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Clayto Cleans n April 26, 9 U p a.m


Ci BBQ ty Hall Co . lunch urtya rd fo at 11 r voluntee :30 rs

April 25, 2014


State schools leader calms Common Core fears PEGGY SPEAR Clayton Pioneer

The state superintendent of schools’ office has some soothing words for critics of Common Core, the contentious new curriculum standards set to

debut in California classrooms next fall. “We’re not New York,” said Craig Cheslog, a principal advisor to State Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson, speaking to members of the Diablo Valley Democratic Club earlier

this month. “We’re not going to screw it up.” With those words, Cheslog acknowledged what many of the growing number of Common Core critics have been saying — that in some states this new education revolution is ill-thought

out, politically motivated and possibly damaging to kids. Cheslog said many highranking education leaders of the state’s, as well as a majority of its teachers, support Common Core and its focus on preparing students for careers in the 21st

century. “Many states have rushed to implement Common Core,” Cheslog says. “There has been little to no professional development, and they are rushing the testing without making sure it works, linking them to high

stakes. In California, we will be ‘testing the test’ before it’s linked to high stakes.” There will be no API-like score for two years, he said, referring to the scores schools

See Common Core, pg 8

Ed’s celebrates 20 years in Clayton Downtown bar and grill is home base to two generations of loyal fans JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer



Springtime in Clayton I love this time of year. The hills are green. The wildflowers are in bloom. The weather is getting warm. I hope you are enjoying spring in Clayton. Things are relatively quiet in Clayton these days. There is a lot of excitement for the new bocce ball courts that the Ipsen family, Skipolini’s and the CBCA are installing. The Ipsens have had a very positive impact on Clayton over the years and the bocce ball courts will be a nice addition to their legacy.

See Mayor, page 6

Tamara Steiner

CHANCES ARE WHEN YOU DINE AT ED’S MUDVILLE GRILL YOU’LL RUN INTO SOMEONE FROM YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD, school or sports team. It’s almost certain you’ll recognize members of the staff, many of whom have been there for most of the 20 years that Ed’s has been open. The Mudville crew includes, seated from left, Dominic Moresi, John Mahloch, Morgan Herrera, Greg Neely; standing, Stephanie Moresi, Ed Moresi, Samantha Reinholdt, Lorenzo Garcia, Brigitte Carlson, Terri Matheson, Antonio Tapia, Ryan Metz and Carol Ricetti. Mac McCormick missed the photo.

Cheers! Annual Art & Wine Festival returns to downtown

Clayton Cleans Up this Sat.

Locals and visitors will stream into town for popular event’s 19th year TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer

Tamara Steiner

ED WARANER, CLAYTON WOOD CARVER, will have his carvings, both big and small, on display at the CBCA Art and Wine Festival, May 3 and 4. Waraner’s tree service business provides the wood for the carvings.

The annual Art and Wine Festival, presented by the Clayton Business and Community Association, will be back for the 19th time on Saturday and Sunday, May 3 and 4. All the features that more than 200,000 attendees during past festivals have come to enjoy will return: premium wines and beers, arts and crafts vendors, a food court, continuous live music and the popular Kiddieland. The festival is open to the public with no admission charge. Saturday’s festivities run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ed Waraner, owner of Waraner Tree Service, will join the more than 100 vendors that will line up along Main Street and Marsh Creek Road.

See Art & Wine, page 7

What’s Inside Around Town . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Book Review . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Classified . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Club News . . . . . . . . . . . . .15

Neil Brennan

VOLUNTEERS AT CLAYTON CLEANS UP ON SAT., APR. 26, will take home a designer t-shirt by Clayton artist Janet White. Pictured, are Pioneer staffers Pete Cruz, Pamela Wiesendanger and publisher Tamara Steiner.

Rain or shine, Clayton Cleans Up the town this Saturday. If it rains, it will be the first time it’s ever rained on the event and you won’t want to miss being part of that historic moment. The big orange trash bags can double as ponchos if it’s raining. And if it’s sunny, we’ll all do a rain dance at the BBQ. So, come on down to City Hall and check in by 9 a.m. Bring the kids, the church group, your scout troop, the neighbors and the dog. Volunteers are rewarded with a t-shirt, a BBQ lunch and the respect of a grateful community. This year’s t-shirt design comes from the creative mind of local artist Janet White. The event is sponsored by the Clayton Pioneer, the city of Clayton with generous donations from Republic Services, CBCA, Travis Credit Union, Fresh and Easy, Orchard Supply Hardware, Peet’s Coffee and TMT Branding.

Community Calendar . . . . .16 Concord City Beat . . . . . . . . .6 Design and Décor . . . . . . . .20 Directory of Advertisers . . . . .5 DVMS Reporter . . . . . . . . . .9 Estate Planning . . . . . . . . . .14 Fit with Levity . . . . . . . . . . .14

Garden Girl . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Get Up & Get Out . . . . . . . .18 Living Well . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 MDES Reporter . . . . . . . . . . .9 Performing Arts . . . . . . . . . .17 Pets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Pine Hollow Reporter . . . . . .9

The iconic poem “Casey at the Bat” ends by declaring “there is no joy in Mudville.” That’s not true in Clayton, where there is almost always joy in Mudville. That is, in Ed’s Mudville Grill, which on May 3 celebrates 20 years as a popular, family-friendly downtown anchor. For Mudville Grill owner Ed Moresi, May 3 is a recurring landmark in his professional career. It was on May 3, 1974 that he began busing tables and washing dishes for Skip Ipsen at Skipolini’s in Clayton during his junior year at Clayton Valley High School. Exactly 20 years later in 1994 he opened Mudville at the corner of Center Street and Marsh Creek Road.

See Ed’s, page 7

Burglar hits barber shop Clayton police are investigating an early morning burglary at Hair’s the Place in the Village Oaks building on Center Street. The security alarm alerted police who called owner Nancy Willis Bacerra around 6 a.m. on April 8. Burglars snapped off the lock on the front door and took an estimated $700 in cash. “I never leave money in there overnight,” Bacerra said. “But I had to leave early that day.” A client told her later that day that his wife saw someone standing in front of the door when she was out on her morning walk. She waved, NANCY BACERRA but the man didn’t wave back. Thinking it odd, she mentioned it to her husband who drove to the barbershop to check. The police were already there. Police ask anyone with information to call 925-673-7350.

Pocket Parent . . . . . . . . . . .14 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Sports Shorts . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Sports Talk . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Teen Reads . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Teen Speak . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Voyage of the Eagle . . . . . . .8

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Page 2

Clayton Pioneer •

Around Town

What’s happening Around Town? Send your news and photos of your births, engagements, weddings, special recognitions, etc. to

Schaefer’s PAINTING

Interior & Exterior Popcorn Ceilings

Re a neady for this w loo spri k ng?

Casey Mitchell received the Violet Richardson Award from Soroptimist International of Diablo Vista at the club’s annual Women of Distinction luncheon on March 26 at the Contra Costa Country Club in Pleasant Hill. The award is named for the organization’s founder, which recognizes young women ages 14 to 17 whose volunteer activities make the community and world a better place. Casey was recognized for her work with special needs children at All in Need, through her recently completed Girl Scout Gold Award service project. Casey taught art lessons to the children to help strengthen a variety of skills, made a portable mural with their artwork and prepared take-home art kits for the children.

Sheetrock, Texture Cabinet Refinishing Family Trade since 1936

(925) 260-6065


f f O % 0 1 ton for Clay only s t n reside

Remodeling Specialist

 Kevin Schmidt, Clayton Resident  Family Owned and Operated

925-822-5144 738 Bloching Circle, Clayton

license 962284

LIBRARY VOLUNTEERS OF THE YEAR Joy Koonin and Jane Sturgeon received certificates from Mayor Hank Stratford at the April 15 City Council meeting.

Three hard-working volunteers were honored by the City Council last week for their tireless service at the Clayton Library. Jane Sturgeon, Elise Kuzbari and Joy Koonin were named Volunteers of the Year and presented with certificates of recognition by Mayor Hank Stratford. Jane Sturgeon is in her 12th year volunteering. Since 2003, she has spent 851 hours sorting periodicals and generally helping with miscellaneous chores. “She’s dependable, detail-oriented and very helpful,” said Library Foundation President Joyce Atkinson. “The staff really appreciates her humorous outlook.” Elise Kuzbari (not in the photo) has worked about 750 hours since 2007. She comes in at least once a week to sort and pack the dozens of donated books. DVDs

Kitchens Bathrooms Windows Mouldings Decks Siding Painting interior & exterior

See Library, page 3

925 Douglas Court – Clayton

Each Office Is Independently Owned & Operated.

(925) 672-4433

Short Sale Specialists

Clayton Market Update provided by Better Homes Realty

9013 Elk Drive – Clayton

t s L i e r v O So l d Irreplaceable Setting! One of the Best View Lots in Falcon Ridge tucked away at the end of a Court! $876,000


Jennifer Stojanovich



Clayton Resident

Lifelong Concord/Clayton Resident

(925) 672-4433 cell: (925) 348-5700

(925) 567-6170 Cal BRE #01446062



1809 Yolanda Circle................$680,000 1068 Mitchell Canyon Rd .......$580,000 329 Ahwanee Ln.....................$855,000 212 Mountaire Circle ..............$660,000 9003 Elk Drive ........................$775,000 5944 Herriman Dr ...................$595,000 5858 Pine Hollow Dr...............$700,000 4120 Morgan Territory Rd....$1,070,000 61 Nottingham ........................$590,000 953 Tiffin Dr ............................$635,000 1475 Yosemite Cir ..................$580,000 961 Mitchell Canyon Rd .........$655,000 1008 Pebble Beach Drive....$1,049,000 325 Mount Palomar ...............$ 669,000

George Vujnovich

6160 Center St., Suite E, Clayton

Better Homes DRE#00933393

helping Homeowners SUCCESSFULLY close their short sale transactions since 2007.

Great “Gorham” model at Peacock Creek! 4 bedrooms + loft, 3 baths, approx. 3230sf, 2 fireplaces, 2 car garage, rare builder’s option home office. Gourmet kitchen with granite counters. Spacious family room with fireplace. Huge master suite with upgraded master bathroom! Private lot offers sprawling lawn, mature landscape & patio area. Needs some TLC $849,000

Cal BRE #00711036

March was a busy month for travel. Here we are with Anita Pound and Craig Miskel in Kathmandu, Nepal where we visited the seven children Anita and Craig sponsor. This photo was taken at the Swayambu monkey temple.

Helping friends, neighbors & newcomers buy and sell their homes since 1979

962 Easy Street – Alamo

Fantastic Wooded Setting on a half acre+/- lot in desirable Alamo neighborhood! within walking distance to Livorna park & schools! Single story with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, approx. 1744sf & 2 car garage. Tahoe style fireplace is the focal point of the great room. Huge lot boasts an in-ground pool & mature landscape $1,000,000

Volunteering has been part of Casey’s life since she was in elementary school. She will be presented with her Gold Award at a ceremony in May.

The Clayton Pioneer accompanied Dane and Kahni Horton for a visit with former long time residents Mike and Barb Wall who have relocated to La Quinta in southern California. Kahni (pictured at left) also took along her oil painting, “Deep Purple Calling”, which won first place in the “People’s Choice Award” in the recent Creekside Arts event. Happily for all, Barb (on the right) decided the painting would be the perfect reminder of many fond memories of Clayton. While she made the purchase, Dane hung the painting in the entry of their gorgeous home in the PGA West area of La Quinta. Kahni remarked, “Barb has been so supportive for the past year and a half while I’ve been taking art lessons. I send her my paintings by e-mail, but this is the first time she saw them in person. Imagine how thrilled I was when she loved it enough to want it displayed in her home!”

116 Forest Hill Dr. – Clayton


Jennifer Fink of Generations Photography

Soroptimist Mary Ann Van Buren presents Casey with the Richardson Award.

Pioneer Travels

3385 Aspara Dr. – Clayton

Best of both Worlds! Country living yet close to town! Tucked away at the end of a private road and situated on 8 acres with spectacular Mt. Diablo views & meandering creek! 3 bedrooms, 3 baths + a loft, approx. 2800sf. Open floor plan features soaring ceilings, walls of windows and a distinctive two-way stone fireplace that is the focal point of the formal living areas. $669,000 Desirable Douglas Court! Stately Custom Home with separate cottage on a .56 acre lot! within walking distance to downtown! 5 bedrooms, 4.5 baths plus a bonus room and a den, 5 car garage. Cottage features 1 bedroom, 1 bath, kitchen, living room & laundry closet. Magnificent wooded creek side setting with mature landscape and a putting green! A rare find! $899,000

Casey Mitchell Wins Violet Richardson Award

Council honors library volunteers

Bryan Schaefer Clayton Resident License #708321

April 25, 2014

. . .1780 . . .1600 . . .2944 . . .2141 . . .2879 . . .1709 . . .2257 . . .3552 . . .2066 . . .1878 . . .2027 . . .2349 . . .4076 . . .3211



. . . .4/2.5 . . . . . .4/11/14 . . . .3/2 . . . . . . .4/11/14 . . . .4/2.5 . . . . . .4/11/14 . . . .4/2.5 . . . . . .4/10/14 . . . .4/3 . . . . . . . .4/3/14 . . . .3/2 . . . . . . . .4/2/14 . . . .4/3 . . . . . . . .4/2/14 . . . .4/4 . . . . . . .3/28/14 . . . .4/2 . . . . . . .3/26/14 . . . .4/2 . . . . . . .3/21/14 . . . .3/3 . . . . . . .3/21/14 . . . .4/2.5 . . . . . .3/21/14 . . . .5/3.5 . . . . . .3/17/14 . . . .5/3 . . . . . . .3/17/14

Don Howard Realtor-Associate

Clayton Resident

(925) 408-3184

Emily Howard


925-408-1871 Cal BRE #01846446 & Cal BRE#01938441

April 25, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 3

s t r e ConcTh e Grov e

Signature eucalyptus sheds limb, damages two cars in front of church TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer

A large limb fell from the eucalyptus tree in front of Clayton Community Church offices on Main Street last week, damaging two parked cars. CCC’s Jennifer Lutz was at her desk in the church office around 11 a.m. on April 17 when she heard a roar. “It was a huge noise, like the ocean,” Lutz said. “There was a crescendo, then the crashing sound.” The limb, which fractured and broke into several pieces, blew out the front windshield and seriously damaged the hood of Kristy Johnston’s white van. “It sounded like an earthquake,” Johnston said. The van had to be towed. A Nissan Versa, parked two spaces away, suffered fender and hood damage, but was drivable. Typical of a small town, news spread fast. When the limbs fell, Patsi Waraner, coowner of Waraner Bros. Tree Service, was on the phone with Pamela Wiesendanger at the Clayton Pioneer. The two were discussing changes to Waraner’s ad when Claire Tryon, who was having coffee at Cup O’Jo

Pamela Wiesendanger/Clayton Pioneer

CLAYTON COMMUNITY CHURCH PASTOR SHAWN ROBINSON cones off the area where two cars were damaged by falling limbs from a 165-ft. eucalyptus tree in front of the church office on April 17.

across the street from the church, ran to alert the Pioneer. Pamela interrupted the conversation, telling Patsi she’d call back. “I have to go,” she said. “A big limb just fell on two cars over at the church.” Reacting quickly, Patsi alerted Ed Waraner and by the time Pamela covered the three blocks to the church, Ed was already there with the truck. Within a half hour, crews were busy sawing the limbs to free the cars.

Clayton has a long love-hate relationship with eucalyptus trees. The church property, which was originally Clayton’s stagecoach stop, was once surrounded by the tall Australian trees which were planted in the 1850s. And the community park at the corner at Main and Marsh Creek was once a dense eucalyptus grove, giving the park its name – The Grove. But over time, the trees




became diseased and brittle. Several big limbs fell, causing major property damage. In the late 1980s, a new restaurant due to open in the Pioneer Inn building was destroyed when a large eucalyptus fell on the building. The restaurant never opened. And in late 1988, a tree in the city-owned grove fell on a Cadillac parked next door at the Village Market. The tree was diseased and completely hollow inside. Despite everyone’s wish to preserve them, the trees had to go and the grove was cleared in 1989. The 165-foot tree in front of the church is the last eucalyptus standing in downtown. The tree is healthy, says Waraner, who says the tree is at least 165 years old. “It just needs a good safety pruning,” he says. “The tree is fine.” Clayton Community Church’s pastor Shawn Robinson says the church will have the tree inspected by an arborist and will continue with the pruning recommendations. Because it is the last of its kind in town, “We hope to keep it healthy,” Robinson says.

6 to 8:30 p.m. At the Gazebo in The Grove Set up chairs and blankets on the lawn after 4 p.m.

May 10

Mike Armaral’s California Beach Boys They will bring you back to the days of sock hops, drive-in movies, beach parties and clean living.

May 24

Boys of Summer – Eagles tribute band

June 7

Houserockers – 10 piece Rock and Soul band brings together elements of rock, swing, blues, 60s Soul and R & B

June 21

City Swing Big Band featuring the big band sounds of the 40s, 50s and 60s including era greats like Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Glen Miller

July 5

The Fundamentals R&B, rock, pop and soul tunes.

July 19

Rachel Steele & Road 88 modern country and rock and roll High energy dance music.

Diamond Dave –

Aug 2

sings the classics of Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Justin Timberlake and even Lady Gaga

Aug 16

AJA VU plays the music of Steely Dan and Chicago

Aug 30

Library, from page 2 and CDs and helps with the two used book sales each year. The youngest of the three, Joy Koonin started volunteering in 2010 when she was just 13 and has worked 423 hours. The creative teen is a talented

story-teller and quilter and has presented programs at both the Clayton Creekside Arts Celebrations and at the County Library’s 100 birthday celebration in Pleasant Hill. “The volunteers are what

keeps this library going,” Atkinson said in her 2013 annual report presented to the City Council. An accurate record keeper, Atkinson says library volunteers gave a total of 1787 hours. Based on the 2011 Independent Sector figure for the value of volunteer


high energy rock and roll spanning the decades from Rolling Stones to Lady Gaga

labor in California of $24.75 per hour, the total monetary value of the Clayton library’s volunteerism is over $168,000.

Sept 13

East Bay Mudd 10-piece cover dance band with a powerful 4-man horn section

The Clayton library is open Mon. and Wed., 1-9 p.m.; Tue, Thur., Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun. 1-5 p.m. Closed Friday


Apple Z –

For more band information, go to Chairs and blankets may be set out after 4 p.m. on concert days.



Oak Hollow – 2BD/2BA plus office in a 1,338 s.f. single-story floorplan offers a large country kitchen and a great room with a fireplace. Sizable master suite with vaulted ceilings. Backyard has a stamped concrete patio & wood arbor. Very private location.



Townhome – 2BD/1BA with fresh neutral paint, carpet and wood laminate flooring that makes the home light and airy. Spacious dining area adjacent galley-style kitchen. Open living room out to patio area. Laundry & pool nearby.




Seven Oaks – Pride of ownership shows in this 4BD/3BA offering updated kitchen w/granite & cherry flooring. Master suite w/double doors, 2 closets, roomy master bath. Sparkling pool & decks perfect for entertaining. Fantastic, native landscaping.




Mitchell Canyon – Plambeck 3BD/2BA rancher has large lot with pool and panoramic views. Updated kitchen w/granite & recessed lights opens to family room w/shutters & slider to extensive deck. Separate guest house/ in-law unit has 1BD/1BA.


Clayton Valley High 1st Annual




Windmill Canyon – 4BD/2.5BA has designer touches and a solar heated pool & spa in back with tropical plants. Living and dining rooms have travertine tile flooring. Newly installed hardwood floors upstairs. Light-filled kitchen with adjacent dining/family combo. It's a 10!

Saturday, May 3


Regency Meadows – Stunning views from this beautiful, updated 4BD/3BA Mediterranean home. 2,643 sq. ft. open floor plan could be easily converted back to 5BD. Sought-after neighborhood close to Mt. Diablo trails. Carol vanVaerenbergh, (925) 672-1772 Visit my home décor blog

Private Court – Two story, 4BD/2.5BA home backs to open space. Has updated bath, 2 fireplaces. Clayton Valley Charter School. Short Sale. $499,000 Open April 27th 1-4.

Call 207-3069 to sign-up to sell or for more information! ClaytonValley Highlands Area Specialist

Shelly Gwynn, (925) 207-3069

Shelly Gwynn, (925) 207-3069

Assisting More Buyers & Sellers than Anyone Else* *Statistics based on Clayton closed by sales volume (1/2012 – 12/2012). Data by Trendgraphix

"Like" us on

Clayton Resident & Broker Owner

Cal BRE#01122025

- Windermere Clayton!

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Clayton Pioneer •



Realtor®, DRE#01874255

Realtor®, DRE#01370548


925.932.7329 841 Royal Ann Lane



Fabulous 2 bedroom 2.5 bath town home in highly desirable Cherrywood. Located across from DeLaSalle High School and around the corner from Trader Joe's! Two bay windows, garage, lots of storage and more! Clubhouse, green space, swimming pool and tennis courts. Don't miss!

Offered at $389,000 Gorgeous Eagle Peak home! Wonderful 4 large bedrooms, 2.5 baths with chef size kitchen, and huge master suite. Approximately 3,000 sf on a .50 acre premium lot. Live at the top with views, privacy, and trail access.


Offered exclusively at $875,000 th

wi Soldtiple Mul ers Off

Completely remodeled 4 bedroom 3 full bath home on a large premium serenity lot! Gorgeous stone counters, high amenity cabinets, stainless appliances in kitchen, updated baths, vaulted ceilings up and down, newer Trane heating/air, light bright and lovely windows that bring in the warm outdoors and upstairs. Mt. Diablo views. Gardener's dream yards.

Offered at $575,000 Beautiful Expansive Rancher on Clayton Border. 4 bedrooms 4 1/2 baths, 2 masters, 4080 square feet, possible in-law, or au pair set up. Beautifully landscaped lot 29,621 sq. ft. RV parking-Clayton Valley Charter High School!


Offered at $795,000


April 25, 2014

Clayton gardens and Concord’s Markham featured on Natives tour Two Clayton gardens and a Concord landmark will be part of the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour, which will take place Sunday, May 4, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at various locations throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Karen and Jeremy Amos’ garden, as well as Kelly Marshall and Mike Weidner’s garden, will be among the 35 native plant showcase gardens on the free tour. Also featured is Concord’s Markham Arboretum. In the 10th anniversary of the popular self-guided garden tour, visitors have the opportunity to learn how to select and care for California native plants, lower their water bills, design a low-maintenance garden, attract butterflies, birds, and bees, and garden without using pesticides. More than 40 talks will be offered throughout the day. More than 6,000 people are expected to register for this annual event, which will fill up; early registration is suggested to ensure a place. The collection of gardens offered this year range from five-acre lots in the hills to small front gardens in the flats, and from professionally designed gardens to those designed by homeowners. Garden styles run the gamut— from restoration gardens containing local native plants to the horticulturally available suite of natives from throughout California, and to gardens containing a mixture of natives and Mediterranean plants. The Amos’ garden is actually two installments, a 1,500square-foot front yard space and 3,000 square-foot backyard

Courtesy of Bringing Back the Natives

KELLY MARSHALL’S GARDEN IS A COLORFUL ARRAY OF HARDY NATIVES that can take Clayton’s hot summers. The owners recently replaced a water-hogging back lawn with a drought-tolerant meadow of bunchgrasses and flowering native perennials.

garden. The front garden is a terraced slope with a variety of Manzanita’s, California lilac, lots of blue blooming native perennials to bring out the colors of the house. In the back garden a small play structure sits in a colorful meadow of grasses and wildflowers; a wooden boardwalk is bordered by the fragrant lilac verbena, small Pacific reed grass, and its robust cousin, deer grass. In Kelly Marshall and Mike Weidner’s garden, Marshall selected a hardy and colorful array of natives that could take Clayton’s hot summers, added a fountain and strategically placed seating areas and paths, and the front garden became a lovely place enjoyed by everyone in the family, and even the neighbors. Wanting more planting “real estate” and disliking the water-hogging back lawn, she recently convinced Mike to

finally let the lawn go — in its place she created a drought-tolerant meadow of bunchgrasses and flowering native perennials. Meanwhile, the Markham Arboretum is a unique educational garden for the demonstration, collection and preservation of trees and other plants which are adapted to Northern California region. . A companion event, the Native Plant Sale Extravaganza, will take place on Saturday and Sunday, May 3 and 4. This sale features a number of native plant nurseries which carry large quantities of hard-to-find California natives. Admission to the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour is free. Registration will close on April 26 or when the tour is full, whichever comes first. Register or volunteer at

April 25, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Run/Walk/Wheelchair races take off

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


R OBERT S TEINER , Publishers

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

We remember Jill Bedecarré - Her spirit is our muse

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

Send School News to

Send Classified Ads to

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

reserves the right to reject any advertising we believe is unsuitable. LET US KNOW Weddings, engagements, anniversaries, births and deaths all weave together as part of the fabric of our community. Please let us know of these important events. We ask only that the announcement be for a Clayton resident. You will find the appropriate form for your announcement on our Website. Attach your photo to the form. Make sure the image size you are about to send is at least 3 MB but not bigger than 6MB. The only format we accept is JPG. You can also mail or bring your print to the office and we can scan it for you. Also on our Website are forms for submitting Community Calendar items and press releases for your organization. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Clayton Pioneer welcomes letters from our readers. As a general rule, letters should be 250 words or less and submitted at least one week prior to publication date. Letters concerning current issues will have priority. We may edit letters for length and clarity. All letters will be published at the editor’s discretion. Please include your name, address and daytime telephone number. We will not print letters from “anonymous.” E-mail your letter in a Word document to Letters MUST be submitted via E-mail.

Serving Northern California for Over 30 Years

Contra Costa Kops for Kids will hold its eighth annual Run/Walk/Wheelchair Races on May 17, Armed Forces Day and the last day of National Police Week. The Run/Walk/Wheelchair Races feature one-mile, 5K, and 10K races. There will be wheelchair races held in each category. For the second year in a row, the event will feature a live band. East Bay’s own Full Tilt will play classic rock and roll and a medley of military songs. Pre-registered racers can pick up their tee-shirts, race number and participant bags at Roadrunner Sports located in the Willows Shopping Center between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Friday, May 16. Registration will

also be available then. The cost is $25 per runner. Discounts are available for families with multiple runners. All proceeds from the race go to support Contra Costa Kops for Kids, a group of active and retired police officers whose mission is to help prevent violence, drug abuse, gangs, and juvenile delinquency in Contra Costa County.



Childcare/Preschool Clayton Community School at Mt. Diablo Elementary offers school-age childcare. 7a.m. – 6 p.m. Preschool 9 - 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. Summer program coming soon! Enroll now! 672-0388,,

Office and retail space for lease in Historic Clayton City Center: Village Oaks Center, 6200 Center St., Clayton. Call Nick Adamson at (408) 371-8770, ext. 21.

House Wanted Growing family looking to buy house in Clayton. Would love opportunity to live in this wonderful community. 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms. Are you thinking of selling? Let us know! 413-5448. Flower Gardening by Nicole Hackett Perennial, ornamental, rose and container care. Keep your garden in flowers this year with monthly fertilizing and pruning visits. Email for consultation or details.

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LITTORNO LAW GROUP Upcoming Seminars IRA Beneficiary Trusts “How to Stretch out Payments and Protect your IRA Beneficiaries.” Wednesday, May 21, 2014 6:30 - 8:00 PM Walnut Creek Office 3100 Oak Road, #100 Walnut Creek CA 94597 (925) 937-4211

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HELP WANTED Computer Tech Growing business has position for onsite pro computer tech in Contra Costa County. Must have experience in Windows and Mac OS, network repair and troubleshooting. ComputersUSA! 672-9989. Park District Summer job openings for students as well as openings for park police officers. Go to Sales Associate Retail feed and pet supply store, full or part time. Apply in person at Rodie's Feed, 8863 Marsh Creek Road, Clayton. Seasonal Positions Job fair and interviews for Concord Pavilion from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 26 at Concord Pavilion, 2000 Kirker Pass Road, Concord. Pick up and fill out application at fair.

Directory of Advertisers Beauty and Pampering Bella Mia Spa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .680-7792 Business Services Rising Moon Marketing & Public Relations . . . . .672-8717 Construction and Trades Appliance Repairs by Bruce, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2700 Belfast Plumbing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .457-5423 Burkin Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-1519 Diablo View Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .822-5144 Gary’s Home Repair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .787-2500 Iron Horse Concrete . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .566-8666 Schaefer’s Painting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .260-6065 Tipperary Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216-2679 Dining and Entertainment Clayton Club Saloon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-0440 Oakhurst Country Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9737 Subway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0621 Events Art and Wine Festival – CBCA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2272 City of Clayton – Concerts . . . . Community Garage Sale – Joe Dajani . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market . . . . . . . . . . .800-949-3276 Financial, Insurance and Legal Services DuRee, Daniel – The Law Office of . . . . . . . . . . .210-1400 Littorno, Richard – The Law Office of . . . . . . . . .432-4211 Travis Credit Union . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .888-698-0000 Van Wyck, Doug – State Farm Insurance . . . . . .672-2300 Funerals Ouimet Funeral Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-4242 Groceries Doorstep Farmers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .349-4568 Home and Garden Clayton Furniture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .686-2299 Diablo Lawnscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .381-3757 Interiors Panache . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-7920 Nichols Landscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9955 The Floor Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .969-9890 The Maids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-6243 Utopic Gardens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .524-0055 Waraner Bros. Tree Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .831-2323 Waraner Tree Experts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .250-0334 Mailing Services The UPS Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-6245 Pet Services Cat Hospital of Clayton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2287 Monte Vista Veterinary Hospital . . . . . . . . . . . . . .276-5744 Pittsburg Pet Resort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .432-7387 Rodie's Feed and Pet Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-4600

Real Estate Agents Be Successful! Lynne French is expanding and interviewing for a few agents. Call her today 672-8787.

Real Estate and Mortgage Services French, Lynne – Windermere Real Estate . . . . . .672-8787 Howard, Don – Better Homes Realty . . . . . . . . . .408-3184 Howard, Emily – Better Homes Realty . . . . . . . .408-1871 Klock, Leigh – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . . . . . .212-5593 Landgraf, Linda – Prudential . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .876-0311 Laurence, Pete – RE/MAX Realty . . . . . . . . . . . .890-6004 Lopez, Stephanie – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . .932-7329 Mazzei, Matt – Mazzei Realty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0757 Stojanovich, Jennifer – Better Homes Realty . . .567-6170 The Torrey Team – J. Rockcliff Realtors . . . . . . .595-6707 Vujnovich, George - Better Homes Realty . . . . . .672-4433


Recreation and Fitness Earthquake Arabians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .360-7454

Help Fight Hunger Anna Chan – AKA: The Lemon Lady needs your help! Weekly commitment appreciated. For more info and contact numbers, go to

Schools Hope Academy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .687-7555

Come join Mazzei Realty! Currently interviewing and hiring new and experienced real estate agents. Call 693-0757 for details.

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The Willows Shopping Center is located at 1975 Diamond Blvd. in Concord. The race begins at 8 a.m. Registration begins at 6:45 a.m. on race day. To register beforehand, visit For more information, contact or call 925-827-1998.

Page 5

Space is Limited Refreshments served

Clayton Historical Society Museum The Clayton Historical Society Museum needs a greeter for two hours per month from 2-4 p.m. Wednesdays or Sundays. Call the museum at 672-0240 and leave your name. Clayton Community Library Needs volunteers. Minimum age 13. Minimum commitment is 6 months. Some training provided. Contact Arlene at 673-9777 or Meals on Wheels Meals on Wheels is looking for volunteer drivers one day a week between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Make a tremendous difference to seniors in your community. Contact Sharon Fitzgerald at 9328607 or today!

Senior Services Montecito – Oakmont Senior Living . . . . . . . . . . .852-6702 Services, Other ComputersUSA! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9989 Net Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6029 Recycling Center & Transfer Station . . . . . . . . . .473-0180 Travel Travel to Go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9840 Living Well American Red Cross . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .800-733-2767 A Perfect Tan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-8261 Clayton Valley Medical Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6744 Clayton Valley Orthodontics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6200 Courtyards at Pine Creek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-3900 Diablo Senior Homes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .360-2396 Loftin Dental . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-7997 SNAP Fitness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0110

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Page 6

Clayton Pioneer •

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Police report: Concord is safe Good news for Concord residents: Our city is safer than other Bay Area cities of similar size. Police Chief Guy Swanger gave the City Council his quarterly safety report this month. Although there have been some small fluctuations, the chief reported that there are no statistically alarming changes to our crime rates. The city can be proud of the excellent work that our police department has been doing in keeping us safe. Of course ideally it would be great if we had no crimes at all, but in reality it is a given that in a city of 125,000 people there will be those that choose to break the law. In 2013 we had one murder. As tragic as that is, in comparison to our neighboring cities of our size, the others all had several murders. One of these cities had 28 murders. There were 13 reported rapes in our city last year. That was the lowest among other comparable cities. A couple of these other cities reached 30 to 40 rapes in


8 pm


CONCORD CITY BEAT 2013. Our 239 aggravated assaults was the lowest in this group of cities as well. In fact Vallejo reported more than twice as many as Concord. Our 162 robberies was among the lowest, with one city reaching as high as 424 reported robberies. With our burglary crimes, we had a slightly few more then some with 828, but we paled in comparison to the 2,972 reported in one of our comparable cities.

structed in 1875. The home remained in the Galindo family until Ruth Galindo’s passing in December, 1999. It was then owned by the City of Concord until September 2010 when ownership was transferred to the Concord Historical Society. The home was opened as an historic house

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Mayor, from page 1 Our maintenance staff has been keeping themselves busy taking care of our landscaping and buildings. It seems that almost every week they are fixing another broken water line. The guys do a great job maintaining

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The same is true with our 769 stolen vehicles reported. We had slightly more than some, however not nearly the 1,217 reported in another neighboring city of our size. Fortunately, the vast majority (84.2 percent) of our stolen vehicles have been recovered by our police department. More than 31 percent of the vehicles stolen were late 1990s Hondas or Ford work trucks. Sixty percent of the stolen vehicles were taken from high-density housing areas. Traffic collisions are down by 10 percent, with a drop in fatalities from seven in 2012 to four in 2013. The top three major locations we are having traffic collisions are: Galindo Street at Concord Boulevard (15), Treat Boulevard at Clayton Road (13) and Galindo Street at Willow Pass Road (12).

the homeless population by 40 percent. Last year the police made 2,031 contacts with our homeless. Seventy-nine received transportation and addiction treatment, 46 received mental health referrals, 479 were cited and 299 were arrested. Although the city’s only murder last year was from a known gang member, Concord’s gang activities have actually decreased in recent years. The city council’s focus over the past few years has been on public safety. We are fortunate to have so many great men and women in our city’s police department that are willing to serve and protect us. We are also blessed with a great police chief and city manager. For all of these reasons, Concord is a safe place to live, work and raise our kids.

Another significant achievement by our police department is their work with our city’s homeless population. Through their efforts we’ve seen a reduction in

Ron Leone is vice mayor and a former mayor of Concord. Email comments or questions to, or call (925) 680-1776

Galindo Home hosts Mother's Day Teas The historic Galindo Home at the corner of Amador Avenue and Clayton Road in Concord will open its doors Mother’s Day weekend, May 9, 10 and 11, for the Concord Historical Society’s Spring Tea. The original house was built in 1856 with major additions con-

ls ke ay o a r Ka onda s on M to 11 pm

April 25, 2014

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the city. We have been going through some changes in our police department. We have experienced some turnover and we welcome the new faces. With these changes our police chief has been taking patrols. He has been showing the guys that he still has it, whatever that means. We continue to receive positive comments about our officers and the chief, Chris Thorsen. I am looking forward to the farmer’s market, which begins on May 10. I hope everyone supports the market. It is a fun way to start your Saturday. The Concerts in the Grove are almost all finalized. The first concert is also on May 10. Howard Geller does a great job lining up talented musicians to entertain us. Keep your eye out for the concert schedule. If you have any questions about the city, please let me know. Also, if there is anything we can do to make living in Clayton even better, please let me know. Enjoy the springtime. Feel free to contact me by email at

museum in 2012 following refurbishing done by CHS members. The home is furnished with Galindo family furniture and both the interior and exterior compliment the late 1870s decor. Serendipity, Mt. Diablo High School’s acclaimed student-run restaurant, will cater the Tea. Serendipity previously partnered with CHS when they provided gingerbread houses to decorate the Galindo Home this past December. Teas will be held at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, May 9

Tamara Steiner

The Galindo Home Museum in Concord, built in 1856.

and 10, and on Mother’s Day, May 11, at 12:30 p.m. To make a reservation, contact Kathie at 925-686-0430. The cost is $30 per person.

PG&E holds off on tree removals PEGGY SPEAR Clayton Pioneer

No trees in Concord will be cut down as part of a PG&E safety project — yet. The Concord City Council took official action at its April 8 meeting to demand that PG&E refrain from all tree-cutting in the city of Concord until city leaders and PG&E representatives can meet and determine the safety risks the trees may pose to area gas pipelines. This came after a verbal agreement with PG&E to halt the tree-cutting. Under the utility company’s Pipeline Pathways Project, 730 trees on public and private land in Concord were slated for removal without complying with environ-

mental requirements and the city’s Protected Tree Ordinance. Concord was just part of the 6,750-mile project to remove trees and vegetation from around its California natural gas transmission pipeline system. PG&E deemed this necessary to maintain, inspect and operate the gas pipeline system in the wake of the San Bruno explosion and fire in 2010. Although Mayor Tim Grayson and other city officials have said they support measures to ensure pipeline safety, they believe this is not an either/or situation but rather an opportunity to protect safety and the city’s quality of life.

See Trees, page 12

April 25, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Smiles are part of the job for new City Clerk

Gender plays role in home-buying Q. I am wondering if men and women have a different way of looking at the right home to buy? A. There was an interesting study earlier this year, by, equating looking for and buying a home to dating and falling in love. There are definitely differences between the sexes. A majority of consumers admit to having “home

crushes.” That is a property they liked so much they were drawn back to looking at it numerous times. But men and women have a different pattern. Men were more likely than women to move from one home crush to another. Thirsty-six percent of men surveyed say they find a new house crush weekly, compared to 29 percent of women. Women were more

Travis Credit Union aids first-time buyers Travis Credit Union will now be able to help low-and moderate-income homebuyers within its 12 county service area, thanks to 2014 grant funds from the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB). Eligible first-time homebuyers may apply for up to $15,000 in matching grant funds to be used for the down payment and closing costs involved with purchasing their home. Under the WISH Program, FHLB will provide matching grants through Travis Credit Union up to $3 for every dollar contributed by the homebuyer toward a home purchase. The program is designed to help working households in high-cost areas purchase homes. Additionally, Travis Credit

union works with the FHLB of San Francisco to offer the Individual Development and Empowerment Account (IDEA) program to low and moderateincome households. It provides matching grants through Travis Credit Union for down payment and closing cost assistance to eligible first-time homebuyers who have saved under Individual Development Account (IDA) or Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) programs. This program provides up to $15,000 for each household, matching up to $3 for each $1 saved by the homebuyer. Travis Credit Union is one of only two credit unions in California to receive grant funds for the WISH and IDEA programs this year.

Ed’s, from page 1 Not wanting to tempt fate, Moresi’s Chophouse opened in 2007 on, you guessed it, May 3. “I like working” Moresi says, when he explains that running the two restaurants is a seven-day-aweek commitment, one that he seems to relish. Over the past 20 years not a lot has changed inside the restaurant or on the menu. Mudville started with 11 TVs and still has 11, although now they are flat screen and high definition. “When we started we got reception from a satellite. It was brutal since every TV had to show the same game or event. The TVs weighed 500 pounds.” Technology now allows staff to change channels on any of the sets from an iPad behind the bar with reception for games and tournaments from around the world coming to a single 24-inch DirecTV dish. That’s especially important as patrons now watch more soccer, golf and NASCAR than when Mudville opened and it was mostly baseball, basketball and football on the screens. The other noticeable change is that the walls and ceiling have double or triple the amount of sports memorabilia from the

1994 opening decor. Moresi wanted a “family friendly” restaurant with a casual dining experience in 1994 and that philosophy hasn’t changed in 20 years. “About the only difference is that now we have adults who came with their parents years ago and now are bringing in their own children.” When he started working on the Mudville site in October 1993 the building had been vacant for five years after being an ice cream shop. He also took over the space next door that had been an El Charro Express, among other tenants, for his kitchen, restrooms and game room. The building had opened in the late 1980s almost exactly 100 years after “Casey at the Bat” was first published in the San Francisco Examiner on June 3, 1888. LINE-UP HASN’T CHANGED Ed and Stephanie Moresi’s sons Dominic and Nicholas were 13 and 9 when Mudville opened. Dominic began working then before school. His grandpa Al Moresi would take him to Diablo View, which had just opened, after he did his work assignments. Dominic is now general

likely than men to have a crush on a home that was out of their price range. Forty-one percent of women revealed their home crush is out of their price range compared to only 30 percent of men. One thing both sexes agree can make them fall in love with a home is outdoor living space. They both identified this attribute as most important in a home. Women swoon over open floor plans, great curb appeal, fixtures and appliances. Men loved open floor plans, great curb appeal and good garage space. They visualize their toys in it or toys they wish they had. In life or in real estate, finding “the one” is easier when your list of deal breakers is short. Q. In staging a home for sale, how important is the garage? A. It is more important than many people realize. Generally speaking it is most important if a man is involved in the sale. Women, however, also can appreciate a clean garage with good storage cabinets. It gives her a feeling of practicality to park the car inside and also store items so she doesn’t have to use up all the indoor closets space. Most buyers can’t visualize the potential of a garage that looks like a dumping site. I suggest renting a storage space when selling a home. The cost is

manager of Mudville. Nicholas did some bussing while at De La Salle High then went to Fresno State, played professional baseball for five years and now is in Southern California trying to secure a firefighter’s job. Since “99.5 percent of the customers are regulars,” patrons are used to seeing managers John Mahloch (18 years behind the bar), Chris “Mac” McCormick (18), Carol Ricetti (18) and Lorenzo Garcia (14) when they stop by for lunch or dinner. It’s his crew who comes up with new menu items after they experiment and sample prospective additions. EXTRA INNINGS Mudville is “closed on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas and after the parade on Fourth of July. I realize these are family days and a family restaurant shouldn’t be open.” Moresi does admit that wife Stephanie “wasn’t too happy” when he opened on Thanksgiving in the first couple of years. Their busiest days are St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo and Super Bowl Sunday. For the past 15 years Mudville’s outside deck on Center Street has been covered by a tent on St. Patrick’s Day. “We originally rented the tent from Wally’s Rentals and then they sold it to us.” March 17 is a “no excus-

TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer


REAL ANSWERS worth the benefit. Not only will the garage look great but other areas of your home will also be less cluttered. Remember it is an important living space. Good lighting is very important in a garage. You can get a fluorescent fixture. So many garages are dark and dingy. If you have a large garage, at least a double, set up a portion of it as a workshop. Don’t go to a lot of expense. Keep it simple. A set of work horses and a piece of plywood on top is great. A loft area for storage is a desirable storage place for the buyer. If you have a small, one-car garage, park your car there for showings. Potential buyers will see that a car fits in. An empty garage seems smaller. If the floor of the garage is stained or dirty clean it and consider painting it. Send your question and look for your answer in a future column. Email French is the broker/owner of Windermere Lynne French & Associates. Contact her at 672-878 7or stop in at 6200 Center St., Clayton.

es, nobody off, everybody works day.” The restaurant’s biggest day ever was St. Paddy’s Day 2012 (“nice weather on a Saturday”). PITCHING OUT OF A JAM The most challenging time for Moresi was right after opening the Chophouse in 2007. The first two months “were gangbusters,” then the recession hit not only the new higher-end restaurant but Mudville’s as well. “I hadn’t built in a recession to my business plan” he can now say with a smile. The next three years were “brutal,” Moresi admits. The .5 percent of Mudville’s diners who aren’t regulars includes people passing though Clayton. “A couple weeks ago there was a couple from Stockton who were driving through town and saw the ‘Open’ sign. We had a nice conversation. It was fun.” Another segment of his clientele that Moresi never envisioned two decades ago: Mudville turns out to be a great spot for couples to get acquainted after being paired on Internet dating sites like “We’ve already had some couples get married who first met in person here.” The 57-year-old proprietor has no plans to retire. “That doesn’t appeal to me. I can work here, see friends and have a glass of wine.”

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No matter what she’s doing, Janet Brown looks like she’s having fun. Whether she’s taking notes at a city council meeting or cooking up a lobster dinner at home, the action will include a wide smile and an infectious giggle. Brown is the newest addition to Clayton’s City Hall. She took over the City Clerk’s desk in early December, replacing Laci Jackson Kolc. The transition has been very comfortable, Brown says. “I like everything, so far – my coworkers, learning about the community…everything.” She fits in well with the staff, says City Manager Gary Napper. “Easy going, always cheerful what’s not to like?” Still on the steep side of the learning curve, Brown says, from what she has seen so far, Claytonians seem very involved in the community. “Clayton is a very clean com-

munity. City leaders have made very smart decisions,” she says. Brown is no stranger to small town administration. She comes to Clayton from the city of Oakley, where she was in the human resources department. Before that, she served with the city of Brentwood. The City Clerk handles documentation for the city – minutes, records, updating the website – and serves as the city’s human resources manager. When she isn’t working, she spends time in the kitchen. Her favorite cuisines are Mexican fare and her annual “Land, Sea and Vine” dinner – “filet mignon, lobster and good wine.” The Benicia native currently lives in Discovery Bay with her 10-year-old daughter Kaile and her boyfriend, Lynol.

Art & Wine, from page 1 Waraner creates the very recognizable large wood carvings of bears, rabbits and eagles that are seen around town. The Smokey Bear carving at the Sunshine Fire Station on Marsh Creek Road and the little bunny standing guard at the Cardinet Trail are his work. The wood is all salvaged from his business – “designer firewood” he calls it, chuckling. He carves every piece on his property on Marsh Creek Road, which is clearly marked by a tall carved bear at the driveway. New to Art and Wine this year are first time exhibitors Sarah Noble and David Miller – Silver Toad Jewelry – who will bring their carefully crafted pieces of sterling silver, copper, brass and semi-precious stones. The pair has lived in Clayton for 12 years. “We’ve done a few holiday vendor events, but this is our first exhibit,” Noble says. All pieces are handmade and many are one-of-a-kind. Like raising a child, it “takes a village” to mount the annual event. More than 300 volunteers on a dozen committees plan, run and manage the festival, one of three fundraising events produced during the year. Celebrating its 40th birthday this year, the CBCA has a long history of raising money to donate back into the community. And many of the groups that benefit from the funds generated by the Art and Wine Festival, the Clayton Classic Golf Tour-

Clayton artisans Sarah Noble and David Miller will be on hand with their line of Silver Toad Jewelry. This will be their first art festival.

nament and the Oktoberfest return the favor. “The Boy Scouts are absolutely instrumental in picking up trash and breaking down boxes for recycling,” says CBCA’s Ed Hartley, who has served as club president and chair of the event. “The scouts and their parents come out in force to help.” All proceeds from the festival and other CBCA events are poured back into the community. The association is particularly partial to supporting the educational, cultural and sports programs at local schools. To contact CBCA about the Art and Wine Festival, to volunteer or for membership information, visit or call 925-672-2272.

Page 8

Clayton Pioneer •

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National expert clicks with DVMS parents on cyber-safety for children PEGGY SPEAR Clayton Pioneer

With more than 100 parents and community members on hand in the Diablo View Middle School multi-use room for a seminar on teens and social media, it was perhaps fitting that speaker Mary Kay Hoal had some problems at first getting the Power Point presentation to work. “Is there a child in here who can help us?” someone shouted. Hoal probably appreciated the quip more than anyone. As the founder of, the Davis woman is one of the leading experts on teen digital use in the nation, as well as the mom of five teenagers. She’s a one-woman Christopher Columbus in what DVMS principal Patti Bannister called “unchartered territory in our children’s world.” Hoal, who lives in Davis, was on hand to talk about social media and digital safety issues for chil-

dren and teens. The author and speaker has been featured on ABC’s “20-20,” Fox, BBC, E! and other news outlets and broadcasts. Her website not only offers a social media site for teens, but helps “bridge the digital literacy gap” between parents and their children by providing how-to’s, tools and information that help families have a positive online experience. An companion site assists teachers to create classroom communities and participate on online educational forums. “It just doesn’t work to stick our heads in the sand,” she said. “The digital world is here to stay.” Perhaps most importantly, Hoal promotes positive digital and social media use. “It’s not about saying ‘No!’” she said. “It’s saying ‘yes,’ but with your involvement as a parent. You need to help your child understand what comprises a healthy digital experience. Today’s parenting demands

that you are digitally aware.” For perspective, Hoal shared how much of an influence social media is. “It took radio 35 years to reach 50 million people. It took TV 15 years. The Internet took four years to reach 50 million people, and the iPod took three years. By contrast, social media took just nine months to reach 100,000 people.” And there are benefits, she said. Social media can be educational, it introduces new ways for children to learn, it leads to new jobs, a sense of self-esteem, and it facilitates family communication. But the negatives can be severe. DRUGS, SEXTING, CYBERBULLYING

“In just a quick search, my editorial team found more than 200 Facebook groups dedicated to teen and adult porn,” she said. There are also drug groups and those dedicated to child

sexual abuse. “It’s a free for all,” she said. “Anything goes.” On Instagram, the popular photo-sharing site, users have access to violent images, including bestiality, cutting and others in what Hoal calls “the dark culture beneath the beautiful family photos.” Sexting on the site is also a big problem among teens, she says, and many are unaware that every photo is property of Instagram unless the user makes the account private. She says that 88 percent of self-generated explicit images of young people have been collected and shared on other sites, including porn sites. And if someone — another child or teen — is caught sharing explicit photos, some of the consequences include getting sex offender status and being

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Parent support a hallmark of CVCHS Among our greatest achievements as a conversion charter school has been our partnership with our stakeholders. The support and collaboration that this school has is an incredible synergy focused on doing what is best for our students. This is not a unique idea, but the average public school has not been able to realize it to the same extent. Perhaps most important and most powerful of all these partnerships has been that with our parents. Clayton Valley Charter High School has been gifted with the most passionate and committed parent body that I have even seen in 30 plus years of education and administration. Parents have revealed their “Eagles Pride” in a multitude of ways this year and last and it never ceases to amaze me what a rich source of spirit and dedication these folks are. Just recently, I discussed this phenomenon with my administrative team and some of my Governing Board members and we actually tried to quantify the parent participation. It turned


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out to be quite impossible as the list of names, activities and results started to take up pages and pages in a rudimentary list. There are literally thousands of parents that have touched this school in one way or another in the last two years. Although I will surely leave many out, I want to recognize some of the things they contribute to: We have an army of dedicated parent volunteers who come forth to fold open house brochures, distribute flyers, assist in the library, facilitate student groups at Challenge Day, assist

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another sweatshirt, but.... A list of names that come to mind: Terry Newberry (announcing and DJ), Wendy Scholefield (administrative support), Sandi Svoboda (music booster), Susanne and Chip Renner (Challenge Day), Rick Ortiz (women’s lacrosse), Bruce Winship (car pooler), Scott Anderson (team photography), Mike and Kim Abele (water polo team parents), Paul Kommer (women’s basketball), Debra Meylan (Crab Feed and Senior Brunch), Deanne Carlson and Karen Carmen (PFC), April Winship and Megan Kommer (Governing Board) .The list could go on and on forever. I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to these parents and all the ones I did not mention. This school is forever indebted to you. Parent involvement equals success. It’s a win/win for everyone. David Linzey is executive director of CVCHS. Contact him

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with classroom and school projects like Cocoa & Cram and the Art Expo, and other odd jobs in the main office. They spearhead special events for our teachers such as Teacher Thank You Days and for our students such as Challenge Day, Senior Picnic, Senior Brunch, Grad Night and much more. They sell game tickets and keep an eye on our students at football games and assist our leadership class at dances. They are coaches, game announcers, scorekeepers, team moms and dads, awards banquet organizers, pasta feed hostesses, photographers, snack shack volunteers, and of course the best fans in the world at all our sporting events. They sit on an endless list of committees and groups dedicated to improving our school (WASC, PFC, Student Services, Curriculum, Operations, Governing Board, etc.). And they are the parents who buy one more CVCHS hoodie knowing that no one needs

Common Core, from pg 1 would be assigned based on the now-obsolete STAR tests. One of the major issues educators worried about Common Core was that it would tell them how to teach the standards. “That will all be decided at a local district level,” Cheslog says. “The standards will tell the teachers what needs to be taught, not how to teach them.” He says that decisions like professional development, textbooks and literature will all be decided upon at a local level. Common Core does stress more biographies be read, but Cheslog says that can be spread

across all disciplines, leaving more room in literature classes to study fiction and classics. “That decision is up to the districts.” He said that some of California’s interpretation of Common Core differs from the federal government — and that’s okay. One of them is that the state will not use Common Core testing to grade teachers. “We shouldn’t use tests to grade teachers unless a test is designed to grade teachers.” Despite Cheslog’s assurances, many parents in the district are still wary of the new

on land, Lily attends Seaview High School. Living on land has its perks but there are more misfortunes than anticipations. For example, Lily’s annoying pestof-a neighbor, Quince Fletcher, has been hovering over her shoulder for as long as she can remember. The only upside to her oxygen-filled life is Brody Bennett, the school’s dreamy, irresistible hunk. But in Thalassia, there is no “dating.” There are only two options: friends or bonded for life. Once you are bonded, you cannot break that bond, ever.

While trying to make Brody fall for her, things take a major turn and everything Lily has ever been sure about becomes questionable. Luckily, there’s a series consisting of “Forgive My Fins,” “Fins Are Forever,” “Just For Fins” and “Pretty In Pearls.” Childs has really outdone herself with this stunning quartet. There is never a dull moment in Lily Sanderson’s enchanting world(s) of bubbly romance and shocking betrayal. Emily York is a freshman at CVCHS.

standards. Clayton’s Denise Pursche has been a local leader in the fight against Common Core. “I do think there is good to the Common Core,” she says. However, she objects to issues of data-mining information on students and having inappropriate grade-level standards that are not clearer or more concise. “Regardless of the use of more critical thinking and preparing students for the 21st Century, why not take our previous standards and supplement them with a few things? Instead the state turned everything upside down.” To help parents better understand Common Core,

both the positives and the negatives, she and other members of Concerned Parents and Educators of the East Bay will be holding a forum April 29. A panel of education experts from different political backgrounds will be on hand to explain what the developers of the standards mean by often-used terms like “college readiness,” “internationally competitive,” “student privacy,” “critical thinking” and more. The free forum will run from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Perera Pavilion Room of the Pleasant Hill Community Center, 320 Civic Drive in Pleasant Hill. To register to attend, visit

April 25, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

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PHMS scholars embark on great Odyssey Mirabella. In sixth grade, our first year, we took second place at the regional competition and made it to state and finished eighth. Our seventh grade year, our second year, we placed fourth at regionals and didn’t make it to state, although we were four points away from it. This year, our very last year, we took second place at the regional competition and moved onto the state tournament This is an amazing accomplishment for us, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s an honor not only for our team, but for our school and the entire community and our Odyssey of the Mind school coordinator, Kelly KahlHernandez. At the World Championships, we will be meeting, interacting with and learning about kids from all over the globe. That can only help us become better kids and role models for the kids to come. Odyssey of the Mind is a creative problem-solving competition that allows students, ranging


PINE HOLLOW REPORTER After taking second place in the state competition, Pine Hollow Middle School’s all-girls eighth grade team is moving onto the Odyssey of the Mind’s World Championships in Iowa against teams from all 50 states and 25 other countries. This is the first time a team from Pine Hollow has made it to the championships. I am on the team, and we have been competing since sixth grade. It’s been our dream for three years make it to the World Championships. Besides myself, the team includes Sarah Mirabella, Kelsey Turner, Jenny Vonnegut, Jordan Steinburg, Kayla Confetti, Emma Ramirez, and our coach, Erick

from kindergarten to college, to express their creative side without being criticized. It teaches students how to work in groups, how to think outside-the-box and how to think divergently by offering open-ended problems that involve a wide-range of interests. Each year five new competitive problems are released for the teams to solve. Known as a “longterm problem,” the team is given several months to solve it. These problems range from building devices to presenting a team’s interpretation of a literary classic. Although the team is allowed to solve the problem however they want, there are restrictions and cost limits, making finding the solution to their problem harder. Not only do teams have to come up with a solution to their longterm problem, at the completion they have to find a solution to an on-the-spot problem that has never been completed before. For all of us on the team, Odyssey of the Mind started out as something we thought we

Front row: Coach Erick Mirabella with Sarah Mirabella, and Kelsey Turner. Back Row:Carlie Beeson, Jordan Steinberg, Emma Ramirez, Kayla Confetti, and Jenny Vonnegut.

would try for fun. As we became more engaged we realized how much effort and work it was going to take, but we all we’re willing to give it 100 percent. Making it to the World Championships in Iowa was just the first part of our journey. Now we

need to raise the funds for us to get there. Pine Hollow Middle School is helping us put together fundraisers and events to help raise enough money for our team to travel to Iowa. We are having a Garage Sale on Sunday April 27 in the Pine Hollow Parking lot from

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. All money earned goes directly to the team. You can also make donations in person if you do not want to buy anything. We will also be doing other fundraisers over the next couple of months. It is estimated that it will take $14,000 for the team, coaches and chaperones to travel to Iowa. With the help of our parents, we have set up a website to help raise the funds. You can donate at for any amount. For more information about the team please contact Eric Mirabella at To learn about Odyssey of the Mind, visit Thank you for helping show the world what the girls of Clayton can really do. Carlie Beeson is an 8th grader at Pine Hollow Middle School. She enjoys reading, playing soccer, and singing. Questions or comments? Send her an Email at

Prom night is more, less than stereotypes ROBBIE PARKER

TEENSPEAK It is finally the fourth quarter, and the end of the school year is approaching, but life at Clayton Valley Charter High School is only ramping up. With a pleasant turn in weather, a growing number of spirit days and rallies, and graduation festivities drawing near, CVCHS students have many activities to enjoy before school ends. Yet, even with the many springtime activities, one

event in particular outshines the rest — Junior Prom. On prom night, March 22, booming music emanated from the doors of the Canyon View Hall in San Ramon. Fancy lighting and decorations heightened the atmosphere and corresponded with this year’s prom theme: Casino Royale. Card dealers dispensed rounds of cards at the numerous poker tables around the hall, providing teenagers with a pseudo-casino experience. Not long after the event started, students threw aside their expensive tuxedo coats and five-inch heels to hit the dance floor and cutloose. Regardless of what actually occurred that Saturday night, prom is a momentous occasion

for most high school students; yet, prom expectations often exceed reality. Pop culture, especially movies and television, depicts prom night as an unforgettable and enchanting experience predestined to alter the course of every teens’ existence. In the traditional cliché, every attendees’ apparel matches their date’s perfectly, anyone who is anybody departs from dinner in a stretch limo, and at least one couple discovers they have the perfect chemistry together as time slows down and they embrace on the dance floor under the glow of the stars. Fortunately, and maybe unfortunately, prom stereotypes only transpire so magically in the movies, and to say that most

juniors anticipated such an experience would be an overstatement. Nevertheless, it was nearly impossible to suppress the lofty expectations so firmly rooted by pop-culture. In retrospect, the dance itself is essentially just a mob of sweaty, hormonally charged teenagers grinding to the thump of blaring music. Girls don unnecessarily costly dresses and flashy jewelry, and guys sport tuxedos clearly rented last-minute from the local Men’s Warehouse. Naturally, there was the crowd of boisterous teens, unmistakably under the influence, and by the end, more than a few chairs somehow ended up on the dance floor. Of course, this isn’t to say

every teen’s prom experience was so superficial. Did my experience match the stereotype? Of course not, but I absolutely enjoyed prom night regardless — as did most others. In reality, only a select group of teens made the choice to party irresponsibly; the vast majority of CVCHS students acknowledged the boundary separating acceptable and repugnant behavior. The majority of prom-goers are 16 to 18 years of age — now is the optimal time to learn from the mistakes of audacious behavior. Even so, partying isn’t everyone’s cup-of-tea, and remaining sober makes the experience far more memorable.

In any case, I saw my peers having more fun than I had ever seen previously. The most memorable moments were nothing like the scenes from the movies. Instead, the better occasions consisted of sharing laughter with friends and appreciating all the effort and preparation put into prom night. In the end, prom night may not meet every juniors’ grandiose expectations, but it is certainly an unforgettable and essential part of the high school experience. Robbie Parker is a junior at Clayton Valley Charter High School. Send comments to

Students rate Smarter Balanced tests A+ In the 2012-2013 year, schools in the area had the S.T.A.R. (Standardized Testing and Reporting) test. It is a generic paper and pencil test with hundreds of questions on it collectively. In mid2013, however, the State of California began a test online that would soon change the way we take tests. This is the Smarter Balanced test; it is an online program with less than half the amount per subject than before. The Smarter Balanced tests are computer-checked, with short answers, typed essays, explanations, and fill -in-the-answer questions. Students seem extremely excited by the new system. When

ALISON EWING DVMS REPORTER speaking to two sixth graders, they showed their appreciation for the new tests instead of the previous S.T.A.R. testing. “I think the tests are kind of tricky but that they can really ben-

efit the students,” Sophia Andrews said. “It’s great and better for our learning environment,” Kaylee Sutton said. “We are all so attached to electronics these days, so I think the results will be really good this year.” The new test has a series of Common Core assessments for grades three through eight and 11 in English and Mathematics. It is such a simple test that instead of taking several days to weeks, takes just a few days. It is a much easier test to take; being online, the students know what the icons might mean, and know how to operate it, look for directions, and it goes much smoother because it has a

set stopping point. Overall, the State of California made a good choice computerizing the standardized assessment tests. It is much easier to take, with the same level of difficulty, and it is all checked by computers, so the results will also be in much faster than the S.T.A.R. It is also easier for the test adviser because instead of having a 10minute script, they just have to go over login procedures and the system handles it from there. Alison Ewing is a sixth-grader at DVMS. She loves to write and has a passion for “anything in the arts.” Email her at

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MDES REPORTER More than 70 fourth and fifth grade students will be performing in this year’s Mt. Diablo Elementary School’s spring play, “Seussical Jr.” It is being directed by Kristi Smith, Sarah Wilcox

and Janet Matranga, the new music teacher. Every student who tried out ended up with a role in the play. “Seussical Jr.” is a story based on the many books by Dr. Seuss, including, “The Cat in the Hat,” “Horton Hears a Who,” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Many studies show that students perform better academically when they are exposed to the arts. Plus, memorizing play lines can help them with their language skills as well as writing skills, enhancing their vocabulary and by using their energy at play practice, students are found to be more focused in class and

while taking tests. The question is, how do we get more students involved in theater and the arts when budget cuts have eliminated most of these programs from our schools? The answer is simple — volunteers. Through the efforts of the many volunteers such as Ms. Smith, Ms. Wilcox and Ms. Matranga, as well as the many volunteers who help with props, scenes set ups, lights and those who make costumes, their efforts tell us the opportunity for student success should be lauded by students, faculty and parents alike. So, when you see Ms. Smith,

Ms. Wilcox and Ms. Matranga, give them a hardy hello and tell them how much you appreciate all their efforts. As Dr. Suess is often quoted as saying, “Unless someone like you, cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Performances for “Seussical Jr.” are at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 8 and Friday, May 9 at Mt. Diablo Elementary School in the Multi-Use room. The cost is $5 per ticket. Natalie Pursche is a fifth grader at Mt. Diablo Elementary School who is an avid reader, enjoys writing, loves the outdoors, and is a member of the MDE school council. Send comments to

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Clayton Pioneer •

April 25, 2014

April 25, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

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A Clayton Pioneer Publication

Walk this many miles It’s an everyday activity that mankind has been doing since the dawn of time, but you have

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KEYS TO CONTROLLING CRAVINGS Whether you have leptin resistance or not, you may struggle with cravings. If you’re eating lots of foods with high-fructose corn syrup or lots of carbohydrates, or if you’re very stressed or sleep deprived, you’re more likely to feel like you have an appetite you just can’t satisfy. To beat your cravings, protein and fiber are the keys. Here’s how to get your hunger back on track: Are you overweight? Ever had trouble sticking to a diet? Crave certain foods? Can’t resist late-night snacking? These are all indications that you could have some leptin issues. Leptin is a master hormone in the body that controls hunger and feelings of satiety. Leptin is secreted by adipose (fat) tissue, so the more overweight a person is, typically, the higher his leptin levels. Leptin is the lookout hormone – the gatekeeper of fat metabolism, monitoring how much energy an organism takes in. Studies in mice have shown that giving animals leptin reduces overeating and obesity. However, many obese humans have been shown to have high amounts of leptin circulating in the blood, but it doesn’t seem to affect appetite or energy expenditure. This is termed “leptin resistance,” because even though the body has more than enough leptin in it, it doesn’t respond to it the way it’s supposed to. People with leptin resistance may find that they have frequent or even constant cravings or feelings of hunger. Researchers are still working to fully understand and develop effective treatments for leptin resistance, but for now, controlling cravings is the key to combating the effects of this condition.

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To get an early jump on hunger, start your day with 1 plain oatmeal and peanut butter. Oatmeal is one of the most filling and satisfying breakfast options and can reduce eating during the rest of the day. Peanut butter is a rich source of protein, which has also been shown to help reduce the brain signals that cause cravings.

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Take an Irvingia supplement. This supplement is made 2 from African mango extract and has been shown to potentially improve leptin sensitivity and help improve body weight and waist and hip circumference. Adults over age 18 can try taking 150 mg twice a day along with food, but stop if you experience any side effects like gassiness, headache, nausea or sleeplessness. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid Irvingia. Always talk to your doctor before starting a new supplement. Take a 12-hour break from food. Leave a 12-hour gap between 3 your last meal of the day and the first meal of the next day. So if you eat dinner at 8 p.m. on one day, wait until 8 a.m. the next morning to eat breakfast. Source: RealAge

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LOWDOWN ON SODA In a study, people who consumed at least one carbonated beverage a day had a 30 percent increased risk of nighttime heartburn compared with those who

didn’t drink bubbly beverages. Bubbles and acids in fizzy drinks — which contribute to bloating — set the stage for heartburn. SWITCH TO THE DARK SIDE Coffee contains substances, especially caffeine, that weaken the lower esophageal sphincter. This allows stomach acid to move back up the esophagus and cause heartburn. So if heartburn is a problem for you, you’ll want to limit how much coffee you drink. It’s not totally off limits — unless your system just can’t tolerate it at all. But if

you can’t live without your morning java, try switching to a darker roast. Research suggests that roasted coffee beans may have higher levels of a compound that hinders stomachacid production. BUMP UP YOUR DINNER In a study, people who went to bed within three hours of dinner were 7.5 times more likely to have gastroesophageal reflux disease compared with people who waited for at least four hours after dining to go to bed

FANNING THE FLAMES Almost everyone experiences heartburn at some point in his or her life. And more than 40 percent of people in the United States have heartburn at least once a month. About 10 percent of us get it daily (ouch). Whatever bucket you fall into, take heed if heartburn becomes more than an occasional annoyance. Chronic heartburn could be a sign of GERD — a condition that, when left untreated, increases the risk of esophageal cancer and throat erosions.

Did your mother give you vitamin D? If your mother gave you vitamin D-rich cod liver oil when you were a child, she may have been way ahead of her time. A new animal study from Japan suggests that vitamin D may help clear the brain of amyloid beta, a toxic proteinlike compound that accumulates in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. HUMAN RESEARCH SUPPORT This animal study validates the results of a previous study done in human Alzheimer’s patients. In the human study, vitamin D together with curcumin — a chemical found in turmeric spice — appeared to stimulate the immune system in a way that helped clear the brain of toxic amyloid beta. But this new animal research

suggests that vitamin D alone may be able to do that job nicely. Even more amazing, the lab animals that received vitamin D were able to remove a significant amount of amyloid beta buildup in their brains, literally overnight. It seems the vitamin may somehow regulate production of transporter proteins that ferry amyloid beta across the blood-brain barrier and out of the brain. Pretty exciting stuff. Many grown-ups run short

on vitamin D — especially in the winter months. And don’t count on summer sunshine – smart people are wearing a sunscreen which blocks the absorption of vitamin D. Are you ready to make sure you get your fill? Try these strategies: Go fishing. Salmon supplies a whopping 530 international units (IU) of vitamin D for each 3-ounce serving. Or open the canned tuna for 360 IU of vitamin D from a 3ounce serving.

Seek fortification. Grab the orange juice that’s been fortified with vitamin D and you’ll add an additional 100 IU of the sunshine vitamin to your day with each cup you drink. Crack an egg. If you like scrambled eggs, you’ll garner 20–26 IU of vitamin D per large egg. But the vitamin is in the yolk, so you have to eat the whole egg.

Fitness on the Brain Believe it or not, there is some good news for the aging brain. As we age – up to the age of 70 – our ability to speak more expressively and articulately actually improves. And now for the not so good news. As we age there is a gradual loss in the number of brain cells, or neurons, in our brains. Beyond forgetting to pick up the dry cleaning, this decline represents a deterioration of the brain’s normal habits and functions. What people notice the most is their ability to multi-task, particularly when they watch their children type, listen to music and carry on a conversation all at the same time. Aging often means cutting back on multitasking. But the best news of all, experts say, is that there are a multitude of activities that can keep our minds sharp. REMAIN SOCIALLY ENGAGED Social interaction is a critical part of keeping one’s brain functioning at a high level. But that doesn’t have to mean filling your calendar every night of the week. It just means keeping up with your network of family and friends, even if it’s by phone or e-mail. The key thing is just to be part of some social network. TAKE UP THE SALSA People who dance are less likely to develop problems with cognition. And if you take it up with a group or partner, you’ll really be doing your brain a double favor! THE BRAIN IS A MUSCLE, SO EXERCISE IT Reading, listening to music or doing a crossword puzzle all promote blood flow to the

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Cholesterol deposits around the eyes may signal heart problems If you’ve ever wondered why your doctor examines your eyes when you’re just there for a regular checkup, it’s because your eyes can indicate heart problems. Doctors gaze into your eyes for clues, such as cholesterol deposits. Your eyes can actually provide early warnings about your heart health. The cool thing is that you can keep an eye out for the same things they do,

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such as: Small yellow patches around your eyes: These are cholesterol deposits called xanthelasmata, which suggest a serious risk of heart disease or a fatal heart attack. In 50 percent of cases, there are no other warning signs of heart problems. A white ring around your pupils: Called a corneal arcus, it hints of cholesterol that’s high enough to trigger heart disease — especial-

ly if you’re under 40. Blood vessels in your eyes that look kinky or off-color: If the blood vessels on your retina are looped, have sharp bends, or look more gray or bronze rather than red, we’ll check extra carefully for diabetes and hypertension. See any of these signs? Call the doc ASAP. Source:

Page 12

Clayton Pioneer •

April 25, 2014

Sports CV rugby program makes impact as newcomer in competitive league JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

For the first time this year Clayton Valley Charter High School is fielding a club rugby team in the Single School League, which features teams from Sacramento to San Jose. The Eagles qualified for the season-ending division championships this week at Cherry Island Sports Complex in Sacramento by taking third place during the season. And to make things especially challenging for newcomer Clayton Valley their league includes the No. 1 ranked high school rugby team in America, Jesuit of Sacramento, plus another top 10 team, De La Salle. The Eagles and Spartans of Concord will meet in the first round of the playoffs this Friday. Steve Manoa is the Eagles head coach and he’s been relying on four veteran players this year in senior Ruben Vega plus a trio of juniors: 8man Jake Ray, scrum half Ryan Cooper and Eric Burkley, a fly half. Two more juniors, lock Jax Carter and wing Justin Zapanta, have also been key players for Manoa as the team was 5-2 in league play. Besides nationally-ranked DLS (which has had a rugby program for several years) and Jesuit, the league includes Christian Brothers, McClatchy and Dixon from the Sacramento area, Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland and Bellarmine College Prep of San Jose. The league’s name, Single School, comes from the fact that most players

Photo by

CLAYTON VALLEY CHARTER RUGBY PLAYER ERIC BURKLEY (in white with ball) passes to junior classmate Rich Peralta (foreground) when the Eagles beat Rio Linda in an early-season tournament. Ryan Cooper is trailing the play for CVCHS, which is in the Single School League tournament this week.

must be from the same school. Schools can have up to three players from other schools. Clayton Valley’s team includes three Concord High seniors:

Quinten Casey lock/flanker, Ernesto Garcia, prop/hooker and Gilberto Cisneros wing/inside center. Clayton Valley is the only

Diablo Valley Athletic League school with a team in the division. Ygnacio Valley now has a rugby team but the Warriors were too late to be put in the schedule. CVCHS beat YV in a recent scrimmage. Both Clayton Valley Charter varsity and JV teams finished third in their division.

Michael Dominquez is “general manager” of the CVCHS rugby program. He’s been a football coach at the school for four years. He was president of Diablo Youth Rugby for four years which primarily included Clayton Valley athletes. He helped Manoa assemble the high school coaching staff


Northgate-Clayton Valley swim showdown next week Clayton Valley Charter is the home team next Wednesday at Concord Community Pool when the Eagles meet Northgate in the final Diablo Valley Athletic League dual swimming meet featuring the league’s top boys and girls teams. Coach Shaun Guest will rely on his seniors like Jack Brown (diving) and Sara Abele in their showdown with the Broncos. The teams will be going head to head again May 9-10 at College Park at the DVAL Championships. Kim Anderson photos

Trees, from page 6 Under the agreement reached between the city and PG&E: No protected trees on public or private property can be removed or pruned by PG&E. No work will be performed by PG&E on city property. No work will be performed by PG&E on private property. PG&E will allow property owners who have already signed an agreement to rescind the agreement by emailing Tom Guarino of PG&E at

While the project is on hold, cities will work with PG&E to arrive at a solution. Residents are encouraged to contact PG&E at 1-877-2598314 to obtain further information about how the Pipeline Pathways program may affect your property. Concord was part of a coalition of seven other East Bay cities concerned about the Pipeline Pathways project, including Clayton, Danville, El Cerrito, Lafayette, Martinez,

Pleasanton and Walnut Creek, which helped put the project on hold until affected communities could discuss the tree removals with PG&E. Part of Concord’s concern, according to Council member Edi Birsan, is the protection of its historic and protected trees. For more information what is a protected tree, see the city ordinance at /Chapter122.pdf. For more information, including maps of where the trees are slated to be removed in Concord, go to the city’s website at

Boys and girls 4-18 years of age wanting to play in Mt. Diablo Soccer Association fall league get the lowest registration fee by signing up online by April 30. Players can continue to register for guaranteed placement until May 31. After that date players will be placed on wait-list. Fall league play begins in August. Families are requested to sign up for volunteer duties to help the organization offer its AYSO program. For complete information visit

UGLY EAGLES BASKETBALL CAMP COMING IN JUNE Head coach Eric Bamberger and his Clayton Valley Charter High School coaches and players are offering a pair of Ugly Eagles Basketball Camps in June for boys and girls. The two sessions for incoming third through ninth graders are June 16-20 and 23-27. Sessions run from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. with the gym open an hour before and after the formal camp for pickup play. The camp includes offensive and defensive instruction and games. For more information and to register contact coach Bamberger by phone (925) 726-9999 or email


Tryouts for U9-U19 players with Diablo FC are complete but players who missed formal tryouts can contact the club for

an individual evaluation and possible placement on a competitive team for the 2014 season. Visit to register for free tryouts in all age groups.


Dana Hills Swim Team is still accepting online registrations for the 2014 recreation season. New members are given the option to sign up for the team on a free, one-week “trial” basis. Dana Hills has won 21 of the past 22 Concord Swim Championships. For additional info and to register, visit

CONCORD CUP XXI SOCCER MAY 17-18 The 20th anniversary edition of Concord Cup youth soccer tournament which began in 1994 returns to many local fields on May 17-18. Applications are now being accepted for boys and girls teams from U10-U19. Concord Cup is a rare tournament that includes both AYSO and club teams. Diablo FC, MDSA and Concord AYSO are the host leagues. For information visit

SUMMER PROGRAM REGISTRATION FOR ALL OUT SPORTS LEAGUES COMING SOON Signups are approaching for All Out Sports League summer programs at Clayton Gym. Youth basketball and volleyball, flag football league, adult volleyball and football academy programs and camps will all be announced soon. For complete information on all the Clayton

which also includes Erich Rash, Ryan Luis and Chris Biller. High school rugby games are 15v15. The United States qualified for the rugby World Cup for the first time in 2011. Cal Berkeley and its Hall of Fame coach Jack Clark have been the dominate collegiate rugby team for decades.

programs, visit


Boys and girls up to 18 years of age (as of June 15) are being accepted for the Walnut Country Swim Team online at


Oakhurst Orcas summer recreation swim team is getting ready for team time trials on May 31. Registration and information is available at


We get plenty of information from local high schools, sports leagues and clubs. What we don’t hear about so often are from our neighbors who are competing below that radar screen. There are Claytonians who are participating in sports and recreational endeavors that we don’t normally hear about but we’d like to tell their stories too. If you know of someone—-or even if you are that someone—-let us know what you’re doing and perhaps we’ll find it something our readers would love to read about! If you’re running, jumping, hiking, biking, swimming, skydiving, bowling, golfing or participating in any of dozens of other sports and recreational activities let us know. Give us a brief rundown and your contact information and we might be in touch with you. It’s as simple as sending an email to

April 25, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 13

Sports Clayton Valley edges Northgate twice to set school winning streak record


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JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Entering this week’s Elite 8 baseball tournament in Mountain View coach Casey Coakley’s Clayton Valley Charter High School team sported a glossy 17-0 record and a top 20 state ranking over all divisions. The Eagles 17-game winning streak is the longest in school history and includes six onerun victories, capped by a sweep of last week’s home and home series with Northgate in two comeback wins. The Broncos had a 4-1 lead after five innings last Tuesday in Walnut Creek before CVCHS rallied for five runs in the sixth and held on for a 6-5 victory. Two days later at Matt Mazzei Baseball Complex the Eagles got a complete game four-hitter from Austin Cannedy and a two-run homer from his batterymate Ethan Utler to finish off the twogame sweep 2-1 entering the Easter Week break from Diablo Valley Athletic League play. In Mountain View the Eagles faced a star-studded field beginning with Newark

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CLAYTON VALLEY CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL PLAYERS EXPLODED OUT OF THE HOME TEAM DUGOUT when catcher Ethan Utler blasted a two-run homer over the left field fence last Thursday at Matt Mazzei Field as the Eagles rallied for a 2-1 victory over Northgate to run their record to 17-0.

Memorial in their opener Tuesday. Also in the tournament are top 7 East Bay teams College Park, California and Amador Valley plus defending champ and host St. Francis, which is the top-ranked team in Northern California.

CATCHER ETHAN UTLER ACCOUNTED FOR ALL THE SCORING by Clayton Valley Charter High School when the Eagles beat Northgate 2-1 last Thursday in Concord. Utler’s fourth-inning blast traveled more than 350 feet over the leftfield fence and also drove in Garrett Nelson. It was the first HR at Mazzei Field since 2012 and Utler’s second career homer. Broncos catcher Drew Downing waited for the pitch.

The 2-1 game last Thursday featured the first home run since 2012 at Mazzei Field. Utler got his second-ever homer in the bottom of the fourth inning after Garrett Nelson walked with one out. The blast to left field went over 350 feet. The Broncos had taken a 10 lead over Cannedy in the top of the inning with Eric Huang’s infield hit scoring Ryan Strong. Gabe Taylor ended that Northgate rally by starting a double play with a diving putout and throw to first. Cannedy made the 2-1 lead hold up for his sixth victory of the season with his earned run average dropping to 1.17. In the 6-5 first game of the home and home matchups Northgate got three runs batted in from Tyler Sandberg while Brandon Gazdar had two doubles and a single and Jarrett Dillon doubled twice. The slugfest featured 21 hits total and 11 runs scored in a wild fifth and sixth inning stretch. Brandon Truesdell was 3 for 3 plus a walk for Clayton Valley while Utler and John Allen had a pair of hits each. The Broncos roughed up Taylor, who still got his sixth pitching victory when Riley

Smith came in to stop a Northgate uprising in the sixth inning and notched his third save. Despite their glossy record the Eagles are no locks to repeat as DVAL titlists since they face College Park May 6-8 in a season finale series. The Falcons have lost only one game in league play and the two rivals figure to be 1-2 when they have their showdown games. College Park won the 2012 DVAL championship with the Eagles claiming the crown 2009-2011 and also last spring. After the regular season draws to a close May 8 the top four teams will take part in the first DVAL Tournament on May 13 and 15 when Northgate, College Park, Clayton Valley Charter and Concord highs will continue their intense games with all four teams likely North Coast Section playoff participants. NCS play kicks off May 2021 with the finals May 30-31. Clayton Valley has been to NCS 15 years in a row. Coach Tim Jochner’s Broncos missed out on the playoffs last year after eight consecutive post season appearances and hope to turn that around this spring.

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Mark Jackson leads Golden State to 51-win season, NBA playoffs

TYLER LEHMAN SPORTS TALK For the first time in 20 years, the Golden State Warriors have won at least 50 games in a season. For a franchise that has struggled for decades, seeing the team play so well has been a breath of fresh air for its loyal fan base. It is only the fifth time since they became the Golden State Warriors in 1971 that they’ve reached at least 50 wins, finishing with 51 to earn a first-round playoff matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers.

A lot of credit is due the players, general manager Bob Myers and head coach Mark Jackson. Jackson has been under heavy scrutiny this season and through all the adversity he has still lead the Warriors to a great record. Much of the media and fan base was concerned with the Warriors toward the middle of the season, believing that Jackson’s squad was underperforming. I think it’s safe to say that Jackson has done nothing but improve the Warriors this year. When Jackson came to coach Golden State in 2011 the team was a mess. His first year as a head coach was a bit rocky with a 23-43 record, but over the past two years the Warriors have significantly improved. Last season the Warriors had a record of 47-23 and were able to advance past the Denver Nuggets in the first

round of the playoffs. Unfortunately the Warriors playoff run was stopped short in the Western Conference semifinals by the San Antonio Spurs. Getting to the playoffs isn’t a common occurrence for the Warriors. The last time they went to the playoffs in backto-back seasons was over 22 years ago from 1990-1992. Jackson has inserted his preaching style into his coaching and has poured his heart and soul into coaching the Warriors. The argument can be made that the Warriors might have underperformed this year by not being a top four playoff seed but the Western Conference is stacked with elite teams. To blame the coach for many, if not all, of the Warriors shortcomings is unfair. Whenever the Warriors struggled this season, Jackson was the first one to be blamed. He has helped bring this team

from the ashes, just look at the type of player Stephen Curry has turned into this season. Curry can arguably be considered for first-team AllNBA. The way he has played hasn’t just been amazing, it has been breathtakingly fantastic. He averaged 24 points as well as 8.5 assists per game. Curry has been immensely successful this season and he will continue to do so under the coaching of Jackson. It has been rumored that Jackson might lose his job if the Warriors don’t advance past the first round of the playoffs, which is absurd. Jackson has continued to improve the Warriors and he should be able to continue to do so for many more years to come. Tyler Lehman is a sophomore at Diablo Valley College and a 2012 CVHS graduate. He plans to major in journalism and wants to be a sports writer. Email your comments or questions to

Advertise in The Clayton Pioneer Call (925) 672-0500

Page 14

Clayton Pioneer •

April 25, 2014

CVCHS helps launch Salvation Army music school VICKI ANDERSON Special to the Pioneer

CALLED “CONCERTS” BY THE SALVATION ARMY BAND and “trumpets” by the CVCHS musicians, either way the sound was big and joyful when the CVCHS Wind Ensemble joined the Army Band in a concert to support music in the schools. Pictured standing, Salvation Army musicians Bob Slous, Jason Madsen, Mike Bennett, David Prince and Drew Cremesio. Seated, CVCHS students Michael Fregosi, Justin Tong and Ben Schoffstall.

“Playing, Playing in the Band” was exactly what the Clayton Valley Charter High School Wind Ensemble did recently when the Salvation Army Band of Concord invited them to perform in a free concert with them. The evening’s performance was a kickoff event to announce the opening of The Salvation Army’s Pritchard School of Music. As music education is cut from the schools, it’s more important than ever that young people have the chance to play and perform. Research shows that music education improves language processing, memory, math comprehension, selfawareness, social skills and overall academic and long-term suc-

cess in life. “Music education gives our students the skill set needed to succeed in the 21st century,” says CVHCS music director, Joseph Scott. In 2009, the Mt. Diablo Unified School District cut funding to its fourth and fifth grade music programs. The Salvation Army stepped up to provide “need-centered” programs. The Pritchard School of Music, funded through private donations, is designed to provide quality music education to those in need either by lack of social/economic resources and/or availability in their schools. This program is designed to develop musicians who will transition to their local high school programs. As a ministry of The Salvation Army, The Pritchard School of Music will use volun-

The strengths of training muscles





[Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series on strength training.] Every movement we make — from walking to driving — involves our muscles. Muscles are unique. They have the ability to relax, contract, and produce force. They are metabolically active, meaning that the more muscle you have, the more calories your body uses at rest and during exercise. Your muscles are highly responsive to strength training, which helps them to become larger and stronger. What is strength training? Strength training is the process of exercising with progressively heavier resistance for the pur-

pose of strengthening the musculoskeletal system. What are the benefits of regular strength training? Regular strength training increases the size and strength of the muscle fibers. It also strengthens the tendons, ligaments and bones. All of these changes have a positive impact on your physical fitness, appearance and metabolism, while reducing the risk of injury and decreasing joint and muscle pain. Muscle is metabolicallyactive tissue. This means that the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism is while at rest. So, strength training is an important component of weight loss and weight maintenance. Follow these four principles of strength training and your guaranteed success. 1. The Tension Principle: The key to developing strength is creating tension within a muscle (or group of muscles). Tension is created by resistance. Resistance can come from weights (like dumbbells), specially-designed strength training machines, resistance bands, or the weight of your own body.

There are three methods of resistance: a. Calisthenics (your own body weight): You can use the weight of your own body to develop muscle, but using body weight alone is less effective for developing larger muscles and greater strength. b. Fixed Resistance: This method of resistance provides a constant amount of resistance throughout the full range of motion (ROM) of a strength training exercise. c. Variable Resistance: During exercises with variable resistance, the amount of resistance changes as you move through the range of motion. 2. The Overload Principle: In order to build strength, your muscles must work harder than they are accustomed to. This “overload” will result in increased strength as the body adapts to the stress placed upon it. Everyone begins at a certain level of strength. To become stronger, you must regularly increase the tension (weight or resistance) that your muscles work against, causing them to adapt to a new level. As the

muscles respond to an overload, they will grow in size and strength. 3. The Specificity of Training Principle: This refers to the fact that only the muscle or muscle group you exercise will respond to the demands placed upon it. By regularly doing bicep curls, for example, the muscles involved (biceps) will become larger and stronger, but curls will have no effect on the muscles that are not being trained (such as your legs). Therefore, when strength training, it is important to strengthen all of the major muscle groups. 4. The Detraining Principle: After consistent strength training stops, you will eventually lose the strength that you built up. Without overload or maintenance, muscles will weaken in two weeks or less. This is the basis behind why individuals lose muscle mass as they age — because they are detraining by exercising less frequently. Ilima Heuerman holds fitness certifications. She trains at Levity Fitness studio in Clayton. Email Ilima at

Learning activities that make sense Adding “sensory” aspects to your child’s experiences can help them develop a “fuller” concept of their world. When a child looks at, smells and touches a real flower then that child has a fuller experience of the word “flower.” When you lift your child in the air and say, “up, up, up,” the feeling of going up is paired with the word. When they play in water and you say, “wet!” their understanding of that word becomes expanded. Experiencing the threedimensional world around them helps children learn to move in space, to learn vocabulary, to judge distance and many other concepts, without even knowing it. Going outdoors is always an adventure for kids — help them to learn about their world from firsthand experience. OUTDOORS Play “Kick the Can”— use a clean, empty, large can with only the top cut out. Begin by placing the can upright and when your child can kick the can, let the can roll in unpredictable ways. This helps increase motor planning. Walk on a wide line on the


POCKET PARENT ground or a wide beam that is on the ground — this helps to judge staying on a line. Step in and out of shallow containers such as a small wading pool, over lines on the ground or a hula hoop — this helps develop spatial awareness. Make an obstacle course — walk up and down stairs, walk on sofa cushions or crawl through tunnels (you can put a blanket over a table to make a tunnel). Make a “Figure 8” track in the sand, on paper or with chalk on the sidewalk and drive toy cars on the track. Try to stay on the “road.”

INDOORS Simple cooking activities can help your child learn and use new words to make choices. Easy recipes like trail mix or making flavored milk are easy for you and your child to do. Kids can learn to cut sandwiches into triangles or circles to learn about shapes, pour and measure to learn about volume and improve hand-eye coordination. They can see things change with the addition of each ingredient. Here are some more ideas: • Throw different objects (rolled up socks or stuffed animals) into a variety of containers (laundry baskets, clean waste baskets or boxes). Start with the container about one foot away and gradually increase the distance. When they become more accurate try catching objects. To learn to catch, first try balloons or scarves – things that move slowly. • Using a yogurt-type of container with a “fit-on” lid, cut a slot in the lid to fit juice can lids or disks like poker chips in the slot. Then have your child put them in the slot horizontally. To increase the

difficulty, gradually turn the slot each time until it eventually is vertical to your child. • Puzzles are great for learning. For shape puzzles start with a circle, when your child can put in a circle independently, then go to the square and then the triangle. You can make puzzles from the front of a box of cereal or other familiar packages. First, cut the picture in half – when your child can put the halves together you can cut the picture into four pieces. • Stringing objects is very good for hand-eye skills. If your child is just learning this skill, use a wooden spoon and large rings like shower curtain rings or rings cut from a paper towel tube. Start with the spoon in a vertical position (like rings on a post). When your child is successful with that, turn the spoon to a horizontal position. Then you can use stiff tubing (like aquarium tubing) and then stiff cord. Gradually make the beads smaller and then try a stiff boot lace or shoe lace. Kathy Yougston is a staff member at We Care Center.

Photo credit: Donna Price

SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS Sohnjay Reeve, Sean Calimlim, Ana Lau and Mr. Scott.

teer members of The Salvation Army in Concord as well as hiring paid staff, recent college graduates in music education and performing artists from or visiting the Bay Area. The Pritchard School of Music will partner with local music stores, community leaders, and organizations for resources and opportunities for students to “give back” by performing in and around the geographic area we serve. The highlight of the night for CVCHS wind ensemble students was the announcement of

three scholarships for a weeklong music camp this summer. The scholarships were donated to the CVCHS music department from The Salvation Army of Concord. Classes start in late Aug, early September. For more information contact Major Glen Madsen at or call 925 676-6180. For information on the Clayton Valley Charter High School Music Program or the Middle School Summer Band Camp contact Director Joseph Scott at or call 925-682-7474.

When to tap Social Security

RICHARD LITTORNO ESTATE PLANNING Your estate plan is (or should be) closely connected to your wealth and retirement plans. Your wealth plan can influence the amount of funds available during your retirement, and your retirement plan will affect how much of your estate will be left to pass on to your family after death. A factor to consider amongst all of this planning is when to begin receiving Social Security benefits. HOW DOES AGE AFFECT BENEFIT AMOUNT? You can begin receiving Social Security benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. The longer you wait, the higher the monthly benefit. If you start benefits before your “normal” retirement age, you’ll receive a smaller check over a greater number of years. If you start later, you’ll receive a larger check over a smaller number of years. BREAK-EVEN POINT? A useful tool for choosing the right starting age is to calculate your break-even point. For example, Scott, who is retired, is about to turn 62. He’s trying to decide between taking a reduced Social Security benefit right away or waiting until his normal retirement age of 66. Let’s say Scott’s full monthly benefit at 66 would be $2,000 and his reduced benefit at 62 would be $1,500. Ignoring cost of living adjustments for simplicity, Scott’s break-even point is just before his 78th birthday. At that point, his total benefits will be about the same whether he

starts at age 62 (192 months × $1,500 = $288,000) or at age 66 (144 months × $2,000 = $288,000). If Scott lives to at least age 78, waiting until age 66 to start collecting will provide him with greater lifetime benefits. If he doesn’t reach that age, he’s better off starting at age 62. Let’s suppose that Scott’s father and grandfather both lived to be 90. If Scott follows suit, he’ll receive more than $72,000 more in Social Security benefits by waiting until his normal retirement age of 66. After determining your break-even point, the right choice for you depends on several factors, including your actuarial life expectancy, your health and your family history. Also, keep in mind that the above example doesn’t consider potential earnings on Social Security benefits. If you plan to invest your benefits, you may need to adjust your break-even point upward or downward, depending on your expected rate of return. PLANNING TO WORK LONGER? If you plan to continue working after you become eligible for Social Security, you’re likely better off delaying benefits at least until you reach your normal retirement age. If you start any time before the year in which you reach your normal retirement age, your benefits will be reduced by $1 for every $2 you earn above a certain threshold ($15,480 in 2014). So, for example, if your benefit amount is $1,500 per month, or $18,000 per year, your benefits will be eliminated if you earn $51,480 or more. After you reach your normal retirement age, you can continue working without reducing your Social Security benefits. But keep in mind that, if your income exceeds certain limits, a portion of your Social Security benefits will be taxable. Richard A. Littorno is an attorney specializing in estate planning. He has offices in Walnut Creek and Pittsburg. Send your questions to

April 25, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Book Review

Steinbeck fan pens scary-fun adventure

Hollywood and Lottie are ARF’s stars Three-year-old Hollywood is a big guy with a heart twice his size. He likes to go for long walks - maybe even a hike on a nice cool day. Hollywood might not know how big he is and he will try to get on your lap for snuggles so if you love a big lap dog, look no further! We recommend that Hollywood take a

Basic Manners class to help him start his new life with his best paw forward. It is unknown whether Hollywood has previous experience with children. He currently weighs 97 pounds. Hollywood’s adoption fee has been prepaid by a generous donor.

Lottie is a cute year and a half old gal who enjoys petting and attention! Once Lottie gets to know you, she likes to play with her kitty wands and sit close for chin scratches. It is unknown whether Lottie has previous experience with children. She is suitable for a first time cat guardian.





If ever there was a family read, “Steinbeck’s Ghost” (Square Fish; First Edition March, 2010) is it, a reminder to parents that a great number of books marketed to young readers are just as satisfying to adults. Lewis Buzbee, a Steinbeck devotee, has written such a book. The story is straightforward, and in the beginning, deceptively uncomplicated. Thirteen-year old Travis Williams, recently moved to a brand-new Salinas subdivision, faces more than a change of location. All summer, Travis is troubled by the sense something is not right. Finally the identical layout of identical houses with identical landscapes comes together in the name Camazotz, the dangerously perfect planet of “A Wrinkle in Time.” Even his new best friend Hilario agrees, but Hil escapes into computer games, leaving Travis wishing things had never changed. Travis’ parents, with new jobs, work harder than ever, often leaving him to fend for himself until 7 or 8 p.m. Travis misses everything about his old life, but most of all he misses his family’s weekly outings to the John Steinbeck Library, minutes away from their home. Being forbidden to ride his bike past the development gates is more than Travis can bear, and one afternoon, when he knows his parents will not be home until late, he takes off after school on his bike for the four-mile trek back to Salinas proper. Who can resist the homesick yearnings of a good kid who wants to go a library? Just before entering the library his attention is caught by an old man calling out, “I am Gitano and I have come back.” His favorite librarian welcomes Travis back, rekindling his love of reading. But strange things are afoot. Travis leaves the library with a copy of “A Wrinkle in Time,” as well as a copy of Steinbeck’s “The Long Valley.” On his way home, he bikes by his old house, then detours past Steinbeck’s childhood home, now open to public tours. It is late. The house is dark except for a light in young Steinbeck’s bedroom window. Travis stares in disbelief; a young person is bent over, writing at a desk. Thus begins a journey back into Steinbeck’s stories and at the same time forward to Travis’ first steps into maturity. Gitano, a character from “The Red Pony,” is the first of many Steinbeck characters who appear in this story. Not as ghosts that go bump in the night, but as mindful guides to the powerful words that gave them birth. “Steinbeck’s Ghost” tells us of the importance of a library that houses these stories, a community challenged to preserve the library, and a boy beginning to understand the directive influence of what he reads in the landscape of a master storyteller. Summer is around the corner. Make this a family read. Then Mapquest the route to Salinas, to the Santa Lucia Mountains, Cannery Row, and the Steinbeck Museum. All things Steinbeck are practically in our backyard. “Steinbeck’s Ghost” can be the first stop on a wonderful journey. Sunny Solomon is a freelance writer and head of the Clayton Book Club. Visit her website at to ‘talk books.’

Page 15

All adult cats (6 months or older) are FREE through April 30 as part of ARF’s “Pick Me!” promotion. Meet your forever friend at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek, during adoption hours: Noon to 5 pm. Wednesday, 3 to 7 pm. Thursday and Friday, Noon to 5 pm. Saturday and Sunday. The primary caretaker must be present to adopt. ARF also encourages kids 16 and younger and canine family members (dog adoptions only) to be present during the adoption process.

Get Acquainted Offer

FREE Office Visit Exam New clients only. Limit one per family. Expires 5/31/2014

Office Hours Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. & 2 – 5:30 p.m. Every other Saturday 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Would you like to be part of the heroic team that saves the lives of rescued dogs and cats? Can you share your talents to connect people and animals? ARF volunteers are making a difference! For more information see our website,, or call 925.256.1ARF.

Dr. Linda M. Miller 5435 Clayton Road, Ste I Clayton 925-672-CATS (2287)



Critters seeking forever homes to be at Rodie’s event Once again, the Contra Costa Animal Services Adoption truck will be at Rodie’s Feed & Pet Supply for their annual Customer Appreciation and Pet Adoption Day from 9-2 on Saturday, May 17. There will be kittens, cats, puppies and dogs all looking for a new forever home. Each year, the County is joined by other rescue groups in bringing adoptable pets to the event. Already, eight dogs, three kittens and one cat have been adopted. Bring the family for a free lunch, $5 pony rides from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., free door prizes, and amazing deals on pet and horse supplies. Come early and get a free gift. See back page of this issue for more information. Doors open at 9 a.m.

Got more stuff than you need? Join your neighbors for the

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April showers bring May flowers for plant sale gently-used gardening tools and books. The expert gardening advice is free. The annual plant sale is the Club’s biggest fundraiser. Proceeds go towards civic plantings like Daffodil Hill, youth gardening projects at local schools and to fund specific efforts proposed by local individuals. The club also takes field trips to special growers, private gardens, wild flower walks and other sites of interest relative to gardening. CLAYTON VALLEY GARDEN CLUB members Lew and Carla Thompson arrange one gallon pots of perennials for the 2013 Plant Sale

Purchase May flowers at the Clayton Valley Garden Club’s 2014 Plant Sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 10 at Endeavor Hall. One gallon pots of locallygrown, drought-tolerant peren-

Open to the public to attend

nials, decorative grasses, assorted succulents and vegetables are $5 per pot. Buy five and get a sixth pot free. Also available are color bowls of various blooming plants, great for Mother’s Day gifts, choice garden art and

Endeavor Hall is at 6008 Center St., Clayton. The Clayton Valley Garden Club welcomes novice and Master gardeners alike. Meetings, which feature a guest speaker, are at 7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month, February through November, at Diamond Terrace, 6401 Center St., Clayton. For more information, go to

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Page 16

Clayton Pioneer •

Cyber Safety, from page 8 charged with distributing child pornography. Many people who send the photos in the first place face everything from ruined reputations to risks of suicide. Another scary aspect of the digital age is cyberbullying. Hoal said that while 17 percent of teens admit to actual bullying, 40 percent admit to cyberbullying someone at one time or another. And 52 percent of children and teens

don’t tell their parents when they have been cyberbullied. Of course, Hoal also points out that eight out of 10 teens say their parents are “clueless” when it comes to what their kids are doing online and on their cell phones. “Let’s be those two who know what’s going on,” she said. “Our kids are digital natives, but we have to be digital immigrants.”

WHAT CAN PARENTS DO? The best way to assure healthy digital use in your kids, Hoal said, is to apply the same standards of everyday parenting to computer and cell phone use. 1) Know their tech devices and uses. “As a parent, you make sure your kids go to the right school, have the right friends, why not make sure they are going to the right sites?” Hoal asks. “Know what they are doing online, at all times.” 2). Establish Family Rules. Enforce such rules as “no cell

phones in bed,” “Never use technology to hurt, harass or be cruel,” “ Never post anything a parent can’t see.” 3) Make the rules easy to follow. Consider a verbal or written agreement with clear guidelines and consequences for negative behavior, rewards for positive behavior. Make sure teens know they won’t be in trouble for what their friends post. 4) Have a “Tech talk.” Similar to the Birds-and-the-Bees or a Drugs-and-Alcohol talk, this dialogue should open up your

April 25, 2014 expectations. Let children know you will review all the accounts and applications that are appropriate. Let your child know there will be consequences for irresponsible behavior. 5) Moderation. Ease into technology with your children, with age appropriate applications and devices. Allow your child to build trust, but be sure to set time limits. 6.) Know their “friends.” Make sure you know your child’s social media friends. They may think this is an invasion of priva-

cy, Hoal said, but remember — you are the parent. 7) Institute an open phone/open device rule. This eliminates the need to snoop, if your child knows you have access to his phone or computer. Know your child’s passwords, and randomly review texts, contacts, social media posts and friends in the network. For more information on social media and cyber safety, as well as tips on monitoring software and links to other informative sites for parents, visit


IN CLAYTON Apr. 26 Clayton Cleans Up Honor Earth Day with a town spring cleaning. A great activity for clubs and organizations, school projects or a family outing. Meet at City Hall at 9 a.m., rain or shine. T-shirt, gloves and garbage bags provided. Clayton City Hall, 6000 Heritage Trail. Call Clayton Pioneer with questions at 672-0500. Download registration form from Apr. 26 – 27 Clayton Gardens Tour Six beautiful gardens on self-guided tour. Benefits Clayton Historical Society. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Starts at Clayton Museum, 6101 Main St. $30. 672-0240. May 3 – 4 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, Clayton. 672-2272. Saturdays Starting May 10 Farmers’ Market 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Diablo Street between Main and Center streets, downtown Clayton. May 10 Plant Sale Annual plant sale by Clayton Valley Garden Club. 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Endeavor Hall parking lot, 6008 Center St., Clayton. May 10, 24 Concerts in the Grove 6 – 8:30 p.m. Grove Park, downtown Clayton. Free. For a complete concert series list, see Page 3. May 19 Golf Tournament Clayton Business and Community Association’s Clayton Classic. 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Oakhurst Country Club, 1001 Peacock Creek Drive, Clayton. Contact or 672-2272.

IN CONCORD Tuesdays Farmers’ Market Tuesdays year round, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. May 7 Evening of Discovery For women to find out how to make a huge impact for oneself and others in the community. Sponsored by Soroptimist International of Diablo Vista and Monument Crisis Center. 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Monument Crisis Center, 1990 Market St., Concord. Free. RSVP Jo Harlow at 963-6151. May 8 Bike to Work Day Energizer Station Join fellow bike riders for refreshments and information. 7:30 – 9 a.m. and 4:30 – 6 p.m. Academic Services Building, Cal State East Bay, Concord Campus, 4700 Ygnacio Valley Road, Concord. Free. May 9 – 11 Spring Tea Sponsored by the Concord Historical Society at the historic Galindo Home. 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 12:30 p.m. Sunday. 1721 Amador Ave., Concord. $30. Call Kathie for reservations at 686-0430.

ON THE MOUNTAIN Mount Diablo Interpretive Association programs listed are free with the exception of park entrance fee. Go to and click on Events Calendar for more information. Apr. 26 – 27 Celebrate on the Mountain Commemorate the 150th anniversary of California State Parks and celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association. Explore Mount Diablo at five park locations, go on hikes, see demonstrations and presentations, visit activity booths. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Cake at the Summit on Saturday at 3 p.m. Free admission; $10 park entrance fee. Go to for more information. May 4 Twin Peaks Hike 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Trailhead. May 10 Fire Recovery Hike Mary Bowerman Trail. 10 – 11:30 a.m. Meet at Lower Summit Parking Lot. Registration required. May 10 Fire Recovery Hike North Peak Trail. 12 – 2:30 p.m. Meet at Lower Summit Parking Lot. Registration required. May 11 Butterfly Walk Walk up Mitchell Canyon to Red Road looking for butterflies and flowers. Return via Globe Lily Trail. 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Trailhead. Registration required. Save Mount Diablo programs listed are free unless otherwise noted. Go to and click on Activities/Guided Hikes for more information. 947-3535. Apr. 30 Student Photo Contest Contest for students kindergarten through grade 12 of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Submit photo of one of eligible Diablo parks that shows why the student enjoys the land and thinks it should be protected. Due Apr. 30.

May 3 Fantastic Fire Followers Hike Hike through burn area and discover flowers rarely seen on Mount Diablo in the past 40 years. 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Registration required:

May 16 – June 21 “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” Riotous musical comedy about six adolescent outsiders vying for the spelling championship of a lifetime. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $42-$55.


May 18 The Birds and the Bees A flight of fancy of folk, pop, modern and Broadway songs performed by Diablo Women’s Chorale. 4:30 p.m. Mt. Diablo Unitarian Church, 55 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek. $10-$20.

Thru May 11 “The Real Housewives of Walnut Creek: The Musical” Secrets, lies and betrayal are at the center of this hilarious romp inspired by the infamous reality series. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25-$41. Apr. 25 – 26 “Thoroughly Modern Millie” Talented teens recreate the flapper frenzy in 1922 New York. Del Valle Theatre, 1963 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek. $12-$16.75. 943-7469. Apr. 26 Pink Floyd Concert Experience The ultimate Pink Floyd tribute show starring House of Floyd. 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $40-$45. 943-7469. Apr. 26, 28 “The Emperor of Atlantis” and “Another Sunrise” Presented by Festival Opera. Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church, 55 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek. $35. Apr. 27 Come Together: The Beatles Concert Experience Recreating the look, sound and history of The Beatles. 3 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $40-$45. 943-7469. Apr. 27 Tribute to Patsy Cline Performed by Joni Morris. 3 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $25-$27. May 1 – 4 “Cinderella” Everyone needs a fairy godmother. Presented by the Fantasy Forum Actors Ensemble. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $14. May 2 – 3 “Swan Lake” This opulent ballet casts a haunting innocence on the passion of undying love. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $20-$35. May 2 - 4 Artists’ Market Sponsored by Civic Arts Education and Clay Arts Guild. Art sale and demonstrations at two locations. Shadelands, 111 N. Wiget Lane; Civic Park, 1313 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. or 943-5846. May 4 A Russian Spectacular Presented by California Symphony. 4 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $15-$65. May 8 – 11 “Adjusting the Lens” Presented by Company C Contemporary Ballet. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $10-$48. May 9 Spring Concert Presented by Winds Across the Bay. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $12. 9437469. May 9 – 10 “Great Masters” Performed by Diablo Ballet. Shadelands Arts Center Auditorium, 111 N. Wiget Lane, Walnut Creek. May 9 – 11 “The Mouse Trap” A group of strangers is stranded in a boarding house during a snow storm and one of them is a murderer. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $10-$20. 427-1611.

CHURCHES AND RELIGION Apr. 27 Book Discussion and Potluck Dr. Herman Waetjen leads discussion of “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.” Come for both or discussion only. Open to the public. 12 – 1:30 p.m. Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church, 1578 Kirker Pass Road, Clayton. 672-4848. May 7 Open House Learn about Sunday morning ministry for children ages 3 – 11 years old know as Godly Play. 6:30 p.m. Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church, 1578 Kirker Pass Road, Clayton. Free. Contact Kathleen at 935-5595.

FUNDRAISERS Apr. 30 Spaghetti Feed Dinner and raffle held by American Association of University Women to support Tech Trek math and science camp. 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Endeavor Hall, 6008 Center St., Clayton. Get tickets from member or at door: $10 adults, $5 children, under 6 free. May 4 Annual Walk MS National Multiple Sclerosis Society hosts annual fundraiser. 5K or 1 mile routes. Check in 8 a.m. Walk at 9 a.m. Heather Farm Park, 301 N. San Carlos Drive, Walnut Creek. May 17 International Wine Tasting Wine, appetizers, auction, raffle. Benefits C.O.P.E. Family Support Center. 5 – 7:30 p.m. Oakhurst Country Club, 1001 Peacock Creek Drive, Clayton. $45/person, $75/couple. Contact or Joan Carolan at 672-5954.

AT THE LIBRARY The Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. or 673-0659. Tuesdays Thru May 13 Patty Cakes Story time for babies to 3-year-olds. Child attends with caregiver. 11 a.m. Wednesdays Book Buddies A volunteer will read stories for children 3 and older. 2 - 3 p.m. Call in advance. Thursdays Thru May 8 Picture Book Time Story time for 3- to 5-year-olds. Child may attend without caregiver. 11 a.m. Thru Apr. 30 Student Exhibit Danish students in fourth and fifth grade tell about their country. May 15 Gardening Stories and Craft With a special reading from “Where’s Your Grandma Today,” a book about volunteering shared by the Assistance League of Diablo Valley. Ages 3 – 7. 11 a.m. Registration required. The Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. or 646-5455. Apr. 26 – 27 Book Sale Hardcovers $1. Paperbacks $.50. Children’s books $.25-$.50. Sat. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sun. 1 – 4 p.m. $3/bag.

May 10 Let’s Get Lost Performed by the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra. 7:30 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $5-$10.

Apr. 28 Monday Movie Come see a G or PG rated movie in the library. Ages 5 – 11. 7 – 8:30 p.m.

May 11 Let’s Get Lost Performed by the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $10-$30. 943-7469.

May 5 Magician Brian Scott Bring the whole family for a magical night with Brian Scott. 7 – 8 p.m.

May 16 – 17 XXCENTRIC Presented by Smuin Ballet. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $70. 943-7469. May 16, 18 “Winnie-The-Pooh” A comedy based on the book. Presented by El Campanil Children’s Theatre. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $8-$12. May 16 – June 1 “Shipwrecked!” The amazing adventures of Louis de Rougemont as told by himself. Performed by Onstage Theatre. Martinez Campbell Theatre, 636 Ward St., Martinez. $12-$18. 518-3277.

GOVERNMENT 1st and 3rd Tuesdays Clayton City Council 7 p.m. Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 673-7304 or 2nd and 4th Tuesdays Clayton Planning Commission 7 p.m., Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 673-7304 or 1st, 2nd and 4th Tuesdays Concord City Council 6:30 p.m., Council Chamber, Concord Civic Center, 1950 Parkside Dr.

April 25, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Performing Arts

Blackhawk Chorus brings 30 years of pop to Lesher

Page 17

The Story of Indie Rock Icon Kristin Hersh comes to the Stage

Kristin Hersh’s

Adapted to the stage by Stuart Bousel

Thur., Fri., Sat., 8:00 pm. May 1-24, Tickets $15 EXIT Theatre, 156 Eddy St., S.F. (Two blocks from Powell St. BART)

The 140-member Blackhawk Chorus will present ”The Beat Goes On…Great Pop Songs of the Last 30 Years” at the Lesher Center for the Arts on Wednesday, May 21. The show will feature such hits as ”Sweet Caroline,” ”Up

on the Roof,” ”The Look of Love,” ”Under the Boardwalk” and 10 others that will have audiences dancing in the aisles, says chorus member Bruce Lechner. The two-hour show includes songs by Special Blend and Blackhawk Jazz, comprised

of some of the best voices in the chorus, he says. The Blackhawk Chorus, one of the premier vocal groups in the East Bay, is in its 23rd year, performing at such places as Lincoln Center in New York City, the Vatican, and venues in

London, Wales, Ireland, Austria, and Scotland. The show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25-$28 and may be purchased at or at the Lesher Box Office.


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GARDEN GIRL It’s time to talk about grass — not your lawn, but the ornamental types. For a couple of months already folks have been making their way to the nursery looking for these types of billowy accents for their landscape, garden beds, containers and pool backdrops. Many of the more popular ornamental grasses run a winter dormancy; this year the early warmth of January got our ornamental grasses going sooner than usual. Thus, many varieties are ready for the choosing. Once you know the differences in mature sizes, it’ll make picking your favorite ornamental grasses all the easier. Miscanthus has many family members that are very appealing in our Clayton Valley landscapes. Morning Light is a variegated Miscanthus. It has slender leaves. This selection is tall and will gracefully grow to five- to six-feet tall and wide. During the summer months, Morning Light is topped with feathery beige flower clusters. Another showy Miscanthus worth mentioning is Miscanthus Strictus. This selection of ornamental grass

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has medium-green leaves with horizontal yellow variegation. The variegation is fairly random and natural looking. During the summer months you can expect Miscanthus Strictus to grow up to eightinches tall and three-feet wide, which includes the reddishbronze plumes that rise above the foliage. Miscanthus is a perennial ornamental grass. Each year in March, prune your Miscanthus down near the ground. It will re-grow as spring warms. Blue Oat grass is a favorite selection of many that are interested in ornamental grasses. The mature size of the Blue Oat grass is only two- to threefeet tall and wide. Blue Oat Grass grows in graceful tufts of blue-gray fountains. The botanical name of Blue Oat


Grass is Helctotrichon sempervirens. This ornamental grass likes better drainage than some of our clay allows. A good hint when installing is to leave just about an inch of the rootball above the soil grade. Calamagrostis “Karl Foerster” is another smaller growing ornamental grass. This selection is commonly called Feather Reed Grass. It has lovely, feather-reed grassy spikes with reddish-brown plumes in the summer. The plumes last into fall. Panicum “Heavy Metal” is another larger growing selection. It matures seasonally to five-feet tall. “Heavy Metal” grows in a weeping fashion. The grass leaves are metallic gray. During the summer the plumes of ‘Heavy Metal” are purplish-green and loosely

stacked above the foliage. As fall approaches, it turns yellow, adding to its appeal. Ornamental grasses all look about the same size when purchased. Be wary and read up on a potential selection before installing. It is always easier to install a plant rather than remove it. Make the right choice first. Most ornamental grasses need full or at least six hours of sun to be happy. All the mentioned varieties need a hard prune in the earliest days of spring. If you are unsure about growing ornamental grasses, try in a container at first to see if the effect is what you desire. Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. Contact her with questions or comments at

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Page 18

Clayton Pioneer •

April 25, 2014

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How do rivers, swimming holes, fishing, cascading waterfalls and incredible views sound for your first backpacking experience? Of course Yosemite has so much to offer but backpacking into Glen Aulin may be perfect for a first-timer. Starting from Tuolumne Meadows, roughly 5.3 miles in, Glen Aulin sits at 7,800 feet in elevation. Established in then 1920s, it is one of six camps on what is famously known as “The Loop Trail” in Yosemite. Tuolumne Meadows, May Lake, Sunrise, Merced and Volgelsang complete the loop. Glen Aulin is (for the Sierra’s) one of the easier camps to hike. The trail from Soda Springs follows the Tuolumne River and it is meadows most of the way. The camp is set alongside the 80-foot high White Cascade and its lovely pool with groves of aspen, scattered juniper and sagebrush. Located in a geological wonderland, Glen Aulin offers a great view down the Tuolumne River and the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne. . A popular daytrip down to Waterwheel Falls passes through this unique granite canyon with California Falls and LeConte Falls along the way. Continue down the trail and eventually you will end up at Hetch Hetchy. Don’t pass up the climb to Wild Cat Peak, a 9,455-

Sharon Anderson



HIGH SIERRA CAMPS. A 5 mile trail from Soda Springs

follows the Tuolumne River and its meadows most of the way. This is a great hike for the firsttime backpacker.

foot granite summit northwest of Glen Aulin — the view is endless. In 1923 Glen Aulin was chosen as a likely spot to add a hikers’ camp and the Yosemite National Park Company built the camp in 1927. Mosquitoes proved to be too annoying and the camp moved to its present site alongside the White Cascade. The original rate for canvas tent occupants was $1a day and $1 per meal. That price is long gone; the mosquitoes are not, unless you pack in August. But I choose to battle the mosquitoes in late June/July with my mosquito nets and Deet. After all, who wants to miss the abundance of water and wildflowers in peak

bloom? In addition to backpackers camp sites are eight canvas tents and a mess tent for paying guests. Backpacker’s camp is located away from the guest tents. Bear boxes, Solar-powered composting toilets and running water is available in the backpacker’s campground, so roughing it is not too rough on the beginner. Sites off the beaten path by the water are my choice. I filter my water and use a bear canister to stay out of the well-traveled areas as this is a popular destination. Now, if you are experienced enough and would like to do the loop, which can take a minimum of five days for this 51-mile

trek, this would be a wonderful way to explore what started in 1916 with the first camp, Merced Lake. High Sierra Camps are spaced roughly 5.7 – 10 miles apart, taking you through some of the most beautiful and scenic regions of the park. There is more to Yosemite than the Valley, so get out and explore a part of our California history. For more information, search High Sierra Camps Yosemite National Park on your Internet search engine. Sharon Anderson is a Clayton resident and lifelong hiker. This is the second of a four-part series on hiking in the Sierras.

Sunday, May 11 • Two Seatings at 10:30 a.m. & 1 p.m. If you’re looking for a place to go for a delicious Mother’s Day Brunch, come celebrate with mom and all the family at Oakhurst Country Club. Your mother will enjoy our delectable selection of food, drink, and beautiful surroundings as part of her special day. $43++ Adults • $19++ Children (ages 4-12) For reservations, contact (925) 672-9737 ext. 217 |

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April 25, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 19

Raw or cooked, chard’s not hard to like DEBRA J. MORRIS Pacific Coast Farmers Market

Chard, commonly known as Swiss chard, isn’t Swiss at all – it’s actually native to the Mediterranean area, but is now cultivated worldwide. It’s thought to have been given the “Swiss” part of its name because the Swiss botanist, Koch, gave it its scientific name in the 1800s. It’s an excellent source of iron, vitamin C, and magnesium (essential for the absorption of calcium). Swiss chard is of the same plant family as the beet, and is used much like spinach, except that it has an appealing beetlike flavor and a heavier texture, which requires longer cooking. Chard has shiny green ribbed leaves, with stems that range from white to yellow and red depending on the cultivar. It has a slightly bitter taste. Fresh young chard can

be used raw in salads. Many cooks simply sauté it in olive oil and serve it as a side dish. Purchase only the amount of chard you can eat in a few days because it doesn’t last very long. Keep in the refrigerator, much as you would lettuce or other greens. Don’t wash it until you’re ready to prepare it. Pat it dry after rinsing and use immediately.

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SAUTÉED SWISS CHARD 1 bunch Swiss chard 1 bunch parsley (finely chopped) 2 sliced whole wheat bread 2 cloves garlic (minced) 1 lemon Dash red pepper flakes olive oil Using a sharp knife, cut the bread into 1/2-inch cubes. Heat a spoonful of olive oil in a sauté pan on high heat. Add the chopped garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the bread crumbs and continue to stir

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In Clayton, 3141 Morgan Territory Rd. until they begin to crisp and brown. Remove from heat and season with a pinch of salt. Allow to cool. (Alternatively, the bread crumbs may be baked in an oven at 375

Pioneer Photo Album A thin layer of clouds prevented most photographers from getting good images of the lunar eclipse last week. But a patient Humberto Varela persisted and was able to get this shot around midnight after the skies cleared up. The photo was taken from Chaparral Springs with a Nikon D5100 and 55-300mm lens. “Nothing fancy,” he says. Aperture was set at f/5.6; shutter speed 1/1.6s, ISO 3200. He used a tripod and the 10 second timer. The Pioneer is proud to spotlight our readers’ photos. Email your photo in a high-resolution format to with a description of the photo, where and when it was taken and a little about why you like it. Include your name and phone number. Then look for it in the next Pioneer.


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degrees for 15 minutes.) Once the bread had cooled slightly, add the chopped parsley and stir. Set the bread crumbs aside. Remove the stems of the washed chard. Chop the stems into fine discs. Finely chop the leaves into thin strips. In a second sauté pan, heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the chopped stems and sauté for 3-5 minutes, until tender. Once tender, add the leaves and reduce the heat to medium. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for 1 more minute, or until excess liquid cooks off. Season the dish with the red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and remove the pan from the heat. Add a squeeze of lemon and toss to coat. Serve the sautéed chard with the parsley bread crumbs on top.




Owners Dustin & Kim Waraner Contractors Lic #879423 Arborist Lic WE-7372A

Page 20

Clayton Pioneer •

April 25, 2014

The poop on early flooring Some ancient families would drop trash and refuse directly on the floor, and then walk over it to compress it down into a solid surface coating… the house was often shared with livestock… they would sometimes leave waste, which would then also be walked over and compressed down into the floor. The result was a surface that was as hard as concrete.” — “Flooring of the Ancient World” by Joseph Lewitin





the time. And there is the final claim that shuffling around ankle-deep in cow manure results in “a surface as hard as concrete.” Like all archaeological scholars, we are only guessing, but it seems to us that it would take quite a lot of walking around to turn a morass of hide scrapings, scorched gristle, and large-beast feces into a patio. And that no amount of walking would ever make it smell any better than a septic tank in a slime lizard graveyard. Our forebears must already have been pretty worn out after a long day of hunting and gathering, and, one would think, looking forward to getting away from the hot, dirty and dangerous outdoors into the safety and comfort of home, however humble it may have been. But now we learn that home was an eye-watering miasma of every kind of filth (which we are willing to bet was nowhere near as hard as concrete) where, furthermore, it was everyone’s duty not to sit around the fire and tell stories of the hunt, but to pace endlessly from wall to wall and back again, lest they fall behind the livestock’s production schedule, which was, then as now, prodigious. The resulting hopeless fatigue is the only rational explanation for the passing of thousands of years before one of them said, in effect, “What the heck are we doing to ourselves? Let’s get the cattle out of here and put down some planks or something.” A mulch pile outside wouldn’t hurt, either.

The policies described in the first paragraph seem sound enough. Hay, straw, and animal skins could not help but add some degree of comfort, however marginal, to hard-packed dirt. But in the second paragraph we find these primitive folk stuck in some practices which, had they time to give it much thought, no one could have believed were really the last word in flooring technology. For instance, dropping trash and refuse on the floor and then “walking over it to compress it into a solid surface,” and doing the same thing with the waste which was “sometimes” left behind by livestock. “Sometimes?” We are not a country boy, but we have enough experience to know that livestock, live-in or otherwise, do not produce waste sometimes, they produce it all

Part one of two on the history of flooring. You don’t need to be an archaeological scholar to figure out that the very earliest floors were nothing more than the dirt which happened to already be on the spot where you built your...well, let’s call it a house. But, human beings being what they are, it wasn’t long before they were tinkering with various technological improvements to this system. “The very first floors…consisted of the ground itself…cleared and leveled off before the structure was erected around it. In some cases hay or straw was used to soften this surface, and make it slightly warmer in the winter. Cured animal skins may also have been draped over the earth to provide some level of padding.

Why advertise in the Pioneer? Here’s one reason: Local painting contractor, Bryan Schaefer, got four calls the first two weeks his ad was in the Pioneer. “The two things I hear most from [new customers] are ‘I wanted to use someone local,’ and ‘Nice ad in the Pioneer.’”

Larry Flick is president of the Floor Store. Email your questions or comments to

- Bryan Schaefer, Schaefer’s Painting

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APR 25 Clayton Pioneer 2014  
APR 25 Clayton Pioneer 2014