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It’s Your Paper

This is the new, combined Pioneer, covering both Concord and Clayton in one community newspaper.

August 16, 2019


Blue Devils are World Champions for the 19th time, this year by a hair JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

The Blue Devils are considered the New York Yankees of drum corps but this season the Concord team had to chase down two talented corps in what was called “one of the most compelling races in drum corps history” in order to win their 19th Drum Corps International World Championship last Saturday night. Title No. 19 came at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis over a talented field of corps in the finale where the Blue Devils finished 0.087 points ahead of the season-long favorite Bluecoats. This is the 13th year in a row the Blue Devils have placed first or second, including eight titles since 2007. This season began in California during June with the 2018 DCI champion Santa Clara Vanguard winning their first four face-to-face meetings from their Bay Area rivals. The Blue Devils finally prevailed in the fifth matchup.

Then it was the Canton, Ohio-based Bluecoats with a Beatles-themed program who defeated the Blue Devils in four consecutive shows, setting the stage for a rivalry that would go back and forth all the way to Finals Week when the Bluecoats won the preliminaries before the Devils came back to win the semifinals and finals in three razor-thin outcomes. Veteran Blue Devils senior executive advisor David Gibbs spoke to the Pioneer from Indianapolis the day after the finals while he shopped with son Peyton, getting the younger Gibbs ready to start college at Purdue University this week. About the Blue Devils performance in the finals Gibbs said, “Wow. Wow. That was by far their best performance. I told them they had that in them.” He described scoring the three finals competitions Ryan Carr photo courtesy Blue Devils between the Blue Devils and Concord’s Blue Devils reign over the drum corps world once again after winning their 19th DCI World Championship and eighth in the past 13 years last Saturday evening in Indianapolis. The Devils color guard perform See Blue Devils, pg 4 in “Ghostlight” at Lucas Oil Stadium in the finals.

Marsh Complex fire burns 757 acres in rural Clayton rest stretched along Marsh Creek Rd. from Bragdon Rd. to Deer Valley, charring 757 acres. Area residents were under a shelter-in-place order until 9 p.m. that evening. Marsh Creek remained closed through Monday for mop up. More than 300 firefighters battled the blazes, which were 85 percent contained by Saturday night. Two firefighters went to the hospital for heat-related injuries not considered life threatening. No structures were lost. Nichole Cook, a resident at the Clayton Palms Mobile Home Park, woke up to banging on her door and the dogs barking. “I opened the door and could smell smoke. I stepped outside and could see the hills were on fire.” Cook hustled her two children and the dogs into her car and drove through the park honking to alert her neighbors. “My youngest son was really scared and crying. I tried to calm him and told him we were gonna be ok and we’re gonna be at

grandma’s in just a couple minutes.” The park was briefly evacuated but residents were allowed to return a few hours later. Residents in the Morgan Territory/Marsh Creek area are getting used to living with the threat of fire. The last big fire was almost exactly one year before when the Marsh Fire burned 125 acres and destroyed one home. Area residents have been proactive in creating defensible space and communicating with each other. More than 100 neighbors attended a fire season preparation meeting in May with officials from fire agencies, PG&E and the County Office of Emergency Services. Many residents were alerted of the shelter in place order in a 5 a.m. text from OES. In an area where Internet and cell service can be sketchy, officials encourage residents to have a land line in case of a power outage and to register their phones with the Office of Emergency Services. Register online at cwsalerts.com/registration

ers are playing an increasingly Chief Elise Warren in larger role in crime enforce- Clayton adds that building ment, says Concord Police community among neighbors Chief Guy Swanger. also goes a long way to kicking crime to well-manicured curbs. That’s why last week’s National Night Out and programs such as the Neighborhood Watch in Clayton’s Peacock Creek neighborhood are vital for public safety. “In general, we only have two officers on shift. So we really rely on the community,” Warren says. If neighbors know each they, they are more likely to notice things like suspicious cars, barking dogs and strangers “casing” a neighKristin Markova, right, helped organized a National Night Out block party in Concord’s Canterbury Village neighbor- borhood, she says. Clayton was hit by a minihood, where families gathered for pizza, ice cream and games. crime wave the nights of July

18-19, when many residents reported car break-ins. Warren believes it was an organized group of thieves from close by who were looking for what she calls “crimes of opportunity.” Thieves broke into cars, rummaging for loose change or something of value in the glove box. Eighty percent of cars affected were unlocked, she says. “If a car is unlocked, it makes it that much easier.” Car break-ins are still a thorn in the side of the Concord Police Department, Swanger says, especially around apartments. But in his biannual report to the City


Noah Berger

A helicopter drops water on the Marsh Complex fire Aug 3. More than a dozen fires quickly merged into three big fires and charred 757 acres in rural Clayton.

What’s Inside

Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B6 Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B5

Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Directory of Advertisers . . . .7 From the Desk of . . . . . . . . .6 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B1 Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

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The first reports came in Saturday morning Aug. 3 at 3:15 a.m. Residents in a remote area of Morgan Territory Rd. smelled smoke. Then the next call came in and the next and the next. “Residents were calling the fire house even before dispatch got it,” said Cal Fire Deputy Chief Mike Marcucci. In all, there were more than a dozen separate fires reported within minutes of each other. “It’s difficult to know exactly how many because they were so close together they merged into three big ones,” Marcucci explained. Cal Fire investigators have not determined the cause of the fire. “We know it’s human caused, either accidental or intentional,” Marcucci said. Arson has not been ruled out. First reported were five separate small fires on Morgan Territory that burned five acres. The

Watchful neighbors a key crime-fighting tool PEGGY SPEAR The Pioneer

Briane Ray is well-known to Concord police. And he likes it that way. Ray’s home in Concord’s Crossings neighborhood is “decked out” with cameras, where he has captured petty crimes from mailbox thefts to smash and grabs in cars. He turns that information over to the police, often with good results. “I see myself as the protector of the court we live on,” he says. Ray is part of a new breed of security experts that seem to be popping up in neighborhoods across Concord

and Clayton. With surveillance cameras and doorbell technology that can see potential thieves, homeown-

See Neighbors, page 3

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CVCHS cheer squads soar at JAMZ camp

Photo courtesy CVCHS Cheer

The Clayton Valley Charter High School cheerleading squads swooped up several awards at the JAMZ Cheer Camp this summer at Cal State East Bay in Hayward. The Ugly Eagles varsity team elite stunt group of Savannah Sprague, Miranda Romo, Madison Caldwell and Abby Weeks earned the “Beast Mode Award” as overall highest competitor against 15 other stunt groups. Sam Handler, Mya Gartland, Maddie Brigance and Kennedy Lee were selected JAMZ All Stars. Clayton Valley cheer took home the “Hardest Working Team” Award and won the Bid Challenge for Overall Routine Winner.

August 16, 2019

KTVU takes a Zip Trip to Clayton TAMARA STEINER The Pioneer

KTVU shined a well deserved spotlight on Clayton when the small town was the focus of Mornings on 2 Zip Trips last week. The hour-long show was broadcast live from The Grove park where anchors Gasia Mikaelian and Frank Mallicoat and meteorologist Steve Paulson were joined by scores of locals eager to celebrate what Vicemayor Julie Pierce says is a “little bit of paradise.” The show opened with a quick look at the town’s long history. The town was named in 1857 for Joel Clayton, who, as legend has it, won naming rights in a coin toss with Charles Rhine. Had he lost, it would have been Rhineville. A segment on local hotspots featured La Veranda and Ed’s Mudville Grill in “Taste of the Town” and noted the storied Clayton Club Saloon is the oldest continuously operating saloon in California. But it was bocce that stole the show. The newly renovated Ipsen Family Bocce Park, named for Skipolini’s founder Skip Ipsen, is a collaboration

between the Ipsen family and the Clayton Business and Community Association. CBCA member Ed Hartley was named KTVU’s Hometown Hero for his efforts in organizing the park, which is run and maintained by volunteers. The park opened in 2014 and recently underwent a major renovation. “This community is run by volunteers,” Pierce told Mikaelian. “Every good activity

you see in this town is done by volunteers. We have a small budget and that’s how things get done.” Mikaelian heralded Clayton as a “can-do” city throughout the program. With scores of locals in the park and milling throughout town, it almost felt like a holiday. Residents set up lounge chairs in the park, the CVCHS drum band and the Cheer teams practiced in the background while

the local band, The Relyks, kept things moving from the gazebo. The celebratory mood was a welcome relief and a “return to normal” after a recent controversial social media post by a local deli owner garnered national attention and sparked an anti-racism rally earlier this month.

When asked about nonstorefront retail delivery facilities, most people thought industrial areas were best, as well as near the police station or in office buildings. More than 63 percent said the city should not limit the number of businesses, while 15 percent didn’t want any sites.

The city posted the online questions June 20-July 19 as part of ongoing research about how to regulate marijuana, which California voters legalized in 2016 under Prop. 64. Coleman Frick, an associate planner for Concord, said the city publicized the survey through the city website, social

media platforms, local media outlets and a list of people who had asked to receive information on cannabis-related news. “The city anticipated that the survey would generate interest based on the amount of attention past consideration of cannabis regulations has

received,” Frick said, adding that the city didn’t target a specific number of results. To take the survey, residents had to register at the Concord Community Town Hall website. Responses came from all age ranges, although 204 chose not

Tamara Steiner/The Pioneer

Clayton was the star of KTVU Mornings on 2 in a live broadcast last week.

For a link to the entire show, go to www.pioneerpublishers.com.

Survey shows some support for retail cannabis in Concord BEV BRITTON The Pioneer

The majority of Concord residents who participated in a new city survey think retail cannabis businesses should be allowed in a variety of areas – including downtown – without restrictions on the number of

storefronts. Most preferred retails sites near the police station, in industrial areas, downtown and shopping centers. Of the 474 respondents, almost 53 percent don’t want the city to limit the number of businesses. Another 18 percent said there shouldn’t be any retail outlets.

See Cannabis, page 5

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August 16, 2019

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Page 3

Concord vigil answers gun violence and racism with ‘hope, justice and community’

Neighbors, from page 1

PETE CRUZ The Pioneer

Concord Officer Murtazah Ghaznawi was among the police staff getting to know residents at the Concord Library on National Night Out.

Council, he said his highest concern is petty thefts in stores that turn into robberies. “We’re seeing it in shopping centers across the East Bay,” he says. “They’re organized crews, with a getaway driver waiting while two or three others grab what they can from a store. If confronted by security, it turns into a robbery.” He says local businesses could incorporate the same sort of community spirit and communication that is behind Neighborhood Watch and National Night Out. “The more people get to know one another and share information, the better,” he says.

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Swanger and Warren have some key advice for residents to keep their property safe. “Lock your doors, lock your car,” Swanger says. “And don’t leave valuables in plain sight. That’s just asking for trouble.”

A crowd gathered in Todos Santos Plaza Friday evening to take part in a “Respect for Humanity” vigil in response to the recent mass shootings in Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton. Speakers at the rally addressed fears felt by the community, especially children. Religious leaders from Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths, added their voices to teachers, activists and local politicians including Concord Mayor Carlyn Obringer and Councilmember Edi Birsan, to both comfort and make calls to action to stand up to racist rhetoric that many believe fuels some of the recent attacks. Paul Ramirez, of United Latino Voices of Contra Costa, which helped organize the rally, spoke about a woman who called him afraid to send her children to school “because they are killing blacks and Mexicans.” He told her “we need to stand to together. We will keep your children as safe as possible but don’t give up your faith…don’t let anyone take away your power because the key to your children’s

Vigil members formed a heart-shaped circle while the names of recent mass shooting victims were read. The crowd then sang ‘We Shall Overcome.’

future is their education.” At one point the audience was asked to take a few minutes to offer a hug, handshake, or high five to those standing next to them in the crowd to foster community and demonstrate that love conquers hate.

Several of the speakers stressed the importance of voting, calling for elected representatives in government and those running for office to change gun laws and anti-immigrant polices that contribute to the fear and anger that many are feeling.

Concord native on U.S. guided-missile destroyer COURTNEY PRIZER Special to the Pioneer

Petty Officer 3rd Class Aries Socrates, a Concord native, is serving on the guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon. Socrates works as a Navy fire controlman AEGIS aboard the Arleigh Burkeclass ship operating out of Joint Base Pearl HarborHickam, Hawaii. He is responsible for the computers and servers that provide the ship’s overall navigation and combat picture.



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Petty Officer 3rd Class Aries Socrates is stationed on the USS Chung-Hoon out of Hawaii.



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August 16, 2019

‘Amazing’ 50th anniversary Jazz Festival lives up to its heritage JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

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It looked like an ambitious undertaking when it was announced that the 50th Anniversary of the Concord Jazz Festival would include events around the community highlighted by an all-star concert at the Concord Pavilion. That evening’s event presented by Live Nation and Concord Records was as hot as the August weather and gave the 9000 in attendance a taste of the genre’s variety. “It was a huge success on every level,” a still excited Concord Records president John Burk told the Pioneer days after the Pavilion concert. “This was a great celebration of what started 50 years ago by Carl Jefferson. It’s almost hard to describe my feelings how all things—artistically, audience turnout and the venue—came together. I’m so joyful and happy to be a part of such an amazing concert.” Jazz luminaries including Dave Koz, Chick Corea, Poncho Sanchez & His Latin Jazz Band, The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra, Esperanza Spalding and more lit the Pavilion stage in a concert that lasted over seven hours. The Concord Blue Devils marched through the lawn area between a set. Burk presented a sevenminute video his company produced showing the beginnings of the festival and the record company through the construction of the Pavilion. Burk and his partner Glen Barros, along with Carlos Santana and renowned television producer Norman Lear (a former partner in the label), shared remembrances on the video. Congressman Mark DeSaulnier and Concord mayor Carlyn Obringer delivered proclamations to Burk and Pavilion general manager Aaron Hawkins during the day on stage at the Pavilion. Burk, a De La Salle High grad, says he hopes “we can continue a really long run of the festival. Seeing the reaction

Kelly Fitzpatrick photo courtesy Concord Records

Vocalist Jazzmeia Horn began the festivities at the 50th Anniversary Concord Jazz Festival concert this month at the Concord Pavilion. Horn records on a Concord Records label. The anniversary concert celebrated the first Concord Summer Festival in 1969 along with the founding of Concord Jazz record label and the construction of the Pavilion in 1975. Saxophonist is Irwin Hall.

of the audience during and after the concert brought it all home. People had a great time.” The festival was last held 15 years ago in 2004 at the Pavilion. The jazz festival began in 1969 at what is now Dave Brubeck Park adjacent to Concord High School. The festival continued in the park through 1974, providing the impetus for the construction of the Pavilion, which opened the following May as “The House That Jazz Built.” Local auto dealer and jazz devotee Jefferson developed the idea of the festival and guided it through its years in the park and then at the new Pavilion. From the festival’s success sprang the Concord Jazz record label started in Concord in 1973 when Jefferson realized that many of the legendary jazz musicians who came to the festival were unable to get their music recorded and released. Next year is the 100th anniversary of Brubeck’s birth in Concord. Burk and festival organizers are hopeful they can replicate this year’s success in 2020. “We want to keep our heritage alive,” Burk added. Concord Records has been headquartered in Southern

Blue Devils, from page 1 Bluecoats as “coin flips.” The talent level was so high in Indianapolis that the five caption awards were earned by five different corps, the first time that has ever happened. The Blue Devils’ presentation of their program “Ghostlight” placed first in the visual performance category. Gibbs added that performing last on Saturday (based on winning the semi-finals) gave the Blue Devils the chance to

“have the last say in the 2019 season. I told the Devils that they should believe in themselves and prove it on the field.” As always, social media and web posts last weekend included many jabs at his corps. Gibbs analogized the Blue Devils to the Golden State Warriors as “a lightning rod,” who frustrate many fans of drum corps by their dominating results year after year.

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California for nearly two decades. Concord Jazz is now part of Concord Music, the largest independent music company in the world with over 12,000 albums. The label has won over six percent of all GRAMMYs ever awarded. The Take 10 days of the anniversary celebration in Concord also included a Sunday jazz concert at blazing hot Todos Santos Plaza, concerts at Diablo Valley College, The Veranda and Todos Santos Plaza and jazz-themed events at Concord Tap House, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor and Puesto in The Veranda. The 50th Anniversary festivities conclude next Saturday, Aug. 24, with the final Java and Jazz presentation with Dr. Matthew Zebley on the Concord Historical Museum stage sharing the history of jazz, background on Concord native Brubeck and performing with his band. The Diablo Valley College educator is a composer, jazz artist and multi-instrumentalist. He will provide an in-depth look at West Coast Jazz, its composition and overall style. Java and Jazz tickets at $5 are available at Eventbrite.com and at the door. “This is what we came here to do, and we did it. It was truly the culmination of everything we’ve worked toward for so long now,” drum major Chasen Young said. Gibbs explained that the eight-week summer tour across America “was an organic process as we accessed each show and how the audience and judges connected with it. We geared the season and the ultimate version of Ghostlight toward that final performance.” And it worked...barely!

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August 16, 2019

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Diablo Valley Oncology marks 9th year as a top workplace Sponsored Content

Cancer care is a difficult and challenging field, but those who choose it find a deep sense of fulfillment and satisfaction from the inspirational patients they treat. Employees at Diablo Valley Oncology and Hematology Medical Group say they are making a difference in people’s lives every day. We are fortunate to have an outstanding team of administrative and clinical staff who share a passion for helping patients and their loved ones. Now, the Bay Area News Group has recognized us as a 2019 Top Workplace. The award is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey of workplace culture, communication, trust in leadership, team dynamics, career development and job satisfaction. This year, 2,615 com-


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Late summer rain events are rare in the Bay Area. Weather disturbances that deliver clouds, showers or thundershowers to California during August and September are usually the result of a weather anomaly called the North American Monsoon (NAM). The term monsoon is often used to describe heavy rain events, but it actually refers to a seasonal wind shift. In fact, the word comes from the Arabic mausim, meaning season. This wind pattern causes the weather to switch from hot and dry to humid and stormy. Monsoon winds form

Cannabis, from page 2

to give their ages. All responses on his Facebook page, Concord resident Mike McDerwere anonymous. mott cited “major problems” TAX REVENUE VS. FAMILIES with the survey. He said the In 251 comments added to input couldn’t be trusted the survey, many residents said because it’s likely that non-resConcord is losing tax dollars to ident cannabis supporters other cities that are already responded. allowing retail storefronts. However, Birsan said there “Concord should not play were only 40 respondents from catch up. We should seize the outside Concord. Frick told opportunity to capitalize on the Pioneer that the survey was the early days of recreational not scientific. legalization,” said one responMcDermott also said the dent. Another said: “The city survey used the term dispensaof Concord is missing out on ry, which he called a medical additional income and jobs.” term. “So it would be fair to Others cited crime and say respondents were thinking health concerns with comments medicinal and not recreational like “By inviting the cannabis when they answered,” he industry into our city, you are wrote. “Calling a recreational endangering us” and “Our city is storefront a ‘dispensary’ is trading off the health and safety beyond dishonest.” of Concord residents for mariBirsan countered, saying juana revenue.” the term dispensary was in While many used Con- common use. cord’s “families first” philosophy as an argument against LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION retail sales, one resident noted The survey also looked at that demographic includes “younger families who are microbusinesses, which could aware of the economical bene- cultivate up to 10,000 sq. ft. fits for taxing and regulating of cannabis, distribute, manufacture and/or offer retail recreational use. sales. Again, most (54 percent) did not think the city QUESTIONING THE QUESTIONS should regulate the number After Councilman Edi Bir- of licenses. But almost 20 san shared the survey results percent didn’t want any

scale to monsoons found along the Brazilian coast and southern Africa. In the case of our local monsoon, the main moisture sources are the gulfs of Mexico and California, which record their warmest water temperatures in late summer. During a NAM event, the subtropical jet stream buckles, allowing southerly winds to push moist air northward into western North America. The storms brought on by the NAM typically produce up to 70 percent of a year’s rain from west Texas to Southern California. During an average monsoon season, cities across the American Southwest receive up to 10 inches of rain. The northward extent of NAM rains depends on the strength and orientation of

the jet stream over the warm tropical waters. The mountains of Southern California typically form the northern boundary of monsoon-related rainfall in the state. Several times per year, however, a strong and persistent NAM jet stream will steer moisture into the Sierra Nevada and northern mountains of California. It takes a “perfect storm” of jet stream conditions to deliver monsoon moisture to the Bay Area. When that does happen, we can experience some fantastic lightning displays and beautiful sunsets from our backyards in the Concord/Clayton area.

microbusiness permits. At 86 percent, respondents overwhelming said microbusinesses should be in industrial areas. But one cautioned: “Be careful that they aren’t pushed to the outskirts or more industrial parts of the city. That will have the opposite impact of the intended crime deterrent.” Several said marijuana outlets should be regulated similar to liquor stores. “Treating cannabis the same as alcohol in Concord will hopefully remove a longattached stigma that has resulted in decades of fearmongering and misinformation.” The survey also asked if Concord should expand the 600-foot buffer zone state law requires around “sensitive uses,” with 57 percent saying that zone was sufficient and 43 percent recommending 1,000 feet.

nal-only) cannabis manufacturing and retail. The next steps include stakeholder meetings this month and in September, then meetings before the Planning Commission in October and November and the City Council in December and January.


On Aug. 13 (after the Pioneer deadline), the City Council planned to provide direction to staff about the possibility of increasing the number of cannabis licenses for manufacturing, distribution and testing laboratories, as well as possibly allowing adult-use (rather than medici-

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With the right conditions, monsoons can hit Bay Area over warm gulf and ocean waters. Moist, low-level air is pushed northward toward land masses that are typically hot and dry in late summer. The Asian Monsoon is the most well-known as it encompasses an area that extends from India to Southeast Asia. A large percentage of annual precipitation in countries affected by this monsoon falls during this season. The monsoon is a key factor in the economy of the area, because agricultural harvests depend on ample monsoon season rains. However, extremely strong monsoons are responsible for devastating floods that can ravage the region. Weak monsoons can trigger food shortages. The NAM is a much smaller circulation than its Asian cousin. It is similar in

Page 5

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The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

August 16, 2019

Concord council sees road repairs as key priority

These days, the most frequent complaint I receive relates to the condition of Concord’s roads. I understand how important the condition of our city’s roads is to residents and businesses. After all, pavement and potholes provide a first impression when someone drives into our community, be it a potential resident, customer, developer or commercial tenant. And, deteriorating pavement can lead to frustrating and premature wear and tear on vehicles. The city owns and maintains about 310 centerline miles of city streets. As with many cities in the Bay Area, it is challenging to maintain our current road network with limited funds. Concord’s deferred infrastructure maintenance comprises the lion’s share of the city’s unfunded liabilities, a situation faced by many California cities. Our current Pavement Condition Index (PCI) is 60 out of 100. The city would need to spend $85 million

database, mapped candidate streets, subdivided the city’s five street zones by treatment and made field observations. CPM recognizes that pavements require different types of treatments at different times along their lifecycle. The intent is to select and schedule a pavement’s needed treatment before it deteriorates to the point where the next, more aggressive CARLyN OBRINGER and costly treatment is required. goal is to provide the right CONCORD MAYOR The treatment at the right time to over the next five years just to the right pavement. Concord focuses on a mulmaintain that level. tifaceted effort in pavement However, in spring 2018, maintenance. This includes: 1. when the City Council approved a five-year pavement localized pavement repairs (potholes and base failures). 2. expenditure plan, only $27 preventive maintenance. 3. million was available. This pavement rehabilitation. 4. amount includes additional funding sources such as Meas- major street repair and reconstruction projects. This is in ure Q sales tax revenue, the addition to the annual street gas tax and SB1 transportamaintenance work the Public tion money. We developed the five-year Works Department performs. The city’s goal is to program plan using a Critical Point the work as funding sources Management (CPM) approach. To inform the plan, permit and to maintain the an engineer reviewed the city’s newer conditions effectively to preserve the quality of our Pavement Management Plan

paving efforts to date. To stretch tax dollars for paving, the city utilizes the Pavement Management Plan to catalog pavement condition assessments, maintenance activities and project pavement deterioration, as well as the repair cost of Concord’s street inventory. The program is designed to make recommendations on how to cost-effectively use available resources to maintain the city’s streets at the highest level possible. The City Council takes the condition of our roads seriously, and we are always looking for new dollars to put toward pavement improvements. For example, at the Feb. 26, 2018, meeting, we voted to earmark the $400,000 budget surplus from the last fiscal year toward filling potholes created by rain this past winter. We also leverage our existing transportation dollars by applying for county, regional, state and federal dollars to get as much bang for our roadwork buck as possible. Our goal is for our PCI to

improve and for Concord’s roads to once again be a point of pride.

Boosting the laws to fight online deepfakes

I have had countless conversations with my kids about the potential dangers of the internet and how to be safe online. But emerging and evolving technologies, such as deepfakes, are making online and social media safety more challenging than ever. A deepfake is a hyper-realistic video that has been created or altered with machine-learning technology so that it presents something that did not actually occur. One of the most shared deepfakes online presents Steve Buscemi’s face convincingly imposed onto Jennifer Lawrence’s body in a postawards show interview. This is a lighthearted example of a deepfake, but this technology is also being used in more nefarious ways. Some of the early deepfakes focused on celebrities – almost exclusively women – and placing their faces into explicit videos. These videos are violating in nature and can be used to shame those who are falsely placed in them. This technology is evolving and the most recent, and siggreat schools, a well-managed quickly and will soon be availnificantly larger, fire along the city and proximity to nature able beyond experienced proMarsh Creek area. Thank you are some of the things that grammers to simply anyone to all of the firefighters and attracted many current resiwho downloads an app. Then other emergency personnel at dents to move to Clayton. our concern isn’t just for movie Contra Costa County Fire, Cal However, the common stars, but for the everyday child Fire and other fire agencies themes behind the events, and teenager. for their swift and profession- activities and other efforts that I have authored legislation al actions in extinguishing make Clayton special are vol- this year that addresses my fear, these fires. unteering for the benefit of and the fear of others researchIf residents are wondering greater good and a sense of ing deepfakes, that a child could whether they are prepared in community and belonging. cyberbully classmates by placing case of a nearby wildfire, the It is up to each of us indi- their faces in a lewd video and League of Women Voters of vidually to determine the best sharing it on social media – Diablo Valley is sponsoring a ways in which we can be where it would live on forever. Wildfire Preparedness and involved and positively conThis could be devastating to a Evacuation Workshop at 6:30 tribute to our community. young person. Studies have p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20, at However, when we work shown that minors who experiHeather Farm Park’s Lakeside together, celebrating the diver- ence this kind of bullying have Room, 301 N. San Carlos Dr., sity within us and being inclu- higher rates of depression, anxiWalnut Creek. sive of all of our neighbors, ety and post-traumatic stress What makes Clayton a we are without doubt a better disorder. community? As we approach and stronger community. In recent years, there has the last concerts in the Grove Mayor’s office hours. Have been a rise in cases of revenge for this season, it is amazing a question for me or want to porn, where someone posts to think how many events and chat? Stop by the farmer’s sensitive pictures online of activities our small city and market on Saturday, Aug. 17, someone else without that perour residents organize, includ- 9-10 a.m. son’s permission. One in 25 ing the popular bocce league, Americans have either been the many festivals sponsored by Contact me via email at catavictim of revenge porn or have the Clayton Community and lano@ci.clayton.ca.us and follow been threatened by it, and many Business Association and vari- me at facebook.com/councilmember- of these Americans are women ous fundraising efforts. tuijacatalano for more updates. or minors. Over half of these Safety, a small town feel, victims contemplate suicide.

Residents can weigh in on city manager requirements

characteristics that are important for a city manager in Clayton. Recruitment is pending, TUIJA CATALANO with an application filing of Aug. 26. You can CLAYTON MAYOR deadline also find a link to the brochure created by the In order to assist the City recruitment firm on the city Council in hiring a new city website. manager and to provide resiWildfire preparedness. We dents an opportunity for feedhave seen several fires in the back, a community survey is mountain and open space available from a link on the areas surrounding Clayton in city’s website, ci.clayton.ca.us. the last month, including the I encourage all residents to smaller fire near the top of access the survey and provide input on the qualifications and Mt. Diablo a few weeks ago

You can send questions and comments to the mayor by email to Carlyn.Obringer@cityofconcord.org



Thankfully, our state has already acted to criminalize revenge porn, but this crime only applies when someone distributes already existing explicit content without someone’s consent. There is a loophole when someone has created falsified explicit content through deepfake technology and then distributes it for the world to see. California judges have ruled that publishing sexual content of a minor is only criminal when there is a real person involved. This is an issue because deepfakes are technically only depicting a person’s likeness – despite showing what looks like a real person participating in real events. I authored Assembly Bill 1280 to close this loophole and make it a crime for anyone to produce and distribute a deepfake with sexual content without the consent of the person in the video. This crime will be enhanced to a felony charge for anyone who is using deepfake technology to create child pornography. Victims of cyberbullying can’t stop online harassment; it lingers for years. I want to ensure that we have every tool in our toolbox to protect minors and young people online so they don’t feel like their lives are ruined before they even begin. For more about social media safety and my legislative work, call my Concord district office at 925521-1511.

Reach Assemblyman Tim Grayson at (925) 521-1511. Visit or write the district office 2151 Salvio Street, Suite P, Concord, CA 94520

An easy checklist for fire preparedness At the Board of Supervisors meeting on July 23, we received an excellent report from Fire Chief Lewis Broschard and Sheriff ’s Capt. Tory Kornblum about each agency’s emergency preparedness and evacuation plans in the event of wildfires in Contra Costa County. I want to share some key takeaways, especially in light of the Marsh Complex fire that threatened homes in the hills surrounding Clayton earlier this month. There are many ways to be prepared, and I will detail some important strategies from the report that you can employ to keep your household safe. First, prepare your home. Create defensible space around your house by clearing dead and dying vegetation

Second, pack a go-bag with emergency essentials and ensure that it is ready in an accessible location. Always back your car into the driveway. Third, create a plan with your loved ones. Some questions to think about are: Where will you go in the event of a fire, and what are KAREN MITCHOFF some routes that you can take to get there? Designate an COUNTY out-of-town relative to be the SUPERVISOR point of contact should there be disruptions in cell netfrom the roof, gutters, and works. decks and ensure that tree Fourth, register with the limbs are at least 10 feet away Community Warning System from structures. Regularly cut to stay apprised of fire dangrasses and clear brush within gers and all other emergencies 30-100 feet of your home and in your community. Call 925keep any woodpiles or com313-9622, or visit bustibles in this zone. Regular- cwsalerts.com to register for ly check smoke detector batemergency warnings. Emerteries as well. gency information is always

available at KCBS 740AM. Fifth, get to know your neighbors and discuss how you will keep each other safe in the event of a wildfire. Check in with mobilityrestricted neighbors to see if they have a plan of action. With wetter winters and hotter summers each year, a heightened wildfire risk is likely to be the new normal in our county. However, by following these steps, we can all be ready. To learn more about how to prepare for wildfires, visit cccfpd.org/ResidentsWildlandFireGuide.

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

August 16, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

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

TAMARA AND R ObERT S TEINER , Publishers TAMARA S TEINER , Editor P ETE C Ruz , Graphic Design, Social Media b Ev b RITTON , Copy Editor, Calendar Editor J Ay b EDECARRé, Sports and Schools Editor S TAFF W RITERS : Jay Bedecarré, Bev Britton

C ORRESPONDENTS : Kara Navolio, Peggy Spear, Lisa Fulmer


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

editor@pioneerpublishers.com (925) 285-8612

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

Please include name, address and daytime telephone number. We will not print anonymous letters. E-mail your letter to tamara@pioneerpublishers.com. Letters must be submitted via E-mail.

CIRCULATION The Pioneer is delivered monthly by the third Friday to 38,500 single-family homes and businesses in 94518, 94519 and 94521. Papers to Clayton are delivered by US mail. Concord zip codes are delivered by commercial carriers for ABC Direct. To stop delivery for any reason, call the office at (925) 672-0500 . If you are NOT receiving the Pioneer, please check the distribution map on the website. If you live in a single-family home within the shaded area and are not receiving the paper, please let us know. If you are not in the shaded area, please be patient. We will come to your neighborhood soon. SUBSCRIPTIONS To subscribe to The Pioneer call the office at (925) 672-0500. Subscriptions are $60/year. ADVERTISING Advertising rates and circulation maps arei posted at www.pioneerpublishers.com or call (925) 672-0500.

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Concord Clayton Pioneer


Concord Chamber of Commerce gearing up for next chapter

stantly hear from chamber members that our chamber is friendly, welcoming and an important part of the greater community. We know that the next CEO must embody that spirit. At the same time, new leadership presents a great opportunity for us to bring in different ideas and try innovative things to better serve our CAITLIN SLy members. CHAMBER OF As we move forward, I am grateful we have such a strong COMMERCE chamber staff. Melissa Rea, It is an honor to serve as William Chan and new staff board chair of the Greater member Amanda Campbell Concord Chamber of Comare doing an excellent job of merce this year. keeping the chamber running. It is an exciting time The board members are ready because the chamber is to support staff however they stronger than ever as we begin need us. the search for the next president and CEO. We hope you will join us in Marilyn Fowler did an learning more about the incredible job in her 24 years chamber by visiting www.conas president and CEO, and cordchamber.com or emailing the board is focused on preboard@concordchamber.com. serving her legacy. We con-


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One-year-old Carebear is a smart, sassy girl with a heart of gold. Some would call her petite in stature, but her spunky, take-charge attitude more than makes up for it! This little lady is quite popular around the shelter and she’s got a long list of close doggie friends…not to mention a few secret admirers! She loves stuffed toys and plays a dynamite game of fetch. And when she’s not strolling around the neighborhood like the superstar she is, she won’t hesitate to climb into your lap or take a nap by your side! The adoption fee for puppies <6 months is $300, for adult dogs is $250, and includes a discount on the first six-week session of a manners class. Two-year-old Ivy is a social butterfly that makes new people friends in a heartbeat. She is quick to come up to say hi. When she’s done mingling, she may just settle into a cozy lap while adorably rolling on her side. She also enjoys playtime with wand toys. and she loves treats! Ivy is hoping to find a loving home where she can have space to explore and opportunities for snuggles. The adoption fee for kittens <6 months $125 ($200 for 2) and for adult cats is $75 ($100 for 2). Meet your forever friend at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek, during


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Fresh from the farm just makes it better The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

The Dwelley family brings their fresh produce to the Tuesday farmers market in Concord.

Although National Farmers Market Week just ended, the Concord and Clayton Farmers Markets are celebrating for the entire month. By shopping at a local certified farmers market, customers strengthen the regional economy, preserve open areas and landscapes, support family farms and provide fresh produce for a healthy family. Certified farmers markets assure that their products come directly from the farmers who grew, nurtured and harvested the crops. Certification means that the state has inspected and regulated the

farms. It’s important to know where your food comes from and that it is locally grown. Plus, farmers market customers can actually speak to the farmers who grew the fruits and vegetables, baked the bread or gathered the honey. Dwelley Family Farms is among the local farms at the Tuesday market in Concord. Stroll by their booth this month to find mounds of their famous Brentwood Diamond sweet corn, gorgeous cherry and heirloom tomatoes and myriad fresh beans. They

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have Blue Lake beans, baby French green beans, yellow wax beans, cranberry beans, Romano beans and more. Local restaurants showcase their high-quality Brentwood Diamond corn, which has been shown to have a higher sugar content than other corn. Farmers market customers can find it through September. Mark Dwelley and his family are working on their 5th generation of future farmers on the 800 acres they’ve farmed since 1921. During the growing season, the Brentwood area is characterized by hot days and cool nights, which result in excellent growing conditions for a variety of fruits and vegetables. They offer both organic and conventionally grown produce. The Dwelleys are committed to sustainable farming practices. That means protecting the environment and improving soil fertility, using resources in a way that will improve human health in the

long run. Maybe that’s why their premium produce tastes so good. Mark emphasizes that purchasing produce directly from local farms ensures longer product shelf life and better quality and freshness. They enjoy participating in several Bay Area farmers markets and also operate a roadside stand in Oakley filled with fresh fruits, vegetables

The Clayton Valley Garden Club will host a Fall Plant Sale at the Clayton farmers market on Sept. 7. In addition to a small variety of perennials and succulents, the club will have an information booth about Penny Pines – a California reforestation project that began in 1941. Residents can purchase a

of respondents in my recent survey (about 43 percent) stated that they do not want any new housing construction EDI BIRSAN because they believe an PULSE OF increase in the number of people in Concord would add CONCORD to traffic congestion. Many also indicated that The results of some of my any new affordable housing recent surveys, and comments would result in an increase in that I have heard around the number of poor people town, show me that some res- living in Concord, which they idents have rather stark views say would not only increase regarding traffic, housing and traffic but would result in jobs. more societal problems. I While most people agree wonder if the term “societal that we are in the midst of a problems” reflects only a conhousing crisis, a large number cern for the tax dollars that

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The Concord Farmers Market is in Todos Santos Plaza Tues. & Thurs. Clayton Farmers Market is Saturdays. See ad below for hours.

Penny Pines Plantation (an acre of trees) for $68 at the forest of their choice. It makes a wonderful gift or as a memorial in honor of a loved one. For more information, call 925-2762299 or go to claytonvalleygardenclub.org.

More housing and jobs could help normalize traffic


Call today for an appointment!

and homemade pies. Farming has never been just an occupation for the Dwelley family; it is a way of life. Their hard work and unstoppable joy shows in their produce. Stop by and pick up some of the best corn you’ll ever taste. Gather up a few pounds of crisp beans and juicy tomatoes, and you’ll be ready for summer’s good eating.

August 16, 2019

Garden club selling plants, Penny Pines on Sept. 7

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Page 8

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would be used to help the less fortunate, or is it really a euphemism for ethnic and racial conflicts. Another related question is whether new jobs brought into the city through economic development should include retail, seasonal, entry-level or other lower wage jobs. Members of the City Council and other leaders have advocated for “good paying, middle-class jobs” – not lower wage retail, restaurant and other entrylevel jobs. Again I wonder if the fear of more traffic, this time by poor people, is even more frightening to some than a lineup of Teslas on Ygnacio Valley Road. An additional sign that we are in an abnormal housing situation is that people are cohousing more than ever before. Kids and grandkids are not moving out or they are moving back into their parents’ or grandparents’ homes because they cannot afford today’s rents or the payments on a new home. Similarly, families are doubling up in apartments and homes, and there is a boom in unrelated roommate situations. This all results in overcrowding, with stress to both the physical structures and the neighborhoods. The single-family neighborhoods, where kids were traditionally raised in three- and four-bedroom homes, are now jammed with four and five cars per home –

with parking issues the new territory for Hatfield and McCoy neighborhood feuds. Those 43 percent who do not want new housing are not considering that if more housing were constructed, including more affordable housing, the number of people in co-housing could be reduced. That would have zero impact on traffic, since these people are already here. Meanwhile, I find the downright class elitism espoused about low-income jobs disturbing. We have thousands of people in this city who are struggling with their low-income jobs, especially when combined with high transportation costs. If we could bring more of those retail, seasonal or other lower wage workers to Concord who are currently working elsewhere, we could facilitate more pedestrian or bicycle commuting, thereby helping to reduce traffic. This would also allow more people to work in their own community, thereby building up social connections to their city. I believe we can and should move a little more back to normalization of traffic by providing a combination of different opportunities for both housing and jobs. Put NIMBY back in the backyard garden, and do not give it fertile bias to grow.

Send comments to EdiBirsan@gmail.com or 510-812-8180.

August 16, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com


Wren Avenue students display their jazz-themed art at Brenden Theatre JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

Performances commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Concord Jazz Festival this summer have wrapped up, but the legacy of the event is still alive. The Brenden Theatre in Concord will be displaying jazzthemed art from students at Wren Avenue School of the Arts through the end of September. Wren Avenue’s kindergarten through fifth grade students were treated to a special assembly during the spring when Matt Zebley’s Quartet performed and former schoolteacher and jazz ambassador Ellen Findlay Herdegen displayed and discussed a variety of jazz posters and photos. The assembly was used to inspire the students as they embarked on a school-wide project to create their own pieces of art on paper and canvas. Visit Concord coordinated with the Brenden to find a public space to display the student artwork in the final phase of the summer-long Jazz Festival anniversary celebration. Wren Avenue is one of three Mt. Diablo Unified School District magnet elementary schools. Wren focuses on the visual and performing arts. Holbrook is the language academy and Sun Terrace is the STEM magnet. The three schools converted to magnet academies when Holbrook re-opened in August 2017.

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Students from Wren Avenue Elementary School took on a project to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Concord Jazz Festival through their art. Many of their efforts will be on display at the Brenden Theatre in Concord through the month of September. School officials were on hand to preview some of the works. From left, office manager Kimber Trombley, new principal Celeste Graybill, former principal Aline Lee and first grade teacher Beth Bremer. The large canvas art was done by Joanne Alderete’s second graders last spring.

community input forums spread over three days this month to review and provide feedback on draft maps for future by-trustee area elections. The district will be organized into five individual trustee areas in time for the 2020 election when the board seats of Joanne Durkee and Brian Lawrence are up for election. Trustees have always been elected by voters of the entire district. In the new process, trustees will be elected by the voters living within the trustee’s respec7 MDUSD DISTRICT tive area. Input gathered from ELECTION FORUMS the public during these forums UPCOMING AUG. 21-29 will help determine the criteria MDUSD has invited famiused by a demographer in draftlies, students, community and ing the new trustee area maps. business leaders and other stakeThe city of Concord went holders to attend one of seven

through this process prior to November 2018 city council elections. The workshops are: Wed., Aug. 21 Loma Vista Adult School, 12 noon – 1 p.m. Willow Creek Center, 5-6 p.m. Pleasant Hill Middle School, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22 Pine Hollow Middle School, 5-6 p.m. Foothill Middle School, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29 MDUSD District Office, 5-6 p.m. Riverview Middle School, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

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August 16, 2019

Fire Chief Gill fought hard to protect Marsh Creek area of the founders of Save Mount Diablo, said there had been more than 100 fires on the mountain since record keeping began in 1891. The largest of these fires raged in 1931. Spring that year had been wet. At one point, an April cloudburst left hundreds of cars stuck in the mud as folks made their way to the DEBBIE EISTETTER dedication ceremony for the THE WAY new Mount Diablo State Park. When the lush vegetation WE WERE dried in hot summer weather, Many residents remember it provided ample fuel for fires. the Morgan Fire of SeptemThe fire began on July 7 ber 2013, which burned 3,100 and burned 25,000 acres on acres on the east side of three sides of the mountain Mount Diablo. over five days. Seven hundred A bullet from a gun struck men fought the fire, including a rock and the spark set the many prisoners from the mountain aflame; photos county jail in Martinez. On taken that night show Mount July 28, 300 men and all the Diablo looking like a fiery volprisoners worked after the fire cano. reignited. In 2002, Bob Doyle, one

Springs Resort, never forgot how close he came to losing his property. He became president of the Marsh Creek Fire Patrol & Improvement Association, established in the fall of 1931. The organization built miles of fire trails, but there was still no organized method for fighting fires. By 1939, his resort had expanded and was hosting 225,000 visitors every year for swimming and picnicking. He and other area residents had been trying to organize a taxThe Dodge Power Wagon, as shown in this advertisement, supported fire district, which was a key firefighting tool on Mount Diablo in the 1940s the voters finally supported in and ’50s. 1947. As fire chief from 1947 to 1960, Gill set about making It became obvious that water weren’t much better. changes. A high priority was using lines of men forming a Even when empty, they would how to get men, equipment bucket brigade and setting lumber slowly down the hill to and water to fire locations down “wet trails” to keep the be refilled – then slowly inch quickly, so he established his flames from spreading was back up the hill. “Jeepster Fire Fighters.” He outdated and extremely ineffiGerould “Jerry” Gill, prostationed eight jeeps, each cient. Tanker trucks carrying prietor of the Marsh Creek

capable of carrying 100 gallons of water, at various ranches – with 6-10 men at each jeep station. He added Dodge Power Wagons that could carry 300 gallons of water to the armada, and connected all the vehicles via shortwave radios. Gill declared at the time, “I’ve proved the value of light equipment for range land and canyon country. My jeeps will go anywhere a horse can go.” People like Gill are still making innovations for fighting wildfires as we seek to live safely in our fire-prone landscape.

Debbie Eistetter is membership chair of the Clayton Historical Society. Visit claytonhistory.org or come to the museum on Main Street, open 2-4 p.m. Wednesdays and Sundays. Admission is free. Call 925-6720240.

It’s time to look into new small form computers Tiny form factor computers do tions. Laptops can only suplike low power CPUs, video, exist, and they are ready for the port modified components etc., which means a loss of beach, err, desktop now. According to Bing dictionary, form factor means “the physical size and shape of a piece of computer hardware.” The new small computer offerings are remarkable, and they can compete in performance with standard-sized comWILL CLANEy puter offerings, only without TECH TALK all the bulk. The large size of desktop “She wore an itsy bitsy, computers is why a lot of teenie weenie, yellow polka buyers get laptops. They’re dot bikini …” No wait, I’m smaller, lighter and easy to singing about the wrong tiny transport. item. But a laptop isn’t a great I have written about tiny replacement for a desktop, computers the size of a grain of because you compromise rice before, however, they are speed and versatility mainly Dell is among the companies offering Small Form Factor not practical for regular users. due to battery power limitaoptions.



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performance. That’s why Small Form Factor (SFF) computers are migrating into homes and offices. Although much engineering work has gone into making laptops better at mimicking desktops, SFF computers are a superior and less expensive solution. SFF computers offer desktop workstation performance and use all the larger peripherals (monitors, keyboards, etc.) that desktops typically support, plus they have full-sized, full-performance components like CPUs, RAM and storage. They are full-speed desktop computers that require less space on your desk. Most major manufacturers and some custom builders

offer SFF computers. Dell OptiPlex, Acer Veriton and HP Elite all offer them, and your hometown East Bay manufacturer ComputersUSA has a line called the FireLite. These itsy bitsy computers have all the power of a standard desktop, provide you with upgrade options and run circles around laptop performance – all at prices you can afford. Sending your kids off to school? Don’t forget the bikini.

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


The Pioneer

Calendar . . . . . . . . . . .B5 The Arts . . . . . . . . . . .B6

The Pioneer, Section B

National game at De La Salle kicks off fall season August 16, 2019



Friday Night Lights will be bright on Aug. 23 at the biggest high school football game in America when Florida powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas visits De La Salle in a nationally-televised game on ESPN. The Spartans were recently named the most dominate team in prep football over the past decade and the Raiders from Ft. Lauderdale were No. 9 in the USA. Aquinas is ranked No. 10 and DLS 18th in pre-season national rankings for 2019. The game was picked as the 8th most anticipated of the season. The schools met in 2011 with the Florida powerhouse beating the visiting Spartans 30-6 as defensive standout Joey Bosa (third draft pick in the 2016 NFL draft out of Ohio State and brother of new 49er Nick Bosa) led the Raiders defense that stifled a DLS team which went on to win the California State championship and finish third in final national rankings. This glamourous showdown in Concord is one of five games for local schools on the Aug. 23-24 weekend. Both Clayton Valley Charter and Ygnacio Valley begin their seasons a week later on Aug. 30. With the new format for the North Coast Section playoffs, preseason games play a large role for every team setting its sights on a postseason berth. The major reconfiguration of the NCS playoff format now has seven football divisions with a maximum of eight teams making the playoffs in each. DLS is the only local team in Division I while Clayton Valley Charter is the sole area team in D-II. The two Concord schools will play one another Nov. 1 in the final regular-season game for each after CVCHS was moved to the East Bay Athletic


League after winning seven successive championships in the Diablo Valley and Diablo athletic leagues. Clayton Valley Charter ruled NCS DII in three of coach Tim Murphy’s first four seasons from 2012-15 and went to State Bowl Games in 2014 and 2015. After that dominance the Ugly Eagles were moved to the new Open Division for the past three seasons and each time made the fourteam bracket among the best teams in the Section. Each of those years CVCHS was eliminated in the Open semi-finals (twice by De La Salle and once by Liberty). The teams that defeated them went on to a state Bowl Game. Returning to Division II this fall, the Ugly Eagles figure to be among the favorites should they make it to the playoffs. They will only have nine games during the regular season after having a couple potential non-league games fall through. Their season starts Aug. 30 when Turlock visits Gonsalves Stadium in Concord. A week later they


have a rematch of the 2018 Open Division playoffs against defending State Division 1A champions Liberty of Brentwood and their Oregonbound quarterback Jay Butterfield in the Honor Bowl at James Logan High in Union City. Of course, DLS has won 27 Section titles in a row and has failed to win NCS only twice since 1984. Coach Justin Alumbaugh’s Spartans have another ambitious non-league schedule that also includes road games against Central Catholic (Modesto), Folsom and St. Mary’s (Stockton) plus home games vs. St. Francis (Mountain View) and Buchanan (Clovis). Last year’s team, which was perhaps a fluke injury to star Henry To’oto’o on the eve of the State championship game away from another undefeated season, was led by its dominating defense. This year junior quarterback Dorian Hale is bigger and more experienced and has several weapons to call on with running back Shamar Garrett and

only new head coach. The Eagles (in the smallest Division VII) host Skyline of Oakland next Saturday, Aug. 24, in the debut for coach Tim Schultz, who has experience coaching at Las Lomas and Miramonte. Former coach James Hodgins took the head job at Berkeley High after six years at the Walnut Creek parochial school. League games in the EBAL run from Oct. 4-Nov. 1. DLS and Clayton Valley Charter are in the Mountain Division. In the Diablo Athletic League, Concord, Mt. Diablo, Berean, Ygnacio Valley and Northgate are joined by College Park and Benicia in the Valley Division with games from Sept. 20-Nov. 1. MANA TAIMANI The North Coast Section football CLAYTON VALLEY CHARTER playoffs begin Nov. 8-9 and conclude receivers Grant Daley and Lu Magia Nov. 22-23 with the State Regional Hearns as the Spartans figure to need Bowl Games Dec. 6-7 and the finals more offense after suffering numer- Dec. 13-14. ous graduation losses on the defenAREA SCHOOLS NON-LEAGUE sive side of the ball. SCHEDULES Concord, which won NCS DiviBerean Christian (Division 7)- 8/24 sion II in 2010 and was runner-up Skyline (Oakland), 8/31 at Salesian three times from 2011-2015, has been (Richmond), 9/7 at El Molino (Forestville). Clayton Valley Charter (Div. 2)- 8/30 moved to Division IV along with Mt. Turlock, 9/7 Liberty (Honor Bowl @ Diablo. The Minutemen of coach James Logan), 9/20 at Canyon Springs Paul Reynaud kickoff their season in (North Las Vegas), 9/27 at Berkeley. San Ramon at Dougherty Valley next Concord (Div. 4)- 8/23 at Dougherty Valley (San Ramon), 8/30 Arroyo (San Friday. Second-year coach Donald James Lorenzo), 9/13 at Rodriguez (Fairfield), 10/25 at Alhambra. is hoping to have a larger roster this De La Salle (Div. 1)- 8/23 St. Thomas fall for his Red Devils, who travel to Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, FL), 8/30 at Crockett for their first game against Central Catholic (Modesto), 9/6 St. Francis (Mountain View), 9/13 at Folsom, John Swett next Friday. Ygnacio Valley has been placed in 9/20 Buchanan (Clovis), 9/27 at St. Mary’s (Stockton). Division VI and coach Bryan Shaw, Mt. Diablo (Div. 4)- 8/23 at John also in his second year at his alma Swett (Crockett), Elsie Allen (Santa Rosa), mater YVHS, has his Warriors host- 9/6 at Harbor (Santa Cruz), at American ing Swett on Aug. 30 in their first (Fremont). Northgate (Div. 3)- 8/23 at Hercules, game. 8/30 Alhambra, 9/6 at Hug (Reno), Northgate is now in Division III 11/1 Las Lomas. and coach Ben Ballard’s Broncos Ygnacio Valley (Div. 6)- 8/30 John begin play at Hercules next Friday. Swett (Crockett), 9/6 at Brookside ChrisBerean Christian has the area’s tian (Stockton), 9/14 at Galileo (San Francisco), 9/20 San Lorenzo.

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August 16, 2019

Gehringer Park, Dana Hills win city meet championships

Photo courtesy Forest Park Swim Team

Forest Park head coach Jeff Mellinger (top right) capped his 20th year in charge of the Flyers with the Division II title at the County Meet. Celebrating with the coach in Lafayette were, front row, JJ Rodriguez and Trinity Rodriguez; back row, coach Niki Rodriguez, Arie Vanhoven, Kyla Joseph, coach Jenny Vonnegut and Isabel Ragland. JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

Three local swim teams shared the spoils with overall championships in the recreation season’s final two big meets of the summer. Gehringer Park was the surprise winner of the 53rd Concord City Meet B Division while perennial champs Dana Hills of Clayton won the A Division for the 27th time in 28 years. Not to be outdone, Forest Park Swim Team took its second Contra Costa County Division II championship in five years a week later in Lafayette while Dana Hills was third in Division I, the ninth consecutive year the Otters have been among the top three teams in the county. As is usually the case, Dana Hills’ dominance was played out in the City Meet relay races with the Otters winning 16 of 24 relays. There were eight meet records set in Concord Community Pool including two by 16year-old Jacob Soderlund of Springwood in the 15-18 100yard backstroke and individual medley. Dana Hills’ Molly Boland, John Parker and Zoe Lahanas also set new meet standards along with two Otter’s relays. Evalinne Vecchio of Forest Park set the other new mark. DHST had eight A Division

(Ava Kate Cottam, Lahanas, Paige Landstrom, Ian Meyer, Vince Della Santina, Jacob Ceja, Michael Albert and Kyle Hetherton) and four B Division (Tyler Foley, Jessica Nielsen, Camila Balmaceda, Angelica Dharmani) high-point winners. Other City Meet B Division high-point swimmers from local teams included Ygnacio Wood’s Jesse Lien (6 and under), Michelle House (13-14) and Olivia Patterson (15-18), Gehringer Park’s Nico Bushnell (13-14), Elyse Vannier (9-10), Meghan Andrade (11-12) and Kaylee Pond (15-18), Oakhurst’s Alexander Jenson (7-8), Dana Hills Tyler Foley (11-12), Dharmani (6 and under), Camila Balmaceda and Jessica Nielsen (1314), Walnut Country’s Rebecca Darnell (7-8), Springwood’s Kanaloa Ka’ai (9-10) and Bryan Ruiz (15-18) of Bishop Estates. In the A Division Forest Park’s Rebecca Griffin (9-10) and Vecchio (13-14) were top scorers. Other high winners were Vista Diablo’s Maraina Didenko (7-8), Springwood’s Enya Castaneda (15-18) and Soderlund (15-18) and Gehringer’s Nico Lawler (6 and under). The two meet relay awards went to Dana Hills with the record-breaking 11-12 girls medley relay of Lahanas, Brooke Koller, Claire Mohrland and

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Photo courtesy Dana Hills Swim Team

The Dana Hills girls 11-12 medley relay won both the Concord City and County meet championships to culminate a successful summer. The quartet of, from left, Zoe Lahanas, Brooke Koller, Claire Mohrland and Molly Boland set a new City Meet record of 1:58.3. A week later the Otters 11-12 relay with Abigail Adent in place of Mohrland won County in an even faster 1:57.2.

Molly Boland and the boys 1314 medley quartet of Colton seastrand, Kyle Hetherton, Jack Parker and Jimmy Albert. Forest Hills Swim Team won the Team Sportsmanship award at City Meet, which is hosted by Springwood and featured over 1050 swimmers. The meet will reportedly be held at a new venue for the next two years due to a date conflict with the Far Western USA Swimming meet hosted by the Terrapin Swim Team.

FLYERS SHINE AT COUNTY Coach Jeff Mellinger celebrated his 20th year at Forest Park with the Flyers taking another County Meet title in Division II. Juliannah Colchico-Greeley and Vecchio were second and third in the 13-14 high point results at county to help Forest Park to their impressive 899 points to easily win their division. Rebecca Griffin, 11-12 boys and 13-14 girls medley relays and both 15-18 girls relays were also

big scorers for Forest Park. Dana Hills finished third this year at county but with its closest finish in points to 15time champion Crow Canyon Country Club. Blackhawk Swim team edged the Otters for second place. Cottam, Lahanas and Albert each claimed high-point awards. Lahanas, Koller and Boland were all in the top four 11-12 girls scorers. Soderlund won two events and won 15-18 high point at county. His Springwood team was fourth in Division II while Ygnacio Wood took eighth. In Division III, Gehringer Park was fifth and Walnut Country seventh at county.

Photo courtesy Gehringer Park Swim Team

Gehringer Park surprised everyone with their first team championship in memory at the 53rd annual Concord City Meet at the end of July. The Gators third-year head coach Kelly McCabe Mcyoung (second from right) swam for the Gators as a youngster and helped lead them to the unexpected B Division title this summer. B Division: Gehringer Park 331.5, Springwood 291.5, Dana Hills 254, Ygnacio Wood 237, Pleasant Hill Dolfins 208, Forest Park 204, Bishop Estates 175, Walnut Country 130, Forest Hills 106, Vista Diablo 104, Oakhurst 103.


Concord and Clayton team’s finishers (top 4 City Meet – A and B Divisions)

A Division: Dana Hills Otters 1105.5 points, Forest Park Flyers 622, Springwood Sprinters 505, Ygnacio Wood Seahorses 400, Oakhurst Orcas 250.5, Gehringer Park Gators 225, Walnut Country Stingrays 194.5, Pleasant Hill Dolfins 188, Bishop Estates Barracudas 180, Forest Hills Beavers 101.5, Vista Diablo Dolphins 90.

Bishop Estates: Maddie Bautista, Joaquin Hernandez, Annaliese Ysmael, Donovan Ballot, Justin Ellis, Julianna Ruiz, Jocelyn Ruiz, Teddy Conger, Bryan Ruiz, Malachi Shaw, Avery Wood, Xavier Ysmael, Natalie Leskowicz, Jaden Holmes Joseph, Ashley Sabas, Scarlett Parra, Dawson Teitsma, Johnny Borba, Bella Auerbach, Joey Collins, Mia Jee, Makayla Huston. Dana Hills: Elsa Jeffress, Ian Meyer, Rhys D’Arcy, Megan Meyerson, Vince Della Santina, Preston Marks, Brooke Koller, Michael Albert, Dominick Maffei, Mandy Meyerson, Summer Claibourne, Kyle Hetherton, Paige Landstrom, John Parker, Harper Lanpher, Jacob Ceja, Molly Boland, Zoe Lahanas, Shawn Boland, Caela Hetherton, Ava Kate Cottam, Isla Acosta, Jemma Jacques, Kieran Dharmani, Rebecca Adent, Abagail Adent, Colton Seastrand, Sadie James Peacock, JJ Westbrook, Will Miller, Jules Della Santina, Zva Taylor, Audrey

pionship in 2000. He led the Spartans in scoring three consecutive years, tallying over 300 career goals. Bacharach also competed on the varsity swimming team for four years, earning all-America honors. He competed for the USA in the 2000 Maccabi Games in Israel in swimming. In 2003, Bacharach was a senior nationals all-America. In the summer of 2005, he earned first team all-America honors as a member of the Lamorinda Water Polo Club. Bacharach went to Cal Berkeley, where he was a fouryear letterman in water polo. Matthew Boelk (2000) helped lead the volleyball program to its first three NCS championships, including a 33-1 record his senior season. He was twice named to Volleyball Magazine’s Fab 50 All-League Team when he led the Spartans in aces and kills during his junior and senior seasons. He also set a high school and league record in his junior season with 47 kills in a match. Boelk earned All-Bay Valley Athletic League honors for two years in a row. His junior year, he led the Spartans with 210 kills. Boelk was also selected to the Contra Costa Times Top 100 Athletes in 2000. After graduating from De La Salle, Boelk went to UC Santa Barbara on a Division I volleyball. Parker Hanks (2004) was a three-year starter in baseball as a catcher, and in football as a linebacker. On the football field, he was a first team All-BVAL selection, second-team all-state linebacker as a junior and senior and was named the Contra Costa Times Defensive Player of the Year and the 2004 DLS Athlete of the Year. Hanks led the football team in tackles his junior and senior years as a part of back-toback Spartan national championship football teams. Hanks was named all-state in baseball as a junior and was a first team allstate selection as a senior, when he was selected to play in the Area Code Games and was named to the Team One Top-10 West team. Hanks began his college career at UCLA on a baseball scholarship, before transferring to Vanderbilt University,

where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Human and Organization Development. Terrance (TK) Kelly (2004) was named by the coaching staff as the MVP after he helped the school win its fifth USA Today national title in 2003. Kelly was a versatile athlete, who started at runningback during his senior season when injuries struck the Spartans’ backfield. He also started at linebacker, making 122 tackles, two interceptions and one fumble recovery. Kelly was an allBVAL selection at runningback and linebacker. Ranked No. 4 on the Contra Costa Times “Cream of the Crop” list of the region’s top college football prospects for 2004, Kelly was named all-state and all-Times. He was named one of the Contra Costa Times’ Top 100 athletes of 2004. He also earned a full-ride athletic football scholarship to the University of Oregon. Robert (Bam) Portis (1994) was a two-sport star in football and baseball. He was a runningback and cornerback in football and played outfield and pitched for the baseball team. Portis is listed as a member of the 30 years of the Cream of the Crop (Bay Area News Group). Portis earned all-East Bay and all-Times honors in 1993. He ranked No. 18 on the East Bay Cream of the Crop in 1994, was on the top recruiting list for high school football and was invited to the 1994 North-South Prep All-Star Game. Portis received a full athletic scholarship to the University of Colorado, Boulder to play football. Brother Raymond Michael Saggau “embodies what it means to be a De La Salle Spartan. He’s provided guidance to countless students, faculty and staff over the years.” His dedication and commitment to DLS Athletics has been an inspiration to so many. He worked at De La Salle from 1967-69 as vice principal, teacher and sub-director. He returned to De La Salle from 1996 through 2018 in various. Brother Michael also worked at a number of other Catholic schools including Saint Mary’s College, San Joaquin Memorial High


Mccombe, Preston Forney, Maya Ahluwalia, Victoria Smith, Alex Lahanas, Claire Mohrland, Thea Jeffress, Jordan Newman, Cole Branich, Brody Gianni, Brandon Vogler, Cooper LeSage, Patrick MacDonald, Yoshiye Longley, Bailey Fahey, Dyllan Johnson, Camila Balmaceda, Jimmy Albert, Spencer Cichurski, Tyler Foley, David Wishnow, Angelica Dharmani, Connor Mohrland, Kaia Brogan, Kaiden Tali, Keaton Curtis, Jessica Nielsen, Asa Johnson, Aiden Johnson, Keegan D’Arcy, Madelyn Vines, Elena White, Kiera Kreutzinger, Bailey McNeel-Caird. Forest Park: Rebecca Griffin, Isabel Ragland, Kyla Joseph, Andrew Dawson, Rayna Stanziano, Juliannah Colchico-Greeley, Tommy Martin, Caitlin Biles, Jaden Nieves, Evalinne Vecchio, Giulianna Lucia, JJ Rodriguez, Raymond Lucia, Kaylie Walker, Melia Tourady, Hailey Hix, Enzo Randolph, Conor Halley-McCarty, Arie Vanhoven, Adrienne Steen, Zoe Booth, Caitlin Biles, Aubrey Newton, Connor Griffin, Cameron Reinig, Alena McCurdy, Colton Merrill, Cameron Crow, Jaren Lopez, Thayne Merrill, Avery Shinn, Emma Tayas, Ben Duran, James Llata, Kahil Padilla, Bella Hernandez, Gabriel Martin, Isaac Ibanez, Regino Rubio, Rowan Vecchio.

See Swim, page B4

De La Salle honors 2019 Athletic Hall of Fame inductee class next month JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

De La Salle High School’s 2019 Athletic Hall of Fame includes six individual athletes, two teams and one longtime supporter of Spartan athletics. The inductees will be honored on the Sept. 20-22 weekend at the Concord campus. The alumni will be recognized during a halftime ceremony at the De La SalleBuchanan football game on Sept. The afternoon celebration and Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be on Sunday, Sept. 22, at 3 p.m., in the Kenneth H. Hofmann Student Center. THE 2019 ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES:

Justin Alumbaugh (Class of 1998) was a two-sport varsity star in football and baseball. He was a 1997 all-state selection on offense and defense in football and an all-state baseball honoree in 1998. He was the varsity football team captain and helped extend the Spartan football team win streak to 73 games, breaking the previous national record. After graduating from De La Salle, Alumbaugh attended UCLA, where he was a walk-on baseball player. Before he began his first classes at UCLA, he started coaching football at De La Salle, and would continue for the next four years before UCLA classes began each fall. After graduating from UCLA in 2002, Alumbaugh began as a long-term substitute and coach football at DLS, eventually taking over as the head varsity football coach in 2013. Brian Bacharach (2002) was a two-time all-America in water polo, three-time, all-North Coast Section selection, as well as a NCS MVP and Junior Olympic all-America while at De La Salle. He helped the Spartans capture NCS water polo titles in 2000 and 2001 and helped Team USA to a Junior Olympic water polo cham-

Bob Sansoe


School in Fresno and Sacred Heart Cathedral in San Francisco. 2006 Golf team won the Northern California championship and the CIF State golf championship, earning De La Salle’s first state golf title. The Spartans edged San Diego Cathedral Catholic by one stroke for the CIF Boys State Golf Championship at the Santa Maria County Club. The State championship was a perfect ending for De La Salle’s season, which, according to its players, hadn’t played a complete round all season. 1995 Football team was undefeated in 13 games, won the school’s fourth consecutive NCS championship and extended the Spartans historic win streak to 52 games. Bob Ladouceur earned the National Football League’s inaugural High School Coach of the Year award. After completing the fourth straight undefeated season, the 1995 football team were State Champions and finished the year ranked in the top10 nationally.

Registration for the induction ceremony is online at dlshs.org/athletics/hall-of-fame. For more information contact director of alumni relations Lloyd Schine by phone at 288-8171 or schineL@dlshs.org.

August 16, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

De La Salle High sports win state, national accolades JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

De La Salle has a well-earned reputation for its historically successful football team, but the Spartans 2019 baseball team actually went a step better than its football brethren to finish their season No. 1 in California. DLS was also named the best boys program in California again for the 2018-19 season year. Coach David Jeans’ DLS baseball team ended the 2019 season with a 29-1 record and was named team of the year by CalHiSports.com. De La Salle football racked up a pair of honors from MaxPreps, being named the team of the decade for the USA and California. The Spartans won four National titles in past 10 years and went to the CIF Bowl championship game every year. Legendary coach Bob Ladouceur turned over the reins of the football program to hand-picked successor (had his former player) Justin Alumbaugh after the 2012 season. Most impressive takeaway from the ranking is that the Spartans played five of the other top 10 football teams in America during the period, including Southern California powerhouses Centennial Corona. Mater Dei and St. John Bosco as well as Las Vegas’ Bishop Gorman and Ft. Lauderdale’s St. Thomas Aquinas (the Spartans 2019 season opening opponent next Friday night in Concord). Behind DLS in the decade’s top California’s Top 10 football listings were Centennial, St. John Bosco and Mater Dei as well as Folsom and Servite, all opponents multiple times of the Concord parochial school this decade. The boys state school of the year award went to De La Salle for the fourth time this decade (2011, 2012, 2015,

Page B3

Athlete Spotlight

Alex Martinez Jay Bedecarré

De La Salle High’s traditional school site football facility has always caught out-of-towners off guard for a nationallyrenowned program that has had a major motion picture and multiple books published about it. Well now the Concord school does have an eye-catcher with a new fully digital video scoreboard that will get its first glimpse to the public next Friday, Aug. 23, as the Spartans host St. Thomas Aquinas of Florida. Besides showing all the regular game details at Owen Owens Field, the new scoreboard (the same size as the former board) will feature “hype videos” before the game, interviews with coaches and replays of “cool touchdowns and plays,” according to assistant athletic director Derricke Brown.

2019) for its overall athletic program in 2018-19. De La Salle was top five in California football, baseball and golf this past year. This is the seventh time DLS has been state school of the year for boys sports since 1985. Regionally, it was even more pronounced as DLS won North Coast Section team championships in football, baseball, golf, wrestling, basketball and lacrosse and was second in cross country and soccer. DLS has also earned overall California school of the year four times (1995-96, 19992000, 2003-04 and 2011-12), even given that it is an all-boys school and doesn’t earn points for girls programs like the majority of schools in the state which are co-ed. Ygnacio Valley High was

the California state school of the year in 1971-72. De La Salle baseball was second to no one in baseball as the 29-1 Spartans were named state team of the year. They won their fourth straight NCS title and came within one run (3-2 loss in second game) of going 30-0, ending the season with 28 wins in a row. Junior pitcher and UCLA commit Kyle Harrison and graduating senior Chris Santiago were the team’s top honorees. The third DLS team to get a top five in the CalHiSports evaluations was boys golf. That was based on their fifth-place showing in the CIF state golf championships after taking first at NCS and second in NorCal. Longtime Spartans’ football defensive coordinator Terry Eidson is the head golf coach.

Grade: Senior School: Clayton Valley Charter Sports: Cross Country, Track

Martinez is an inspiration and a leader to everyone she runs with (or runs in front of)! Although she entered Clayton Valley Charter primarily as a softball player, she was drawn to running as a freshman and hasn’t looked back since. She has spent three years on varsity cross country and two years on varsity track, along with two years of trap shooting and one year of softball. “I love the competition, friends and how running makes me feel. I have made some of my closest friends through track and cross country. I also have some of the best coaches ever.” Anthony Munch, head cross country coach and CVCHS history/psychology teacher, describes Martinez as “one of the most devoted athletes I have coached since she started running year-round as a sophomore. She is very encouraging to new and returning runners alike. She showed great leadership ability at a young age and I knew she was going to be a team captain before her sophomore year was over.” And Munch was right: Alex’s senior year is her second year as a cross country team captain. When Alex isn’t on running trails or the track, her school

work, part-time job and extracurriculars keep her schedule packed. Martinez maintains above a 4.0 GPA and has been on the honor roll in all her years at Clayton Valley. She is a member of Lawn Chair Club, Spikeball Club and Christian Club as well serving as a junior class representative in ASB Leadership last year. Martinez hopes to receive a scholarship so she can run in college and pursue a career in art. CVCHS student journalist Alexa Oldham wrote this Spotlight.

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

The Pioneer wants to publish your sports news

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

Page B4

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

New athletic director Scott Kennedy brings quarter century of high school athletics experience to Carondelet JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

Athlete Spotlight

Madison MacPherson

Team: Dana Hills Swim Team Age: 14 Sport: Swimming

MacPherson is having quite the August. This week she started her freshman year at Clayton Valley Charter High School and during the first weekend of the month she swam in the Contra Costa County Swimming Championships for the first time representing her neighborhood Dana Hills Swim Team. The Clayton native is in her seventh year on the Otters (“I started late as an eight-year-old”) and she was motivated this year to make qualifying county times in the 13-14 age group. She has trained in the off season with long-time local swim coach Serge Victor. “She is an extremely hard worker,” says Dana Hills coach Niki Palmer. She made her breakthrough in the breaststroke in the Last Chance meet at Blackhawk the week before City Meet. MacPherson also was part of a DHST freestyle relay team at county. She also volunteers with the Spirit Squad, assisting Otter Pups (the learn-toswim program at Dana Hills). She attended

August 16, 2019

freshman orientation last week and will be in the public service academy at the charter high school. Last May, MacPherson and her twin sister Mckenzie were awarded “Do the Right Thing” awards for integrity from Diablo View Middle School by Clayton mayor Tuija Catalano.

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


Terrapins Swim Team scored the highest team finish of all local teams at the Far Western Championships at the Soda Center pool in Orinda. The Terrapins scored 577 points to finish third behind the Santa Clara Swim Club and Pleasanton Seahawks. The Terrapins outdistanced local teams Crow Canyon (5th), Orinda (6th) and Aquabears (21st) to score their highest Far Western finish in years. Leading the team effort once again were the 11-12 boys. Aden Li, Diego Castaneda, Mason Wendler and Christian Ceja won all four relay events (200 and 400 free and medley relays) with Ceja contributing vital relay swims for the four victories. including Castaneda having the meet of his life swimming in seven finals winning the 50 100 and 200 butterfly races. The quartet are in their first year of Terrapin year-round swimming and are already posting some of the top times in the United States for their age group. First-year Terrapin swimmer Abbey Keller also had a great meet, making four individual finals and scoring valuable team points in her age group. Other top TERA Far Westerns swimmers were Diana Chan (14), Maile Andresen (15), Morgan Wendler (9), Dmitriy Oransky (10), Danila Likitin (16), Andrew Rodriguez (18), Adrian Dulay (16) and Niklas Weigelt (18).


Local competitive soccer club Diablo FC will hold its 6th annual fundraising Poker Night on Friday, Sept. 6. There will be tri-tip and chicken dinner before gaming starts at Centre Concord. The poker tournament will have gift cards and tickets as prizes. For more information or to sign up visit diablofc.org.


Clayton Valley High School grad Chris Mazza is becoming familiar with the distance between Syracuse and Citi Field in Queens, New York. He was recently called up to join the pitching staff of the New York Mets for the third time in a month. Mazza, who was enjoying a career year at AAA Syracuse, is on the Mets roster as they have burst into the middle of the National League wild card race as the hottest team in baseball. His most recently callup came Aug. 2. The 29-year-old righthander had his roughest MLB outing against the Giants. He’d been in four Mets games as of last weekend.

Scott Kennedy began his assignment as the new Carondelet High School athletic director this month with a quarter century’s experience in Bay Area high school athletics. His experience includes 20 years at Mission High School in San Francisco where he was director of athletics for 16 years and physical education department head. After Mission he spent four years as AD at International High in San Francisco. International teams play in the Bay Counties League and are part of North Coast Section. Kennedy hopes to stop a trend that has him as the Cougars fourth AD in the past six school years. “I’m hopeful that trend will change,” Kennedy told the Pioneer. Carondelet has a robust athletic program with 13 varsity teams. The school developed and is now using the Carondelet Athletics Complex in Walnut Creek for softball, lacrosse, water polo, swimming and diving, soccer and tennis.

taking registration online for all programs. For complete information on All Out Sports leagues, camps, clinics and other programs, visit alloutsportsleague.com.


Diablo FC is offering a completely free fall recreation soccer program for boys and girls born in 2005 to 2015. The program at Newhall Park in Concord runs 10 weeks through October. There is one training session each week and Saturday morning games. Contact coach Chelsea Stewart at cstewart@diablofc.org or visit diablofc.org for complete information.


Walnut Creek Aquanuts are offering “Try It” days to introduce athletes 4-18-years-old to its synchronized swimming program. The 90-minute sessions are held Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. Registration is $10 for a session with top WCA coaching staff on hand. The world renowned Aquanuts also offer trainee sessions over the summer and fall, each running 4-5 weeks. The trainee sessions are for ages 4-18 who are new to the sport. Swimmers must be comfortable in deep water and able to swim 25 yards. Registration is open for sessions through September at Clark Memorial Swim Center in Walnut Creek. Registration for both programs can be found at aquanuts.org. The Terrapins fall technique development program will run from Sept. 7-Dec. 13 at Concord Community Pool. The program is open to swimmers of all abilities, including those just concluding the summer recreation season. For additional information and to register visit terrapinswim.com.


Formal tryouts for Diablo Futbol Club boys and girls for birth years 2001-2013 have concluded. However, the area’s premier youth school club has openings on teams. Contact director of coaching Zach Sullivan at docdiablofc@gmail.com or visit diablofc.org to arrange a tryout.


Fall youth basketball and volleyball leagues and fall adult softball league are coming to All Out Sports in Clayton. AOSL is

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cisco/Oakland region in 2015. He was inducted in the Mission High Athletic Hall of Fame two years ago. He earned his bachelor’s degree at San Francisco State and master’s at the University of San Francisco.

Swim, from page B2

Gehringer Park: David Giordano, Lilly Weires, Niko Lawler, Madison Haynes, Avery Boughton, Mina Paje, McKenna Andrade, Leilani Mestas, Elyse Vannier, Isabella Jimenez, Meghan Andrade, Joshua Sheehy, Hannah Jacobs, Haylie Jacobs, Kaylee Pond, Nico Bushnell, Quinn Wann, Qlaschelle Scholten, Tano Bushnell, Eli Oleole, Preston Courchaine, Sophia Busnell, Leilani Mestas, Frances Asselin, Maddox Scharper, Cooper Kirkendall, Marley Galloway, Joshua Sheehy, Anna Weires, Olivia Pelletier, Hailey Haynes, Logan Jacobs. Oakhurst: Tyler Brown, Rhys Delaney, Grace Smith, Oliver Lutz, Ellie Comfort, Robert Griffith, Skylar Bennett, Nathan Stojanovich, Asher Wan, Haley Brown, Emma Wilcox, Ryan Collier, Eve Drazek, Alexander Jenson, Ruby Masterson, Christian O’Brien, Charlie Mohr. Springwood: Joaquin Hernandez, Maya Canada, Gianna Kougios, Athena Marquez, Jacob Soderlund, Zack Chau, Brooklyn Henggeler, Maddon Hertzfeldt, Ke’olani Ka’ai, Enya Castaneda, Donna Talmadge, Trinity Hockel, Makaela Summers, Derek Tizon, Eric Tizon, Kanaloa Ka’ai, Mary Richard, Savannah Freitas, Juliana Rattaro, Damyn Vandevoir, Matthew David, Fiona Canada, Liam Newlin, Elias Salfiti, Velvet Quinlavin, Makena Cooper, Brayden

Newlin, Allie Buchholz, Nick Mucha, Sophia Salfiti, Aaralynn McDonald, Miles Prendergast, Noah Shahan, Caitlyn Nash, Damik Van Fanos, Sara Corkan, Trevor Montana, Kaleb Josephson, Ella Hertzfeldt, Paige Ferrari. Vista Diablo: Marina Didenko, Luke Malmstrom, Sofina Deassis, India Bailey, Julien Lutz, Avalon Bailey, Aidan Sutton, Piper Krauss, Melina Baldovino, Chloe Visacarra, Kiley Johnson, Olivia Baldovino. Walnut Country: Alyssa Nonaka, Ramsey Lewis, Brayden Shen, Brady Cannon, Benjamin Nonaka, Sophie Liu, Oliver Knoflick, Kirin Harish, Kaedyn Harish, Patrick Ibrahim, Rebecca Darnell, Miles Louie, Sarah Kindorf, Colin Bausley, Ashlyn Huckestein, Kai Sonoda, Gabriella Williams. Ygnacio Wood: Michael Manuel, Andrew Hallett, Kai Welsh, Tommy Meriam, Luke Jabbour, Abram Herther, Cassie Harrisher, Steven Galli, Jenna Moorhouse, Julia Jabbour, Zach Jabbour, Caleb Christy, Olivia Patterson, Anna Lindsay, Ruby Neighman, Emily Marques, Daniel Notcovich, Noah Shelley, Kate Vernon, Jesse Lien, Jessica Yasinsac, Leah Brown, Joseph Kosich, Michelle House, Sonia-Grace Felfela, Amelia Herther, Romi Notcovich, Marcus Manuel, Mary Rosette.

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The Walnut Creek Aquanuts wrapped up their competitive season with a trip to Tonawanda, New York for the U.S. Junior Olympic Championships. The synchronized swim team sent a team of 11-12-year-old athletes and two 13-15 teams to the national event. In the 11-12 division, WCA athlete Chloe Davitiani took gold in every event she entered, making it a grand slam meet for the 12-year-old. Aquanut Mako Begossi took the solo silver medal and Karen Xue joined Davitiani to win gold in duet followed by WCA’s Ava Chu and Begossi. The Aquanuts also took gold in 11-12 team. In 13-15, WCA won gold and bronze in the free combination event where 10 athletes swim at one time. In the 13-15 team event, the Aquanuts A squad won the routine portion and finished second overall. The Aquanuts enjoyed one more 13-15 podium finish in the duet event with Joanna Liu and Dalia Ovadia winning bronze followed by Miya Yamamoto and Emileen Moore in fourth. The Aquanuts host their annual Fall Swim Show “DIVAS” on Labor Day weekend Aug. 29-Sept. 1. For more information on the show and to purchase tickets visit aquanuts.org.

Carondelet teams have been regular participants— and often champions—in North Coast Section Division I and II competitions. Cougar teams are part of the East Bay Athletic League, one of the state’s strongest for girls sports. Kennedy says the school has a “stable, full coaching staff ” for 2019-20. He played football, wrestling and “his love” lacrosse in high school on Long Island and then joined the Marine Corps for seven and a half years. “I served all over the world.” He was awarded the Naval Medal of Accommodation in 1987. At Mission and International he won several awards, including the California State Athletic Director’s Association Athletic Director of the Year award for the San Fran-

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August 16, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Page B5

New book chronicles family’s adventure on the high seas saved to buy their own boat and to invest enough to live off a monthly stipend while at sea. They also started their family. When their girls got to the perfect ages for an adventure, they rented out their Clayton home, got their homeschooling books and prepared themselves with first aid classes and immunizations.


Most of us can relate to the fantasy of quitting our jobs and sailing off to paradise. But for Clayton residents April and Bruce Winship, that fantasy was something they not only dreamed, but also planned, saved for and accomplished in 2000. They set sail with daughters Kendall and Quincy when they were 7 and 5, bound for an adventure of a lifetime aboard their 33-foot catamaran Chewbacca with no exact return date scheduled. “As long as everyone agreed that we should keep going, that’s what we did,” Bruce explains. “It wasn’t always smooth sailing. Along with the challenges of keeping our boat and our kids safe on the open ocean, we were also wrestling with our new roles as sailors and homeschooling teachers.” Their journey included cruising the waters of Mexico, Central American and South America for 10 years, returning because the girls decided they wanted to attend college in the

April and Bruce Winship left Clayton to live on a catamaran for 10 years with daughters Kendall and Quincy.

years and finally getting their chance to sail off to paradise. Then they heard a lecture by sailing pioneers Lin and Larry Pardey. Their message was: “Go STARTING SMALL small, go simple, go now.” AND SIMPLE The Winships quit their jobs In the ’80s, April and Bruce within three months, found jobs were recent graduates living in as crew members on a boat Southern California when they headed for Tahiti and spent two joined a sailing club. They years “hitchhiking” their way quickly found that racing wasn’t through the South Pacific. their thing, but they loved cruisThey had caught the cruising. ing bug, so they returned to They imagined buying a normal life and developed a boat some day, retiring after 40 plan. The couple scrimped and

United States and wanted some time at a U.S. high school to experience American culture first.

led biology labs. The girls became prolific readers and fluent Spanish speakers. They studied the culture, history and the people of each country they visited. And, they learned the value of teamwork. “When you are all depending on each other, for example, if you don’t tie your dinghy correctly it could be real trouble,” LEARNING ALONG THE WAY Bruce says. “You learn about They left San Francisco Bay consequences and collaboration. in October 2000 with a cluster Everybody had to pitch in to of other boats heading south. make everything work.” Upon arriving in San Diego April describes idyllic days after three tough weeks, they filled with reading, snorkeling decided to continue despite the and spear fishing and nights difficulty of adjusting to life spent stargazing. “By far, the without TV, refrigerators, hot best part of cruising was the showers or the Internet. priceless gift of uninterrupted They spent a year in Mexico, family time.” sailing and anchoring in towns along the way. When they went ALWAYS PLANNING AHEAD But it wasn’t all idle days, south to Central America, the group of sail boats they would she notes. “There was provisioning (food shopping) for six encounter dwindled to just a few. But that cruising communi- months at a time, laundry, banking, school lessons to prepare, ty became their new extended family, and they all watched out boat maintenance and route planning and preparation when for each other. Other sailors we decided to sail to the next became the girls’ watercolor destination.” teachers or took them spear The family made their own fishing. A retired veterinarian


bread and created homemade gifts for holidays. They had a toucan and a three-toed sloth as pets and also fostered a threelegged gecko and a hummingbird with a broken leg. Through all the challenges, they had only minor injuries and a few scary near-accidents with the boat. “We found paradise, but it wasn’t a point on a map – but rather paradise was the journey itself,” the couple reflects in their book, “Set Sail and Live Your Dreams” (Seaworthy Publications). They want to share their experience with people interested in preparing for their own dream journeys and will speak at several REI stores in the Bay Area, including a presentation in Concord on Oct. 2. “We hope our book will inspire others to launch an adventure of their own,” Bruce says. “Whether your dream is hiking Mt. Diablo, RVing across the U.S. or sailing around the world, seize it and go.” For more photos and information, visit setsailandliveyourdreams.com.

PLEASE SubMIT yOuR COMMuNITy CALENDAR EvENTS by 5 P.M. SEPT. 9 FOR THE SEPT. 20 ISSuE. ITEMS MuST bE SubMITTED by EMAIL TO calendar@pioneerpublishers.com


Aug. 16-17 Salute to Woodstock

6:30-8 p.m., Todos Santos Plaza. Aug. 16: San Francisco Airship (Jefferson Airplane evolution). Aug. 17: Purple Haze (Jimi Hendrix tribute). Free. cityofconcord.org.

Thursdays through Sept. 26 Music and Market

6:30-8 p.m., Todos Santos Plaza. Aug. 22: Zepparella. Aug. 29: Andre Thierry. Sept. 5: Tribute to Steve Sage. Sept. 12: Dan Ashley. Sept. 19: Garageland Rodeo and the Swampers. Sept. 26: Annie Sampson.Free. cityofconcord.org.

Tuesdays and Thursdays Farmers Market

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


Saturdays through Sept. 14 Concerts in the Grove

6-8:30 p.m., the Grove Park, downtown. Aug. 17: Night Moves/Creedence Classic Revival. Aug. 31: Cut Loose. Sept. 14: VYBE Society. Free. claytonconcerts.com.

Saturdays through Sept. 21 Farmers Market

9 a.m.-1 p.m., 10950 Main St., Clayton. No market Aug. 31. pcfma.org.


Sept. 7 Hawaiian Fusion

Featuring Haopinaka, a Hawaiian music and dance group, in a benefit for underprivileged senior citizens. 5:30 p.m., Concord Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Circle. $50; no-host bar. concordreg.org – activity 109361 or 925-671-3320.

2nd and 4th Sundays Pancake Breakfast

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

Cars for the Camp Fire

Donate a running vehicle for victims of the fire in Paradise, sponsored by the Clayton Valley Concord Sunrise Rotary Club and the Rotary Club of Paradise. cars4paradise.org or 925-326-5868.

Oct. 26 East Bay Walk to End Alzheimer’s

Three-mile walk, with a one-mile shortcut. 8:30 a.m. registration, 9:30 a.m. ceremony, 10:30 a.m. walk. Bishop Ranch, San Ramon. Register at alz.org/walk or contact Brittany Harrit at 925284-7942 or eastbaywalk@alz.org.


Sept. 18, 25; Oct. 2, 10, 16 Bedford Gallery Docent Training

The gallery is seeking guild and docent volunteer; no prior art knowledge required. Docent training 1-3:30 p.m., Lesher Center. Contact Carmen at 925-295-1416 or kelly@bedfordgallery.org or visit bedfordgallery.org/support/volunteer.


Aug. 17 Twilight on the Trail

Search for hawks and owls, 4½ miles on steep trails. 7:15-10:15 p.m., Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, end of Somersville Road, Antioch. $5 per car. RSVP at 888-327-2757. Select option 2 and program 25820.

Aug. 18 Rose Hill Cemetery Walk

Learn about the miners and their families. 6-8 p.m., Black Dia-

mond Mines Regional Preserve, end of Somersville Road, Antioch. $5 per car. 888-327-2757, ext. 2750.

Aug. 24, 31 Bat Census

Stay after normal park hours to help monitor the bat colonies as they emerge into the night sky. 7-9:45 p.m., Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, end of Somersville Road, Antioch. $5 per car. RSVP at 888-327-2757 and select option 2. Aug. 24 is program 25793; Aug. 31 is 25795.

Aug. 31 Tarantulas, Our Gentle Giants

A close encounter with the fascinating and harmless spiders. 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Summit Museum, Mt Diablo State Park. $10 per car.

Aug. 31, Sept. 8, 22 Evening Hikes on Mt. Diablo

Two-mile hike in search of crepuscular critters. 5:30-8:30 p.m., Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center, 96 Mitchell Canyon Road, Clayton. $6 per car. RSVP at sweettrails00@gmail.com.

Through Sept. 10 Black Diamond Mines

The Hazel-Atlas Mine and Greathouse Visitor Center are closed for construction; no mine tours available. The Sidney Flat Visitor Center on Somersville Road in Antioch open 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekends. 888-327-2757, ext. 2750 or ebparks.org.


Through Aug. 30 “Girl of My Dreams”

Joe keeps getting dumped by the same girl – in his dreams. Onstage Repertory Theatre, Campbell Theater.

Through Sept. 15 “Blow Up II”

A second exhibition of inflatable art. Bedford Gallery, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. bedfordgallery.org or 925-295-1417.

Through Sept. 27 “Abstractly Speaking”

Featuring the group Artist 7. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 1-5 p.m. Saturday, aRT Cottage, 2238 Mt. Diablo St., Concord. artscottage.blogspot.com.

Aug. 30-Oct. 6 “Murder for Two”

A blend of music, mayhem and murder. Center REP, Lesher Center.

Sept. 6-21 “Barefoot in the Park”

Classic Neil Simon comedy. Diablo Actors Ensemble, Lesher Center.

Sept. 7-22 “Remember James”

Dedrick Weathersby stars at James Brown. Weathersby Productions, Campbell Theater.

Sept. 7-22 “Sister Act”

Musical comedy about a convent of nuns. Pittsburg Community Theatre, California Theatre.

Sept. 13-29 “Camping with Henry and Tom”

In which Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and President Warren G. Harding go camping. Onstage Repertory Theatre, Campbell Theater.

Theater Contact Key


Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. Full schedule at ccclib.org/locations/Concord.html. 925-646-5455. Free Tax Aide, 10 a.m. Aug. 17. Healthcare for the Homeless, 2 p.m. Aug. 19. Coffee and Conversation, 2 p.m. Aug. 19. Family Movie Monday, 7 p.m. Aug. 19. Baby & Toddler Storytime, ages 0-3. 10:15 a.m. Tuesdays. Forever Young: Adult Book Club, 4 p.m. Aug. 20, Sept. 17. Preschool Storytime, ages 3-5. 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays. Summer Crafting for Kids, 2 p.m. Aug. 21. Adulting 101 for Teens, 4 p.m. Aug. 21. Registration required. Adventures in Coding, 3 p.m. Aug. 22, 7 p.m. Aug. 26, Sept. 16. Registration required. Movie Night for Adults, “The Public,” 6:30 p.m. Aug. 22. Concord Art Association Meeting and Demo, 1:30 p.m. Aug. 24., Sept. 10. Your Credit Score, presented by Balance Financial, 6 p.m. Aug. 29. Talkfest, 5:30 p.m. Sept. 5. HALO: Read to a Dog, 10:30 a.m. Sept. 7. Call to sign up. Mystery Book Club, 1 p.m. Sept. 8. Family Game Night, 7 p.m. Sept. 9. Medicare Information Session, 4 p.m. Sept. 11. Taking Control of Your Finances, 6 p.m. Sept. 12. AARP Tax Help, 10 a.m. Sept. 14 Concord Knitting & Crochet Group, 1:15 p.m. Sept. 15. Coffee and Conversation, 2 p.m. Sept. 16. Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration, 4 p.m. Sept. 18. Friends of the Library Book Sale, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 20-21, 1-3:30 p.m. Sept. 22. Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. Full schedule at ccclib.org/locations/Clayton.html. 925-673-0659.

Patty Cakes Storytime, ages 0-3. 11 a.m. Tuesdays. Picture Book Storytime, ages 3-5. 11 a.m. Thursdays. Clayton Knits, 1:30 p.m. Aug. 26, Sept. 9 and 23. Recycled Robots Craft Program, 4 p.m. Aug. 29. Book Club, “Shelter in Place.” 7 p.m. Sept. 9. How to Pay for College, 7 p.m. Sept. 18. Constituent Services with Assemblyman Tim Grayson’s staff, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Sept. 21. (Aug. 17 canceled.) Local mystery author Dan Hanel, 7 p.m. Sept. 25.


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

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

1st and 3rd Wednesdays Concord Planning Commission

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

1st and 3rd Tuesdays Clayton City Council

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

2nd and 4th Tuesdays Clayton Planning Commission

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

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

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

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The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com


August 16, 2019

B8 heading ‘Backwards’ in new home Much like a phoenix that rises from the ashes, Concord’s B8 Theatre Company is thriving at the Concord Historical Society. The company carries on with plans to host its annual gala and fundraiser “B8 Backwards” on Sept. 14. Enjoy a unique selection of scenes and songs “backward” from how they would traditionally be performed, not dependent upon sex or age. The gala leads the way for the company’s season opener, “Strange Ladies” by Susan Sobeloff Sept 27-Oct. 13. Set in World War I, the play focuses on a group of radical American suffragists. The show celebrates 100 years of winning voting rights for women. Period protest music weaves through the play, dramatizing the suffragists’ political strategies. Artistic director JanLee Marshall directs, assisted by Becky Potter. Tickets at b8theatre.org or 925890-8877. Clayton Theatre Company opens its 8th season with the East Bay premiere of “The Mel Brooks’ Musical Young Frankenstein.” With its silliness, sexual innuendo and physical comedy, this electrifying adaptation runs Oct. 17Nov. 2. Visit claytontheatrecompany.com or call 925-222-9106. Center REPertory Company launches its 2019-’20 season with “Murder For Two,” a perfect blend of music, mayhem and murder. Equity actors Eric Shorey and Eric Van Tielen play 13 roles – and the piano – in this witty and winking homage to old-fashioned

cover the honeymoon is over when their apartment isn’t all they’d hoped it would be. Beth Chastain plays the meddling bride’s mother, and William McNeil is the couple’s eccentric next door neighbor. See it Sept. 6-21 in Walnut Creek. Tickets at 925-943-SHOW or lesherartscenter.org. Contra Costa Musical Theatre brings us an entertaining story of two drag queens and a transgender woman who contract to perform at a resort town in a remote Australian desert in “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, The Musical.” It’s a flamboyant, funny, heartwarming and disco-fueled story of self-discovery, sassiness and acceptance. The score features a hit parade of dance floor favorites. This campy musical runs Oct. 11Nov. 9 in Walnut Creek. Call 925-943-SHOW or visit lesherartscenter.org. Mikki Shaffner/Cincinnati Playhouse Enjoy the lovely eucalyptus It’s “Murder for Two” at Center Rep in Walnut Creek, feagrove of California Shaketuring Eric Van Tielen and Eric Shorey. speare’s Bruns Theatre for “Macbeth,” directed by Vicmurder mysteries Aug. 30-Oct. with Henry and Tom” by tor Malana Maog. William 6 in Walnut Creek. Call 925Mark St. Germain, a play inShakespeare’s cautionary tale 943-SHOW or visit lesherarts- spired by an actual camping of unbridled ambition closes center.org. trip taken by Henry Ford, out the season Sept. 18-Oct. Town Hall Theatre marks Thomas Edison and Warren 13 in Orinda. Visit its 75th anniversary with “The G. Harding. Randy Anger dicalshakes.org or call 510-548Legend of Georgia rects an all-star cast, including 9666. McBride,” starring Andrew Wayne McRice, Mark Hinds, Megan Larsen stars as Mondello in this gender-bend- Gary Mutz and Joseph Hirsch. Laura Winfield in Role Players ing, campy and heartfelt cele- The play shows Sept. 13-29 at Ensemble’s production of bration of divas. Cindy the Campbell Theater in Mar- “The Glass Menagerie,” Goldfield directs the comedy tinez. Contact campbelltheAug. 30-Sept. 15 in Danville. about a young Elvis imperson- ater.com or 925-350-9970. Role Players partners with the ator who transforms himself Diablo Actors Ensemble 20th annual Eugene O’Neill into a drag queen. The show presents the Neil Simon clasFestival for this season opener. runs Sept. 26-Oct. 19 in sic comedy “Barefoot in the The family’s lives are reflected Lafayette. Tickets at 925-283- Park,” helmed by artistic diin fragile glass figurines in this 1557 or townhalltheatre.com. rector Scott Fryer. Samantha classic that launched the career Onstage Theatre’s 42nd Fryer and Austin Pierce star as of playwright Tennessee season begins with “Camping young newlyweds who dis-

Williams. Tickets at roleplayersensemble.com or 925-8201278. Woodminster Amphitheatre celebrates its 53rd season at Oakland’s beautiful Joaquin Miller Park with “Into the Woods” by James Lapine, with a score by Stephen Sondheim and everyone’s favorite enchanting storybook characters. All wishes are granted, but the consequences return to haunt with disastrous results. The show runs Aug. 30Sept. 8. Visit woodminster.com or call 510531-9597. Ghostlight Theatre Company is requesting 10-minute plays from local writers for its one-act festival March 27-29 at the Brentwood Community Center. Deadline to submit is Oct. 31. The plays must be original, unpublished works. They will need minimal set and prop requirements and will be performed in the





round. Contact Helen Dixon at helen@ghostlightte.org. Kick up your heels and join the Disco-Divas, a convent of nuns in a newfound sisterhood, in Pittsburg Community Theatre’s production of the hysterical musical “Sister Act.” It plays Sept. 7-22 at the California Theatre. Call 925427-1611 or visit pittsburgcaliforniatheatre.com.

Kathryn G. McCarty is wellknown around the Bay Area as an educator, playwright and journalist. Send comments to KGMcCarty@gmail.com.

Stephanie Seaberg

Megan Larsen stars in Role Players Ensemble’s “The Glass Menagerie” in Danville.

Teaching 6-year-olds brings out the best in artist’s work





Art is the driving force behind the curriculum at Wren Avenue Elementary School of the Arts, where Eric Vandetta teaches first grade. “The value of art in school is often overlooked,” explains Vandetta. “Many think of it as just a hobby,

925.348.5609 Nick Eisenbart

Owner/Service Provider Concord resident

but art not only enhances how we learn about other subjects like math, science and history, it also helps us retain what we learn. Art also helps us listen to other points of view and see things in different ways, which cultivates community building.” As a visual artist, Vandetta enjoys all things digital. “I shoot photos of everyday things and recompose them into something more abstract,” he says. He tried for years to be a realistic painter, but being colorblind combined with a slight tremor in his hands made it difficult. “Then a friend showed me a free photo editing program on the computer, and I was hooked,” he recalls. “I start-

because they can see what nobody else sees.” His creative process shifts around a bit. “Sometimes I see exactly the abstraction I want as soon as I snap the picture. Other times I have no idea what’s happening on the screen, which can be frustrating. But I let myself meander and something always develops.” It’s part of what he’s learned about making art with the kids. “You don’t always have to know what you’re doing from the start,” “Curious Guests” is one of Eric Vandetta’s digital works. he notes. “You can roll with your mistakes and figure out ways to make things better.” ed manipulating any photo I to further explore my fasciIn his almost 30 years could find. Eventually I nation with lines and patteaching in Concord, Vangraduated to Photoshop, terns.” detta has taught all ages up which helps me maintain What Vandetta loves to sixth grade. “I like first color accuracy and allows me most about abstract art is the grade because I can be there viewers’ journey. “You’re not at the beginning to help kids looking at something that’s build important foundational already there in reality. skills like critical thinking Instead you’re going inside and problem solving. We the artist’s mind,” he says. spend lots of time observ“Kids love abstract art


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ing, listening and discussing.” Vandetta’s job also involves reaching out to the local arts community, including the Concord Art Association and Fro Schmidt, owner of aRt Cottage. “Fro asked to see my portfolio, which was a first for me,” he says. “She said ‘I think you’re on to something good.’ That was the biggest confidence booster. I showed my work there this summer and even sold a piece.” He finds the local arts community incredibly supportive. “Everyone is so collaborative. I hope my students will grow to become part of it. Concord is a big city that deserves a thriving arts scene.”

Visit vandetta-art.com to see more of his work. Lisa Fulmer is a marketing consultant, published author and a community arts advocate.

Downtown Clayton park offers vivid tree display August 16, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

The shade trees are filling in nicely in the Grove park in downtown Clayton. Visitors can appreciate the canopy style trees planted throughout the picnic table areas and the round-headed trees lining the borders at the playground and along Main Street. Chinese evergreen elms and golden rain trees surround the picnic tables. Both trees are valuable for Clayton gardens and landscapes, providing vertical interest, wind protection and shade. The Chinese evergreen elm, also known as Ulmus parvifolia Drake, is an exceptional shade tree with a weeping growth habit. Finely toothed leaves are medium green in color, turning yellow in autumn. The elm will lose its leaves if temperatures dip below 30 degrees but it’s fast to regrow. Mature heights can be 30-40 tall tall and wide, so consider that when planting. Golden rain trees have the recognizable, papery seed

scapes and valued for their exceptional fall color. Look for the selection called Keith Davy, which is male and doesn’t produce berries. Chinese pistache trees are the swans of the landscape. While young, they can look awkward. But as they mature, the trees become spectacular and can reach 25-30 feet tall and wide. Chinese pistache trees will need occasional thinning to expose their beautiful structure. Crape myrtle trees are the best summer-blooming trees Crape myrtle trees are the around town best summer-blooming trees pods during the summer and almost as wide. The leaves around town. The flowers are panicle shaped in pinks, red, months. Florists and designers are fern-like and bluefish value the pods, as they make green in color. Before the great additions to arrangeleaves fall in autumn, they ments. You can find the tree change to gold – adding more in nurseries under the name appeal to this beloved shade Koelreuteria paniculata. This tree. tree grows with moderate The rounded trees borderspeed. It has well-behaved ing the playground and Main roots, which makes it ideal for Street are a combination of patio areas and walkways. the pink blooming crape myrIn spring, yellow flower tle and Chinese pistache trees. panicles dangle from the open Chinese pistache trees are branch habit. The golden rain a Clayton favorite, often planttree will reach 20-25 feet tall ed along our streets and land-



Mature height and width depends of selection. Expect 10-20 feet tall, so do some research before planting. Keep these trees in mind as the fall planting season is quickly approaching. Visit the Grove park and see these fabulous tree selections for yourself. It’s great to get a feel for a tree’s mass before adding it to your landscape.

lavender and white. This family of ornamental trees thrives in our hot weather and clay soil. Many selections of crape myrtle also display vivid fall colors.

Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. You can contact her with questions or comments by email at gardengirl94517@yahoo.com

boat. The rowboat, sometime later, returns with only the young woman. The boy watches the woman through his binoculars, and by her movements, he recognizes his sister. Fast forward to present day South Lake Tahoe. McKenna, ex-SFPD detective turned PI, receives a call from a woman begging for help. Her legally blind nonagenarian neighbor, Daniel Callahan, has been brutally beaten in what appears to be a home invasion – except nothing is stolen. Although the police were called, the elderly gentleman would not cooperate and refused to be taken to a nearby hospital. In frustration, Commander Mallory recommends McKenna to the neighbor, suggesting he may be able to help find out what really happened. Before the day is over, however, the first dead body in this complex mystery appears on the beach not far from the Bijou neighborhood where Callahan lives. Mallory calls McKenna, a serious art aficionado, to assist in identifying the unusually large tattoo on the victim’s back. In addition to the tattoo, the man’s body is grotesquely bloated. McKenna correctly guesses the tattoo is of a German painting of a shipwreck known

as “The Wreck of Hope.” Just before leaving the beach, they find a wallet and ID hidden in the victim’s swim trunks. Can his name, Colin Callahan, be a coincidence? “Tahoe Deep” is packed with enough characters and clues to keep even the keenest sleuth guessing. Helping McKenna along the way is his girlfriend Street, a professional entomologist, who identifies a mite – a key to locating some of the bad guys. Spot, Owen’s faithful Harlequin dalmatian, takes a bite of the action, too. Daniel Callahan’s neighbor, librarian Mae O’Sullivan, is an amateur free diver whose skill is critical to the treasure thought to be aboard the sunken steamer. Is this a murder mystery or a treasure hunt? Borg is at his best in the fight scenes, car chases and general mayhem that occur both above ground and underwater. This time, McKenna must dive deeper than ever before to find the bad guys and to make sense of what young Daniel Callahan heard and saw on that August evening in 1940.

‘Tahoe’ takes a dives into mystery – and maybe hidden treasure

Diablo Ballet launches new dance school in Pleasant Hill On Aug. 26, Diablo Ballet is opening its own ballet school – the first in the East Bay run by a professional ballet company. The school will offer classes to students age 3 to adult who enjoy dancing as well as those who wish to pursue a professional career in ballet. Under the leadership of Lauren Jonas, co-founder and artistic director of Diablo Ballet, the staff will also include associate director Rebecca Berke, school principal and company dancer Raymond Tilton and other Diablo Ballet company dancers. Students will have a number of performance opportunities throughout

Page B7



the year, as well as the chance to participate in master classes. Students will have access to the ballet’s sports medicine physician, acupuncturist and physical therapists and can also attend classes on nutrition and preventing injuries. For those interested in becoming professional ballet dancers, Diablo Ballet is launching a Professional Trainee Program. Students must be enrolled in Ballet Level 5 and audition for the professional program. Trainee Program members will be able to participate and understudy in company rehearsals and perform with Diablo Ballet. Joanna Berman, former principal dancer at San Francisco Ballet and Diablo Ballet’s regisseur, will teach the advanced ballet class 5-8 p.m. Aug. 26 with Tilton. The other class levels

are invited to participate or watch. Todd Borg’s latest Owen “Excellent training is McKenna Tahoe mystery is out, essential for a professional just in time for sand or poolside career in ballet,” Berman lounging. says. “I’m thrilled that DiaAs in all Borg’s mysteries, blo Ballet School will be the story begins with a prologue providing such training to to whet the reader’s appetite. young dancers in the East And murder usually occurs by Bay.” page 10 or 12. “Tahoe Deep,” Now in its 26th year, the however, is different. Oh, there company is committed to is a murder, but we don’t know exposing youth to the arts the names of the victim or the through its renowned PEEK killer. Outreach Programs for Even more mysterious, a underserved school children legally blind teen, with the help in Alameda and Contra of binoculars and a keen sense Costa counties. In addition, of hearing, overhears a young Diablo Ballet has served couple on the beach on an hundreds of at-risk teenage August evening in 1940. They girls incarcerated within the are plotting the feasibility of juvenile justice system since committing murder aboard the 2015. This month, the ballet nearby, soon-to-be-scuttled SS launched a new program for Tahoe Steamer. adolescents housed at the The teen watches the couple Behavioral Therapy Unit at head out to the steamer by rowJohn Muir Hospital in Concord. Diablo Ballet will host Family Day, featuring fashion, food and fun, at 11 a.m. Aug. 17 at Macy’s Walnut Creek. The school will have an Open House 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 18 at the Performing Academy, 1948 Oak Park Blvd., Pleasant Hill. The site Quentin Tarantino’s three will also be the new home of best strengths as a writer/direcDiablo Ballet company rehearsals. tor are storytelling, depictions company dancers will help teach at of violence and his deft use of To register for classes or for the new ballet dialogue. With “Once Upon a more information, call 925-943school in Time … In Hollywood,” his Pleasant Hill. 1775 or visit diabloballet.org. storytelling is as good as ever. The film takes place in 1969 and centers on aging TV star Rick Dalton (Leo DiCaprio in a career performance) and his stunt double/friend/chauffeur Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt, relishing Crap every moment). Also thrown e My rtles into the mix are Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) and the Manson clan. Along the way, we get brief • Sales, repairs and vignettes with the likes of supplies of all pool equipment Bruce Lee, Steve McQueen and • Extensive collections of Charles Manson. Our three main performers are often sepperennials, annuals, trees, shrubs, arated from each other, leading roses and houseplants to long periods without seeing • Premium potting soils and two of them. Thankfully, Tarantino weaves the stories conditioners, decorative bark together enough so that they and mulch cross and eventually blend in one of his classic climaxes. • Garden décor The most important charac• Knowledgeable and ter may be Hollywood itself. experienced staff Beautifully recreated right down Like us on to the marquees and street signs, the city is alive with the color and vibrancy of a bygone era. Violence is at the center of 6780 Marsh Creek Road, Clayton every one of Tarantino’s eight previous directorial efforts, and Hours: Tues-Sat 9-5, Sun 10-4, Closed Monday he frequently uses robberies, heists and revenge as themes. Family owned and operated since 1983 His latest film, however, finds

R&M is the place for

Sunny Solomon is a freelance writer and head of the Clayton Book Club. Visit her website at bookinwithsunny.com for her latest recommendations or just to ‘talk books.’

‘Hollywood’ breaks from Tarantino mold but still a good watch



Pool, Patio, Gifts & Gardens


sequences are when the conversations have nothing to do with the main plot. They might talk about food (“Pulp Fiction”) or how much to tip a waitress (“Reservoir Dogs”). In the hands of any other director, these scenes would be pure filler. But with a master like Tarantino, they become film class material. JEFF MELLINGER Imagine my dismay that such scenes were noticeably SCREEN SHOTS absent in “Once Upon a Time.” him waxing nostalgic for simGranted, there were several pler, easier times. great sequences of dialogue – His characters mostly emu- 9-year-old Julia Butters is every late that feeling onscreen. Rick bit DiCaprio’s equal in their longs for the days when he was scenes together – yet all of the the star of a TV western, lengthy conversations are part instead of guest starring as a of the plot. villain in random shows. Cliff I wasn’t asking for anything hangs on Rick’s hip pocket in on par with Jules and Verne case he finally gets full-time from “Pulp Fiction.” Perhaps stunt work again. Only Sharon Tarantino felt the benign subhas more ahead of her than ject matter of his latest story behind. She spends her time liv- did not warrant any breaks ing it up at Roman Polanski’s from the plot. house and going to theaters It’s not his best film, but incognito to watch herself “Once Upon a Time … in Holonscreen. lywood” proves that a master Tarantino restrains himself can step away from the themes by subduing the violence in the on which he usually relies and shows and films in which his still tell a fantastic story. B+ characters act. Eventually, you forget you’re watching a TaranJeff Mellinger is a screen writer tino movie … until the bloody end to the third act. It’s almost and film buff. He holds a BA in Film Studies and an MFA in film shocking when it comes; its production. He lives in Concord. brutal nature made me laugh several times in nervous release. Email comments to editor@pioneerpublishers.com. Tarantino’s best dialogue

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The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Power through the heat for fantastic hike



August 16, 2019



Hiking in late summer means dry creek beds, ultra-hot days and leg-prickling bushes. But none of that matters, because you have to pay the price if you want to see the goods.

Ridge Trail Loop

Where: Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve What: Stewartsville Tr.> Pittsburg Mine Tr.> Chaparral Loop Tr.> Ridge Tr.> Corcoran Mine Tr.> Miners Tr.> Stewartsville Tr. Distance: 5.7 miles

Black Diamond Mines is a local jewel with easy access and a ghost town feel – literally. Jump on Stewartsville Trail just past the parking lot, where shade is hard to come by. An immediate detour up Pittsburg Mine Trail and onto Chaparral Loop made a sizzling day a bit cooler. Chaparral Loop (one of my favorites) is an uphill blast in the form of a dry creek bed, peppered with a maze of sandstone, manzanita and trees aplenty. This section of trail is some of your only shade, so

take advantage. Trail conditions are everchanging, and most of this hike requires careful footing through rock, roots, dirt and sand as you top out at Ridge Trail Junction. Head due east, reaching one of the higher elevations found on this loop with views of Rose Hill Cemetery and Delta waterways as the backdrop. Within minutes, you are treated to equally impressive views of Mount Diablo and the surrounding foothills. This marks a good place to stop, rest and enjoy Black Diamond. Stay on Ridge Trail as it meanders through a shady line of trees and up and over a series of grassy hilltops. Feeling adventurous – take a side trip up the single-track to the very top. Just past a lonely pond, dive down Corcoran Mine Trail and prepare to descend – very quickly. This is a much less vis-

Duration: 2.25 hours Level: Strenuous Elevation gain: 1,368 feet Getting there: Trailhead at end of Somersville Road, Antioch. Restrooms, maps and water. Fees apply when kiosk is open.

The landscape opens up along the Ridge Trail Loop in Black Diamond Mines.

offered some easy hiking. I was pushing the 1.5-hour mark and my legs were feeling it, so a quick detour up Miners Trail put the exclamation point on finishing strong. This trail heads straight up, is super exposed and follows a haphazard routing, but I absolutely loved it – a not to miss section of trail with a lot of mining history. Kick your butt up the final stretch of trail, top out again and make your way back down to the parking area via Stewartsville Trail. I performed this hike in a figure 8 loop fashion, but Black Diamond offers so many trails and routes, you could shorten or lengthen this hike with ease. Signage in this park is excellent. If you are needed some fresh air and solitude, look no further.

ited part of the park, so much that it left me wondering if I were indeed alone. But then I saw a mountain biker. Corcoran was a trip highlight with excellent trail routing, rock outcroppings in all directions and views of the Stew-

artsville Townsite area far below. The final elevator-style drop to the valley revealed deer, coyotes, rabbits and a light afternoon breeze. Contact Kevin Parker with comPut it on cruise control as ments or questions by email at you pick up Stewartsville Trail, a LukeHollywood@gmail.com flat and dusty fire road that

cally fit in your furniture configuration. A coffee table should be sized in two ways: the physical dimensions and how it feels with your furniture grouping. Let’s say you have a well-sized sectional, maybe 8 feet on one length and 10 feet on the other. You need a coffee table that’s big enough to offset the size of the sectional, without feeling like the table is competing with the sectional. And there should be plenty of leg room between the table and the sofa. A square or round table would most likely fit best. If you have a sofa flanked with a pair of lounge chairs, perhaps a rectangular coffee table is better than round or square. But if your living space has a grouping of four extra-

large lounge chairs, facing each other and centered on a fireplace, a round table feels like the perfect way to create a cozy conversational space. Or if your living room configuration consists of two extra-long sofas, facing each other, all that’s needed is a chic picnic bench style table. Function is always a good detail to keep in mind when selecting a coffee table. Maybe the only functional aspect you need is a table top, but there are other functional features that might be worthwhile to research. Some tables come with drawers or shelves, or some tables are really chests that open from the top. If you’re looking for extra seating, consider a table that houses mini ottomans underneath. Or

A two-phase plan for finding that perfect coffee table At the heart of any good furniture purchase is a little infatuation – a furniture romance. Picture this: You casually walk into your favorite furniture showroom, and colorful accessories, seeded glass table lamps and shaggy area rugs catch your eye almost immediately. All very pretty, yes, but you don’t get distracted by these baubles. You stay focused on the hunt for the perfect coffee table. After wandering for what seems like hours, you see your table back in the far corner of the showroom. It’s perfection. You’ve not only found a table that gives you goosebumps, but it’s a style that works with your aesthetic. The easy part is complete. Now you need to consider if it will physi-

A picnic bench style coffee table is well-suited between two facing couches.

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Clayton residents since 1959


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3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, approx. 1884 sq.ft. Listing agent: Rula Masannat

Matt Mazzei, Jr.,

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Rula Masannat

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DRE# 01923757

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


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


Sales Agent 415-310-2905 rulawithmazzei@yahoo.com


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a series of bunching tables that can move around your seating layout when separated from their larger table configuration. When you’re shopping for the perfect table, stay focused on your mini furniture romance. Pay attention to the physical dimensions and make sure you address any functional needs. Jennifer Leischer is the owner of J. Designs Interior Design. Contact her at jenna@j-designs.com.

Profile for Pioneer Publishers

AUG 16 The Pioneer 2019  

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

AUG 16 The Pioneer 2019  

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