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April 13, 2012

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Ipsen breaks 82-year drought to win diving championship for Stanford HOWARD GELLER

JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer


Clayton’s greatest resource is its volunteers April showers do bring May flowers. Our hillsides look like velvet green carpet. Trees and plants are budding everywhere. Our lawns look like they have new life. Bare dirt in our garden is starting to show signs of life as fresh shoots of annuals and bulbs begin to sprout. It is the time to plant our vegetable and flower gardens and add a few new plants where others have died. Spring is such a wonderful time of the year.

See Mayor, page 6

Daffodil Hill project still on pause TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer

Once upon a time, springtime brought daffodils to the hillside at Clayton and Marsh Creek Roads. Now weeds and a few brave poppies cover the ground. Boulders are scattered over the hillside like so many giant meatballs and a monument sign sits at the top proclaiming “Clayton” to all who pass. The Clayton Business and Community Association (CBCA)

See Daffodil Hill, page 4

Clayton Cleans Up April 21 Observe Earth Day with your friends and family and help Clayton spiff up for the Art and Wine Festival. Join your neighbors on Saturday, April 21, rain or shine, for Clayton’s annual spring cleaning. Meet at City Hall at 9 a.m. to pick up trash bags and Tshirts and spend the morning cleaning up Clayton streets, trails and creek banks. Then meet back at the City Hall courtyard for a barbeque lunch. The event is sponsored by the Clayton Pioneer, the city of Clayton and Allied Waste with generous donations from Fresh & Easy, Instant Imprints, Navlet’s, Peet’s Coffee and Safeway.

Photo courtesy Stanford Athletics Communications

FRESHMAN KRISTIAN IPSEN OF CLAYTON BECAME THE FIRST STANFORD DIVER IN 82 YEARS to win an NCAA diving championship, capturing the three-meter recently in Washington and completing an undefeated collegiate season in the event.

Clayton freshman Kristian Ipsen has had an incredibly busy first three months this year as he competed in his first college diving season for Stanford University while also diving for the United States National Team and in between all that trying to keep up with his college coursework. He reached one milestone late last month in Federal Way, WA when he won the NCAA championship in the threemeter springboard to give his school its first men’s national diving title in 82 years. With his first college season in the books Ipsen can focus on making the US Olympic Team. Next Wednesday will be exactly 100 days before the start of the London Olympics and the 19year-old is touted as a near cinch to represent his country in the synchro three-meter with partner Troy Dumais and is also shooting for a berth on the US team in the three-meter individual event. With a schedule for the US Diving National team that would have forced him to miss 38 days of a 12-week spring quarter Ipsen is taking the quarter off from school. Instead he’ll be competing in Moscow (Russia, not Idaho) and then Tijuana, Mexico before training back in Federal Way this month with the national team. After a week off he’ll be heading to Ft. Lauderdale to dive against an international field at the annual AT&T USA Diving Grand Prix May 10-13, his last competition before the all-important US Olympic Trials June 17-24 in the Seattle suburb of Federal Way.

In between the Grand Prix in May and the Trials he’ll also be spending time on planes flying back and forth to Austin, TX where he trains with Dumais on synchro. The duo has been the No. 1 US synchro team since Ipsen was first paired with three-time Olympian Dumais – 13 years Ipsen’s senior – in early 2009. They’ve totally dominated American events since then and have placed in the top four of almost all international competitions. The London Olympics are July 27 through Aug. 12. Ipsen must have put a huge smile on the face of his college coach Dr. Rick Schavone who has been at Stanford for 34 years. The coach has eight NCAA women’s champions but Ipsen was the first Stanford man to win a national title for Schavone and all the coaches preceding him on The Farm for 82 years. In fact, the freshman flash from Clayton was the only Stanford man to win a NCAA title this year as the Cardinal took fourth at the NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships. The Palo Alto school has been in the top four of every NCAA meet since 1981 but has recently had to look up to cross-bay rivals Cal, which has won the last two NCAA swimming and diving team titles for men and women. Ipsen won all 12 regular season one- and three-meter events, swept through the oneand three-meter events at the Regional Zone meet in Colorado Springs where he qualified for the NCAA finals. He was also eighth in his first ever

See Ipsen, page 10

CVHS musicians get their New York City serenade ROBBIE PARKER CVHS Reporter

Traditionally the Clayton Valley High School Department of Instrumental Music takes a unique trip each year. This year was big – as in the Big Apple, New York City. When the departure day finally arrived, I found myself catching a red-eye flight to JFK International with 73 other students, 10 chaperones, one director and two tour guides. Needless to say, we didn’t sleep much, and we were tired when we transferred onto tour buses. However, all that changed and any signs of sluggishness disappeared as we crossed the

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

Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan. Excitement rose as the massive skyscrapers came into view. The streets were crowded with bustling people. Every avenue was full to capacity with stores, shops, restaurants and vendors. Taxi cabs zipped around the streets like a colony of ants. I found myself fascinated by the sights and sounds of downtown Manhattan. As we departed the bus toward Battery Park and the Long Island Ferry, it was obvious the magic of New York City had cast its spell upon me and brought out my inner tourist. I found myself enthralled in every sense, and taking pictures of

See Musicians, page 8 Car Tuned . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Classified . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Club News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Community Calendar . . . . . .14 Directory of Advertisers . . . . .5

Robbie Parker/Clayton Pioneer

STUDENTS FROM THE CVHS MUSIC DEPARTMENT pause for a group photo during their recent trip to New York City. During the trip individual bands performed in Madison Square and participated in professional workshops and master classes.

DVMS Reporter . . . . . . . . . . .8 Estate Planning . . . . . . . . . . .7 Fashion Over 50 . . . . . . . . .15 Fitness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Garden Girl . . . . . . . . . . . . .18

History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Mind Matters . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Obituary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Pets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 PoliceReport . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Sports Shorts . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Theatre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 The Charter Papers . . . . . . . .8


Page 2

Clayton Pioneer •

Club News

Around Town Katlyn Cook and Jacob Duncan engaged Katlyn Cook and Jacob Duncan, both of Clayton, will marry in June of 2013. Katlyn, a dental hygiene student and dental assistant, is the daughter of Blane and Sharon Cook. She graduated from CVHS in 2007. Jacob is the son of Gary and Leala Duncan and graduated from CVHS in 2006. He is employed as a carpenter. The two became engaged on March 31 when Jacob proposed in the pouring rain with an engagement ring he designed with stones from Katlyn’s baby jewelry and the wedding rings that belonged to his mother and her grandmother.

CBCA’s Clayton Classic ready to tee off GARY CARR Special to the Pioneer


Pioneer goes to Joshua Tree When Dane and Kahni Horton were packing for a desert vacation, we stowed away and tagged along on their visit to their neighbor Barb Wall’s winter home in La Quinta. One day, Barb surprised us all with a fancy gourmet picnic in the Joshua Tree National Forest, where we were surrounded by fantastic rock formations, sparkling sand, and the rare Joshua Trees.

What’s happening? BARB WALL WITH DANE AND KAHNI HORTON the Joshua Tree National Forest.



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bership voted to honor the request from Junior Achievement of Northern California to help fund their 2012 program in the Clayton schools. As in previous years, JA lessons on how business works will be taught by CBCA members and volunteers from the community. Additional events on the CBCA calendar include the Art & Wine Festival, May 5 and 6; the Rib Cookoff on Aug. 1; and Oktoberfest, Oct. 6 and 7. Volunteers are always greatly appreciated. Find out more at 925-672-2272 or

Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society

See Venus and Mars through telescopes and find out why Earth has life, but not Venus or Mars. See stars, nebula, galaxies, clusters, the moon and planets on April 14 when the Mt.

Diablo Astronomical Society meets on Mt. Diablo on April 14. Children are welcome to this program about our neighboring planets.. The program runs from 7 to 11 p.m. Enter Mt. Diablo State Park through the Northgate entrance by 6:15. There is no fee for the program, but there is a $10 park entrance fee. Bring binoculars, warm clothes, snacks and water. Flashlights are not required, but if brought, must be covered in red plastic. Participants will be escorted several times during the evening through the Northgate entrance. This program is weather dependent and could be canceled if there is high fire danger. For more information, go to or call 695-3134 or the park at 837-2525.

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with the city of Clayton on the Daffodil Hill beautification project since 2008. Daffodil Hill lies at the main entrance to downtown Clayton, at the corner of Marsh Creek and Clayton roads. The project has been delayed several times because of glitches in the process of obtaining first private, then public bids. The project is on hold, pending the club’s decision about their next steps, which include working with the City of Clayton, going back out to bid or other options. In a final action, the mem-


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The Clayton Classic golf tournament has been rescued at the eleventh hour, and will go on for the 26th consecutive year, thanks to Jim Diaz, Ted Sudderth and Miles Bell. The three CBCA members stepped forward to co-chair the event, with the able assistance of a group of eager volunteers. In the last issue of the Pioneer, we reported that the annual event might be in jeopardy, since no one had yet volunteered to chair the tournament. But it’s back on track, and Sudderth was enthusiastic in promising it would be better than ever. “We want to bring the Clayton Classic back to the level it was at 15 years ago,” he said, addressing the membership at its March 29 meeting at Oakhurst Country Club. The Clayton Classic tees off on Monday, June 11, at Oakhurst. Major sponsors include Oakhurst Country Club, Allied Waste and the Sheet Metal Workers. Diablo Ford will sponsor the hole-in-one contest. Entrance fees have been reduced to $150 this year, in order to increase participation, Sudderth explained. The Clayton Classic is a major CBCA fundraiser to benefit the boy’s golf team at Clayton Valley High School. This year, the tournament is dedicated to the memory of Jerry Coakley, the late CVHS coach. Daffodil Hill update CBCA has been working

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April 13, 2012

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 3

Small band of volunteers keep Mount Diablo in its glory

Tamara Steiner/Clayton Pioneer

CLAYTON RESIDENTS KATHY DIMONTE, JOYCE CHIN AND SUE DONECKER volunteer hundreds of hours as docents at the Mitchell Canyon Trailhead, turning almost all of MDIA’s revenue right back into Mount Diablo State Park. NICCI SHIPSTEAD Clayton Pioneer

While facing the daily grind it’s easy to lose perspective of the awesome forces at work here in our Clayton backyards under the shadow of Mount Diablo. The ecosystems, geology, animals and wildflowers of Mount Diablo State Park are among of the most amazing and diverse in the U.S. At the same time, the economic crunch is hitting hard and quietly on the state parks. Filling the financial and manpower gap is the sometimes overlooked Mt. Diablo Interpretive Association, a completely non-profit organization with a goal to provide a positive park visitors’ experience since 1974. MDIA is a small group of board members and volunteers dedicated to offering programs and services to enhance the park. Of 60 to 70 State Park cooperating associations, MDIA is the most ambitious

and largest. “Secure funding for state parks is impossible to predict, and the park continues to make deep cuts and defer maintenance of critical infrastructure,” said MDIA President Jim Mitchell. “Mount Diablo State Park is counting on MDIA to work side by side with the staff to continue to provide services and interpretive material to park visitors.” Only 6 percent of more than $100,000 annual expenditures are administrative. In 2010, MDIA undertook a special fundraising initiative, raising more than $35,000 for the Summit Visitor Center renovation. “Our crew did all the prep work to gut, paint, and move electrical for the Summit renovation,” said Steve Elliott, Treasurer and Volunteer Coordinator. “Our original mission was to help with interpretation so that visitors would have an educational experience when they visited but lately we have had to

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take on more financial responsibility,” said Mitchell Canyon Volunteer Manager Sue Donecker of Clayton. Volunteers attend VIP Training (Volunteers in Parks) given by the State Park. “We do school programs, lead hikes, and also are now helping to collect park entrance fees. We also help financially by supporting the park aides so the Summit Museum can stay open for visitors,” Donecker said. “The town of Clayton has been a remarkable partner of the park,” Elliott said. “I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s their heritage.”

Diablo is the place where the southern wildflowers and northern wildflowers meet. We have 11 endemic species but the favorite is the Mount Diablo Fairy Lantern or Globe Lily.” Merchandising publications, souvenirs, snacks and apparel at the visitor centers generates 59 percent of revenue. “Mountain Lore” is the just-released history and place names book and “Mount Diablo: The Extraordinary Life and Landscapes of a California Treasure” is a musthave recent release. “If you buy it at the visitor’s centers (MDIA) eats the tax and the profit goes right back into the park,” said Donecker. “Available soon is our latest ven-

ture – a bike jersey with the mountain outline on it.” JUNIOR RANGERS In addition to educational programs, MDIA, in association with the park, is registering its sixth year of Junior Rangers for 7 to 12 year olds. The comprehensive series includes geology, plants, animals, California Native Americans, prehistoric times, the history of Mount Diablo, hands-on activities and a hike. Participants earn weekly awards and a Junior Ranger badge and certificate at completion. “It’s really popular,” said Elliott, “and different than other State Parks.” Elliott trav-

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eled around California with his kids to get a workbook stamped at various parks towards their Junior Ranger badge. “It became frustrating to finish,” he said. In solution, MDIA co-sponsors an “intensive” program over five Saturdays, three hours each, designed to be substantial and meaningful while ageappropriate, Elliott explains. “It’s an opportunity for a parent and child to work together, practice their skills and pique curiosity.” Kelly Tuohey of Clayton said her daughters Samantha,

See Volunteers, page 4

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Page 4

Clayton Pioneer •

April 13


15, 2012

April 13, 2012

Daffodil Hill, from page 1 started working on the civic project almost five years ago. The improvements so far, have cost the club over $60,000. Earlier this year, the CBCA Daffodil Hill committee together with landscape architect Stephen Lane presented a creative design to the City Council. The plans include oak trees, ground cover, seating areas and flowering bushes. At that time, the committee was hoping to get the planting done before this fall. But, the project stalled because the CBCA has not been able to pin down a viable bid to complete it. By most contractors’ standards, the job is small, and it has been difficult to get them to bid on it, CBCA president Keith Haydon told the City Council at the April 3 meeting. “And the bids we did get were all over the map,” he said. One private bid was $29,000 and the other was $68,000. Hoping to get a better deal if the smaller project were bid as part of a bigger job, the club asked the city to include the hillside in the request for bid for the much larger median project. But even that bid came in too high – $52,000 for Daffodil Hill; still too much, said Haydon. CBCA wants the city to help pay to finish the hillside. “We’re willing to contribute a significant portion, but we aren’t a bottomless pit. We’ve invested over $60,000 so far and don’t have much to show for it.” Because the hillside has been a CBCA project from the start, there are no city

funds budgeted for its landscaping. Councilman Joe Medrano wants to find city finds to finish the project. “Not to finish it would be a travesty,” he said. Other Council members are more cautious. Julie Pierce said “In some ways, it would have been better not to have done anything than leaving it half done. But, I’m

Tamara Steiner/Clayton Pioneer

THE CBCA HAS INVESTED MORE THAN $60,000 so far into the hillside at the Marsh Creek/Clayton Rd. entrance to Clayton. Landscaping bids have all come in much higher than expected and the club is asking the city to help pay to finish the project.

Volunteers, from page 3 27th Annual

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12, and Annika, 8, have really enjoyed Junior Rangers with their dad, Michael. “Annika was willing to miss a soccer game for an archaeological dig where they uncovered Native American tools. Other than that it hasn’t interfered with sports,” said Tuohey, who encourages her friends to participate. Other MDIA investments include interpretive displays at the visitor’s centers, the native plant garden, repair and completion of split-rail fencing at Mitchell Canyon,

reluctant to commit city funds.” The hill is not part of the Landscape Maintenance District but the District has the option to annex it, said City Manager Gary Napper. The Council sent the matter to the Trails and Landscape Committee to evaluate annexation and voted unanimously to award the median project to Stockbridge Construction, the low bidder at $290,711, not including any Daffodil Hill landscaping.

replacement of trail signs and generic trail marking, trash removal and habitat restoration. Trail adoption by individuals and organizations help the park maintain the 187 miles of trails and fire roads. MDIA and the East Bay Trail Dogs finished refurbishment of the Black Point Trail in 2011. More than 75 of 113 identified trash removal sites have been cleaned up since 2001. “We hit the million foot mark for

barbed wire, totaling 192 miles of single strand removed,” remarks Mitchell. To register for Junior Rangers contact Steve Elliott at (925) 362-8697 or at The five weekend sessions begin April 28th – June 3rd from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Registration is limited to 15 children ages 7 to 12, plus 1 parent per child. While there is no charge for the program, payment of the Park’s entrance fee is required. Find a trail hike calendar at Prospective volunteers contact Mount Diablo State Park Ranger Carl Nielson at (925) 837-6129 or



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April 13, 2012

Clayton Pioneer •

Directory of Advertisers

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


R OBERT S TEINER , Publishers

Lorene Rea Hanson

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

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PIONEER INFO CONTACT US Tel: (925) 672-0500 Fax: (925) 672-6580 Tamara Steiner Send ads to Send Sports News to Send Club News to Send Church News to

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

LET US KNOW Weddings, engagements, anniversaries, births and deaths all weave together as part of the fabric of our community. Please let us know of these important events. We ask only that the announcement be for a Clayton resident. You will find the appropriate form for your announcement on our Website. Attach your photo to the form. Make sure the image size you are about to send is at least 3 MB but not bigger than 6MB. The only format we accept is JPG. You can also mail or bring your print to the office and we can scan it for you. Also on our Website are forms for submitting Community Calendar items and press releases for your organization.

Lorene Hanson passed away peacefully at home on March 22 with her husband of 65 years at her side. Lorene was born in Duluth Minn. on June 8, 1922. She lived in Clayton for 52 years and worked at the Clayton Post Office for 22 years. She was involved in many local organizations, including the Clayton Valley Woman’s Club, Clayton Historical Society and Clayton Museum; and she was a frequent volunteer at many civic activities. She was predeceased by her son Thomas and daughter Kathy. She is survived by her husband Mahlon “Ming” Hanson, her

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

Page 5

sons and their wives, Jim and Pat Hanson and Bob and Patti Hanson; six grandchildren and three great-granddaughters. She will be remembered as a loving wife, mother, grandmother and greatgrandmother. She was loved by all who were lucky enough to know her and will be remembered for her unconditional love and kindness. Memorial donations can be made to the Clayton Valley Woman’s Club, PO Box 95, Clayton, CA 94517.

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Chiropractor Coflin Chiropractic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6500 Construction and Trades Appliance Repairs by Bruce, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2700 Belfast Plumbing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .457-5423 Black Diamond Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .777-3440 Burkin Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 672-1519 Diablo View Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .822-5144 Steffan Smith Kitchen & Bath Remodeling . . . . .914-0497 Tipperary Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216-2679 Dining and Entertainment Clayton Club Saloon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-0440 Memo’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .914-0395 Ravioli’s Italian Market Place . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-3819 Subway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0621 Willows Theatre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-1300 Events Clayton Art & Wine Festival/CBCA . . . . . . . . . . .672-2272 Contra Costa Home & Garden Show CR Abrams Living Trust Seminar . . . . . . . . .877-322-9778 Financial and Insurance Services Dawn King Bookkeeping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .933-0553 Held, Chris - Wells Fargo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .609-9415 Littorno, Richard - Attorney at Law . . . . . . . . . . . .432-4211 Miller, Tom, CPA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .354-1385 Prosperitas Wealth Management . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-7700 Van Wyck, Doug - State Farm Insurance . . . . . . .672-2300 Funerals Ouimet Funeral Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-4242 Home and Garden Abbey Carpet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .686-9901 Clear Splash Pool Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216-6245 Diablo Lawnscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .381-3757 Just Floors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .681-4747 Navlet’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .681-0550 Nichols Landscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9955 Utopic Gardens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .524-0055 Waraner Bros. Tree Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .831-2323 Mailing Services The UPS Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-6245

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

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Help Fight Hunger Anna Chan – AKA: The Lemon Lady needs your help! Weekly commitment appreciated. Please contact Anna at 672-1988 or Meals on Wheels Drivers 1 – 1 1/2 per week. Drivers and relief drivers needed for delivery of Meals on Wheels in East County. Call Jim at 673-0300 or e-mail Hospice of the East Bay – Anna’s Attic Volunteer at Anna’s Attic Thrift Shoppe, located at 5350 Clayton Road. For information call 6749072. To learn more about volunteering for Hospice of the East Bay please contact 887-5678, or email Clayton Historical Society Museum needs a greeter for two hours per month from 2-4 p.m. Wednesdays or Sundays. Call the museum at 672-0240 and leave your name. Clayton Community Library Needs volunteers. Minimum age 13. Minimum commitment is 6 months. Some training provided. Contact: Arlene @ 673-9777 or email:

Optometry Foresight Optometry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-4100 Pet Services Monte Vista Veterinary Hospital . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-1100 Pet Suites Inn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .432-7387 Rodie’s Feed and Pet Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-4600 Real Estate and Mortgage Services French, Lynne - Windermere Real Estate . . . . . .672-8787 Klock, Leigh - Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . . . . . .212-5593 Laurence, Pete - RE/MAX Realty . . . . . . . . . . . .890-6004 Lopez, Stephanie - Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . .932-7329 Mazzei, Matt -Mazzei Realty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0757 Ondersma, Christine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .276-2005 Vujnovich, George - Better Homes Realty . . . . .672-4433 Recreation and Fitness All Out Sports League . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .203-5626 Casey Copeland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Clayton Valley Bowl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-4631 Diablo FC Soccer Academy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-4625 Earthquake Arabians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .360-7454 East Bay Regional Park District . . . . . . . . . . . Levity Fitness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2995 Senior Services Always Available Home Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-6887 CourtYards at Pine Creek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-3900 Diamond Terrace Senior Retirement Living . . . . .524-5100 Services, Other Computers USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9989 Contra Costa Water District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .688-8320 Net Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6029 Recycling Center & Transfer Station . . . . . . . . . .473-0180 The Maids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-6243 Specialty Shopping Candles Make Scents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .405-7199 Step Into Comfort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2276 Travel Cruise Adventures Unlimited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .935-7447 Worship Clayton Community Church . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-9060

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If you like low rates, now is the time to buy Q. I am trying to time a home purchase and sale of my current home. I heard that the Fed is going to keep interest rates down through next year. How should this affect my timing? A. My first thought is, what does the Fed consider low? Does this mean the same rate we are now experiencing? Historically, even if rates went up over a percentage point, they still would be considered low. Even two points. My loan expert, Jay Voorhees, gave me this example: “Rates bumped up yesterday in response to a lackluster bond auction, but came back down today. Quick note for those who believe that rates can be held low indefinitely; Rates bumped up yesterday because of weak demand for bonds. When you consider that over 70 percent of all Federal bond purchases are by the Fed for its own balance sheet, you realize that most of the ‘demand’ is artificial, and that this cannot continue. And rates will go up. “This would be like General Motors buying 70 percent of its own cars in order to keep prices high. Sooner or later, GM would run out of money and have way too many cars. The Fed has ‘way too many bonds,’ but it does not run out of money because it effectively just creates it, but that cannot continue without inflation running amok.” When inflation goes up, so do interest rates. Other positive numbers in the economy, such as lower unem-


REAL ANSWERS ployment claims, raise rates. If low interest rates are your deciding factor, you should sell and buy now. Q. I am planning to put my house up for sale soon. I am lucky that I have equity in it, but not a whole lot. It has been maintained well while I have owned it. I would like to sell it “as-is” There are some areas that need maintenance or repair but I would rather give the buyer a little credit and let them repair it. What is your opinion of the idea? A. This is a market where the majority of buyers (a recent study cited 87 percent of first time buyers) are looking for a “move-in” ready home. They will pay a premium for one. Homes that have been spruced up for the market sell quicker also. That doesn’t mean major, costly renovation that you, the seller, won’t likely get back on the purchase price, either. Instead of a major kitchen or

bath renovation, just repainting the home, perhaps new flooring or at least removing clutter, will go a long way in freshening up a home. Also don’t forget about curb appeal: Paint the front door if it is showing wear and tear, freshen the flower pots and trim the bushes. It is crucial that you address any major maintenance and safety issues – such as leaking roofs – before the home even goes on the market. If you, however, are still thinking of selling your home “as-is” you will need to get a professional home inspection, structural pest inspection (termite inspection), and any other inspection on a component that could turn out to be an issue. With these inspection reports in hand a buyer will know what they are going to get if they buy the house. “As is” properties

attract a lot of investors. They are very “bottom-line” oriented. You often get a lower offer from them because the return on their investment is their primary incentive, whether they are going to fix it up and “flip it” or keep it as a rental. There isn’t as much of the emotional motivation of someone that is going to live there would have. The condition of your home is a good determining factor for how you will market it. Consult with your Real Estate professional which is the best way to go. Lynne French is the Broker/Owner of Windermere Lynne French & Associates and a Clayton resident. For any real estate needs or questions contact her at 925-672-8787; E-mail:, or stop in at 6200 Center Street in Clayton.

Police Activity Week ending Thursday, April 5, 2012 Accidents Mar. 31, 10:20 a.m. Non injury accident at Clayton Rd. and Diablo View Lane. Arrests Mar. 31, 11:50 p.m., At Clayton Road and Washington Blvd., an Antioch man was arrested for DUI after police stopped him for a

Vehicle Code violation. April 5, 7:06 p.m. A Lafayette man was arrested at Mt. Wilson and Mt. Whitney for Stalking in Violation of Court Order Thefts April 3, Grand theft on Mt. Etna Drive. Vandalism Mar. 29 on Marsh Creek Road.

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Mayor, from page 1 Clayton too is preparing for what is to come in the following months. On April 21, the Clayton Pioneer will host its annual Clayton Cleans Up. Volunteers will clean our creek beds and trails, trim overgrown shrubs and pick up litter. The Clayton Business and Community Association is busy getting ready for their annual Art and Wine Festival on May 5 and 6. That brings me to my topic for this article, “the gift of volunteering.” I am often asked what makes Clayton so special. One answer I typically hear is because of all the events that go on throughout the year. I think it is because of all the volunteers that we have to man these events. The largest single group of volun-

teers is the Clayton Business and Community Association (CBCA). It comprises about 200 members who volunteer their time and energy to produce events that we all enjoy. Joined by Clayton Valley Charter High School teams and coaches, volunteers from Diablo Valley Ranch and myriad volunteers from our community, these events are manned. Through volunteering new friends are made. Old friends work side by side as goodwill agents, pouring drinks and selling tickets to our guests. With such positive results each year, volunteers come back and bring new friends and family to join them. We have volunteers for the Art and Wine Festival, Oktoberfest, the Concert In the Grove

Park Series, 4th of July, Labor Day Derby, Clayton Library, Clayton Cleans Up, Clayton Counts Down and the Rib Cook-Off. The list goes on. If you are part of this philanthropic group of people that volunteer, then you already know the rewards received. It is the warm feelings of giving something back to our community that make us return year after year. It is the feeling that we can make a difference and we do. To join this group of volunteers and work the Art and Wine Festival, go to and sign up. Last year because of Clayton volunteers, CBCA donated more than $85,000 back to our community. Scholarships were given to students. Funds were donated to allow our children to participate in events which schools no longer fund. Pro-

grams were continued and equipment was paid for by the proceeds made in events staffed by volunteers. Last year, more than 400 backpacks filled with school supplies plus $3,000 was donated to VESTIA. The Veteran’s Administration received $1,000 for warm blankets and sweatshirts. Eight families were adopted for Christmas. CBCA donated family essentials as well as gifts. The list of donations is huge as committee members sift through requests of people in need. While other communities boast of their business parks or retail malls, as your Mayor, I get to brag about you, our volunteers. You make Clayton one of the best cities in this nation to live. Send questions and comments to

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Vacation home fate may be no day at the beach COMMUNICATE PLANS TO LOVED ONES

RICHARD LITTORNO ESTATE PLANNING The Smith’s mountain retreat has been in the family for many decades, passed down from one generation to the next. Bob and Judy wish to continue the tradition by giving the vacation home to their four children. To keep family harmony, it’s important that Bob and Judy address the property in their estate plan.

If you find yourself in a similar situation to Bob and Judy’s, sit down with your children to discuss your plans for the vacation home. Simply dividing the home equally among your children or other family members may seem like the fairest solution, but it can end up being an invitation to conflict and hurt feelings. Some family members may care more about keeping the home in the family than about any financial benefits it might provide. Others may prefer to sell the home and use the proceeds for other needs. One solution is to leave the vacation home to the family members who want it and leave other assets to those who don’t. Alternatively, you can develop a buyout plan that establishes the

terms under which family members who want to keep the home can buy the interests of those who want to sell. The plan should establish a reasonable price and payment terms, which might include payment in installments over several years. You also may want to put together a usage schedule for non-owners whom you wish to allow to continue enjoying the vacation home. And to help keep the vacation home in the family, consider setting aside assets that will generate income to pay for maintenance, repairs, property taxes and other expenses. ESTATE PLANNING STRATEGIES After determining who will receive your vacation home, there are several traditional estate planning tools you can use to transfer it in a tax-efficient man-

ner. In light of the $5.12 million gift tax exemption and the fact that the amount is set to go down to $1 million beginning in 2013 without Congressional action, it may make sense to transfer interests in the home to your children or other family members now But if you’re not yet ready to give up ownership, there are other strategies you can use, such as a qualified personal residence trust (QPRT). With a QPRT, you transfer a qualifying vacation home to an irrevocable trust, retaining the right to occupy the home during the trust term. At the end of the term, the home is transferred to your beneficiaries (though it’s possible to continue occupying the home by pay-

ing them fair market rent). The transfer is a taxable gift of your beneficiaries’ remainder interest, which is only a fraction of the home’s current fair market value. You must survive the trust term, and the vacation home must qualify as a “personal residence,” which means, among other things, that you use it for the greater of 14 days per year or more than 10 percent of the total number of days it’s rented out. Another option is a qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) trust. A QTIP trust can be an effective way to provide for your current spouse for life and preserve the trust assets for your children, while minimizing gift and estate tax. In blended families, a QTIP trust can pro-

Grand Jury seeking applications The Contra Costa County Superior Court is accepting applications for Civil Grand Jury Service for the fiscal year 2012-2013. The Civil Grand Jury is made up of 19 members who serve for one year, July through June, to monitor, review and report on city and county governments, special districts and school districts. “Grand Juries are the citizen watchdogs of civic functions,” says current Grand Jury Foreman Lloyd Bell. “All county citizens have the authority to call the jury’s attention to issues within their governmental agencies that they think should be reviewed.” Every effort is made to ensure that the Grand Jury reflects the makeup of the residents of the

county. About 60 applicants will be interviewed by the Grand Jury Selection Committee, which is comprised of Superior Court judges. The judges will nominate approximately 30 applicants to constitute a grand jury pool from which the final panel of 19 will be selected by random drawing. Individuals selected for service must be available during the last two weeks of June to meet with outgoing jurors, tour county facilities, meet with department heads, become familiar with their colleagues, learn about juror responsibilities and procedures, and select committees on which they will serve. A Grand Juror must be a United States citizen, 18 years of age or

older, and have been a resident of Contra Costa County for at least one year. A Juror cannot currently hold any elected position within the county. Applicants should have reliable transportation to Martinez, and must be prepared to devote at least 20 hours per week to Civil Grand Jury service. Jurors receive a stipend for attending full jury and committee meetings and are reimbursed for allowable jury travel. Parking is provided in the municipal lot while performing Grand Jury duties. To apply, contact the Office of the Civil Grand Jury at (925) 957-5638, or visit the website at Application deadline is April 13.

Photo courtesy of the Clayton Historical Society

The Way We Were

Keller Ranch

This is a picture of the Keller House with the barn in the background, as it looked in 1915. It sits across a foot bridge over the creek behind the Clayton Library. Joel Clayton once owned this property that which is believed to have been part of the Rancho del Diablo Mexican

land grant. In 1891, Vincent Liberty, a rancher from Marin County, leased the property and for a time. He and his eldest daughter, Elodia lived in the house that is now the Clayton Museum on Main Street. In 1887, Elodia married Charles Henry “Harry” Keller.

vide a life interest in a vacation home to your spouse, while ultimately transferring ownership to your children from a previous marriage. EASE THE PROCESS As Bob and Judy discover, there’s much to consider when deciding to pass their vacation home down to their children. To make the process easier, be sure to communicate your wishes to loved ones and discuss your estate planning options with your advisor. Richard A. Littorno is an attorney specializing in estate planning. He has offices in Walnut Creek and Pittsburg. Send your questions to

In 1910, Henry and Elodia purchased the property from Joel Clayton and camped under a large oak tree while they built the house. They named their new home, “Casa del Sierra.” Harry Keller operated the ranch until his death in 1940. During the period from 1940 until her death in 1954, Elodia Liberty-Keller retained a life estate in the property. After her death, it was leased to Manual DeJesus who continued ranch operations from the early 1960s until 1972. During the period 19721987, the property was purchased and sold by several developers. In 1991, the city of Clayton acquired the parcel where the house and the Clayton Library sit from Presley Homes. The house is listed on the “California Register of Historical Resources.” The city of Clayton plans to restore the home for a community center when funding is available.

Page 8

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April 13, 2012

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When I received the invitation for the “Masquerade Celebration” for the eighth grade graduation dance, I truly understood how quickly graduation is approaching. The idea of leaving middle school and heading to high school appeared in my head during the middle of last summer, but I never believed it would come this fast. It just seemed like yesterday I walked to Room 502 for Reading in sixth grade. I’m not terrified of graduating (well maybe a little, because I’m so clumsy and I’ll fall of the stage…). I’m terrified of how fast time passed between 2010 until now. The world and people around me have changed fast – too fast. Personality changes from sixth grade to now are shocking. Some people I knew

CELINE HERRERA DVMS REPORTER became more mean, and some people became nicer. I saw girls and boys I know trying things they wouldn’t normally do so that they could join the “cool clique.” Looking back through old yearbooks and seeing the Class of 2012 grow from preteens to

teens, I wonder – what happened? What made popularity become a project? Pretty soon, everyone will be standing up in their dresses or ties grinning happily as they are graduating. Right now, I just want to enjoy the ride. I don’t want to forget any of the memories I made. Good ones and bad ones. Middle school just teaches you a lot. Education related things and non-educated related things. You lose some friendships, gain some, start rumors and end some. But all that matters is that you stay yourself throughout thick and thin. This is what lasts beyond graduation. Celine Herrera is in the eighth grade at Diablo View Middle School. Email comments or questions to

Charter calls for stricter dress code


THE CHARTER PAPERS “Good ideas come from talented people working together; And clear expectations and responsibility for achieving them are shared by all.” – Clayton Valley Charter High School Charter

This collaboration with all stakeholders was exemplified last month when the Clayton Valley Charter High School Governing Board voted for a more conservative, rigorous standard of student dress for the 2012-2013 school year. The expectation, responsibility and achievement are shared by all stakeholders. The Governing Board is considering recommendations for a new bell schedule for the 2012-13 school year. The teachers will vote on the new schedule by the end of the month. On April 2, a majority of the CVHS classified staff, which includes the office staff, campus supervisors and special educa-

tion aides, voted to become employees of the new charter school. Last month the MDUSD Board of Education agreed to leave all donated items from parent clubs, booster organizations or the Associated Student Body with the charter school. This includes band instruments, sporting equipment and uniforms. What is your vision for CVCHS? What steps would you take to realize this vision? Email comments to April Winship is the parent of two CVCHS students. She lives in Clayton with her family.

Save Mount Diablo’s Diablo Trails Challenge inspires runners to new heights Celebrate Earth Day by kicking up a little dust during the Diablo Trails Challenge benefiting Save Mount Diablo on Saturday, April 21. With incredible scenery and inspiring trails, the Diablo Trails Challenge offers a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Mount Diablo’s only point-to-point 50K. “It’s the best way to celebrate Earth Day,” says Julie Seelen, Save Mount Diablo’s

Advancement Director. “While you connect with and enjoy the Diablo Wilderness, proceeds benefit Save Mount Diablo’s land preservation work so you have more to enjoy in the future.” Save Mount Diablo preserves, defends and restores Mount Diablo’s natural lands for people and wildlife to enjoy. “It’s an incredible place,” says Dave Husted, a 50K runner

Musicians from page 1 nearly everything I came across. A couple hours and about a dozen group photos later, we left for some of the historic places in downtown Manhattan like Battery Park City, Chinatown, Wall Street, Little Italy, Soho, Tribeca, Harlem, the Upper East Side, and other various notable landmarks. Over the next few days, we explored some of New York City’s greatest attractions such as Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, the 9/11 Memorial, Times Square, Grand Central Station, Fifth Avenue, Central Park, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Rockefeller Center, Wall Street, Columbia University, Broadway, Madison Square and Radio City Music Hall. We also caught a Broadway show, “The Lion King.” Of course we also experienced the culture of New York by indulging in some of Manhattan’s world-renowned cuisine. We enjoyed beautifully prepared dinners at the Hard Rock Café and the Stardust Diner; not to mention eating all that famous Brooklyn-style pizza.

Although the sights and sounds of NYC were remarkable, the musical opportunities we experienced undoubtedly made the trip unforgettable. CVHS Wind Ensemble/Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, and Orchestra arrived at Madison Square Atrium clad in all black, and gave a spectacular performance that could be heard for several blocks. Later, students attended a professional music workshop at Montclair State University in New Jersey. There, the wind ensemble/symphonic band worked with Dr. Thomas McCauley while orchestra students attended a class with Ken Lam. After our expert musical coaching, and a little more touring through the Upper East Side of Manhattan, we made our way to our exchange performance at Irvington High School in Irvington, New York. The students, parents, and facility at Irvington graciously prepared a delicious potluck dinner. Shortly after, both CVHS Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, along with Irvington’s Choir and Orchestra,

and Save Mount Diablo Board Member. “You get up here and there’s nothing to hear but the birds and the trees. People don’t know how great it is until they get up here.” Day of registration begins at 6:30 a.m. and events begin at 8 a.m. To register or for more information, please visit or call 925-947-3535. gave an impressive concert in the school auditorium. “The students did a great job representing Clayton Valley the entire time, and built many memories too,” said Joseph Scott, conductor and director of CVHS Instrumental Music. He expressed the importance of giving students opportunities to make connections with music through the real world. “I saw a great amount of growth and maturity from our students.” Traveling to New York was the experience of a lifetime, one I will never forget. Seeing the landmarks and participating in the musical experiences will always be etched in my mind. For me and fellow students, this trip opened my eyes to endless possibilities. I also realized something very important about myself: Although I loved every minute of being in New York, Clayton is where I want to be. There is just something comforting about our quiet, small town as opposed to the bright city lights and constant endless noise. So while I will continue to travel to different places around the world and experience new adventures, I will always enjoy returning to my home in Clayton.

April 13, 2012

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 9

Caregivers need care, too hours per week providing that care. Thirteen percent of family caregivers provide at least 40 hours of care per week. That means that caregiving is a parttime or full-time job, and often that could be on top of work and other family responsibilities. When surveyed, the top three concerns that worry family caregivers the most are taking care of their own personal health, lack of respite care, and meeting monthly financial needs. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard my mother say, “You better hope nothing happens to me, or else you’ll have to take care of your grandmother.” If a family caregiver falls apart or gets sick, then that is not just a problem for the caregiver but also for the person they care for. That is why it is so important for caregivers to take better care of themselves, otherwise they risk caregiver burnout. I cannot stress enough the importance of support. Be sure to research any available services and programs for caregivers in the local area. Don’t be afraid to reach out and connect with a social worker, as these are specially trained professionals who can assist with community resources. Find a way to facilitate team caregiving. Hold a family meeting in-person, over Skype, or over the phone to divide up and delegate responsibilities. I often hear that some siblings cannot handle seeing a sick parent, so perhaps they can fix meals, pay bills, or find some other way to help out. Also, reach out to friends or local support groups. While this is important for women, it is vital for men as well. Women have

STEPHANIE HO MIND MATTERS Your cell phone unexpectedly goes off at work or late at night, times when most people do not try to reach you unless it is something urgent, and by urgent, I mean bad news. You pick up or listen to your voicemail message, wondering if something happened again to your family member you are so concerned about – or worse, that the person on the other line is calling on behalf of your loved one. I have been on the receiving end many a time with my loved ones as they share their worries and ask me to keep them in my prayers. I have had many relatives in the generation before me who have been in the position of being a family caregiver and anticipate that as I age, my friends and I will be shouldering that similar responsibility. To be honest, it intimidates me because I know the psychological impact that comes with being a caregiver. But nobody can really know what it is like until they are in it and hopefully they won’t be in it alone. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, it is estimated that more than 65 million people – 29 percent of the U.S. population – provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend during any given year and spend an average of 20

often been socialized to be the caregivers in their family and community, while men are often the “closet caregivers” and up to 40 percent of today’s caregivers are men. People will usually say that caregiving is something that chose him or her. Many caregivers feel fortunate to be in a position to take on that role and responsibility, to offer their loved one the best possible care and to make their loved one’s

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days as comfortable and meaningful as possible. Caregiving may be a dutiful obligation or a labor of love, but it need not be a burden if people take steps to share that burden and take as good care of themselves as they do for their family member. Stephanie T. Ho is a licensed psychologist. She has a private practice office in Walnut Creek and works at UC Berkeley. She can be reached at

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Clayton Pioneer •

April 13, 2012


Expectations vary for Eagles sports teams JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Clayton Valley High School teams have enjoyed lots of success since the school was aligned back in the Diablo Valley Athletic League for the 2008-2009 school year. Eagles teams have varying expectations as they attempt to get matches, games and meets in around the wet weather that has visited the area this spring. Coach Rick Ortega’s boys tennis team has the league’s No. 1 play in Jonathan Kim and arguably No. 2 in another senior Ryan Dugan. Kim has not lost a preseason or league match since his freshman year and that record has earned him back-toback DVAL Most Valuable Player awards. He’s represented the league in the North Coast Section singles tournament the last two years. When the senior cocaptain completes his prep career this spring he’ll be moving to Pomona-Pitzer College in Southern California. Dugan played baseball as a freshman and then switched spring sports to tennis his sophomore year. Assistant coach Marc Albano says that steady improvement saw Dugan play No. 3 singles as a junior while earning second team all-DVAL honors and this year he might be the second best singles player in DVAL. Jacob Saudan lends more senior leadership to the team that features a quartet of new varsity players in freshman Brandon Sovik and sophomores Jimmy Young, Kevin Dong and Austin Arter. Entering league play the

Mike Dunn photo

CLAYTON VALLEY HIGH SENIOR JONATHAN KIM has been dominating his league opponents since his freshman year and hopes to cap his career leading the Eagles to the North Coast Section tournament this spring and earn his third successive league Most Valuable Player award.

Ipsen, from page 1 collegiate platform event there. Ipsen with a 930.90 was the only diver in the three-meter nationally to score over 90 points. He missed the Pacific12 Conference meet, won for the 31st time in a row by Stanford, while competing in London at the World Cup, a disappointing meet for Dumais and Ipsen with their worst-ever sixth-place finish. Ipsen was the only freshman in an eight-man NCAA three-meter final that featured seven seniors. “It really means a lot to me, especially after London, where I didn’t do as

well as I wanted to” said Ipsen. “I was really tired after that experience, and competing at meet after meet, but I’m really happy (with the result tonight).” The day before at the NCAAs Ipsen finished second in the one-meter, his first and only college defeat all season in either springboard event. He then closed out his first collegiate championship by finishing as the consolation bracket’s runner-up in the five-meter platform, only his second time in the event.

Eagles were considered a good deal behind Northgate in fighting for the DVAL title but the team’s motto of “failure is not an option” was never more apparent when they turned around their lopsided 6-1 away loss to the Broncos with a 4-3 victory in the return home match. Based on the scores of those matches Northgate will get the automatic bid to NCS while the Eagles will be applying for an at large berth for the May team championships, which are held a week after NCS singles and doubles.

Jake Reynolds, Jordan Tate and Matt Vanderstraeten. Newcomers to the varsity are Kaysa Conger and Noel Creamer for the girls and freshmen Liam Calkins and Jake Seigrist for the boys. The Eagles figure to take third in DVAL behind Northgate and College Park. The swim season culminates at Concord Community Pool on May 11-12 with the DVAL meet and May 18-19 with the NCS Championships.

YOUNGER SWIM TEAMS Clayton Valley swimming and water polo enjoyed much success in recent years with the likes of Allyson Hansen and Derek Anderson leading the way. This year’s swim team has a young look to it with the majority of returning swimmers in the sophomore and junior classes. Veteran coach Dennis Bledsoe is working with former Ygnacio Valley High standouts Kelly and Kristen Cadwallader this year. Bledsoe has been part of the CVHS aquatics program since 1966 (with short stints off while coaching in college) while Kelly Cadwallader is in her second year on the staff and Kristen Cadwallader her first. The girls team includes senior Jenna Stelzner, sophomores Sara Abele, Ariana Bermudez and Sara Johnson plus juniors Michelle Lutz, Casey Henggeler, Bailey Rogers, Jackie Svoboda and Julia Silverberg. For the boys juniors Nick Bazan, Ryan Calkins, Chris O’Connell, Matt Vonnegut and Sam Wells will be mainstays along with sophomores Jack Brown, Jake Frigard,

Clayton Valley High lacrosse teams play in different leagues. The boys are two-time defending DVAL champions while coach Allen Raymond’s girls play in the very competitive Bay Shore Athletic League along with Berkeley, Davis, Bishop O’Dowd, Piedmont, Northgate and newcomers Ygnacio Valley. Raymond says of his girls, “The team is much improved over last year. We have a good balance of new players with excellent skills and more experienced players with good situational awareness.” His returning stalwarts are senior midfielder Joanna Fan and junior midfielder Megan Abcede. Sophomores Kyra Ortiz and Quincy Winship have been added to the squad this year. Coach Matt Hill’s CVHS boys lacrosse team has gone through a grueling pre-season schedule with little success in terms of wins and losses but the competition should get them well prepared for league play that starts later this month.


See Eagles, page 12

Dana Hills Otters Swim Team adds assistant coaches to 2012 summer staff Coming off one of its greatest seasons ever, Dana Hills Swim Team has announced the staff to assist head coach Serge Victor as the Otters look to even improve on last year’s impressive results which included record-setting league and city meet championships and a runner-up finish in the Contra Costa County Meet to conclude the season, Victor’s first at the club since 1995. Zach Harmon and Angela Bradley have moved to the Otters from the Oakhurst Country Club team where they were head coach and associate head coach, respec-

tively, last summer. DHST swimmers Ryan Calkins and Sam Protich will be competing for the team and serving as assistants on deck. A senior at Principia College in Indiana, Harmon has coached at both Oakhurst and Vista Diablo in Concord. He swam for six years at Dana Hills before he aged out in 2009. In college he has not only swum competitively but also taught swim lessons and stroke technique. Harmon will join the staff in May after graduation. Bradley swam competitively on the East County Stingrays for

seven years when Victor was the head coach. She swam four years in high school and played water polo as a junior and senior. She was an assistant coach for Oakhurst from 2008-10 before becoming associate head coach last year. Bradley has also assisted Victor with his winter and spring clinics. Both high school juniors, Protich attends De La Salle and Calkins is at Clayton Valley. In announcing their appointments the DHST board said, “Both young men are known, not only for their personal swimming

skills, fast times and ability to work with our kids, but also for their team spirit, energy and excitement. “ Practice begins April 23.. Registration for DHST continues online at The announcement of the DHST coaching assignments come on the heels of former Otters assistant coach Kelsey Brassil of Clayton moving to Walnut Creek’s Woodlands Swim Team as head coach and Carondelet High School head coach Jasmine Millan taking over the reins for the Oakhurst Orcas.

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Clayton Pioneer •

Sports Athlete Spotlight Name: Adam Carp Age: 23 Team: United States Maccabi

Pan Am Games Team Sport: Basketball Adam Carp has been involved in basketball nearly his entire life, going back to his days at Diablo View Middle School and Clayton Valley High School. He continued playing hoops at University of Nevada Reno for four years concluding his Wolfpack career, which included two conference championships, as the team’s Most Inspirational player. He graduated with a communications major and then entered grad school in

Reno studying Educational Leadership (he graduates next month) with plans to one day be a college athletic director. Although his college eligibility ran out his love of basketball didn’t and he tried out in New Jersey last year and made the United States men’s basketball team for the 12th Pan American Maccabi Games in Brazil. Maccabi USA is a Jewish volunteer organization that seeks to promote Jewish pride

through sports. Team USA remained undefeated against Canada, Israel, Brazil and Mexico to win the gold medal earlier this year. The local boy Clayton boy makes good said, “I can’t even describe the feeling of being awarded a gold medal while wearing a USA jersey. My coaches and teammates are people that I will be friends with for the rest of my life. It is amazing to think about the great things that the game of

Page 11


AOSL PRESENTS basketball has done for me. Just the opportunity to go to Brazil and play basketball was amazing, but to able to win a gold medal for my country and make lifelong friends is what was truly rewarding about the experience. “The decision to try out was something I really had to think about because I was scared of failing. I had to overcome my fear of failure and understand that sometimes you must fail before you can succeed. Fortunately I made the team and I was able to be a part of a gold medal winning basketball team.”




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The Clayton Pioneer congratulates Adam Carp and rewards his achievement with a gift certificate to Rocco’s Ristorante & Pizzeria. Do you know a young athlete who should be recognized? Perhaps he or she has shown exceptional sportsmanship, remarkable improvement or great heart for the sport. Send your nomination for the Rocco’s Pioneer Athlete Spotlight today to

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Clayton Valley HS football coach Herc Pardi steps down after 16 years JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

When Clayton Valley High School baseball coach Bob Ralston “threw his hat in the ring” and applied for the head baseball coach job at his alma mater Cal Sate East Bay less than a year ago he started a chain reaction that is still reverberating on the Alberta Way campus. The latest change came March 26 when Clayton resident Herc Pardi stepped down as head coach after guiding the Eagles football program for 16 years. Pardi was appointed interim baseball coach to replace Ralston last November and says he hopes to continue in that role when the school changes its name to Clayton Valley Charter High School for the 2012-2013 school year. Ralston is in his first season coaching Cal State Pioneers after he was chosen from a field of 200 applicants. Pardi, 60 and a Clayton Valley grad, cited the demands of running two major sports programs at the school as the reason for his resignation. He made the announcement just 10 days after the memorial service for Jerry Coakley, his close friend, mentor and CVHS defensive coordinator for almost all of Pardi’s tenure, who passed away last month. In his surprise email message announcing the change to his present and past coaches, alumni and friends Pardi said, “I want to thank all of you for the tremendous amount of support you have shown me and our football program thru the years---16 of them.” He thanked wife Roxanne and daughter Meghan, also a CVHS alum, for their support of his career. Looking back at his tenure with Clayton Valley football, which was not enjoying the best of times when he took over in 1996, Pardi cited his initial coaching staff of 1996-98 for “helping build a successful foundation. I owe a great deal of gratitude for their loyalty, knowledge and passion. That group of coaches included Sam Quinones, David Jeans, Jeff


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CLAYTON VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL IS LOOKING FOR A NEW FOOTBALL COACH for the first time in 16 years after Herc Pardi recently surprised everyone and resigned. The Clayton resident has spent 37 years on the sidelines of high school football.

Gargalikis, Clyde Foreman, Rick Norwood, Mike Gorman, Brad Swint, John Canesa, Sam Williams Sr., Donnie Howell, Don Rath, Brian Hamilton (now the successful Concord High head coach) and Coakley (starting in 1997). Pardi was honored as the 2010 North Coast Section Football Honor Coach. NCS includes 167 schools and he’s only the third coach in the 53year history of CVHS to receive the prestigious NCS Honor Coach designation, following in the footsteps of water polo legend Dennis Bledsoe (2003) and 1977 State Championship-winning wrestling coach Bill Smith (2009). He was also East Bay Coach of the Year in 1991 at Pittsburg and 1998 for CVHS. Eagle alum Sam Williams of the Oakland Raiders nominated Pardi as NFL High School Coach of the Year in 2005. While compiling a record of 107-75-2 for CVHS football, Pardi’s teams three times reached the North Coast Sec-

tion championship game but fell just short each time of winning the title, including an incredible triple overtime 2003 game against Las Lomas that ended 37-36. The Eagles were in the playoffs 12 of those 16 years. Pardi has spent 37 years on the Friday night high school football sidelines, starting in 1974 as Las Lomas High head freshman coach. He established his reputation at Pittsburg High where he gradually moved from freshman to JV and then varsity head coach (1991-95) of the Pirates. The Pittsburg-De La Salle games of that era were things of legends. Pardi’s 1991 Pittsburg team is the last Northern California team to beat the Spartans and that came in the North Coast Section championship game. He mentioned Frank Aiello and Ron Conigilo as his mentors at Pittsburg. Pardi still teaches in the Pittsburg Unified School District and is not retiring from his “day job” there. Pardi is quick to add to his

coaching resume his tenure at Mt. Diablo Elementary from 1973-77 when he coached four flag footballs teams at once! Not only did Pardi head a successful football program but helped usher in a new era with CVHS adding lights at the stadium in 2003 and a turf field for the 2004 season. He thanked the Gonsalves Family for providing financial support on the stadium that now bears their name. The death of his close friend Coakley can’t be overstated in the decision process Pardi went through. "Coak and I spent every Sunday together religiously during football season. I saw him 250 days out of the year for my tenure at Clayton Valley. That definitely played a role." Coakley’s defense perhaps had its finest moment in 2004 when CV and De La Salle tied 17-17. Clayton Valley High Athletic Director Pat Middendorf was away for spring break and the timetable for selection of 2012-2013 coaches isn’t known.

Page 12

Clayton Pioneer •

April 13, 2012

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MDSA LEGENDS FC NABBED FIRST PLACE in the PHMSA SoccerFest for U14 girls. The team includes, front Alessandra Hernandez; kneeling from left, Briel Araujo, Megan Bluth, Jenna Pouch, Keira McLane, Alyssa Weed, Gianna Maurino, Lauren Rivera, Alyssa Bluth; standing, coach JC Araujo, Talia Arauzo, Danielle Crawford, Lauren Russell, Danielle Arauzo, Cristina Daly, Tori Klock and coach Stephanie Cicconi.

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AYSO spring tournament teams braved wet weather to get the tournament season underway in late March at the PHMSA SoccerFest. The local Mt. Diablo Soccer region came away with four championships and an equal number of runner-up finishes at SoccerFest and hopes to continue that strong showing in upcoming competitions highlighted by Concord Cup XIX on the May 19-20 weekend. MDSA girls teams capturing gold medals from at neighboring PHMSA were the under 12 MDSA Speed, U14 MDSA Legends FC and U16 MDSA Rampage. The MDSA Dark Knights U10 boys also were SoccerFest champs. In the U12 girls bracket MDSA Speed won five straight games, topping teams from Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Pleasant Hill and Davis. The finale against Davis Doom saw Speed twice come from behind to tie the game 2-2 in regulation. Neither team scored in overtime so the title was decided by penalty kicks. MDSA made all five of its shots to earn the gold medal. Strikers Emily Kaleal, Erica Tims, Kalyn Stuart and Mia Garcia led the attack as Speed totaled 18 goals. Midfielders Adriana Gavidia, Marlinda Ramirez and Sarina Valerio controlled the middle of the field and contributed goals of their own. Anchored by sweeper Andrea Lopez, the defense was stern with Alyssa Granados and Hannah Thompson on the flanks. Lauren Depaschalis and Natalie Johnson alternated as MDSA Speed goalkeepers for coach Roberto Lopez. MDSA Fury was third in the U12 division, beating Mountain View in the 3-1 in the thirdplace game after a narrow 1-0 loss to David Doom in the semi-finals. In the youngest U10 girls flight, MDSA Dynamite finished second and MDSA Velocity third. Dynamite fell 21 to Walnut Creek Milan after earlier beating Davis Daredevils by the same score in the semis. Velocity was beaten by Milan in their semi-final match 3-2 but came back for a 2-0 verdict over the Daredevils in the third-place game. MDSA Legends FC won

Summer will be a busy time at Clayton Community Gym. Football and cheer camps for 515 year-olds, day camps (day care) and adult golf classes are registering now with a May 1 deadline for these programs. The deadline is May 15 to sign up for summer leagues in youth volleyball (8-15 years-old) and basketball (4-14 year-olds). For more information or to register for any program offered by All Out Sports at the gym, visit


Photo courtesy MDSA

MDSA SPEED RACKED UP FIVE VICTORIES in a row to win the Pleasant Hill Soccerfest U12 championship. The team includes, front row from left, Kalyn Stuart, Andrea Lopez, Hannah Thompson, Alyssa Granados, Sarina Valerio, Adriana Gavidia; back row, coach Roberto Lopez, Erica Tims, Lauren Depaschalis, Natalie Johnson, Mia Garcia, Emily Kaleal, Marlinda Ramirez and coach Peter Valerio.

three straight games to reach the U14 finals against sister team, MDSA Fury. The championship match was a defensive struggle. Legends produced the larger share of scoring opportunities and Talia Arauzo tallied the lone goal of the hardfought 1-0 final for coach Stephanie Cicconi’s squad. MDSA Legends goalkeepers Alessandra Hernandez and Lauren Russell along with defenders Danielle Arauzo, Lauren Rivera, Keira McLane and Briel Araujo only allowed two goals on the weekend. Coach Anthony Campos saw his U16 MDSA Rampage also throw up a strong defense, yielding a single goal in four games including a 2-0 shutout over Davis Insanity in the finals. The team had a win and draw on Saturday before blanking PHMSA Freedom 1-0 in the semi-finals. Rounding out the SoccerFest girls weekend for MDSA was United FC who were second in U19, dropping a 2-1 verdict to Davis Order of Phoenix in the finals. United FC had a pair of shutouts to reach the championship match. During the SoccerFest boys weekend MDSA teams met in the U10 semis with the Dark Knights scoring a 5-2 win over MDSA Strikers FC. Dark Knights coach Troy Amerine ushered his boys to a 4-3 decision over Concord United in the finale while Strikers FC rebounded for a 3-2 third-place victory over PHMSA The Awesome.

MDSA Red Devils U12 were second after losing 3-2 to PHMSA Barcelona in the championship final. The Red Devils earlier were 4-1 winners in the semis over PHMSA Stealth.

The 11th annual Clayton Valley youth football camp for boys and girls entering third through ninth grades runs June 18-22 at Gonsalves Stadium on the Clayton Valley High School campus from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Camp director Herc Pardi, assistant director Paul Reynaud and the Eagles coaching staff and players provide fundamental instruction and daily full contact competition. There is a trainer on site. Each participant gets a camp shirt and written evaluation. Cost is $125, plus a refundable $75 equipment fee. For more information, email, call (925) 682-7474 ext. 3115 or pick up a brochure at the CVHS front office.

Eagles, from page 10

Photo courtesy Scott Anderson

BAILEY ROGERS IS ONLY A JUNIOR but among the older swimmers on the Clayton Valley High swim team this spring. The Eagles are chasing Northgate and College Park in DVAL competition as they build squads around a large number of sophomores and juniors.

Senior Teigan Haft is used in attack, middi, face off and defense. Hill says, “Teigan is our standout player and is committed to play NCAA Division 2 at Alderson Broadus in West Virginia. He is leading the team in goals and assists as well as ground balls and face off wins. I’m sure he will make us proud at the next level.”

Other key players are senior attack and captain Cameron Bacigalupo, Clayton Martin, Jack Zuercher, Joey Clough and Alex Pishney. The coach adds, “We’ve had some tough close losses to very strong teams and fully expect to win our league and go to the NCS tournament again this season.”

April 13, 2012

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 13

Start your pet’s life out on the right paw



PET PALS So a cute little four footed bundle of joy just entered you life, a new puppy or kitten. No matter where you got your new pet, they are all vulnerable to disease their first few months of life. It is recommended your new one have its first vet exam around eight weeks old, followed by monthly exams at 12 and 16 weeks. This allows emerging health and behavior issues to be addressed as they develop. POSSIBLE ILLNESSES On these exams your veterinarian will closely observe for congenital deformities and symptoms of diseases. Deformities include open Fontanelles exposing brain tissue in small breeds like the Chihuahua. Cleft palettes, heart issues, hernias, hip problems and more. Males

often have undescended testicles, or cryptorcidism, requiring additional surgery at time of neutering to search for the wayward testicle in the abdomen or groin. Runny eyes and noses, coughing, fevers, vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy are all signs of infectious diseases which may need medication. Fleas or other skin parasites may be observed. Your veterinarian may also find other signs of illness. Weight, body condition and growth rate are evaluated. Nutritional advice is given to help your pet gain proper weight during these formative months. Behavior consultation topics include house training, basic obedience and separation anxiety issues. VACCINES All little ones should receive the core vaccines. The canine distemper/parvovirus combination (DAPP) and the kitten upper respiratory/panleukopenia (FVRCP) vaccines are best given at 8,12 and 16 weeks. Rabies is given at 12 weeks for kittens and 16 weeks for pups. Boosters are followed in 1 year, then every 3. Additional vaccines for dogs include Leptosprosis, rattlesnake, and influenza, which are given as a series of two,

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three to four weeks apart, then yearly. And Bordetella, which is given intranasally every six to 12 months or by an injection series. At risk activities for these diseases include frequenting dog parks, groomers and kennels; snakes in your yard; hiking; running in creeks and ponds; attending dog shows and traveling. Feline leukemia vaccine is highly recommended by the American Association of Feline Practitioners for the first two years in all kittens, then discontinued if your cat remains strictly indoors. Parasite control is important, too. Roundworms and hookworms are zoonotic to people, causing flu-like symptoms blindness and skin lesions. To prevent diarrhea and weight loss, from parasites, puppies and

kittens should be treated with a dewormer every two to four weeks until they are 16 weeks old. Then followed by a monthly dewormer, whether it’s a heart worm combination tablet for dogs or a multiple parasite dewormer spot-on for cats. LIFESTYLE To start our puppies and kittens lives out properly, we must determine their lifestyles. This will help the veterinary team to design a program of vaccines and preventative care best suited for you and your pet. Will your kitten be strictly indoors or roam the fields hunting mice? Will your new Golden Retriever go on camping trips when old enough or will he a homebody? The placement of a microchip is highly recommended. This is invaluable when your pet is lost. There are many chips available but be sure to ask for universal chip which can be read anywhere in the world by any scanner. Finally, spaying and neutering is always recommended, not only to prevent overpopulation but to prevent future health risks for your new puppy or kitten. These health risks include infected uterus, breast cancer, prostate infections and cancer, masses around the rear and testicular cancer. Raging hormones often stimulate the need to wander the streets looking for a mate, which increases the risk of injury such as being hit by a car. Most veterinarians recommend spaying and neutering between four to six months old. Marybeth Rymer, DVM, can be reached at Monte Vista Animal Hospital, Concord. 672-1100.

Sasha is a beautiful, energetic girl. She is very friendly and outgoing and she’ll make a great companion for an adopter with an active lifestyle. Sasha will thrive on a consistent routine that includes activities that will both physically and mentally stimulate her. We highly recommend a Basic Manners training class where she can bond with her new adopter, and possibly a Sports or Specialty training class to challenge her. The adoption fee for adult dogs is $225 and includes 60


percent off one 7-week dog training session. Mia is a beautiful kitty who needs a little time to settle in but will reward your patience with her loving companionship. She likes to give little “kisses” - such a sweetie! The adoption fee for adult cats is $50. Meet your forever friend at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek, during adoption hours: Noon to 5 p.m.

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Wednesday, 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The primary caretaker must be present to adopt. ARF also encourages kids 16 and younger and canine family members (dog adoptions only) to be present during the adoption process. Would you like to be part of the heroic team that saves the lives of rescued dogs and cats? Can you share your talents to connect people and animals? ARF volunteers are making a difference! For more information see our website,, or call 925.256.1ARF.



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Clayton Pioneer •

April 13, 2012

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IN CLAYTON Apr. 21 Clayton Cleans Up Honor Earth Day with a town spring cleaning. Help pick up trash, pull weeds and share in community spirit. A great activity for clubs and organizations, school projects or a family outing. Meet at City Hall at 9 a.m., rain or shine. T-shirt, gloves and garbage bags provided. Barbecue at 11:30 a.m. Sponsored by the Clayton Pioneer and the city of Clayton with a generous donation from Allied Waste. 672-0500.

May 5 Spring Trail Ride Competitive trail ride on Mt. Diablo with Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association. Contact Ellen Pofcher at 672-3733 or

May 5, 6 Art & Wine Festival Art, crafts, food, music, kiddieland. Sat. 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Main Street, downtown Clayton. 672-2272.

EVENTS AND ENTERTAINMENT Thru Apr. 15 “Sunset Boulevard” A magnificent tale of faded glory and unfulfilled ambition performed by the Contra Costa Musical Theatre. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $44-$49. 943-7469.

Thru Apr. 28 “Rumors” Widely considered Neil Simon’s funniest play, this story follows one hilarious evening of cover-ups, confusions and miscommunications. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $38-43. 943-7469.

Thru Apr. 29 “Anything Goes” When the S.S. American heads out to sea, etiquette and convention head out the portholes. Featuring the music of Cole Porter. Willows Theatre, 1975 Diamond Blvd., Concord. $16-$30., 798-1300.

Apr. 13-15 Home & Garden Show Home and yard ideas to turn your home into the place of your dreams. Fri. Noon – 6 p.m. Sat./Sun. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sleep Train Pavilion, 2000 Kirker Pass Road, Concord. $6 general admission; $6 parking.

Apr. 14 Astronomy Program Neighbor Planets: See Venus and Mars through telescopes and find out why Earth has life and those planets do not. Children welcome. Bring binoculars, warm clothes, snacks, water. Weather dependent. Escorted from Northgate entrance to Mt. Diablo. 7 – 11 p.m. Enter park at least 45 minutes earlier. Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society. Free program; $10 park entrance fee. 695-3134 or 837-2525.

Apr. 14 Chamber Music SF Olga Kern, pianist, performs. 2:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. Tickets on sale Apr. 14 at 12 a.m. 943-7469.

Apr. 15 Marsh Creek Clean Up Join Save Mt. Diablo and REI to clean up Marsh Creek 6 property. All ages and abilities welcome; under 18 must be with an adult. Dress in layers with long pants and long sleeves, closed-toe shoes and hat. Bring sunscreen, water, gloves and trowel. Morning snacks and juice provided. 8:30 a.m. – Noon. 3240 Aspara Drive, Clayton. Register at Call April Rovero 825-9400.

Apr. 19 – May 6 “Spring Awakening” A timeless story of teenage self-discovery and budding sexuality as seen through the eyes of three teenagers. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $17-$35. 943-7469.

Apr. 20 An Evening with Howie Mandel Third Annual Hope for the Homeless Benefit Show. 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $95-$125. 9437469.

Apr. 21 Come Together: The Beatles Concert Experience Live music performance and multi-media presentation recreating the look, sound and history of the Beatles. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $40-$45. 943-7469.

Apr. 21 Help for Distressed Mortgage Holders Series of community workshops sponsored by volunteer experts and experienced homeowners. 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Salvation Army, 3950 Clayton Road, Concord. Free. Register at for more information.

Apr. 27, 28 “Bye, Bye, Birdie” Teen Theatre members perform this musical about rock ‘n’ roll superstar Conrad Birdie (loosely based on Elvis Presley) who, to the dismay of his adoring fans, is about to be drafted into the Army. Del Valle Theatre, 1963 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek. $14.50-$16. 943-7469.

Apr. 27 – May 12 “The Gin Game” Two aging inhabitants of a nursing home play gin and reveal the intimate and shocking details of their lives. Diablo Actors’ Ensemble, 1345 Locust St., Walnut Creek. $10-$25.

Apr. 29 Chamber Music SF


Richard Stoltzman, clarinet, and Eliot Fisk, guitar, perform. 2:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. Tickets on sale Apr. 29 at 12 a.m. 943-7469.

1st and 3rd Tuesdays Clayton City Council 7 p.m. Hoyer Hall, Library, 6125 Clayton Rd. 673-7304 or

2nd and 4th Tuesdays Clayton Planning Commission

May 1 Pregnancy Nutrition Information on healthy pregnancy nutrition. 6:30 – 8 p.m. John Muir Women’s Health Center, 1656 N. California Blvd., Walnut Creek. Free. Register at or 941-7900.

May 3 “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the bravest of you all? 9:30 a.m. Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Dr., W.C. $14. 943-7469.

7 p.m., Hoyer Hall, Library, 6125 Clayton Rd. 673-7304 or

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

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

May 3 - 27 “Lettice and Lovage” Lettice engages the stoic, conventional Lotte in a battle to the death of all that is sacred to the Empire and the crown. Cue Productions Live, 1835 Colfax St., Concord. $10-$18.

Clayton Valley Garden Club Meets 7 p.m. second Wednesday of the month, February through November. Diamond Terrace, 6401 Center St., Clayton. or 276-2299.

Clayton Valley Woman’s Club

May 5, 6 California Symphony Lara St. John, violin, and Beethoven’s Ninth. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $39-$69. 943-7469.

Meets 9:30 a.m. second Tuesday of the month except July and August, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 1092 Alberta Way, Concord. 672-9448.

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

May 11 Mom and the City Night of pampering, tours, fashion show for moms-to-be or those in the stages of planning pregnancy. 6:30 – 9 p.m. John Muir Medical Center, 1601 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek. Free. Register at or 941-7900.

May 12 Contra Costa Wind Symphony Sublime to Silly: Rachmaninoff to Godzilla featuring pianist Eric Tran. 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $10-$25. 943-7469.

FUNDRAISERS Apr. 14 Festival of Tables and Fashion Seventh annual fundraiser for select local charities and scholarships sponsored by the Clayton Valley Woman’s Club. Fashion by Draper & Damon’s. 11 a.m. Concord United Methodist Church, 1645 West St., Concord. Limited seating; reservations required. $35. Call Merle Whitburn 754-5447.

Apr. 14 Plant Sale

Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association Meets 6 p.m. first Saturday of the month for a potluck. Open to members and guests. CMDTRA, 1600 Trail Ride Road, Clayton. or

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

Contra Costa Genealogical Society Meets 7 p.m. second Thursday of the month, LDS Church, 3700 Concord Blvd., Concord.

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

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

Diablo Valley Democratic Club

Featuring edible and fruiting plants for the garden in addition to ornamental and California native plants. Canning/preserving class at 11 a.m. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Markham Regional Arboretum Society Nursery, 1202 La Vista Ave., Concord. Free. 681-2968.

Meets 7-9 p.m. third Wednesday of the month, Ygnacio Valley Library, 2661 Oak Grove Road., Walnut Creek., 946-0469.

Apr. 14 Spaghetti Feed and Concert for Ashley Glennen

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

Raise funds for daughter of Clayton family who has been hospitalized since Jan. 1. Live music, food, raffle and baked goods. 5 – 8 p.m. Sanctuary Ministries, 2250 Commerce Ave, Suite D, Concord. $6-$15.

Apr. 18 Spaghetti Feed Annual American Association of University Women spaghetti feed. 5:30 – 8 p.m. Endeavor Hall, 6008 Center St., Clayton. $5 children; $10 adults. Contact Judy Bates 858-5223.

Apr. 21 Diablo Trails Challenge Hit the trail and preserve your playground while taking in the natural beauty of Mt. Diablo. Proceeds from these 5K, 10K, half marathon and 50K events benefit Save Mount Diablo’s land preservation programs. Registration at 6:30 a.m. 50K at 8 a.m.; all other races at 9 a.m. Castle Rock Park, Walnut Creek. 947-3535.

May 3 Play It Forward

East Bay Prospectors

Knights of Columbus Meets 7:30 p.m. first Tuesday of the month, St. Bonaventure Church, Ministry Center, 5562 Clayton Road, Concord. Art 672-1850, or Chuck 849-5466,

MOMS Club of Concord/Clayton Meeting dates vary. 331-0674, or

Oakhurst Business Network 5 – 7 p.m. first Thurs of the month for social hour. Hosted hors d’oeuvres, cash bar. Oakhurst Country Club, 1001 Peacock Dr., Clayton.

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

Scrabble Club

Benefit concert for the Walnut Creek Education Foundation. Jazz. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $70-$120. 943-7469.

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

Wednesdays Book Buddies A volunteer will read stories for children 3 and under. 1-2 p.m.

Tuesdays thru May 15 Patty Cakes Story time for babies to three-year-olds. Child attends with caregiver. 11 a.m.

Thursdays thru May 17 Picture Book Time

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

Sons In Retirement (SIRs) Branch 19 meets 11:15 a.m. first Thursday of the month, Crown Plaza Hotel, 45 John Glenn Dr., Concord. 429-3777. Branch 146 meets 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. second Thursday of the month. Boundary Oaks, 3800 Valley Vista Road, Walnut Creek. Reservations required. 939-8073.

Soroptimist International of Diablo Vista Meets 12:15 p.m. second, third and fourth Wednesdays of the month, SeptJune, Sizzler, 1353 Willow Pass Rd, Concord. Contact Nicole at 692-2224.

Strike a Chord Woman’s chorus. Rehearsals 7 – 9 p.m. Mondays. Openings for new members. Schedule audition. or contact Benedikte at 935-4313.

Story time for three- to five-year-olds. Child may attend without caregiver. 11 a.m.

Veterans of Foreign Wars

Apr. 17, 24 Paws to Read

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

Children in grades 1-5 read aloud to a dog to encourage reading. Registration required. 4 p.m. or 4:35 p.m.

April 27 – 29 Used Book Sale

Apr. 28 Bike Ride

CCLF member preview Friday. Most books $1. Most children’s books $.50. Half-off remaining books. Fri. 4 – 7 p.m. Sat. 10 – 6 p.m. Sun. 12 – 4 p.m.

17th annual Devil Mountain Double Century Bicycle Ride starts and ends in San Ramon. Covers Pine Hollow Road, Mt. Zion to Clayton Road, Main Street to Marsh Creek Road between 7 and 9 a.m. Call Scott Halversen (510) 882-6727.

May 7 Children’s Book Week Story time and crafts for grades kindergarten through second. Registration required. 7 – 8 p.m.

Word Weavers 400 Toastmasters Meets 7-8:15 p.m. Mondays, first floor of Montecito – Oakmont Senior Living, 4756 Clayton Road, Concord. April 23 Open House. Speaker: Craig Harrison, professional speaker and author. Visitors welcome. or contact Marion at 686-1818.

Ygnacio Valley Republican Women Meets third Wednesday of the month, except June, July, August. April 18 speaker: Arkady Faktorovich. Topic: His life behind the Iron Curtain. 10 a.m. Oakhurst Country Club, 1001 Peacock Creek Drive, Clayton. Free coffee social at 9:45 a.m. Reservations required for lunch. $25. 672-5061.

April 13, 2012

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 15

Meditation can ease everyday worries [Editor’s Note: This is the second of a three-part series on “detoxing” your life.] This week, find a quiet place where you are unlikely to be disturbed. Make yourself comfortable and take a few slow deep breaths, releasing tension with every breath out. Imagine your filled with feelings of confidence and success. Imagine the path in front of you with an obstacle, any obstacle, blocking your way. Say to yourself, “I have learned what I need to learn from this obstacle.” Project a feeling of confidence and love. See the obstacle dissolving and disappearing. Now, let the image fade and say to yourself, ”I feel confident. I am successful, and I have learned something this obstacle. I can now move forward along my path happily and confidently.” Congratulations, you have just begun dissolving barriers through meditation. Meditation





is basically a simple process to acknowledge, repeat, and affirm your daily thoughts and life processes. I am sure many of you have heard how the healing power of positive thinking works on the brain. Meditation works by reconnecting positive neural pathways and forging new ones through reinforcing powerful positive affirmations. Make your affirmations personal and specific to your life, it will make it easier to have confi-

dence in them. Make your affirmations reasonable and speak to an affirmation with power and conviction. Repeat them often as practice makes better. Tune into your intuition. Intuitive messages often take the form of feelings, ideas, and insights. Be open and aware. Answers to many of life’s mysteries can come in a number of ways when you are calm and at peace, enlightening you in unknown ways. When things don’t come easily, even after mediation and affirmation, realize that particular outcome might not be for you. Do not hold onto old thoughts and negative emotional patterns. Do not hold onto something you do not truly desire, and above all, don’t worry. Taking action means developing positive habits that propel you forward. Get organized. Clean up. Get moving. Cut out time-wasters. Stay focused.

Let go of your worries. An essential part of detoxing your mind and body is banishing unhelpful thoughts. The aim of this part of the detox is to give your mind a rest from everyday cares. Releasing your worries allows positive mental energy to continually flow in relaxing ways. Forgetting your problems for a while is good for you health as well as your mind. When your time is up, you can go back to the problem and address it with renewed clarity and inspiration. Do it now. Detoxing your mind is about changing your thinking habits to suit your aims. It is about letting go of behavior that sabotages your goals. Learn to replace it with skills that encourage clear thinking and a strong belief in yourself. Ilima Heuerman holds multiple fitness certifications. She trains at Levity Fitness studio in Clayton. Email Ilima at


FASHION OVER 50 Are you trapped in the fashion past? There’s nothing wrong with having a few go-to outfits that you feel good in, but you can’t look current when most of your clothes are older than Justin Bieber. Take a look at your jackets. The modern silhouette is fitted,

et, are you lost in a sea of neutrals? Spring signals a re-awakening, a kind of optimism. Invigorate your wardrobe with a few bursts of bold color, or freshen things up with pastel pieces for a trace of retro femininity. With so much uncertainty in the world, it feels right to add some lightness. But if you’re a fan of fall colors, don’t despair. There are no seasonally appropriate rules. Stormy blues, earthy browns and offbeat mustards feel exciting and fresh against a palette of soft pastels.


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Is your closet too old for you? not oversize. Boxy styles can make you look dowdy. A longer jacket paired with a high-waisted skirt or slim pants can elongate your body. You can still wear a short jacket, but it looks new over a longer underlayer. What about your jeans? Have they lost their shape? Are they faded? If you can buy only one new thing for spring, make it a pair of dark rinse slim-cut jeans with some stretch. If you’re a woman who prefers skirts, precision pleats are popular now. Wear a pleated skirt with a tailored long-sleeve blouse and classic cardigan for a ladylike sensibility. A sweeping maxiskirt in a gypsy cotton or silk organza can be a welcome change for a barbeque at the neighbors’. When you look in your clos-


Lastly, you might want to invest in a wardrobe of sunglasses in various shapes, sizes and colors. Different shapes completely change your look. Your collection could include aviators, cat eyes, maybe some John Lennon specs with green, pink or metallic lenses so you can see the world in different colors. In the end, the key to everyday dressing is practicality. But you don’t have to sacrifice fashion. After all, the ordinary moments that mark our daily lives don’t have to look it. Live long and pester!

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The average American uses about 10 personal care products each day, resulting in exposure to some 100 unique chemicals. But the vast majority of the 12,500 chemicals used by the $50 billion beauty industry have never been assessed for safety, according to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC), a coalition of eight nonprofits concerned about the health of cosmetics and personal care products. “Many of these chemicals are linked to adverse health effects like cancer, birth defects and other serious health issues,” CSC reports. And with cosmetics chemicals showing up in breast milk and umbilical cord blood, not to mention rivers, lakes and drinking water aquifers, it is indeed a problem that affects us all. Unfortunately for American consumers, these products aren’t held to the same high safety standard as foods and drugs in the United States, and as such manufacturers do not have to disclose ingredients on their products’ labels. That means it’s up to consumers to educate themselves as to what products to buy and which to avoid if human health and the environment are concerns. To the rescue comes the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG), which launched its SkinDeep database back in

Cosmetics Act (HR 2359) introduced into the House of Representatives. While the bill stalled in committee, it would have required the FDA to create a list of specific contaminants likely to be found in certain cosmetics ingredients and provide testing protocols to determine which ones qualified for warning labels, phase-outs or outright bans. Whether a similar bill will come up again anytime soon remains to be seen. In the meantime, consumers should make sure to visit

the SkinDeep database before lathering up. CONTACTS: EWG’s SkinDeep Database,; CSC, EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E - The Environmental Magazine ( Send questions to: Subscribe: Free Trial Issue:

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Page 16

Clayton Pioneer •

April 13, 2012


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The Willows Theatre Concord celebrated its first "new" anniversary at the Willows Shopping Center with a highenergy production of Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes.” Judging by the sold-out opening night audience, the local community has happily embraced their return. A strong cast does an outstanding job bringing Porter’s vibrant characters to life as they skillfully execute Staci Arriaga’s terrific choreography. Eight-yearold Jax Franks brings down the house when she and Aris-Allen Roberson tap up and down the set’s winding staircase. “This is our Shirley Temple/Bojangles moment,” says Willows’ Artistic Director Eric Inman, who shows off his considerable vocal chops as Billy in the show. “My Nana and I used to watch old Shirley Temple movies when I was a kid. So when Staci mentioned giving Jax a solo tap routine, I suggested she create her own version of the Shirley Temple/Bojangles number.” Managing Director David Faustina makes his directorial debut with “Anything Goes,” a challenge he turns into an unqualified success. “Cole Porter really gives you everything you need – wonderful music, clever lines – I just had to find the right cast to make it come alive,” Faustina says. PHOENIX FROM THE ASHES A major tenant at the Willows Shopping Center for more than 30 years, the theater company was forced to close in November 2009 when the economy took a nosedive. But like the phoenix rising from the ashes, the tenacious company is flying higher than ever. “The support we’ve received from the community has been incredible,” says Faustina. According to Inman, more than 200 volunteers worked diligently to ready the building for the opening of “Once Upon This Island” in March of 2011. “So many people donated their time, including electricians and carpenters, and Home Depot gave us a significant discount on the wiring,” says Inman. When the property owners at the Willows Shopping Center asked Faustina for the hours his construction crews would be working, he had to laugh. “We didn’t exactly have construction crews. We had these wonderful volunteers who would show up at all hours. Some people would get

Judy Potter/Willows Theatre

ERIC INMAN (CENTER) AS BILLY AND NICOLE FRYDMAN (ON BRIDGE) AS RENO head the cast in a highoctane performance of Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes” at the Willows Concord Mainstage through April 29. For ticket information, see ad this page.

off work at 10 p.m. and stop by on their way home to paint for awhile,” Faustina explains. But the support began even before they signed the lease. New York producer, actor and director Danny Goggins, whose popular “Nunsense” musicals have premiered at the Willows, called Faustina to inquiry about the possible re-opening. Faustina told him they couldn’t sign the lease because they didn’t have the money for the security deposit. A Fed Ex from Goggins with a check covering the deposit arrived the next day. A 'HAIL MARY' PASS Prior to re-opening the Concord location, Inman and Faustina had been running the company’s Campbell Cabaret in Martinez. When Artistic Director Rich Elliott retired and Inman and Faustina were asked to take over the management of the organization, they realized it would be an uphill climb. According to Faustina, they had two options – overseeing the closing of the Willows organization or working like crazy to bring it back to life. “We knew we needed to open the original theater in Concord if we wanted to survive,” says Inman. “I call it our Hail Mary pass,” Faustina adds. “Eric and I were willing to throw the ball, we just needed someone to catch it.” Fortunately, the Willows Board of Directors, patrons and the theatrical community didn’t fumble the pass. The current economic climate makes the re-opening of the Willows Theatre Concord even more remarkable. “With people paying $4.50 a gallon for gas, they have to cut back, and we wanted to be sure the Willows wasn’t one of the things they cut so we

No charge for

measures or sample check outs

lowered our ticket prices,” says Inman. Inman and Faustina are committed to making the Willows Theatre a fixture in Concord for many years to come. “We know who are audience is, and we select plays with them in mind,” Inman says. “We’re not a progressive South-of-Market theater company. While we’ll encourage our

audience to try new things, we also want to give them shows that are just plain fun. It’s all about the balance.” And if the audience response to Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes” is any indication, they are certainly on the right track. The show runs through April 29. For tickets, call 925-798-1300 or visit

Farce takes front and center in Simon’s hilarious ‘Rumors’

Jennifer Erdmann and Gabriel Marin star in CenterRep’s “Rumors” which opened at last week at the Lesher Center to enthusiastic audiences. This witty comedy follows one hilarious evening of cover-ups, confusions and miscommunications. The host has injured himself, his wife is missing and four couples are about

to experience a severe attack of farce. As the rumors escalate, so do the laughs. Add in a cook who has gone AWOL, a damaged car, a recurring back spasm, and you’ve got a preposterous story no one can keep straight. “Rumors” plays at the Lesher Center through April 28. Buy tickets online at or call 943-7649.

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April 13, 2012

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 17

Book Review

“The Expats” serves up a world of mystery





A good mystery should engage all of your senses, and fortunately for us, Chris Pavone’s debut novel, “The Expats,” does just that. Set almost entirely in Luxembourg, “The Expats” spins out a story of espionage and marital secrets in a landscape as rich as a European pastry. Kate Moore is a likeable exspy, living the quiet life of a

government bureaucrat, wife and mother in Washington D.C. She’s got a few skeletons in her closet, but she’s pretty normal. She could be your neighbor. Suddenly one day, Kate’s supposedly plain life is turned on its ear when her beloved husband, Dexter, announces that he’s earned an Internet security consulting gig of a lifetime, which involves moving the wife and the kids, lock, stock, and Legos, to Luxembourg. The money turns out to be too good to turn down, so the spook, the geek and the boys pack off to Europe. Living life as a full-time mom, carting the kids to school

Tony-winning rock musical closes Off Center season In a continuing quest to bring theatre that is new, adventurous and thoughtprovoking to local audiences, CenterREP will close its Off Center series with the Tonyaward winning “Spring Awakening.” In the intimate 130-seat Knight Stage 3 at the Lesher Center for the Arts, audiences are “right on top of the action,” says CenterREP’s Ariel Ford. Spring Awakening” tells the

timeless story of teenage selfdiscovery and budding sexuality as seen through the eyes of three teenagers. This landmark musical blends power, poignancy and passion in an electrifying fusion of morality, sexuality and rock and roll. “Spring Awakening” runs April 19 through May 13. For tickets go to or call (925) 943-SHOW, or go to the Lesher Center Ticket Office, 1601 Civic Drive in Walnut

and back, lunching with the other expat moms in a postcard-perfect city drenched in history and intrigue might be a dream to some, but to Kate, whose caliber of excitement is decidedly more complicated than carpool, it’s a nightmare. The trouble is, and this is crucial to the storyline, Dexter has no idea that Kate is a retired spy and veteran killer. She had meant to tell him, but time slipped by and it got harder to come clean. Finally, the admission becomes so monumentally huge that she cannot justify the tower of lies it has taken to sustain the identity that she has meticulously constructed for herself. For Dexter’s sake, Kate makes an effort to assimilate into their new life. She meets other moms, learns to shop for sport. One day she befriends ebullient Julia, and by extension, Julia’s husband, Bill, and the two couples become friends. It all seems rather perfect, but for a girl trained to see though what most consider ordinary, Kate begins to suspect that Julia and Bill are not who they say they are. She’s too nosey and he’s too smooth, and they don’t actually act like a

married couple at all. And so begins a game of cat and mouse wherein no one is who they seem to be, and Kate even begins to suspect that Dexter is hiding something from her. The trouble is, she’s been lying to him for their entire relationship, and she has no idea how to undo that particular piece of deception, even while she’s works to unravel his increasingly knotty lies. In the end, relations snarl and danger lurks, all circumstances that Kate is trained to manage. She knows that Bill and Julia are not who they seem, and it becomes obvious that Dexter is hiding a few sinister secrets of his own. Everyone lies. Except in her case, Kate’s lie is one that has the power to stop the heart of the man she loves as surely as a sniper’s bullet. His big lie could have the same effect on her. There are more plot twists in “The Expat” than this review can do justice to, but if you like a good mystery, and harbor a yen for Europe, this book will not fail to please.

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Pioneer Photo Album Spring is busting out all over Ted Meriam took this gorgeous shot of Mt. Diablo from Mt. Dell Drive just as the hills were beginning to green-up.

The Pioneer is proud to spotlight our readers’ photos. Send in your cute pets, funny kids, great landscapes, favorite sites in town or whatever makes your heart beat a little faster. Email your photo in a high-resolution format to with a description of the photo, where and when it was taken and a little about why you like it. Include your name and phone number. Then look for it in the next Pioneer.

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Page 18

Clayton Pioneer •

April 13, 2012

Commercial & Residential

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The Japanese Maple trees of our Clayton Valley landscapes and gardens are looking fresh and lovely this spring. With the new growth emerging so delicately with soft hues of reds and greens, it's a beautiful time of year for a Japanese Maple tree. Many garden lovers seek this prestigious tree. They admire their shapely frame and foliage. The family of Japanese Maple has many members, each growing different heights, widths, shapes, and with many different leaf colors. With so many options available it is good to know one tree from the other. Years ago, Bloodgood Japanese Maples were the kings of the Clayton Valley landscapes. The nurseries overgrew the Bloodgood Japanese Maples, and lesser stock was rushed to box stores and hardware garden centers. This was tragedy for the Japanese Maple family. Lucky for us, hybridizes have created two remarkable offspring to the Bloodgood with even better summer color, heat hardiness and clay tolerance. The two varieties are the Emperor One and the Moonfire Japanese Maples.


GARDEN GIRL leaf when emerging in the spring is a stunning dark purple that evolves to a dark red and eventually in the autumn becomes a fiery crimson red. Moonfire will be the hardier to find of the two new Bloodgood offspring. The overall growth of the Moonfire is smaller, reaching 8- to10-feet tall and 6-feet wide. With spring, the new leaves appear to be an opalescent crimson that darkens with summer, and seems to take on a bluish overtone, thus where Moonfire gets its name. Both of these selections would thrive in a mostly sun situation, planted away from a fence line or the home. All Japanese Maples need proper air circulation. GOOD GROVE OPTION Tobiosho is a green leafed, green stem selection of Japanese Maple. This variety can be easily compared to the

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parent green variety of Japanese Maple, with a much more controlled growth habit. The Tobiosho Japanese Maple will reach 10-feet tall and 5feet wide, and is perfect if considering planting a grove or cluster of trees. The green leaves have a cooling effect on a Clayton Valley landscape, and the brightness of the foliage stands out against dark backgrounds. Tobiosho produces spectacular scarlet fall color, the evolution from green to red is so dramatic, that it becomes photo worthy. Purple Ghost is a rare selection of Japanese Maple that would be sought after by those garden lovers that want to have the “it” tree first. Purple Ghost’s new leaves emerge as purple, and the color intensifies with the approaching of summer. During the summer months, the Purple Ghost Japanese Maples leaves darkens with the onset of blackish veining. It is a garden stunner, and will reach 9 to 12-feet tall and 4 to 5-feet wide; it is perfect for a narrow pathway, or decorative container. The autumn color of the Purple Ghost is an orange kissed scarlet. THE WOW FACTOR Peaches and Cream and Shirazz are both variegated selections of Japanese Maples. The Peaches and Cream will give your Clayton Valley garden or landscape that WOW that you have been craving in that certain spot. This specimen tree’s new leaves are pinkish-cream with a greenish finish. As summer warms, the

Car Tuned, from page 9

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The Emperor One is a fantastic, hardy selection of Japanese Maple. At maturity you can expect 10-15 feet of height and 8-10 feet of width. The

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price may not be worth the difference in engine performance and future maintenance expenses. As a service writer I hear complaints of “engine pinging,” “engine run-on after turning the key off,” or “it just doesn’t feel like it used to.” Most time we find the customer has been using the bargain fuels and /or the wrong grade. This leaves deposits on the moving parts and intake valves.

These deposits, which are called “engine gunks,” make it harder for the air/fuel mixture to enter the combustion chamber properly. Thus, it will not burn right. The pinging noise you hear when accelerating or going up hill is actually the fuel burning before it should. This can lead to all sorts of problems in the engine: Short-term loss of power, coking of the exhaust valves and, if it happens long enough, damage to the pistons,

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leaves turn a pink-edged cream with green veining. The transition is remarkable. This tree grows as tall as it is wide, so growing in the part sun on a raised planting area is desirable to really see the Peaches and Cream’s frame, or install in a container. The Shirazz Japanese Maple is a new introduction from New Zealand. The variegation of this ornamental tree is a complex blend of pinks, green and creamy white. The new growth is red, edged with pink. With summer the leaf changes to a green base with pink and cream markings. It is a real conversation piece in a part-sun landscape. The Shirazz Japanese Maple will reach 15-to 18-feet tall and 10feet wide, so install in the proper location, When you plant any Japanese Maple you must really spread out the roots. A happy tree (or plant for that matter) has no container memory, so take some time and untwine the roots. You need to install the Japanese Maple high in the ground, remember Japanese Maples like proper air-circulation, so don’t over bury. Existing Japanese Maples should be given a dose of fertilizer at this time. Happy Frog’s Japanese Maple food is a great product, and light enough not to burn delicate leaves. Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden and the 2012 Clayton Valley Garden Club president. Contact her with questions, comments or suggestions at

valves and piston rings. All of these are very expensive to repair. So think of it this way: If you fill your fuel tank with lowpriced fuels, you can save a whole $1.50 to $2. But how much is it really costing you, in performance, miles-per-gallon and possible repair bills? Visit www. road/fuels/inform for more information. Gary Taylor is service manager at Clayton Valley Shell. Call him with questions at (925) 672-3900

Residential & Commercial 

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