple white flower as the tradition-

al Bacopa Snowstorm, yet the leaves have a base color of yellow with touches of deep green. The Bacopa Gold’n Pearls is happiest when planted in part sun. The foliage of this selection is very dramatic, and looks great paired with bright colors. Consider combining the Bacopa Gold’n Pearls with any of the bold colored New Guinea impatiens or Sun Patiens. If you were a coleus lover, this Bacopa would contrast nicely with the assorted foliage. Bacopa is an oldie but goodie. This evergreen is lives a long time, likes occasional pruning, regular water and fertilizer. Enjoy this selection in your Clayton Valley garden or landscape. Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden and the 2012 Clayton Valley Garden Club president. Contact her with questions, comments or suggestions at

July 27, 2012

Clayton Pioneer •

Performing Arts

Page 17 Coming in September

Festival e g in Fr o sc ci n a Fr n a S The Best

‘Cavalia’ creates magic on horseback CHARLES JARRETT Special to the Pioneer

You don’t have to love horses to love “Cavalia.” Created by Norman Latourelle, one of the founders of Canada’s famed Cirque du Soleil, this show does for the equestrian lover what the original Cirque du Soleil has done for the circus. Now, the famous equestrian performance returns to the Bay Area through Aug. 12, as the telltale big white tent has set up its temporary home just a few blocks from San Jose’s Norman Mineta Airfield in the Silicon Valley’s highway 101 Tech Center development area. This show is elegantly beautiful, with more than 30 practitioners of the art of acrobatic and bareback riding, demonstrating rapid-fire tumbling and majestic aerial acrobatics that meld man, woman and horses in incredible feats of trick and artistic riding. Roman riders stand on horseback and defy gravity as they race across the 160-foot sand covered stage and hurtle jumps of constantly changing heights, all in a colos-

sal coliseum setting. The horses themselves are a sight to behold: There are Lusitanos, Percherons, Belgians, Paints, Appaloosas, a Comtois, and Ardennes, Quarter horses and even one miniature horse. The most spectacular feat in “Cavalia” is its marriage and integration of all these elements into a highly choreographed theatrical production, melded with incredibly sophisticated digital multimedia backdrops and projected onto a 200-foot

high screen, accompanied by live music and a living kaleidoscope of lighting effects. All of this equestrian nirvana is contained within one of the largest touring white big-tops in the world. The tent alone is 110feet tall and covers more than 26,000 square feet, large enough to accommodate a stage as wide as a football field width, and all the seating and mechanicals that make it work. The “Cavalia” theater is located at the Highway 101 Tech Campus Site, at 301 Atmel Way, between the Bayshore Freeway, Charcot Ave., North First Street and West Trimble Road. Tickets range in price on weekdays between $44.50 and $139.50. The toll-free phone number for ordering tickets is 866-9998111. Check out the “Horse Lovers Package” online that offers special food, drinks and even allows you to take children behind the scenes to meet the horses in person after the show. Performance times are at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, with two performances on Saturdays at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday performances at 3 p.m.

Inman sets Ibsen classic ‘Doll’s House’ in 1961 New York Torvald (Mark Farrell) and Nora (Lena Hart) realize that their marriage is on shaky ground in the Henrik Ibsen classic,” A Doll’s House,” opening July 27 at the Willows Theatre in Concord. Director Eric Inman takes up the challenge of producing a Norwegian play written in 1879 when he re-imagines this timeless story of a failed marriage by setting it in Upstate New York in 1961.

through July 29, when the schedule for Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays changes from 8 p.m. openings to 7:30 p.m. openings. Performance dates and times can be confirmed on the website in the schedule section.

The 21st Annual

Sept. 5-16

of Edgy, Independent Theatre 42 Shows in 12 Days $5-10 per show

EXIT Theatre The Legacy of the Tiger Mother,

156 Eddy St. 2 Blocks from Powell St. BART 3 blocks from Union Square

one of the 42 shows at the Fringe Festival

Diablo Women’s Chorale Launches Fall Season — Singers Invited!

For Info, Contact Gary Carr, 925-672-8717,

Diablo Women’s Chorale welcomes new members for fall rehearsals of its 70th holiday program, “Stars.” Rehearsals are Monday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 399 Wiget Lane, Walnut Creek, beginning Sept. 3. Arrange an informal audition with Director Mary Sorenson and attend rehearsals on Sept. 3 and 10. The performance of “Stars” will be held at St. Matthew on Dec. 8 in the afternoon. The program will include holiday and seasonal songs from the classical, pop, spiritual, jazz and Broadway traditions, some accompanied by a jazz ensemble. Diablo Women’s Chorale has been entertaining local audiences since 1943. Sight singing lessons are provided, as well as practice recording and CDs. More experienced singers have opportunities for solos and small group ensembles. This season, mothers and school age daughters will sing songs arranged especially for them. To schedule an audition, call Mary Sorenson (925-256-8960). For more information, go to

“A Doll’s House” plays through Aug. 18 at the Willows Theatre, 1975 Diamond Blvd (in the Willows Shopping Center) in Concord. Performances are Wed. – Sun. For show times and ticket information, call (925) 798-1300 or go to Tickets are $27-33.

Coming Soon

Book Review

384 Wildrose Circle, Pinole

End of the world, beginning of adulthood Is it possible for a novel to be both an apocalyptic and a coming of age story? Or would that be a literary oxymoron, an impossible tale with a shelf life as unknown as that of planet earth? You can read Karen Thompson Walker’s debut novel, “The Age of Miracles” as either one, but the bottom line is, you’ve got to read this book. Science tells us that the earth will not exist forever, and this fact is probably not at the top of every reader’s list of favorite subjects. What makes “The Age of Miracles” a bit of a literary miracle itself is the author’s ability to weave together two disparate stories: one, an emotional recounting of an 11 year-old girl’s first steps into her future as a woman; and two, an almost journalistic telling of how the earth will cease to be a viable planet as we know it. It is no longer turning as it used to and eventually it will no longer support any living thing. Julia’s narrative voice is not that of an 11-year-old; rather, it’s the voice of a young woman looking back at the way it was, the remembrance of a past with only a limited future: “We did not

sense at first the extra time, bulging from the smooth edge of each day like a tumor blooming beneath skin.” She speaks of the news broadcast when a scientist warns of the earth’s slowing: “We have no way of knowing if this trend will continue . . . But we suspect it will continue.” Julia is the beloved daughter of a doting mother and father and an aging grandfather. Grammar school is coming to a close and her thoughts are already racing ahead to her first year of junior high, with the hope she will outgrow her shyness and her inability to fit in with the popular crowd. She is a California girl grown used to earthquakes, but when she and her friend Hannah “finally understood what was happening,” they run outside to see if they can see any change. They could smell the ocean air, hear and see the eucalyptus trees “fluttering” in the wind, but “could spot not a single object out of place or amiss.” The reality of a world growing darker, losing its gravity, forcing itself into missteps never before taken by nature, does not, however, slow the onset of puberty, the betrayal of girl-


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friends, the bullyish teasing from boys, even a new and difficult awareness of her parents with their own distinct lives. It brings Seth into Julia’s life, a classmate with whom she can share that shy and tentative journey, while “Catastrophe, too, like bad weather, was provoking in all of us an uneasy excitement and verve.” The author is subtly brilliant in her story of changes, both physical and emotional. The depth of her insights and observations will keep the reader’s own youth as close at hand as today’s headlines of global warming. Karen Thompson Walker has written a most disturbingly beautiful novel. Sunny Solomon is the former Book Lady from Clayton Books and currently heads up the Clayton Book Club. Visit her website for her latest recommendations or just to "talk books."

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Page 18

Clayton Pioneer •

Tomato time means tasty summer treats DEBRA J. MORRIS PCFMA

Have you ever bitten into a plump juicy tomato plucked right from the vine and warm from the sun? It’s Heavenly. There is nothing better this time of year than fresh-picked tomatoes from your farmers’ market. Matched with summer’s fresh herbs like cilantro, oregano and basil, these tomatoes are nothing short of amazing. Visit Jeff Rhodes Farms at the Clayton Farmers’ Market and pick up some of their delicious summer tomatoes. They have everything from juicy beefsteak and sweet cherry tomatoes to colorful heirloom tomatoes. Full of flavor and texture, these beauties are nothing like grocery store tomatoes. Unlike many commercial tomatoes that

are grown for consistency of size and shape, disease and pest resistance, and suitability for mechanized picking, packing and shipping, these tomatoes are grown for taste – especially the colorful heirloom varieties of tomatoes.And a word of advice – once you get them home, tomatoes should not be refrigerated. Keep on the counter, away from sunlight and consume within a few days. Refrigeration of these delicious tomatoes will make them lose their amazing flavor. If you must refrigerate, bring to room temperature before eating. Here is one of my favorite summer dishes:

GRILLED TOMATOES WITH BASIL VINAIGRETTE 3 yellow tomatoes 3 red tomatoes 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1/4 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper 2 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil Fresh basil sprigs for garnish Cut tomatoes in half; thread onto skewers, alternating colors. Brush with 1 Tbsp. oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill, covered with grill lid, over medium heat (300- to 350degrees) for 10 minutes, turning skewers often. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar, and basil; drizzle over kabobs. Garnish, if desired. Recipe courtesy of Living magazine, 1997.



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July 27, 2012

Let’s Ring the Bell Let me start out by saying I’m not a real fan of bell peppers, but my dislike is beginning to thaw towards red bell peppers, which I find sweeter and less likely to give me indigestion. I recently learned why, but first let me give you the skinny on the capsicum annuum. Let’s go back to 1492 when Christopher Columbus set sail for a closer route to India and its treasured spices. Queen Isabella charged him with finding pepper (she meant the black stuff the world puts on just about everything) but instead Columbus brought back the seeds of chili peppers (which are hot and spicy) along with the bell peppers he found in the West Indies. The bell pepper is a crunchy fruit – yes, fruit – with loads of Vitamin C (a red bell pepper has four times as much as an orange). It’s a member of the nightshade family. Native to Central and South America, its relatives are the potato, tomato and eggplant. These days, it’s grown just about everywhere. Commercially, China leads production with more than 14 million tons, followed far behind by #2 producer Mexico with 2 million tons and then the U.S. with 1 million tons. Bell peppers come in a multitude of colors, but when they are immature, they are green. As they ripen, they can turn yellow, orange, purple . . . and red. The ripe bell pepper becomes sweeter and outgrows some of the chemicals that can cause





indigestion. (Now I know why I’m beginning to like them!) Interestingly, bell peppers, which are related to chili peppers, lack the ability to create capsaicin, the hot stuff found in the ribs of their cousins. You’re probably familiar with paprika, the red spice we use to color food and doll up deviled eggs. It is the dried and ground product of bell peppers. It’s from red bell peppers, you ask? Not really – it turns out that just about any color of bell pepper will yield a red-colored spice when dried and ground. You can sauté, steam, roast, puree and stew a bell pepper or serve it au naturel. What I’ve come to enjoy is roasting them over an open flame (gas stove or BBQ) until the skin is charred all around, then let it rest in a paper bag (which steams the flesh and makes it tender), then rinse the pepper off under running water to remove the skin, then slice it up to include it in frittatas, pizzas, and salads. Bell peppers are often found in gazpacho, a cold soup that is terrific on a hot summer day. Here’s a tasty version adapted from WHFoods:

SEAFOOD GAZPACHO Serves 4 1/2 lb bay scallops, rinsed and patted dry ¼ c fresh lemon juice 2/3 c diced cucumber 1 medium yellow bell pepper, diced into 1/4-inch pieces 1 medium tomato, chopped, seeded and pulp removed ½ med. onion, finely minced 3 med. cloves garlic, pressed 4 oz can diced green chili pepper 3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil ¼ lb small cooked shrimp, rinsed and patted dry 3 c tomato juice salt/cracked black pepper to taste Rinse and dry scallops. Put into the lemon juice for 30 minutes (similar to ceviche). Combine the onion and garlic and let rest for 5 minutes (brings out their flavor and nutrients), then add in the remaining ingredients. Lastly, gently stir in the scallops and refrigerate for about an hour to let all of the flavors mingle. Taste and add salt and pepper to bring flavors into balance. By the way, no one bought Columbus’ ruse. If you look around the various countries in Europe, they acknowledge the “bell” part of the pepper – pimenta de campana in Spain, il pepe de campana in Italy, poivre de cloche in France and glockenpfeffer in Germany. The English, ever interested in differentiating itself from the Continent, refers to bell peppers simply as capsicums. Linda Wyner, a local attorney and foodie, owns Pans on Fire, a gourmet cookware store and cooking school in Pleasanton. Direct your suggestions or questions to

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