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East Bay Regional Parks Activity Guide


Candidates face first district elections

Tamara Steiner/Concord Pioneer

August 24, 2018





Contributed Photo

Tamara Steiner/Concord Pioneer

Tamara Steiner/Concord Pioneer

PEGGY SPEAR Concord Pioneer

Herman. In District 3, Planning Commission chair Dominic Aliano is facing Bike Concord enthusiast Kenji Yamada in the newly formed Monument area district. Tim McGallian is running unopposed for the District 5 slot. He was appointed to the council two years ago when Tim Grayson was elected to the State Assembly. City treasurer Patti Barsotti is also running unopposed for a four-year term.

FOCUSING ON DOWNTOWN Leone, who ran unsuccessfully for county Superintendent of Schools in June, had said publicly that he was not going to run. But he then said candidly: “I changed my mind.” He says there is too much “unfinished business” in front of the council that he is involved in, and he wants to help move it along. “It’s unfortunate that with districts I have to run against

another council member, but someone has to win and someone has to lose,” he says. One of his major goals has been the revitalization of the downtown around Todos Santos Plaza, especially making sure it retains an early California flavor. He was instrumental in obtaining the statue of Don Salvio Pacheco that stands at the southeast entrance to the plaza. But his work reflects more than that. He and former

Councilman Tim Grayson “convened committees to ensure that the look in and around downtown was inviting, walkable and convenient to transit users. Now I see building going up that does not reflect our vision,” he says. “I want to make sure that doesn’t happen.” He also is interested in a new soccer stadium/hotel complex that Mark Hall is proposing near the downtown BART station. “That will

change the flavor of downtown,” Leone says. “I want to make sure that happens right.”

Two hotly contested races highlight this fall’s Concord City Council elections, making the choices dramatic – thanks to the arrival of district elections. In District 1, current City Council members Laura Hoffmeister and Ron Leone square off against each other and political newcomer Judith

From the desk of...

Contributed photo

Contributed photo





Hoffmeister’s 20 years on the council have made her an unofficial encyclopedia of the city’s issues. She doesn’t believe the change to district elections will impact her campaign. “For me, districts allow the

See Candidates, page 8

Farm Bureau project nears completion TAMARA STEINER Concord Pioneer

Edi BiRSAn


Getting to the heart of issues in election

Election season is upon us, or as I sometimes call it: Silly Season. Yet, there are some important decisions to be made in two city districts in Concord: District 1, Clayton Road/Concord Boulevard east of Farm Bureau to Ygnacio, and District 3, north side of Monument Boulevard to Concord Avenue. In the past, the races are many times “beauty contests” where candidates stay away from hard-core issues and preJennifer Ortega/City of Concord fer vague, fluff statements like A major repaving project on Farm Bureau Rd. should be complete by the first week in September. The road has been “Reduce crime” and “Make closed since the beginning of August for the construction. The northbound lane will open in time for school for access to families first,” complete with Wren Avenue Elementary. pictures with their pet dog or cat, families and some trees in the background. For many voters, there is not a big engagement with specifics. This is where the role of political parties comes in as the screeners and brand-makers of candidates whom they endorse in local races – even Mayor Edi Birsan and council city manager Valerie Barone. Putting the tax increase on PEGGY SPEAR members Laura Hoffmeister Godbe and Associates the November ballot was one Concord Pioneer See Mayor, page 14 and Tim McGallian were in conducted a survey of resi- of those rare issues that all The residents of Concord favor of sending the tax dents, asking about the quali- four public speakers supportty of life in Concord, what ed. will not be voting on a half- increase to the voters. Measure Q has been a fisthey thought Measure Q “To quote (former Councent extension to Measure Q Inside in November, despite the fact cal lifesaver since it passed in money should be spent on cilman) Dan Helix, ‘If you Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . .17 that a majority of the Con- 2010 and was extended in and whether they would sup- want services, you have to Community . . . . . . . . . . .4 cord City Council approved 2016. It has helped stave off port a half-cent sales tax pay for it,’ ” said speaker Ray many budget woes, improve increase, bringing Concord’s Barbour. the measure. From the desk of . . . . .14 Kenji Yamada, who is Due to a little-used may- infrastructure and keep the total to 9.5 percent. More Hearts and Hands . . . . .2 city on solid footing. But than 70 percent of responrunning for the District 3 oral ordinance, such tax plans Schools . . . . . . . . . . . .15 need a 4-1 vote to pass. that’s about to change next dents said they would sup- council seat, concurred. “It’s Senior Living . . . . . . . .20 Council members Carlyn year – when the costs of pen- port the increase, whether the not popular to ask to increase Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Obringer and Ron Leone sions rise and construction election was held in 2018 or taxes, but this one makes Performing Arts . . . . . .16 sense,” he said. opposed the measure, while costs skyrocket, according to 2020.

A major upgrade of Farm Bureau Rd. from Wren Ave. to Walnut Ave. should be complete by early September, said city engineer Kevin Marstall. The project, which began in early August, hit a few minor delays in working with the underground utilities. Although it won’t be finished, until the first week in September, the northbound lane will be open by the time school starts for access to Wren Avenue Elementary. The repaving is Phase II of the city’s Complete Streets study completed in 2014. Theproject’s $4,215,000 is funded the Measure J Gas Tax and will use a fairly new method of street rehabilitation called Full Depth Reclamation. In this process, cement is mixed with the old asphalt and is pulverized in place, saving weeks over the conventional method which requires digging up the old asphalt and hauling everything away. Cost for both methods is about the same, Marstall said.

Half-cent sales tax hike won’t be on Nov. ballot

Barone stressed that the longer the city waits to improve roads, the more expensive it will be. “Now we don’t have a plan for the infrastructure improvements, because we don’t know how much money we’ll have,” she noted. Finance manager Karen Reid said some funds, such as grants, were not available for residential street improvements.

See Sales Tax, page 6

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Concord Pioneer •

August 24, 2018

Author to talk about ‘Stone House’ mystery SENIOR HIGH STEPPERS Kick up your feet at the Concord Heritage Center from 7-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, as the High Steppers return to the dance floor, this time as senior citizens. Music from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s will tempt dancers to get up and move to the beat the second Friday of each month at the Betty Martin Barnes Hall, 1721 Amador Ave., Concord. Tickets are $10. Visit or call 925-827-3380 for details.



Dan Hanel, author of “In The Shadow of Diablo: Mystery of the Great Stone House,” will share his experience and research in writing this book at the Concord Heritage Center at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23. He calls it “a contemporary whodunnit that moves between the present and the past, interweaving historical narrative about the murder of 19th century pioneer John Marsh with the adventures of a Brentwood science teacher who sets out to investigate the suicide of one of his students.” The free event includes snacks and books for sale at

Clayton Worsdell

Tommy Wolf, outgoing president of Clayton Valley/Concord Sunrise Rotary Club, received Rotary district 5160’s Club of the Year Award on behalf of his fellow members.

1721 Amador Ave., Concord.

MENTORING AT-RISK KIDS Kops for Kids is a nonprofit organization of active or retired law enforcement officers who participate in positive activities with area youth to help prevent juvenile delinquency. Programs include PMA (Positive Mental Attitudes) presentations at area high schools, a summer Leadership Camp and Youth Mentor-

Photo courtesy of Concord Historical Society

The 150th Anniversary of Concord Celebration Committee donated $55,000 to the Concord Historical Society, accepted by CHS president Carol Longshore. The money, which was raised for the July celebration, will fund a Concord Art Association project to creatively decorate eight utility boxes downtown.

ing Program grants that fund educational and athletic activities. The Kops for Kids Golf Classic will raise funds for these programs. The event includes registration and breakfast before a 10 a.m. shotgun start on Monday, Aug. 27, at Oakhurst Country Club, 1001 Peacock Creek Dr., Clayton. Call Kasey at 925-827-1998 for registration information. WALKING TO CURE LUPUS Concord’s Team TMJ is the fundraising leader for the annual Walk to End Lupus Now on Sunday, Oct. 21, at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The team includes family and friends of the late Jervonya M. Jones of Concord. Their contributions so far total more than $30,000 for the Lupus Foundation of America. Join them to raise awareness and research funds for lupus, an autoimmune disease with no known cause or cure. Check-in at 8:30 a.m. for the two-mile walk. Email for details.

WELLNESS FAIR The Support4Recovery organization educates the community on topics of addiction and recovery, hoping to increase community acceptance and support for people recovering from addiction. September marks National Recovery Month, and Support4Recovery and John Muir Behavioral Health will present the free Wellness 4 Recovery Fair 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, at New Hope Church, 2120 Olivera Court, Concord. The fair will feature informative speakers and mul-

tiple recovery, wellness and health-related vendors. If you would like to volunteer, request a booth or learn more, email Amber at For more information, visit

with two children, Jost is a role model for women who have survived domestic violence. Tickets are $100; tables seat 10. Visit or call 925-676-2845 to purchase tickets for the lunch or for more information on volunteer training.


ROTARY CLUB OF THE YEAR Clayton Valley/Concord Sunrise Rotary Club was named Club of the Year at the Rotary District 5160 conference in July. The club’s outstanding accomplishments in 2017-’18 included contributions in community, youth, vocational and international areas of service along with support of Rotary’s efforts to eradicate polio worldwide. “Our club has been improving lives locally and abroad for more than 30 years,” president Tommy Wolf said. “It’s an honor to be recognized for our activities.” There are 71 clubs in Rotary District 5160, and Clayton Valley/Concord shares the award with the Brentwood and Berkeley clubs. The local club meets for breakfast at Oakhurst Country Club, 1001 Peacock Creek Dr., Clayton. At 7 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, they will host speaker Nick Dailey, manager of the Clayton Bicycle Center. New members are always welcome. to learn more about this very active and successful organization.


Learn first-hand how important STAND! support services are to our neighbors struggling to leave abusive relationships at volunteer training sessions starting Aug. 28. STAND! for Families Free of Violence is our Contra Costa agency dedicated to providing support, counseling, emergency shelter and transitional housing. Meanwhile, Jennifer Jost will be featured at the Rebuilding Lives Luncheon raising awareness and funds for STAND! at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, at the Concord Hilton, 1970 Diamond Blvd. Jost will share her story of rebuilding her life after her abusive husband took their children hostage, killing them and himself. Now a local, successful career woman, remarried

DAN ASHLEY AT CVWC ABC7 news anchor Dan Ashley will share memories of his 30-year media career, along with his devotion to local nonprofits, at the 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11, meeting of the Clayton

Photo courtesy Concord Elks

The Concord Elks displayed a custom-made covered wagon for Concord’s 150th Anniversary parade, driven by Stan Gaunt, with his sidekick Lanai Cline, and passengers Carl Harper, don Orton, Paula Mbye and daniel Miranda, followed by Tony Beneditti, Susan Amell and fellow Elks. The Elks’ sponsored Boy Scout Troop 1994 preceded them in the July 4th parade.

See Barnidge, page 3

A Broker Team Trusted to Deliver Excellence Each Office Is Independently Owned & Operated.

1555 Talisman Way – Concord

Terrific Rancher in Desirable Rose Glen. 5 bedrooms, 3 baths, approx. 2132sf on a large .23 acre lot with a 3-car tandem garage. Attached in-law/au pair unit complete with living area, kitchenette & a separate private side yard entrance. Sprawling level lot features an in-ground pool & large side yard with RV & boat parking. $695,000

Better Homes BRE#00933393

George Vujnovich Broker

Clayton/Concord Resident Cal BRE #00933393

20 Long Creek Cir. – Clayton

(925) 672-4433

Super Cute Single Story in Marsh Creek Villas. 2 Bedrooms, 2 baths approx. 966sf with an attached 2 car garage. Great floor plan features large living room & dining area with semi vaulted ceiling & lots of natural light. Kitchen features newer white appliances & a cozy breakfast nook. Dual pane windows. Walking distance to town. $424,500


cell: (925) 348-5700

Jennifer Stojanovich

8 Malibu Court – Clayton


Charming Single Story Rancher in Regency Woods. 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths approx 2010 sf with a 2 car garage plus covered sideyard for Boat/Small Vehicle parking. Updated kitchen, baths, designer paint colors, recessed lighting, crown moulding. Approx .24 acre park like lot on a court with drought resistant landscape & “Heavenly Greens” lawn in backyard. . $850,000

Clayton/Concord Resident Cal BRE #01446062


(925) 567-6170

Concord Market Update ADDRESS


3051 Treat Blvd #71. . . . . . . . . $350,000 4486 Camstock Ct . . . . . . . . . . $763,000 2340 Crescent Dr . . . . . . . . . . . $570,000 3218 Fitzpatrick Dr . . . . . . . . . . $480,000 2925 Kobio Dr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $639,000

provided by Better Homes Realty SF BED/BATH DATE

. . .805 . .1842 . .1721 . .1633 . .1861

. .1/1 . . .8/14/18 . .4/2.5 .8/13/18 . .4/2 . . .8/13/18 . .4/2 . . .8/13/18 . .3/2.5 .8/10/18


181 Brandywine Pl. – Clayton

Fantastic Nantucket Model in Peacock Creek at Oakhurst Country Club on a prime level view lot at the end of a cul-de-sac with awe inspiring views of Mt Diablo. 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, large den, spacious loft, approx 3820sf with a finished 3 car garage. Gleaming “Acacia” wood floors, crown moulding, designer paint colors & more. $1,149,000

5689 Lewis Way – Concord

Gorgeous Dana Farms Rancher. 4 bedrooms, 2 baths O Mu l t ip le approx 1763sf with an attached 2 car garage. Updated & Upgraded throughout. Kitchen remodel. Updated baths. Expansive .37 acre private level lot features a beautiful covered outdoor BBQ/expanded living space with ample square footage to entertain or quietly lounge, lush lawn area,and bocci court. $789,000

G P EN D IONf fers

George & Jennifer’s Team includes:

Jenna Leischer,


Thomas J. Miller, CPA PRICE

4510 Melody Dr #20 . . . . . . . . . $350,000 826 Deer Spring Circle. . . . . . $1,080,000 5198 Heritage Dr. . . . . . . . . . . . $949,900 1851 Mustang Ct. . . . . . . . . . . . $660,000 5075 Valley Crest Dr #263 . . . . $375,000


. . .937 . .4053 . .2731 . .1802 . .1220

. .2/2 . . . .8/9/18 . .5/3 . . . .8/9/18 . .4/2.5 . .8/8/18 . .3/2 . . . .8/8/18 . .2/1.5 . .8/8/18

August 24, 2018

Concord Pioneer •

Barnidge, from page 2

Valley Woman’s Club at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 5555 Clayton Road, Clayton. Ashley serves on the boards of the Bay Area Red Cross, the California Symphony, the Contra Costa County Crisis Center and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). He created the non-profit Rock the CASA Foundation to raise money through an annual concert to benefit CASA and other charities. The woman’s club is a nonprofit organization serving our local communities. For more information, call 415-652-3503 or visit

Email or visit to learn more.

CARING HANDS NEEDS VOLUNTEERS: Homebound seniors and their caregivers receive a welcome visit by a John Muir Health Caring Hands volunteer each week. Matched care receivers enjoy a little companionship and perhaps a ride to the hairdresser or pharmacy. But many seniors are waiting for a volunteer match. Volunteers must register in advance for training. Sessions will be 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, at John Muir Medical

Photo courtesy Phylicia Jones

Walk to End Lupus now team TMJ members include Chesson duncan, left, Phylicia Jones, Ryan Stewart, Arnetta Jones, Peter Jones, Cathy Felton, Jahzaeya Brooks, Kamela Stewart, Kamira Stewart, Amy Hill, Kathy and Carl duncan.

SUPPORTING CASA You can support advocates for foster children at the CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Evening of Promise gala Saturday, Oct. 13, at Roundhill Country Club, 3169 Roundhill Road, Alamo. Join Master of Ceremonies Dan Ashley for an evening of fine dining, with silent and live auctions of fantastic prizes. Funds will support CASA volunteers who mentor, befriend and represent foster children at school and juvenile court.

Center in Walnut Creek or 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at John Muir Medical Center in Concord. Contact Stacy Appel at 925-952-2999 or email

LITERACY TUTORS SOUGHT The Diablo Valley Literacy Council offers personal training for people willing to share a few hours a week to teach a neighbor to improve their English language skills. Volun-

teers also help residents acclimate into our community, provide verbal support to their children in our public schools and help increase job opportunities. The next training will be 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, Oct. 6 and 13, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 4000 Clayton Road, Concord. Continental brunch is included. Training fees and dues to join the organization are $20. Call 925-685-3881 for more information. CARING FOR FAMILIES Bay Area Crisis Nursery is celebrating 37 years of helping families deal with a personal crisis by offering a temporary loving home to children so parents can work out their problems without being neglectful or abusive to their kids. In place of a big fundraising gala with expensive tickets and auction prizes, the nursery has chosen to hold a “Non Event” fundraiser, requesting donations that will help families and not line the pockets of gala venues. Contribute what you can by calling Catherine Eberle Dieterich at 925-685-6633, emailing or visiting To learn how your donated is used, request a speaker for your group.

HELPING KIDS SEE Contra Costa County Juvenile Hall youth inmates with poor vision have problems completing schoolwork and participating in rehabilitation programs, so the Juvenile Hall Auxiliary provides new glasses to incarcerated youth at Juvenile Hall. Funding is through individual donations and the Hall Closet Thrift Store, 100 Glacier Dr., Martinez. Auxiliary members are volunteers from our communities who perform many services for incarcerated youths, including tutoring, scholarships, mentoring, the Late Night Readers Program and the Eyeglass Program. Prospective volunteers are always welcome. Visit, email executive director Harold Leffall at or call 925-957-2718 to make a donation, volunteer or receive more information.

PHILANTHROPY AWARDS The East Bay Leadership Council will accept nominations from the nonprofit community to honor local leaders, business and service organizations that have made a real difference in our communities. Categories include Outstanding Corporate Philanthropist, Individual Philanthropist, Foundation or Grant Maker, Collaborative Project, Volunteer of the Year, Next Generation Philanthropist and Lifetime Achievement Award. Nominations forms and details are at s/nominate and must be submitted by Sept. 7. Winners will be honored at a breakfast in November at Blackhawk Museums in Danville. Call 925-246-1880 or email for more information.

GETTING OUT THE VOTE The League of Women Voters of Diablo Valley welcomes volunteers to learn how to register new voters and inspire lapsed voters to reregister to vote in our local, state, county and national elections. A free Voter’s Edge training session will take place 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, at the Concord Library, 2900 Salvio St. Snacks will be provided. This training will qualify you to register voters right away, so bring your calendars to sign up for Send your news and high-defivoter registration opportunities. nition photos with caption inforVisit for mation to faithbarnidge@pioneermore information.





Dana Ridge — Gorgeous remodeled single-story Duet attached only at garage wall. Lots of upgrades: Bamboo floors, crown molding, ceiling fans, gas fireplace, Granite kitchen w/gas range, and slider to courtyard patio. Approx. 1442 sq.ft. including 3 bedrooms & 2 remodeled baths. Heather Gray (925) 765-3822 Cal BRE#01329100

San Francisco


Excelsior District – Bring your tool belt and your imagination and extract this diamond in the rough. Excellent location with views from Mt Davidson to City College, on south to Daly City. This 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 1025 sq.ft. home may be rough around the edges now, but the potential is immeasurable. Bonnie Manolas (925) 216-8162 Cal BRE# 01857217



Bridlewood — Exquisite home on cul-de-sac with views of Mt Diablo on 1/3 acre. Over 4,000 sq.ft. with 5 bedrooms and 4 baths including a master retreat with custom shower and dual vanities. Dramatic entry, gourmet kitchen & formal dining. Hardwood & tile flooring on 1st level, and freshly painted exterior. Amy Callahan (925) 699-1207 Cal BRE#02055854



Garrin Ranch — Spacious 5 bedroom 3 bath home on court location. Save thousands with solar system, dual pane windows and plantation shutters. Gourmet kitchen with Corian counters, island and pantry. Family room with brick fireplace, inside laundry room, media room and living room with soaring ceilings.

Lynne & Kelly offer free staging on ALL LISTINGS

Country still sorting through the rubble of 9/11 DANIEL C. HELIX Special to the Pioneer

History has endowed us with mind-shattering events destined to remain etched in the ridges and folds of our mind. We remember Pearl Harbor, the day President Kennedy was shot and the collapse of the north and south towers of the World Trade Center. The events of 9/11/2001 transcended definition. Electric shock waves rendered us dumbstruck as a relentless progression of incidents assaulted us like an out-of-control jackhammer. In the span of a few hours, our world shrunk to the size of a New York borough in lower Manhattan. In disbelief, we tried to process what we witnessed – taking mental notes for our first draft of this tragic historical event. Hysterical workers fled down darkened stairwells, many not knowing the actual source of the calamity, while grim-faced firefighters, loaded with emergency gear, climbed in the opposite direction. Those who left the stairwell to assess the situation were horrified to see the gaping, flaming hole in the north tower and bodies tumbling to the ground. Soaked in sweat, the witnesses to the chaos quickly resumed their retreat down the interminable flights of stairs. Two 110-story towers of the World Trade Center collapsed on 9/11. A wing of the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., also was destroyed. But thanks to some heroic passengers who understood their fate and decided to “rock and roll,” the terrorists were prevented from succeeding in their deadly mission on the



u ed



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Circle Bay Point


San Marco — Spectacular Genoa model, over 4,200 sq. ft. and elegantly appointed. Chefs kitchen with gas stove, granite slab counters, and island. 5 bedrooms + office and bonus room. 4.5 baths, including a bed and 1.5 baths on first floor. Backyard that backs to open space & 3 car garage. Kelly McDougall (925) 787-0448



Regency Meadows — Spacious 5 bedroom, 3 bath home including a bed/bath on 1st floor. Formal living and dining rooms with soaring ceiling and family room with fireplace. Updated kitchen with quartz counters, Viking stove and convection oven. Solar heated pool, and RV/boat parking. Carol vanVaerenbergh, (925) 672-1772

Cal BRE#01156462






fourth hijacked plane headed for Washington, D.C. Instead it crashed in a field in Stonycreek Township near Shanksville, Pa. The 9/11 Commission determined that the final death toll was 2,996, “the nation’s largest loss of life on native soil as a result of hostile attack.” Not included were first responders: 343 firefighters, the most devastating loss of life to an emergency response group in our history, plus 72 law enforcement personnel. More than 6,000 people were injured. Property damage was estimated at more than $10 billion, with significant collateral damage. Nineteen suicide hijackers who commandeered the four commercial airlines all perished. The terrorists were associated with the Islamic extremist group Al-Qaeda. Their leader, Osama bin Laden, was executed by Seal Team Six on May 2, 2011. The New York Times headlined “A Nation Challenged” and printed “Portraits of Grief,” memorial sketches of those who died when the towers collapsed. In a sense, the portraits enabled the victims to rise from the rubble – helping broken families and a wounded country deal with this chaotic tragedy with a kind of egalitarian obituary. After the twin towers collapsed, the concrete canyons of progress were overlaid with white soot that looked like snow but, in fact, created major health problems that shortened many lives and is still taking its toll. The question remains: Will there ever be a truly fitting, positive epilogue? Daniel Helix is a retired U.S. Army General, author and former city councilmember.

Cal BRE#01221965


Black Diamond — Located steps from downtown Clayton and Mt. Diablo trails, this beautiful 3 bedroom 2.5 bath home offers a light and bright family room with a fireplace and stunning views of Mt. Diablo, a spacious kitchen, formal dining space, comfortable living room with fireplace, and a laundry room with plenty of storage.



Easy Freeway Access — This beautiful home has 3 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, a living room with wood-burning fireplace and has been recently updated throughout. The light and bright eat-in kitchen features new cabinets, granite counter tops, laminate flooring, and stainless steel appliances. This home is complete with new flooring throughout and a new furnace.

Assisting More Buyers & Sellers than Anyone Else* *Statistics based on Clayton/Concord and Contra Costa County Closed sales by volume (1/2014-12/31/2014). Data by Maxebrdi

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- Windermere Clayton

COMMUNITY Concord Pioneer •

Two CVCHS runners finish Golden Gate Summer Marathon

Photo courtesy CVCHS Cross Country

Clayton Valley Charter High School senior Sean Malley (left) and June grad Ryan McGhehey (right) took on the challenge of running in last month’s Golden Gate Summer Marathon and came up with great results in their first races over that distance. They were supported by family members and their CVCHS cross country coach Anthony Munch (center) in Marin County that day. McGhehey, who is enrolled this fall at Loyola Marymount University, was second overall among

the runners who completed the 26.2-mile marathon and he was also first in his age group. Malley was second in the age group and 12th overall. Halfway through the grueling marathon the two local runners were surprised by coach Munch who showed up on the course to run the second half of the race, pacing his proteges. The sponsoring Coastal Trail Runs is holding the Diablo Marathon in Clayton on Aug. 26. Visit for more information.

National Night Out unites police with community

ADAM PINGATORE Pioneer Staff Intern

Children explored firetrucks, watched exhilarating K-9 demontrations and rode their bikes through an obstacle course as Concord residents and police gathered for National Night Out on Aug. 7. Each year, some 16,000 communities and police departments across the United States take part in this national block party. Intended to strengthen bonds between police and civilians, the event demonstrates how officers can have a positive effect within their precincts. This relationship is especially useful in communities of immigrants who have been conditioned to expect corrupt police forces, primarily due to the conditions they face in their home countries. By establishing this bond over the past decade through events like this, the Concord Police Department has

Adam Pingatore/Concord Pioneer

A Concord police officer teaches a girl how to use the radar gun during national night Out on Aug. 7.

developed authentic community relationships that allow issues to be more easily solved. In addition to the outdoor activities, enthusiastic volunteers served free ice cream, popcorn and cotton candy to visitors inside the library. A row of tables with representatives from social service programs, multiple displays by educational science

groups and a live band added to the neighborly atmosphere. Judging from the chocolate-stained smiles and enthusiastic conversations of kids and adults alike, the event was more than effective. “You can just show up and talk and be a normal person. And all of a sudden, you guys recognize I’m not anything dif-

ferent – I just have a job,” said Officer Scott Gillespie, an eight-year member of the Concord force. The evening was refreshingly calm, a pleasant sight in the wake of increasing tension nationwide. Long after the sugar rushes subside and the adhesive on police-badge stickers deteriorates, first responders continue to feel the event’s impact. “I’ve met people who have been at these events at their homes or in public after crimes have occurred and, because of the relationship created here, they recognize that I’m someone who’s approachable,” Gillespie noted. “I can be talked to and somewhat trusted. It helps a lot on the street.” Introduced in 1984 by the National Association of Town Watch, the event has grown to bring together neighborhoods in all 50 states. It is annually held on the first Tuesday of August around the country.

Concord Jr. Giants player, coach honored with Willie Mac Awards

The Junior Giants of Concord sent their Willie Mac Award nominees to AT&T Park on Aug. 12 to be honored on the field before the Giants game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Player Jordan McCauley (center) and coach Clayton Johnson represented the local league at the ceremony. Johnson has been with the Concord Junior Giants for six years and is credited with being “a huge piece of the Concord league.” His Willie Mac nomination added “without his time on the field and behind the scenes our league would not be as successful as it is. “When one looks up the definition of ‘team’ in the dictionary, one will see Clayton’s picture.” Johnson has coached the older players in the league as well as helping with field work

days. The nomination lauded its volunteer nominee “Clayton leads by example. He is the poster child for the values of the league.” McCauley was new to Junior Giants this year but the fifth grader who excels at math made his mark. His coach says, “[Jordan] shows leadership by making sure all of the team listens when I am giving instructions. He shows integrity by making sure no player is bullied in the dugout. His confidence has grown as his skills have improved on the field.” Before the Pirates-Giants game McCauley was chosen from among over 100 Junior Giants honorees from around Northern California to accompany mascot Lou Seal and announce “Play Ball” to the crowd of 42,000 at AT&T with host Justin McCarthy (right).

Straight Line Imports Natural Stone and Quartz

Photo courtesy Concord Junior Giants

August 24, 2018

Concord High golfer helps The First Tee of Contra Costa to Regional championship

Photo courtesy The First Tee of Contra Costa

The local First Tee of Contra Costa team on The First Tee NorCal Regional Cup at Poppy Ridge Golf Course in Livermore. The six team members, from left, AJ Tomasini, Keanu Philips, Miguel Chavez, Edward Anaya, Jackie Caniete and Henry Sanchez competed against seven other First Tee teams from San Francisco, Tri-Valley, Silicon Valley, Fresno, Monterey County, San Joaquin and Greater Sacramento/Central Valley. Caniete made her first hole-inone and 15-year-old Tomasini had the longest drive with a 300-yard effort. Tomasini has been surrounded by golf his whole life since his father works at Diablo Creek Golf Course and is a recognized coach for The First Tee of Contra Costa.

Carondelet golfer to play in official PGA event

Carondelet junior Isabelle O’Brien (left) and two other high school girls will represent The First Tee of Contra Costa at the PURE Insurance Golf Championship at Pebble Beach and Poppy Hills Sept. 24-30. Angelica Antonio (center) and Hailey Salomone are among the 81 junior golfers from 22 states in The First Tee who will be teamed with 81 PGA Tour Champions players and 162 amateurs during the official PGA Tour Champions tournament. O’Brien, Antonio and Salomone will be competing for the pro-junior title. They were selected based on playing ability and application of the Nine Core Values and life skills learned through their involvement with The First Tee’s programs. O’Brien has been part of The First Tee for 10 years. She says, “Because of The

Photo courtesy The First Tee of Contra Costa

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First Tee I am respectful to others, to my surroundings and myself. I am also reliable. When I commit to helping others, at home, at school, at church or at The First Tee, I follow through with whatever I say I will do. When I am doing anything that is difficult or not going as I want it to, I persevere through it instead of giving up. The First Tee has given me tools that I need to be successful in dealing with everyday life at school and at the golf course. I am thrilled to be representing our chapter at the PURE Insurance Championship, Impacting The First Tee.” The First Tee of Contra Costa is one of 150 chapters around the country and world introducing the sport of golf and The First Tee’s Nine Core Values to kids, positively impacting their lives.

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Concord Pioneer •

Page 5

Blue Devils march to silver medals at DCI World Championships

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Alyssa Citero completed her 12th and final season with the Concord Blue devils as the featured woman in the red dress in their “dreams and nighthawks” program based on the iconic Edward Hopper painting “nighthawks.” The painting features three men and a woman in a new York City diner and the Blue devils musical and visual program was centered around the characters and setting. Citero was part of three world championship teams between the Blue devils and Blue devils B and her corps never finished lower than second place in seven dCi World Championship finals. She began her studies this week at Cal State Long Beach. JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

After figuratively chasing their rivals Santa Clara Vanguard across the country, the Concord Blue Devils came away from the DCI World Championships this month with silver medals in both the World and Open class drum corps finals. Senior executive advisor David Gibbs says the 18-time World Champion Blue Devils presented “one of our best productions ever” with “Dreams and Nighthawks” inspired by Edward Hopper’s iconic “Nighthawks” painting of a woman and three men in a New York City diner. Concord’s own Alyssa Citero had the lead character role of that woman in a red dress. Gibbs says that this year’s show “challenged ourselves with a big production with lots of elements, which is what the

Blue Devils are all about. The staff and kids performed at an extremely high level.” Gibbs began marching for the Blue Devils in 1974 so his perspective carries weight. This is the 12th consecutive year the local corps has finished first or second at the World Championships, a feat Gibbs says “even impresses me.” Citero, a 2015 Carondelet High graduate who followed in her mom’s footsteps in joining the Blue Devils color guard, capped her 12-year career this summer. “Having the role of the woman in the red dress was both extremely honorable and challenging. I feel that I have always worked to lead by example and when wearing a flashy red dress, there is no room for error. Luckily, all 43 other members were beautiful in the show. “It truly felt like as their captain I was able to watch their growth and make minor

adjustments when helping a few or addressing the guard as a whole. I knew that with energy, accuracy and performance from my color guard, holding a character position would be so much easier knowing they would do their job. The position that the staff put me in this summer has been a lifelong goal so the fact that I got to make my dream a reality with some of the most beautiful people in this world, is something I will cherish for the rest of my life.” Santa Clara’s “Babylon” show scored top marks throughout the year after the Blue Devils won two of the season’s first three competitions in June. “It was a strong year for the activity with high level performances,” Gibbs said. Blue Devils B Corps’ “The Other Side” was judged second best in the Open Class finals as

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Concord Pioneer •

August 24, 2018

County Connection looks to alter routes, raise fares JOHN T. MILLER Correspondent

The County Connection Transit Agency is proposing routes changes and fare increases effective next spring. According to Ruby Horta, director of planning and marketing, budget estimates project that money will run out by 2023 if they don’t make changes to the system. “By making service adjustments that increase productivity and reduce costs, County Connection will be better positioned to address future financial constraints,” she said. In July 2017, County Connection began a Comprehensive Operational Analysis to deal with projected shortfalls and came up with changes to existing service, along with fare increases and elimination of the midday free pass for seniors and the disabled. The transit company held

meetings with stakeholders and partner transit agencies, along with community meetings, public workshops and a public hearing to receive input on the proposed changes. Chloe Page, a teacher with disabled adults in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District’s Bridge Program, objected to canceling the Midday Free Program. The midday program accounts for more than 260,000 rides annually. “My students rely on this program to get around the community for school, for work and for recreation and leisure, as well as shopping and socializing,” she wrote. Horta said she recognizes the impact on the Bridge program and has asked staff to come up with a solution. “Opposition to the elimination of the midday fare was a constant theme behind the public comment process,” she said.

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HIV transmissions occur in the county. The Rainbow Community Center offers free and confidential HIV testing 4-8 p.m. every Tuesday. These tests take 20 minutes and are administered by county health officials trained in HIV prevention. While waiting for the test results, the county health official provides education about minimizing the risk of contracting HIV or other sexually transmitted disease. Rainbow Community Center also provides PrEP education and links to care. “We are very thankful to have a space such as the Rainbow Community Center,” said Christian Aguirre, the center’s HIV outreach specialist. “We also offer HIV-positive support groups for everyone that resides in Contra Costa County. Most of our programs stay active thanks to our donors.” For more information, call the confidential intake line at 925-692-2056. The center’s case managers will provide this valuable service free of charge.

The fight against HIV and AIDS has come a long way since its rise in the 1980s. Treatment options are available that ensure affected persons can live long, meaningful lives without risk of transmission to sexual partners. Preventative options are also available, such as PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) and PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis). These medications can minimize the risk of the user contracting HIV if exposed. Despite so many tools available to prevent the spread of HIV, this disease continues to be a risk for many people in Contra Costa County – especially LGBTQ persons of color. Access to Robyn Kuslits is the director of preventative medication and community programs at the Raintesting prove to be major bar- bow Center in Concord. Contact her riers to ensuring that no new at

The proposed fare increases would only impact passengers paying cash. It includes a 50-cent raise for adults and youth on regular routes, and a 25-cent raise on Express routes – bringing the total to $2.50 per ride. Fares for seniors would be raised 25 cents to $1.25. Children under 6 will continue to ride free. Paper passes, including paper transfers, will be eliminated. However, Clipper will continue to support transfers. “We’ve seen the trend of passengers going to Clipper since BART added the surcharge on paper tickets,” Horta said. “There will be no changes in the price of rides using Clipper.”

The system was last overhauled in spring 2009. Horta noted a number of changes since then, including housing developments, traffic patterns, demographic shifts, job centers and increased congestion. Due to higher ridership, Concord appears to have gained the most in terms of increased service. The following restructuring will affect ridership in Concord and Clayton: Route 10: New alignment would turn around at Washington and Michigan instead of the Ayers Road/Kirker Pass loop and eliminate 50 percent of the trips to Marsh Creek Road. This would speed up the route on Clay-

ton Road, with fewer busses continuing into Clayton. Route 14: The proposal would extend service to Walnut Creek BART to give access to the Monument Corridor. It would also give riders the ability to transfer to San Ramon or Bishop Ranch. Route 15: This route will terminate at Pleasant Hill BART. Route 19: The proposal would streamline this service and increase frequency by using Concord Avenue to go to Concord BART instead of via Sun Valley Mall. Route 28/27: The current route would be split in half and create a new Route 27. Route 28 would retain its Martinez-Diablo Valley Col-

lege segments with two-way Walmart service and added service to the Arnold/Morello high ridership corridor, while eliminating service to Marsh Road/Arnold Industrial Way and the light industrial segment of Howe Road. Route 27 would create new North Concord BART connections and would replace current Route 627 with more frequent service. Route 311: Weekend service would extend this route to John Muir Hospital to cover the Ygnacio Valley Road portion of Route 301. Route 315: This weekend route would be eliminated due to low ridership.

JOHN T. MILLER Correspondent

south, will include minor exterior improvements. The project also includes a new trash compactor and a long-term bicycle parking enclosure, both on the south side of the building. Costco is working with Travis Morton, an associate with Seattle based MG2 – one of the largest architecture firms in the nation and one of the top retail design firms in the world. Pending approval by the Concord Planning Commission, Morton hopes that construction will start in 2019. “The garden center was underutilized by the public,” Morton noted. “The conversion to more main sales space remains the main draw to the Costco customers.” On July 12, Concord’s Design Review Board condi-

tionally approved the project with some improvements suggested to meet the Concord Development Code, including minor design changes and increased landscaping along the addition. Costco is preparing a revised plan for staff review. Once completed, the project will be scheduled before the Concord Planning Commission. “Costco’s representatives for the project have been very responsive and a pleasure to work with through the process,” said Coleman Frick, an associate planner for Concord. “Costco attracts shoppers from Concord and neighboring communities, and the city is supportive of businesses making upgrades to better serve their customers.” The city originally

approved plans for Costco to be built in 1999, with the warehouse, food court, tire center and three-island fueling station completed shortly after. Costco added a fourth fueling station in 2001 and eight more in 2015. Other additions included a 3,840 sq. ft. receiving dock expansion and the garden center in 2007. In 2013, the company constructed an off-site employee parking lot with 162 spaces across from the warehouse on Detroit Avenue. Parking continues to be a major concern for many customers, although just as many seem satisfied with the current arrangement. “The parking configuration will remain the same for the most part,” Morton said. “We were able to design the expansion around the existing lot.”

Costco Concord plans expansion Assistant manager Aneesah Savage is “excited” about a remodel in the works for the Costco on Monument Boulevard in Concord. Officials are planning a major remodel – including demolishing the garden center, remodeling the photo center, relocating and expanding the optical and hearing center and constructing a 3,000 sq. ft. mezzanine area for offices and employee use. According to plans submitted to the city, the existing 7,813 sq. ft. garden center will be replaced with a 9,700 sq. ft. building addition to expand and remodel the produce, bakery and food preparation areas. The addition, which extends the building to the west and

New trial date set in child pornography case

Former Chamber of Commerce board president and civic leader, Jeffrey Kasper, 55, may finally face trial Sept. 10 on child pornography charges after more than three years and dozens of procedural delays. Kasper was arrested May 7, 2015, after a police search of his Concord home in March of that year allegedly turned up evidence of downloaded pornographic videos of children. He was charged with downloading and sharing child pornography and Internet

impersonation. If convicted, he faces up to three years in prison. Kasper appeared in court on Sept. 15, 2017 for a scheduled preliminary hearing but once there, waived his right to the hearing. He was formally arraigned on Oct. 4, 2017 in Martinez. Until his arrest, Kasper was a familiar face at civic events where he often served as emcee. He was a past president of the Concord Chamber of Commerce and was chairman

Sales Tax, from page 1

Birsan, Hoffmeister and McGallian echoed the staff ’s concerns, and stated their opinions vehemently. “We should be ahead of the curve,” said Hoffmeister. “And I am comfortable that the Measure Q Oversight Committee agrees with this issue.” Despite the general sense of approval for the tax increase, Obringer clearly stated her opposition to the timing of the ballot measure. “As vice mayor, I am wellaware of the budget challenges that the city of Concord is facing, particularly with regard to funding road work and maintenance that was deferred for years,” she told the Pioneer. “However, the reason for my vote is that I did not feel that there had

been enough communication with the public regarding the proposal or the reasons behind it.” She said she spoke to many Concord residents who were “surprised this measure was being considered, asking: ‘Why now, what’s the crisis?’ At this time, the extensive public outreach for a Measure Q extension and increase has not been done in the community as had been done for the original Measure Q in 2010. An outreach plan had not even been formulated prior to Aug. 7.” She also reminded the council that the Mt. Diablo Unified School District is planning a parcel tax on the November 2018 ballot. “I will be proposing to my council colleagues that we

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of the board of the now disbanded Mt. Diablo Health Care District. He lists his current occupation on LinkedIn as Executive Producer of Funeral Fact Podcasts since June 2017. Kasper’s websites list him variously as a wedding officiate, a customer service professional and a consultant specializing in developing mobile apps and websites. Trial is set for Sept. 10, 8:45 a.m. in Dept. 35, Superior Court, Bray Building in Mar- Jeffrey Kasper waits in court at a preliminary hearing, tinez. Sept 15, 2017

put on the agenda at an upcoming City Council meeting the development of a public outreach plan for either the extension of Measure Q or a tax measure focused solely on funding for roadwork to be placed on an upcoming ballot,” she said. As part of the outreach plan, Obringer said she would like the city to put together a Citizens Advisory Committee, including members of the Measure Q Committee, the business community, neighborhood partner-

ships, HOA boards and other stakeholders to make presentations to community groups. She said she wants representatives from each of the city’s five districts to clearly explain what the city has been doing to stabilize its financial position and what factors have led to the need for another Measure Q extension, along with communicating a clear plan on how the money will be used. “We need to solicit community input,” she said.

they finished in the top two for the 10th straight year. Clayton Valley Charter students Steve Potter and Ethan Puckett were members of the Corps. The Blue Devils are not an organization to rest after a season ends. Their social media channels are already soliciting sign-ups for 2019 auditions. Gibbs said BD staff was kicking around theme ideas for

next year during the latter portion of this summer’s tour. “You have to stay current and assess trends that are either rising or falling.” With a “smallish” number of 52 age outs—including Citero—from this year’s 154member A Corps, Gibbs expects 2019’s Blue Devils to be more experienced than this year’s.

Blue Devils, from page 5

August 24, 2018


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Concord Pioneer •

Page 7

Agencies team up to fight fires statewide Concord/Clayton area gives local residents a first-hand appreciation for how fast a wildfire can spread and how difficult it is for fire crews to contain and control the windwhipped flames. During high fire danger episodes, the likelihood increases for concurrent fires erupting in several parts of the state. It takes a high level of coordination between local, state and federal agencies to provide the resources to manage each fire. When a wildfire is reported, local fire officials coordinate the initial attack. Fortunately, the vast majority of fires are contained within the

first two hours. If additional resources are required, a coordinated inter-agency response team takes over. In Contra Costa County, fire protection services are primarily the duties of the several incorporated cities and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). In counties with national parks, the federal government is the lead fire suppression agency within park boundaries. All fire agencies work directly with meteorologists from the National Weather Service. Forecasters issue Red Flag Warnings to alert fire departments of the onset of critical hot, dry and

windy conditions that breed wildfire activity. In response to this warning, Cal Fire will place additional firefighters on duty. Our local fire districts and Cal Fire utilize Incident Command Teams (ICT) to manage large and complex wildfire incidents. Coordinated wildfire attack responses include dispatch of resources such as fire trucks, ground crews, bulldozers and aircraft. Meteorologists also play a role in the ICT. Localized wind, temperature and humidity forecasts guide team decisions. Computerized, small-grid forecast models predict how a wildfire will behave, taking into

account winds, geography and fuel conditions to provide a visual display of each fire’s potential. Cal Fire maintains 10 active incident command teams. Each team has members with skills to fill responsibilities including planning, finance, logistics, safety, public information and air operations. Two ICT units are ready for deployment anywhere in the state every day of the year. The ICT is tasked with providing regularly scheduled briefings to the press and public. Evacuations, road closures and fire statistics, including acres and structures burned, are the primary topics of the briefings. Safety is a primary concern

at all levels of fire response teams. Public safety is a paramount concern. Fire crew safety guides deployment decisions. As real-time fire modeling accuracies improve, risks to field crews should decrease. Summer and fall are hot and dry in our climate zone. Every dry season is a wildfire season. Recent local burn events are unforgettable examples of how quickly wildfires spread. We rely on emergency response teams dedicated to a common objective: containing a wildfire. Woody Whitlatch is a meteorologist retired from PG&E. Email your questions or comments to

Chamber recognizes leaders in business and community The Concord Chamber of Commerce recently held its 81st annual Installation Luncheon and Awards Ceremony. We thanked outgoing board chair Sharon Jenkins of John Muir Health for a great year and installed the 2018-’19 chair, Patty Deutsche of Andeavor. We reviewed the many accomplishments and highlights of our successful year and set the theme for our new year: GROW, Gain new members, Reach out, Opportunities and What if? The group recognized several award winners, including Johana Seminario of ResCare Home Care as the Young Professional of the Year. Seminario epitomizes strength as a young professional and has created a growing branch within her company. Lynn Koellermeier of Signature d’Sign is our Volunteer of the Year. Koellermeier is a net-

Veranda general manager Ashton Simmons, center, holds the Business of the Year award at the Chamber of Commerce celebration. From left are chamber executive director Marilyn Fowler, outgoing board chair Sharon Jenkins, Mayor Edi Birsan, Colleen isenberg of Supervisor Karen Mitchoff’s office, Brandon Bratcher of Congressman Mark deSaulnier’s office, George Escutia of Sen. Steve Glazer’s office and naser Javaid of Assemblyman Tim Grayson’s office.

working and volunteer extraordinaire, and you will see her helping at most of our events. We can count on her for anything we need help with at the last minute.

The Concord Historical Society received the Community Partnership Award, with Lloyd Crenna accepting the award. Along with City Councilman Ron Leone, the Historical Socie-

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ty took the lead role in organizing the city’s 150th Anniversary Celebration that featured the unveiling of the Don Salvio Pacheco statue in Todos Santos Plaza. They have also taken on the tremendous project of physically moving and refurbishing the Masonic Temple into the Concord Museum and Event Center. The Concord Chamber prides itself on the relationships that we have built among business, the city of Concord and the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. The connection between all of these entities is Heather Fontanilla, administrator of College Now, Career Pathways and Linked Learning at MDUSD. She received our Educational Professional of the Year award. During the year, she helped us set up advisory committees between local businesses and the district, along with the

formation of the Concord Business and Education Alliance. Next we recognized our Small Business of the Year, Empire Barbershop, for its success and the number of charitable events Empire sponsors. Owner Derick Matos has a huge passion for our community, and the shop has participated in events such as Convoy of Hope, Relay for Life, St. Baldrick’s and Toys for Tots. The shop also offers grooming services for veterans and active and reserve military personnel. Finally, we honored our Business of the Year, the Veranda – Concord’s newest shopping center. At 375,000 sq. ft., the Veranda provides a diverse collection of tenants and also offers a place to bring your family to enjoy the choreographed water fountain and play structure, go ice skating in the winter, see a new movie and dine out. Gener-

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al manager Ashton Simmons has championed for the chamber, and almost all of the new businesses have joined the chamber and have become active in the community. Congratulations to all of our award winners. We all work together to build a stronger community, and the chamber is proud to be a part of Concord.

Marilyn Fowler is the president/CEO of the Concord Chamber of Commerce. For more information on chamber programs, call 925-685-1181 or email

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Concord Pioneer •

Election, from page 1

elected representative to focus a bit more in a geographic area,” she says. “I grew up and went to elementary and middle schools here and graduated from Concord High School. I have lived in the district over 50 years, so I know the area very well and many of its residents and businesses. The residents know they have a person that is from their area that they can connect with.” Herman is well aware of the battle she has by facing two sitting council members. “It is indeed a challenge,” she says. “Moving from citywide elections to a district election gives me the opportunity to run a grassroots campaign, without corporate donations. Voters are going to see that as a plus. I am going to have a chance to meet many district voters, my neighbors.” She says she is well-qualified to represent the district, which includes the area between Willow Pass and Bailey roads, down to Clayton Road. “I have canvassed for better jobs, affordable housing and open space in the Concord Naval Weapons Station. I walked precincts for candidates I believe in,” she says. “I was president of the Pine Hollow Middle School PTA. When I first moved to Concord, I served on the Status of Women Committee.” Herman has lived in Concord for 28 years, raising her children here. “My list of activities is less important than my commitment to doing what is best for all of Concord’s residents, especially those from District 1,” she notes. DISTRICT VS. CITY NEEDS The Pioneer asked the three District 1 candidates how they would meet the needs of their area if they differ from

the needs of the city. “District residents travel to or through other districts and there are issues in other areas that they may be concerned about, and likely vice versa,” Hoffmeister says. But she says ultimately all residents must learn to work together. “Districts are small sections of Concord. However, we need all the parts working well together to be a whole complete community – a ‘one Concord.’ ” Leone said he would do the same sort of planning for District 1 as he did for the city as a whole. “It was with my leadership on the council that helped our city’s historic downtown district become more vibrant, with the arches, Don Salvio Pacheco statue, early Californian architecture, more restaurants, more walkable and bike friendly.” Herman says her job would be to represent the interests of District 1 at the council level. “But, decisions made by the City Council must include the needs of all the residents of Concord,” she says. “When a decision is going to impact the residents of District 1 more than other districts, I expect other council members would hear me out. I would do the same for them. If everyone is keeping the whole community in mind, as well as the wishes of the parts, a City Council elected by districts should work for the entire city.” LACK OF MONUMENT CANDIDATES

With District 3, the city crafted boundaries that included most of the Monument area – with its large percentage of Latinos and other under-represented minorities. Yet no one from the community stepped forward to run. Both Aliano and Yamada moved to the dis-




City of Concord

in november, Concord voters will elect their city council members from within newly created districts. Of the five districts, seats in districts 1 and 3 are contested. Current councilmember Tim McGallian is unopposed in district 5. Elections for districts 2 and 4 will be in 2020. To find your district, go to, click on the Government tab and scroll down to Elections.

trict to run for the seat. “While it is good that someone wants to run for the council seat, where are the homegrown leaders or longterm residents from the Monument?” asks George Fulmore, an unofficial representative of the district who often speaks to the council about issues facing the Monument area. Aliano and Yamada differ a bit in how they said they will represent the district, but both said they would put the Monument first.


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“I will always make policy decisions that I feel will benefit the city of Concord all together, but there will be moments when my constituency wants something different from the rest of Concord,” says Aliano. “In times like these, I will be making policy decisions that are wanted by the residents of District 3. They are electing an individual to represent their needs and if elected, those are the people that I am serving.” Yamada acknowledged that the needs of the Monument

community differ from those of the rest of the city, mostly regarding the availability of certain resources and the prevalence of certain issues. “None of the issues that face us in the Monument community are unique to this part of the city, although some of them are more concentrated here,” he says. “My approach to resolving any conflicts of priority will be to prioritize what is necessary for people’s basic safety and well-being – without leaving

any people out of that calculation. It will not always be clear in every situation what choice best meets that criterion. We will discuss situations as a community. And as a council member, I will listen very carefully to every point of view and try to find a way forward that respects all needs. But it is crucial to be clear what the basic principles are, to make coherent decisions and not just react.” In the next issue, the Pioneer will look at how all the candidates stand on specific issues.

August 24, 2018

Concord Pioneer •

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

TAMARA AND R OBERT S TEINER , Publishers TAMARA S TEINER , Editor P ETE C RUZ , Graphic Design B EV B RITTON , Copy Editor J AY B EDECARRÉ, Sports Editor PAMELA W IESENDANGER , Administration, Calendar Editor

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

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

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The Clayton Pioneer and the Concord Pioneer are monthly publications delivered free to homes and businesses in 94517, 94518, 94519 and 94521. ZIP code 94520 is currently served by drop site distribution. The papers are published by Clayton Pioneer, Inc., Tamara and Robert Steiner, PO 1246, Clayton, CA 94517. The offices are located at 6200 Center St. Suite H, Clayton, CA 94517

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

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

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

MARYAM ROBERTS BIKE CONCORD The dangerous crossing of the Monument Corridor Trail and Monument Boulevard just got an upgrade, and that’s good news for cyclists and pedestrians. The city of Concord recently implemented a new pedestrian/bicycle-only traffic signal phase at the busy Monument Boulevard/Mohr Lane intersection. This pilot program is scheduled to run until the end of August, about two weeks after school starts for the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. For drivers, this means waiting for the green light to turn right. For walkers and bikers, it means a safer, calmer crossing because conflicts with turning vehicles are eliminated. (As always, be alert whenever crossing a street.) This dedicated signal change is a severely needed improvement in this heavily walked and biked corridor. In addition to the two trails that converge, the Monument Corridor and the Iron Horse Trail, there are two elementary schools within half a mile of this intersection.

Some of the common dangers that cyclists and pedestrians have encountered are from left-turning, westbound car traffic from Mohr Lane onto Monument Boulevard. This creates a conflict with north/south Monument Corridor Trail pedestrians and cyclists. Also, red-light right turning vehicular traffic to and from Monument and Mohr comes into conflict with “through-traffic” pedestrians and cyclists who are crossing the intersection on the green light. “I have regularly witnessed and experienced several near misses on both counts when drivers failed to yield,” Bike Concord advocate Claire Linder said of the Mohr/Monument intersection. Many pedestrians and cyclists are young children, as well as senior citizens and those with mobility constraints. Thanks to Bike Concord’s advocacy, the city is testing this much-needed change. In late June, just down the street from the Monument/Mohr intersection, a few Bike Concord members witnessed the aftermath of a car-bike collision at the Bancroft/Hookston intersection where the Iron Horse Trail crosses a city street. A witness said a northbound cyclist on the trail, who had the green light, was struck by a right-turning motorist from Hookston onto Bancroft, who had a red light. When the witnesses

See Bike, page 15

Maybeck-designed Clyde Hotel once a grand gathering place CAROL LOnGSHORE


In her majesty, the Clyde Hotel was surrounded by palm trees and invited the community to gather in the massive lobby to celebrate family events or holidays. But her story has a sad ending. In 1917, Bernard Maybeck, a well-known architect famous for the Palace of Fine Arts Rotunda in San Francisco and many mansion around the city and in his hometown of Berkeley, was asked to design a hotel to be located in the small town of Clyde to service the soldiers of WWI. Its first floor was finished in solid redwood and decorated with electrical fixtures that resembled California poppies. During its life, the 176-room building served as a government hospital and a training center for wayward boys. During the depression years, it housed the Civilian Conservation Corps. During the ’50s, the towns-

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Photo courtesy Contra Costa Historical Society

The grand Clyde Hotel had many lives before fire destroyed it in 1964.

people went to social functions hosted by the personnel living there. Guests saw movies and celebrated Thanksgiving dinner under the poppy lights. When marathon dances were vogue, they were held in its spacious lobby. The hotel also offered jeep rides to the kids going to the elementary school in Concord because the school in Clyde was overcrowded. There is not much history as to why she fell into despair after

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those days. But in 1964, owner Eunice VanWinkle woke up to the Oakland Tribune news that the once-spectacular building had burnt down in a fire believed to have started by teenage boys. The flames broke out at 1 a.m., and half the huge building was engulfed in flames by the time the 55 firemen got there. VanWinkle was unable to estimate the value of the structure, which costs $250,000 back

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in 1917. As spectacular as she was in her day, the three-story wooden palace came to an end in a blaze of glory. Thank you to reader Carolyn Vertuca for introducing me to the Clyde Hotel. Carol Longshore has been a Concord resident since 1950. She is past president of the Concord Historical Society. Send comments to

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Concord Pioneer •

August 24, 2018

Ugly Eagles, Spartans post significant week 1 wins JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

North Coast Section football seedings will be made Oct. 28 but 2-1/2 months before that date De La Salle and Clayton Valley Charter each posted statement victories that might be major factors in decisions made that day and even later when the CIF Bowl Game assignments for Northern California teams are made. The Ugly Eagles shocked Pittsburg in Pirate Stadium 3831 in double overtime to give CVCHS a leg up towards an Open Division Section berth and a higher seed than the dreaded fourth spot which they have received the past two years. At a packed Owen Owens Field in Concord, De La Salle shut out Folsom 14-0 in the ballyhooed intersectional season opener between the consensus No. 1 and 2 NorCal teams. And the local coaches were quite impressed by their team’s efforts. Seventh-year Clayton Valley head coach Tim Murphy couldn’t recall a better regularseason victory for his Eagles. He had to harken back to 2005 when his Clovis East team won in overtime at Midland Lee in Texas by a near identical score of 38-37 for a similar result. Pittsburg was 5-0 vs. their long-time rival Eagles since 2004. De La Salle’s defensive coordinator Terry Eidson has been on the Spartans coaching staff since 1981 and says this shutout of Folsom is easily

among the top 5 defensive efforts in all those years. Head coach Justin Alumbaugh said, “Unbelievable job by our defense, you’ve got to tip your cap, man. That team [Folsom] is really good.” CVCHS was behind 10-0 just 183 seconds into the season against a Pitt team that was touted as a major threat to DLS this fall after reaching the State 1-A Bowl Game last year. The Eagles rebounded from the rough start with numerous big plays to battle the hosts in a back and forth game before CV tied the score at 24 with a field goal in the final 20 seconds, sending the game to overtime.

OVERTIME THRILLER Pittsburg started overtime with a touchdown and CV tied it up on a Logan Sumter to Cade Carter fourth-down pass at the back of the end zone to send it to a second OT. That time Clayton got the ball first and scored on Carson Sumter’s three-yard run. The Eagles defense held Pitt on four downs before the team poured on to the field to celebrate the memorable victory. Murphy lauded his players after the game for overcoming an outstanding team and four injuries during the game. “These guys stepped up like I’ve never seen.” He called out the snapper, holder and kicker Camden Grant for the tying field goal and quarterback Sumter for calling the big scoring pass play in overtime. The six-time league champion Eagles will hope this vic-

Christy Murphy photo courtesy CVCHS football

Clayton Valley Charter pulled off one of the program’s biggest regular-season victories in many years when they went to Pittsburg last Friday and upset the Pirates 38-31 in double overtime. Quarterback Logan Sumter (14) keyed the offense with selective passing and handing off to a pair of junior running backs. After an injury ruled out top rusher Mekhi Gervais in the first half, Sumter’s brother Carson Sumter (with ball) took over the ball carrying load including scoring the winning touchdown in the second OT. As always, the ugly Eagles rely on everyone to block and open holes in the Wing-T offense. Clearing the way on this play are Kegan Martin (17), Kavika Baumgartner (50), dennis Curran (40) and Jason Cannedy (52).

tory is weighed heavily when Open Division NCS seeding takes place. The past two years they were placed against DLS in the opening playoff game, effectively ending their season.

DLS’S 3RD OVER FOLSOM De La Salle and Folsom met in the Northern California Regional Open championship in 2012 and 2013 with the Bulldogs led by future Washington quarterback Jake Browning.

Diablo FC boys teams finalists at 2 summer tournaments

See Football, page 12

Liberty Gymnastics TOPS team headed to National Training Camp in Indianapolis

diablo FC 03 Blue boys dominated under 15 San Ramon Summer Classic round robin play with three victories by a combined 12-3 score to take first place in their bracket. in the championship final against Truckee River united the game ended 1-1after two periods of overtime before diablo FC won in a penalty kick shootout. The team includes, from left, Aiden Cook, Aaron Scheg, Zach Lara, Kevin Murguia, Lucas Lundholm, Gabe Perez, Alex Liberty Gymnastics of ConThis year, the whole TOPs with their parents and coaches at Guerrero, Caden Crabtree, Brayden Chan, Conner Farley, Alex decastro, david Salas, cord restarted its TOPs team last team of five gymnasts qualified the beginning of October. Ryan Chand, Sam Mudriyan, Eric Gomez, Liam Verhoweven and coach Zak Kaufman. not year and one of its gymnasts, for National testing. Aaliyah TOPs is the Talent Opportu- pictured, Jack Simpkins and Anthony Ramirez.

Regina Brunson, made it through state and national testing to qualify for USA Gymnastics’ National Training Camp.

Campos of Concord, Kate and Brooke Harris and London Moldre will join Brunson of Clayton when they head to Indianapolis

nity Program run by USA Gymnastics that searches for talent among 7-10 year-old female gymnasts. Within their respective age group, each gymnast is evaluated on their physical abilities and gymnastic skills at state or regional tests. Across the country, approximately 2500 gymnasts test at the state level look to qualify for approximately 300 spots at national testing. Of those 300, only 100 will be invited to National TOPs training camp. “We are so proud of our gymnasts,” said Liberty coaches Andrea Finkbeiner and Lisa Terry. “They have worked extremely hard in the gym over the past several months to gain new skills and improve existing skills. There have been ups and downs along the way, but their dedication and focus has been rewarded.”

Photo courtesy Liberty Gymnastics

Liberty Gymnastics of Concord TOPS team gymnasts, from left, London Moldre, Brooke Harris, Regina Brunson, Kate Harris and Aaliyah Campos of Concord have qualified for uSA Gymnastics’ national Training Camp in October. Serving Northern California for Over 30 Years

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diablo FC 07B Premier were finalists, losing in a penalty kick shootout in the Juventus Tournament of Champions. The under 12 final was tied 1-1 and, after scoreless extra time, the local team lost 3-2 in the shootout. diablo FC 07 was the defending champ of the TOC. in their last five tournaments the worst they have finished is third one time. diablo FC 07 includes, kneeling from left, Carlos Torres, Cian Rattigan; standing, drew Cazarez, Colin Farley, Ronan Rattigan, Misael Chavez, Hamza Saeed, Hayden Hubbard, Enzo Valenzuela and Brett van Erp; back coach Brian Voltattorni. not pictured, Tad dresdow.

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diablo FC 05 nPL boys finished second in their first tournament of the season, the Juventus Tournament of Champions in Redwood City. The local competitive under 14 team won three of its four games, losing in the finals to AC Marin WnB Timbers. The team includes, bottom row from left, Brady Kulisch, Marco Jara, Garrett van Erp, Matteo Arias, Juan diego Botello, Alex Braginsky; back row, Skye Megyesi, Chase Caldwell, Tristen Cazarez, Jose Ortiz, Owen Sherry, Harrison Hubbard, Leo Bravo, Julian Renteria and coach Guillermo Jara.

August 24, 2018

Concord Pioneer •

Athlete Spotlight

Kyla Joseph Age: 10 Team: Forest Park Flyers Sports: Swimming

Following in her mom’s swimming footsteps (or strokes and kicks), Joseph has left many a competitor in her wake while shattering meet and pool records nearly everywhere she’s competed. In her third season with the Flyers the 10year-old got a high-point award at the recent Concord City Meet while winning three individual events and helping Forest Park to relay gold and silver medals. The home schooled fifth grader, who has taken up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at Sabre Academy, immediately took to

the water when she began swimming for Bishop Estates at five, recording a county time. She tried fall swimming with the Terrapins but the small girl was turning blue halfway through practices and the coaches suggested she drop out. She continued to progress and by the time she was eight she posted No. 1 age group times in America for the 500 freestyle and 100 breaststroke. Mom Niki Rodriguez began coaching as a teenager and has helped instruct her

daughter while Kyla’s spent three years each on Bishop Estates and Forest Park and swam unattached in USA Swimming meets the rest of the year. Her veteran Flyers head coach Jeff Mellinger says, “She is one of the hardest workers I have ever coached. Kyla will do a double practice [she trains with older age groups] or lead a lane of teenagers during practice, no questions asked. All the other swimmers watch her with awe and inspiration.” She’s also a role model to her younger siblings, JJ and Trinity, on the Flyers. Mom says, “Year-round swimming is definitely the end goal, though when is up in the air right now because I just don’t want her to burn out young and lose her love for the sport.” The Concord Pioneer congratulates Kyla 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.

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Springwood, Dana Hills win divisions at 52nd Concord swimming championships Springwood Swim Team has been hosting the annual Concord City Swimming Championships—-now in its 52th year—-for decades and the Sprinters were rewarded this year with their first team championship in many years when they stopped a six-year winning streak by neighbors Forest Park to take the B Division title at Concord Community Pool. Dana Hills continued its long winning streak with its 26th A Division championship in 27 years and the Otters also were a close second to Springwood in the B Division. Dana Hills’ only blemish on its championship run since 1992 came in 2002 when, you guessed it, Springwood took first place. The week following the City Meet, Dana Hills tied its best-ever finish at the 58th annual Contra Costa Swimming Championships when the Otters took second to 13-time champions Crow Canyon Country Club. It’s the third time DHST has finished in the runner-up spot and ended three straight years when they were third. Forest Park was second in A Division at City Meet and third in Division II at County while Walnut Country was third at City and sixth at County in the same divisions. Jacob Soderlund continued his annual assault on the City Meet record book. The 15-

Page 11

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Host Springwood Swim Team coaches, from left, Alan iannaccone, Sara Corkran, Karlee Kronquist and Ronnie david celebrated its first City Meet team championship in many years when the Sprinters won the B division, ending a six-year winning streak by neighbors Forest Park. not pictured, coach Brandon delizo.

year-old set new meet records in the 15-18 individual medley and 100-yard breaststroke, each time breaking 2009 marks set by Patrick Keane of DHST. He was the only local swimmer to set a record at the County Meet where he bettered the 100 breast record there too. Juliannah Colchico-Greeley of Forest Park bettered the 1112 IM mark and her young teammate Truly Whitmer lopped nearly a second and a half off the six and under backstroke record. Dana Hills set the only two relay records with he 11-12 medley and 13-14 boys freestyler quarters beat previous Otter team records. Kaylee Beck (6 and under)

was the only Sprinters highpoint winner but her Springwood team accumulated enough points to win the B Division by 24 points over runner-up Dana Hills. Seven different teams had high-point swimmers in B division while three teams captured the 12 A Division high-point awards. B Division high point swimmers from local teams also included Ygnacio Wood’s Anna Lindsay (7-8), Gehringer Park’s Zackery Flores (6 & under), Nico Bushnell (11-12), Sophia Bushnell (9-10) and Hannah Jacobs (13-14), Forest Park’s Ryder McHuron (7-8) and Thayne Merrill (13-14), Noah Garcia (9-10) of Bishop Estates and Jordan Frost (15-

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18) of DHST. In the A Division Walnut Country had Morgan Wendler (7-8), Benjamin Nonaka (9-10) and Soderlund (15-18) and Forest Park’s Kyla Joseph (910) and Rayna Stanziano (1518) were high point. Champions Dana Hills had seven highpoint swimmers—Elsa Jeffress (6 & under), Rebecca Adent (78), Zoe Lahanas (11-12), Karlie Seastrand (13-14), Jonathan Keller (6 & under), Colton Seastrand (11-12) and Jacob Mohrland (13-14). The two relay awards went to Dana Hills with the six and under girls medley relay and 11-12 boys medley.

See Swimming, page 13

Page 12

Football, from page 10

The Spartans ran over undefeated Folsom teams both years to such an extent that CIF did away with the NorCal Open championship game as long as De La Salle continues to dominate play. Folsom has won three State Bowl titles since 2010 and last year’s unbeaten team scored 770 points in 16 games. With an array of top college recruits on the roster this year Folsom was given a good chance of ending the Spartans 290-game winning streak against NorCal teams on the new De La Salle AstroTurf field last Friday. In front of 7000 fans—nearly half wearing Folsom blue—the Spartans relied on its defense to hold the line. The visitors had four drives into De La Salle territory in the first half while the host team punted on their first four possessions and only had two first downs at the half. A lucky non-call for DLS when Folsom fumbled into the end zone for a touchback after their ballcarrier’s knee was apparently down kept the game 0-0 at the intermission. Folsom did no better in the second half. Five turnovers and the aggressive, well-prepared Spartans defense kept the Sacramento-area team scoreless for the first time since 2004. Dorian Hale became the first DLS sophomore to start at quarterback to begin a season since future NFL signalcaller Matt Gutierrez in 1999. The lefthander struggled to get the Spartans offense out of their side of the field in the first half but took advantage of much better field position in the second half with a 17yard TD pass to tight end Isaiah Foskey and then scored himself late in the game for

Concord Pioneer •

well learning our system and executing.” Wu had a pair of TD the 14-0 final margin. passes in his first game as he Henry To’oto’o was all he’s replaces two-time all-league been cranked up to be on QB Jack Fulp, who transdefense as he shadowed dualferred last school year. threat Folsom quarterback Kaiden Bennett and recovered NEW CONCORD FIELD two fumbles. Cornerbacks Concord High christened Amir Wallace and Taveis Mar- its new turf field last Friday shall blanketed Folsom wide in “a great atmosphere,” receivers and their junior according to coach Paul Reyteammate Shamar Garrett had naud. The Minutemen didn’t a pair of interceptions from have any home games last fall his safety position. and a field goal attempt that YV, NORTHGATE BEGIN ON WINNING NOTE

Bryan Shaw unexpectedly stepped into the Ygnacio Valley coaching job this summer and his Warriors—all 22 strong—defeated Fremont of Oakland in their opening game 26-20. It was rumored late last week that Fremont was going to forfeit due to a lack of players, but they were on hand Friday night in Concord. “Starting the season so early does not encourage participation. [The two teams combined barely had a total of 40 players on Dick Ryan Field.] Both teams were having players suffering from leg cramps. Both teams played hard,” said Shaw. The coach pointed to Adam Rodriguez with a 40-yard fumble scoop and score to put the Warriors up by two scores as a key play. BRONCOS VICTORIOUS Northgate High, which has just seven seniors this year, beat visiting Hercules 28-8 to open the season. Coach Ben Ballard says the Broncos had a “good first game, mistakes, big plays, butterflies and lots of great football. Our junior quarterback Nathan Wu, behind a first-year line anchored by senior Blake Stokes, really did

narrowly missed in the last 1:30 sealed a 22-19 loss to Dougherty Valley of San Ramon. Reynaud says, “Our guys played extremely hard and attacked the ball really well on defense. Offensively, we were able to get a few key drives going through the air. We need to improve up front in the running game. DV was able to wear us down in the second half with their very strong running game, but we gave ourselves an opportunity to tie it up at the end.” He added, “Brian Cruz was fantastic on offense and LB Austin Williams, CB Gabe Valencia and CB Gabe Perez

August 24, 2018

High School football participation numbers continue to trend lower


had great defensive games. Bailey Trotter had an incredible catch for our first TD.” First-year Mt. Diablo coach Donald James only had 14 players suit up as the Red Devils lost to visiting Armijo of Fairfield 49-6. “My whole team kept fighting knowing we were short. They played their hearts out.” Quarterback George Davisson connected with Antonio Perez for an 83-yard touchdown. Coach DJ is looking to add more players this week when they visit Mountain House.

Sports Shorts


The number of boys playing high school football continues to drop despite efforts to make the game safer. Only North Coast Section powerhouses Clayton Valley Charter and De La Salle highs have enough players to field the “traditional” varsity, JV and freshman teams among local schools. Well-publicized concerns about concussions and long-term health issues experienced by current and former football players at all levels has seen participation dropping throughout the country, starting with youth tackle football programs that have seen smaller numbers of participants in recent years. NCS commissioner Gil Lemmon says, “I believe the numbers are down concerning football participation, despite the fact that I believe the sport is the safest it has been in my tenure as an educator. The techniques, limits on contact, staff training, etc. have contributed to a safer sport, but every sport brings risks.” Youth flag football programs have sprung up in the area. Even Hall of Fame former Oakland Raiders coach John Madden has said he sees no reason for any tackle football before high school age. Berean Christian has canceled two of its non-league games. Athletic director Craig Lee hopes the number of players (currently under 20) will increase with the start of school. Last year Berean began a JV team but eventually had to combine all players on varsity. They are only having varsity this fall. Just two years ago the Eagles were top seed in the NCS D-V playoffs. New Mt. Diablo High coach Donald James says he will have JV and varsity squads. Northgate, Ygnacio Valley, College Park and Concord highs will all field frosh/soph and varsity teams. Ben Ballard’s Northgate team numbers are down quite a bit with only seven seniors playing this year. Jay Bedecarré

website. For more information and to purchase tickets to the fall show go to


Youth leagues, clinics and tournaments are scheduled by All Out Sports Leagues in Clayton this fall and winter. Fall youth basketball and adult softball leagues are currently taking signups. For complete information on All Out Sports programs, visit

Clayton Valley High School Athletic Hall of Fame will induct its sixth class on Friday, May 3, 2019 at the Shadelands Art Center in Walnut Creek. The Hall of Fame committee is seeking nominees for that 2019 induction class. Nominees must be a CVHS grad or coach from 1959-2009. Nomination forms can be picked up at the high school office during business hours. ST. AGNES CYO BASKETBALL Contact Herc Pardi with any quesWALK-IN REGISTRATION SEPT. 6 tions. The committee will accept completed application forms Registration for St. Agnes CYO basketball is being accepted until Oct. 15. online and at walk-in registration day on Thursday, Sept. 6, from 6-9 p.m. at Cauchi Hall on the school campus in Concord. PlayST. BONAVENTURE CYO CROSS COUNTRY ers must sign up by Sept. 6. Girls and boys in second through PRACTICE UNDERWAY eighth grades who live within the St. Agnes boundaries are eligiSt. Bonaventure CYO cross country is open to boys and girls ble to play. Player evaluations will be held in September. Visit in 2nd-8th grades in the St. Bonaventure attendance area. Cross for complete fees and online registration. country is a short, family-oriented season with practices in Newhall Park. The program is for youths who want to learn WALNUT COUNTRY FALL PROGRAM OPENS proper technique for cross country running. Friday meets begin AS TRIGGERFISH AQUATICS SEPT. 4 Sept. 21 concluding with the Oakland Diocese meet Oct. 19. Walnut Country coach Adrian Lohse is offering his newlyContact St. Bonaventure CYO athletic director Joe Sullivan at named Triggerfish Aquatics as a supplement to summer recre787-6745, email or visit ational swimming. The programs are intended to offer summer for more info. recreational swimmers of all abilities a chance to improve within

the sport while maintaining summer eligibility. This year the fall program will be swimming under the new United States SwimSTARTS THIS MONTH ming team name. Lohse has over 30 years of swim experience Boys and girls of all skill levels in the 6U-19U (1999-2014) and this fall’s program will be at Springwood and Ygnacio Wood age groups are invited to sign up for the Diablo FC fall rec soc- from Sept. 4 - Nov. 16. Information and registration are available cer program which runs from August through October. The at area’s premier soccer club is offering this new fall season program that includes two practices per week and one game per 5TH DIABLO FC POKER NIGHT FUNDRAISER SEPT. 7 weekend. Local competitive soccer club Diablo FC will hold its 5th Volunteer parent coaches get free registration for their child. annual fundraising Poker Night on Friday, Sept. 7. There will be The 8-10 game season includes coaching education provided by tri-tip and chicken dinner before gaming starts at Centre ConDiablo FC staff. Additional free clinics run by Diablo FC coach- cord. The poker tournament will have gift cards and 49erses for rec players are offered in addition to team practices. Fee Raiders football tickets as prizes. For more information or to includes a uniform. Visit for details. sign up visit


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Kara Kohler will be representing the United States at the World Rowing Championships Sept. 9-16 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The Clayton Valley and Cal Berkeley grad has earned the No. 1 spot in single sculls on the American team after competing in World Cup races this season.


New St. Bonaventure CYO basketball athletic director Ferd Santos has announced signups for boys and girls in second through eighth grades living within St. Bonaventure parish boundaries or attending Catholic education classes. Signups are being taken online at The program is offering multi-family discounts and has volunteer coaching positions open. Deadline to register is Sept. 1. Late registrants will be waitlisted. For more information visit the program’s website or call 270-9390.


Diablo FC 8 under through under 19 competitive soccer teams (birth years 2000-2011) have held formal tryouts for the 2018-19 season. Players interested in joining Diablo FC should email director of coaching Zach Sullivan at with any questions about the club or to arrange a player evaluation for players in birth years 2000-2011. Visit to get more information on the area’s premier youth soccer club.


Labor Day Weekend the Walnut Creek Aquanuts will showcase its annual synchronized swimming show to commemorate a half century of excellence. The evening performances at Clarke Memorial Swim Center showcase synchronized swimming in a theatrical format complete with lights, props, a 3-D stage and glittering costumes. The show runs Thursday through Sunday with doors open at 7 p.m. and the performance at 8. A general snack bar, and beer and wine bar will be available. Tickets are sold  at the door or online tickets are available on the club


The Terrapins ended the 2018 swim year by shattering the local, regional and national record books. The Terrapins set four new Pacific Swimming records and four USA Junior National records at the season-ending Far Western Championships in Orinda and at the USA Junior National Championships in Irvine. The local team also scored a fifth-place team finish at Far Westerns and were also fifth in combined team finish at the USA Junior Nationals and second in the men’s team standings. USC bound Alexei Sancov tied for the meet men’s high point award by winning the 200 freestyle, getting second in the 100 free and 100 butterfly and sixth in the 50 free. New Pacific records were set by the Terrapins 15-18 boys where they broke the 200 and 400 free relays and 200 medley relays. Andrei Minakov broke the 15-16 boys 100m free record and set USA Junior National records in the 100 free and 100m fly. Sancov capped off a great Terrapin senior year with a new Junior National record in the 200 free. The final USA Junior National record by the Terrapins was by the 400 free relay quartet of Matt Fetterman, Andrew Rodriguez, Minakov and Sancov. The Far Western Championships produced many lifetime best swims by Terrapin swimmers. Leading the group was 12year-old Lilly Struempf who swam six life best swims and scored top 8 in all six events. Aden Li, Maile Andresen (14) and Jessica Larson set lifetime bests, while Cal Tech-bound senior Danica Adams scored in two finals and UCLA-bound Emily Lo won both breaststroke swims. Concord’s Anthony Vizental had four best times and scored in all four finals. The youngest TERA standout, 10-year-old Elizabeth Joseph swam to three top 8 finishes.


Walnut Creek Aquanuts are offering “Try It” days Sept. 1 and 2 to introduce athletes to its synchronized swimming program. The 90-minute sessions are at Clarke Memorial Swim Center in Walnut Creek. Cost is $10 if you pre-register online or $15 on the day. The fee  includes USA Synchro  insurance/registration for the day, a cap and nose clip. For more information on WCA’s year-round recreational programs or to register for upcoming programs go to

Concord Pioneer •

Local players help West Regional champs Diablo FC 01/00 girls to National Cup

Diablo FC 01/00 girls won the US Club Soccer West Regionals this summer, earning them a ticket to the USCS National Cup XVII last month in Colorado. Players from Clayton Valley Charter (Mackenzie Tobin, Olivia Kreamer, Serena Connel), Carondelet (Brianna Murray, Carissa Capinpin) and Northgate (Julia Hagedorn) helped the local club team as they won the West Regional in June with an undefeated record in the

U17 Super Group. They competed on consecutive weekends last month at National Cup and the prestigious Surf Cup in San Diego, finishing up their U17 season. In Colorado they played teams from Oklahoma, New Jersey and Massachusetts. They are now moving up to U19 and are ranked in the Top 20 in the United States in that age group. Diablo FC 01/00 includes, bottom row from left, Alexis Castillo, Alexus

Photo courtesy diablo FC

Jackson (captain), Tobin (captain), Alicia Cardenas-Perez, Xitlali Martinez, Renny Buchanan; back row, Giulianna Arias, Sarah Smith, Madison Johnson, Connel, Katey Hartwig, Hagedorn, Cassia Souza, Sophia Salimpour (captain), Emily Smith, head coach Scott Alexander, Kreamer, Talia Benioff-White, Capinpin, Murray and Hannah Corn. Not pictured, Natalia Leroux and Megan Schieber.

Swimming, from page 11

York, Kaylee Belk, Noah Shahan, Kanaloa Ka’ai, John Gregory, Abbi Cooper, Gianna Rossetti, Ethan Duke, Ronnie David, Trevor Oakhurst Country Club Wood, Kayla Huston, Noah GarMontana, Fiona Canada, Joshua won the Team Sportsmanship cia, Lexa Huston, Emma DiepCard. award for the seventh time straten, Julianna Ruiz, Leila GarVista Diablo: Eduardo cia, Bella Auerbach, Victoria since 2004. Deassis, William Roloson, Emmett At the season-ending Collins. Lutz, Quinn Sanders, Marina Forest Park: Kyla Joseph, County Meet Colton Seastrand Didenko, Mason Kramer, Nathan and Soderlund both won high- Kyle Stilinovich, Rayna Stanziano, Stagmier, Ryan Stagmier, Evan Colchico-Greeley, point honors. Karlie Seastrand, Juliannah Vogler, Lorelei Paul, Brandon Morgan Wendler, Mohrland Grant Kinzel, Aubrey Newton, Vogler, Stella Despins, Keelan and Walnut Country’s Mason Thayne Merrill, Nate Wendling, Shellooe. Wendler (11-12) were second Arie Vanhoven, Rebecca Griffin, Walnut Country: Sofia while Nonaka and Marina Evalinne Vecchio, Lars Bergen, Acevedo, Morgan Wendler, Didenko (6 and under) of Giulianna Lucia, Ryder McHuron, Caitlin Kougios, Dylan WashVista Diablo were fourth at Jaden Nieves, Kyle Stilinovich, mera, Benjamin Nonaka, Tyler Caitlin Biles, Jaren Lopez, Truley County in their age group. Summers, Brady Cannon, Mason Whitmer, Shia Padilla, Melia Wendler, Athena Marquez, Jacob CITY MEET TEAM SCORES Tourady, Audrey Farmer, Isabel Soderlund, Kaylie Bulmer, Olivia A Division: Dana Hills Otters Ragland, Morgan Bonner, Tyler Wirig, Enya Castaneda, Miley 1112 points, Forest Park Flyers Wadman, Conor Halley-McCarty, Ulicki, Charlotte James, Tanner 639.5, Walnut Country Stingrays Vinny Iachella, Raymond Lucia, Lustig, Gianna Kougios, Sarah 577.50, Ygnacio Wood Seahors- Zoe Booth, Dylan Roberts, Leah Kindorf, Cole Louie, Lexie Solari, es 341.50, Springwood Sprinters Garrison, Molly McNiff. Samantha Reyes, Colin Huck322, Oakhurst Orcas 305.5, Gehringer Park: McKenna estein, Makaela Summers, Aiden Vista Diablo Dolphins 169, Andrade, Jake McCabe, Hannah Huckestein, Evan Sonoda, Tess Gehringer Park Gators 143, Bish- Jacobs, Anna Weires, Logan Beckon, Starlah Menjivar, Dimitri op Estates Barracudas 107, Forest Jacobs, Sophia Bushnell, Isabella Acevedo, Torrin Donaldson. Hills Beavers 69, Crockett Crock- Jimenez, Nico Bushnell, Tano Ygnacio Wood: Riley ett-iles 44. Bushnell, Amelia Chaix, Natalie McCann, Abby Seman, Courtney B Division: Springwood Mathie, Lilly Weires, Nikki Gibbs, Ward, Tommy Meriam, Michael 367, Dana Hills 343, Ygnacio Avery Boughton, Amelia GiorManuel, Cole Welsh, Nicolas Wood 232, Forest Park 216, Wal- dano, Zackery Flores, Hailey Coker, Kai Welsh, Max Meriam, nut Country 198.50, Gehringer Haynes. Anna Lindsay, Jacob Cole, Park 194.50, Oakhurst 147.5, Springwood: Kaleb JosephMatthew Lindsay, McKenna Forest Hills 143, Bishop Estates son, Ka’ai Ke’olani, Savannah Doggett, Katelyn Smith, Tiago 125.50, Vista Diablo 124, Crock- Freitas, Sara Corkran, Brooklyn Felfela, Joaquin Halverson, ett 54. Henggeler, Quinn Gonzalez, Michelle House, Sydney Welsh, Riley Brandt, Dalton Cooper, John Angelina Barbano, Joaquin CITY MEET INDIVIDUAL Finck, Rocco Caputi, Eric Tizon, Almonte, Andrew Hallett, Connor Concord team’s finishers (top Nick Mucha, Enric Winters, Max Thaning, Jimmy Costello, Will 3 City Meet – A and B Divisions) Hertzfeldt, Scarlett Ringue, Trinity Boone. Bishop Estates: Dawson Hockel, Gabriel David, Vincent

Next road trip head for Oregon Coast


There are plenty of possibilities for summer road trips in California, such as Disneyland, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite and coastal Highway 1. But if you are weary of the usual California destinations, it may be time to experience the wonders of our neighbor to the north: Oregon. Starting in Astoria on the northern Oregon coast and heading south to Brookings, here are some of the top places to stop, breathe in the fresh Pacific breeze and look around. Astoria. Situated at the mouth of the mighty Columbia River, Astoria is rich in history and shipwrecks. A stop at the Columbia River Maritime Museum is a must, as well as a visit to the Lewis and Clark National and State Historical Parks, which include Fort Clatsop National Memorial. At nearby Fort Stevens State Park, you can see the treacherous mouth of the Columbia and visit the shipwreck of the Peter Iredale, which ran aground here in 1906. Be sure to see the famous Astoria Column, a 125-foot tower atop Coxcomb Hill with great views of the surrounding countryside. If that’s not enough reason to visit, Astoria is where “Kindergarten Cop” with Arnold Schwarzenegger was filmed.

Cannon Beach. The home of Haystack Rock, this is one of the most popular beaches in Oregon. Watch birds, go hiking, ride horses on the beach or just soak in the stunning scenery. In 1846, the U.S. Navy schooner Shark ran aground trying to cross the Columbia Bar, known as the Graveyard of the Pacific. A cannon washed ashore but disappeared, then was rediscovered in 1898 – inspiring the name. The cannon is now housed in the city’s museum and a replica can be seen alongside U.S. 101. Tillamook Cheese Factory. An hour and 20 minutes past Cannon Beach, this is one of the coast’s top attractions and draws more than 1 million visitors a year. Take a self-guided tour and sample ice cream in the Creamery Café. Yaquina Head Lighthouse. At 93 feet tall, Oregon’s tallest lighthouse stands vigil over the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. It has a terrific visitor’s center with exhibits about the history of the lighthouse and the wildlife around it. There’s a wonderful viewing area where you can often spot migrating gray whales. Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. This is the largest sand dune area in North America, with some dunes as high as 500 feet above the ocean. ATV riding is the big attraction here, and many visitors camp

Page 13

If You Go

Dress in layers. Weather

conditions can vary dramatically between the coast and the interior valleys. Take a heavy jacket for foggy, windy days at the beaches and some short-sleeve shirts and shorts for the interior. For more information, free travel guides, maps and things to do, go to

among the dunes by night and ride out into the dunes by day. Don’t have an ATV? No worries. There are plenty of rental shops. Coos Bay and Brookings. Coos Bay is the largest city along the coast between San Francisco and Seattle, and it’s a popular tourist stop. The drive south is exceptionally beautiful as you cruise the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, which concludes at Brookings, home to Harris Beach State Park as well as the largest stand of coastal redwoods in Oregon. Robert Casey is president of Fair Winds Cruises & Expeditions in Clayton. He can be reached at 925787-8252 or Or visit

Lawn to Garden Workshops and Rebates


August 24, 2018

Sept. 7 and Oct. 5 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Contra Costa Water District 1331 Concord Ave., Concord • Expert advice on landscape design, drip irrigation & lawn removal • Information about CCWD’s Rebate Program. For more information and to register, visit: and look for the Calendar Section.


Sept. 1, 8 a.m. • • • • •

52 mile Morgan Territory Ride or a 32 mile Danville Loop Ride starts at Sports Basement in Walnut Creek Donations accepted online and day of ride Refreshments and Lunch will be provided For more information, go to

(This is not a race)


5th Annual Benefit Ride Give up the old front lawn and get up to $2,000 Apply today for approval to begin replacing your water-thirsty lawn with a water-wise landscape. Two rebate programs available: • Contra Costa Water District: • State of California Rebate:

Page 14

F r om the desk o f . . .

Concord Pioneer •

August 24, 2018

City OKs Carondelet STEM center, small subdivision

dOMiniC ALiAnO


In the past couple of months, the Concord Planning Commission has reviewed and approved some exciting projects. They include the Carondelet High School Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Innovation Center, the Myrtle Creek Estates subdivision, a use permit amendment for Rack ’Em Up Billiards and an Arco gas station with an AM/PM convenience store. The Carondelet Innovation Center is a 17,700 sq. ft., twostory building that will be built on the east lawn. This area abuts Winton Drive and is

located between the cafeteria and the tennis courts. The Innovation Center will have eight classrooms and three ancillary studios. These new classroom environments are going to support a 21st century education and a change in the school’s program and curriculum that reflects national trends to provide more project-based, hands-on, real-world learning. The Myrtle Creek Estates subdivision consists of seven lots on 3.6 acres at 5019 Myrtle Dr., at the northeast corner of Myrtle Drive and Ayers Road. It is currently a vacant lot located across from Ayers Elementary School. The seven lots will range from 20,002 sq. ft. to 25,961 sq. ft., because zoning requires a minimum of 20,000 sq. ft. for lot area. Lots 3 and 5 will be two-story homes with five bedrooms and three-car garages. Lots 2 and 6 will be one story with four bedrooms

sy ay Ea Sundtening Lismusic 4-7pm ucing



and two-car garages. Lots 1, 4 and 7 will be two stories with five bedrooms and three-car garages. This project is exciting because each home is architecturally designed differently. The Concord Planning Commission and the Design Review Board take pride in making sure that we do not approve anything that is

“cookie cutter.” Rack ’Em Up Billiards is a bar and pool hall operating on an incidental entertainment permit. They came to the Planning Commission for approval of a use permit amendment so they can expand entertainment to have a live band and dancing. The approved use permit amendment allows Rack ’Em

Up to expand the footprint of the stage, allow dancing and increase the hours of live entertainment to 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Thursday-Sunday. Lastly, we approved a use permit and design review for a 3,247 sq. ft. convenience market, gas station and car wash on a 0.94-acre site. This Arco gas station and AM/PM convenience store is next to the

on- and off-ramp for Highway 4 on Arnold Industrial Place. The parcel is adjacent to Scandinavian Designs and across from the Solano Drive-In Theater. The gas station will have six gas/diesel dispenser islands.

In Mt. Diablo Unified, we believe it is important for students to have a well-rounded school career centered around academics and complemented with arts, music, sports and physical education, powered by imagination and invention. Parents may recall fond childhood memories pretending to be an artist, dancer, nELLiE MEYER sports hero, action figure, you name it. Students still MDUSD play pretend, but advances in SUPERINTENDENT technology and access to materials take imagination to nology, Engineering, Art, and a new level. Throughout the district, Mathematics) and STEM our STEAM (Science, Tech- (Science, Technology, Engi-

neering and Mathematics) labs and Makerspaces provide students the environment to design, imagine, invent, tinker and engineer to their hearts’ content. I have seen students use 3D printers to create parts for musical instruments, gather normally discarded household items to build complex and aweinspiring marble mazes, connect plastic and wires and batteries to make tiny little robots, and figure out ways to use recyclable bottles and paper to simulate nearly lifesize kelp beds. By fueling opportunities to

stretch their imaginations, we help these students become good collaborators, problemsolvers and innovators for the 21st century. I encourage you to inspire your child’s imagination at home and through family activities. This isn’t always with adult-led structured activities; sometimes downtime is the best gift you can give. Challenge kids to go screen-free and tech-free to see what their imaginations can spark.

Imagination remains integral to education

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As summer draws to a close and kids head back to school, I wanted to share with you information about parks and recreation departments in District 4 that offer movie and concert series for family fun. Local park and rec departments play an important role in fostering and supporting a sense of community by providing opportunities for the public to congregate. They offer affordable programs for people to exercise, enjoy nature and participate in activities together with friends and family. There are programs for people of all ages, with activities to do as a

“The Jungle Book,” 7 p.m. CONCORD MOVIES AND MUSIC Fri., Sept. 28, Civic Park. Gates open at 5 p.m. for a For further information, concert, followed by a movie at call 925-943-5858 or visit the Food Truck Cinema at Diablo Creek Golf Course. “The Princess Bride,” Sat., PLEASANT HILL CONCERTS Summer Concert Series, 6- Aug. 25. “Top Gun,” Sat., Sept. 22. 8 p.m. Sun., Sept. 2, on the “Hocus Pocus,” Fri., lawn at City Hall. Downtown Concert Series, Oct. 26. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thurs., Sept. 6, CLAYTON CONCERTS in the plaza in front of Jack’s IN THE GROVE Restaurant & Bar. Steel ’n’ Chicago, 6-8:30 Call 925-671-5229 for more p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, the information. Grove Park. East Bay Mudd, 6-8:30 p.m. CONCORD MUSIC Saturday, Sept. 15, the Grove DOWNTOWN Dark Side of the Moon Park. Night, 6-8:30 p.m. Thurs., Take these last opportuniOct. 4, Todos Santos Plaza. House of Floyd will perform ties to enjoy the warm Pink Floyd music to a laser evenings with the whole family. light show. Plus moon talks by I hope to see you there. guests from the astronomy and WALNUT CREEK MOVIES Karen Mitchoff is Contra Costa science community as well as UNDER THE STARS “The Lion King,” 7:30 an interactive “ask a scientist” County District IV supervisor. Email questions or comments to p.m. Fri., Sept. 7, Tice Valley village. Park.

group or independently. This is a great way to meet people who share similar interests with you. Parks and recreation departments also manage local public swim centers and senior centers, as well as providing rental space for the public to hold events. All local parks and recreation departments provide quarterly brochures in print and online where the public can learn about programs. In addition, the park and rec departments keep the public engaged about issues in your city. They provide an essential public service and enhance the quality of life for residents in our communities. Here are some fun upcoming events in District 4:

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though the positions are nonpartisan. Likewise, endorsement by local leaders may influence voters. I am a very specific issues guy. When we had to fill the council vacancy after Tim Grayson was elected to the Assembly, I provided about a 100 questions in private directly to each of the 35 candidates who applied for the position. My colleagues did not appreciate the approach and limited their questions to four in public and passed a policy that the majority could overrule the right of one of their elected colleagues to ask a question in public. I was not then nor am I now pleased. How you rate or weigh the questions varies greatly, and there is no single guide for it. Please ask very specific ques-

tions and demand exacting answers, not political doublespeak. Here are some of my top questions:

a. Four districts and a directly elected mayor b. Five districts and a directly elected mayor c. Five districts and no directly elected mayor d. Six districts and a directly elected mayor e. Five districts and a directly elected mayor and vice mayor

1. For apartments with more than 25 units, will you vote for: 4. Do you support a cannabis a. Limit of 10 percent dispensary for both medrent increase a year, ical and adult use? unless approved by a rent board 5. Do you support the manub. Must offer a one-year facture of cannabis for lease both medical and adult use? c. Some sort of just 6. Do you support authorizing cause for eviction indoor cultivation of 2. Will you vote for putting a cannabis up to 12,000 sq. directly elected mayor on ft.? the ballot in 2020, for effect 7. Do you support putting on in 2022? the City Council agenda an 3. For the next census-affected open discussion of future district distribution in 2022, agenda items? do you support:

8. Do you support the placement of a police substation back in the Monument and one in North Concord?

9. Do you support a sales tax increase of one-half cent so that the total Measure Q tax is one cent, with the bulk of the proceeds to go to road repair and replacement?

10. Do you support giving homeless free housing at city expense? Of course, I could easily go on for at least 90 more questions. But the key is: What are your questions and what are the specific answers that will sway you to vote for a candidate?

Email questions and comments to Mayor Birsan at


August 24, 2018

Concord Pioneer •

Page 15

New leaders announced for CVCHS, MDUSD

Clayton Valley Charter began its seventh year as a charter school last week and, along with a new freshman class of 530 students, there is a new person in charge. Jim Scheible was unanimously approved by the CVCHS governing board at its Aug. 8 meeting as the school’s second executive director. He began working the next morning during junior class registration. Interim executive director Bob Hampton was very pleased with the results of the condensed summer recruitment period which saw Scheible rise to the top of the applicants during the selection and interview process. The board and school principal Jeff Anderson gave Scheible a warm welcome after the official vote. “I’m here to serve the students and community of Clayton Valley Charter,” he announced at the board meeting, adding that he had moved into his Clayton condo that afternoon and was going to unpack as time allowed between work days overseeing the district office and the faculty, staff and 2200 students of CVCHS. Scheible comes to the Concord school after spending the last dozen years at St. HOPE Public Schools, a group of charter schools ranging from pre-

rent. For the past three years the district has stopped completing a large Measure C project on the campus as well as not approving a $1.5 million athletic fields project the charter wants to fund and complete on the property owned by the district.

Jay Bedecarré

CVCHS principal Jeff Anderson, left with new executive director Jim Scheible.

Dave Linzey held the executive director position since Clayton Valley converted to a charter in 2012. The school achieved large gains in test scores and graduation rates plus maintaining a healthy financial position with about $13.5 million in reserves and many upgrades to campus facilities and appearance. However, Linzey’s management style caused friction with the faculty (there was a seemingly large turnover nearly every year), some administrators and portions of the local community, including the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Scheible’s two-year contract calls for an annual salary of $175,000, which is the same amount Linzey received in his first year at CVCHS. Linzey’s salary had increased by nearly $75,000 when he abruptly left the school this spring. The con-

tract also calls for Scheible to work 10 more days (225 total) than Linzey and doesn’t include any vacation days (Linzey had 24 in his final agreement). He says he spent about 90 total minutes at the district office on Kirker Pass Rd. last week during the first three days of the school year while he was able to visit every classroom on campus. “I discovered there is excellent cell reception in the quad, so I can sit out there and do business on my laptop and phone when I’m not in a meeting or visiting a classroom,” Scheible told the Pioneer after attending the MDUSD Measure C Citizen’s Bond Oversight Committee quarterly meeting last week. This Monday he was going to court for a hearing concerning the lawsuits between the charter and MDUSD concerning the amount the charter should be paying the district for MEASURE J ON THE BALLOT; BOARD SLATE SETTLED Board member Cheryl Hansen is running for County Superintendent of Schools Nov. 6, leaving a vacancy on the Mt. Diablo Unified School District Board of Education. Incumbents Linda Mayo and Debra

Superintendent site visit part of Teacher of the Year tradition Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Karen Sakata recently visited Kelly Perkin’s special education life skills class at Ygnacio High School in Concord. Perkins, a 27-year special education teacher, was named Mt. Diablo Unified School District’s Teacher of the Year in March. Before her 10 years at Ygnacio High, she taught special education for 17 years at other district schools, including Foothill, Strandwood and Woodside. Since 1998, she also has been an adjunct professor at St. Mary’s College, where she teaches special education courses for educators. “I became a teacher because I enjoy interacting with students and supporting social and intellectual development,” says Perkins. “I also enjoy challenging students and guiding them toward becoming independent thinkers and learners. I can’t

Kelly Perkins, a special ed teacher at Ygnacio High, is the district’s Teacher of the Year.

imagine doing anything else.” Parent Shawn Garcia calls Perkins “a wonderful partner” in her son’s education. “Her enthusiasm, passion for teaching, creativity and

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endless energy motivates all who work with Kelly,” Garcia says. “Her belief that special education students should be fully included and embraced by everyone on campus is truly an inspiration. Her excitement motivates others, including the general education students, teachers, principal and even the bus drivers, to fully embrace our special education kids with openness and respect.” Throughout the school year, Sakata visits the incoming winners in their classrooms. This is a great way for her to meet the teachers and their students, as well as take in the day’s lesson plan. A Sept. 27 gala at the Concord Hilton will include short video presentations recorded during the visits. About 8,400 teachers educate more than 177,000 students in Contra Costa County’s public schools. To recognize their efforts and bring

HILE LAWSUIT SETTLED Former CVCHS teacher and administrator Greg Hile’s claim against the charter and Linzey for employment discrimination following his termination at the end of the 2015-16 school year was settled in June. A financial settlement of $450,000 was paid to Hile and his law firm. Hile’s salary was about $110,000 in his final year at the school. He was hired as a full-time teacher at Clayton Valley High in 2009 and by 2014 was director of operations and administrative services at the now charter high school. After his termination he sued the school, charging the school and executive director Linzey with “age and disability discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination.” The agreement says the defendants (CVCHS and Linzey) made the payment as “a compromise of a doubtful and disputed claim, and the payment is not to be construed as an admission of liability on the part of the defendants.” It’s been reported—but not confirmed by the school—that CVCHS earlier settled lawsuits with former IT Director Matthew Rosso ($200,000) and teacher/athletic director Amber Lineweaver ($101,000).

much-deserved honor to the teaching profession, participating school districts in the county name Teacher of the Year representatives in March. This year’s 22 winners represent 17 county school districts, the Contra Costa Community College District and the county Office of Education. Each year, one instructor from the Community College District is submitted. The colleges rotate between Diablo Valley, Los Medanos and Contra Costa. The winning representatives who teach grades TK-12 are eligible to compete in the county Teacher of the Year competition. The two top teachers in the county program will represent the county in the state program this fall.

Mason filed to run as did MDUSD Education Foundation president Cherise Khaund. With only three candidates for three positions there will be no contested seats in November. There will, however, be an important MDUSD issue on the ballot. Measure J is a general obligation bond measure designed to raise $150 million to support repairing and improving schools in the district. It would cost approximately $19.75 per $100,000 of assessed, not market, value per year. The measure requires a 55% yes vote to pass. NEW MDUSD PRINCIPALS Thirteen schools in the M.t Diablo Unified School District had new principals on hand last week when the 2018-19 school year began. Approved by the school board over the summer for their new assignments are:

High School • Crossroads Necessary Small High - Christina Filios

Middle Schools • Foothill - Kimberly Vaiana • Oak Grove - Glendaly Gascot • Pine Hollow – Ben Campopiano

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS • Ayers – Martha Thomas • Cambridge - Lourdes Beleche • El Monte – Erin DeMartini • Meadow Homes - Kathryn Fireman • Monte Gardens – Jonathan Fey • Mt. Diablo – Linn Kissinger • Rio Vista - Liz Lanfranki Law • Ygnacio Valley - Silvia Orellana

Alternative Schools • Continuation/Independent Study Schools – Heather Morelli

Bike, from page 9

arrived, the vehicle was still in the crosswalk with the fire truck parked just behind it. The cyclist was on a stretcher and his front wheel was visibly bent. Although this intersection is designated with “No turn on red” signage for motorists, it is regularly disobeyed. It’s important for cyclists and pedestrians to stay aware. Bike Concord advocates green skip striping in addition to more prominent “No right on red” signs and enforcement as needed. The signal phase change at the Monument/Mohr

intersection is a big step in the right direction to preventing accidents. Thanks to the city of Concord for mitigating a dangerous crossing and making walking and biking more feasible in our community. We hope and expect to see this pilot move out of the testing phase and into a permanent feature with prominent “No turn on red” signs to further protect the most vulnerable who use the intersection.

Maryam Roberts is a volunteer with Bike Concord.

Follow Contra Costa County’s Teacher of the Year program on Twitter and Instagram: #cocotoy.


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school to Sacramento High, the second oldest high school west of the Mississippi. The 36-yearold graduated from UC San Diego in 2004 and then worked in New York City as a science and math teacher in PS 28 for two years in the Teach For America program. He returned to his hometown of Sacramento to begin his tenure at St. HOPE. During his 12 years there he held virtually every position from algebra teacher to principal to superintendent. He also oversaw the WASC accreditation and charter renewal processes as well as fund-raising and other administrative duties. Board chairperson Kristy Downs says, “It was an easy selection. After an exhaustive search and interview process, the Board was convinced that Jim was the best candidate. His pursuit for achieving ambitious goals has earned him respect and praise among his professional peers. “He is viewed as a great organizational leader and strong collaborator committed to building positive relationships with all stakeholders through effective communications. But overall, the Board was impressed with his passion for student success and the enthusiasm he will bring to lead our staff and school community.” CVCHS reported that under his leadership, St. HOPE Public Schools consistently increased academic results for underserved students and provided a highquality, rigorous college preparatory education. In his first year as principal, St. HOPE Public Schools was recognized by the California Charter School Association as the “Charter School of the Year” in the state.

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Page 16


Concord Pioneer •

‘Classics’ in Concord, ‘Mama’ comes to Walnut Creek





I feel like an understudy waiting in the wings, excited and thankful for the opportunity to step into my new role as theater columnist for the Pioneer newspapers. Thank you to the talented actress and writer Sally Hogarty, who has provided such wonderful support and guidance to Pioneer readers. I look forward to carrying on the showbiz tradition. Get your tickets now for B8 Theatre Company’s gala “Classics and Crooners” featuring past and present B8 ensemble members. The performance offers classic scenes and monologues, intertwined with popular American Songbook tunes from the likes of Jerome Kern, Rodgers and Hart and Cole Porter. Performers in this year’s

Peter Liu

Em Lee Reaves as Velma in SF production, “Speakeasy.”

August 24, 2018

CenterRep’s “Mama Mia” features Leanne Borghesi, Lynda diVito and Alison Quin at the Lesher Aug 31-Oct. 7.

show include Deborah Black, Alan Cameron, Miia Ashley, Kerry Gudjohnsen, Matthew Gardner, Matthew Travisano, Ron Pickett and Becky Potter, who selected the pairings of classic theater scenes and monologues with good old standard songs for the show. You’ll find silent and live auctions, hors d’oeuvres, craft beers and fine wines at the Sept. 15 fundraiser at 2292 Concord Blvd., Concord. Tickets are $50. Call 925-890-8877 or go to Take a chance on “Mama Mia,” opening Center Repertory Theatre’s 51st season. In a quest to learn who her father is, Sophie invites three men from her mother’s past – hoping one of them will walk her down the aisle. Audiences will enjoy familiar tunes such as “Dancing Queen” in this heartwarming, funny tale inspired by the music of ABBA and composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, former members of the band. “Mama Mia” plays Aug. 31Oct. 7 at the Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. For tickets, call 925-

Richard in the production, which runs Aug. 22-Sept. 9 at the Bruns Amphitheater, 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way, Orinda. Call 510-809-3290 or go to Brush off your monologues and audition for Ghostlight Theatre Ensemble’s hysterical comedy, “The Fox on the Fairway” by Ken Ludwig, on Aug. 26 and 28. Show dates are Oct. 12-14 at the Shadow Lakes Event Center, 400 Guthrie Lane, Brentwood. For details, visit “All My Sons” beautifully explores the moral and ethical duty we owe to others. Pulitzer Prize winner Arthur Miller’s drama is as relevant today as it was when written in 1947. The Keller family is torn apart when a son disappears during WWII. The family

holds secrets from each other. They lie to one another. Some know the secret and lie to themselves. Others discover the secret for the first time. A series of revelations leads to a dramatic showdown that changes the family forever. This production is part of the 19th annual Eugene O’Neill Festival. Patrick Russell directs “All My Sons” Aug. 31-Sept. 16 at the Village Theatre, 233 Front St., Danville. For tickets, visit If you’re ready for an incredible theater adventure, be transported through time to “The Speakeasy.” Dressed in 1920s formal wear for our immersive theater experience, my party met a mysterious stranger in a secret location in San Francisco’s North Beach who provided us with a

943-SHOW or go to Following shows in Antioch and Lafayette, the roving actors and technicians of the Vagabond Players move to the Martinez Campbell Theatre for A.R. Gurney’s “Sylvia.” The always hilarious Sheilah Morrison appears in the title role. She’s a street-smart, feisty mixture of a Lab and poodle who becomes a bone of contention between the man who rescued her and his wife. The comedy runs Aug 24Sept. 1 at 636 Ward St., Martinez. For tickets call 925-3509770 or visit the website If you like “Game of Thrones” you will enjoy “The War of the Roses.” Adapted from the “Henry VI” trilogy and “Richard III,” it’s a fast-paced, vividly theatrical depiction of two powerful families – the Houses of Lancaster and York – and their decades’ long fight to rule. When political unrest and powers clash to create one of Shakespeare’s most monstrous monarchs, who will reign supreme? Ken Berne Danny Scheie, a favorite of danny Scheie plays King Richard in Cal Shakes “War of the Cal Shakes audiences, plays King Roses” at the Brun Amphitheater Aug 22-Sept. 9.

Bonnie deChant appears in “All My Sons” at the Village Theatre Aug. 31-Sept 16.

map and a password for entry into a secret Prohibition era club. We checked cell phones with the bouncers and met up with other audience members dressed to the nines in feathers and bowlers and descended a darkened staircase. Once inside, we enjoyed cabaret performers (complete with fan dancers and comics) supported by a talented band before exploring a gambling hall and several bars. Visitors are surrounded in every room by cast members and audience, and it is impossible to differentiate actors from spectators. The event is mesmerizing, and Nick A. Olivera and Bennett Fisher’s script provides for a thoroughly entertaining night. Tickets are available for weekends through the end of the year, but there is no doubt in my mind that this show will become one of the long-running theater icons in San Francisco. Visit Kathryn G. McCarty is wellknown around the Bay Area as an educator, playwright and journalist. Send comments to

Mystery and more with a Lake Tahoe backdrop SunnY SOLOMOn


If you are planning a trip to Lake Tahoe this summer, don’t forget to bring along Todd Borg’s “Tahoe Skydrop.” Even if you’re not headed up to the Sierra, you won’t want to miss the latest book in his Owen McKenna mystery

thriller series. It’s been a while since I’ve picked up a mystery, but Borg reminds me how much fun this genre is. Borg’s mysteries are FF: Fast Fun. From his prologue, which takes place in the small passenger section of a Bell helicopter, I was almost immediately holding my breath – never certain which passenger is going to be shoved out to his or her death. Borg is at his best with the physicality of his fight and chase scenes. But no chases here, just a lot of unbelievable action in very close quarters. I’m still not sure if I read this

scene or saw it; Borg can make you feel like you are watching a movie, not reading a book. Once the victim has fallen to certain death and the prologue ends, Owen McKenna takes over. For me, “Tahoe Skydrop” was a one-sitting read. From the moment a distraught mountain climbing dad begs McKenna to find his kidnapped son, an 11-year-old geek, (please, absolutely no police!) until we know of the boy’s connection to the first murder victim (the count never remains at one), the pace is nonstop. But in this mystery, the nonstop is the story and the byzan-

tine planning of how to rescue the boy (paragliding and rollerblading) from a highly fortified mountain home once owned by Isaiah Hellman. For all of us non-geeks, “Skydrop” is a crash course in the tech world of robotics. We also learn about the generous money folk who give life to an entrepreneur’s dream and the money-grabbing folk who want to steal the dream if they can discover the heavily encrypted password. The bad guys are members of a notorious Swedish prison brotherhood, who give new meaning to the word brotherhood.

The kidnaped boy’s father is drawn into the plot if he wants to see his son alive. McKenna, childless himself, is a sucker for a family in trouble, and this family has more than missing son trouble. McKenna’s girlfriend, Street, and his Harlequin Dane, Spot, are major players in the story. Only one of his police friends becomes involved, and Borg lets the reader see why Martinez is such a good friend. Although the thugs are captured, we must wait until the epilog to find out who among the cast of characters was the mastermind. In this story, the

reader’s attention is key, and I wouldn’t bet a single bitcoin you’ll guess correctly. I can’t imagine ever tiring of dropping in on Owen McKenna, who now feels like family. Between the history and beauty of Lake Tahoe present in every McKenna mystery and the relevant subjects contained in “Skydrop,” Borg takes his readers into a nail-biting and enlightening look into the future.

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

August 24, 2018

Concord Pioneer •

Page 17

Unique book club expands on childhood favorites ADAM PINGATORE Pioneer Staff Intern

As many ceaselessly toil to propel their lives into the future, a local club encourages its members to find solace in the power of the past. Touched By a Book meets on select Wednesdays at Half Price Books in Concord. Open to anybody with an inkling of curiosity, the group discusses the connections between their favorite childhood books and their current lives. Sheffra Williams, who founded the club in December 2017, uses her refined skills in information analysis to help members discover why their books were, and still are, relevant to their personalities. Williams, 69, discovered the concept while working for a career consulting firm in Orange County that analyzed its clients through short autobiographies. “It was called a vocational inventory preference test,” she

explained. “I looked at the data and I saw that there was a correlation between the childhood prior to 12 and the rest of the adult life.” Williams further explored these “archaeological digs” into childhood through her master’s project at Cal State Long Beach and later at her own career consulting firm. Deep discussions that occur during meetings can reawaken passions from childhood. “I had not written in a long time until I had connected with Sheffra,” said Gina Tibbs, a former school teacher. “And after reconnecting with her and realizing that writing had always been a passion for me, you know, I’ve really got back to it.” Williams sees the increasing bank of stories she hears as evidence that childhood should not be brushed aside once we start our lives as grown-ups. Given Williams’ resounding focus on transformation, it’s no surprise that her own favorite childhood book was “The Ugly

Duckling.” For Williams, transformation is something to share and help bring to others whenever possible. By identifying unique aspects of their childhoods, group members typically begin to witness personal growth and an increased sense of expression. Roger Kessler, a financial advisor and retired Army colonel, can attest to that. “When you hear the other people’s stories, I think it really helps you be more comfortable in saying what you’re saying,” he noted. “For me anyway, it helped me feel more confident in what I was doing.” Tibbs says the group’s open dialogue changed her perspective. “I would say it sort of pivoted me in another direction – not another direction, just an expanded direction. You know, the same path you’ve already been on, but now you’re sort of more aware of all of the moving parts,” she explained. Williams makes it clear that it

Tuesdays Farmers’ Market

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

Thursdays Music and Market

Thursday night live music and farmers’ market. Music: Aug. 30, Foreverland; Sept. 6, Lafayette Studio Big Band; Sept. 13, Annie Sampson. Market 4 – 8 p.m.; music 6:30 – 8 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord.

3rd Sundays Antique Faire

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

August, September Concerts

The Concord Pavilion is located at 2000 Kirker Pass Road. See full concert schedule for 2018 at Aug. 28: Rob Zombie, 7 p.m. Sept. 2: Hot Summer Night, 4 p.m. Sept. 28: Rise Against, 7 p.m.


Saturdays, except Sept. 1 Farmers’ Market

9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 6095 Main St.

Saturdays: Sept. 1, 15 Concerts in the Grove

6 – 8:30 p.m. Grove Park, downtown Clayton. Sept. 1, Steel n’Chicago; Sept. 15, East Bay Mudd. Free.

Sept. 1 Derby and Car Show

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

Sept. 5 Wednesday Classic Car Show

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

Sept. 29 Annual Skip Ipsen Memorial Bocce Tournament Open tournament. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. match play. Ipsen Family Bocce Park, 6000 Main St. $400 per team.


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

Aug. 25 Baby Snakes

Newly-hatched baby snakes will soon be out on the trails. 9 – 10:30 a.m. Meet at Black Diamond Mines.

Aug. 26 Full Moon Hike

Catch the last full moon of summer. 7 – 9:30 p.m. Meet at Black Diamond Mines. Registration required.

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

August, September Tarantula Hikes

is not her job to project thoughts onto the group. “There were interesting breakthroughs that people had, but it wasn’t anything forced,” she said. “It was just by sharing and remembering and talking

about it, and I facilitated that.” The group also benefits from unwavering support from regular attendees, the employees of Half Price Books and Concord City Councilwoman Carlyn Obringer.




Adam Pingatore/Concord Pioneer

Touched By a Book founder Sheffra Williams, top center, leads meetings at Half Price Books in Concord. The intimacy of the content discussed has established an intangible bond among those pictured.

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


Sept. 21 – 22 “Dance Series 01”

Sept. 2, 23 The California Tarantula

Sept. 22 The Best Intentions

Drop in to learn about Mount Diablo’s gentle giant. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Summit Museum.

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

Sept. 22 Nature Sketching Family Walk

Record your impressions of the plants and terrain on this easy hike. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at Regency Gate Trailhead. Reservations required.


Aug. 24 “Improv for Good”

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

Aug. 25 Gerald Clayton Quintet with Dayna Stephens

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

Aug. 25 The Stylistics Review

Tribute band for The Stylistics. 7 and 9:30 p.m. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $35-$40. (925) 427-1611.

Aug. 26 20th Anniversary Gala Concert

Presented by Music Repertoire. 5 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $15. (925) 943-7469.

Aug. 26 “Sylvia”

Presented by The Vagabond Players. 2 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $15-$20. (925) 757-9500.

Aug. 31 – Oct. 7 “Mamma Mia!”

Presented by Center Rep. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $39-$83. (925) 9437469.

Sept. 7 Seafood Festival Comedy Jam

Touched By a Book’s next series of meetings will take place at 7 p.m. Sept. 26, Oct. 3 and Oct. 10 at Half Price Books, 1935 Mt. Diablo St., Concord.

Aug. 24 Common Poorwill Bird Walk

Hike and listen to the birds of the early evening. 7 – 10:30 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center. Reservations required:

Williams firmly believes that lives, careers and communities can assume new levels of strength when people learn to see the similarities that they have with one another while still focusing on the unique talents they offer the world. From an early age, Williams was fascinated with connection, growth and change. She recalls older women who came into church with walking sticks. “And then the music would play and they would start dancing and shouting about how they were born again ... And I was so captivated by that,” she said. “I always wanted this thing that I saw in them, this sense of a connection. They basically looked luminous with some power greater than myself,” she added. “Yeah, my whole life that had been a focus for me.”

Presented by Smuin Contemporary Ballet. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $58-$75. (925) 943-7469. Singing Motown classics. 8 p.m. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $30-$35. (925) 427-1611.

Sept. 23 “An Evening of Evidential Mediumship”

Presented by Angel Anne Psychic Medium. 7:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $30. (925) 943-7469.

Sept. 23 “Beethoven and Bernstein”

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


2nd and 4th Sundays Pancake Breakfast

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

Aug. 25

Adoption Fair Sponsored by Northern California Sled Dog Rescue. 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Petco, 1150 Concord Ave, #160, Concord.

Sept. 15 “Classics and Crooners”

Entertainment, auction, refreshments benefitting B8 Theatre Company. 7 – 10 p.m. B8 Theater, 2292 Concord Blvd., Concord. $50.

Sept. 15 Plant Sale

Annual overstock sale. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Markham Regional Arboretum Society Nursery. 1202 La Vista Ave., Concord. Free admission.


The Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at or (925) 646-5455. Aug. 27: Family Program, Bead Crafts, 7 p.m. Sept. 8: AARP Tax Help, call (925) 405-5135 for appoint.. Sept. 9: Mystery Book Club, 1 p.m.

The Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free Hosted by Erik Awesome. 8 p.m. California Theatre, 351 Railroad unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at claytonliAve., Pittsburg. $15-$20. (925) or call (925) 673-0659. 427-1611. Sept. 10: Clayton Knits, 1:30 p.m. Sept. 14 Sept. 10: Teen Knitting Lessons, 5 p.m. Must register. Sept. 10: Clayton Library Book Club, 7 p.m. Sarah McKenzie World Premiere Concert Sept. 12: Teen Knitting Lessons, 6 p.m. Must register. Presented by Diablo Regional Arts Association. 8 p.m. Lesher Sept. 17: College Planning Workshop, 7 p.m. Must regisCenter for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $50. lesherter at or (925) 726-1209. (925) 943-7469.

Sept. 14 – 16 “Wagon Wheels A-Rollin”

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

Sept. 15 Zebop!

A tribute to the music of Santana. 8 p.m. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $20-$25. (925) 427-1611.


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

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

1st and 3rd Wednesdays Concord Planning Commission

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

Page 18

Concord Pioneer •

China Camp, a hike into history

August 24, 2018

Latest in ‘Purge’ series still can’t get it right





China Camp State Park offers a chance to explore the Coast Miwoks, the Grace Quan shrimp fishing junk and a Chinese fishing village. The San Rafael site has more than 15 miles of trails, 100 acres of marshland and a family-friendly swimming beach all along San Pablo Bay. Parking near the Back Ranch Meadows Campground gives you easy access to trails, restrooms, information and trail maps. Start on Shoreline Trail, a multi-use trail that begins cloaked in shade with a twisty-turny groove route well above the shoreline of San Pablo Bay. Jake’s Island, just off the coast from Turtle Back Hill, looked prime for kayaking so I made a note to return to explore this park from the water. Quick side trips via Turtle Back and Bullet Hill Trails get you closest to the bay on this part of the trip.



China Camp State Park sits along San Pablo Bay.

My goal was to cover all of China Camp in one day, easily done via a loop of Shoreline, Oak Ridge and Bay View trails. Expect to find most trails speckled with rocks, roots, hard-packed dirt and loose rock, but navigation is manageable. The many creek crossings, bridges a plenty, shady respites and trail routing are definitely highlights of the park. Continue on Shoreline as you pass Buckeye Point and Rat Rock Island enroute to China Camp Village for a well-deserved dip in the bay.

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Celebrating 60 years in Concord

If history is your thing, spend some time exploring this area of the park. Summer temps here can reach more than 100, so bring plenty of water and sunscreen. Cooled off and ready to roll, I jumped on Peacock Gap Trail for an uphill blaster and then onto Oak Ridge Trail. Full sun and a bit more uphill effort high-point you into some of the best views in the park. Pick up Bay View Trail, my favorite of the day, with a canopy of shady trees and sneak peeks of San Pablo Bay at every turn. The downhill section was smooth, easy to navigate and fun to follow. I didn’t see many others on the trails, but my guess is that the weekends can be a bit more crowded. Finish the loop via Powerline or Back Ranch fire trails, both good options for an easy passage back to the parking area. Admittedly, 12 miles is a lot to cover on a hot day by foot, so you could pick either Shoreline or Bay View Trail for an “out and back” hike. Both offer shade, amazing views and excellent routing

Kevin Parker

China Camp State Park

101 Peacock Gap Trail, San Rafael. Trail permit required, $3 at kiosk. Trail + parking, $5 at kiosk. Hike Details: Shoreline Trail, Peacock Gap Trail, Oak Ridge Trail, Bay View Trail, Powerline Fire Trail Distance: 12+ miles Elevation gain: 1,636 feet Time: 2-3 hours, depending if biking or hiking Level: moderate-strenuous Hike-lights: Bay views, trails, camping, something for everyone For more information: Where:

and are the best in the park. Whether you are a hiker, biker, kayaker, swimmer, camper, picnicker or history buff, China Camp has something for everyone.

Contact Kevin Parker with comments or questions by email at

The “Purge” movie series started with a great concept: One day a year, all crime is legal for 12 hours. However, 2013’s initial film was poorly executed. Rather than show the craziness in the streets, “The Purge” stuck us inside the home of a snooty, rich family we cared little about. The masked villains were scary at times but were mostly just nameless caricatures. A year later, “The Purge: Anarchy” righted all the wrongs of the first film. Besides adding gritty actor Frank Grillo, the film threw its characters into the mad chaos of the city. In 2017, “The Purge: Election Year” kept things in the streets and added a much-needed political component. We get to find out who pushes for the Purge and how people get elected behind it. Now, “The First Purge” provides (some) more about its origins. With this film, James DeMonaco steps down from the director’s chair to focus on writing. It takes place in a similar, poverty-stricken part of the city, albeit with a noticeable lack of Grillo. The feel of the film is the same as the last two – it would have been nice for a bit of a change of pace. “The First Purge” follows young drug dealer Isaiah (Joivan Wade), his sister Nya (Lex Scott Davis) and her former beau, drug kingpin Dmitri (Y’lan Noel). Dmitri leads a group of some of the nicest drug dealers and gangbangers ever. Once

they take stock of how the Purge is basically meant to destroy the poor in the name of science, they go out and help the townsfolk. Never before have they thought about anything but themselves, but now they become philanthropic do-gooders. They are up against a new political power, one that is interested in a radical, right-wing change of the status quo. A scientist (Marisa Tomei) developed the concept of the Purge but seemed to never believe it would come to fruition. The Founding Fathers party co-opted her idea for their own benefits. DeMonaco provides several other parallels with our real-life political world as well. The political side of things may not be nearly as exciting as the Purge itself, but it really needed a little more fleshing out. Hands down, the best part of the movie is the frightening drug addict known as Skeletor (Rotimi Paul). He is the stuff of nightmares: scars on his face, piercing eyes and sharp, broken teeth. Isaiah spends most of the movie running away from Skeletor, the movie’s X-factor. We never know when he’ll jump out and cause peripheral havoc. One of the biggest issues with the film is that it doesn’t know what story it it really wants to tell. A total backstory on the origins of the Purge would provide useful information, but it might become boring. Showing another group trying to survive the night proves to only rehash the previous two films, with less likeable characters. Here’s hoping this fall’s Purge television show on USA network will expand the scope of the story. C+

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

e l e s c r t ing o f s Simple step nt color i a p w s e n



The music from “Jaws” is playing as you enter your favorite big box home store. Du-na, na-na. Du-na, na-na. Coincidence? Or is it accidentally playing on the phone that’s tucked in your back pocket? No matter, you’re on a mission and have no time for cinema tunes. You circle departments like plumbing, lumber and hand tools, purposely avoiding the one department you need. The department that gives you the chills and strikes fear in the strongest of us do-it-yourselfers. With one deep breath, you give in and find yourself in the paint department. Selecting paint can be daunting, but let’s turn off the scary music and simplify the process of choosing colors for your project. Whether you’re looking for an interior or exterior paint, the best way to begin is to eliminate colors that you have no interest in as well as colors that are difficult to use. If you’re considering a cool and calming color, put

aside the reds, yellows and oranges. If you’re looking for a warm and cozy color, greens and blues probably won’t make the cut. Sometimes going with the classics – white, ivory, gray, taupe, beige or silvery blue – will make a clean and tailored statement without all the fuss. This may seem like an obvious step. But as you’re staring at the fan deck or paint chip display, or even the millions of snapshots online, it’s a great way to focus in on the right colors for your project. From here, the research begins. If you’re looking for an exterior color, take a stroll in your neighborhood, or your favorite neighborhood, to find successful color decisions and, sometimes, not so successful ones. You’ll be able to see colors you’ve been considering in natural light and on a large palette, not a 1 by 1 inch paint chip. If you’re considering interior paint, pay attention to colors when at your favorite boutique retailers, restaurants, hotels, spas and even when visiting homes

of your friends and family. Classic colors are always a good option, but if your project requires something bold, be sure to take the time to seek out this color on the same scale as you have intended for your project so you have a first-hand visual. Paying attention to where color will be used is important to your research. All elements require some sort of finish, whether it’s window and door casings, accent walls, interior and exterior doors or accent elements like shutters, railings, eaves, gutters and garage doors. It’s up to you to determine how much color is needed to accentuate your elements. As a reward for your due diligence, it’s time to purchase some sample cans. Don’t be shy when applying the sample paint. Paint big squares, circles and stripes to get the feel of the color. Jennifer Leischer is the owner of J. Designs Interior Design based in Clayton. Contact her with questions, comments and suggestions at

Keep pipes running and credit score humming August 24, 2018

Q: My wife and I have been in our new home almost a year but are just now planning our housewarming party. We are both very particular about home maintenance, which is probably why we have waited this long to have guests. Is there anything we should be especially careful about? A: Have you thought about your pipes? If you’re getting ready to host a house full of people, you’re likely focusing on a zillion details – from food to home staging and music. Here are some precautions to follow to avoid common mishaps, so you and your guests can focus on having fun. They might seem basic, but they can avoid a

Concord Pioneer •

can near the toilet and remind guests to please only flush toilet paper down the toilet. Considering placing a little card by the toilet with details. Inform guests of any existing plumbing issues. For example, let them know if the toilet handle needs a little jiggle in order to flush properly.

Be mindful of what food goes down the disposal. Fats, bones and vegetables peels can clog drains and damage the disposal. Rice and pasta can swell and clog the drain as well. Toss scraps in the trashcan when possible.

Always run water when using the disposal. The garbage disposal works best when small particles are mixed with water. Run hot water into the disposal to keep grease moving down the drain. Continue running water for at least 30 seconds after everything has cleared. Know what to do if the garbage disposal becomes clogged. If your disposal gets clogged, turn it off and shut off the water. Don’t reach into the disposal and never use harsh chemicals to treat a clog. Instead try a plunger. Educate your guests about what can and cannot go down the toilet. Commonly flushed items that may clog your pipes include napkins, paper towels, facial tissues and feminine products. Keep a trash-

Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 1955 Kirker Pass Road, Concord. Food and wine are traditional Greek art forms, and St. Demetrios is blessed to have the best artisan chefs in the world: their Greek grandmoth-

ers (yiayia), aunties (thea) and godmothers (nouna). They proudly call them “The Yiayia Sisterhood.” The women are dedicated to cooking authentic Greek recipes with the freshest ingredients. They prepare these delectable dishes in the church dining hall, fondly known as “Yiayia’s Kitchen.” The event will also feature an assortment of outstanding Greek wines (krasi) for patrons to taste. The wine bar will offer rich reds and delightful whites from different areas all over Greece to pair with your favorite Greek dishes from Yiayia’s Kitchen. Entertainment includes a

live band and the most amazing show of Greek spirit, a Greek dance group. Guests can enjoy watching the dancers’ steps or get out on the dance floor with their friends. Check out a variety of local vendors with special crafts and treasures. And for a truly beautiful sight, tour the Byzantinestyle church with its handcarved icon screen, stunning architecture and iconography. The Contra Costa Greek Food & Wine Festival is about community. The friends and family who come to enjoy it spread the feeling Greeks call “kefi” – the spirit of joy and liveliness. Kefi can be felt throughout every aspect of the festival, from the enthusiastic volunteers to the festivalgoers who enjoy a leisurely stroll as they wine and dine.



call to a plumber:

Page 19

be to be turned down, but sary new credit accounts, don’t worry. You can boost because frequent credit your credit in less time than inquiries negatively affect you may think. credit scores. Banks like to see a credit • Call any creditor if there’s score of 640 or more, with likely to be a problem payscores of 740 and above the ing your bill on time. best range. To boost your • Once mistakes on your score, try to follow this plan: report are corrected, your score could be improved in • Pay any overdue bills and as little as two weeks. Even stay up to date with future where credit has been payments. badly neglected, most peo• Pay all bills within 30 days ple can achieve a mortof their due date to avoid gage-worthy score of 640 an overdue flag. within 12 months by fol• Set up payment plans when lowing the above guidenecessary. On-time, consislines. tent payments are pivotal. Send your question and look for • Keep credit card balances your answer in a future column. Email under 50 percent of their French is maximum. Going above the broker/owner of Windermere this will hinder credit Lynne French & Associates. Contact scores. her at 672-8787 or stop in at 6200 • Avoid opening unneces- Center St., Clayton.

Q: I just tried to refinance my house to get a lower interest rate and take a little equity out. Much to my surprise, I was turned down because my credit score was too low. Do you have any advice to help raise it? A: After homeowners obtain their mortgages, they may relax their credit habits. I know how discouraging it get

Opa! It’s all about food, wine and dance at Greek Fest

It’s as easy as “Opa!” to become Greek for a day, enjoying savory food, delicious wines, live music and dancing at the Contra Costa Greek Food & Wine Festival. The 40th annual event takes place Sept. 14-16 at St.

As part of the local community, St. Demetrios will donate 10 percent of the proceeds to local charities. Festival hours are 5-11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14; noon-11 p.m. Satur-

day, Sept. 15; and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16. For more information, follow the festival on Facebook at Contra Costa Greek Festival or visit

It’s not too early to think about

YOUR VOTE In the General Elections, November 6, 2018

Keep Democracy Strong – VOTE! A reminder from

Rising Moon Marketing & Public Relations (925) 890-7839

6160 Center St. Suite #C, Clayton

925-693-0757 (main) Clayton residents since 1959

ACTIVE • 955 Snow Dr., Martinez

$798,000 4 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, approx. 2562 sq.ft.

Listing agent: Matt Mazzei

• 214 Falcon Pl., Clayton

$689,000 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, approx. 1493 sq.ft.

Listing agent: Matt Mazzei

PENDING • 3295 Monika Ln., Hayward

$600,000 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, approx. 1690 sq. ft.

Listing agent: Rula Masannat

• 501 Suisun Ct., Clayton

3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, approx. 1904 sq.ft.

• 25 Mozden Lane, Pleasant Hill

3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, approx. 1488 sq. ft.


Listing agent: Matt Mazzei


Listing agent: Matt Mazzei

• 627 Carpino Ave., Pittsburg Duplex


3 bedroom/1 bathroom & 2 bedroom/1 bathroom Listing agent: Matt Mazzei


• 26 Lakeview Dr., Bay Point

$410,000 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, approx. 1491 sq.ft.

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Matt Mazzei, Jr.,

Paula & Rod Johnstone

Rula Masannat

BRE# 01881269

DRE# 00797857

DRE# 01923757

Broker/Owner 925-766-6745

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

Sales Agent 415-310-2905

Page 20

Concord Pioneer •

August 24, 2018

Senior Living

Maggie Lennon randma and Grandpa sitting around the retirement home smoking weed, or munching cannabis edibles like space cakes and fire crackers, hardly conjures up what most people imagine retirement looks like. But then present-day seniors are Baby Boomers, the generation that spent their youth getting high – encouraged to turn on, tune out and drop out while Bob Dylan wailed “Everyone Must Get Stoned.” With 23 states now legalizing medicinal marijuana and some, like California, allowing recreational use, it’s no


wonder marijuana and cannabis use is up 57 percent for people aged 50-80. At one-time, movies like “Reefer Madness” demonized marijuana. It was considered so hypnotic that marijuana was proclaimed Public Enemy No 1. Fast forward to 2018, and Time magazine declares in a special edition that weed has become the new wine. Michael Stoll, a professor at UCLA who studies retiree migration trends, says there is “anecdotal evidence that some seniors even use states legalization of marijuana in their decision on where to retire.” When it comes to buying their weed, seniors tend to spend more than others.

According to, those over age 70 go to marijuana stores less often than the general population. But when they’re there, they spend more – $64 dollars on average per visit. People in their 40s spend an average of $39. For the majority of today’s seniors, it is marijuana’s medicinal qualities that encourage their usage. With age comes pain and disease and the need for more medicine. Due to the crisis in opioid pain killer use, doctors are under political pressure to start prescribing something different. With its pharmacological benefits, marijuana can be of benefit when dealing with arthritis, insomnia, glaucoma, cancer and

chemotherapy. Seniors tend to prefer edibles over smoking. “A lot of people don’t like to smoke marijuana, because running hot smoke into the lungs can be unpleasant,” says Kari Franson, the medical school dean at the University of Colorado. Many doctors have concerns about marijuana use for seniors. “Marijuana can weaken balance and slow reaction time,” notes Dr. Lynn Webster, past President of the American Academy of Pain Medicine.

Johana Seminario, LVN ResCare Branch Manager eople look forward to their golden years, hoping to relax and do the things they always wanted to do. However, seniors often find that doing the little things becomes difficult. In today’s world, seniors need to find their voice in asking for help. Whether from family members or a paid caregiver, assistance with simple homemaking tasks and personal care can make all the difference. Living with dignity and independence in familiar surroundings is important, and assistance with these chal-


“I’m worried about falls,” he told CBS in program about seniors and marijuana. “I wish we had the science to understand who marijuana would help and in what doses and for whom it would be toxic. Long-term effects of the drug on elderly people is not known.” Luckily for seniors, there are people like Sue Taylor. The retired East Bay school principal is about to open a pot dispensary called I Cann in Berkeley. She wants to focus on informing seniors and minorities, two demo-

graphics that are sometimes overlooked by dispensaries. After her son introduced her to the cannabis community, Taylor turned into an activist. “I became passionate about the healing aspects, letting people know that there are alternative ways,” she says.

lenges can support independence. Maintaining a strong support system can ensure good physical and mental health. Engaging family in such discussions can provide peace of mind for everyone. Having an early conversation about the unknowns can make the decision-making process easier than having to make choices faced head-on with challenges. It does not have to be scary or invasive to have someone assist you in your home. For many, it’s no different than having someone clean your house or even having a friend visit for the day. Many times, caregivers become an extended part of the family and provide needed social support. In-home, private care comes in many forms and is

usually more affordable than assisted living or facility care. Understanding the various models of in-home care can take away the fear of making a decision. Options include:

Maggie Lennon is a columnist and is currently working on her blog. Contact her at

• • • • • • • • • •

Drop-in visits. Hourly care. Short-term services. Intermittent care. Overnight care. Concierge-style services. Medication assistance. Personal care. Homemaking. Companionship

Knowing when to ask for help is important. Being part of that decision will make for a winning solution and is key to lasting independence.

Affordable care you can trust

ResCare is committed to finding innovative solutions to help seniors and individuals with disabilities stay in their own homes. • • • • • • • •

Drop-in visits Overnight care Medication reminder Personal care & homemaking Companionship Alzheimer’s and dementia care Respite Care Transport to/from appointments/errands

ResCare Home Care 1850 Gateway Blvd., Suite 280, Concord Johana Seminario, LVN, Branch Manager 925.685.5577


August 24, 2018

Concord Pioneer •

Page 21

Carleton Senior Living ealthy eating is important no matter your age, but it can be challenging to choose healthy snacks with high nutritional value that also sustain your appetite. Selecting items that are nutrient-dense instead of calorie-dense can be the key to snacking smart. Nutrient-dense foods are high in nutritional value yet relatively low in calories. Caloriedense foods provide many calories for a small amount of food, which can lead to consuming more than the recommended serving size of these not-so-healthy choices. Nutrient-dense foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or fatfree milk products, seafood, lean meats, eggs, peas, beans and nuts. These foods contain vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats. Choose these delicious treats to get the most bang for your nutritional buck. Calorie-dense foods include high-calorie foods like potato chips, sugary drinks, candy, baked treats and alcoholic beverages. Because some of these foods provide little more than energy and almost no nutrients, they are often referred to as “empty calories.” Not surprisingly, many of our favorite snacks fall into the calorie-dense category. Consuming these food items in moderation plays an important role in maintaining overall health. To give you an idea of how some common snacks stack up against each other, check out this interesting comparison from the National Institute on


Walnut Creek restaurant owner Peter Colicchia demonstrates how to make bruschetta, a healthy italian appetizer. He lives at Carlton Senior Living in downtown Pleasant Hill.

Aging. Let’s say that you wanted to have a snack that contained about 100 calories. You might choose: • A 7- or 8-inch banana. • Two ounces baked chicken breast with no skin. • Three cups low-fat popcorn. • Two regular chocolatesandwich cookies. • A half cup low-fat ice cream. • One large scrambled egg cooked with fat. • Twenty peanuts. • Half of an average-size candy bar. Although these examples all have about 100 calories, there are some big differences: • Bananas, chicken, peanuts and eggs are more nutrientdense.

• Popcorn or chicken are likely to help you feel more satisfied. • Chicken, peanuts and eggs have more protein. • Cookies, candy and ice cream have more added sugar. Carlton Senior Living recognizes the importance of treating your body well through exercise and making healthy dietary choices. Our chefs, partnering with our nutritionist, have established a from-scratch menu that appeals to the wants and needs of our seniors. For more information on healthy eating, check out the USDA/NIA online tip sheet, “Choosing Healthy Meals As You Get Older: 10 Healthy Eating Tips for People Age 65+.”

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Consider living at Carlton Senior Living

• We offer our residents a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee “Through our exclusive 70/70 Program” • Family Owned and Operated for 35 years “Experience makes a world of difference” • Fixed pricing or level pricing on personal care services “Your option, we do not nickel and dime you”

What you see with us is what you get at our communities. We have integrity and compassion and we realize that most seniors are on a fixed budget. With us there are no unexpected rental fees, charges, or service fees increases without proper notice.

CALL US TODAY to Enjoy Life 800-227-5866

Great communities throughout Northern California: Concord, Pleasant Hill, Fremont San Jose, Fremont Davis, Elk Grove and Sacramento.

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Page 22

Concord Pioneer •

August 24, 2018

Thanks to Orange Rocket, barberry is red-hot

One of the most inquired about shrubs for 2018 has been Berberis thunbergii, aka the barberry bush. Almost weekly, folks are asking to have this uniquely shaped and colored shrub identified. Barberry has dramatically colored leaves that command attention within a landscape. It is water-wise, sun-loving and deciduous Barberry shrubs have been

available for decades, but with all the new introductions, it has come back into vogue. The excitement seemed to start when Orange Rocket Barberry hit the scene. This selection has tiny leaves that emerge as a true, deep orange color in spring. As summer warms, the orange darkens to deep red while the interior of the shrub has kisses of yellow. This selection’s foliage is so interesting. Orange Rocket grows taller than wide, making its shape desirable. Expect each shrub to grow 3-4 feet tall and about 1½ feet wide. Orange Rocket makes a bodacious landscape companion to contrasting foliage. Surround it with woolly grevillea, or underplant a multitrunk fruitless olive. The orange foliage will be awesome combined with the icy gray color of the other leaves. Rose Glow Barberry has a

graceful shape, with arching branches of tiny leaves in molted colors of rose and red. The combination almost makes this selection appear variegated. Rose Glow will reach 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide and makes a lovely property line installation or fence accent. Pair Rose Glow with evergreen Arbutus Marina and a few Abelia Kaleidoscope for contrast. Consider installing Cha Cha Pink Penstemon for flower power. Together, these plants will create a stimulating landscape filled with leaf interest, texture and flowers. Emerald Carousel is another new selection of barberry. This specimen has larger green leaves, showy yellow flowers in the spring and red winter berries. Emerald Carousel is a large selection that will reach 5 feet by 5 feet. Consider planting this barberry on a slope, where

treuse ages to gold. It is still pretty with too much sun, just not the same. All barberry are deciduous. They will lose their leaves in autumn, just like crape myrtles and Japanese maples. And just like the crapes and maples, barberry has intense fall colors. Expect brilliant reds and glowing oranges. They are just as pretty in the autumn as they are in the spring. Barberry is deer-resistant and has thorns. It is water-wise, needing about the same as Orange Rocket Barberry is the new kid on the block. it adds salvia and penstemon. Barberry real drama to local gardens. makes a better autumn through spring installation, rather than a the arching branches can be wide. This barberry would com- summer install. appreciated as you look up into plement any color azalea. the plant. Limoncello is an exception Nicole is the Garden Girl at Barberry Limoncello’s fan- as barberry goes, preferring R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. tastic spring leaf is nearly char- only a half day of sun. Too You can contact her with questions or treuse. The color’s spring pop is much exposure to the sun and comments by email at fresh and welcoming. Limon- the leaves will become edged in cello will reach 3-4 feet tall and salmon and most of the char-

The rough, netted skin of the cantaloupe belies the succulent orange fruit lying within. Cantaloupe offers sweet summer flavor and color for many recipes, whether it be chilled and sliced with a bit of prosciutto, tossed on the grill

for a summer dessert or chopped into a fruit salad. We call it a cantaloupe, but it’s really a muskmelon. True cantaloupes are actually grown in other parts of the world, but not in California. They are members of the cucurbit family of plants (Cucurbitaceae) that also includes cucumbers, pumpkins, squashes, gourds and a long list of melons. A good, ripe cantaloupe should have prominent, golden brown netting on the rind that

stands out from the underlying smooth skin. It should also have a mildly sweet melon fragrance. The top end should have a smooth indentation with no bits of stem, indicating that it was ripe when picked and separated from the vine cleanly. The other end should give a little when pressed. You’ll probably notice one side is lighter in color. This is just where the fruit sat on the ground while growing. The ripe flesh of a cantaloupe can vary in color, depending on the hybrid. Jenny Lind is one example of a greenfleshed hybrid. Athena and Ambrosia hybrids have salmon-

colored flesh, and the flesh of the Gurney’s hybrid typically has a rich orange color. You can find a nice variety of cantaloupes at the farmers market from Resendiz Farms of Hughson. They offer more than a dozen varieties, from Orange Sherbet to Cleopatra. They also have Sugar Baby and Amarillo watermelons. Cipponeri Farms from Turlock has a nice variety of melons as well. These melons are freshpicked and brought to your market the next day – you can’t get fresher than that. Pick up summer’s best cantaloupe and other distinctive melons at the market this week.



Canteloupe by any name is sweet summer treat SAVORY MELON WITH YOGURT DRESSING 1 cantaloupe, skinned, deseeded and cut into 8 wedges 10 leaves of cilantro ½ a minced Thai chili, deseeded and deveined ¼ c. roughly chopped candied pecans Zest of half a lemon Dressing: 1 T coriander seeds 1 T whole cumin seeds 1/3 c. yogurt 1 T honey Juice of half a lemon 2 T olive oil Salt and pepper to taste

Combine coriander seeds and cumin seeds in a mortar and pestle and crush the spices to desired consistency. In a stainless steel bowl, mix crushed spices with the rest of dressing ingredients. Plate the wedged melons in a row and pour dressing over. Garnish with lemon zest, minced chilis, pecans and cilantro leaves. Recipe courtesy Cookin’ the Market The Concord Farmers Market is in Todos Santos Plaza Tuesdays and Thursdays. See their ad on page 16 for hours.

Nancy E. Bennett 4460 Pinon Ct. – Concord


4486 Camstock Ct. – Concord




Beautifully updated single-story home in the Crossings. 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1917 sq.ft., .17 acre lot, freshly painted. New carpet, interior doors and dual paned windows. Spacious living room includes a vaulted ceiling, gas fireplace and formal dining area. Openconcept kitchen/family room combo features lots of prep space, breakfast bar, gas cooktop and double oven.

Offered at $760,000



Beautiful and spacious Crossings home is move in ready. 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 1842 sq. ft. Gorgeous laminate flooring, updated kitchen with granite counters, dual paned windows and a brand new roof. Spacious living room with vaulted ceiling, gas fireplace and a formal dining room. Fantastic backyard with shaded arbor perfect for enjoying the outdoors.

• Concord – 3 beds, 2 baths, 1308 sq ft single story charmer • Concord – 3 beds, 2 baths, 1824 sq ft on a ¼ acre lot. Lots of rear parking, garage plus carport • Walnut Creek, Rudgear Estates – 5 beds, 2.5 baths, 2604 sq ft beautifully updated 2-story

Offered at $767,500

Charm abounds in this adorable, turnkey single story. This home is light, bright and move in ready. Situated in the heart of Concord, just a short walk to downtown and BART. Excellent commute location with easy freeway access. 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1108 sq. ft. on a .14 acre lot. Wonderfully landscaped front yard with many Japanese maples.

Offered at $558,000

What our clients say

Needed house sold quick and the team of Nancy Bennett did it in one week. Would use them again if needed. Answered any questions we had promptly and did not leave us hanging. Everyone who works for her did their job great.

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

CalBRE #01399870

2431 Jerilynn Dr. – Concord



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

AUG 24 Concord Pioneer 2018  

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

AUG 24 Concord Pioneer 2018  

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