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ks r a P l a n io g e East Bay R e id u G y it iv t Ac


Blue Devils celebrate diamond anniversary with 18th gold


From the desk of...

August 25, 2017


JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer



City, Coast Guard looking at housing options again

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) owns 58 acres along Olivera Road containing 328 multi-family units that were formerly used for military personnel. The housing was constructed in two parts: the 1950s era Quinault Village of 41 duplexes that were not built to existing code and have asbestos and lead based paint and the 1980s Victory Village with 82 triplexes not built to current code and main utilities under the units rather than in the street. Salvage or reuse of the existing buildings is not feasible, given that the buildings and utilities would need to be brought up to current construction codes. In 2014, the USGC indicated the housing was no longer needed. They showed willingness to negotiate a sale with the city. The city would select a development partner, and the developer would loan the city the land payment fee. The benefit to the city and its partner is an agreement on the development and value of the property, allowing coordinated planning with the other base reuse specific planning that is underway. This process can avoid the bidding auction process that could result in a sale at an inflated price, which could lead to the purchaser’s development ideas being beyond a reasonable level and less flexibility to achieve the city’s goals for the property. The city obtained four firms qualifications as a development partner: Bridge Housing, DeNova Homes/ROEM, Integral Housing /EAH Housing and USA Properties/Foundation for Affordable Housing/Eden Housing. The USCG then put the process on hold, and the City Council never reviewed the options. In mid-May 2017, the Coast Guard decided they were ready to proceed with disposing of the property. The Housing and Economic Development Committee recently met and is recommending that the city proceed with a negotiated sale with one of the four development partners. The City Council will consider it at a September public meeting. Meanwhile, the city recently completed a new tot lot at Meadow Homes Park, with an area for 2- to 5-year-olds and 5to 12-year-olds. This park was one of the last parks to receive a

See Mayor, page 6


Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . .13

Community . . . . . . . . . . .2 From the desk of . . . . . .6 School News . . . . . . . .16

Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Performing Arts . . . . . .12

Kurtis Kenobbie photo courtesy The Blue Devils

The Blue Devils won their 18th DCI World Class Championship this month before a record crowd of 23,342 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The BD brass section of over 70 musicians performed the middle tune in the award-winning Metamorph program entitled “Everything Must Change.”

The Blue Devils, Concord’s globe-trotting drum corps ambassadors, used their 60th anniversary season to develop a 12-minute performance entitled Metamorph using music, movement, visual effects and uniforms to look back at their glorious past, their present and to the future. Blue Devils CEO Justin Heimbecker says Metamorph “was easy to enjoy” and received one of the best audience receptions of any of their programs in the past 15 years. Drum Corps International judges must agree, as the Blue Devils were undefeated this season while competing in 23 cities in 17 states – capped by the three-day DCI World Class Championships in Indianapolis earlier this month. The Blue Devils diamond anniversary ended with their 18th world championship before a record crowd of

See Blue Devils, page 4

De La Salle fetes Grammy-winning alumnus Burk JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

John Burk turned down an invitation to play football at De La Salle High when a rookie head coach saw the Class of 1980 junior in the school weight room. Looking back years later Burk wondered what he may have learned from playing for that new coach who went to become a legend, Bob Ladouceur. Burk turned down the invite because he was in a band, had a job and a girlfriend at Carondelet. He graduated from DLS, went to college and married the girl, Carla Ruiz. And he used his band experience as the first step towards becoming the 2017 De La Salle Distinguished Alumnus of the Year award winner for his music industry career that now finds the Grammy-winning producer as president of Concord Records and a National Trustee of the Recording Academy/Grammy Organization. After college Burk enrolled in the record engineering and production program at Los Medanos College and ran his own independent label. LMC director Frank Dorritie suggested he apply for a job at Concord Jazz, a local jazz label. Concord Jazz was founded in 1973 by jazz aficionado Carl Jefferson, the local Lincoln-Mercury car dealer who started the Concord Summer Festival in 1969 at what is now Dave Brubeck Park on Concord Blvd. Jazz musicians in the festival told Jefferson that they needed a current album in order to get bookings. Jefferson and his festival also provided the impetus for the construction of the Concord Pavilion, which opened in 1975 as “The House that Jazz Built.” Burk was interviewed by Jefferson in the label’s headquarters in a former fish market at the

east end of Jefferson Motors. The two-hour “interview” entailed Jefferson doing 95% of the talking, including asking Burk if “he’d ever been in jail.” Later than evening, Jefferson called and offered Burk a job as staff producer. The downside was that he would make less than at his part-time Safeway job! On his first day Burk was told to type artist contracts for several upcoming albums. The only rub was that he didn’t know how to type. Colleague Elizabeth Bell came over and showed him the typewriter’s home keys and thus began his music industry career. Two years later he was promoted to vice president of the label. With less than a dozen people in the entire company, Burk learned every minute aspect of the recording business. Jefferson passed away in

1995. Burk was with him until the end, tying up loose ends and positioning for the future without the label’s founder, which included expanding the roster beyond jazz. To this day, Burk says he tries to follow Jefferson’s philosophy “to produce super high-quality music. He was an audiophile and very tuned into quality, both in performance and sonic quality.” By that time of his death Jefferson had sold the company but only after it was agreed he and Burk and the staff would continue running things. As the recording industry had its ebbs and flows so did Concord Jazz’ fortunes. A couple of years after purchasing the company, Concord’s new owners went into bankruptcy. Burk and his 40 coworkers said they would “stick it out to the end.”

See Burk, page 2

Photo courtesy Concord Music

De La Salle High School’s 2017 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year John Burk (left) celebrated with saxophone player Dave Koz (center) and Burk’s album co-producer Markus Miller after the release of Koz’s first Concord Jazz album, “Hello Tomorrow.” The Grammy-nominated album reached No. 1 on the Billboard jazz charts. Burk, who had a band in high school and college, played guitar on the album.

Masonic Temple ready for another chapter of Concord’s history Historical Society remodels building into new museum and event center CAROL LONGSHORE Special to the Pioneer

Tamara Steiner/Concord Pioneer

Built in 1928 and moved to its present site next to the Galindo Gardens in 2013, the renovated Masonic Temple opened last month as the Concord Historical Society museum and event center. CHS fundraising is currently underway for outside renovations and to add a kitchen.

The Concord Historical Society has transformed the Masonic Temple into the Concord Museum and Event Center. No taxpayer money was used to achieve this goal, which was celebrated with a community ice cream social earlier this summer. As the story goes, Melvina Strickland Durham offered the newly formed Concord Masons

$700 to build a temple for Lodge 448 in 1926. Oakland architects Slocombe & Tuttle designed the building, which was built by local contractor Laurence V. Perry for $31,550. The Masonic Temple was completed and occupied in 1928. The design, reflecting the Spanish Colonial Revival style, made an elegant statement about Concord as an emerging community. From 1928 through the early 1990s, the Concord Masonic Temple served a number of organizations, including Masonic youth groups, Eastern Star,

See Masonic, page 3


Page 2

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

In Brief...

Student gains broader understanding of Chinese culture

Grief Ministry

Healing the Heart grief companions will hold a six-week grief workshop on Tuesdays beginning Sept. 19, 7:30 to 9 p.m., at Saint Bonaventure Church, 5562 Clayton Road, Concord. No cost to attend; registration required by Sept. 8. Call Helene Billeci at (925) 686-4870 for more information and to register.

August 25, 2017

know more,” says Maier, a Life Scout with Boy Scout Troop 444 out of St. Bonaventure. “I have no doubt that I will return in the near future.”

Concord resident Ben Maier says a youth trip to China this summer was transformative. “It’s unfortunate how our perception of China and its citizens is so narrow,” he says. “Having the opportunity to see with my own eyes the colorful enormity and hustle of the modern cities and experience the hospitality of the host families on mainland China was amazing and unforgettable.” Maier, a sophomore at De La Salle High School, was one of 14 students selected to attend the 2017 Enlight Environment Youth Leadership Program. The Bay Area non-profit VIA (Volunteers in Asia) sponsored the two-week trip.

Students explored Hong Kong, visited the U.S. Consulate and met with community organizations involved in urban environment sustainability. Field visits included a tour of HK Electric Lamma Island Power Station, working at a permaculture farm on Peng Chau Island and volunteering at Food Angel, which rescues surplus food and packages it to be distributed to those in need. The students continued their trip via ferry to Zhongshan, where they met with a contingent of Chinese students participating in the Student Service Learning Exchange Program. The U.S. students stayed with host families for three days, while participating in field trips and conducting group work centered around model cities that are environmentally sustainable. The group traveled to the countryside, where they created rice cooking vessels out of bamboo, picked fresh lychee and ended a hot day cooling off under a waterfall. Then the students headed back to Guangzhou for an afternoon cooking activity with students and interns from the Guangzhou English Training Center for the Handicapped. “This opportunity to experience China left me curious and wanting to see and

Legendary film/television producer Norman Lear and Hal Gaba backed Burk and his partner Glen Barros and bought the company in 1999. In 2002 the company moved to Beverly Hills where Burk says they had “a truly explosive period of growth,” which led to signing more current and heritage artists and purchasing several other labels. Gaba met Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz at a charity fundraiser and pitched their idea of putting CDs on sale in Starbucks stores. Schultz soon greenlighted the project. Only problem was that the person Burk trusted to contact Ray Charles to do a duet Continued next page album to kick off their Starbucks releases turned out to be a fraud. Eventually, Burk

met Charles and told him about growing up in Oakland, sitting on the curb and listening to Charles’ music on the radio. “Ray rocked back in his chair and said ‘Let’s do it.’ I wasn’t exactly prepared for a ‘yes’ and so fumbled a bit when I asked him about next steps.” He said, “Listen son, I told you we’re going to do this, so now you can sleep at night.” Out of that conversation came “Genius Loves Company” produced by Burk and Phil Ramone. The triple platinum album sold nearly one million copies in Starbucks alone and won eight Grammy awards, including Album and Record of the year. Burk had Natalie Cole, Elton John,  James Taylor,  Norah Jones,  B.B. King, Gladys Knight, Diana Krall, Van Morrison,  Willie Nelson  and  Bonnie Raitt perform in the studio with Charles as they recorded each duet. Elton John listened to his recording and told Burk it brought him

to tears. Sadly, it was Charles’ final recording. The album was released in 2004, a couple months after Charles died. Besides the recognition for the “Genius” album Burk is especially proud of discovering Esperanza Spalding, who was the firstever jazz artist to win Best New Artist Grammy. Burk has won four personal Grammy Awards and his projects have earned 23 Grammy nominations and 12 Grammys, including album and song of the year. Out of that fish market, Concord Music Group (concordmusicgroup.com) is now the largest independent and fifth largest music company in the world!

Shred it for free

Travis Credit Union will host its third annual onsite shredding event from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Sat., Sept. 9, at Clayton Station, 5441 Clayton Road, Clayton. Information on identity theft prevention provided. Members and non-members can bring three banker boxes with documents to shred. Free. Go to traviscu.org or call (800) 877-8328 for more information.

Boutique needs vendors

The Concord Historical Society is hosting the Gingerbread House Boutique from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 9 and 10 at the newly renovated Concord Museum and Event Center, 1721 Amador Ave., in Concord. Unique, quality vendors are wanted for this inaugural event. Go to the Gingerbread House Boutique Facebook page or concordhistorical.org and apply by Sept. 1. Email gingerbreadhouseboutique@gmail.com with questions.

Before traveling to China, Ben Maier says most of his knowledge about the country came from the media.

Burk, from page 1

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Concord resident Joe Sullivan (left) was honored recently by the Oakland Diocese CYO with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his long-time efforts with the St. Bonaventure track and cross country programs. Sullivan, 82, first became involved with the St. Bonnies track and field team over 20 years ago. He eventually expanded the program by adding fall cross country in 2011. He now serves as St. Bonaventure Athletic Director for both sports. Long-time high school coach Herc Pardi (right) was the original St. Bonaventure CYO track and field coach from 1974-82. Ron Silveira took over from Pardi until Sullivan became just the third head coach at St. Bonaventure. His 2017 Diocese award lauded Sullivan for “many years of unselfish commitment, service and dedication to the youth of the Oakland Diocese.”

The Sept. 10 De La Salle Alumnus of the Year and Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony is in the Hofmann Student Center on the De La Salle campus. Event registration is available at www.dlshs.org/athletics/hall-of-fame.

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


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Scouts honor man for life-saving heroics August 25, 2017

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

CARINA ROMANO Pioneer Staff Intern

Michael Fossan didn’t hesitate when he saw three people in need, and now the Boy Scouts of America presented him with the Honor Medal for his heroic river rescue. The Honor Medal is one of four national awards the Scouts present to those who have shown great skill, heroism and courage in protecting others. Fossan and his wife Kris work at John Muir Medical Michael Fossan (left), was honored by the Boy Scouts last Center in Concord, he as a spring for quick thinking and bravery in saving the lives of phlebotomist and she as a three people who were drowning in the Russian River last nurse. Whether it be kayaking, year. He is pictured here with wife Kris (center), sons Tristan backpacking or camping, the (far right) daughter Zoe (left front) and son Aiden on a July Fossan family can often be 7 backpacking trip in the Sierras. found outdoors.

Masonic, from page 1

Job’s Daughters, DeMolay, Rainbow Girls and many scout groups. It was designated a local historic landmark in 1987, however, Masonic Lodge 448 revoked that landmark in 1996. The building was sparsely used and briefly owned by an investment company in 1999. After the city of Concord acquired it in 2000, a local watercolor society used the building. After litigation to stop demolition of the building, the city and the Concord Historical Society agreed in 2010 to transfer ownership of the building to CHS if the building was moved off the city/redevelopment property within three years. CHS went to work raising money. In 2013, the group contracted with a building mover from Sacramento to move the building down the block and across the street to a recently

purchased parcel next to the Galindo Gardens. The moving date was April 23, 2013, the last day of the three-year period the city had allowed. People gathered at 6 a.m. that Saturday, with CHS providing coffee and doughnuts to those anxious to witness the move. Since then, the historic building has been fully renovated with new plumbing, new electrical wiring, a new front entrance terrace, a fully insulated new roof, new windows and a new parking lot. By the time an addition is finished next spring, there will be an elevator, catering kitchen, a resource center and gift shop. For now, the Betty Martin Barnes Hall, Foskett Brown Fireplace Room and the gazebo and grounds are open as a venue for weddings, reunions, birthday and anniversary parties, business meetings and conferences.

John Keibel

A stained glass window in the former Masonic Temple pays tribute to founding donor Melvina Strickland Durham.

For more information, visit site www.concordhistorical.org. Call the event center coordinator at 925-3267848 to check on rental availability.

On Memorial Day 2016, Fossan was paddle-boarding on the Russian River in Sonoma while his wife and three children captained two kayaks. The family had only gotten a few miles down the river when they saw a man drowning. “Michael, go!” yelled Fossan’s wife, pointing to a spot 100 feet away – just off the shore. Fossan then saw three people in the water, two men and a small girl. The girl and one man were clinging to a pool raft, slowly being pulled away by the current. The other man was thrashing helplessly in the river, his mouth filling with water when he tried to call out. The man on the raft was staring in petrified horror. The little girl was screaming.

‘JuST GETTInG IT DOnE’ Without hesitation, Fossan dove into the water. “In the moment, it was just doing it. There wasn’t worry or excitement or anything. It was just getting it done,” Fossan recounts. His wife says the little girl had been fearfully calling for her uncle. The two men – presumably her family – ran into the water to help her. “The girl was probably about 6 or 7. She was young. She had no business being that far out on a raft by herself in a current,” she notes. It was apparent that neither man was able to swim. When the riverbed dropped away to a depth of 12 feet, both were quickly in trouble. “I just jumped in, kept them in my sights, swam right to them as quickly as possible,” Fossan says. Upon reaching him, Fossan could tell that the struggling man was going to attempt to grab him. Nearly a lifetime of involvement with the Boy Scouts had taught Fossan how to safely conduct a water res-

cue. “One of the scariest things in water rescue is if somebody doesn’t know how to swim and you come at them, the first thing they’re gonna do is grab you to try and stay up,” explains Fossan. “They’re not thinking clearly.” Because of this, many people attempting water rescues are accidentally drowned by those they are trying to save. To avoid this danger, Fossan performed a successful waterrescue technique. “I actually dove down and swam around his back and threw my right arm over his chest so he couldn’t grab me,” says Fossan. “With him not being able to sink and me holding him up above water, he calmed down immediately.” Although Fossan spoke calmly, it was difficult to communicate because none of the three spoke English. Holding on to the man with his right arm, he used his left arm to grab the pool float that the girl and other man were hanging on. With all three of them in his grasp, Fossan began to kick the 20 feet to shore.

BYSTanDERS unawaRE Monte Rio Beach was packed with hundreds of people taking advantage of the holiday weekend, but Fossan says that no one else came to help. “I think the one thing I would take away from this, the one thing that I would want other people to know, is the sinking horrible feeling I had when I realized nobody on the beach was helping them at all,” he says. Even at 100 feet away, it was obvious to the Fossans that these people were in trouble.

See Fossan, page 7








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Senior Center closed for reno

The Concord Senior Center at 2727 Parkside Circle will be closed from Aug. 28 to Sept. 8 for renovations. The center will reopen Saturday, Sept. 9 for Hawaiian Fusion, the annual, island-themed fundraiser. The event benefits scholarships for underprivileged senior citizens. 4:30 – 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person; tables of 10 for $450. For tickets, go to concordreg.org, course #104592; email concordsc@cityofconcord.org or call (925) 671-3320, ext. 1. Registration for fall classes is available anytime online at concordreg.org or in person before Aug. 28.

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Letter to the Editor Marijuana stores in Concord?

Did you read the July Pioneer article about marijuana stores in Concord? Did you see the recommendation from the police department to place marijuana stores in three of our most dilapidated shopping centers? Bel Air shopping center (Clayton and Treat) and the Terminal Shopping center (near BART) are also in residential neighborhoods. A marijuana store in these locations is a really bad idea. Fortunately, a temporary ban on marijuana stores is now in place. These locations will not be affected

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

Blue Devils, from page 1

23,342 at Lucas Oil Stadium. During the long season, the 150-member A Corps and their entourage traveled thousands of miles from coast to coast and most places in between. In the finals, the Blue Devils edged out their nearby rivals and friends Santa Clara Vanguard, who were celebrating their 50th anniversary. “There are no two corps in America so close geographically. It’s a unique situation where we are very competitive on the field but work together the rest of the time to advance our activity in many ways,” Heimbecker said. “We make each other stronger.” The two Bay Area corps have 24 world championships Mike McDermott between them – more than Concord resident

unless the city council decides to lift the ban. For compassionate reasons, the council has already lifted the ban on home deliveries to medical marijuana users. Most people support that decision, but I doubt most people will be happy to see retail stores selling marijuana and drug paraphernalia in their neighborhoods. If you object to marijuana stores near your home, it is time to speak up. Tell your city council members you don’t want the problems of crime and addiction which emanate from marijuana stores. Tell them you want Concord kept safe for our families.

half of all the titles in the 46year history of DCI. To illustrate their closeness, they had a joint anniversary gala in June. The evening began with each corps having its own event in adjoining ballrooms lit in the corps’ respective blue and red colors. Then the wall separating the two large rooms opened and the lighting changed to purple for the rest of the festive evening. Although the Blue Devils won all 25 of their competitions this season – from Clovis to Indianapolis – SCV was runner-up all 14 times they met. The South Bay corps upped their game until they were within .013 points of the Blue Devils July 29 in Atlanta. BD’s 98.538 DCI

August 25, 2017 finals score was less than one point better than Santa Clara, which had its highest World’s finish since winning a co-title with The Blue Devils in 1999. In Open Class, the Vanguard Cadets overtook defending champion and early season leaders Blue Devils B Corps to win that championship. Blues Devils B have won five Open Class championships since 2009. Three times (2009, 2010 and 2014), The Blue Devils claimed both world and open class championships in the same year. Blue Devils A Corps now have seven undefeated seasons and have finished first or second for the past 11 years. They are the only corps to have won a world championship in each of the five decades DCI has existed. They were fifth in 1991 but

have been in the top four finalists every other year since 1975. This year’s Metamorph program used music, movements and uniforms to symbolically look back over their 60 years. Blue Devils Hall of Fame founder and longtime director Jerry Seawright’s voice from a 1971 recording introducing the corps was used at the beginning and end of the show. As soon as Heimbecker and the Blue Devils staff returned last week to Concord, they were already looking to 2018 – as they defend their championship and “push the envelope” with their creativity and performances. Unable to sit on their laurels, The Blue Devils sent out an email announcing auditions last week!

Carondelet grad Alyssa Citero wins her 3rd World Championship with Blue Devils Alyssa Citero grew up in Concord as the daughter of a former Concord Blue Devils color guard member but mom Teresa Jones Saunders didn’t see any interest from Alyssa to follow in her footsteps. That is, until they attended the 2007 Blue Devils Family Day where Alyssa told her mom that she wanted to join the Corps. Alyssa joined the C Corps that year and competed with them for five years until she moved up to Blue Devils B Corps from 2012-2014 and now has been on the A Corps for the past three seasons. The Woodside Elementary-Pine Hollow Middle-Carondelet High grad has now won three world championships in the past four years. Entering her junior year at Riverside City College next week, Citero is still in a “very surreal” state. “There is nothing in comparison to what The Blue Devils mean to me. It has shaped me into the extremely hardworking person I would consider myself today in every single aspect of my life,” she said last week. “After an undefeated season, something I imagined near impossible to accomplish, The Blue Devils meet the impossible to make it possible with hard work, grace and one goal for all 150 people. There is no other activity or place in the world that could make my heart as happy as The Blue Devils.” She graduated in 2015 from Carondelet where she sang in the choir all four years and ran varsity cross country and track for three years. She also did a lot of community service through the school. In The Blue Devils B Corps she was part of the 2014 World Open Class World Champions when the A Corps were World Class winners as well. Then in her rookie year with the A Corps in 2015 they were World Class Champions, something they accomplished this year with an undefeated season. Citero is one of only three current Blue Devils who have advanced from the C to the A Corps. As a 20-year-old she has one year left before she ages out at 21. “There is nothing more I am in love with than marching my ageout season with The Blue Devils in the upcoming year.” Her mom was in the A Corps color guard in 1987-88 competing in the World Championship finals and finishing in the top four each year. Before joining The Blue Devils she

Photo courtesy Teresa Saunders

Alyssa Citero (left) was able to celebrate her third world championship with the Concord Blue Devils color guard this month in Indianapolis with her mother Teresa Jones Saunders, who was in The Blue Devils from 1987-89. Citero attended Woodside Elementary, Pine Hollow Middle School and Carondelet High School as she progressed through the Blue Devils C, B and A Corps since she joined in 2007.

was part of the Concord Shamrocks drill team and color guard for eight years. Now Alyssa’s seven-year-old sister Gabrielle Saunders wants to follow in her mom’s and big sister’s footsteps as she is now in The Blue Devils C Corps color guard. Adding a generational exclamation point this year was the induction of Blue Devils color guard instructor TJ Doucette in the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame during World Championship week in Indianapolis. Doucette was Teresa Jones instructor in the late 1980s and has been Citero’s for three years so far. “This has made my relationship with TJ something special that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Having TJ as a mentor is being taught by the best of the best and she does everything and then some to make me a better person than the day before. She is absolutely amazing and induction into the DCI Hall of Fame is incredibly well deserved,” Citero adds.

August 25, 2017

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

Page 5

Opa! St. Demetrios’ 39th Greek Festival opens Sep. 15 The 39th annual Contra Costa Greek Food & Wine Festival offers community members the opportunity to be “Greek for a day.” Food and wine are traditional Greek art forms, and the Sept. 15-17 event features the best artisan chefs in the world: Greek grandmothers (yiayia), aunties (thea) and godmothers (nouna). They are all dedicated to cooking with the freshest ingredients and authentic Greek recipes, preparing delec-

table dishes in the dining hall at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church. The festival includes 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. Entertainment features a live band and an amazing show of Greek spirit with a Greek dance group. A variety of local vendors will display special

crafts and treasures. For a truly beautiful sight, tour the Byzantine style church with its handcarved icon screen and stunning architecture. Keeping the community in mind, the church will donate 10 percent of the proceeds to local charities. The festival is open 5-11 p.m. Friday, noon-11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1517, at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church is at 1955 Kirker Pass Road, Concord.

BEV BRITTON Concord Pioneer

Society moved that building and renovated it into a new museum and event center. Town Center II is within walking distance of the downtown Concord BART station and surrounding amenities. According to a city report, the site is “better suited for development of a mixed-use type of project than a purely multi-family residential development.” The developer is proposing a pedestrian-friendly project anchored by Market Tavern. The Stockton-based retailer combines a restaurant/bar with a “grab and go” market offering fresh breads, produce, premium meat, wine and beer. Brian Nunnally, Concord’s business development manager, says it’s difficult to offer a timeline on development. The Exclusive Negotiation Agreement will remain in effect for

300 days but could be extended if the parties are making progress. “The best part about this particular project is that AvalonBay is an institutional investor, so we’re seeing larger companies taking interest in downtown Concord specifically and Concord in general,” Nunnally noted. The developer will deposit $75,000 to pay the city’s expenses during negotiations. Nunnally said the property would be sold at market value. AvalonBay has developed several luxury apartment/retail projects in the Bay Area, including Avalon Walnut Creek near the Pleasant Hill BART station. Attempts to contact the company in San Francisco and its corporate headquarters in Arlington, Va., were unsuccessful.

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City working with AvalonBay for downtown project The city of Concord is negotiating with AvalonBay Communities for the development of a vacant downtown property. AvalonBay is considering a mixed-use project with about 300 apartments and about 6,500 sq. ft. of commercial space on the ground level. The area, known as Town Center II, sits on about three acres bounded by Galindo Street, Clayton Road, Concord Boulevard and Mira Vista. The property was transferred to the city for future development when the state dissolved all redevelopment agencies. The site, surrounded by white fencing, was the former home of the Masonic Temple. In 2013, the Concord Historical

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Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

August 25, 2017

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The Monument Community Shuttle has added a new stop at the Concord Library. This is a great addition to the free service. The shuttle has been in operation for a year now. In partnership with the city, Monument Impact launched this free transporta-



already have coverage. The small cells provide complementary coverage where coverage already exists. Even though small cells provide backup coverage for macro cells, small cells can also provide primary coverage where macro cells fail. (Small does not refer to the size

of the facility but to the network range.) a Distributed antenna System (DaS), which can be indoors or outdoors. A DAS is used to provide wireless network for heavily trafficked areas or in geographical areas that are difficult for macro cells to provide a wireless network. In July, the Concord Planning Commission discussed WCFs. The commission debated whether the city should update its Wireless Ordinance in regard to the administrative process that telecommunication companies must accomplish before building and placing a WCF in Concord. The Planning Commission decided to update the city’s Wireless Ordinance by amending and adding chapters within

Free Monument shuttle now stops at library tion service for the community. The program is funded by Contra Costa Transportation Authority Measure J funding. This service connects the community with key destinations in the city. There is no pass or pre-registration required; just hop on at the designated stops. Service hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, with extended hours until 8 p.m. Tuesdays. Bus stops include: Downtown Concord BART (back side by Oakland Avenue). Downtown Concord (Pacheco and Grant). Concord Senior Center (Park-

side). John Muir Medical Center (East Street, hospital entrance inside parking lot). La Clinica de La Raza (Sierra Road). Monument Crisis Center (Sutter Street). Monument Impact (2699 Monument Blvd.). Monument Impact (1760 Clayton Road). WIC Office (Stanwell Circle). Cambridge Elementary (Lacy Lane). Concord Library (Salvio Street). Meadow Homes Park (Detroit Avenue).

the Concord Development Code. This will allow the city to streamline the administrative review process, give the city more preferences over WCF aesthetics and bring other sections of the Development Code and Municipal Code into compliance with federal and state legislation. The city is limited by law in its discretion over the location and conditions placed upon wireless facilities and in the length of time for review. These amendments and additions to the city Wireless Ordinance came about due to the Federal Communications Commission’s new regulations issued in 2015. The FCC issued new regulations in response to certain provisions of the federal Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. On Sept. 5, the Concord City Council will review the Planning Commission’s recommendation to update the Wireless Ordinance. On July 25, the City Council approved Resolution No. 17-58, which created a wireless Master License Agreement to allow wireless facilities to lease space on approved city-owned poles in the right of way, with certain conditions.

Dominic Aliano is a member of the Concord Planning Commission. Email questions and comments to at dominicaliano863@gmail.com


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

from page 1

tot lot. Improvements are also underway at Ellis Lake Park. A new restroom building is completed; a tot lot, path lighting and railing sections in select areas near the pond are underway. At Civic Center, the tot lot is being replaced with newer play equipment. Ellis Lake and Civic Center tot lots are planned to be completed this fall. The city has installed new Historic Todos Santos District street signs downtown, using restricted funds. In the past, the city required developers to pay an “Art in Public Places” fee. Replacing aging street signs with the “historic” style signs is an acceptable use of these funds. These signs begin fulfilling the comprehensive vision for the downtown area, which includes development guidelines that reflect early California design and architecture. Under the new guidelines, all new development within an inner core of the downtown will resemble early California design, as will newly installed or replacement of park benches, streetlights and signage.

Sept. events explore efforts to ban books

As the children head back to school, the library staff prepares for Banned Books Week, Sept. 24-30. Launched in 1982, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of intellectual freedom and draws attention to censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted banning of books across the United States, including books commonly taught in middle and high schools. I have always loved teaching about Banned Books Week and censorship. It’s rewarding to seeing people’s faces when they hear that some of their favorite books have made it on to challenged or banned lists. Two books on the most challenged titles list from the American Library Association

for 2016 were Stephen Chbosky’s “Perks of Being a Wallflower” and Gennifer Choldenko’s “Al Capone Does My Shirts.” Some books continue to be on the list year after year, like Mark Haddon’s “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” and John Greene’s “Looking for Alaska.” J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series is another one that groups continually asked to be banned around the world. This is an important time to share with everyone because Banned Books Week brings together the entire community – librarians and readers of all ages – in support of the freedom to seek and express ideas, even ideas some consider unorthodox or unpopular. Meanwhile, the Concord Friends of the Library will have its quarterly Book Sale 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 22-23 and 1-3:30 p.m. Sept. 24 in the library community room. The friends also have



books for sale in the lobby of the library continually and an adorable book bag for sale for $10. Proceeds help the Concord Library continue to provide fun and engaging programs and services to the community. If you would like to donate books, the friends accept books in good condition, along with CDs and DVDs. Sorry, no magazines, encyclopedias or textbooks. If you’d like to volunteer to work with the Concord Friends of the Library, stop by the library and let us know.

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

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Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

P.O. Box 1246 6200 Center Street, Suite H, Clayton, CA 94517 TAMARA AND R OBERT S TEINER , Publishers TAMARA S TEINER , Editor P ETE C RUZ , Graphic Design B EV B RITTON , Copy Editor J AY B EDECARRÉ, Sports Editor PAMELA W IESENDANGER , Administration, Calendar Editor S TAFF W RITERS : Pamela Wiesendanger, Jay Bedecarré, Bev Britton

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


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 editor@concordpioneer.com. Letters must be submitted via E-mail.


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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.

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.

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Smart city plan brings technology to forefront JOHN T. MILLER Correspondent

City Councilwoman Carlyn Obringer calls Concord’s smart city resolution a way “to celebrate steps small and large that we’ve taken so far.” Obringer helped craft the plan, which affirms the council’s commitment to incorporate smart city technologies. “Being a smart city is about using new, advanced technologies, coupled with data and analytics to improve people’s lives,” Obringer noted. The resolution approved July 25 states that the council will provide “a synergistic environment of collaboration with the business community, promoting technology infrastructure, services and opportunities to benefit the entire community.” TechRepublic, a website dealing with information technology, defines a smart city as one that utilizes the Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, actuators and technology to connect components across a city, impacting every layer, from beneath the streets to the air residents breathe. With the upcoming development of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station, this is an exciting time for Concord because the planning is an open canvas and technology can be developed from the ground up. “We can roll out things we have only been able to dream about,” said Councilman Tim McGallian. The smart traffic signal master plan is an example of Concord’s efforts to date. When fully implemented, it will result in 4.5 miles of fiber connecting 28 traffic lights capable of rapidly moving city data from buildings, parks and traffic signals. The high-speed connectivity will also provide for other advanced technologies, including traffic signal and traffic management systems. In addition, the city has installed smart irrigation controllers in parks and landscape areas to monitor watering and irrigation schedules. These controllers can be managed from a computer or smart phone, reducing the need to manually adjust to changing weather conditions or other watering requirements – saving time and fuel.

Various departments have developed online self-service opportunities for residents and businesses to interact with city staff without having to come to City Hall, such as signing up for a recreation class or applying for a building permit, in some cases. Another smart city development is the autonomous vehicle testing taking place at GoMentum Station. As one of only 10 U.S. Department of Transportation designated autonomous testing sites, Concord is becoming a leader in autonomous technology. Tom Blewitt, director of principal engineers for Underwriters Laboratories, cautions that with all this unconstrained data moving between systems, intellectual property, security and privacy concerns must be addressed. “For this,” he said, “public policy and legal technology needs to be state of the art.” Plans for Concord include an improved broadband network throughout the community and implementing a new website platform to allow for better content management and self-service access to permits, interactive maps and electronic distribution of information. A one-year pilot program with Starship Technologies was recently set up to test autonomous delivery of takeout food, groceries and other products to residents in the downtown core. “We hope to create partnerships with additional organizations, such as the Mt Diablo Unified School District and others, and try to get everybody on the same playing field,” McGallian added. Obringer says the smart city drive will attract companies and entrepreneurs looking to open or grow their businesses. A McKinsey Global Institute study, cited by TechRepublic states: “The smart city industry is projected to be a $400 billion market by 2020, with 600 cities worldwide. These cities are expected to generate 60 percent of the world’s GDP by 2025.” “Smart city technologies will deliver city services in ways that are faster, cheaper and with a lower environmental footprint,” Obringer said.

Fossan, from page 3

“She was screaming at the top of her lungs. He was thrashing in the water, drowning. The other guy … had that scared, silent, wide-eyed look; I don’t think he ever blinked. Nobody did anything. Nobody stepped up.” Once Fossan pulled the group to safety, a small crowd of people rushed forward and huddled around the trio. Fossan guesses these were family and friends. Not waiting to speak with anyone, an exhausted Fossan slowly made his way back through the water to his own waiting family. “The point was getting them to safety, and once they were safe, once the family had gotten to them, I didn’t need to be there,” says Fossan. The whole rescue took place in only a couple of minutes. “It was surreal,” his wife says.

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

Page 7

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Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

August 25, 2017

Are you ready for some football? JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

High school football gets underway this week with seven games for local schools, including a pair of clashes involving local teams in Nevada. As the varsity seasons kick off it’s apparent that the turnout for football has dropped, possibly because of concerns about concussions and long-term health issues connected to repeated football collisions. As Diablo Athletic League schools wrapped up pre-season workouts, Concord, Miramonte, College Park and Mt. Diablo announced they won’t be fielding junior varsity football teams and MDHS will also not have a freshman squad. YV is going to have a “modified freshman” team. Legendary Southern California public school Long Beach Poly is ranked No. 10 in national preseason polls but will not have a JV football team this fall. De La Salle photo courtesy Berry Evans III/SportStars Here’s a brief rundown on All the local high schools kick off their football seasons this Friday and Saturday. Hoping to contribute to successful local schools as they prepare seasons for their teams this year are, clockwise from upper left, Andy Palacios (Ygnacio Valley), Tuli Letuligasenoa (De for the fall season: La Salle), Saluni Semisi (Northgate), Dylan Chrisco (Clayton Valley Charter), Carlos Tiant (Mt. Diablo) and Brian Cruz

ClaYTOn VallEY CHaRTER (9-2, 5-0) Coach Tim Murphy’s wing-T offense has racked up recordsetting numbers over the five seasons he’s been in charge of the Ugly Eagles, almost exclusively relying on its running game and in many games virtually eschewing the forward pass. Now, Murphy says senior quarterback Kenny Gardner Jr. and junior Logan Sumter may be making more use of the forward pass. In 11 games last year the team threw only 75 passes in 11 games, which was still the highest average passes per game for a Murphy team at CVCHS. “In 20 years of coaching my teams have averaged 8 yards per carry rushing. But the two QBs I have right now are pretty dang good,” Murphy says. Boosting the passing game talk is senior athlete Milan Mijanovic, who has come out for football as a wide receiver and shown well in drills. CVCHS has only four returning starters this fall after the senior-laden team last year finished as DAL champions— the fifth straight league title for the Eagles—-before losing to De La Salle in the opening round of the North Coast Section playoffs. The offense should still feature senior runningback James Teofilo with offensive linemen Brandon Mello (6-7, 295 pounds and a recent Cal football commit) and Dylan Chrisco leading the blocking. Other players Murphy expects a lot from are Ben

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Acebo, Dre White, Parker Allen, tight end Dwayne Alatini (“could be most improved player in five years”), Dustin Mitchell, Ketione Tau, Jamal Lavillier and Gabriel Dobbins (“huge improvement since last year”). As pre-season workouts wind down Murphy has also been impressed by Garret Ganguet, Junior Alatini, Makhi Gervai and Cade Carter (“our only two-way starter who has improved tremendously”). The coach said, “Kyle Sparks and Ryan Wilson have really stepped up at outside linebacker.” Twelve all-leaguers graduated from Clayton Valley and Murphy says this year’s squad “may take some games to get where we want to be but these guys will get better every week.” The Eagles first three games are against out-of-state teams before they begin DAL play Oct. 6 at Gonsalves Stadium against Miramonte. Their opener this Saturday evening is at Reed High in Sparks, NV. Last year Reed visited CVCHS in the season opener and lost 35-21 but the Raiders went on to the Northern Nevada 4A championship game before losing again.

COnCORD (7-5, 2-3) Paul Reynaud is starting his first season as a high school head coach in charge of the Minutemen. He has immediately been given a couple big challenges—finding an off-campus site for

his team’s home games and selecting a new quarterback after his staff expected that position was going to be held down by a third-year starter. Concord High is having a major athletic facilities overhaul that includes an artificial turf football field, which will complete the installation of turf fields at all Mt. Diablo Unified School District high schools. The project didn’t get underway until late July so where the Minutemen will play their “home” games this fall is still not fully resolved. Their first two games this Friday against Wood of Vacaville and next week vs. crosstown rival Mt. Diablo will both be in Hart Fairclough Stadium at MDHS. Reynaud says sites for the other three home games have yet to be determined. The new coaching staff was presented with a personnel challenge even before practice began when two-year varsity starting quarterback Nick Nunez decided not to play this year. Reynaud says sophomore Ryan Murphy and juniors Bailey Trotter and Brian Cruz are vying for the starting position. The versatile Cruz was a wide receiver and cornerback last fall. Reynaud has returning starters in junior Austin Williams and seniors Darion Smith, Hunter Simmers and Francisco Garcia. Top new players are a trio of juniors: Gabe Kent, Kyle Robinson and Chase Dashner.

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DE la SallE (11-2) The last time De La Salle football played, not only did the Spartans lose but they gave up the most points since Bob Ladouceur came to De La Salle in 1979 when they fell 56-33 to St. John Bosco in the State championship game. Coach Justin Alumbaugh and his staff certainly didn’t have to remind returning players of that result during off-season workouts. DLS has a quartet of highlyrecruited players who will headline the team’s efforts this fall as they navigate another tough independent schedule including a Sept. 16 matchup with twotime National Champion Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas. Gorman is riding a 54-game winning streak. Senior Tuli Letuligasenoa (62, 295 pounds) made a strong impression on the defensive line last year and has already committed to USC. Junior tight end Isaiah Foskey has been offered a scholarship by perennial college powerhouse Alabama. Alumbaugh’s offense will still be run-oriented with Kairee Robinson returning after a breakout junior year when he ran for 2012 yards and 25 touchdowns. This year’s team has lots more experience than the 2016 Spartans. Like his junior teammate Foskey, linebacker Henry To’oto’o has attracted college notice with two years of high school remaining. The quarterback position figures to be shared by juniors Andrew Jones and Erich Storti, who threw four varsity passes between them last year. De La Salle travels to Pleasanton Saturday to again open the season against Amador Valley. Then the Spartans’ independent schedule finds them facing four parochial schools in five games, including National Champion Gorman and the following week California State 5AA champs Bishop O’Dowd, long ago a Catholic Athletic League foe of DLS. MT. DIaBlO (1-8, 0-4) Super-positive new head coach Vontre Mason has been busy this spring and summer at the area’s oldest school fundraising, getting alumni and boosters involved and making sure potential players are putting in the classroom work needed to be able to play football this fall. While working on all those fronts Mason and his team were dealt a blow when the entire home side of the Hart Fairclough Stadium bleachers have

and transfers but he likes the athleticism of this year’s squad. The Broncos travel to Damonte Ranch this Saturday to meet the Northern Nevada 4A champions. The Mustangs were 2016 Nevada state semi-finalists. Northgate parlayed the league co-title to a No. 7 seed in NCS Division II before losing in the opening round to Santa Rosa.

YGnaCIO VallEY (2-8, 1-4) The Warriors also have a new head coach in Clyde Byrd, who took over for five-year coach Philip Puentes after last season. Byrd took the past two football seasons off from coaching while teaching biology at Ygnacio Valley. The year before that he was teaching at Mt. Diablo and says with a smile that he’s circled the Warriors homecoming game Oct. 27 against MD. “I taught the Mt. Diablo seniors when they were freshmen,” Byrd said. Byrd says his six returning starters are split evenly between offense (Devynn Thomas, Jose Ruiz and Andy Palacio) and defense (all-league linebacker Jean Felix, Alejandro Lopez and Ruiz). He is also looking at varsity returning players Alberto Gerebeen condemned and are now my, Naz Allen, Brayan Buelan, fenced off. New principal Loren Edwin Garcia, Jose Guillen, Barbosa says the district will Nestor Isguerra, Jesus Jiminez, divide the smaller visitors side bleachers so that fans of both See Football, page 10 teams can share for each game. Another fallout is that the press box on the home side is also off limits. Mason says his Red Devils— which still will be working with fewer players than all of its opponents—intends to line up and run the ball, counting on fitness and hard work to overcome any size, experience or “numbers” limitations. High school practice for At a recent practice, he handcross country, water polo ed out black t-shirts that say: Red and girls volleyball, golf and Devils: Believe, Compete, Every tennis teams are underway Day. Concord chief of police with non-league competiGuy Swanger and his wife Lora tions soon to follow. made and donated the shirts. Diablo Athletic League Last month the Concord Police maintained the same diviCommunity Court Fund donatsions from the inaugural fall ed $3000 to the MDHS Boostseason a year ago. Northers to buy 10 new helmets. gate is placed in the Foothill The top returning Red devil Division for boys and girls seniors are runningback/linewater polo plus cross counbacker Carlos Tiant and lineman try, girls tennis, volleyball Tenoa Swayne. The Red Devils also expect contributions from and golf. The rest of the transfers Amari Ransom and local schools —Concord, Clayton Valley Charter, Ameen Shuladeen. Mason took over a Red Dev- Berean Christian, Mt. Diails program that hasn’t had a blo and Ygnacio Valley— winning season since 2009. He is are in the Foothill Divisions. the fifth head coach since that CVCHS and Concord are season. In 2014 Mt. Diablo last placed in the Foothill footmade the North Coast Section ball division while the other local schools are in Valley. Division III playoffs. DAL water polo begins The team debuts this Saturleague play Sept. 13. The day at Hercules. Valley Division also includes three non-DAL nORTHGaTE (7-3, 3-1) Valley, Thanks to one of the most schools—Pinole bizarre finishes of any football Hercules and St. Patrick St. game, the Broncos and Berean Vincent of Vallejo. NCS Christian ended the DAL tournament is Nov. 1-11. League volleyball runs Foothill Division season as cochampions. Coach Ben Ballard Sept. 26 until Oct. 26 with hopes his team can make it an NCS starting Halloween undisputed championship sea- night, Oct. 31, through Nov. 11. son this fall. Girls tennis starts Sept. In a late October DAL showdown Berean blocked the 19 and concludes Oct. 19. potential game winning field NCS team and individual goal by Northgate as time tennis competitions run expired. An Eagles player picked between Oct. 26 and Nov. up the football after the block 15. The DAL golf tournaand, thinking the game was over, dropped the pigskin to join his ment is Monday, Oct. 16, celebrating teammates. North- following a double roundgate’s Gavin West picked up the robin league schedule. NCS ball and ran it into the end zone competition starts Oct. 23. DAL cross country has for a touchdown and 19-14 NG center meets on Sept. 27 victory. Junior Jack Fulp will be start- and Oct. 25 with dual meet ing quarterback for a third sea- scoring used each day. All 12 son at Northgate. His offensive DAL schools take part in supporting cast includes DiMar- both center meets. The co Ventura, Marcus Dickerson, DAL championships are on Semisi Saluni, German Acosta Saturday, Nov. 4, at Hidden Valley Park in Martinez. The and David Ma’ake. On defense, Ballard said his NCS Meet of Champions is team lost many in the secondary Nov. 18. and at linebacker to graduation

DAL fall sports teams getting season underway

August 25, 2017

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com amazingly with the identical time of 26.80, and also set an individual medley mark. He still owns the County 11-12 breast record. Adrian Lohse adds, “He has really developed into a complete swimmer that can compete in any stroke and distance, however, what impresses me most, is that he genuinely cares about his teammates and friends. He encourages teammates in practice and can usually be found at the end of the pool cheering hard for another swimmer. He has learned to be a great coach and his ability to make swimming fun for children, even as young as four, deepens his total value to Walnut Country.”

Athlete Spotlight

Jacob Soderlund Age: 14 Team: Walnut Country ST Sports: Swimming

Jacob Soderlund has been a member of the Walnut Country Swim Team for the past four years and during that time has completely rewritten the team record books for 11-12 and 13-14 boys swimmers. This summer he won high-point awards in 13-14 at the Devil Mountain Pentathlon, Diablo Community Swim League meet, 51st annual Concord City Meet and the end-of-season 57th Contra Costa County Meet. Stingrays head coach

Page 9

Adrian Lohse says, “Jacob is a realistic threat to break a record every time he swims a race.” At the County Meet, against the very best of the best, he won his two 50-yard events by over one second each. Soderlund began swimming as a five-year-old, joining older sister Grace in the pool. He broke the City Meet breaststroke record this year, winning by five full seconds. He also set breast and backstroke records in the DCSL meet,

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

Forest Park, Dana Hills finish Concord, County swim meets with top placements

Jay Bedecarré

Forest Park Swim Team had five swimmers win high-point age group awards at the 51st City Meet. Brother and sister (front) Evan Stanziano and Rayna Stanziano took high point in the 15-18 A Division age groups. Also winning awards, back row from left, Memo Cortes (11-12 boys B), Carly Spilman (6 and under girls A) and Vince Della Santina (7-8 boys A). JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

Forest Park and Dana Hills swim teams took their seasonlong local dominance all the way to the 57th annual Contra Costa County Meet earlier this month with third-place finishes in their respective divisions after splitting the two Concord City Meet championships. The Flyers finished second to Dana Hills of Clayton in the 51st City Meet A Division standings while the Flyers won the B Division once again, reversing places with DHST. The following week in Lafayette at Acalanes High, Forest Park was third in the County Division II finals, the same place Dana Hills had in Division I for the third straight year. Dana Hills won its 25th Con-

cord City Championship in 26 years with Otters and Forest Park swimmers dominating the proceedings. Seven DHST and four Forest Park swimmers were high point in A Division at City Meet. Dana Hills swept the two outstanding relay awards while the Otters set five individual and four relay meet records and the Flyers one. Two Walnut Country swimmers also set new meet standards. The most remarkable time was by Gio Castaneda of DHST in the six and under butterfly. He broke the 1972 city record set by future Clayton Valley High School all-America Craig Marble. Forest Park’s Carly Spilman (6 and under girls), Rayna Stanziano (15-18 girls), Vince Della Santina (7-8 boys) and Evan Stanziano (15-18 boys)

were high point A Division at City Meet. Memo Cortes (11-12 boys) was a B Division high point Flyer. Della Santina broke the 26year-old 7-8 boys breaststroke mark of Forest Park legend Johnny Gillespie. Walnut Country had three A Division high-point boys in Ramsey Lewis (6 and under), Mason Wendler (9-10) and Jacob Soderlund (13-14). Wendler and Soderlund were high point last year in the same age groups. Soderlund lowered the 13-14 backstroke city record by over half a second while Wendler set new 9-10 marks in the individual medley and back. Other high point swimmers from Concord teams in B Division were Kylie Struempf (Vista Diablo 6 and under girls), Madison Haynes (Gehringer Park 7-8 girls), Sean Nash (Springwood 6 and under boys), Nicholas Lawrence (Walnut Country 6 and under boys), Rushton Spurlock (VDD 7-8 boys), Riley Brandt (Springwood 9-10 boys) and Jaden Elgazzar (Ygnacio Wood 11-12 boys). At County, Soderlund tied for high point in 13-14 boys while his Walnut Country team took fifth in Division II, after finishing third at City. Wendler helped the effort with runner-up placing in 9-10 boys scoring. Forest Park’s third place at County was led by Della Santina (7-8) and Juliannah ColchicoGreeley’s (11-12) fourth places in high point.

Stanziano (15-18 boys) took first in the meet where each swimmer competes in all four strokes plus the individual medley with places determined by their total time in five races. Walnut Country’s Lewis (6 and under), Wendler (9-10) and Soderlund (13-14) won boys high point. Victoria Collins of Bishop Estates was 7-8 girls B division high point. In the team standings Forest Park was first, Walnut Country second and Ygnacio Wood tied for fourth. Hosts DHST do not take part in the team scoring.

See Swimming, page 10

Diablo FC teams in Surf Cup finals, semis

Photo courtesy Diablo FC

Coach Richard Weismann’s Diablo FC 2003 NPL boys team reached the Surf Cup semi-finals at the most prestigious soccer tournament in the Western United States. The local under 15 team lost to eventual champions Star Academy in the semis. Their only other loss in San Diego was to the LA Galaxy San Diego Elite team 1-0. Diablo FC 00 girls are still No. 1 in US soccer rankings although they lost on penalty kicks in the Surf Cup U19 championship game to Washington’s top-ranked ISC Gunners after a 1-1 draw. Coach Zach Sullivan’s team had defeated Washington’s third-ranked team Crossfire Premier ECNL, 3-0 in the semi-finals. The Diablo FC team was a finalist (2015) and semi-finalist (2016) in the past two years at Surf Cup. Sullivan’s Diablo FC 05 Pre-NPL girls drew with LA Galaxy South Bay among their U13 results while coach Scott Alexander’s U17 Diablo FC 01 NPL beat FC Dallas in bracket play. Overall, four Diablo FC boys teams competed at Surf Cup. Coach Brian Voltattorni’s Diablo FC 04 Premier were 3-1 in U14 and Diablo FC 05 Premier U13 boys were 2-1-1. Marquis White’s Diablo FC 99-00 NPL were 3-1 at U19, losing only their opener 2-0 to Ciex Sports Academy from Panama, the eventual tournament winners. Those were the only goals the team gave up in four games. Diablo FC 03 NPL boys includes, front row from left, Elias Stimson, Cris Alfaro, Marco Friio, Bryce Raizes, Jonathan Wence, Caden Crabtree; back row, Weiszmann, Gabe Perez, Max Ramirez, Hari Stoyanov, Jack Nunn, Dani Mendoza, Isaac Morfin, Sebi Ramirez, Adrian Rodriguez and Jonathan Montoya.

PEnTaTHlOn, CHallEnGE MEETS At last month’s Devil Mountain Pentathlon Concord team swimmers won half the A Division age group championships. Forest Park swimmers ColchicoGreeley (11-12 girls), Rayna Stanziano (15-18 girls) and Evan

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Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

August 25, 2017

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

De La Salle High School will honor include two teams, one coach and five athletes on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 10, at the annual Athletic Hall of Fame induction. This year’s inductees are: Tom Joseph (Class of 1985) was a star football player and wrestler. He won De La Salle Athlete of the Year as a junior and was co-winner his senior year, one of only two athletes in DLS history to win the award multiple times. He played three years of varsity football where he received allleague, first team all-East Bay and all-NorCal accolades in 1984. He was a four-year varsity wrestler and was 38-3 his senior year. He was a threetime league. He returned to De La Salle as a coach in the 1990’s

and helped coach freshman football and was also head JV wrestling coach. Kevin Keane (1989) was a member of the Spartan basketball and track and field teams. He exceled at high jump, where he cleared seven feet in 1989. He was second at North Coast Section in 1988, and was NCS champion and second place at the California State meet in 1989. He was co-Athlete of the Year as a senior. Keane won two Pac-10 championships at UC Berkeley and competed for a spot on the Irish national team for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Derek landri (2002) was first team all-America by USA Today prep and was rated as the top lineman by Parade Magazine that year. As a senior he was CalHiSports.com lineman of the year when

Swimming, from page 9

Dana Hills won the Crossings Challenge for B swimmers ahead of runner up Ygnacio Wood and third place Vista Diablo Dolphins. Local high point swimmers were Katie Blackford (6 & under girls, Ygnacio Wood), Jake Dobbs and Liam Fruchtenicht (7-8 boys, Walnut Country), Molly Sielman (11-12 girls, WCST), Julian Martinez (11-12 boys, WCST), Michael Shaikh (13-14 boys, Bishop Estates) and Harley Estrella (15-18 boys, Springwood). The meet expanded this year to include A Division swimmers and host Walnut Country ended up with three of its swimmers setting new pool records. CITY MEET TEaM SCORES

A Division: Dana Hills Otters 1118 points, Forest Park Flyers 763.5,

Walnut Country Stingrays 533, Oakhurst Orcas 300.5, Ygnacio Wood Seahorses 283, Springwood Sprinters 243, Gehringer Park Gators 128.5, Forest Hills Beavers 118, Pleasant Hill Dolfins and Bishop Estates Barracudas 115, Vista Diablo Dolphins 56.5, Crockett Crockett-iles 48. B Division: Forest Park 259.5, Dana Hills 257, Springwood 214, Walnut Country 192, Ygnacio Wood 189, Forest Hills 188, Vista Diablo 167, Gehringer Park 164, Oakhurst 147, Crockett 133, Bishop Estates 128, Pleasant Hill Dolfins 106.5.


Concord team finishers (top 3 City Meet) Bishop Estates: Gabby Mazzuca, Adrienne Beaubien, Naomi Hamilton, Michael Shaikh, Justin Ellis, Christopher Davis, Branden Ruiz, Keegan Collins, Natalie Leskowicz, Joaquin Felix, Lexa Huston, Jocelyn Ruiz, Stanley Williams, Forest Park: Kyla Joseph, Aubrey Newton, Tommy Martin, Rayna Stanziano, Evan Stanziano, Lilia Grutzmacher, Zoe Booth, Juliana Della Santina, Vince Della Santina,

Landri and his teammates gave up only six touchdowns the whole season. He was the third De La Salle player to win California Player of the Year (Amani Toomer 1991 and D.J. Williams 1999). He was also a three-year starter on offense. In the historic game against Long Beach Poly, Landri was instrumental in matchups against his opponents, Manuel Wright and Winston Justice, who would both go on to play in the NFL. Landri graduated from Notre Dame and played in the NFL for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Michael Salvemini (1987) was a four-year varsity soccer player and soccer Player of the Year in 1987. That year De La Salle was the first U.S. soccer team to compete in the 40year-old FISEC tournament

for European Catholic Schools. In that tournament, De La Salle beat the top-seeded Flemish-Belgium team and Salvemini scored in every game in the tournament. He received the NCS Scholar Athlete Award with a 3.5 G.P.A. He was a wide receiver and kicker on the football squad in 1986, where he scored 83 points (4 field goals, 4 touchdowns and 47 PATs). After graduating De La Salle, he played for Cal Berkeley soccer, where he was team captain. Salvemini is DLS’s head JV soccer coach.  nick Schnabel (1996) was one of the best shortstops in De La Salle history. A coach said “his defense was like poetry.”  He was a three-year starting shortstop, made the alldefense team his junior and senior years and all-league as a senior. Schnabel was known for his strong execution on hit-

Isabel Ragland, Ashley Chan, Austin Grove, Andrew Dawson, Memo Cortes, Cameron Crow, Thayne Merrill, Arie Vanhoven, Amelia Chaix, Jaden Alano, Mikayla Brown, Evalinne Vecchio, Henry Tourtillott, Carly Spilman, Rebecca Griffin, Kaylie Walker, Juliana Leichliter, Truley Whitmer, Raymond Lucia, Kaylee Whitmer, Lexi Reeves, Nate Wendling, Sofia Randolph, Matthew Ware, Robert Santa Maria, Katrina Kohlmeyer, Elena Griffin, Peyton Gross, Caitlin Biles, Gehringer Park: Jenna Armstrong, Kaylee Pond, Avery Boughton, Preston Courchaine, Lilly Weires, Quin Sewell, Isabella Jimenez, Logan Jacobs, Isabella Jimenez, Dylan Christie, Zachary Christie, Madison Haynes, Amelia Giordano, Anna Weires, Springwood: Ty Vandevoir, Karlee Kronquist, Caitlyn Nash, Mason Gonzalez, Shawn Canada, Scarlett Ringue, Harley Estrella, Riley Brandt, Damyn Vandevoir, Selene Ringue, Trinity Hockel, Makena Cooper, Vista Diablo: Cambra Lutz, Zach Malmstrom, Ryan Lingenfelter,

Olivia Baldovino, Andrea Santamaria, Mason Kramer, Rushton Spurlock, Evan Vogler, London Bailey, Ryan Stagmier, Kati Lingenfelter, Sophia Lipina, Eduardo Deassis, Leah Brown, Kylie Struempf, Walnut Country: Mason Wendler, Jacob Soderlund, Morgan Wendler, Joaquin Hernandez, Julian Martinez, Brady Cannon, Chloe Mannion, Lexie Solari, Olivia Wirig, Enya Castaneda, Adelaide Quirk, Danielle Lindquist, Nicholas Lawrence, Ramsey Lewis, Gianna Kougios, Siena Rassushin, Mateo Etcheveste, Benjamin Rodriguez, Tanner Lustig, Ian Wright, Alyssa Nonaka, Samantha Huckestein, Emmett Harish, Calvin Spruiell, Damon Oberbruner, Aiden Huckestein, Jackson Porte, Dylan Washmera Ygnacio Wood: Katelyn Smith, Brady Lauer, Clara Decker, Michael Manuel, Caroline O’Sullivan, Olivia Patterson, Cole Welsh, Lindsey Tellefsen, Evan Lonestar, Kai Welsh, Jerron Miller, Jaden Elgazzar, Andrey Pristinsky, Noah Shelley, Marcus Manuel, Sydney Welsh, Taylor Welsh, Kelsey Suto, Alyssa House, Jimmy Costello.

Sports Shorts

and-run as well as bunting plays. He was drafted by the Montreal Expos (now Washington Nationals) and made it to AA. He graduated from East Carolina in 2003. Schnabel is a coach and recruiter for the University of Michigan. Mike Blasquez was a strength and conditioning coach for 11 seasons from 1992-2002. During that time, De La Salle varsity football teams achieved a record of 138-0. He was named the 1998 strength and conditioning Coach of the Year by Professional Coaches Society. After leaving DLS, Blasquez went to the University of California where he worked with the basketball and football teams and was instrumental in the design for the 18,700-square foot Simpson Center for StudentAthlete High Performance. The 2001 Football Team was one of the best teams in De La Salle history. Featuring future NFL players Matt

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

Football, from page 8

Albert Lozaya, Frederico Ochoa, Christian Park, Bryan Plascencia, Leo Quezada and Daniel Tellez for contributions. The Warriors are at El Cerrito this Friday for their season opener. nOn-lEaGuE SCHEDulES

Berean Christian - 8/25 at Cloverdale, 9/1 Kelseyville, 9/8 Middletown, 9/16 at St. Vincent-St. Patrick (Vallejo;), 9/23 Salesian. Clayton Valley Charter - 8/26 at Reed (Sparks, NV), 9/1 Mililani (Hawaii), 9/8 at Canyon Springs (North Las Vegas), 9/15 at Antioch, 9/22 Deer Valley (Antioch).

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



World renowned Walnut Creek Aquanuts are presenting their annual Fall Swim Show Aug. 31-Sept 3. The Aquanuts Got Talent show feaCOnCORD HIGH lOOKInG FOR tures over 80 athletes from ages 5-25, beginner to Concord’s two2017-18 BOYS TEaM COaCHES time Olympian Mariya Koroleva. The show is at Walnut Creek’s Concord High School is looking for 2017-18 coaches for boys teams Clarke Memorial Swim Center at 8 p.m. each evening. Visit in varsity tennis, JV head and assistant basketball and frosh basket- aquanuts.org for ticket information. ball. Send resume and references to AD Megan Coddington at coddingtonm@mdusd.org. Stipends available. Coaching requirements ST. BOnaVEnTuRE CYO BaSKETBall SIGnuPS OnlInE include MDUSD Fingerprints, Current TB test, First Aid/CPR, Sudden Signups for boys and girls in second through eighth grades for the St. Cardiac Arrest and Concussion certification through NFHS. Bonaventure basketball CYO program are being taken online at stbonaventurecyo.com. Deadline to register is Sept. 1. Late registrants walnuT CREEK aquanuTS OFFER TRY IT DaYS SEPT. 2-3 will be waitlisted. For more information call Tim O’Hara 672-5774, Walnut Creek Aquanuts are offering “Try It” days to introduce athletes Lance Brick 525-9853, Ferd Santos 270-9390 or email stbonavento its synchronized swimming program. The 90-minute sessions are turecyo@gmail.com. For more info visit stbonaventurecyo.com/basSept. 2 and Sept. 3. The Aquanuts placed five athletes on U.S. Nation- ketball. al Teams in 2017. Registration is $10 for a session with top WCA coaching staff on hand. Registration can be found at aquanuts.org.


Local competitive soccer club Diablo FC will hold a fundraising Poker DIaBlO FC OFFERInG PlaYER EValuaTIOnS Night on Friday, Sept. 8. There will be a 6:30 p.m. tri-tip and chicken Formal tryouts for Diablo FC under 8 through U19 competitive teams dinner and gaming starts at 7:30 at Pleasant Hill Community Center. (birth years 1999-2011) have concluded but coaches are still holding The poker tournament will have $300 Tiffany & Co. and Amazon gift player evaluations. Visit diablofc.org to get more information and card prizes plus Raiders-Dallas Cowboys Sunday night Football tickets. signup for the appropriate age group evaluation. For more information or to sign up visit diablofc.org.


St. Bonaventure CYO cross country is open to boys and girls in 2nd8th grades in the St. Bonaventure attendance area. Cross country is a short, family-oriented season with practices Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5:30 p.m. in Newhall Park. Friday meets begin Sept. 22 with the Oakland Diocese meet Oct. 20. Contact St. Bonaventure CYO athletic director Joe Sullivan at 969-0207, email johnmercurio@astound.net or visit stbonaventurecyo.com for more info.


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Clayton Valley High and Cal Berkeley grad Kara Kohler is back in the water this year in a new event after a hiatus following the Rio Olympics trials where she barely missed going to her second Olympics. In the women’s single sculls, 2016 Olympian Felice Mueller, the event favorite, earned a spot on her eighth U.S. national team when she finished ahead of London bronze medalist Kohler to win the final at the US Rowing Senor National Team Trials for the 2017 World Championships in Florida. After training at the California Rowing Club in Oakland this was Kohler’s best-ever 2000-meter performance in her new event, almost exactly five years after her medal-winning performance in the USA quad at London.

Concord’s fall adult softball leagues for men’s, women’s and coed teams begin Sept. 5 and run through mid-November. Offering games Sunday through Friday nights, the fall program serves thousands of quEEn OF all SaInTS CYO CROSS COunTRY players annually with leagues to accommodate all skill levels. AddiREGISTRaTIOn EnDS SEPT. 6 tional information can be found at teamsideline.com/concord or by Boys and girls from kindergarten through eighth grade are invited to calling 671-3423. sign up for the Queen of All Saints CYO cross country team. The team practices on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:30-6 p.m. at Baldwin SHuFFlE THE CaRDS FOR CVCHS CaSInO nIGHT Park in Concord. Meets are on Friday evenings beginning Sept. 22. For more info contact coach Madie at madie1185@gmail.com. FOOTBall BEnEFIT SEPT. 29 On BYE wEEK Clayton Valley Charter football is hosting its sixth annual Casino Night Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament, casino night and dinner on Friday, TERRaPInS 4TH aT FaR wESTERn Sept. 29, benefiting the Ugly Eagles football program. Prize money of lOnG COuRSE CHaMPIOnSHIPS up to $500 will be offered for the tournament. Tickets for poker and The Terrapins hosted the prestigious Far Western Long Course Chamdinner or dinner only are available now. Dinner begins at 6 p.m. with pionships at the end of July at Concord Community Pool with over 200 the poker tournament at 8 o’clock in Centre Concord. DJ Mike pro- teams and 1500 swimmers attending from all over the U.S., Canada vides the music. Tickets available at claytonvalleyfootball.com. Call and Mexico. The Terrapins were represented by 57 swimmers led by 260-8304 or 787-3682 or email cvchsfootball@gmail.com for more Concord’s Junior world record holder Alexei Sancov, who placed first information. in the 100, 200 and 400 freestyles as well as the 100 fly and 200 IM. Other local Terrapin swimmers posting lifetime best times at the YGnaCIO VallEY HIGH Hall OF FaME meet were Anthony Vizental (15), Maile Andresen (13), Damien Donado (13), Sarah Deback (15), AJ Fong (12), Deniz Jones (15), ElizaaCCEPTInG 2018 nOMInaTIOnS unTIl SEPT. 10 Ygnacio Valley High School will hold its sixth annual Hall of Fame beth Joseph (10), Nikki Kannan (11), Ian McIntyre (15), Lily Struempf induction dinner on May 19, 2018 and is getting ready to cut off nom- (11) and Emily Wong (12). The Terrapins ended up fourth in team inations for the Class of 2018. Deadline is Sept. 10. The school’s Hall standings. The Terrapins are now accepting online registration for the of Fame committee is seeking input for nominating athletes, coaches Fall Stroke Improvement Program at terrapinswim.com. or a special individual by using the nomination form located at our website at yvathletichof.com. The form there can be completed and ST. aGnES CYO BaSKETBall REGISTRaTIOn EnDS SEPT. 6 forwarded to chair Jim Grace. Registration for St. Agnes CYO basketball is being accepted online and at walk-in registration day on Wednesday, Sept. 6, from 6-9 p.m. at Cauchi Hall on the school campus in Concord. Coaches applicaClaYTOn VallEY lITTlE lEaGuE HaS BaSEBall, tions end Aug. 31 and players must sign up by Sept. 6. Girls and boys SOFTBall Fall PROGRaMS unDERwaY Softball and baseball players aged 8-12 can sign up for the Clayton in second through eighth grades who live within the St. Agnes boundValley Little League fall program. The players have practices this aries are eligible to play. Player evaluations will be held in September. month and games against Concord American and other nearby little Email Charlie Cunningham at crc22369@gmail.com with questions leagues in September and October. Players get a hat and t-shirt. Con- or visit stagnescyo.com. tact Dave Scolini at dscolini@pacbell.net for more info or visit cvll.org.

August 25, 2017

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

Page 11

New advancements help fight ovarian cancer Sponsored Content

By Gigi Chen

In 2017, an estimated 22,440 women will receive a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer, and about 14,080 women will die from ovarian cancer.

Sponsored Content

By Judson Brandeis

One of the most common urological conditions I treat is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or an enlarged prostate. Most men experience this condition as they get older. As the gland grows, it presses on the urethra and causes urination problems such as a weak stream, difficulty urinating or the sensation of a frequent need to urinate. In the past, the standard of care for BPH has included

A woman’s risk of getting ovarian cancer during her lifetime is about 1 in 75. Treatment for ovarian cancer often includes a combination of surgery and chemotherapy. It is common for ovarian cancer to be diagnosed at a more advanced stage. After diagnosis, a gynecological oncologist should evaluate the patient for surgery. After the initial surgery and chemotherapy, patients are usually observed. The risk of recurrence of ovarian cancer can still be high. Therefore, there is a tremendous need for more effective treatments. There have been recent advances in chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy. Targeted ther-

apy is a newer type of cancer treatment that uses drugs to identify and attack cancer cells. They often have fewer side effects. Bevacizumab is a targeted therapy approved for recurrent ovarian cancer. Poly ADPribose polymerase (PARP) is an enzyme that is a key regulator of cell survival and cell death. Therefore, drugs that inhibit PARPs can be important drugs to fight ovarian cancer. PARP inhibitors Olaparib and Rucaparib are approved for women with recurrent ovarian cancer with BRCA mutation positivity having had previous lines of chemotherapy treatment. Niraparib was recently approved for maintenance therapy for women who

have platinum sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer after platinum chemotherapy. Women who are BRCA positive or negative can benefit from this therapy. Immunotherapy is also being actively studied in gynecologic cancer. Clinical trials have looked at various immunotherapies, including vaccine therapy, immune cellular therapy and immune checkpoint blockade. Objective response rates in these small trials have not been impressive, however, complete and durable remissions have been observed. Additional efforts are being made to understand molecular and immunological characteristics so doctors can select patients who are most likely to

Water vapor therapy may provide prostate relief

medication and/or surgery. Men are typically started on medications to see if symptoms improve. Some men notice considerable improvement in symptoms with medication, while others do not. Unfortunately, medications come with side effects that some men do not tolerate well. Therefore, some men prefer minimally invasive procedures to relieve enlarged prostate symptoms. Minimally invasive heat therapies are an option that has been around for several years. Thermotherapy delivers targeted heat within the prostate with either radiofrequency or microwave therapy to reduce excess prostatic tissue. These procedures require local anesthesia in an office setting. The patient is

able to return home shortly after the procedure and can resume normal activities within a few days. Rezūm water vapor therapy is a more recent technological advancement with promising results. Rezūm water vapor therapy is a safe and effective in-office or outpatient BPH therapy designed to transform the treatment experience. The system uses the power of just a few drops of water to treat the symptoms of BPH with minimal discomfort and rapid symptom relief while preserving erectile function and urinary continence. Patients will typically spend less than an hour in the office, return to regular activities within a few days and see an improvement in BPH symptoms in as soon as two weeks.

Pacific Urology is the first urology group in the area trained to perform this treatment. These minimally invasive therapies are ideal for patients who fail medications or do not want to take daily medications for the rest of their lives. If you have BPH, you should have a yearly exam to monitor symptoms and discuss changes in treatment.

American tourism in Cuba is again at the heart of a struggle over the island nation’s future. On June 16, President Donald Trump moved to reverse President Barack Obama’s historic rapprochement with Cuba. Trump signed an executive order that resulted in stiffer restrictions on travel for U.S. visitors to Cuba and a sweeping prohibition on transactions with companies run by the military, which controls much of the tourism and hotel sector. The changes are already having a chilling effect on relations between the United States and Cuba. When Cuba was opened to Americans in 2015 after a halfcentury of isolation, there was a massive boost in travel interest. For example, Oceania reported all space for 2017 and 2018 cruises was reserved; the company was booking 2019. In the wake of Trump’s actions, however, a survey from industry insurance supplier Allianz Global Assistance found interest in traveling to Cuba has declined. About 76 percent of 1,514 respondents said they are unlikely to plan a

Despite the president’s restrictions, there are still ways for Americans to see the historic sights of Cuba.

trip to Cuba in 2017, compared to 70 percent in 2016. The slide in demand has led a number of airlines to reduce or eliminate flights to Cuba. Frontier said costs in Havana have “significantly exceeded our initial assumptions.” Confusion over the approved reasons to go to Cuba may be keeping average U.S. visitors away. The 12 categories include religious activities, humanitarian projects, “support for the Cuban people” and journalistic activities. “You can’t go to Cuba to sit on the beach and have fun, and that’s what Americans like to do on vacation,” said Brian Sumers, an airline analyst at the travel site Skift. Trump’s plan eliminates the “individual educational” category, which had quickly became a popular way to visit Cuba without booking a group tour. According to Monika Weinsoft of International Expeditions, a tour supplier, individual travel is no longer

permitted, but organized group trips, such as cruises, are allowed. One of their ships, the Panorama, has Cuban guides who come aboard to lead tours ashore. Custom individual travel can only be done with a licensed guide, which she said “drives up costs quite a bit.” The uncertainty about travel to Cuba comes after a record year for tourism: 4 million tourists visited in 2016, a 13 percent increase from 2015. Of those, 615,000 were Americans, including 330,000 Cuban Americans visiting relatives on the island. Trump’s rollback is expected to put a brake on that growth, but Americans who already have planned Cuba travel will not have to cancel their trips and new regulations will not go into effect until they are issued by the Office of Foreign Assets Control. By reinstating restrictions on independent travelers, the Trump administration’s new policy will likely hurt Cuba’s

Chen is a medical oncologist and hematologist with Diablo Valley Oncology. She sees patients in Pleasant Hill, Rossmoor and San Ramon. She has expertise in the treatment of all tumor types, with a special interest in treating gynecological malignancies, lung and breast cancer and hematologic disorders.


Join Dr. Gigi Chen and other medical experts at “The Many Faces of Gynecologic Cancers,” 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sept. 19 at the Lafayette Library, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd. For more information or to register, call 925-677-5041, ext. 260.

Seniors shouldn’t dismiss bladder control issues



Bladder control issues pose a significant dilemma for millions of older people worldwide. Embarrassing? Sure. Even TV commercials say your incontinence supplies will be mailed in a plain, unmarked package. Yes, this is a sensitive subject. But if I can write about it, you

can read about it. So settle in, adjusting your Depends if necessary. Just don’t laugh. (Oops. Sorry.) I’ve had to come clean regarding this particular problem recently, so I wondered how many readers may have let this condition linger unchecked because they also were reluctant to fess up. I now have a urologist and see a solution to this botheration forthcoming. Why on earth did I wait so long? The World Health Organization reports that bladder control issues affect more than 487 million people worldwide. This figure has more than doubled in the past 20 years. WHO also states that this is a largely preventable and treatable problem

See Senior, page 14

The stratosphere a boon to human life

Brandeis, a board certified urologist with Pacific Urology, is one of the first urologist in the area to be trained to perform the Rezūm treatment. He has extensive experience in treating all urologic conditions and specializes in minimally invasive BPH treatments, prostate cancer We live in the troposphere, and kidney stones. For more infor- the lowest layer of earth’s mation, call 925-937-7740 or visit atmosphere. But if you’ve ever www.pacificurology.com. taken an airplane trip across the country, it’s a good bet that you spent some time flying through the stratosphere – the layer of air that caps the troposphere. The bottom of the stratosphere is about 6 miles (nearly 32,000 feet) above the ground at emerging private sector that our latitude. That boundary is lowest (4 miles) near the poles caters to U.S. visitors. “I think if you come here during winter and highest (12 on a package tour, you see miles) above the equator. The what the Cuban government top of the stratosphere is 30-35 wants you to see,” Andrew miles above the earth’s surface. In the stratosphere, temperaSleyko, a food scientist from tures rise with increasing altiChicago, told the Washington tude. That kind of vertical temPost on his first Cuban visit. perature structure is called an “We’re talking to people inversion. Similar to a summerwherever we go,” he added. time temperature inversion that “Isn’t that the idea of peoplecaps marine air, the stratospheric to-people?” inversion serves as a global-sized Casey is president of Fair lid on the troposphere. In the Bay Area, the base of Winds Cruises & Expeditions in the inversion is usually 1,000Clayton. He can be reached at 9253,000 feet above sea level. We 787-8252 or fairwindscruises.com. can estimate how high or low the inversion base is by observing the height of coastal low If You Go... clouds. Occasionally, it is possible to Bring cash. U.S. credit visualize the base of the stratosand debit cards do not work pheric inversion. When strong in Cuba. The Cuban governthunderstorms form, vertical air ment requires that travelers motions transport clouds to the declare cash amounts more top of the troposphere. The than $5,000. inversion acts as a wall to the updrafts and the storm clouds Get a visa. Tourist travel flatten out. The thunderstorm to Cuba remains prohibited cloud looks like an anvil to and is regulated by the observers on the ground. The Office of Foreign Assets top of that cloud layer marks the Control. You must obtain a base of the stratosphere. general license or your travAir density is very light in the el must fall into one of 12 stratosphere, by weight huncategories of authorized dreds of times thinner than at travel. sea level. Because of this, fricTo apply for a visa, contional forces are much less than tact the Cuban Embassy in in the troposphere. Jet aircraft Washington at Embassy of reach their maximum economithe Republic of Cuba, 2630 cal flying altitudes within the 16th St. NW, Washington stratosphere. DC 20009. Or email recepThe main component of the cion@usadc.embacuba.cu. stratosphere is ozone, a type of The tourism portal for oxygen molecule. Ozone Cuba is cubatravel.cu. and absorbs ultraviolet radiation contains information about energy emitted by the sun. The things to see and do, as well blocking of harmful ultraviolet as other topics. radiation is beneficial to humans, and the heating effect keeps the

Sorting through new rules on travel to Cuba


benefit from this particular treatment strategy.


stratospheric inversion intact. Scientists often refer to stratospheric ozone as the “good ozone” when compared to ozone pollutants in the troposphere. French meteorologist Leon de Bort published the first scientific description of the nature of the stratosphere in 1902. He analyzed the results of several unmanned instrumented balloon flights and discovered that when the balloons reached an altitude of several miles, temperatures no longer decreased. De Bort deduced that the earth had two layers of atmosphere. The lower layer, where horizontal and vertical air motions were common, he called the troposphere (sphere of change). He theorized that the atmosphere above the troposphere consisted of many internal layers and named it the stratosphere (sphere of layers). Scientists soon discovered that the stratosphere was really one homogeneous layer and that several other layers existed above de Bort’s stratosphere. Nevertheless, his name for the second layer of earth’s wedding cake-like atmosphere remains in use today. The stratosphere is invisible to the human eye. Fortunately for us it’s up there, above the highest of clouds. It forms a tight lid on the lower atmosphere and helps make human life on earth possible. Woody Whitlatch is a meteorologist retired from PG&E. Email your questions or comments to clayton_909@yahoo.com

T H E ARTS Page 12

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

August 25, 2017

‘Hero’ may be the best thing since sliced bread



Onstage Theatre opens its new season with something we could all use right now: an “American Hero.” This particular hero isn’t a defender of the weak or righter of wrongs. Rather, the darkly funny play by Bess Wohl extolls the virtues of the popular sandwich. Taking place in a toasted sub franchise, the play features three “sandwich artists” perfecting their mustard to cheese ratio. Wohl serves up plenty of personality as these very different “artists” bond together to stay open despite the owner’s disappearance on the day of the grand opening. Helen Means directs a cast comprised of Joseph Hirsch, Evelyn Owens, Umi Grant, Jene Bombardier and Remmington Stone. The show runs Aug. 25-Sept. 9. The Campbell Theatre is at 636 Ward St., Martinez. For tickets, call 925-518-3277. Concord’s B8 Theatre Company mixes it up with “An Evening with Shakespeare and Sondheim” for a fundraiser celebrating its first anniversary. Scheduled for 7-10 p.m. Sept. 9, the evening includes hors d’oeuvres, fine wine, a silent and a live auction, drawings and lots of entertainment. Members of the B8 ensemble and friends will perform scenes from Shakespeare as well as Sondheim’s great tunes. Proceeds benefit the theater and its

Kevin Berne

Marcus Gardley’s “black odyssey” directed by Eric Ting runs through Sept. 3 at California Shakespeare Theater in Orinda.

educational programs. Tickets are $50 in advance and $60 at the door. Go to www.brownpapertickets.com or send a check to B8 Theatre Company, P.O. Box 5175, Concord, CA 94524-0175. Pittsburg Community Theatre’s 2017-18 season includes something for everyone. I’m not sure what it is about the “Wizard of Oz.” Tri-Valley Rep and the Orinda Starlight Village Players each just finished a run of the musical, and Pittsburg begins its season with the perennial favorite. Season tickets are currently on sale for “The Wizard of Oz” (Oct. 6-15), “Christmas Time is Here!” (Dec. 17), “Shrek” (Jan. 26-28), “The Taming of the Shrew” (March 9-11) and “Next to Normal” (April 20-29). To place an order, call 925-4271611. For more information on the season, go to www.pittsburgcommunitytheatre.org. Following “Wizard of Oz,” the Orinda Village Starlight Players are deep in rehearsal for their final show of the season, “Five-Dollar Farce.”

According to the author, Robert Merrill, it’s impossible to describe the plot without misleading or giving everything away. “It plays with the conventions of farce in a way that fans of farce will love and enemies of farce will appreciate. Oh, and it’s funny.” Jill Gelster directs “Farce, which runs Sept. 1-29 at the Orinda Community Center Park Amphitheatre, 28 Orinda Way. For tickets, call 925-528-9225 or email info@orsvp.org. Lots of innovation these days at California Shakespeare Theatre in Orinda. Their production of Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie” featured a powerful production with a physically disabled Laura that worked beautifully. Now, the company offers the West Coast premiere of “black odyssey,” a music-infused new play that combines Greek mythology and African-American folklore. Directed by Cal Shakes artistic director Eric Ting, the show features vocal compositions by Linda Tillery and Molly Holm. Reset in Oakland, “black odyssey” tells of American soldier Ulysses Lincoln, lost at sea and presumed dead, who struggles to find his way home to his wife and son. Like in Homer’s Greek version, Ulysses finds his journey encumbered by the gods. But in this case, they include the dignified Deus, the scheming Paw Sidin and the radiant Aunt Tina. According to Ting, this lyrical epic focuses on the importance of confronting the burdens of one’s past before you can truly find “home.” The show runs through Sept. 3 at the Bruns Amphitheater, 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way, Orinda. Call 510-5489666 or visit www.calshakes.org. Irish story-telling comes to Danville with the 18th annual Eugene O’neill Festival. Sponsored by the Eugene O’Neill Foundation and Tao House, the O’Neill Festival takes place Sept. 1-30 at the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site in the Danville hills and at locations in downtown Danville. O’Neill, the only American playwright to

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be honored with the Nobel Prize for literature, wrote his most celebrated plays at Tao House. The festival includes two plays, John Millington Synge’s “The Playboy of the Western World” (Sept. 1-17) and O’Neill’s “A Touch of the Poet” (Sept. 16-30), as well as “Ballads and Blarney: An Evening of Traditional Irish Music and Song” (Sept. 7) and much more. For a list of events, go to www.eugeneoneill.org. And finally, if you happen to venture into Alameda, I hope you’ll have time to stop by the altarena Playhouse and catch me in a hilarious comedy, “The Savannah Sipping Society.” Running through Sept. 10, the story follows four middle-aged women who find the confidence to jumpstart their lives through laughter, misadventures and the occasional liquid refreshment. It will have you doubled over with laughter and maybe even a tear or two. For more information, call 510-523-1553 or go to www.altarena.org. Sally Hogarty is well known around the Bay Area as a newspaper columnist, theatre critic and working actress. She is the editor of the Orinda News. Send comments to sallyhogarty@gmail.com

Columnist Sally Hogarty (standing on right) appears with Kimberly Ridgeway, Julia Etzel and Lisa Appleyard in the Altarena Playhouse production of “The Savannah Sipping Society,” through Sept. 10.

‘Anything Goes’ at new gallery show

A new show, “Anything Goes,” opens 2-6 p.m. Sept. 2 at the Raquel Amaral Studio/Gallery, 1856 Colfax St., No. 6, in downtown Concord. The intimate gallery strives to showcase local established artists as well as new and emerging Bay Area artists in all styles and mediums. Artists in this show are Malis Bee, Ashley Cousin, Kenny Cowan, Antonio Designs, Destiny Eurkis, Jessica DeGuzman, Michelle Mattea, Patrali, Mansi.a.sing, Julie Van Wyk and Pat Viera. Visit https://raquelamaral.wordpress.com/home.

Local artists enjoy creating community with ‘pop-up’ show





Amazing things transpire when Concord artists get together. I think the best part of being involved in the local arts community is the friendships. It’s one thing to sit in a room filled with people who all geek out the same way about watching an artist create a little magic, but it’s another thing altogether to truly connect with kindred spirits. These connections are powerful and meaningful on so many levels – personally, emotionally, intellectually, creatively. Here’s a perfect example of the positive, collective energy we can whip up in a matter of minutes. A few weeks ago, a small group of us were enjoying wine at a gallery reception in downtown Concord. Sharon Petersen said to me, “You know, we should get a group together for a popup art show this fall, like maybe in someone’s front yard who lives on a busy street.” I agreed it was a great idea to get in front of all the holiday shows, and the word spread through the gallery like wildfire.

Lisa Fulmer, left, Rashmi Rajesh, Amy Eikner and Sharon Petersen are part of Concord’s close-knit arts community.

Within a day or two, three artists had offered their homes, 12 artists were confirmed to participate and a whirlwind of group emails ensued. We decided against someone’s front yard because the public might assume it was a garage sale and try to haggle on pricing for our work. So a day later, we connected with our neighbors in Pleasant Hill who were kind enough to let us popup in their commercial studio space. Before you could blink an eye, we had tables set, a flier designed, signage in the making and status updates flying all over Facebook. This is what I love about Concord artists – our mutual support. We genuinely care about each other and we want everyone to succeed with their creative endeavors. We embrace the artists who live here, as well as the artists who love visiting here. We promote each other’s

shows and classes, we hit the “like” button and we look forward to opportunities to get together. We deeply appreciate those organizations who make space for us (and our art) to gather, including the library, businesses in our rotating gallery program, I Heart Art Studio, B8 Theatre, aRt Cottage and Raquel Amaral Gallery. Artists and art supporters are working together to build a stronger community. Our pop-up art show will be 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17, at I Heart Art, 15 Vivian Dr., Pleasant Hill. Bring the family, enjoy free refreshments, marvel at the creative space and chat with our ever-so-friendly and talented local artists.

Lisa Fulmer is a mixed media artist, a small business marketing consultant, and president of the Concord Art Association. Visit ConcordArtAssociation.com for inspiration and information.

August 25, 2017

CALENDAR Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com



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

Tuesdays Farmers’ Market

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

Thursdays Music and Market

Thursday night live music and farmers’ market. Music: Aug. 31, Foreverland; Sept. 7, The Next of Kin; Sept. 14, Annie Sampson. Market 4 – 8 p.m.; music 6:30 – 8 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Free admission. cityofconcord.org.

3rd Sundays Antique Faire

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

On Sale Now Concerts

The Concord Pavilion is located at 2000 Kirker Pass Road. See full concert schedule for 2017 at livenation.com. Upcoming shows: Aug. 27, 2017 Honda Civic Tour featuring OneRepublic, 7 p.m. Sept. 3, Hot Summer Night, 4 p.m. Sept. 15, Florida Georgia Line, 7 p.m. Sept. 28, Jason Aldean, 7:30 p.m.


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

Sept. 2 Derby and Car Show

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

Sept. 2, 16 Saturday Concerts in The Grove

Sept. 2, The Fundamentals; Sept. 16, East Bay Mudd. 6 – 8:30 p.m. The Grove Park, 6100 Main St. Free. ci.clayton.ca.us.

Sept. 6 Wednesday Classic Car Show

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

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

Sept. 25 Live Stream Event



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

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

Aug. 27 “A Bench in the Sun”

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

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

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

Sept. 9 Hip Hop and R & B Concert

Performed by Rainn Sciryl. 8 p.m. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $15. pittsburgcaliforniatheatre.com. (925) 427-1611.

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

Thru November Hazel-Atlas Mine Tours

Learn about the mining history and geology at Black Diamond Mines. Guided, 90-minute tour; Saturdays and Sundays. Must be age 7 or older with parent. $5 in advance online or day of at Sidney Flat Visitor Center.

Aug. 26 Star Mine by Starlight

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

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

Aug. 27 The California Tarantula

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

Sept. 3, 9, 16 Tarantula Hikes

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

Save Mount Diablo’s Discover Diablo is a free public hike series. Go to discover-diablo.eventbrite.com for more information.

Aug. 26 Mary Bowerman Trail Family Walk

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

Sept. 10 Brushy Peak Regional Preserve

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

Sept. 23 Hanson Hills Property Tour

Blue oak ridges meet miles of sky and pathways. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at Park n’ Ride lot on Peacock Creek Drive, Clayton. Reservations required.


Sept. 22 – 23 Yard Sale

All proceeds benefit Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1525 Relief Fund. 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. 1121 Peacock Creek Drive, Clayton. To donate small items, contact Mark Steinberg at vfwaux1525@gmail.com.


The Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at ccclib.org or (925) 646-5455. Aug. 28: Movie Monday, 7 p.m. Sept. 7: Origami, 4 p.m. Sept. 7: Meditation, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 11: STEAM, 7 p.m. Registration required. Sept. 12: Art Association Meeting and Demo, 1 p.m. The Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at claytonlibrary.org or call (925) 673-0659. Aug. 28: Clayton Knits, 1:30 p.m. Sept. 11: Clayton Library Book Club, 7 p.m. Sept. 18: Fall Family Story Time and Craft, 6:30 p.m.


1st, 2nd and 4th Tuesdays, No Meetings in August Performed by James Garner. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Concord City Council Sept. 9 Tribute to Johnny Cash

Second St., Antioch. $10-$27. elcampaniltheatre.com. (925) 757-9500.

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

Presented by Music Repertoire. 3:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $10. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.

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

Sept. 10 “From Broadway to James Bond” Sept. 16 19th Annual Delta Blues Festival

Music, arts and crafts, food. 12 – 7:30 p.m. Antioch’s Rivertown District. Free admission. deltabluesfestival.net.

Sept. 16 History Talk and Book Signing

1st and 3rd Wednesdays Concord Planning Commission

Nominations open for county arts awards

Sept. 19 Many Faces of Gynecologic Cancers

The county Arts and Culture Commission is seeking nominations for the 2017 Arts Recognition Awards. Nominees must be, or have been, active supporters of arts and culture, with sustained contributions and work that has had a far-reaching impact. A panel will select up to five honorees to be recognized by the county Board of Supervisors on Oct. 17 and at a reception at a later date. Candidates may have made a difference in visual arts, music, performing arts, dance, digital arts or arts education. Others might have shown exceptional leadership, vision and commitment to the growth and support of arts and culture, or organizations that have kept the arts alive through continuous or significant financial support. Nominations are due by midnight Aug. 31. Visit AC5.org for more information.

Sept. 22 – 23 “Dance Series 01”

Coming Sept. 25

Dan Hanel talks about “In the Shadow of Diablo: Mystery of the Great Stone House.” 1 – 3 p.m. Contra Costa County Historical Society’s History Center, 724 Escobar St., Martinez. $10 suggested donation for admission. Response requested: mkting@cocohistory.org or (925) 229-1042.

Sept. 16 Mike Amaral’s California Beach Boys Experience A true Beach Boys concert experience. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $39-$49. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.

Sept. 17 Diamonds of DanceSport Annual Showcase

Competitive dancesport. 6 p.m. Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $30. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469. Medical experts discuss issues of ovarian, cervical and uterine cancers. 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Lafayette Library, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette. Free. Register at (925) 677-5041, ext. 260.

Atul Gawande presents “The Value of Community and Choice as Presented by Smuin Ballet. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic We Grow Older.” 1 – 4 p.m. Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. Dr., Walnut Creek. $57-$73. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943Free. Register at claytonvalleyvillage.com or (925) 626-0411. 7469.


Page 13

Sept. 22 – 24 “Fantastic Mr. Fox”

Performed by El Campanil Children’s Theatre. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $8-$12. elcampaniltheatre.com. (925) 757-9500.

Sept. 23 Tribute to Billy Joel

Performed by Joel: The Band. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $10-$27. elcampaniltheatre.com. (925) 757-9500.

Sept. 24 “Lyrical Dreams”

Season opener for California Symphony. 4 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $42-$72. lesherartscenter.org. (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. vfwpost1525.org.

Aug. 26 Baking for a Cure

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

Sept. 9 “An Evening with Shakespeare and Sondheim”

Entertaining event to benefit B8 Theatre Company. 7 – 10 p.m. B8 Theater, 2292 Concord Blvd., Concord. $50. b8theatre.org. (925) 890-8877.

Dr. Atul Gawande

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and Choice as We Grow Older.” FREE

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Sept. 9 Hawaiian Fusion Fundraiser

Entertainment by Daniel Ho. Proceeds go to scholarships for underprivileged senior citizens. 4:30 – 8:30 p.m. Concord Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Circle, Concord. $50. Purchase tickets at concordreg.org, course #104592; email concordsc@cityofconcord.org or call (925) 671-3320, ext. 1.

Sept. 16 Plant Sale

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

Sept. 17 5th Annual Wine Tasting at the Adobe

Sample local wines. Benefits Concord Museum and Event Center. 1 – 4 p.m. 1870 Adobe St., Concord. $35. concordhistorical.org.

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Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

August 25, 2017

‘Hustle’ is everything you need to know about poker

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Pulitzer Prize winner Colson Whitehead (“The Underground Railroad”) has done it again and written a book unlike any other that I’ve read. “The Noble Hustle,” the beall and end-all of serious poker playing, caught my eye not only because I so trust his writing, but mostly because after living in Nevada for more than six years, I have not dropped as much as a quarter in a slot machine. I do not gamble. It’s bad enough that I love addictive online games. Were I to step up to a one-armed bandit or a roulette table, I know I’d ultimately leave the casino with

nothing left in my wallet. I consider poker a guy game, but Whitehead suggests otherwise. I am, however, a vicariously curious non-gambler. Why would anybody risk so much money on so much pure luck? “The Noble Hustle, Poker, Beef Jerky and Death” explains everything. From the moment Whitehead accepts a magazine assignment staking him $10,000 to play in the 2011 World Series of Poker, beginning with “six weeks of training camp” in Atlantic City, until he is a player at the televised WSOP in Las Vegas, he tells us everything we’ve ever wanted to know about poker. Every movie-going American has a poker memory, card sharks playing the cowpokes, riverboat hustlers owning the poker table. Today, however, poker is more than a gambling game, it’s a sport, a very expensive sport and

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

the range of writing surrounding the main topic, the WSOP. When did he start playing poker? In the middle of such personal chaos, what would make him accept such an unusual assignment? Fashion at the poker tables and the nicknames people choose are grist for the humor mill. Did he make it past day one? Did he really eat a lot of beef jerky? And did he buy as many tourist trinkets as intimated? No spoilers here. As the author says, “I learned a lot of things during my long, bizarre trip. About myself and the ways of the world.” I did, too. “The Noble Hustle” is, hands-down, one sure bet. Sunny Solomon is a freelance writer and head of the Clayton Book Club. Visit her website at bookinwithsunny.com for her latest recommendations or just to ‘talk books.’

‘To the Bone’ tackles difficult subject

“Just … eat!” Kelly (Liana Liberato) says to her older sister Ellen (an emaciated, wounded Lily Collins) in the Netflix original film “To The Bone.” Kelly and the rest of Ellen’s fractured family seem to have no idea how anorexia works. In her first feature film, director Marti Noxon puts us face to face with the disease. Most of the film takes place in a special rehab clinic with no doors, bizarre eating policies and no-nonsense guru Dr. Beckham (Keanu Reeves, proving he can actually play a doctor). Noxon shines a light on something no one wants to talk

about; the light just needed to occasionally shine a little wider. The worst part about dealing with a family member who is anorexic is the helplessness. Unfortunately for Ellen, most of her family only cares enough to do something about her – not for her. Ellen’s stepmother (Carrie Preston) dances around the subject with all the grace of a ballerina with two left feet. Not even knowing Ellen’s sexual orientation, she suggests that Ellen’s relationship with her “friend” will help. When she tries yet another rehab center, she advises Ellen: “Be good … not too good, not perfect.” This shows that at least she knows that anorexics view the world through a damaging veil of perfectionism. Ellen’s birth-mom (Lily Taylor) apologizes profusely for not being there for her but never takes responsibility for it. Ellen’s partner is a devil on her shoulder, assisting in blaming the absentee father (literally absent for the movie too) and stepmother. While not understanding the disease, at least Kelly accepts Ellen for all that she is. If there is a drawback to the film, it is the failure to spend more time with the six other very interesting patients at the clinic. The brief windows we get into their lives leave more to be desired. Among the other attendees is Pearl (Maya Eshet), the recent recipient of a last-resort feeding tube who is left to wonder if death is just around the corner. There is also Megan (Leslie Bibb), three months pregnant and trying hard to eat for two. Luke (Alex Sharp), the only male, is a ballet dancer recovering from a knee injury. His outlook remains mostly contrary to




the rest, especially Ellen. He actually wants to get better and is determined to reach his clinic goals so he can get rewarded and eventually continue his career. Luke is the moral center; he’s good for Ellen, even if she does not want to admit it. Dr. Beckham’s eccentric methods challenge the group to create new versions of them-

selves and oppose the voice in their heads at every turn. Strange field trips and even the suggestion to change someone’s name are all part of the healing. Reeves is very settled in the role. I hope it portends a career renaissance. Noxon treats the subject matter with seriousness, yet allows the characters to laugh at themselves and find humor in their situation. “To The Bone” is charming, at times darkly funny, and laced with melancholy. For those unfamiliar with anorexia, it’s a good primer. For anyone who deals with the disease, it may provide some relief. B+ Jeff Mellinger is a screen writer and film buff. He holds a BA in Film Studies and an MFA in film production. He lives in Concord. Email questions or comments to Editor@ConcordPioneer.com.

Senior, from page 11

and not a foregone conclusion associated with aging. “The most typical reaction exhibited by patients when they are diagnosed with poor bladder control isn’t fear, nor disbelief, but relief.” Women are more likely than men to suffer from what is termed “stress incontinence” because of the effects of childbirth and/or menopause. On the other hand, men are more likely to suffer from urinary retention due to prostate gland enlargement as they age. Incontinence can be a sign of something more serious. Although urinary incontinence is common, bladder leakage is not normal. If you experience any blad-

der problems, it’s important to contact professional help. Since this can be a sign of an underlying issue, you want to rule out any diseases or infections that can cause more significant problems down the road. Treatment may be as simple as changing your diet. There is no reason to suffer in silence and let incontinence keep you from doing what you want to do. Call your doctor. You will be glad you did.

Christine Kogut is a marketing director for the Concord Senior Citizens Club. She has lived in the area for 40 years. To find out more about the Concord Senior Center, call (925) 671-3320 or see the city’s website at concord.ca.us

Dora & Thomas are ARF stars


Four-year-old Dora is a bubbly, happy girl. She loves to romp and roll in the grass, play fetch, and cuddle with her favorite people. Dora is looking for a patient adopter who understands that she also has a sensitive side so may need reassurance in new situations. She would like to be the center of attention and the only


dog in her new home. Dora is smart and loves to train for treats. The adoption fee for puppies under 6 months is $275; for adult dogs is $250, and includes a discount on the first six-week session of a manners class.

Seven-year-old Thomas is an amiable fellow who loves gentle

petting. He also has a curious side and loves to observe what’s going on around him. He is a bit timid in new environments, but very soon you will have a loving friend! The adoption fee for kittens <6 months is $125 and for adult cats is $75. Meet your forever friend at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek, during adoption hours: Noon to 6 pm Wednesday & Thursday, noon to 7 pm Friday, and Noon to 6 pm Saturday & Sunday. Would you like to be part of the heroic team that saves the lives of rescued dogs and cats? Can you share your talents to connect people and animals? ARF volunteers are making a difference! For more information see our website, www.arflife.org, or call (925) 2561ARF.

August 25, 2017

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

A fond look back at Willows’ theatrical roots



Theatre Concord, a program of the city of Concord, began producing shows at the new Willows Theatre in the new Willows shopping center in the spring of 1977. Nine years later, Theatre Concord became CitiArts. It was the first company in Contra Costa County to operate under a seasonal contract with the Actors Equity Association. In 1994, CitiArts became an operation of the Benefactors, a non-profit organized in 1975 to support quality theater in Concord. Chris Marshall and Richard Elliot came on board, and creativity began to fly. The Benefactors became known as the Willows Theatre Company. Growing tired of leasing from the city, the troupe began looking for a place of its own. With the help of the Campbell family in Martinez, the company started the 150-seat Campbell Theatre.

Despite artistic enthusiasm and loyal patrons, Concord’s professional theatre proved unsustainable and was forced to close mid-show in August 2012.

The theater thrived under the direction of Marshall and Elliot, showcasing “John Muir Mountain Day,” “The Sound of Music,” “Jesus Christ Super Star” and “The Odd Couple” The group also encouraged “early career” writers and actors. Elliott loved to provide opportunities to the young and fresh, as well as pairing them up with mentor artists. He saw extraordinarily talented people coming out of college with a couple degrees and nothing to

do with them. The Willows offered classes to train 5- to 19-year-olds through summer day camps, classroom enrichment programs, field trips, improvisation troupes and internships to qualified high school students. Then a change in the arts marketing began. A full page ad in the paper used to bring in 3,000 people for shows. However, variety became a nemesis. With the internet, many more TV shows, fewer radio listen-

ers and new technology, advertising became like throwing a dart at a wall of balloons, says Elliott. When 2008 rolled around, times were tough. The board closed the Concord Theatre and focused on surviving with just the Martinez theater. The Willows rallied and reopened in 2010, only to file bankruptcy on Aug. 16, 2012. Gary Carr, who was contracted to do publicity in 2004, believes “big ideas” led to bankruptcy. He remembers that casts members got a call giving them half an hour to get their belongings from the theater. They were told the last week of Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House” was canceled. Devastated by the call and saddened by the fact that the Willows Theatre could not survive by giving the community classic plays that were always winners, the company dissolved. And with that, our community lost a diamond in the rough.

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

Foxes on Mt. Diablo aid in war against Lyme disease

James Marvin Phelps

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

A few months ago, a Pioneer reader who lives in Crystyl Ranch sent me a snapshot he took from an upstairs window showing a neighbor’s window, eave – and something else. The shot wasn’t in great focus, but the reason for it couldn’t have been clearer. There, curled tidily into a ball on the exterior windowsill of the neighbor’s house, was one of California’s most beautiful native animals – a gray fox – sound asleep. A hundred years ago, the California gray fox could be found in almost every brushy

habitat in the state. It prefers chaparral, that wonderfully perfumed dryland mix of chamise, sage, manzanita, toyon, and other plants that constitutes California’s single largest variety of habitat. But the fox also hunts and lives in our oak woodlands and open meadows. Lots of factors have pushed its numbers into steep decline, the primary one being, as you know, us. The reader who sent me the photograph lives on the very shoulder of Mount Diablo. Before the Crystyl Ranch subdivision was

built in the late 1990s, gray foxes and other animals had the run of that land. But the non-native red fox has had a role, too. It’s a bit bigger and much less fearful of humans than the gray, making it more comfortable in the margins of heavily developed areas. Although that gray fox on the windowsill was very close to people, it had an easy escape back into the wild. Whether gray or red, native or non-native, foxes need to be looked after. New research indicates that where foxes are common, Lyme-infected rodents are not. In a nutshell, here’s what researchers now think. Newly hatched ticks don’t carry Lyme disease, but they need three blood meals to reach maturity and are keen to find hosts. It’s lots easier if the rodents in the area don’t have to worry much about predation. For instance, if a Lyme-infected mouse lives where there are few foxes, it spends less time in its burrow and more time out wandering around. Bingo: a tick grabs hold. And if the mouse is Lyme-infected, that new baby



tick will be, too. But if there are a lot of foxes around to keep the mice on their nervous little toes, they cower more in their burrows and hang out on the surface much less. If a nymphal tick can’t get its first meal, it’s toast. Or if it feeds on birds or other mammals that don’t carry human pathogens, it grows to maturity Lyme-free. Mount Diablo still has a good population of foxes, and most of them are our native gray fox. Mount Diablo also has a low level of Lyme-infected ticks, less than 5 percent. The reasons are complex, having to do with temperature and especially ground-level humidity, but this new research may help explain why.

Hobbet is a docent at the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association; mdia.org. Contact her at anastasiahobbet@gmail.com

Page 15

New program helps tenants with rent increases Eye on Concord

GEORGE FULMORE Correspondent

Any Concord tenant who gets a rent increase from a landlord should have documentation attached entitled “Notice of Availability of Rent Review Required.” It should be in both English and Spanish. The notice tells renters that there is a new Residential Rent Review Program in effect. Any rent increase of 10 percent or more over a 12-month period gives the tenant an opportunity to bring the matter to a “nonbinding conciliation and mediation service.” Here’s how to determine the percent of a rent increase. Subtract the former rent amount from the new rent amount, then divide by the former rent amount. For example, a new rent of $1,755 minus old rent of $1,600 yields $155, divided by $1,600 yields .0968. Multiply this by 100 to get 9.68, which is the percentage increase. This example is below the 10 percent annual rent increase threshold. We are currently in a transitional period between having a Renters’ Reporting Line and this mediation service. Renters are still being asked to call the Reporting Line at 925-671-3400 to report any disputed rent increase or any other irregularity in a rental situation. The city’s Residential Rent Review Program will use ECHO Housing as a facilitator to oversee this program, along with the establishment of a three-member Rent Review Panel. ECHO

Housing can be reached at 885275-3246 for further information or to seek mediation over a rent increase. The three-member panel will include someone who owns rental property in a building with three or more units in Concord, someone who rents in a building with three or more units in Concord and a neutral party. This process is non-binding. It’s likely that the person representing the landlords will always vote their way, the renter will always favor the other renter and the decision will be left to the neutral party. We’ll have to see how this works out. The idea, of course, is that the two parties reach an agreement between themselves as the result of the mediation process. For now, I can only speculate that this mediation process will save many renters from having more than 10 percent of a rental increase in one year – something that has been common over the last four or five years in Concord. I wonder what reasons a landlord might have for giving an increase of more than 10 percent and what kind of precedent might be set for such via the mediation sessions. It is likely that the renter will have to pay the increased amount until a mediation session is held. Also, it is my understanding that if either party fails to show up at a hearing, the other party is automatically granted its request, e.g., the rent increase would not be allowed to be greater than 10 percent.

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Page 16

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

August 25, 2017

High school news roundup with fall session starting JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

All the local high schools have opened for the 2017-18 school year and here’s a roundup of news about two key administrative hiring’s, facility updates and three deaths of local school figures.

CaROnDElET Two nuns who held significant roles at the Concord school recently died. Sr. James Merien Dyer served as principal of Carondelet from 2001-07. She died Aug. 5 in Concord at age 72. She had been serving as principal of nearby St. Francis of Assisi School in Concord. The San Francisco native was a lifelong Giants fan, even when she worked at Mount St. Mary’s University Los Angeles for nearly 20 years. Sr. Eleanor Eagan was at Carondelet for 34 years. During that time, she served as a Religious Studies and English teacher, admissions director, alumnae director, Carondeletter (magazine) editor and historian. She was 88 when she passed June 22 and had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for

nearly 67 years. She had retired last year and moved to Southern California. Her celebration of life mass last Saturday in the Garaventa Center on campus was attended by hundreds. The $10 million project at the former ClubSport Valley Vista tennis and swim club to turn its 6.5 acres into a state-ofthe-art athletics complex for the school is well underway but sports teams will not be using the facilities for competition this fall. Athletic director Caitlin SR. JAMES MERIEN DYER Main says the Cougars tennis team will be practicing on the He will be looking at ways to existing courts on the site but no leverage technology to lead the date for an official opening of charter organization, its staff the complex has been set. and students through 21st Century challenges and opportuniClaYTOn VallEY CHaRTER ties. The longest serving member Among his CIO responsibilof the Clayton Valley Charter ities he will be looking into ways High School governing board, of accommodating the several Ted Meriam, has been hired as hundred students that are waitChief Innovation Officer as listed each year at CVCHS. For the second highest paid administhe 2016-17 school year the trator for the charter school discharter increased its freshman trict. class by approximately 200 stuMeriam will begin his posidents, something they can only tion Sept. 1 following board do once every four years given approval of his $189,000 annual the capacity of their Concord contract last month. He has campus. worked for Microsoft Corp. Meriam says the CVCHS since graduating from college a district is looking towards East dozen years ago. Contra Costa where they hope


they can re-start their plans for a public charter tech academy. “Studies show that 91% of parents want at least one computer science class in their child’s core academic program,” Meriam says. He adds that online, independent study might also be a partial solution to the demand issue. A 2001 Clayton Valley High grad, the newlywed Meriam says he had been looking to do something professionally to realize his desire to get into education when he resigned from the governing board in June. The new CIO position was announced the following month. He hopes his Microsoft business, tech, recruiting and human

Lessons learned while saying farewell As the summer small, we must heat rolled on to the remember to appreConcord High ciate the past and School campus, a then we can learn to series of fences, let go. construction signs Change in the and machinery folhigh school climate lowed. is inevitable. We lose The physical friends because of Aasim Yahya changes include a arguments or graduCONCORD HIGH new quad, basketation, and we lose CORRESPONDENT ball court, parking teachers because of lot, football field, track, softball new opportunities. When we field, baseball field and benches choose to make an emotional for the campus. With these new connection, unavoidable separafacilities comes a reinvigorated tions are accompanied by a perisense of pride and spirit among od of frustration. Too often this the Minutemen. cloud of frustration hinders our However, with every new ability to appreciate the relationyear and every change, big or ships we’ve formed. Instead, we

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resources experience will all project didn’t get started until late last month the Concord work into his new position. Minutemen football varsity and COnCORD HIGH frosh teams will not be able to The good news: Concord have any games on campus this High has begun an extensive year. athletic facilities upgrade, including the installation of artificial MT. DIaBlO lorne Barbosa has been on turf on the football-soccer field. Concord is the only Mt. Diablo the Concord school’s campus Unified School District high for the past five years as a vice school without that surface. See HS Roundup, pg 17 The bad news: Since the

CV teachers share expertise before school year begins

should embrace the split and chose to reminisce on our favorite moments. This would make the process of letting go far easier. Teachers come and go, but most students will only remember a few for their distinct characteristics or the impact they made. When teacher Christina Hillman told me she was leaving, I was puzzled about how to respond. But I knew Concord was losing an impactful teacher. As the news traveled to staff and students, I observed the responses over the next few days. Although frustration emerged among most students, it was brief as we quickly took to appreciating Hillman. At Concord High School, Hillman constructed a legacy marked by compassion, dedication and selflessness. While she was an outstanding teacher, it is not the memories during class that represent Hillman – but rather the interactions beyond essays and homework that made her unique. She reached into our lives

and told us how to steer through the course of high school. She provided valuable and thoughtful advice and took moments to express her appreciation. She made us feel significant and combated our negativity with optimism. She established a culture in which individuals could be themselves and express their views. Most importantly, she made us into better people. There is no curriculum that teaches someone to do that. Although her departure was unexpected, it was necessary as we all should chase the best opportunities in life. We could only come to this realization by reflecting and acknowledging her legacy. Through this process, we can learn to let go but never forget. Aasim is a senior at Concord High School. He currently serves as the ASB President and a CASL Northern CA Director. Additionally, he is the Journalism Editor-InChief and the captain for the CHS Cross Country Team. Send comments to editor@concordpioneer.com

On Aug. 16, receive updates on 2,200 students Clayton Valley’s proswarmed the campus fessional developto kick off the sixth ment program, school year at Clayschool operations ton Valley Charter and academic counHigh. seling. Earlier this On Tuesday, the month, the newest staff gathered again Jeff Anderson faculty attended CVCHS PRINCIPAL to refine how acaNew Teacher Oriendemic rigor, reletation, which is vance and relationdesigned to ramp them into ships come alive for the students Clayton Valley’s strong academic every day. Groups shared their program. All teachers returned approaches on teaching literacy, on Aug. 14 for two days of staff which is the underpinning for development training. preparing students for colleges On Monday, employees dis- and careers of today. Teachers sected the CVCHS mission, val- further addressed how they ues and instructional methods to develop engaging lessons and prepare students for the 21st activities that push students to century. We also celebrated our think critically. Teachers also impressive performance data shared relationship-building from the 2016-’17 school year, approaches, which created a including being named a “Model great feeling among staff as they School” by the International anticipated the first day back Center of Leadership in Educa- with students. tion. The two days were an excitDuring team building, teach- ing kick-off for the year. I am ers divided into cross-curricular confident that the teachers and groups to explore the physical staff are fully equipped with the campus and new technologies right tools and mindset to start deployed to support student another successful year. learning. Later, the teams travSend comments to editor@coneled to various sessions to cordpioneer.com

JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

looking for another location. They found a nearby building at 2730 Mitchell Dr. that was built at a cost of $28 million for Varian, Inc. in 2009. The company began moving into the 43,000 square foot building the next year before the company was sold to Agilent and abandoned the site. McChesney says the School of Performing Arts has “our permanent site.” He was fretting over work crews getting done by the start of school this week, seven days later than originally planned. The project included subdividing the space into about 24 classrooms, administrative offices, cafeteria, multi-use room and five large rooms that will serve as instructional and performance spaces for Black Box theatre, vocal and instrumental

music rooms, dance studio and a production and design shop. This year there will be nearly 500 students in grades six through 11 at SPA. About two thirds of the students are from within Mt. Diablo Unified School District boundaries. The other third come from as far away as Oakland and Vallejo for the school’s unique arts integrated curriculum. In a couple years the school expects to fill out its full complement of 700 students. The first graduating class will be in June 2019. McChesney and principal Dr. Patrick Gaffney (who came on board Mar. 1) are former administrators at Clayton Valley Charter, like SPA, a tuition free public charter school. “We learned from mistakes in the first

School of Performing Arts moving into “permanent WC home” this fall Executive director Neil McChesney says you “couldn’t match a year [like 2016] for hardness” when he describes getting his brainchild, the Contra Costa School of Performing Arts, up and running for the 2016-17 school year. After starting its inaugural year in a gymnasium, the school eventually ended up in portable classrooms for its 300 students in the parking lot of a Walnut Creek office complex where they planned on transitioning this school year inside the adjacent buildings. It was determined that earthquake retrofitting was going to make that site too expensive so McChesney and crew began

school year,” McChesney says. “We have strong community support from our parents and a structure that has plenty of room for growth.” He says over 90% of the student body is returning this year. The school was first proposed to be on the site of the Concord Pavilion. Although those plans (short- or longterm) didn’t materialize, the school established a relationship with the Pavilion and its operator Live Nation. The school presented two musical productions at the Pavilion last year and will be using the world-renowned venue again this year. There a limited number of space are still available for students this school year. Visit www.cocospa.org for details.

Let’s move forward with helping schools succeed

August 25, 2017

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

Business and the other Education Leads the Way. At pulseofconcord.com, I asked: Should the city divert money to the support of schools in Concord and, if so, how much?

• 19.8 percent said yes, more than $1 million. • 4.5 percent, yes up to $1 million. EDI BIRSAN • 1.1 percent, yes up to $500,000. PULSE OF • 37.9 percent, yes but not CONCORD sure how much. • 21.5 percent, no. In Todos Santos Plaza, • 15.3 percent, not sure. there is a banner with the city motto: Concord: Where FamiThat is overwhelming suplies Come First. port for the idea that the city I always thought there needs to help the schools should be two banners on the improve. There remain a few litother sides of the plaza. One tle details, such as: that reads Concord Means 1. Where would the money

come from and which budget is reduced? Police, roads, parks? 2. What would the money fund? After-school events, athletics, music, arts? Or intense mentoring and tutoring to raise performance on basics, a reemphasis on modern vocational trades such as coding or the traditional areas such as electric work, metal work, shop or a more indirect and creative approach of putting the emphasis on educating parents? I would like to hear from readers on what should be done and the source of the money. Write me at Edibirsan @gmail.com. In the meantime, I want to remind everyone that we go forward to school and it is a neverending advance. It is not a cycle where you wind up back where you started. It is a constant

advance, building on knowledge of reality, techniques of discovery and striving for truth and dedication to self-improvement. These aspects are being touted in the Mount Diablo School District’s International Baccalaureate program that started in Ygnacio Valley High School and is being transitioned to be supported as well at Oak Grove Middle School. (That’s where my kids and grandkid went, as well as my more than occasional visit to the vice principal’s office.) All this takes place at school and is carried back to the home. Also remember that schools are more than just teachers and that the staff of maintenance, groundskeepers and office folk provide the necessary energy and dedication to allow the teachers to make their miracles

Page 17

happen with our children. As parents, we also must go forward to school – not just through the efforts of our children but in our real “home schooling” activities, where we get involved with our community. We need to exchange ideas, discover new pathways to success and engage with our chil-

dren about the collaborative effort of building a smarter community. The school grounds are really all around us, and we go forward through it daily. Have a nice trip.

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

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Tips for keeping cool on your bike Over the years, I’ve developed some ideas for helping reduce pollution while not succumbing to the effects of heat while biking. The hottest days of the year are also typically days that the Bay Area Air Quality Management District declares “Spare the Air Days,” designed to cut down air pollution by reducing car usage. When the district forecasts high levels of smog, it announces “Spare the Air” alerts to encourage residents to reduce car pollution by utilizing active transportation – such as biking. Here are some tips for hot weather biking: leave earlier for your destination. This allows you to do two things: ride during the relatively cooler part of the morning and ride more slowly. The less exertion, the less sweaty you will be when you arrive. Sunblock, sunblock, sunblock. Make sure your face and other exposed areas are well covered with an adequate



SPF sunblock. If possible, wear lightweight clothes that at least cover your shoulders and arms, especially if you burn easily. Don’t forget to apply sunblock or cover areas like the back of the hands and shoulders/back. They can get a lot of sun exposure due to the forward-leaning position of bike riding. Carry cold water. Drinking cold water can keep core temperatures down during exercise. Also, if it’s more refreshing than ambient temperature water. Even if you can’t bring cold water, or it

HS Roundup, from pg 16

principal and was hired as principal in mid-August, just days before the new term began. The interview process was delayed until Aug. 1 and after his second interview Barbosa was told he had the job to replace the recently-retied Liane Cismowski, who had been in charge at MDHS for four years. He was unanimously approved at the MDUSD board meeting Aug. 14. He has 14 years teaching experience in Hayward and Oakland and the six years as a VP in this district, including one year at Clayton Valley High. “I want to make all Mt. Diablo families and Red Devil alumni proud of our school,” he said in his new office last week. One of the first challenges he faced, in addition to a very hectic eight days before school started, is to deal with the condemnation of the home bleachers at the school’s Hart Fairclough Stadium. He said district workers will divide the smaller visitor’s side bleacher to accommodate home and visiting fans this football and soccer seasons. He doesn’t expect the home stands to be reopened until next spring. nORTHGaTE The effort to create a new school district of five walnut Creek schools currently in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District has met a major stumbling block. School Services of California, an independent consultant retained by the Contra Costa County Committee on School

District Organization to analyze the petition by Northgate Community Advocacy for our Public Schools (Northgate CAPS) to a new school district, has concluded that the petition does not meet all nine criteria required by California law to form a new school district. The report specifically said that Criterion #3 – Equitable Division of Property/Facilities – would not be “substantially met.” School Services determined the “reorganization petition specifies the proposed Northgate USD as encompassing all of the territory within the attendance boundaries of five MDUSD schools, which, although inadvertent, also includes Oak Grove Middle and Ygnacio Valley High. As drafted, the reorganization proposal would deprive MDUSD of two school sites which are needed to accommodate its current enrollment.” The proposal would also impact Eagle Peak Montessori Charter School, a so-called “dependent” charter school, which is on district property adjacent to Northgate in Walnut Creek. The report further states the petition failed to meet Criterion #7 – No Substantial Increase in School Facilities Costs.  All nine criteria are required for approval. MDUSD superintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer said, “The findings of School Services support our position that the separation of the Northgate-area schools from MDUSD is not, in any way, a

warms up during the day, remember to hydrate regularly and plentifully. A common baseline rule of thumb is to take half your bodyweight in pounds and drink that many ounces of water a day as a starting point. Add more as you exercise. Disclaimer: Everyone is different, and different conditions require different levels of exertion. Regular biking, especially acclimating gradually to hotter days, can help dial in what will work on an individual basis. use a cool cloth bandana. Before you ride, dampen or soak it in cool water to help keep you cool for the first leg. When you stop to refill water bottles, you can rinse it out and put it back on under your helmet. use a trunk bag or pannier instead of a backpack. This keeps your back cooler and reduces your profile riding into a headwind. The exception is a water pack with drinking tube for staying constantly hydrated. Look at sporting goods stores for Camelbaks or Deuter. benefit to the community. We believe these findings will be very compelling for the County Committee. And while we feel the consultant was conservative in its review, we believe our further study and data will show that the proponents of a new school district also fail to substantially meet several additional required criterion.” The County Committee is conducting a public hearing on the petition next Tuesday, Aug. 29, 4 p.m. at Pleasant Hill Middle School. Proponents of the petition are expected at the meeting to respond to the School Services report, including pointing out that their petition did meet seven of the nine criterion.

YGnaCIO VallEY long-time Ygnacio Valley teacher and coach Bob Burkhart passed away July 22 in Spokane, WA. He was born New Year’s Day 1932, the last of seven children. Burkhart grew up in Kellogg, ID. He met his future wife Joan in high school and they were married in 1952. The couple lived in Pullman where Burkhart attended Washington State, quarterbacking the Cougars from 1951-54. He was drafted by the Green Bay Packers after WSU but was only there for a short time before Uncle Sam called and he spent the next five and a half years in the U.S. Air Force. In 1959, he resigned from the Air Force and began a 30-year career at Ygnacio Valley High School teaching industrial arts and coaching football. Burkhart was inducted into the Ygnacio Valley Athletic Hall of Fame last year.

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Keep tires inflated and your chain lubed. Every watt of energy you expend cycling is four times as much heating your body.

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The best way to get used to bike riding is regularity. The more you ride, the (relatively) easier it gets. With preparation, hot weather doesn’t have to be a barrier to biking – allowing you to get some exercise and spare the air. Maryam Roberts is a member of Bike Concord, a volunteer organization of residents working for safe, convenient and enjoyable bicycling in our community. Find out more at BikeConcord.org.


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Views and solitude await in Shell Ridge open space Page 18

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com





As I pulled up to the parking area, I could barely make out the trail amongst the heat waves distorting the scenery around me. My trusty GMC thermometer registered 104 – much hotter than I expected well after 5 p.m. on a weekday. I should have picked a hike with more shade, but for some reason Shell Ridge Open Space and its vast network of trails enticed me to come and

explore. So I set out with a 100 ounces of water and my trusty hiking poles in hopes of finding the most epic trails in this park. As you enter the gate, make a hard left to follow Briones Mt. Diablo Trail to Ridge Top Trail, then head due east. I stayed on the marked trail and found myself on a nice gradual grinder up the back side of Shell Ridge for a short time, until I reached the spine of the ridge. Expect steep trail sections scattered with rocks, sand and packed dirt. I love this trail for a few reasons: the spectacular view and the trail routing that cuts right along the backbone of Shell Ridge, with your surroundings literally peeling off on either side. In a short distance, this trail gives you a “top of the world feeling.” And that, my friends, is why I love hiking. Continue on Ridge Top

August 25, 2017

Kevin Parker

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

Trail as you make a series of ascents and descents. Be careful, as parts of the trail are marked closed and will require a few trail detours. After crossing Costanoan Trail, the rocky sections of Ridge Top give way to packed dirt and shaded, oak tree

lined sections of trail that provided a much-needed break from the hot sun and technical hiking. Ridge Top ends at the junction of Briones Mt. Diablo Trail, with Borges Ranch visible as you begin descending toward

DEBRA MORRIS Pacific Coast Farmers Market

natural sugars turn quickly to starch. Farmers display justpicked ears on ice to slow the process. You’ll get the freshest corn at the farmers market; who knows how long corn has been sitting in the bins at the grocery store. When selecting cobs, check the freshness of each one by gently peeling back the husk to examine it. Cobs should be full and even, with straight rows of bright, shiny kernels. The husks should be bright green with the silk ends free from decay and obvious worm damage. Refrigerate corn in the highhumidity storage bin as soon as you get home. Eat as soon as possible, but if you must, refrigerate corn with the husks

Joaquin Ridge. The trail turns to a soft flour dirt, providing some cushion on otherwise hardpacked trails. This is where Shell Ridge surprised me. Just before Joaquin Ranch Trail, make a left past the gate onto an unmarked single-track trail that follows a dry creek bed. This little nugget is called Indian Creek Trail, and what a gift on a heck of a hot day. I discovered full shade provided by a vast network of trees and a trail that twists and turns, banks and drops like a dirt rollercoaster of sorts. Throw in a lonely wooden bridge in the middle of nowhere with complete solitude, and I’d say you have a trail not to be missed. If you study a map, you can actually take this trail almost all the way back to your start point via Fossil Hill Trail. I don’t know if it was the old downed trees, the mossy

Shell Ridge Open Space

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

rock outcroppings or the smooth sandy trails rolling creekside, but stumbling onto this trail made me want to explore more of the hidden corners of Shell Ridge. Contact Kevin Parker with comments or questions by email at LukeHollywood@gmail.com

Relish every opportunity for local summer corn

Local farmers bring their famous sweet Brentwood corn to the market every Tuesday and Thursday.

There’s nothing better than sitting down to a crisp ear of sweet corn on the cob. Grilled or boiled, corn on the cob is a summer treat that’s hard to top for flavor and freshness. Corn is available at local farmers market through most of September. Brentwood is famous for its sweet corn in white, yellow and bicolor varieties, and G&S Farms brings their sweet corn to the Concord market. Zuckerman Farms of Stockton and Swank Farms of Hollister offer sweet corn as well. Corn is best eaten as soon as possible after picking because its

Nancy E. Bennett It’s a Seller’s Market! Should I downsize now?

Cut the corn from the cobs. attached to keep it moist. If the corn has already been husked, Scrape the cobs with a large partially or fully, refrigerate it in a spoon to remove remaining juice. In a large saucepan, mix perforated plastic bag. the corn kernels and juice, CORn RElISH tomatoes, bell peppers, cucum8 ears corn, husked and ber and onion. In a medium cleaned bowl, mix the sugar, vinegar, 2 lbs. tomatoes, peeled, salt, celery seed and mustard seeded and coarsely chopped seed. Pour into the saucepan 1½ c. chopped green bell over vegetable mixture. pepper Bring to a boil and simmer ¾ c. chopped red bell one hour. Transfer the finished pepper relish to sterile jars. Refrigerate ½ cucumber, chopped until served. 1 c. chopped onion Recipe from PCFMA staff. 1 2 1 1 1

c. white sugar c. apple cider vinegar T. salt tsp. celery seed tsp. mustard seed

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Profile for Pioneer Publishers

AUG 25 Concord Pioneer 2017  

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

AUG 25 Concord Pioneer 2017  

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

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