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Slide repair underway

August 11, 2017


TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer



Finishing touches on police camera system

Police Chief Chris Wenzel reports that the city entryways police camera system is now largely in place and being tested. The department is working to add the communications link to patrol vehicle and office computers and to Concord’s Police Department Dispatch to assure information is being received. When that is complete, we move to training police personnel on its use and setting protocols for officer responses to the data. During its initial setup, the system already acknowledged three stolen vehicles coming

See Mayor, page 6

Tamara Steiner

Construction on Morgan Territory Road got underway on last month to repair the road heavily damaged by a large landslide during the epic rains in February. The road will be closed to vehicles and pedestrians until mid-October.

Flying Colors Comics throws spotlight on independent artists at August convention KARA NAVOLIO Correspondent

Owen Ferrari

Clayton resident Ben Ferrari works on his comic creations in his spare time with an eye to developing a business.

There’s much more to comic books than superheroes. At Flying Colors Comics in Concord, the superheroes of the Marvel and DC universes make up only a small part of sales. “Comic books cover almost every category you would find in a bookstore, like biography, history, romance, sci-fi, horror and mystery,” says Joe Field, who founded the store in 1988. “My goal is to make comics accessible to everyone,” he adds. “When I first started the business, the clientele was

mostly males 18-30 years old. Now we have all ages. We have more women customers and parents buying for their kids. We have a kids’ section with titles the whole family can enjoy.” On Aug. 26, Flying Colors Comics will host its 3rd annual Mini Indie-Con It’s a chance for Field to support independent local artists who are creating and publishing their own books and to expose the local audience to new voices. Clayton resident Ben Ferrari, owner of Pilot Studios, has been an independent publisher since 2009. He looks forward to showing his company’s high-quality work at the Mini

Inde-Con. Pilot Studios produces comic books, graphic novels, coloring books and puzzles. Ferrari publishes some titles for other artists, but others are his own creations – like “Son Chasers,” the fictionalized story of Hitler’s son who is trying to make up for the sins of his father, and “The Carriers,” about weaponized carrier pigeons. Ferrari, who works as an electrician by day, has been drawing since he was a child. He learned how to make comic books in the 1990s while working at Image Comics, the No. 3

See Comics, page 4

Clayton man honored for heroic rescue CARINA ROMANO Pioneer Staff Intern

Clayton resident Michael Fossan didn’t hesitate when he saw three people in need, and now the Boy Scouts of America presented him with the Honor Medal for his heroic river rescue. The Honor Medal is one of four national awards the Scouts present to those who have shown great skill, heroism and courage in protecting others. Whether it be kayaking, backpacking or camping, the

Fossan family can often be found outdoors. On Memorial Day 2016, Fossan was paddleboarding on the Russian River in Sonoma while his wife Kris and three children captained two kayaks. The family had only gotten a few miles down the river when they saw a man drowning. “Michael, go!” yelled Fossan’s wife, pointing to a spot 100 feet away – just off the shore. Fossan then saw three people in the water, two men and a small girl. The girl and one man were clinging to a pool raft, slowly being pulled away by the current. The other man was thrashing helplessly in the river, his mouth filling with water when he tried to call out. The man on the raft was staring in petrified horror. Michael Fossan (left), was honored by the Boy Scouts last spring for quick thinking and The little girl was screaming. bravery in saving the lives of three people who were drowning in the Russian River last

year. He is pictured here with wife Kris (center), sons Tristan (far right) daughter Zoe (left

See Fossan, page 4 front) and son Aiden on a July 7 backpacking trip in the Sierras.

Major reconstruction of a portion of Morgan Territory Rd., severely damaged by a landslide in last winter’s epic storms, got underway last month and is expected to take until mid-October to complete. During the work, the road will be closed to all traffic, including pedestrians and bicycles. To repair the damage, the county’s contractor will install retaining walls, one on the upslope and another on the downhill side, each about 10 feet high and 250 feet long. The wall on the upslope will be constructed of concrete lagging painted dark brown to blend with the woods. Cost of the project is $2.9 million and the county expects to recover a substantial part of this from the state’s emergency fund. When the road closed suddenly Feb. 22, some 900 residents who live south of

See Landslide, page 7

A mother’s anguish over daughter’s cancer saga JILL COLLARO Special to the Pioneer

Everything in my family changed the day my daughter Lacey came into the kitchen and said, “Mom, there is a lump here in my collar bone on one side and not the other. It doesn’t hurt, but I don’t think it is supposed to be there.” The doctor said it was probably a clogged and infected gland and prescribed antibiotics. After two weeks, the lump grew from the size of a couple of almonds to a walnut. After tests and a biopsy, we got the call: “Your daughter has cancer.” These four words take your breath away. Lacey, now a cancer survivor, will be the opening speaker at the Clayton Relay for Life. The event runs 10 a.m. Aug. 12 to 10 a.m. Aug. 13 in the Grove park downtown. After graduating from Clayton Valley High School, Lacey attended Fullerton and the Art Institute in San Francisco and was living at home when she was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin’s lymphoma. My husband quickly went into research mode, and I went into prayer mode. Our family and friends went into support mode.

See Relay, page 4

What’s Inside

Around Town . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Community Calendar . . . . .11 Directory of Advertisers . . . .7 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

Postal Customer ECRWSS


Around Town

Page 2

Clayton Pioneer •

Pioneer Travels

Scout creates checkerboard at CVCHS

Trapped in Las Vegas

any religious institution, school or community.” Most Scouts don’t complete their project until they are 15 or 16. Several CVCHS kids helped with the project: Rocky Lane, Dallin Sorenson, Jackson Hubbard, Dylan Sarna and Tanner Blatter, along with Diablo View Middle school student Elias Mailland. CVCHS alum Nick Sharapata oversaw the project.

Matthew Jin new Eagle Scout


For his Eagle Scout project, Jack Simpkins built a giant checkerboard at Clayton Valley Charter High School. The 13-year-old, a member of Boy Scout Troop 492, will be a freshman at CVCHS this fall. He decided to build the checkerboard to give kids

something fun to do during lunch. He started planning his project in March and completed it in July. The purpose of an Eagle Scout project is to give the Scout an opportunity to “plan, develop and give leadership to others in a service project to

August 11, 2017

Last month, three members of the CVCHS Trap Shooting Team represented their school the U.S. Open National Trap Shooting Championships in Las Vegas Nevada. This was their first year making it to the Nationals. “The kids did very well,” says coach, Keith Baker. “We look forward to going again next year…with our Pioneer, of course!”

CVCHS Varsity Trap Team Athletes from left: Kyle Van Meter, Connor Schultz, Scott Baker and Coach Keith Baker.

Quincy visits Quincy

Bocce team rolls into Whitehall

Clayton student awarded $4,000 scholarship

Derek Vines of Clayton received a $4,000 s ch o l a rship from Te s o r o Corp. Vines, DEREK VINES a sophomore at UCLA, is majoring in financial actuarial math. He attended high school at Clayton Valley Charter High School, where he was a member of the Public

Services Academy for all four years. Vines was a two-time All American Swimmer and was awarded Athlete of the Year in 2016. He is also an Eagle Scout. Tesoro is an independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products headquartered in San Antonio. This year, the Tesoro Scholarship Program awarded 50 new scholarships to students across the country, totaling $200,000, and renewed scholarships with 72 existing students.

Boy Scout Troop 444 scout, Matthew Jin, earned the rank of Eagle Scout on June 8. For his Eagle project, Matthew replaced and upgraded the horse shoe pit in Brazil Quarry Park in Concord and raised funds to add seating in the area. Matthew is a 2017 CVCHS graduate and will be attending Diablo Valley College in the fall. He lives in Concord.

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The Winers Clayton bocce team took to the road last month when they all went to Whitehall, Montana for a long weekend of horseback riding, fishing, and hiking. From left, Clayton residents Sally and Matt Gardner, Leigh and Brad Klock, Liz Jordan and Tim Wettstein, Carol and Don Loflin and Allyson and Rob Silverberg of Concord.

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When her parents asked where she wanted to go this summer, Quincy Miller was quick to offer up an answer, Quincy, California. A camping trip to Lake Davis included a day trip to the cute and quirky town of Quincy.  “It was an exciting adventure to go to the place with a name just like me,” says Quincy. “I wanted to find souvenirs, because I could never find anything personalized.  It was a cool and unique experience.”

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August 11, 2017

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 3

Grillers face off at BBQ event

Derby rolls down Main Street on Labor Day

Rib Cook event volunteer Cw Wolfe made an unsuccessful grab for Steve Pierce’s ribs at the CBCA BBQ Cookoff July 15. More than 6,000 BBQ fans braved the triple digit temperatures for the annual event where 18 professional Kansas

City Barbeque Society grillers and 29 amateur “backyard” teams competed for money prizes and bragging rights. Judges were all professional KCBS judges, some coming from as far away as Nevada, Oregon and Norway. New this year was the very

popular People’s Choice competition where advance tickets were sold for a chance to vote on the best ribs. There were 11 competing, each cooking up 12 racks of ribs. Two local businesses donated generously to the raffle. Grocery Outlet owners Tami

Castaneda and Darrell Smith donated a professional grade barbeque won by Clayton resident Julia Aguilar. A custom built smoker valued at $4,000 was built and donated by Wally’s Rental Center owners Gary and Laela Duncan.

s t r e c Con

G e rove h T n i Saturdays 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Kids from 7-14 race down Main in sponsor-provided cars in annual event that has become a Labor Day tradition.

At the Gazebo in The Grove

Set up chairs and blankets on the lawn after 4 p.m.

The 14th Annual Labor a.m. to noon. Day Derby and Custom Car To pre-register for either event, Show is set for Sat., Sept 2 go to: and scroll Tamara Steiner/Clayton Pioneer from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. down to Events. BBQ event volunteers, Cw Wolfe and Steve Pierce This combined event draws hundreds of kids and classic cars downtown for some lowspeed races down Main and friendly competition in the Custom Car Show. track and cross country proThe soapbox-like Derby for grams. Sullivan, 82, first kids 7-14 starts at 9 a.m. at the became involved with the clock on Main Street. The cusSt. Bonnies track and field tom made little soapbox-type team over 20 years ago. He cars, all sponsored by local eventually expanded the merchants, are provided free to program by adding fall the kids. cross country in 2011. He Running concurrently with now serves as St. Bonaventhe Derby will be the Custom ture Athletic Director for Car Show. Over 200 custom, both sports. Clayton resiretro, foreign, restored or dent Herc Pardi was the rebuilt cars will be judged for a original St. Bonaventure variety of trophies, which will CYO track and field coach be presented in a Parade of from 1974-82. Ron Silveira Winning Cars at 1 p.m. The took over from Pardi until cars will be on display from 9 Sullivan became just the third head. His Diocese Jay Bedecarré award lauded Sullivan for CYO honoree Joe Sullivan (left) with Herc Pardi What’s happening “many years of unselfish Around Town? Joe Sullivan was honored time Achievement Award commitment, service and recently by the Oakland for his long-time efforts dedication to the youth of Send special event news to Diocese CYO with the Life- with the St. Bonaventure the Oakland Diocese.”

Oakland Diocese honors St. Bonaventure CYO leader




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Clayton Pioneer •

Healing the Heart Grief Ministry

If you or someone you know is grieving the death of a loved one, Healing the Heart grief companions would like to invite you to attend the six-week grief workshop on Tuesdays. Healing the Heart grief companions have also lost someone who is dear to them and know the value of having someone listen with their heart. The next workshop begins Sept. 19, 7:30 to 9 p.m. at Saint Bonaventure Church, 5562 Clayton Road, Concord. There is no cost to attend the workshop; registration is required by Sept. 8. Please call Helene Billeci at (925) 686-4870 for more information and to register.

Relay, from page 1

My heart stayed in prayer mode as Lacey went through chemo, radiation, ER visits, blood transfusions, bone marrow biopsies and PET scans. She faced it all with an amazing spirit and inner strength. The most devastating thing was losing her hair at the young age of 20. So, she dressed with scarves, makeup and a wig with a different hair color. After a year of treatment, we thought the cancer was behind her and she again set out for college. She was 22 when the cancer returned with vengeance. She had tumors throughout her chest cavity and was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Lacey stayed at Stanford for two months. She had a bone marrow transplant with her own marrow, along with chemo, radiation and the loss of her hair for the second time. After the transplant, we returned home to normal life – whatever that means. At age 26, she was once again cancer free. But a routine PET scan found that the cancer had returned. There were two small spots in her chest and she was at stage 2. My husband died in January 2016, and Lacey’s third diagnoses came as we had been grieving for only four weeks. The doctors said to fight the disease with a second bone marrow transplant, this time from a donor. Her younger brother Jared was not a match. We found a match after six months, and we

moved to Stanford for 2½ months. We had our faith, along with family and friends who once more showed up with love and support. Lacey lost her hair for the third time through the chemo and radiation treatments to prepare her body for the transplant. She came through the transplant with flying colors. We were determined to be home by Christmas, and we made it. Lacey is now cancer free. I am so thankful to God and our family and friends who love us so dearly. I am grateful to be a mom.

Comics, from page 1

producer of comic books in America – most famous for “The Walking Dead” stories. “This is what I love to do,” he says. “It’s my hobby. I’m building it into a business, but when you only get to do it part-time, it can take months to finish one 22-page comic book.” Every Wednesday, buyers can find 100 new titles at Flying Colors. The rise of graphic novels over the past 20 years has boosted Field’s business. Graphic novels used to be bound collections of comic books, but they have become stand-alone stories in recent years. Some have also become award-winning books. In 1992, “Maus” by Art Spiegelman became the first graphic novel to win the Pulitzer Prize. It is a serialized collection detailing Cancer survivor Lacey his father’s experience as a Collaro will tell her story on Holocaust survivor. In the Sunday morning at the Relay kids’ section, “El Deafo” by this weekend. Cece Bell was a Newberry Honor Book in 2015.

Clayton Relay for Life The Grove in downtown Clayton Saturday, Aug. 12

9 a.m...........Registration 10 a.m.........Opening Ceremony 10:30 a.m....Survivor and Caregiver Lap Noon ...........the E-Regulars on stage 1 p.m...........Bocce Fun-Raiser, Clayton Bocce Courts 2 p.m...........The Jesters on stage 3:30 p.m......Lumberyard on stage 8:30 p.m......Luminaria Ceremony, Mechele Fong and Don Richardson 9:30 p.m......Glow Stick Lap 10 p.m.........Movie Night and Service at St. John’s Tent

Sunday, Aug. 13

7 a.m. .........Good Morning Lap 9:30 a.m......Fight Back Ceremony, with speaker Lindsay Clark 10 a.m.........Closing

August 11, 2017

Contributed photo

Flying Colors owner Joe Field, left, stands with Ben Ferrari of Pilot Studios, “Kid Beowulf” creator Alexis Fajardo, graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang, “Pop Apocalypse” artist Matt Harding and Field’s wife, Libby.

Comics are an original American art form started in the 1930s. For some kids, comic books are the entryway into enjoying reading. Field speaks to teachers in the master’s program at the University of the Pacific about how to incorporate comics into the reading curriculum. “Comics work both the left and right sides of the brain,”

Fossan, from page 1

‘JUST GETTING IT DONE’ Without hesitation, Fossan dove into the water. “In the moment, it was just doing it. There wasn’t worry or excitement or anything. It was just getting it done,” Fossan recounts. His wife says the little girl had been fearfully calling for her uncle. The two men – presumably her family – ran into the water to help her. “The girl was probably about 6 or 7. She was young. She had no business being that far out on a raft by herself in a current,” she notes. It was apparent that neither man was able to swim. When the riverbed dropped away to a depth of 12 feet, both were quickly in trouble. “I just jumped in, kept them in my sights, swam right to them as quickly as possible,” Fossan says. Upon reaching him, Fossan could tell that the struggling man was going to attempt to grab him. Nearly a lifetime of involvement with the Boy Scouts had taught Fossan how to safely conduct a water rescue. “One of the scariest things in water rescue is if somebody doesn’t know how to swim and you come at them, the first thing they’re gonna do is grab you to try and stay up,” explains Fossan. “They’re not thinking clearly.” Because of this, many people attempting water rescues are accidentally drowned by those they are trying to save. To avoid this danger, Fossan performed a successful waterrescue technique.

“I actually dove down and swam around his back and threw my right arm over his chest so he couldn’t grab me,” says Fossan. “With him not being able to sink and me holding him up above water, he calmed down immediately.” Although Fossan spoke calmly, it was difficult to communicate because none of the three spoke English. Holding on to the man with his right arm, he used his left arm to grab the pool float that the girl and other man were hanging on. With all three of them in his grasp, Fossan began to kick the 20 feet to shore.

BYSTANDERS UNAWARE Monte Rio Beach was packed with hundreds of people taking advantage of the holiday weekend, but Fossan says that no one else came to help. “I think the one thing I would take away from this, the one thing that I would want other people to know, is the sinking horrible feeling I had when I realized nobody on the beach was helping them at all,” he says. Even at 100 feet away, it was obvious to the Fossans that these people were in trouble. “She was screaming at the top of her lungs. He was thrashing in the water, drowning. The other guy … had that scared, silent, wide-eyed look; I don’t think he ever blinked. Nobody did anything. Nobody stepped up.” Once Fossan pulled the group to safety, a small crowd of people rushed forward and huddled around the trio. Fossan Pending Multiple Offers

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Field explains. “The reading is both interpretive and cognitive. The reader has to fill in the way things are said and the transitions between frames.”

The Mini Inde-Con runs 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, at Flying Colors, 2980 Treat Blvd., Concord. For more information, visit and

guesses these were family and friends. Not waiting to speak with anyone, an exhausted Fossan slowly made his way back through the water to his own waiting family. “The point was getting them to safety, and once they were safe, once the family had gotten to them, I didn’t need to be there,” says Fossan. The whole rescue took place in only a couple of minutes. “It was surreal,” his wife says.

RELUCTANT HERO Eldest son Tristan nominated his dad for the Honor Medal. He is a member of Boy Scout troop 444 in Clayton, the same troop Fossan belonged to growing up. He received the award during a national event at a district Boy Scouts of America Court of Honor this spring. The Boy Scouts website defines the Honor Medal as for someone who “has demonstrated unusual heroism and skill or resourcefulness in saving or attempting to save a life at considerable risk to self.” Fossan was surprised to receive such an award for his actions. “I still don’t feel very comfortable about it. … I think what I did is something that should’ve been done.” Fossan and his family of five currently live in Clayton. Fossan and his wife work at John Muir Medical Center in Concord, he as a phlebotomist and she as a nurse. Fossan is as assistant den leader for his younger son’s Cub Scout Pack 200 in Lafayette and assists Boy Scout troops within the Mount Diablo Silverado Council receive their First Aid, Water Safety and Life Saving merit badges.


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August 11, 2017

Clayton Pioneer •

Red Cross seeks blood donations at two local sites Thousands of people have responded to the emergency call for blood and platelet donations that the American Red Cross issued in early July, but there continues to be a critical summer blood shortage. Eligible donors of all types are urgently needed. After announcing the emergency, the Red Cross saw a 30 percent increase in blood donation appointments through mid-July. About half of the appointments were by donors using the free Blood Donor App or at Blood products are still being distributed to hospitals as fast as donations are coming in, so more donations are needed to meet patient needs and replenish the blood supply. “The blood supply is like a cell phone battery – it constantly needs recharging,” said Nick Gehrig, communications director of Red Cross Blood Services. “We sincerely appreciate those who have responded to the call to help save lives and encourage those who haven’t to consider rolling up a sleeve and give the gift of life. It only takes about an hour but can mean a lifetime for patients.”

How to Donate Blood

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Aug. 18, 2-6 p.m. at Diablo Rock Gym 1220 Diamond Way, Concord. Aug. 22, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. at John Muir Health Mt. Diablo Center, 2540 East St., Concord. To schedule an appointment to donate, use the Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-7332767. Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help reduce the time it takes to donate.

The Red Cross received nearly 61,000 fewer blood donations than needed in May and June, prompting the emergency call for donations. The shortfall was the equivalent of the Red Cross not receiving any blood donations for more than four days. Blood shortages could lead to delays in patient care, something Arthur Bourget learned after being diagnosed with leukemia in 2007. When he arrived for his second blood transfusion, he was told the blood he needed was not available. He waited eight hours for blood to arrive. “One thing that I committed to my wife was that I was going to beat leukemia, no matter what,” said Bourget. “But what I wasn’t going to be

able to do was survive without the blood that I needed.” Bourget went into remission following a successful treatment plan, which included 28 blood and 34 platelet transfusions. He has been a faithful advocate for blood donations ever since. “If it weren’t for the generosity of volunteer blood donors, I would not be here today,” he said. “My daughter would not have a father, and my wife would not have a husband. Thank you and please give blood. You may never know the life you have saved, but I guarantee they will never forget you.” As a special thank you, those who give blood or platelets with the Red Cross through Aug. 31 will be emailed a $5 Target gift card.

Resendiz Farm a family working for the future

sive strain of pluot, a plumapricot hybrid. Visit them at the Clayton Farmers Market on Saturdays, the Concord Farmers Market on Tuesdays and several other East Bay farmers markets.

DEBRA MORRIS Pacific Coast Farmers Market

Resendiz Farm’s motto is “Agriculture Feeds the World,” and their passion for farming can be seen in everything they sell. The family started farming more than 40 years ago, coming from Mexico to the fields of Stanislaus County. They put down roots in Hughson and now have more than 30 acres of land. Owner Francisco Resendiz began the farm with his family, which participates today in a true family-run farm. They grow more than 100 varieties of fruits and vegetables – everything from stone fruits and nuts, to melons, grapes and winter squash. Right now, their luscious heirloom tomatoes and seasonal melons fill the farmers market tables. Their juicy stone fruit, including peaches and plums, is still available. They’re also famous for their large, stem-on red onions. Family and employees help both on the farm and at local farmers markets, attending more than 40 markets a week. “We all work hard every day to bring you quality produce and love talking with customers about our fruit,” Resendiz says. “Family is impor-

Page 5

Canary melons are among the offerings from Resendiz Farm.

tant to us, and we see that they are interested in farming and can watch our farm being handed down to the next generation.” He and his family also have a large fruit stand in Hughson. The Fruit Barn offers free tours to more than 6,000 local school children every year, emphasizing where food comes from, the importance of farming and the need for a healthy, produce-rich diet and lifestyle. Teaching young children about agriculture and what it means is important to the family. They are proud to have won recognition from several state and local agricultural business associations and from the state Assembly for their efforts in agricultural education leadership and social responsibility. In the spring of 2015, they released an exclu-

SAVORY MELON SALAD 1 c. watermelon cubes or balls 1 c. cantaloupe cubes or balls 1 c. sliced cucumber ¼ c. olives, pitted and sliced 6 oz. sheep milk feta, hand-crumbled 1 shallot, thinly sliced and macerated in vinegar and pinch of salt Olive oil to taste Champagne vinegar or lemon juice to taste Balsamic vinegar to taste Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Mint leaves to taste

Combine watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumber, olives, feta and macerated shallots in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, champagne vinegar and balsamic. Season with salt and pepper. Mix gently with your hands. Garnish with mint leaves. Recipe: PCFMA Cookin’ the Market

the de i s n rd i S s a c st READ inesse o p s r o r YO N E & b u e y 0 l R 100 ur f s EVE homes / o 0 y r 2 18, ert pape EE to y$ 945 l s n S n I o R ZIP 21 t– dF 0 in , 945 n e 0 u r 5 , o 29 94519 4517 ive isc D Del l n in 9 Fal rd 00 Clayto o 0 , c 5 % n 0 o d 0 0 w r C 5 3 No 36, onco Reg 40 $12

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Page 6

Clayton Pioneer •

Maintain home to help avoid allergies

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Q: All my allergies are aggravating me this year. What steps should I take in my new home to help alleviate symptoms? A: Millions of Americans suffer from seasonal allergies, but there are things you can do to help keep culprits out of your home. Dust and vacuum frequently. Avoid using a dry cloth or feather duster, as they tend to push allergens back into the air. Clean hard surfaces, floors and window shades/blinds weekly with treated dust rags, damp mops or damp rags. Hardwood, tile and linoleum flooring are ideal for chronic allergy sufferers. But if a home has carpet, vacuum those areas weekly. Vacuum and wash rags regularly as well. Keep a healthy level of humidity. Dust mites and mold love moisture, so keeping humidity at 30-50 percent helps control them and other allergens. Use an exhaust fan when cooking, running the dishwasher or bathing. Empty

license# 783799, B, HIC

We live in the troposphere, the lowest layer of earth’s atmosphere. But if you’ve ever taken an airplane trip across the country, it’s a good bet that you spent some time flying through the stratosphere – the layer of air that caps the troposphere. The bottom of the stratosphere is about 6 miles (nearly 32,000 feet) above the ground at our latitude. That boundary is lowest (4 miles) near the poles during winter and highest (12 miles) above the equator. The top of the stratosphere is 30-35 miles above the earth’s surface. In the stratosphere, temperatures rise with increasing altitude. That kind of vertical temperature structure is called an inversion. Similar to a summertime temperature inversion that caps marine air, the stratospheric inversion serves as a global-sized lid on the troposphere. In the Bay Area, the base of the inversion is usually 1,000-3,000 feet above sea level. We can estimate how

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catch fans in your dehumidifier regularly. Update and cover bedding. Use anti-allergy pillow, mattress and box spring covers on all bedding. If you have feather or wool bedding, consider replacing with synthetic materials. Ensure proper ventilation. To combat indoor allergies such as mold, dust and animal hair, open windows and doors and turn on any fans to help blow away allergens. If outdoor allergies are a problem, close windows and rely on air conditioning or use pollenproof screens to combat

pollen that might come in through open windows. Change air filters frequently to ensure that the HVAC system efficiently removes contaminates from the indoor air. The highest-quality filters, called HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters, can remove almost all particulates and contaminates. Also, install an air purification system.

Q: What are the latest design ideas for yard landscaping? A: This is the first time wireless/Internet connectivity is included in the top 10 project types, according to the 2017 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects. The top three most popular outdoor design elements are firepits/fireplaces (71.51 percent), wireless/Internet connectivity (70.77 percent) and lightening (67.83 percent). Sustainability is also a priority. The top landscape and gar-

den elements are native plants (81.60 percent), low-maintenance landscapes (79.25 percent) and food/vegetable gardens, including orchards, vineyards, etc. (76.52 percent). Pergolas (50.33 percent), decks (41.35 percent), fencing (39.82 percent) and arbors (38.74 percent) are expected to be the most popular outdoor structures. The hottest sustainable design elements are native/adapted drought tolerant plants (82.31 percent), permeable paving (76.31 percent) and reduced lawn area (72.66 percent). The most popular outdoor recreation amenities for 2017 will include sports courts (42.38 percent), spa features (39.68 percent) and swimming pools (39.23 percent).

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 672-8787 or stop in at 6200 Center St., Clayton.

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high or low the inversion base is by observing the height of coastal low clouds. Occasionally, it is possible to visualize the base of the stratospheric inversion. When strong thunderstorms form, vertical air motions transport clouds to the top of the troposphere. The inversion acts as a wall to the updrafts and the storm clouds flatten out. The thunderstorm cloud looks like an anvil to observers on the ground. The top of that cloud layer marks the base of the stratosphere. Air density is very light in the stratosphere, by weight

hundreds of times thinner than at sea level. Because of this, frictional forces are much less than in the troposphere. Jet aircraft reach their maximum economical flying altitudes within the stratosphere. The main component of the stratosphere is ozone, a type of oxygen molecule. Ozone absorbs ultraviolet radiation energy emitted by the sun. The blocking of harmful ultraviolet radiation is beneficial to humans, and the heating effect keeps the stratospheric inversion intact. Scientists often refer to stratospheric ozone as the “good ozone” when compared to ozone pollutants in the troposphere. French meteorologist Leon de Bort published the first scientific description of the nature of the stratosphere in 1902. He analyzed the results of several unmanned instrumented balloon flights and discovered that when the balloons reached an altitude of several miles, temperatures no longer decreased.

Mayor, from page 1

through Clayton, plus about six reportedly lost or stolen vehicle plates.

BBQ COOK-OFF A HIT The 8th annual Clayton BBQ Cook-Off provided another successful event for residents. Event chair Rory Richmond noted that more than 30 competitors demonstrated cooking skills to more than 5,000 attendees. The Tone Pony and Gun Powder & Lace country bands provided music. Several exhibits offered a close-up look at the Clayton Police Department’s vintage police car, Morgan Territory’s vintage Fire Engine No. 51 and the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District’s new Mobile Command Center. Thanks to Assistant Chief Lon Goetsch, Battalion Chief Robert Lutzow and Communications Specialist Jeff Davis, the mobile unit was open to the public for tours. The state-of-the-art command center is deployed to coordinate and direct fire activities during major incidents throughout Contra Costa County. DRINKING WATER UPDATE In 2016, the treated drinking water delivered by Contra

De Bort deduced that the earth had two layers of atmosphere. The lower layer, where horizontal and vertical air motions were common, he called the troposphere (sphere of change). He theorized that the atmosphere above the troposphere consisted of many internal layers and named it the stratosphere (sphere of layers). Scientists soon discovered that the stratosphere was really one homogeneous layer and that several other layers existed above de Bort’s stratosphere. Nevertheless, his name for the second layer of earth’s wedding cake-like atmosphere remains in use today. The stratosphere is invisible to the human eye. Fortunately for us it’s up there, above the highest of clouds. It forms a tight lid on the lower atmosphere and helps make human life on earth possible. Woody Whitlatch is a meteorologist retired from PG&E. Email your questions or comments to

capacity. The council approved the allocation of project gapfunds of $170,126 from the Costa Water District was better Clayton Finance Authority’s than all drinking water stan- unrestricted-use funds (Fund dards set by the state and fed- No. 405). eral governments. A new report, which includes water ROAD RESURFACING DELAYS The city recently advertised quality data collected throughout 2016, shows you can be for competitive bids to perconfident your tap water is form street and sidewalk repairs on a portion of El Porhigh quality. Recent reports about lead tal Drive and also repave Keller in the water systems of com- Ridge Drive starting at Eagle munities like Flint, Mich., have Peak Avenue. With the sizeable people understandably con- amount of construction work cerned. CCWD reduces the occurring in the Bay Area this potential for lead to leach from year, contractors are evidently your home’s water pipes very busy. Each project only through proactive monitoring received one bid, and in each case the bid was significantly and corrosion control. The results from more than over the project estimate and 270 water samples collected money available. The El Portal Drive from five agencies in 2015 and 2016 are on the district’s web- Restoration Project is estimatsite at ed at $265,000, but the bid was $399,520. The Keller Ridge umentCenter/View/4043. Drive Repave Project is estimated at $250,000, but the bid REPLACING CITY HALL was $599,939. HVAC/HEATING The city has not abandoned The City Council unanimously voted to award a com- these long-awaited local street petitive bid contract to Servi- projects and will rebid each Tech Controls Inc. of Fresno during late summer/early fall for $253,398 to replace City when contractors are concludHall’s 20-year old HVAC units ing other projects and may and heater/boiler unit. The want to keep crews busy on smaller projects. high bid was $372,000. The historic building’s heatSend comments to the mayor at ing system has failed, and the air conditioning is operating at about 40 percent of its design

August 11, 2017

Clayton Pioneer •

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

TAMARA AND R OBERT S TEINER , Publishers TAMARA S TEINER , Editor P ETE C RUZ , Graphic Design B EV B RITTON , Copy Editor J AY B EDECARRÉ, Sports PAMELA W IESENDANGER , Administration, Calendar Editor S TAFF W RITERS : Pamela Wiesendanger, Jay Bedecarré, Bev Britton

C ORRESPONDENTS : Kara Navolio, John T. Miller I NTERN : Carina Romano

We remember Jill Bedecarré


Tel: (925) 672-0500 Fax: (925) 672-6580

Tamara Steiner Send ads to Send Sports News to Send Club News to Send School News to 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 resident in our home delivery area. Submit on our website and be sure to attach a JPG photo that is at least 3 MB but not bigger than 6MB. You can also mail or bring your print to the office and we can scan it for you. Also on the website are forms for calendar items, events & press releases. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Both Pioneer newspapers welcome letters from our readers. As a general rule, letters should be 175 words or less and submitted at least one week prior to publication date. Letters concerning current issues will have

priority. We may edit letters for length and clarity. All letters will be published at the editor’s discretion. Please include name, address and daytime telephone number. We will not print anonymous letters. E-mail your letter to Letters must be submitted via E-mail. CIRCULATION

Total circulation of the Clayton Pioneer is 5,500 to ZIP code 94517, all delivered by US Mail to homes and businesses. We cannot start or stop free delivery to individual addresses. This must be done directly through the Post Office. The Concord Pioneer is delivered monthly to 30,500 in Concord by carrier. Papers are delivered once a month on a Friday morning near the end of the month. To stop delivery for any reason, call the office at (925) 672-0500 or send an email to If you are NOT receiving the Pioneer, please check the distribution map on the website. If you live in the shaded area and are not receiving the paper, please call us or send an email to If you are not in the shaded area, please be patient. We will come to your neighborhood soon.

SUBSCRIPTIONS To subscribe, call the office at (925) 672-0500. Subscriptions are $35/year for each paper, $60/year for both.

925-250-0334 FREE ESTIMATES

Owners Dustin & Kim Waraner

Contractors Lic #879423 Arborist Lic WE-7372A

Bartolomeo ‘Mike’ Giuseppe Malloni August 5, 1924 – July 12, 2017

Malloni and Camilla Dell’Era Malloni. He was preceded in death by his wife Sandra and is survived by his sister Isabella Trevethan and a niece, Ann Castellucci, both of Clayton. He is also survived by cousins Meo, Anna, Fabio and Fausto Dell’Era and Anna Marie Gennari in Italy. Private burial will be in Caino, Italy. The family extends gratitude to Diamond Terrace and the wonderful care and nursing staff at ManorCare Walnut Creek and Continuum HosMike Malloni died on July pice. Donations in Mike’s name 12, 2017, of bladder cancer. He was born Aug. 5, 1924 can be made to De La Salle in Vercana, Italy to Giovanni Academy in Concord.

Landslide, from page 1

Page 7

Directory of Advertisers Area code 925 unless otherwise indicated

Business Services/Employment

Rising Moon Marketing & Public Relations . . . .672-8717 Construction and Trades

Appliance Repairs by Bruce, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . .672-2700 Diablo View Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .822-5144

Gary’s Home Repair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .787-2500 J.A. Ronco Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .872-3049

Tipperary Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216-2679 Dining and Entertainment

Clayton Club Saloon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-0440

Oakhurst Country Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9737 Events

Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market . . . . . . . .(800) 949-3276 Financial, Insurance and Legal Services

Van Wyck, Doug – State Farm Insurance . . . .672-2300 Funerals

Ouimet Funeral Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-4242 Grocery

Grocery Outlet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .524-0004 Health and Wellness

Clayton Valley Medical Group . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6744 Home and Garden

Clayton Furniture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .686-2299 Diablo Lawnscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .381-3757 Interiors Panache . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-7920 Nichols Landscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9955

R and M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Gardens . . . . .672-0207

Skim ‘n’ Dip – Pool Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .348-5609

Waraner Bros. Tree Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .831-2323 Waraner Tree Experts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .250-0334 Mailing Services

The UPS Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-6245 Tamara Steiner/Clayton Pioneer

Handmade signs guide Camp Four Paws clients over the steep gravel detour around the closure on Morgan Territory Rd.

the slide found themselves stranded, cut off from town. For the first two months, the only way in and out was the “back way”—a 45-minute detour over a single lane, severely storm damaged mountain road to Livermore—or on foot across the slide, lugging groceries and pulling the kids in wagons. “But it wasn’t all bad,” says Robin Frost, long-time resident. “There was camaraderie. We were all in this together.” In April, the ground stabilized enough to open a bumpy single lane across the slide. But, once the repairs started, even that limited access would be cut off. Without an alternative, the Livermore route was the only way out. The county looked at possible routes for providing a temporary road during the reconstruction. Morgan Territory is in a valley with steep

hills on every side. Every alternative involved crossing multiple private parcels or state park land. Agreement was eventually reached with more than 20 property owners to use Leon Drive, a private road that connects with a fire trail at the top. The county graded and graveled the fire trail, creating a steep, slippery detour that most residents agree is still better than going through Livermore. Troy Lee owns Camp Four Paws, a busy dog daycare and boarding kennel on Morgan Territory. While many of her clients are braving the steep detour, the slide has still had a huge impact on her business. “We made a decision early on that we would stay open,” says Lee. “We didn’t want to lay off any employees and we haven’t. “We will survive. That’s what savings accounts are for.”

Real Estate and Mortgage Services

Bennett, Nancy – Keller Williams . . . . . . . . . . .606-8400

Clayton Fair Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .685-0324

French, Lynne – Windermere Real Estate . . . .672-8787 Klock, Leigh – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . . . .212-5593 Lopez, Stephanie – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . .305-9099

Mazzei, Matt – Mazzei Realty . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0757 Stojanovich, Jennifer – Better Homes Realty . .567-6170

Vujnovich, George - Better Homes Realty . . . .672-4433 Recreation and Fitness

East Bay Regional Park District . . . . . . .(888) 327-2757 Services, Other

ComputersUSA! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9989 Mt. Diablo Resource

Recovery . . . . . . .

Net Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6029 Travel

Travel to Go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9840


Do the Right Thing

Page 8

Clayton Pioneer •

August 11, 2017

License # 958849

New camera system alerts police to stolen vehicle

Design • Installation • Maintenance Commercial & Residential • 925-381-3757


A Family Business since 1988


(925) 686-2299

3400 Clayton Rd. Concord, CA 94519

Joe Ronco/Owner 925-872-3049

35 years Clayton/ Concord resident Lic#844344





Even though the citywide camera system is not 100 percent online, we have already had success. The cameras were being tested and had only been operating a week prior to July 27, when the Vigilant ALPR camera system detected a stolen vehicle coming into the city on Oakhurst Drive about 3:35 a.m. Clayton officers caught up to and pursued the vehicle as it

fled the area. It was later stopped outside of town, and two people were detained. The investigation was turned over to Concord because the vehicle was stolen in that city. Many cities throughout the state are looking at ways to provide a safer environment for residents. We use education and enforcement and now add engineering as another tool to deter and detect criminals in Clayton. This is just another way the City Council and the Police Department work to keep Clayton one of the safest cities in the state. We are continuing

to sort out some logistics of the camera system and we should be done by midAugust. Meanwhile, property crimes are picking up again as mail is left overnight in mailboxes and doors and windows are either left unlocked or open in vehicles, making them easy prey for criminals. Scams continue to occur by phone, e-mails or mail. Recently, I received a fax at the police station about a possible family member dying in England and there was insurance money that was not collected. Of course, the document said I

would receive a lot of money if I sent them identifying information. This is just another way to obtain information to commit fraud. Recently, the Grove Park needed repairs by city maintenance due to vandalism. It appears that individuals rode bicycles in the dirt areas, causing damage. Bicycles are not allowed in the Grove Park because of this very reason. Please be respectful of our parks. Chris Wenzel is Chief of Police of Clayton. Send questions and comments to or call (925) 673-7350

Water wisely during summer’s heat

Hot weather puts many garden lovers into panic mode. They instantly arm themselves with the garden hose to water their beloved roses, perennials and flowers. Depending on the heat, this watering ritual may mistakenly be followed twice or three times a day. Some gardeners don’t realize that during the hottest days, overwatering of roses, perennials and flowers is far more harmful then some dry, wilty or crispy leaves. During the hottest days, I always advise watering each plant thoroughly – once. Just because the leaves look dry and the flowers tired, the plant doesn’t always need another drink. Use a moisture meter to check to see if the soil is dry. Often, it’s not. Therefore, you should not re-water. Watering should be done as



early in the day as possible so plants have energy stored up to face the heat. Water deeply from the bottom of each plant. Avoid the urge to mist foliage; water on the leaves becomes reflective and encourages leaf burn. Adding a thick layer of mulch throughout landscape beds and borders helps reduce evaporation from the soil. Bark is good. Natural, black,

brown, medium, shredded, micro … it all helps plants stay cooler during the heat. When applying, keep the mulch from piling up at the base of the plants. If plants exhibit leaf damage to the point that leaves are crunchy, remove the damaged leaves. In some extreme cases, you will have to cut the plant back some. When it’s hot and the sun is extreme, it is a true test of how hardy and sunloving plants are. Lawns also need some extra care during the summer, including raising the cutting level. Taller grass shades its own roots, helping avoid dry out. If you haven’t had your lawn aerated in years, now would be the time. Aeration allows water to penetrate deeper into the soil, rather that running off. Once aerated, spread a thin layer of com-

post or a soil conditioner on the lawn to add nutrients naturally. Resist fertilizing too often. Fertilizer will make your lawn grow fast, and expending that energy will increase its need for water. Water your lawn in the early morning at intervals of four-five minute cycles and repeat three times. This way, the grass has the opportunity to absorb the water it’s given. If you have stubborn spots that won’t green up, use a soil penetrate. This type of product will encourage water to penetrate deep into the soil. Soil penetrates are also effective when used throughout a landscape and containers.

Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. You can contact her with questions or comments by email at

Following the trail of Clayton’s firefighters DEBBiE EiSTETTER


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“Fierce Flames Sweep over the Hills of Contra Costa” and “Ranchers Lose Heavily” were among the headlines in a 1900 San Francisco newspaper. Fires were always big news in California, especially during the fire season stretching from late spring to the first rains in late fall. “No one who has not seen these field fires, fought them and suffered by them can appreciate the terror they inspire, the grievous dangers which attend them and the depressing losses which they cause by their fiendish flights over fields heavy with grain and laden with hopes and prospects …” (Pacific Rural Press, July 1878) Sometimes the spark came from a passing train, a chimney, a pipe, a campfire, a gun or a fire lit on purpose by a disgruntled ranch hand and, very rarely, lightening from a freak summer storm. Many times, the cause of a fire was unknown. Rural newspapers in the 1870s called for farmers to plow wide swaths of bare soil around fields and stacks of harvested crops to create a firebreak. They also urged them to plant crops in alternate strips and blocks rather than one huge tract. Fires caused by

sparks from threshing machines were common, and farmers were warned to be watchful and make sure the men operating the machines were doing so in a safe manner. Every California city has a story of “The Big Fire” – the one that destroyed a city block or the whole town – and Clayton is no exception. A fire of unknown cause broke out behind the Clayton Hotel bar about 2 a.m. the last day of February 1864, killing one hotel patron and destroying several stores, the Union Hotel, the livery stable, a house and outbuildings. “A large part of that flourishing village was laid in ruins,” reported the Daily Alta California. It’s unclear how fires were fought in Clayton before the creation of our modern fire protection district. I found very little information on the subject as it related to our town. Local water sources were the creeks that unfortunately were bone dry during the times of greatest fire danger. There were wells, but they also could run dry. Many folks had water storage tanks, and everyone had buckets. Perhaps a bucket of water sat near the cooking stove or on the front porch. Some towns even kept a stash in a central location downtown. Presumably, a “bucket brigade,” pails of water passed hand to hand, helped fight early Clayton fires. Backfires were lit and empty sacks made of cloth and burlap were soaked in

Courtesy of Clayton Historical Society

A fire hose cart circa late 1800s. Two men pushed from the back, two men pulled from the front and laid out the hose at the fire site. A hand-operated or steam-powered pump moved water through the hoses.

water and placed on the ground to prevent the spread of flames across open fields. Firefighters were all volunteers, with every able-bodied person answering the call. Maybe the bell of the Clayton School on the hill above town was used to sound the alarm. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, Concord and Walnut Creek firefighters used special wagons hung with ladders, buckets and axes. They brought hoses to the scene on twowheeled hose carts powered by horses or athletic men. Hand or steam-driven pumps facilitated the movement of water from a well or tank. Clayton had no fire station or fancy equipment at this time and most likely paid the Concord Hook & Ladder Co. and fire units from the Marsh

Creek/Morgan Territory area when they were called out for the town’s protection. In 1925, Clayton and the cities of Concord, Pacheco and West Pittsburg formed the Mount Diablo Fire Protection District. In 1964, Clayton built its first firehouse on Clayton Road. This station closed in 2002, when a new station No. 11 opened on Center Street, continuing the mission of every firefighter, past and present, to protect the lives and property of the Clayton citizenry. Debbie Eistetter is membership chair of the Clayton Historical Society. For more information or to become a member, visit The Clayton Museum is open 2-4 p.m. Wednesdays and Sundays at 6101 Main St. Admission is free.

August 11, 2017

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 9


Jeff Anderson finally starts school at Clayton Valley JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Next Wednesday, Jeff Anderson will begin his first official day of school at Clayton Valley. He is the new principal and he’ll be welcoming 2200 students to the local charter high school that day. It was 43 years ago when he was finishing up eighth grade at Pine Hollow Middle School that he envisioned following his older brother Doug and sister Helen to Clayton Valley High School. Instead the family moved to Benicia. Now a veteran school principal and administrator, Anderson was hired this summer to serve as principal of Clayton Valley Charter. He was most recently principal of Albany High and is the fourth man to hold the CVCHS post since last fall. “I am thrilled to part of the


Clayton Valley educational community. I hope to help maintain the high quality of leaning and social/emotional development students and parents have come to expect from Clayton Valley Charter,” Anderson said last week. Anderson began his career in education as a teacher for

nine years at Sonoma High School. He then transitioned into administration at Napa High before moving his family to New York City. He spent four years on the East Coast as a vice principal before returning to the Bay Area in 2005, spending seven years at Saratoga High before moving into administration in that school district. He took the Albany job in 2015 so he could be much closer to his ailing mother in Benicia. About that time CVCHS posted an online job announcement for the principal post. Anderson had applied when the school first sought a principal in 2015 after Executive Director David Linzey and the Governing Board decided to split out Linzey’s duties as head of the charter district and top high school administrator. By the time Anderson was contacted by CVCHS officials

about his application he had accepted the Albany High job. Jeff Eben resigned as principal early in the 2016-17 school year and Dr. Patrick Gaffney and John McMorris served as co-principals until Gaffney left in the spring to become principal of the firstyear Contra Costa School of Performing Arts. At the end of the school year McMorris was hired as executive director of a charter school program in his native Utah. So now Anderson is finally going to spend time at Clayton Valley, his first experience at a charter school. “I’m really intrigued by the exciting instructional elements that are in place. I will bring a stable influence and I’m here to help the students and school flourish.” He says the school continues “our focus on literacy across the curriculum with the

CVCHS Athletic Boosters seeking more community involvement in 2017-18 CAMILLE CLINE Special to the Pioneer

Clayton Valley Charter High School has always been a competitive school when it comes to sports because of its quality athletes. One of the organizations that helps contribute to the success of the athletic department is the CVCHS Athletic Boosters Club. CVCHS Boosters is designed to help all athletic teams at the school by raising money and providing the necessary equipment and uniforms for every sport team. Dave Cooney, the new CVCHS Boosters board president, says the main goal of the Boosters is to get more community involvement as well as 70 percent membership of all sports teams’ families. Community involvement includes working with local businesses to generate more donations through advertising


to enhance the contributions from the Boosters. The Boosters are a way to lessen the burden on the school’s coaches by allowing them to focus more on coaching and less on fundraising.   A benefit of being a member of the Boosters is receiving discounts at local restaurants and businesses.  As a member of the Boosters, a portion of the money donated can be allocated to a specific team. Another way to get involved with CVCHS Boosters is by attending monthly meetings in the school library every third Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m.   The biggest change the Boosters hope to see is more involvement within the community.  By keeping the community involved, student athletes, coaches and the community as a whole will benefit.  Keep up to date with the Boosters by visiting

Achieve 3000 literacy program and also continuing to improve the rigorous and relevance of the instructional program in all departments. We are asking

teachers to help students apply knowledge in creative and complex ways. Not simply repeat information on test day.”


being in the 90th percentile in statewide academic performance. He shared the tremendous instructional program, professional development opportunities for teachers and the innovative intervention programs afforded CVCHS students. It was also a great learning opportunity for our team to see other model schools from across the nation. We received valuable information regarding trends in education as well as trends in employment and the impact of the rapid change of technological innovation. Those larger trends are critical in understanding why CVCHS is using instructional practices that train students to be creative and to adapt to an everchanging landscape. The larger theme for the conference was “Be the Difference.” This coming school year, I hope we will “be the difference” in the lives of students and their families. We are a committed group of leaders who believe that we can change the lives of students through this focus. I welcome everybody to join us in our mission to make a difference and leave this world a better place.

CVCHS staff aims to ‘be the difference’ I was fortunate to join a team of teachers, administrators and board members at the National Model Schools Conference in Nashville last month. The conference is committed to acknowledging the great work going on in selected schools across the country. It brings together teachers and school leaders who want to share and learn about educational innovation. The topics discussed and debated included: • Strategies for rapid school improvement. • Increasing rigor and relevance in student learning. • Digital literacy strategies across the content areas. • Thinking differently about student engagement.

Clayton Valley Charter High School executive director Dave Linzey presented CVCHS’ success story as one of the “great turnaround stories in education.” He cited impressive academic achievement results, college admissions rates and the school

Photo courtesy CVCHS Athletic Boosters

The 2017-18 school year gets underway next month and Clayton Valley Charter High School sports teams will be getting assistance from the CVCHS Athletic Boosters Club. The new board of directors for the Boosters includes, from left, Kevin Dern, Tony Mancini, Kristy Smith, Kelly Coppa, Todd Skow and Booster president Dave Cooney.

Meet ARF stars Tweety and Summer


Two-year-old Tweety is a pretty, jolly girl. She’s very curious and might be the best little scent detective in town! She will be a great partner on walks and during playtime. She will benefit


from puzzle toys. Tweety would love to find an adopter who can keep up with her active lifestyle. The adoption fee for dogs is $250 and includes a discount on the first six-week session of a

manners class. One-year-old Summer is a beautiful girl whose fur resembles a summer sunset. She’s a tad shy at first but loves being petted and will purr loudly to show her appreciation. Once she gets settled into her forever home, we expect she’ll blossom into a real social butterfly. The adoption fee for a cat is $75. Meet your forever friend at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek, during adoption hours: Noon to 6 pm Wednesday & Thursday, Noon

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Clayton Pioneer •

August 11, 2017

Performing Arts

‘Oz,’ ‘Odyssey’ among this week’s offerings



The Orinda Village Starlight Players are offering a new version of the popular musical “The Wizard of Oz.” Malcolm Cowler’s original stage adaptation runs through Aug. 12 at the Orinda Community Center Park Amphitheater, 28 Orinda Way. Patrons are encouraged to come early and picnic prior to the performance. For reservations, call 925-528-9225. Lots of innovation these days at California Shake-

speare Theatre in Orinda. Its showing of Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie” featured a powerful production with a physically disabled Laura that worked beautifully. Now, the company offers the West Coast premiere of “black odyssey,” a musicinfused new play that combines Greek mythology and African-American folklore. Directed by Cal Shakes artistic director Eric Ting, the show features vocal compositions by Linda Tillery and Molly Holm. Reset in Oakland, “black odyssey” tells of American soldier Ulysses Lincoln, lost at sea and presumed dead. He struggles to find his way home to his wife and son. Like Homer’s Greek version, Ulysses finds his journey encumbered by the

gods. But in this case, they include the dignified Deus, the scheming Paw Sidin and the radiant Aunt Tina. According to Ting, this lyrical epic focuses on the importance of confronting the burdens of one’s past before you can truly find “home.” The show runs Aug. 12Sept. 3 at the Bruns Amphitheater, 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way, Orinda. Call 510-548-9666 or visit There’s still time to catch B8 Theatre’s new works series. The Concord company continues staged readings of new plays, offering Jan Probst’s “Changing the World with Big Hair and other plays” Aug. 1113. This fun collection of short plays includes a road trip through the Heartland, a breakfast surprise, visiting day at the estate, an unexpected political detour and disappearing dudes. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door, 2292 Concord Blvd. For advance tickets, go to www.brownpa-



Jim Norenna

Columnist Sally Hogarty (standing on right) performs in the Altarena Playhouse’s production of “The Savannah Sipping Society.” Also shown are L-R (sitting) Kimberly Ridgeway and Julia Etzel and (standing on left) Lisa Appleyard. Symmetry Theatre presents


Other Place By Sharr White

Aug 11-12 at 8 pm Aug 13 at 2 pm

The story of a neurologist trying to cope with her own oncoming Alzheimer’s

Live Oak Theater, 1301 Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley Tickets $20-$30 at

415-377-0457 or

“Just … eat!” Kelly (Liana Liberato) says to her older sister Ellen (an emaciated, wounded Lily Collins) in the Netflix original film “To The Bone.” Kelly and the rest of Ellen’s fractured family seem to have no idea how anorexia works. In her first feature film, director Marti Noxon puts us face to face with the disease. Most of the film takes place in a special rehab clinic with no doors, bizarre eating policies and no-nonsense guru Dr. Beckham (Keanu Reeves, proving he can actually play a doctor). Noxon shines a light on something no one wants to talk about; the light just needed to occasionally shine a little wider. The worst part about dealing with a family member who is anorexic is the helplessness. Unfortunately for Ellen, most of her family only cares enough to do something about her – not for her. Ellen’s step-

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“Next to Normal” (April 2029). Call 925-427-1611. For more information on the season, go to And finally, if you happen to venture into Alameda, I hope you’ll have time to stop by the Altarena Playhouse and catch me in a hilarious comedy, “The Savannah Sipping Society.” Running through Sept. 10, the story follows four middle-aged women who through laughter, misadventures and the occasional liquid refreshment find the confidence to-jump start their lives. It will have you doubled Two dancers from Diablo Ballet pose in front of Broderick’s over with laughter and maybe even a tear or two. restaurant, one of the restaurants in Walnut Creek’s The theater is at 1409 High “Gourmet Gallop” which benefits the dance company. St. For more information, call currently performing an adap- 510-523-1553 or go to 704. tation and now Pittsburg Pittsburg Community begins its season with the Sally Hogarty is well known Theatre’s 2017-’18 season perennial favorite. includes something for everySeason tickets are on sale around the Bay Area as a newspaone. I’m not sure what it is for “The Wizard of Oz” (Oct. per columnist, theatre critic and about the “Wizard of Oz.” Tri- 6-15), “Christmas Time is working actress. She is also the Valley Rep just finished a run Here!” (Dec. 17), “Shrek” (Jan. editor of the Orinda News. Send in Livermore, the Orinda 26-28), “The Taming of the comments to Starlight Village Players are Shrew” (March 9-11) and

‘To the Bone’ deftly takes on difficult subject

mother (Carrie Preston) dances around the subject with all the grace of a ballerina with two left feet. Not even knowing Ellen’s sexual orientation, she suggests that Ellen’s relationship with her “friend” will help. When she tries yet another rehab center, she advises Ellen: “Be good … not too good, not perfect.” This shows that at least she knows that anorexics view the world through a damaging veil of perfectionism. Ellen’s birth-mom (Lily Taylor) apologizes profusely for not being there for her but never takes responsibility for it. Ellen’s partner is a devil on her shoulder, assisting in blaming the absentee father (literally absent for the movie too) and stepmother. While not understanding the disease, at least Kelly accepts Ellen for all that she is. If there is a drawback to the film, it is the failure to

spend more time with the six other very interesting patients at the clinic. The brief windows we get into their lives leave more to be desired. Among the other attendees is Pearl (Maya Eshet), the recent recipient of a last-resort feeding tube who is left to wonder if death is just around the corner. There is also Megan (Leslie Bibb), three months pregnant and trying hard to eat for two. Luke (Alex Sharp), the only male, is a ballet dancer recovering from a knee injury. His outlook remains mostly contrary to the rest, especially Ellen. He actually wants to get better and is determined to reach his clinic goals so he can get rewarded and eventually continue his career. Luke is the moral center; he’s good for Ellen, even if she does not want to admit it. Dr. Beckham’s eccentric methods challenge the group

to create new versions of themselves and oppose the voice in their heads at every turn. Strange field trips and even the suggestion to change someone’s name are all part of the healing. Reeves is very settled in the role. I hope it portends a career renaissance. Noxon treats the subject matter with seriousness, yet allows the characters to laugh at themselves and find humor in their situation. “To The Bone” is charming, at times darkly funny, and laced with melancholy. For those unfamiliar with anorexia, it’s a good primer. For anyone who deals with the disease, it may provide some relief. B+

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

It’s all in the cards: Take a gamble on ‘Hustle’

Pulitzer Prize winner Colson Whitehead (“The Underground Railroad”) has done it again and written a book unlike any other that I’ve read. “The Noble Hustle,” the be-all and end-all of serious poker playing, caught my eye not only because I so trust his writing, but mostly because after living in Nevada for more than six years, I have not dropped as much as a quarter in a slot machine. I do not gamble. It’s bad enough that I love addictive online games. Were I to step up to a one-armed bandit or a roulette table, I know I’d ultimately leave the casino with nothing left in my wallet. I consider poker a guygame, but Whitehead suggests otherwise. I am, however, a vicariously curious non-gambler. Why would anybody risk so much money on so much pure luck? “The Noble Hustle, Poker, Beef Jerky and Death” explains everything. From the moment Whitehead accepts a magazine



assignment staking him $10,000 to play in the 2011 World Series of Poker, beginning with “six weeks of training camp” in Atlantic City, until he is a player at the televised WSOP in Las Vegas, he tells us everything we’ve ever wanted to know about poker. Every movie-going American has a poker memory, card sharks playing the cowpokes, riverboat hustlers owning the poker table. Today, however, poker is more than a gambling game, it’s a sport, a very expen-

sive sport and its name is Texas Hold ’em. Whitehead’s chance of a lifetime comes at a rough time in his life. Recently separated from his wife and daughter, he is both reminiscing and risking the odds of his new singlehood as he sharpens his poker skills with the goal of being worthy of his journalistic endeavor. Whitehead not only reads everything he can get his hands on, but he also passes that information on to us. I tried my hardest to pay attention, but I had to go back time and again to familiarize myself with the Small and Big Blind, the Flop, the Turn, not to mention the River or being Rivered. Eventually, our undaunted hero gets himself a poker coach, a woman who has played at previous WSOP tournaments. Women, in fact, are very much a part of the poker world. What makes Whitehead’s book so charmingly addictive

See Hustle, page 11

August 11, 2017

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 11

Clayton Community Calendar



Saturdays thru Sept. 23, except Sept. 2 Farmers’ Market 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 6095 Main St.

Aug. 19, Sept. 2 Saturday Concerts in The Grove

6 – 8:30 p.m. The Grove Park, 6100 Main St. Free. For a complete concert series list, see Page 3.

Aug. 23, Sept. 6 Wednesday Classic Car Show

Car show and DJ music, 6 – 8 p.m. 6099 Main St. Free.

Sept. 2 Derby and Car Show

Clayton Community Church’s 14th Annual Labor Day event. Kids 7 – 14 race derby cars down Main Street. Classic car show. 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Main Street. Free. Register for both events at

Sept. 23 Second Annual Skip Ipsen Memorial Bocce Tournament Open tournament. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. match play. Ipsen Family Bocce Park, 6000 Main St. $400 per team.

Mondays Off the Grid


Rotating lineup of food trucks. 5 – 9 p.m. 2151 Salvio Street.

Tuesdays Farmers’ Market

Year round, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord.

Thursdays Music and Market

Thursday night live music and farmers’ market. Music: Aug. 17, Orquestra Borinquen; Aug. 24, The Sun Kings; Aug. 31, Foreverland; Sept. 7, The Next of Kin. Market 4 – 8 p.m.; music 6:30 – 8 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Free admission.

3rd Sundays Antique Faire

Antiques, collectibles, handmade arts and crafts. 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Free admission.

On Sale Now Concerts

The Concord Pavilion is located at 2000 Kirker Pass Road. See full concert schedule for 2017 at Upcoming shows: Aug. 11, Steve Martin and Martin Short, 8 p.m. Aug. 16, Double Feature: Straight No Chaser/Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 27, 2017 Honda Civic Tour featuring OneRepublic, 7 p.m. Sept. 3, Hot Summer Night, 4 p.m. Sept. 15, Florida Georgia Line, 7 p.m. Sept. 28, Jason Aldean, 7:30 p.m.

Aug. 12 - 13 Japanese American Summer Festival

Japanese American Club’s annual event featuring Japanese food, Kendo and Judo demonstrations, Taiko drum performances, Japanese dance performance and flower arrangements. 1 – 9 p.m. Sat.; 12 – 8:30 p.m. Sun. Japanese American Religious and Cultural Center, 3165 Treat Blvd. Free admission, parking at Ygnacio Valley High School.

Aug. 22 Blood Drive

Hosted by Concord and American Red Cross. 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. John Muir Medical Center, Auditorium 1, 2540 East St. Schedule appointment at and enter code: concord or call (800) 733-2767.


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

Aug. 19, 26, Sept. 2 Tarantula Hikes

road Ave., Pittsburg. $15. (925) 427-1611.

Hike Mitchell Canyon in search of Mount Diablo’s famous spiders. Times vary. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center. Registration required:

Sept. 9 Tribute to Johnny Cash

Experience a close encounter with these fascinating and harmless spiders. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Summit Museum.

Sept. 10 “From Broadway to James Bond”

Aug. 27 The California Tarantula

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

Aug. 26 Mary Bowerman Trail Family Walk

Circle the peak of Mount Diablo just below the summit. 9 – 11 a.m. Meet at Lower Summit Parking Lot. Registration required.

Sept. 10 Brushy Peak Regional Preserve

Take a leisurely ramble through this magical and diverse piece of open space. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at Laughlin Ranch Staging Area, Livermore. Reservations required.


Thru Aug. 12 “Legally Blonde JR”

Presented by Poison Apple Productions Youth Performers. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $22. (925) 943-7469.

Weekends, Thru Aug. 13 New Works Staged Readings Series

Celebrate local playwrights and their works via staged readings. B8 Theatre Company, 2292 Concord Blvd., Concord. $10. (925) 890-8877.

Aug. 11 The Philippine Madrigal Singers

Performed by James Garner. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $10-$27. (925) 757-9500. Presented by Music Repertoire. 3:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $10. (925) 943-7469.


2nd and 4th Sundays Pancake Breakfast

Veterans of Foreign Wars serve breakfast to the public: Eggs, pancakes, sausage, beverage. 8 – 11 a.m. VFW Post 1525, 2290 Willow Pass Road, Concord. $5, $3 children under 12.

Aug. 12 Fifth Annual Fish Fry

All proceeds support Team JMJ and the Lupus Foundation of America. 12 – 4 p.m. 3441 Thunderbird Drive, Concord. $20. or

Aug. 12 - 13 Relay For Life Clayton

American Cancer Society fundraiser. Join a team or walk as an individual. Activities for participants and spectators. 10 a.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday. The Grove Park, 6100 Main St., Clayton.

Aug. 26 Baking for a Cure

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

Presented by Music Repertoire. 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25$30. (925) 943-7469.

Sept. 9 “An Evening with Shakespeare and Sondheim”

A new type of magic show by Jack Alexander. 6 and 9 p.m. Campbell Theater, 636 Ward St., Martinez. $15. (925) 518-3277.

Sept. 9 Hawaiian Fusion Fundraiser

Aug. 11 – 12 “Express” Aug. 12 Concert

Performed by Mariachi Divas. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $15-$30. (925) 757-9500.

Aug. 12 Cyrille Aimee

Presented by Diablo Regional Arts Association. 5 and 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $42. (925) 943-7469.

Entertaining event to benefit B8 Theatre Company. 7 – 10 p.m. B8 Theater, 2292 Concord Blvd., Concord. $50. (925) 890-8877. Entertainment by Daniel Ho. Proceeds go to scholarships for underprivileged senior citizens. 4:30 – 8:30 p.m. Concord Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Circle, Concord. $50. Purchase tickets by calling Caryl Tynan at (925) 671-3321 or email


The Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at or call (925) 673-0659. Aug. 14: Clayton Library Book Club, 7 p.m. Aug. 14, 28: Clayton Knits, 1:30 p.m.

The Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at or (925) 646-5455. Auditions open to all female voice parts for Diablo Women’s Aug. 12: Art Association Meeting and Demo, 1 p.m. Chorale fall season. By appointment only. Saint Matthew Lutheran Aug. 15: Kindergarten Countdown, 2 p.m. Church, 399 Wiget Lane, Walnut Creek. Contact Nancy Hickman Registration required. at (925) 899-5050 or diablowomenAug. 24: Master Gardeners, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 7: Origami, 4 p.m. Sept. 7: Meditation, 6:30 p.m.

Aug. 14 Chorale Auditions

Aug. 18 “Hot August Improv”

Presented by Funny Bone Productions. 7:45 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $15. (925) 943-7469.

Aug. 18 “Tanzania Visions”

Featuring Kendall Ross Bean. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $35. (925) 943-7469.

Aug. 18 “Vandals in Sandals”

A night on the town with Jamie Jobb. 7:30 p.m. Campbell Theater, 636 Ward St., Martinez. $10. (925) 518-3277.

Aug. 19 Elvis Tribute


1st and 3rd Tuesdays Clayton City Council

7 p.m. Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. (925) 673-7304 or

2nd and 4th Tuesdays Clayton Planning Commission

7 p.m., Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. (925) 673-7304 or

Hustle, from page 10

is the range of writing surrounding the main topic, the Thru November WSOP. When did he start playHazel-Atlas Mine Tours ing poker? In the middle of Learn about the mining history and geology at Black Diamond such personal chaos, what Mines. Guided, 90-minute tour; Saturdays and Sundays. Must be Aug. 19 would make him accept such age 7 or older with parent. $5 in advance online or day of at Sid- Monty Alexander Trio an unusual assignment? Fashney Flat Visitor Center. Presented by Diablo Regional Arts Association. 5 and 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. ion at the poker tables and the $42. (925) 943-7469. Aug. 12 nicknames people choose are Notes from the Underground grist for the humor mill. Aug. 20 Discover how creatures survive the hot, dry summer. 8:30 – 10 Did he make it past day a.m. Meet at Black Diamond Mines. “Oliver and the Fairies” one? Did he really eat a lot of Presented by Music Repertoire Youth Performers. 7:30 p.m. Lesher beef jerky? And did he buy as Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $15. lesherAug. 12 many tourist trinkets as (925) 943-7469. Bat Monitoring Stay after hours and help monitor the bat colony. 7:15 – 9:15 p.m. Meet at Black Diamond Mines. Registration required.

Aug. 19 Some Lichen It Hot

Discover how a tiny plant survives the hot surface of a rock in summer. 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. Meet at Black Diamond Mines.

Aug. 26 Star Mine by Starlight

Breathe in the late evening air on a walk to Star Mine and the rocky ridge beyond. 6:30 – 10 p.m. Meet at Frederickson Lane entrance to Black Diamond Mines. Registration required.

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

Aug. 11 Common Poorwill Bird Walk

A hike in the dark may turn up some interesting wildlife. 7 – 10:30 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center. Registration required:

Performed by James Clark and the Jailhouse Rockers. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $10-$27. (925) 757-9500.

Aug. 26 Warren Wolf/Edward Simon Quintet with Tia Fuller

mated? No spoilers here. As the author says, “I learned a lot of things during my long, bizarre trip. About myself and the ways of the world.” I did, too. “The Noble Hustle” is, hands-down, one sure bet. Sunny Solomon is a freelance writer and head of the Clayton Book Club. Visit her website at for her latest recommendations or just to ‘talk books.’

Presented by Diablo Regional Arts Association. 5 and 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $42. (925) 943-7469.

Aug. 27 “A Bench in the Sun”

Performed by The Vagabond Players. 2 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $10-$15. (925) 757-9500.

Sept. 1 – Oct. 6 “Million Dollar Quartet”

Musical of the incredible night Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash had a jam session. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $37-$72.

Sept. 9 Hip Hop and R & B Concert

Performed by Rainn Sciryl. 8 p.m. California Theatre, 351 Rail-

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Page 12

Clayton Pioneer •

August 11, 2017

Will CV football rediscover the forward pass this year? JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Jay Bedecarré

Quarterbacks Kenny Gardner Jr. (left) and Logan Sumter figure to be doing more passing in the traditionally run-oriented Clayton Valley Charter High School offense this fall. Coach Tim Murphy says, “Our QBs can throw and we got some weapons to throw to. [We’re] going to throw the ball like never before.”

Practice begins Monday for local high school fall sports teams

North Coast Section rules designate next Monday, Aug. 14, as the first official day of high school practice for cross country, water polo and girls volleyball, golf and tennis teams. Football teams began practices one week earlier. Clayton Valley Charter teams are in the Valley Division of the Diablo Athletic League in all the sports beginning their official practice sessions next week. The defending DAL champion Ugly Eagles football team is in the DAL Foothill Division. The Eagles are defending DAL Valley champs in boys and girls cross country and girls water polo. Those teams, as well as girls volleyball, all advanced to NCS post-season competition last fall. DAL water polo begins league play Sept. 13. The Valley Division includes CVCHS, Concord, Alhambra and College Park as well as three other schools not in other DAL

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sports—Pinole Valley, Hercules and St. Patrick St. Vincent of Vallejo. NCS tournament is Nov. 1-11. League volleyball begins Sept. 26 through Oct. 26 with NCS starting Halloween night, Oct. 31, through Nov. 11. Girls tennis starts Sept. 19 and concludes Oct. 19. NCS team and individual tennis competitions run between Oct. 26 and Nov. 15. The DAL golf tournament is Monday, Oct. 16, following a double round-robin league schedule. NCS competition starts Oct. 23. DAL cross country has center meets on Sept. 27 and Oct. 25 with dual meet scoring used. All 12 DAL schools take part in both center meets. The DAL championships are on Saturday, Nov. 4 at Hidden Valley Park in Martinez. The NCS Meet of Champions is Nov. 18.

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“Farms in Berkeley?” is an advertising phrase made famous in the Bay Area over many decades for Berkeley Farms Milk. Might there be a new moniker for 2017 Ugly Eagles football: “Passing at Clayton Valley Charter?” Yes, there could be a “new” wrinkle added to the offense at Clayton Valley this season with an increased use of the forward pass. Coach Tim Murphy’s wing-T offense has racked up record-setting numbers over the five seasons he’s been in charge at CVCHS but his teams have never averaged as many as seven passes a game. In the previous four years from 2008-2011 the Eagles passed over twice as much with quarterback Joey Levine setting school records in 2008 for touchdown passes and completion percentage. Before Levine, Sean Connors and Nick Hendryk set school passing records in the late 1990s. Murphy says senior quarterback Kenny (KJ) Gardner Jr. and junior Logan Sumter may be making more use of the pass. In 11 games last year the team threw only 75 passes in 11 games, which was still the highest average passes per game for a Murphy team at CVCHS. “In 20 years of coaching my teams have averaged 8 yards per carry rushing. But the two QBs I have right now are pretty dang good. I’ve always said ‘I don’t care how we get in the end zone’ but I’m always going to press the things my kids do best,” Murphy says. Boosting the passing game talk is senior athlete Milan Mijanovic, who has come out for football as a wide receiver and shown well in drills. He led Clayton Valley’s league champion baseball team in steals last spring. The offense should still feature senior runningback James Teofilo (“He will run you over and now will run by you with big time off season work he put in”) with offensive linemen Brandon Mello (6-7, 295 pounds with numerous college offers) and Dylan Chrisco leading the blocking. CVCHS has only four returning starters this fall after the senior-laden team last year finished as DAL champions

before losing to De La Salle in the opening round of the North Coast Section playoffs. The Eagles were moved to Open Division in 2016 after dominating DII over a fouryear period with three Section titles and State Bowl game appearances in 2014 and 2015. Clayton Valley brings a 27game league winning streak that spans over five seasons into Diablo Athletic League play this fall. Last season they were 9-2 overall, the first time a Murphy-coached Eagles squad didn’t win at least 11 games. Twelve all-leaguers graduated from Clayton Valley and Murphy says this year’s squad “may take some games to get where we want to be but these guys will get better every week.” The Eagles first three games are against out-of-state teams before they begin DAL play at Gonsalves Stadium against Miramonte, the only NCS team besides DI powers De La Salle and Pittsburg to defeat CVCHS under Murphy. The Ugly Eagles travel to Sparks, NV to open the season Aug. 26 against Reed, which lost 49-45 in the Nevada 4A championship game last November. Clayton Valley then has its first game at Gonsalves Stadium Sept. 1, hosting defending Hawaii Division I champions Mililani. The Eagles go to North Las Vegas for a Sept. 8 game against Canyon Springs. Last year CVCHS hosted both Reed and Canyon Springs in Concord, scoring 35 points in each winning effort. DE LA SALLE (11-2) The last time De La Salle football played, not only did the Spartans lose, they gave up the most points since Bob Ladouceur came to De La Salle in 1979 when they fell 56-33 to St. John Bosco in the State championship game. Coach Justin Alumbaugh and his staff certainly didn’t have to remind returning players of that result during off-season workouts. DLS has a quartet of highly-recruited players who will headline the team’s efforts this fall as they navigate another tough independent schedule including a Sept. 16 matchup with two-time National Champion Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas. Gorman is riding a 54game winning streak. Senior Tuli Letuligasenoa


New wide receiver threat

(6-2, 295 pounds) made a strong impression on the defensive line last year and has already committed to USC. Alumbaugh’s offense will still be run-oriented with Kairee Robinson returning after a breakout junior year when he ran for 2012 yards and 25 touchdowns. Robinson may not have the size college recruiters like but his 5-8 frame reminds many of DLS runningbacks of the past including Maurice Jones-Drew. This year’s team has lots more experience than the 2016 Spartans, who still rolled to the school’s 25th consecutive NCS championship. A couple sophomores who burst onto the scene last fall were tight end Isaiah Foskey and linebacker Henry To’oto’o. Both have attracted college notice with two years of high school remaining. The quarterback position figures to be shared by juniors Andrew Jones and Erich Storti, who threw four varsity passes between them last year.

CONCORD (7-5) The first of three new head coaches for Concord high schools to be appointed last winter was Paul Reynaud. He graduated from Clayton Valley and played football at St. Mary’s College. He rejoined his high school coach Herc Pardi on the CVHS staff from 20042011 and then served on Murphy’s first two Clayton Valley Charter staffs as assistant head coach. Reynaud spent the last three years as defensive line coach at California High in San Ramon. While Reynaud gets used to a new school and players his team faces another challenge this year. Concord High is hav-

See Football, page 14

Clayton Valley Little League Minor A all-stars 3rd at District

Photo courtesy Clayton Valley LL

The Clayton Valley Little League Minor A All-Stars finished third at the District 4 Eastern Division tournament. The team beat both Concord leagues en route to a 4-2 record. The CVLL all-stars included, front row from left, Luke Dress, Tanner Lustig, Jameson Martin, Logan Remington, Michael Albert; middle row, Keegan D’Arcy, Logan Knapp, Kieran Schmitt, Mateo Perez, Jakob Jensen, Blayne Ballard; back row, coach Chris Albert, manager Joe Knapp and coach Brad Jensen. Not pictured, Kai Parker.


August 11, 2017

Clayton Pioneer •

Athlete Spotlight

Caitlyn Koller Age: 5 Team: Oakhurst Orcas Sport: Swimming

When five-year-old Caitlyn Koller reported to the first Oakhurst Orcas Swim Team practices this season with older sister Brooke she was afraid of the deep end. Her Orcas coaches also said she wasn’t able to push off the wall by herself. By the time Koller and her teammates were getting ready for the

Concord City Meet last week head coach Jasmine Castillo says she “is diving off of the blocks, competing in individual events and participating in 6 and under relays at meets with confidence.” The young swimmer says freestyle is her favorite stroke (with butterfly right behind) but she’s not too

fond of breaststroke. Koller was part of the mini Orcas last year. The Clayton girl is getting ready to enter kindergarten this year at NorthCreek Academy and she is also part of Encore Gymnastics. Sister Brooke has been on the Orcas for five years. Caitlyn Koller is the youngest person ever profiled in a Pioneer Athlete Spotlight and the Oakhurst coaches say, “we are so proud to call Caitlyn an Orca and we look forward to coaching her for many seasons to come.

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

Dana Hills dominates relays to win 25th City Meet A swimming title JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

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The Dana Hills 13-14 girls relay of, from left, Paige Landstrom, Karlie Seastrand, Brenna Duggan and Caela Hetherton dominated their age group at the Concord City Swim Championships. The quartet won girls relay of the year while setting a meet record in the medley relay. They also won the freestyle relay while Landstrom was 13-14 individual high point swimmer with victories in the free, back and iM. Hetherton was butterfly champ while Duggan, Seastrand and Hetherton all took second in other strokes.

yard butterfly. His time of 18.67 in the six and under fly broke a 1972 record by future Clayton Valley High School and Cal Berkeley all-American Craig Marble. The mark had stood for 45 years, the oldest record in the City Meet archives. Jacob Mohrland in 11-12 boys set city records in the 100 individual medley and 50 fly while DHST teammate Molly Boland established new 9-10 girls marks in the 50 fly and 50 backstroke. The 11-12 Orca boys set records in both relays with Kyle Hetherton, Mohrland and Colton Seastrand on two record-setting quartets. Scott

Kelsey Collins (7-8 B fly) also were City Meet champions. Otters winning individual B Division events were Dominic Celentano (9-10 IM), Carrick Duggan (13-14 IM and free), Grady Rose (9-10 fly), Eva Kramer (7-8 breast), Patrick MacDonald (7-8 breast), Madelyn Vines (15-18 back) and Bailey McNeel-Caird (6 and under back).

PENTATHLON, CHALLENGE MEET At last month’s Devil Mountain Pentathlon Dana Hills girls winning A Division were Keller (7-8), Boland (910) and Landstrom (13-14). Boys taking first place were Ceja (7-8) and Mohrland (1112). The host Otters don’t take part in the team scoring with Forest Park taking first and Walnut Country second. In B Division, Nathan Stojanovich of Oakhurst was first in six and under. For DHST, Jimmy Albert (11-12) and Liam McAdam (13-14) were also first in the combined timing for all five events. Dana Hills won the Crossings Challenge for B swimmers ahead of runner up Ygnacio Wood and third place Vista Diablo Dolphins. Individual high point winners for DHST were Max Habermeyer (6 and under boys), Bree Meyer (7-8 girls), Emme Cadematori (9-10 girls), Celentano (9-10 boys), Camylle Callahan (13-14 girls) and Heidi Schau (15-18 girls).

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McMillan completed the medley relay in breaststroke and Jack Parker was the fourth member of the free relay. The 13-14 Otters medley won the top girls relay performance with a record swim by Paige Landstrom, Caela Hetherton, Karlie Seastrand and Brenna Duggan. The fourth Otters relay mark was set by the 9-10 medley with Dominick Maffei, Will Miller, Diego Castaneda and Michael Albert. Ironically, the four new DHST relay records replaced previous Otters marks. Winning individual high point honors at City meet were DHST girls Maya Ahluwalia (6 and under), Abbey Keller (7-8), Boland (9-10), Summer Claibourne (11-12) and Landstrom (13-14). On the boys side, Castaneda (6 and under) and Mohrland (11-12) backed up their records with high-point awards. Otter swimmers winning individual A Division events (besides the high point and record setters) were Diego Castaneda (9-10 fly), Caela Hetherton (13-14 fly), Joshua Ewert (13-14 fly), Jacob Ceja (7-8 fly), Kyle Hetherton (11Five Dana Hills boys combined to win both 6 and under 12 breast) and Colton relays at the City Meet last weekend. The Otter swimmers, Seastrand (11-12 back). from left, Gio Castaneda, Dash Borbely, ian Meyer, Rhys Oakhurst claimed five indiD’Arcy and Brody Gianni took home first-place medals. Gividual championships. Brooke anni, Castaneda and D’Arcy were on both relays while Koller won the 9-10 A girls IM Meyer led off the medley relay and Borbely was on the free and breast while Madison relay for the championship swims. Castaneda also tied for Bautista (7-8 A free), Savannah individual high point honors and set a meet record in the Doran (15-18 B breast) and 25 butterfly, breaking a 1972 mark.

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Putting a bold face exclamation point on their weekend, Dana Hills Swim Team freestyle relays were first in nine of the 12 finals Sunday afternoon as the Orcas won their 25th Concord City Meet in the past 26 years at Concord Community Pool. The Otters finished over 350 points ahead of runner-up Forest Park in the A Division standings. The B Division was a different story as Forest Park flipped the result, winning that division by 2.5 points (the difference of one sixth-place finish) over DHST. The close result reminded observers of the 2002 B standings when Dana Hills edged Walnut Country by 1.5 points. Oakhurst Country Club was fourth in A Division, their best-ever finish. The Orcas had their three-year streak of winning the prestigious Sportsmanship Award stopped by the Crockett Crockett-illes. Over the three days of the City Meet Dana Hills used its depth to win 15 of the 24 relays. Otter girls swept the six free relays on Sunday. From the 7-8 through 11-12 age groups the Otters won 10 of 12 relays. The summer recreation swim season concludes this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Acalanes High in Lafayette with the 57th County championships. Dana Hills has taken third the past two years and finished in the top five for six consecutive years at County. Dana Hills swimmers set five individual and four relay City Meet records. The most impressive performance was by Gio Castaneda in the 25-

Page 13

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Page 14

Clayton Pioneer •

August 11, 2017

De La Salle honors Athletic Hall of Fame class Sept. 10 JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

De La Salle High School will honor include two teams, one coach and five athletes on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 10, at the annual Athletic Hall of Fame induction. This year’s inductees are: Tom Joseph (Class of 1985) was a star football player

and wrestler. He won De La Salle Athlete of the Year as a junior and was co-winner his senior year, one of only two athletes in DLS history to win the award multiple times. He played three years of varsity football where he received all-league, first team all-East Bay and all-NorCal accolades in 1984. He was a four-year varsity wrestler and was 38-3 his senior year. He was a three-time league. He returned

Clayton youth named to lacrosse world series all-tournament team

Photo courtesy Conrad family

Clayton eighth grader Hugh Conrad (left, with dad Charlie) was named as one of two goalies to the under 13 all-tournament first team at the World Series of Youth Lacrosse last month in Denver. A member of the ADVNC club team, Conrad was one of 17 players on the all-tournament team. ADVNC finished with a 4-2 record among the 24 teams in the u13 tournament from around the united States, Canada and israel. The Diablo View Middle School student‘s team was the first from Northern California to make it into the event.

Football, from page 12

ing a major field overhaul that includes an artificial turf football field, which will complete the installation of turf fields at all Mt. Diablo Unified School District high schools. The project didn’t get underway until late July so Reynaud has no idea where the Minutemen will play their five scheduled home games, including the first two non-league games Aug. 25 and Sept. 1. Third-year starting varsity quarterback Nick Nunez will lead the offense. The Minutemen visit CVCHS in the second DAL round on Friday, Oct. 13. Mt. Diablo (Vontre Mason, also from the CVCHS staff) and Ygnacio Valley (Clyde Byrd) also have new head coaches trying to regain past glories for their new schools. LOCAL SCHOOLS NON-LEAGUE SCHEDULES

Berean Christian: 8/25 at Cloverdale, 9/1 Kelseyville, 9/8 Middletown, 9/16 at St. Vincent-St. Patrick (Vallejo;), 9/23 Salesian.

Clayton Valley Charter8/26 at Reed (Sparks, NV), 9/1 Mililani (Hawaii), 9/8 at Canyon Springs (North Las Vegas), 9/15 at Antioch, 9/22 Deer Valley (Antioch). Concord- 8/25 Wood (Vacaville), 9/1 Mt. Diablo, 9/8 at College Park, 9/15 at Liberty (Brentwood), 9/22 at Benicia. De La Salle- 8/26 at Amador Valley, 9/1 St. John’s (Washington, DC), 9/8 St. Francis, 9/16 at Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), 9/23 Central (Fresno), 9/29 Bishop O’Dowd. Mt. Diablo- 8/26 at Hercules, 9/1 at Concord, 9/8 Miramonte, 9/15 at De Anza, 9/22 at Armijo. Northgate- 8/26 at Damonte Ranch (Nevada), 9/1 Deer Valley, 9/8 Las Lomas, 9/15 at Bethel (Vallejo), 9/22 at Rodriguez (Fairfield). Ygnacio Valley- 8/25 at El Cerrito, 9/1 Las Lomas, 9/8 De Anza, 9/15 Burton (San Francisco), 9/22 Albany.

to De La Salle as a coach in the 1990’s and helped coach freshman football and was also head JV wrestling coach. Kevin Keane (1989) was a member of the Spartan basketball and track and field teams. He exceled at high jump, where he cleared seven feet in 1989. He was second at North Coast Section in 1988, and was North Coast Section Champion and second place at the California State meet in 1989. He was coAthlete of the Year in 1989. Keane was two-time PAC 10 champion at UC Berkeley and competed for a spot on the Irish national team for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Derek Landri (2002) was first team all-America by USA Today prep and was rated as the top lineman by Parade Magazine that year. As a senior he was lineman of the year when Landri and his teammates gave up only six touchdowns the whole season. He was the third De La Salle player to win California Player of the Year (Amani Toomer 1991 and D.J. Williams 1999). He was also a three-year starter on offense. In

the historic game against Long Beach Poly, Landri was instrumental in matchups against his opponents, Manuel Wright and Winston Justice, who would both go on to play in the NFL. Landri graduated from Notre Dame and played in the NFL for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Michael Salvemini (1987) was a four-year varsity soccer player and soccer Player of the Year in 1987. That year De La Salle was the first U.S. soccer team to compete in the 40-yearold FISEC tournament for European Catholic Schools. In that tournament, De La Salle beat the top-seeded FlemishBelgium team and Salvemini scored in every game in the tournament. He received the NCS Scholar Athlete Award with a 3.5 G.P.A. He was a wide receiver and kicker on the football squad in 1986, where he scored 83 points (4 field goals, 4 touchdowns and 47 PATs). After graduating De La Salle, he played for Cal Berkeley soccer, where he was team captain. Salvemini is DLS’s head JV soccer coach.

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The 2001 Football Team was one of the best teams in De La Salle history. Featuring future NFL players Matt Gutierrez, Maurice JonesDrew and Landri, as well as many NCAA-bound athletes, the team finished the season 12-0 and brought “The Streak” to 125 victories. During that season, the team played what was dubbed “The Game of the Century” and defeated Long Beach Poly (then ranked #1 in the nation) 29-15. They outscored their opponents 567-87 that year. The 2002 Water Polo Team won BVAL and NCS championships. They are the only De La Salle water polo team to go undefeated, posting a 28-0 record. They played multiple games a day – including the NCS semi-finals and finals on the same day. At least 11 players on the roster continued to collegiate-level teams. The Sept. 10 ceremony is at 3 p.m. in the Hofmann Student Center on the De La Salle campus. Event registration is available at



Formal tryouts for Diablo FC under 8 through U19 competitive teams (birth years 1999-2011) have concluded but coaches are still holding player evaluations. Visit to get more information and signup for the appropriate age group evaluation.




Concord High School is looking for 2017-18 varsity girls OLYMPIAN MARIYA KOROLEVA HIGHLIGHTS (fall) and boys (spring) tennis coaches. Send resume and referAQUANUTS FALL SHOW ences to AD Megan Coddington at World renowned Walnut Creek Aquanuts are presenting their Stipends available. Coaching requirements include MDUSD Fin- annual Fall Swim Show Aug. 31-Sept 3.  The Aquanuts Got Talgerprints, Current TB test,  First Aid/CPR, Sudden Cardiac ent show features over 80 athletes from ages 5-25, beginner to Arrest and Concussion certification through NFHS.  Concord’s two-time Olympian Mariya Koroleva.  The synchronized swimming show is at Walnut Creek’s Clarke Memorial WALNUT CREEK AQUANUTS OFFER Swim Center at 8 p.m. each evening. Visit for ticket TRY IT DAYS SEPT. 2-3 information. Walnut Creek Aquanuts are offering “Try It” days to introduce athletes to its synchronized swimming program. The 90ST. BONAVENTURE CYO BASKETBALL minute sessions are Sept. 2 and Sept. 3. Registration is $10 for a TAKING SIGNUPS ONLINE session with top WCA coaching staff on hand. Registration can Signups for boys and girls in second through eighth grades be found at for the St. Bonaventure basketball CYO program are being taken online at Deadline to register is Sept. 1. ST. BONAVENTURE CYO CROSS COUNTRY Late registrants will be waitlisted. For more information call Tim PRACTICE STARTING SOON O’Hara 672-5774, Lance Brick 525-9853, Ferd Santos 270-9390 St. Bonaventure CYO cross country is open to boys and girls or email For more info visit in 2nd-8th grades in the St. Bonaventure attendance area. Cross country is a short, family-oriented season with practices Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5:30 p.m. in Newhall Park. Parents are TERRAPINS 4TH AT FAR WESTERN encouraged to run with their children at practices. Friday meets LONG COURSE SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS begin Sept. 22 with the Oakland Diocese meet Oct. 20. Contact The Terrapins  hosted the prestigious Far Western Long St. Bonaventure CYO athletic director Joe Sullivan at 969-0207, Course Championships last month at Concord community Pool email or visit with over 200 teams and 1500 swimmers attending from all over for more info. the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The Terrapins were represented by  57 swimmers led by Concord’s Junior world record holder CONCORD ADULT FALL SOFTBALL LEAGUES Alexei Sancov, who placed first in the 100, 200 and 400 freestyles ACCEPTING APPLICANTS as well as the 100 fly and 200 IM. Other local Terrapin swimConcord’s fall adult softball leagues for men’s, women’s mers posting lifetime best times  at the meet  were Anthony and coed teams begin in September and run through mid- Vizental (15), Maile Andresen (13), Damien Donado (13), Sarah November. Offering games Sunday through Friday nights, Deback (15), AJ Fong (12), Deniz Jones (15), Elizabeth Joseph the fall program serves thousands of players annually with (10), Nikki Kannan (11), Ian McIntyre (15), Lily Struempf (11) leagues to accommodate all skill levels. Cost per team (up to and Emily Wong (12). The Terrapins ended up fourth in team 20 people) is $625 for an eight-game season.  Additional standings. The Terrapins are now accepting online registration information can be found at or by for the Fall Stroke Improvement Program at calling 671-3423. SOFTBALL FALL PROGRAMS START THIS MONTH

Softball and baseball players aged 8-12 can sign up for the Clayton Valley Little League fall program. The players have practices this month and games against Concord American and other nearby little leagues in September and October. Players get a hat and t-shirt. Contact Dave Scolini at for more info or visit


Engage Pickleball is conducting a ‘Pro-team’ Pickleball Academy clinic Aug. 11 – 13 from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily at Willow Pass Park. The academy will give participants a chance to learn from some of the best pickleball players in the world. The instructors from Florida are USAPA National champions/medalists and Professional Pickleball Federation players. For more information go to

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Nick Schnabel (1996) was one of the best shortstops in De La Salle history. A coach said “his defense was like poetry.” He was a three-year starting shortstop, made the all-defense team his junior and senior years and all-league as a senior. Schnabel was known for his strong execution on hit-and-run as well as bunting plays. He was drafted by the Montreal Expos (now Washington Nationals) and made it to AA. He graduated from East Carolina in 2003. Schnabel is a coach and recruiter for the University of Michigan. Mike Blasquez was a strength and conditioning coach for 11 seasons from 1992-2002. During that time, De La Salle varsity football teams achieved a record of 138-0. He was named the 1998 strength and conditioning Coach of the Year by Professional Coaches Society. After leaving DLS, Blasquez went to the University of California where he worked with the basketball and football teams and was instrumental in the design for the 18,700-square foot Simpson Center for Student-Athlete High Performance.

A new wiffleball program is starting in Clayton with the fall league beginning Aug. 20. Fall programs for youth basketball and volleyball and adult softball and volleyball offered by All Out Sports Leagues in Clayton are now taking registration online. For complete information, visit


Concord Parks and Recreation is hosting the Golden State Pickleball Championships Aug. 18-20, its first USAPA sanctioned tournament on the new Willow Pass Park courts. Tournament organizers expect to draw high-level players from all over the Bay Area to participate in the 3-day tournament.  Players can play in multiple events with a chance to win medals or prize money in men’s, women’s and mixed doubles. For more info visit

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August 11, 2017

Clayton Pioneer •

Club News

‘Eleanor’ to appear at Woman’s Club September meeting

Laurie Strawn, dressed in character as Eleanor Roosevelt, performs at the September Clayton Valley Woman’s Club meeting

Laurie Strawn performs her one woman show, “Brave Little Nell, the Eleanor Roosevelt Story,” at the Clayton Valley Woman’s Club monthly meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 12. Hear “Eleanor” share a bit about her amazing personal history, then

ask questions and discuss her remarkable life and the times she lived in. Laurie Strawn is a Bay Area actress who has performed in theaters throughout the region for over 15 years. While a company member at Sierra Repertory Theatre in Sonora, Laurie was asked to create a one woman show about Eleanor Roosevelt; “Brave Little Nell” was born. Laurie lives in San Francisco with her husband, Lee Strawn, a gifted singer, actor and voice teacher, and their daughter, Julia, a budding actress herself. CVWC is a local, non-profit organization of women serving local communities. Meetings are at 10 a.m., speaker at 11 a.m., on the second Tuesday of the month at Saint John’s Episcopal Church, 5555 Clayton Road, Clayton. Guests are welcome to attend meetings and social events. For more information, call Linda at (415) 652-3503 or Sheila at (925) 672-7947 or go to

Page 15

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Demaris Brown’s “Sleeping Mallard” is one of the Creekside Artists Guild works in a new exhibit at Creekside Jo’s Gallery located in Cup o’ Jo’s, 6054 Main St., Clayton. Eleven local artists have an eclectic mix of original watercolors, acrylics and oil paintings along with photography, mini-stitchery and greeting cards on display for art enthusiasts and shoppers to enjoy. Artists Reception is from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23. The guild meets at 7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month in the Clayton Library Story Room or contact Renaye Johnson at or (925) 672-3488 for more information.

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looked after. New research indicates that where foxes are common, Lyme-infected rodents are not. STACi HOBBET In a nutshell, here’s what researchers now think. Newly ON THE hatched ticks don’t carry Lyme Family owned and operated since 1983 MOUNTAIN disease, but they need three Hobbet is a docent at the Mount Closed Mondays blood meals to reach maturity and are keen to find hosts. It’s Diablo Interpretive Association; lots easier if the rodents in the Contact her at 6780 Marsh Creek Road, Clayton area don’t have to worry much about predation. For instance, if a Lyme-infected mouse lives where there are few foxes, it spends less time in its burrow and more time out wandering around. Bingo: a tick grabs hold. And if the mouse is Lyme-infected, that new baby tick will be, too. But if there are a lot of foxes around to keep the mice on their nervous little toes, they cower more in their burrows and hang out on the surface much less. If a nymphal tick can’t get its first meal, it’s toast. Or if it feeds on birds or COMING SOON other mammals that don’t • 784 Barton Way, Benicia $629,000 carry human pathogens, it grows to maturity Lyme-free. 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, Mount Diablo still has a approx. 1900 sq. ft. good population of foxes, and Listing agent: Rula Masannat most of them are our native gray fox. Mount Diablo also has a low level of Lyme-infect• 230 Riverside Pl., Bay Point $395,000 ed ticks, less than 5 percent. 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom, approx. 1528 sq. ft. Listing agent: Matt Mazzei The reasons are complex, having to do with temperature and • 440 Powell Dr., Bay Point $475,000 especially ground-level humidi3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, ty, but this new research may approx. 1426 sq. ft. help explain why.

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James Marvin Phelps

As long as you can see the tail, our native gray fox can be told at a glance from the non-native red fox. The gray fox's tail has a black tip; the red fox’s is white.

A few months ago, a Pioneer reader who lives in Crystyl Ranch sent me a snapshot he took from an upstairs window showing a neighbor’s window, eave – and something else. The shot wasn’t in great focus, but the reason for it couldn’t have been clearer. There, curled tidily into a ball on the exterior windowsill of the neighbor’s house, was one of California’s most beautiful native animals – a gray fox – sound asleep. A hundred years ago, the California gray fox could be found in almost every brushy habitat in the state. It prefers chaparral, that wonderfully perfumed dryland mix of chamise, sage, manzanita, toyon, and other plants that constitutes California’s single largest variety of habitat. But the fox also hunts and lives in

our oak woodlands and open meadows. Lots of factors have pushed its numbers into steep decline, the primary one being, as you know, us. The reader who sent me the photograph lives on the very shoulder of Mount Diablo. Before the Crystyl Ranch subdivision was built in the late 1990s, gray foxes and other animals had the run of that land. But the non-native red fox has had a role, too. It’s a bit bigger and much less fearful of humans than the gray, making it more comfortable in the margins of heavily developed areas. Although that gray fox on the windowsill was very close to people, it had an easy escape back into the wild. Whether gray or red, native or non-native, foxes need to be

Dead birds, mosquitoes found with West Nile virus The Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District has confirmed that two dead birds from Walnut Creek and one group of mosquitoes from Discovery Bay tested positive for West Nile virus. This is the first report of West Nile virus activity in Contra Costa County for 2017. Since 2005, 56 people in Contra Costa County have been diagnosed with West Nile virus. In 2006, two people died from the disease. “Dead bird reports help us pinpoint virus activity in the county,” said Steve Schutz, the district’s scientific programs manager. “Right now, we have very few reports. We really need the public to report dead birds to the state hotline so we can understand where else in the county the mosquitoes may

be transmitting the virus and where we can focus our control efforts.” Birds are often the first sign of disease transmission. Even if the birds are not tested, the reports alone yield crucial information to protect public health. The district is conducting surveillance and mosquito control in catch basins, neglected swimming pools and other water sources near where the dead birds and mosquitoes were found. Residents can reduce their risk of contracting mosquitoborne diseases by following these guidelines: • Dump or drain standing water. Mosquitoes can’t begin their lives without water. • Use repellents containing

DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. • Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are present, typically dawn and dusk. • Maintain neglected swimming pools. Just one can produce more than 1 million mosquitoes and affect people up to five miles away. • Report dead birds to the state hotline at 877-9682473. Call the district to report mosquito problems at 925771-6195. Visit the district office at 155 Mason Circle in Concord between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays to get free mosquitofish for ornamental ponds, horse troughs or neglected swimming pools.

Listing agent: Matt Mazzei


• 1235 Kenwal Rd. #D, Concord $370,000

2 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom, approx. 1016 sq. ft.

Listing agent: Rula Masannat


• 2934 Putnum Blvd., Walnut Creek


3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1929 sq. ft.

Listing agent: Doug Van Riper

• 5463 Preston Ct., Concord

3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, 2049 sq. ft.


Listing agent: Rula Masannat

Matt Mazzei, Jr.,

Paula & Rod Johnstone

Rula Masannat

BRE# 01881269

DRE# 00797857

DRE# 01923757

Broker Associate

Broker/Owner 925-766-6745

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

925-693-0757 (Main)


Sales Agent 415-310-2905

6160 Center St. Suite #C, Clayton

925-693-0752 (Fax)

Page 16

Clayton Pioneer •

August 11, 2017

Views and solitude await at Shell Ridge open space

Nancy Bennett The Bennett Team Keller Williams Realty

#1 Agent in Concord #1 Team, Keller Williams East Bay #5 Team U.S. & Canada Keller Williams CalBRE #01399870

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1505 Kirker Pass Rd., # 131

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List Price

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$754k $569k $742k $428k $242k $318k



$56k over list


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8 7 7 6

$32k over list $44k over list $42k over list $38k over list $40k over list

• Nancy sells more than 8 times more homes than the average realtor.

• Last year she helped more than 100 families buy and sell homes.





As I pulled up to the parking area, I could barely make out the trail amongst the heat waves distorting the scenery around me. My trusty GMC thermometer registered 104 – much hotter than I expected well after 5 p.m. on a weekday. I should have picked a hike with more shade, but for some reason Shell Ridge Open Space and its vast network of trails enticed me to come and explore. So I set out with a 100 ounces of water and my trusty hiking poles in hopes of finding the most epic trails in this park. As you enter the gate, make a hard left to follow Briones Mt. Diablo Trail to Ridge Top Trail, then head due east. I stayed on the marked trail and found myself on a nice gradual grinder up the back side of Shell Ridge for a short time, until I reached the spine of the ridge. Expect steep trail sections scattered with rocks, sand and packed dirt. I love this trail for a few reasons: the spectacular view and the trail routing that cuts right along the backbone of Shell Ridge, with your surroundings literally peeling off on either side. In a short distance, this trail gives you a “top of the world feeling.” And that, my friends, is why I love hiking. Continue on Ridge Top

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Kevin Parker

When hiking in the Shell Ridge open space, it’s hard to remember you are surrounded by suburban sprawl.

Trail as you make a series of ascents and descents. Be careful, as parts of the trail are marked closed and will require a few trail detours. After crossing Costanoan Trail, the rocky sections of Ridge Top give way to packed dirt and shaded, oak tree lined sections of trail that provided a much-needed break from the hot sun and technical hiking. Ridge Top ends at the junction of Briones Mt. Diablo Trail, with Borges Ranch visible as you begin descending toward Joaquin Ridge. The trail turns to a soft flour dirt, providing some cushion on otherwise hardpacked trails. This is where Shell Ridge surprised me. Just before Joaquin Ranch Trail, make a left past the gate onto an unmarked single-track trail that follows a dry creek bed. This little nugget is called Indian Creek Trail, and what a gift on a heck of a hot day. I discovered full shade provided by a vast network of trees and a trail that twists and turns, banks and drops like a dirt rollercoaster of sorts. Throw in a lonely wooden bridge in the middle of nowhere with com-

Shell Ridge Open Space

Where: Ridge Top Trail, Briones Mt. Diablo Trail, Indian Valley Trail Distance: 5.75 miles Duration: 2 hours Elevation gain: 1,511 feet Getting there: Park at trailhead at end of Marshall Drive, Walnut Creek (No bathroom) Maps and more information:

plete solitude, and I’d say you have a trail not to be missed. If you study a map, you can actually take this trail almost all the way back to your start point via Fossil Hill Trail. I don’t know if it was the old downed trees, the mossy rock outcroppings or the smooth sandy trails rolling creekside, but stumbling onto this trail made me want to explore more of the hidden corners of Shell Ridge.

Contact Kevin Parker with comments or questions by email at

Adopt Danish theory of cozy comfort



While browsing my favorite interior design blogs, I recently came across a funky word that I had to add to my design language: “hygge” (pronounced “hoo-guh”). I love this funny little word and love its meaning even more. After a bit of research, I realized that hygge defines what I think most design enthusiasts are hopeful to obtain when designing their homes: coziness. According to Alex Beauchamp, founder of the blog, hygge is a Danish word used to acknowledge a special feeling or moment. It can be alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary, but is always cozy, charming or special. Hygge is not a new idea. It first surfaced in the early 1800s out of necessity. The Danish encounter miserable winters, so they needed something to balance out all the dreariness. They needed a source of happiness – wooly socks and throws, lovely smelling candles and ambient lighting, welcoming dining tables and comfortable seating arrangements. The hygge lifestyle focuses on cozy contentment and overall well-being. Hygge is an interesting concept to keep in mind when designing your home. For example, a dining room can sometimes feel like the outsider amongst the various rooms in your home. It’s a lovely room, always waiting for a party to ensue. But the big, empty table

Create “hygge” in living space with furniture proportionate to room size; add throw pillows and candles for warmth

and chairs stuffed along the perimeter leave no elbow room for guests. Often, the chandelier hangs too low, too high or has no dimmer. Following the hygge ideals, step back and consider how this room could become your favorite. Install a dimmer switch for your chandelier for ambient lighting. Find chairs that are comfortable, roomy and welcoming for you and your guests. Or maybe it’s a matter of adding décor to the table top when the dining table is not in use. Consider a grouping of scented candles perched on an eclectic collection of candle sticks to gently add fragrance to your home. Maybe stacks of your favorite books, placed on the table top or buffet, will lure you to come and flip the pages while you sip your morning coffee. Also think about your family room, great room or living room. Wherever you congregate with family and friends should fulfill your wish list for lounging and entertaining. Is it the perfect place to cuddle and watch movies, or a mediocre environment that needs some decorative adjustments?

Perhaps you have a sectional, a practical, comfortable seating arrangement to seat several people. Consider adding chunky throws, oversized down/feather pillows and even miniature ottomans that can be moved depending on where they are needed to kick up your feet or place a bowl of popcorn. Maybe this room is more of a conversational space. Wireless speakers fill it with your favorite musical backdrop, a tray full of your favorite libations sits on a cabinet that has been in your family for years and the lighting adds a cozy ambiance where you can discuss life or cuddle with your family. The best living spaces are ones that have been thoughtfully put together, focusing on comfort, functionality, color and illumination. An entire country can’t be wrong, so why not consider the hygge design concept the next time you need inspiration. Leischer is the owner of J. Designs Interior Design based in Clayton. Contact her with questions, comments and suggestions at

AUG 11 Clayton Pioneer 2017  

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

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