Page 1

NEW this issue

Hearts and Hands by Faith Barnidge Page 2


City limits cannabis manufacture to medical use www.concordpioneer.com

JOHN T. MILLER Correspondent

The Concord City Council established a Commercial Cannabis Overlay District that allows for the manufacture of medical cannabis, along with testing for both medical and recreational use.

From the desk of...

April 20, 2018

Recreational pot remains unregulated, so its manufacture and sale are still illegal in the city. As presented by principal planner Michael Cass, Ordinance 18-3 called for associated development standards and a licensing framework for cannabis manufacturing, testing laboratories and distribu-

tion. But a flurry of amendments watered down the plan at the April 10 meeting. “We are starting slow. There are too many loose ends,” Councilwoman Laura Hoffmeister told the Pioneer. An overlay district is a regulatory tool that creates a special zoning district placed over an existing one. It identi-

fies special provisions in addition to those in the underlying base zone. The city identified three areas where cannabis businesses could be located: the business park area north of Highway 4, land east of Highway 242 and Solano Way adjacent to the airport and land around the Shary Circle busi-


ness park near Costco. The business parks include a 600-foot buffer zone around each area from sensitive uses, such as K-12 schools, large day-care centers or youth centers. To qualify, prospective businesses will need land use approval from the Planning Division, a city cannabis

Concord artists help students prepare for May showcase



See Mayor, page 8

See Cannabis, page 11

Concord’s early days – from rowdy cowboys to pioneering farmers

Editor’s Note: This story is the first of a three-part series that will appear in the Pioneer leading up to Concord’s 150th birthday celebration.

Making sense of political arguments

Listening to political arguments often leaves me with the feeling of cleaning out my ears with toilet paper. We all hear intense arguments for or against a proposal, with a series of “facts”‘ presented with the hope that they will convince us to agree with the speaker’s view. I often ask that if their presented facts were proven to be false, would they then change their minds? The reality is that the answer is no. There was a study in England some years ago where they offered a made-up position, dividing people and giving them pro or con facts. The people were separated and measured regarding their support of their position. When they were told that their facts were a lie, their commitment to their side only increased. That leads me to the recent arguments about cannabis, dealing with lab testing and manufacture relative to the medical and other uses of cannabis. There is a group that is emotionally anti-cannabis in

license issued by the Police Department, a state cannabis license and a business license. The local licenses will be subject to general conditions, including cannabis not being sold on the same premises as tobacco or alcohol, no on-site consumption, odor control

KARA NAVOLIO Correspondent

Photo courtesy Joel Harris

Photo courtesy MDUSD

Wren Avenue first-graders with their mural project, Seaweed in the Diamond Sky, inspired by Henri Matisse. Wren Avenue Elementary is MDUSD’s first Visual and Performing Arts magnet school. The program is designed to strengthen community, creativity, and confidence through the core curriculum, the arts, and technology. Student art will be showcased next month at the Raquel Amaral gallery on Todos Santos Plaza. LISA FULMER Arts in Motion

The Concord Art Association (CAA) is collaborating with the Mt. Diablo Unified School District’s newly formed Education Foundation (MDEDF) to provide teaching assistance and develop special events. As a privately funded non-

profit, the Education Foundation’s vision is to provide a quality education for every child, no matter where they live in the school district. “We aim to fund all STEAM enrichment – science, technology, engineering, art and math,” says Cherise Khaund, MDEDF president. “After surveying the schools about their needs for art pro-

grams in particular, we learned that our teachers would like the expertise of visiting artists. CAA will assist us with registering more local artists with the district to volunteer in the classes to help both teachers and students learn more about art styles and techniques, as well as showcasing their work.” CAA, a nonprofit cele-

brating its 55th year supporting local artists, is teaming with MDEDF at the Wren Avenue Elementary School of the Arts. “At Wren, art is more than a means of learning. It’s a form of self-expression and a way of discovering the world,” says principal Aline

See Artists, page 8

‘Teen takes on incumbent in Assembly race TAMARA STEINER Concord Pioneer


This summer, while most high school grads will spend their first days of freedom hanging out with friends or trying to reduce the sleep deficit left over from finals, one Concord High grad will hit the campaign trail at a dead run and won’t stop until he leaves for college—or Sacramento. Aasim Yahya is running for California Assembly District 14 against incumbent Tim Grayson, D-Concord. The thought of running came up when his literature teacher suggested he run for Concord City Council as his senior project. But Yahya had a bigger idea.

“Ever since I was a young boy, I knew what I wanted to do—effect change, not only in Concord … but to empower other youth to feel as if they too can speak up and stand up.” The largest voting block in the country is between 18 and 25 years old, notes Yahya. “This means that the course of our nation rests in the hands of those who are youngest.” Fevered by passion in the wake of the Parkland school shooting, young voters are speaking out through social media—and being heard. But passion must translate to action, he says. “Participation is great, but we must dedicate ourselves to creating legislation and actual

change, not just being ‘angry’ or ‘frustrated.’ ” Grayson and Yahya are the only two Democrats in the June primary for District 14, which means they both will advance to the November election. Yahya points out several recent bills where he differs from the incumbent, including a key gun control bill. Grayson abstained on AB 424, which prohibits anyone from entering a school with a gun even if they have a permit. “I would have voted yes,” Yahya says of the new law. With a war chest of less than $1,000—not even enough to pay for a ballot statement—

See Assembly, page 8


In 1868, Salvio Pacheco established a small town of 19 blocks around a square that he named Todos Santos (All Saints). That settlement, started 150 years ago, was the beginning of what would become known as Concord. Pacheco, a Mexican military veteran, submitted a diseño (request for a land grant) to the Mexican government in 1834 for the 17,000 acres considered Rancho Monte del Diablo, which covers what is now the city of Concord. Mexico had won California from the Spanish, who had controlled the area until 1822. Prior to that, the Miwok people used the area as hunting grounds. In 1846, Pacheco and his family settled in the area— building his adobe home near what is now downtown. His family lived in that home for almost 100 years, and it still stands today at 1870 Adobe St. LAND GRANTS FOR A BUCK The town of Pacheco became the first village on Rancho Monte del Diablo. It was near the river where ships would dock to carry tallow and hides, and later wheat, out of the valley to markets. It reached a population of 1,000

See Early Days, page 11


Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . .19

From the desk of . . . . . .8 Schools . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12

Performing Arts . . . . . .18

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Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

April 20, 2018

New column shines spotlight on good works



Editor’s Note: Welcome to the Pioneer’s new Hearts and Hands column. Faith Barnidge will share news, events and opportunities for all of us to learn more about our community, have some fun, and combine our resources and talents to help others. Faith lives in Concord with Tom, her retired journalist husband of nearly 50 years. She is the former Good Neighbors columnist at the East Bay Times. She has volunteered with numerous community organizations through the years and has a true appreciation for those who participate in raising the quality of life for all of our neighbors.

Wednesday, April 25, at CASA headquarters, 2151 Salvio St., Suite 295, Concord. Register in advance at 925-256-7284 or www.cccocasa.org. More than just Meals on Wheels: “We’re not your grandmother’s Meals on Wheels,” said Meals on Wheels CEO Elaine Clark. “We cover so much more ground now, both geographically and in terms of services. Today, we’re closely aligned with the national senior advocacy movement and continue to coordinate efforts with local and national partners to do whatever we can so that seniors can live independently and with dignity in their homes for as long as possible.” Meals on Wheels Diablo Region, formerly Meals on Wheels and Senior Outreach Services, has a new name to

reflect the full range and reach of services that help senior citizens age in place independently in their own homes. Services include individualized care management, companionship by Friendly Visitor volunteers, and educational classes to keep seniors safe, healthy and active mentally and physically. Meals on Wheels volunteers deliver healthy lunches to homes, or seniors can gather in a social setting at six CC Cafes – including the Concord Senior Center, 2737 Parkside Circle. Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. Monday-Friday. Call 925825-1488 for reservations one day in advance or visit www.mowdiabloregion.org to volunteer your services. Meals on Wheels will celebrate its 50th anniversary at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 12, at the Blackhawk Museum, 3700

Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Danville. Cost is $225. RSVP by May 9 to community engagement director Susannah Meyer at 925-239-2487 or email smeyer@mowdr.org. Team Ferrari in action: May is ALS Month. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. It’s better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, after the baseball legend who died from the condition. Long-time Clayton resident Lou Ferrari succumbed to ALS only seven months after his diagnosis. His wife Margarita “Margy” Ferrari and her children Alyssa Ferrari, Stephen Ferrari and Seena Ferrari Curry, along with sister-in-law Lisa Ferrari Benedict, formed

Supporting foster children: Children in need of a stable home life are placed into foster care. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) are volunteers over age 21 who promise to devote a few hours a week to act as an advocate in Juvenile Court, at school and as a mentor and friend of a child in foster care. CASA matches volunteers with foster children, who often move between foster homes, families and schools and through the Juvenile Court system. Tamara Steiner/Concord Pioneer Learn more about this Queen of all Saints and College Park students cheered “Ho ho, hey hey, we love seniors opportunity at a free informa- everyday!” at the Meals on Wheels and Senior Outreach Community March in Todos Santional session 6:30-8 p.m. tos Plaza in Concord.

Photo courtesy of Margy Ferrari

Margy and Lou Ferrari raised their family in Clayton before Lou was stricken with ALS. The family invites friends and neighbors to a Cornhole Tournament as a tribute to Ferrari at the Clayton Club Saloon on May 19.

the Lou Ferrari Foundation to raise funds and awareness for victims of ALS. They are sponsoring the Lou Ferrari Cornhole Tournament on Saturday, May 19, at the Clayton Club Saloon, 6096 Main St., Clayton. Ron and Dan Stokes will host the event. Registration and ticket sales begin at 9 a.m., with the games at 10 a.m. There is a $50 donation per person for the doubles tournament. Single players will be paired. The fee includes a lot of fun, great food, beer and a raffle. Corporate and private sponsors, individual donations, silent auction items, raffle prizes and volunteers are welcome to join forces with Team Ferrari to make this event a great success. Email louferrari@sbcglobal.net or call 925899-8838 for more information. Wine (and more) for scholarships: The American Association of University Women (AAUW) of Concord

is sponsoring the Concord Art and Wine (and Beer!) event, 14 p.m. Saturday, May 12. Participants will enjoy fine wines, craft beers, snacks, arts and craft booths. The Mt. Diablo Music Education Foundation’s All Area Music Festival will perform in Todos Santos Plaza. Tickets are $27 in advance, or $30 at the event. Visit www.concord-aauw.net to purchase tickets online. Purchase tickets the day of the event at E.J. Phair Brewing Co., 2151 Salvio St., Concord, where all participants will receive a beverage glass and a map of participating businesses around Todos Santos Plaza and Salvio Pacheco Square. Proceeds support AAUW programs such as Tech Trek, a math and science camp for middle school girls focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

See Barnidge, page 3

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2980 Brookdale Ct . . . . . . . . . . . $708,000 4607 Phyllis Lane . . . . . . . . . . . . $685,000 1232 Bluejay Ct. . . . . . . . . . . . . . $775,000 985 Mohr Lane . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,325,000 1505 Kirker Pass Rd #156 . . . . . $313,000

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April 20, 2018

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

Page 3

In Brief...

Barnidge, from page 2

AAUW also provides educational scholarships to local women who have graduated from Diablo Valley College and Los Medanos and who have been accepted into fouryear universities. Visit www.aauw-pleasanthill-martinez.org. Spring Tea at historic Galindo Home: Celebrate the season and wear your favorite hat to the Spring Tea at the Galindo Home, with Serendipity preparing delicious treats. There will be sittings at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day Friday, May 4, to Sunday, May 6, at 1721 Amador Ave., Concord. The Concord Historical Society maintains the historical Galindo Home, and members will welcome visitors to enjoy tea in beautiful rooms full of antiques. Proceeds will support Concord Historical Society programs and projects, including the completion of the adjacent Concord Museum and Event Center. Reserve a table now and sit with your friends; cost is $35 per person. For reservations, call Lind Higgins at 925-6826383. Hoping to beat cancer: The Cancer Support Community’s annual Hope Walk will feature a best costume contest, activities, interesting booths and a raffle drawing, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, May 19, at Heather Farm Park, 998 N. San Carlos Dr., Walnut Creek. Wheelchairs, strollers and friendly dogs on leashes are welcome to participate. Fee is $25 per walker, ages 10+. To register, visit www.hopewalkbayarea.net or call 925-9531209. Helping home-bound seniors: The Caring Hands pro-


gram at John Muir Health matches volunteers with a home-bound senior for a few hours a week. Volunteers provide transportation to the doctor, grocery or pharmacy, or just a friendly chat to give the family caregiver a few hours of personal time. Caring Hands depends on hundreds of volunteers to meet the growing demand of seniors requesting a match. The next volunteer training is 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Friday, May 18, at the John Muir Concord Medical Center, 2540 East St. An interview is required prior to training. Call 925-9522999, email caring.hands @johnmuirhealth.com or you can visit www.johnmuirhealth.com/caringhands for more information. Honoring volunteers: The Monument Crisis Center held its Volunteer Appreciation Brunch earlier this month. The organization welcomes volunteers at both Concord locations, 2699 Monument Blvd., and 1760 Clayton Road. Visit monumentimpact.org for more information. STAND! For Families Free of Violence honored volunteers with a dinner at the Concord Library. Volunteer speakers are available to share the great work STAND! provides. Volunteers answer the 24-hour crisis hotline (888-215-5555) and help survivors and their children rebuild their lives beginning with safe shelter, counseling and support. Training classes begin May 8. For details, call 925-6030175, or you can send email to volunteer@standffov.org or visit standffov.org. Youth Homes for Foster Children will honor donors


Keller Ridge — Sought after single story home in Oakhurst which backs up to the golf course. Updated, 1,493 square foot home on a 6,120 square foot lot. Call Michelle for more info.

Concord Community Pool opening delayed

Cancer Support Community

The annual Hope Walk welcomes walkers and dogs of all ages in costume to stroll around scenic Heather Farm Park on May 19 to raise funds for the Cancer Support Community.

and friends at Postino in Lafayette. Youth Homes manages four group homes, including two that each house six foster children in Concord. Youth Homes Auxiliary volunteers raise money for birthday cakes, entertainment activities, college scholarships and personal items like towels and toiletries at the Youth Homes Thrift Shop,15-B Vivian Dr, Pleasant Hill. Visit www.youthhomes.org to learn how you can help. The Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau recently honored Linda Rimac Colberg as Walnut Creek Citizen of the Year. Colberg is a board member for Yours Humanly, an international nonprofit based in Concord that provides underprivileged children in underserved communities access to quality education and computer technology. A professional writer, author and business owner,




Downtown — Highly desirable location in the center of downtown. From this charming Victorian style home you can walk to restaurants, concerts and festivals. Spacious 2,148 square foot home including 4 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms, a Gourmet kitchen with granite slab and stainless steel appliances. Michelle Gittleman (925) 768-0352

Cal BRE# 01745325

Cal BRE# 01745325

Michelle Gittleman (925) 768-0352


Colberg is a long-time advocate and volunteer for nonprofit programs and projects that make a difference in the lives of others. Earth Day activities: Volunteers are needed to help spruce up Hillcrest Community Park in Concord to celebrate Earth Day. The event will be 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, April 21, at Olivera Road at Grant Street. Bring the whole family and prepare to get dirty while planting, weeding and clearing trash from creek and path areas. Our neighborhood parks provide public space for families to enjoy nature, and it’s good to inspire youngsters to keep our parks looking their best. Register in advance by email with shannon.griffin@cityofconcord.org or call 925-6713068. Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery will host a Family Earth Day celebration 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, April



Lynne & Kelly offer free staging on ALL LISTINGS



Ranch Property — Situated on just under 2 acres, this property is perfect for horse lovers! This flat lot offers 20 covered stalls, an arena that could be used for multiple purposes, an out-building that could be converted to an additional dwelling with plumbing and electrical and MUCH more. The home is a 2 bed, 1 bath that has been completely remodeled from top to bottom with beautiful finishes. A MUST SEE.

Budget Workshop

Come to an informal workshop with city staff to learn about the 2018-19 operating budget and the 2-year Capital Improvement Budget, Tues., April 24, 6:30 in the City Council Chamber, 1950 Parkside Drive, Concord. The public will be provided time to address the Council. A copy of all the materials provided to the Council will be available on-line at www.cityofconcord.org on Friday, April 20, after 5 p.m. In addition to the workshop, there will be a public hearing May 8 at 6:30 p.m. for consideration of the two-year Capital Improvement Budget in the City Council Chamber. Please be sure to check the City website at www.cityofconcord.org prior to any meeting you plan to attend as meeting dates and times occasionally change. If you have any questions, please call Trish Beirne or Sue Anne Griffin at (925) 671-3150.





Diablo Ridge — Gorgeous townhome boasting 3 bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms. Stunning views of golf course from master bedroom. Light and a bright 1,595 square foot unit with attached garage, peaceful backyard with patio and community pool.



S ing




Chaparral Springs — This beautiful home in Clayton offers 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms with a full bed and bath on the first level. With a lot of natural light, the home features a spacious living area, high ceilings, an eat-in kitchen, dining space and indoor laundry. This home is complete with a 2-car garage and a relaxing fenced-in backyard.


Cul-De-Sac Location — Perfect starter home! Charming 3 bedroom home with an updated bathroom. Several upgrades including newer light fixtures, appliances, flooring and fresh paint. Larger lot in desirable area.

21, at Mt. Diablo Recycling, 1300 Loveridge Road, Pittsburg. The day begins with a 10:15 a.m. walking tour of the 90,000 sq. ft. recycling center to learn all about the “Big Blue” and “Big Wall-e” recycling machines and the 5 Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Respect, Recover). The day also includes lots of familyoriented activities, including making art from recyclable items, jump houses, recycling cart races and food. Register for the tour by calling Adriana Medina at 925-771-2721 or email recyclingcoordinator@garaventaent.com. Keep in touch: The Concord Pioneer publishes monthly, so plan ahead and send your news and high-definition photos with caption information to faithbarnidge@pioneerpublishers.com. Visit www.pioneerpublishers.com for a schedule of publication dates and deadlines.

Heavy rains in March and April and lighting installation issues will delay the opening of the Concord Community Pool beyond Memorial Day. The closure impacts lap swim, exercise classes and a lifeguard clinic as well as two swim meets. Aquatics staff can suggest alternative facilities while the pool is closed. For info, contact Concord Community Pool at (925) 671-3480 or send email to swimconcord@cityofconcord.org



Meridian Point — Spacious home boasting approximately 2,791 square feet including 4 bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms. Open floor plan with eat in kitchen. Light & Bright 2 story with large yard with pool. Great location near shopping and easy freeway access.

El Camino — Beautiful 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath home with great views and loaded with potential. Formal dining room, inside laundry and spacious kitchen. Light & airy with dual pane windows and plantation shutters. Desirable neighborhood near walking trails. Leased solar system buyers can take over or purchase.

Assisting More Buyers & Sellers than Anyone Else* *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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Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

April 20, 2018

Concord’s hidden gem at Lake Tahoe preps for summer at Camp Concord ...everyone about

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Concord United Methodist

Fri., May 18, 9am-5pm Sat., May 19, 9am-2pm Church-wide, multi-family rummage sale and drawing to benefit CUMC’s general fund. Toys, Jewelry, Dishes, Frames, Books, Collectibles & more

Drawing* $1/ticket OR 6/$5

Gifts Baskets, Specialty Food Baskets, Restaurant Gift Certificates, Valuable Services and MORE *Need not be present to win!

Concord United Methodist Church 1645 West St., Concord — Oglesby-Close Hall (925) 685-5260 www.concordumc.org

JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

Generations of children and families have been going to South Lake Tahoe to stay in the El Dorado National Forest at a 29-acre site operated by the city of Concord since 1967. Camp Concord has provided life-long memories for children who have taken the bus up to camp for a week-long stay while families have vacationed together at the camp enjoying amenities such as three meals a day, planned activities in the woods and trips to Lake Tahoe beaches, all the while staying in rustic cabins with comfortable beds, electricity and ceiling fans. New camp director Matt Fragoso will be overseeing a staff that can approach 50 when the family and youth camps are at capacity. They provide campers with many of the activities you’d expect such as campfires, crafts, tie-dye, games and s’mores. Fragoso has been youth camp director for the past three years while working at family camp the rest of the summer. Parents at family camp get to enjoy nature with their children but can also entrust their children to well-trained camp counselors for supervised activities while adults get time at the nightly social hours to relax and mingle with other campers knowing they aren’t responsible for the usual chores associated with camping. The camp also offers rides to multiple beaches, hikes to Angora and Cascade falls, crawdad fishing, archery, volleyball, swimming, dances, skis. Camp has 19 family cabins

2018 Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce When Where

Photo courtesy Camp Concord

Nothing says camp like a campfire. Camp Concord has giant campfires for families and youth campers with songs, skits and, of course, s’mores in the beautiful El Dorado National Forest setting.

that sleep five to eight people. Family camp is open from June 22-July 14 and July 30-Aug. 12. There are still vacancies each week, but some time periods will fill up quickly. The city discontinued offering youth camp weeks in 2011 but the Friends of Camp Concord, a non-profit founded in 1983 by local businessman and Camp Concord staff alumnus Dave Goldman, picked up the program and has reserved July 9-14 for youth camp open to the public. Youth camp capacity is 80 kids. Youth campers have a trip to Tahoe City for Tree Top Adventures that includes a thrilling ride down a zip line and a tree climb. The Friends are hosting three more weeks this summer

for groups such as Mt. Diablo CARES after school program, Junior Giants baseball, Alternatives in Action from Oakland and a week for high school students from Mt. Diablo and Pittsburg unified school districts. Friends of Camp Concord do fund-raising each year to offer these weeks for underprivileged children and families. ABC 7’s Dan Ashley is hosting the 22nd annual Friends of Camp Concord Golf Tournament Oct. 1 at Crow Canyon Country Club. Not stopping with the youth and family camp offerings, the city also has a Mother/Son Weekend on Aug. 17-19 where mom and son get to spend time together, met new friends and do all the camp activities.

There are three 50 and Better Camp weeks in August with Monday through Friday reserved for campers in their second half-century choosing how active or relaxing they want to be. And the Labor Day Escape from Aug. 31-Sept. 3 is a great way for families to wind down their summer. Camp is located off Highway 89, just four and a half miles from South Lake Tahoe. Families and adults can avail themselves of the many Lake Tahoe attractions while staying at Camp Concord. To get more information and to register for Camp Concord visit campconcord.org. or information on Friends of Camp Concord go to friendsofcampconcord.org.

The Happiest Place on Dirt

Friday, April 27 9 A.M.- 1 P.M. Crowne Plaza Hotel 45 John Glenn Dr., Concord


The EXPO is wall-to-wall booths showcasing products, resources, services and answers on living your best life for seniors and their loved ones

“We went last year when we were looking for a place for my parents. It was all there…all the resources we needed. We saved hours and hours of running around and telephone tag.”

Activities Entertainment Education

Diane Covington Concord resident

For more information, contact the Concord Chamber (925) 685-1181, www.concordchamber.com

Family Camp Dates

June 22 – July 14 and July 30 – Aug. 12

Camp Concord is a high quality, affordable family vacation in one of California’s most beautiful locations – South Lake Tahoe.

Our Family Camp allows you and your family to unplug from technology, appreciate nature and spend quality time with each other. From meals and transportation to programming and activities, Camp Concord is all inclusive. Be ready to make memories that will last a lifetime.



April 20, 2018

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

Page 5

Soroptimists salute Concord councilwoman for leadership roles

leaders are more partial to non-hierarchical collaboration, consensus-building and inclusion, and they bring that style to whatever leadership positions they hold.” Obringer says she discovered public service later in life, partly because she didn’t see women serving in those roles in her youth. “That’s why strong female role models – and supportive men like my husband – are so important,” she adds. “Sometimes you need a nudge to get engaged, build confidence, seek out leaderships roles and unlock your potential.”

BEV BRITTON Concord Pioneer

Concord City Councilwoman Carlyn Obringer’s diverse record of public service made it easy for the Soroptomist International of Diablo Vista to name her Woman of the Year. “We love honoring people who are kind of background volunteers,” says Soroptomist Norene Lowry. “But in Carlyn’s case, she’s had so many leadership roles and in some cases initiated things – like the wine walk and, of course, running for City Council.” The group recognized Obringer for making a difference for the status of women through education and political action. Her endeavors include chairing the Contra Costa Commission for Women, volunteering with the county Youth Commission and helping improve families through her work with the Family Justice Center and Monument Impact. She also founded Concord’s Art and Wine (and Beer!) Walk to raise money for scholarships for women and

Tamara Steiner/Concord Pioneer

Carlyn Obringer, left, was named Women of the Year by the Diablo Vista Soroptimists. Presenting the award is Kim Trupiano, Soroptimist member and marketing director for Sun Valley Mall.


The Soroptimists’ mission is to improve the lives of women and girls through social and economic empowerment. The group named Concord resident Lind Higgins one of this year’s Women of Distinction for her strides in education and the preservation of Concord history. As a co-founder of John F. Kennedy University in 1965, Higgins wanted to provide an educational opportunity to people who otherwise wouldn’t have one. “At that time, it was unusual for adults to work and go to school at the same time,” she notes. In 1970, Lind became a charter member of the Concord Historical Society and has been the group’s Resource Center director for many years. As she catalogs and stores artifacts, she takes satisfaction in “preserving and protecting history.” Meanwhile, honoree Christena Reinhard used her MBA

girls through the American Association of University Women. “I strongly believe that it is important to help women develop the skills and confidence they need to take their rightful seat at the table in civic life, in government and in board rooms,” Obringer says. “Studies show that women

Women of Distinction

The Soroptomists honored six other women at the March 21 event at Contra Costa Country Club: LaTonya Watts and Roxanne Pardi, for their work launching the Clayton Theatre Company. Linda Cruz, for her myriad volunteer contributions including the Clayton Valley Garden Club and the Clayton Historical Society. Cassidy Tshimbalanga, for launching asistersproject.org with her sister to help end violence against women and children. Marian Nakhla and Nicole, mothers and students at Diablo Valley College; Nakhla is also a Concord resident. For more info, visit sidiablovista.org.

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Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

Letters to the Editor

Women, from page 5

we have so many orders to get through, it’s insane,” she says. “We are assuming we’ll be done by the end of June.” However, Reinhard remains “laser-focused” on being a philanthropist and is getting involved with the East Bay’s Impact 100. The all-female non-profit aims to support “unmet needs through transformational grants.” According to Reinhard, women make 86 percent of donation decisions and they are generally more generous with their giving than men. “Women like to connect when they give,” she notes.

Cannabis regs decision correct

On April 10, The Concord City Council approved a cannabis overlay district for marijuana testing and manufacturing. By a 4 to 1 vote, they also included a VERY important restriction: Products can be made and sold to medicinal dispensaries only. No manufacturing for recreational sale or use was permitted. The city council limited the number of licenses for testing and medicinal marijuana manufacturing to two each; requiring council review for license renewals. I would like to thank Vice Mayor Obringer and Council

Paid attendance at the Concord Pavilion last year was 145,542, which was about 10,000 more than the average of the two previous seasons. General manager Aaron Hawkins of concert promoter Live Nation told the Concord City Council last week that he expects this upcoming season to continue that upward trend. Live Nation is in the fifth of a 10-year operations contract which began in 2014 and included multi-million-dollar upgrades to the city facility. The Pavilion opened in 1975 and was expanded in 1996. The 2014 paid attendance of 162,514 is the largest since 2001. Hawkins said 15 concerts are currently on sale with classic rock, comedy, metal, alt rock, soul and urban attractions headlining the outdoor venue on Kirker Pass Rd. The general manager added that they have yet to book any country artists yet but he’s hoping about three more concerts will be added to the schedule. There are also no classical or jazz artists on tap this year. The first show of the season is Sunday afternoon, May 13, with the ALT 105.3 BFD 2018 concert sponsored by radio station Alt 105.3 featuring over a dozen artists including Blink 182. KBLX brings its Stone Soul Picnic back for two days on the Memorial Day Weekend. The Pavilion’s performance last year sent $136,626 in bonus funds ($3 per ticket sold) above its annual $800,000 guarantee to the city. City Manager Valerie Barone told Mayor Edi Birsan that those funds are used to pay off the Pavilion debt service. Among the improvements made in the past year Hawkins

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A Reflection on March for Our Lives

afield of our neighborhood, without need for parents to watch over our safety. How our country has changed. I simply refuse to believe that our children have to live in fear of being shot, as they do now. Let us spend our taxes on solving this problem of violence, in order to rebuild community, instead of building walls. Let us elect citizens who rule in the name of community rather than in the interests of the NRA. Dorothy Otis Concord resident

The marches and speeches by children and young adults fighting against the spread of guns in their schools brought me to tears. At 91, it saddens my heart that we must follow the lead of our courageous children – who should be enjoying a carefree time of their lives – because our elected leaders do not have the courage to do their job. Please send letters to the Editor In my youth, we roamed far to Editor@pioneerpublishers.com

JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

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Members Hoffmeister, Leone and McGallian for voting against recreational marijuana operations in Concord. They have listened to the many voices of Concord residents who are compassionate toward those who use medical marijuana, but have no interest in Concord becoming a regional source for recreational cannabis products. Although we may be encouraged by this vote, we cannot be complacent. The powerful marijuana industry will continue to lobby Concord city staff and council, and more votes lay ahead for problematic issues like outdoor growing and cannabis store-

Pavilion hopes uptick in 2017 attendance continues this season

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skills to create Union & Fifth, which sold donated designer clothes, shoes and accessories online. Union & Fifth supported 300 charities around the country: “kids, otters, whales, veterans, schools, hunger,” she says, naming a few on the beneficiaries. In the height of a four-year run, Reinhard had 29 employees in an 8,000 sq. ft. warehouse in Concord. Unfortunately, she is shutting down the site because she can’t compete against venture-backed, forprofit companies for advertising space. “The Website is done. But

April 20, 2018

CCC Certified Fire Abatement

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Attendance at the Concord Pavilion was up last season and promoter Live Nation expects that trend to continue in the new season that opens next month. To date, 15 concerts are on sale with a couple more expected to be added.

mentioned padded seats for ADA and other sections have been added along with a transformer that drives the lawn sound system. He is also looking to bring the ratio of point of sale locations down from one for every 85 patrons to 160 with the addition of more food and beverage carts. Free WiFi was installed by the end of last season and Hawkins expects this will enable in-seat ordering service no later than next year as well as the ability now for patrons to make advance ticket purchases at the site. Live Nation worked with the Disney Institute to develop a service culture training pro-

gram that Pavilion staff will be undergoing this year. Hawkins says the key aspects of the program are summed up in the keywords “safety, care, encore and efficiency.” He adds that the Pavilion has been in the top five of Live Nation venues in survey responses. The Pavilion Community Outreach Committee meets with Hawkins quarterly to look at additional uses of the venue. They are exploring the logistics of offering June and October food truck movie nights at the Pavilion. A holiday light show in November and December is also under consideration. Councilmembers quizzed

Hawkins on why the Pavilion is not getting more and bigger acts. He explained that Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View is one of the top three performing Live Nation venues and makes it difficult for the Pavilion to compete on financial terms for many acts. When the local venue expanded its capacity in 1996 to 12,500 from 8,500 it was with the expectation of increasing the scope of artists financially viable to perform in Concord. The Pavilion now has 1000 more seats under its roof than Shoreline, but the lawn capacity of the Mtn. View facility is greater than the Pavilion’s total size.

JOHN T. MILLER Correspondent

them on everyone in the field beginning in September. The car cameras should roll out in July and August, with new computers installed in the cars to operate them. During public contact, officers will press a button to turn on the camera. Although civilians and police officers share concerns over Fourth Amendment privacy issues, officers do not need to tell people they are being recorded. Anything said is considered “public comments.” The officers will wear the Axon cameras on the center of their chests and they emit an audible tone, so they will be hard to miss. “Officers will be trained how to use them, eventually relying on muscle memory,” Krieger said. “Officers who do not turn on their cameras will be retrained. There could be consequences for not turning on the camera, depending on the circumstances.” When an officer removes his Taser from his belt, which is also manufactured by Axon, it will automatically activate the bodycam. Technology is in the works for a smart belt that will

activate the camera when anything on it is put in use. Officers can review footage, but it is difficult for it to be deleted. The department will upload footage to a cloud storage area. Axon, the largest supplier of body cameras in the nation, is providing them to Concord for $1.5 million over five years. According to Swanger, the bulk of the funding will come from asset forfeiture – which is money the police department acquires through arrests. The rest of the money will be from the regular budget. Other area police departments using bodycams include BART, San Leandro, Piedmont, Hayward, Pleasanton, Pittsburg, San Pablo, Vallejo, Livermore, Danville, San Jose, Pinole, Richmond, Hercules, Sacramento, Alameda County and Berkeley. A 2015 study in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology noted that the use of force by officers declined 60 percent during the first year of bodycams in Rialto, Calif. Citizen complaints against officers dropped by 88 percent.

Body cameras coming to Concord PD this summer

In an effort to increase transparency, all Concord police officers will begin wearing body cameras and police cars will be equipped with cameras starting this summer. The $1.5 million system will record video and audio evidence to review intense situations. “The cost is not prohibitive,” said Police Chief Guy Swanger. “Any piece of equipment that gives us a better idea of what transpires during a police action is more than worth the price.” The Police Department ordered 154 bodycams for officers and 67 cameras for police cars. In addition, all police officers will get city-issued cell phones for business purposes. If an officer uses a private phone for police work, the phone data becomes public information and the personal phone may be subpoenaed in court. Lt. Jeff Krieger said the department will begin training and testing the bodycams in May and June and hopes to put

April 20, 2018

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

Page 7

Andeavor priming students for the future According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 93 percent of Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) occupations had wages above the national average. And by 2024, the bureau predicts there will be one million new STEM jobs that need to be filled. Students in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) are getting ready to take on some of these positions. For the last three years, Andeavor has provided funding for after-school robotics classes in every MDUSD middle school. The company has also sponsored FIRST Robotics teams at College Park, Ygnacio Valley and Concord high schools. Tom Trowbridge, Concord High’s engineering and building trades teacher, led a team of 17 students, three teachers and four community mentors on a journey with FIRST Robotics this past school year. “Three days a week after school and all-day Saturdays, the students came together as a team to design and build a very complex robot,” Trowbridge

With no background in engineering, the Ygnacio Valley High students worked together to build a complex robot that won the Rookie All Star Award at San Francisco’s regional competition. “They learned technical skills but also communication, critical thinking, creative problem-solving and how to work as a team,” said Joseph Alvarico, an engineering teacher at Ygnacio Valley.

explained. “This was not a hypothetical classroom discussion; they had hard deadlines, long hours, learned to disagree but keep making progress and developed some necessary work-ready skills.”

They competed against 45 schools from California, Hawaii and Turkey. “It was quite simply Andeavor’s support and funding that made this all possible,” Trowbridge noted. But it’s not just students

new technologies and curriculum they can use in their classrooms. Shauna Hawes, a teacher from Valley View Middle School, has been the driver in creating programs throughout the district. “The partnership with Andeavor has fundamentally changed MDUSD students’ access to STEM programs,” Hawes said. “Utilizing the Andeavor Lending Library, teachers may bring into their classrooms 3D printers, Raspberry Pi kits and more to help them engage students and build STEM thinking. These middle school and high school robotics programs play a key role in supporting students in all the common core curriculum. Andeavor has made all

of this happen with their continued financial support.” Why would Andeavor — an oil refinery — do all this? Well, the company relies heavily on employees who are skilled in all the STEM topics — most importantly math. From entry-level process operating positions to petroleum engineers, from chemists in the lab to environmental scientists, from a port captain to a crane operator — every position requires competency in math. Andeavor has invested in STEM because those are the skills needed in the workforce. And, after all, if you’re going to inspire the kids, you have to inspire the teachers as well.

who are benefitting from Andeavor’s investments. For the past three years, Andeavor has funded a yearly STEM Ed/Tech symposium that now draws nearly 500 teachers from around the Bay Area to learn about

A Message from Andeavor’s Refinery Manager When I moved to the Bay Area three years ago to work for Tesoro Refining & Marketing at its Martinez refinery, I knew this was a special place. My wife and I settled in Clayton, and we love it here. We both enjoy the outdoors; biking and hiking around Mt. Diablo are some of our favorite things to do. Having moved from the Los Angeles area, we especially appreciate the clean air and change of seasons. Last August, Tesoro changed its name to Andeavor. It’s a growing company with a new name. But we have the same com-

Tom Lu mitment to the community, same commitment to safety and, most certainly, same commitment to making sure our air stays clean. In fact, with five refineries in the Bay Area, I am proud to

say we have the cleanest refineries in the world and produce the cleanest fuels in the world. There are several reasons for that. We have extremely high standards for air regulations, and we work closely with our communities to minimize noises, smells and pollution. But our employees are the most important reason we are able to deliver high-quality fuels. Like me, our employees live in the community. They raise their children here and enjoy the great outdoors – you can bet they want clean air. They come to work every

day with the mindset of “It’s going to be a great day.” That means no spills, no injuries, no impact on the community. If they succeed at that, then everyone goes home safely to their families at the end of the day. That’s a great day. My wife and I love this community — and so does Andeavor. The refinery has been here for more than 100 years. Chances are you probably know someone who has worked here over those many decades or worked for a company who serviced the refinery. I hope to see you around the community. – Thomas A. Lu VP, Andeavor Martinez Refinery

Meet our Community Advisors

The Community Advisory Panel members represent their communities and organizations at monthly meetings with Andeavor management.

Does anyone really know what goes on behind the refinery fence? Well, actually, yes. Thirteen members of the community that make up the Andeavor Community Advisory Panel (CAP) meet with

refinery leaders every month to hear about activities taking place in the refinery and relay thoughts and concerns from the community. Formed in 1993, the CAP reviews the site’s safety programs, learns about inci-

dents that might take place on site (and what the investigations show) and hears about the company’s community investments. Not only do refinery leaders learn more about the community, each CAP member becomes better educated on the refining industry, who regulates it and why the company has such a commitment to the environment and safety. Tim Carr has served on the CAP for three years. As a resident of Sun Terrace, he is very interested in how the refinery works. “I’ve been impressed to learn that safety is paramount to Andeavor – beyond anything else, including profit,” he said. “As a longtime believer in the importance of sustainable local industry, I’m excited to participate in the CAP and contribute to the open and transparent relationship between the refinery and my community in Concord,” noted Darrell Foote, who recently moved to North Concord from Martinez. The CAP members tend to be neighbors of the refinery or individuals who represent companies or entities that may be impacted by refinery activities. The Andeavor CAP is currently

comprised of the following: • Tim Carr – Concord resident • Paul Detjens – project manager, Contra Costa County Flood Control District • Jonathan Eagan – assistant superintendent, Mt. Diablo Unified School District • Darrell Foote – Concord resident • Danea Gemmell – Central Contra Costa Sanitary District • Jeanette Green – Concord resident • Ann Lindstrom – Clyde resident • Ryan Nichols – Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office • Paul O’Mary – Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office • Barbara Scoles – Bay Point resident and Heritage Soccer Club coach • Caitlin Sly – program director, Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano • Curtis Swanson – retired, Central Contra Costa Sanitary District • Anne Marie Taylor – John Muir Health Foundation To learn more about the CAP, call Tom Stewart at 925-229-0440.

A young resident experiences what it’s like to wear the jacket of a firefighter from the Andeavor fire brigade.

Concord knows how to celebrate Concord does Independence Day justice — from the Fun Run and incredible parade in the morning to the fireworks and festival in the evening. Even people from outside the area come to Concord to celebrate our nation’s birthday. And Andeavor has been a key player in making the event a success since 2010, first providing funding for the parade and more recently funding the festival and fireworks as well. “Andeavor’s support of the city’s well-loved tradition became critical after the governor eliminated Redevelopment Agencies statewide,” noted Florence Weiss, Concord’s downtown program manager. “There would not have been the financial wherewithal to support this cherished community event without Andeavor’s financial and volunteer support.” Concord City Councilman Tim McGallian, who has been involved with the festivities for years, agrees that

the event would not be possible without Andeavor’s support. “Andeavor is a true community partner that committed every available resource to make this annual celebration possible, from being the title sponsor to devoting staff time on the organizing committee, providing volunteers for the event and even their own spectacular fire engine for the parade,” he said. Andeavor’s Community Advisory Panel (CAP) manages a booth every Fourth of July, educating the public about the refinery and the role the CAP members play as liaisons from the community to Andeavor refinery leadership. The refinery’s fire brigade is usually on hand as well, allowing kids (and adults) to climb aboard and check out the technology of its newest fire engine. The Fourth of July represents the true nature of coming together as a community and celebrating what makes our country — and our city — special.

July 4 Celebration Schedule Todos Santos Plaza

8 a.m. – 5K Fun Run 10 a.m. – Parade followed by unveiling of Don Pacheco Salvio statue Mt. Diablo High School

4 p.,m. – Festival Gates Open 9 p.m. – Fireworks For more details go to concordjuly4th.com

www.andeavor.com/refining/martinez Content provided by Andeavor

Page 8

Neighborhood meetings set for CNWS Reuse Plan The public is invited to attend one of three neighborhood meetings on the progress of the Reuse Plan for the former Concord Naval Weapons Station. The city will present the land use plan and latest updates, and officials will solicit further neighborhood input regarding the project. The first meeting will be 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 26, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,1590 Denkinger Road. The second will be 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 30, at the First Lutheran Church, 4000 Concord Blvd. The final meeting is set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 2, at Cambridge Elementary School, 1135 Lacey Lane. In 2012, the City Council adopted the Reuse Project Area Plan for the 5,000-acre base, reflecting several years of community visioning and planning. More than 65 per-

tance of arts education as much as we do.” Vandetta says the gallery show will highlight a variety of work that students have completed in classrooms and the school’s art studio. “Painting is the students’ favorite kind of art,” he adds. “They’re learning how to use a variety of mediums and brush strokes. They’re expressing themselves very individually. Their insight and imagination are amazing.” Vandetta noted that the students are proud to be in the show. “I think they feel the significance of having their work displayed and recognized in public.” The public is invited to the Young Artists reception, 1-5 p.m. Saturday, May 5, at the Raquel Amaral Gallery, 1856 Colfax St., Concord. Lisa Fulmer is a mixed media artist and a small business marketing consultant. She serves on the board of directors for the Concord Art Association and the B8 Theater Company.

Assembly, from page 1

and a cadre of volunteers all under 18, Yahya knows a win is unlikely. But winning is not the prize. Putting action behind words is the result he seeks. “Freed from the need to raise hundreds of thousands, the lack of funds allows me to focus on what matters – listening to issues and responding,” he says. Throughout high school, Yahya has listened and responded and is committed to social change, says Concord High principal Rianne Pfaltzgraff. “Aasim is one of the most driven, talented and global-minded students I have ever met,” she told the Pioneer. He’s taken on economic inequality, raising thousands

of dollars for scholarships for graduating seniors, distributing school supplies throughout the school district and setting up free SAT prep classes on campus. Leadership roles come naturally to him. The week we spoke, he had just returned from a California Association of Student Leaders conference in Ontario. After a week’s rest, he was heading to Atlanta as a nationally recognized Coke Scholar. Between now and the end of the school year, Yahya will decide where to go to college— Georgetown, Brown, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Howard University or Harvard. In the meantime, he will deal with finals.

Mayor, from page 1

all aspects and a group that feels they can get away with supporting medical uses. And there are those adamant that lab tests should only be done for medical cannabis. However, the fact is that

when you lab test a bag of greenery, you have no idea what the eventual end use will be. Likewise, when you manufacture an edible or a “flower/leaf.” In fact, you do not know if

April 20, 2018

From the desk of ... New county ordinances target tobacco

The Board of Supervisors recently approved new county ordinances that will help protect youth from tobacco influences. These new regulations include prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco products, such as menthol cigarettes and flavored e-liquids, within 1,000 feet of schools, parks, playgrounds and libraries in unincorporated parts of the county. In addition, the county will not grant new tobacco retailer licenses to businesses located within 500 feet of another business that sells tobacco. The rules also prohibit the sale of cigars in pack sizes less than 10 in unincorporated areas. Retailers were given six months to prepare for these changes. The county’s Tobacco Prevention Program has been doing education and outreach to all tobacco retailers in recent For more information or to join months to help ensure complithe mailing list, visit www.concor- ance with these new youth prodreuseproject.org. tections. A 2016 survey showed that more than 80 percent of stores licensed to sell tobacco that are cent of the project will become parks, playfields and open space. The remaining area will be developed in phases over the next 20 years. Last year, the city held three community workshops and monthly Community Advisory Committee meetings as well as Planning Commission and City Council study sessions so residents could provide input to the master developer, Lennar l Five Point, as they prepared a more detailed land use plan and began to prepare the draft Specific Plan. The Specific Plan preparation, technical studies and environmental analysis will take place over the remainder of this year before the City Council considers adoption in 2019.

Artists, from page 1

Lee. “Art provides students with the means to explore new paths creatively, investigate new concepts critically, and express themselves freely and confidently.” CAA president Sandi Sherwood has been working with Lee to develop a Young Artists Show next month in downtown Concord. “We’re thrilled to be working with Wren to set up a display of original artwork from 40+ of their K-5 students.” Sherwood says. “This is one of CAA’s many new outreach programs to bring more art to the community. We are passionate about ‘Art for every child’ and look forward to supporting this new collaboration.” Wren kindergarten teacher Eric Vandetta is also excited about the joint venture. “Sandi has been an incredible, energetic source of support,” he says. “Her commitment and ability to get things done are admirable. I think the best part of our new partnership with CAA is joining the community of artists and art lovers here who understand the impor-

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com




located near schools in Contra Costa County carried flavored products, such as watermelon or tropical blast cigarillos or little cigars. Many small cigars and cigarillos sell for less than $1, making them attractive and affordable for youth. The e-liquids also come in candy and fruit flavors that appeal to new, young smokers. A recent UC San Francisco study showed that many teens who vape would not have started smoking if only traditional tobacco products were available. Other research

shows that teens who vape are four times more likely to begin smoking cigarettes a year later than those who do not vape. In addition, the Board of Supervisors will ban sales of tobacco products in pharmacies after their tobacco retailer licenses expire. This will take effect in July. In March, we also approved an ordinance that prohibits smoking in all dwelling units in any multi-unit residence and prohibits smoking in all guest rooms in hotels/motels. The health benefits to the residents of Contra Costa are important, and it’s one of the reasons I supported this ordinance. In order to provide sufficient time notification to landlords and owners, the ordinance will take effect on July 1. Every new, renewed or continued lease or other rental agreement for the occupancy of a dwelling unit in a multi-unit residence must include terms that prohibit smoking in the dwelling unit. Contra Costa County Health Services will develop an

implementation plan to provide outreach and education to landlords and occupants in anticipation that all multi-unit housing residences will be smoke-free by July 1, 2019. While the vast majority of Contra Costans do not smoke, many people are exposed to second-hand smoke where they live. Especially vulnerable are children, the elderly and people with illnesses who spend much of their time at home. Second-hand smoke and the harmful chemicals contained in the smoke are associated with sudden infant death syndrome, respiratory infections, ear infections and asthma attacks in infants and children. This ordinance will support the health of all residents living in multi-unit housing. For more information about the county’s new tobacco regulations, visit cchealth.org/tobacco.

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

Advocating for Concord at national conference I’m honored and thankful to have had the opportunity to represent the city of Concord, along with Councilman Tim McGallian, at the Congressional City Conference in Washington, D.C., last month. The Congressional City Conference is the annual legislative meeting of the National League of Cities, a bipartisan organization dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. This year, 3,000 city leaders from across the country convened to advocate for city priorities. Leaders from the National League of Cities represent small towns and big cities, rural and urban areas, the coasts and the heartland. This made the conference an incredible opportunity to connect with elected officials from Wilson, N.C., to Cleveland, Ohio, from Bentonville, Ark., to Tigard, Ore. We discussed issues that impact all cities, including crumbling roads and bridges, homelessness, public safety and economic development. The conference focused

on the need for Congress and the Trump administration to work collaboratively with local governments to rebuild and reimagine America’s infrastructure. Cities like Concord are doing our part to stretch Measure Q and Senate Bill 1 tax dollars to fund road and infrastructure repairs and install fiber optic cable for economic competitiveness. But the federal government needs to support our efforts. “Too often, local municipalities are playing catch-up when it comes to infrastructure improvements, when in reality, we need to be playing offense, so that we can build communities that make us competitive around the country and around the world,” said Shannon Hardin, City Council president in Columbus, Ohio. I participated in training and workshops on timely topics, including Recruitment and the Changing Workforce, Advancing Racial Equity in Local Government, Future of Work: Building a Jobs Pipeline to the Middle Class and Tax Reform: What Happened and

What Does it Mean for Cities? McGallian and I took part in a roundtable where representatives from various federal agencies facilitated 20minute discussions regarding preparation for the 2020 census, the FAA and drones, affordable housing funding and smart cities. It was also informative to interact with my counterparts from Sparks and Henderson, Nev., and Durham, N.C, during the roundtable discussion on how mayors and city officials are responding to gun violence and mass shootings. Send questions and comments to On the last day of the conCarlyn.Obringer@cityofconcord.org ference, McGallian and I met


It’s that time of year again, and Mt. Diablo Unified high school seniors have been getting acceptance letters from colleges and universities across the country. We are proud of all our

seniors have accomplished in their high school careers and everything they’ve done to become college ready. College readiness isn’t just about the academic part of a student’s profile. Colleges look at a much broader set of skills and experiences that tell them a student is well-rounded and that the academic prep done in high school indicates a student has the ability to successfully complete a chosen degree or certificate program. Components that assure college readiness for students also assure the ability to suc-

ceed in other areas: Academic preparation. A student who is fully prepared for college is also fully prepared to succeed in the next steps beyond high school and well into adulthood. Emotional readiness. College isn’t easy, and students need to be prepared emotionally to juggle and balance the demands of school, work and home with maturity, confidence and perseverance. Social skills. These are important in high school and downright essential in college. Students who get involved in

campus activities and organizations build communication skills and tend to do better in college. To become college-ready, incoming high schoolers should choose challenging courses such as college prep or AP courses. They should also get involved in school and community activities to build communication and social skills. And remember, ask for help if you need it. Dr. Nellie Meyer is Superintendent of Schools for MDUSD. Email questions or comments to meyern@mdusd.org

the medical user may just take a few extra puff or drops for kicks and chuckles. Yet these facts seem to make no difference to the position holders. People have also made arguments about safety and the location of a facility. They believe there must be a relationship between the facility

and the cannabis use, along with the infamous argument about proximity to children. Well, let us look at something that we have records of here in Concord. Ygnacio High School has had a bar adjacent to its entrance for the entire 35 years I have lived nearby. It is also near a fullfledged liquor store and a

market that has exposed shelves of wine and beer. My goodness, what a virtual den of vile moral contamination. Except, the trend for the last 35 years is that it has not been a problem. There are no doubt emotional and philosophical arguments for most things. I certainly have some. But when

you honestly say that you are for or against something for ideological reasons, then be open about it. And ask yourself what it would take for you to change your view. This way, our positions are far more respectful of each other. Send questions and comments to EdiBirsan@gmail.com





with Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord). We discussed the need for more federal funding to maintain and repair Concord’s roads and bridges, the GoMentum Station and the city’s progress toward establishing a fouryear public university at the former Concord Naval Weapons Station. It was also empowering to join the California delegation of the National League of Cities to jointly advocate to Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris for federal funding for Concord roads and bridges. At those meetings, I mentioned the redevelopment of the Concord Naval Weapons Station and the need for funding for smart city infrastructure. I look forward to sharing what I learned with my City Council colleagues and to putting the knowledge to good use to make Concord an even better place to live, work, do business, raise a family and retire.

College readiness a long process

April 20, 2018

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

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

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

LGBTQ+ center promises inclusion, understanding

S TAFF W RITERS : Pamela Wiesendanger, Jay Bedecarré, Bev Britton

C ORRESPONDENTS : Kara Navolio, John T. Miller


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The Clayton Pioneer and the Concord Pioneer are monthly publications 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

LET US KNOW Weddings, anniversaries, births and deaths all weave together as part of the fabric of our community. Please let us know of these important events. We ask only that the announcement be for a resident in our home delivery area. Submit on our website and be sure to attach a JPG photo that is at least 3 MB. Also on the website are forms for calendar items, events & press releases.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Both Pioneer newspapers welcome letters from our readers.

As a general rule, letters should be 175 words or less and submitted at least one week prior to publication date. Letters concerning current issues will have priority. We may edit letters for length and clarity. All letters will be published at the editor’s discretion. Please include name, address and daytime telephone number. We will not print anonymous letters. E-mail your letter to editor@concordpioneer.com. Letters must be submitted via E-mail. CIRCULATION The Concord Pioneer is delivered monthly to 30,000 homes and businesses in 94518, 94519 and 94521. Papers are delivered by carriers for ABC Direct around the last Friday of the month. 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 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. The Clayton Pioneer is delivered by US Mail to 5,500 homes and businesses in 94517 around the second Friday of the month. SUBSCRIPTIONS To subscribe to either the Clayton Pioneer or the Concord Pioneer, call the office at (925) 672-0500. Subscriptions are $35/year for each paper, $60/year for both.


We need a general news reporter to help cover Concord city council meetings, city news and civic issues for the only local news source left standing. We need someone with a professional, lively writing style who has a pretty good understanding of how city government works. A passing acquaintance with the AP Style Guide and an intense allergy to the passive voice are good. This is a freelance position that works on an assignment basis. We publish monthly and generally need two or three stories each issue, typically 500-800 words each. Reply by email to editor@pioneerpublishers.com with a couple of short writing samples and some background info.

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“We offer culturally informed care, approaching each person we serve with compassion and concern for their overall wellness and recovery,” she adds. Fear of discrimination and harassment can often lead to social isolation and shame/stigma among the LGBTQ+ community, creating a barrier to accessing needed services. The Rainbow Community Center addresses this barrier with programs for seniors, youth, HIV-positive folks and transgender/gender, non-conforming people. The center cherishes these various identities, without any denigration or scorn. “People can come here and know that by both policy and culture, this is a safe and welcoming space for everybody – especially LGBTQ+ people,” says Joanna Ceponis, the center’s board secretary. “It is not only a place to escape to, it is a place to come and grow and explore one’s own personality, character and soul in concert with other like-minded people.” The center has various programs and events every day of the week. For more information, visit www.rainbowcc.org or call 925-692-0090.

The Rainbow Community Center’s goal is to build community and promote wellbeing for the LGBTQ+ community and their allies. Located in Concord since 1996, the center provides a variety of services and programs to meet the needs of the growing LGBTQ+ community in Contra Costa County. Counseling and case management services are an important aspect to serving some of the most vulnerable folks in the community. The Rainbow Community Center offers these vital services in a safe, culturally competent environment. Clinical services are on a low-cost, sliding scale, and case management services are free. “We take pride in creating a safe, welcoming space for community members facing life challenges, mental health issues Robyn Kuslits is the director of and relational difficulties of all community programs at the Rainkinds,” says Ginger Jule-Frost, bow Center in Concord. Contact her lead clinician and school-based at robyn@rainbowcc.org. services coordinator.

Hall sets sights on East Bay soccer ‘ecosystem’ JOHN T. MILLER Correspondent

example of Manchester, England, where 27 pro teams and stadiums operate within about a 31-mile radius. He looks to copy the success of European soccer, with an “electric environment in the stadium almost every match, mixing the home and visiting fans in the same venue.” Meanwhile, Hall notes that the future of U.S. soccer “rests on the developmental success of today’s youth players.” He sees his COPA Soccer Training Center and other facilities at the Shadelands SportsMall in Walnut Creek as a hopeful response to the shock of the U.S. vacancy from the upcoming World Cup competition in Russia. The SportsMall is an inventive reuse of the former Contra Costa Times newspaper site. By creating an ecosystem of high-quality clubs in the area, Hall believes that the professional talent will be an inspiration for young players.

Mark Hall says his desire to purchase the Oakland Coliseum site and establish a pro soccer club there doesn’t alter his plans to build a stadium near the Concord BART station for his USL franchise. “When you hear about our pursuit of ‘this’ stadium venture, or that one, don’t think either one, or the other. Think multiple,” Hall wrote in a three-page letter to his USL East Bay fans. Hall, owner of Hall Sports Ventures, is hoping to capitalize on the East Bay exit of the Oakland Raiders and the Golden State Warriors. “We may have a singularly unique opportunity to create North America’s first higher density soccer ecosystem,” he says. Hall envisions pro and semi-pro teams in places like Concord, Oakland, Richmond, Sacramento, Merced and For more information, visit the Stockton, among other cities. USL2EastBay Facebook and He cites the regional metro Twitter accounts.

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Page 9

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Business Services/Employment O.C. Communications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(916) 215-9309 Rising Moon Marketing & Public Relations . . . .672-8717

Construction and Trades Appliance Repairs by Bruce, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . .672-2700 Diablo View Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .822-5144 Gary’s Home Repair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .787-2500 J.A. Ronco Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .872-3049 Dining and Entertainment Clayton Club Saloon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-0440

Events AAUW – Art and Wine Walk . . . . . .concord-ca.aauw.net CBCA – Art & Wine Festival . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2272 Concord Chamber of Commerce – Senior Resource Expo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .685-1181 Concord United Methodist – Rummage Sale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.concordumc.org St. Vincent de Paul – Thrift Store Re-Opening .934-5063 Financial, Insurance and Legal Services Van Wyck, Doug – State Farm Insurance . . . . .672-2300 Funerals Ouimet Funeral Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-4242

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Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

April 20, 2018

Council seeks arts center at N. Concord Bart The City Council, Planning Commission and Design Review Board met in a joint study session April 2 to look at options for a Transit Oriented Development at the North Concord BART Station. The TOD is a component of the Concord Naval Weapons Station Reuse Plan. Senior BART Planner Ian Griffiths presented two options for redevelopment of the 20 acres around the BART station. Both plans were heavily slanted toward housing and both came up short of the Council’s wish list for a performing arts center, hotel and conference facility and more commercial and retail space at the BART station. “The things you are putting Tamara Steiner/Concord Pioneer in Walnut Creek I want to see in Nearly two dozen members of local arts community turned out at the April 2 council meetNorth Concord,” said couning to rally for a performing arts center at the North Concord BART Station. The council cilmember Carlyn Obringer. heard proposals from BART for a Transit Oriented Development at the station.

“We want to become a job center and we can’t do that if you build only housing.” The council also agreed that neither of BART’s options provided sufficient parking for commuters. While the goal of the TOD is to increase pedestrian and bike use and discourage more automobiles, the reality is that people still drive to BART, and they are willing to pay for parking, said councilmember Laura Hoffmeister. “The Pittsburg station is completely full, and E-BART isn’t even open, yet. You could wait 10 years for a parking space in Pittsburg,” she said. The council wants a buffer zone of at least 100 feet between the TOD buildings and the surrounding single family homes.

Ed Carr who lives adjacent to the BART station, is proposing swapping land east of the BART station to provide a buffer of up to 300 feet between BART buildings and homes on Dormer Ave. and Dumbarton Dr. The council indicated a willingness to consider his proposal. Near the top of the council’s wish list for the TOD is a performing arts center or art colony. “Call me crazy,” said Leone. “But I envision a Sausalito-type art colony with galleries and studios.” With the housing/commercial balance all wrong, the council rejected both BART options and sent the planners back to the drawing board. “We just aren’t there, yet,” said Hoffmeister.

facts long-hidden come to the surface. Much of what the reader learns is from oral history, Ojibwe stories handed down through generations. Erdrich

gives us a taste for a tradition rich in imagery, imagination and morality. It is as much a story about the search for a rapist and justice as it is about the strength of families and their capacity to endure. The legal history of the U.S. government’s treaties with native Americans is deeply woven into “The Round House.” And although the story takes place in the summer of 1988, it leaves a most discomforting sense of our own time. 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.’

‘Round House’ a riveting oral history



“The Round House” is a story of mothers and sons, sons and fathers, and a community that struggles to find justice for the mother of 13year-old Joe Coutts. It begins with the mysterious disappearance of Geraldine Coutts and her bloody return hours later, brutally attacked

and raped. After the father carries his wife to the back seat of his car, Joe gets in, cradles his mother and demands to stay with her until they reach the hospital. “I almost never challenged my father in word or deed.” A look passed between the father and son, “as if between two grown men, and I had not been ready.” It is just such a line that makes reading Louise Erdrich’s novels so meaningful. Ready or not, Joe’s life will never be the same. When Geraldine is released from the hospital, she retreats from her prior life as tribal enrollment specialist and seldom leaves her bedroom – sleeping, barely eating and hard-

ly speaking. Both father and son are intent on finding the rapist and bringing him to justice. The book is a mystery; it is a story of bifurcated justice, one system for whites and another for Indians. Where the rape and attack took place and whether the rapist was native or white defines which system of justice will prevail. The story takes place in one summer in which Joe, his mother and father will find their way back to each other. But did justice prevail? The book is Joe’s oral history of that terrible summer. We are not so much readers as we are listeners. The round house of the novel’s title is at the edge of an

Ojibwe Indian reservation in North Dakota, built before the turn of the 20th century. It represents the legendary body of Grandmother Buffalo, “the poles my ribs, the fire my heart. It will be the body of your mother and it must be respected the same way.” The building instructions were given to a young Ojibwe son who had defended his mother against their community. Grandmother Buffalo is but one of Erdrich’s seldom forgotten characters. Because it is summer, Joe and his three best friends have time to also look for answers as only 13-year-olds could. The crime against Joe’s mother awakens the community as

April 20, 2018

Early Days, from page 1

before floods and a fire caused great havoc in 1868. That same year, Salvio relocated the town of hard-working pioneers to a spot closer to his adobe and away from the risk of constant floods. He offered them each a plot of land around Todos Santos for $1. Samuel Bacon was the first to take advantage of this offer, moving his stationery store and home. Bacon sold general merchandise and later became the town’s first notary public and justice of the peace. A hotel, blacksmith shops and other businesses soon followed. Concord Grammar School opened in the early 1870s on the corner of Grant and Bonifacio. During this era, Charles Boles was one of the school teachers. Unknown to the students and the community, Boles also went by the alias Black Bart. He robbed Wells Fargo stagecoaches in outlying counties wearing a flour sack over his head, carrying an unloaded shotgun and leaving poems at the scene of each crime. See Yesteryear, page 20 for more on Black Bart. SETTLERS MAKE


the town’s name from Todos Santos to Concord. However, on April 17, 1869, the Contra Costa Gazette reported, “Concord is the name, as we hear, by which the sponsors have decided to call the new village that is to form the east extension of Pacheco town …” This did not sit well with the Pacheco family, and on Sept. 22, 1869, Fernando Pacheco placed his own announcement in the Gazette. “Known all men, and in particular all whom it may concern: that the new town started to the east of Pacheco, in the Monte del Diablo Rancho and county of Contra Costa, has falsely acquired the name of Concord, and in reality its true name is ‘TODOS SANTOS,’ as may be seen in the County Record. Wherefore, all businessmen who have any business in said town, will please remember its name, in particular, in making deeds, or any other land transactions – for in fact the town of ‘Concord’ does not exist.” It seems he did not prevail.




The Concord Chamber of Commerce is working to build the Chamber of Tomorrow. And that starts with young professionals. We started a Young Professionals Group several years ago under the guidance of Jacob Perez, currently our chairman of the board elect nominee. After researching, we determined the age group to be 21-40 – although all are welcome to our group activities. The group is made up of young entrepreneurs, business administrators, community leaders and others who have a CREATING A CIVILIZED passion for personal developSOCIETY In the early 1900s, Concord ment and an expanding profeswas an unruly town with 13 sional network. Our primary saloons. Bar patrons crowded sidewalks, and rowdy cowboys wielded guns. The peace-loving residents wanted to make Concord a proper city with laws that could control the rowdiness and improve life. On Feb. 4, 1905, the 500 residents voted to incorporate Concord. The plan won by a 2-vote margin, and Joseph Boyd was elected as the first mayor. The town prospered and grew. The Pioneer, Barney Neustaeder’s general merchandise store, was a popular gathering spot where townspeople exchanged news and opinions. The Mt. Diablo Hotel served visitors arriving on the Southern Pacific Railroad. A second hotel, the Concord Inn at Salvio and Mt. Diablo streets, boasted 65 guest rooms and Concord’s “most glorious hotel” reputation. But, a tragedy there would shape Concord’s future.

Pacheco’s son, Fernando, is also considered one of Concord’s founding fathers. He built his own adobe at 3119 Grant St. The generous man was an accomplished horseman and often threw large fiestas for the townspeople. Later, his home became the headquarters for the Contra Costa Horsemen’s Association. Another founding father, Francisco Galindo, received 1,000 acres of Rancho Monte del Diablo upon his marriage to Salvio Pacheco’s daughter Manuela. They erected a woodframe house that still stands today at 1721 Amador Ave. Their descendants lived there through 1999, when Ruth Galindo died. She was a charter member of the Concord Historical Society, preserving historical records and memorabilia for the residents of Concord. The majority of Rancho Monte del Diablo was farmland dedicated to wheat and later to fruit and nut orchards. The names of some of the prominent farming families of the late 1800s are still recognizThis series includes details from able today — Denkinger, three books on Concord history: Gehringer, Oliveras, Ginochio “Images of America: Concord” by and Garaventa. Joel A. Harris, “History of Concord: Its Progress and Promise” by NAME CHANGE Edna May Andrews and “ConCONTROVERSY cord’s Dynamic Half Century: The There is no official docu- Years Since World War II” by mentation on the changing of Lura Dymond.


Concord will celebrate its 150th birthday on July 4 with a parade and the unveiling of a statue to honor founding father Salvio Pacheco in Todos Santos Plaza. To mark the event, two local breweries and chocolate maker Rachel Dunn teamed up to create a special golden chocolate stout called Nifty-OneFifty. It can be found at Epidemic Ales, E.J. Phair and Hop Grenade.

Cannabis, from page 1

measures, an approved safety plan, no signage and compliance with all state cannabis license requirements. After Cass gave his report, residents spoke out 17-5 for approval of the proposed ordinance. One of the main points emphasized by those in favor was the value of regulating the industry, citing the dangers inherent in the current illegal black market. They also pointed to the clear directive in a city survey, showing that 62 percent of residents favored legalizing cannabis activities. Those speaking against

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

allowing testing, manufacturing and distributing of cannabis in the city expressed fears of increased crime and addictions. They also said the city was not being true to its motto of “Family First.” Nearly two hours of discussion followed. In response to a question from Hoffmeister about law enforcement concerns, police Chief Guy Swanger said: “Our staff has made numerous visits up and down the state and we found very few, if any, problems with safety.” Hoffmeister and Councilwoman Carlyn Obringer both

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Young professionals leading chamber into the future

goal is to create a network of like-minded professionals, focused on learning from one another. Our vision also includes being an active part of our community and teaming with local non-profits, as well as having fun. Our tagline is “Make it Happen!” Since its inception almost five years ago, the group has planted a tree at Markham Nature Park, sorted food at the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, headed up American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life two years in a row and hosted a roundtable discussion with then-mayor Tim Grayson. We have also hosted several panel discussions: Young Professionals in Non-Profit Industries, Cross-Generational Practices, Building Your Brand and Young Professionals as Entrepreneurs. We have held mixers at various venues in the Concord area, including Putnam Clubhouse, Hilton Concord, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor,

Photo courtesy Chamber of Commerce

Melissa Rea, Concord Chamber; Derick Matos, Empire Barbershop; Earl Washington, NICA Lounge; Vanessa Wolf, The New Health Chiropractic Center; Zulay Loftin, Loftin Dental.

NICA Lounge, UFC Gym and Loftin Dental. We love to collaborate with other Young Professionals Groups. We have partnered with Pleasant Hill, Lafayette and San Ramon groups to cosponsor events. And who could forget our famous Ugly Sweater Parties that we hold at a different locations each December? It’s a

great way to catch up with each other and take a break from the holiday stress. We have hosted these events at Epidemic Ales, Regus and Cost Plus World Market at the Veranda Shopping Center. For more information about the Young Professionals Group, contact Melissa Rea at mrea@concordchamber.com or 925-685-1181.

Tajikistan group has an eye for business

Photo courtesy Rotary Club

The Tajikistan delegation visited City Hall where they met with Concord officials, From left: Manzur Shernazarov, Dilovarsho Saidov, Iskandar Ikrami, Daler Gufronov, Shafoat Kabilova, Belgium exchange student Louis Vandebroek, Concord city manager Valerie Barone, William Chan of Concord Rotary, Rohila Niyazov, Michael Barrington of Concord Rotary and Pedro Garcia, Concord economic development specialist.

Six young business men and women from Tajikistan learned about U.S. businesses during a nine-day tour organized by the Rotary Club of Concord last month. The entrepreneurs included a travel and touring operator, a start-up business consultant, a cargo hauler, a coffee distributor and a textile weaver. President Bill Clinton initiated the Open World Project, which sponsored the delegation and is now operated through

Rotary International. Concord Rotary members housed the visitors in their homes, helping them experience the beauty of the Bay Area and exposing them to a multi-cultural environment that is so different from their land-locked, post-Soviet era society. Tajikistan won its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, but it is still largely under communist rule with an emerging capitalism.

The primary purpose of the trip was for them to visit area businesses to learn the nuts and bolts of a start-up company. The group made stops at Red Ox Clay Studio, Chairs for Affairs, MB Contract Furniture, Wave, the Veranda, R-Computer, Sam’s Club, Concord Feed, Rachael Dunn Chocolates, Lehmer’s Concord Buick & GMC, Bay Alarm and the Clarion Hotel. “Over a period of five days, the delegation was able to meet

said they believe that residents who voted in favor of legalizing the use of cannabis did not necessarily know that it would mean dispensaries in their neighborhoods. Before approving the ordinance, the council amended it to limit manufacturing to medical only and limit the number of manufacturing and testing laboratories to two businesses each. Each of the amendments passed 4-1, with Mayor Edi Birsan in opposition. “Limiting cannabis manufacturers to medical only is useless, since there is no way the manufacturer knows what the product is going to be used for,” Birsan said. Cass said allowing manu-

facturing only for medical use may prohibit potential businesses from locating in Concord. Pedro Garcia, an economic specialist with the city, cited statistics indicating that only 10 percent of revenue from sales is from medical use. Councilman Ron Leone wanted to extend the boundary to 1,000 feet and include residential areas, but Cass said other barriers buffer residents from the business parks, including a high fence, Highway 4 and a canal. The motion failed 1-4. The council also approved amendments that change insurance requirements to $2 million for both auto and general liability and eliminate

the energy standard requirement. The final ordinance passed 4-1, with Leone abstaining and Birsan opposed. In response to the vote, one of the few remaining people in the audience hollered “Shame” – because of the council’s limitations. “I don’t want our citizens having to go elsewhere to buy something that is legal,” Birsan said. In a subsequent Facebook post, Birsan called the council’s attempt to say that 62 percent of residents had no idea what they voted for “totally bogus.” “The poll showed that they favored overwhelmingly recreational dispensaries,

and discuss issues with many local business men and women,” says Rotary member William Chan, who arranged the trip. “They were both surprised and excited with the openness and willingness they experienced. From small, newly launched enterprises to large, well-established ones, the spirit of sharing and interest was mutual.” During a meeting with the Chamber of Commerce’s Business Referral Group, they participated in a lively discussion about brokers – a new concept for the Tajikistan business owners. At a chamber mixer, Rohila Niyazov spoke about starting a textile weaving business with the aid of a U.S. grant. Her husband helps by keeping all the machines running. She also trains other women to start their own businesses with U.S. subsidies. Niyazov was impressed by the sheer number of businesses in our country. “Everybody has some way to make money in business,” she says. “We are just learning how to do this in Tajikistan.” The group also met with Concord officials at City Hall and visited Assemblyman Tim Grayson’s office in Sacramento. “The delegation took back with them a great many new ideas and positive memories of our community,” Chan says.

especially where they are placed by the Police Chief and the Council,” he wrote. “We’re putting our toe in the water and proceeding cautiously,” Hoffmeister told the Pioneer. “It’s kind of hard to unring the bell once you start.” The council did not address cannabis cultivation and proposed land use for retail (both non-storefront and storefront) and microbusinesses. The board will address those later this year. So, it remains to be seen if the city’s original goal of allowing cannabis businesses to locate here may just be a pipe dream.


Page 12

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

April 20, 2018

Prep sports roundup: Local schools continue track success JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

Clayton Valley Charter, De La Salle and Carondelet have enjoyed plenty of track and field success in the recent past, dominating North Coast Section team championships the past three seasons. This spring looks like it is more of the same with the three Concord schools posting numerous top 10 NCS marks as the seasons rolls towards its big May and June meets. Aidan Jackman, Daylon Hicks, Kelly Kern and Clayton Valley boys relay team currently have the season’s best marks among all NCS athletes, foreshadowing potential strong team showings at league, Section and State Meets this spring. CVCHS boys won the NCS Tri-Valley and Meet of Champions titles last year while Carondelet was first at Tri-Valley girls and third at the MOC. De La Salle won the Tri-Valley boys in 2015 and 2016 and the Meet of Champions in 2016.


Jackman is ranked first in NCS for both hurdle events and second in the high jump to CVCHS teammate Hicks. The CVCHS boys 4x400 relay is first and the 4x100 quartet fourth ranked. The Ugly Eagles also have Cameron Reynolds as a top five 100, 200 and 400-meter sprinter. Bryson Benjamin (400, triple jump) and Kyree Williams (long jump) are top 10. De La Salle is No. 2 in both boys relays. Sprinters Kyle Johnson and Miles Duncan, junior distance runner Connor Livingston (800, 1600, 3200), Cameron Ross (800) and hurdler Jordan Harvey are among NCS leaders. Northgate’s Austin Kresley is No. 4 in both the 100 and 200 while teammate Graham Michiels is top 10 in the high jump. Carondelet sophomore Kern of Clayton has a season best 12-6 pole vault, a mark that would have won NCS last year when Kern was third as a freshman. The 12-6 is a Cougars school record. Mia Avila is ranked top 10 in the 100, 200 and 400 and sophomore Aryel Coats is similarly ranked in the 100 and 200 for the Cougars. Their 4x100 realy ins fourth and 4x400 relay seventh in NCS. Ariya Chestnut-Lockett is second in the shot put and Kiersten Fouts is sixth in the shot and fourth in the discus. Concord distance star Rayna Stanziano is top five in the 800 and 1600. Soph Airiana Dargan is third in the long jump for the Minutemen. Northgate’s Amy Christensen is fourth in the pole vault and 110 hurdles. Clayton Valley Charter’s Kayla Turnage is third in the high jump and her teammate Jessica Ogu is ninth in the long jump. The Diablo and East Bay athletic league meets are May 5 (trials) and May 12 (finals). The

Tri-Valley NCS Championships are May 19 in Dublin, the NCS Meet of Champions is May 25-26 at Cal Berkeley and the State Meet June 1-2 in Clovis at Buchanan High Baseball — Weather permitting, the DAL baseball season is finally getting underway this week. Northgate is a top 20 Bay Area team with an 11-1 non-league record while CVCHS has a 9-5 mark entering DAL league season. The Eagles and Northgate are in a highly-competitive DAL Foothill Division with Acalanes, Alhambra, Campolindo and College Park. College Park has had the most recent success at NCS including the 2014 and 2015 championships and semi-final showings the last two years. Perennial NCS participant CVCHS has been eliminated in the quarterfinals three years running. Northgate was a Division II finalist in 2016 when Acalanes was NCS DIII champ. DAL teams play a home and home series with league games ending May 17. The NCS playoffs begin May 22-23 with the finals set June 1-2. De La Salle won the Section title the last two years and the Spartans have taken four of the last six Section crowns. This year’s team looks equally strong with an 11-3 record and top five Bay Area rating. Boys Golf — The DAL tournament for each division is April 30 at Diablo Creek in Concord while the EBAL tournament is April 20-May 1. The NCS Division I qualifier and D-II championships are May 7 and the DI championship is May 14, one week before the NorCal championships. De La Salle won the 2015 and 2016 NCS team championships. Lacrosse — NCS tournaments for boys and girls begin May 9. DLS is the defending Division I Section champion. The Spartans are 7-3 overall and 4-1 in EBAL. Softball — Like the baseball schedule, DAL softball schedule gets its double roundrobin schedule underway this week. No. 7 ranked Concord is looking to defend its NCS Division II championship and seeks a fifth Section title since 2010. Carondelet is in the incredibly strong EBAL softball league that features the top two ranked teams in NCS and three of the top five. Their league season finishes May 10 with the league playoffs the following week. NCS playoffs begin May 22-23 with the finals June 1-2. Boys Tennis — The DAL championships are at College Park April 26-28 while the EBAL tournament at Crow Canyon CC is April 26-28 and 30. The Section team championships are May 8-10-12 after the singles and doubles tournament May 4-5. Boys Volleyball — The double-round robin DAL schedule runs through May 3. The EBAL schedule continues

Jason Rogers

Junior Daylon Hicks of Clayton Valley Charter has won five meets this spring and posted the top 2018 high jump mark in North Coast Section with a jump of 6-8 at the Stanford Invitational. Hicks took fifth at the State Meet last year and hopes to improve on that placing as he reaches greater heights.

through May 3 as well. Amador Valley defeated defending champion De La Salle in the Section championship match last spring. NCS playoffs are May 8-19 and the NorCal championships are May 22-26.

NCS SWIM CHAMPIONSHIPS MOVED FROM CONCORD The “March miracle” rains brought a certain relief to Californians, easing fears of a quick return to drought conditions. On the other hand, the downpours put a big wrench in the scheduled repairs to the deck at Concord Community Pool, which now won’t open this month and a new target date is the Memorial Day Weekend. That delay has necessitated moving the North Coast Section swimming and diving championships which were scheduled for the Concord pool May 10-12. The May 10 diving meet will be held in Livermore at Las Positas College. NCS staff is still working on an alternate swimming pool after hearing of the postponement April 4 from the city of Concord. The $2.22 million project entails replacing the entire pool deck along with some additional work at Concord Community Pool, which opened in 1967 and has had several renovations over the past 51 years. Clayton Valley girls pulled off a dramatic come-frombehind victory to win the De La Salle Invitational last month with over 25 teams participating in the two-day meet. The Uglies found themselves down three points to longtime DAL rival Northgate, with only the 400 freestyle relay left to swim and the two teams were seeded next to each other. With both schools having a pair of relay teams CVCHS would need to not only beat Northgate with their “A” relay, but would also need an equally strong performance from their “B” team. Clayton Valley took first and sixth in the relays and

Doug Bermudez and his Clayton Valley Charter teammates began Diablo Athletic League play this week with a pair of away games after posting a 9-5 record in non-league play. Bermudez has a .333 batting average and is second on the team in runs batted in.

came away with the championship. The DAL championships are May 3-5 in Moraga at Campolindo while the EBAL meet is May 4-5 at Dougherty Valley. The CIF State Meet is at the Clovis West Aquatics Complex May 18-19. EBAL NAMES NEW COMMISSIONER

Don Nelson has announced he is stepping down as commissioner of the EBAL after 24 years heading the league that includes Caron-

delet and De La Salle along with nine schools in the TriValley area. The new commissioner is Rob Stockberger, a long-time coach, school administrator and recently district superintendent. Nelson is receiving plaudits from all corners for his longtime work on behalf of high school sports. “Don’s service to NCS is unparalleled and his guiding principle was always the best interest of the student-athletes he ultimately served,” the Section’s commis-

sioner of athletics Gil Lemmon says. Carondelet’s third-year director of athletics Caitlin Lawson Main says, “Don has been such a pleasure to work with and I will be forever grateful for the time he spent with me as a new AD. Some of my favorite moments as an AD have been sitting with Don at games. After 24 years in the EBAL, he’s left some big shoes to fill!” Nelson integrated the two Concord parochial schools into the EBAL for the 2008-09 school year after a NCS realignment. Since then he also set the DLS football (2012) and Carondelet basketball (2017-18) programs on independent scheduling status due to their overwhelming successful league records in those sports. De La Salle football coaching legend Bob Ladouceur says Nelson is a “good man who did a good job for the EBAL.” Spartans athletic director Leo Lopoz adds, “For me, Don is one of the best in the business. His knowledge, support and passion for high school athletes is unparalleled.” Lopoz began his tenure as DLS athletics director in 2006 and he mirrored his Carondelet counterpart’s comments when he said, “Don was a great mentor for me. One of his major strengths is that he always looked out for what was best for the majority. He definitely

See Roundup, page 16

Terrapin swimmers excel at three recent championships

Photo courtesy Terrapins Swim Team

Four Concord girls stood out for the Terrapins Swim Team earlier this month at the Speedo Far Western short course swimming championships in Santa Clara. The local swimmers, from left, Lily Struempf, Elizabeth Joseph, Kaya Andresen and Maile Andresen, posted multiple top 10 finishes in their respective age groups. JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

Eighteen Terrapin swimmers competed in the Speedo Far Western short course championships earlier this month in Santa Clara. The age group swimmers led the way for the Terrapins with multiple top 10 swims. Two 10-under girls from Concord, Kaya Andresen and Elizabeth Joseph, had best times in almost every event they swam. Joseph made the finals in the 100 and 200 individual medley and 500 freestyle. The 11-12 age group was led by 11-year-old Lily Struempf of Concord, who posted best times in five of six events and made the finals in the 50 and 100 butterfly, 100 backstroke and 50 and 100 freestyle. The 13-14 age group was paced by another pair of Concord athletes, Maile Andresen and Sophia Miller. Andresen posted best times in all six events she swam, high-

lighted by winning the 100B back. She made three other finals. Other local swimmers with best times for the Terrapins were Diana Chan, Aden Li, Deniz Jones, Sofie Curran, Jasmine Kohlmeyer, Zack Chau, Mark Blankley and Jake Rafac. Sixteen Terrapin swimmers participated in the 14 and under short course Junior Olympic Championships last month in Pleasanton and the team had over 50 lifetime best swims. Also, senior Terrapin swimmers went to the University of Texas for the Texas Super Section championships and the team placed third, led by Concord Olympian Alexei Sancov of Northgate High. At the Jr. Olympics, Struempf placed first in six out of her seven events, posting breakthrough times. Davidka Skov and Li led the way for the Terrapin boys, achieving multiple best times and qualifying

for finals in every event they swam. Andresen and Joseph both achieved multiple best time swims. Other local swimmers with best times were Curran, Chan, Emily Viscia, AJ Fong, Kohlmeyer, Steven Tanos, Damien Donado and Miller. In Texas, the Terrapins were led Sancov who won five events and recorded one of the fastest 200-yard freestyle swims in history for the 17-18 boys age group. He won the 50, 100, 200 and 500 freestyle and 200 individual medley. In addition, the Terrapins won the men’s 400 free relay in 3:01.90 (Alexei Sancov, Matt Fetterman, Niklas Weigelt, Andrew Rodriguez) and the 400 medley relay (Gennady Sytnik, Adrian Dulay, Alexei Sancov, Andrew Rodriguez). Emily Lo also contributed with wins in the 100 and 200 breaststroke. Jessica Larson won the 50 free with a blistering 22.87.

April 20, 2018

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com the 100 butterfly. The three-time team captain has best times of 53.85 in the 100 fly and 1:58.46 in the 200 IM. The Concord resident, who also swims for Oaklantis Swim Club, has accepted a scholarship to Notre Dame College in South Euclid, OH where he will swim for the Falcons. He will major in kinesiology with a goal of becoming a physical therapist. He’s part of the YVHS Health Academy and a member of the Health Occupation Students of America.

Athlete Spotlight

Adonis Thomas Grade: Senior School: Ygnacio Valley High Sport: Swimming

“Adonis is an amazing athlete and individual with a great personality. He brings leadership and intensity to every practice. He has helped mentor our younger swimmers to grow as athletes but more importantly as people.” Ygnacio Valley swim coach Scott Thompson

describes his senior captain who is completing his final season for the Warriors swim team, hoping to reach North Coast Section for a third time. As a sophomore he barely missed making the NCS B finals in the 200 individual medley. He’s also competed at NCS in

The Concord Pioneer congratulates Adonis and thanks Athlete Spotlight sponsors Dr. Laura Lacey & Dr. Christopher Ruzicka who have been serving the Clayton and Concord area for 25 years at Family Vision Care Optometry. 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@concordpioneer.com.

8 Concord high school seniors sign National Letters of Intent this month

Page 13

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Clayton Valley Charter, Carondelet and De La Salle held national letter of intent ceremonies at their schools for eight local athletes who formalized their college selections for the fall in the last of four NLI days in the 2018-18 school year. DLS basketball standout Justin Pratt signed with UC San Diego, joining a Division II basketball program that will be moving up to the NCAA’s top D-I tier in two years. Clayton Valley Charter had cross country-track distance runner Dylan White commit to Chico State and softball player Aislyn Schwartz is going to University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota. Carondelet had five girls sign their NLI last week including Ariya Chestnut (UC Irvine, track and field), Clare Driscoll (Chapman, tennis), Kiersten Fouts (Fresno State, track and field), Santana Merryfield (CSU Monterey Bay, soccer) and Keeley Murphy (UC Santa Barbara, track and field). A profile on each senior signee: Pratt: During his four years at De La Salle Pratt played under three varsity coaches with Justin Argenal coaching him the past two years as Pratt was first-team all-East Bay Athletic League as a senior and second team his junior season. He was a key member of the 2017 North Coast Section championship team. He was brought up to varsity late in his sophomore year and the Spartans went all the way to the State CIF championship game before losing to the three Ball Brothers and Chino Hills. He received All- Metro and All Bay Area honors this year while averaging 18.9 points per game scoring in double digits of every DLS game. Pratt and his mother toured Ivy League colleges last summer but made his only official visit to US San Diego before committing. “I preferred to stay in California, specifically Southern Cal-

Carondelet: Santana Merryfield, Clare Driscoll, Keeley Murphy, Ariya Chestnut and Kiersten Fouts

ifornia,” he said. The 6-3 guard added, “The school has highlevel basketball and academics. There are many similarities to De La Salle in the people and programs at UCSD.” Chestnut is relatively new to track and field, as she began her throwing career during her junior year at Carondelet. Her athleticism and work ethic stood out immediately and she improved her shot put distance from 19 feet to 37 feet in just one season. As a junior, she won the NCS Tri-Valley meet shot with a throw of 36-feet, 3-inches and earned a podium spot at the NCS Meet of Champions. This year she expects to challenge for a State Meet placing. Driscoll was a four-year varsity tennis player for Carondelet and team captain her senior year. She notes that her proudest tennis moment was playing and winning the deciding match, in a third-set tiebreaker, against San Ramon her freshman season. This important match was the deciding factor that put the Cougars in the NCS playoffs for the first time in many seasons. This past fall, Driscoll was Carondelet team MVP due to her winning singles record in the East Bay Athletic League. Fouts will join the track and

field team at Fresno State. As a freshman at Clayton Valley Charter she was second in the DVAL discus and as a sophomore she won both weight events at the league meet. After transferring to Carondelet as a junior, she qualified for the NCS Meet of Champions in both the shot put and discus. At the MOC, her throw of 123-feet, 1inch in the discus landed her a spot on the podium. Currently, Kiersten ranks 70th in the country in the discus. Merryfield: The Concord resident spent her past eight years playing for the Diablo FC Premier team, which is currently ranked No. 1 in the United States. She was nine years-old when she began playing soccer and joined Diablo FC the following year. During the 2016-17 season, her Diablo FC 99/00 team took home the top prize at the US Club Soccer Western Regionals, NorCal State Cup and President’s Cup tournaments and has played in college showcases throughout the West Coast. “I chose Cal State Monterey Bay for the education, community service opportunities and its

See NLI, page 16


2011-2008 Boys, 2007-2006 Girls.............................5:30-6:30 p.m. 2011-2008 Girls, 2007-2006 Boys.............................6:30-7:30 p.m. 2005 Boys .................................................................7:30-8:30 p.m.

May 15, Hidden Lakes Park

2011-2008 Boys ........................................................6-7 p.m. 2005 Girls..................................................................7-8:15 p.m.

May 16, Ygnacio Valley HS

2011-2008 Girls, 2007 Girls ......................................5:30-6:30 p.m. 2006 Girls..................................................................6:30-7:30 p.m. 2005 Girls..................................................................7:30-8:30 p.m.

May 17, Hidden Lakes Park

2007 Boys, 2006 Boys ..............................................6-7 p.m. 2005 Boys .................................................................7-8:15 p.m.

De La Salle: Justin Pratt (left) and basket-

ball coach Justin Argenal

Clayton Valley Charter: Dylan White and

Aislyn Schwartz


Page 14

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

April 20, 2018

Legendary Clayton Valley High School wrestling coach, 1952 Olympic gold medalist Bill Smith has died at 89 JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Bill Smith was the only American to win a freestyle wrestling gold medal at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Olympics but it’s as the legendary, State championship wrestling coach at Clayton Valley High that he is best remembered locally. Smith, 89, died last month in an Iowa nursing home. He was among the inaugural Clayton Valley High School Athletic Hall of Fame inductees in 2008 on the 50th anniversary of the school opening. That he coached at CVHS is a story of its own. He was coaching the

West Pittsburg school following the 1976 school year. Smith and many of his wrestlers came to Clayton Valley that fall and the Eagles won the 1977 California State wrestling championship with Bruce Kopitar at 191 pounds and Brian Strock (133) winning individual titles. Warren Turnage (112) was second and Rocco Cardinale (138) fourth for the champions. The only other North Coast Section school to win a state wrestling championship is BILL SMITH Antioch in 1988. Turnage came back in 1978 to win a State title at 120 Pacifica High School wrestling pounds. Since that time only team when the Mt. Diablo Uni- two local wrestlers have fied School District closed the

S ports Shorts


The Mt. Diablo High School Red Devil golf committee is holding its 23rd annual golf tournament on Friday, June 22, at Diablo Creek Golf Course in Concord. Registration starts at 11 a.m., followed by lunch, golf, dinner and raffle/silent auction. Proceeds go to help academic and athletic programs at Mt. Diablo. 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 area’s largest annual youth soccer tournament, Concord Cup, returns for its landmark 25th season at a variety of Concord parks May 19-20. Boys and girls club and recreation teams from 9 under (2009) through 19U (1999) 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 to participate.


Carondelet High School is offering summer sports clinics in July for incoming middle school girls in basketball, dance, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis and volleyball. The lacrosse, soccer, swimming and tennis clinics will be held at the new Carondelet Athletics Complex in Walnut Creek with the others on the school’s Concord campus. The advanced sports clinics are for experienced middle school athletes looking to improve their skills and prepare for high school competition. Carondelet coaches and athletes will work on sportspecific fundamentals and skills. Sessions are in the afternoon and early evening. Visit carondeleths.org/summer for details and to register.


The First Tee of Contra Costa and Concord Friends of the Library are the recipients of proceeds from the 34th annual Mayor’s Cup Golf Classic at Diablo Creek Golf Course on Friday, May 11. Mayor Edi Birsan has invited golfers of all skill levels to sign up for this premier charity golf event in Concord. Sponsors and golfers can register at Diablo Creek. Call 686-6266 for more information.

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claimed state crowns—Nick Pica of Concord High in 2009 and Peyton Omania of De La Salle this year. Smith’s CVHS teams won seven Diablo Valley Athletic League championships from 1977 to 1983. The 1977 and ‘78 teams were NCS champions. Two-time NCS champion Brett McNamar said, “Coach Smith was a superior technician, motivator, strategist and understood the mental aspect of coaching. His passion for the sport was evident and spread to his wrestlers. He stressed discipline, dedication and sportsmanship at all times. “But the most enduring


Terrapins coaches Dan Cottam and Doug Reed will be teaching four sessions of stroke and racing skills for the summer recreational swimmer. The goal is to help all participants improve/refine strokes. In addition, the sessions will enhance racing skills like starts, breakouts, turns and finishes. Each session is two weeks, three days a week (Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays). The sessions are June 11-21, June 25-July 5, July 9-19 and July 23-Aug. 2. For more info and to register visit terrapinswim.com.


Oakhurst Orcas and head coach Jasmine Castillo have scheduled meet and greet registration this Wednesday, Apr.18, from 6:30-8 p.m. at Oakhurst Country Club. Registration forms are available at  oakhurstorcas.com  under the forms tab. Spring practices begin next Monday, Apr. 23.


OPENS REGISTRATION Boys and girls of all skill levels in the 6U-19U (1999-2014) age groups are invited to sign up for the Diablo FC fall rec soccer program which runs from August through October. The area’s premier soccer club is offering this new fall season program that includes two practices per week and one game per weekend. Volunteer parent coaches get free registration for their child. The 810 game season includes coaching education provided by Diablo FC staff. Additional free clinics run by DFC coaches for rec players are offered in addition to team practices. Fee is discounted to $145 if players register by June 1. Fee includes a uniform. Visit diablofc.org for details.


SIGNUPS OFFERED ONLINE Concord City champion Dana Hills Swim Team is accepting registration from new and returning families online. Practice has begun and the final day for swimmer registration is May 18. Boys and girls 3-18 years-old are welcome. For more info visit danahillsotters.com.


Walnut Creek Aquanuts synchronized swimming team had a successful March, qualifying all of their junior and 13-15 athletes for Nationals through the West Zone Championships they hosted at Clarke Memorial Swim Center with athletes from California, Nevada, Arizona, Washington and Oregon. The Aquanuts will mark 50 years for the club that was founded in 1968 at a May 5 fundraising show. The Celebration of Champions will start at 2 p.m. and includes a show, auction and the commemorative wall reveal highlighting 50 years of producing champions. Visit aquanuts.org for more information.


Terrapins summer session for orange group runs June to August at Concord Community Pool. Specific dates will be announced soon. The USA Swimming competitive team is always open for new year-round membership. Visit the team website terrapinswim.com or call 680-8372 for more information.

GEHRINGER PARK SWIM TEAM ONLINE REGISTRATION UNDERWAY The family-oriented Gehringer Park community swim team for swimmers ages 4-18 is accepting online registration. For more information visit gehringerparkswimteam.com. FRESHMAN VOLLEYBALL CLINIC PRESENTED AT CARONDELET JUNE 4-7

Carondelet High School is offering a volleyball clinic for incoming high school freshman girls from June 4-7 on the Concord campus. The sessions are from 5:30-8 p.m. Carondelet coaches and athletes will work on skills and fundamentals for girls getting ready for high school volleyball. Visit carondeleths.org/summer for details and to register.

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YVHS LOOKING FOR SWIMMERS, 1971 FOOTBALL PLAYERS FOR HALL OF FAME INDUCTION MAY 19 Ygnacio Valley High’s Athletic Hall of Fame is inducting its newest class on May 19, including swim coach Gino Barsuglia and the 1971 football team. The committee is looking for alumni who swam for the Warriors under coach Barsuglia to invite them to join in honoring him posthumously. Coach Rick Silvey will be accepting on behalf of Barsuglia to share the achievements of his YVHS swim teams winning five DVAL championships and five consecutive North Coast Section championships from 1969-74. Swimmers can get in touch with YVHS via email at ygnaciovalleyhalloffame@gmail.com. The committee is also trying to find nearly 20 members of the ’71 football team. Contact Jim Grace at jfpgrace@astound.net if you are aware of team members. DIABLO FC SOCCER TRYOUTS START MAY 14

Diablo FC 8 under through 19U competitive soccer teams (birth years 2000-2011) will begin tryouts May 14. Email director of coaching Zach Sullivan at docdiablofc@gmail.com with any questions about the club or tryouts. Visit diablofc.org to get more information on the area’s premier youth soccer club and to sign up for the appropriate age group tryout.


Northgate High School’s Youth Football Technique Camp is June 12 - 15 for players entering second through ninth grades. Campers of all skill levels are invited to attend and learn proper football technique and develop individual confidence within a team philosophy. Campers will be instructed by head coach Ben Ballard and the Northgate football coaching staff with the most current football techniques. Camp fee includes camp shirt, snacks, fundamentals and techniques, competition, offensive and defensive instruction, individual awards, personal written evaluation and professional trainer on site. Visit northgatebroncos.org for more info and to register.

thing about coach is his personality; you just wanted to be around him. Coach is a mentor and lifelong friend. He had a story for every situation, be it related to wrestling or life. Those moments we as athletes cherish more than any medal.” Smith’s selection to the CVHS Hall of Fame was his 12th such induction. He is in, among others, the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as a Distinguished Member, Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame, Iowa High School Wrestling Hall of Fame, University of Northern Iowa Hall of Fame, Des Moines Register Iowa Sports Hall of Fame, Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame, IHSAA

Wrestling Hall of Fame, Olympic Club Hall of Fame and California Wrestling Hall of Fame. In 1956 Smith’s Rock Island High School team won the Illinois state championship, which prompted him to take over the University of Nebraska wrestling program. By winning high school titles in Illinois and California he was one of a select few to lead their schools to state championships in two states. He was drawn to California in 1960 when became San Francisco Olympic Club coach where his teams won

See Bill Smith, page 16

FOREST PARK SWIM TEAM SIGNUPS UNDERWAY Forest Park Swim Team coach Jeff Mellinger has invited swimmers of all skill levels ages 4-18 to join the Flyers summer rec swimming program. Practice is now underway. For more info contact coach Mellinger at jeff.mellinger@gmail.com for details. BEREAN CHRISTIAN TRAP TEAM SEEKS FUNDS FOR US OPEN TRAVEL

Coach Richard Walshin of Clayton has setup a Go Fund Me effort to raise funds for his Berean Christian High School trap shooting team to go to Las Vegas for the US Open competition July 9-14. The team includes seven girls and seven boys. The Open includes trap, skeet and sporting clay competitions. Visit GoFundMe.com and enter Berean Christian Trap Team to contribute.


Boys and girls can register until July 15 for the fall Clayton Valley Jr. Eagles football and cheer programs. Football is open to boys and girls born between July 30, 2003 and July 31, 2012. Online registration is underway at cvaajreagles.com or email cvaajreagles@gmail.com.


Youth basketball and volleyball leagues and adult softball league are scheduled by All Out Sports Leagues in Clayton. AOSL is taking registration online. For complete information on All Out Sports leagues, clinics and other programs, visit alloutsportsleague.com.


SIGNUPS NOW TAKEN ONLINE 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. The Cobras cheer program is returning this year. For more info on football email concordyouthfootball@yahoo.com or call 917-0785 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 football, basketball, track and field, lacrosse, wrestling, volleyball, baseball, water polo, soccer, swimming, theatre/broadcasting, rugby and strength and conditioning. DLS Camps are open to K through incoming ninth graders. For more info email summercamps@dlshs.org or visit dlshs.org/athletics/camps-clinics.


OPEN FOR SEASON AT NEW POOL Springwood Swim Team begins preseason practices this Monday, April 23, in its newly remodeled pool. For more information email team director Kristi Buchholz at springwoodsprinters@gmail.com or visit springwoodswim.com.


Head coach Eric Bamberger and his record-setting Clayton Valley Charter High School coaches and players are offering two Ugly Eagles Basketball Camps for boys and girls. The sessions for incoming second through eighth graders are June 11-15 and June 18-22. Sessions run from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. with the gym open an hour before and after the formal camp for pickup play. The camp includes offensive and defensive instruction and games. For more information and to register contact coach Bamberger by phone 726-9999 or email uglyeaglebballcamp@att.net.


Walnut Country Swim Team head coach Adrian Lohse says the team is still accepting registration for boys and girls in the six and under through 15-18 age groups. More information and to register for the summer season visit walnutcountryeaglerays.com.


FALL SOCCER REGISTRATIONS Concord AYSO has begun accepting registrations for their fall soccer program online. The fall season starts Aug. 1. There will be in-person registration events on April 19, June 4 and June 21 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. and May 12 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Concord Bible Church, 4975 Concord Blvd. The registration fee includes a uniform, ball and insurance. Players who register before May 13 receive an early bird discount of $40. Visit concordayso.org to register and get more information. 


Carondelet High School will induct its inaugural Hall of Fame class at a special ceremony next Saturday, April 28, followed by dinner. Carondelet’s first Hall class includes Jayne Appel-Marinelli (Class of 2006 basketball), Natalie Coughlin Hall (2000 swimming), Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak (1995 soccer and track) and the 1996 state championship cross country team. Tickets are on sale and may be purchased at CarondeletHS.org/HallofFame.


YOUR SPORTS NEWS Please let us know about your sports news, special events, fund raisers, tryouts, signups and accomplishments. Youth leagues, clubs, schools and adult programs are all welcome to send us a rundown on what you’re doing. Include all the necessary details (too much information is better than too little!) and your contact information. It’s as simple as sending an email to sports@concordpioneer.com.

April 20, 2018

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

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Clayton Valley Little League proposes a permanent home for youth baseball teams at Clayton Community Park JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

For over 50 years Clayton Valley Little League has played on fields it built and maintained on Clayton Valley High School property. That began to change in 2014 when the school’s softball team and the youth baseball group escalated a simmering conflict between the two over field use. Although the school and league now have “a great relationship,” the little league has approached the city of Clayton proposing a partnership to

develop and use Clayton Community Park fields for the league. Last month, Clayton Valley Little League made a presentation to the Clayton City Council for a long-term, phased project at the city fields adjacent to Diablo View Middle School that could eventually include as many as seven fields to house CVLL programs for boys and girls from t-ball through the major division. Clayton councilmember Julie Pierce says, “We’re open to seeing what we can do working with Clayton Valley Little League.” She mentioned that

with local soccer groups no longer using the park there was no apparent objection to looking at field modifications that could make the main Field 1 primarily viable for baseball. Council passed the proposal on to city staff to look at the project. Councilmember Dave Shuey, a long-time CVLL volunteer, executive board member and player agent, enthusiastically supports the plan. The city is currently seeking an opinion from the State Attorney General’s office to see if Shuey can participate in any votes and negotiations on this matter. He

Ygnacio Valley honors 2018 Hall of Fame class May 19 JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

The sixth annual YVHS Hall of Fame Induction dinner is on Saturday, May 19, where six individual athletes, one coach and a team will be inducted. This year’s inductees are Alan Bell (Class of 1968 swimming), Craig Johnson (1975 baseball), Rob Tomlinson (1986 football, basketball, baseball), Shanita Bryant Williams (1900 cross country, volleyball, basketball, track, softball), Dave Zawatson (1984 football), Gary Schneider (1970 football, track), swimming coach Gino Barsuglia and the 1971 football team. Schneider and Barsuglia are being inducted posthumously.

Tomlinson: He was an outstanding football and basketball player, earning allleague and all-East Bay honors as a quarterback and baseball player. He quarterbacked Chico State from 1988-91, was a four-year starter, three-time all-league selection and then became the Wildcats head coach for the 1996 season, which was the final year the school played intercollegiate football. He was inducted in the Chico State Hall of Fame in 2003. Bell: He earned high school all-America honors in the 200-yard freestyle and was a North Coast Section 200 and 400 free finalist in 1966 and 67. At the University of Washington he was an all-America swimmer.

Johnson: His 1975 allDVAL and all-East Bay recognition helped Johnson earn a baseball scholarship to UCLA. With the Bruins he set a Pac10 home run record and was named all-league. He was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 1980. Bryant Williams: The multi-sport standout participated in cross country, basketball, track, volleyball and softball for the Warriors. It was in track and field that she excelled, winning three consecutive NCS long jump titles. She set an NCS record in the high jump. At Sacramento State University she is still the record holder in the long jump.

See Hall of Fame, pg 16

has recused himself from Council discussions so far. CVLL and the high school softball teams began having conflicts over use of two of the little league fields on the school campus off Academy Rd. several years ago. That situation escalated this year when CVCHS added a freshman softball team for the first time and thus needs to use three fields originally developed by the little league to accommodate over 60 girls playing this spring for the charter school. Clayton Valley Little League also practices and plays games at Highlands and Mt. Diablo ele-

mentary schools in Concord and CCP. Two years ago, they stopped using Boatwright Fields when they could not come to an agreement with the city of Concord over fees for Ricky Henderson Field on the Cal State East Bay campus. Shuey says the league currently has about $100,000 in reserves that they can put towards the first phase of work at Clayton Community Park. They would entail putting elevated scorekeeping booths behind home plate above storage units at the three fields. He says CVLL would love to get that phase

done in time for next season but realizes that is not an easily accomplished timeline. CVLL proposes using volunteer labor to do much of the work. They also realize a substantial amount of fundraising will be needed to accomplish the full proposed project. When the league began looking for a new site to put together a “first classes field complex” they met with the CEMEX company about utilizing land at their Clayton quarry on Mitchell Canyon Rd. With an initial posi-

See CVLL, page 16

CVHS grad Nick Goff made it to NCAA basketball Big Dance again

Allison Rodriguez photo courtesy Wright State Athletic Department

Nick Goff cuts down the net after Wright State wins Horizon League tournament.

Nick Goff was cut from the Clayton Valley High School freshman basketball team in 2002 but persisted in working on his game and

eventually played varsity as a senior. Goff called himself “more of the inspirational type than point guard” for the 19-win Eagles that featured

Adam Carp, Drew Menez and Johnny Del Bene. After graduating, Goff was off to Nevada Reno where he was a student manager and has since worked for the college basketball programs at Nevada, South Dakota State and now at Wright State in Ohio. Goff is the director of operations for men’s basketball and his Wright State team won the Horizon League to earn the 14th seed in the NCAA Southern Regional, where the Raiders were eliminated from March Madness by No. 3 Tennessee. It was the fourth time in seven years he’s worked for a team reaching the NCAA Division I Tournament. Goff, who was married last summer, last visited his CVHS alma mater to speak at a Career Day at the request of teacher Sarah Lovick.

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Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

April 20, 2018

HPV infections leading to more head and neck cancer Sponsored Content

Dr. Arash Mohebati The American Cancer Society has designated April as Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month. Head and neck cancer refers to a variety of tumors in the mouth, throat, larynx (voice box), nose and sinuses. Historically, oral, head and

neck cancers were caused by excessive use of tobacco and alcohol. Within the last 10 years, a new risk factor has emerged for developing head and neck cancer – the human papillomavirus (HPV). Head and neck cancers account for 3 percent of cancers in the United States today. They are typically squamous cell carcinomas found in the mouth, nose and throat. The most common types of head and neck cancers are oral cancers and oropharyngeal cancers. Oral cancers are classified as cancers of the oral cavity (tongue, gums or inside of cheek) and are primarily caused by heavy tobacco and alcohol use. Symptoms of head and neck cancer can include a

Roundup, from page 12

left the EBAL better than he found it when he started.” Lopoz added that “Our league is blessed that the timing of Don’s retirement matched up with Rob’s availability. No better person to carry on what Don built. He will be a phenomenal next step for our league given his knowledge of the EBAL and his vast educational and athletics experience” Stockberger is a former Monte Vista High football

coach who helped the Mustangs to three league titles. He has been a school administrator for many years and most recently served as superintendent of the John Swett Unified School District in West Contra Costa. “It’s a steal,” says Ladouceur when describing the league’s hiring of Stockberger. “He’s organized, innovative and level-headed.” Coach Lad said he’s known

NHI, from page 13

location. When stepping on campus for the first time, I felt excited. Everyone was so positive, outgoing and welcoming. When meeting the team, I felt an instant connection. Their positivity and drive are a perfect match for me and the way I play. The coaches are amazing, the location is gorgeous, and I know I will get a great education.” Murphy was a multi-sport athlete during her time at Carondelet in cross county, soccer and

track and field. She was the only freshman on Carondelet’s 4x400 relay team that earned second place at the NCS Meet of Champions and a third-place finish at the CIF State Meet. As a junior, Murphy was part of the Cougar track and field squad that won the NCS Tri-Valley Meet. That same year, her 4x400 relay team broke the school record, won the NCS Meet of Champions and took third at the CIF State Meet.

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lump or sore in the mouth that does not heal, a sore throat that does not go away, difficulty swallowing and a change in voice. Typical treatment includes surgery and radiation treatment. Chemotherapy may be used in more advanced stages. Heavy alcohol and tobacco use (including smokeless tobacco) are known to cause at least 75 percent of head and neck cancers. Smoking increases your risk by 15 percent. People who use both tobacco and alcohol are at a much greater risk. Head and neck cancers that develop due to alcohol and tobacco use typically occur on or near the areas with the most contact, such as where a cigarette sits on the lip or where chewing tobacco is placed in the

mouth. The incidence of oropharyngeal cancer continues to rise. These include cancers of the base of the tongue and tonsils. Some studies indicate that by the time oropharyngeal cancers are diagnosed, two thirds are already in late stage III and IV. In the United States, the incidence of head and neck cancers caused by HPV is increasing, while head and neck cancers caused by alcohol and tobacco are decreasing. HPV is a DNA virus from the papilloma virus family that is capable of infecting humans. It is the most common sexually transmitted infection, with an estimated 14 million people being newly infected each year. In nine out of ten HPV infections, the virus goes

Stockberger since the new defeated the Spartans in 2016 commissioner was in high 23-21 on a last-season field goal in Concord. school. The teams even investigatDE LA SALLE FOOTBALL ed having East return to ConSCHEDULE CHANGES cord, but nothing worked out Neither Priceline nor Trav- so DLS has canceled the game elocity were able to solve the and instead will travel to Clovis challenges De La Salle High to play Buchanan on Sept. 21 had in trying to book flights on what was their scheduled and hotel rooms for their bye date. Buchanan lost the scheduled Sept. 29 at Utah Central Section championship power East. Coach Justin game last December to Central Alumbaugh said rates and of Fresno, which had lost to availability for flights and the Spartans earlier in the searooms were double what the son. The schools will play in school had budgeted for their Concord in 2019. return game vs. East, who East was one of two games on the De La Salle schedule that had “revenge” marked for the date. The other is Aug. 31 Schwartz has played out- when Bishop Gorman visits field for the Ugly Eagles as they’ve reached the NCS playoffs the past two seasons. They were DVAL champions in 2016 with a 10-2 mark, the same as rivals Concord High. Her University of Mary Marauders play in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Con- nine AAU national championships and he had six ference. White is capping a distin- wrestlers on the 1964 US guished running career this Olympic team. He was a two-time NCAA spring for CVCHS. Starting champion for Iowa State in his freshman year when he Teachers College — now finished third in the 3200 at Northern Iowa  –where he the DVAL track champiwent 52-0-2, winning NCAA onships, White has been a regular on the podium. As a crowns in 1949 and 1950. He sophomore hew as second in won his gold medal at 160.5 the DVAL cross country pounds in Helsinki. Four years later won the US championships and both the Olympic Trials at 174 pounds, 1600 and 3200 races. He won pinning Oklahoma superstar the Diablo Athletic League Dan Hodge in the finals. Valley Division cross country Incredibly, he was ruled a protitle as a junior and was secfessional and removed from ond this past fall. He was fifth at NCS as a sophomore the team before the Olympics and senior and eighth as a because he had begun his junior. He finished in top 25 coaching career and thus was at State cross country cham- no longer considered an amateur! Hodge took his place in pionships this year. the Olympics and won a silver

away on its own and doesn’t cause health problems. But the infection can linger and lead to health problems, including genital warts and cancer. HPV infections have long been associated with the development of cervical cancer, but now the incidence of HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer has surpassed that of cervical cancer. Vaccines have been developed to prevent cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancers. The vaccine might also prevent head and neck cancers since it helps prevent initial infection with high-risk HPV types. Oral HPV is about two times more common in men than it is in women. HPVassociated head and neck cancers are more common in

tive reaction from the company the league got buy-in from Save Mt. Diablo for the project. A more recent change in leadership at CEMEX has slowed that process and CVLL turned to the Clayton Community Park site. Long-term (“up to seven years,” Shuey says) the CCP

project could include three diamonds on Field 1 with work that would include moving the current infield much closer to the backstop, adding a snack shack and eventually adding diamonds in leftfield and right centerfield. They are proposing added parking stalls on Regency Dr. as

Hall of Fame, from page 15

Zawatson: He earned allDVAL honors on offense and defense as a senior and was allEast Bay. He went to Cal Berkeley and made all-Pac 10 his junior and senior seasons. He also garnered all-Pac 10 academic honors. He was drafted in the second round by the Chicago Bears in the 1989 NFL draft and played four years in the league for the Bears, New York Jets, Miami

Dolphins and Atlanta Falcons. Schneider: He was a speedy wide receiver for the Warriors, making the 1970 allEast Bay team and was selected to play in the Contra CostaAlameda and North-South Shrine all-star games. He led the DVAL in scoring as a senior. He was named to the DVAL alldecade team. He excelled in the 120 high hurdles and 180 low hurdles on the track.

Dr. Arash Mohebati is a board-certified general surgeon who completed additional fellowship training in head and neck oncologic surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He practices with West Coast Surgical Associates in Walnut Creek and can be reached at 925-933-0984.

Owen Owens Field. The Las his four-year varsity career setVegas power thumped the ting several CVCHS school records and was given all-Bay Spartans 34-7 last fall. Area recognition by BANG POST-SEASON BASKETBALL newspapers, was second-team HONORS FOR all-NCS by Prep2Prep and was LOCAL HOOPSTERS third-team all-Metro for the Carondelet junior post player Chronicle. His teammate and Ali Bamberger of Concord and classmate Nick Klarman was a pair of Clayton Valley Charter honorable mention all-Metro seniors coached by her father and all-NCS. have received post-season honDe La Salle’s Justin Pratt ors from multiple sources. Bam- was second-team all-NCS berger was a second team all- while his teammate Thomas Metro selection by the San Fran- Gregorios was honorable mencisco Chronicle and was also one tion. Other local all-NCS honof the top 20 Bay Area News orable mention selections were Group girls players this season. Cole Arabian (Concord), Alex Ysobelle Eustaquio of Schaufler and Alden Friedman CVCHS was an honorable (Northgate), AJ Lloyd (Ygnamention all-Metro honoree. cio Valley) and Rayvon Garrett Pascoe culminated Rodriguez (Mt. Diablo).

Bill Smith, from page 14

CVLL, from page 15

men. Vaccination of boys is essential in preventing infection and possible cancer in men. The HPV vaccines currently on the market are strongly recommended for young women and young men. In recognition of Oral Head and Neck Cancer Awareness, we are sponsoring an educational talk on April 11 at the Walnut Creek Library. To register, call 925677-5041.

medal. Long-time CVCHS wrestling coach Kyle Behmlander says, “I only met him once. He was in his 60’s and he still was an imposing man. He carried himself like a champion. My high school coach Karl Boeger wrestled for him and was a part of the State championship team. He spoke in awe of him, and not about the wrestler but about the man. “Everyone I’ve met that knew him spoke that way about him. I’m a product of Bill Smith even though I met him once and that’s because those that taught me were taught by him. And I still try to pass down his legacy to my current wrestlers. USA Wrestling lost a legend.”

Wrestling historian Arno Niemand, author of “Dream Team ‘47” identified Bill Smith as having been the oldest living U.S. Olympic gold medalist at the time of his passing. “He was one of the giants of U.S. wrestling in the post-World War II era.” “We are saddened to hear of the passing of Bill Smith, who will always be remembered as one of the sport’s greatest wrestlers and coaches,” said US Wrestling Hall of Fame Executive Director Lee Roy Smith. “His legendary career as a student athlete, as an Olympian and as a coach leaves a legacy of inspiration. On behalf of the Hall of Fame, we extend our deepest sympathies and our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, former wrestlers and students.”

it goes up hill towards Field 2 from Marsh Creek Rd. A snack shack at Field 2, potential batting cages at each field and lights at Fields 2 and 3 are other parts of the proposal. The final phase, according to Shuey, would be making two tball diamonds on the lower field next to Diablo View. “We would not do anything to negatively impact the school or All Out

Sports League [which uses Clayton Community Gym for recreation programs],” Shuey added. “We want to make a great facility for Clayton Valley Little League and the community. This is a multi-year project that will take little league, city and community efforts but we envision it as something which will make everyone proud,” Shuey added.

Barsuglia: He coached the Warriors to 10 DVAL swimming championships and six consecutive NCS boys titles from 1969-74. Girls began competing in NCS swimming in 1977. Ygnacio Valley was the first local high school to win a NCS swim championship. He was named the FitzPatrick Chevrolet Super Sport Coach of the Year. 1971 Football Team: Coach Dick Ryan’s team was undefeated (11-0) and ranked No. 1 in the East Bay. The Dia-

blo Valley Athletic League titlits culminated the season as Turkey Bowl champions. For the Ygnacio Valley induction dinner at the Contra Costa Country Club in Pleasant Hill, social hour is at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:45. The dinner is $70 per person with children under 12 years of age $20. People interested in attending should contact Debbie Carlin at 518-8455, by email at ygnaciovalleyhalloffame@gmail.com or visit yvathletichof.com.


April 20, 2018

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

Page 17

MDUSD adding active shooter training to safety protocols JOHN T. MILLER Correspondent

With the reality of school shootings becoming more of a norm than anyone would like to admit, the Mt. Diablo Unified School District has instituted active shooter training to minimize damage in a crisis situation. “It’s sad,” said Ygnacio Valley High School principal Efa Huckaby. “This isn’t what I went into education for, but the reality of our times, and our job, is to keep our students safe.” In contrast to intruder drills conducted in the past, the active shooter training emphasizes strategies to reduce the chances of a school shooting in advance. Students are encouraged to say something if they see or hear anything that might be dangerous, including if they know that a student has brought a weapon on campus. All campuses practice shelter-in-place drills, supervised by local police officers. The protocol includes locking doors, closing curtains, turning off lights and remaining silent while taking cover behind desks. The doors cannot be reopened for students who may have been outside of class. Those outside are instructed to run, especially in the direc-

tion of any arriving police officers, find a hiding place or, as a last resort, fight. In a message posted on the MDUSD Website shortly after the Florida high school shootings, superintendent Nellie Meyer noted that every school in the district has a safety plan on file specific to that site and that a comprehensive, district-wide emergency preparedness and crisis response plan is in place. “The safety and security of our schools and communities is a top priority,” she wrote. “This tragedy highlights the critical importance of ensuring that our community stays vigilant in reporting concerns about suspicious or worrisome behaviors.” Meyer also noted that mental health services, counseling and other assistance is available for all stakeholders in the district. With 53 different physical layouts in the MDUSD, most of them with multiple access points, the district has hired a consultant to make recommendations on how to improve safety. Since the beginning of the school year, Northgate High had planned an intruder drill for early March – just three weeks after the Florida tragedy. Officials canceled the drill after

rumors circulated about a troubled student planning an attack. “Even though the rumors were completely unfounded, the community wanted us to take a breath,” said Northgate principal Michael McAlister. “The level of fear is completely understandable; we just need to work through it.” The intruder drill was scheduled for the end of lunch period, when students were not in class. “It’s critical that

we rehearse for the unimaginable,” McAlister noted. An article in USA Today, published on the same day of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, related that even though students and administration of the school had undergone various levels of active shooter training, “the gunman, who was familiar with the emergency plans, got around them by pulling the fire alarm.”

When asked about guns in the hands of teachers, both Huckaby and McAlister shuddered. “High schools are an inherently chaotic environment already. Bringing guns in is an incredibly bad idea,” McAlister said. YVHS vice principal Erica Parlog concurred, saying: “We already ask teachers to wear a lot of hats.” The school officials praised their Student Resource Offi-

cers (SROs) from the Concord and Walnut Creek police departments, respectively, calling them a great addition to the schools. “Teaching students what to do in a crisis situation is a life skill they need to learn,” Parlog said. For more information, search for “Active Shooter One Pager” on the Federal Emergency Management Agency Website.

It’s difficult to consider teachers with guns are devising “out of the box” solutions. But I don’t believe it’s smart to add more guns to a problem manifested by guns. I wonder how many lives will be cut short before we can open an authentic national conversation on the value of keeping instruments of death readily available. The subject is difficult to discuss, because many Americans OLIVIA MONTIJO deeply value the right to own TEENSPEAK and use guns. Many people own and use them responsibly and As school shootings become passionate when the become more frequent, people concept of gun control arises.

Many of my classmates share around to grab a gun? that belief and look at the SecTo me, it sounds like a ond Amendment as sacred. recipe for disaster. While I can appreciate their In looking at the pros and belief, I also agree with those cons of armed educators, I who think that the country wonder about student safety if needs to pay greater attention guns were around schools. Perto mental health. And I can’t haps it would give students, help but think that the carnage including those with mental caused by assault weapons stability challenges, potential would not occur if the access to a firearm. weapons weren’t available. Some of my classmates In many countries, guns are came to the conclusion that the not a part of society. It is rare to best way to solve that problem hear about mass shootings any- would be not telling students where but in the United States. which teachers were armed. So The president put forth the great – now we have teachers idea that classroom teachers clearly packing heat or secretly should be armed. I can’t imagine armed with concealed walking into my classroom weapons. knowing that my teacher had a These are scary times to be weapon capable of deadly force. in school. My friends and I just Would teachers carry guns pray that it never happens here. in holsters like the Old West? Olivia Montijo is sophomore at Or will the guns be locked gender student, will lead the away so if there is an intruder, CVCHS. Send comments to adult discussion group. a teacher would have to fluster editor@pioneerpublishers.com “We want to identify ways to support the students, with a goal of wiping out discrimination and harassment,” Krentz notes. More students than parents usually attend the San Ramon forum, which is in its seventh year. “It’s great if you come with your family, because that means you have Home of the their support,” Krentz says. “Sometimes students will every day this summer m i w suggest that their parents S need to go to this. We also have students who are not out to their parents, or their Public Swim lessons start June 11 Swim Team parents are in denial, who will Membership info: (925) 278-9988 Pool phone: (925) 686-1333 come alone.” PFLAG’s mission is to 1766 Mendocino Drive, Concord www.forestparkpool.info support families, allies and people who are LGBTQ as well as education and advocacy. The Claycord PFLAG formed in September 2017 as a satellite of the San Ramon branch. The group meets at 7 p.m. the third Tuesday of the month at Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church, 1578 Bruce Kirker Pass Road, Clayton. & Zoey

MDUSD to host first LGBTQ+ forum BEV BRITTON Concord Pioneer

Hoping to increase awareness and support for LGBTQ+ students, the Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) will host its first Gay-Straight Alliance

Forum on April 27. Concord High School principal Rianne Pfaltzgraff will give the kick-off address at 4 p.m. at Concord High, followed by a pizza dinner and breakout sessions for students and adults. Kathleen Krentz, founder of the Claycord PFLAG, says

Garcia scholarship for Monument residents The George Garcia Educational Award Fund is available for low-income Monument Corridor residents who want to pursue educational training or enrichment. The one-time scholarship of up to $500 can be applied toward tuition, books and other supplies. Applicants must be 18 or older. Diablo Valley Federal Credit Union supports the award in memory of its former board member, who died in 2016. A Vietnam veteran, Garcia worked as a traffic supervisor

for the city of Walnut Creek. He was a credit union board member for 40 years, embodying the group’s axiom of “people helping people” – focusing especially on youth. Garcia paid for soccer team uniforms and helped students attend private high schools. Applicants can download forms at monumentimpact.org and return completed applications to Monument Impact, 2699 Monument Blvd., Concord. Deadline is 5 p.m. April 30. For more info, email info@monumentimpact.org.

the event is modeled after one at San Ramon Valley High School. That’s where Krentz met Syd Valett, president of the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) at Concord High. “It was a happy serendipity. We talked about our interest in inclusion in the Mt. Diablo School District,” Krentz says. “Syd was able to recruit other GSAs within the district. So we have a student-led effort to organize activities that are being supported by the adults.” Mt. Diablo, Ygnacio Valley and College Park high schools also have GSAs. Valett helped launch the Concord High group in 2016. She sees the forum as a first step for pushing advocacy issues in the schools. “I hope that it will unify us as high schools when it comes to bigger issues like trying to get all-gender bathrooms and trying to educate teachers,” Valett says. School counselors and students will facilities the evening’s breakout session for students. Krentz says “subject matter experts,” For more information, visit such as parents of a trans- Claycord PFLAG on Facebook.

CVCHS not financing Antioch charter JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

The proposed new charter schools petitioning to be established in Antioch, East Bay Tech Academy middle school and high school, are being led by current Clayton Valley Charter administrator Megan Moilanen and lists CVCHS executive director Dave Linzey as a senior advisor. However, that’s where the official ties end, according to Linzey. He told the Pioneer last week that “CVCHS has not given or loaned any funds to EBTA.” The East Bay Tech Academy curriculum is modeled after the failed 2016 attempt to start the Clayton Valley Charter Technology Academy in Concord when the County Board

of Education voted 4-1 to reject the petition. The petitioners for East Bay Tech Academy made a presentation to the Antioch Unified School District board last month on behalf of both their proposed middle and high schools, which they project would open in the fall of 2019. Linzey did say that, “The Board and administration of CVCHS fully supports East Bay Tech Academy and is extremely confident that EBTA will become an outstanding charter school due to its vision and due to the expert leadership of [current CVCHS administrators Megan] Moilanen and Bill Morones. The community of Antioch has been very interested in establishing high performance char-

ter schools in their town. “Numerous parents and leaders have asked CVCHS to develop highly-effective secondary charter schools in their vicinity and we have not focused on making that a reality. Recently Megan, one of the finest secondary school administrators I have had the privilege of mentoring, expressed her passion for reaching the community of Antioch and establishing an awesome grades 6-12 charter network of a middle school and a high school.” Long-time Clayton Valley science teacher Kipp Penovich, who now teaches at Northgate High along with other former CVCHS faculty, reacted to Linzey’s statement about funding the Antioch effort: “I think the language

was carefully chosen. What about in the future? What about loans? They floated that idea in a couple of the past charter petitions.” Penovich spoke at the Antioch school board meeting in opposition to the charters and said that 70% of the Clayton Valley faculty at the beginning of the charter have left during the nearly six years of CVCHS. Clayton Valley Charter is a conversion public charter where a school converts to a charter as opposed to the proposed East Bay Tech Academy that will be new public schools, much like the Contra Costa School of Performing Arts started by another former CVCHS administrator Neil McChesney, in 2016.

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Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com


April 20, 2018

Pittsburg group takes a powerful look at mental illness


STAGE STRUCK Many families struggle to deal with mental illness. Thanks to playwright Brian Yorkey and composer Tom Kitt, the subject came out of the shadows and into theaters around the country in a rock musical that fills the stage with raw emotion and more than a little bit of humor. Pittsburg Community Theatre presents the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Next to Normal,” April 20-29 at the California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. Dianna Schepers directs this powerful look at how one suburban household copes with the effects of mental illness. With a mix of musical styles, the show offers a heartbreaking yet often humorous portrayal of the family’s struggle. Music director Mark Dietrich conducts the six-piece band. For more information, call 925-427-1611 or go to www.pittsburgcaliforniatheatre.com. If you’re looking for a sweet treat, you won’t want to miss Stage Right’s production of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Based on Roald Dahl’s beloved book, the adventurous

show runs April 20-29 at the Nick Rodriguez Community Center, 213 F Street, Antioch. Rio Teixeira directs. For more information, call 925-216-4613 or go to www.srctgrp.org. Those who love live radio dramas complete with sound effects will want to catch Bill Chessman’s original radio plays “Zombie: A Modern Tragedy” and “The Adventures of Super-Speedy Man – The Complete First Season.” Featuring lots of local voice talent, the shows perform April 20-22 at the Campbell Theatre, 636 Ward St., Martinez. “Zombie” tells of a new ecologically friendly “green” vodka that has some unexpected effects, while “SuperSpeedy Man” speeds through 13 episodes of the world’s fastest super hero as he fights the forces of evil.

Michael Verzosa, Bobbie Barlow and Keith Barlow star in Pittsburg Theatre’s “Next to Normal” at the California Theater through April 29.

Buy tickets at the door or online at Brown Paper Tickets, https://foureyedjacks.bpt.me/ There’s nothing like watching consummate professionals perform jobs they love, and that’s exactly what you have as Kerri Shawn shares her lovely portrayal of Shirley Valentine in Center Rep’s one-woman show of the same name. Willy Russell’s 1986 play about an unhappy Liverpool housewife, who makes chips and egg for her husband while talking to the wall and wondering where her life has gone, is still relevant today. I saw the show 13 years ago when Shawn also played Shirley, and the funny, poignant and totally pertinent dialogue still rings true. When Shirley receives an Kevin Berne invitation to Kerri Shawn is Shirley Valen- unexpected tine in Center Rep’s produc- accompany a girlfriend to tion, which continues Greece, she makes a lifethrough April 29 in Walnut changing decision that many Creek. audience members will find relatable. I didn’t think it possible, but Shawn found even more depths to explore as she takes Shirley on for the sixth time in 19 years. Her own life has certainly provided many lessons in sadness, courage and the importance of living life to the Certified, therapeutic body fullest in the years since she and foot massages, including last channeled Shirley. Luckily for us, she brings these rich layers to her current perform• Swedish ance. • Hot Stone The show runs through April 29 at the Lesher Center, • Deep Tissue 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek.

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For tickets, call 925-943SHOW or go to www.lesherartscenter.org. If you’ve ever wanted to get on stage, here’s your chance. Clayton Theatre Company will hold auditions for “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” 710 p.m. April 24 at Endeavor Hall, 6008 Center St., Clayton. No appointment necessary. Prepare a two-minute

comedic monologue and 32 bars of a song in your key. An accompanist will be provided. Rehearsals start in mid-September, with the production in November. For more information, go to www.claytontheatrecompany.com. Pittsburg Community Theatre is holding auditions May 19, 21 and 23 for Monty Python’s infamous “Spamalot.” The hilarious spoof

will open the company’s 40th anniversary season. Prepare an uptempo song and be ready to perform a few basic dance steps. Tap dancing a plus. Auditions take place at the Community Presbyterian Church, 200 E. Leland Road, Pittsburg. Dianna Schepers directs, with Luis Zuniga as music director. Rehearsals begin at the end of July, with performances Sept. 28-Oct. 7. For more information, go to www.pittsburgcommunitytheatre.org. Pittsburg Community Theatre also announces a Celebration of Life for Betty Brown will be at 5 p.m. May 5 at the Little Theatre in the Creative Arts Building on the Pittsburg High School campus, 250 School St. Musical performances, guest speakers and audience remembrances will honor and remember this special lady who was such an important part of the local arts scene. Sally Hogarty is well known around the Bay Area as a newspaper columnist, theatre critic and working actress. She is the editor of the Orinda News. Send comments to sallyhogarty@gmail.com

Youth ballet presents ‘Alice’

The hour-long adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s timeless story features Contra Costa Ballet’s talented dancers and professional guest artists. “Alice in Wonderland” is filled with wonder and fun for the whole family, from Daniel Berkman’s original score and Marlowe Bassett’s Victorian-inspired costumes to larger-than-life lighting and stunning sets. The Contra Costa Ballet Company is a regional, pre-professional, youth company under the direction of Richard Cammack and Zola Dishong for more than 30 years. Beautiful sets and costumes await in Contra Costa Ballet’s Performances will be May 25 “Alice in Wonderland,” May 25, 26. and 26 at the Lesher Center for the Follow Alice down the rab- Dekkers’ “Alice in Wonder- Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut bit hole as she embarks on a land,” presented by the Contra Creek. For tickets, call 925-943SHOW or visit lesherartscenter.org. fantastical journey in Robert Costa Ballet Foundation.

Film’s twisted path isn’t pleasant to watch

So far in 2018, Steven Soderbergh has shown he is a master of the miniseries format. “Godless” is entertaining

and “Mosaic” nearly flawless. Somehow, he found the time to direct “Unsane,” a claustrophobic thriller that continues his string of telling tales from the fringes of the medical community (“Side Effects,” “Contagion,” TV’s “The Knick”). “Unsane” flirts with being crazy enough to live up to its title. However, when Soderbergh violently switches gears halfway through, it ends up having too much of a split personality.

The film begins with frazzled twenty-something Sawyer (Claire Foy) trying to pick up the pieces of her life at a new job in new surroundings. It’s unclear what her previous issues were until a routine doctor visit turns into voluntary commitment. Soderbergh makes the audience wonder if she deserve JEFF MELLINGER what she considers an involuntary commitment or if SCREEN SHOTS there is something sinister at play with the hospital’s proceSoderbergh has always dures. been a wizard at meticulously placing the camera. There is a story in every angle of every shot. With “Unsane,” he pushes for maximum viewer discomfort. Using many tight shots from below the actors, he makes the audience feels trapped beneath the same weight as them. He shot the film at an obscure aspect ratio of 1.56:1, which causes the width of the screen to be pushed in. Even sitting in a plush new reclining seat, I felt confined. Filmed IndieWire with an iphone7, “Unsane”

Steven Soderbergh’s new thriller, “Unsane,” starring Clare Foy as a young woman who has been the victim of a stalker.

See Movie, page 20

April 20, 2018

CALENDAR Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com



Tuesdays Farmers’ Market

Year round, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza. cityofconcord.org.

Thursdays Music and Market

Thursday night live music and farmers’ market. Music: May 17, Tom Rigney; May 24, Concord High Jazz Band. Market 4 – 8 p.m.; music 6:30 – 8 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza. cityofconcord.org.

Apr. 21 Earth Day

Clean up the community and celebrate the planet. 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Hillcrest Community Park, Olivera Road and Grant Street. Register at signupgenius.com/findasignup; choose search icon and enter shannon.griffin@cityofconcord.org. (925) 671-3068.

Apr. 24, May 8 Budget Workshop and Hearing

Thru Apr. 29 “West Side Story”


By Contra Costa Musical Theatre. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $49-$71. lesherartscenter.org.

Apr. 20 – 21 “Legally Blonde The Musical JR”

Presented by SingOut! Musical Theatre. Del Valle Theatre, 1963 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek. $20. lesherartscenter.org.

Apr. 20 – 22 “An Evening of Live Radio”

Presented by Four-Eyed Jacks. Campbell Theater, 636 Ward St., Martinez. campbelltheater.com. (925) 350-9770.

Apr. 20 – 22 “The Magical Lamp of Aladdin”

Presented by El Campanil Children’s Theatre. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $9-$13. elcampaniltheatre.com. (925) 757-9500.

Apr. 20 – 29 Open to the public. 6:30 p.m. City Council Chamber, 1950 Park- “Next to Normal” side Drive. cityofconcord.org.

May Concerts

The Concord Pavilion is located at 2000 Kirker Pass Road. See full concert schedule for 2018 at livenation.com. May shows: May 13, The New ALT 105.3 BFD 2018, 1 p.m. May 26 – 27, KBLX Stone Soul Concert, 12 p.m.

May 12 MomDay

Celebrate Mom and enjoy the All Area Music Festival. Todos Santos Plaza. cityofconcord.org.


Apr. 21 Clayton Cleans Up

Honor Earth Day with a town spring cleaning. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Clayton City Hall, 6000 Heritage Trail. Register at ci.clayton.ca.us.

Apr. 24 Auditions

Auditions for Clayton Theatre Company’s fall production. 7 – 10 p.m. Endeavor Hall, 6008 Center St. claytontheatrecompany.com.

Apr. 28 - 29 Art and Wine Festival

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

May 5 - 6 Clayton Gardens Tour

Self-guided tour in Clayton area. Benefits Clayton Historical Society. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Clayton Museum, 6101 Main St. $35 in advance; $40 day of event. claytonhistory.org. (925) 672-0240.

Saturdays, May 12 – Sep. 16 Concerts in the Grove

May 12, Plan B. 6 – 8:30 p.m. Grove Park. Free. ci.clayton.ca.us.

Saturdays, May 12 – Sep. 22 Farmers’ Market

9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 6095 Main St. pcfma.org.


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

Apr. 21 – 29 Wildflower Hikes

10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at Black Diamond Mines.

Apr. 28 Moon Over Star Mine

Bask in the silver moonlight on an after-hours hike. 6:30 – 10 p.m. Meet at Black Diamond Mines. Registration required.

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

Apr. 20 Windy Point and Riggs Canyon Hike 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Meet at Curry Point Trailhead.

Apr. 21, May 5 Butterfly Walk

10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center.

Apr. 22 Diablo Falls and Donner Canyon Hike

9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Meet: Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center.

Apr. 29 Wildflower Walk

10 a.m. Meet: Mary Bowerman Trail. Reservations required.

Apr. 30 North Peak Hike

10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Meet at Morgan Territory Rd Parking Lot.

May 6 Mt. Olympia Hike

9:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Meet: Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center.

Save Mount Diablo’s Discover Diablo is a free public hike series. Go to discover-diablo.eventbrite.com for more information.

May 5 Family iNaturalist Walk

Use the iNaturalist application. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at Lower Summit Parking Lot. Reservations required.

May 13 Mother’s Day Ramble

Musical about a mother struggling with worsening bipolar disorder. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $16-$25. pittsburgcaliforniatheatre.com. (925) 427-1611.

Apr. 21 History Talk and Book Signing

“The Polar Adventures of a Rich American Dame: A Life of Louise Arner Boyd” by Dr. Joanna Kafarowski. 1 – 3 p.m. CoCo History Center, 724 Escobar St., Martinez. $10 suggested donation. Reservations requested: mkting@cocohistory.org or (925) 2291042.

Apr. 22 “Spontaneous Noir! An Improvised Piece of Pulp”

Presented by Synergy Theater. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $20. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 9437469.

Apr. 27 – 28 “12 Angry Jurors”

Presented by Contra Costa Christian School. 7:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $12. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.

Apr. 28, May 4 “Improv for Good”

Featuring Act II Improv. Apr. 28: 7 p.m. Campbell Theater, 636 Ward St., Martinez. $10. campbelltheater.com. May 4: 7:45 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $15. lesherartscenter.org.

Apr. 29 “The Carole King Songbook - You’ve Got a Friend”


Thru Apr. 29 “Shirley Valentine”

A thrilling, cheer-raising piece of theatre. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $34-$56. centerrep.org.


May 17 – 19 “Anything Goes JR”

A wacky shipboard farce presented by Poison Apple Productions. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $20. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.

May 19 “Coast to Coast”

Music from Broadway to Hollywood by The Blackhawk Chorus. 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.

May 19 Concert

Alexander Gavrylyuk, pianist. Presented by Chamber Music San Francisco. 2:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $55. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.

May 19 “The Rhythm of Life”

Presented by Diablo Women’s Chorale. 2 p.m. Hillside Covenant Church, 2060 Magnolia Way, Walnut Creek. $15-$30. diablowomenschorale.org. (800) 838-3006.

May 20 “Give Us This Day”

Presented by Contra Costa Wind Symphony. 7 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $17. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.

May 20 Spring Piano Recital

Presented by The Ballet School. 12:15, 3:15 and 6:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $14. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.

May 20 “The World of Rachmaninoff”

Final concert of the season for Diablo Symphony Orchestra. 2 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $35. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.

May 24 – 26 “The Sound of Music G2K”

Presented by Poison Apple Productions. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $20. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.


May 5 “Encounters”

One-man show. 11:15 a.m. Seventh-day Adventist Church, 1655 West St., Concord. Free. concordinternationalsda.org.


May 3

Performed by The Rhythm Method 4. 3 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, “Spring Sing” 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $12-$29. elcampaniltheatre.com. Presented by Concord High School Choir. 7 p.m. Lesher Center (925) 757-9500. for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $15. lesherartscenter.org. May 2 – 5

“Alice in Wonderland”

Presented by DLUX Puppets. Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $10-$15. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.

May 4 – 5 “Celebrated Masters”

Presented by Diablo Ballet. Del Valle Theatre, 1963 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek. $40. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.

May 4 – 5 “Déjà vu”

Presented by Tapestry International Singers. 7 p.m. May 4: St. John’s, 5555 Clayton Road, Clayton. May 5: Clayton Valley Presbyterian, 1578 Kirker Pass Road, Clayton. Freewill offering. tapestryringersandsingers.org.

May 5 “The Ultimate Tribute to Fleetwood Mac”

Performed by Fleetwood Mask. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $12-$29. elcampaniltheatre.com. (925) 757-9500.

May 6 “Ballet Joyeux Spring Concert”

Presented by The Ballet School. 2:30 and 5:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $35. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.

May 6 “Something Old, Something New”

California Symphony’s season finale. 4 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $42-$72. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.

May 10 – 13 “Robin Hood”

Presented by Fantasy Forum Actors Ensemble. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $14. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.

May 11 – 12 “Dance Series 02”

Presented by Smuin Ballet. Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $57-$73. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.

May 11 – 12 “The Little Mermaid JR”

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

May 11 – 13 “Oliver and the Fairies”

Presented by Music Repertoire. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $15. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 9437469.

May 11 – 27 “Funny Little Thing Called Love”

May 4 – 20 “Godspell 2012”

Diablo Valley College, 321 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill. $16$21. dvcdrama.net.

May 22 Spring Concert

Presented by Northgate High School. 7 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $20. lesherartscenter.org.

May 5 - 6 Plant Sale


Apr. 14: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. May 5 – 6: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Markham Regional Arboretum Society Nursery. 1202 La Vista Ave., Concord. Free admission. markhamarboretum.org.

May 6 Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour

Self-guided tour of 40 Alameda and Contra Costa County gardens. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. $15 donation. bringingbackthenatives.net.

May 12 Plant Sale

By Clayton Valley Garden Club. 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Endeavor Hall, 6008 Center St., Clayton. claytonvalleygardenclub.org.


The Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at ccclib.org or (925) 646-5455. Apr. 20 – 22: Book Sale Apr. 21: Saturday Social, 12 – 1 p.m. Apr. 26: Write from the Heart, 6 p.m. Registration required. May 6 – May 28: CLOSED for refurbishments.

The Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at claytonlibrary.org or call (925) 673-0659. Apr. 23, May 14, 21: Clayton Knits, 1:30 p.m. Apr. 26: Kindergarten Countdown, 2 p.m. Apr. 26: Make a Rainbow Craft, 4 p.m. Apr. 30: Children’s Book Week Stories and Craft, 4 p.m. Apr. 30: MCE Presentation, 7 p.m. May 7: Make Your Own Comic Book, 4 p.m. May 10: Mother’s Day Craft, 4 p.m. May 14: Clayton Library Book Club, 7 p.m.


A Jones Hope Wooten comedy. Campbell Theater, 636 Ward St., Martinez. campbelltheater.com. (925) 518-3277.

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

Presented by the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra. 2 p.m. May 12: El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $7-$15. elcampaniltheatre.com. May 13: Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $10-$30. lesherartscenter.org.

1st and 3rd Wednesdays Concord Planning Commission

May 12 – 13 Leisurely stroll. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at Round Valley Regional “American Idols”

Preserve Trailhead. Reservations required.

Page 19

May 13 May Concert

Presented by Diablo Wind Symphony. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Dr., W.C. $12. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.

6:30 p.m., Council Chamber, Concord Civic Center, 1950 Parkside Dr. cityofconcord.org. 7 p.m. Council Chamber, Concord Civic Center, 1950 Parkside Dr. cityofconcord.org.

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

Page 20

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

April 20, 2018

Sun protection an essential part of outdoor decor JENNIFER LEISCHER

DESIGN & DÉCOR Spring has waited patiently to make an appearance, but it has arrived. It’s hard to miss this whimsical season, with its blooming bulbs, cheerful rainy days and the occasional rainbow casting a magic spell—calling us all to head into our backyards and decorate. Colorful ceramic flower pots, decorative cushions and pillows on lounge seating and brightly colored, striped market umbrellas that hover with purpose are ready to come out from their hiding places and

These canvas cushions will resist sun-facing better than some other fabrics.

flaunt their colors. Outdoor spring decorating is irresistible. If taken care of season after season, your outdoor accessories will go the distance. If you’re using fabric outside—for pillows, umbrellas,

Movie, from page 18

looks like it was shot with a security camera – as if we are peering into what’s happening. As Sawyer gets more entangled in her confusing predicament, we meet other members of the facility: nice guy addict Nate (Jay Pharoah showing off a good mix of comedy and empathy), eccentric Violet (Juno Temple) and staff member George (“Blair Witch alum Josh Leonard), whom Sawyer can’t help but feel has been stalking her. After several violent outbursts, Sawyer becomes convinced George has changed his name and got-

ten the job just to continue hounding her. This is where the film takes an unfortunate turn. Up until this point, we’ve been just as confused as Sawyer. Soderbergh turns a mystery into a cat-and-mouse game. The violence, once subdued, now takes center stage. When all the cards have been played and the suspense disappears, we are left with a rather tired storytelling trope. The interesting subplot of the facility’s involvement in forcing people to stay is unfortunately pushed too far to the

seat cushions and even drapery—make sure it’s some form of synthetic. Outdoor fabric manufactures like Sunbrella and Perennials have been around for some time. Their fabrics are durable and can sidelines. We’re never sure if Sawyer ever gets any real treatment, although the bookend scene is a nice touch. Soderbergh should have used his skill as a storyteller to continue the movie on a true path to insanity. I would much rather be confused about Sawyer’s psyche than be confused as to why Soderbergh chose to alter the path so significantly. I hope he chooses a miniseries as his next project. BJeff 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.

stand their ground pretty well when it comes to harsh outdoor weather conditions. It’s important to remember that while a fabric says it’s made for outdoors, it still requires care and maintenance.

Canvas is a tried and true outdoor fabric. It’s traditionally made of cotton, linen or hemp and is a super strong material used for making anything from nautical sails to artwork. Canvas will fade over time, but its fibers are strong. It will take some time before the fabric itself starts to break down. Manmade fibers like acrylic, olefin and polyester are other options to look for when shopping for outdoor fabrics. These fabrics will have descriptions like sun-resistant, UV resistant, color fast, fade resistant or water resistant. If you want a fabric that does all of the above, look for PVC polyester. It’s a woven mesh material that looks like fine, woven plastic. You’ve probably seen this fabric in the form of floor mats, shopping bags and placemats. Outdoors, you would typically see this material on sling-type chairs, seats and backs. While it’s a hardworking outdoor material, it’s not a cozy and plush material you’d want to use for out-

door pillows and drapery. Secretly, I think this celestial star of our solar system is laughing at the products we use indoors and out to protect hardwood floors, area rugs, case goods and upholstered furniture. For a material to be 100 percent immune to the rays that the sun casts our way, it would need to be invincible, as in Clark Kent invincible. All fabrics will lose the fight over time when it comes to sun exposure. Your best bet is to be smart about where you place fabric pieces outside. Take advantage of spaces like where an umbrella takes the brunt of the sun exposure, a tree naturally protects your outdoor living space or under a pergola. When you know you won’t be enjoying your festive backyard, play a little hide and seek with the sun and bring fabric pieces inside. 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.

Black Bart: Concord teacher – and stagecoach robber



Charles Earl Boles was a well-educated road agent and poet. He was also known as JR Bowles, Charles E. Bolton, TZ Spaulding and Black Bart. Born in England in 1829, he was believed to have been a school teacher in Kansas before coming to California. He also was one of the first teachers at Concord’s first proper school house – Mt. Diablo Grammar School. He quickly became the town’s mystery man, entertaining students with his magic and being known for coming in and out of town. He had a fondness for robbing Wells Fargo stagecoaches to supplement his salary. His desire for excitement led him to move further north, where no one would know him. His robberies were classic in the way he conducted the hold-ups and get-aways. He held up 23 stagecoaches in a

925.348.5609 Nick Eisenbart

Owner/Service Provider Concord resident

row and never once fired a shot or was in danger of being arrested. He had a flour sack over his head and carried a double-barreled shotgun that was never loaded. He always left a verse at the scene of the crime and made his escape on foot. He never robbed the passengers. If they gave him their money or jewelry, he insisted they take them back. Even with this courtesy, he made $600 per stagecoach. After Black Bart’s 30th robbery, he was caught and sent to San Quentin because of a handkerchief he had dropped that was identified by a San Francisco laundry mark. After he was released from San Quentin, two more Wells Fargo stagecoaches were robbed. Wells Fargo detective JB Hume found Black Bart after a third hold-up, and it is believed Wells Fargo offered to pay him a life pension if he would leave the stagecoaches alone. Detective John Thacker followed Black Bart and watched him board the steamer Express of China for Japan. It is recorded he died in 1888. In 1970, Concord businesses organized Black Bart Days. Along with all the festive activities, a local citizen would become Black Bart and the community would have to


discover who the mystery Black Bart was. Here is one of the poems he left after a robbery: Here I lie me down to sleep To wait the coming morrow Perhaps success perhaps defeat And everlasting sorrow I’ve labor long and hard for bread For honor and for riches But on my corns too long I’ve tread You fine hired Sons of Bitches let come what will I’ll try it once My condition can’t be worse and if there’s money in that box T’s munny in my purse. – signed the PO 8 (poet)

Carol Longshore is president of the Concord Historical Society. Send comments and suggestions for future topics to editor@concordpioneer.com.


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HOA goes poison-free to protect wildlife April 20, 2018

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

Contributed photo

Candace Utterback, a Lindsay Wildlife volunteer, persuaded her homeowners association to dump poison bait boxes.

Candace Utterback is a woman on a mission. She and her husband James live just west of the Concord Pavilion in a townhome community bordering on open space. It’s a lovely area, with views of the low, rolling foothills of Mount Diablo. A veteran volunteer at the Lindsay Wildlife Experience as well as a member of Mount Diablo’s Peregrine Team, Utterback pays attention to what she sees from her home. Owls, hawks, kestrels, kites, coyotes, bobcats, lizards and ground squirrels are all members of a healthy grassland environment. But two years ago, she realized that her homeowners association had contracted with an exterminator to keep rodents under control. The HOA didn’t seem to care how

Kick off cycling season with Bike To Work Day

Warm weather and longer days can only mean one thing: It’s time to dust off your bike, grease up your chain, replace your bike light batteries, and hit the roads and trails for another awesome season of riding. If you need some inspiration, join Bike Concord for its 4th Annual Bike To Work Day Celebration 4-8 p.m. Thursday, May 10, in Todos Santos Plaza. The event celebrates our vibrant bike culture and active transportation in Concord. This year’s performance lineup features the award-winning, Concord-based Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corp. Think professional marching band, made up of stellar youth participants. The Blue Devils will be on stage, with some performers doing routines in the grass areas. Bike Concord will host a selfie photo booth, with a Mount Diablo backdrop by Frame Up Bikes. If you don’t bike to the celebration, we will have a classy bike in the selfie booth for you to use in the picture. For those who do ride their



When I first started biking in the Bay Area, I asked cyclist friends to ride with me to different places until I got the hang of riding certain routes or with traffic. Reach out to those of us in Bike Concord. We love to ride and always welcome an opportunity to ride with new cyclists. Commuting by bike is on the rise nationwide. According to the League of American Bicyclists, California has seen a 40 percent to 69 percent increase in bike commuting from 2005 to 2013. Bike To Work Day is a Bay Area-wide event, and we are proud to be cooking up our best celebration yet in the heart of Contra Costa County. There will be more than 400 energizer stations located along local bike routes throughout all nine Bay Area counties. To find the a list of energizer stations in Contra Costa County or get more info about Bike to Work Day, visit www.511contracosta.org/btwd 2018/.

bikes, we will have an energizer station with snacks and some goodies to take home. You can park your bike safely at our free Bike Valet corral. To help get your bike in tip-top shape, get free bike repair services in Bike Concord’s Bike Tent. Here are a few things to remember when preparing for Bike To Work Day. Bikes are subject to the same traffic rules as cars. Stop at traffic lights and stop signs, yield to pedestrians and use turn signals. If it’s your first ride of the season, reach out to friends, coRoberts is a volunteer with Bike workers or family and plan a Concord. ride together.

Meet ARF stars Yoko Ono and Leo


One-year-old Yoko Ono is a born explorer. She loves to use her nose to sniff out adventures and uncover new and exciting treasures. Yoko Ono would love to find a family that can introduce her to nosework courses or set-up hidden treasure scavenger hunts. The adoption fee for puppies <6 months is $300, for adult dogs is $250, and includes a discount on the first six-week session of a


manners class. Five-year-old Leo is a handsome orange tabby looking for a quiet home to settle in and call his own. He is a bit shy in new environments but once he settles in, he is affectionate and playful. The adoption fee for kittens <6 months $125 and for adult cats is $75.

Drive, Walnut Creek, during adoption hours: Noon to 6 pm Wednesday & Thursday, Noon to 7 pm Friday, and Noon to 6 pm Saturday & Sunday.

Would you like to be part of the heroic team that saves the lives of rescued dogs and cats? Can you share your talents to connect people and animals? ARF volunteers are making a difference! For more inforMeet your forever friend at mation see our website, Tony La Russa’s Animal Res- www.arflife.org, or call (925) 256cue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell 1ARF.

it was done, as long as there weren’t rats, mice or ground squirrels in or around the community. The exterminator put out poison bait boxes, one for each of the 42 units. There was one in Candace’s back yard – a bulky thing, baited with a brutally slow-killing anti-coagulant rodenticide. She started finding dead rodents. She’d seen her share of poisoned animals as a wildlife rehabilitator at the Lindsay, and she knew that vets often see poisoned dogs and cats. Her mind raced to the animals she was seeing in the surrounding meadows. If they ate these poisoned rodents, they would be poisoned too – victims of secondary poisoning. Utterback went to work, gathering information on rodenticides, how they accumulate in the food chain, the high percentage of wildlife they affect and methods of rodent control other than poison. She learned that the animals she was seeing from her house are a major part of a natural, cost-free rodent control service – if only we’d let them do their jobs. Barn owls, those quiet hunters of the night, eat a rat a day. A single nesting pair will catch 1,000 annually. Utterback thought that the last thing the HOA should do was put the birds at risk. Her first presentation to the HOA didn’t go well. Neighbors worried about what would happen if they gave up poison. Like all of us, they are busy people: it’s easy to put out poison and avoid thinking about the consequences. But Utterback stayed in

touch with the HOA, rearmed herself with facts and tried again in March. She offered to install and monitor three nesting boxes for barn owls on the communal property. She also volunteered to put out bids for exterminators who would not use poison. The HOA members voted unanimously to go poison-free. Within two weeks, the exterminator was dismissed, the bait boxes had been removed and the property manager was calling around for bids. The nesting boxes may not go up soon enough to lure barn owls this season, but they’ll be ready for next year. In the meantime, the wildlife around Utterback’s community won’t be eating toxic rats. For this choice to go poison-free, the East Bay-based

Page 21



Raptors Are the Solution nominated Utterback and her HOA for an O.W.L award.

For more information, visit raptorsarethesolution.org/owlwise-leader.

Staci Hobbet is a docent with the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association; mdia.org.

Providing Dignified Professional Services

Michael Nicosia, Managing Partner John & Sharon Ouimet • Don & Bea Ouimet

4125 Clayton Road, Concord, CA 94521 925.682.4242 • fax 925.682.4281

Celebrating 60 years in Concord

Please tell our advertisers you saw them in the Concord Pioneer

Page 22

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

Asking questions keep our brains bright My friend Fred tells me I have a very fertile mind. That’s such a nice compliment. You’re probably thinking: “Who in the world does she think she is?” But let me explain. I think of the goofiest, most mundane things on a continuous basis. Fertile? My mind is absolutely weirdly prolific. I have spent many counterproductive moments pondering where everyday words originated, like the word milk. I don’t know why I care about such trivial facts. Perhaps the neurons in

my gray matter are shorting out and are desperately trying to find ways to validate their continuing existence by gathering and transmitting electro chemical signals to any other brain cell that will reciprocate – no matter how ludicrous the question or the response. At any rate, this is how it begins: I deduce that the first word for milk probably wasn’t milk. It had to be a word in some dead language that hasn’t been uttered in many millennium. Proto-hieroglyphic inscriptions found in the tomb of Seth

Peribson of the 2nd dynasty in Egypt are evidence of the first recorded language discovered. This might be a stretch, but I doubt his mummified remains were sporting a milk mustache with a sign pinned to his wrappings that read: “Milk does a body good.” We know mankind was verbally communicating long before this time, but I feel the need to concentrate on the English language because I’m assuming milk is an English word. Old English came on the scene in the 6th century. After

some research, I found that the West Saxon word for milk was meoluc. That eventually became the Anglian milc. There, I answered my question. But I’m not satisfied. Now, I begin to paint a mental picture of the hardworking Anglo-Saxon farmer who milked his first bovine, goat, hedgehog or whatever and said: “I’m going to call this opaque, whitish liquid milc.” If I don’t distract myself with a different train of thought, I’ll start imagining the farmer’s fatigued wife, clad in

her drab, homespun garb, making clucking noises as she scatters seed to a few scrawny chickens while a slew of begrimed, unruly, urchins frolic in a haystack. I’ll try to picture what the farmer’s quaint little thatch-roofed hut in his rural hamlet in Britain must have looked like, etc. Art you starting to keen the gist? I canst naught stop me selfum. My fere, Fred, is right. I have a fullsome mind but with nary in the midst. But I will continue to question and never stop learning.

April 20, 2018



Our brains are miraculous, so let’s keep them as sharp as we can.

Christine Kogut has lived in the area for more than 40 years and is a former marketing director for the Concord Senior Citizens Club.

Key considerations before creating a website WILL CLANEY


Websites are everywhere. Some are cool, some not so much, but it seems everyone wants one. Few, however, understand what is involved with setting one up and maintaining it. Most web novices believe the GoDaddy hype: “Build a better website in under an hour.” I talk to many people daily who think the site will not cost much or be complicated to set up. With a simple $39.99 payment, they think it will be up and running, making money and influencing their audience. Well, not so fast, there are a few things you may have overlooked. Before you consider launching a launch, first and foremost

you need a strong reason and sharp focus for the purpose of your site. What is your site about? What are you promoting or selling? If you understand the site, others will too. Once you have established why you want a site, decide what software you need to pull it off. There are at least two approaches to building a website: building the site from scratch or using a website “builder.” If you build a website from scratch, be prepared to spend lots of money and time. It takes 3-12 months to make a site from scratch. If you take the “builder” route, you could have a page up in an hour. However, if you want to proceed with a single page website, you are pretty much on your own. No one wants to work on a site that costs less than a hundred bucks to make If you’re still set on creating a useful site, you’ll need a domain. The domain name is your web address (URL), for example mine is www.shop-

cusa.com. It’s like getting a phone number; a domain provider assigns you a web address. Not all domain registration companies are the same, and there can be pitfalls over “ownership” of the domain name. Once you have a web address, you’ll need a company to “host” it. This may or may not be the same company that provides your domain name. Hosting involves a bunch of computers in a data center that respond to a request by a web surfer once the site is requested. You could “host” the site yourself with your own servers, computers and network. (If you want this, so do I. Call me.) Once you have a domain and a web host, it’s time to create the “code” that makes the site work, e.g. what the site looks like and how pages are displayed. Software is usually HTML code that can be written by hand or by using a “builder” site, where the code is written for you as you make “drag-n-drop” design

decisions. GoDaddy, WIX, Weebly and SiteBuilder are examples of builder companies that use drag and drop web code writers. Don’t forget content (text stories) and graphics. Maybe you need a good graphic artist. Once you have your website up and running, security is an issue. You need to protect the site against cyber hackers and data loss, so cyber security and backup are essential elements to help your site grow and prosper. Most viruses or malware come from simple sites that have not been well secured. Imagine a customer or friend dropping by your site to check you out, and they get hacked from your site. It’s not a good business idea, so you need security certificates. If you want to sell items on your site, incorporate what is

known as an e-commerce module. It lists your products for sale, tracks inventory and links to a payment processing site like PayPal for credit card sales. Next come maintenance and promotion for your site. Will you be updating prices, photos and content yourself or will you use a maintenance provider? If you do it yourself, you should have a marketing or IT department to help you. Website promotion is a good idea. Why have a site if no one can find it? Websites need promotion so they appear in search sites like Bing, Yahoo and Google. You could buy ads in these search sites, but you could be investing time and money you don’t have. Or, you could generate free “organic” traffic, if you know how.

Having a website is a great idea and can help your bottom line, but you need to know what you are up against. Your time and money may be a good investment – it just depends on your first and foremost reason for the site. There are costs, details and tricks to making a site successful. But doing it on your own, or on the cheap, simply won’t work. It’s like anything else in life. “Anything worth doing, is worth doing right.” – Hunter S. Thompson. Contact a professional.

William Claney is an independent tech writer and former owner of Computers USA in the Clayton Station. Email questions or comments to willclaney@gmail.com.

A sports jacket and jeans? Yes, of course.



Please join Matt and Monica Fraga with Travel to Go on our Blues and Jazz Lower Mississippi cruise.

For more information please contact

Ph: 925.672.9840 travel-2-go.com CST #2033054-40

Like us on

Clayton Station Shopping Center, 5439 Clayton Road (Suite F), Clayton

The sports jacket is one of the most versatile items a man can have in his wardrobe. It enhances the silhouette, broadening and heightening shoulders, slimming the midsection and providing a more masculine appearance overall. It also offers a good number of pockets, so you can lighten the load on your trousers. And it affords you an opportunity to be a gentleman. Should a lady friend become cold, you can remove your jacket and lend her its warmth. Thus, any way to extend the times and places in which a sports coat may be worn is a win. One such way is to pair it with jeans. When executed well, it results in a sharp, casual look that will easily become your go-to getup for a variety of situations. The key is choosing the right jeans, the right jacket and the right accessories. The main reason the look fails is that the two pieces are too jarringly matched. Generally, the jeans are too casual and the jackets too formal. And often both pieces are too baggy. Your jeans should be a little more formal, your jacket a little more casual. And everything should fit well. Choose clean, dark, wellfitted, trouser-esque denim. Avoid ripped, baggy, faded and distressed jeans. Lighter denim can sometimes work, but go with a deep indigo to keep it simple. Generally, the coat should be of the sports variety. A suit jacket is more structured, spare in details, smooth in fabric and formal in appearance. When paired with the casualness of


Jeans more on the formal side and a casual sports jacket work, but no matchy-matchy. Keep the contrast high

jeans, it can look discordant and jarring. The blazer sits in between the formality of the suit jacket and the sports jacket. It can work with jeans, especially if it is made of a thicker, more textured fabric like flannel or serge, rather than the fine worsted wool common to suit jackets. But it can still come off as too formal to pair well with denim. Most men are better off adhering to fairly simple rules, rather than delving into nuances and exceptions. So when it comes to donning a jacket with jeans, I recommend sticking with the sports coat. The sports jacket was created in the 19th century for gentlemen who needed a more rugged, utilitarian garment for active pursuits like shooting, hunting, riding and golf. The jacket was constructed of thicker fabrics and adorned with patch pockets for cartridges, elbow patches for durability and slits in the back for mobility. These rustic, casual details are what make the sports jacket a fitting companion for the rustic casualness of denim.

Here are a few things to generally look for in a sports jacket that will pair well with jeans:

• Unstructured and softshoulders. • Casual, textured fabric. Linen or cotton in warmer months, tweed and corduroy for colder weather. • Casual details like patch pockets and elbow patches. • Two buttons instead of three. • Thin notch lapels over peak lapels.

Well-fitted. Sports coats are cut roomier than suit jackets and blazers to allow for layering, but you don’t want it too baggy. High color contrast with jeans. Unlike suit jackets, sports coats aren’t supposed to match your pants. They look best when they form a sharp contrast. Thus, a light-colored sports coat generally looks best with dark denim.

For help with your wardrobe, contact Susan Sappington at susan.sappington@jhilburnpartner.com.

Mmmmm – tomato planting season is upon us April 20, 2018



It’s time for tomatoes: the most planted food crop in Clayton Valley containers and gardens. Plant lovers covet the tomato, basing their entire green thumb success on the production of this juicy, sweet red fruit. First you need to know what kind of tomato to install. Are you looking for the heavy, fleshy varieties? Are you interested in juicy varieties for sandwiches? Do you make sauces, or like to pick and eat straight from the plant? Champion tomatoes are an excellent choice for Clayton Valley tomato growers who don’t have lots of room. Champion tomatoes grow only 20-30 inches tall, and they produce 3-4 inch fruit after just 70 days. They are easy and fantastic. San Marzano tomatoes are for those who love to make tomato sauces. They have meaty flesh, fewer seeds and thinner skin than other selections. They 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

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

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 the flower has set. Early Girl is a very soughtafter selection. It’s tasty and gives huge crops of 4-6-ounce tomatoes. They ripen 55-65 days after flower sets, making them some of the earliest tomatoes you’ll enjoy. For tomato lovers interested in heirloom varieties, Cherokee Purple is rewarding and productive. The bi-color, purplish red fruit is sweet and fleshy. Brandywine is also a

good producer that ripens 90 days after flower. Sun Gold tomatoes are another popular 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. Install tomato plants into well-amended, rich, replenished soil. Remove many of the bottom leaves and plant 34 inches of the tomato stem below the soil line. Remove the blossoms on your new installs and remove the next set as well. You want your plants at

Page 23

first to focus on strong roots. After planting, work a granular tomato fertilizer into the soil. 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 your fertilizing product to one that has 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 Gardengirl@claytonpioneer.com


Lamb a sure sign of spring at farmers market

6 cloves garlic 2 sprigs rosemary 2 c. red wine 1 c. lentils 4-6 c. water or stock, enough to cover the shanks and veggies Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

DEBRA MORRIS Pacific Coast Farmers Market

Grass-fed lamb is a delicious springtime meat that can be found, fresh from the farm, at the local farmers market. Lamb is the name given to meat from a young sheep up until one year of age. It has a mild gamey flavor and tender texture. When buying lamb, look for fine-grained, rosy-red meat with firm, white fat. Since lamb is highly perishable, it should always be kept at cold temperatures – either refrigerated or frozen. Refrigerate or freeze in its original packaging as soon after purchase as possible. Lamb roasts and chops can stay fresh in the refrigerator three to five days, while ground

lamb will only stay fresh for up to two days. When frozen, ground lamb should keep for three to four months, while roasts and chops will keep for six to nine months. From roasts and chops to stews and comforting braises, lamb has something to offer everyone at the table. Classic

The cruisin’ is easy from Port of San Francisco

preparations include sliced lamb roast with mint jelly, broiled herbed lamb chops, herbed leg of lamb or the impressive rack of lamb. Lamb stew, lamb kabobs, or slowcooked lamb are other delicious ways to cook the meat. For the best lamb around, check out Hanson’s Family Farm from Clayton at the Concord Farmers Market. Their animals are fed a healthy and wholesome diet with no antibiotics, no hormones and no growth enhancers. The Dorset sheep have a high meat-tobone ratio.

Generously salt and pepper lamb shanks and dredge in flour to coat. Heat pan, then coat the bottom with olive oil. When the oil gets hot, brown the shanks on all sides. The best lamb can be Remove shanks from the found at your farmers market, pan and add celery, onions, carstraight from the fields. rots and potatoes. Sauté for 5 minutes, then add garlic and SLOW-COOKED LAMB rosemary. Stir and sauté for 3 SHANKS minutes. Add wine and lentils, 2-4 lamb shanks, depending on return shanks and cover with how many people you are serving water or stock. Bring to a sim1 c. flour mer, then cover and bake in the Salt and pepper oven at 300 for 2-3 hours – Olive oil until shanks are fork tender. 2 ribs celery, diced (about 1½ c.) Recipe courtesy chef Marisa Ades, 1 large onion, diced (1 c.) PCFMA Cookin’ the Market. 2 medium carrots, sliced (about 1 c.) The Concord Farmers Market is in 1 large potato, diced (about Todos Santos Plaza Tuesdays & 3 c.) Thursdays.


For cruisers who have been intimidated by bustling ports such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Long Beach or Boston, there’s a convenient option in our backyard: San Francisco. As a sailor on San Francisco Bay, I would often spot large cruise ships docked along the Embarcadero and wonder where they were coming from and where they were off to next. After visiting Pier 27 recently, I have some answers. Last year, the Port of San Francisco hosted 81 cruise ship calls and 280,000 passengers at the Pier 27 and Pier 35 cruise terminals, according to Michael Nerney, the port’s assistant deputy director. He said projections for 2018 are down slightly, to 77 port visits and 270,000 passengers. But he expects 89 bookings and more than 300,000 passengers in 2019. The visits include round-trip cruises from San Francisco to Alaska, Hawaii and Mexico, as well as repositioning cruises in the spring and fall. There are also Panama Canal transits sailing out of San Francisco. I was able to witness the beginning of one of these on March 6, when I toured the Coral Princess at Pier 27. The 2,000-passenger ship sailed later that day on a 15-day cruise to Cabo San Lucas, Nicaragua, Colombia, Aruba and Fort Lauderdale. The James R. Herman Cruise Terminal at Pier 27 opened on Sept. 25, 2014. The

The Coral Princess looms over the James R. Herman Cruise Terminal at Pier 27 in San Francisco.

91,000 sq. ft., two-story building was built in response to trends in the cruise industry. It also serves as the Bay Area’s newest large venue for corporate and special events, with space that can accommodate 500 guests. The Pier 27 terminal is designed to handle cruise ships up to 4,000 passengers. As opposed to cruise terminals in many other cities, Pier 27 is easily accessible and comparatively easy to navigate. There were clearly marked entrances and exits, as well as a large drop-off area next to the terminal. There were also lots of guides and porters to help passengers through the maze of baggage. In front of the cruise terminal is a 2.3-acre grassy plaza with benches that allow passengers to relax and take in the views of the city. While cruise

If You Go

ships generally dock at Pier 27, when multiple ships are in port they may be assigned to nearby Pier 35, which is more than 100 years old. The cruise terminal is also convenient to many San Francisco attractions. The Exploratorium, one of the finest science museums in the Bay Area, is next door. Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill looms over the pier. Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 are a 10-minute walk along the Embarcadero. If you want to stay in the city before your cruise, there are many excellent hotels nearby. Casey is president of Fair Winds Cruises & Expeditions in Clayton. He can be reached at 925787-8252 or fairwindscruises.com. His email is caseyrdc@gmail.com.

Getting there: On BART, get off at the Embar-

cadero station and walk east on Market to the Ferry Building. Then turn left and walk 0.9 miles. Pier 27 will be on the right. But if you’re going on a cruise, take a taxi to the Pier 27 terminal and get dropped off with your baggage at the ship. There’s a spacious drop-off area and parking garages on the pier. Cruise lines: The Port of San Francisco hosts these major cruise lines: Celebrity, Cunard, Holland America, Crystal, Disney, Norwegian, Oceania, P&O, Princess, Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean and Silversea.

Spring is a great time to sell Call Mazzei Realty today. COMING SOON

• 26

Lakeview Dr., Baypoint

4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, approx. 1491 sq. ft. • Clayton


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One story with a pool in a desirable Clayton location. • Walnut

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Listing agent: Matt Mazzei

Creek Condo

3 bedroom, 1 bathroom, approx. 1297 sq. ft.

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• 25

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Mozden Lane, Pleasant Hill

3 bedroom, 2.5 bathrooms, approx. 1488 sq. ft. Matt Mazzei, Jr.,

Paula & Rod Johnstone

BRE# 01881269

DRE# 00797857

Listing agent: Matt Mazzei

Rula Masannat

Broker Associate

Broker/Owner 925-766-6745 matt@mazzeirealty.net

Call for more info

Paula 925-381-8810 Rod 925-286-5765


mazzeirealty.net Clayton residents since 1959

925-693-0757 (Main)


Sales Agent DRE# 01923757

415-310-2905 rulawithmazzei@yahoo.com

6160 Center St. Suite #C, Clayton

925-693-0752 (Fax)

Page 24

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

April 20, 2018

Weekend garden tours showcase natives, blooms

Natives Tour includes a native he finally got around to conplant sale at Concord’s Markham tacting tour organizers. Jacquot dumped his lawn in Arboretum. favor of hardscapes and walls. May is the perfect time for a ‘ZEN-LIKE YARD’ For a small lot, his yard has “a garden party, and the weekend Concord resident Curtis lot of things going on” – cusof May 5-6 brings two such Jacquot has wanted to be on tom brickwork and a brick events to the Concord area. The Clayton Historical Soci- the Historical Society tour archway, beehives and a pond ety’s Gardens Tour features five since he revamped his yard in with two waterfalls. “It’s kind gardens in Concord and Clay- 2009. After reworking his land- of a Zen-like yard,” he says. And let’s not forget the ton, while the Bringing Back the scape for a third time last fall, fruit trees: avocado, peach, pomegranate, orange, lemon, Kaffir lime and kumquat, plus blueberry and huckleberry bushes. He also planted some trees from Australia in 2000 and still has a strawberry tree that was on the property when he bought it in 1985. Flowers include common ones like geraniums along with gardenias, daphnes and a fragrant camellia that was in bloom when he spoke to the Pioneer in late March. Like most gardeners, Kathy Kramer When Karen and Jeremy Amos finally ripped out their front Jacquot has learned through lawn in 2013 in favor of planting natives, their water bill trial and error. “Some areas dropped nearly 50 percent and they received a $500 redidn’t grow as well as they bate from the water district. could have, or I just got tired of them,” he says. “It’s kind of fun to rework the slate every once in awhile to have a fresh look on your yard.” He wasn’t quite as enthusiastic about his second irrigation project, which led to a subterranean system to replace drip irrigation with malfunctioning plastic emitters. “That was a huge effort, because you’re digging around plants and roots,” he notes. BEV BRITTON Concord Pioneer


•Lawn & Plant Installation



The 14th annual native garden tour features 40 stops in Alameda and Contra Costa counties on May 6. With a theme of “Art and Music in the Gardens,” the event will include artwork for sale in some gardens and music performances at other stops.

•Paver Patio & Walkway

•Retaining Walls •Drainage •Low Voltage Lighting


www.nicholslandscape.com Lic. 542812 Fully Insured

Boyce Nichols - Owner Clayton Resident

Julie Pierce

After the third reworking, Curtis Jacquot’s Concord garden was finally ready for the Clayton Historical Society’s spring tour. The Jacquot garden is one of five in Clayton and Concord on this year’s tour.

During 50 lectures, visitors can learn how to select and care for California native plants, lower water bills and design low-maintenance, pesticide-free gardens. At the Clayton home of Karen and Jeremy Amos, Contra Costa Water District staff will be available to answer questions about receiving a rebate for removing your lawn. Chris Dundon will talk about water conservation and rebates at 11 a.m. May 6, followed by Karen Amos’ presentation “How to maintain your native plant garden.” Having already replaced their back lawn with native plants, the Amos family ripped out their front lawn in 2013 and now has 98 percent native plants. Their water bill dropped by almost 50 percent, and they received a $500 rebate from the water district’s Lose

the Lawn and Grow a Garden program. “The rebate certainly didn’t hurt, but our primary motivation was we wanted to reduce

our water consumption,” Jeremy Amos says. “We also weren’t fond of the big spread of grass and actually prefer the natives.”

Clayton Historical Society Gardens Tour When: May 5-6, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Where: Self-guided tours begin at the Clayton Museum, 6101 Main St., Clayton Cost: $35 in advance, $40 day of tour RSVP: 925-672-0240 or claytonhistory.org

Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour

When: May 6, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Where: 40 gardens in Alameda and Contra Costa counties Cost: $10 to purchase garden guide; suggested donation of $15 a person RSVP: pre-registration required at bringingbackthenatives.net Companion Event: May 5-6, Native plant sale 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Markham Arboretum, 1202 La Vista Ave., Concord

Nancy E. Bennett 4461 Pinon Court – Concord SOLD




1505 Kirker Pass Rd. #128 – Concord





Listed at $638,000

4492 Sheepberry Court – Concord SOLD










Listed at $324,000

5119 Brookside Court – Concord SOLD






Nancy Bennett of The Bennett Team at Keller Williams Realty

Invites You To


Shred Event Bring any old documents you need shredded

WHEN: April 21, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

WHERE: The Crossings 4498 Lawson Ct., Concord What our clients say

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CEO, The Bennett Team #1 Agent in Concord for the last 6 years combined

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Listed at $700,000

“Just a note to tell you we appreciated your help and understanding with the sale of my Parents River Ash Ct home. We felt this project was in excellent hands at all times and we are very grateful. Sincerely Jim B. & Family”




Selling more than 8 times as many homes as the average realtor.

Profile for Pioneer Publishers

APR 20 Concord Pioneer 2018  

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

APR 20 Concord Pioneer 2018  

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

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