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Clayton Historical Society

2019 Gardens Tour May 3, 4 5 beautiful gardens info and story page B10 April 19, 2019

Council continues to mull cannabis rules


Concord’s Ana Villalobos inducted in Junior Giants Hall of Fame with two SF Giants managers JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

Delivery business is likely next step BEV BRITTON The Pioneer

Members of the Concord City Council and Planning Commission appear ready to move forward with non-storefront delivery businesses for medicinal and adult cannabis use. But at an April 2 joint meeting, most officials tread lightly in regard to retail storefronts – leaning toward medicinal sales only. However, trends in state laws may make that plan irrelevant. The nine officials all agreed that any sales-related cannabis business would need to form a Development Agreement with Photo courtesy San Francisco Giants the city. According to principal Concord league commissioner Ana Villalobos made her acceptance speech to 800 attendees at the Play Ball Lunch in city planner Michael Cass, the

See Cannabis, page 7

San Francisco when she was inducted in the Junior Giants Hall of Fame. Behind her are Giants radio announcers Jon Miller (left) and Dave Flemming (right). John Noguchi, co-chair of the Giants Community Fund, stood right behind Villalobos.

Concord league commissioner Ana Villalobos was inducted in the Junior Giants Hall of Fame days before the start of the major league baseball season along with San Francisco Giants managers Bruce Bochy and Dusty Baker in front of 800 attendees at the annual Play Ball Lunch in the City. Villalobos is the small dynamo behind the Junior Giants League in Concord, now facing some challenges ahead of its seventh season. Her boss at Monument Impact, Mike Van Hofwegen, and Villalobos got the program going with 120 kids in 2013 and now over 300 (pretty evenly split between boys and girls) take part in the free league each year. Coaches and all other adult participants are volunteers. Junior Giants, the flagship program of the Giants Community Fund, is a free, noncompetitive and innovative baseball and softball program for underserved boys and girls, ages 5-18 years old.

See Villalobos, page 6

50th anniversary Jazz Festival returns to Pavilion Aug. 3 JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

Aaron Gilbert/MediaPunch/IPx

Four-time Grammy-winning composer/bassist/lyricist Esperanza Spalding is in the star-studded lineup at the 50th Anniversary Concord Jazz Festival returning to the Concord Pavilion on Saturday, Aug. 3.

East Bay Regional Parks Guide,

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Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B8 Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B7

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Directory of Advertisers . . . .7 From the Desk of . . . . . . . . .8 Obituary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B1 Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10

Next issue, May 17, Deadline, May. 6

A star-studded lineup has been assembled for the 50th Anniversary Concord Jazz Festival coming to the Concord Pavilion on Saturday, Aug. 3, presented by Concord Jazz and Live Nation. The festival began in 1969 at what is now Dave Brubeck Park adjacent to Concord High School and spawned not only the construction of the Pavilion, which opened in 1975, but also gave birth to the venerable Concord Jazz record label in 1973. Concord Jazz continues its commitment to presenting the finest

jazz and live music with this year’s line-up. Featured artists for the 50th Anniversary Concord Jazz Festival include Dave Koz & Friends Summer Horns, Esperanza Spalding, Chick Corea Spanish Heart Band, The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra featuring Patti Austin, Jamison Ross, Carmen Bradford and special guests in a special Celebrating Ella set, Poncho Sanchez & his Latin Jazz Band, and many more to be announced soon. Doors for the festival will open at 2 p.m. with pre-concert music and festivities with the main stage performances beginning at 4 o’clock.

“The Concord Jazz Festival was a cornerstone of the Concord Pavilion concert season for years and we’re thrilled to bring this iconic event back for the 50th Anniversary celebration.” said Aaron Siuda, senior vice president of Live Nation Northern California. “In conjunction with Concord Jazz, we’ve put together a stellar lineup that showcases many of the great artists that Concord Jazz represents.” “The creation of this festival by visionary [Concord businessman] Carl Jefferson in 1969 led directly to his formation of the Concord Jazz label just a few years later,” said Concord

Records President John Burk. “We at Concord Jazz owe a great debt to Jefferson and the City of Concord, and we are thrilled to partner with Live Nation in bringing the Festival back home for its 50th Anniversary.” The festival was last held 15 years ago in 2004 at the Pavilion. Poncho Sanchez was on the bill that day. Visit Concord has assembled a committee of former Concord Jazz and Pavilion staff as well as local community leaders that is planning other events leading up to and around the Aug. 3 Pavilion concert.

See Jazz, page 3

City unanimously rejects AvalonBay proposal BEV BRITTON The Pioneer

Citing the unique opportunity to hire local labor, the Concord City Council unanimously rejected AvalonBay’s project on city-owned property near downtown on April 9. “I believe that there is an opportunity to develop this property right, in a way that is going to benefit the community – not just in the future when it’s built, but as it’s being built,” said Mayor Carlyn Obringer. “This is public property – we have to satisfy a public benefit,” said Councilman Edi Birsan.

“And sometimes we have to hold the line on a couple things.” Birsan said the council needed to go back to the Request For Proposal (RFP) stage “and remind everyone involved that we’re in it together for a quality project that benefits Concord.” At issue was AvalonBay’s inability to increase union labor hires beyond 15 percent of total construction costs. While reiterating the company’s commitment to a quality project, AvalonBay senior vice president Nathan Hong continued to tell the council the project wouldn’t be economically viable with higher labor costs.

“We’d be stuck with a delta on the project that we, and I think other developers, could not overcome,” Hong said. AvalonBay has had meetings with unions and the Building Trades Council since November 2018, but local labor groups have continually urged the city to reject the project. However, members of the local carpenters union spoke in support on April 9. The city has been negotiating with AvalonBay since summer 2017 on the $120 million mixed- This artist’s rendering shows AvalonBay’s failed plans for use project that called for up to apartments and retail on the “white picket fence” property at the corner of Concord Boulevard and Galindo Street in

See AvalonBay, page 3 Concord.

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The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Clayton Cleans Up April 20

Pioneer staff members Pete Cruz, left, Pamela Wiesendanger and publisher Tamara Steiner show off this year’s Clayton Cleans Up T-shirt.

Clayton residents will gather Saturday, April 20, for the 12th annual Clayton Cleans Up. In honor of Earth Day, volunteers will help spiff up the town for the popular Art and Wine Festival April 27-28. Residents can check in at 9 a.m. at Clayton City Hall, 6000 Heritage Trail, to pick up trash bags and designer T-shirts. This year’s shirt, designed by local artist Renaye Johnson, celebrates Clayton’s walking trails and bridges. Volunteers then meet back in the courtyard at noon for a barbecue. The Pioneer and the city of Clayton sponsor the event, with donations from Republic Services, the Clayton Business and Community Association, Travis Credit Union and Innovative Impressions. Download a registration form at ci.clayton.ca.us and bring filled out to the event. For more information, call the Pioneer at 925-672-0500.

Clayton lauds library volunteers

The Clayton City Council recognized the Clayton Community Library Volunteers of the Year at the April 2 meeting. Joan Carolan, a volunteer since 2012, has spent 512 hours shelving books and other library materials. She is an energetic and vital member of the Wednesday team. The mother/daughter team of Jill and Megan Day began volunteering in 2013. Each has logged 478 hours shelving books in the children’s area on Monday afternoons. They keep the area in great shape. High school senior Hope Koonin began volunteering in July of 2015. She has worked 225 hours sorting

Library Volunteers of the Year Joan Carolan, Megan Day and Jill Day, flanked by Joyce Atkinson and Jeanne Boyd, left, and Arlene Kikkawa and Karen Hansen-Smith, right. Not pictured: Hope Koonin.

and shelving books and library materials. Mayor Tuija Catalano presented each volunteer with a

certificate. Koonin received her certificate later, because she could not attend the council meeting.

April 19, 2019

Soroptimists celebrate distinguished local women

Concord resident Lisa Sweet, founder of Sweet Beginnings Family Resource Center, is this year’s Woman of the Year from the Soroptimist International of Diablo Vista. Her diaper bank, the first of its kind in the East Bay, distributes more than 5,000 diapers per month to families in need. Two other Concord residents and a Clayton resident are among the Women of Distinction honored at the March 20 event. Longtime Clayton resident Carin Kaplan has been involved in the Clayton Historical Society, the Clayton Business and Community Association and the Garden Club. She also has fostered service dogs in training to help alert people with diabetes. Alisa Rosillo, the Concord

Sarah Mero

Sandra Wohali, left, Alisa Rosillo, Lisa Sweet, Carin Kaplan and Mary Ann McCoy are this year’s Women of Distinction.

mother of two children who need wheelchairs, was instrumental in the state Legislature’s passage of a measure to ensure that people like her sons have access to places of amusement and restroom facilities. Concord resident Sandra Wohali, an administrator with the Mt. Diablo Unified School

New Eagle Scout boosts school garden

Boy Scout Brian Ruiz, a senior at Clayton Valley Charter High School, built an amphitheater for a middle school garden to earn his Eagle Scout honor. Ruiz said the amphitheater will provide a place for presentations at the Bay Point school. He received his recognition on April 13 at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Concord. Ruiz is a member of Concord Troop 484, with Scoutmaster Jason Myers. The 18year-old is the son of Edward Brian Ruiz is a member of and Evelyn Ruiz of Bay Point. Troop 484.

District, is dedicated to serving the special needs of homeless and foster youth to ensure academic as well as social/emotional success. Mary Ann McCoy, formerly of San Ramon, is the founder and executive director of Children of Grace. The organization provides education, health care and mentoring to thousands of orphans and other children in Uganda impacted by extreme poverty and the AIDS epidemic. Meanwhile, the Soroptimists presented grants to two head of household women who are pursuing an education to create a better life for themselves and their families, along with the Violet Richardson award to a high school age girl who has made a contribution to her community through volunteer work. This year’s high school winner, Aava Farhadi, started a program to mentor middle school girls. Soroptimist International is dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls in our communities through scholarship, mentoring and recognition.

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Concord/Clayton Market Update CONCORD


1683 Tammy Lane . . . . . . . . . . $610,000 3905 Clayton Rd #29 . . . . . . . . $290,000 3985 Kauri Ct. . . . . . . . . . . . . . $651,000 4406 Indigo Ct . . . . . . . . . . . . . $840,000 4401 Prairie Willow Ct . . . . . . . $800,000 2166 Karren St . . . . . . . . . . . . $532,000 3051 Treat Blvd #65. . . . . . . . . . 290,000


. .1644 . .1050 . .1380 . .2330 . .2130 . .1053 . . .730

1187 Shell Lane – Clayton

Fantastic single story on a large lot with possible RV/boat parking. Centrally located near park, schools, shopping, dining & transportation! 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, approx 1625sf with an attached 2 car garage. Updated kitchen & baths. Open floorplan with netural décor. $629,000 Rarely available and highly desirable single story duet in Black Diamond at Oakhurst Country Club. 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths approx. 1235sf with inside laundry and an attached 2 car garage. Light & bright open floorplan with new interior paint. Short walk to community pool & playground. $549,000

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Beautiful single story in the highly desired Crossings Community. Highly updated & move in ready. 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, approx 1365sf with an attached 2-car garage. Updated kitchen & baths. Great backyard with patio, deck & large sideyard area. $695,000 Terrific townhome in Chaparral Springs at Oakhurst Country Club tucked away at the rear of the complex. 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths approx. 1355sf with inside laundry & 2-car attached garage. Gleaming hardwood flooring throughout first level. Updated kitchen offers slab granite counters with full decorative tile backsplash and newer appliances. $539,000

5091 Black Oak Rd. – Concord


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18 Mt Eden Pl . . . . . . . . . . . . $880,000 23 Long Creek Circle . . . . . . . $435,000 50 Petar Ct. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $815,000 5151 Keller Ridge Dr . . . . . . . $830,000 12 Clark Creek Cir . . . . . . . . . $505,000 1821 Yolanda Cir . . . . . . . . . . $800,000 1427 El Camino Dr. . . . . . . . . $697,000


. .2566 . . .966 . .1781 . .2053 . .1113 . .1880 . .1352



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April 19, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Major changes in store for Contra Costa Canal as ownership transfers to CCWD PEGGY SPEAR The Pioneer

It’s a familiar sight to see Concord’s Mark DeSaulnier jogging on the canal trails in his hometown. “I love the trails along and the canal,” he says. “They’re a local gem.” That’s one of the reasons the Congressman from California’s 11th District teamed with Sen. Dianne Feinstein to author legislation that ultimately will allow for upgrades to the Contra Costa Canal. The bill, signed into law in mid-March, transfers ownership of the canal from the Bureau of Reclamation to the Contra Costa Water District (CCWD). “Passage of the Contra Costa Canal Transfer Act allows the Contra Costa Water District to implement long-overdue improvements to the canal,” Rep. DeSaulnier said. He said the Bureau of Reclamation didn’t have resources for improvements, which include what he termed “critical safety and structural improvements” – like the possibility of covering the canal. However, residents shouldn’t expect to see changes soon, said Jennifer Allen of the CCWD.

Pete Cruz

The Contra Costa Water District will consider upgrades to the 48-mile Contra Costa Canal when transfer of ownership from the Board of Reclamation is complete.

“The bureau and the district have to work out the title transfer, and that will take months. Then it is going to take up to several years to determine the changes and improvements that need to be made,” she said. Officials haven’t determined the initial cost of the transfer and the upgrades, but Allen said the design phase alone is about $500 million. “The improvements will ultimately cost hundreds of millions of dollars,” she said. It will take awhile to see how much of a hike ratepayers will

shoulder, but Allen said there would be “plenty of opportunities” for public input on the project. CCWD will also be working closely with the East Bay Regional Parks District, which oversees the trails along the canal, Allen said. The 48-mile canal, which runs between Rock Slough in Knightson and the Martinez water treatment plant, delivers water to both residences and business in Central County and also to the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys for irrigation.

AvalonBay, from page 1

310 housing units and 6,500 sq. ft. of retail at 1765 Galindo St. In order to move the project forward, the developers offered five affordable units at the lowincome level, a $300,000 community benefit fund and a $50,000 art fund. At the April 9 meeting,

Laura Hoffmeister initially showed support for the plan, she ultimately joined her colleagues in voting to dump the project. “All the other projects downtown – you don’t see any dirt turning,” she said before the vote. “This is a project that I think has the real momentum to follow through. This gives us an opportunity to get some-

AvalonBay proposed adding $1.1 million more in community benefit by swapping the five affordable units for a $650,000 payment to the city as well as reducing the retail to 2,000 sq. ft. and giving another $450,000 to the city. While Councilwoman





Built between 1937 and 1948, the canal was mainly used for irrigation, especially in the agriculture-rich communities of Concord, Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill. As the area population exploded, DeSaulnier said, more of the water was used for residential purposes. “That’s why it’s time for an upgrade,” he said. The first part of the project will focus on the 22-mile stretch east from the Concord Naval Weapons Station to the mouth of the canal, partly because that’s where most deaths have occurred in the rushing water, Allen said. In the past 80 years, 81 people have drowned in the canal. Despite high fences around parts of the canal and signage that warns of danger, Allen said people still scale the fences. CCWD is in charge of patrolling the perimeter of the canals. Covering the entire canal, like putting in a pipeline, will have its share of issues, Allen said, such as affecting riparian habitats and changing the landscape of the area. “The canal is part of the community,” Allen said. “It will take quite a while to iron out a new plan, so we want to do it right.”

thing going on this property.” Councilman Tim McGallian said he was concerned about the community’s perception of the vote. “There was so much more to this than just we struggled to find a deal to approve housing tonight,” he said, “because it wasn’t the right fit for the community in terms of what it could mean for all of us.”

Page 3

Concord recognizes clerk with Helix award The Concord City Council honored administrative clerk Linda Cheshire for her welcoming spirit in the Public Works Department at the March 26 meeting. “Linda is one of the kindest, gentlest, most welcoming people that we have on staff,” Justin Ezell, director of Public Works, said as he presented the Daniel C. Helix Award of Excellence. “She’s the face of the department, and I couldn’t think of a better face to have than Linda,” he added. “Her goal is to make everyone who calls Public Works or emails Public Works feel like they’ve been heard and their issue is a top priority.” According to Mayor Carlyn Obringer, the city launched the award in 2015. “This is something that former mayor and council member Daniel C. Helix was very passionate about and helped to get going. When he retired from the City

Executive Director Elaine Schroth says, “We’re excited about the plans coming together for a community-wide celebration of this 50th anniversary of the Concord Jazz Festival, culminated by the return of the festival to the Pavilion. Not only are we looking back at the historic roots of the festival but looking forward to making this an annual part of Concord’s summer.” Details on those other Concord Jazz Festival events will be forthcoming. Tickets for the 50th Anniversary Concord Jazz Festival range from $39.50 to $149.50 plus

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The Lakes — Beautiful home with gated courtyard leading to front entry. Spacious kitchen with granite counters, large island, gas stove, built in oven, microwave and pantry. Large master bath, walk in closets. tub and shower. 4 bed, 3 bath single story. Private backyard with no rear neighbors, covered patio area. Nancy Donofrio (925) 998-7705

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Tice Valley — Beautifully updated townhome featuring 2 bedrooms and 2 and ½ bathrooms. Gorgeous European style kitchen with granite counters, living room and master suite with fireplaces and inside laundry. Nearly 1600 square feet with hardwood flooring and numerous other upgrades. 2 patios and an attached 2 car garage complete this property




Cul De Sac Location — Situated on nearly ¼ acre, this 5 bedroom, 2 bath home is located on the Pleasant Hill border, near shopping, dining and easy freeway access. Spacious kitchen with island and granite counters, living room with fireplace dual pane windows and numerous other updates throughout.

Council in 2016, the award was renamed in his honor,” she said. Councilwoman Laura Hoffmeister added her congratulations to Cheshire. “The City Council often gets credit for things that go right. It’s actually the work of the employees that interface with our community that really make the service so effective,” Hoffmeister said.

Jazz, from page 1

Priced to sell — Lovely landscaping accentuates the entrance to this updated, 3 bedroom, 2 bath home. Beautiful laminate wood flooring throughout, freshly painted walls, recessed lighting, brand new flooring and vanities in bathrooms, new water heater, garage door, fairly new Samsung appliances and more. Jamie Duvnjak (925) 808-9652 Jamie.Duvnjak@windermere.com

Concord Public Works director Justin Ezell and Mayor Carlyn Obringer thanked Linda Cheshire, center, at the March 26 City Council meeting.




Cardinet Glen — 4 bedroom, 2 bath home loaded with potential. Detached garage with workshop through breezeway on approx. .36 acre lot in desirable community. Single story rancher with updated bathrooms, inside laundry, living & family rooms and central heat/air. Detached office/shed with electricity. Priced to sell quickly.

applicable charges, including a limited number of general admission 4 Packs while supplies last. Tickets go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m. and can be purchased online at www.Livenation.com or at the Concord Pavilion Box Office. An exclusive commemorative album of music by the featured artists will be included with every pair of tickets purchased for the 50th Anniversary Concord Jazz Festival. The 50th Anniversary Concord Jazz Festival is presented in part by the Unity Music Foundation.





Morgan Territory — Situated nearly 5 acres this property offers 2 pastures, a barn, a creek running through, a beautiful garden and fruit trees. Approx 2396 square feet with 3 bed and 2 full baths plus a loft and a den on city water. Custom kitchen with pantry and cherry wood cabinets. Separate work shop w/ electricity or easily convert back to large garage.

Dana Farms — Well maintained 4 bedroom, 2 bath home with newer roof. Laminate flooring, recessed lighting and updated bathrooms. Living room with fireplace and skylight in family room. Large yard with grass area, a deck, side yards and RV/boat parking. Sought after neighborhood with great schools.

Assisting More Buyers & Sellers than Anyone Else* Lynne offers free staging on ALL LISTINGS

*Statistics based on Clayton/Concord and Contra Costa County Closed sales by volume (1/2014-12/31/2014). Data by Maxebrdi

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Page 4

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

April 19, 2019

Scouts among volunteers keeping Concord streets clean DANIEL BORSUK Correspondent

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Under threatening skies, 17 members of Boy Scout Troop 317 braved the elements on March 9 to pick up litter as part of Concord’s popular Adopt-A-Street program. Wearing yellow vests and holding metal trash pickers and 32-gallon black plastic bags, they slowly walked along a half-mile stretch of Clayton Road near Kings Valley Christian School. Concord established the program in 2013, modeling it after Caltrans’ long-established and successful Adopt-A-Highway program. Concord and other cities, including San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Clara, and Hayward, have launched Adopt-A-Street programs to draw businesses, non-profit groups and religious organizations to improve and maintain the cleanliness and appearance of their urban environments. Fourteen volunteer groups currently participate in the city’s anti-litter program, and the city needs more participants. In addition to Troop 317, other groups are St. Agnes Catholic Church, Clayton Valley Concord Sunrise

Daniel Borsuk

Seventeen members of Boy Scout America Troop 317 and Concord Code Enforcement Officer Jeff Conner are ready to head out on their half mile walk to pick up trash along Clayton Road last month.

Rotary, Boy Scout Troop 364, Ruiz Construction, Operation Clean Streets, Crossroad Covenant Church, Father’s House, Phoenix Enterprises Group, Diablo Valley Mustang Association, Concord Ambassadors, the Pinza Group, Rainbow Community Center and Bethel Baptist Church. Two applicants are pending approval to join the program, said Jessica Mislong, a Concord code enforcement officer. Mislong could not identify the groups because they were undergoing screening. The city has targeted 21 locations, most along Willow

Pass Road, for organizations to sign up to pick up litter. The street assignments vary in length from 0.5 miles to 0.8 miles. The volunteer groups make a two-year commitment to clean up an assigned street at least four times a year. The organizations have the option to renew for an additional two-year term. To recognize the participants, the city installs AdoptA-Street logo signs. “The sign means a lot to the Scouts. It gives us public recognition,” said Dave Paul-

See Scouts, page 5

Artists collaborate with city to brighten downtown Concord LISA FULMER Special to the Pioneer

While creating large wall murals are a popular choice for bringing public art to the masses, artists also see utility boxes as perfect canvases for adding spots of color and beauty to their communities. In big cities and small towns across the nation, artists are transforming utility boxes from dull sidewalk fixtures to beacons of civic pride and support for arts and culture. Members of the Concord Art Association, a nonprofit founded in 1963, proposed a multi-faceted plan and budget to the city last month for painting and/or wrapping 11 boxes around Todos Santos Plaza with local artists’ designs. The City Council approved CAA’s proposal March 26, and the project is underway. Funding will come from private donations and CAA’s reserves, with the city adding a portion from a fund designated for public art.

CAA Board Member Susan Pace-Koch (right) shows artists a trio of utility boxes on Salvio Street Artists in preparation for the beautification project.

CAA and the council agreed on the theme “Music & Market,” which is fitting for Todos Santos Plaza – home to Concord’s popular Music & Market events. CAA recently held an outdoor orientation session, where interested artists took walking tours to see each utility box and learn more about the special requirements and design criteria. They will paint five of the boxes directly and adorn others with vinyl wraps. “As an artist and long-time


Neiw ng t s i L


Concord resident, I’m looking forward to working with the city to create this vibrant, artistic focal point for our downtown area,” said CAA president Catherine Hensiek. “The fact that our City Council and city staff are eager to collaborate with CAA on this pilot project bodes well for the future of public art in our community.” Hensiek noted that the CAA board voted to

See Artists, page 11


140 El Portal Place

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April 19, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Rich history of mining in Clayton hills Miners often enjoyed spending their wages and free time in Clayton. Several saloons offered beer from the brewery on Main Street, or the miners could catch a play or musical event at the Social Hall. The discovery of a higher grade of coal in the Northwest and the increasing use of oil as an energy source marked the end of the coal era.



The so-called gravel we now see mined on Mount Diablo is just one of many materials mined in Clayton and its surrounding hills over the years. Geologists say Mount Diablo’s geologic history is complicated. To put it simply, the collision of oceanic plates and continental plates and other conditions resulted in the formation of many different types of rock. Diabase quarries began operation at Mount Zion and Eagle Peak in 1947, with the crushed, gravel-like rock used as a construction aggregate to provide a stable foundation for roads and buildings. It can also be a low-cost extender when

Miners loaded carts with ore from underground mines, and mules hauled them to the surface on iron rails. This cart is on display at the Clayton Museum.

added to more expensive ingredients like asphalt and cement to make concrete.

ThE SuCCESS oF CoAL hILL In earlier days, miners brought out coal from the hills northeast of Clayton. The area we know today as the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve was once the largest coal mining operation in California. In the 1860s, legislators even pro-

posed changing the name of Mount Diablo to Coal Hill. From the 1850s to the early 1900s, mule-drawn carts brought 4 million tons of “soft coal” to the surface. Railroads transported it to landings on the San Joaquin River. Then barges carried the coal to San Francisco, Sacramento and Stockton to be used in homes and factories and to power trains and boats.

Home wells require special monitoring Q. I found a house with my Realtor. It is in a neighborhood, not a ranch or farm. The only difference from other homes we looked at is that this house uses a well. It has city sewer, which I think is good. I have never lived in a house with a well for water. What do you think? A. Your question is timely because we recently had National Groundwater Awareness Week. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) most recent census survey, more than 13 million households rely on private wells for drinking water in the United States. So it isn’t as unusual as you think. One thing you probably realize is that you will save money, because you won’t have a water bill. If the well pumps enough water, you can use as much as you want for irrigation and other needs. Everyone, especially well owners, should become “groundwater protectors” by taking steps to conserve and protect the resource. The EPA says homeowners could benefit from testing private wells annually for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids and pH lev-

Page 5


Before you buy the house, have the well tested for how much water it pumps a minute. Ask the current homeowner how the well performed during all seasons and how much water it pumped during the drought. The next thing to inspect is the quality of the water. Most people with a well use a water softener because well water is often hard. The last two houses I lived in were on a ranch, and we had well water. In the last place, the well pumped enough water. But after we lived there for a short time, the water became so salty that we couldn’t filter it out. We had a separate storage tank on the property and paid to have water trucked in and put in the storage tank. A storage tank is a good idea, because you won’t have any water if the well dries up. So goes saving money on water. You should contact the local health department to find out what substances might be common in your area’s groundwater. You may want to test more than once a year if small children or older adults live in the property, or if someone in the



house is pregnant or nursing. You should also test your well immediately if: There are known problems with groundwater drinking in your area. Conditions near your well have changed significantly (i.e. flooding, land disturbances, new construction or industrial activity). You replace or repair any part of your well system. You notice a change in your water quality (i.e. odor, color, taste). You said the house is in a subdivision, so you could be luckier than me if something goes wrong with the well. Look into whether there is city water nearby that you could hook into and how much that would cost if something goes wrong or if you just decide you want city water.

Send your question and look for your answer in a future column. Email Lynne@LynneFrench.com. French is the broker/owner of Windermere Lynne French & Associates. Contact her at 672-8787 or stop in at 6200 Center St., Clayton.

ThE SANDS oF TIME From the 1920s until 1949, firms mined silica-rich sand in the same area as the former coal mines. The Hazel-Atlas Mine sent sand to Oakland for use in the manufacture of glass jars and bottles, and the Colom-

bia Steel Works Foundry in Pittsburg used sand from the Roberts Sand Co. Mining of sand ended because of competition from imported Belgian glass sand and the closing of the steel foundry. The Cowell Cement Co. quarried limestone at Lime Ridge from 1908 to 1946. Dust generated by this enterprise settled on the leaves of crops, raising the ire of many Clayton farmers until the company erected a large smokestack to contain the fallout. People also mined gold, silver and copper but in relatively small amounts. A cinnabar mine just east of Clayton was still operating at a profit in 1940. Cinnabar is an ore from which mercury

or quicksilver is derived, which in turn is used to separate gold and silver from the ore that contains it. The complex nature of Mount Diablo geology has yielded many types of mining riches and presents us with the challenge of balancing the needs of our increasing population and the preservation of the beauty of our mountain and its surrounding hills.

will be reimbursed after the end of the fiscal year. The biggest decision the council needed to make was what to do with $181,000 leftover from the 2017-’18 budget. Mizuno outlined three options: Keep it in reserve for a community emergency, such as a landslide; put $50,000 in an insurance fund and the rest in the general fund; or transfer $50,000 to a pension “hedging” fund, to help manage rising pension costs, with the rest in the general fund. A council subcommittee suggested a “hybrid” solution of putting $100,000 into pension costs and spending $50,000 for needed safety equipment, such as an automated external defibrillator (AED) in the Hoyer Room of the library where city meetings are held. There is already an AED across the hall in the library, but safety standards require one in the Hoyer

Room. Councilman Jim Diaz said he hoped the Clayton Community and Business Association would help foot the $2,100 bill. Speaker Ann Stanaway said the council should fund a $50,000 wireless system for the city’s maintenance staff. It would alert them of problems that need quick attention, such as a broken and spraying water line. The council approved funds for the AED and wireless system, while setting aside $100,00 for pension costs. Meanwhile, Pierce underscored the need to get started on street improvements required by SB743, a comprehensive bill geared toward improving traffic and environmental safety in California cities. She also urged that the council “get moving” on improving its permitting process. The council agreed with those suggestions.

Debbie Eistetter is a board member of the Clayton Historical Society. For more information or to become a member, visit claytonhistory.org The Clayton Museum, at 6101Main St., is open 2-4 p.m. Wednesdays and Sundays. Admission is free.

Clayton council all smiles over midyear budget report PEGGY SPEAR The Pioneer

It’s not only the Mt. Diablo foothills surrounding Clayton that are green this spring. The city’s midyear budget report reflected a strong fiscal standing. “Other cities would love to be in our position,” City Councilwoman Julie Pierce said at the end of a recent council meeting at which financial director Kevin Mizuno reviewed the midyear expenses and revenues in the city’s nearly $4.7 million annual budget. While most revenues were right on target, there were a couple of blips that Mayor Tuija Catalano questioned. Mizuno said franchise fees are lagging because Comcast is losing customers to Internet viewing options such as Hulu and Amazon. Measure J funds also were not on par with projections, but Mizuno said cities

Scouts, from page 4

son, Troop 317 assistant Scout master. “The biggest part of scouting is helping the community, putting in so many hours of community service. This program delivers that,” he added. Troop 317’s sign is posted prominently along Clayton Road near Kings Valley Christian School, where the troop frequently meets and heads out for Adopt-A-Street collections. By the end of last month’s half-mile collection run, the Scouts had filled eight bags

with litter from along both sides of Clayton Road. “I am participating in the program because I feel like I am helping the community,” said Seth Ceronin, a Troop 317 member since 2014. “This program teaches Scouts the importance of community service,” said 317 committee chair Gen Vivo. “It teaches Scouts about leaving no trace, community responsibility, ownership and working together as a team.” Concord Mayor Carlyn Obringer is a huge supporter of the Adopt-A-Street pro-

gram. “Northing builds a sense of community like working together to improve your own neighborhood,” said the mayor. “I am such a big fan and booster of neighborhood cleanups because I want to do all I can to instill in Concordians a feeling of civic pride in the places where they live and play. By volunteering to beautify streets and sidewalks, you’re not only helping to maintain property values in your neighborhood, you’ll feel good doing it – and make new friends in the process, too.”

For more about the Adopt-AStreet Program, call 925-6713071.

Page 6

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April 19, 2019

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Melanoma skin cancer is on the rise worldwide and is now considered the 5th most common cancer diagnosis in the United States. It is estimated that there will be more than 95,000 new cases of melanoma diagnosed in the United States in 2019 – and more than 7,000 deaths. Most patients will be diagnosed with early stage disease, when surgery alone is curative. However, for those who develop advanced or metastatic disease, there has been an explosion of breakthrough therapies that have proven to prolong overall survival. These offer new hope in a disease that was once considered significantly fatal. In several types of solid tumors, chemotherapy can play an important role. But in advanced melanoma, chemotherapy has not been shown to significantly improve overall survival. Response rates are usually less than 20 percent. Rather, doctors are changing the landscape of melanoma treatment by activating the immune system to target cancer cells via immunotherapy antibodies, as well as the use of oral molecularly targeted BRAF/MEK inhibitor combinations.

Testing for mutations All patients with metastatic melanoma should be tested for activating mutations in BRAF, specifically BRAF V600E or BRAF V600K mutations. If present, these mutations implicate a pathway by which these cells replicate and serve as a target for drug therapy. Studies initially showed that the BRAF inhibitors vemurafenib and dabrafenib have efficacy in treating melanoma and prolonging survival compared with chemotherapy. Now, it is known that combining BRAF inhibition with blocking a downstream target called MEK can further enhance response rates, progression free survival and overall survival. The Food and Drug Administration has approved three combinations of BRAF/MEK inhibitors for patients with BRAF V600(E/K) m u t a t i o n s : dabrafenib/trametinib, vemurafenib/cobimetinib and encorafenib/binimetinib. All provide a remarkable response rate of about 70 percent. Toxicity can be an issue though, specifically diarrhea, fevers and chills. This can require dosage adjustments or temporary interruption of therapy. Immunotherapy or checkpoint inhibitors work by taking the brakes off the immune system and blocking inhibitory signals that prevent immune cells from attacking cancer cells. Currently, the anti-PD-1 antibodies pembrolizumab and nivolumab are approved as single agent options in patients with advanced melanoma, with or without a BRAF mutation, with objective response rates of

Villalobos, from page 1

Villalobos left Monument Impact three years ago to take a position as a senior health education specialist for Contra Costa County Health Services, but she couldn’t leave her Junior Giants. The program also offered her solace in her lowest moment. Her 21-year-old son Raul was killed while walking to his job in Walnut Creek in 2015 while his mom was at a funeral in her native Mexico. She drove 12 hours back to Concord aware of an issue but not knowing the fate of her son. She told Marcus Thompson of “The Athletic” that ““Junior Giants kept me alive”

while she struggled with the unimaginable grief of losing a child. She explained to Thompson that she leaned on her work with the Junior Giants to start filling the gaping hole in her heart. Her youngest daughter, Grace, was a Junior Giant and is currently becoming a coach. Raul’s son Samuel is going to be a Junior Giant one day in his grandma’s league. When she helped bring the Junior Giants to Concord (there are 24,000 youth in 370 cities in the program) “I didn’t even know how to play baseball,” she said. “I started Junior Giants not because I’m a huge

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more than 40 percent. These immunotherapy drugs have been shown to be superior to ipilimumab, a CTLA-4 inhibitor, that was the former immunotherapy approved in this disease and was a major advance to historical high dose IL-2 treatment.

A good combination Furthermore, the combination of nivolumab plus ipilimumab has been demonstrated to have improved responses over either nivolumab or ipilimumab alone, though at the risk of higher toxicity. As the immune system is being activated, patients can experience inflammatory immune related toxicities, which can lead to therapy interruption and sometimes the need for steroid administration. However, a subset of patients treated with immunotherapy can have a complete response to treatment, allowing for longterm disease control and the potential to discontinue treatment after a few years. Immunotherapy with pembrolizumab, nivolumab or the combination of nivolumab/ipilimumab are all now standard of care options in patients with new onset metastatic melanoma with or without a BRAF mutation. Patients with a BRAF V600(E/K) mutation are candidates for either molecularly targeted treatment or immunotherapy upfront. This decision is individualized, based on disease burden and symptoms, side effect profiles, patient comorbidities and, of course, patient preference. Whether immunotherapy or targeted therapy is used upfront, either option can be reserved as a second line

fan. But now I am, and my heart belongs to the Giants. “But the issue is, I started Junior Giants because it was a huge need in Concord to bring our children back to the community. To keep them out of the streets and let them know that they are wanted, that they’re needed and that they’re loved. I believe our children need us more than ever. … A lot of them are not bad kids. They are amazing and I think we forget to remind them how wonderful they are.” The Giants said of Villalobos, “Ana is everything we could want in a Junior Giants Hall of Famer. She serves in this role on an entirely volunteer basis with a separate full-time job. Ana never let the tragedy of her son’s death

Join Dr. Jeffrey Zweig and other skin cancer and melanoma experts at “The Many Faces of Skin Cancer,” 6:30-8:30 p.m. April 23 at the Lafayette Library, 2491 Mt. Diablo Blvd. RSVP at 925-677-5041 ext. 272 or sjung@dvohmg.com.

treatment. These therapies have not been compared head to head, though a randomized trial is underway to address the question of how best to sequence them.

Taking positive steps All in all, we have seen a revolution in melanoma treatment in the advanced setting, with a subset of patients experiencing long-term durable responses to treatment. Numerous trials are looking at new immunotherapy as well as molecular therapy combinations. The future is indeed bright, and there remains much optimism for continual improved therapies and advances. Through the California Skin and Melanoma Center, Diablo Valley Oncology provides multidisciplinary care of not only melanoma, but all skin cancers. We draw upon the insight and expertise of our medical oncologists, surgeons and radiation oncologists to optimize the best treatments and care for our patients.

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slow her passion for Junior Giants. She has said multiple times, “I have lost one child, but Junior Giants brings me 200 more every summer. “  Despite any challenges in her personal life, the Giants said “she is not swayed from her support of Junior Giants. She has spoken at the Play Ball Lunch, Commissioners Camp, a Board Meeting and a Pure Storage event which raised over $116,000 for the Fund, and more.” Concord Police Activities League has been a major financial supporter of the program but that ends this year, so Villalobos is hunting for more support, including from the Concord Recreation and Parks Department.

April 19, 2019

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TaMara and r oBerT S Teiner , Publishers TaMara S Teiner , Editor P eTe C ruz , Graphic Design B ev B riTTon , Copy Editor J ay B edeCarré, Sports Editor PaMela W ieSendanger , Administration, Calendar Editor S TAFF W RITERS : Pamela Wiesendanger, Jay Bedecarré, Bev Britton

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The Pioneer is a monthly publication delivered free to homes and businesses in 94517, 94518, 94519 and 94521. ZIP code 94520 is currently served by drop site distribution. The papers are published by Clayton Pioneer, Inc., Tamara and Robert Steiner, PO 1246, Clayton, CA 94517. The offices are located at 6200 Center St. Suite H, Clayton, CA 94517 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Both Pioneer newspapers welcome letters from our readers. As a general rule, letters should be 175 words or less and submitted at least one week prior to publication date. Letters concerning current issues will have priority. We may edit letters for length and clarity. All letters will be published at the editor’s discretion.

Please include name, address and daytime telephone number. We will not print anonymous letters. E-mail your letter to editor@concordpioneer.com. Letters must be submitted via E-mail. CIRCULATION The Pioneer is delivered monthly by the third Friday to 38,500 single-family homes and businesses in 94518, 94519 and 94521. Papers to Clayton are delivered by US mail. Concord zip codes are delivered by commercial carriers for ABC Direct. To stop delivery for any reason, call the office at (925) 672-0500 . If you are NOT receiving the Pioneer, please check the distribution map on the website. If you live in a single-family home within the shaded area and are not receiving the paper, please let us know. If you are not in the shaded area, please be patient. We will come to your neighborhood soon.

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Recycle this newspaper


Don Bragg

Clayton City manager, Gary Napper, will retire at the end of July after 17.5 years with the city, he told the City Council at the April 2 meeting. In March, Mindy Gentry resigned as community development director for a position in the planning

department with the city of Concord. Former community development director, David Woltering will serve as interim director until a permanent director is hired. Last week, the city’s finance director announced that he will be leaving for another position in July,

Cannabis, from page 1

agreements would focus on a community benefit payment – possibly for abuse prevention programs. The city would rely on those funds until a cannabis tax could be implemented. City staff also asked for feedback on cannabis microbusinesses, the approval process, distance buffers and preferred locations. The timeline calls for online engagement and a community workshop this summer, with the City Council approving new regulations in late 2019 or early 2020.

CATChING uP To STATE LAW Several people noted that outside businesses are already delivering medicinal and adult use cannabis to Concord residents under state law – and the sales tax is going elsewhere. “The state has taken it out of your hands,” said Matt Light of Firefly, a cannabis operation. “That is happening, whether you like it or not. You might as well license them.” While most of the officials were willing to consider delivery businesses that included adult use, many drew the line at retail storefront sales for adult use. Planning Chair Raymond Barbour said he supported medical marijuana, including a retail store. “But I can’t get over that hump for a recreational storefront,” he said. “Only a few communities have ventured into adult sales,” said Councilwoman Laura

Hoffmeister. “We don’t need to be the leader on this one.” Many audience members urged the city not to approve retail stores for adult use. “Recreational storefronts would introduce many people to a drug with negative side effects,” said 36-year resident Mike McDermott, who at the same time advocated for medicinal outlets. North Concord resident Hope Johnson said she had “no problem” with retail cannabis but asked the city to place stores in higher traffic areas, which she said are safer. Johnson also said that any funds the city collects should help residents near where the businesses are located.

BLuRRED DISTINCTIoNS According to Cass, the state is eliminating many of the differences between medicinal and adult use of cannabis. “At this point, they are still specifying for certain licenses, medicinal vs. adult use,” he said. “But they are starting to go the direction where the uses and requirements are very similar.” Cass said it would be “incredibly challenging and time-consuming” for Concord to enforce medicinal-only use if the state continues to limit distinctions. “The best way would be through labeling and packaging requirements, which could specify how the product could be used,” he said.

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Bragg won the 1960 Olympic gold medal for pole vault

City Manager Gary Napper to retire

after the 2019-’20 budget is done. The three resignations come on the heels of a contentious 2018 election when state mandated density requirements and parolee housing restrictions came under fire.

Planning Commissioner Mark Weinmann Councilman Edi Birsan were in favor of retail sales for adult use, with Weinmann advocating a trial basis. “With the whole adult vs. medicinal use, the lines are gonna get more blurred,” Weinmann said. “We really shouldn’t limit it to medicinal. We’re tying our hands.” Agreeing that the state is taking away most distinctions, Councilman Dominic Aliano said he supports discussions on all types of cannabis businesses. “At this point, I want to protect the youth. And I think I have a better chance of doing that …. by having control of this industry in the city,” he said. Mayor Carlyn Obringer said she wants a pilot medicinal storefront, which she said could also be “a holistic community center.” Councilman Tim McGallian said he wants to “continue to explore what’s going on with adult use.” He asked staff to look into whether the city could ban cannabis products that are smoked or vaped. MoRE FINE-TuNING Most of the officials said they didn’t want to extend buffer zones beyond the statemandated 600 feet for things like schools and day-care centers. But they suggested adding sensitive uses such as parks and drug treatment centers. As to the permit process, the majority of planning com-

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May 15, 1935 Feb. 16, 2019

Olympic Gold Medalist and former Clayton resident Don Bragg died Feb. 16 at his home in Oakley after a long illness. He was 83. Bragg won the gold medal in the pole vault at the Rome Olympics in 1960 and set a new world record. Bragg was the last of the pole vaulters from his era to use an aluminum pole, which was heavy and inflexible and required the “Tarzan” like strength he acquired growing up in New Jersey. He set up his own “Tarzanville” on the family property in New Jersey where he would swing from tree to tree, yelling like Tarzan, with childhood sweetheart Theresa Fiore on his back. The 6’3” Bragg always hoped to play Tarzan in the movies like his hero, Johnny Weissmuller, but that dream never materialized. Bragg had no formal training in the pole vault, teaching himself with bamboo poles salvaged from a local furniture store. After encouragement from his high school coach, Bragg was recruited for the Villanova University track and field team. Two months after winning the 1960 gold medal, he returned home to New Jersey and married Theresa. He found

Page 7

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his calling in youth sports, serving as special assistant for youth affairs and recreation to the governor. In the summers through the 1960s and ‘70s, the Braggs ran Kamp Olympik for boys in Penns Grove, New Jersey. They later moved to California. In 2003, the Braggs lost their home in Clayton to a devastating fire that also destroyed much of their memorabilia. A fireman was able to retrieve the framed medal from the smokefilled house. After the fire, they retired to a senior community in Southern California where they lived until Don suffered a stroke on Father’s Day 2009. They moved back to Clayton to be closer to family. Last year, they moved to Oakley. In 2010, Bragg was a guest of honor at the 50th anniversary of the 1960 Rome Olympics, where he appeared on the podium giving his legendary Tarzan yell one more time. In addition to Theresa, Bragg is survived by sons Mark and Jeff, daughters, Tracey Bragg and Renee Bragg, 11 grandchildren and six greatgrandchildren. Family and friends celebrated Bragg’s life at an outdoor ceremony in Oakley last month. missioners supported a firstcome, first-serve method. However, the council preferred a Request for Proposal (RFP) system. “This helps us vet out companies that will be successful at the end of the day,” Hoffmeister said. Several council members discussed locations for retail stores, with McGallian noting “a few places up and down Clayton Road” and Aliano saying he didn’t want any cannabis businesses in the Monument. Birsan argued that any limits on locations were “bogus,” noting that 4,000 people were recently drinking at a beer fest near the playground in Todos Santos Plaza. “Let’s just use rational choices on where we put this stuff,” Birsan said. “We want to kill the black market – the best way is to make it retail.” Officials didn’t fully explore the topic of microbusiness at the meeting, but Cass told the Pioneer that staff would continue to draft regulations. Under state law, a microbusiness can cultivate less than 10,000 sq. ft. of cannabis and be a licensed distributor, manufacturer and/or retailer (three of the four). As part of this ongoing city process, the council has developed a commercial cannabis overlay district and approved permits for two medicinal cannabis manufacturing businesses, set to open this spring. Meanwhile, the city is reviewing an application for a testing lab.

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Page 8

F r om the desk o f . . .

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

April 19, 2019

Making a Difference – an expansion of Do the Right Thing Former City Councilman and two-time mayor Hank Stratford created Clayton’s Do the Right Thing program 8-9 years ago in conjunction with school administrators and the Clayton Business and Community Association. Council members and city staff support the program, and the City Council recognizes Mt. Diablo Elementary, Diablo View Middle and Clayton Valley Charter High school students for exhibiting six character traits: responsibility, respect, kindness, self-

discipline, integrity and courage. This year, I have been working with Councilman CW Wolfe to expand the program by launching recognition of adults in our community who are outstanding, exemplary or inspiring – making our community a better place. Instead of divisive rhetoric, I strongly believe our community ought to focus on celebrating the positives. Clayton has been and continues to be a great city and community, and as such, there

It’s crucial to support local Special Olympics athletes

As someone who has a sister with Down syndrome, I can sympathize with the stares and treatment that individuals in the Intellectual and Developmental Disability (I/DD) community too often receive. Many years ago, my wife and I took a trip to the mall with my sister, Shari. As we TIM GRAYSON were walking, I noticed a 14TH ASSEMBLY group of young people staring at Shari and whispering. DISTRICT As any family member would, I felt upset and proThe Special Olympics tective over my sister. I wonmade national headlines dered what they were saying when Secretary of Education and was afraid that my sister Betsy DeVos announced a noticed. However, Shari budget proposal last month turned to my wife and me that included cutting all fed- and said: “I think they like eral funding for the Special my dress.” That forever Olympics, nearly $18 million. changed my perspective. Only days before, I had Having someone in your met with Gov. Gavin Newlife who is a member of the som and other leaders in the I/DD community is a blessstate Legislature to advocate ing. You begin to see how we for $3 million in funding for are all similar, instead of California Special Olympics how we are different. Stuathletes and programs. So to dents in nearly 1,400 Calisay that I was upset by this fornian schools are able to proposal would be an under- experience this through the statement. Special Olympics Unified After receiving massive Champion Schools Program. public backlash, the federal This program fosters and administration thankfully focuses on inclusion, bringreversed this proposal. How- ing together students with ever, these events created the and without intellectual disperfect opportunity to high- abilities through sports to light how the Special learn with, and from, each Olympics improve the quali- other. Eighty-four percent of ty of life for thousands of students without disabilities individuals both on and off who participated in this prothe field. gram indicated that it was a Special Olympics North- positive turning point in ern California and Special their lives. Olympics Southern CaliforThis last week, Special nia provide year-round Olympics athletes joined me sports training, competition on the Assembly floor to opportunities and medical recognize Special Olympics assistance to athletes and Day in California and help their families in California’s me continue to advocate for public schools and commuprogram funding. We all bennity sports programs at efit from a more inclusive absolutely no cost to the world, and that is what the nearly 60,000 athlete partici- Special Olympics are workpants. Through sports, these ing to create. athletes become more independent, build self-esteem, To learn more about Special live healthier lives and are Olympics Northern California, its able to experience a commu- programs or how to become a volunnity where they are accepted teer, visit sonc.org. and celebrated.

Joe Ronco 925-872-3049

Over 35 years Clayton/ Concord resident Lic#844344

is no need for it to be saved from anything. Instead, let’s work together to maintain Clayton as an awesome community, embracing and allowing for our differences of opinions. Many people in Clayton regularly extend themselves to make a difference, without thought of recognition. They inspire the rest of us to do better. Wolfe and I are proposing a pilot program that will identity and honor adults “Making a Difference” in our community, who clearly go above and beyond to help others and are an important part in making Clayton the community it is. The pilot program will have no impact on the existing Do the Right Thing program, and we will continue to recognize



students. Instead of utilizing the six character traits, Making a Difference will recognize adults based on different themes. The first theme will recognize an outstanding teacher, mentor or coach. Subsequent themes will include outstand-

ing volunteer or community contributor. In order to recognize outstanding adults, we need your help. If you know of an outstanding teacher, mentor or coach, please submit the name of the nominee and brief description of the reason for the nomination by email to claytonmakingadifference@g mail.com. Clayton Library and its volunteers. The Clayton Library recently celebrated its 24th birthday, and the city recognized April 7-13 as Clayton Community Library Volunteers Week and Clayton Community Library Week. The Clayton Library is the first in the county to allow in-library volunteers, which was the result of a group of residents who were determined to make

the Clayton Library a reality. Clayton volunteers contribute thousands of hours each year. Pay It Forward. April 28 is International Pay It Forward Day for random acts of kindness, which could include volunteering for a cause or event in our community – such as schools, any of our wonderful organizations or the Clayton Library. Mayor’s office hours. Visit me 9-10 a.m. Saturday, May 4, at Cup O’ Jo downtown. Or stop by the Art & Wine Festival on April 27-28. I will be at or near the volunteer check-in booth both days, from beginning to the end.

Contact me at tcatalano@ci.clayton.ca.us and follow at facebook.com/CouncilmemberTuijaCatalano for more updates.

Tackling fare evasion crucial to making BART better

“Quality of life” permeates almost every BART conversation as code for the interrelated issues of fare evasion, homelessness, cleanliness, drug activity and public safety. Everyone inside BART headquarters knows these issues negatively impact BART riders, workers, infrastructure and revenue, yet little permanent progress has been made. What can a transit system do about a rider’s quality of life? It comes down to people sharing small spaces, the human behavior that occurs there and what is expected in a civil society. Three types of activity on the train cause most of the quality of life complaints: drug use, transient misbehavior and criminal acts. Complaints of cleanliness usually stem from these three issues. Some of these behaviors are intertwined with mental illness. None of them are exclusive to the BART system. We can’t wish for an end

to filth, violence and drug activity in our system while making only incremental, and sometimes costly, experimental moves that take years to assess. These issues are sucking the oxygen out of the trains. Immediate action is needed, and we saw a good start last week. BART finally took bold action in cracking down on one bad behavior by implementing a new fare evasion enforcement program at fare gates in San Francisco stations. Police officers issued criminal tickets to those attempting to enter BART without paying the fare. The goal is to eliminate some of the bad behavior from the system as many of the criminals, transients, panhandlers and drug users regularly do not pay. The program also sends a strong message to others that the free ride is over. After only three days of the crackdown, the results were notable. Riders commented that fewer homeless people were using the trains

as shelters, riding them all day to nowhere. At some stations, large numbers of people turned around at the fare gates and walked out of the station at a rapid clip. Some riders at Powell Street cheered as they looked up after swiping their Clipper cards to see several officers citing and turning away those who didn’t pay. As we dove into our first draft of the fiscal year 2020 (FY20) budget season at the last board meeting, it was a relief to see the addition of 19 new police officer positions, along with four more fare inspectors. If we can get the police officer hiring handled, the officers at the gates should stay until fare gate improvements are made. So-called station hardening to prevent fare evasion is a far more cost-effective and permanent solution than staffing gates with officers. However, the FY20 capital budget for fare gates contains only $1 million toward those improvements, of which over half came from a

housing in our county. The majority of homeless individuals in Contra Costa grew up here or lost their KAREN MITCHOFF housing here. This is home to them. COUNTY The Health Housing and SUPERVISOR Homeless (H3) division provides homeless services within We see homelessness every the county Health Services. day in our community, and it’s The county formed H3 in not unique to Contra Costa 2017, and its mission is to County. ensure an integrated system of We are facing this issue care from prevention through nationwide, and it is one of intervention for homeless the most complex social chal- adults, youth and families in lenges our generation will our community. work to address. Homelessness is such a Contrary to what many large issue that government people assume, our homeless alone can’t solve it. It takes are not transients coming partnerships with cities, noninto the county from elseprofits, schools and many othwhere. During 2017, 6,442 ers to work toward solutions. individuals received homeless H3 has created easy points services in Contra Costa of entry to our system of County, and more than 79 care. percent of them lost their The Coordinated Outreach

Referral, Engagement (CORE) team program brings resources and services directly to individuals who are living outside. Teams go into encampments and meet with homeless individuals and provide or transport them to services. Contact CORE by dialing 211 or texting Hope to 20121. Nine CORE teams currently operate in Contra Costa. Three teams are countywide, with one operating at night. Another three teams are partnerships between H3 and cities. These teams focus on the cities that fund them – Martinez/Pleasant Hill, Concord/Walnut Creek and San Pablo/Richmond. In addition, H3 and the county Public Works Department partnered for a CORE team that focuses on encampments along the canals. This team’s cleanups have diverted more than 106,000 pounds of trash from our waterways. New this year, BART partnered for a CORE team to



carryover from FY19. That’s not nearly enough. Contrast that with $2.1 million being added for homeless initiatives like outreach teams who attempt to connect homeless to services, Pit Stop restrooms at street level and elevator attendants to keep transients and drug users away from San Francisco stations. While these are noble efforts, stopping people from entering the system without paying should be a higher priority. With a $2.4 billion annual budget, we should be able to find more than $1 million for fare gate improvements – if quality of life is really a top priority. Otherwise, talk is cheap. Contact Debora debora@fixourbart.com.



Health, housing and homeless system of care

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primarily focus on the homeless in and around BART stations. Another way to connect to services is through the Care Centers, which are resource hubs for homeless individuals. These centers include showers, case management, health services and housing searches. There are three Care Centers in Central County, including two at nonprofit locations – Monument Crisis Center and Trinity Center. These are just a few examples of how the county, cities and nonprofits work together to assist residents experiencing homelessness. Our system of care provides far more than I can fit in one article. Next month, I will share more about the work around preventing homelessness as well as our expanding services in addressing homelessness in our county.

Karen Mitchoff is Contra Costa County District IV supervisor. Email questions or comments to Mitchoff at supervisormitchoff@bos.cccounty.us

Sidewalk repair notices not a cause for panic April 19, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Since fall 2018, I have been hearing from Concord residents concerned about sidewalk repair notices from the city. I want to acknowledge that the tone of the notices was alarming, but that was not the intention. Per the California Streets and Highways Code (Sections 5610-5618) and the Concord Municipal Code (Sections 12.25.030-12.25.040), property owners are responsible and liable for any damaged sidewalk, curb or gutter areas adjacent to their homes or businesses. The city sent the notices as a courtesy to simply inform property owners that



they are liable for any damage or injury resulting from their sidewalk’s condition, and to share information about the city’s Sidewalk Repair Program.

Concord’s Public Works Department has specific criteria it follows when inspecting sidewalks. Inspectors look for cracked, uneven surfaces, excessive deterioration, excessive slopes, and horizontal or vertical offsets that can cause tripping hazards. Once inspections are complete, the city notifies property owners of any sidewalk in need of repair. The Public Works staff conducts sidewalk inspections in each of five zones, once every five years, and sends out notices accordingly. The city does not follow up beyond the courtesy notices. The Concord City Coun-

cil adopted the Sidewalk Repair Program to simplify the repair process and reduce costs for property owners. Property owners who voluntarily participate in this program should benefit from economy-of-scale pricing and avoid spending a lot of time and effort selecting a licensed contractor and scheduling inspections. The city also waives permit and inspection fees. Concord property owners can contact Public Works at 925-671-3448 to participate in the program. Here is how the Sidewalk Repair Program works, from start to finish:

It’s time to address all aspects of housing crisis

cost pressures and are seeking significant wage increases to sustain themselves in the Bay JASON LAUB Area. Employees expressed these CONCORD requests at nearly every level PLANNING of the organization, including COMMISSIONER what most would argue are high-income employees. The Over the past few weeks, I housing supply and affordability crisis isn’t just hitting lowwas reminded in a new way income families, or even mediabout the seriousness of the an-income families. It’s reachhousing supply/affordability ing nearly every level of crisis. income. I am COO at a designWe need affordable housbuild development firm. We ing. We need more housing have about 300 employees: architects, engineers, builders, available to all income levels. finance professionals and pro- And, we need it without delay. This housing duction workers in our factory. During employee perform- supply/affordability crisis is so ance reviews at the end of the severe, there are more than first quarter, I was taken aback 200 housing bills making their way through the state legislaby how many employees tive process. As most legislaexpressed increasing housing


tion goes, there will be stakeholders and opinions on both sides of any proposal. I encourage you to get familiar with the state bills and voice your opinion to state Senate and Assembly representatives. Most readers will find their representatives to be: Assemblyman Tim Grayson/District 14: assemblymember.grayson@assembly.ca.gov. Sen. Steve Glazer/District 7: senator.glazer@senate.ca.gov. At a local level, I also encourage you to contact your City Council representatives about addressing the housing supply/affordability crisis. It’s a multifaceted issue. We cannot say “yes,” to just any proposed development project that comes along. However, we should usher in


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– without delay – thoughtful proposals that are mindful of the existing community, won’t displace existing community members and will create more housing units. As a region, we only created one housing unit for every eight jobs between 2010 and 2015, roughly more than a half million housing units short of the job creation. Basic supply and demand economics would suggest that as a region or state, we need to address the housing supply crisis, which is in turn causing our affordability crisis.

Jason Laub is Chief Operating Officer at RAD Urban and is a City of Concord Planning Commissioner. Email questions or comments to jlaub.concordplanning@gmail.com

Step 1: The city becomes aware of sidewalk defects through routine inspections or community complaints. Step 2: In cases where extreme hazards exist, the city provides a temporary, courtesy patch to smooth out the sidewalk until the property owner makes a permanent repair. Note: Any temporary repairs the city installed or performed are as a courtesy only and shall not void, supersede or replace any duties of an adjacent property owner to implement permanent repairs to the sidewalk in accordance with the city’s Sidewalk Ordinance. Step 3: The city notifies the property owner about the need to make repairs and gives the owner the option of using the Sidewalk Repair Program. Step 4: If the resident agrees to use the program, the city calculates the cost of repair work, and the property owner pays the city directly. Step 5: The city schedules the repair work with the con-

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tractor and manages it to completion. Property owners are not required to use the city’s Sidewalk Repair Program and may instead hire a contractor of their choosing to complete repairs. In this case, they must obtain an encroachment permit before completing any work. Permit fees will apply, including the cost of cityrequired inspections. I share this information to help reassure my fellow Concordians that if you receive a “Courtesy Notice of Need to Repair Sidewalk Pursuant to Sidewalk Inspection and Repair Program” in the mail, it is simply that – a courtesy notification that the city is required to send to property owners whose sidewalks have been inspected and are in need of repair. Visit cityofconcord.org/sidewalks for more information.

Send questions and comments to Carlyn.Obringer@cityofconcord.org

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April 19, 2019

Unique program for students spawned in boxing gym JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

Concord native Dan Dorsett, who comes from an athletic family, noticed how boxing was helping dozens of at-risk kids who were training at Fightkore MMA & Fitness Gym in Martinez. Dorsett was training at the gym and saw how Fightkore owner Sean Sharkey “would help kids no matter what their financial situation, as long as they got to training on Saturday.” Dorsett approached Sharkey about developing a program that could be taken beyond the Fightkore gym and used in schools. Soon they founded the Feet First Foundation along with Harvard grad Brandon Kregal as an alternative character-

building program that focuses on empowering students in local schools. The program uses 60% physical activity and then spends the other 40% of the time talking about what good character is. Dorsett had witnessed some extreme family court challenges after his divorce and got his two children in the gym He noticed the discipline and character forming in each of them at the gym. From the age of close to four-years-old to this day, both kids trained once a week in boxing lessons. His daughter Aubrielle now swims for the Terrapins Swim Team, the local USA Swimming team that has national and collegiate athletes. He saw how confident she was at an early age, her enthusiasm in activities and her ability to compete at a high level

in the pool. Swimming is her passion and Dorsett gives credit for her confidence to swim at a high level to training in boxing since an early age. Feet First meets with schools, listens to the challenges with students, and recommends a solution that has been successful in behavioral change. Feet First is a step-by-step process that requires focus, concentration and discipline before moving on to the next stage. The program is currently at several schools in the Mt. Diablo and Martinez school districts. Dorsett says they will also be in the PE curriculum at Deer Valley High in Antioch next year. Principal Lynsie Castellano and Vice Principal Rick Correa call Feet First “one of the best programs at Olympic High School”. Dorsett and Sharkey are in

talks with MDUSD for adding five schools next term. They have also spoken with Concord Major Carlyn Obringer regarding the city supporting Feet First Day on the third Wednesday of October to stand up for strong character. Dorsett’s goal is to have an all-inclusive center that is available to offer to at-risk youth to improve the community and get kids to commit to school and stay in school by teaching them true character. The Feet First Foundation uses data to track the performance of each student. Data they have so far says depression, anger and anxiety have all been substantially reduced in program participants, as has suicidality. Dorsett was born in Concord and went to Holbrook Elementary, Glenbrook Middle School and Mt. Diablo High. One of his heroes growing up was MDHS basketball star Todd Lichti, who was a neighbor. Within two years, Feet First has grown to working with three school districts and helping hundreds (and hopefully, soon thousands) of kids in their program. Dorsett, Sharkey and harvard grad Brandon Kregel want to scale Feet First nationwide by testing students’ overall behavior improvements. The Feet First team is comprised of 37 volunteers and board members. The program uses pro athletes to help train and talk to the students about “what is good character.” Each student in the program receives a Feet First shirt created by community partner Simply Selling Shirts of Concord. Boxing equipment is donated by Everlast. For more information on Feet First Foundation visit feetfirstnp.org.


Concord High’s Odyssey of the Mind team has won the San Francisco Bay Region and NorCal State competitions, earning the six students an invitation to the World Finals in Michigan. Now these six creative students are looking to raise the funds necessary to make the trip to Michigan State University May 22-25. The international creative problem-solving competition empowers kids to harness their out-of-the-box thinking and turn it into a unique and entertaining performance. The Concord High team had a $125 budget to build their solution - costumes, set, props and all - and they’ll have eight minutes to present it at the World Finals. You can go to their  GoFundMe account listed under “Help Concord High get to World Finals” at  tiny.cc/chsodyssey if you can help them towards their goal of raising $6000.

MDuSD SuPERINTENDENT MEyER LEAVING FoR SILICoN VALLEy DISTRICT Last week MDUSD Superintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer announced she has accepted a similar position with the Mountain View Los Altos High School District. She had been with MDUSD for six years and will be leaving her post in June. Her new district includes two comprehensive high schools with a total of 4300 students. At MDUSD she oversaw over 50 schools with 30,000 students and nearly as

many employees as her new district has students. MDUSD’s announcement of her departure said, in part, “With a heavy heart, we announce that our innovative, effective and supportive Superintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer is leaving MDUSD. “Dr. Meyer has provided guidance, compassion and equity for our diverse and forward-thinking district. We are honored to have had her as our leader and we wish her all the best on her journey as an agent of change!” Meyer’s three-year contract with her new district was approved unanimously by the board and includes an annual base salary of $302,500. The contract includes a $25,000 housing allowance to pay for relocation expenses to a place within 20 miles of the district office. She begins there in July. After the surprise announcement she was lauded on social media by MDUSD teachers and school administrators. Meyer herself is active on Twitter, often retweeting postings of teachers and staff. MDuSD SEEk MEASuRE J CoMMITTEE MEMBERS

As Meyer leaves the District is ramping up its $150 million Measure J general obligation bond program approved by voters last November. The District is currently accepting applications for a seven-member Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee, which will be appointed by the School Board. Visit mdusd.org/cbocmj or email cboadminasst@mdusd.org for details on the bond and committee.

Charges reveals broken college admission system

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Not only did the recent college admissions scandal expose the individuals involved in varying levels of fraud, it also showed the brokenness of the college admissions system and the drastic change that has occurred over the past two decades. The U.S. Justice Department ultimately charged 50 people in six states in the $25 million cheating scheme. The investigation, codenamed Operation Varsity Blues, involved 200 agents and included well-known parents and coaches. In response, the Department of Education opened its own investigation to examine whether the universities violated any laws or regulations in accordance with federal aid programs. Just a few months ago, I went through the college application process. I am fortunate to attend a school that encourages students to apply to college, as well as having a family that supports my edu-

to be accepted to their top schools. These students work their absolute hardest and put their best foot forward and, in my opinion, they deserve an education at a certain university. But they often do not get that opportunity. This scandal has brought the conversation about the negative aspects of college SYDNEY SKOW admissions into classrooms and homes across the nation. CVCHS The scheme involved getCORRESPONDENT ting students admitted to prestigious U.S. colleges as recruitcation. But I also worked hard ed athletes, disregarding their to earn my GPA, my SAT athletic abilities, as well as score and my achievements in helping students cheat on colextracurricular activities. lege entrance exams, including Though I had done every- the SAT and the ACT. Parents thing in my power to make allegedly paid William Rick sure I was in the best position Singer, the former operator of possible for admission to my a college counseling and top schools, I was still worpreparation business, to ried. And that is what is secure admission spots for wrong with the college admis- their children. sions system. Many who attended colStudents across the nation, lege decades ago believe it has many without the resources simply grown increasingly difmy friends and I had, are find- ficult to be admitted to certain ing it astronomically difficult colleges, and people are willing to do whatever they need to do to send their children to these elite schools. However, we must do what we can to make sure a scheme of this nature never happens again. We must hold these prestiProviding Dignified Professional Services gious universities accountable and expose the broken system for what it is. To all of you worried about college admissions, John & Sharon Ouimet • Don & Bea Ouimet remember that all you can do Jim Esenwein, Managing Partner is your best. Try not to let the 4125 Clayton Road, Concord, CA 94521 system get you down. 925.682.4242 • fax 925.682.4281

Sydney is a senior at CVCHS. Send comments to editor@pioneerpublishers.com

April 19, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Page 11

Every 15 Minutes a dramatic wake up call for teen drivers



I was in zero period on March 27, editing the final deadline, when Officer Aron Dragoo told us that a drunk driver had killed my friend Cole. The day before, I was in the bleachers for the senior panoramic, joined by lively classmates. The chatter ceased when the photographer counted down from three, capturing a fragile moment with the flash of a camera. In that same instant manner, the grim reaper took Neco Tejada, the photo editor for yearbook. Walking on to campus a half-hour earlier, I ran into my friend Cole. The sun was hiding, whispering the potential for rain. I mentioned this to him, noting the possibility as a

threat to our track meet. I attributed his affect to morning drowsiness. In fact, he was one of 25 students taking part in Every 15 Minutes, a drunk-driving awareness program that has occurred every two years for the past six years for upperclassmen at Concord High. As a sophomore, I caught a glimpse of the grim reaper from across the quad. This time, I saw it all up close. The scythe scratched the wall as The grim reaper walks with officials on the Concord High Cole left class. campus during the Every 15 Minutes program. Shortly afterward, my teacher told us tearfully that a water was not just falling from Pfaltzgraff restated the purclose friend of hers died this the sky. pose of the program and read way when she was in high Senior Devon Patry sat in Gabe and Ronnie’s obituaries. school. the driver’s seat, screaming One of my classmates was that he couldn’t feel his legs. absent for the rest of the day A SERIouS REALITy because of emotional distress. Every 15 minutes, a heart- EMTs and police officers remained level-headed in the beat swallowed up the interA TIME To MouRN midst of the staged disaster. com. It was not the grim The following day, we filed After freeing him with the reaper stopping hearts, but jaws of life, they took Devon into the bleachers again – this human recklessness. away on a gurney. His injuries time in the gym. The loved As we filled the bleachers ones of the living dead sat in rendered him paralyzed, and this time, cries from seniors chairs on the floor. Kimmie Ronnie’s sent him into intenAlyssa Granados and Ronnie Snow, a Concord High alum, David filled our ears, contrast- sive care. They took Gabe away in a hearse, after his par- spoke of the event’s imporing with the panoramic a day tance, after which the living ents said their goodbyes. before. The crash scene dead walked in behind a casPolice arrested Alyssa on showed senior Gabe Kent charges of DUI and vehicular ket. Each of them placed a lying across the hood and rose on it before sitting down. manslaughter. unharmed junior Ryan MurDevon entered in a wheelTo conclude the presentaphy dialing 911. chair, already seated due to the tion, Principal Rianne It began to sprinkle, but

DVC expo for law enforcement jobs Diablo Valley College’s Administration of Justice program is hosting a criminal justice/law enforcement agency exposition and job fair on Friday, April 26. The free event runs 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the football stadium and adjoining physical education classrooms and parking lot 1, accessed via

Viking Drive in Pleasant Hill. The expo will feature Bay Area police and sheriff departments and criminal justice agencies, along with the California Highway Patrol, the state Department of Justice, the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Home-

•Lawn & Plant Installation

Most people find it more satisfying to work in an environment that promotes creativity and productivity and is aesthetically pleasing. As consumers, it’s gratifying to seek out retailers who have embraced a creative and artistic setting. And many people want to emulate those creative aesthetics in their homes. We’re such a visual design community. Think of the boards we create on Pinterest and Houzz, the home magazines we thumb through or the model home tours we seek out. Design enthusiasts want to see design up close and personal. I’m always intrigued when a retailer goes above and beyond to display goods. This could be an airy and dreamy display of floating acrylic butterflies hung by invisible fishing line that drops two or three stories within an escala-

Look for home design ideas while shopping at retail outlets

tor stairwell. It’s probably a little too much for your stairwell, but think about using this same idea for a kids’ bedroom or playroom – hanging their miniature artwork along the walls like a garland. Or group pendant lights hanging at different lengths in an entry, stairwell or above the dining table. It’s important to look up when you’re shopping to see how retailers play with scale. You might find an oversized macramé chandelier hovering above a rustic farmhouse table that displays books and art-

Artists, from page 4

contribute a considerable amount of volunteer hours, and she hopes that residents will support fundraising for public art programs. Individuals and businesses interested in donating to this project or sponsoring one of the boxes can email concordartassocia-

work, intertwined with succulents and mercury glass urns and vases. This vignette feels spectacular in the retail shop and, on a much smaller scale, is achievable at home by bringing this look to a more intimate living space like table top décor for a piano or entry table. Chances are you’ve visited at least one large furniture showroom. But it can be difficult to feel the scale of furniture when you’re in a 10,000 sq. ft. showroom, instead of your great room that might be closer to 500 sq. ft.

resources initiating a project that required considerable research and organization. CAA has been able to work tion@yahoo.com. closely with both Public Works “This effort has been a and the city attorney to write learning experience and an the Call for Artists, which opportunity to develop policy describes the project and the and process for future projcriteria for winning designs.” ects,” she said. “Some of the The Call for Artists is complexity derived from our rather unique situation – a very available at concordartassociation.com. Area artists are small nonprofit with limited

Rayna Stanziano is senior at Concord High. Send comments to editor@pioneerpublishers.com

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Guest speaker Jackie Shinn Fratangelo, also a Concord High alum, recounted her tragic experience in August 1999. She vehemently told us that the drunk driver, who rendered her incapable of breathing on her own, did not have the right to take her future away. Her recovery was miraculous. Ending alcohol-related deaths on the road wouldn’t be a miracle. It’s possible to make safe choices. Vice Principal Kenneth Hickok reiterated this truth in a closing sentiment. As the living dead left the gym, Alyssa’s ankle chains created an ominous sound – a reminder of the numerous consequences we had all witnessed.


land Security and others. Attendees can talk with agency representatives, tour law enforcement vehicles, and observe K-9 and SWAT demonstrations. Small group seminars will cover the hiring process, physical agility testing, oral boards and police academy experience.


accident. Alyssa, wearing a white prison jumpsuit, handcuffs and ankle chains, was the last to enter, escorted by a police officer. A cinematic video portrayed Alyssa’s decision to drink with Ronnie. It also showed that Gabe’s seat belt was broken, demonstrated the disaster, explained the aftermath and revealed what the living dead regretted about their premature deaths. Many wished to say “I love you” to their families a final time. Junior Natalia Ramos read a letter expressing what she would no longer be able to as a victim of an alcohol relatedcollision. Darian Sui’s mother read an emotional letter to her daughter, written as if she had actually died. It was eerily similar to a funeral, even with Darian seated not 15 feet from where her mother spoke tearfully.

Still, it’s interesting to see how stores approach furniture layout from vignette to vignette. The formula for a well laid out furniture plan is using all of the important parts and pieces. For example, start with a large sofa or sectional, paired with lounge chairs, love seats or chaise lounges. Side tables, coffee tables and sofa back tables flank the seating. Table lamps, floor lamps, chandeliers and sconces highlight and accentuate the seating plan. And an area rug grounds all of the parts, creating a functional and conversational grouping. Retailers can teach us many things about design: how to take large-scale design ideas and turn them into more intimate ideas, how to play with scale and different textures and acknowledging the furniture floor plan formula. So get out there and get to work on making retail concepts work for you. Jennifer Leischer is the owner of J. Designs Interior Design based in Clayton. Contact her with questions, comments and suggestions at jenna@j-designs.com.

encouraged to review the details and submit design concepts by May 10. A professional panel will jury the submissions and work with the city to select the finalists, who will receive cash awards. CAA will announce the selected artists at the end of May, then assign a production schedule over the summer.

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April 19, 2019

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The Pioneer

April 19, 2019

Calendar . . . . . . . . . . .B7 The Arts . . . . . . . . . . .B8 Garden Tours . . . . . .B10

The Pioneer, Section B


MDHS legend Todd Lichti elected to Hall of Fame JAY BEDECARRÉ the Pioneer

Photo courtesy Stanford Athletics

Todd Lichti (21) went from Mt. Diablo High School to Stanford University and then to the NBA with the Denver Nuggets.

Mt. Diablo High School has retired one jersey number in its 118-year history—No. 41 in basketball. Todd Lichti received that honor when he was graduating in 1985 and now, as one of Stanford University’s all-time greats, the Concord legend is set to be recognized among college basketball’s elite when he is inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame this November. Lichti attended Holbrook Elementary and Glenbrook Intermediate School before coming to Mt. Diablo in 1981 for his freshman year. In his three varsity seasons Lichti excelled to the extent that major college coaches like Notre Dame’s Digger Phelps were coming to P. J. Kramer Gym to scout and woo him. Tom Davis won the recruiting battle and Lichti matriculated across the Bay to Stanford where he was a stalwart on The Farm from 1985-89. Lichti is part of a prestigious 2019 Hall of Fame class that includes Indiana’s Calbert Cheaney, Duke’s Shane Battier, Purdue’s Terry Dischinger, Providence’s Ernie DiGregorio, UNLV’s Larry Johnson and former coaches Homer Drew, Lute Olson and the late Rick Majerus. The induction ceremony will take place Nov. 24 at the College Basketball Experience in Kansas City. “I thought my basketball award days were long behind

me,” Lichti said. “It’s humbling to be part of this conversation so many years on, let alone to now be a member of this select group. I struggle somewhat to put this into context coming from everyday beginnings, the son of two school teachers, and returning there in my life now where I suppose I’m most comfortable. “I must thank my teammates and coaching staff while at Stanford,” Lichti continued. “They worked as hard as I did to achieve what we did and from whom I learned much. My family has always been an incredible support system since my childhood – and now my wife and son are. “One of the first things I did upon hearing the news was look at the list of players already inducted searching for one name – Hank Luisetti,” Lichti added. “He was there and that made it ok for me to be included.” Lichti will be the second National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame inductee from Stanford in the last three years. His second Cardinal coach, Mike Montgomery, was a 2016 inductee. Luisetti and Montgomery are the only other Stanford inductees in the Hall of Fame. “When I arrived at Stanford, there was a group that was very hungry for success,” said Montgomery, who coached the Stanford program from 1987-2004. “Todd was the clear leader of this group and commanded the respect from everyone around him. He was very talented and

possessed the charge to lead our program to success it had not seen in nearly five decades. “I am very proud of his accomplishments at Stanford and beyond. He is an outstanding person who deserves to be recognized among college basketball’s greatest of all-time. I look forward to celebrating his enshrinement this November.” A three-time All-America selection, Lichti is one of only four players in conference history and the lone Cardinal to earn all-conference honors each of his four years. One of the most decorated players in program history, Lichti completed his career as Stanford’s leading scorer with 2,336 career points. More than three decades after his graduation, the total ranks second all-time. He scored in dou-

Lichti’s No. 41 jersey retired at Mt. Diablo High

ble figures in 121 of his 124 career games on The Farm. Noted as the pioneer behind Stanford’s national rise to basketball prominence, as a senior in 1989 Lichti guided Stanford to its first NCAA Tournament berth in 47 years. The guard was honored that year as a second team All-American by the Associated Press, also receiving AllAmerica laurels from the United Press International his junior and season seasons. He led Stanford to 76 wins over his four years in a Cardinal uniform. Lichti’s career scoring average of 18.8 ppg ranks third alltime at the school. Along with his scoring totals, the standout guard ranks among the leaders in program history in field goals made (2nd, 820), rebounds (15th, 697), assists (11th, 304), steals (4th, 156), three-point field goal percentage (2nd, .477), field goal percentage (14th, .538), free throws made (3rd, 584), free throw percentage (5th, .840) and starts (4th, 119). Lichti was inducted into the Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame in 1998. “Todd is certainly one of college basketball’s all-time greats,” Stanford’s current head coach Jerod Haase said. “It has been a true privilege to get to know him since I arrived at Stanford. His tremendous achievements on the court are only a piece of what he has accomplished as a professional, a husband and a father. This is a welldeserved honor.”

See Lichti, page B3

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April 19, 2019

Spring sports overcome elements, head to post-season JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

After having much of spring sports training and competition disrupted by consistent rains, teams and athletes are now readying for post-season play that gets underway in several sports before the end of the month. Baseball – Clayton Valley Charter sits second with a 4-2 record in the Diablo Athletic League Foothill Division entering play this week but the Ugly Eagles have already won a championship, taking first at the 50th annual Alhambra Easter Tournament in Martinez. CVCHS (ranked 13th in the Bay Area) defeated Deer Valley, host Alhambra and Benicia 9-6 in the finals. No. 7 ranked Acalanes is currently undefeated in DAL Foothill with the league concluding May 7. Concord High baseball hosts its second annual Youth Day on Friday, May 3, for a 4:30 p.m. non-league game against Tamalpais. All youth players wearing their team jersey will get a free hot dog, chips and drink. De La Salle is in Las Vegas this week for the inaugural All Catholic Classic against four nationallyprominent teams hosted by Bishop Gorman High. The Spartans are currently ranked No. 1 in the Bay Area, losing only one of its first 15



games. They lead the East Bay Athletic League Mountain Division standings at 9-0, the most recent victory 7-6 over Foothill in a back and forth contest. Their EBAL ends May 3 before the league playoffs May 7-10. De La Salle has won three consecutive NCS Division I championships and five of the last seven. The NCS playoffs begin May 14-15 with the finals set May 24-25. Lacrosse – Clayton Valley Charter is first at 6-0 in the single DAL boys division with one match remaining. Northgate visit CVCHS

April 26 in the regular-season finale. The league playoffs are Apr. 30 May 3 and NCS tournaments for boys and girls begin May 7. Miramonte and Acalanes are 6-0 in girls lacrosse and face off in the last game of the DAL season. De La Salle and Carondelet sit in the middle of the pack in EBAL standings. Softball – Carondelet is second at 6-1 is second to undefeated and top-ranked Foothill in the EBAL softball race. The Cougars aim to reach the NCS playoffs and defend their Division II championship.

because they had so much respect for Mike as a coach and Mike had so much respect for the school.” As a player and coach, he won six league and two North Coast section championships. He also coached track for 10 years and wrestling one. In his last year at YV, 2006-07, he helped coach the JV team before departing for Acalanes. Ron Thompson (1972 baseball and football) played under Hall of Fame coaches Dick Ryan (football) and Robie (baseball), spending three years on varsity baseball and two on football. As a senior he was MVP of both teams. He was named allDVAL in baseball as a junior and senior and all-league football his senior year. He also garnered allEast Bay football recognition as a senior. He was named all-East Bay baseball two years and was further selected all-Northern California as a senior. He capped his high school career playing in the North-South All-Star baseball game as a senior and he signed to attend the Kansas City Royals Baseball Academy in Sarasota, Florida. Xan halog (1984 tennis, basketball and softball) was an allaround athlete who earned a white letter with eight varsity letters including three years each for tennis and basketball and two years for softball. She was a two-year team captain of Warriors basketball while earning defensive player of the year and allleague honors both seasons. She was

the No. 1 singles tennis player two years running as well as a Big C award winner, team MVP and all-league. She qualified for NCS as a senior. These accomplished earned her the YVHS female athlete of the year award. She played tennis at Diablo Valley College and Chabot College at No. 1 singles and doubles, earning her a full scholarship to University of Texas Permian Basin where she played No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles for the Falcons. Joe Del Bene (1978 basketball and football) was on Warriors varsity basketball for three years and played football his senior season. He was all-league basketball as a senior and was selected to the Contra Costa All-Star game. He also was voted most improved for the football team. Those laurels earned him the school’s 1978 athlete of the year award. As a freshman hew as starting guard on the Los Medanos basketball team. The next year he was the most inspirational player at Chabot College for the state’s runner-up team. The Gladiators were 32-3 and Del Been was all-Golden Gate Conference and was named to the all-tournament team at State. In the backcourt he played alongside Lester Connor (Oregon State and 13 years in the NBA. He was called the “consummate team player” and had a 4-1 assist to turnover ratio. He went on to Chico State and helped the Wildcats to a Far Western Conference title and was on the FWC best sportsmanship

College Park leads the DAL Foothill race and the Falcons are ranked third in the Bay Area. CVCHS is 13th but only 2-2, tied with Concord, in the DAL. The DAL softball schedule mirrors baseball with the double round-robin schedules running until May 9. NCS playoffs begin May 14-15 with the finals May 2425. Track & Field – Area athletes continue to shine on the track and in field events. Clayton Valley Charter seniors Cameron Reynolds, headed to UCLA in the fall, and Daylon Hicks are back at this year. Reynolds, second in the state last year in the 400 meters and 4x400 relay, has the best time in the 200 meters this year and is third behind teammate Justin Lowe in the 400. Hicks was second in the high jump at state last year and is currently ranked No. 1 in NCS and tied for second in the state with a 6-10 mark. Concord middle distance star Rayna Stanziano will be looking for a potential state title next month in her final prep meet and currently is NCS No. 1 in the 800 and second in the 1600. Other local athletes who are tops in their events are juniors Kelly Kern (Carondelet, pole vault) and Airiana Dargan (Concord, long jump and triple jump).

The DAL track and field dual meet schedule goes through Apr. 10 while the EBAL ends a day later. The DAL and EBAL league meet finals are May 4. The EBAL Trials are Apr. 26, a day before DAL Trials. The Tri-Valley NCS Championships are May 11 in Dublin, the NCS Meet of Champions May 1718 at Diablo Valley College and the State Meet May 24-25 in Clovis. Boys Volleyball – Northgate has won two invitational tournaments this spring without dropping a set while racking up an overall 190 record. They most recently took five straight matches at the St. Patrick – St. Vincent Invitational after earlier winning the Redwood NorCal Invitational. The double-round robin DAL schedule ends next Thursday. NCS playoffs are Apr. 30 - May 9 and NorCal championships are May 1418. Swimming & Diving- The DAL championship meet is next Thursday and Saturday in Moraga at Campolindo High. Concord Community Pool hosts NCS May 2-4 and the CIF State meet is in Clovis May 1011. Boys Tennis – DAL championships are Apr. 25-27. The Section team championships are May 7-11 after the singles and doubles tournament May 3-4.

Ygnacio Valley Hall of Fame Class honors seven JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

The seventh Ygnacio Valley High School Athletic Hall of Fame induction dinner on Saturday, May 4, will have a unique twist when Mike Ivankovich is one of seven inductees. Ivankovich was an excellent athlete at the school who returned after college to establish himself as an outstanding, championship-winning coach at his alma mater.

ThE CLASS oF 2019: Mike Ivankovich (Class of 1987 football, track and field and coaching) was a white letter winner at Ygnacio Valley. He was a firstteam all-league football player and second team all-East Bay before being selected to the Contra Costa County All-Star team. He came to Ygnacio Valley as a freshman student in 1983. Following YVHS graduation he went to Sacramento State and came back to his alma mater to do his student teaching, after which he was hired to teach history and PE there. He followed in the footsteps of his Ygnacio Valley Hall of Fame father-in-law Kent Robie and also became a coach. He coached football at the school for 14 years. His Hall of Fame nomination says, “While Mike was football coach at YV, there was never a problem with his players in terms of negative behavior at the school. He had total control of the players,


team. He came back to coach freshman basketball at YVHS and also was a CYO coach and JV coach for Clayton Valley. He was a director for the West Coast Eagles non-profit AAU basketball program. Shawn McGarry (1984 football and basketball) helped the Warriors to the league championship his senior year when he was the DVAL and East Bay player the year, allleague and all-East Bay. As the YVHS quarterback he accounted for 27 touchdowns and 34 PATs. The San Francisco Examiner named him East Bay player of the year and

first team all-Bay Area. He finished up his prep career at the Contra Costa-Alameda All-Star game. He also played basketball as a senior. He was an all-Big 8 Conference wide receiver at Diablo Valley College before going to the University of Illinois. Doug king (1972 tennis) dominated the Diablo Valley Athletic League tennis scene, leading the Warriors to four consecutive team championships. He won the DVAL singles title his junior and senior years. As a junior he was a North Coast Section singles finalist and came back his senior year to go one better as the NCS champion. He was ranked No. 2 in Northern California that year and was the Mark of the Year recipient. King accepted a Wheeler Scholarship for academics and athletic excellence to UC Berkeley, where he anchored No. 1 singles and doubles and was team captain his junior and senior years. He went on to play played professionally from 1976-80. In 1979 he was ranked No. 1 in NorCal Men’s Open Singles. He was head pro at Moraga Tennis Club and Meadowood Resort in Napa. He founded Acceleration Tennis, a revolutionary approach to tennis. He teamed with his son to capture the 2012 Pacific Coast Father/Son championship and with his daughter for the Father/Daughter championship to make it a clean sweep.

See Ygnacio, page B4

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The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com to be a Hawkeye. Her GPA is 3.67. “Amber has been playing extremely tough defense at third base this year and she loves to dive for balls and get dirty. She is a defensive wall at the hot corner. Amber also does a great job as a leadoff batter. Her on base percentage is over .400, she is currently batting .375 and she leads the team in doubles.”

Athlete Spotlight

Madi Mays and Amber Desena Grade: Junior

This pair of junior righthanders are playing key roles for the Concord High softball team in their third varsity seasons. They hope to return to the North Coast Section playoffs and make a deep run at Section (they were NCS champions as freshmen) while they each look ahead to planning for their college careers. Mays is the team’s starting pitcher but can

School: Concord High play third base and outfield too. She has also played varsity volleyball at school and on the All-American Sports Academy club softball team. She has a 4.83 GPA and is hoping to receive a softball  scholarship from Harvard. “Madi is one of the toughest pitchers in our league and our team feels very confident with her on the mound. Offensively, she is on fire,” says coach Megan Cod-

dington. She is currently leading the team in five offensive categories including batting average, hits, RBIs, triples, and homeruns. Desena is the starting third baseman and can also play in the outfield. She plays club with Universal Fastpitch where she was exposed to the University of Iowa softball staff at the PGF Nationals and is committed

averaging eight points a game. His career trajectory took a major hit after that season. With his girlfriend Kristin Gravrock, he was driving through Nevada en route to Concord to introduce her to his family. Gravrock was driving and apparently fell asleep. She was killed in the onecar accident and Lichti had broken bones in his right foot. His emotional scars were as deep as the physical injuries. He recovered to average 14 points in his second Nuggets season but knee injuries limited him to 29 games. He battled injuries for two more seasons before he was traded to the Orlando Magic after the 1993 season. He also made brief appearances with the Celtics and Warriors before retiring in 1994

after playing a combined 13 games for those three teams. He later starred for several seasons in the Australian National Basketball League for the Perth Wildcats after an invitation from his Stanford teammate Vlahov. He retired from basketball in 1999. He did commentary for Fox Sports and the Denver Nuggets from 2000-2002 before moving back to Australia in 2002 with his wife Sue. The Lichtis bought a Sante Wines distributorship that year and moved to Melbourne to run it. The couple has one son, Bronx, who’s now 14. Lichti was born at Kaiser Walnut Creek and raised in Concord with his three brothers, Steve, Scott and Matt, by his teacher parents Robert and Lou. His mom taught at Holbrook and dad at Oak Grove Interme-

Lichti, from page B1

“Todd was the greatest player I had the good fortune to play with,” said Andrew Vlahov, Lichti’s Stanford teammate for two seasons. “His intelligence, competitive spirit and friendship played a large role in shaping my own attitudes as a student-athlete at Stanford and beyond. His basketball talents were incredible and are well documented, but people should also know that his character, integrity and humanity are also world class. A deserving recipient and one that all Stanford past and present students and faculty can be extremely proud of.” Lichti was the 15th overall selection and first pick of the Denver Nuggets in the 1989 NBA Draft. He played in 79 games during his rookie season,

Sport: Softball

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

diate. His dad and brother Scott have passed. His senior basketball season under new coach Jerry Coakley ended a basket short in the league championship game to Pittsburg. They were then shut out of the North Coast Section playoffs because the league rep failed to attend the selection meeting. He also excelled in track at Mt. Diablo, making it to the CIF State Meet in the long jump, triple jump and 400 meters. He still rues a dropped baton that cost the Red Devils 4x100 relay a State berth. Todd Lichti and his family get back to the area “every 2-3 years” but you can bet they will be in Kansas City for the Hall of Fame Induction Nov. 24. Stanford Athletics contributed to this story.

Page B3

Crazy HS football off season finally comes into focus JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

The last California high school football bowl games of 2018 were played Dec. 15, but it’s taken over three months since then to bring the rules, league assignments, playoff format and schedules into focus for this fall’s season. Concord’s premier two football programs, De La Salle and Clayton Valley Charter, have been at the center of many of the changes brought about through the North Coast Section. Clayton Valley Charter football has been the source of much discussion during the North Coast Section quadrennial alignment periods in 2014-15 and 2018-19. The Ugly Eagles haven’t lost a league football game since 2011 and NCS this year finally moved the Ugly Eagles to the East Bay Athletic League, at least for the 2019 and 2020 football seasons. Joining the EBAL places CVCHS back in a league with De La Salle for the first time since 2006 when both were in the Bay Valley Athletic League. The other 11 schools in the Diablo Athletic League requested that Clayton Valley Charter football (an “overly competitive school in football”) be moved to another league while the rest of the Concord school’s athletic program remain in the DAL. The request was granted and then the only other two leagues in the Valley Conference, East Bay and Bay Valley

athletic leagues, both turned down having Clayton Valley football join their league. After numerous meetings and appeals a special NCS committee last month voted to put CVCHS in the EBAL where they will be part of the Mountain Division this fall playing in a six-team flight with DLS, Cal High, San Ramon, Foothill and Monte Vista. In the three years the NCS Open Division football playoffs were held, both Clayton Valley and De La Salle took part every season (as did Pittsburg). San Ramon was in the 2017 Open Division and then won NCS Division II last fall. Monte Vista was NCS D-II champ in 2016. NCS has now changed its entire football playoff division setup to follow the CIF rule that only Section champions can advance to state playoffs. Based on the new division criteria that primarily factors school enrollment numbers, CVCHS has been moved to Division II, where it reached State Bowl games in 2014 and 2015 and won DII Section titles in 2012-1415. NCS will now have seven divisions of eight teams each in a three-week playoff format. Local high schools are now spread out among five NCS divisions. De La Salle, with 27 consecutive NCS championships, is now in Division I with EBAL rivals Monte Vista, San Ramon and California. BVAL

See Football, page B4

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Football, from page B3

teams 2017 State Bowl runner-up Pittsburg, 2018 I-A state champion Liberty, Antioch, Freedom and Heritage are also in the top division. All of those teams must now break that Spartans stranglehold in order to move on in the playoffs. This new format prompted Liberty football coach Ryan Partridge and former Dublin coach Matt Hoefs to present their proposal at a recent NCS Board of Managers meeting to put all private and charter schools in large and small divisions separate from public schools. The Spartans released most of their fall schedule with away games against Central Catholic of Modesto, Folsom and St. Mary’s of Stockton. Saint Francis of Mountain View and Buchanan of Clovis will visit

Owen Owens Field in Concord. A season-opening 10th game is yet to be finalized. Clayton Valley Charter is also waiting to announce its season opener but has a home game at Gonsavles Stadium against Turlock and away games vs. Liberty in the Honor Bowl, Monterey and Canyon Springs in Nevada.

NCS Football Brackets for local schools: Division 1 – De La Salle (EBAL Mountain Division) Division 2 – Clayton Valley Charter (EBAL Mountain Division) Division 3 – Northgate (DAL Valley Division) Division 4 – Concord, Mt. Diablo (both DAL Valley Division) Division 6 – Ygnacio Valley (DAL Valley Division)

Ygnacio, from page B2

Coach Wes Greenwood (coach and teacher 19692002) coached Warriors football for 25 years, track and field for 10 years, baseball seven years and wrestling three years. He was called a “consummate professional coach and teacher.” Greenwood was an integral part of five football and two track championship teams. He taught PE at the school until his 2002 retirement. He pitched for his Richmond High baseball team and was a starting pitcher for two years each at Contra Costa College and San Francisco State, going 5-1 his senior year. He coached baseball and wrestling at Albany High for three years before coming to YVHS. Greenwood took a

break to go to Australia in 1975 where he coached basketball and pitched for a semipro baseball team. Locally, he played softball for a ConcordWalnut Creek team that won the Northern California regional championship 13 years in a row.

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

April 19, 2019 accomplish as much as possible.” Cuneo has a 4.2 GPA and been recognized as both a scholar athlete and honor roll student at CVCHS. He is an active member of Senior Men and was in the Public Service Academy. He will be attending Cal Poly SLO next fall to study construction management, hoping to have a career in the field. CVCHS student journalist Sydney Skow wrote this Spotlight.

Athlete Spotlight

Brandon Cuneo Grade: Senior

School: CVCHS

Senior Cuneo has been a member of the Ugly Eagles baseball program for the past four years. He has played a variety of positions starting with shortstop his freshman and sophomore years before moving to the outfield on varsity, starting in right field this season. Last year, Cuneo suffered an injury seven games into the season when he was hit by a pitch to the knee, suffering a bone bruise and an LCL strain which caused him to sit out the rest of the season.

Baseball coach Casey Coakley says, “Brandon is a strong leader in our program. He has been a very steady presence in our program for four years. As a senior he shows strong accountability, great desire to win and commitment to his teammates.” Growing up, he played a multitude of sports but has stuck with baseball through it all. “I have always loved baseball the most and I wanted to keep playing in high school,” he explains. “My favorite part has been

Sport: Baseball

Sports Shor t s

building the unbreakable relationships I have created with the people I have played with these four years. We have created so many memories together and I have a special bond with each and every one of my teammates and I will be forever grateful for being able to have this experience.” Cuneo is a Type 1 Diabetic but has never let this affect his performance or his commitment to baseball or school. “It motivates me more and pushes me to

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

blo. Those interested in participating in the golf or dinner should contact Lou Adamo 212-9332 or louadamo@gmail.com or Ralph Vallis 825-7593 or rv76667@aol.com. For more information check reddevilclassic.com.


The Ygnacio Valley AthThose wishing to get tickets for the Ygnacio Valley High letic Hall of Fame began in 2019 Athletic Hall of Fame dinner on Saturday, May 4, at Contra 2013 with a new class induct- Costa Country Club must order soon. Contact Debbie Carlin by ed each year since. phone 518-8455, email ygnaciovalleyhalloffame@gmail.com or visit yvathletichof.com for details and to order tickets. Social gathering at Contra Costa County Club in Pleasant Hill INNER TuBE WATER PoLo MAy 3-4 WEEkEND on Saturday, May 4, is at 5:30 p.m. BENEFITS CoNCoRD hIGh PoLo TEAMS with dinner at 6:45. People interestGehringer Park Pool will be hosting inner tube water polo ed in attending should contact Deb- May 3-4 for 12U, 18U and over 18 teams benefiting the Concord bie Carlin by phone (925) 518- High School boys and girls water polo teams. No experience 8455 or email ygnaciovalleyhallof- needed to take part in the fun and easy games. Email fame@gmail.com. 925ITWP@gmail.com for details.


Summer @ Carondelet provides a state-of-the-art summer camp experience for children at the campus gymnasium and the new $20 million athletics complex.  The Carondelet Cougars offer sports camps with its 12 varsity sports coaching staffs including softball, track and field, basketball, swimming, water polo, cheer/stunt, tennis, golf, cross country, diving, lacrosse and volleyball. Incoming third through ninth graders (girls and coed) are eligible for the camps. Visit carondeleths.org/summer for details.


City Meet champion and County swimming second-place finisher Dana Hills Swim Team of Clayton is taking registration for the upcoming summer rec season. Entering its 42nd year, the Otters welcome boys and girls 3-18 years of age. Signups run through May 3. There are multi-child discounts. Younger swimmers can join the Otter Pups, which is not a “learn to swim” program, but is a “learn to swim team” program. The season runs through the end of July. Visit danahillsotters.com for more information.


Concord Cobras tackle football and cheer programs are taking signups for the fall season online. The football and cheer programs are open to youth six to 14 years of age. For more info on football email concordyouthfootball@yahoo.com or call 9170785 and for cheer email CYFcobrascheer@gmail.com or call 383-1146. Visit concordyouthfootball.com for more info.


De La Salle High School hosts summer camps to provide a fun, skill-building week for boys and girls in June, July and August. Appealing to local youth with a variety of athletic interests, De La Salle will offer sessions for championship football camp, basketball, track and field, lacrosse, archery, wrestling, volleyball, baseball, water polo, soccer, swimming, rugby, theatre/broadcasting and strength and conditioning. DLS Camps are open to K through incoming ninth graders run by De La Salle coaches, alumni and current student athletes. For more info email summercamps@dlshs.org or visit dlshs.org/athletics/camps-clinics.


2019-20 APRIL 22

Tryouts for Diablo Futbol Club boys and girls competitive teams for the 2019-20 season (based on Jan. 1, 2019 ages) begin April 22 through May 10. Younger U8-U14 teams for players born between 2005 and 2012 are April 22-25 and older players born in 2000-2004 have U15-U19 team tryouts May 6-10. Diablo FC is the area’s premier club youth soccer program and is affiliated with the San Jose Earthquakes Regional Development School. For more information email director of coaching Zach Sullivan at docdiablofc@gmail.com or visit diablofc.org.


Boys and girls can register until July 15 for the fall Clayton Valley Jr. Eagles football and cheer programs. Football is open to Summer youth basketball and spring and fall adult softball boys and girls 7-14 years old. Cheer age groups are 6-14. Online leagues are scheduled by All Out Sports Leagues in Clayton. registration is underway at cvaajreagles.com or email cvaajreaAOSL is taking registration online for all those programs. For gles@gmail.com. complete information on All Out Sports leagues, clinics and CoNCoRD AySo ACCEPTING FALL SoCCER REGISTRATIoNS other programs, visit alloutsportsleague.com. Concord AYSO has begun accepting registrations for their fall soccer program online. The fall season starts Aug. 1. There 24Th ANNuAL RED DEVIL GoLF CLASSIC will be in-person registration on June 21 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at RETuRNS JuNE 28 AT DIABLo CREEk Concord Bible Church, 4975 Concord Blvd. The registration fee The Mt. Diablo High School Red Devil golf committee is includes a uniform, ball and insurance. Visit concordayso.org to holding its 24th annual golf tournament on Friday, June 28, at register and get more information.  Diablo Creek Golf Course in Concord. Registration starts at 11


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The area’s largest annual youth soccer tournament, Concord Cup, returns for its 26th season at a variety of local parks May 18-19. Boys and girls club and recreation teams from under 9 (2010) through U19 (2000) are eligible to participate. Diablo FC, Mt. Diablo Soccer and Concord AYSO co-sponsor the tournament. Visit concordcup.com for complete information and to register a team or referee to participate.


The 2019 class for the Clayton Valley High School Hall of Fame includes three North Coast Section championship Eagles teams, seven athletes, a coach and community member. Honorees will be inducted Friday, May 3, at Shadelands Art Center in Walnut Creek. Visit the new Hall of Fame website for more info and to purchase tickets at cvhshof.com.


Walnut Country Swim Team is now registering swimmers 418 years for its summer rec program. For more information and to register for the summer season visit the Walnut Country Swim Team Stingrays website.

April 19, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

12 being inducted to CV Athletic Hall of Fame JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

Seven athletes, a coach, three teams and a community leader are in the sixth class inducted into the Clayton Valley High School Athletic Hall of Fame May 3.

ThE CLASS oF 2019: Gary Logsdon (Class of 1965 football, basketball and baseball) earned eight varsity letters with three each in football and baseball and two in basketball. As a senior he was the school’s athlete of the year after winning all-league first team in baseball and basketball and being the starting quarterback for Eagles football. In basketball he was honorable mention all-DVAL as a junior for the team that was runnerup at the Mid Valley Classic. His senior year he was team MVP and all-DVAL for the league champion Eagles (1810) that went to post-season play in the Tournament of Champions and Camellia in Sacramento. Logsdon pitched on the CVHS varsity baseball team for three years. He was 12-1 on the mound over his final two seasons with a league best 0.59 ERA as a junior. He batted over .300 both years and was team most improved player as a junior and MVP as a senior. He got all-DVAL recognition as a junior and first team as a senior for the second-place Eagles. Bruce kopitar (1977 football and wrestling) was at Clayton Valley for his senior year after Pacifica High closed but what a year it was! He was an allAmerican wrestler after sweeping through an undefeated season with 38 match wins in a row, leading the Eagles to the CIF State championship. He was inducted into the CVHS Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008 as part of that historic team coached by Bill Smith. His senior year won tournament championships at Mark Lance Invitational, Tennyson Invitational, Del Valle Invitational, Mt. Diablo Block D and Mission San Jose Invitational before going on to win DVAL, North Coast Section and the CIF State championship at 191 pounds. He played football the Eagles as a fullback and honorable mention all-DVAL defensive lineman. At Pacifica he was part of three league and NCS championship wrestling teams for coach Smith. He was named honorable mention to the all-California 1973-2015 team by The California Wrestler. He took second at the 1977 Greco Roman nationals and earned a full athletic scholarship to University of Oklahoma. Warren Turnage (1978 wrestling) also came to Clayton Valley from Pacifica and racked up four league and NCS team championships and was a 4X league and Section individual champion. In his two years wrestling for CVHS he won 70 of 72 matches with a 34-0 record a s senior when he won the CIF State championship a year after taking second as junior. The Eagles team was seventh at State. He started wrestling as a freshman at 95 pounds and moved up in weight each year until he wrestled 120/127 pounds as a senior. His four-year varsity record was 16012. He was a consensus 1978 allAmerican and, like Kopitar, was honorable mention on the 19732015 all-California team and was part of the inaugural CVHS Hall of Fame class in 2008 for the 1977 team. He won 18 invitational tournament titles in his four years. Benson Jones (1998 basketball and track and field) enjoyed an incredible senior year that included a state championship in the triple jump (wind aided 51-1 leap) and the Easter Seals All-Star



freestyle champion as a senior and team captain. Nelson was the 2003 female athlete of the year at CVHS and was one of the Times Top 100 Athletes that year. She attended UC Santa Barbara on an athletic scholarship. Coach George Smylie led CVHS varsity teams in football, girls basketball and boys and girls track and field, winning league championships in all three sports. While on the Clayton Valley football team the teams were 90-34-1. He began coaching at the school as part of Pete Carpino’s staff in 1969, 10 years before he became the head coach. In 1985 his Eagles were 11-2 including a DVAL cochampionship with Pittsburg. The team lost the NCS 3A championship game at the Oakland Coliseum 15-12 to Pitt. Was part of the coaching staff for the 1974 CVHS Hall of Fame football team. Also coached football at Los Medanos College, Deer Valley High and Concord High. 1978 Wrestling Team was the second for legendary coach Bill Smith at CVHS. This is the fourth wrestling team (1967, 1972 and 1977) inducted to the Hall of Fame. The Eagles were undefeated in DVAL dual meets and North Coast Section team champions for the second straight year. They took seventh at the CIF State meet with all-American Warren Turnage taking a state individual championship to cap his unbeaten season. 1979 Girls Volleyball Team was an undefeated 16-0 for a fourth straight DVAL championship. They won the North Coast Section playoffs as well, the third Section crown for the Eagles in four years. This is the third girls volleyball team (also 1976 and 1977) inducted into the Hall of Fame for coach Gary Gardner. VHS Hall of Famers Kellie Ruiz, Sharon York and Karey Sheehan were all under classmen on the team. 1999 Boys Swimming Team coached by Matt Chamberlain (now principal at Alhambra High) was North Coast Section champion with a 26-point margin over runnerup Las Lomas. The Eagles had finished second to De La Salle in the Bay Valley Athletic League meet. Hall of Famer Ryan Salazar was second at NCS diving. The Eagles 200 medley relay won NCS with Josh Scott, Ben Chisholm, Anders Nelson and Mike Gausman, who also won the 100 butterfly. Jeff Scott replaced Gausman on the 400 freestyle relay quartet that was second. Community Leadership Pat Middendorf has worn many hats at CVHS including parent, coach, administrator and fund raiser. She joined the faculty of Clayton Valley in 2002 and became the head varsity soccer coach a year later, leading the Eagles to a number of NCS playoff appearances. She added the title of athletic director that same year while continuing as a special education teacher. She led the drive to raise private and school funds for the first artificial turf field in the district at Gonsalves Stadium. Four years after that effort the MDUSD stopped funding high school sports and she stepped up as chairperson of the United Mt. Diablo Athletic Foundation that organized fund raisers to support the six high schools in the district. She was a leader in the drive to make Clayton Valley a charter school and served as an administrator at the “new” school. She has won numerous awards from the school, district and City of Concord. Her three children, Luke, Isaac and Kendra, graduated from CVHS.

basketball game MVP award. These honors made him the CVHS athlete of the year. He was all-league in track and field for three years in the long jump and triple jump. He reached NCS all three years. As a senior he was the NCS TriValley TJ champion. He held school record in TJ and second in LJ. He was ranked third in the USA in the triple jump as a senior and was an all-American. He was basketball (junior and senior) and track and field captain. He earned all-league honors for two years in basketball, team most improved as a junior and senior MVP. He was also MVP of the Livermore Cowboy Roundup. He led CVHS to the North Coast Section playoffs. At DVC he was Bay Valley Conference track and field MVP winning the NorCal LJ and TJ titles as well as the CCCAA State triple jump championship and fifth in the LJ. Set school record in THE and was named JC allAmerica. He went onto Washington State and was an NCAA indoor all-America and conference champ in the indoor TJ and LJ. He was a long-time youth football coach locally and in Arizona. Natalie Nelson (2000 water polo, swimming and basketball) is the older of the Nelson sisters joining the Hall of Fame together this year. She earned nine varsity letters (four in swimming, three water polo and two basketball). She was league and team MVP as a senior water polo player (also firstteam all-North Coast) after earning all-league honors the previous two years. The Eagles were 1999 league champions. During her senior year she also garnered all-American swimming honors. Her 1997-98 varsity basketball team were NCS champs and made it to the NorCal playoffs and was inducted to the CVHS Hall of Fame in 2013. She played four years of water polo at Cal Berkeley and was the Sally Maye Scholarship recipient. katie Cadero Webber (2000 volleyball, basketball and golf) received 11 varsity letters (four each in basketball and golf and three in volleyball) and the female athletic of the year in 2000. Helped her volleyball team to its first NCS appearance in over 20 years as a senior, making second-team all-league. She received all-league honors three ties in basketball and was part of the 1998 NCS and league championship basketball team and in the school’s hall of fame. She won the league golf championship three of four years, going to NCS as an individual all four years. She was an NCS scholastic athlete every year and earned a golf scholarship to Long Beach State. She became a member of the LPGA teach and club professional’s division in 2008. Has coached high school teams at Monte Vista, Clayton Valley and Ygnacio Valley high schools. Lindsay Nelson (2003 water polo and swimming) made her mark in the pool as a four-year letter winner in water polo and swimming. She is the youngest of the swimming Nelsons (brother Anders and sister Natalie). She was team MVP and firstteam all-league for three years in water polo. She also was BVAL MVP as a senior when the team as third at NCS. She had all-America swimming The Clayton Valley Athletic Hall times for three years and was of Fame began in 2008 during the an NCS finalists as a junior. school’s silver anniversary year. She was the league 50

Page B5

This season’s rain total looking great

annual rainfall is 18.10 inches. As of April 10, 18.73 inches has been reported – meaning that if not another drop fell WOODY WHITLATCH the end of June, we’ll have WEATHER WORDS by 103 percent of normal annual precipitation this water-year. We are approaching the Most of this winter seaend of the 2018-’19 waterson’s rainfall occurred since year, and rainfall patterns in the first of the year. The local the Concord/Clayton area this airport reported measurable winter can easily be described precipitation on 49 of the first as pretty wacky. 100 days of 2019. The beginning months of In January, a series of mild the current rain season were storms produced more than nearly bone dry. Barely a drop 120 percent of normal fell through the first three monthly rainfall. The monthly weeks of November, bringing average temperature was more fears of another drought. than 5 degrees above normal. The storm door flew open These atmospheric river on Thanksgiving weekend, storms originate in temperate and the rainy weather began. waters of the Central Pacific. During the first three months For the majority of my meteof 2019, dry days became orology career, we called this a scarce as soggy atmospheric Pineapple Express. river storms repeatedly pelted February was chilly and the state. wet, with rain recorded on 17 I like to use records from of 28 days. The monthly total Concord’s Buchanan Airport of 6.34 inches represents to evaluate local rainfall data. more than a third of our The National Weather Service expected annual average prerecommends using a 30-year cipitation. Normal rainfall for period (1981-2010) for devel- the second month of the year oping comparative statistics, is 3.34 inches. and the Concord Airport is Jet stream winds directed one of few stations in Contra more wet weather systems Costa County with data toward the West Coast in records covering that period. March. We recorded nearly For Concord, the average 3½ inches of rain, more than

an inch above the monthly normal. All this recent wet weather has affected the Sierra Nevada watersheds in a positive way. The California Department of Water Resources conducted a snow survey during the first week of April. The agency reports that statewide, the Sierra snowpack reached 162 percent of normal. Water managers use snowwater equivalent measurements to estimate spring runoff. On average, the Sierra snowpack supplies about 30 percent of California’s agricultural, industrial and residential water needs. The recent DWR measurements show that water content is about twice the normal value. All this recent rainfall is beneficial for our water supply and local spring wildflowers. It took a long time for the rains to show up this winter season. But once the storms came, they stayed for a long while and delivered droughtbusting precipitation amounts to the Bay Area and entire state. Woody Whitlatch is a meteorologist retired from PG&E. Email your questions or comments to clayton_909@yahoo.com

Bike to work, then gather for party in the plaza Warm weather, green hills and longer days can only mean one thing: It’s time to pump up your tires and hit the roads and trails for another awesome season of riding. Bike to Work Day is just around the corner, and Bike Concord would love to celebrate with you. Join Bike Concord for our 5th annual Bike To Work Day Celebration, 4-8 p.m. Thursday, May 9, in Todos Santos Plaza. It will be the biggest Bike to Work Day gathering in Central Costa County this year. The performance lineup features the Hovering Breadcat starting at 5 p.m. The awesome local band performs covers and originals spanning rock, folk, Irish and a touch of New Orleans funk. They won’t disappoint. Bike Concord will host a selfie photo booth with a Mount Diablo graphics backdrop by Frame Up Bikes. For everyone who rides bikes to the celebration, we will have


of the many restaurants and bars on Todos Santos Plaza to grab some food and drink while celebrating with us. Also, the Thursday evening farmers market will be in full swing in Todos Santos as well. To find out more about energizer stations across Contra Costa County and to pledge to ride, visit https://511contracosta.org/bi ke-to-work-day-2019/. Bike Concord will also be doing a pop-up bike light giveaway event in the Monument district in May, in partnership with Concord Police Department. We will be on the lookout for people who are riding bikes who need lights and giving them out in service to the community. Our mission at Bike Concord is to work toward safe, convenient bicycling in our community. If you would like to volunteer or become involved, email info@bikeconcord.org.

an energizer station with snacks and some goodies to take home. You can park your bike safely at our free Bike Valet corral. If you need help getting your bike into shape for the season, get a free bike check-up in Bike Concord’s Bike Tent at the event. Bike to Work Day is a Bay Area-wide event. Bike Concord is grateful to community sponsors for helping us cook up our best celebration yet in the heart of Contra Costa Roberts is a volunteer with Bike County. Make sure to visit one Concord.

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Of scooters, sidewalks and taxes

Page B6

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

feet. I do not believe it is fair that my neighbor should have to pay for the costs associated Sidewalks in front of with the sidewalks in front of residential single-family my house. And should all homes which are on the those apartment renters be property owner’s deed but required to cover the costs of within the public right-ofthe sidewalks in front of my way should be the responsi- house as well? bility of the city to repair, The reality is that state law replace and maintain. And says that since you own the the city should accept sidewalk, even if the public responsibility for trips and owns a right-of-way over it, falls. the owner is responsible. 54.26 percent strongly FYI: The city does have a agree. courtesy policy of placing 27.91 agree. some leveling asphalt to help 8.53 neither agree nor dis- with cracks or lifting of sideagree. walks, and a five-year inspec7.36 disagree. tion policy to warn owners of 1.94 strongly agree. potential issues with their Wow. Do people realize sidewalks. The city even that the words “the city” refer offers a few ways to get a to all the taxpayers within reduced price on a full sideConcord? I live in a corner, walk replacement. However ranch-style house and have the option is yours, as is the about 200 feet of sidewalk. liability. My neighbor has about 20

Additional city sales tax that is tied to a specific project like road repair/replacement should be allowed to be passed by a simple majority vote. (Note: Currently, it is subject to a 2/3rds supermajority vote by the City Council.) 12.26 percent strongly agree. 23.75 agree. 13.41 neither agree nor disagree. 29.21 disagree. 21.46 strongly disagree. This makes me scratch my head. I wonder if the opposition to allowing such a tax to be subject to a simple majority vote is because the respondents thought I was asking about passing a new tax – rather than simply asking a question regarding the theory of majority rule, i.e., does requiring a 2/3rds majority

If I still worked in a bookstore and you, dear reader, just stepped into the store and asked if there were anything that must be read, right now, I would grab a copy of Susan Orlean’s latest book and wave it in your direction. In “The Library Book,” Orlean sets out to learn what she could about the April 1986 fire that did a fair job of consuming the Los Angeles Central Library. Was it arson? Was the right person arrested? It’s not only Orlean’s prowess as a journalist (who else could write bestsellers about orchids and Rin Tin Tin?), it is also her ability to keep her readers asking for more each time her curiosity takes another turn that makes this book special. Yes, we want to know if the quirky Harry Peak (wannabe actor and habitual fabricator) really set the fire, but as Orlean branches out

into a range of other topics tied to libraries, we also want to know about the physics of fire and especially exactly how a book burns. If you are a science geek, she will not disappoint. On the other hand, just as interesting is Ray Bradbury’s short story “The Fireman” and its impact on the reading world when it morphed into “Fahrenheit 451.” Orlean’s attachment to books and libraries is deeply rooted in her warmly remembered days spent with her mother on their many trips to her local library, a branch of the Shaker Heights Public Library system in Cleveland. For all the many directions taken in “The Library Book,” Orlean never strays too far from the disastrous fire of 1986. But you also learn about the building’s history, its legacy of pioneering female librarians and their politically moti-

vated removal, the library’s ground-breaking architecture and its increasing lack of fire protection. Firemen and how such fires are fought lead us to wonder if we readers are safe in our libraries. (No spoiler here, but I was surprised to find a hot link between firefighters and arsonists.) Orlean does not shy away from the state of our modern libraries relative to the state of communication through the Internet and its warehousing of information no librarian could ever have imagined. Will public libraries, as dreamed by Scottish-American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, become an anachronistic page of our past? Orlean does an outstanding job of speaking to this subject. I suspect that many of us would be astounded at the services offered by the women and men who devote their

dan Peele’s sophomore effort “Us” and “Pet Sematary,” the Everything from home repair & second iteration of Stephen King’s classic novel. maintenance to construction J EFF MELLINGER Peele’s first film, “Get Specializin g in deferred m Out,” was a revelation to the SCREEN SHOTS ainten • EXTERIOR: painting, windows, home for sa ance, prepping horror genre. By trading trale, repairs doors, decks, from There is an unusual h ditional scares for a more o m e inspectio outdoor structures. ns amount of horror movie deeply, unsettling dread, • INTERIOR: plumbing, drywall, “Get Out” is a masterful Gary Romano releases this time of year. electrical, trim, tile. Spring Break afforded me piece of transcendent social 787-2500 the chance to get to the thecommentary. With “Us,” Reliable & Professional Service Owner operated ater several times, so I thought Peele sandwiches the comOver 35 years of experience Lic. 979406 I’d check out some scares: Jor- mentary among layers of much more visceral, primal carnage. The story begins as a Serving Northern California for Over 30 Years & family of four goes on a getaway to Santa Cruz. A typical horror director would wait Specializing in Large five or ten minutes at the Hazardous Trees & most to begin the madness. Heritage Oak trees Instead, Peele starts us off Crane Service with about 25 minutes of Tree & Stump Removal world-building story. It is Arborist Consulting only then that the Wilsons 24 HOUR Arborist Reports meet another family of four FREE EMERGENCY Pruning/Cabling who turn out to be their ESTIMATES SERVICE doppelgängers. Fire Abatement Winston Duke plays husCustom Milled Lumber band Gabe with a nervous humor that breaks some of the tension for the audience. Frequent flashbacks to the Lic. #642272 Certified Arborist #WC-3386A childhood of mother Adelaide (played in the present with stirring discomfort by Lupita Nyong’o) show us reasons for 5444 Clayton Rd, Clayton Ed and Patsy Waraner her extreme trepidation about Bonded and Fully Insured and Wyatt CCC Certified Fire Abatement visiting Santa Cruz and its

iconic Boardwalk. When the doppelgängers show up, hers gives hints that the terror they bring is Adelaide’s fault. As each family member does battle with the respective double, Peele begins to unravel the message they bring. Unlike with “Get Out,” however, Peele does not spend much time on any specific social commentary – opting instead to let the beautiful camera work and cinematography ratchet up the terror. An unfortunate expository monologue at the end dulls some of the denouement, yet “Us” still works as an original horror film. On the subject of originality in the horror genre, “Pet Sematary” does not qualify. King’s novel came out in 1983, and Mary Lambert directed an above-average 1989 film. And now, Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer bring us another version. Unlike “Us,” “Pet Sematary” spends very little time before we see the reason for its title. A family of four, with their cat, makes its way from Boston to Maine to get away from the crazy life. Within five minutes, 8-yearold Ellie (Jete Laurence) finds some local kids engaged in a funeral procession to the pet



With 265 responses to the second of this year’s surveys, there were some interesting highlights. Motorized scooters should be allowed on Concord sidewalks. 4.94 percent strongly agree. 12.55 agree. 15.97 neither agree nor disagree.

30.04 disagree. 36.50 strongly agree. With more than 60 percent opposed and only 17 percent in favor, I don’t suppose scooters will run down any pedestrians anytime soon. My recent experience in San Jose is illustrative of the potential problems associated with motorized scooters. San Jose allows motorized scooters but prohibits them on the sidewalks. Sidewalks are signed as such. However, they do have extensive downtown bike lanes. At 7:30 in the morning, with no people in sight and no cars on the road, I walked to the street corner by the hotel when this blaze of wheeled insanity came around the corner and nearly turned me into

a crime scene outline on the sidewalk.

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from the council make sense? I came to California in 1981 after the passage of Prop. 13, which has a provision requiring that passage of a sales tax measure in which the funds collected will go into the General Fund needs only a 50 percent +1 majority. If the tax is to be dedicated to a specific project, like roads, you need a 2/3rds majority. This makes no sense to me. If anything, I would think it should logically be the other way around. I am a strong believer in rule by simple majority, regardless of the intent of the tax measure. The joys of the tax codes. There are a lot more results but not a lot of room here, so if you want the results to the rest of the survey, write to me at EdiBirsan@gmail.com.



lives to the belief that free access to information, events, classes and much more offered at our public libraries is the bedrock of a civilized society. “The Library Book” is not to be missed. When you finish the book, head to your nearest library and acquaint yourself with a future worth supporting and then join a Friends of the Library organization in support of your local library branch. Sunny Solomon is a freelance writer and head of the Clayton Book Club. Visit her website at bookinwithsunny.com for her latest recommendations or just to ‘talk books.’

‘Us’ intrigues, while ‘Pet Sematary’ rushes into horror

cemetery. Ellie has a juvenile obsession with death, asking questions and getting differing answers from mom Rachel (Amy Seimetz) and dad Louis (Jason Clarke). Elderly neighbor Jud (John Lithgow, relishing the role) warns Ellie and the family away from the cemetery and everything else that might be in the woods. The Jud and Ellie pairing is an interesting relationship, but the directors unfortunately do not spend enough time on it. Kolsch and Widmyer nail all the familiar beats until they get to some of the major plot points. Changing things up is good, especially by the third version of a story. Yet the directors seem in such a rush to get to the ending, they miss great opportunities to explore latter parts of the story in detail. The ending would feel more earned if the film were about 15 minutes longer. “us” B+ “Pet Sematary” B-

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

April 19, 2019

CALENDAR The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

PleaSe SuBMiT your CoMMuniTy Calendar evenTS By 5 P.M. May 6 For THe May 17


April 24 Clayton Valley Village Update

Clayton Valley Village is a non-profit that provides services and social events to seniors who want to live independently in their homes. Meet members and volunteers, enjoy refreshments and hear about the expansion into Concord, 7-8 p.m., Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. Free. 925-626-0411 or village.clayton@gmail.com.

April 28 “Behind the Barbed Wire: History of Naval Weapons Station Concord”

A “sequel” to author John Keibel’s book, with stories left untold plus an update on the Concord Reuse Project. Sponsored by the Concord Historical Society. 2 p.m., Concord Museum and Event Center, 1928 Clayton Road. Free. Before the presentation, the Galindo Home next door will be open for tours. 925-818-2312.

April 28 “Talking Across Our Differences/Rent Control”

The first of several moderated conversations around hot political topics. With Costa County Tenant Rights Advocate and the County Apartment Association. 4 p.m., Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church, 1578 Kirker Pass Road, Clayton. Free. Call Peter at 925348-0884 for details.


May 11 Swedish Pancake Breakfast

Swedish pancakes, ham, lingonberry preserves and other toppings, fruit, juice, coffee and tea, hosted by Sveaborg Lodge 449. 8:30 a.m.-noon, Odd Fellows Hall, 4349 Cowell Road, Concord. $10 for anyone over 11, $5 ages 4-10, free for ages 3 and under. Facebook.com/sveaborg449.

May 25-27 Bay Area KidFest

The 30th annual event includes entertainment, rides, free kids’ activities and food court. Memorial Day ceremony with Concord Blue Devils C Corps at noon May 27. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. May 2526, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 27. Mt. Diablo High School, 2450 Grant St., Concord. $6 with canned food donations ($5 with two cans Saturday), or $7 general. Children under 2 and those 65+ free. Proceeds benefit local educational, health and sports non-profits. kidfestconcord.com.

Tuesdays and Thursdays Farmers Market

10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays and 4-8 p.m. Thursdays, Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord.


April 20 Clayton Cleans Up

2nd and 4th Sundays Pancake Breakfast

iSSue. iTeMS MuST Be SuBMiTTed By eMail To

Eggs, pancakes, sausage, beverage. 8-11 a.m. VFW Post 1525, 2290 Willow Pass Road, Concord. $5, $3 children under 12. vfwpost1525.org.

Grad Night/Prom for Paradise

The Pleasant Hill Rotary Club and the county Office of Education are collecting prom dresses and raising funds to provide a Grad Night on June 6 for about 240 seniors from fire-ravaged Paradise. Send donations to Pleasant Hill Rotary Foundation, PHS Grad Night, 621 Reading Place, Danville, CA 94526. Tax ID 043708728. For dress donations, contact Rebecca at radams0412@yahoo.com.


April 26 Round the Mountain Hike

An 8.5-mile loop with views in all directions. 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Meet at the Juniper Trailhead. $10 car fee. mdia.org.

April 27 Butterfly Walk

A 2-mile round-trip hike for beginning and advanced lepidopterists. 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center, 96 Mitchell Canyon Road, Clayton. $6 car fee. mdia.org.

April 27 Lower Perkins Canyon Hike

A 4-mile hike featuring wildflowers, green meadows and a creek. 2:30-5 p.m. Parking lot on Morgan Territory Road. mdia.org.

Sundays through April Vasco Caves Tour

Hike 2-3 miles through the windswept landscape. 9 a.m.-2 p.m., 9450 Marsh Creek Road, Brentwood. $35-$40. 510-544-2750 or ebparks.org.

May 3 Oyster Point Hike

A 14-mile hike including Windy Point, the Tassajara Creek Trail, Riggs Canyon and the Black Hills. 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Meet at Curry Point trailhead. $10 car fee. mdia.org.

May 12 Wildflower Hike

Easy 4-mile hike to view Mother Earth’s natural beauty. 9 a.m.noon., Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center, 96 Mitchell Canyon Road, Clayton. $6 car fee. RSVP at mtdiablohiker@gmail.com.

Through Nov. 30 Trails Challenge

Sponsored by the East Bay Regional Park District. Download guidebook from ebparks.org and submit trail log online by Dec. 1.

Through December Free Fridays in the Park

Park entry and other fees will be wavied on Fridays to celebrate the East Bay Regional Park District’s 85th anniversary. ebparks.org.

Honor Earth Day and help pick up trash, pull weeds and share in community spirit. T-shirt, gloves and garbage bags provided. Rain ENTERTAINMENT or shine. 9 a.m., Clayton City Hall, 6000 Heritage Trail. Barbecue at noon. Register at ci.clayton.ca.us. Call the Clayton Pioneer with Through April 21 questions at 925-672-0500.

April 27-28 Art & Wine Fesitval

Wine, beer, food court, arts and crafts vendors, live music. Sponsored by the Clayton Business & Community Association. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. April 27. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. April 28. Main Street, Clayton. Free admission and parking. claytoncbca.org.

May 3-4 Clayton Valley Gardens Tour

10 a.m.-4 p.m. Pick up brochure at the Clayton Museum, 6101 Main St., on tour days. $35 in advance at the museum or at R&M Pool, Patio and Gardens, 6780 Marsh Creek Road, Clayton. Or at claytonhistory.org. $40 at the door; $15 extra for party 4-5:30 p.m. May 4.

May 11, 25 Concerts in the Grove

May 11, Boston Rocks. May 25, Brick House. 6-8:30 p.m., the Grove park, downtown Clayton. Free. claytonconcerts.com.

May 11-Sept. 21 Farmers Market

9 a.m.-1 p.m., 10950 Main St., Clayton..


May 3-5 Spring Tea at the Galindo Home

“Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”

A re-imagination of the Biblical story of Joseph and his father Jacob, 11 brothers and a coat of many colors, Pittsburg Community Theatre. California Theatre. $20-$25.

Through April 22 “Pinned Butterfly”

Exploring the bisexual erasure within the LGBTQ community, a world premiere by B8 Theatre. Concord Historical Society, 1928 Clayton Road. 925-890-8877 or b8theatre.org.

Through April 28 “Diary of Anne Frank”

An enduring tale of hope, Center REP. Lesher Center. $34-$56.

Through April 28 “Bell, Book and Candle”

Romantic comedy about a modern-day witch, Plotline Theatre Company. Campbell Theatre.

May 3-4 “Celebrated Masters”

Featuring “Tryst,” “Walk Before Talk” and “Swan Lake Suite,” Diablo Ballet. Followed by dessert and coffee reception with the dancers. Del Valle Theatre. $15-$47.

May 3-5 Tapestry Ringers and Singers

Spring concert. 7 p.m. May 3, United Methodist Church, 1543 Sunnyvale Ave., Walnut Creek. 7 p.m. May 4, Hillcrest CongreSponsored by the Concord Historical Society, with catering by gational, 404 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill. 4 p.m. May 5, St Sunrise Bistro. 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., 1721 Amador Ave., Concord. John’s Episcopal Church, 5555 Clayton Road, Clayton. Free, with $40. RSVP with Carole at 925-934-8631. donations to benefit fire victims. tapestryringersandsingers.org.

May 4 Markham Arboretum Plant Sale

May 3-11 “Cabaret”

May 11 Clayton Valley Garden Club Plant Sale

May 3-19 “Our Lady of 121st Street”

Due to the nursery closure, all plants are 40 percent off. 9 a.m.-1 p.m., 1202 La Vista Ave., Concord. markhamarboretum.org or 925-681-2968. Locally grown, drought-tolerant perennials, succulents, California natives color bowls, Mother’s Day gifts, bat houses and seed bombs. 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Endeavor Hall parking lot, 6008 Center St., Clayton. claytonvalleygardenclub.org or 925-276-2299.

Musical exploring newfound freedom, Saint Mary’s College Performing Arts Program. LeFevre Theatre, 1928 Saint Mary’s Road, Moraga. $10-$18. stmarys-ca.edu/cabaret. Brash dark comedy, DVC Drama Department. 321 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill. 925-969-2358 or dvcdrama.net.

May 5 “Voices of the Past, Present and Future”

May 11 Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra. 2 p.m., El Campanil. $7-$20. “Notes of Love: An Evening of Giving and Music” Featuring a cappella ensembles from local high schools, Italian May 5 fare, raffles, live auctions. To benefit the Bay Area Crisis Nursery. “Epic Bruckner” 5-10 p.m., Carondelet High School’s Garaventa Center, 1133

Winton Dr., Concord. $50. bayareacrisisnursery.org.

Theater Contact Key

Featuring Symphony No. 7, California Symphony. 4 p.m., Lesher Center. $42-$72.

California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. pittsburgcaliforniatheatre.com. 925-427-1611. del valle Theatre, 1963 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek. lesherartscenter.org. 925-943-7469. el Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. elcampaniltheatre.com. 925-757-9500. lesher Center for the arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. lesherartscenter.org. 925-943-7469. Martinez Campbell Theater, 636 Ward St., Martinez. campbelltheater.com. 925-350-9770.

Meeting dates and times for local clubs and organizations are listed at concordpioneer.com. Click on ‘Links’

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May 9-12 “Cinderella”

With original music, Fantasy Forum Actors Ensemble. Lesher Center. $14.

Through May 11 “Splash”

70th annual spring show, Valley Art Gallery. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 1661 Botelho Dr., Suite 110, Walnut Creek. Free. 925-935-4311 or valleyartgallery.org.

Through May 12 “Matilda”

Adaptation of Roald Dahl’s story about an extraordinary and precocious girl, Contra Costa Musical Theatre. Lesher Center. $55$59.

May 17-June 23 “Woody Sez”

The life and music of Woody Guthrie, Center Rep. Lesher Center. Free hootenanny after Sunday matinees. $39-$79.

May 19 “Better Together”

Diablo Women’s Chorale spring concert. 3 p.m., Temple Isaiah, 945 Risa Road, Lafayette. $15-$30. diablowomenschorale.org.

May 19 “On Broadway”

A Broadway-themed musical celebration. 3 p.m., El Campanil. $15-$29.

May 19 “Pastoral: Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony”

Diablo Symphony with San Ramon Valley High School Orchestra. 2 p.m., Lesher Center. $35.

Through June 23 “Tradition Interrupted”

Exhibit exploring the methods artists use to conflate contemporary ideas with traditional art and craft. Bedford Gallery, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $3-$5. 925-295-1417 or bedfordgallery.org.


Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. Full schedule at ccclib.org/locations/Concord.html. 925-646-5455. Baby and Toddler Storytime, 10:15 a.m. Tuesdays. Preschool Storytime, 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays. Forever Young: Adult Book Club, “Flora & Ulysses,” 4 p.m. April 16. Friends of the Library Book Sale, noon-9 p.m. April 18, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. April 19, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. April 20. Homework Help, for grades K-5. 4.-6 p.m. April 22, 29; May 6, 13, 20. Brick-by-Brick, 7 p.m. April 22. Movie Matinee for Adults, “Aquaman,” 3 p.m. April 23. Adulting 101 for Teens, 4 p.m. April 24. Medicare Information Session, 2:30 p.m. April 26. Día Del Niño/Day of the Child, 6:30 p.m. April 29. Kindergarten Countdown, 3 p.m. May 1, 15. Talkfest, 6 p.m. May 2. Bike Theft Prevention, 2 p.m. May 4. Knitting & Crochet Group, 1:15 p.m. May 5. Adventures in Coding, 7 p.m. May 13. Concord Art Association Meeting & Demo, 1:30 p.m. May 14. AARP Tax Aide, 10 a.m. May 18.

Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. Full schedule at ccclib.org/locations/Clayton.html. 925-673-0659.

Clayton Knits, 1:30 p.m. April 22, May 13. Paws to Read, 4 and 4:35 p.m. April 23, 30; May 7, 14. Registration required. Scavenger Hunt, for all ages, 2-4 p.m. May 4. Free Comic Book Day, while supplies last. May 6. Craft Program Using Old Comics, for ages 13 and up, 6-7 p.m. May 6. Mother’s Day Craft, 11 a.m. May 9. Movie, “North by Northwest,” 2 p.m. May 9. Hug a Dog Day, 4-5 p.m. May 13.


1st, 2nd and 4th Tuesdays Concord City Council

6:30 p.m., Council Chamber, Civic Center, 1950 Parkside Dr. cityofconcord.org.

1st and 3rd Wednesdays Concord Planning Commission

7 p.m. Council Chamber, Civic Center, 1950 Parkside Dr. cityofconcord.org.

1st and 3rd Tuesdays Clayton City Council

7 p.m. Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. ci.clayton.ca.us or 925-673-7304.

2nd and 4th Tuesdays Clayton Planning Commission

7 p.m., Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. ci.clayton.ca.us or 925-673-7304.

Take your business or event to a whole new level

With a publicity campaign by Rising Moon Marketing & Public Relations Serving the Bay Area for 16 years

Contact Gary Carr at 925-890-7839 or carrpool@pacbell.net

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Peet Cocke directs the explosive world premiere of “Pinned Butterfly,” which explores bisexual erasure within the LGBTQ community. Written by Adam Esquenazi Douglas, the B8 Theatre Company show runs through April 22 at the Concord Historical Society. Visit b8theatre.org or call 925-890-8877. Center REPertory Company presents the Pulitzer Prize winning “The Diary of Anne Frank,” featuring an extremely talented Monique Hafen in the title role. Timothy Near directs this enduring real-life tale of hope during the Holocaust, which also features artistic director Michael Butler. It runs through April 28 in Walnut Creek. Call 925-943-SHOW or visit lesherartscenter.org. Sophia Gilbert is “Matilda” in Contra Costa Musical Theatre’s musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved story. Director Jennifer Perry adds a magical touch to the show, running through May 12 in Walnut Creek. Visit lesherartscenter.org or call 925-943SHOW. Pittsburg Community Theatre continues its successful run of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” starring an angelic-voiced Luke Cannon in the title role. Bobbie Barlow is the narrator in the

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

April 19, 2019

From ‘Butterfly’ to ‘Frank,’ this is serious theater

bells. Outstanding technical support is provided by costume designer CC Cardin and set designer Diane McRice, who captured the 1940’s era with style.   Gillian and Shep are transformed when love, the most powerful potion of all, breaks down the boundaries dividing them. This enchanting production is sure to enchant and bewitch you with its magic. Plotline Theatre ComJamie Jobb Real life couple Jennifer Brown Peabody and Edwin pany’s “Bell, Book and Candle” is at the Martinez Camp- Peabody in “Bell, Book and Candle” at the Martinez Campbell Theatre through April 28 bell Theatre, 636 Ward St., Mello Photo through April 28.  Call 925Monique Hafen Adams stars in “Diary of Anne Frank” in 350-9770 or visit campbellthe- ic horror genre, directed by Walnut Creek through April 28. and the encore presentation of ater.com for tickets. Mike Reynolds. The comedy the iconic “Swan Lake Suite” Dana Lewenthal and Alicia runs through April 28 at staged by company regisseur reimagined Biblical story. love, but Gillian Holroyd von Kugelgen are hysterical in Danville’s Village Theatre. Call Joanna Berman. The final feaDirected by Keith Barlow, the (played by a sultry Anna the wickedly funny, cross Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Oglesby-Smith) can’t help her- dressing send-up “The Mys- 925-324-3400 or visit roleplay- tured ballet is “Walk before Talk” by KT Nelson, co-artisWebber musical runs through self. She weaves a spell on her tery of Irma Vep” by Charles ersensemble.com. Diablo Ballet presents the tic director of ODC/Dance. April 21 at the California The- unsuspecting neighbor ShepLudlam, produced by Role final program of its 25th sea- “Celebrated Masters” peratre in Pittsburg. Call 925-427- herd Henderson (Edwin Players Ensemble. The son, “Celebrated Masters” fea- forms May 3-4 at the Del 1611 or visit pittsburgcalifor- Peabody), a handsome book actresses each play multiple niatheatre.com. publisher who instantly falls in roles in this satire of the goth- turing Val Caniparoli’s “Tryst” Valle Theatre in Walnut Creek. Call 925-943-SHOW or visit Witches lose their superlove with Gillian. The two www.diabloballet.org. natural powers if they fall in have wonderful chemFantasy Forum Actors istry, but who needs a Ensemble has entertained magic spell to fall in love audiences for more than three with Oglesby-Smith? decades. Now they bring us John Van Druten’s 1949 the timeless “Cinderella,” comedy “Bell, Book and about a girl’s dream to find Candle” casts a magical spell true love. With the audiences’ and Director Randy Anger’s help, Cinderella’s godmother cast excels in this romantic may make her dreams come comedy that captivates in the true. Maybe the slipper will fit blink of an eye. your foot. The show runs May These witches weave a 9-12 in Walnut Creek. Call web of humor. The out925-943-SHOW or visit standing cast includes Jerry lesherartscenter.org. Motta as Sidney Redlitch, a foolish ghost-hunting author Kathryn G. McCarty is wellwho is easily deceived.  Ian known around the Bay Area as an Cox is Gillian’s warlock John Carter educator, playwright and journalist. Royally Me Photography Dana Lewenthal and Alicia von Kugelgen play multiple brother Nicky, who is enticSend comments to Bobbie Barlow is the narraroles in Charles Ludlam’s “The Mystery of Irma Vep” in ing to watch.  Jennifer KGMcCarty@gmail.com. tor and Luke Cannon plays Brown Peabody is delightful Danville through April 28. Joseph in “Joseph and the as hysterical eccentric Aunt Amazing Technicolor Queeney who has a fondness Dreamcoat” through April for chocolates and jingling 21 in Pittsburg.

Artist steps out of his comfort zone into success





Walter Crew won an award in every art contest he entered when he was in grammar school. “I’ve always been artistic, but I didn’t start painting seriously until I retired in 2002 from my career as an aircraft machinist,” says Crew. “I studied art at Diablo Valley College for several years and worked my way up through all of their advanced curriculum,” he adds. “Now, four of my paintings hang in the DVC library as part of their permanent collection.” Many of Crew’s paintings include animals – from tigers and birds to cats and dogs. Before taking on art as his hobby of choice, Crew spent many years on the dog show circuit with his two AKC champion bulldogs named Buster and Rip. “Those times were special in my life, and I made some really great friends,” he recalls. Crew has enjoyed even more good times and good friends through his involvement in the East Bay Artists Guild and the CC14 group (CC stands for Contra Costa). “CC14 began years ago

Leafscape is a collage by Walter Crew.

with a group of 14 adult art students from DVC who got together after classes for critique sessions and socializing. Our group is much larger now and we show our work all over the area,” Crew says. Working with watercolor, oil, acrylic, mixed media collage and even scratchboard, Crew has created hundreds of paintings over the years. Dozens are on display at any given time, and he shows regularly at Valley Art Gallery in Walnut Creek and aRt Cottage in Concord. Some of Crew’s work is on display in the CC14 exhibit at the aRt Cottage, 2238 Mt. Diablo St., through April. “I’ve always tried to paint realistic imagery, and for years I resisted even trying anything abstract. But one day, I finally decided to take some risks. In

doing so, I realized my paintings were more interesting and more colorful,” he says. “Now I try to work abstract elements into most of my work, and I’m getting more compliments, more awards and more sales than I’ve ever had before.” His recent series of abstract acrylic collages include found objects such as leaves, string and fabric scraps. “I try to paint every single evening. It’s my therapy and it’s so relaxing,” Crew reports. “I plan to be painting for the rest of my life, or at least until I can’t hold a brush any longer.”

Lisa Fulmer is a mixed media artist, small business marketing consultant, and community arts advocate.

Pass up the costly resorts, visit Sayulita

April 19, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com





For the budget-conscious traveler looking for an authentic cultural experience, Sayulita sure delivers. Sayulita is a sleepy little fishing village on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, with the Sierra

Sayulita, Mexico

Travel: Fly to Puerto Vallarta (PVR). Jose Ramos Transportation will take you 25 miles north to Sayulita for $130 U.S. round-trip, with grocery store stop. Safe and reliable. Stay: We rented through VRBO. Daily housecleaning and groundskeeper included. Affordable, lots of options. Town stats: Called the “Magical Town” because of its colorful ambiance and convergence of cultures. Popular hippie and off the beaten path travel destination. Part of Riviera Nayarit coastal corridor. Lots of recreation activities: surfing, fishing, swimming, snorkeling, horses, ATVs, golf, excursions, zip lining, mountain biking. Trip highlights: Central Sayulita Beach: best waves for learning to surf. Access to local food, artwork and goods. Local vibes, culture and safety. Use of peso: Get your numbers straight before you go. Very few places accept credit cards, and the U.S. dollar gets a poor rate when street bartering. Islas Marietas National Park. Golf carts: best mode of transportation in town.

Madre Occidental Mountains as the backdrop. With 5,000 full-time residents, it offers the right mix of history and funky culture. We stayed about three blocks from downtown in a quiet pocket off the beaten path. But if you want total peace and quiet, consider staying out of the town area for lots of local nightlife and wildlife. Central Sayulita Beach is the most popular due to world-class waves and its proximity to downtown. The beach is sandy and perfect for kids playing in the waves and surfers alike. Stand-up paddleboards, body surfing, surfing, you name it – water sports of all kinds are available, with lots of cheap rental options right on the beach. Umbrellas, chairs and full beverage and food service are available as well. If you want a slower pace with fewer crowds, try Playa de los Muertos. A short walk from town took us through a colorful arch and down past a hilly graveyard of colorful stonework, flowers and other items honoring the dead.

(crepes filled with cheese and Nutella) and fish pedicures. Our adventure to the Islas Marietas National Park via 56foot catamaran was a trip favorite. (Check Ally Kat Sailing.) We got up close to humpback whales, Manta rays, birds, dolphins and lots of tropical fish. We also saw hundreds of blue-footed boobies, only found in one other place on earth: the Galapagos Islands. We made a quick swim from a smaller boat to the Kevin Parker shore for a tour and some Visitors pass through the Cementerio de Sayulita on the snorkeling. The islands are way to Playa de los Muertos. protected, with a limited number of visitors allowed each day. Muertos is a small slice of given time. They close a few Want some culture and beach tucked between the streets off to car traffic, which relaxation? Want to learn to rocks with plenty of sandy brings out machete jugglers, surf ? Want to just lie on the shoreline. Palm trees and fire dancers and street perbeach or play in the waves? foliage provide some shade, formers of all kinds. Check out Sayulita, Mexico. while the nearby rocks and Other town highlights calmer waters offer excellent included ice cream at BuonissiContact Kevin Parker with comviewing of tide pool activity mo, shrimp with jalapeno aioli ments or questions by email at and fish alike. at Rustica, 50-peso donkey The downtown is a vibrant rides around town, Marquesitas LukeHollywood@gmail.com and exciting culture that comes alive at night, with Sayulita Plaza as the focal point. If you count all the local vendors, there are more than 100 food options at any

Local honey oozing with floral flavors



Pure local honey is perfect on a fresh-baked biscuit, in hot tea or honey mustard dressing. This is all made possible by honey bees, insects that transforms flower nectar into the sweet golden liquid we love. Alvarado Apiary, formerly Diablo Creek Apiary, brings a variety of flavored honey to the Tuesday and Thursday Concord farmers markets. The honey features regional varieties of flowers and is made by bees that visit open

forage throughout the Mt. Diablo range – from Oakland to Brentwood. The market display also includes an unassuming brown frame box filled with humming bees making honeycomb. Some beekeepers extract honey by heating it to allow for easier flow, but Alvarado uses the cold process of honey extraction to keep the health benefits intact. And that keep customers returning for more. A lot of work goes into keeping bees healthy, says Juan Alvarado. “We take no shortcuts and consider our work a labor of love. We’re absolutely passionate about bees and got our first start after rescuing a beehive that washed down the flood waters of the Diablo Creek.” Farmers markets give them a chance to talk with customers and provide information about their bees, along with tips or suggestions. Alvarado Apiary’s philosophy

Spring Markets Open April 18

Concord Thursday Market Todos Santos Plaza, 4 – 8 p.m.

Clayton Market Main Street and Marsh Creek Rd., 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

6:30 pm, Service in Oglesby-Close Hall Dinner, Communion and Choir

April 19 — Good Friday

April 21 — Easter Sunday

6:30 am, Sunrise Service in Friendship Circle 7 to 9:30 am, Easter Breakfast, Free for all 10 am, Traditional Easter Service in Sanctuary Children’s Easter Egg hunt following 10 am service along with a bouncy house

1645 West St., Concord (925) 685-5260 Concordumc.org Juan Alvarado proudly displays his local honey – and bees – at the Concord farmers market.

is simple: Let the bees be bees. So sweeten your day with pure local honey. You can be assured that the honey you purchase at the local farmers market is pure, with no additives.

BRoWNED BuTTERED ALMoNDS 16 oz. raw almonds, blanched 4 T. pastured butter About 4 T. local honey, to taste Kosher salt, to taste Lavender flowers (optional)

4" Ve g Startsgie $2.9 9

R&M is the place for

• Sales, repairs and supplies of all pool equipment • Extensive collections of perennials, annuals, trees, shrubs, roses and houseplants • Premium potting soils and conditioners, decorative bark and mulch • Garden décor • Knowledgeable and experienced staff Like us on

Pool, Patio, Gifts & Gardens 6780 Marsh Creek Road, Clayton


Hours: Tues-Sat 9-5, Sun 10-4, Closed Monday

Family owned and operated since 1983

April 18 — Maundy Thursday 7:30 pm, Service in Sanctuary

To blanch almonds, place in a bowl and barely cover with boiling water. Let the almonds sit one minute – no longer, or they’ll lose their crispness.

May 18

Page B9

Drain water and rinse almonds under cold water; drain again. Pat the almonds dry with a soft cloth or paper towel. To slip the skins off the almonds, take one nut at a time and pinch one end to allow the skin to loosen. The nut will basically pop out of its skin. Warm butter in sauté pan until it melts and starts to bubble. Add blanched almonds and cook until the butter and the almonds are slightly browned. Add honey and salt to taste. Remove the almonds from the pan and cool. Serve garnished with lavender flowers. Source: Cooking the Market, PCFMA. Visit pcfma.org/eat/recipes for more recipes.

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The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Garden tours a lively reminder of spring fever

lavender, lantana, multiple colors of carpet roses and ornamental grasses. Peace and privacy come to mind as you stroll Rod and Becky Overstreet’s wonderful landscape. It took Rod three years to build the hand-stacked rock retaining wall. A pathway leads to the rear, where whimsical garden art embellishes the

surrounding hillside. Rows of roses fills the front of Ian and Tammy Peacock’s corner lot, which has an extensive front and side yard. The Peacocks aren’t afraid of color, and they widely plant and decorate their landscape. A NATIVE EXPERIENCE Tour-goers will find four

Clayton and Concord gardens on the 15th annual Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour, which focuses on yards that are pesticide-free and water conserving, provide habitat for wildlife and contain 60 percent or more native plants. Clayton resident Nancy Niemeyer intertwined her interests in nature and archaeology in her ancient Roman style garden. The rectangular courtyard, planted with a riot of colorful natives, leads past art pieces, a fountain and pedestals. Clayton residents Kelly Marshall and Mike Weidner transformed their front lawn into a native plant haven for wildlife. In the back, they created a drought-tolerant meadow with a small waterfall and shallow bog that provides water to a variety of garden creatures. Lauren Kindorf of Clayton received a $1,000 rebate from the Contra Costa Water District to help transform her lawn into

What you want to do with your tomatoes should help determine what varieties to install. Champion tomatoes are an excellent choice for Clayton Valley growers who don’t have lots of room. Champions grow only 20-30 inches tall, and they produce 3-4 inch fruit Tomatoes are the single after just 70 days. They are easy most planted food crop in Clayand fantastic. ton Valley containers and garSan Marzano tomatoes are dens. for those who love to make Plant lovers covet the tomatomato sauces. They have meaty to, basing their entire green flesh, fewer seeds and thinner thumb success on the producskin than other selections. They tion of this juicy, sweet fruit. are pear shaped and bright red

when ripe. Plants grow 36 inches tall and wide, and fruit should begin to ripen after 75 days. Celebrity is a bigger tomato, maturing to about 7 ounces per fruit. Celebrity tomatoes are sweet, with an average amount of seeds and lots of juice. This tomato is good for the sandwich lover. You can expect large yields from this plant. Ripening begins 70-95 days after flower has set. Early Girl is a sought-after selection because it’s tasty and gives huge crops of 4-6 ounce tomatoes. They ripen 55-65 days after flower sets and are some of the earliest tomatoes you’ll enjoy.

For tomato lovers interested in heirloom varieties, consider Cherokee Purple. It has been rewarding and productive. The bi-color, purplish red fruit is sweet and fleshy. Brandywine tomatoes are a good producer that ripen 90 days after flower. Sun Gold tomatoes are another sought-after selection. The sweet flavor makes them desirable in salads or enjoyed right off the plant. Black Cherry is a cherry tomato with dark purple, almost black skin. They have a high yield and are sweet and fun. Plant tomatoes into wellamended, rich, replenished soil. When installing, remove many of the bottom leaves and plant

Garden lovers can take in all that spring can offer the weekend of May 3-5, with several Clayton and Concord gardens on display on two garden tours. The Clayton Valley Gardens Tour features five Clayton yards bursting with color. Daisyshaped flowers open each morning with a kaleidoscope of color in Marj and Howard Glazier’s front yard. Roses, mums, geraniums and Santa Barbara daisies fill garden beds bordered by zonal geraniums. Jim and MaryAnn Laurence’s garden has a traditional frontage, but a Mediterranean experience awaits through the garden gate. A stacked stone wall lines the creeping fig covered fence, while campanula and various colored sedum accent boulders. Three years ago, Russell and Cindy Pike replaced their front grass with dymondia. The lawn substitute thrives in the hot Clayton sun, surrounded by sea

Russell and Cindy Pike surrounded dymondia with bright colors in their Clayton front yard.

a garden. Four types of manzanita provide structure and greenery throughout the year, delighting hummingbirds and native bees. Inspired by the native garden tour, Concord resident Laura Spain sheet-mulched her lawn away to make a habitat for wildlife. With the new plants providing pollen and nectar, 15 species of birds, native bees and butterflies visit the garden.

Native fuschia draws hummingbirds to gardens on the native plant tour.

April 19, 2019

Clayton Valley Gardens Tour

When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. May 3-4. Garden Party, 45:30 p.m. May 3. Where: Pick up tour brochure at Clayton Museum, 6101 Main St., on tour days. Tickets: $35 in advance at museum or R&M Pool, Patio and Gardens, 6780 Marsh Creek Road, Clayton. Or at claytonhistory.org. $40 at the door; $15 extra for Garden Party.

Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour

When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 5 Where: 37 gardens in Alameda and Contra Costa counties Tickets: Pre-register at bringingbackthenatives.net or 510-236-9558. Donations requested; $10 garden guide.

Stop dreaming and get those tomatoes planted



3-4 inches of the tomato stem below the soil line. Remove the blossoms on new installs and remove the next set as well. You want your plants to focus on strong roots at first.

Once installed, work a granular, organic tomato fertilizer into the soil and a little dolomite lime to help prevent blossom end rot. Feed with a water-soluble fertilizer bi-weekly for growth. Use a product with a larger first number than the middle number, 15-6-3 for example. When you let the tomato flower, change the fertilizing product to one with a larger second number than first, i.e. 3-20-20 or 2-10-10. Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. You can contact her with questions or comments by email at gardengirl94517@yahoo.com

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APR 19 The Pioneer 2019  

Local news from Concord and Clayton, CA with in-depth features, business, the local arts scene, sports, government, youth activities, great...

APR 19 The Pioneer 2019  

Local news from Concord and Clayton, CA with in-depth features, business, the local arts scene, sports, government, youth activities, great...

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