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Concord arts in full bloom

From the desk of...

April 21, 2017


KARA NAVOLIO Correspondent



City priorities include weapons station, public safety

The City Council recently held its annual goal-setting public workshop with staff to define the city’s priority areas of focus for the next year. The workshop has proven successful in guiding the city manager and department directors in developing their operating budgets and work plans for the city to achieve the council’s priority goals. We expect everyone in the organization to constantly Tamara Steiner/Concord Pioneer enhance quality of life and cusA RTIST AND EXHIBIT PRODUCER S YLVIA P HILIS ( LEFT ) CONFERS WITH U NI O RTEGÓN in preparation for the Concord Community of tomer service. Five other areas Artists “Flower Power” exhibit opening at the Concord Library May 2. The community installation features the work of 15 that received extensive discuslocal artists all committed to supporting and encouraging Concord’s growing arts scene. sion are of equal importance: • Long-term fiscal stability and economic development. • The Concord Naval Weapons Station. • Public safety. • Infrastructure maintenance. • Organizational health and employee success.

For long-term fiscal stability and economic development, we will be looking for longterm funding strategies to address operational and budget challenges. Measure Q, the half-cent sales tax passed by

The arts are alive in Concord, with many opportunities for residents to enjoy the bounty of what local artists are creating. The Concord Community of Artists (CCofA), a group of artists working to bring art to the community and bring artists together, is hosting a Flower Power show at the Concord Library May 2-31. This is the third year that group founder Sylvia Philis has curated a group show. Philis sets a theme and some guidelines and leaves the artists free to create. “We work individually, but then come together as a whole,” Philis says. “I see these shows as an opportunity to build community. The 15 artists are working in either 2-D or 3-D; their pieces will all come together in a beautiful bouquet that everyone can enjoy. I chose flowers for the theme

See Bloom, page 4

Delays plague construction at Treat and Clayton PEGGY SPEAR Concord Pioneer

The intense winter rains that sprouted beautiful flowers and kept local hills a lush green have had a harsh impact on many city projects. A high-profile project at Treat Boulevard and Clayton See Mayor, page 6 Road is behind schedule, and that’s not sitting well with Concord city engineer Robert Ovadia. “We understand the inconvenience it is causing and apologize to the residents,” Ovadia said. The road reorganization started last year and was supposed to be a relatively easy project. However, Ovadia says utility problems and Mother Nature got in the way. “There were a variety of reasons for the delay,” he said. “The good news is that the contractor is back on site and

See Inside

remobilized his efforts on April 3.” The project involves lane changes and traffic light installations. The city is widening Treat Boulevard to add another left turn lane, so there will be two dedicated left turns onto Clayton Road. There will also be a right turn lane. The project calls for removing the “pork chop” island in front of the Safeway shopping center and making a regular curve, as well as replacing traffic signals. Crews ran into trouble when placing utility lines underground, which is a larger job than anticipated. The city is at the mercy of the timetables of PG&E, cable companies, the telephone company and other utilities. In addition, city contractors

See Delays, page 7

WEATHER AND OTHER UNEXPECTED Boulevard and Clayton Road.


Tamara Steiner/Concord Pioneer

the progress of roadwork at Treat

Mission to Uganda alters student’s life path BEV BRITTON Concord Pioneer

Photo courtesy Collin Wenrich

DE LA SALLE GRAD COLLIN WENRICH now works with students in the southwestern region of Uganda.

It was after one of his three bouts with malaria that Collin Wenrich was inspired to build an airstrip to bring medical supplies to a remote area of Uganda. “I had IV drips for two days. I could barely move,” says Wenrich, a graduate of De La Salle High School in Concord. “I was extremely dehydrated, in and out of the fetal position.” A man next to him at the clinic was suffering the same symptoms. “When I was released and paid the fee, I asked about the guy next to me and they told me he had passed away,” Wenrich recalls. “They

couldn’t treat him because he didn’t have the money. My bill for two days was $20. That just rocked me.” The airstrip is Wenrich’s latest project through Unified in Mission, which he founded in 2015 with Amanda Johnson. The two met at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. While studying to become an FBI agent, Wenrich began feeling “super uneasy” about where his life was headed. “I wanted to do something more – I wanted to serve people,” he says. He took a gap semester and traveled with 14 other 20- to 25-year-olds on a Christian mission to Uganda. “I loved how amazing the people were in the sense that they were so

open and the joy they had was so pure,” he says. “It opened my eyes and opened my heart to the world.” During that first trip, he helped high school students with math and sports, visited nurseries, led fellowships and completed service projects such as building water tanks and wells. “Month 3, I called my family and told them I honestly felt from the Lord that this is where I needed to be,” Wenrich says. Unified in Mission raises funds through the Internet as well as through businesses and churches, including Clayton Community Church. Kristy Johnston has known Wenrich since she led his junior high youth group at the Clayton

church. She is impressed with how much he has accomplished in just a few years in Uganda. “I think it’s amazing. I’ve watched him set goals and achieve them far beyond what I ever imagined,” says Johnston, a Concord resident. “He has favor wherever he goes.

See Uganda, page 7


Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . .17

Community . . . . . . . . . . .2

From the desk of . . . . . .6 Schools . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10

Performing Arts . . . . . .16


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Concord Pioneer •

April 21, 2017

City recognizes 37-year veteran

Hillcrest neighbors gather to tackle trash

Residents of the Hillcrest neighborhood have been meeting once a month to pick up litter on Grant Street, Solano Way and surrounding streets. “Our goals are to rid the area of litter, get some exercise and meet some good neighbors in the process,” says Alex Diaz. “We’ve had as many as a dozen volunteers pitch in, and we typically collect 8 to 12 bags of trash.” The residents participate in the city’s Adopt a Street Program, which meets quarterly. “Unfortunately, the amount of trash blown into the area from the freeway – along with litterbugs passing through – makes it necessary for us to meet every month,” Diaz notes. He started out on his own but realized there is wisdom in the saying “Many hands make light work.” James and Karen Lang are long-time residents who help keep the neighbor-


Mike Aboussie, city mainte- Helix Award of Excellence nance worker, was the fourth presented at the April 4 City Hillcrest residents James and Nareeya Nalivka, left, pick up litter in Solano Plaza on April recipient of the Daniel C. Council meeting. 9, along with City Councilman edi Birsan. Aboussie has spent the last 37 years taking care of Concord’s streets and all that’s hood clean. Steve Pate and finding residents who are under them. Rich Coleman also regularly equally passionate about clean“Mike is so good that he volunteer. ing our streets,” Diaz says. knows every street in Concord, “I’ve been promoting our “What’s great about these where the problems are and neighborhood cleanup events events is that it brings the comhow to fix them,” said Public on social media and slowly munity together for a positive Works Director, Justin Ezell. cause. In addition to his mainte“You’ll meet volunteers nance duties, Aboussie prowho have lived in the area for vides CPR training for the 30-plus years, as well as staff, a skill that saved the life younger folks who have just of a 14-year-old in 2015. moved into the neighborhood. Aboussie was referee for a But they share the same passchool basketball game when sion of keeping our neighborthe teen collapsed. He adminishood clean.” Nicholas Lilly, a senior at tered CPR and called 9-1-1, Diaz says City Councilman Clayton Valley Charter High staying with the youngster until Edi Birsan and Justin Ezel, School, has achieved recoghelp arrived. The boy survived director of Public Works, have nition by The National Soci“thanks to Mike,” Ezell said. supported his efforts. The next ety of High School Scholars. The Daniel C. Helix Award neighborhood cleanup is The Society recognizes top of Excellence honors the scheduled for 9 a.m. May 7 in scholars who have demonretired councilman and is prefront of the Dollar General Deena Sheranko, Bill Koch, Don Husslein and Donna strated outstanding leadersented quarterly to an individStore, 2150 Solano Way. Langner were among the full house last Wednesday for ship, scholarship and ual who has shown initiative the Concord Art Association pasta dinner at the old Pate created a Facebook community commitment. and creativity, who has providSpaghetti Factory on Todos Santos Plaza. Proceeds from group for a citywide effort to Nicholas will attend Northed excellent customer service the April 12 event support the organization’s efforts to get people motivated to help ern Arizona University in bring a community art center and artist co-op gallery to and demonstrated leadership. clean up the city. Visit faceFlagstaff in the fall. Concord. For more information on CAA, go to Recipients are nominated by their peers. 1894518/.

Arts community moves one step closer to gallery

Concord student wins national award


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April 21, 2017

Concord Pioneer •

Page 3

Proving once again the power of social media, a 9year-old pitbull mix is finally at home and happy after a plea for help on Facebook won the hearts of a whole community. On April 1, “Pinky” suffered serious chest injuries after a vicious attack by another dog near her Concord home sent her to a Pleasant Hill veterinary hospital for surgery. Pinky was just a puppy when Jim York rescued her, chained and starving, from an abusive home. For the next 8 years, Pinky and Jim have been a bonded twosome. Although York’s financial resources were limited, he was able to raise the $1,800 Apollo Veterinary Hospital said would be the cost of the surgery. What he couldn’t do, was pay the unexpected final bill of $4,462. Since the hospital required full payment before

Home and happy after 9 days at the vet’s Pinky snuggles up to owner Jim York.

releasing Pinky and would not agree to payment terms, the family turned to a Go Fund Me appeal on Facebook. Donations began coming in, but every day the vet’s bill went

up by another $40 boarding fee, putting the total needed further out of reach. If he couldn’t raise the entire amount the hospital would consider Pinky abandoned, York said. It was

unclear what would happen to Pinky in that event. A hospital spokesman declined to answer our questions. “She’s used to living like royalty,” said Alexa York, Jim’s daughter. “She was so sad there that she wasn’t eating. She was getting skinnier every day.” Finally, nine days after her surgery, Pinky’s plight caught the attention of Susan Bonilla, a Concord resident and former California State Assembly Member. After a phone call from Bonilla, the hospital agreed to release Pinky pending the donations disbursement and to reduce the accumulated per diem charge by half. “This is just an amazing example of how a community can all come together,” said Bonilla, who shares her life with “California Girl,” also a pitbull rescue.

Blue Star Moms honor fallen soldier

Tamara Steiner/Clayton Pioneer

ers and Tollefson’s reminder to its stufamily and friends dents of the service attended the solemn and sacrifice of one of dedication ceremony their own. And we on March 15. thank the Blue Star Taking the podium Moms for its mission, both on behalf of its members and its both Clayton Business dedication to our servand Community Assoice members.” ciation, a major donor ED HARTLEY The monument at to the program and as Berean is the second Tollefson’s father-in-law was of 12 planned by the Blue Star Ed Hartley whose daughter, Moms, one for each of the Natalie was married to Tollef- local high schools that lost a son in 2007. former student in combat. “We will never know why The first was placed last Ben was taken from us and November at the entrance of called to eternity on that fateful Concord High School in honor day in 2008. It is not our place of Sgt. Gabriel Guzman, Cpl. now to know why,” Hartley Mick Bekowsky and PFC Scott said. “But it is our place to see Barnett, all killed in combat that the sacrifice of brave men during Operation Iraqi Freeand women is remembered by dom and Enduring Freedom. this and later generations. We The next dedication is thank Berean for wanting a planned for Clayton Valley permanent remembrance and Charter High School.

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

Berean Christian High School in Walnut Creek was the site of a monument erected by the Contra Costa Blue Star Moms to memorialize Pfc. Benjamin Tollefson, a 2005



graduate who lost his life in combat in Iraq on New Year’s Eve 2008. Dozens of local officials, representatives from the military, Blue Star Moms support-




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Many high school students look forward to spring break as a chance to chill out and relax before the home stretch of the school year. Spring break this month provided what may be a life-altering experience for four Mt. Diablo High School seniors. Instructors Debbie Allen and Kevin Fuller accompanied eight of their Serendipity students to the FCCLA State Leadership Conference in Riverside. Four of them competing in various categories won over $69,000 in scholarships and prizes. The group from the MDHS culinary vocational training program qualified for State at the regional competition in Santa Clara. The four seniors coming home with scholarships are Evelyn Baldoza (1st place in Decorated Wedding Cakes and Best of Show) $34,000 in scholarships and prizes; Nathaly Balcazar (1st place in Advance Presentation Cakes) $17,000 in scholarships and prizes; Tyler Cooks (3rd place in Patisserie) $12,000 in scholarships; and Donovin Caldwell (3rd place in Appetiz-


Crystyl Ranch — Great court location! This entertainers delight has stunning backyard views of open space and a sparkling pool and spa. This 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath home has a spacious master retreat and full bedroom and bath on main level. Many custom touches throughout the home including hardwood flooring, a wet bar, plantation shutters and extra storage.

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ers) $6,000 in scholarships. The scholarships are from Sullivan University, Kendal College, Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, The Art Institute, The Culinary Institute of America and Chef Works. FCCLA (Family Career and Community Leaders of America) is a national  pre-professional leadership organization with which Serendipity has been an affiliated member since 1965, when it was called FHA-HERO. Fuller and Allen have been taking MDHS students to FCCLA region and state  conference for over 20 years. Allen says, “At FCCLA conference Mt. Diablo High School is the school to beat, which is an unusual spin on the  reputation that Mt. Diablo has within our own community.” Currently Serendipity has 140 students in its program. The on-campus, student-run Serendipity Restaurant & Bakery on East Street across from John Muir Hospital is open to the public Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. The restaurant closes for the summer on May 19.


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MDHS students making the trip to the FCCLA State Leadership Conference were, front left, Tyler Cooks, Remi Gallegos, Donovin Caldwell, Nathaly Balcazar, Alondra Gonzales, evelyn Baldoza, Victor Meneses and Maria Munoz.

G DINffers N PEh 8 o wit



MDHS Serendipity senior students win $69,000 in scholarships

Community rallies to save injured pet



Falcon Ridge — “Serenade” Model! 5 bedrooms + loft and 3 baths. Possible in-law quarters. Gorgeous gourmet enthusiast kitchen w/granite. Huge great room/kitchen combo w/ stone fireplace! Generous loft, large bedrooms and master with fireplace & walk-in closet. Private backyard w/patio & spa. Hike from your backyard! Michelle Gittleman (925) 768-0352

Diablo South — Great investment opportunity. Cute 2 bedroom, 1 bath condo in nice area. Approximately 944 square feet with an attached garage. Convenient location near shopping, schools and BART. Call for more info. Nancy Donofrio (925) 998-7705

Rossmoor — Elegance meets functionality in this rare 2 bedroom, 2 bath wrap. Spectacular and total remodel by GTAP homes. Many high end touches and lots of storage. Gorgeous kitchen with window, pantry, granite counters and stainless steel appliances. Huge veranda with view of the hills. Call for more info. Inge Yarborough (925) 766-6896

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Page 4

Concord Pioneer •

April 21, 2017

Clayton museum goes back Longtime resident steps in to school with new exhibit to fill city treasurer vacancy

Photo courtesy of Clayton Historical Society

CLASS PHOTO OF MISS CONSTANCE LAKE’S CLASS at Clayton School taken circa 1921. Today Mt. Diablo elementary is at the same location of School Hill. DEBBIE EISTETTER Special to the Pioneer

shaved in a barber shop will give good reason to suspect his worth, intention, integrity and Picture yourself as a honesty.” teacher in Clayton in the late If you are a male teacher, 1800s or early 1900s. Your day begins with a walk across Mitchell Creek and up the steep wagon road to the two-room schoolhouse at the top of “School Hill.” (It’s the same path children currently take to Mt. Diablo Elemen- because they are accessible to everyone, and flowers are tary.) The first order of business very diverse.” Lisa Fulmer has participatis to draw a bucket of water ed in CCofA shows for the and, if the weather is cold, start past three years. “Sylvia has fires in the stoves at 7 a.m. to great vision,” says Fulmer, who have the classrooms warm by is president of the Concord the time the students arrived at Art Association. “It’s always a 8. The floors are swept daily mystery and exciting to see and scrubbed with hot, soapy what will come out of each water once a week. show, but the cohesion of the Your behavior and personal theme and criteria bring unity. appearance are subject to many restrictions, and failure to fol- Everyone is celebrated no matlow all of them will result in ter their medium or skill level.” “I really get inspired by the immediate dismissal. “Any group,” adds Denise Hillman teacher who smokes, uses of Martinez, whose glass liquor in any form … or gets

you are allowed one evening each week “for courting purposes” – or two evenings if you are a regular churchgoer. Female teachers can’t marry while under contract, and the dress code is strict: Dresses cannot be a bright color, and you have to wear at least two petticoats underneath. At the end of your 10-hour school day, you return to your room in the house of a local Clayton family and spend the rest of your evening “reading the Bible or any other good book.” If you are a woman, it’s an unspoken rule that you are available to babysit should the need arise. Learn more about the history of the local schools and teachers at the Clayton Museum’s exhibit “School Days,” running until June 21. The Clayton Museum is open 24 p.m. Wednesdays and Sundays at 6101 Main St. Admission is free.

Bloom, from page 1

flower will be part of the show. “It’s all about the collaboration and the community.” The show can be viewed during the library’s open hours in the glass case near the front door. For more info, visit Meanwhile, residents can view and purchase works by area artists at the Concord Art Association’s Spring Show on April 29. The show will take place in the main room of the library 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Established in 1963, the Concord Art Association has evolved from a painting group

Clayton Valley Village Opens May 1

“Helping Seniors Live Successfully in Their Own Homes”

Clayton Valley Village • A membership nonprofit committed to helping seniors age at home • Serves members in Clayton and south Concord • Part of the national Village Network

We’re Ready to Serve Members in Clayton and South Concord

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

Find out more, come to the Launch Party

Mon. May 1, 4–6 pm Endeavor Hall, 6008 Center St. Clayton Discounted Memberships for those who join by May 31 For more information go to or call (925) 626-0411 Clayton Valley Village is a 501(c)(3) organization.

P.O. Box 683, Clayton, 94517

the November 2018 ballot. Barsotti, a certified financial planner, is vice president of wealth management at the Mechanics Bank in Concord and has worked in the banking industry since 1988. She has lived in Concord for nearly 40 years and is active in the community, especially with the Kiwanis Club and Chamber of Commerce. The senior financial analyst, a city employee, handles the duties associated with the office of the city treasurer. The elected city treasurer serves as an advisor and provides oversight of the following:


The Concord City Council unanimously appointed Edith Patricia “Patti” Barsotti as city treasurer. She fills the remainder of the term of Tim McGallian, who was appointed to the City Council in January. Barsotti’s term ends in December 2018. The position will be on into a community asset, advocating and supporting the arts throughout the community. Members, who attend monthly meetings and pay a small membership fee, help Girl Scouts earn art badges, teach classes at area schools and collaborate with other arts groups, promoting each other’s work for the benefit of all. Many Arts Association members will be participating in the Art & Wine (and Beer) Walk on May 13. It is hosted by the American Association of University Women, with some proceeds going to help women transferring to universities from Diablo Valley College and Los Medanos College. The event will take place 1-

• Receives and safely keeps all money coming into the treasury. • Complies with all laws governing the deposit and securing of public funds. • Pays out money only on warrants signed by legally designated people. • Regularly submits to the city clerk a written report and accounting of all receipts, disbursements and fund balances. • Performs such duties relative to the collection of city taxes and license fees as prescribed by ordinance.

4 p.m. throughout Todos Santos Plaza, Salvio Pacheco Square and downtown Concord. It will feature music by Mt. Diablo Unified School District students on the Todos Santos Stage, 14 wineries, four breweries, the work of 15 artists, 25 restaurants and businesses, including B8 Theater Company and aRt Cottage, and a new gallery owned by 30-plus year Concord resident Raquel Amaral. “We are all in this together,” Amaral notes. “I’m excited to be doing business in Concord and hope to help promote the arts in Concord.” The Concord Art Association is involved in a fundraising campaign to secure a per-

manent location where local artists can come together, with space for studios, teaching and exhibits. They are halfway to their goal. If you’d like to help, visit Artists interested in being a part of the larger East Bay community of artists are invited to attend the Arts Leadership Meeting 1-4 p.m. April 30 at the Concord Library. The group will be brainstorming plans for a larger community arts event in 2018. “The future of the arts in Concord is bright,” Fulmer says. “I’m proud of all our members and our evolution into a community asset.”

April 21, 2017

Concord Pioneer •

Page 5

New assistant city manager relishes taking on larger role Kathleen Salguero Trepa is looking forward to working with “a more robust team” in her new position as Concord’s assistant city manager. Trepa started in Concord on March 6, after serving as deputy city manager for the city of Goleta in Santa Barbara County. “It’s a larger organization, with a much larger staff,” Trepa says of Concord. “So the professional skill set of the team here is just that much larger than what it was in a smaller city. This is a much more robust team, so I think that is very beneficial.” Concord has not had an assistant city manager since 2014. Trepa will oversee the Human Resources, Finance and Information Technology departments. She will also lead the city manager’s office with support for the City Council and the city clerk’s office, in addition to special projects and assisting with day-to-day operations. “My immediate goal is to get to know the city and the community and begin to work close-

ly with the staff that is already here,” Trepa said. City manager Valerie Barone touted Trepa’s qualification. “Her experience in a broad range of municipal program areas, from general government to operations, makes her a good fit for this position and for Concord as we continue to address the City Council’s four areas of priority focus: long-term fiscal stability and economic vitality; public safety; infrastructure maintenance; and organizational health and employee success.” In Goleta, Trepa’s duties included human resources, information and technology, and oversight of the construction of public improvements. She managed a number of special projects, including a proposed library ballot measure and conversion of the county branch library to a city department.. “In my previous position as deputy city manager, I did not oversee line departments. I oversaw an internal function,” Trepa noted. “I’m looking forward to

Kathleen Salguero Trepa is Concord’s first assistant city manager since 2014.

getting involved with all the internal operations and helping to support all of the line departments.” Previously, she served as director of Community Services (Public Works) in Claremont for three years and worked for the city of San Marcos for six years. Trepa holds a bachelor’s in history from Boston University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. She served an internship in the U.S. Congress and is proficient in Spanish. Trepa is living in Concord temporarily as she looks for permanent housing.

We specialize in educating you to improve and maintain your wellness

City sets public workshop on proposed Rent Review Ordinance The Planning and Housing Division of the City of Concord will hold a workshop on Wed., April 19 at 1:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 1950 Parkside Dr., to provide an informational overview of the proposed Residential Rent Review Program Ordinance and Fee Resolution. Landlords and tenants are invited to attend the workshop

to ask questions regarding the proposed process. The ordinance and resolution will be presented to the City Council at a public hearing on Tues., May 2 at the regular City Council meeting.  The program will allow tenants who receive rent increases of over 10 percent in a 12month period to request mediation services through a city

• We boast one of the most comprehensive supplement departments in Northern California.

service provider. If mediation services do not resolve the rent dispute, the process would proceed to a public hearing before a Rent Review Board which would hear the facts and render a non-binding decision. 

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Concord Pioneer •

April 21, 2017

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Planners approve selling three vacant lots

The Planning Commission recently approved the sale of three city-owned properties that have been vacant lots for as long as I can remember. When considering the sale of city-owned property, the Planning Commission must decide if the proposed sale is consistent and conforms to the General Plan. In reviewing each of the recent property sales, the commission approved the recommendations by city staff. One property approved for sale is at the southern end of Commerce Avenue, surrounded by light industrial warehouses. City staff recommended the sale of this property to CBC Properties II, which owns the adjacent land and intends to develop the property. In 2003, the city pur-

DR. NeLLie MeYeR



Most people can recall a teacher who inspired, supported and influenced their lives in a positive way. That’s the idea behind the county Teacher of the Year competition. Each year, the Mt. Diablo

chased the property from CBC with the intention of expanding Commerce Avenue. However, numerous events have made that plan infeasible. So staff proposed selling the property back. The Planning Commission approved the sale because the proposed development of the property is consistent

with the economic element of the General Plan. The second property is at 1880 Market St, near the on and off ramps for Highway 242 and adjacent to Clayton Road. City staff proposed the sale to TDI Group, which is Concord Chevy. They intend to develop a Chevy dealership to support their existing Concord Avenue dealership. The Planning Commission approved this sale because the property is zoned regional commercial and the intended use of an auto dealership is consistent with the zoning. The last property, 1701 Concord Ave., is located between Sigma Auto Group and the Concord Mazda Service Center. City staff proposed the sale to Del Grande Dealership, which is Concord Mazda. Del Grande

Unified School District seeks nominations of outstanding educators from transitional kindergarten through grade 12 and adult education. This year, 66 teachers were nominated. They were invited to complete brief questionnaires, scored by the Teacher of the Year Selection Committee. The five top-scoring nominees met with the committee for interviews, and the committee selected two to represent MDUSD in the county Teacher of the Year competi-

tion. Please join me in con- • Andrea Ward, first-grade gratulating all the nominees teacher, Ygnacio Valley Eleand our five finalists: mentary. Our 2017 Teachers of the • Michele Beach, response to Year are Honey and Trowintervention specialist, Hid- bridge, who move forward to den Valley Elementary. the county competition. Last • Margaret Honey, Advanced year, MDUSD Teacher of the Placement U.S. history Year Shauna Hawes went on to teacher, Northgate High. be named a county Teacher of • Jonathan Moses, fifth-grade the Year. teacher, Rio Vista ElemenDr. Nellie Meyer is Superintendent tary. • Tom Trowbridge, industrial of Schools for MDUSD. Email or comments to arts and engineering teacher, questions Concord High.

also honor their favorite poets in April. Poetry Month is a wonderful way to raise awareness about the value of poetry, to pay tribute to amazing poets, past and present, and to entice future poets as well. I once hosted a poetry slam at the library, and it was a blast. I had planned it as a teen event, but a bunch of adults showed up to read poetry they had written. Quite a few teens also

attended and blew everyone away with their deep and amazing words. Many of the teens had written their prose in text messages, and they read it right off their phones to the crowd. It was quite a multi-generational event. Everyone was appreciative of each other’s work, and that was really astounding. That’s the beauty of Poetry Month – anyone can participate.



has no specific project associated with the purchase of the property, yet the intended use of the property is for a new auto dealership location for Concord Mazda. The Planning Commission approved this sale because the property is zoned West Concord mixed use, which means the use of the property can include new auto dealerships – making it consistent with the General Plan. Concord’s General Plan encourages development as long as proposed uses are aligned with the city’s zoning, because economic development will ensure the fiscal and financial health of the city. Dominic Aliano is a member of the Concord Planning Commission. Email questions and comments to at

Two MDUSD teachers selected for TOY awards

Take some time for poetry this month Time for an update?

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April is exciting because we get to celebrate poetry all month long. The Academy of American Poets created Poetry Month in 1996. 925-672-7920 6160 Center St, Clayton CA Twenty-one years later, voters in 2010 and extended in Poetry Month is a national hit 2014, expires in 2025. We will and has many supporters. need increased or new revCountries all over the world enues to fill the gap when Measure Q expires, so we are gradually reducing our reliance on that revenue. At the same time, our expenses are rising, so we need to plan now for ways to balance the budget over time. We also discussed evaluating opportunities to revitalize Call today to reserve your appointment. aging shopping centers. This is • Extended Hours a challenge because all the We accept most Insurance plans • Modern Technology shopping centers are privately owned, limiting how effective • Internet Bar & TVs 925.219.3939 the city can be in encouraging • Beverage Center the owners to improve their 6200 Center St. Suite I & J, Clayton • Neck Pillows & Blankets properties. • Warm Scented Towels The redevelopment of the Concord Naval Weapons Station will have enormous impact on Concord’s future, so $ we will continue our focus there in the coming year and well beyond. I hope you have an opportunity to attend one of the public workshops in June or September to give After Exam, X-Rays & Cleaning input on the Infrastructure and $369 Value $99 Value Specific Plan for the base. We For new patients only. For new patients only. had about 300 people attend Cannot be combined with other offers. Cannot be combined with other offers. the first workshop on March Valid in absence of gum disease. Expires 5/25/2017. Expires 5/25/2017. 18, and we received a lot of Call or n ra email fo ent tm in appo y toda

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Mayor, from page 1

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There are so many different ways to celebrate. You can read poetry aloud, write your own poetry or integrate poetry into crafts. Check out the Concord Library’s Facebook page, as we’ll be featuring many different poets and their prose.

Kimberli Buckley is the senior community library manager at the Concord branch of the Contra Costa Library. Email questions or comments to

and improve use of technology to leverage operational effectiveness. Some of our quality of life initiatives will look at local marijuana laws in response to the new state law legalizing recreational use and sales, enhanced use of parks and recreational activities, encouraging new affordable housing and enhancing code enforcement program to improve proactive efforts in residential areas. Customer service initiatives will include development of a new website platform that allows the public to access more services at any time, a new registration system to enhance the customer experience when registering for Parks & Recreation programs and expanding the city’s use of social media to bring news to residents. It’s going to be a busy and exciting year as we delve into these issues and continue to provide leadership in addressing these issues and others that our community deems important.

great comments. For dates and details, visit Public safety is always a big topic of discussion. City crime rates are down, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t looking for ways to continue this trend through resources to the police chief and his staff. We will be focusing on additional strategies to minimize the impacts of homelessness, enhancing multi-family inspection programs and evaluating park management strategies to encourage appropriate park usage 24 hours a day. Infrastructure maintenance refers to upkeep of streets, storm drains and sewers, parks and other facilities. We will be focusing on completing more street repair projects with Measure Q revenue and new state funds with the passage of SB1, identifying more grant opportunities. Organizational health and employee success looks at programs that help us keep and train one of our most valuable Email questions and comments assets – the city staff. We will to the mayor at Laura.Hoffmeisbe focusing on a number of items that will enhance training

April 21, 2017



We often hear about the Taliban’s abusive rules, especially as they apply to women and children. Many Americans blame all of Islam for this, ignoring the cultural differences that may drive one regional group to measures we call “extreme.” However, these cultural extremes may not fall so far from rules of conduct that

Concord Pioneer •

Reality check on ‘extreme’ rules for women teachers

were enforced in our neighborhood by good Christians – as reflected in these rules of the Clayton Valley School from 1872: • After 10 hours in school, the teachers may spend the remaining time reading the Bible or any good book. • Women teachers who marry or engage in unseemly conduct will be dismissed. • Any teacher who smokes, uses liquor in any form, frequents pool or public halls or gets shaved in a barber shop will give good reason to suspect his worth, intention, integrity and honesty.

to concentrate on female teachers. There seemed to have been some redemption for barber shops, but there was a new den of evil showing up: the dreaded ice cream parlor. Here are some rules from 1915: • Women teachers may not marry. • You are not to keep company with men. • You may not loiter in any of the ice cream stores. • You must be home between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. • You may not ride in a carriage or automobile with any man except your father or brother. • You must wear at least two The rules were later honed petticoats.

• You may not dress in bright colors. • You may not leave the city limits without the permission of the chairman of the school.

We might imagine that the Concord schools were a little more progressive than those in Clayton. After all, Concord had elementary teacher Charles Boles. He taught English and ethics but would be more widely known as Black Bart – the notorious robber of Wells Fargo stage coaches.

Send comments to or 510-812-8180 or visit

Forecasting weather requires analysis of data from more than once source


A few weeks ago, a friend showed me the weather app he uses on his smartphone. After the demonstration, he

asked exactly how I forecast the weather. My initial reply was that I couldn’t answer such a broad question in a short amount of time. There are many weather variables to forecast, including temperature, wind speed, wind direction and precipitation. Also, every season presents a different set of forecast issues. My friend then asked how I would forecast tomorrow’s maximum temperature for Clayton. “That,” I said, “is called a point forecast, some-

Delays, from page 1

found underground storage tanks that were full of contaminated material that had to be removed. Then the rains came, delaying the work further. The wet weather has slowed a number of projects in Concord, from other road work to playground installations. “We’ve had several years of no rain, and that quickened the timetable on many projects,” said Mayor Laura Hoffmeister. “But this year is different. The weather conditions are what they are and we can’t change them. “But I know how frustrating that can be for drivers and residents in the area,”

Hoffmeister continued. “I drive that way often, and I get frustrated.” She says the Treat project was supposed to be completed by sometime this spring. “Once it’s done, it will be great,” she said. “These delays will be just a memory.” Like Ovadia, the mayor is confident the project will be finished by September – after all, it can’t rain that long. And with summer school vacations, there won’t be as much traffic on the road, so the work should have less of an impact. Until then, the city – and drivers at Treat Boulevard and Clayton Road – will weather the storm.

Uganda, from page 1

He’s very compassionate, strong and smart.” Unified in Mission recently finished building an “elephantproof ” school for 300 students. “The school used to get run over by elephants about once a year. Every time, they’d build it less structurally sound,” Wenrich says. The group has land gifted

for an airstrip and has collected $8,000 of the $32,000 needed to build it. The group has access to three planes near the capital city of Kampala, as well as a source for medications. Wenrich, who changed his major to commercial/corporate aviation, will be the pilot. “We have contact people all the way through the southwest

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thing I can explain over a cup of coffee.” Meteorologists rely on observations, forecast model output and their experience as the primary tools for making forecasts. Point forecasts are almost always derived using a combination of these tools. Model outputs include gridded forecasts of atmospheric parameters in future timeframes, ranging from a few hours to several days in advance. It is critically important to analyze the most recent observations and model outputs when making a forecast. For this forecast scenario, let’s assume it’s summer and we’re in the middle of a heat wave. Today’s high will be 100 degrees, and it’s the third day in a row with afternoon temperatures near the century mark in Clayton. Will tomorrow’s maximum temperature be warmer, cooler or stay the same? My experience analyzing historical Bay Area heat waves tells me that three days is a typical length for heat wave duration. My initial instincts lean toward predicting a cooling trend for tomorrow. To confirm my bias, I evaluate the latest forecast model output for tomorrow. I need to answer two key questions. Will the upper level high pressure ridge that has been parked over the West Coast weaken? And will surface

pressure patterns favor a strengthening sea breeze? There are several forecast models to use, and the decision-making process is easier if all models are in agreement that a cool off is in the cards. For this forecast, let’s assume there is model agreement that the ridge will gradually weaken over the next 24 hours. Similarly, there is concurrence that on-shore pressure gradients will increase slightly, directing the cooler marine air inland. Based on my experience and the forecast model output, I’d forecast tomorrow to be cooler than today in Clayton. The next forecast challenge is how much cooling to expect. That would take another cup of coffee to explain. As we were about to leave, my friend asked what weather apps I use. “None,” I replied. “If I want a forecast, I go directly to the National Weather Service website and click on their map.” The NWS forecasts always employ the most recent model information, and a meteorologist experienced in local weather patterns has prepared the product. The NWS western region website is

region,” Wenrich reports. “They know the places and they know the people.” At 25, Wenrich is preparing for an extended stay in Rukungiri, Uganda. “We don’t exclude ourselves from the community in any realm,” he notes. “If they go without water, we go without it. We make sure that we are one with them.” It’s a long path from his childhood in Clayton, where he loved being able to walk to all

his friends’ houses, and his time at De La Salle, where he learned to become “a man of integrity.” “Their life is very simple, and they thrive in the simple,” he says of the Ugandans. “They’re not distracted by a lot of the things we are distracted by. They get it that we’re doing life together, and we’re on the same team.”

Woody Whitlatch is a meteorologist retired from PG&E. Email your questions or comments to

For more information, visit


Chief should enforce immigration laws I read with interest the Chief ’s last column regard It seems to me that when the Chief took the oath of office he agreed to uphold the laws of the City of Concord, the County of Contra Costa, the State of California, and lastly, the laws of our Federal Government. Obviously, he has

Page 7

told his department not to assist ICE except in rare situations. Personally, I do not believe it is in his purview to pick and choose which laws he and his department will support.  There is too much of this “picking and choosing” going on across this country already. Ken Stutzman Concord

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Concord Pioneer •

Concord United Methodist

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Gear up for Family Cycling Workshop, Bike to Work Day Bike Concord is revving into cycling’s high season with free community services and workshops. Whether you are new to cycling, an experienced pro or an every-now-and-then rider, there are many ways to get the whole family out of the car and onto bikes. In partnership with Monument Impact, Bike East Bay and Contra Costa Health Services, there will be a Family Cycling Workshop and Bike Ride 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Sunday, April 30. Certified instructors will gather with riders at

Cambridge Elementary School, 1135 Lacey Lane, Concord. Come celebrate Día del Niño (Day of the Child) with a morning of fun, safety drills, skills building and a neighborhood ride to the Iron Horse Trail. Monument Impact will provide refreshments and light snacks. Bike Concord will have some bikes and helmets for kids to borrow during the workshop. To participate in the group ride, parents and children must attend together and bring their own bikes and helmets. It’s always a good idea for kids and adults alike to wear bright colors when cycling, so motorists and pedestrians can easily see you on the roads. For more information

about the Family Cycling Workshop, call 925-682-8248, ext. 2230. The workshop is a great way to prepare for Bike to School and Bike to Work Day on May 11, the biggest bike day of the year. Bike to Work Day is a fun way to build community while commuting by bike. It’s good for your health, an awesome way to de-stress and great for the environment. Join Bike Concord at Todos Santos Plaza in downtown Concord 5-8 p.m. for all kinds of cycling festivities, including an energizer station with snacks and Bike to Work Day’s signature canvas bag filled with goodies for participating cyclists. Bike to Work Day is also the season opener of Bike Concord’s community Bike

April 21, 2017



Tent, which offers free bike adjustments and tune-ups. Stop by for free bike repair and to hear the latest about the group’s work to make Concord safe and convenient for bicycling. Bike Tent is at the corner of Todos Santos across from Wells Fargo, near the intersection of Willow Pass Road and Grant Street. The event includes free bike valet parking, to keep bike’s safe. Come check out demonstrations of bicycle transportation setups like

See Bike, page 9

The ‘dark horse’ of legumes, fava beans signal springtime

DEBRA MORRIS Pacific Coast Farmers Market

Spring is a wonderful time to go to the farmers market for fresh veggies. Peas, fava beans, spring onions and baby vegetables are perfect right now. Shelling fresh fava beans can be time-consuming, but it’s worth it for the delicious beans inside. Bring a pot of water to a boil before you start opening the pods. Sometimes you can slide a finger along one side of the pod, opening the seam as you would a zipper. But other times you just have to break the pod apart in pieces. Blanch the favas in boiling water for one minute, then scoop them out and plunge them into a bowl of ice water. This will loosen the skins so

they’re easier to remove. Favas have one wider, slightly flattened end with a scar where it was attached to the shell. Grasp the fava between your fingers with the scar facing up. Using the thumbnail of your other hand, tear into the scar end and peel back. Pinch gently and the fava will slide right out. Here are some interesting tidbits about favas: • The 6th century B.C. philosopher Pythagoras condemned the fava bean and would not let his followers eat it. It was thought that the beans contained the souls of the dead. • The cultivation of fava beans is so old that there is no known wild form of this bean. They have been used in Chinese cooking for at least 5,000 years.

• The name “broad bean” refers to the seeds, which are large and flat. They’re also called faba beans, horse beans and field beans. • Some people have a hereditary allergic reaction to fava beans called Favism (Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency). Certain substances in the bean can lead to anemia. • Favas were the original bean in the traditional 12th Night cake. Some branches of Christianity celebrate the “Twelve Days of Christmas,” and the 12th night marks the epiphany. The beans were considered good luck.

The Concord Farmers Market is in Todos Santos Plaza Tuesdays & Thursdays. See ad on this page for hours.

April 21, 2017



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

Concord Pioneer •

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

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

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

Moose Lodge’s tireless volunteer retires this year


If you know Karen Carrillo, you must have been hanging around Concord Moose Lodge 567. I’ve caught her raising money for the lodge’s many charitable causes over the years. But after being the senior region president, she is retiring. The Loyal Order of Moose is a fraternal and service organization founded in Kentucky in 1888 as a social and drinking club to rival the Elks. The order spread, with lodges popping up around the country. As time went by, it became a losing battle to keep the clubs running. The group hobbled along with only two lodges until one fine fall day in l906 when an immigrant from Wales saw the order as a “social safety net” for a working class membership. To spark the flame again, he used a low annual membership fee and shared the good of the Loyal Order of Moose. His plans and enthusiasm worked, and the purpose of the Loyal Order became alive again. The basic structure was a lodge with an alter, which follows the pattern established by the Masons. But the group also had club rooms.

Carol Longshore has been a Concord resident since 1950. She is a community leader and current president of the Concord Historical Society. Send comments and suggestions for future topics to

Captain Grammar Pants

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

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 S TAFF W RITERS : Peggy Spear, Pamela Wiesendanger, Jay Bedecarré

C ORRESPONDENTS : Cynthia Gregory, Kara Navolio, John T. Miller


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The fraternity opened a women’s auxiliary branch after it became apparent that the women knew how to raise money. Now there are nearly 1 million men and 2,400 lodges in all 50 states, plus Canada, making them a driving force in supporting community causes. I couldn’t find much history about our local lodge, except that it was established in the late l940s or early ’50s and has been in the same location on the corner of Broadway and Harrison behind Park and Shop. In 2015, a Moosette club formed along with the auxiliary. Carrillo hopes the lodge will continue to support Mooseheart, an institution established in l913 in Illinois for the housing, education and vocational training of orphans, and Moosehaven, a retirement community in Florida. The Loyal Order of Moose 567 also raises money for local high school scholarships, muscular dystrophy, March of Dimes and more. We thank Carrillo for all her time and energy. I hope she inspires more women to get involved in the local order.

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cargo bikes, trailers and child carriers as well as participating in straddle bike races in the grass for all ages. Adults can borrow one of their kids’ straddle bikes to enter the adult race. Concord’s Music and Market series also kicks off May 11, with live music from the stage, a farmers market and food truck stands. For more information, go to If you plan to ride on May 11, take the Pledge to Ride on

Bike to Work Day at /bike-work-day-2017. There are also great resources there to help get your workplace prepared for Bike to Work Day, along with tips for bike commuting. Maryam Roberts is a member of Bike Concord, a volunteer organization of residents working for safe, convenient and enjoyable bicycling in our community. Find out more at

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Concord Pioneer •

April 21, 2017

Record-breaking spring for track and field athletes

boys a day later. The busy 18game girls league schedule concludes the first week of May.

JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

Just six weeks remain on the high school sports calendar and Diablo and East Bay athletic league spring teams and athletes are going full throttle with North Coast Section spots beckoning for teams and athletes. Track and field performers have been setting high standards with multiple school records falling at Clayton Valley Charter and Carondelet.

Track & Field- Leading the way this spring have been Mikayla Scott of Carondelet in the sprints and Jeff Williams in the weight events, each racking up records and top NCS marks at their respective Concord schools. Williams made the first headlines of the season when we broke the 54-year-old Clayton Valley discus record in late February at the Stocking Super Seven Invitational meet at Diablo Valley College where he threw the discus 169 feet, 11 inches. It shattered the school’s previous best mark of 164-7 set in 1963 by Ken Cole when Clayton Valley High was five-years-old. Making that look like child’s play, Williams increased the school and now NCS record to 205-7 this month as he broke the 42-year-old Section record set back in 1974. The Ugly Eagles senior is in the top five in America with that huge throw at the Arcadia Invitational. Scott has set and re-set Carondelet school records in the 100 and 200 meters. She’s No. 1 in NCS in the 200, second in the 100 and sixth in the 400. She trades places at the top of the 100 and 200 Section ladder with Kaylah Robinson of El Cerrito. Other top performers are Concord sophomore Rayna Stanziano who is NCS top 8 in the 800, 1600 and 3200 meters. Her teammate Rylie Pearson is second in the girls high jump. Freshman Kelly Kern of Carondelet is No. 1 in NCS girls pole vault and broke the school record set by her sister Katie Kern last year. The older Kern is now competing for the University of Illinois.

Jason Rogers

Sophomore Daylon Hicks of CVCHS is tied for the top mark of 6-6 in North Coast Section high jump rankings. That impressive leap is just ahead of junior teammate Aidan Jackman, who has a 6-4 mark this spring. Both jumps are personal records for the eagle athletes.

CVCHS’s junior Aidan Jackman is third in the 110 hurdles and fourth in the high jump, just below co-leader and teammate Daylon Hicks. Northgate’s Graham and Peter Michiels are tied for seventh in the HJ. Brandon Abon of Clayton Valley Charter tops the long jump standings. Clayton Valley boys relays are first in the 4x400 and fifth in the 4x100. De La Salle’s Isaias De Leon was first and teammate Harrison Fisher second in the 800 meters at the Sierra Top 7 meet and De Leon doubled with a first in the 1600. Scott set a new Sierra meet record in the 400M. Both Carondelet relays set meet records there. The Diablo Athletic League meet at Campolindo in Moraga features trials on May 6 and finals May 13. The Tri-Valley NCS Championships are May 20 in Pleasanton at Foothill High, the NCS Meet of Champions is May 26-27 at Cal Berkeley and the State Meet June 2-3 in Clovis at Buchanan High.

Baseball- The DAL league season began this week Clayton Valley Charter and Northgate in a highly-compet-

itive DAL Foothill Division with Acalanes, Alhambra, Campolindo and College Park. Perennial NCS participant CVCHS has jumped out this season with 14 straight wins including a title at the Alhambra Tournament. The Ugly Eagles have six shutouts with 12 of their 14 opponents scoring zero or one run. Northgate has been nearly as good with a 12-2 record, including five in a row to conclude the non-league schedule. Concord is in the DAL Valley Division and the Minutemen were 8-4 in non-league including a runner-up finish at the Willie Stargell Classic Tournament in Alameda. The DAL schedule calls for home and away league games with each school ending May 18. The NCS playoffs begin May 23-24 with the finals June 2-3. De La Salle won Section last year and the Spartans have taken three of the last five NCS crowns. DLS was ranked as one of the top 20 teams in America earlier this season before the Spartans lost three straight, including their EBAL opener to Monte Vista. They are now 5-1 in league and 113 overall.

The NCS playoffs begin championship is May 15, one May 23-24 with the finals June week before the NorCal 2-3. championships. Boys Golf- The DAL tournament is May 1 at Diablo Creek Golf Course in Concord. The NCS Division I qualifier and DII championships are May 8 and the DI

Lacrosse- Clayton Valley Charter boys are having the best season among local teams, currently sitting third in DAL. NCS girls tournament starts May 10 and the

Swimming & Diving- At the competitive De La Salle Invitational last month local schools showed strongly. Northgate girls were first and boys third for second team overall to San Ramon Valley. DLS were second in the boys and Carondelet third among the girls teams. CVCHS girls team finished fifth and the boys seventh, which gave Clayton Valley Charter the fourth overall team finish. The DAL championships are May 4-6 at Soda Aquatic Center at Campolindo High in Moraga after dual meets wrap up this week. Concord Community Pool will again host NCS May 11-13 and the third CIF State meet is at the Clovis Swimming Complex in Clovis May 19-20.

Softball- The DAL softball Foothill Division double round-robin schedule running from this week to May 18 should be a real battle. All six teams have winning nonleague records. Alhambra has become a softball powerhouse while winning three consecutive Division II Section playoffs,

See Spring, page 13

Jason Rogers

Clayton Valley Charter track team has had a strong girls sprint contingent for the past few years and this season’s group is no different. The 4x100 relay of, from left, Jade Davis, Jessica ogu, Sofia Villa and Katie Rangel has posted a top 10 North Coast Section time of 50.77.

Poppy Jasper Cup titles for two MDSA teams

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

Photos courtesy MDSA

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

April 21, 2017

Concord Pioneer •

Page 11

Concord High linebacker commits to Fresno State football for Jeff Tedford

Athlete Spotlight

Anthony Lowe & Brandon Abon CVCHS head track coach Keisha Lowe’s team has been posting some outstanding performances this spring and she points to the senior leadership of Lowe and Abon as one reason why. Anthony Lowe has been running track since he was five-years-old and he’s competed for the Ugly Eagles varsity for four years. The coach says, “Anthony would be characterized as a team player with an infectious attitude that energizes the rest of the team. His teammates look to him as an team leader. He not only leads by example but he helps others to see their potential.” He runs the 400 meters (5th best time in North Coast), 200M and on the highly-ranked 4x100 and 4x400 Eagles

boys relays. The coaches count on him for four events at every meet. He’s been accepted to three universities and is looking forward to continuing his running at one of them. Abon was an all-league cornerback for the champion Eagles football team besides running track at Clayton Valley. Coach Lowe says his teammates see Abon “as being very confident and someone who works hard on his craft.” In his short time at track he has mastered the art of long jumping. That may be an understatement as his 23-6 leap is currently ranked first in NCS and seventh in the State. He joins Lowe on the 4x100 relay team too. Abon is looking to continue his football and track

careers at a community college and then transferring to a four-year college.

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

YV inducting 2017 Hall of Fame class including school’s 4th Super Bowl winner JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

Photo courtesy Denver Broncos

Mike Sullivan (right) completed a legendary football career at Ygnacio Valley High in Fall 1969 and has gone on to become a successful sports agent and now an executive with the Denver Broncos, where he was part of the organization that won Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara. Among the players he negotiates contracts with is T.J. Ward, a three-time Pro Bowl defensive back who played at De La Salle before going to the University of oregon, where Sullivan also matriculated after YVHS.

Sullivan’s ring came from Super Bowl 50 as he joined fellow Ygnacio Valley grads and NFL players Gordon Gravelle (Super Bowls IX and X champion with Pittsburgh Steelers and Super Bowl XIV loss with Los Angeles Rams), Rich Martini (Oakland Raiders Super Bowl XL) and Dave Tollefson for New York Giants (Super Bowl XLII and XLVI). 1968 Cross Country team: Still considered one of the alltime great cross country teams in the nation, the Warriors were undefeated in dual meets before winning the DVAL, North Coast Section Division II and NCS championships. Their only loss was to Homestead of Cupertino (No. 1 in the nation) at the Terra Nova Invitational. At several large invitational meets Ygnacio Valley almost swept all four divisions: frosh, frosh-soph, JV and varsity. In that lone loss, Jeff Olpin won the race in a course record time.  Homestead shattered the high school national record by 50 seconds with a time of 47:11 when they beat YV as the Warriors also broke the national record in the very low 47’s.  Only three teams in the nation have ever gone below 47 minutes in the nearly 50 years since.  Captain Bill Hansen, Olpin, Kegan Morrison, Jerry Maydahl and Jeff Moura all were awarded

numerous post-season accolades during their YVHS careers for coaches Ray Edman and Ron Rochefor.

Coach Jim Carter (water polo): He coached and oversaw one of the most successful athletic programs in the Bay Valley Athletic League and NCS for 14 seasons. Despite minimal funding as a “club” sport and both practice and game facilities in Pleasant Hill, Carter led his teams to over 10 NCS playoffs. Consistency in the pool and in the classroom were hallmarks of Carter’s tenure as coach. His teams won at over a .700 clip despite playing nearly every game as the “road” team and were also consistently awarded NCS scholar-athlete recognition. He coach two all-Americas, Jay Carter and Alex Carter and he never had a player ineligible due to grades. Danielle Spier (1984): She played softball, volleyball and basketball during her four years. Spier was the senior athlete of the year, a two-time DVAL volleyball MVP and Est Bay volleyball player of the year as a senior. She was the school’s first female to earned the coveted “White Letter” for 5 varsity letters. At San Jose State the Spartans made a Final Four appearance in 1984 and

See Hall of Fame, pg 13

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Ygnacio Valley High School has four alumni who have won Super Bowl rings and the most recent recipient will be among five athletes, two teams and one coach inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame May 20. Mike Sullivan was an allAmerica quarterback for the Warriors in 1969 but his Super Bowl 50 ring came in 2016 as an executive with the Denver Broncos. Sullivan (class of 1970) will be joined by coach Jim Carter (water polo), Rolin Luka (‘68), Dan Hartwig (‘75), Danielle Spier (’84), Kelly McCabe (’03), 1981 girls volleyball and 1968 boys cross country teams. Sullivan was named a Parade Magazine all-America after his senior season when he was also all-Northern California. After YVHS he went to University of Oregon where he competed for playing time with two other Bay Area prep signal-callers, Dan Fouts and Norval Turner. Sullivan eventually transferred to and graduated from Villanova in his birthplace of Philadelphia. He also got his law degree at Villanova. Sullivan was a YVHS threeyear varsity athlete in football, basketball and baseball. He was the leading passer and total offense leader in Northern California and named All-NorCal and San Francisco Bay Area’s 1969 “back of the year.” He completed 107 of 163 passes for 1803 yards and threw 18 touchdown passes, seven of those on audibles called at the line of scrimmage. Local sports editor Charlie Zeno called him the best area quarterback since Norm Van Brocklin. He began his professional career as a tax accountant before becoming a sports agent, representing athletes such No. 1 NFL draft picks Michael Vick and David Carr. Sullivan is in his fifth year with the Broncos as their director of football administration reporting directly to general manager John Elway. His responsibilities include directing the club’s negotiation and structuring of all player contracts as well as managing the Broncos’ salary cap and football budget.

was a starting setter for the 1986 team that was ranked No. 1 or 2 all season. She made alltournament at the Illini Classic and Stanford Invitational. She went on to play professional grass volleyball and won a gold medal against the Australian National Team in 1992. Kelly McCabe (2003): She won 11 varsity letters and was two-time YVHS athlete of the year as a junior and senior. The versatile athlete played basketball, swimming, water polo and track and field. She was first time all league twice in basketball and water polo. McCabe was an NCS meet qualifier three years in swimming and once in track and field. The school awarded her the Mark of the Year in 2002 and Kent Robie Award in 2003. The Contra Costa Times named her Athlete of the Year. She competed in water polo, basketball and swimming at Diablo Valley College and is the varsity water polo coach at Carondelet and for the Academy Water Polo Club. Dan Hartwig (1975): He was an outstanding football and basketball player winning all-league and all-East Bay football honors as a quarterback. He was also all-DVAL in

Jay Bedecarré

Alex Cruz has received a full ride scholarship to join new head coach Jeff Tedford and the Fresno State Bulldogs football team for the fall season. The 6-3, 235-pound Concord High senior performed well on the field last fall and in the classroom for the past year, catching the eye of the new Fresno State staff. Bulldogs linebacker coach Bert Watts recruited Cruz, who played middle linebacker and tight end for the Minutemen. He was all-league defense the past two seasons for Concord, racking up 75 solo tackles, 30 assists, 11 tackles for a loss and 3-1/2 sacks as a senior. on offense he caught 30 passes. He reports to Fresno for summer workouts and summer school in mid-June.

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Page 12

Concord Pioneer •

Even in an odd year, the Giants will try to make it count in Fall April has arrived. With that, so has baseball. The Giants are coming off of a heartbreaking loss to the Chicago Cubs in the National League Division Series last fall yet their hopes are high to make their first back-to-back playoff appearances since the Barry Bonds era. As for the A’s, the playoffs aren’t necessarily their goal; they are just trying to improve on the 2016 last-place finish of 69-93. Oakland doesn’t have the talent required to compete at the highest level. Nevertheless, Billy Beane always has tricks up his sleeve. It is impossible to predict who this year’s breakout star will be (last year it was Ryon Healy, a few years ago Sonny Gray). That new breakout star could become the centerpiece of the A’s in the future or a trading chip that gives Oakland top level prospects. Even if the A’s have another down year, at least they are not moving to Las Vegas. San Francisco did not lose any key batters except for outfielder Angel Pagan. Furthermore, he didn’t contribute a whole lot last year and his spot on the roster should be easily filled. Looking at the pitchers, the


reliable veteran Denard Span, it is hard to find a problem with the Giants’ starting lineup. With all this talk about the outstnading players who will wear black and orange this year, we haven’t even mentioned the Giants’ best player: Madison Bumgarner. MadBum is only 27 and he keeps improving every year. If it wasn’t for Clayton Kershaw, he would probably be the overwhelming favorite to win the Cy Young Award as the best pitcher in the National League. Bumgarner is backed by two more all-stars and a young up and comer in the Giants’ rotation. Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija and Matt Moore are all more than reliable starters. They will combine with Bumgarner and the winner of a fifth starter battle between Matt Cain and Ty Blach to form one of the most formidable starting fives in baseball. Whether you’re listening on the radio to Jon Miller and Dave Fleming or Ken Korach and Vince Cotroneo, or you’re watching TV with the voice of a Kuiper brother in the background, turn on a game, take it in and enjoy. Baseball is back.

Giants did lose some key contributors. Javier Lopez retired and Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla to the rival Dodgers and Athletics, respectively. The departure of those three relief pitchers is compounded by losing recently acquired Will Smith to a season-ending elbow injury. To make up for a deficiency in the bullpen, the Giants signed three-time all-star closer Mark Melancon to a four-year deal. He should be able to help stabilize the biggest weakness on this team last year- relief pitching. With Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, Joe Panik and Eduardo Nunez all between the ages of 26 and 30, the Giants’ star-studded infield is primed to improve once again. When you throw in the always Email any comments or quesfun to watch Hunter Pence and tions to

S ports Shorts

April 21, 2017

Clayton Valley Charter frosh baseball rally for incredible tournament title

Photo courtesy Clayton Valley Charter High School baseball

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





Concord Cobras tackle football program is taking signups for Spring practice is now underway and kids 4-18 can still sign its fall season online. The football program is open for youth 5-14 up online for the Ygnacio Wood Swim Team. YWST’s summer years old. For more info email CVCHS BASEBALL HOSTS recreational swim team balances swimming education, technique or visit 5TH HOT STOVE DINNER THIS FRIDAY The fifth annual CVCHS Hot Stove Dinner is this Friday. and training with good-old fashioned summer fun. Ygnacio OAKHURST ORCAS SET MEET & GREET THURSDAY Honorees are members of the 1960 Clayton Valley baseball team Wood is located at 3124 San Gabriel Dr. in Concord. Visit Head coach Jasmine Castillo has announced that the Orcas for more information or email of head coach Vic Petreshene which we be inducted into the are accepting mail or drop off registrations for the summer rec school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in May. Current baseball coach swim team season now at Oakhurst Country Club. Meet and C ONCORD C UP XXIV SOCCER ACCEPTING Casey Coakley says the evening’s festivities celebrate the Nationgreet registration at the pool is this Thursday from 6:30-8 p.m. TEAM , REFEREE REGISTRATION al Pastime for baseball fans, Clayton Valley alumni and current Visit for more information and registration The area’s largest annual youth soccer tournament, Concord CVCHS. Door prizes, raffles and steak dinner benefit CVCHS forms. Spring practice begins next Monday. Cup, returns for its 24th season at a variety of local parks May Baseball and its scholarship fund. The event is from 6-9 p.m. at 20-21. Boys and girls club and recreation teams from under 9 Shadelands Civic Arts Center, 111 N. Wiget Ln. at Ygnacio ValCLAYTON VALLEY JR. EAGLES CHEER, ley Rd. in Walnut Creek. For more information and to buy tick- through U19 are eligible to participate. Diablo FC, Mt. Diablo FOOTBALL SIGNUPS ONLINE Soccer and Concord AYSO co-sponsor the tournament. Visit ets at $50 each email coach Coakley at casey.coakley@claytonvaClayton Valley Jr. Eagles football program is open to players for complete information and to register a 7-14 years of age. Cheer programs begin for five-year-olds team or referee to participate. through 14. Visit for more info and to register. IS OPEN ONLINE

TAKING ONLINE REGISTRATION Concord AYSO where “Everyone Plays” is hosting open Vista Diablo Dolphins is taking online registration for the registration for its fall soccer season this Thursday, April 20, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 13, from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. summer season for boys and girls ages 3-18. Get more info at all at Concord Bible Church, 4975 Concord Blvd. Fees for fall or email season (Aug. 1-Nov. 5) are $175. Register by May 13 for a $50 SPRINGWOOD SUMMER TEAM PRACTICE discount. Visit for more info.


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Signups for the summer recreation Springwood team are being accepted online. The team begins practice next Monday. OPEN COACHING POSITIONS Concord High School is looking for 2017-18 varsity girls ten- For more info email Jen Mucha at or nis, JV girls water polo, varsity boys water polo, varsity girls bas- Kristi Buchholz at Registration info ketball and varsity boys tennis coaches. Send resume and refer- can be found under the “News” tab at ences to AD Megan Coddington at REGISTRATION OPEN FOR Stipends available. Coaching requirements include MDUSD FinALL OUT SPORTS LEAGUES PROGRAMS gerprints, Current TB test, First Aid/CPR, Sudden Cardiac Spring leagues for adult softball and co-ed adult volleyball Arrest and Concussion certification through NFHS. offered by All Out Sports Leagues in Clayton are taking registraCV ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME LOOKING FOR PLAYERS, tion now online. The summer youth basketball league is also open for signups. For complete information on All Out Sports SELLING TICKETS FOR MAY 19 INDUCTION DINNER The 2017 class for the Clayton Valley High School Hall of programs, visit Fame includes five Eagles teams and event organizers are reachTERRAPINS TAKING SWIM SIGNUPS FOR ALL LEVELS ing out to locate members of those teams. The honorees will be The Terrapins Swim Orange and Blue Groups spring session inducted Friday, May 19, at Shadelands Art Center in Walnut Creek. The teams are 1960 baseball of head coach Vic Petresh- runs through May 26. The nationally-ranked Terrapins are also ene, 1972 wrestling of coaches Glen Scrimger and Bill Nelson, taking signups for swimmers ages six and above of all levels for 1978 softball and coach Larry Fogelstrom and 1994 girls water their year-round swim team. For information visit terrapinpolo (coach Dave Boland) and 1994 girls swimming (coach Tom Sparks). Players on those teams should send a note with their CONCORD’S SUMMER KICKOFF contact info to address below. Dinner tickets are available PICKLEBALL TOURNAMENT MAY 6 through CVCHS website at or send a check Concord’s Summer Kickoff Tournament Saturday, May 6, is ($50 adults, $25 kids 12 and younger) to CVHS Hall of Fame, open to all levels of pickleball play. Players will play round-robin PO Box 502, Clayton, CA 94517. style with a different partner for each game and have a six-game DIABLO FC HOLDING OLDER TEAM TRYOUTS MAY 1-10 guarantee (play to 15 win by one). Lunch and shirts will be given Under 15 and older (1999-2003) team tryouts will be held to all registered participants. Balls will be provided. To register May 1-10 at Mt. Diablo High School. Formal tryouts for Diablo go to and use registration number 104539. PlayFC under 8 through U14 competitive teams (birth years 2004- ers can also go to Willow Pass Community Center, 2748 E. Oliv2011) have concluded but coaches are still holding player evalu- era Rd. in Concord. Registration deadline is April 21. For more ations. Visit to get more information and signup for info email or call 671-3423. tryouts.


Ygnacio Valley High School is holding its fifth annual Hall of Fame induction dinner on May 20 at Contra Costa Country Club in Walnut Creek. The school’s Hall of Fame committee will be inducting six individuals and two teams including coach Jim Carter (water polo), Rolin Luka (football, track and field 1968), Dan Hartwig (football, basketball ’75), Danielle Spier (softball, volleyball, basketball ’84), Kelly McCabe (basketball, swimming, FOREST PARK SWIM TEAM PRACTICES HAVE BEGUN Forest Park Swim Team coach Jeff Mellinger is conducting water polo, track and field ’03), Mike Sullivan (football, basketpractice for the summer rec season for ages 3-18. Contact coach ball, baseball ’70), 1981 girls volleyball team and 1968 boys cross Mellinger at for details or visit forest- country team. Social gathering is at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:45. For more information on dinner tickets contact Debbie Carlin to sign up for the team. by phone at 518-8455 or email Visit for more info.

April 21, 2017

Concord Pioneer •

Page 13

CIF changes athlete transfer rules over NCS objections JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

Not much gets the blood boiling in high school sports fans more than controversy about athletes—especially high-profile ones—transferring from one school to another. Families who wanted their child to move to a different school, largely for athletic reasons, have gone to great lengths to come up with “cover stories” in order to affect a transfer from their local high school to another that they felt gave their offspring a better chance at success, whether it was team or individual glory they were seeking. The state’s governing body for high school sports, California Interscholastic Federation, this month has now made it easier for these school changes to take place. By a 7-3 count the state’s 10 sections voted to allow athletically motivated transfers to take place. The local North Coast Section was one of the three dissenting sections (all from Northern California) with its board of governors voting unanimously in opposition of the new rules. NCS commissioner Gil Lemmon said, “NCS voted to instruct CIF delegates to vote no on the proposal to alter the transfer rules. The CIF vote was not a surprise, but disappointing. The CIF philosophy (Bylaw 200) states that CIF transfer bylaws are written to restrict transfers based on athletic motivation. “The adopted rules relax the current restrictions, which NCS was not in favor

of. An email [Lemmon sent to all principals and athletic directors] outlines my intent to carefully review all transfers for adherence to all CIF transfer rules.” NCS has 176 schools in its section, the third most in the state. The new rule is anticipated to increase the number of transfers but there are still restrictions from making it a free-for-all. Most transfers who are doing so for athletic reasons will have to sit out half a season unless the family moves into the new school’s boundaries. Athletes cannot transfer to follow a coach to a new school or to a school after participating in a non-school camp or club team with a coach from the school they want to transfer to. Recruiting of students is still prohibited. It is reported that less than 2% of high school athletes transfer schools, a figure much less than for collegiate athletes. Lemmon says the new rule “does not change the philosophy of the CIF concerning transfers, only removes two items that refer to situations that would be considered athletic motivation.” “As Commissioner of NCS, I have worked hard to maintain fair and equitable competition, denying on several occasions transfers that I believe were in violation of CIF transfer rules.  The percentage is low, less than 1%. Regardless of the changes in the rules, I will continue to keep a close eye on all transfers, questioning any transfers to and from schools that I believe are attempts to gain

Spring, from pg 10

an athletic advantage at the next school.” Clayton Valley Charter was embroiled in a transfer controversy during the 2014 football season when six athletes, including high-profile lineman Kahlil McKenzie, transferred to CVCHS during the preceding months. NCS eventually rule three players,

basketball as a senior. Before graduation he was co-athlete of the year for Ygnacio Valley. He was team captain of the 1975 Contra Costa team in the Cerebral Palsy All-Star game against Alameda County. Following YVHS he played football at Brigham Young and California Lutheran. As a Cal Lutheran senior, he completed 146 of 276 passes for 2,203 yards and 12 touchdowns. He led his team to an8-1-2 season. They lost their 1st round NAIA playoff game. He also played baseball at Cal Lutheran. Hartwig was drafted in the ninth round of the 1980 drat but he San Francisco 49ers and also played for the Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Colts. He coached football at Ygnacio Valley and Acalanes.

Rolin Luka (1968): Called a “gentle giant” he stood 6-7, weighed 285 pounds and wore size 17 shoes. Luka was second at the CIF State Meet with a throw of 63-1, just three inches off first place. He was also a tight end on the DVAL championship football team. In the shot put he was DVAL and NCS champion and second in NorCal shot put. In his senior year Luka’s father passed away and the only child was devastated. With the encouragement, guidance and influence of his mother and his many Ygnacio Valley coaches he stayed focused and went on to accept his track scholarship at Berkeley. As a Cal freshman he broke the Cal record for the 16-pound shot by over two feet. He is being awarded the Hall of Fame induction posthumously.

in the North on an even playing field with schools from the South. Schools still have to be diligent regarding athletically motivated transfers. I believe the ruling also recognizes the importance of keeping kids in school and athletics can be one of those motivating factors and I am in favor of anything that

motivates a student to stay in school.” With more and more California high school sports holding state meets and playoffs, pre- and post-season competitions between North and South schools are much more common place.

JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

“Brian is a big get for us,” said third-year Murray State head coach Mitch Stewart. “He is a great coach who brings a wealth of experience to our program. He has actually come up with some of the schemes we already run and others we hope to install. I truly believe that coach Hamilton’s vast knowledge as an offensive line coach will help improve our offense immediately.” The Racers were 4-7 last year. Pardi says of his former assistant coach and then crosstown rival, “They got a great OL coach! Brian is a big plus for the school, the staff and most importantly “the players.”  Hamilton was 81-49-1 at Concord, including an impressive 68-21-1 in his final seven seasons. He is a 2000 graduate of SUNY Cortland where he played two season. Prior to becoming a Red Dragon, the Concord native began his collegiate playing career at Pasadena City College.

Former Concord High football coach Hamilton off to Murray State position

Photo courtesy Cal Athletics by Al Sermeno - iSi Photos

Brian Hamilton continuing coaching career in Kentucky.

prompting the Bulldogs to be reclassified to DI this season. The five Foothill Division opponents for Alhambra are all former DVAL teams with Concord High leading the way after winning three NCS titles between 2010 and 2013. Carondelet is one of four EBAL teams with one or no losses after five league games. NCS softball playoffs begin May 23-24 with the finals June 2-3.

Boys Tennis- Matches for the nine-school DAL schedule finished up this week with the DAL championships April 27-29. The Section team Jay Bedecarré championships May 9-11-13 and the singles and doubles Concord High took second at the Willie Stargell Classic Tournament in Alameda over spring break. Ryan Parisi (left) tournament May 5-6 at James Logan High in Union City. and Jesus Hernandez earned all-tournament honors as Boys Volleyball- The DAL they led the Minutemen to the championship game. Parisi double-round robin league pitched in two of the three games including a complete schedule runs through May 4. game in the opener and also had a home run and double at the plate. Senior Hernandez had five hits in the tourney NCS playoffs culminate May while playing stellar defense and also taking a turn on the 20. NorCal championships mound. are May 23-27.

Hall of Fame, from pg 11

including McKenzie, ineligible for that season which added one year to the school’s probation that was previously instituted for an unrelated violation. CVCHS’s co-athletic director Tom Sparks said, “I think the new ruling is fair. It aligns us with the Southern Sections which puts schools

1982 Girls Volleyball Team: The undefeated 14-0 DVAL champions were also first at the Carondelet Tournament and defeated California High for the North Coast Section championship, reversing a loss to Cal High in the San Ramon Tournament. The Warriors were 3-3 in the Northern California playoffs. Minet Roach Gunther, Susan Mackey, Debbie Haudbine, Leigh Lewandowski and Jeni Magleby were all-league while Roach Gunther and Mackey were also all-NCS. The team was coached by Judy Smith. The school’s fifth annual Hall of Fame induction dinner is Saturday, May 20, at Contra Costa Country Club in Pleasant Hill. Social gathering is at 5:30 pm, dinner is at 6:45. People interested in attending the fun event should contact Debbie Carlin at 925-518-8455 or send email to her at

Former Concord High football coach and athletic director Brian Hamilton has packed up his family and moved to Kentucky, joining the Murray State University coaching staff in charge of offensive linemen as they prepare for the 2017 Ohio Valley Conference season. Hamilton spent 11 years in charge of the Minutemen through the 2014 season. He led Concord High to the Division II NCS title game in three of his last five seasons including a section crown in 2010. He came to Concord from Clayton Valley High where he began coaching under Herc Pardi. He moved to Cal on Sonny Dykes coaching staff for the 2015 season as the offensive quality control coach where he got to work with high draft pick quarterbacks Jared Goff and Davis Webb.

Page 14

SCHOOLS Concord Pioneer •

April 21, 2017

Holbrook reopens as part of North Concord elementary school magnet program in the fall JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

After the Mt. Diablo Unified School District made the decision to reopen Holbrook Elementary beginning this fall semester the District and community discussed a number of options on how to constitute the “new Holbrook.” The most popular choice was for a language academy and now MDUSD has expanded those plans for Holbrook to include two adjacent elementary schools, Wren Avenue and Sun Terrace, in a three-part Regional Magnet Program with each school having a unique focus. Holbrook Language and Culture Academy will feature

a dual English-Spanish immersion program (other languages such as Chinese may be added later) begin-

ning with the incoming kindergarten class and will add a grade level each year until the entire K-5 campus is

CVCHS concerts promote partnerships with ‘feeder’ schools A l l h i g h schools expect incoming students to have a b a s i c comprehension John McMorris of coursCVCHS PRINCIPAL es taught in middle and elementary schools. These “feeder” schools are crucial to instilling in young students a desire to embrace learning, stay in school and go to college. “The early warning signs that a student is falling off track to high school graduation can emerge as early as the elementary years,” reports a study by the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University. That’s why Clayton Valley Charter High School places a high emphasis on early education partnerships with its elementary and middle feeder schools. The Feeder Orchestra and Band Concerts at CVCHS

are a great example of this. Organized by Lydia Lim, CVCHS’s director of instrumental music, these concerts bring together younger and older students in a magnificent display of melody, harmony and rhythm. A recent concert began with a large, combined elementary orchestra of 121 students from four local elementary schools: Ayers, Highlands, Mt. Diablo and Silverwood. The young musicians performed “Evening Scenes,” “Stomp!” and “Hoedown.” Next, young talents from the two middle schools, Diablo View and Pine Hollow, performed “The Pink Panther Theme Song” and “A Tribute

guaranteed a place at the school. Current registration for the fall indicates there will be one class each for first through fifth grades and three kindergarten classes, two of which will be EnglishSpanish dual immersion and the third smaller class of English only. The District allows Holbrook-area students who have been enrolled at other MDUSD schools since the closure to remain in their school or come to Holbrook in the fall. Meyer says that some parents with incoming kindergartners are bringing their older children to Hol-

brook so the family is all at the same school. The three magnet schools send their graduating fifth graders to El Dorado Middle School, which is across the street from Concord High. Holbrook, Wren Avenue and Sun Terrace area students will then be going to Mt. Diablo or Concord high. The three-prong elementary school magnet program has already drawn interest from Northgate and College Park high school feeder schools and parents as well as Bay Point families.

See Holbrook, page 15

Happiness doesn’t arrive your inbox

As the year trickhave a piece of wis- ability to face adversity with posles down to the final dom that could trans- itivity and follow your passion few weeks, seniors form their perspec- regardless of rejection. at Concord High tives on happiness. I used to think that happiSchool wait patiently Recently, I trav- ness stemmed from accomplishto discover their eled with my Leader- ments, but that joy is temporary future paths. ship class to San Jose and not truly fulfilling. In reality, From private to for the California the approval of a college or a public, near and far, Association of Stu- peer is insignificant. Aasim Yahya college acceptances dent Leaders state So for all the seniors who CONCORD HIGH and denials find CORRESPONDENT conference. Kevin didn’t get the response they their way to seniors. Laue, a one-handed wanted this spring, I say to They often uplift spirits or tragi- former D1 NCAA basketball remember that true happiness is cally crush dreams. However, I athlete, told us: “Success is easy, found in the heart. don’t think a rejection has to be just change your routine. HappiAasim Yahya is a junior at devastating. ness ... now that’s hard.” I’ve watched the crippling Happiness doesn’t come Concord High. He has a passion for effect on my peers, as tears fill from reading an acceptance basketball and plays on the school to Michael Jackson.” to comments Send their eyes and self-doubt quickly email from Berkeley or Brown, team. To give the youngsters a clouds their confidence. But I but rather it is based on your sense of their musical future, three CV ensembles also entertained the audience. The Percussion Ensemble, which uses only percussion instruments and body percussion, showcased “Clap Happy.” The 40member String Orchestra played “Lion City.” The Chamber Orchestra, an auditiononly string group, performed “Scherzo.” I am thrilled to see the high MEMORY WOODARD school students acting as role Special to the Pioneer models. At the same time, the younger kids can see how perApril is Autism Awareness sistence and practice will pay Month and the worldwide aim off for them in the near future. is to provide public awareness Send comments and questions to to better understand students with autism – whether they are high-functioning, mild, moderate or severe. Ygnacio Valley is the Mt. Diablo Unified School District’s designated high school for 14- to 18-year-olds with intensive autism. Special Day Class director Maria Filipinia is leading YV’s month-long observance efforts. Photo courtesy Ygnacio Valley High “This year, an invitation Special Day Class Director Maria Filipinia (left) utilizes an racial slurs used casually in was extended to YV’s general opportunity to implement a lesson plan with Juan Gomez conversation in various areas. education students to visit our and each of her other nine students to communicate, “You can go there and classroom April 21 to learn through an iPad app, his desire for a piece of pizza and a speak your mind on something more about autism,” Filipinia choice of water or juice. that concerns you or makes says. “The autism intensive Social skills. Problems you upset, knowing there are class also made educational times more than females: one in 42 boys and one in 189 girls. interacting with others; autistic posters put up around campus others there willing to hold a The CDC suggests autism children do not have adequate with introductory titles like, discussion,” says Trevin Blayis a combination of genetics playing and conversation skills. ‘Why do they scream so lock. and environment. While there Empathy. It can be harder much?’ ‘Why do they bite The club tackles everything from race- and gender-related themselves and hit their is no cure, many treatments for them to understand the injustices around the world to heads?’ ‘Why do they eat things and therapies help mitigate emotions of others. Physical contact. Autistic the most recent acts of the U.S. off the ground?’ ‘Why do they symptoms. Autism affects informapeople often do not like physirepeat words I say?’ ” government. The club also tion processing in the brain cal contact such as hugs, tickAutism Spectrum Disorder plans to attend marches, conby altering how nerve cells ling or physical play with oth(ASD) is a lifelong developferences and other events to and where nerve cells are ers. mental disorder with no single take action. Sudden changes to the “The decisions that are known cause. A complex men- connected and organized. Learning, thinking and probenvironment. Sensitivity to tal condition and developmenmade now are the ones we will lem-solving abilities of peoloud noise, a change in lighting tal disorder, autism is charachave to deal with when we’re ple with autism can range intensity or even a change in terized by difficulties in the on our own,” says Chinn. “And from gifted to severely chalsmell. way a person communicates in a short while, we won’t be Speech. They may repeat able to sit back and let other and interacts with others. It lenged. Some people with autism need a lot of help in words and phrases heard; can be present from birth or people form our future.” speech tone may be monotoform during early childhood, their daily lives. With this wide-ranging nous. In some cases, the autistypically within the first three spectrum disorder, individuals tic person may not speak. years. Alyssa Arino is a sophomore at Changes to behavior and The Centers for Disease have unique symptoms; no two CVCHS. She is on the school’s Control (CDC) estimates people are the same. Here are routine. Resists changes to cross country team. Send comments to autism affects one in 68 U.S. some issues affecting those routines and/or displays itive behavior. children. It affects males five with this complex disorder:

Civil Rights Club provides an open forum for discussion Following one of “The last few years the most divisive have been ones of presidential elections social progress. in U.S. history, more Many people felt like young Americans are they could be or do getting involved in anything, no matter the political scene. where they came In recent years, from. I can’t and there has been an won’t let those hopes Alyssa Arino undeniable uptick of and dreams be taken CVCHS marches, protests CORRESPONDENT away from them.” and other forms of The club meetresistance. Many have similar ings are a free-flowing convermotives: to fight for civil rights sation, mainly focusing on and equality. political and social unrest. A At Clayton Valley Charter club member presents a topic, High School, students join the often via PowerPoint, and anyStudents for Civil Rights Club one attending the meeting can for the same reasons. Created contribute an opinion. by sophomore Lea Chinn, an “It helps people who aren’t avid advocate of civil rights, involved with the news learn the club of 20-plus students more about modern societal spends every Thursday at problems,” says Stefan Jones. lunch discussing current events At a recent meeting, the that raised controversy. club began by viewing a Daily “I created this club because Mail article that focused on I think that it is important that Scottish First Minister Nicola young people have a platform Sturgeon and British Prime and encouragement to speak Minister Theresa May’s legs. At up and learn about the world the same meeting, members around them,” Chinn explains. spoke about the number of

in the program. Sun Terrace will be the STEM Academy, focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Wren Avenue Arts will feature performing and visual arts. Superintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer made a presentation earlier this month to the Concord City Council and assured them that students in the language, arts or STEM programs will have the school theme integrated into the core curriculum that students need to tackle state testing. Students in the Holbrook boundaries before the school shut down in June 2011 are

YVHS works to educate students about autism

April 21, 2017



Denim garments came into existence during the 18th century, when there was abundant production of cotton. They gained importance due to durability and resistance to tearing, which benefited physical laborers. Levi Strauss popularized the garment in the 19th century, manufacturing denim clothing for miners. The 20th century brought jeans into pop culture. Western cowboy

Concord Pioneer •

Lowly denim takes its place in high fashion movies portrayed people wearing blue jeans. In the 1950s, jeans became a craze for teenagers. Manufacturers capitalized on the situation, coming up with innovative designs like new colors, embroidery and patchwork. Hip huggers and bell bottoms became popular during the ’60s and ’70s. Denim started drawing the attention of fashion designers in the ’80s. Popular models brought new and glamorous patterns into the limelight in commercials. Puffy pants, puffy shoulder pads and puffy hair became stylish. In the ’90s, denim became

one of the most sought after fabrics. To skim the cream of the denim market, manufacturers came up with innovative ideas using denim, like skirts, caps and handbags. Denim sales skyrocketed. The new millennium finds denim in homes worldwide. The current trend is all about variety, with bold styles to keep pace with a fast-track lifestyle. Denim is a symbol of modern culture. Be it jeans, a jacket, skirt or any other product, the spirit of fashion lures consumers to shop for denim. A fashion survey reports that the average American

Services will be FREE to members and will include


I have an acquaintance who was seriously ill with undefined symptoms last year. During what turned out to be a fivemonth hospital stay, doctors were unable to determine the cause of her debilitating illness. Her friend confronted a doctor and asked what he was


owns seven to eight pairs of jeans. For women 16-55 years old, 86 percent chose denim as their favorite garment. Eighty-four percent of fashion designers and shoppers see denim in their future. Please join me April 11-18 to view all that is denim and so much more at a private showing in Clayton. Contact me for more details.

TECH TALK “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda

against seniors citizens. Butler defined ageism as prejudicial attitudes toward older people, old age and the aging process. Baby Boomers like me have seen many changes in the world over the past 70 years. As technology advances, it seems we’ve become more selfish, closed-off, scared and hateful. Just listen to the nightly news. I think we should take time to reflect on this truly beautiful world. Just a few minutes a day will recharge us. All age groups have something wonderful to contribute to each other – none more so than those of us who have

lived longer, loved longer and learned so much. The next time you see a golden ager, give them a big smile and say “hello.” Believe me, it will mean a lot. Oh by the way, the woman in Hospice – whom the doctor had given up on – fully recovered.

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

dering apps with multiple monitors. Addressed issue that prevents the conversion of a 24bit image to 32 bits. Addressed issue that causes a file download from a webpage to fail in Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge browsers. Addressed issue that prevents the use of the “Delete Browsing History” feature in Internet Explorer. Addressed issue that prevents users from connecting to a network. Addressed issue that prevents user-built keyboard events from working. Improved reliability of Internet Explorer, Xbox and Skype Virtual Machine Management Service (VMMS), Remote Desktop, Task Scheduler, Microphone Wizard, .NET, font cache, sys-

tem boot and Surface Studio.

Windows 10 is not perfect, but the people at the Redmond, Wash., campus keep trying. They released KB3216755, called a roll-up patch, to the technical community on Jan. 26. It will be available shortly to the public, so watch for this patch. If you have been having issues with Windows 10 lately, it could be pinned on the last Windows operating system patch (release) – the • Addressed known issue anniversary update. called out in KB3213986 in Microsoft inadvertently which users may experience introduced some bugs in this delays while running 3D renKB update, which was

Holbrook, from page 14

The District last month hired Magna Marshall as principal. Following spring break and a vacation to visit her family in Spain, Marshall has setup her office at Holbrook. She is working on the school’s curriculum while hiring staff and planning training programs for them in preparation for the Aug. 22 opening, which is a red-letter day for the Holbrook Heights neighborhood. In her new office, Marshall will be putting up with lots of activity this spring and summer as the District is in the midst of an $8 million

Christine Kogut is a marketing director for the Concord Senior Citizens Club. She has lived in the area for 40 years and formerly worked for the Contra Costa Times. To find out more about the Concord Senior Center, call (925) 6713320 or see the city’s website at

Microsoft patch a step in the right direction

project to bring Holbrook up to other school’s standards after most Measure C projects were skipped at Holbrook and nearby Glenbrook Middle School that closed at the same time as a cost-saving measure by MDUSD. Paving, roofing, landscaping, heating and air conditioning, painting with a new color palette and repairs and replacements in the kitchen, restrooms and to doors and windows are all geared for completion before school opening. Installation of technology and necessary infrastructure is taking place

• • • • •

throughout the campus. District spokesman Ursula Leimbach says the three school’s “teachers will undergo specific professional development on integrating the magnet theme into all areas of the curriculum.” She adds that as Marshall assembles her team, “the district will be working with her to establish programs specific to parent involvement, extended day/after school programs, tutoring, etc.” Meyer says there will be specific collaboration with the other regional magnet schools to leverage their STEM and arts magnet themes for Holbrook students and vice versa.

“Helping seniors live suc in their own homes.”

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

We are now looking for Volunteers

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

To become a part of this grassroots community effort, contact our Outreach Director at 925-672-8717 or

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

doing to make his patient well. His reply was, “We’ve done all we can. … Besides, she’s 70.” With this, he sent her to a Hospice facility to await her demise. Being months shy of 70, I find the doctor’s statement disturbing. It makes me wonder when one’s life changes from being considered viable to something that can be tossed aside. It this based on our looks or stamina? Should we be tested yearly to see if we have enough gray matter left to still contribute to society? Ageism isn’t new. Robert Butler coined the term in 1969 to describe discrimination

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


‘Ageism’ takes a toll on seniors


Page 15

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

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

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Concord Pioneer •


April 21, 2017

Role Players happy to be a ‘Laughing Stock’

Role Players Ensemble will present Charles Morey’s “Laughing Stock” with a few fun additions. Role Players artistic director Eric Fraisher Hayes will not only co-direct with Cynthia Lagodzinski, but he will also be in the show. I can’t remember seeing Hayes perform on stage before – unless you count his pre-show curtain speeches, which can be pretty entertaining. Hayes fittingly plays the director of a summer stock theater desperately trying to save his company by performing “Dracula,” “Hamlet” and “Charlie’s Aunt” in repertory. The company has secured a visit from the noted play-


STAGE STRUCK wright, Charles Morey, following the April 23 Sunday matinee. Hayes and Morey developed a relationship when Role Players produced another of his plays, “The Ladies Man,” a few seasons ago.

John Carter

Craig eychner and eric Fraisher Hayes pair up in a scene from Role Players ensemble’s “Laughing Stock,” at the Village Theatre in Danville.


“He contacted me and said he had fond childhood memories attending the Village Theatre when it was a movie house and watching Abbott and Costello movies,” Hayes explains. “He said if we ever produced another of his plays that he would try and come and see it. I specifically put ‘Laughing Stock’ into our season, hoping his schedule would allow a visit during the run.” The cast also includes John Blytt, Bonnie DeChant and Craig Eychner. The comedy runs through April 30 at the Village Theatre, 233 Front St., Danville. Call 925314-3400 or go to The crazy comedy improvisation group Synergy Theater is offering up a little “Spontaneous Shakespeare.” The talented thespians are taking their completely improvised two-act comedy in the style of William Shakespeare to the Village Theatre in Danville. “We do our best to emulate the style rather than send it up,” explains Synergy’s Kenn Adams. “As it turns out, Shakespeare’s plays are full of outrageous comedy, bawdy humor, broad physical comedy and wild disguises.” The show runs May 5 and 6. For tickets, call 925-3143400 or go to Center Repertory presents a moving play about an important moment in American history – the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Set in 1945, “Sisters Matsumoto” follows three sisters as they return home to the family farm in Stockton after two years in an internment camp in Arkansas. Written by Philip Kan

Gotanda, whose mother was in such a camp, the play tells the story of their efforts to rebuild their lives as Americans and their struggles with the past. “Sisters Matsumoto” runs through April 29 at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr. Also running at the Lesher Center are Contra Costa Musical Theatre’s production of the 1950s-era musical “Grease” through April 30 and “OMG! I Love That Show!” Production’s “End of the Rainbow” through April 23. The latter follows Judy Garland’s comeback at London’s Talk of the Town as she attempts to recapture her magic after her failed marriages and drug abuse. For all shows at the Lesher Center, call 925-943SHOW or go to “Mirror, Mirror on the Janelle Lutz as Judy Garland in “oMG, i Love That Show! wall, who’s the fairest of Productions” presentation of “end of the Rainbow.” them all?” Why Fantasy Forum Actors Ensemble, of course. Bringing wonderful fairy tales to life with unique adaptations and original music, this nationally acclaimed local company has been entertaining children for more than 30 years. On May 11-14, the company presents “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts. Will Snow White eat the poison apple? Will the prince ever find her? There is only one way to find out. Call 925-943-SHOW or go to

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 Fantasy Forum Actors ensemble wraps up its season with “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” at the Lesher Center, to May 11-14.

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April 21, 2017

CALENDAR Concord Pioneer •



Tuesdays and Thursdays Farmers’ Market

Tuesdays year round, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Thursdays, 4 – 8 p.m. Music starting May 11, 6:30 – 8 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord.

On Sale Now Concerts

The Concord Pavilion is located at 2000 Kirker Pass Road. Concert schedule through June 2017: May 27, KBLX Stone Soul Concert, Saturday only, 12 p.m. May 28, Stone Soul, two-day ticket or Sunday only, 12 p.m. Jun. 2, Kidz Bop Tour, 7 p.m. Jun. 7, Chicago and The Doobie Brothers, 7:30 p.m. Jun. 11, Spirit West Coast Concord, 3 p.m. Jun. 23, United We Rock Tour, 7 p.m.

Apr. 22 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; choose search icon and enter (925) 671-3068.

Apr. 22 Secure Your ID Day

Paper only shredding event. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Concord City Hall, 1950 Parkside Drive. Free.

Apr. 29 Hoarding and Chronic Disorganization

By Rachel Seavy. 10 a.m. Concord Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Circle. Free. Register: (925) 671-3320, option 1, or, course 104525.

May 5 – 7 Spring Tea

Sponsored by Concord Historical Society. 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Galindo Home, 1721 Amador Ave. $35. Reserve: (925) 6826383.

May 13 MomDay

Celebrate Mom and enjoy the All Area Music Festival. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord.

May 27 Armed Forces Half Marathon

6:30 a.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. $80 through May 15; $90 after. Register:


Apr. 22 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

Apr. 29 – 30 Art and Wine Festival

Arts, crafts, food, music, wine. Sat. 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sun. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Main Street. Free admission.

May 1 Launch Party

Celebrate Clayton Valley Village nonprofit. 4 – 6 p.m. Endeavor Hall, 6008 Center St. Free.

May 6 - 7 Clayton Gardens Tour

Self-guided tour. Benefits Clayton Historical Society. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Clayton Museum, 6101 Main St. $30.

May 13 Saturday Concerts in the Grove

Rockin Down the Hiway. 6 – 8:30 p.m. Grove Park, downtown Clayton. Free.

Saturdays, May 13 thru Oct. 14 Farmers’ Market

9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 6095 Main St.


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

Apr. 23 Somersville Stroll

1 – 2 p.m. Meet at Black Diamond Mines.

Apr. 29 Passage to Pioneer Pond

9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Meet at Black Diamond Mines.

Apr. 30 Long Wildflower Hike at Morgan Territory

10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Meet at Morgan Territory Staging Area pending road closure.

May 20 History Hike

8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Meet at Clayton Park and Ride.

May 26 An Evening at Rose Hill Cemetery

6 – 8:30 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 and click on Event Calendar for more information.

Apr. 28 Sycamore Canyon and Knobcone Point Hike 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Meet at Curry Point Trailhead.

Apr. 30 Twin Peaks Wildflower Hike

10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Trailhead.

May 5 Curry Canyon and Windy Point Hike

9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Meet at Curry Point Trailhead. Reservations required by May 3:

May 6 Butterfly Walk


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

May 6, 21 Wildflower Walk

10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Meet at Lower Summit. Must register:

May 19 Mt. Olympia and Mitchell Canyon Hike

9:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Trailhead.

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

May 14 Round Valley Family Walk

9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at Round Valley Regional Preserve Trailhead. Registration required.


Apr. 27 “The Jungle Book – Hungarian Musical”

By Pilvax Players. 4 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $35. (925) 943-7469.

Apr. 30 “Those Were the Days”

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

May 4 “A Song to Sing, O!”

Gilbert and Sullivan. 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $50-$55. (925) 943-7469.

May 5 “An A Cappella Evening”

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

May 5 Mariachi Reynas

Female ensemble. 8 p.m. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $40. (925) 427-1611.

May 5 – 6 “Celebrated Masters”

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

May 6 Concert

By Collage. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $15. (925) 943-7469.

May 6 History/Book Talk

By Author Richard Schwartz. 1 – 3:30 p.m. Shell Clubhouse, 1635 Pacheco Blvd., Martinez. $10 donation. Reservation:; (925) 229-1042.

May 7 “Alice in Wonderland”

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

May 7 “Americana Roadtrip”

Joyful music. 7:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $30. (925) 943-7469.

May 7 Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour

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

May 7 Season Finale

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

May 7 Spring Concert – The Ballet School

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

May 11 – 14 “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”

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

May 12 – 13 “Beauty and the Beast JR”

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

May 12 – 13 “Dance Series 02”

Presented by Smuin Ballet. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $57-$73. (925) 9437469.

May 12 – 13 “The Reluctant Dragon”

Performed by El Campanil Children’s Theatre. 7:30 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $8-$12. (925) 757-9500.

May 12 – 21 “Hairspray”

Musical. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $12$25. (925) 427-1611.

May 13 – 14 “Then and Now”

By Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra. 2 p.m. May 13: El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. May 14: Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek.

May 14 May Concert- Diablo Wind Symphony

7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $10. (925) 943-7469.

May 20 “Alice in Wonderland”

By DLUX Puppets. 10 a.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $15. (925) 943-7469.

Page 17

May 20 “Manava”

Music and dances of Tahiti and the Pacific Isle. 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25. (925) 943-7469.

May 20 “Unplugged”

James Taylor tribute. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $10-$27. (925) 757-9500.

May 21 “From Screen and Stage”

By Contra Costa Wind Symphony. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $17. (925) 943-7469.

May 21 “La Traviata”

By Diablo Symphony Orchestra. 2 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $35. (925) 943-7469.

May 21 “Summer Piano Recital”

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

May 21 “Ukulele Uprising II”

By the Delta Strummers. 3 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $15. (925) 7579500.

May 23 “La Fille mal gardee”

By Ligioso Ballet. 6:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $17.75. (925) 943-7469.

May 25 “Spring Ballet Performance 2017”

By Center for Community Arts. 7 p.m. Del Valle Theatre, 1963 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek. $16.75. (925) 943-7469.


Apr. 29 Concert

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


May 5 – 21 “Titus Andronicus”

Revenge story. Diablo Valley College, 321 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill. $16-$21.

May 16 Spring Concert

By Northgate High School. 7 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $20. (925) 943-7469.


Apr. 28 Baking for a Cure

Bake sale for Relay For Life Clayton. 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Starbucks, Clayton Station.

May 6 – 7

Plant sale in conjunction with Bringing Back the Natives Tour. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Markham Regional Arboretum Society Nursery. 1202 La Vista Ave., Concord.

May 6, 13 “Back on Broadway!”

Performed by Tapestry. 7 p.m. May 6: Saint John’s Parish, 5555 Clayton Road, Clayton. May 13: Clayton Valley Presbyterian, 1578 Kirker Pass Road, Clayton.

May 9 Dash and Dine

For Relay For Life Clayton. Skipolini’s, 1033 Diablo St., Clayton. Bring flier at

May 13 Plant Sale

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

May 13 Poker Tournament

By Soroptimist of Diablo Vista. 5:30 – 10:30 p.m. Elks Lodge, 3565 Clayton Road, Concord. $60.

May 13 Rummage Sale

Benefits Boy Scout Troop 370. 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Salvation Army, 3950 Clayton Road, Concord. Donations accepted through May 12; contact Marina (925) 234-3470 or


Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. Programs afree unless otherwise noted. Full schedule of events: or (925) 646-5455. Apr. 21 - 23: Book Sale Apr. 27, May 25: Master Gardeners, 6:30 p.m. Apr. 29: Concord Art Assoc. Spring Show & Sale, 10 a.m. The Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at or call (925) 673-0659. Thru Apr. 30: Black Out Poetry. Supplies provided. Apr. 24: Putting the You in University, 7 p.m. Register. May 1: Scavenger Hunt, 4 p.m. May 12 – 14: Book Sale


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

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

1st and 3rd Wednesdays Concord Planning Commission

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

Vistas await on Back Creek Trail Page 18

Concord Pioneer •

Kevin Parker

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

George Cardinet Back Creek Trail

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

I’m what you call a clockwise hiker, but I had never given it much thought. However, the George Cardinet Back Creek Trail is best hiked counterclockwise – and preferably in the morning. Back Creek Trail begins as a fairly steep and unmarked trail just inside Regency Gate, but don’t let the first 100 yards scare you as this trail is worth the effort. The trail quickly ascends into rolling hills, with partial views of Meridian Ridge and probably one of the best scenic angles of Mt. Diablo. The trail continues to meander uphill on a steady but friendly climb as the trail narrows along Back Creek, which had a steady flow of water. Count on numerous creek crossings, 10 for this hike. Most were easy to navigate, however, I recommend a set of hiking poles for balance, stability and rhythm. Follow the trail through a shaded thicket of foliage, which provided shady conditions and cool air the entire way up. Veer left at the sign onto Meridian Point Trail and flank the hillside through a series of switchbacks on a neatly manicured trail with sections of loose rock and sparsely populated poison oak branches ready to strike bare skin. (Pack some Technu.) Meridian Point Trail pushes up through the lush greenery found on Mt. Diablo this time of year and crosses into more of a chaparral community, complete with sagebrush and wildflowers. Keep an eye on the trail as views of Eagle and Twin peaks in the morn-

Red-tail hawks can fall victim to rodent poison



Mount Diablo State Park docent Dirk Muehlner has monitored raptor nests for the last six years, photographing them from the nearest point he can find without disturbing the birds. This season, he’s watching two redtailed hawk nests that are near each other. There are four eggs in one nest, due to hatch any day, and the other nest is home to three little fuzzy white hatchlings born March 25. The adults are busy keeping them fed, a job that will only get bigger. Red-tails are so common in our area that you’re usually right if you shout “red-tail!” when you spot a hawk. They are voracious predators, especially with a bunch of babies in the nest. Ground squirrels are preferred, because they’re a good-sized meal – a sort of Big Mac for red-tails. But the hawks will also grab moles, voles, rats and snakes. Muehlner walks several miles daily in the mountain’s foothills. At the end of March, I got to join him at one of the nests. It was a real treat. We watched from a distance, sitting in the lush grass

Dirk Muehlner

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

high on a ridgeline, with oaks crowding the steep slope below. An enormous nest was somewhere down there, just below eye level, but I couldn’t spot it. The snow-white babies were tucked away tight, making the nest disappear into the welter of branches. Muehlner eventually guided my eyes to the sunsplashed nest in the fork of an oak. It’s a big nest, remodeled by the hawks every spring with another layer of heavy twigs jammed in this way and that. We could spot a wobbly little fuzzball head every so often. After about 20 minutes, one of the parents flew in and stood on the rim of the nest. We’re lucky in the Bay Area to have so much protected land. The Diablo area is particularly rich, and some of that wealth is in the numbers and variety of hawks and other birds of prey. Unfortunately, these birds are often the unintended victims of rodenticides people

put out to kill rats or ground squirrels. The rodenticides on the market kill rodents slowly, making them easier for birds of prey to nab. The poison accumulates in their bodies and, even worse, the birds feed poisoned animals to their nestlings. A few years ago, all three red-tail fledglings in one of the nests Muehlner monitors were poisoned to death. At we watched the red-tail nest, the spring sun had grown too warm, so the parent slowly settled into the nest. The bird spread its wings over the babies like a patio umbrella, tucking the nestlings in and keeping a keen eye on the landscape. Maybe the bird’s mate would be home soon with a ground squirrel. Hobbet is a docent with the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association. For more information about rodenticides, see You can send email to her at

ing light make this a second to none vista point. The final section of this trail is very steep, but your hard work is rewarded as you finally top out at Meridian Ridge Road. This road begins a gradual descent as you cross into Donner Canyon. During the morning hours, the direction and intensity of the sun provide that much-needed shot of vitamin D as well as highlight the explosive shades of green covering every hillside. Stay on Donner Canyon Road for a short time and make a quick right on Het-


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

April 21, 2017





back to Regency Gate is easy cruising, as intermittent shade and sun follow you back to where you started.

You can contact Kevin Parker with comments or questions by email at

The melting of the ice sheets around illulissat, Greenland and elsewhere in the Arctic is accelerating thanks to global warming.

Q. Is it true that the Paris climate accord as it stands won’t be enough to stave off cataclysmic global warming anyway, even if the U.S. and the other participating countries honor their commitments? A. To date, 197 countries have signed onto 2015’s landmark Paris climate accord (“The Paris Agreement”), which aims to limit global warming to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100 through voluntary emissions reduction plans. But skeptics argue that even if all participating countries follow through with their promised cuts, we may still come up short in leveling off global warming as needed. Researchers working on the Climate Action Tracker, a tool used to monitor climate action and global efforts to meet Paris Agreement goals, found that

with current and planned emissions reduction policies, we are on track to hold the global mean temperature down to approximately 2.8°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100— not the 2°C environmental leaders are hoping we can achieve. For some context, the current global average mean temperature hovers around 1°C above pre-industrial levels, but climatologists expect the warming to accelerate as a result of a century’s worth of carbon dioxide (CO2) built up in the atmosphere. If we keep up our current pace of emissions without any checks, climate models suggest the global average mean temperature will rise about 3.6°C by 2100. Meanwhile, others think we are even further from achieving our goals. Blogger and Skeptical Environmentalis author Bjorn Lomborg calculates that, even if each of the

Paris signatories keeps its emissions reduction promises, we can only expect a negligible reduction in global mean temperature, that is, only 0.17°C lower by 2100, but still well above what climatologists consider safe and sustainable. “Paris is being sold as the summit where we can help ‘heal the planet’ and ‘save the world’,” says Lomborg. “It is no such thing.” What such negative extrapolations don’t factor in is that the Paris Agreement leaves room for participating nations to adjust their emissions reduction goals moving forward. Indeed, setting more ambitious targets mid-stream is baked into the agreement. Negotiators figure that improving technologies and the reduced cost of renewables in the coming years will

See Earthtalk, page 20

Crab Cove, Tilden on ‘must do’ list for Earth Day outings p.m. on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22. Visitors can create their own litterbug craft, view an environmental puppet show, and play recycling games. Activities will all be at the Coyote Hills Visitor Center, which is at the end of Patterson Ranch Road off Paseo Padre Parkway. Coyote Hills NeD MCKAY has a parking fee of $5 per vehicle; the programs are free PARK IT of charge. For information, Earth Day, an annual call 510-544-3220. rededication to environmental preservation and protecCrab Cove Visitor Cention, first celebrated in 1970, ter in Alameda will also will be marked again this year honor Earth Day during by special events in several Family Nature Fun Hour East Bay Regional Parks. from 2 to 3 p.m. on both SatAt Coyote Hills Regional urday and Sunday, April 22 Park in Fremont, “reduce, and 23. You can make your reuse and recycle” will be the own artistic creations using orders of the day in family- recycled materials, under the friendly, naturalist-led pro- guidance of the interpretive grams between 10 a.m. and 4 staff.

Crab Cove is at the end of McKay Avenue off Alameda’s Central Avenue. A parking fee of $5 per vehicle in the small lot may apply Memorial Day through Labor Day. The programs are free. Crab Cove staff also will participate in Alameda’s Earth Day event, which is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 22 at Washington Park next to Crown Beach. There will be activities and giveaways with environmental themes, plus food and beverages available for purchase. Come to Crab Cove from 8:30 to 10 a.m. before the Washington Park event for a volunteer beach and pond cleanup. The cleanup is for ages four and older, students

See Parks, page 22

April 21, 2017

Concord Pioneer •


Nervous rescue dogs may need more time to adjust

DeBBie DeMeLLo




Sometimes, the dog you meet at the shelter is not the same dog you see weeks or even months later. Maybe you were drawn to this dog at the shelter and now you have him home. He is wonderful, with just a few small exceptions. For example, he leans into you and

snuggles when you pet him – but other people aren’t getting the same response. Sometimes he pulls away or won’t come close to them and may occasionally growl. If he is lying on his bed, he may freeze when people try to pet him. Sometimes he stares at them suspiciously. This may worry you, but it is actually not unusual. Much like humans, dogs don’t display their entire personality upon the first meeting. They change over time, depending

Animals on Broadway includes Pet Walk

The 17th annual Animals on Broadway is a free community festival on Saturday, May 20, at Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek. Sponsored by Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF), the event kicks off at 9:30 a.m. with a one-mile Pet Walk. The gentle trek around Broadway Plaza raises funds for ARF’s life-saving programs. Register for the Pet Walk at

on their environment. The first few weeks are “the honeymoon period,” when the dog settles into his new home and everyone gets used to each other. One of the first things you probably loved about your new dog is that he seemed to bond to you immediately. The need to bond is very strong within dogs. They require a family, or pack, to survive. Even dogs who are not well-socialized will bond strongly to one or two people. Once that bond has formed, the dog might feel a certain sense of security. Many dogs believe that their new human will protect them when they sense danger. They are also likely to have a bond with their home environment, which they see as their territory. If that is “invaded,” the dog will likely be suspicious. The friendly dog you met is now a suspicious dog, wary of strangers and defensive of his territory. But all is not

Delilah and Bootsie are this month’s ARF stars


Seven-year-old Delilah is a smart and active girl who is always looking for a job to do. She would benefit greatly from engaging in an activity like nosework, kept busy with fun, interactive toys or a rawhide when it’s time to settle down for the day. Delilah would certainly make a great addition to anyone’s home, especially if they can provide her with new and exciting challenges to conquer. The adoption fee for dogs is $250 and includes a discount

lost. There are many things you can do to help your new companion. Most require a lot of time and patience because you will be trying to build trust. Unlike bonding, trust is earned and cannot be rushed. First, make sure that you are as reliable and predictable as possible. Set house rules so your dog knows what is expected from him. Feeding times, rest times and play times are all important as well as where these things take place. It’s important that all of his experiences are calm, controlled and friendly. If your dog has shown a tendency to be shy with new people, have all new people behave aloof and even ignore him. Tossing treats is a good idea. If the dog approaches, try petting for a couple of seconds. Prolonged petting may produce a fear response. Continue this pattern for weeks or even months, depending on how quickly your dog shows relaxation. Patience is key. As your dog learns that you are trustworthy, he will be able to cope with experiences that previously scared him. He will look to you for guidance, and that’s truly what your role is when parenting a dog. Debbie DeMello is a dog trainer and owner of Who’s Training Who in Walnut Creek. Contact her at

Page 19

You are invited to a

Goodwill Vintage Fashion Show Sat., May 6, 10 a.m. Join us for a morning of fun and fashion followed by a light tea. Sponsored by Concord United Methodist Women. For more information, contact Linda Jinks at

No fee; freewill donations appreciated. All donations support Goodwill’s mission to provide vocational services and employment opportunities for people with barriers to employment.

Concord United Methodist Church 1645 West St., Concord (925) 685-5260

925-250-0334 FREE ESTIMATES

Owners Dustin & Kim Waraner

Contractors Lic #879423 Arborist Lic WE-7372A


on the first six-week session of cue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell a manners class. Drive, Walnut Creek, during adoption hours: Noon to 6 pm Five-year-old Bootsie is a Wednesday & Thursday, Noon lovely girl with her beautiful to 7 pm Friday, and Noon to 6 tuxedo markings. She prefers pm Saturday & Sunday. the company of human friends and would do best in a single Would you like to be part of the cat home. She is a great com- heroic team that saves the lives of panion cat and loves to snug- rescued dogs and cats? Can you gle. share your talents to connect people The adoption fee for a cat and animals? ARF volunteers are is $75. making a difference! For more information see our website, Meet your forever friend at, or call (925) 256Tony La Russa’s Animal Res- 1ARF.

Space is limited. Contact us now!

Sunday, May 14 • Two Seatings at 10:30 a.m. & 1 p.m.

if you’re looking for place to go for a delicious Mother’s Day Brunch, come celebrate with mom and all the family at oakhurst Country Club

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

Your mother will enjoy our delectable selection of food, drink, and beautiful surroundings as part of her special day. Complimentary beverage for Mothers

$50.99++ Adults • $29.99++ Children (ages 4-12)

For reservations, contact (925) 672-9737 ext. 217 |

1001 Peacock Creek Drive, Clayton, CA |

CST #2033054-40

Ph: 925.672.9840

Like us on

Page 20

Concord Pioneer •

When remodeling bathroom, start with tile down your options. Tile is decorative, functional and, depending on what material you use, it can account for a good amount of a remodel budget. Porcelain is made to withstand the masses and laughs at the notion of “wear and tear.” Other than typical cleaning, it’s virtually maintenance free. There is no need to apply a yearly sealant as natural stone requires. Porcelain is great for floors and walls and comes in a variety of sizes, from 2-inch by 2For versatility and easy maintenance, porcelain is great for inch mosaics to tiles up to 48 floors and walls and comes in a variety of sizes. by 96 inches. Porcelain can create an You’ve spent months col- scheme? If the design aesthetic overly rustic and distressed lecting your favorite items, traditional, transitional, mod- hardwood flooring look-afrom the perfect chandelier ern or somewhere in between? like, or a sleek, polished marover the bathtub to a vanity Do you need a new vanity? faucet, but deciding where to Can plumbing be moved? All start on a bathroom remodel these decisions are important can be daunting. to the overall decorative and Often, the ideas you’ve col- functional outcome. lected spur new questions. Starting with tile selection What is the general color can be a great way to narrow

Earthtalk, from page 18

help drive down emissions more than we can count on at this point, and getting more nations on-board now is the top priority. To wit, the U.S. has promised “deep, economy-wide emission reductions of 80 percent or more by 2050” while the European Union has likewise pledged to slash its own emissions by 80 to 95 percent of 1990 levels by 2050. But are such lofty goals achievable? Stockholm University’s Johan Rockström thinks so, but only if we’re careful how we get there. Lead author on a recent paper on the topic in Science Magazine, Rockström argues that we need to cut greenhouse gas emissions from utilities and industry around the world in

half every decade until 2050 while also cutting out net greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and deforestation altogether. Meanwhile, we’ll have to significantly scale up efforts to sequester CO2. According to Rockström, if we can remove five gigatons of CO2 from the atmosphere every year until 2050—almost double what the world’s trees and soils already do naturally—we might be able to get in striking distance of the 2°C goal. EarthTalk® is produced by Roddy Scheer & Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of the nonprofit Earth Action Network. To donate or learn more, visit Send questions to:

FREE ESTIMATES •Lawn & Plant Installation

Occasionally a book comes along that almost leaves me speechless. Such was the case with Hope Jahren’s “Lab Girl,” a memoir of her rural Minnesota childhood leading to her spectacular standing as a female scientist. Even if science isn’t your thing, the book covers family, love, travel, politics, suspense, mother-daughter relationships, illness, humor, abiding friendship, parenthood and, above all, commitment to a profession and a hard-won sense of self. Jahren, the youngest and only girl in her family, adored her college teaching father who allowed her to take refuge in his physics and earth science laboratory. For monetary reasons, her mother gave up her own university scientific aspirations to return home – settling for marriage and motherhood. Jahren’s childhood was marked by brothers away at university, an angry mother and a family of few words. By the time the author leaves for college, her socializing skills are nearly nonexistent but not really necessary for a life she already knows



minimum. When starting a bathroom project, take time to browse the many materials available to come up with a design that not only functionally comes together but also delights your inner designer. Jennifer Leischer is the owner of J. Designs Interior Design in Clayton. Contact her with questions, comments and suggestions at



will someday be spent in a lab of her own. “Lab Girl” begins with Jahren inviting us into her world of science by simply suggesting the reader look at a leaf. What is its color, its size, its shape? She then tells the reader, “Now you ask a question about your leaf. Guess what? You are now a scientist.” Entering a profession that does not put out the welcome mat for women is only one of many hurdles in Jahren’s path. To make her mark as a female biological chemist and paleobotanist in a profession dominated by men will be a monumental struggle. Luckily, Jahren meets a labmate in grad school, a shy, young

scientist with whom a lifelong personal and professional friendship develops. Bill and Hope might as well be “paternal twins,” so bonded do they become. A teaching scientist must use her wits to fund a laboratory necessary for research, and the competition is tough. Jahren enters the world of grant money, government and private, and when the chips are down, even a little skullduggery to acquire all the vials, instruments and other equipment necessary for a successful scientist. Bill, who isn’t a teacher, is hired to work alongside Jahren, and his salary, too, is

her responsibility. Their travels from universities to frozen digs, to roadside zoos and to hospital rooms create a remarkable, enduring friendship. Jahren learns about life while we learn about plants. I, for one, never knew trees go through adolescence. An entirely new set of life instructions occurs when Jahren marries and gives birth to a son. Writing with directness and warmth, Jahren enlarges our experience by reintroducing us to everything botanical and its place in our lives. “Lab Girl” offers the chance to learn some of the most amazing scientific facts about the greenery (or lack thereof) around us and the equally amazing scientists committed to research and to teaching everything they can so we might better understand the importance of sustaining and sharing planet Earth. Sunny Solomon is a freelance writer and head of the Clayton Book Club. Visit her website at for her latest recommendations or just to ‘talk books.’

Poor character development does in ‘Belko’

•Paver Patio & Walkway

925-672-9955 Boyce Nichols - Owner Clayton Resident

tured differently and stand up to wear and tear differently. Made by Mother Nature, natural stone has no rival. Stone has it covered, from granite slabs for a vanity or shower walls, marble tiles in a variety of sizes for a floor or other surfaces to decorative mosaics and field tile. But in return, you must maintain this beautiful material. Natural stone is porous, which means it must be sealed regularly to keep its sheen and preserve the life of the stone. Sometimes the best-looking bathrooms are those that mix and match porcelain, ceramic and natural stone, while keeping function in mind and maintenance to a

‘Lab’ looks at life from varied angles

•Retaining Walls •Drainage •Low Voltage Lighting

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ble look-a-like. There are also mini mosaics with a metallic finish, or a tile that has a very pronounced texture. Porcelain can do all of this, without the maintenance or the occasional sliver. While porcelain tiles are made to be tough and stand up against heavy traffic areas, ceramic tiles are softer. They’re better in more decorative applications like shower walls, wainscoting and backsplashes. Because ceramic tiles are much softer than porcelain, floor installations are not advised because the tiles will eventually crack. This isn’t to say that porcelain is indestructible and ceramic is not, but the two materials are manufac-

April 21, 2017



Anyone who works in an office might be able to empathize with the fantasy of killing one’s boss. But “The Belko Experiment” takes it several steps further. Not only are the workers supposed to kill their boss, but they have to kill as many coworkers as they can if they want to survive. In middle-of-nowhere Colombia, 80 Americans show up for another day of work in their isolated office building. Something seems a little off, with the appearance of more armed guards than usual. Director Greg McLean (“Wolf Creek”) bathes everything in a pallid, green tint. Just like the workers, we aren’t supposed to feel totally comfortable here. Early on, McLean sets up the awkwardness between the employees. COO Barry Norris (Tony Goldwyn) walks in on everyman Mike Milch making

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

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

ing moment, and McLean delivers it well. The next ultimatum is to kill 30 employees within two hours, or 60 of them will die. Leaders emerge and unilateral decisions are made on who lives and who dies. It’s a gutwrenching scene. Aside from father-of-two Terry (Owain Yeoman), the rest of the leaders are villainous archetypes that make it easy for the audience to side with the remainder of the employees. But again, had this been a cohesive office, with generally good people making these tough decisions, the film could have been a total success. The third act is mostly a cat-and-mouse game with wellshot chase scenes and some over-the-top mayhem as a

“Saw” meets “Hunger Games” tableau plays out. Although the tension is frequently broken by attempts at gallows humor, the jokes fall flat as the scenario is far too serious for more than an occasional nervous chuckle. The sense that there is a great movie somewhere inside of a good one is given hope by the open ending. Perhaps the captors chose this office because of its strange assortment of workers. Maybe as with “The Purge,” the second film in the series will far outdo the first. B-

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

Plan carefully for a crop of tasty tomatoes April 21, 2017



Concord Pioneer •

Tomatoes are the most planted food crop in our valley landscapes, containers and gardens. Plant lovers covet the tomato, basing their entire green thumb success on the production of this juicy, sweet red fruit. People want to enjoy the successes of a bountiful vegetable/fruit garden, but most haven’t the time for daily visits to the garden to inspect the

progress, peek at the foliage and look for blossoms. We know what we want out of our gardens, yet we don’t give the garden what it wants. Thoughtful planning can help on your journey to success. Tomato plants need to be installed where they can get at least six hours of direct, hot sun. They can be planted in the ground, a raised bed or a container. Those using our local

‘Bringing Back the Natives’ features Concord garden KATHY KRAMER Special to the Pioneer

Dan and Lisa Wanket were tired of the large date palm, juniper and white decorative rock in their front yard and needed a yard makeover. “We planned on putting in a lawn. However, as the drought set in, we gradually shrank its size and ultimately we decided we would prefer drought-tolerant landscaping,” Dan said. They wanted a garden filled with California natives that were drought-tolerant, aesthetically pleasing and wildlife friendly. Kelly Marshall Garden Design created a charming front garden with a waterfall, stream and shallow pond. Birds love to bathe in the pond, and the Wankets sit by it to relax. The garden will open for the 30th annual Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, May 7. The diversity of native plants also attracts wildlife. Chestnut-backed chickadees, lesser goldfinches, mourning doves, quail and black-headed grosbeaks visit the garden for seeds, nesting material, dirt

Photo courtesy Bringing Back the Natives Tour

This Concord garden is just one on the “Bringing Back the Natives Tour” which showcases California natives in gardens on large lots in the hills to small front yards in the flats.

baths and water. On a recent evening, a gray fox was spotted near the bog. “The fox looked at me, then casually trotted across the yard to the street – leaving behind a gift of scat as remembrance,” Dan recalled. The free, award-winning, self-drive Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour features 40 Contra Costa and Alameda county gardens that are pesticide-free, water conserving, provide habitat for wildlife and

contain at least 60 percent native plants. The event includes 40 talks where registrants can learn how to select and care for California native plants, design a low-maintenance garden, lower water bills, garden without using pesticides and attract butterflies, birds and bees. A $15 per person donation is requested.

sticky clay for tomatoes must put some effort into preparing the soil. Rototill, turn and add composted chicken manure and soil conditioner a couple of weeks before installation. This will create a more ideal environment for tomatoes to thrive. The same types of soil preparation applies for a raised bed. If you are considering planting tomatoes in containers, think big. Larger pots can accommodate the eventual sizes of the plants and roots. Smart Pots fabric containers are reasonably priced and an excellent solution for tomato planting. The fibrous material of the Smart Pot encourages root growth without any of the root circling problems that can develop in container plants. Use a premium potting soil and soil conditioners developed for production plants. Now it’s time to select the type of tomato. Champion tomatoes are an excellent choice for those who don’t have lots of room. Champions grow only 20-30 inches tall, and they produce 3-4 inch fruit after just 70 days. They are easy and fantastic. Roma tomatoes are for those who love to make tomato sauces. They have meatier flesh, fewer seeds and thinner skin than other selections. Romas are pear-shaped and bright red when ripe. The plants grow 36 inches tall and wide, and fruit should begin to ripen after 75 days. Celebrity is a bigger tomato, maturing to about 7 ounces each. Celebrities are sweet, with an average amount of seeds and lots of juice. This tomato is good for the sandwich lover. You can

Page 21

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

expect large yields from this plant, with ripening beginning 70-95 days after flowers sets. Early Girl is a sought-after selection. It’s tasty and gives huge crops of 4-6 ounce tomatoes. They ripen 55-65 days after flower sets. For those interested in Heirloom varieties, consider only installing a few. Some of the selections available aren’t the heaviest producers, and it may not be fulfilling to give lots of effort for just three to five pieces of fruit. Cherokee Purple has been rewarding, with fruit that is sweet and fleshy. Brandywine tomatoes are good producers that ripen 90 days after flower. The flavor is slightly acidic, so it’s an acquired taste. Yellow pear tomatoes are another popular selection. The sweet flavor and unusual shape make it desirable in salads, or enjoyed right off the plant. Black Cherry is a cherry tomato with dark purple, almost black skin. They have a high

yield and are sweet and fun. When you plant tomatoes, remove many of the bottom leaves and plant 3-4 inches of the stem below the soil line. Remove blossoms on new installs and remove the next set as well. You want the plant to focus on strong roots first. Once installed, work a granular tomato fertilizer into the soil. Feed with a watersoluble fertilizer weekly for growth. Use a product with a larger first number than middle number. When you let the tomato flower, change to a fertilizing product that has a larger second number than first. Fox Farm, Maxsea and Master Nursery all have products that will satisfy these different needs. This may sound like a lot, but tomatoes are worth it. Homegrown ones are always more flavorful then the ones in the store. Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. Email

Preregistration is required at

Imagination keynote in this year’s Clayton Gardens Tour

Looking to buy or sell? Call us for ALL of your real estate needs. COMING SOON

• Concord Home For Sale

Call for price 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1477 sq. ft.

Listing agents: Paula Johnstone & Rula Masannat


• 249 Western Hills Dr., Pleasant Hill

$725,000 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, 1693 sq. ft.

Listing agent: Doug Van Riper

Photo courtesy Clayton Historical Society

This dramatic front yard is just one of the five gardens featuring outdoor art, waterfalls and outdoor kitchens on the Clayton Gardens Tour.

Like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, lush and colorful spring gardens are the reward for the last rainsoaked, mud-splattered four months. Five beautiful Clayton gardens will be strutting their spring stuff on the Clayton Historical Society’s Garden Tour May 6 and 7. Each garden on the tour is an imaginative expression of its owners’ personalities. Fran and Rich Veal’s backyard is all about entertaining. Paver pathways shaded by a large redwood and a waterfall cascading over a rock wall

planted with succulents and flowering plants invite friends to linger over a glass of wine. The backyard also takes center stage at Larry and Denise Andres’ home. Since moving into the home in 2000, they have given the yard a complete makeover – turning every shovel of dirt themselves. The tour of this home begins through a “secret garden” with an aviary, pond and fire pit. Low maintenance and drought resistance were top priorities when Linda and John Perkins designed their front yard. Creative placement

of shrubs and boulders along a dry creek leads to a water feature where a spire rock and metal meditating monk make a dramatic statement. Two more Clayton homes complete the self-guided tour, which is held rain or shine. Proceeds provide maintenance and upkeep for the Clayton Museum. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Purchase pre-sale tickets with cash or check at the Clayton Museum, 6101 Main St., and R&M Nursery, 6780 Marsh Creek Road, Clayton, during business hours. Or pay online at

PENDING: Buyer Representation

• 506 Raven Pl., Clayton


3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, 877 sq. ft.

Listing agent: Matt Mazzei

Matt Mazzei, Jr.,

Paula & Rod Johnstone

Rula Masannat

BRE# 01881269

DRE# 00797857

DRE# 01923757

Broker Associate

Broker/Owner 925-766-6745

Paula 925-381-8810 Rod 925-286-5765 Clayton residents since 1959

925-693-0757 (Main)


Sales Agent 415-310-2905

6160 Center St. Suite #C, Clayton

925-693-0752 (Fax)

Harlem Wizards take on Northgate All-Stars Page 22

Concord Pioneer •

The Harlem Wizards, an off-shoot of the Globetrotters, were created in 1962 to provide a more “intimate” show basketball experience. They take all the trick dribbling, high-flying comedy of the Globetrotters but play against a customized team of a community’s choosing. The Wizards are bringing their act to the Northgate High School gymnasium in Walnut Creek on Sunday, April 30. The Wizards become well-known, especially in the Northeast, as a way to bring communities together, meet and interact with the players, laugh and enjoy a family friendly event that was more accessible than the Trotters. Eric “Broadway” Jones will be among the Wizards at Northgate. A native of the Bronx and a former Globetrotter, Jones starred at Our Savior Lutheran High School. At only 6-2, he led his team with a 15-rebound average to go with his 15 points per game. “Broadway” went on to Urbana University of the Mid-Ohio Conference, taking

his team to a 48-14 record over a two-year span. Jones said his favorite moments – including playing at Madison Square Garden and on tour in China – have come with the Wizards. “We live to entertain and put smiles on faces,” Jones said. “Every Wizards game we play in, it’s a different feel with a different crowd but one thing never changes: Everyone goes home happy.” Dan Ourian coordinates JFK University’s LEAP Program, a non-profit organization that uses sport psychology mental skills with underserved youth. He is working closely with Northgate athletic director Earle Paynton on this event, which will raise funds for LEAP and the Northgate athletic department. The show-stopping Wizards will play against a team of teachers, staff, players and “local celebrities,” who will be announced as the event gets closer. Adonal Foyle, former Golden State Warrior and ambassador for the team,

Parks, from page 18

earn community service hours. Registration is required for the cleanup program. Call 888-327-2757, select option 2, and refer to program 16061.

Earth Day will be celebrated in two other regional parks – Point Pinole in Richmond and Diablo Foothills in Walnut Creek – with volunteer work from

8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 22. Volunteers will remove invasive plants and help to create healthy habitat. An adult should accompany any children under 16 years old. Registration is required for these events. For registration and information, call 888-327-2757 and select option 2. For Pt. Pinole, refer to program number 16431;

April 21, 2017

will be the celebrity coach of the Northgate All-Stars. “We are thrilled to have the Northgate All-Stars give it their best shot against the Wizards, helping to raise money for a great cause and putting on a fun-filled show,” said Ourian, who worked for the Wizards as a staff person 10 years ago. Ourian says Jones is one of the funniest showmen alive. “I’ve seen him in action many times, and he never fails to make the crowd laugh and get them excited about the action. He even dances in the stands with the kids. We are lucky to have him and his unit coming to Northgate.”

Tickets are on sale at Advance tickets are $18 students and $22 general admission. If still available, tickets can be purchased at Northgate the day of the event for $20 students and $25 general admission at the door. Tip-off is 1 p.m.; doors open at noon. Northgate is at 425 Castle Rock Road.

Photo courtesy Harlem Wizards

eric “Broadway” Jones and the Harlem Wizards will face an All Star team of students and teachers at Northgate High School in a benefit game for JFK’s LeAP program April 30.

for Diablo Foothills refer to Nature’s Web” from 2 to 3 16432. p.m. Interpretive student aide Brianna Contaxis-Tucker will Though not keyed directly lead a matching game that to the Earth Day theme, shows the interrelationships Tilden Nature Area near of the animal world and who Berkeley has two nature pro- eats whom. grams on Saturday, April 22. Both programs are free. The first is “Reading the Meet at Tilden’s EnvironDeer Jaw,” from 1 to 2 p.m., mental Education Center, led by naturalist Anthony which is at the north end of Fisher. Anthony has a collec- Central Park Drive. For infortion of jaws he will use to mation, call 510-544-2233. show how to gauge a deer’s age at death, and other animal A stroll and a story are on facts. Next is “Weaving the agenda from 10:30 to

Nancy E. Bennett 4416 Indigo Ct., Concord

Pe wit ndin hM gi ult n 6 ipl e o days ffe rs

Wonderfully updated throughout! This Crossings beauty boasts 4 beds/2.5 baths in 2,053 sq. ft., updated eat-in kitchen with quartz counters and stainless steel appliances. Vaulted ceilings, two fireplaces, formal dining and living areas and much more! Offered at $754,000


Coming Soon

11:30 a.m. Monday, April 24 at Martinez Regional Shoreline. Naturalist Virginia Delgado will lead a walk from the boardwalk to a sandy beach, exploring salt marsh wildlife along the way and ending with a story. The program is for ages 2 and older, accompanied by an adult. Meet at the parking lot off North Court Street in Martinez. For information, call 510-544-2750.

program from 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 23 at Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley. You can learn about the park’s eight-leggers and join in some arachnid activities. Big Break is at 69 Big Break Road off Oakley’s Main Street. For information, call 888-327-2757, ext. 3050.

Ned McKay is Public InformationSupervisor for EBRPD. Email Spiders are the stars of a him at

Nancy sells more than 8 times as many homes as the average realtor, call today to learn how!

1371 Water Lily Way, Concord

649 Sitka Dr., Walnut Creek

Nicely updated Turtle Creek home featuring 4 beds/3 baths in 2,537 sq. ft., lots of room to spread out, plus an additional bonus room for your office or?? Wonderful backyard with endless possibilities. Offered at $720,000

Fantastic Woodlands 2-story gem featuring 3 beds/2.5 baths. This light and airy home on a quiet street has many custom upgrades and a fantastic backyard. Live in this highly sought after neighborhood close to elementary school and new shopping center. Offered at $985,000

Featuring 4 bedrooms / 2 baths in 1,092 sq. ft. First time home buyer opportunity.


Lovely tri-level boasting 4 bedrooms / 2.5 baths in 2,123 sq. ft., vaulted ceilings with original wood, lots of original features.


Nicely updated Condo 1 bedroom / 1 bath in just over 600 sq. ft.

ay M . t a S


Crossings Annual

Community Garage Sale

Saturday May 6th 8am – 1pm

Come join the fun and find some treasures at our neighborhood-wide sale!

Located in the Crossings Community in Concord

How can we help you and your family today? We helped more than 100 families buy and sell homes in 2016.

Nancy Bennett, Realtor @ Keller Williams Realty CEO, The Bennett Team #1 Agent in Concord, #1 Team, Keller Williams East Bay #5 Team Nationally (U.S. & Canada) Keller Williams CalBRE #01399870



APR 21 Concord Pioneer 2017  

Concord Pioneer newspaper, local news for Concord and Contra Costa county. In-depth features, business, the local arts scene, ­sports, gover...

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