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IT’S YOUR PAPER April 7, 2017


Historical Society celebrates spring in a big way with annual Gardens Tour TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer



National award for finance manager The city of Clayton’s Finance Department received the prestigious Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting in 2016. Finance manager Kevin Mizuno earned this national award for his professionalism in elevating the city’s financial records and disclosures to national stature. The award, a first for Clayton, was presented at the March 21 City Council meeting. The city’s CAFR is on the city’s website,, under the “Finance Department” tab.

See Mayor, page 7

Photo courtesy of Linda and John Perkins

THIS DRAMATIC FRONT YARD AT JOHN AND LINDA PERKINS’ DANA HILLS home is just one of the five Clayton gardens on this year’s Historical Society Gardens Tour, May 6 and 7.Other gardens feature metal art, waterfalls, patios and outdoor kitchens. With all the rain this winter, this spring’s tour promises to be especially rewarding. See Garden tour, page 4

Clayton museum goes back to school with new exhibit DEBBIE EISTETTER Special to the Pioneer

Picture yourself as a teacher in Clayton in the late 1800s or early 1900s. Your day begins with a walk across Mitchell Creek and up the steep wagon road to the two-room schoolhouse at the top of “School Hill.” (It’s the same path children currently take to Mt. Diablo Elementary.) The first order of business is to draw a bucket of water and, if the weather is cold, start fires in the stoves at 7 a.m. to have the classrooms warm by the time the students arrived at 8. The floors are swept daily and scrubbed with hot, soapy water once a week. Your behavior and personal appearance are subject to many restrictions, and failure to follow all of them will result in immediate dismissal. “Any teacher who smokes, uses liquor in any form … or

What’s Inside

Around Town . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Community Calendar . . . . .13 Directory of Advertisers . . . .7 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 School News . . . . . . . . . . .16

The drought is over, at least for this year. And, like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, lush and colorful spring gardens are the reward for the last rain-soaked, mudsplattered four months. Five beautiful Clayton gardens will be strutting their spring stuff when the Clayton Historical Society holds its annual 2017 Clayton Gardens Tour May 6 and 7. Each garden on the tour is an imaginative expression of its owner’s personality. Included on the tour is Fran and Rich Veal’s home where the backyard is all about entertaining. Paver pathways shaded by a large redwood, a waterfall cascading over a rock wall planted with succulents and flowering plants invite friends and family to linger over morning coffee or an evening glass of wine. At Larry and Denise

Photo courtesy of Clayton Historical Society

CLASS PHOTO OF MISS CONSTANCE LAKE’S CLASS at Clayton School taken circa 1921. Today Mt. Diablo Elementary is at the same location of School Hill.

gets shaved in a barber shop will give good reason to suspect his worth, intention, integrity and honesty.” If you are a male teacher, you are allowed one evening each week “for courting purposes” – or two evenings if you are a regular churchgoer. Female teachers can’t marry while under contract, and the dress code is strict: Dresses cannot be a bright color, and you have to wear at least two petticoats underneath. At the end of your 10hour school day, you return

to your room in the house of a local Clayton family and spend the rest of your evening “reading the Bible or any other good book.” If you are a woman, it’s an unspoken rule that you are available to babysit should the need arise. Learn more about the history of the local schools and teachers at the Clayton Museum’s exhibit “School Days,” running until June 21.

Clayton Cleans Up April 22 Creeks are flowing. Weeds are growing. Record rainfall brings no shortage of yard work to tackle at this year’s Clayton Cleans Up on Saturday, April 22. Rain or shine, check in at 9 a.m. at City Hall to grab a volunteer shirt and garbage bag to fill with trash and weeds from Clayton’s parks and trails. The Clean Up also celebrates Earth Day. Local clubs and organizations will share information about appreciating this corner of the planet, like creating upcycled items, continuing water-wise efforts and hiking Mount Diablo. Bring the kids, the church group, scout troops and the neighbors. Feast afterward on

barbecued hamburgers and hot dogs. This year’s earthly T-shirt design comes from Clayton artist Renaye Johnson. Johnson is a member of the Creekside Artists Guild and is the library’s art exhibit liaison. The event is from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. It is sponsored by the Clayton Pioneer and the city of Clayton, with donations from Republic Services, the Clayton Business & Community Association, Travis Credit Union, Peet’s Coffee, Diablo Lawnscape and Innovative Impressions. Download a registration form at and bring it filled out to the event. For more information, call the Pioneer at 925-672-0500.

Malaria and a mission alter student’s life direction BEV BRITTON Clayton Pioneer

Collin Wenrich was recovering from yet a third bout with malaria when he was inspired to build an airstrip to bring medical supplies to a remote area of Uganda. “I had IV drips for two days. I could barely move,” says Wenrich, who grew up in Clayton. “I was extremely dehydrated, in and out of the fetal position.” A man next to him at the clinic was suffering the same The Clayton Museum is open 2- symptoms. “When I was FORMER CLAYTON RESIDENT COLLIN WENRICH works with stu4 p.m. Wednesdays and Sundays at dents in the southwestern region of Uganda. 6101 Main St. Admission is free. See Uganda, page 7

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Around Town

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Clayton Pioneer •

Students honored for ‘Self-discipline’

Julie Pierce

Megan Gherlone and James Brinkley from Diablo View Middle School; Dominic Celentano and Evan Lynch from Mt. Diablo Elementary School received certificates from Mayor Jim Diaz.

Four outstanding Clayton students were honored by the City Council at the March 7 meeting for exhibiting great “Self-Discipline.” The students were nominated by their teachers and given a Certificate of Achievement by Mayor Jim Diaz. The award is part of the community-wide initiative “Do the Right Thing,” a community-wide character initiative involving Mt. Diablo Elementary School, Diablo View Middle School, Clayton Valley High School, the City of Clayton, the Clayton Police Department and the Clayton Business and Community Association (CBCA). The initiative focuses on developing a community culture that is built on good character by focusing on six common character traits throughout the school year: Responsibility, Respect, Kindness, Self-discipline, Integrity and Courage.

DVMS Career Day sparks imaginations

Parent volunteers hosted a Career Day at Diablo View Middle School on March 15. The annual event brings local professionals from the business community, churches and public service to the classroom to share their career experiences. More than 30 professions were represented at the daylong event. Occupations included such diverse jobs as newspaper publishing, dog training, commercial diver and television news production.

Clayton Community Church pastor Shawn Robinson and DVMS principal Patti Bannister briefly considered a career change after a presentation by Tony Bartholomew, general manager of a San Francisco motorcycle company. But, after a trial run in the parking lot, both decided they were better suited for the jobs they have. The event was coordinated by volunteer parents, Kelly Touhey and Kelly Marshall.

Tamara Steiner/Clayton Pioneer


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April 7, 2017

Blue Star Moms honor fallen soldier

Tamara Steiner/Clayton Pioneer

A monument at Berean High School memorializes alumni Pfc. Benjamin Tollefson who was killed in Iraq in 2008.

Berean Christian High School in Walnut Creek was the site of a monument erected by the Contra Costa Blue Star Moms to memorialize Pfc. Benjamin Tollefson, a 2005 graduate who lost his life in combat in Iraq on New Year’s Eve 2008. Dozens of local officials, representatives from the military, Blue Star Moms supporters and Tollefson’s family and friends attended the solemn dedication ceremony on March 15. Taking the podium on behalf of both Clayton Business and Community Association, a major donor to the program and as Tollefson’s fatherin-law was Ed Hartley whose daughter, Natalie was married to Tollefson in 2007. “We will never know why Ben was taken from us and called to eternity on that fateful day in 2008. It is not our place now to know why,” Hartley said. “But it is our place to see that the sacrifice of brave men and women is remembered by this and later generations. We thank

Berean for wanting a perm a n e n t remembrance and reminder to its students of the service and sacrifice of one of own. ED HARTLEY their And we thank the Blue Star Moms for its mission, its members and its dedication to our service members.” The monument at Berean is the second of 12 planned by the Blue Star Moms, one for each of the local high schools that lost a former student in combat. The first was placed last November at the entrance of Concord High School in honor of Sgt. Gabriel Guzman, Cpl. Mick Bekowsky and PFC Scott Barnett, all killed in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. The next dedication will be at Clayton Valley Charter High School for alumni Army Major James M. Ahearn. who died in Iraq on July 5, 2007.

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April 7, 2017

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 3

Morgan Territory slide continues to move as county plans alternate route

Around Town Pioneer Travels

TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer

Australia and New Zealand

Diana Quinn and Dave Jackson recently spent a month touring Australia and New Zealand. They stayed one week in Cairns, snorkled at the Great Barrier Reef from a sailboat and toured the Queensland area. They then flew to New South Wales and toured the

Sydney Opera House and surrounding area for another week. From Sydney they took the  Princess Dawn  ship, cruising around New Zealand  for two weeks, stopping at seven ports and scenic cruising  the Fiordland. “It was an incredible and amazing trip,” says Diana. “The  Clayton Pioneer traveled with us the entire time and came back home to Clayton with us!”

Residents on the south side of a major landslide on Morgan Territory Road may see some relief to their access woes this month. The slide severely damaged several hundred feet on the main route – indeed, the only route – in and out of the area. On Feb. 22, the fast moving slide broke the main water line, nearly toppled a power pole and threatened to collapse the road entirely. County officials acted quickly, closing the road “indefinitely” around noon that day and stranding vehicles on both sides of the slide. Some 256 homes were without water for a week and power for three days. Since the closure, residents have been resilient in dealing with the inconvenience in a variety of ways. Most leave one vehicle parked on the north side of the slide, and drive to the closure where they park in a vacant lot and walk across the slide zone to their vehicles. Others go out the “back way” to Livermore. Local veterans are providing a volunteer shuttle service across the slide with golf carts. Meanwhile, the county is moving closer to finalizing an agreement with property owners on privately owned Leon Drive for alternate and emergency access in and out of the area. As of Saturday, the county had signed agreements with 17 of the 27 owners and has verbal agreements with the remaining 10. Once all the agreements are signed, Julie Bueren, county public works

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Despite filling the breaks in the road with gravel to make it safer for pedestrians, new large cracks opened up on the damaged section of Morgan Territory after a heavy rainfall on March 27. Slide movement has slowed to about an inch a day, raising the possibility of opening the road to limited traffic until temporary access is available.

director, “optimistically” anticipates a temporary road in place by the end of April. Although the slide has continued to move during the six weeks since the closure the rate has slowed from 10-12” per day to about 1-2” per day. County engineers determined that the road has stabilized enough to open it for a few hours on the weekend to limited use. If the slide continues to hold steady, the road may open

for a few hours every day, according to Bueren. Permanent repairs to Morgan Territory cannot begin until alternate access is established. Bueren estimates it will take about 11 weeks to rebuild the road. Reconstruction requires sinking piers into bedrock and building large retaining walls on both the uphill and downhill sides of the slide. During the construction, Morgan Territory will be

closed to all access including pedestrians and horses. On a more positive note, residents say the slide has brought the neighborhood together in an unexpected way. Using social media and community bulletin boards at each end of the slide, neighbors check in on each other, share information, vent their frustrations, offer up humor and rides and help each other with shopping and errands.

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Page 4

Clayton Pioneer •

Garden tour, from page 1

Andres’ home, the backyard takes center stage. Since moving into their home in 2000, the yard has undergone a

A rock wall planted with more than 100 succulents makes a dramatic statement in the Veal’s backyard.

complete makeover, with Larry and Denise turning every shovel of dirt themselves. The tour of this home begins through a “secret garden” with an aviary, pond and fire pit. Fountains and plants border the back side of the pool and a barbeque kitchen sits under a large covered patio. Low maintenance and drought resistant were top priorities when Linda and John Perkins designed their front yard. Creative placement of shrubs and boulders along a dry creek leads to a water feature where a spire rock and metal meditating monk make a dramatic statement. The drama continues to the backyard where iron art decorates the retaining walls and fence. Two more Clayton homes

DeSaulnier right to skip the inauguration

Photo courtesy Fran and Rich Veal

Garden art and a meandering path from Denise Andres’ “secret garden” lead to brick patio beyond.

complete the self-guided Garden Tour which is the major fundraiser for the Clayton Historical Society. Proceeds are used for maintenance and upkeep of the

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831 Coachman Pl., Clayton

This custom California Ranch home in the highly desirable Diablo Downs equestrian development nestled at the base of Mt. Diablo, boasts 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, 2500+ sq ft. of living space and bonus art studio/office. Natural light streams through this home showcasing the exposed gray-washed plank and beam cathedral ceilings and hardwood and tile floors. The nearly one-acre homesite features expansive gardens highlighted on a recent Clayton Home and Garden Tour and offers the perfect setting for entertaining or quiet meditation surrounded by stunning Mt. Diablo views. Offered at $998,000

Pending Multiple Offers

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Sean Williams is a professor of ethnomusicology at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash. She is currently working on a Captain Grammar Pants book. Follow her regular postings on Facebook.

SAT. JUNE 17, 6-10 p.m.

« No Host Beer & Wine « Great Prizes

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P.O. Box 683, Clayton, 94517

Are you aware of the difference between i.e. and e.g.? You would do well to learn the two, and to understand how they differ. First, i.e. is from id est (“that is” or “in other words”). “Your writing needs to improve; i.e., it’s time to work on your grammar.” Second, e.g. is from exempli gratia (“for example”). “I like good students; e.g., those who pay attention.” Note: i.e. is for a clarifying sentence that means roughly the same thing, while e.g. is for possibilities among many. Use a period after each letter AND a comma (e.g.,) as well. Meanwhile, spring has begun in the Pacific Northwest; i.e., the weather is still cool but it’s beautiful outside.

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Clayton Valley Village is a 501(c)(3) organization.

I would like to thank the Clayton Pioneer for their sponsorship, every year, of the Clayton Cleans up program. What a fun event! Every year, we look forward to walking from Dana Hills to City Hall, and getting an orange bag and collecting trash. Although we are a pretty clean community, you will be surprised at the trash you see in the hidden nooks and crannies, when you walk. On that note I want to say how UGLY the U.S. Post Office building and grounds are.  Isn’t there something that we, as a community, can do to motivate the U.S. Postal Service to spruce up their building and grounds?  The weeds, if left untrimmed, will be 4 ft. high in no time.  There are spider webs in the windows, the building needs cleaning and painting.  Two major events in the next couple of weeks will be bringing visitors from all over the Bay Area. It should be important to the U.S. Post Office to be a part of the community and clean up their facility. Rory Richmond, Clayton

6995 Marsh Creek Road, Clayton

Find out more, come to the Launch Party or call (925) 626-0411

Post Office needs maintenance

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Membership benefits include • Transportation to appointments and grocery shopping • Volunteer handyman services for routine home maintenance • Computer and smart phone help • Phone check-ins and friendly visits • Guest speakers, group discussions, continuing education • Social activities that keep Village members connected with the community and minimize isolation

For more information go to

Clayton Museum. The Clayton Historical Society’s Gardens Tour is a wonderful opportunity for those seeking creative inspirations, design concepts and planting ideas to use in their own landscape or gardens. The tour is held rain or shine. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. You can purchase pre-sale tickets with cash or check at the Clayton Historical Museum, 6101 Main St., and R&M Nursery, 6780 Marsh Creek Road, during business hours. Go online to and pay by credit card using your PayPal account.

Many Clayton residents applauded and supported the decision by Representative Mark DeSaulnier to boycott President Trump’s January 20 inauguration. Congressman DeSaulnier, along with “more than 60 other Democrats” (BBC) followed his own ethics, which resulted in his decision to not attend. Per Mr. DeSaulnier, he “failed to see” President Elect Trump express, “a belief in common American decency”, or respect for the spirit, or the letter of the law. Per author Stephen Carter (1/20/17) “Boycotts Are an American Tradition”, not uncommon at all, and Congressman DeSaulnier did not set precedent by not attending. Further, a man that will not honor his own ethics and the ethics of his constituents has failed in his responsibilities to both himself and to those whom he represents. The peaceful (but NOT unprotested) transition instituted since 1797 is, in fact in progress. Congressman DeSaulnier is working peacefully and progressively, along with his constituents, in opposition to the current administration and to the benefit of the entire nation. Janet Johnson, Member Women’s March and Indivisible, Clayton

Captain Grammar Pants

Clayton Valley Village Opens May 1

Letters to the Editor

April 7, 2017

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April 7, 2017

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 5

13th Annual Native Gardens Carnations, Clicks and Cameras at April CBCA tour features Clayton yard Club News

KATHY KRAMER Special to the Pioneer

Nancy Niemeyer interspersed native plants and pieces of art when she remodeled her yard.

coes and floor mosaics from excavated Roman buildings. The photographs will also be on display during the tour. The award-winning, selfdrive Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour features 40 Contra Costa and Alameda county gardens. They are all pesticide-free, water conserving, provide habitat for wildlife and contain 60 percent or more native plants.

Forty talks will be offered on the weekend of the tour. Registrants can learn how to select and care for California native plants, lower water bills, design a low-maintenance garden, garden without pesticides and attract butterflies, birds and bees. Tours are free, but donations are requested. Preregistration at is required at

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not be used to issue traffic citations. The Clayton Police Department will use the cameras to aid in apprehending suspects after an incident has taken place. The annual Clayton Art & Wine Festival runs April 29 and 30. As always, volunteers are needed to help the event go off smoothly. To volunteer, go to

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Clayton resident Nancy Niemeyer knew the water-guzzling lawn on her large corner lot had to go. Now that it is has been replaced with natives plants, her water bill has dropped by 50 percent. Bees, ladybugs, butterflies, finches and quail can be spotted in the garden, and this creative and hardworking homeowner is delighted with the result. Niemeyer’s garden will be open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, May 7, on the 13th annual Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour. Niemeyer is passionate about both nature and archaeology. She intertwined these interests as she designed and installed a garden modeled on ancient Roman ones. She planted the rectangular courtyard in the front garden with a riot of colorful, waterconserving California native plants. She also included several art pieces, such as a captivating sculpture of a woman with flowing robes and wavy hair, a black-on-white geometric patterned mosaic that she designed and created, a splashing fountain and four pedestals that frame the garden beds and function as seats. Niemeyer installed the plants in the wide, densely planted beds in choreographed, semi-formal groups to create a sense of symmetry. This collector’s garden contains more than 150 varieties of native plants. As she designed the garden, Niemeyer drew inspiration from photographs of wall fres-

Upcoming events and gracious thank-yous were the focus of the March 30 meeting of the Clayton Business and Community Association at Oakhurst Country Club. Linda Karp, founder of Blossoms for Barbara, thanked the club for its support of “Blossoms,” which every Valentine’s Day distributes floral arrangements to shut-ins, mealson-wheels recipients, those in hospice care, and others. For the past six years, Karp said, the organization has delivered over 4,600 arrangements. Karp introduced Mats Wallin from Hospice for the East Bay and Elaine Clark from Meals on Wheels, who expressed appreciation on behalf of the hundreds whom they serve. On another floral note, Mount Diablo Elementary School is asking for help from the community to help secure a grant for their gardening project. Last year, CBCA funded the school’s program to give kids hands-on experience with growing plants and all the related lessons gardening can teach, including math, geometry, biology, and nutrition. To get the grant, the school must generate the most “clicks” on its web site. To help Mt. Diablo Elementary get its grant, go to and click on “Mt. Diablo Elementary School.” You may repeat your votes multiple times, as you would with All Star ballots. Bob Steiner reminded the club that Clayton Cleans Up is on for April 22. The morning event starts downtown and ends at 11:30 am with a free barbecue. Steiner related that the largest object ever gathered up was a

full-size porcelain bath tub. Mayor Jim Diaz reported that security cameras will be installed at each of the four entrances to Clayton to record license plate numbers. Diaz assured everyone that the cameras are for neighborhood security only. They will not be monitored daily, and will

Clayton Road

GARY CARR Special to the Pioneer

We accept most insurance plans

Homebuyers can learn how to negotiate a deal

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Clayton Pioneer •




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Q: My wife and I are homebuyers. What are some tips for negotiating? A: The most important thing is to keep your emotions from dictating your negotiating posture. The first thing is to get preapproved. Your offer won’t even be looked at if you aren’t. Once you are preapproved, you will know exactly what you can afford to pay for a home. Armed with this information, you can set a realistic upper price limit before the negotiations. Next, find out as much as you can about the seller’s situation. Has the seller already pur-

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Residents are busy enjoying the spring weather, so we are seeing more traffic and activities in the parks, streets, shopping centers, schools and trails. Be considerate of other people and property and remember to be vigilant in protecting your family and your valuables. The gazebo at our community park continues to be damaged by children who climb on it and treat it as a play structure. Every other week, city maintenance staff have to replace damaged boards. The gazebo is one of the



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Windows 10 is not perfect, but the people at the Redmond, Wash., campus keep trying. They released KB3216755, called a roll-up patch, to the technical community on Jan. 26. It will be available shortly to the public, so watch for this patch. If you have been having issues with Windows 10 lately, it could be pinned on the last Windows operating system




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main features at the park and is enjoyed by many. Please talk to your children about treating this property with more respect.

counter. Sometimes it might go back and forth several times. Plan to explore every possible option before letting the negotiation die. Good negotiators know when they have gained enough. You shouldn’t let a deal fall apart over petty issues. But you also shouldn’t spend more than you know you can realistically afford. Pick a Realtor who is known for their negotiation skills and follow their lead.

more spacious. Make needed household repairs. Thoroughly clean carpets, windows, closets and ovens. Clear debris from sidewalks, decks and driveways. Get a qualified HVAC specialist to certify that the furnace and air conditioning system is in good condition. Replace dated kitchen and bathroom hardware and fixtures. Remove heavy curtains that block light. Repaint rooms that look dull, using a neutral color such as light gray, cream or beige. Refinish Q: I am just starting the hardwood floors. Paint the process of putting my home front door and buy a new welon the market. Can you give come mat. me a quick list of things to Send your question and look for do? your answer in a future column. Email A: Box up knick-knacks, French is family mementoes and books the broker/owner of Windermere to create a neutral environ- Lynne French & Associates. Contact ment. Remove excess furni- her at 672-8787 or stop in at 6200 ture to make rooms seem Center St., Clayton.

There is a cost to the city each time a repair is required. The Police Department is working with Mt. Diablo Elementary School to provide a better and safer way to pick up and drop off students. The Police Department checked signage around the school, and city maintenance replaced several vehicular and pedestrian signs to help remind the community to walk and drive safely around the school. Lastly, there is concern about people walking and jogging in the street bike lanes. It is illegal for a pedestrian to walk

or run in a bicycle lane where there is an adequate pedestrian facility. Please use the sidewalk whenever possible. We are fortunate to have such a safe and wonderful city in which to live and work. But theft of property will start to increase as will traffic complaints this time of year, so please do your part to protect yourselves and your property.

called out in KB3213986 in which users may experience delays while running 3D rendering apps with multiple monitors. Addressed issue that prevents the conversion of a 24bit image to 32 bits. Addressed issue that causes a file download from a webpage to fail in Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge browsers. Addressed issue that prevents the use of the “Delete Browsing History” feature in Internet Explorer. Addressed issue that prevents users from connecting to a network. Addressed issue that prevents user-built keyboard events from working. Improved reliability of Internet Explorer, Xbox and Skype Virtual Machine Management Service (VMMS),

Remote Desktop, Task Scheduler, Microphone Wizard, .NET, font cache, system boot and Surface Studio.

Chris Wenzel is Chief of Police of Clayton. Send questions and comments to or call (925) 673-7350

Microsoft patch takes a step in the right direction

patch (release) – the anniversary update. Microsoft inadvertently introduced some bugs in this KB update, which was designed to correct errors made to the anniversary edition released six months ago. Huge software developers frequently do patch management. Microsoft has been one of the few companies to push the updates by downloading and installing them automatically, whether you want them or not. I am happy to report this practice will end; you must now manually approve the download and installation. Instead of Microsoft forcing you to install the updates, you can, once again, elect to update your software and determine when it installs. Here is a short list of the improvements and bug fixes released with KB3216755: • Addressed

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chased another property? Does the seller need a quick close? Is this a hot property with multiple buyers lining up to bid? Or has the listing been on the market for a long time with no offers? Answers to these questions will help you tailor your approach. It usually helps the negotiations if you can put yourself in the seller’s shoes. Try to understand what they are trying to accomplish. Then figure out ways in which you can accommodate them without compromising your own goals. Negotiation should involve give and take by both parties. The actual process is accomplished through the offer and counter offer. The things you are offering are the price you will pay and the terms of your purchase agreement. These are the things the seller might

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For a full list of upgrades, use the KB number in your web browser. The biggest issues I have seen are in PC connectivity with websites, local networks and servers whereby the user is unable to stay attached to the Internet or server. A message such as “Recover Web Page” is a warning that you have the bad software and need to upgrade it. PCs that are in a network often are unable to create a file folder on the server or edit that folder once it is made. So far, it looks as if this fix has helped. William Claney is an independent tech writer and former owner of Computers USA in the Clayton Station. Email questions or comments to

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Clayton Pioneer •

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

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Tamara Steiner Send ads to Send Sports News to Send Club News to Send School News to 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 resident in our home delivery area. Submit on our website and be sure to attach a JPG photo that is at least 3 MB but not bigger than 6MB. You can also mail or bring your print to the office and we can scan it for you. Also on the website are forms for calendar items, events & press releases. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Both Pioneer newspapers welcome letters from our readers. As a general rule, letters should be 175 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 name, address and daytime telephone number. We will not print anonymous letters. E-mail your letter to Letters must be submitted via E-mail. CIRCULATION

Total circulation of the Clayton Pioneer is 5,500 to ZIP code 94517, all delivered by US Mail to homes and businesses. We cannot start or stop free delivery to individual addresses. This must be done directly through the Post Office. The Concord Pioneer is delivered monthly to 30,500 in Concord by carrier. Papers are delivered once a month on a Friday morning near the end of the month. To stop delivery for any reason, call the office at (925) 672-0500 or send an email to If you are NOT receiving the Pioneer, please check the distribution map on the website. If you live in the shaded area and are not receiving the paper, please call us or send an email to If you are not in the shaded area, please be patient. We will come to your neighborhood soon.

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released and paid the fee, I asked about the guy next to me and they told me he had passed away,” Wenrich recalls. “They couldn’t treat him because he didn’t have the money. My bill for two days was $20. That just rocked me.” The airstrip is Wenrich’s latest project through Unified in Mission, which he founded in 2015 with Amanda Johnson. The two met at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. While studying to become an FBI agent, Wenrich began feeling “super uneasy” about where his life was headed. “I wanted to do something more – I wanted to serve people,” he says. He took a gap semester and traveled with 14 other 20- to 25-year-olds on a Christian mission to Uganda. “I loved how amazing the people were in the sense that they were so open and the joy they had was so pure,” he says. “It opened my eyes and opened my heart to the world.” During that first trip, he helped high school students with math and sports, visited nurseries, led fellowships and completed service projects such as building water tanks and wells. “Month 3, I called my family and told them I honestly felt from the Lord that this is where I needed to be,” Wenrich says. Unified in Mission raises funds through the Internet as well as through businesses and churches, including Clayton Community Church. Kristy Johnston has known Wenrich since she led his junior high youth group at the Clayton church. She is impressed with how much he has accomplished in just a few years in Uganda. “I think it’s amazing. I’ve watched him set goals and

achieve them far beyond what I ever imagined,” Johnston says. “He has favor wherever he goes. He’s very compassionate, strong and smart.” Unified in Mission recently finished building an “elephantproof ” school for 300 students. “The school used to get run over by elephants about once a year. Every time, they’d build it less structurally sound,” Wenrich says. The group has land gifted for an airstrip and has collected $8,000 of the $32,000 needed to build it. The group has access to three planes near the capital city of Kampala, as well as a source for medications. Wenrich, who changed his major to commercial/corporate aviation, will be the pilot. “We have contact people all the way through the southwest region,” Wenrich reports. “They know the places and they know the people.” At 25, Wenrich is preparing for an extended stay in Rukungiri, Uganda. “We don’t exclude ourselves from the community in any realm,” he notes. “If they go without water, we go without it. We make sure that we are one with them.” It’s a long path from his childhood in Clayton, where he loved being able to walk to all his friends’ houses, and his time at De La Salle High School, where he learned to become “a man of integrity.” “Their life is very simple, and they thrive in the simple,” he says of the Ugandans. “They’re not distracted by a lot of the things we are distracted by. They get it that we’re doing life together, and we’re on the same team.” For more information, visit

Mayor, from page 1


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Uganda, from page 1

After several public meetings, the City Council approved an agreement to purchase four camera systems for use by the Police Department. The two sets of cameras will be located at the city’s four entry and exit points. This new technological tool for local law enforcement will consist of Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs), plus “event” cameras used when follow-up criminal investigations are necessary after an incident. These cameras will not be monitored daily or by personnel and will not be used to issue traffic citations. The purpose of ALPRs, used increasingly by neighboring cities, is to assist the Police Department in detecting noted vehicles suspected in prior criminal activity and to further deter the criminal element from entering Clayton. The “event” cameras will assist the Police Department in its continuing efforts to keep the community safe from those with criminal or nefarious intent. As I noted in a previous column, the County Connection public transportation service board sent four board members to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) conference in Washington, D.C. Although I did not attend, the represented board members reported positive feedback regarding our innovative public transportation services. The County Connection trial of the electric trolley service in Walnut Creek was highlighted and recognized by receiving additional grants to fund four new electric buses. The new electric buses will be deployed throughout Contra Costa County to make further use of fuel-efficient public

transportation vehicles. As a reminder for commuters using Concord BART, the improvements to the plaza at the Concord BART Station forced the temporarily closure of some fee parking spaces and the relocation of some permit spaces. As noted before, this effort is being implemented in two phases. BART has posted signs regarding the removing and relocating of spaces. Phase I (March-October) will require closing about 115 parking spaces in the fee lot north of the station, near Park and Grant streets. This will require the relocation of the carpool permit spaces. Follow the posted signs for the new carpool permit spaces, which will be south of the station in the lot nearest Oakland Street. This will be the new permanent carpool parking location. Phase II (November 2017February 2018) will require the relocation of about 57 permit (reserved) parking spaces from the current lot, between Prospect and Atlantic street, to a nearby fee lot between Prospect and Laguna streets. There will be no loss of permit spaces. The relocated spaces will remain permit parking after construction, which will add 50+ new permit spaces. BART notes that the plaza improvements will result in better lighting, easier access to the BART station and improved overall appearance. Once again, beautification and good exercise merge with Clayton Cleans Up, held 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, April 22. Please meet at the City Hall courtyard. Our thanks to the Clayton Pioneer for its annual sponsorship of this worthwhile civic event. Send comments to the mayor at

Page 7

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Do the Right Thing

Sports NCS berths beckon for spring sports teams Page 8

Clayton Pioneer •

JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Chris Snyder photo courtesy CVCHS baseball

Righthander Matt Freeman won his first four starts of the season for Clayton Valley Charter as the Ugly Eagles bounced out to a perfect 10-0 record. His junior batterymate Doug Bermudez has been one of the team’s top hitters with a .467 average over those 10 games, including four doubles and a home run.

Diablo and East Bay athletic league spring sports schedules are underway (or soon will be) with North Coast Section spots beckoning for teams and athletes. Baseball- The league season begins Tuesday, April 18, with Clayton Valley Charter and Northgate in a highlycompetitive DAL Foothill Division with Acalanes, Alhambra, Campolindo and College Park. Perennial NCS participant CVCHS was eliminated in the quarterfinals last spring. The Ugly Eagles have jumped out this season with 10 straight wins. Seniors Matt Freeman and James Biles have each won four games as the Eagles have five shutouts with nine of the 10 opponents scoring zero or one run. Catcher Doug Bermudez, Billy Ralston, Justin Roper and Kevin Snyder have led a hot hitting CVCHS attack. College Park has had the most recent success at NCS including the 2015 championship and a semi-final showing last year. Northgate was a Division II finalist at NCS while Acalanes is defending DIII champ. The DAL schedule calls for home and away league games with

Two CVCHS girls wrestlers reach podium at North Coast Section championships Clayton Valley Charter High sent five wrestlers to the North Coast Section Girls Wrestling Championships and the Eagles came away with two podium finishers. Melissa Cark placed seventh in the 137pound bracket and Alexis Vlavianos was eighth at 143. The CVCHS contingent at NCS included, from left, coach Mykel-Lynn Aparicio, Mariella More, Vlavianos, Aubrey Navarro, ThaoTien Nguyen, Cark and coach Sierra Slight. The team finished with 32 points, second to Alhambra among Diablo Athletic League schools and ahead of six other DAL teams at NCS.

Photo courtesy Clayton Valley Charter High School wrestling

April 7, 2017

each school ending May 18. The NCS playoffs begin May 23-24 with the finals June 2-3. De La Salle won Section last year and the Spartans have taken three of the last five NCS crowns. DLS was ranked as one of the top 20 teams in America earlier this season before the Spartans lost three straight, including their EBAL opener to Monte Vista. Boys Golf- The DAL tournament is May 1 at Diablo Creek Golf Course in Concord. The NCS Division I qualifier and DII championships are May 8 and the DI championship is May 15, one week before the NorCal championships. Lacrosse- The DAL has a single division in both boys and girls lacrosse. Eight schools, including Clayton Valley Charter and Northgate, are fielding teams in each league while Ygnacio Valley is the ninth girls teams. Clayton Valley Charter boys were 5-3 in their first eight league games and 9-3 overall. The girls squad beat Ygnacio Valley 9-6 for their first win of the season. The busy 18-game girls league schedule continues until May 5. The boys are on the same schedule but each team gets four byes in the TuesdayFriday schedule. NCS girls tournament starts May 10 and the boys a day later. Swimming & DivingCVCHS swimming performed well at the competitive De La Salle Invitational last month. The girls team finished fifth and the boys seventh at DLS, which gave Clayton Valley Charter the fourth overall team finish. Northgate girls were first and boys third for second overall to San Ramon Valley. DLS were second in the boys and Carondelet third among the girls teams. The final DAL league dual meets are April 18-19. The DAL championships are May 4-6 at Soda Aquatic Center at Campolindo High in Moraga. Concord Community Pool will again host NCS May 11-13 and the third CIF State meet is at the Clovis Swimming Complex in Clovis May 19-20. Softball- Clayton Valley was 8-3 in its first 11 nonleague games with DAL softball Foothill Division double round-robin schedule running from April 18 to May 18.

Photo courtesy CVCHS swimming

Sophomore Anthony Vizental placed third in the 100 breaststroke, fifth in the 200 individual medley and 10th in the 100 butterfly at the recent De La Salle Invitational swim meet as the Eagle boys were seventh in the team standings.

Alhambra has become a softball powerhouse while winning three consecutive Division II Section playoffs, prompting the Bulldogs to be reclassified to DI this season. The five Foothill Division opponents for Alhambra are all former DVAL teams. Concord High won three NCS titles between 2010 and 2013. NCS playoffs begin May 23-24 with the finals June 2-3. Boys Tennis- Matches for the nine-school DAL schedule continue until April 20. The DAL championships are April 27-29. The Section team championships May 9-11-13 and the singles and doubles tournament May 5-6 at James Logan High in Union City. Track & Field- The track and field schedule is underway with the dual meets for each Foothill Division team spread out through April 26. The league meet at Campolindo in Moraga features trials on May 6 and finals May 13. The Tri-Valley NCS Championships are May 20 in Pleasanton at Foothill High, the NCS Meet of Champions is May 2627 at Cal Berkeley and the State Meet June 2-3 in Clovis at Buchanan High. Boys Volleyball- CVCHS lost its first two Valley Division matches with the doubleround robin league schedule running through May 4. NCS playoffs culminate May 20. NorCal championships are May 23-27.

Poppy Jasper Cup titles for MDSA soccer teams

Two MDSA teams won rematches in championship games of the Poppy Jasper Cup last month to claim titles at the soccer tournament in Morgan Hill. The MDSA U10 boys Strikers FC took home a well-deserved championship in the U10 competitive division while the U12 MDSA Fireballs girls also ended the weekend in first place. Strikers FC claimed their first championship by outscoring Milpitas 4-1 in the finals, reversing an earlier loss to the same team. The U10 boys had earlier finished as runners-up at the San Jose Presidents Cup. Strikers FC includes, front row from left, Isaac Escobar, Kai Parker, Andres Watts, Colin Farley, Bobby Burtch, Samuel Rubalcava; back row, coach Jorge Cordova, Javier Cordova, Aidan Zingmark, Cooper Theunissen, Isaac Espinoza, Marco Tredinnick and coach Brian Tredinnick.

Photos courtesy MDSA

MDSA Fireballs tied Newark 05 Elite 1-1 during preliminary rounds of the Poppy Jasper U12 girls bracket. The teams then met again in the championship game and this time the Fireballs scored late in the second half to break another 1-1 tie and held on for a 2-1 title game win. The team includes, front row from left, Abby Schauman, Megan Ross; middle row, Mia Grover, Brooke Rickenbacher, Cicily Schultz, Isabelle Ruff, Ashlynn Evans, Zoe Lahanas; back row, coach K.C. Ross, Gabby Vela, Julia Ognian, Marina Ognian, Ellie Aragon, Lena King, Emma Stranko and coach Jill Grover.


April 7, 2017

Clayton Pioneer •

Athlete Spotlight

Haley Darr Grade: Senior School: CVCHS

Sports: Swimming, Water Polo

Haley Darr has been swimming for the past 13 years, whether it was on her Ygnacio Wood summer rec team or over the past four years with CVCHS, and she won’t be stopping anytime soon. She has been on the Eagles varsity swim team specializing in her best and favorite stroke: breaststroke. Increasing her time in the pool she began playing water polo as a sophomore and proved to be a quick learner, moving up from JV to varsity during her junior season. Darr plays the holeD position, defending the hole set directly in front of the goal, as well as a driver/utility on offense. Growing up

she participated in multiple sports but decided to swim in high school because it is such a large part of her life. Darr enjoys being an athlete as it keeps her healthy and in good shape. She is also very competitive and feels proud to represent CVCHS. Darr enjoys the pressure to win for her school, saying “the pressure is exciting and helps fuel my love for each sport and the games/meets ahead.” Her final season on the CVCHS water polo team was the most successful, ending with the team winning a league title for the first time in 17 years. Darr was awarded team defensive MVP

and made first team all-league as well as all-East Bay. “Coaching is made easy when you have a student athlete like Haley who is very dedicated, passionate and happy to be playing her sport. She is always striving to be the best that she can while pushing her teammates to do the same,” says CVCHS girls water polo coach Kelsey Carrigan. Darr is also very involved in the Clayton Arts Academy, specializing in drama. She says juggling her athletics and academics have taught her many valuable lessons that she will use throughout her life. Darr plans to attend Diablo Valley College in the fall and continue to play water polo and swim and then transfer to a division one college to continue playing water polo. CVCHS student journalist Sydney Skow wrote this Spotlight.

The Clayton Pioneer congratulates Haley and thanks Athlete Spotlight sponsors Dr. Laura Lacey & Dr. Christopher Ruzicka who have been serving the Clayton and Concord area for 25 years at Family Vision Care Optometry. Do you know a young athlete who should be recognized? Perhaps he or she has shown exceptional sportsmanship, remarkable improvement or great heart for the sport. Send your nomination for the Pioneer Athlete Spotlight today to

Page 9

Clayton Valley Little League opening ceremonies moved indoors for 49 teams

Jenn Ingersol photo courtesy Clayton Valley Little League

Inclement weather forced the recent Clayton Valley Little League opening ceremonies indoors to Clayton Valley Charter High School’s Dan Della Gym. The 49 teams and over 700 players in CVLL this spring enjoyed an inspirational talk by legendary local high school basketball coach Frank Allocco and officials and players from the Pittsburg Diamonds professional baseball team. All smiles with the start of the season drawing near for the 54th CVLL season were, from left, Minor A players Jack Lininger, Tanner Lustig, Wyatt Curran and Blake Ingersol.

Former CV wrestler Lakin national collegiate champion JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Photo by Brian Byllesby courtesy Menlo College Athletics

Troy Lakin completed his heralded high school wrestling career at Clayton Valley High by finishing fifth at the 2012 CIF State finals. That gave the former Eagle a chance to wrestle at Menlo College and last month he finished his collegiate career with the NAIA national championship in Kansas at 125 pounds.

Busy Terrapins place 3rd at Central Section Championships in Iowa City

Troy Lakin made it to North Coast Section at 103 pounds for four consecutive years and capped his time as a Clayton Valley High wrestler with a fifth-place finish at the 2012 CIF State finals. None of that matches his accomplishment last month when the Menlo College senior was crowned 125-pound NAIA national champion in Topeka, Kansas. Lakin went into the NAIA Nationals seeded third. His performance at NAIA was termed “absolutely dominating” as he had to defeat the No. 1 and 2 seeds on the final day to claim his championship. In his semi-final the Concord wrestler met West

Region champ Matthew Nguyen of Eastern Oregon. Nguyen held two wins this season over Lakin but the Menlo wrestler won 8-6 in overtime to gain his berth in the finals. In the finale he was matched with top seed Adrian Camposano of Campbellsville, KY. Lakin dominated the match from the start for a 15-6 major decision. Lakin finished the season 326. He’s the seventh national wrestling champ for Menlo and the first since 2008 for the Atherton college. Lakin was competing in his fourth NAIA Nationals. He was third as a junior. He was top three in the NAIA Western Region meet all four years, including a 2016 championship. At Clayton Valley Lakin

made it to NCS all four years at 103 pounds. When Lakin was a freshman, De La Salle’s Vinny Moita won NCS at the lowest weight class. The following year his brother Joe Moita was NCS champ. Lakin was third in his junior year at CV, losing his semi-final match in overtime. Then as a senior Lakin won the 2012 Section title with three pins and two major decisions helping coach Kyle Behmlander’s team to 10th place. Lakin’s NCS title was the third in four years for local wrestlers at 103. At 2012 State, his two losses were to the secondand third-place wrestlers as he finished in fifth place. After the State Meet he went to senior nationals in Virginia and placed fourth.

Clayton Valley Charter frosh baseball rally for incredible tournament title

JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Terrapins Swim Team placed third overall at the recent Central Section Championships at the University of Iowa in Iowa City finishing behind Fort Collins Swim Team of Colorado and Edina Swim Club from Minnesota. The local Terrapins men’s team was led by Alexei Sancov of Northgate High, who won five events. Sancov won his five events swimming unrested and unshaved. He won the 50 freestyle (20.29), 100 free (43.57), 200 free (1:35.60), 500 free (4:24.88) and 100 butterfly (48.31), His 100, 200 and 500 free times were all Central Section meet records. He also combined with Nate Barsanti, Tyler James and Andrew Rodriguez to break the 800 free relay Central Section record. Other top 8 finals swims were by Nate Barsanti, Tyler James, Andrew Rodriguez and Skyler Liu. The meet concluded with an exciting wire-to-wire race in the men’s 400 free relay event between Fort Collins and Ter-

Photo courtesy Terrapins Swim Team

Terrapins Swim Team sent its senior swimmers to the Central Section Championships at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, finishing third in the team standings. The men’s team was led by Alexei Sancov of Northgate High, who won five events.

rapins. The Terrapin men edged out the win with a fast 3:02.80 swim, anchored by Rodriguez. Overall, the Terrapins posted 48 new lifetime best swims, highlighted by Jessica Larson, Connor Seip, Will Nagle, Stephie Backlund, Anthony Vizental, Adrian Dulay, Charlotte Meier, Maya Price, Remy Gordillo, Rylee Gordillo, Adonis Thomas and Delanie Gearing. The club also hosted the recent Pacific 14 & under short course Spring Junior Olympic

Championships at Concord Community Pool earlier. Among the top Terrapin performers were: 10-unders: Lily Streumpf (high point), Nikki Kannan, Davidka Skov. 11-12: Amelia Bodenstab, Diana Chan,Sofie Curran, Angeline Masongsong, Sophia Pedersoli, AJ Fong, Asim Sami, Lawrence Thomas. 13-14: Maile Andresen, Abby Dulski, Sophia Miller, Devin Masongsong, Zack Chau, Damien Donado.

Photo courtesy Clayton Valley Charter High School baseball

Clayton Valley Charter High School’s baseball program has a long and distinguished history yet during the nearly 60 years of Ugly Eagles baseball it’s doubtful any of their teams ever pulled off what coach Chris Snyder’s freshman team did in the championship game of the recent Freedom High Easter Tournament in Oakley. The young CVCHS squad was in the finals against Granada of Livermore and went into the seventh and last inning of the finale trailing 9-1. Then the local team exploded for 13 consecutive hits, scoring 11 runs and winning the championship game 12-9. Tournament MVP Chase Graves hit .667 with five runs and four RBI for the undefeated Eagles. Eddie Curley was the game MVP with two doubles, three RBI and pitched two key innings. The champion CVCHS frosh are, front row from left, Jason Drollinger, Joey Wheeler, Ryan Watada, Jose Ruiz, Xavier Nelson, Aiden Reinwald, Jack Saylor; back row, Graves, Jacob Guardiancic, Jayson Downs, Curley, Logan Taylor, Mason Covalt, Pedro Alday, Joey Soberon and coach Snyder. All three Clayton Valley Charter baseball teams are off to hot starts in preparation for the inaugural Diablo Athletic League season that begins April 18.

Page 10

Clayton Pioneer •

Even in an odd year, the Giants will try to make It count April has arrived. With that, so has baseball. The Giants are coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Chicago Cubs in the National League Division Series last fall yet their hopes are high to make their first back-to-back playoff appearances since the Barry Bonds era. As for the A’s, the playoffs aren’t necessarily their goal; they are just trying to improve on the 2016 last-place finish of 69-93. Oakland doesn’t have the talent required to compete at the highest level. Nevertheless, Billy Beane always has tricks up his sleeve. It is impossible to predict who this year’s breakout star will be (last year it was Ryon Healy, a few years ago Sonny Gray). That new breakout star could become the centerpiece of the A’s in the future or a trading chip that gives Oakland top level prospects. Even if the A’s have another down year, at least they are not moving to Las Vegas. San Francisco did not lose any key batters except for outfielder Angel Pagan. Furthermore, he didn’t contribute a whole lot last year and his spot on the roster should be easily filled. Looking at the pitchers, the Giants did lose some key contributors. Javier Lopez retired and Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla to the rival Dodgers and Athletics, respectively. The departure of those three relief pitchers is compounded by losing recently acquired Will Smith to a season-ending elbow injury. To make up for a deficiency in the bullpen, the Giants signed three-time all-star closer Mark Melancon to a four-

April 7, 2017


De La Salle, Carondelet basketball teams fall short of finals at NorCal


year deal. He should be able to help stabilize the biggest weakness on this team last year- relief pitching. With Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, Joe Panik and Eduardo Nunez all between the ages of 26 and 30, the Giants’ star-studded infield is primed to improve once again. When you throw in the always fun to watch Hunter Pence and reliable veteran Denard Span, it is hard to find a problem with the Giants’ starting lineup. With all this talk about the outstnading players who will wear black and orange this year, we haven’t even mentioned the Giants’ best player: Madison Bumgarner. MadBum is only 27 and he keeps improving every year. If it wasn’t for Clayton Kershaw, he would probably be the overwhelming favorite to win the Cy Young Award as the best pitcher in the National League. Bumgarner is backed by two more all-stars and a young up and comer in the Giants’ rotation. Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija and Matt Moore are all more than reliable starters. They will combine with Bumgarner and the winner of a fifth starter battle between Matt Cain and Ty Blach to form one of the most formidable starting fives in baseball. Whether you’re listening on the radio to Jon Miller and Dave Fleming or Ken Korach and Vince Cotroneo, or you’re watching TV with the voice of a Kuiper brother in the background, turn on a game, take it in and enjoy. Baseball is back.

Carondelet and De La Salle were once again atop the North Coast Section basketball summit but each fell in the Northern California tournament ending their seasons short of making it to the State championship game. Carondelet won its 12th Section championship since 2003 but what set this apart from previous Cougar titles is the fact it was the first Carondelet Division I championship. The Cougars were then second seed in the NorCal Open

Division Championships but were shocked by Cardinal Newman, the Division IV NCS champs, in the opening round of the NorCal playoffs in Concord. The Cougars finished 285 with their only losses to California teams before the Newman upset to NorCal Open Division champion Archbishop Mitty and SouCal Open winner Clovis West, the eventual State finals opponents where Clovis stunned Mitty for the title. The Cougars finished fourth in the Bay Area final Top

Sports Shorts


20 poll this season and ran their East Bay Athletic League unbeaten streak to 66 games. They have lost one league game since 2008-2009 with seven undefeated seasons in eight years. De La Salle (28-6) under its third head coach, Gus Argenal, in three years won its 12th NCS championship. The Spartans were undefeated in EBAL games while being ranked near the top in the Bay Area most of the season. Defending Northern Cali-

fornia champion DLS was fourth seed in the NorCal Open Division and beat Salesian of Richmond 36-31 in the tournament opener. Top seed Woodcreek then edged the Spartans 51-46 in the Regional semi-finals. Woodcreek beat Sac-Joaquin Section rival Sheldon of Sacramento to reach the State Open Division championship game, where they lost to Bishop Montgomery of Torrance. The Spartans were third in the final Top 20 Bay Area poll.

for swimmer registration is May 12. For more info visit


Forest Park Swim Team coach Jeff Mellinger announced that summer rec season practice begins this Monday, April 10, for The fifth annual CVCHS Hot Stove Dinner is Friday, April ages 3-18. Contact coach Mellinger at 21. Honorees are members of the 1960 Clayton Valley baseball for details or visit to sign up for the team of head coach Vic Petreshene which we be inducted into team. the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in May. Current baseball coach Casey Coakley says the evening’s festivities celebrate the CONCORD COBRAS FOOTBALL SIGNUPS National Pastime for baseball fans, Clayton Valley alumni and NOW TAKEN ONLINE current CVCHS. Door prizes, raffles and steak dinner benefit Concord Cobras tackle football program is taking signups for CVCHS Baseball and its scholarship fund. The event is from 6- its fall season online. The football program is open for youth five 9 p.m. at Shadelands Civic Arts Center, 111 N. Wiget Ln. at to 14 years of age. For more information email concordyouthYgnacio Valley Rd. in Walnut Creek. For more information and or visit to buy tickets at $50 each email coach Coakley at OAKHURST ORCAS SET MEET AND GREET


Kids 4-18 can sign up now online for the Ygnacio Wood Swim Team. YWST’s summer recreational swim team balances swimming education, technique and training with good-old fashioned summer fun. The season begins with spring practices this Monday, April 10. Ygnacio Wood is located at 3124 San Gabriel Dr. in Concord. Visit for more information or email



Head coach Jasmine Castillo has announced that the Orcas are accepting mail or drop off registrations for the summer rec swim team season now at Oakhurst Country Club. Meet and greet registration at the pool is on Thursday, April 20, from 6:308 p.m. Visit for more information and registration forms. Spring practice begins Monday, April 24.


Clayton Valley Jr. Eagles early bird registration for football FORMER DE LA SALLE FOOTBALL TEAMMATES and cheer ends next Saturday, April 15. The football program is REUNITE AT UCLA open to players 7-14 years of age. Cheer programs begin for Tight end Devin Asiasi has transferred from Michigan to five-year-olds through 14. Visit for more info. UCLA where he is reuniting with De La Salle teammate Boss Tagaloa. The pair were among the highest rated recruits in the VISTA DIABLO DOLPHINS SWIM TEAM Class of 2016 after helping the Spartans to two consecutive State TAKING ONLINE REGISTRATION championships. Asiasi and Tagaloa announced their college deciVista Diablo Dolphins is taking online registration for the sions live on ESPN. As a 6-3, 287-pound true freshman last fall, summer season for boys and girls ages 3-18. Get more info at Asiasi played in all 13 Michigan games. He caught two passes for Email any comments or ques- 18 yards and a touchdown for coach Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines. or email tions to He will have to sit out the 2017 season and then will have three SPRINGWOOD SUMMER TEAM SIGNUPS TAKEN ONLINE years of eligibility. As a DLS senior Asiasi was rated as the No. Signups for the summer recreation Springwood team are 3 tight end in the country and the No. 12 player at any position being accepted online. The team begins practice on Monday, in the state of California. April 24. For more info email Jen Mucha at or Kristi Buchholz at RegistraCONCORD CUP XXIV SOCCER ACCEPTING TEAM, tion info can be found under the “News” tab at springREFEREE REGISTRATION The area’s largest annual youth soccer tournament, Concord Cup, returns for its 24th season at a variety of local parks May REGISTRATION OPEN FOR 20-21. Boys and girls club and recreation teams from under 9 A LL OUT SPORTS LEAGUES PROGRAMS Everything from home repair & through U19 are eligible to participate. Diablo FC, Mt. Diablo Spring leagues for adult softball and co-ed adult volleyball maintenance to construction Soccer and Concord AYSO co-sponsor the tournament. Visit offered by All Out Sports Leagues in Clayton are taking for complete information and to register a tion now online. The summer youth basketball league is also Specializin g in deferred m team or referee to participate. open for signups. For complete information on All Out Sports ainten • EXTERIOR: painting, windows, home for sa ance, prepping programs, visit le, repairs doors, decks, from CLAYTON VALLEY ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME hom outdoor structures.

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The 2017 class for the Clayton Valley High School Hall of Fame includes five Eagles teams and event organizers are reaching out to locate members of those teams. The honorees will be inducted Friday, May 19, at Shadelands Art Center in Walnut Creek. The teams are 1960 baseball of head coach Vic Petreshene, 1972 wrestling of coaches Glen Scrimger and Bill Nelson, 1978 softball and coach Larry Fogelstrom and 1994 girls water polo (coach Dave Boland) and 1994 girls swimming (coach Tom Sparks). Players on those teams should send a note with their contact info to address below. Dinner tickets are available through CVCHS website at or send a check ($50 adults, $25 kids 12 and younger) to CVHS Hall of Fame, PO Box 502, Clayton, CA 94517.


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Concord AYSO where “Everyone Plays” is hosting open registration for its fall soccer season on Thursday, April 20, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 13, from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. all at Concord Bible Church, 4975 Concord Blvd., Concord. Fees for fall season (Aug. 1-Nov. 5) are $175. Register by May 13 for a $50 discount. Visit for more info.


The Terrapins Swim Team is offering spring stroke and turn clinics by coach Dan Cottam at their Concord facility for summer recreation swimmers ages 7-18 who want to get a jump on the summer season on Sundays through April. The Terrapins Orange and Blue Groups spring session runs through May 26. The nationally-ranked Terrapins are also taking signups for swimmers ages six and above of all levels for their year-round swim team. For information visit


Concord’s Summer Kickoff Tournament Saturday, May 6, is open to all levels of pickleball play. Players will play round-robin style with a different partner for each game and have a six-game guarantee (play to 15 win by one). Lunch and shirts will be given to all registered participants. Balls will be provided. To register go to and use registration number 104539. Players can also go to Willow Pass Community Center, 2748 E. Olivera Rd. in Concord. Registration deadline is April 21. For more info email or call 671-3423.


Ygnacio Valley High School is holding its fifth annual Hall of Fame induction dinner on May 20 at Contra Costa Country Club in Walnut Creek. The school’s Hall of Fame committee will be inducting six individuals and two teams including coach Jim Carter (water polo), Rolin Luka (football, track and field 1968), Dan Hartwig (football, basketball ’75), Danielle Spier (softball, volleyball, basketball ’84), Kelly McCabe (basketball, swimming, water polo, track and field ’03), Mike Sullivan (football, basketDANA HILLS OTTERS PRACTICE BEGINS, ball, baseball ’70), 1981 girls volleyball team and 1968 boys cross SIGNUPS CLOSING MAY 12 country team. Social gathering is at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:45. Dana Hills Swim Team, 24-time Concord City champions, For more information on dinner tickets contact Debbie Carlin are accepting registration from new and returning families by phone at 518-8455 or email online. Practice begins this Monday, April 10, and the final day

April 7, 2017

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 11

Several factors lead to tomorrow’s weather forecast A few weeks ago, a friend was showing me the weather app he uses on his smartphone. After the demonstration, he asked exactly how I forecast the weather. My initial reply was that I couldn’t answer such a broad question in a short amount of time. There are many weather variables to forecast, including temperature, wind speed, wind direction and precipitation. Also, every season presents a different set of forecast issues. My friend then asked how I would forecast tomorrow’s maximum temperature for Clayton. “That,” I said, “is called a point forecast, something I can explain over a cup of coffee.”


Meteorologists rely on observations, forecast model output and their experience as the primary tools for making forecasts. Point forecasts are almost always derived using a combination of these tools. Model outputs include

gridded forecasts of atmospheric parameters in future timeframes, ranging from a few hours to several days in advance. It is critically important to analyze the most recent observations and model outputs when making a forecast. For this forecast scenario, let’s assume its summer and we’re in the middle of a heat wave. Today’s high will be 100 degrees, and it’s the third day in a row with afternoon temperatures near the century mark in Clayton. Will tomorrow’s maximum temperature be warmer, cooler or stay the same? My experience analyzing historical Bay Area heat waves tells me that three days is a typical length for heat wave dura-

tion. My initial instincts lean toward predicting a cooling trend for tomorrow. To confirm my bias, I evaluate the latest forecast model output for tomorrow. I need to answer two key questions. Will the upper level high pressure ridge that has been parked over the West Coast weaken? And will surface pressure patterns favor a strengthening sea breeze? There are several forecast models to use, and the decision-making process is easier if all models are in agreement that a cool off is in the cards. For this forecast, let’s assume there is model agreement that the ridge will gradually weaken over the next 24 hours. Simi-

Nervous dogs may need to learn trust

larly, there is concurrence that on-shore pressure gradients will increase slightly, directing the cooler marine air inland. Based on my experience and the forecast model output, I’d forecast tomorrow to be cooler than today in Clayton. The next forecast challenge is how much cooling to expect. That would take another cup of coffee to explain. As we were about to leave, my friend asked what weather apps I use. “None,” I replied. “If I want a forecast, I go directly to the National Weath-

er Service website and click on their map.” The NWS forecasts always employ the most recent model information, and a meteorologist experienced in local weather patterns has prepared the product. The NWS western region website is Woody Whitlatch is a meteorologist retired from PG&E. Email your questions or comments to





Sometimes, the dog you meet at the shelter is not the same dog you see weeks or even months later. Maybe you were drawn to

over time, depending on their environment. The first few weeks are “the honeymoon period,” when the dog settles into his new home and everyone gets used to each other. One of the first things you probably loved about your new dog is that he seemed to bond to you immediately. The need to bond is very strong within dogs. They require a family, or pack, to survive. Even dogs who are not well-socialized will bond strongly to one or two people. Once that bond has formed, the dog might feel a certain sense of security. Many

Meet ARF stars Dusty & Gracie



Three-year-old Dusty is an active girl who would love to be with an equally active family. She would love to go hiking, to the park, on car rides and be with a family who loves fun. Take Dusty home for instant comic relief! The adoption fee for dogs is $250 and includes a discount on the first six-week session of a manners class. One-and-a-half-year-old

Gracie is pretty girl with a cute round face. She has a congenial personality and enjoys being petted and having her neck scratched. She thinks it’s great fun to chase around a wand toy during interactive play with her people. The adoption fee for a cat is $75. Meet your forever friend at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek, during

adoption hours: Noon to 6 pm Wednesday & Thursday, Noon to 7 pm Friday, and Noon to 6 pm Saturday & Sunday. Would you like to be part of the heroic team that saves the lives of rescued dogs and cats? Can you share your talents to connect people and animals? ARF volunteers are making a difference! For more information see our website,, or call (925) 2561ARF.

dogs believe that their new human will protect them when they sense danger. They are also likely to have a bond with their home environment, which they see as their territory. If that is “invaded,” the dog will likely be suspicious. The friendly dog you met is now a suspicious dog, wary of strangers and defensive of his territory. But all is not lost. There are many things you can do to help your new companion. Most require a lot of time and patience because you will be trying to build trust. Unlike bonding, trust is earned and cannot be rushed. First, make sure that you are as reliable and predictable as possible. Set house rules so your dog knows what is expected from him. Feeding times, rest times and play times are all important as well as where these things take place. It’s important that all of his experiences are calm, controlled and friendly. If your dog has shown a tendency to be shy with new people, have all new people behave aloof and even ignore him. Tossing treats is a good idea. If the dog approaches, try petting for a couple of seconds. Prolonged petting may produce a fear response. Continue this pattern for weeks or even months, depending on how quickly your dog shows relaxation. Patience is key. As your dog learns that you are trustworthy, he will be able to cope with experiences that previously scared him. He will look to you for guidance, and that’s truly what your role is when parenting a dog.

Services will be FREE to members and will include

cessfully “Helping seniors live suc in their own homes.”

• Transportation to appointments and grocery shopping • Handyman services for routine home maintenance • Computer/smartphone help

Opening May 1, 2017 to serve seniors in Clayton & South Concord

We are now looking for Volunteers

who want to help Seniors in our community by driving them to the doctor, changing light bulbs, explaining what an “app” is. You do NOT have to be a Member to be a Volunteer!

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this dog at the shelter and now you have him home. He is wonderful, with just a few small exceptions. For example, he leans into you and snuggles when you pet him – but other people aren’t getting the same response. Sometimes he pulls away or won’t come close to them and may occasionally growl. If he is lying on his bed, he may freeze when people try to pet him. Sometimes he stares at them suspiciously. This may worry you, but it is actually not unusual. Much like humans, dogs don’t display their entire personality upon the first meeting. They change

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Page 12

Clayton Pioneer •

Female cast offers new take on ‘Glengarry’

Performing Arts



Turning playwright David Mamet upside down, B8 Theatre Company presents “Glengarry Glen Ross” with an all-female cast. According to director Kerry Gudjohnsen, Mamet prohibits theater companies from changing the aggressive real estate salesmen into women but there is no provision against women playing the male roles.

“I’ve always envied male roles,” says Gudjohnsen. “They tend to be more proactive as characters and often the drivers of a play’s actions. Women rarely get the chance to play these kinds of complex characters. When Butterfield 8 became B8 Theatre, the company was looking for brave projects that ensemble members felt strongly about, and an all-female ‘Glengarry’ was a great fit.” Sounds like this latest offering fits right into the company’s mantra: “Be Curious; Be Brave; B8!” Winner of the 1984 Pulitzer Prize, “Glengarry Glen Ross” follows two highoctane days in the lives of four Chicago real estate agents.

Desperate to keep their jobs, the agents will do any number of unethical, illegal acts to sell undesirable real estate to unwitting buyers. It’s a tense, often upsetting play that shows the underside of a life in sales. But given Mamet’s flair for language and crafting well-honed characters, it’s played to critical acclaim around the world and was made into a 1992 film starring Jack Lemmon, Kevin Spacey, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, Al Pacino and Alec Baldwin. B8’s production features Miia Ashley, Elinor Bell, Marie Bouquet-Hay, Beth Chastain, JanLee Marshall, Jennifer Peabody and Maureen-Theresa Williams. The show runs April 6-22 at 2292 Concord Blvd., Concord. Call 925-890-8877 or go to

Role Players Ensemble will present Charles Morey’s “Laughing Stock” with a few fun additions. Artistic director Eric Fraisher Hayes will not only co-direct with Cynthia Lagodzinski, but he will also be in the show. I can’t remember

Fifth Anniversary Concert Sunday April 23 at 4pm

St. Perpetua 3454 Hamlin Road, Lafayette

Saturday April 29 at 7pm

Clayton Valley Presbyterian 1578 Kirker Pass Road, Clayton

Sunday April 30 at 6pm

April 7, 2017

Peace Lutheran 3201 Camino Tassajara, Danville

Brahms, Faure, Cherubini, Verdi, Offenbach, Mascagni, Garrop, Whitacre, Ticheli, and much more

Sally Hogarty

JanLee Marshall endures a lecture from Miia Ashley in B8 Theatre’s all-female production of “Glengarry Glenn Ross.” Marshall portrays George Aaronow and Ashley is office manager John Williamson.

seeing Hayes perform on stage before – unless you count his pre-show curtain speeches, which can be pretty entertaining. Fittingly, Hayes plays the director of a summer stock theater desperately trying to save his company by performing “Dracula,” “Hamlet” and “Charlie’s Aunt” in repertory.

Tickets are $20/adults $10/students

Available at www.chromatica or at the door.

Chromatica is a California non-profit public benefit corporation & a 501(c)(3)

John Carter

Craig Eychner (L) and Eric Fraisher Hayes in a scene from Role Players Ensemble’s “Laughing Stock.”

The company has secured a visit from the noted playwright, Charles Morey, following the April 23 Sunday matinee. According to Hayes, he and Morey developed a relationship when Role Players produced another of his plays, “The Ladies Man,” a few seasons ago. “He contacted me and said he had fond childhood memories attending the Village Theatre when it was a movie house and watching Abbott and Costello movies,” Hayes explains. “He said if we ever produced another of his plays that he would try to come and see it. I specifically put ‘Laughing Stock’ into our season, hoping his schedule would allow a visit during the run.” The cast also features John Blytt, Bonnie DeChant and Craig Eychner. The comedy runs April 14-30 at the Village Theatre, 233 Front St., Danville. Call 925-314-3400 or go to

Center Repertory presents a moving play about the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, an important moment in American history. Set in 1945, “Sisters Matsumoto” follows three sisters as they return home to

the family farm in Stockton after two years in an internment camp in Arkansas. Written by Philip Kan Gotanda – whose mother was in such a camp, the play tells the story of their efforts to rebuild their lives as Americans and their struggles with the past. “Sisters Matsumoto” runs through April 29 at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr. Also running at the Lesher Center are Contra Costa Musical Theatre’s production of the 1950s-era musical “Grease” through April 30 and “OMG! I Love That Show!” Production’s “End of the Rainbow” through April 23. The later follows Judy Garland’s comeback at London’s Talk of the Town as she attempts to recapture her magic after her failed marriages and drug abuse. For all shows at the Lesher Center, call 925-943-SHOW or go to the website at Sally Hogarty is well known around the Bay Area as a newspaper columnist, theatre critic and working actress. She is also the editor of the Orinda News. Send comments to

Play takes on the immigrant experience Don’t let the title scare you. “Autobiography of a Terrorist” is a fiercely funny dive into the absurdity of the immigrant experience. Saïd Sayrafiezadeh, author of the New York Times bestselling memoir “When Skateboards Will Be Free,” understands hyphenated American identity like no other. Born to an Iranian father and a American Jewish mother, he brings a

humorous and thoughtful approach to growing up of Middle Eastern descent in America. Presented by Golden Thread Productions, the first American theater company devoted to the Middle East, the play follows a fictional Saïd as he tries to stage a presentation of his autobiographical play with well-meaning collaborators. Once Homeland Secu-

rity gets involved, things go quickly from bad to worse. As Muslim, Middle Eastern and immigrant communities are openly vilified by those in power, this play’s narrative becomes deeply timely. Golden Thread’s Evren Odcikin directs the world premiere, after working with Sayrafiezadeh for two years in developing the play. “Comedy can be such a

powerful tool to speak about hard, complex issues,” Odcikin says. “Saïd doesn’t pull any punches in this play, and this production will not either.” “Autobiography” starts April 14 at Potrero Stage, 1695 18th St., San Francisco. For tickets and more information, visit

Sunday, April 16 • Two Seatings at 10:30 a.m. & 1 p.m.

If you’re looking for place to go for a delicious Easter Sunday Brunch, come celebrate the holiday with friends and family at Oakhurst Country Club. Ring in springtime with a delectable selection of food, drink, & beautiful surroundings.

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April 7, 2017

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 13

Clayton Community Calendar



Apr. 22 Clayton Cleans Up

Honor Earth Day with a town spring cleaning. Help pick up trash, pull weeds and share in community spirit. Rain or shine. T-shirt, gloves and garbage bags provided; barbecue after. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Clayton City Hall, 6000 Heritage Trail. Register at Call Clayton Pioneer with questions at (925) 6720500.

Apr. 29 – 30 Art and Wine Festival

Arts, crafts, food, music, wine. Sat. 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sun. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Main Street. Free admission. (925) 672-2272.

May 1 Launch Party

Celebrate the opening of Clayton Valley Village nonprofit helping seniors live successfully in their own homes. 4 – 6 p.m. Endeavor Hall, 6008 Center St., Clayton. Free.

May 6 - 7 Clayton Gardens Tour

Beautiful gardens on self-guided tour in Clayton area. Benefits Clayton Historical Society. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Rain or shine. Starts at Clayton Museum, 6101 Main St. $30 in advance; $35 day of event.


Tuesdays and Thursdays Farmers’ Market

Tuesdays year round, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Thursdays, starting April 20, 4 – 8 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord.

On Sale Now Concerts

The Concord Pavilion is located at 2000 Kirker Pass Road. Concert schedule for 2017: Apr. 16, Snoop Dogg, 7:30 p.m. May 27, KBLX Stone Soul Concert, Sat. only, 12 p.m. May 28, Stone Soul, two-day ticket or Sun. only, 12 p.m. Jun. 2, Kidz Bop Tour, 7 p.m. Jun. 7, Chicago and The Doobie Brothers, 7:30 p.m. Jun. 11, Spirit West Coast Concord, 3 p.m. Jun. 23, United We Rock Tour, 7 p.m. Jul. 6, Deftones and Rise Against, 6:30 p.m. July 15, I Love the 90’s Tour, 7 p.m. Aug. 11, Steve Martin and Martin Short, 8 p.m. Aug. 16, Double Feature: Straight No Chaser/Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 27, 2017 Honda Civic Tour featuring OneRepublic, 7 p.m.

Apr. 13 Advance Health Care Directives

Legal clinic to prepare and notarize advance health care directives for seniors 60 and older in Contra Costa County. 9:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Concord Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Circle. Free. Call for appointment (925) 671-3320.

May 5 – 7 Spring Tea

Spring tea at the Galindo Home sponsored by the Concord Historical Society. Seatings at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. 1721 Amador Ave. $35. Call Lind for reservations: (925) 682-6383.


Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve programs are available for registration through Parking fees may apply. For additional information, contact Black Diamond Visitor Center at (510) 544-2750 or

Apr. 9, 15 Vasco Caves

Naturalist-guided tour. Ages 10 and up. 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. $30; reservations required. Meet at Round Valley Regional Preserve.

Mount Diablo Interpretive Association programs listed are free with the exception of park entrance fee. Go to and click on Event Calendar for more information.

Apr. 7 Back Canyon and Diablo Falls Hike

Ideal time to see wildflowers and water on the rugged north side of Mount Diablo. 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Trailhead.

Apr. 8 Early Spring Creek and Pond Walk

Exploration of local creek and pond. 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center.

Apr. 14 Riggs Canyon and Highland Ridge Hike

Explore the hills in the southeastern reaches of Mount Diablo State Park. 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Meet at parking lot on Morgan Territory Road. If Morgan Territory Road is closed, approach Red Corral Trailhead from the south via Livermore.

Apr. 15 Wildflower Walk

Explore the flowers in the Mitchell Canyon area. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center.

Apr. 21 Castle Rock and Camel Rock Hike

Dip in and out of Pine Canyon and climb into lovely meadows. 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Meet at Borges Ranch.

Apr. 23 Butterflies and Insects of Contra Costa County

Drop in to see many preserved examples and specimens. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Summit Museum.

Apr. 23 Windy Point and Riggs Canyon Hike

A 14.5-mile hike. 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Meet at Curry Point Trailhead. Reservations required by Apr. 21:

Apr. 28 Sycamore Canyon and Knobcone Point

Expansive views of Mount Diablo and North Peak. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Meet at Curry Point Trailhead.

Apr. 30 Twin Peaks Wildflower Hike

Wildflowers and outstanding views. 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Trailhead.

May 5 Curry Canyon and Windy Point Hike

An 8.5-mile hike. 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Meet at Curry Point Trailhead. Reservations required by May 3:

Save Mount Diablo’s Discover Diablo is a free public hike series. Go to for more information.

Apr. 22 Mitchell Canyon Family Walk

A leisurely loop up Mitchell Canyon to Black Point Trail. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Interpretive Center. Registration required.


Thru Apr. 22 “Glengarry Glen Ross”

Presented by B8 Theatre Company. B8 Theatre Company, 2292 Concord Blvd., Concord. (925) 890-8877.

Thru Apr. 23 “End of the Rainbow”

Musical drama of Judy Garland’s comeback concerts during Christmas 1968. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $39-$44. (925) 943-7469.

Thru Apr. 23 “John”

A visceral ghost story with a millennial twist. A.C.T.’s Strand Theater, 1127 Market St., San Francisco. $20-$105. (415) 749-2228.

Thru Apr. 23 “Needles and Opium”

A breathtaking dive into art and addiction. A.C.T.’s Geary Theater, 415 Geary St., San Francisco. $20-$105. (415) 749-2228.

Thru Apr. 29 “Sisters Matsumoto”

Three sisters return home after internment in this heartwarming story of what it means to be American. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $33-$55.

Thru Apr. 30 “Grease”

Wonderful blast from the past. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $50-$60. (925) 943-7469.

Apr. 2 “Painting with Music”

Explore the intersection of symphonic music and visual art. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $35.

Apr. 8 Concert

Performed by The Four Aces. 2 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $10-$27. (925) 757-9500.

Apr. 15 Concert

Performed by The Preservation Hall Jazz Band. 8 p.m. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $44. (925) 427-1611.

Apr. 21 – 22 “Shrek JR”

Presented by Diablo Theatre Company’s SingOut! Musical Theatre. Del Valle Theatre, 1963 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek. $20. (925) 943-7469.

Apr. 22 Beatles Tribute

Performed by The Sun Kings. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $10-$27. (925) 757-9500.

Apr. 28 “Better Than Taxes”

Dramatically comedic improv presented by Funny Bone Productions. 7:45 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $15. (925) 943-7469.

Apr. 29 Concert

Chromatica performs. 7 p.m. Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church, 1578 Kirker Pass Road, Clayton. $10-$20.

Apr. 30 “Those Were the Days”

The spirit and songs of the 1960s. 3 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $10-$27. (925) 757-9500.

May 4 “A Song to Sing, O!”

A great way to introduce one to the world of Gilbert and Sullivan. 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $50-$55. (925) 943-7469.

May 5 “An A Cappella Evening”

Presented by HouseBlend and La Di Da. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25. (925) 943-7469.

May 5 Mariachi Reynas

America’s first all female mariachi ensemble. 8 p.m. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $39. (925) 427-1611.

May 5 – 6 “Celebrated Masters”

Presented by Diablo Ballet. Del Valle Theatre, 1963 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek. $47. (925) 943-7469.

May 6 Concert

Performed by Collage – Sincerity Girls Ensemble. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $15. (925) 943-7469.

May 6 History/Book Talk

Richard Schwartz talks about his new book, “The Man Who Lit Lady Liberty.” 1 – 3:30 p.m. Shell Clubhouse, 1635 Pacheco Blvd., Martinez. $10 donation suggested. Reservation requested: or (925) 229-1042.

May 7 “Alice in Wonderland”

Performed by The Ballet Company of East County. 2 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $12-$15. (925) 757-9500.

May 7 “Americana Roadtrip”

Five genre-busting artists play joyful music infused with folk, the blues and more. 7:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $30. (925) 943-7469.

May 7 Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour

Self-guided tour featuring 40 Alameda and Contra Costa County gardens. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Free. Pre-registration required:

May 7 Season Finale

Presented by California Symphony. 4 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $42-$72. (925) 943-7469.

May 7 Spring Concert

The Ballet School celebrates 40 years. 2:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $40. (925) 943-7469.

Apr. 16 Easter Egg Hunt


Open to the public. 12 p.m. The Bridge Church, 2140 Olivera Court, Concord. Free.

Apr. 22 “HARANA”

Documentary of the music of harana, the long-forgotten tradition of Filipino serenading. 7:30 p.m. St. Bonaventure, 5562 Clayton Road, Concord. $10-$15. For tickets, call (925) 207-1608, (925) 682-5447 or (925) 285-2613.


May 5 – 21 “Titus Andronicus”

Grotesquely violent and daringly experimental. Diablo Valley College, 321 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill. $16-$21.

Apr. 8 Plant Sale


Featuring edibles. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Markham Regional Arboretum Society Nursery. 1202 La Vista Ave., Concord. Free admission.

Apr. 21 - 22 Cedric “The Entertainer”

Fundraiser for Pittsburg Arts and Community Foundation. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $65-$75. (925) 427-1611.

May 6 Goodwill Vintage Fashion Show

A morning of fun and fashion held by Concord United Methodist Women. Proceeds benefit Goodwill. 10 a.m. Concord UMC, 1645 West St., Concord. Free-will donations accepted. For more information, contact Linda at

May 6, 13 “Back on Broadway!”

Performed by Tapestry handbell and vocal ensemble; in support of Contra Costa ARC. 7 p.m. May 6: Saint John’s Parish, 5555 Clayton Road, Clayton. May 13: Clayton Valley Presbyterian, 1578 Kirker Pass Road, Clayton. Free.

May 13 Poker Tournament

Hosted by Soroptimist of Diablo Vista, benefiting scholarships. 5:30 – 10:30 p.m. Elks Lodge, 3565 Clayton Road, Concord. $60. or (925) 672-2727.


The Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at or call (925) 673-0659. Thru Apr. 30: Create Your Own Black Out Poetry. Supplies provided. Apr. 10, May 8: Clayton Library Book Club, 7 p.m. Apr. 13: Earth Day Stories and Craft, 4 p.m. Apr. 24, May 8: Clayton Knits, 1:30 p.m.

The Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at or (925) 646-5455. Thru Apr. 15: Tax Help, Fri. and Sat., 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Apr. 10: Make It: Sock Bunny, 7 p.m. Registr. required. Apr. 17: STEAM: Open Explorations, 7 p.m. Apr. 18: Kindergarten Countdown, 2 p.m. Registration required. Apr. 21 - 23: Book Sale; Fri./Sat. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sun. 1 – 3:30 p.m. Apr. 24: Movie Monday, 7 p.m. Apr. 27: Master Gardeners, 6:30 p.m. Apr. 29: Concord Art Assoc. Spring Show/Sale, 10 a.m. May 4: Origami, 4 p.m. May 9: Crafty Tuesday, 4 p.m.


1st and 3rd Tuesdays Clayton City Council

7 p.m. Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. (925) 673-7304 or

2nd and 4th Tuesdays Clayton Planning Commission

7 p.m., Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. (925) 673-7304 or

Page 14

Clayton Pioneer •

April 7, 2017

Vistas await on Back Creek Trail

Kevin Parker

Back Creek trail climbs gently along the creek banks before heading up where the views are your just reward

I’m what you call a clockwise hiker, but I had never given it much thought. However, the George Cardinet Back Creek Trail is best hiked counterclockwise – and preferably in the morning.

Back Creek Trail begins as a fairly steep and unmarked trail just inside Regency Gate, but don’t let the first 100 yards scare you as this trail is worth the effort. The trail quickly ascends into rolling

hills, with partial views of Meridian Ridge and probably one of the best scenic angles of Mt. Diablo. The trail continues to meander uphill on a steady but friendly climb as the trail

narrows along Back Creek, which had a steady flow of water. Count on numerous creek crossings, 10 for this hike. Most were easy to navigate, however, I recommend a set of hiking poles for balance, stability and rhythm. Follow the trail through a shaded thicket of foliage, which provided shady conditions and cool air the entire way up. Veer left at the sign onto Meridian Point Trail and flank the hillside through a series of switchbacks on a neatly manicured trail with sections of loose rock and sparsely populated poison oak branches ready to strike bare skin. (Pack some Technu.) Meridian Point Trail pushes up through the lush greenery found on Mt. Diablo this time of year and crosses into more of a chaparral community, complete with sagebrush and wildflowers. Keep an eye on the trail as views of Eagle and Twin peaks in the morning light make this a second to none vista point. The final section of this trail is very steep, but your hard work is rewarded as you finally top out at Meridian Ridge Road. This road begins a gradual descent as you cross into Donner Canyon. During the morning hours, the direction and intensity of the sun provide that much-needed shot of vitamin D as well as highlight the explosive shades of green covering every hillside. Stay on Donner Canyon Road for a short time and

Poor character development does in ‘Belko’



Anyone who works in an office might be able to empathize with the fantasy of killing one’s boss. But “The Belko Experiment” takes it several steps further. Not only are the workers supposed to kill their boss, but

they have to kill as many coworkers as they can if they want to survive. In middle-of-nowhere Colombia, 80 Americans show up for another day of work in their isolated office building. Something seems a little off, with the appearance of more armed guards than usual. Director Greg McLean (“Wolf Creek”) bathes everything in a pallid, green tint. Just like the workers, we aren’t supposed to feel totally comfortable here. Early on, McLean sets up the awkwardness between the employees. COO Barry Norris (Tony Goldwyn) walks in on everyman Mike Milch making out with recently divorced Leandra (Adria Aronja). She, in

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make a quick right on Hetherington Trail, which effortlessly descends into a long section of shady trail. Creek vistas at almost every turn and wonderfully winding sections of single-track make this trail another personal favorite. Cross over Donner Creek, the most technical part of this hike (hint: hiking poles) and make your way down to the final creek crossing with the help of a small wooden bridge. Hetherington Trail junctions back into Donner Canyon Road near the Donner

turn, is continually ogled by creepy Wendell (John C. McGinley having a lot of fun). Other employees go together like oil and water. We know that this group probably doesn’t all get together for parties. Therein is one of the problems. “The Belko Experiment” needed about 10 minutes at the beginning of the movie to show the characters all getting along famously at a get-together of some sort. Had they all been closer, it would have ratcheted up the tension when it came time to choose sides. With no one pegged as a bad guy before things go awry, the viewers are forced into the uncomfortable position of doing it ourselves. As the day begins, the nationals are sent home. Almost immediately after, impenetrable metal shields drop down over all the windows and the doors. Mass panic ensues, and no one seems capable of working together to find a solution. Things inevitably grow worse when an announcement is made that they must kill two co-workers in the next 20 minutes. The captors show they mean business by setting off explosives in the heads of random employees. It is a shocking moment, and McLean delivers it well. The next ultimatum is to kill 30 employees within two hours, or 60 of

them will die. Leaders emerge and unilateral decisions are made on who lives and who dies. It’s a gutwrenching scene. Aside from father-of-two Terry (Owain Yeoman), the rest of the leaders are villainous archetypes that make it easy for the audience to side with the remainder of the employees. But again, had this been a cohesive office, with generally good people making these tough decisions, the film could have been a total success. The third act is mostly a cat-and-mouse game with wellshot chase scenes and some over-the-top mayhem as a “Saw” meets “Hunger Games” tableau plays out. Although the tension is frequently broken by attempts at gallows humor, the jokes fall flat as the scenario is far too serious for more than an occasional nervous chuckle. The sense that there is a great movie somewhere inside of a good one is given hope by the open ending. Perhaps the captors chose this office because of its strange assortment of workers. Maybe as with “The Purge,” the second film in the series will far outdo the first. B-

Jeff Mellinger is a screen writer and film buff. He holds a BA in Film Studies and an MFA in film production. He lives in Concord. Email comments to




Cabin Site. The rest of the hike back to Regency Gate is easy cruising, as intermittent shade and sun follow you back to where you started. You can contact Kevin Parker with comments or questions by email at

George Cardinet Back Creek Trail

Trailhead: End of Mountaire Parkway, Clayton (no facilities) Distance: 4.8 miles Time: 1.5-2 hours Level: Moderate Elevation Gain: 2,042 feet Trails: Regency Gate, Back Creek Trail, Meridian Point Trail, Meridian Ridge Road, Donner Canyon Road, Hetherington Trail, Donner Canyon Road, Regency Gate

‘Lab’ looks at life from varied angles



Tony Goldwin and John C. McGinley in “The Belko Experiment” now in theaters.


Occasionally a book comes along that almost leaves me speechless. Such was the case with Hope Jahren’s “Lab Girl,” a memoir of her rural Minnesota childhood leading to her spectacular standing as a female scientist. Even if science isn’t your thing, the book covers family, love, travel, politics, suspense, mother-daughter relationships, illness, humor, abiding friendship, parenthood and, above all, commitment to a profession and a hard-won sense of self. Jahren, the youngest and only girl in her family, adored her college teaching father who allowed her to take refuge in his physics and earth science laboratory. For monetary reasons, her mother gave up her own university scientific aspirations to return home – settling for marriage and motherhood. Jahren’s childhood was marked by brothers away at university, an angry mother and a family of few words. By the time the author leaves for college, her socializing skills are nearly nonexistent but not really necessary for a life she already knows will someday be spent in a lab of her own. “Lab Girl” begins with Jahren inviting us into her world of science by simply suggesting the reader look at a leaf. What is its color, its size, its shape? She then tells the reader, “Now you ask a question about your leaf. Guess what? You are now a scientist.” Entering a profession that does not put out the welcome mat for women is only one of many hurdles in Jahren’s path. To make her mark as a female biological chemist and paleobotanist in a profession dominated by men will be a monumental struggle. Luckily, Jahren meets a labmate in grad

school, a shy, young scientist with whom a lifelong personal and professional friendship develops. Bill and Hope might as well be “paternal twins,” so bonded do they become. A teaching scientist must use her wits to fund a laboratory necessary for research, and the competition is tough. Jahren enters the world of grant money, government and private, and when the chips are down, even a little skullduggery to acquire all the vials, instruments and other equipment necessary for a successful scientist. Bill, who isn’t a teacher, is hired to work alongside Jahren, and his salary, too, is her responsibility. Their travels from universities to frozen digs, to roadside zoos and to hospital rooms create a remarkable, enduring friendship. Jahren learns about life while we learn about plants. I, for one, never knew trees go through adolescence. An entirely new set of life instructions occurs when Jahren marries and gives birth to a son. Writing with directness and warmth, Jahren enlarges our experience by reintroducing us to everything botanical and its place in our lives. “Lab Girl” offers the chance to learn some of the most amazing scientific facts about the greenery (or lack thereof) around us and the equally amazing scientists committed to research and to teaching everything they can so we might better understand the importance of sustaining and sharing planet Earth. Sunny Solomon is a freelance writer and head of the Clayton Book Club. Visit her website at for her latest recommendations or just to ‘talk books.’

April 7, 2017

Clayton Pioneer •

Looking for the causes of anemia

Page 15

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Anemia in older adults can be challenging to treat, because 20 to 30 percent of patients may have unexplained anemia even after a thorough workup and a good proportion of patients have multiple causes for their anemia. It’s important to address the cause of the anemia and, in many cases, also important to correct the anemia that can lead to a decline in physical and

mental functioning. Even with mild anemia, studies have shown an association between increased falls and frailty as well as decreased attention span and executive function. When doctors do a workup for anemia, the initial goal is to find an etiology that we can correct. We first rule out nutritional deficiencies, such as iron, folate or B12 deficiency. These account for about one-third of anemia in older adults. Another third are due to chronic kidney disease or other chronic or inflammatory disorders such as diabetes, autoimmune disorders, acute or chronic infections, or underlying cancer. Some patients with otherwise unexplained anemia can have a primary bone marrow disorder called myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), which requires a bone marrow biopsy to diagnose. Less common causes are

hypogonadism, hypothyroidism, hemolytic anemia and other bone marrow disorders and defects in bone marrow function. If iron deficiency is identified as the cause of the anemia, it’s important to look for a site of blood loss. This usually involves evaluating the gastrointestinal tract with upper and lower endoscopies. The procedures can identify not only malignant lesions, but also benign lesions like ulcers, polyps, diverticuli, hemorrhoids and vascular malformations. If there is no clear site of blood loss, then doctors look for reasons for poor absorption of iron – such as poor dietary intake or poor absorption of iron due to celiac disease. If an underlying cause for the anemia is found, the problem can usually be corrected. However, even if we cannot find the cause, we can still treat the anemia and potentially

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Plan carefully for a crop of tasty tomatoes



Tomatoes are the most planted food crop in Clayton Valley landscapes, containers and gardens. Plant lovers covet the tomato, basing their entire green thumb success on the production of this juicy, sweet red fruit. People want to enjoy the successes of a bountiful vegetable/fruit garden, but most haven’t the time for daily visits to the garden to inspect the progress, peek at the foliage and look for blossoms. We know what we want out of our gardens, yet we don’t give the garden what it wants. Thoughtful planning can help on your journey to success. Tomato plants need to be installed where they can get at least six hours of direct, hot sun. They can be planted in the ground, a raised bed or a container. Those using Clayton Valley clay for tomatoes must put some effort into preparing the soil. Rototill, turn and add composted chicken manure and soil conditioner a couple of weeks before installation. This will create a more ideal environment for tomatoes to thrive. The same types of soil preparation applies for a raised bed. If you are considering planting tomatoes in containers, think big. Larger pots can

improve the symptoms. Doctors can order red blood cell transfusions, which carry some risks but can be of benefit – especially for those with underlying cardiac disease. Or we can potentially use injectable medications that stimulate the bone marrow to make more red blood cells. Doctors take an oath not just to treat the disease, but to care for the sick person. This includes palliation of symptoms and doing no harm. I hope to be a guide and a partner with my patients on their medical journey.

Classic flavor and meaty texture make pear-shaped Romas perfect for sauces.

accommodate the eventual sizes of the plants and roots. Smart Pots fabric containers are reasonably priced and an excellent solution for tomato planting. The fibrous material of the Smart Pot encourages root growth without any of the root circling problems that can develop in container plants. Use a premium potting soil and soil conditioners developed for production plants. Now it’s time to select the type of tomato. Champion tomatoes are an excellent choice for those who don’t have lots of room. Champions grow only 20-30 inches tall, and they produce 3-4 inch fruit after just 70 days. They are easy and fantastic. Roma tomatoes are for those who love to make tomato sauces. They have meatier flesh, fewer seeds and thinner skin than other selections. Romas are pear-shaped and bright red when ripe. The

that ripen 90 days after flower. The flavor is slightly acidic, so it’s an acquired taste. Yellow pear tomatoes are another popular selection. The sweet flavor and unusual shape make it desirable in salads, or enjoyed right off the plant. Black Cherry is a cherry tomato with dark purple, almost black skin. They have a high yield and are sweet and fun. When you plant tomatoes, remove many of the bottom leaves and plant 3-4 inches of the stem below the soil line. Remove blossoms on new installs and remove the next set as well. You want the plant to focus on strong roots first. Once installed, work a granular tomato fertilizer into the soil. Feed with a water-soluble fertilizer weekly for growth. Use a product with a larger first number than middle number. When you let the tomato flower, change to a fertilizing product that has a larger second number than first. Fox Farm, Maxsea and Master Nursery all have products that will satisfy these different needs. This may sound like a lot, but tomatoes are worth it. Homegrown ones are always more flavorful than the ones in the store.

plants grow 36 inches tall and wide, and fruit should begin to ripen after 75 days. Celebrity is a bigger tomato, maturing to about 7 ounces each. Celebrities are sweet, with an average amount of seeds and lots of juice. This tomato is good for the sandwich lover. You can expect large yields from this plant, with ripening beginning 70-95 days after flowers sets. Early Girl is a sought-after selection. It’s tasty and gives huge crops of 4-6 ounce tomatoes. They ripen 55-65 days after flower sets. For those interested in Heirloom varieties, consider only installing a few. Some of the selections available aren’t the heaviest producers, and it may not be fulfilling to give Nicole is the Garden Girl at lots of effort for just three to R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. five pieces of fruit. Email Cherokee Purple has been rewarding, with fruit that is sweet and fleshy. Brandywine tomatoes are good producers

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Morning Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9:00 a.m. Mass of the Lord’s Supper (Bi-lingual) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7:30 p.m.

GOOD FRIDAY – April 14

Morning Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9:00 a.m. Stations of the Cross in the Garden . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11:00 a.m. Ecumenical Prayer: The Seven Last Words of Jesus - Church . . . . . .12:15 p.m.

In collaboration with Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church, Concord United Methodist Church, and First Christian Church of Concord.

Passion of the Lord - Church (English) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3:00 p.m. Church (Spanish) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6:30 p.m. Parish Hall (English) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7:30 p.m.


Morning Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9:00 a.m. Easter Vigil in the Holy Night: (Bi-lingual) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7:30 p.m.

EASTER SUNDAY: The Resurrection of the Lord - April 16 English Masses: Church, 7:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. English Masses: Parish Hall, 9:15 a.m., 11:15 a.m. Spanish Mass: Church, 12:45 p.m.

No 5:00 p.m. Mass on Easter

Schools Tips for managing kids and technology Page 16

KARA NAVOLIO Correspondent

Parents learned more about modern kids’ relationship with technology during a parent education talk March 22 at Diablo View Middle School. Parent educator and life coach Torie Henderson led the one-hour presentation, “Trust Your Gut, Not Your Snapchat Feed,” which focused on how parents can talk to their kids about having a healthy relationship with technology. “We are living in a different time. We can’t look to past generations for guidance. We don’t have any precedents for this kind of thing,” Henderson said. “My goal with this evening is to make you feel empowered.” According to Henderson, having Internet access is like sending kids to a really cool summer camp. “They can learn anything they want; they can connect with others who share the same interests,” she said. “They can learn a new language, video game or sport. It’s exciting; the possibilities are

Clayton Pioneer •

endless.” real-world activities. Playing ting.” They include things However, this camp has no sports and doing other reallike, “the person in the room supervision and there are world activities gives them gets priority over the one on potentially dangerous things to balance. Be true to your parthe phone, never text when explore. “They could learn enting values even if kids angry or hurt, and devices how to be anorexic or build a complain. Camping, church bomb. They can watch groups, family time and pornography, feel isolated or chores remind kids what it’s get addicted,” Henderson said. like to be unplugged. “Our job as parents is to be the • Teach them to trust their gut. If camp counselors of the Interit feels wrong, it is wrong. net. Show them cool stuff, Tell them to pay attention to enjoy and support their interhow their body reacts. Tell ests, but maintain strong them to notice what they are boundaries to keep them safe.” drawn to, what media they Henderson outlined five like, what makes them jealsteps to teaching kids to have a ous. This all shows what healthy relationship with techmakes them who they are. nology: • Talk to kids about creating a digital footprint they can be • Be involved with your child’s digiproud of – forever. Remind tal life. Ask them questions: them that everything they “What’s the funniest thing do, post or photograph you’ve seen on the Internet, online is a permanent the weirdest, the scariest? record. Even Snapchat can What games do you play?” be “screen-shotted.” Last NELLIE MEYER Pay attention to how they year, 200,000 Snapchat behave after spending time photos were stolen. Remind MDUSD online. If they come off them that online informaSUPERINTENDENT their device angry or frustion isn’t private; it is part trated, it’s not healthy. Point of your public life. And, Most people can recall a it out to them so they can model this behavior. teacher who inspired, supportbuild self-awareness. • Teach kids to follow the “10 ed and influenced their lives in • Facilitate their involvement in Commandments of Tex- a positive way. That’s the idea behind the county Teacher of the Year competition. Each year, the Mt. Diablo Unified School District seeks

April 7, 2017

need bedtimes and days Parent Jennifer Lynch said off.” Find a complete list at she felt more relaxed after the See Technology, pg 18

Two MDUSD teachers at the top of their game nominations of outstanding educators from transitional kindergarten through grade 12 and adult education. This year, 66 teachers were nominated. They were invited to complete brief questionnaires, scored by the Teacher of the Year Selection Committee. The five top-scoring nominees met with the committee for interviews, and the committee selected two to represent MDUSD in the county Teacher of the Year competition. Please join me in congratulating all the nominees and our five finalists: • Michele Beach, response to intervention specialist, Hidden Valley Elementary. • Margaret Honey, Advanced Placement U.S. history teacher, Northgate High.

• Jonathan Moses, fifth-grade teacher, Rio Vista Elementary. • Tom Trowbridge, industrial arts and engineering teacher, Concord High. • Andrea Ward, first-grade teacher, Ygnacio Valley Elementary.

Our 2017 Teachers of the Year are Honey and Trowbridge, who move forward to the county competition. Last year, MDUSD Teacher of the Year Shauna Hawes went on to be named a county Teacher of the Year. Dr. Nellie Meyer is Superintendent of Schools for MDUSD. Email questions or comments to

Clayton Valley multicultural rally celebrates diversity Online votes help keep Mt. Diablo students healthy LANEY CLINE KING Special to the Pioneer




Clayton Valley Charter High School has four spirit dress weeks and rally days each year. The Associated Student Body (ASB) Leadership class organizes the Homecoming, Winter and Moving Up rallies during a designated class period every school day. The Multicultural Club puts on the Multicultural Rally and spirit week, typically held in March. About 30 students organize and prepare for this rally in their free time, some spending more than 30 hours working to make the rally a success. Seniors Kimi Svoboda, Angela Freitag, Kayla Caton and Sierra Wisman have taken charge of the Multicultural Club and rally. Svoboda and Freitag are co-presidents,


In April, summer seems a distance away. However, for the Link Crew at Clayton Valley Charter High School, it’s right around the corner. Under the leadership of Link Crew advisor Sarah Lovick, students are applying to be a part of this amazing organization that develops the school’s next student leaders. During April, Lovick will inter-

Kimi Svoboda and Angela Freitag are aglow in Olympic gold for the Multicultural Rally.

while Caton is the secretary and Wisman is treasurer. As the March 20-24 spirit week and rally loomed closer, Caton says they “spent time every day either planning or discussing something.” The Multicultural Club divided into committees such as Publicity, Spirit Days, Noontime Activities, Auditions, Rally Games, Script and Decorations. The club also had to fundraise in order to pay for rally supplies. They organized a fundraiser at Panda Express, as well as selling food during club days at CVCHS.

Rally commissioners Svoboda and Freitag chose the Olympic Games theme, and preparations began during Winter Break. Svoboda enjoys being a part of the Multicultural Club. “We wanted to help spread cultural awareness and appreciation throughout our school,” she says. The spirit week went as follows: Monday, Olympian’s Day Off/Pajama Day; Tuesday, Greek Games/Toga Day; Wednesday, Olympic Training Day/Sports Day; Thursday,

view more than 100 prospective Link Crew members and evaluate whether they have what it takes to become great role models at CVCHS. Link Crew is a national organization that assists school staff to train members of the junior and senior class to be leaders and mentors for incoming freshmen. As positive role models, Link Crew leaders are motivators who guide freshmen to discover what it takes to be successful at CVCHS and in life. Link Crew’s goal is to provide a structure in which students make real connections with each other. Through this program, students learn that individuals at CVCHS care about them and their success.

Link Crew leaders must have a 3.0 GPA at all times and sign a code of conduct. At CVCHS, Link Crew begins with a spirited and interactive four-day Summer Transition Program. In conjunction with the Student Services Committee and community volunteers, Link Crew leaders conduct a variety of academic and social orientation activities that are designed to: • Welcome and orient freshmen to their new campus. • Help students understand the social, extracurricular and academic climate of CVCHS. • Promote a sense of wellness and better communication with peers.

See Diversity, page 17

The children of Mt. Diablo Elementary are learning to love their veggies, thanks to the school garden. Last spring, an impressive community effort led to the building of eight raised beds, yielding a living laboratory for growing and tasting all sorts of new and healthy foods. Students planted winter vegetables by seed last November and have harvested everything from turnips and radishes to broccoli, cauliflower, kale, carrots and snow peas. Parent Denise Tougeron, a dedicated garden volunteer, recalled a student enjoying a rainbow salad prepared by his class. “My tummy is so happy,” he said. Many parents never thought their kids would be asking for seconds of roasted broccoli or sautéed turnip greens, but eating these healthy foods with peers seems to increase their appeal. Students compare what they grow at school to store-bought pro-

Kindergarten student Vinny Carone appears eager to taste the garden’s bounty.

duce and always find the store options less fresh and tasty than what they planted themselves. Principal Dawn Edwards fully supports the garden efforts. “Our school garden gets students interested in eating what they’ve grown, which sets them on the path to lifelong healthy eating,” she remarked. To keep the momentum going with this enthusiasm for fresh veggies, Mt. Diablo Elementary has put its hat in for a $10,000 grant from Seeds of

Change. To make it to the final round, the school must beat other schools with online votes of support. Residents can help the Mt. Diablo Elementary School Garden by voting for it every day until April 19 on the Seeds of Change grant website, Securing these funds will enable the school to incorporate cooking classes, expand on the edibles grown in the garden and feature produce grown by students in the cafeteria salad bar.

continues throughout the school year by providing follow-up activities in ninth-grade PE classes. Link Leaders visit freshman physical education classes once a month to conduct fun and experiential teambuilding activities based on the six Character Counts guiding principles taught at CVCHS: respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, citizenship and trustworthiness. “Link Crew is where leaders learn how to plan and run a ninth-grade class on their own,” says Lovick, who has been advising Link Crew for three years. “This year, our students were especially put to the test when I was severely ill and unable to come to school. Link

Crew ran the entire program with an administrator present observing our student leaders, who covered all aspects of the eight-hour day. It was a great testament to their excellent leadership skills and determination to be ideal role models for their younger schoolmates.” I am thrilled with the progress of the Link Crew program, as well as the development of such great individual student leaders. I am confident that the character traits learned now will remain with them through their college experiences and as they become extraordinary leaders in the 21st century. David Linzey is executive director of CVCHS. Contact him

CVCHS program a link to leadership • Have fun and begin to build a positive, productive learning community using the guiding principles of the Clayton City Council’s character education program, “Do the Right Thing.” • Administer three career assessments on aptitude, preference/interest and personality from CVC’s online Career Education Program, called Naviance. • Encourage students to think about the path they will take during the next four years and beyond. The Summer Transition Program is a graduation requirement for all incoming CVCHS students. Link Crew

April 7, 2017

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 17

Red-tail hawks can fall victim to rodent poison



Mount Diablo State Park docent Dirk Muehlner has monitored raptor nests for the last six years, photographing them from the nearest point he can find without disturbing the birds. This season, he’s watching two red-tailed hawk nests that are near each other. There are four eggs in one nest, due to hatch any day, and the other nest is home to three little fuzzy white hatchlings born March 25. The adults are busy keeping them fed, a job that will only get bigger. Red-tails are so common in our area that you’re usually right if you shout “red-tail!” when

Dirk Muehlner

A red-tailed hawk watches over its young in a nest on Mount Diablo.

you spot a hawk. They are voracious predators, especially with a bunch of babies in the nest. Ground squirrels are preferred, because they’re a good-sized meal – a sort of Big Mac for redtails. But the hawks will also grab

Diversity, from page 16

Tourist Day; and Friday, Class Colors. Many enthusiastic students participated. All Multicultural Club members were expected to participate and encourage their friends to as well. CVCHS students filed into the large gym in anticipation of the Multicultural Rally on March 24. The event began with junior Jordan Steinberg singing the National Anthem, followed by a performance by the Concord Kung Fu Academy that included students from CVCHS and other Concord schools.

sitting in the lush grass high on a ridgeline, with oaks crowding the steep slope below. An enormous nest was somewhere down there, just below eye level, but I couldn’t spot it. The snowwhite babies were tucked away tight, making the nest disappear into the welter of branches. Muehlner eventually guided my eyes to the sun-splashed nest in the fork of an oak. It’s a big nest, remodeled by the hawks every spring with another layer of heavy twigs jammed in this way and that. We could spot a wobbly little fuzzball head every so often. After about 20 minutes, one of the

moles, voles, rats and snakes. Muehlner walks several miles daily in the mountain’s foothills. At the end of March, I got to join him at one of the nests. It was a real treat. We watched from a distance,

Punjabi performances. “It felt great performing in the rally,” said sophomore Imrat Kular, who performed in the Punjabi dance. “We were all extremely excited and wanted to perform to show our pride for our culture.” “It’s important to raise cultural awareness and make sure students know about each other’s cultures and how different we are and how diverse our school is,” Freitag says. “We can come together and accept one another’s cultures and heritages.”

The CVCHS Latino Club performed a dance, as did the new Hip Hop Club – led by sophomore ASB representative and next school year’s ASB rally commissioner Nate Nicholas. CVCHS students also performed Tahitian, Samoan and Haka dances, followed by a salsa number by senior class president Yennifer Molina and sophomore class president Noah Schipper. Next, CVCHS students Sydney Skow is a sophomore at were impressed and surprised CVCHS. Email her at by their fellow students’ ents in the Quebradito and



Denim garments came into existence during the 18th century, when there was abundant production of cotton. They gained importance due to durability and resistance to tearing, which benefited physical laborers. Levi Strauss popularized the garment in the 19th century, manufacturing denim clothing for miners. The 20th century brought jeans into pop culture. Western cowboy movies portrayed people wearing blue jeans. In the 1950s, jeans became a craze for teenagers. Manufacturers capitalized on the situation, coming up with innovative designs like new

parents flew in and stood on the rim of the nest. We’re lucky in the Bay Area to have so much protected land. The Diablo area is particularly rich, and some of that wealth is in the numbers and variety of hawks and other birds of prey. Unfortunately, these birds are often the unintended victims of rodenticides people put out to kill rats or ground squirrels. The rodenticides on the market kill rodents slowly, making them easier for birds of prey to nab. The poison accumulates in their bodies and, even worse, the birds feed poisoned animals to their nestlings. A few years ago,

all three red-tail fledglings in one of the nests Muehlner monitors were poisoned to death. At we watched the red-tail nest, the spring sun had grown too warm, so the parent slowly settled into the nest. The bird spread its wings over the babies like a patio umbrella, tucking the nestlings in and keeping a keen eye on the landscape. Maybe the bird’s mate would be home soon with a ground squirrel.

colors, embroidery and patchwork. Hip huggers and bell bottoms became popular during the ’60s and ’70s. Denim started drawing the attention of fashion designers in the ’80s. Popular models brought new and glamorous patterns into the limelight in commercials. Puffy pants, puffy shoulder pads and puffy hair became stylish. In the ’90s, denim became one of the most sought after fabrics. To skim the cream of the denim market, manufacturers came up with innovative ideas using denim, like skirts, caps and handbags. Denim sales skyrocketed. The new millennium finds denim in homes worldwide. The current trend is all about variety, with bold styles to keep pace with a fast-track lifestyle. Denim is a symbol of mod-

ern culture. Be it jeans, a jacket, skirt or any other product, the spirit of fashion lures consumers to shop for denim. A fashion survey reports that the average American owns seven to eight pairs of jeans. For women 16-55 years old, 86 percent chose denim as their favorite garment. Eightyfour percent of fashion designers and shoppers see denim in their future. Please join me April 11-18 to view all that is denim and so much more at a private showing in Clayton. Contact me for more details.

Hobbet is a docent with the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association. For more information about rodenticides, see You can send email to her

Lowly denim takes its place in high fashion

Sappington is the director of business development for W by Worth Designer Clothing and a personal stylist for menswear featuring J. Hilburn Clothiers. Contact her at

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Clayton Pioneer •

April 7, 2017

When remodeling bathroom, start with tile

For versatility and easy maintenance, porcelain is great for floors and walls and comes in a variety of sizes.

You’ve spent months collecting your favorite items, from the perfect chandelier over the bathtub to a vanity faucet, but deciding where to start on a bathroom remodel can be daunting. Often, the ideas you’ve collected spur new questions. What is the general color scheme? If the design aesthetic traditional, transitional, modern or somewhere in between? Do you need a new vanity? Can plumbing be moved? All these decisions are important to the overall decorative and functional outcome. Starting with tile selection

can be a great way to narrow down your options. Tile is decorative, functional and, depending on what material you use, it can account for a good amount of a remodel budget. Porcelain is made to withstand the masses and laughs at the notion of “wear and tear.” Other than typical cleaning, it’s virtually maintenance free. There is no need to apply a yearly sealant as natural stone requires. Porcelain is great for floors and walls and comes in a variety of sizes, from 2-inch by 2-inch mosaics to tiles up to 48 by 96 inches. Porcelain can create an over-

Hall farms the way nature intended DEBRA MORRIS Pacific Coast Farmers Market

Showing a customer little balls of tight purple leaves with beautiful streaks of color, Stevie Hall explains that it is the side growth of a regular red cabbage. At the Concord Farmers Market, he tells how he grows these and other organic fruits and vegetables with little disruption to the environment. Another customer browses the booth and comments about how pretty everything looks and how inviting the colorful produce is. That’s just the way Hall likes it. He wants people to appreciate his organic fruits and vegetables for both their beauty and flavor. Hall wants customers to understand that letting nature do its thing is the way to get the best produce – and to take care of the ecosystem. You can see the love he has for the land

and the produce he grows just by watching him talk about his farm with customers. Hall’s interest in agriculture started in high school. He raised animals in Future Farmers of America and 4-H, learning ownership and responsibility with the animals at a young age. While at Hartnell College, he took classes in crop production and food safety. Hall also received college credit when he took a part-time field position at the Agricultural Research Service and subsequently learned the tools needed to start his own farm. Hall began farming on a half-acre while juggling school and work. Over the next five years, he became committed to becoming a full-time farmer. He now has five acres in Spreckels, growing more than 30 varieties of fruits and vegetables. He sells at local farmers markets and wholesale outlets.


“Our agro-ecological approach to growing certified organic produce allows us to reduce and minimize our use of organic sprays, while offering customers the best produce around,” Hall says. He plants many different crops and varieties within the same area of the field, allowing

for crop diversity. This also results in fewer pest infestations. Among their integrated pest management techniques, Hall’s Organic Farm employs beneficial companion plantings to draw in helpful predator insects. “I started the farm by myself, from the beginning, with no family involved. I love growing strawberries as well as vegetables, even though they are extremely labor intensive to manage,” Hall notes. He offers a wide variety of seasonal vegetables, all grown organically and with great care for the land. He greets customers with a smile at each farmers market, offering the best organic produce he can. Stop by and say hello, and enjoy some of his little “sidegrowth” cabbages, cauliflower leaves and other delicious fruits and vegetables. He’s at the Concord Farmers Market every Tuesday.

Nancy E. Bennett

ly rustic and distressed hardwood flooring look-a-like, or a sleek, polished marble look-alike. There are also mini mosaics with a metallic finish, or a tile that has a very pronounced texture. Porcelain can do all of this, without the maintenance or the occasional sliver. While porcelain tiles are made to be tough and stand up against heavy traffic areas, ceramic tiles are softer. They’re better in more decorative applications like shower walls, wainscoting and backsplashes. Because ceramic tiles are much softer than porcelain, floor installations are not advised because the tiles will eventually crack. This isn’t to say that porcelain is indestructible and ceramic is not, but the two materials are manufactured differently and stand up to wear and tear differently. Made by Mother Nature, natural stone has no rival. Stone has it covered, from granite slabs for a vanity or shower walls, marble tiles in a variety of sizes for a floor or other surfaces to decorative mosaics and field tile.



But in return, you must maintain this beautiful material. Natural stone is porous, which means it must be sealed regularly to keep its sheen and preserve the life of the stone. Sometimes the best-looking bathrooms are those that mix and match porcelain, ceramic and natural stone, while keeping function in mind and maintenance to a minimum. When starting a bathroom project, take time to browse the many materials available to come up with a design that not only functionally comes together but also delights your inner designer. Jennifer Leischer is the owner of J. Designs Interior Design in Clayton. Contact her with questions, comments and suggestions at

Technology, from page 16

talk. “It’s important to talk to kids about what they are seeing online,” Lynch said. “We can’t protect them from everything, but we can teach them to regulate themselves and communicate.” Parent Faculty Club copresident Jen Lauricella said the PFC makes an effort to have a portion of the budget go toward parent education each year.

“The kids grew up in this world of technology and we didn’t, so it’s good for us to stay informed,” added PFC copresident Alison Albert. “We are very proactive as a PFC in terms of connecting with our middle schoolers.” The next parent education night is “Taking the Sting Out of the Birds and the Bees” at 7 p.m. April 24 in the Multi-Use Room.

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APR 07 Clayton Pioneer 2017  

Local newspaper for Clayton, CA. Events, sports, schools and entertainment news for the Clayton area.

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