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East Bay Regional Parks Activity Guide


24 arrests in huge gang bust


From the desk of...

August 26, 2016


PEGGY SPEAR Concord Pioneer

laUra HOFFMeiSTer


City projects must follow detailed path

Last month, I wrote about how such things as road repaving and park improvements get put into the city’s two-year capital budget. The analysis of priorities begins in March and concludes in June with public meetings and the City Council approving the budget. I want to share with you the next steps, so you

Photo courtesy Concord Police Department

DURING RAIDS THAT INVOLVED MULTIPLE CITIES AND POLICE ORGANIZATIONS, 24 suspected norteño gang members See Mayor, page 8 were arrested on aug. 3 in Contra Costa County. Twenty-one are shown here.

After four gang-related homicides rocked Concord last year, the Concord Police Department knew that something had to be done. So the department kicked up its efforts, allied itself with other regional agencies and hunkered down for a fight. The efforts culminated earlier this month with a huge gang bust in eastern and central Contra Costa County, nabbing 24 suspected Norteño gang members for a variety of crimes, including attempted murder, human trafficking and drug sales. Concord’s police department was at the heart of the efforts, but by no means does Chief Guy Swanger take all the credit. “This was a regional operation,”

See Gangs, page 9

City searches for solutions to rental housing crisis PEGGY SPEAR Concord Pioneer

Landlord or tenant, city leader or civic activist, there is one thing most residents agree upon: There is a housing crisis in Concord. Rising rental rates are at the heart of the matter, especially in the Monument area – where some tenants have seen rents increase a whopping 50 percent over just a few months. Another problem, according to city leaders and civic advocates alike, is a shortage of available housing in Contra Costa County’s largest city. But it was rent control that was on the minds of more than 200 people who filled the Con-

Tamara Steiner/Concord Pioneer

JOVANA FJARDO OF CONCORD was one of the protesters at a recent city council workshop on rent stabilization issues. Fajardo, her husband and baby share a rented room in a private home because they can’t afford Concord’s high rents.

Jeff Cable photo courtesy USa Synchro

2 local Olympians make their mark in Rio at summer games

CONCORD’S TWO ATHLETES AT THE SUMMER OLYMPICS didn’t bring back medals from rio in their second games representing the USa but they can be very proud of their strong showings. Synchronized swimmer Mariya Koroleva, right, with teammate anita alvarez had set a goal of getting her american duet to at least ninth place in the Olympic finals after finishing 11th in london and 12th last year in the World Championships. a final freestyle performance that the british commentators called “fantastic” and “terrific” placed the american pair ninth. This set a new starting point for american teams in the coming years in a sport that features subjective judging based on international reputations and previous results. De la Salle high grad Kristian ipsen competed in the individual three-meter springboard and worked his way through three rounds to become the top diver from the Western Hemisphere among the 12 finalists, finishing fifth overall. The 3M opening rounds were held in winds that reached upwards of 40 mph in the rio pool that disconcerted many divers, including the defending Olympic champion from russia who was last in the semi-finals trying to defend his title. ipsen’s million dollar smile after this 18th and final dive over two grueling days of competition says it all about his second Olympic journey.

cord Senior Center for a City Council workshop last month. A panel of experts talked about the history of rent control, why it is necessary in Concord and, conversely, why it isn’t good for the local economy. “This crisis is happening because there’s nothing stopping people from raising rents and there’s not enough housing,” said Leah Simon-Weisberg, legal director for Tenants Together, a renters’ rights organization. However, Joshua Howard, senior vice president with the California Apartment Association, said rent control reduces the supply of rental housing, fails to keep rents down and provides a disincentive for landlords to maintain their properties.

“It’s not a good long-term solution,” he said. Many people in the community see rent control ordinances as the only way to stop many of the rent hikes that have resulted in such things as “rent strikes” and the rally that preceded the meeting, which was organized by Tenants Together and other concerned residents. “There should be no doubt in the minds of Concord residents that currently there is a rental housing crisis in Concord,” George Fulmore said after the meeting. “If you don’t rent, then this may be an abstract concept. Most who own homes or condos have predictable

See Housing, page 9

Monument community shuttle launches free service

Carlyn Obringer


Rosa Luna is a senior who lives in Concord’s Monument Community but is not able to drive due to a disability. It’s a physical burden for her to walk long distances to get to medical appointments at La Clínica. Taking a taxi is out of the question, as Luna lives on a fixed income. Miguel is another Monument resident who must ride his bicycle to and from BART to commute to the Oakland restaurant where he works. However, he cannot take the most direct route, down Mon-

Tamara Steiner/Concord Pioneer

AFTER FOUR YEARS OF SERIOUS PLANNING, the free Monument community shuttle made its maiden run on aug. 15. Monument community residents David Pittman and rosa luna board for the first trip. Pittman, a community activist, was one of the driving forces behind the shuttle.

ument Boulevard, because traffic conditions are not safe for cyclists. Fortunately, a new, free public transportation resource is now available to Luna, Miguel and all Monument residents.

See Obringer, page 8


Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . .19

Community . . . . . . . . . . .2

From the desk of . . . . . .8 School News . . . . . . . .16 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12

Performing Arts . . . . . .18


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Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

In Brief...

Cities take up healthy cooking challenge

CC Sheriff’s Dept Citizens Academy

a limited number of spaces are available for the Citizen’s academy, which provides community members with an inside look at the office of the sheriff. Students will be exposed to a variety of law enforcement topics, procedures and operations, such as patrol, investigations, custody, dispatch and search and rescue. Classes begin Sept. 14 and run for six weeks in Martinez. Classes meet on Wednesdays and two Saturdays (Oct. 1 and 15). Contact Sgt. Kevin briggs by email at Kbrig@so.cccounty.us.

Contra Costa Cake Show

Contra Costa Cake and Sugar art Society’s annual cake and sugar art show is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 15 and 16 at First lutheran Church in Concord. The show is open to spectators and to contestants interested in decorating cakes, cookies, chocolate and gingerbread. go to contracostacakeshow.com for registration and entry packets or call Sandy burns at (925) 200.2214. registration price varies. admission tickets are $5; $8 for both days.

the Future,” was rallying cry for the event that challenged the mayors of six Contra Costa cities in the annual event. Participating were Clayton, Concord, Danville, Walnut Creek, Antioch and Pleasant Hill. Each impromptu “kitchen” was staffed by city officials, the chef and a student helper from the Mt. Diablo High School. Working with flank steak, tofu, lentils, quinoa and fresh produce from the Farmers MarTamara Steiner/Concord Pioneer ket and using their imaginations CONCORD’S MAYOR LAURA HOFFMEISTER AND DEPUTY CITY and culinary experience, in less MANAGER, JOVAN GROGAN teamed up for the Mayor’s than two hours the teams plated Wellness Challenge six beautifully presented, healthy and delicious meals. The dishes Few “foodies” take their 8th Annual Wellness City Chalwere judged on creativity, presfood more seriously than the lenge Mayor’s Cookoff at Todos entation, taste and healthiness. chefs, sous chefs and mayors that Santos Plaza Aug. 11. There was something excitcompeted for top honors in the “Change the Food, Change

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schools. Ches is in sixth grade; Kai in fifth. Olympians Usain Bolt and Ashton Eaton inspired their interest in track and field. Ches watched every minute of U.S. track and field events of the Rio Olympics. He wants to go to Tokyo in 2020, even though he would only be 15. For now, he’s looking forward to next year’s Junior Olympics in Kansas.

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claimed first place. Danville’s The Peasant and the Pear chef, Rodney Worth took second and third went to last year’s winner, Antioch’s Lone Tree Golf and Event Center. The Wellness City Challenge was founded by restaurant owner and Mt. Diablo High teacher, Cindy Gershen, to encourage exercise and good nutrition in her students and the community. For more info, go to the website at: www.wellnesscitychallenge.org.

Concord athlete wins Jr. Olympics pentathlon

Concord’s 11-year-old Cesare “Ches” RednourBruckman brought home first place at the U.S. Track and Field Junior Olympics pentathlon with a score of 2,225. The pentathlon includes five events: hurdles, shot put, long jump, high jump and 1,500 meter race. His brother Kai won third place at the Junior Olympic qualifiers. The Junior Olympics were held at Hornet Stadium in Sacramento this year and included more than 7,500 youth athletes, who are the best of their regions across the country. The brothers are both in Little League. Ches played football with Concord Cobras, where he was voted MVP. Kai’s first love is basketball and he USS-POSCO INDUSTRIES PRESENTS CONTRA COSTA KOPS FOR was voted MVP at his Warriors KIDS WITH A CHECK FOR $5,000 to support the upcoming camp. Ches is a pitcher and 18th annual Kops for Kids golf Classic on aug. 29 From catcher in Little League, but he left larry lewis, Vice President of Contra Costa Kops for loves all sports and plays everyKids, Dan lawrence, retired Chief from the Clayton Police Department, Chuck blazer, Detective for the Pittsburg Police thing from golf at Buchanan Fields to bowling at Diablo Department and Chairman of the 18th annual Kops for Bowl. Kids golf Classic, yeoung Tae yoo and larry Sutherland Both boys attend Concord from USS-POSCO industries.

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ing on each of the competing plates. From a garbanzo and lentil risotto at the Clayton table to the skirt steak with ratatouille from the Pleasant Hill team. The judging team, which included Supervisor Karen Mitchoff and Supt. of Schools Tom Torlakson, were challenged from the start. In the end, it was the City of Pleasant Hill’s team headed by Chef Juan Sedano from Wise Girl Ristorante Italiano that

Kops for Kids Benefit Tourney Aug. 29

Contra Costa Kops for Kids will hold the 18th Annual Golf Classic at Oakhurst Country Club on Aug. 29, 2016. Contra Costa Kops for Kids is a group of active and retired police officers who work to help prevent violence, drug abuse, and juvenile delinquency in Contra Costa County. All proceeds from the Kops for Kids Golf Classic will go to support youth programs in Contra Costa County. The cost for attending the Golf Classic is $175 per golfer or $675 for a Emergency foursome. The general public Prep Fair is welcome. are you and your famFor more information on the ily prepared for an earth2016 Contra Costa Kops for Kids quake, fire or other Golf Classic presented by USS natural disaster? Plan to POSCO Industries, please visit come to Concord’s www.contracostakopsforkids.org, or Continued next page call (925) 827-1998.

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Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

Backpack giveaway a community effort

It was a beautiful morning on Aug. 13 when hundreds of families lined up, some as early as 6 a.m., to receive free back-to-school backpacks loaded with school supplies at the Monument Crisis Center. Kids picked their favorite color from almost 1000 fully stocked backpacks. All backpacks were distributed in just a few hours, says Sandra Scherer, Monument Crisis Center executive director. Dozens of companies and hundreds of individuals donated money and supplies.

Claycord 4-H gears up with new projects Youth ages five to 19 in Clayton and Concord are invited to join Claycord 4-H, a youth development organization offering kids a fun way to learn life skills, leadership and community service. Parents and interested children can attend a new parent’s information meeting from 7 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 30 at Farm Bureau Hall, 5554 Clayton Road, Concord. Elected youth officers lead monthly general meetings. Club members may also choose to participate in one or more club projects. This year’s projects include poultry, rabbits, goats, sewing, beekeeping, shooting sports, beginning 4H, woodworking, baking, reptiles, pocket pets, hiking and leadership. Ownership of pets is not required to participate in the animal projects. In addition to these activities, there are cross-club and county-wide projects such as camp project leadership and

veterinary science. Claycord 4-H meets on the second Tuesday of each month, September through June, at 6:45 p.m. at Farm Bureau Hall. The first club meeting of the year is Sept. 13.



Diablo Estates — Beautiful 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with hardwood floors and crown molding. Family room with wood beamed ceiling and built in book shelves, living room with fireplace, updated kitchen and inside laundry room. Great yard with fruit trees, RV parking and patio.


Jay bedecarre photo

The 60th Diablo Japanese American Summer Festival was held earlier this month in sweltering temperatures at the organization’s center in Concord. a variety of delicious Japanese food, bonsai displays, ikenobo demonstrations, judo, kendo, taiko drumming and traditional Japanese dance were part of the offerings at the free festival again attended by thousands. local artisan Suzanne yokoi (left) displayed and sold her hand-made paper gift items including ornaments and bookmarks.

Concord Library brings families out for NNO

other and local law enforcement. The library event included demonstrations by the Concord Police K-9 unit, face painting and games and a bike rodeo.




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Garaventa Oaks — Priced to sell 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom home in desirable neighborhood. Family room with cathedral ceiling, wet bar and fireplace. Updated, eat in kitchen with garden window and stainless appliances. Formal living and inside laundry rooms. Call for more info.


Daybreak — This stunning home features 4 bedrooms + Loft and 3 full baths. Beautiful Laminate floors. Spacious Master Suite with private bath. Large backyard with canvass patio cover that converts to outside room when sides are rolled down. Close to shopping, schools and freeway access. Nancy Donofrio (925) 998-7705

course at Concord’s nnO aug. 2.




Enrollment fee is $75 per youth. For more information, go to ca4h.org or contact Adrienne Busk at claycord@contracosta4h.org. Juliette Hirsch COOPER SIMPSON, 4, capably navigates the bike rodeo

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Ygnacio Highlands — Charming 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath townhome just minutes from shopping and schools. Large, open kitchen, family room with brick fireplace and inside laundry room. Light and bright unit with hardwood floors, a private patio and a detached 2 car garage.

emergency Preparedness Fair on Thursday, Sept. 1 from 4 to 8 p.m. in Todos Santos Plaza to pick up useful information and free giveaways from local emergency service organizations. Demonstrations of fire extinguishers, emergency vehicles, crime prevention aides, and medical triage will be offered. For more information, contact emergency Services & Volunteer Manager Margaret romiti, (925) 671-3184.

Senior center fundraiser

The 15th annual Hawaiian Fusion fundraiser will feature Polynesian culture and a Hawaiian-fusion buffet. Tickets are on sale for the Saturday, Sept. 24, event at the Concord Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Circle. Proceeds help lowincome seniors participate in a variety of educational classes and trips, a reduced taxi fare program, and special events such as the Health expo and be a Santa to a Senior. Te Mau Tamari’i a Tiare /nā Kamali’i a Kiele, an award-winning Polynesian dance troupe, will provide entertainment. Tickets are $50 per person or $430 for a table of 10. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. with a nohost bar, and dinner begins at 5:15 p.m. The show begins at 6:15 p.m. a Hawaiian boutique will be open 4:30-8 p.m. Contact Caryl Tynan at (925) 671-3321 or visit www.cityofconcord.org/ hawaiianfusion.

FOR A BEEKEEPING PROJECT, CLAYCORD 4-H MEMBERS (clockwise from left) Catherine Wu, William Wu, amelia Wu, Clara brockman, Shea gallagher, Sophie brockman and Christian Flamino installed an educational landscape display at the County Fair in antioch. They won first place for “let’s Keep buzzing: a bee Friendly garden.” Parents in the background are lily Wu and Tristan gallagher. 



In Brief...

Diablo Japanese American Club hosted 60th summer festival

The Concord Library was the place to be on Aug. 2 for the annual National Night Out event. NNO is a national community-building campaign designed to draw neighbors outside to meet and greet each


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Trilogy at the Vineyards — 2,751 sq ft, Rafael model with upgrades galore. 2 bedrooms + office & 2.5 baths. 18 foot ceilings, plantation shutters, dark hardwood flooring and central vac. Nearly 1/3 acre property with outdoor kitchen, covered patio and 2.5 car garage on a cul-de-sac. Absolutely stunning!



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Walk Downtown — 3 spacious bedrooms PLUS finished basement currently used as Master bedroom! Charming home with inviting front porch, fireplace in LR, hardwood floors, sunny eat in kitchen and indoor laundry room. Lovely backyard with patio & detached 1 car garage Heather Gray (925) 765-3822 RealEstatebyHeather.com Cal BRE#01329100

Lynne & Sylvia offer free staging on ALL LISTINGS

Farm Bureau — Charming farmhouse with a country feel. Sunroom entry, living room with fire place & formal dining area. Two bedrooms down, master suite up! Sunny kitchen with gas stove. French doors & hardwoods. Large lot with green house & garden, and patio. 2 car detached garage. Heather Gray (925) 765-3822 RealEstatebyHeather.com Cal BRE#01329100



Stranahan — Open, light filled floor plan including 3 beds and 2.5 baths. Large kitchen w/island and breakfast bar plus dining room. Family room w/wood burning fireplace. Oversized bedrooms. New landscape with large lawn area & patio. Backs to small park. Kelly McDougall (925) 787-0448 KellyMcDougall.com Cal BRE#01156462

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In Brief... English Tutors Needed

Help local adults read, write and speak english. Diablo Valley literacy Council teaches volunteers how to be a tutor. english need not be your first language. no teaching experience required. Workshops are Sat., Sept. 24 and Sat., Oct. 1 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at good Shepherd lutheran Church, 4000 Clayton rd., Concord. nominal fee to cover the training and materials. Volunteers must attend both workshops. Time commitment is typically one or two hours per week. For more information, go to dvlc.tripod.com. To register, call (925) 685-3881 or send email to dvlc4esl@gmail.com.

Library closed until Sept. 5 for needed upgrades

The Concord library at 2900 Salvio St. will be closed through Sept. 5 while it gets new carpets, fresh paint and new furniture. library staff will be on duty in the City of Concord Permit Center lobby at 1950 Parkside Dr. (on the north side of the Civic Center) to provide minimal services including pickup of materials already on hold and return or library books, renewals and new library cards. For more information on the closure, please call library administration at (925) 646-6423.

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

August 26, 2016

Blue Devils return from Championships with gold, silver medals JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

In their celebrated history that will stretch to 60 years in 2017, the 17-time World Champion Blue Devils of Concord have not achieved one distinction—winning three consecutive Drum Corps International World Class Championships. After taking the world title the past two summers the Blue Devils were denied that elusive third consecutive crown this month in Indianapolis when the Bluecoats of Canton, Ohio scored .4 of a point more than the Blue Devils in the finals. Taking a little of the sting from that narrow defeat was the World Championship Open Class title won by the Blue Devils B Corps earlier the same week in Michigan City, Indiana. It was the fifth world championship since 2009 for the B Corps, made up of high school age local area youth. The winning B Corps pro-

Photo courtesy blue Devils

FOR THE BLUE DEVILS B CORPS their summer tour ending in Michigan City, indiana couldn’t have finished any better than winning the Open Class World Championship for the fifth time since 2009. its space race-themed production “To the Moon” earned the corps its title over runner-up Vanguard Cadets by more than one point. The world renowned blue Devils a Corps from Concord were second after winning the past two World Class titles.

gram was a space race-themed production “To the Moon.” Always known for innovative programs, the Blue Devils A Corps this year celebrated

the 400th anniversary of the passing of William Shakespeare with a “complex, intricate, and demanding program” entitled “As Dreams Are Made

On” that “pushed the visual, musical and show design envelope further than any other year.” New Blue Devils CEO

iors, and “increasing openness, transparency and integrity in the City Council.” Benavente moved to Concord when he was 10, attending Concord public schools and CSU East Bay. As a former resident of the Sun Terrace neighborhood, he said he is committed to making sure the weapons station development does not divide residents. “A unified Concord is a stronger Concord,” he wrote. Ed Birsan, a current City Council member, calls himself “the independent voice of the community.” “I have a solid record of

experience and action,” he said. “I make the extra effort to find innovative practical solutions to challenges.” In addition to his work in the containerized shipping industry, Birsan has been on the Citizens’ Police Academy and offers “extensive” community volunteering. Among his goals are providing safe neighborhoods and making efficient use of taxpayer money. “My campaigns for the Concord City Council have been mostly self-funded,” Birsan noted. “This has allowed me to be independent of developers and special interest.”

Hope Johnson, a para legal/analyst/researcher, grew up in Concord and graduated from Mt. Diablo High School and Diablo Valley College. As chair of San Francisco’s open government task force, Johnson said she “fought for people’s right to challenge corruption and pay-to-play politics.” She also co-founded the Concord Committee for Good Government “to bring ethics back to City Hall.” Johnson said she would work for balanced budget allotments, development beneficial to all, private-sector jobs with living wages, crime reduction, traffic

Justin Heimbecker added, “The Blue Devils and Blue Devils B represented Concord very well at the Drum Corps International World Championships, earning a silver medal and a gold medal, respectively. Having so many talented young people working together both locally and internationally, to achieve a common goal in performance excellence, is something that makes our organization very proud. We truly appreciate all of the amazing support from our friends in the Bay Area. We couldn’t do it without them.” As for the chances of getting back to the top of the drum and bugle corps world next year the Blue Devils can look back to four other instances since the 1970s when they have won three titles in four years. Heimbecker says, “We look forward to next year’s 60th anniversary year to be just as exciting and magnificent!”

Seven vie for Concord City Council seats BEV BRITTON Concord Pioneer

With current Concord City Councilman Dan Helix opting out, Ed Birsan is the only incumbent in the race for two open seats in the Nov. 8 election. Here are brief profiles of the City Council candidates, based on their campaign statements. Pablo Benavente, a healthcare representative/organizer, believes Concord is at a critical point. He sees the key issues as the future of the Naval Weapons Station, affordable housing for low-income residents and sen-

mitigation and rent solutions. Harmesh Kumar, a psychologist, says he has “a solid record of experience and action in the city of Concord for more than 20 years.” His resumé includes being a Human Relations commissioner and a member of the Measure Q Oversight Committee. Kumar said he “helped alert” the city about Concord’s “structural deficit” and took a stand against the “unfair selection process” of the developer for the weapons station. His goals are to restore fiscal

See Council, page 7

August 26, 2016



During a recent survey at PulseOfConcord.com, I asked about some aspects of money in local campaigns. When asked is the money it takes to run for a seat on the Concord City Council limiting the pool of good candidates, 30.1 percent strongly agreed and another 26.6 percent agreed. Only 6.2 percent strongly disagreed. A solution might be districts of some sort. This would greatly reduce the cost to mail things out and would bring a higher percentage of face-toface contact. I like to say that “Feet beats money, but money beats silence.” Working very hard over 5-6 months, I was able to knock on 6,000 doors – but the city has almost 35,000 doors of voters. You can dream about free social media, but it has yet to show an

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

Page 5

Little agreement on campaign spending limits impact in local elections in Concord. Also asked: if the city should spend $34,000 for a mailer that would outline all candidates’ positions on major issues in a City Council election. While 22.7 percent strongly agreed and 24 percent agreed, 13.3 percent disagreed and another 29.3 percent disagreed strongly. This is a classic response. People agree that there is a problem, but we cannot get a majority to agree on a way to fix it. The problem is also related to who picks the issues that are considered relevant. This solution would allow underfunded and fringe candidates far greater access than they could normally obtain. Negatively it could be compared to having the Ku Klux Klan represented in a national debate. So on a local level, campaign finance remains elusive. Another question asked was whether people believed if restricting individual, union and company campaign contributions to City Council candidates is effective. Here, 19.3 percent strongly agreed and another 21.1 percent agreed. However, 35 percent neither

agreed nor disagreed. The reality is that campaign limits are mostly effective in helping incumbents and those who are willing and able to abuse the system. In a race in Walnut Creek many years ago, there was a low limit of something like $275. It is said that with one company, there was a stack of 25 checks – one from each subsidiary, family member, employee and member of the board. It is common in Concord, where we have a $1,000 limit for family/companies, to have multiple members of a family give funds. With unlimited independent expenditures (remember that Citizens United only affects federal campaigns only), we have seen millions spent on state races even though the individual limit in state races is a $4,200 direct donation. The lower the limit, the greater the influence of those who have money and the network to spread it and re-concentrate it. Send comments to EdiBirsan@gmail.com or 510-812-8180 or visit www.PulseOfConcord.com

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Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

LGBTQ seniors face unique challenges

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more instances of substance abuse and an increased chance of HIV infection. In the older LGBTQ population, there are other mental health issues related directly to aging. Gay men view aging negatively, with 88 percent of younger gay men and 73 percent of older gay men feeling that the gay society viewed aging negatively, compared to only 20 percent of lesbians who felt the same way. In fact, studies show gay men report that one turns “old” at age 39. In addition, 75 percent of LGBTQ people expect to be caregivers to aging loved ones, and 20 percent are unsure of who will take care of them. Support often comes from a network of friends rather than family, and “disenfranchised grief ” – inadequate social support following the death of a partner – is extensive. The Rainbow Center’s research has found that gay men may be more likely to be excluded by their families as they age, and aging becomes more stressful without that support.

Lesbians may have more family contact but were expected to remain closeted or have their sexuality overlooked. The study found that more LGBTQ people are forced back into the closet as they age. “Old age is more stressful when we are expected to hide,” Barr said. For many years, social policies offered no legal protections for gay couples. This severely impacted the quality of aging, including no Medicare benefits, life insurance, home ownership, pensions and inheritance. Luckily, Barr said, that is changing – especially in California. Still, many LGBTQ seniors across the country face serious declines in economic stability when a partner dies. While the battles continue on a national level, Barr and his colleague, Jill Meyers, gave advice on what institutions like the senior center could do to be more welcoming to the LGBTQ population it serves: It can feature LGBTQ representation in marketing materials, offer a trained support staff in

LGBTQ issues, provide gender neutral bathrooms and post “equality statements” in the center, such as “This is a Hate-free Zone.” Also, it can offer pamphlets, magazines, information and resources for LGBTQ seniors, feature artwork that reflects the diversity of the people the center serves and promote respect among all the center’s users – not just LGBTQ clients. Many people who attended the workshop underscored the importance of inclusivity in places like the senior center, including Concord City Councilman Edi Birsan. “We are one of the top 10 places in the world for seniors to retire to,” Birsan said. “We are also a place where we pride ourselves on ‘Families Come First.’ It is, therefore, important that we make sure that everyone understands that all seniors are welcome here. … We are Concord. We all strive to be in concordance with one another with respect, neighborliness and recognition of the good within us all.”

Lenhardt. He reviewed the progress of the proposed development and declared the 2.3-acre project consistent with the city’s land use and designation. The applicant and developer, Brent Nicholson, acquired three-quarters of the property in 2005, but the economic decline and housing crash forced him to delay development. In 2011, Nicholson cleared the lot and then purchased the defunct bank on the remaining corner of the block. Nicholson described due diligence in pursuing development. “We’ve been here a long time,” he said. “At one point, we thought it would be best to sell but eventually decided to take on the project ourselves to go forward.” The developer is aware of some contamination from the gas station and repair shop that used to be on the block, and the proposal includes plans to excavate the oil residue. The ground water on the site has been determined to be below cleanup levels described by the Regional Water Control Board. In addition to the roadblock presented by the Concord Residents for Responsible Development’s request for denial, the commission discussed other issues with the development – including bike access, parking, noise issues, commercial development and security concerns. Nearby resident Emily Nashban addressed the commission with concerns regarding traffic and noise. She cited many accidents near the site already and wondered how 425 cars parked at the project would add to the problem. She also expressed concerns regarding the noise from trash pickup. The five commission members each weighed in on the number of parking spaces; some of them were happy with the current amount, while others wanted to see the number reduced. Ernie Vasquez from SVA Architects, the designers of the building, handled concerns about noise from BART disturbing the residents. “We have tried to mini-

mize orientation of the units toward BART and will use energy- and noise-efficient windows and a high level of insulation in order to reduce the effects of energy, weather and sound,” Vasquez said. He also noted that they will employ an acoustical engineer to assist with the issue. The Planning Commission expressed disappointment that the designers did not include commercial development on the ground story. Nicholson replied that they had given it a lot of thought but decided it would be more important to support nearby retail. “No commercial development means the residents will walk to nearby business,” Nicholson noted. Another constraint on commercial development is that all four streets will be red-curbed, prohibiting parking and access. Commissioner Lamar Anderson reminded the developers that environmental design can help prevent crime, especially through lighting. The developers were open to the addition of 24hour onsite security to monitor the perimeter, including building entries, public seating areas and garage entries. The commission gushed about the positive impact Concord Village would have on downtown Concord, providing a transit-oriented development, high-end, hotel-like amenities and a more affordable price than nearby urban centers. Still, they voted 4-1 to delay approval, pending resolution of the letter requesting denial over environmental concerns. Commissioner Jason Laub supported the vote, saying it was an expeditious approach. “We should at least take the time to find out what is involved to make sure we’re airtight and this project goes forward,” he said. Anderson cast the lone dissenting vote, saying that the letter did not have enough substance to merit delaying approval. “Concord is the largest city in Contra Costa, and we have a housing issue,” Anderson said. “I don’t have a problem with (approving the project) now.”

Letter brings delay on apartment complex vote JOHN T. MILLER Correspondent

Plans to construct Concord’s largest apartment complex on a vacant lot near Todos Santos Plaza were delayed by a letter from the Concord Residents for Responsible Development. The letter, presented at a recent Planning Commission meeting, requested a denial of design approval. It argued that the project “is on a hazardous waste site, requires mitigation to reduce its significant impacts, would have significant impacts on water and air quality and may result in significant impacts to public health.” The project, known as Concord Village, calls for a five-story, 231-unit complex to be built on a full city block bordered by Salvio Street, Willow Pass Road, East Street and Port Chicago Highway. At issue is the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) of 1970, which “requires an agency to conduct adequate environmental review prior to taking any discretionary action that may significantly affect the environment unless an exemption applies.” Before the challenge, the city said the project qualified for a CEQA exemption since it was consistent with the city’s General Plan, occurs within city limits on no more than five acres, has no value as habitat for endangered, rare or threatened species, would have no significant effects on traffic, noise, air or water quality, and could be adequately served by all required utilities and public services. Ned Thimmayya presented the letter, speaking for the law firm of Adams, Broadwell, Joseph and Cardozo. The 15-page letter represented “individuals and labor organizations that may be adversely affected by the potential impacts associated with the project.” After taking a 10-minute recess to review the letter, the Planning Commission began the session on the Concord Village with a report from project planner G. Ryan

August 26, 2016


Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

Chamber aims to connect more with community

Marilyn FOWler


As the new chair of the Concord Chamber of Commerce board, Kevin Hennessy of Farmers Insurance shared his vision at the recent Board Installation Luncheon. The goal for this year is to better connect businesses to the community. We want to emphasize giving back to the community, increase awareness of non-profits and local-based organizations and expand our audience to include those outside the business arena.


from page 4 and budgetary “sanity,” advocate for affordable housing, reduce homelessness, and restore trust and partnership between police officers and the community. Eduardo G. Manuel, a retired deputy clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals, was on the Hercules City Council 1991-’96. “I believe I have the education, experience, training and leadership to make a positive impact on the future of Concord,” Manuel said. He has been chair of the West Contra Costa Mayors and Supervisors Association, a director of the West Contra Costa Transit Authority, a member of the Contra Costa Solid Waste Management Authority and vice chair of the Contra Costa Library Commission. “My vision for Concord: to make it a tourist destination and the most fun city in the Bay Area,” he said.

Hennessy referred to “the ripple effect,” stating that when you drop a pebble in a pond, it creates a series of ripples that span out over the water to create something bigger. We want the chamber to do the same thing. The chamber hit the ground running when the Young Professionals Group took a leadership role in this year’s Relay for Life in Concord in July. They helped organize the event, facilitated the day of the walk and helped the event raise more than $21,000 for the American Cancer Society. In August, the chamber partnered with the Monument Crisis Center for their Back-2School Backpack Drive. We put the word out to business members and within a week, we were able to deliver 37 backpacks filled with school supplies and many additional donated items to the Monument Crisis Center for students in need. Each year in November, the chamber volunteers at least one evening at the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. Last year, our volunteers sorted and boxed more than 11,000 pounds of apples in two hours. We are scheduled to do that again on Nov. 15. Every spring, the chamber hosts an East Bay Senior Resource Expo. The commu-

Page 7

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Concerts in the Grove – City of Clayton Marilyn Fowler, Melissa rea and Justin barker partnered with the Monument Crisis Center backpack giveaway.

nity event provides resources for the senior population, caregivers and children of seniors. We appreciate our seniors and are proud to assist them at this important time of their lives. The chamber is also going to highlight some non-profit members at upcoming events. We will be featuring them as speakers at events, inviting them to share at mixers and recognizing them on social media. Be a part of one of our many efforts to give back to our great community. There are so many opportunities for

your business and employees to make a difference – whether monetarily or by volunteering. Investing in the community through giving back strengthens your commitment to local needs. Join us as we “Connect with our Community – Reaching Beyond Business.” Marilyn Fowler is the president/CEO of the Concord Chamber of Commerce. For more information on networking or chamber programs, call 925-685-1181 or send email to mfowler@concordchamber.com.

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Carlyn Obringer, an analyst, is a current member of the Concord Planning Commission. She said she has “committed my time and energy to making Concord an even better community in which to live and work.” Her experience includes being an Advisory Committee member for the Concord Family Justice Center, chair of Monument Impact, founder of the Concord Art, Wine (and Beer!) Walk and chair of the Concord 4th of July Parade. Her campaign focuses on improving infrastructure, maintaining resources for public safety and seniors, enhancing parks, and attracting muchneeded housing, new employers and living-wage jobs.

Grace passed away Sunday, July 31 after a valiant and hard fought battle with cancer. She will lovingly be remembered as a mother, a devoted wife, dear friend, for her bright smile, caring heart, and as a zealot fan of the San Francisco 49ers, San Francisco Giants and Golden State Warriors. Grace was born in Mt. Vernon, New York, the eldest of five children. She graduated from Pelham High School. She relocated to San Francisco with her husband, Neil and two small daughters (Dawn & Lori) in July 1965. She had two more children after movGloria Casillas, a govern- ing to San Francisco, Erin and mental program analyst, Bill. Grace learned to love San declined to file a candidate Francisco, but her heart (and statement.

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accent) never left New York. After several administrative positions in the Banking and Legal fields she retired to become a full-time mother, wife, friend and neighbor. Grace strongly believed in giving back to the community. She was a regular volunteer at the Wellness Community Center in Walnut Creek, CA and served a term as President of the Family Stress Center in Concord, CA. In addition to loving her Bay Area sports teams, Grace enjoyed nothing more than spending quality time with family and friends. She always had an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on. When not watching sports or with family, she loved her trips with girlfriends to visit her “one armed bandit” aka the slot machines at the local Bay Area casinos. Grace is survived and will be greatly missed by her loving

husband of almost 56 years, Neil Brennan. She leaves behind four loving children: Dawn (Dean McFarren) Brennan, Lori Creedon, Erin Brennan and Bill (Lauri) Brennan and four adoring grandchildren: Rebecca & Matthew Creedon; Brooke & Rose Brennan. She is also survived by her two remaining brothers: Angelo (Susan) Congello and Jack Congello. Friends and family are invited to Grace’s Memorial Mass on Friday, September 30 at 10:30 a.m. at St. John Vianney’s Catholic Church located at 1650 Ygnacio Valley Rd., Walnut Creek, CA 94598. There will be a reception immediately following for in the Church Hall. In lieu of flowers, please make any donations you wish to Hospice of the East Bay, 3470 Buskirk Ave., Pleasant Hill, CA 94523.

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F rom the desk o f . . .

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

August 26, 2016

Groups help students, families gear up for school




For many District IV families, the season is changing from the fun-filled days of summer to the exciting adventures of back-to-school. The days are filled with anticipation as students get assigned new teachers and embark to new schools and

classrooms. For most, this is a joyous time. But for some, it is wrought with stress and anxiety. School supplies and clothes can be a heavy financial burden and lead to difficult choices for local households. To lessen this strain, numerous public agencies and non-profits are providing assistance and supplies. Volunteer & Emergency Services Team in Action (VESTIA) annually hosts Project Readyto-Learn, which provides backpacks full of supplies to Contra Costa County students in kindergarten through 12th grade. VESTIA was created in partnership with the Contra

Mayor, from page 1

may better understand why it seems to take government so long to do a construction project. Governments must follow specific state and federal public processes. After the budget is approved, we cannot just hire a contractor. The city has two engineers on staff who line up the projects, grouping some together for efficiency. They work on them in sequence, based upon staff workload. Before projects go out to public bid, there must be detailed construction drawings and specifications showing how the project is to be done. We retain a temporary project engineer to prepare the drawings and specifications, a process which requires a request of qualifications including advertising in the paper and other outlets (one month). A panel of engineers reviews the applicants’ qualifications (two weeks), the best candidate is identified and the City Council receives a staff report and recommendation at a public meeting to accept (one month).

est bidder as required by law. The report is scheduled for review and action by the City Council at a public meeting (one month). The council either awards the contract, asks for more information or continues the matter to a later meeting (add another month). Next, the contractor submits the final contract, insurance documents and performance bonds, and legal and engineering staff review them for acceptance (one month). Within one to two days of acceptance, the mayor signs the contract. We hold a preconstruction meeting with the contractor to go over the plans and schedule, and the city issues the contractor a notice to proceed on construction (two weeks).

ALMOST READY TO GO The contractor has to contact Underground Service Alert (USA) to have all underground utilities marked (3 weeks). The contractor then mobilizes equipment to the site (one week) and construction begins. Due to this process, most government projects are started nine to 13 months after budget approval. How long construction takes depends on the complexity of the project, however, three months is average. Weather can add delays as well. After construction is completed, the inspectors verify compliance with the construction plans, staff prepares a report for the City Council to accept the work and to release the contractors performance bonds (six weeks). So now you know why it takes so long to repave a street.

OPENING THE SEALED BIDS Then starts field work and research for preparing the plans, drawing all field conditions and underground utility conditions and the final project plans (four-six months, longer for complex projects). Once all drawings are completed, we advertise for contractors to bid on the project (one month). Sealed bids are publically opened at a specific time/date. We rank the opened bids by cost and announce the apparent low bidder. Staff identifies lowest responsible and responsive bidder and conducts reference checks (two weeks). We then prepare a report to Contact the Mayor award the contract to the low- lmhoff@comcast.net.


Costa Employment and Human Services Department VESTIA distributed more than 1,200 backpacks in 2015, with many going to the county’s foster youth. A similar effort occurs at the Monument Crisis Center in Concord, where last year they

distributed 1,400 backpacks during a large community event in mid-August. The Assistance League of Diablo Valley, another organization close to my heart, annually conducts Operation School Bell to provide new school clothes and uniforms to

students. Since 1994, Operation School Bell has helped more than 50,000 children. Staff in my office has continually participated in Operation School Bell and they are looking forward to doing so again this year. It’s inspiring to see local

organizations meetings the needs of our community with such ingenuity, as even simple projects can have great impact.

Dr. nellie Meyer

excellence. This means continuing to provide access to state-of-the-art technology matching that in the modern workforce; incredible options in college and career pathways that lead to high-paying, highdemand workforce and career options; and extensive and inclusive school, student and family services that cannot be matched in any other district. We proudly invite neighbors and community members to visit our schools, see what we offer and view the world through our students’ eyes. They will be proud of their future leaders. We have started a newsletter, MDUSD Connections, to

provide news, events and informational items from the district. Connections includes items from our schools, various departments and programs, awards and recognitions and important dates. Connections is posted at h t t p : / / m d u s d - c a . s ch o o l loop.com. Click on your school. If you’d like to receive it directly, please email MDUSDConnections@mdusd.org.

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

Mt. Diablo district launches newsletter

We are excited to welcome returning families as well as new families to the Mt. Diablo Unified School District for the 2016-’17 school year. We look forward to an exciting year that will include new programs such as the Middle College Program, thriving visual and performing arts classes and a new International Baccalaureate Program. We believe Mt. Diablo Unified School District is an excellent, competitive choice with a long and valued history in Contra Costa County. We are honored and proud that our families entrust us with their most precious gift:



their children. We are deeply committed to providing a world-class education to students throughout the district, centered on equity, access and

Obringer, from page 1

Dr. Nellie Meyer is Superintendent of Schools for MDUSD. Email questions or comments to meyern@mdusd.org

more easily, or enjoy some Professionally, she focuses on California fresh air in Todos Santos education issues as an Education Policy Analyst. Carlyn resides in Concord Plaza.”

with her husband, Justin, and dog CrysCarlyn Obringer is a member of the tal. Contact her by email at The Monument Commu- issue a Request for Proposal City of Concord Planning Commission. carlyno@yahoo.com. nity Shuttle is the brainchild (RFP) to potential contrac-

of the Monument Community Partnership Transportation Action Team, led by Cambridge Community Center Founder and Monument Community advocate Mary Lou Laubscher. Through her work with Monument Community Partnership and countless other community groups, Laubscher became aware of the transportation needs of Monument residents and advocated strongly for the establishment of free shuttle service in the neighborhood. With the support of the Monument Impact Board, executive director Mike Van Hofwegen began working in 2012 with Concord transportation manager Ray Kuzbari to apply for shuttle funding. While Kuzbari worked to address funding needs with his counterparts at the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), Monument Impact led a planning process with community agencies to develop the shuttle routes and

tors/operators. More than four years later, on Aug. 15, Monument Impact launched the free shuttle bus. Managed by the CCTA, the program receives funds from Measure J, the county’s half-cent transportation sales tax. The shuttle is designed to serve low-income workers, seniors, persons with disabilities and residents without vehicles. “Monument Community residents face significant transportation needs and have worked diligently to make this shuttle service a reality,” says Van Hofwegen. “I’m so proud of their efforts. I’m also very grateful to our community organizational partners and especially the city of Concord and the CCTA for helping us bring this vision to fruition.” “I can’t thank everyone enough who has helped to make this service possible,” says Luna. “I am very grateful for how this shuttle is going to enable me to get to my medical appointments

Monument Community Shuttle

The free shuttle will operate 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with extended service until 8 p.m. Tuesdays. The shuttle will run every 45 minutes, with most trips taking 12-20 minutes. The shuttle will run on three routes, operating at different times of the day/evening. No pre-registration is required. Stops will include: • Downtown Concord BART Station. • Downtown Concord. • Concord Senior Center. • Monument Impact, 2699 Monument Blvd. • John Muir Medical Center on East Street. • La Clínica de la Raza. • Monument Crisis Center. • Monument Impact, 1760 Clayton Road. • Women, Infants & Children (WIC) Office. GPS tracking of the shuttle is available at http://us.fleetmatics.com/login.aspx or may be downloaded to a smart phone via the Fleetmatics Reveal app. The user name is concord@sfmetrotrans.com and the password is welcomeconcord. For more information, call Monument Impact at 925-682-8248, ext. 2300.

August 26, 2016

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

Labor Day Derby and Car Show in downtown Clayton back for 13th year Gentlepeople, start your engines, er, pedals. The 13th Annual Labor Day Derby and Custom Car Show is fast approaching. The Sat., Sept. 3 event is produced by Clayton Community Church with the support of local vendors and merchants. This combined event draws hundreds of kids and classic cars downtown for some lowspeed races down Main and friendly competition in the Custom Car Show. The soapbox-like Derby will start at 9 a.m. at the clock on Main Street. The participating children, ages 7 to 14, will be divided into three age categories and will each race

ton mother of three, will host a booth at the Derby where she will be recycling donated denim into shoe “uppers” that can be sent to Uganda and made into shoes. This past May, Shawn Robinson, pastor of Clayton Community Church presented NicolaWakefield with a crisp $100 bill and an assignment challenge to do something to “make the world a better place.” Responding to the challenge, Wakefield partnered up with Sole Hope, a charity that provides men, women and children of SOLE HOPE PROJECT Uganda with urgent medical NEW THIS YEAR relief from a parasitic flea Nicola Wakefield, a Clay- known as a ‘Jigger’ that bur-

twice. The best combined times will be awarded trophies. No driving experience necessary. The custom made little soapbox-type cars, all sponsored by local merchants, are provided free to the kids. Running concurrently with the Derby will be the Custom Car Show. Over 200 custom, retro, foreign, restored or rebuilt cars will be judged for a variety of trophies, which will be presented in a Parade of Winning Cars at 1 p.m. The cars will be on display from 9 a.m. to noon.

Housing, from page 1

mortgages to pay each month. Banks cannot just ‘raise the rent’ on homeowners. “But many of us who own homes have kids or know of other parents who have kids who rent apartments and are experiencing the significant rises in rentals,” he added. “This kind of stuff trickles down to all of us. This a major reason why we need a rental housing stabilization ordinance in Concord, along with ‘just cause’ eviction rules.” The City Council did not take action on the issue but instead decided to study the programs other cities have adopted

such as rent control, “just cause” eviction, mediation, a moratorium on rent increases and programs that reward landlords who voluntarily agree to limit rent hikes and offer long-term leases. The Housing and Economic Development Committee will discuss the results of the efforts of council members and city staff on Sept. 26. According to the city, 8,886 of Concord’s 9,400 apartment units would be subject to rent control. It is unclear how most council members feel about rent control ordinances. Councilman Edi Birsan, however, has been

he said, “a real team effort.” At a news conference, officials said 12 local and federal law enforcement agencies participated in the mass arrests on Aug. 3. Besides the CPD, they included the FBI, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, the Contra Costa County Sheriff ’s Office, the Contra Costa County Probation Department, the California Highway Patrol, the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, along with police from Pittsburg, Antioch, Richmond and El Cerrito. Between 250 and 300 police officers were involved.

group run through the county District Attorney’s Office and the FBI. “This allowed us extra resources and the ability to target higher-level criminals,” Nunes said. “Through some hard work, we were able to bring about a case and take them down.” Nunes, a former narcotics department supervisor, couldn’t go into specific details of the case. But he said it could lead to many other arrests. “We are interviewing the suspects and witnesses to see if we can tie them or their activities into other crimes in the area.”

Gangs, from page 1


They searched 21 houses in Antioch, Concord, Pittsburg, Bay Point and elsewhere, seized 18 guns, large quantities of methamphetamine and heroin and broke up two marijuana growing operations. Officers also seized a Mercedes-Benz, a Porsche and a boat believed to have been purchased through illegal gains, as well as $15,000 in cash. Swanger said he “guarantees” all those arrested were involved in violence, and that the Norteño gang “gets its profits from preying on our community.” Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney Aron DeFerrari identified the two leaders of the gang as Sean Dunne, 31, and Mariano Coronado, 28. DeFerrari said there are an estimated 75-100 Norteño gang members in the county. With the arrests, he said as much as half of the gang could be behind bars now – since 10-15 members were already in custody. “We knew after the four gang-related homicides last year, we needed to do something about it,” said Lt. John Nunes, one of CPD’s coordinators of the raid. “It wasn’t just a Concord issue, but a regional issue.” Early last winter, the CPD allied themselves with the Safe Streets Task Force, a regional


Both Swanger and Nunes said that Concord is not a hub of gang activity. But its location in central county, its size, proximity to freeways and accessibility to BART make it ground zero for a lot of gang activity. “We don’t have the gang problem you see in Pittsburg or Richmond. But Concord is a central location, so we get a lot of gang-related crimes,” Nunes said. He and Swanger were complimentary of the other agencies involved in the gang bust but noted that Concord’s department was a strong presence in the efforts. “Our men and women are great,” Nunes said of his colleagues. “We know the bad guys. We know where they hang out and what they’re doing. Because of that knowledge, we have an edge.”

CITY’S CRIME RATE DROPS Ironically, the gang bust happened the day after Swanger gave his semi-annual crime report to the Concord City Council. That report showed a decrease in violent crimes, especially burglary. In the report that covered January-June 2016, Swanger showed statistics compared to the same time last year. Rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults, burglary and larceny had all decreased, with auto thefts remaining basically the same. There were 2,336 crimes committed, compared with

rows and lays eggs in their feet. The conditions can be extremely painful and even cause secondary deadly infections. Children with extreme cases are not able to attend school and are kept at home with little opportunity for education or to change their situation. Something as simple as a pair of shoes can improve the lives of these children and offer them a brighter future. To help, visit the booth and cut out a pair of shoes or bring donated denim. For more information contact Nicola Wakefield at nikwakefield001@yahoo.co.uk.

Page 9

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 : Peggy Spear, Pamela Wiesendanger, Jay Bedecarré

C ORRESPONDENTS : Cynthia Gregory, Kara Navolio, John T. Miller


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

Tamara Steiner editor@concordpioneer.com Send Ads to ads@concordpioneer.com Send Sports News to sports@concordpioneer.com Send School, Club and Calendar Items to


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

an outspoken proponent of some type of action. “Our residents are suffering,” Birsan told the Pioneer. “There is disruptions of family with forced displacement that affects children and their school paths, their friends, their social network, the diversion of funds from community stores to the financial institutions backing the ‘flipping’ of large multi-family dwellings and setting in motion of a series of responses such as over-crowding, that causes a spiral downgrade of the quality of life of our residents.” He would like to see an ordinance that will reflect the “best practices” that he sees all the small landlords use. He doesn’t believe they need to be reined in as they are not the problem.

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. 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.

“We have to concentrate the approach to the larger, corporate ‘flipper’ types. The exact nature of that approach still has to be honed down to something that will work to pull in the excesses, protect the small guys, and be no burden to the people at large and give residents some stability without shutting off renewal or LET US KNOW upgrades,” he said. Weddings, anniversaries, Vice Mayor Ron Leone, who births and deaths all weave chairs the Housing and Ecotogether as part of the fabric of nomic Development Commitour community. Please let us tee, agrees that there is housing know of these important events. We ask only that the announceshortage in California and Conment be for a resident in our cord is affected by it. home delivery area. Submit on “The rising cost of rents in our website and be sure to attach the Bay Area is spiraling out of a JPG photo that is at least 3 MB. SUBSCRIPTIONS Also on the website are forms control,” he said. “The city of To subscribe to either the for calendar items, events & press Concord wants to help and is in Clayton Pioneer or the Concord the process of searching for releases. Pioneer, call the office at (925) 672-0500. Subscriptions are solutions.” LETTERS TO THE EDITOR $35/year for each paper, His colleague on the comBoth Pioneer newspapers mittee, Councilman Dan Helix, welcome letters from our readers. $60/year for both. 2,608 in 2015 – a 10.3 percent says he has a “unique” plan to drop. “It’s very encouraging,” address the crisis in Concord. He will unveil it at the commitSwanger said. There was one homicide in tee meeting on Sept. 26. 2016, a domestic violence case in which a body was found in the Newell Park parking lot. A suspect was later arrested in Reno. Most of the burglaries reported were residential, at 130 down from 215 from last year. There were 87 commercial burglaries, compared with 117 during the same period in 2015. Of the robberies, there were 52 street robberies, 12 commercial, six cases of shoplifting – down from 11 during the same period last year, one carjacking, two residential robberies and two bank robberies. Swanger said that as recent as Produced by three years ago, there were up to 10 bank robberies. But that number has fallen steeply. Still, Swanger said he was most proud of the efforts against gangs. He touted Nunes and his team for their work. Before the major gang bust, the department’s Special Enforcement Team, which works against violent crimes, had, between Jan. 20 and June • Derby Races for Children 30, 2016, made 323 arrests, Ages 7 to 14 seized 33 guns from convicted felons, gang members and other dangerous individuals, seized • Free T-Shirts to First three-quarters of a pound of 200 Participants methamphetamines and 12½ and Trophies to Winners pounds of marijuana, seized more than $21,000 in cash suspected to be proceeds in drug sales, saw no gang homicides and handed out hundreds of police stickers to children. • Free T-Shirts and Goody Bags For Swanger, domestic vioto First 200 Entrants lence remains the largest problem in the city. In the Special Victims Unit, there were 1,183 reports, of which 462 were Information and Registration for Both Events: domestic violence investigations. The others included molesta– Click on Events Page tion, child pornography, human trafficking, abuse, neglect and assaults. Major Sponsors However, he is heartened by the increasing number of domestic violence cases reported, which is up from last year, because it means people are feeling safer about reporting those cases. He also touts the efforts of the Central County Family Justice Center as a major resource in helping the department with those crimes.

Saturday, Sept. 3 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Main Street, Clayton, CA

Free Family Fun

Classic Car Show Will Feature 200 Cars


• • • •

Redwood Painting Clayton Business & Community Assoc. Big O Tires of Concord Jim’s California Auto Body, Inc.

Page 10

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

August 26, 2016

Clothes look better when you know your personal colors

SUSan SaPPingTOn


Each person has unique physical attributes. You can enhance your individual features if you know how to choose clothes to match your eyes, skin tone and hair color. Buying a new dress may seem like a simple task. However, you may become frustrated when you see that the dress which looks stunning in the store window doesn’t look good on you at all. It’s important to find the right clothes to make you look your best. Most people have certain clothes they like to wear more often. When you look in your closet, you may see the same color palette. Although you vow to add more interesting colors, you continue to be magnetized by the same colors. Some colors may simply look better on your skin tone, in pretty much the same manner that they also complement your eyes and hair color. People’s skin comes in many different shades, but there are only two undertones: warm and

cool. The undertones are what count in determining the right colors to suit you. To know yours, turn your hand over with the palm up. If the veins are blue or purple, you have a cool tone. If they appear green or have a yellow cast, then you have a warm tone. Knowing what color tone is right to go with your skin and hair can dramatically change your appearance. The right color can give you a flattering and healthy glow, while you can end up looking older when you choose the wrong color. Normally, red is used as the basis in identifying your color. Trying on some red suits can help you identify your color profile. These include scarlet and orange reds that have traces of yellow. You have a warm color profile if you look good wearing clothes with warm-based reds. You’ll never go wrong when you buy clothes in orange, watermelon, coral, yellow, dark leafy green and peacock blue. Fill your wardrobe with taupe, yellow and rose-gold, but never include cool blues in your selection. An easy way to determine if you have a cool color profile is to see if you look good in coolbased reds, such as fuchsia, cherry and raspberry. Cool-based reds contain bluish tints like the colors found in peppermint,

baby pink, cherry reds, evergreen, fuchsia violet and powder blue. It’s not surprising that cooltoned people look best when wearing clothes in cool colors like royal or navy blue, gray and black. If you are shopping for clothes, think of colors that remind you of water and the sky, but avoid clothes with yellow hues. In terms of metallic, silver is your thing. Next month, I will explain

how to understand the color wheel. Let me help you choose your colors for fall. I am a personal stylist for both men and women. Book your appointment today. Susan Sappington is the Area Development Manager and Wardrobe Consultant for ETCETERA Clothing of New York. Send comments to susan@etcstyles.com.

Regular screenings key to surviving prostate cancer Sponsored Content

By Dr. Stephen Taylor

One of the most effective methods for getting the upper hand on prostate cancer is early detection. When and how often you should get a screening depends on various risks. I encourage patients to begin having discussions with their physician about a prostate cancer screening

when they reach 40. If you are African-American or have a relative who’s had prostate cancer, you are at a higher risk and should consult with your doctor to determine your personal screening frequency. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis and the second leading cause of cancer death for men in the United States. With most types of urologic cancer, there are often no obvious symptoms – making early detection even more critical. Those experiencing urinary pain, discomfort or change in frequency should see a doctor immediately.

Educational seminar

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There are two primary diagnostic tests for prostate cancer. Doctors often perform a digital rectal examination to feel for abnormalities in the prostate gland that could be an indicator of cancer. If the prostate is nor-

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mal, it will be soft like a sponge. An abnormal prostate will be hard like a marble, requiring further testing. The second test is a prostatespecific antigen (PSA) blood test, which tests the levels of PSA in the blood. Having an elevated PSA level does not necessarily indicate you will develop prostate cancer. However, it may lead to further diagnostic tests or a more regular screening schedule. Just a few years ago, if a PSA test was elevated and/or a nodule was present on the prostate, doctors would immediately proceed to a biopsy. Such is not the case in this era of advanced innovation in medicine. Today, elevated PSA levels or the presence of nodules may result in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the prostate, which is 90 percent accurate and eliminates about 60 percent of unnecessary biopsies. When caught early, prostate cancer is highly treatable. Because prostate cancer is often a slow-growing cancer, doctors may discuss the possibility of putting you on “active surveillance” in which they clinically follow the cancer with routine PSA tests and biopsies if necessary, before committing to any treatment options. If treatment is necessary, innovative procedures such as the Robotic Assisted Radical Prostatectomy using the Da Vinci robot – with robotic arms – are available. The robot enters through the patient’s belly button and removes the prostate from the abdomen. This remarkable procedure carries a host of benefits, including minimal pain, early hospital dismissal and little bleeding/scarring. Radiation therapy has also made great strides in the fight against prostate cancer by delivering specifically targeted, high-dose therapy with exceptional outcomes. Prostate cancer is by no means a death sentence, especially in this age of advanced medicine. Thanks to effective, minimally invasive treatment options, men with prostate cancer are living longer, healthier lives with fewer treatment-related side effects to either their urinary or sexual functionality. Still, it’s imperative to diagnose prostate cancer in its earliest stages. This can be done with screening and early detection, especially for those with a history or predisposition to cancer. Consult with your doctor, get the facts and make the most informed decision about your personal course of action. Dr. Taylor is a board certified urologist with Pacific Urology. He is involved with the Prostate Cancer Center of Excellence at Diablo Valley Oncology in Pleasant Hill. For more information, call 925937-7740 or visit www.pacificurology.com.

August 26, 2016

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

Page 11

Trucking firm to begin testing at GoMentum Station A new partnership marks the beginning of autonomous, commercial vehicle testing at GoMentum Station in Concord. The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) will partner with autonomous trucking company Otto at the 5,000-acre autonomous and connected vehicle testing grounds. Less than three months after making its mission public, Otto has put forth a rapid approach to improve highway safety. Partnership with GoMentum Station, the largest secure test facility in the United States, will allow Otto to rapidly ramp up the testing of hardware- and softwareenabled trucks across varied

Photo courtesy of Otto

CONCORD’S GOMENTUM STATION is already a key hub of testing for personal automobiles and shared, autonomous shuttles. Otto is the first partner to test autonomous commercial trucks.

terrain, as well as recreate reallife scenarios in a controlled environment. “Freight transportation is crucial to the American and world economy,” said Randy

Iwasaki, CCTA executive director and former chair of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Freight Advisory Committee. “This new technology will

not only make traveling safer for commercial drivers and the motorists they share the highway with, it will also increase efficiency in one of our key economic sectors,” Iwasaki added. With more than five trucks now testing at sites throughout the region 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Otto will be able to use GoMentum Station to rapidly test new updates and hardware components. The rapid testing will accelerate the time-to-market for Otto as it works to bring on its first commercial partners. GoMentum Station at the Concord Naval Weapons Station is a cooperative venture between the city of Concord and CCTA. It is already a key

Save Mount Diablo sells lands, retains conservation control TAMARA STEINER Concord Pioneer

Save Mount Diablo has found a way to sell off excess properties while still staying true to its land protection mission. Selling a few properties under a Conservation Easement Program will allow SMD to retain control of the use of the property while freeing up capital for future investment. The group owns or manages 20 properties totaling 2,300 acres – the size of a small park district. Many of the properties are in Morgan


Territory or along Marsh Creek Road. Currently several properties are on the market or soon to be. All will sell subject to the perpetual conservation easements, which SMD holds. The group will use the revenue to acquire other property or more conservation easements. This method allows for protection of properties with important habitat that may not be well-suited additions to a park or preserve because of size or SMD EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TED CLEMENT and land Conservalocation. tion Manager Seth adams mark the one acre building pad The program will include a with an existing house on the Morgan Territory property which will be excluded from the 5 acres that will be pro-

See Mt. Diablo, page 17 tected from development by a conservation easement.

Planning crucial when traveling with your dog

alleviate the worry of not knowing what’s happening with your dog while you are away. However, traveling with Debbie DeMellO your dog requires a bit of PAUSE FOR PETS homework. Planes and cars aren’t Bringing your dog on vaca- designed with dogs in mind, tion can add to the fun and and you also need to know

what to expect when you arrive at your destination. By planning your travel carefully, you can make the vacation a relaxing and fun time for both you and your dog. First, plan a safe way for your dog to travel in the car. It’s usually a good idea for your dog

Buster and Gilbert are this month’s ARF stars


Buster, 5, is an adorable boy who enjoys life. From taking a walk around the block to hanging out on the couch with his people, he is an easygoing boy. Buster adores his brother Lucky and they must go home together. Since they are bonded, we are waiving the adoption fee for one of them. Buster has a positive history with other dogs. We recommend Buster take a Basic Manners class where he can learn polite ways of seeking creature comforts in life. He currently weighs 39 pounds.


The adoption fee for dogs Meet your forever friend at is $250 and includes a discount Tony La Russa’s Animal Reson the first six-week session of cue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell a manners class. Drive, Walnut Creek, during adoption hours: Noon to 6 pm Twelve-week-old Gilbert is Wednesday & Thursday, Noon such a cutie with his round face to 7 pm Friday, and Noon to 6 and fun purrsonality. He enjoys pm Saturday & Sunday. soft petting, once he gets over Would you like to be part of the his initial shyness. He likes heroic team that saves the lives of playtime with wand toys and rescued dogs and cats? Can you with his equally cute brothers- share your talents to connect people consider taking a pair of them and animals? ARF volunteers are home. He is suitable for a first making a difference! For more infortime cat guardian. mation see our website, The adoption fee for kit- www.arflife.org, or call (925) 256tens <6 months $125. 1ARF.

to travel in a crate or buckled in with a seat belt harness. You’ll be less distracted, which is safer for both of you. It also prevents your dog from getting injured if you have to stop quickly. Don’t feed your dog a lot before a car trip, as many dogs are prone to motion sickness. Also don’t feed your dog while the car is moving. Don’t forget to take breaks for a quick walk or a little playtime. And, of course, don’t leave your dog in a parked car – especially when it’s warm out. Make sure your dog has access to enough water to keep him hydrated. If you’re traveling by plane, the first thing you need to do is check with the airline for their rules regarding pet travel. Many require a health certificate and they may have other rules, so you want to avoid any surprises. You can help keep your dog calm during travel by bringing a favorite item or two, like a toy, blanket or bone. If you are staying in a hotel, research to find hotels that allow pets. Once you arrive at your hotel, go for a long walk. A recently exercised dog will be more relaxed. When a pet is away from home, it means a lot of new sights, smells, sounds and potential food items. Make sure you’re vigilant about what’s around, especially with things your dog could ingest. And always make sure your dog is wearing identification and that his microchip information is up to date. Debbie DeMello is a dog trainer and owner of Who’s Training Who in Walnut Creek. Contact her at debdemello@aol.com

hub of testing for personal automobiles and shared, autonomous shuttles. Otto is the first and exclusive partner testing autonomous commercial trucks. “Long-haul transit is vital for nearly 70 percent of the things we buy. But it comes at a cost, and each year there are thousands of preventable deaths on American highways,” said Lior Ron, cofounder of Otto. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that while commercial freight trucks account for only 5.6 percent of the vehicle miles on U.S. highways, they are responsible for 9.5 percent of highway fatalities. Otto’s work at GoMentum Station, with the help of CCTA, will speed the rate at which this potentially life-saving technology can be brought to market. For more information, visit gomentumstation.net.

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Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

August 26, 2016

Forest Park’s top finishes at City, County Meets cap season JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

An historic season came to a close this month with Forest Park Swim Team of Concord placing near the top of both the Concord City and Contra Costa County meets. Concord celebrated its 50th City Meet championship Aug. 5-7 with over 1000 swimmers and 12 teams from five cities taking part at Concord Community Pool. The Flyers finished second to Dana Hills Swim Team of Clayton in the A Division while the Flyers won the B Division once again reversing

places with DHST. At the 56th Contra Costa County Swimming Championships one week later in Lafayette at Acalanes High, Forest Park had its best-ever performance by placing seventh in Division I with Dana Hills again leading local area teams with a third-place performance. Dana Hills won its 24th Concord City Championship in 25 years with Otters and Forest Park swimmers dominating the proceedings. Six DHST and four Forest Park swimmers won high point awards in A Division at City Meet. Dana Hills swept the

SAVANNAH FREITAS helped the Springwood Swim Club 9-10 girls to third place in the 200-yard freestyle relay at the 50th City Meet. Katherine Pugh, Ke’olani Ka’ai and Maya Canada were the other relay members for the Sprinters, who serve as the meet’s host club.

two outstanding relay awards while the top two teams had three swimmers each set meet records.

FLYERS’ BEST FINISH Forest Park coach Jeff Mellinger has been in charge of the team for 17 years guiding the Flyer A swimmers to second place and the B team to a city championship, just as they’ve done for several years. Following that excellent performance a week later Forest Park was seventh at County, the highest placement ever for the team, which won the County Division II championship in 2015 and 2012 as well as three times in the 1970s and 80s. Forest Park totaled 1111 points in Division I, almost 300 more points than a year ago in D-II. Crow Canyon County Club was again the champion with Round Hill second and Dana Hills of Clayton third. Forest Park’s Kyla Joseph (7-8 girls), Lily Struempf (9-10 girls), Kaylie Walker (13-14 girls) and Kyle Stilinovich (7-8 boys) were high point A Division at City Meet. Jenna Beronilla (11-12 girls) and Dominic Jenevein (15-18 boys) were B Division high point Flyers. Other A Division highpoint swimmers from Concord teams were Alexandra

Photos courtesy CSK Photography cskphotography.net

FOREST PARK’S 11-12 SWIMMER JENNA BERONILLA won the individual medley and breaststroke to earn the City Meet’s b Division high point award. Her 18 points helped the Flyers to the b Division team championship. Forest Park was second to Dana Hills in a Division.

Humann (Ygnacio Wood 1518 girls), Morgan Wendler (Walnut Country 6 and underboys), Mason Wendler (WC 910 boys) and Jacob Soderlund (WC 13-14 boys). High point in B Division were Julia Dent (Springwood 6 and under girls), Gabriela Olds (Vista Diablo 7-8 girls), Jenna Armstrong (Gehringer Park 15-18 girls) and Chase Duarte (Gehringer Park 7-8 boys). Juliannah Colchico-Greeley

Concord Little League All-stars honored Concord’s three Little Leagues concluded the 2016 season naming all-stars teams for District 4 competition.

Anderson, Haley Brown, Makaella Cherepy, Grace Geisler, Sophia Miller, Taylor Nunez, Katie Pike, Ella Potts, Natalie Pursche, Clarice Reinwald, Karlie Seastrand, Emily Storn, Julianna CLAYTON VALLEY ALL-STARS Vandal. Baseball 9/10 year olds: Cassidy 12 year olds: Carson Baker, Baker, Sofia Carmichael, Damia Mason Bamberger, Joey Dern, Glaze, Lydia Lo, Jessie Lovett, Zander Friedman, Aiden Hopfner, Gianna Orozco, Julia Pauline, Jeremy LaGrave, Zak Rath, Noah Anja Perreira, Mikaela Pike, Molly Robinow, Jack Skow, Scott Reynolds, Isabella Scolini, Layla Tomaszewicz, Drew Warner, Ian Solis, Alyssa Teixeira. Wright; alternates-Ian Alexander, James Canclini. CONCORD AMERICAN 11 year olds: Ryan Buddle, ALL-STARS Ryan Cuddy, Cody DeMartini, Baseball Jake Dern, Casey Forester, Dylan 9/10 year olds A: Noah Bluth, Gentile, Dane Jorgensen, Gabe Lauricella, Daniel Sanna, Colton Kliwin Brown, Dylan Cesario, Seastrand, Jake Solis, Dominic Sean Cooke, Nicholas Fielding, Vines, Ryan Ward; alternate- Matthew Gartner, Noah Jones, Trevor Long, Mason Lovett, Justin Corbin Clifton. 10 year olds: Antonio Barra- Pelonio, Nicholas Roth, Manuel gan, Tyler Brown, Jack Dress, Serna, Christopher Veran. 9/10 year olds B: Zachary Aiden Hendricks, Ben Hosler, Barazoto, Zachary Berg, Chance Jackson Huffman, Nick Johnson, Nicholas Bressler, Nate Leuhs, Owen Luedtke, Nate Brass, Caycho, Ruben Mahoney, Joey Postlethwaite, Cameron Espinosa, Brock Hamilton, Bennett Shuey, Cayne Terry; alterKiyoi, Nathaniel nates-Landon Johnson, Derek Alexander Munoz, Xavier Picazo, Mathew Townsend. Pollard, Dominic Spencer, Tyler Swenson, Zachary Willsie. Softball 10/11 year olds: Dylan 11/12 year olds: Katelyn

Brandt, Ethan Byrnes-Escobar, Keoni Caban, Tanner Cunningham, Jonathan Down, Keenan Fitzgerald, Joshua Greer, Joshua Hovland, Connor McGhee, Mario Molino, Zachary Munoz, Sean Murphy, Zach Usedom, Damik Van Fanos. 11/12 year olds: Evan Baldocchi, James Brinkley, Dominic Cesario, Luke Chapman, Luciano Cimarra, Joe DeMaria, Nicholas Haynes, Mike Oatman, Dillan Raj, Elijah Wade, Tyler Wallace, Jameson Woodworth, Brady Zumalt. Intermediate (50/70) 13year-olds: Justin Bell, Hawk Benevent, Jack Bowen III, Isaac Burton, Ernesto Espinosa, Gianni Flores, Terrell Hopson, Josh Kiyoi, Gino Molino, Liam Moynihan, Isaac Owen, Marcos Torres, Nicholas Uecker, Nathan Withrow, Robert Andrew Weber.

Nathan VanderKlugt, Antonio Vazquez. 10/11 year olds Maroon: Jordan Bolden, Matt Campopiano, Gabe Duque, John Giannoutsos, Isabelle Gollehon, Michael Harris, Devon Henderson, Alex Johnsen, Coleman Kemper, Jacob Mitkov, Parker Tuffli, Rob Watson. 10/11 year olds Blue: Ryan Berrien, Jake Drew, Tyler Drew, Andrei Gabris, Aidan Grove, Spencer Lawrence, Toby Martin, Patrick O’Connor, Ches RednourBruckman, Kai Rednour-Bruckman, Charlie Walters, Charlie Waterman. 9/10 year olds Red: CJ Agulles, Ryan Collins, Jaden Fineberg, Brady Foster, Luke Foster, Christopher Giannini, Gavin Grove, David Harris, Aydan Jriyasetapong, Finley McLean, Christina Noonan, Tyler Stapf, Adam Tealdi. 9/10 year olds Grey: Cole CONTINENTAL LITTLE Benway, Max Britz, Nico CamLEAGUE ALL-STARS popiano, Jimmy Compton, Baseball 11/12 year olds Internatinal: Daniel Ray Dorst, Vincent Ellis, Ethan Amato. Nick Barksdale, Luciano Gallardo, Jake Jones, Logan Carter, Dominic Ellis, Cay- Noah Jennings, Ethan Lindquist, den Friedman, Joe Fulp, Reece JJ Mattingly, Marcus Scuttles, Ben Gaines, Ryan Gay, Ajani Gueye, Walters, John Wathen. Tommy Meriam, Nathaniel Shrag,

set a meet record in 9-10 girls 100-yard individual medley for Forest Park. Her teammates Lily Struempf in 9-10 backstroke and Kyla Joseph in 7-8 butterfly also set new city marks. Joseph beat a mark set 18 yearssZ ago. The other city meet record to fall from a Concord swimmer was by Naomi Hamilton of Bishop Estates besting the year-old 13-14 backstroke record. CITY MEET TEAM SCORES

A Division: Dana Hills Otters 1040.5, Forest Park Flyers 772, Walnut Country Stingrays 426, Springwood Sprinters 275.5, Oakhurst Orcas 273, Ygnacio Wood Seahorses 269, Pleasant Hill Dolfins 249, Forest Hills Beavers 216, Gehringer Park Gators 116.5, Bishop Estates Barracudas 91.5, Vista Diablo Dolphins 81, Crockett Crockett-iles 33. B Division: Forest Park 404.5, Dana Hills 278, Oakhurst 219, Walnut Country 212, Springwood 199, Pleasant Hill Dolfins 157, Forest Hills 153.5, Gehringer Park 153, Ygnacio Wood 129, Bishop Estates 127, Vista Diablo 98, Crockett 15.


Concord team finishers (top 3 City Meet) Bishop Estates: Brett Huston, Camryn Dauer, Gabby Mazzuca, Mia Collins, Adrienne Beaubien, Alysa Singson, Naomi Hamilton, Layne Taylor, Makenzie Draper, Sienna Ballot, Rylie Beaubien, Jude Lammers, Evan Beaubien, Amanda Dean, Alexa Huston. Forest Park: Kyla Joseph, Elizabeth Joseph, Joshua Beronilla, Ben Duran, Kyle Stilinovich, Juliana Colchico-Greeley, Conor Halley-McCarty, Jenna Beronilla, Jordan Barnes, Aubrey Newton, Tommy Martin, Bela Hernandez, Rayna Stanziano, Airiana Dargan, Evan Stanziano, Lily Struempf, Kahil Padilla, Mina Coartney, Dominic Jenevein,

Jiancarlos Benavente, Lilia Grutzmacher, Jaden Nieves, Zack Stilinovich, Lexi Reeves, Zoe Booth, Jordan Barnes, Kaylie Walker, Adrianna Simmons, Mickayla Sayre, Cameron Reinig, Alexis Steffensen, Sophie Struempf, Jameson Larsen, Juliana Della Santina, Penny Grutzmacher, JJ Barnes, Emma Tayas, Peter Smith, Vince Della Santina, Audrey Farmer, Colton Merrill, Austin Johnson, Aubrey Newton, Tyler Shelley, Dixon Roberts, Caitlin Biles, Sophie Struempf, Carter Shinn. Gehringer Park: Dylan Christie, Ibis Pond, Damien Donado, Gabe Guerrero, Julianna Sheehy, Olivia Price, Robert Sheehy, Jenna Armstrong, Chase Duarte, Kaylee Pond, Elisa Vale, Avery Boughton. Springwood: Enric Winters, Ty Vandevoir, Vincent York, Karlee Kronquist, Mateo Gonzalez, Matthew David, Sierra Georgiou, Amelia Bascom, Caitlyn Nash, Quinn Gonzalez, Hudson Freitas, Dylan Oliver, Nick Mucha, Mason Gonzalez, Chris Dent, Scarlett Ringue, Mia Van Fanos, Shawn Canada, Myles Scull, Julia Dent. Vista Diablo: Ellie Chapman, Keelan Shellooe, Nathan Stagmier, Gabriela Olds, Eren Tugcu, William Roloson, Corey Wetzstein, Cambra Lutz. Walnut Country: Charlotte James, Marco Tredinnick, Tyler Summers, Liliana Canfield, Chloe Mannion, Mason Wendler, Molly Sielman, Jacob Soderlund, Daniel Lewis, Katrina Chavez, Grace Soderlund, Lucas Lauria, Morgan Wendler, Brody McNally, Tanner Lustig, Leah Jensen, Declan McNally, Jonas Vela, Kaylie Bulmer, Grace McNally, Diego Navas, Kendall Utter, Cooper Kissack, Ireland Lewis, Jayla Kluver. Ygnacio Wood: Kaya Andresen, Amanda Ward, Katie O’Sullivan, Katelyn Smith, Alexandra Humann, Vernon Smith, Riley McCann, Reagan Shelley, Brady Lauer, Marcus Manuel, Aaron Easley, Tommy Meriam, Pamela Roscoe, Clara Decker, Madison Mitchell, Steven Galli, Jayla Kluver.

Diablo FC teams keeping busy near and far this summer

THE NEWLY-FORMED DIABLO FC 2003 NPL GIRLS TEAM started off with a championship in the third annual Jenna betti Memorial Tournament last month. The under 14 team has a busy summer and fall schedule capped by the Surf Cup in San Diego on the Thanksgiving Weekend. Diablo FC 2003 includes, front row from left, Kierra east, Kelly adams, Megan gherlone, isabelle barber, Hailey lopez; middle row, rylie Velez, Kylee gregory, amaia espinal, Haley Dunham, izzy brandt, natalie Haro, Peyton Wooten, Hannah Tealdi; back row, Dena betti (tournament director) and head coach Scott alexander. not pictured, Helena ban, gigi betti and lilly Underwood.

Photos courtesy Diablo FC

DIABLO FC 2003 NPL BOYS TRAVELED TO THE PRESTIGIOUS SURF CUP in San Diego earlier this month and won their U14 bracket before being blanked 2-0 by Juventus in the semi-finals. Veteran coach richard Weiszmann is leading this academy team. The Diablo FC 03 boys include, from left, Sebastian ramirez, Jacob Oledan, Max ramirez, alex Wohlford, Juanpablo Hernandez, Jonathan Wence, Marco Friio, bryce raizes, Caden Crabtree, Marcus Stich, isaac Morfin, gabriel Perez, iker Morales, adrian rodriquez, Kevin Murguia and Weiszmann. not, pictured, andre Vojtenyl and Julian Montes.

August 26, 2016

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

Athlete Spotlight Chase Duarte

Age: 8 Teams: Gehringer Park Swim Team Sports: Swimming, Basketball “The first few times I saw Chase swim his first year on the team, he struggled across the pool,” Gehringer Park co-head coach Dan Vale said of Chase Duarte. The coach adds, “By the end of the season he was a very competent swimmer but still not extraordinarily competitive. This year [his third on the

Gators along with older brother JJ], Chase has been more excited to swim and has worked hard to improve. He also has shown a great desire to compete for winning in all of his events.” He’s improved so much that he won highpoint honors for 7-8 boys B Division at the 50th Concord City Meet early this

month at Concord Community Pool. To earn the award he was first in both 25yard freestyle and breaststroke and fourth in butterfly. His mom Mindy says that free and back are his favorite strokes. Coach Vale says, “He has an asset to his competitive edge: he’s about eight inches taller than his competition. Another key asset is his attitude: Chase loves to win but is always positive even after a loss. He has fun just swimming and racing, no matter the outcome, which greatly distinguishes him from other swimmers.” The incoming fourth grader also uses that height playing basketball for ASA Hoops. The Concord Pioneer congratulates Chase 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

New league heightens expectations for local high school football teams JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

It will be a whole new world for most local high school sports teams when the new Diablo Athletic League seasons get under way in the next two months. With the seven former Diablo Valley Athletic League teams joining five schools from the Diablo Foothill Athletic League it allows the 12-team DAL to split into two conferences for each sports. This should make for much more competitive play through the majority of the fall season. Ygnacio Valley High coach Philip Puentes smile when he was asked about the new setup that will place the Warriors into the Conference with teams most in line with their enrollment and roster size. Mt. Diablo, Northgate, Berean Christian and Ygnacio should be more competitive on a weekin, week-out basis as they join College Park and Alhambra in the Foothill Conference for football. On the other end of the spectrum, Clayton Valley Charter coach Tim Murphy has taken his Eagles to two straight California CIF State Bowl games and he also feels much better about the teams his squad will face over the five weeks of the league season starting Oct. 7. Besides the annual battle with arch-rival Concord, CVCHS will face Campolindo, Miramonte, Acalanes and Las Lomas in the DAL Valley Conference.

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ygnacio Valley High head football coach Philip Puentes (right) is in his fifth season with the Warriors and he’s very excited about the new Diablo athletic league alignment that he says promises much more “competitive games” for the Warriors and the other five schools—Mt. Diablo, College Park, alhambra of Martinez, berean Christian and northgate in the Foothill conference. Senior leaders for yVHS this fall are, from left, quarterbacklinebacker Jaime Silva, tight end-linebacker Tony rodriguez and lineman Jovanny Ceballos.

CLAYTON VALLEY CHARTER Clayton Valley Charter’s Ugly Eagles football team has enjoyed unprecedented success the past four years, culminated the past two Decembers by appearances in the CIF State championship games. Returning seniors Koti Vaisima, Evan Barney and Jalen McKenzie have been named to the pre-season allNorth Coast Section first team. Lineman Ryan Fischer is a second-team all-NCS pick. McKenzie is a heavily-recruit-

ed lineman although he only played two downs last fall before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Murphy lost a handful of first-team all-DVAL graduates in Ray Jackson, Luis Ramos, Jamel Rosales, Jake Peralta, and Anatol Sklyar but they have strong reinforcements this fall. Running the offense will be Zia Rahmany who took over for Ramos late season before also being knocked out of action. His running backs include Akeal Lalaind and James Teofilo. They

Bob Ralston returns to Clayton Valley after five years at Cal State East Bay JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer


Page 13

After completing his most successful season at Cal State East Bay, Bob Ralston recently resigned as Pioneers head baseball coach and returned to Clayton Valley Charter High School as freshman academic advisor. The former Eagles baseball coach will be assisting his brother-in-law Casey Coakley coaching CVCHS baseball next spring. Ralston left Clayton Valley after the 2011 season to coach the Pioneers. Over the five years at Cal State he had three 30-win seasons and this year was voted 2016 California Collegiate Athletic Association Coach of the Year by the league’s head coach-

es and was named West Region Coach of the Year by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. “Cal State was a great experience but coaching in Division II sports is a 24/7 job,” Ralston said explaining that programs like Cal State don’t have the money for support staff. “You are always recruiting. You come home from a full day’s work and you get calls at all hours. I was not only head coach but wore many other hats—making sure players have apartments and that they are going to study hall and keeping up their GPA.I needed to make hotel reservations and get meal money.”

See Ralston, page 14

running attack will be tested early with a strong pre-season schedule for the Eagles including a game in Southern California’s Honor Bowl Sept. 3 against Helix of La Mesa. Murphy also points to sophomore Andre White, Masi Latu, Junior Alatini, Dwayne Alatini, Dino Marraccini, Adrian Dolo, Jack Fouts, Kyle Branco, Justin Roper and Jeff Williams as key components for the Eagles.

See Football, page 15

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August 26, 2016

CV High Hall of Fame coach Howard Marshall dies JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Howard Marshall made a lasting imprint on Clayton Valley High School girls basketball, coaching at the school for 13 years, the last 11 at the varsity level. He is the longest tenured head varsity girls bas-

ketball coach in the school’s nearly 60-year history. The CVHS Athletic Hall of Fame coach passed away at the age of 80 on July 11, 2016, in Pacific City, Oregon. He had the distinction of being the first CVHS basketball coach to take a team— boys or girls—to the North

Ralston, from page 13

His chief assistant and former Oakland A and San Francisco Giant Darren Lewis also stepped down. Ralston’s tone is upbeat when talking about returning to Clayton Valley. “I love working with kids,” the 54-year-old said. The Clayton resident won’t miss the one-hour plus commute to Hayward. He’ll also be able to see his son Bill play his senior season for the Eagles before he heads off to St. Mary’s College. “I was excited when I got the call from [CVCHS executive director Dave] Linzey. It was time to come back.” He will be working with what is apparently the school’s largest ever freshman class (about 650 students) in its nearly 60-year history. Ralston compiled a record of 134-114 during his stint at

CSUEB. His .540 overall winning percentage is the highest in program history and he’s the only Pioneer head coach to post a winning record during his tenure. In the last four years, his teams have posted three of the four 30-win seasons in program history. “I want to thank Coach Ralston and Coach Lewis for their hard work and dedication in service of Cal State East Bay student-athletes,” said director of intercollegiate athletics Joan McDermott  . “They elevated our baseball program to new heights in Division II and had a great deal of success in an extremely competitive conference. Bob and Darren will be very difficult to replace.” The past spring, Ralston’s Pioneers broke the program record with 33 victories, cap-

S ports Shorts


All skill levels are welcome to participate in the nine-week Diablo FC soccer fall recreation league in Concord. Players born between 2007 and 2012 will be grouped by age and skill levels to learn key fundamentals to being a successful soccer player with sessions and games on Tuesdays and Saturdays from Sept. 6 Nov. 5. Diablo FC professional staff will be the instructors. To register go to diablofc.org or email questions to director of coaching Zach Sullivan at docdiablofc@gmail.com.

Coast Section championship game and the first to go to the Northern California Championships. He coached his Clayton Valley teams to 195 wins for a career .635 winning percentage. Marshall played basketball at Regis University in his native Colorado. He coached boys

basketball at now defunct Pacifica High in West Pittsburg and Mt. Diablo High before stepping away for eight years “because it got to be real stressful. I started questioning my ability to coach.” Marshall had moved to a teaching position at Clayton Valley in 1980 when girls varsi-

tured a share of the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) North Division championship for the first time, reached the title game of the CCAA Tournament, qualified for the NCAA Division II West Regionals for the first time in 39 years and produced the University’s first CCAA MVP in any sport in senior All-America Rudy Navarro. 

He previously spent three seasons as head coach at St. Patrick-St. Vincent High in Vallejo from 1995-97, where he won two Sac-Joaquin Section titles. Overall, he compiled a 344-95 record as a high school head coach, collecting eight league championships and three section titles. He interrupted his Clayton Valley career in 2007-08 as head coach at Diablo Valley College, leading the Vikings to a California Community College Athletic Association NorCal Elite Eight appearance, a top-10 ranking in the state and a 54-39 record over his two years there. Ralston got his start in coaching as an assistant at Cal from 1990-91, helping the Bears to the NCAA Regional final, before moving on to serve as an assistant at DVC from 1992-94. Cal State East Bay Athletic Communications contributed to this story.

HEADED TO CAL STATE Ralston went to Cal State East Bay in the summer of 2011 following 11 years as the head baseball coach at Clayton Valley, where he captured seven league titles and a North Coast Section championship in 2009, as well as three other NCS championship game appearances. During his tenure, Ralston guided the Eagles to their best season record (24-3), most wins (26) and best season batting average (.394) in program history.


A 21-year-old soldier who played football at De La Salle High School died after falling ill during his first day of U.S. Army Ranger School in Georgia late last month. Second Lt. Michael Parros died after being treated for hyponatremia, a condition in which the level of sodium in the blood is too low, according to Army officials at Fort Benning where he was in training. He had reported to Fort Benning for training after graduating from the U.S. Army Military Academy in May. He was a versatile football player at De La Salle in the 2010 and 2011 varsity seasons when the Spartans won back-to-back state titles and were national champions in 2010. He played quarterback, wide receiver and defensive back for former head coach Bob Ladouceur and went on to play football, hockey and soccer at West Point. Ladouceur said Parros was a “great team player” who displayed leadership qualities that transcended football. “It’s definitely shocking and it’s heartbreaking,” Ladouceur said. “He had such a bright future ahead of him.”

SHUFFLE THE CARDS FOR CVCHS CASINO NIGHT FOOTBALL BENEFIT SEPT. 17 Clayton Valley Charter football is hosting its fifth annual Casino Night Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament and dinner on Saturday, Sept. 17, benefiting the Ugly Eagles football program. Prize money of up to $500 for first place will be offered for the tournament. Tickets for poker and dinner or dinner only are FOREST PARK FALL CLINICS OFFER available now. Dinner begins at 6 p.m. with the poker tournament at 8 o’clock in Centre Concord. Dinner is catered by Lisa 1-2-3 DAY SWIM PROGRAMS V and DJ Mike provides the music. Tickets available at claytonForest Park Swim Team coach Jeff Mellinger is holding fall valleyfootball.com. Call 984-9089 or send email to: swim clinics beginning Sept. 7 and running through Thanksgivcvchsfootball@gmail.com for more information. ing. Swimmers can choose from one-, two- or three-day weekly options. Coach Mellinger has been with Forest Park for 17 years. WALNUT CREEK AQUANUTS PRESENT ANNUAL For complete clinic information him at RIO-THEMED SHOW SEPT. 1-4 jeff.mellinger@gmail.com, The athletes and coaches of the Walnut Creek Aquanuts synST. BONAVENTURE CYO BASKETBALL chronized swimming club will dazzle fans with their 47th annual Labor Day Weekend fall show Sept 1-4 celebrating this Summer TAKING SIGNUPS ONLINE Olympics, “Nuts about Rio: Faster, Higher, Stronger.” The fall Signups for boys and girls in second through eighth grades show emphasizes the artistic side of synchronized swimming-- for the St. Bonaventure basketball CYO program are being taken complete with glittering costumes, stunning makeup and an online at stbonaventurecyo.com. For more information call 672amazing set—and showcases not only Olympic athletes but also 5774. young athletes in their very first synchronized swimming perSPRINGWOOD FALL SWIM CLINIC BEGINS SEPT. 7 formances. The show will depict athletic achievements in a variCoach Niki Rodriguez is offering a fall swim clinic at Springety of sports and feature the Aquanut’s homegrown 2012 and 2016 Olympian Mariya Koroleva, 2012 Olympian Szofi Kiss and wood Pool in Concord starting Sept. 7 through Nov. 19. Boys collegiate alumnae. The show runs Sept. 1-4 at the Clarke and girls up to 18 years old will get instruction in the four strokes Memorial Swim Center at Heather Farm Park. For more infor- over the 11-week program on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoon sessions at 3:30-4:30 p.m. or 4:30-5:30 p.m. mation and tickets visit aquanauts.com. Email coach Rodriguez at swimchic2369@gmail.com for more ST. BONAVENTURE CYO CROSS COUNTRY information. PRACTICE UNDERWAY

ST. AGNES CYO BASKETBALL St. Bonaventure CYO cross country is open to boys and girls ACCEPTING REGISTRATIONS in 2nd-8th grades in the St. Bonaventure attendance area. Cross Players in second through eighth grades can apply for St. country is a short, family-oriented season with practices Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5:30 p.m. in Newhall Park. The pro- Agnes CYO basketball by contacting the St. Agnes basketball gram is also looking for volunteer coaches. Parents are highly athletic director at stagnescyo@sbcglobal.net. encouraged to run with their children at practices. Friday meets WALNUT COUNTRY EAGLE RAYS begin Sept. 23 with the Oakland Diocese meet Oct. 21. Contact FALL CLINIC TAKING SIGNUPS St. Bonaventure CYO athletic director Joe Sullivan at 969-0207, Walnut Country Swim Team head coach Adrian Lohse develemail johnmercurio@astound.net or visit stbonaventurecyo.com oped the Eagle Rays swim programs as a supplement to summer for more info.

ty coach Roger Zino asked him to coach the junior varsity. Zino said, “I told him ‘Let’s get with it. You’re taking home all that knowledge. Let’s use it.’” Two years later Zino and Marshall swapped teams, starting his 11 years with the varsity Eagles. In four seasons from 1985 to 1988, his team won three league championships and was second once. The 1988 team was runner-up at NCS and went to the Northern California Championships. He was inducted to the CVHS Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010, the same year he was the presenter of his 1988 girls basketball team to the Hall. His son Steve was inducted into the CVHS Hall of Fame in 2008 as part of the 1977 State Champion wrestling team. Marshall spent most of his early life in Napa, graduating from Napa High and Napa Junior College. He attended Regis on a basketball scholarship, teaching and coaching there after graduation. He was married in 1958 to Jeanne Nielsen Marshall. In 1964, the family moved to Concord where he taught school in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District for 32 years (retiring in 1996), coaching boys and girls basketball for over 600 games and 25 years.

HOWARD MARSHALL JAN. 24, 1936 — JULY 11, 2016

He is survived by his wife of 58 years Jeanne; four sons, Steve, Greg, Matt and Kent Marshall; brother, Ray Marshall, sister Elnora Allison, nine grandchildren and one great granddaughter. There will be a memorial Mass in the Chapel at St. Bonaventure Church in Concord on Saturday, Sept. 3. Mass will be at 11:30 a.m. with a potluck reception following in the church hall. Donations can be made to the ALS Foundation at Duke University or Oregon State University.

recreational swimming. The 10-week fall program Sept. 6-Nov. 10 offers summer recreational swimmers of all abilities a chance to improve their strokes. One afternoon program is for up to four days a week while other sessions are held for beginners Monday-Wednesday or advanced swimmers on Tuesday-Thursday. For more info email coachadrianswim@gmail.com or visit walnutcountryeaglerays.com.


The Clayton Valley Little League Fall Ball program is accepting boys and girls for baseball (8-12 years old) and softball (12 and under). The three-month program starts this month with practice and will include practices and games through October with a focus on fundamentals. For more information and to register visit cvll.org.


Local competitive soccer club Diablo FC will hold its 3rd annual fundraising Poker Night on Friday, Sept. 9. There will be dinner before gaming starts at Pleasant Hill Community Center. The poker tournament will have gift certificate prizes up to $600. For more information or to sign up visit diablofc.org.


Clayton Valley High School Athletic Hall of Fame will induct its fifth class on Friday, May 19, 2017 at the Shadelands Art Center in Walnut Creek. The Hall of Fame committee is seeking nominees for that 2017 induction class. Nominees must be a CVHS grad from 1959-2006 and was all-league in at least one sport. Nomination forms can be picked up at the high school office during business hours. Contact Herc Pardi herc_pardi@hotmail.com or Dee Billeter deebilleter@yahoo.com with any questions. The committee will accept completed forms until Oct. 15.


The renowned Terrapins Swim Team will be hosting its annual Fall Stoke Improvement Program from Sept. 12 to Dec. 11 at Concord Community Pool. The program offers rec swimmers six-year-olds through high school the opportunity to train under the professional Terrapin staff for three months. Limited clinic registration is now being taken online at terrapinswim.com. The Terrapins year-round USA Swimming program is also accepting applications now for its fall season that begins Aug. 29. Call 680-8372 or visit terrapinswim.com.


Fall and winter programs offered by All Out Sports Leagues in Clayton are taking registration now online. Open leagues include summer/fall adult softball, fall youth volleyball and fall/winter youth basketball leagues. For complete information on All Out Sports programs, visit alloutsportsleague.com.

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August 26, 2016

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

22nd Devil Mountain Pentathlon rewards versatility in rec swimmers JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

Local swimmers tuned up for the two big August endof-season meets by taking part in the 22nd annual Devil Mountain Pentathlon last month in Clayton hosted by Dana Hills Swim Team. The meet’s unique format had each athlete swimming five events with their cumulative time determining award winners in A and B divisions. The Devil Mountain Pentathlon entertained over 1000 swimmers on 15 teams. Concord teams Walnut Country and Ygnacio Wood were top finishers in the meet as host Dana Hills does not participate in the team scoring. Walnut Country’s Tyler Summers (7-8 boys) and

Jacob Soderlund (13-14 boys) were A Division champions. Ygnacio Wood had five division winners including Riley McCann (6 and under girls A), Kaya Andresen (7-8 girls A), Alexandra Humann (1518 girls A), Haley Darr (15-18 girls B) and Maxwel Silverberg (15-18 boys B).

6 & under: 8. Sophia Priddy (WC). 7-8: 5. Charlotte James (WC). 9-10: 2. Malu Scalia (Vista Diablo), 7. Kennedy Kissack (WC). 11-12: 6. Alexandra Tredinnick (WC), 8. Courtney Ward (YW). 13-14: 4. Aynsley Byrd MEDAL WINNERS FOR CON- (WC), 5. Katrina Chavez (WC). CORD TEAMS: 15-18: 1. Darr, 3. Margaret Girls A Division York (SP), 4. Kristina Macaluso 6 & under: 1. McCann, 7. (BE), 8. Alyssa House (YW). Kaleigh Diaz (YW). 7-8: 1. Andresen. Boys A Division 9-10: 6. Grace McNally 6 & under: 2. Morgan (WC). Wendler (WC), 4. Ryan Lingen13-14: 3. Enya Castaneda felter (VDD), 7. Zach Malm(WC), 6. Julianna Knipstein strom (VDD). (Bishop Estates). 7-8: 1. Summers, 2. Tanner 15-18: 1. Humann, 7. Kar- Lustig (WC). lee Kronquist (SW). 9-10: 2. Mason Wendler (WC), 3. Daniel Lewis (WC). Girls B Division 11-12: 3. Tommy Meriam

(YW). 13-14: 1. Soderlund, 4. Vincent York (SP), 6. Theodore Wu (WC). 15-18: 3, Vernon Smith (YW), 8. Tony Beckon (WC).

faces his toughest challenge this year with such an inexperienced squad. Abel Ordaz is projected as starting quarterback without any varsity experience behind center. He will look at tight end Luke Freeman for receiving help while Robinson, Jonathan Hackett and White will be ball carriers. The Spartans at-large schedule includes a game in Orange County against Servite and host East of Salt Lake City, Utah but the main attraction will be when Antioch and the No. 1 high school running back in America Najee Harris visits the Concord school Sept. 23.

Concord- 8/26 at Wood (Vacaville), 9/2 at Mt. Diablo, 9/9 College Park, 9/16 Liberty (Brentwood), 9/23 Benicia. De La Salle- 8/26 Amador Valley, 9/2 Serra (San Mateo), 9/9 at Servite (Anaheim), 9/16 East (Salt Lake City, UT), 9/23 Antioch. Mt. Diablo- 8/26 Hercules, 9/2 Concord, 9/9 at Miramonte, 9/16 De Anza, 9/23 at Oakland. Northgate- 8/26 Rodriguez (Fairfield), 9/2 Windsor, 9/9 at Las Lomas, 9/16 Bethel (Vallejo), 9/23 at Alameda. Ygnacio Valley- 8/26 St. Patrick-St. Vincent (Vallejo), 9/2 at Las Lomas, 9/9 at De Anza, 9/16 Hercules, 9/23 Fremont (Oakland).

Football, from page 13

Jason rogers photo

SENIOR RYAN FISCHER (69) will be counted on along with his fellow guard Jack Fouts to clear the way for backs in the run-oriented Clayton Valley Charter offense. an all-league guard last year, Fischer has added about 10 pounds this off-season as the eagles face their most ambitious ever football schedule beginning aug. 26 hosting reed High from Sparks, nV.

CONCORD Head coach Mark Bywater has been coaching nearly 30 years, including stints at his alma mater Skyline of Oakland, Miramonte, Campolindo and Dublin. He used that experience when he stepped into the Minuteman’s position last summer after long-time coach Brian Hamilton took a coaching position at Cal Berkeley. Bywater’s team went all the way to the finals of the NCS Division II playoffs before suffering a 23-22 defeat to Clayton Valley Charter, a second straight title game loss to the Eagles. Junior quarterback Nick Nunez will hope to run an offense that can keep up with the high-scoring teams in the new league. Nunez earned second-team all-DVAL honors as a sophomore. Bywater says linebacker Alex Cruz will anchor the defense. The head coach says, “It’s been a long time since the league was shaken up with realignment. Our plyers are looking forward to the challenges. We have a very tough schedule and an equally difficult league.” He went to say the

players have “worked exceptionally hard over a long summer to improve and prepare for the rigors of the new league.”

DE LA SALLE In 2015 coach Justin Alumbaugh had a roster loaded with veterans including 5-Star recruits and pre-season allAmerica selections Devin Asiasi and Boss Tagaloa, lost their first game in Texas and then rolled through the schedule to a second-straight State Open Division championship and at least one mythical national title. With all that experience a year ago went 32 senior graduates. Of the 27 juniors on this year’s DLS roster only six played varsity last year. Senior back Tre White is the only preseason all-NCS first teamer for the Spartans this fall. Also gaining pre-season honors are juniors Kairee Robinson, Jackson Walsh and Tuli Letuligasenoa along with seniors Logan Nonies and Isaia Taotua. Alumbaugh has a 41-2 record in his three years at the helm after replacing legendary coach Bob Ladouceur but

YGNACIO VALLEY Puentes begins his fifth year in charge of the Warriors. They reached the 2014 NCS playoffs and hope the more competitive DAL schedule to give them another shot at the post-season. “Our expectations for this team is get 11 guys to play as one, work together as one heartbeat. Must be able to look each other in the eye at the end of each game and truthfully let them know that you gave your teammates everything you had,” Puentes says. He lists as top returning players seniors Tony Rodriguez (TE/DL), Oscar Solis (OL/DL), Jaime Silva (QB/LB), Kionte Zerai (QB/DB), Darius McVay (RB/DB), Christian Ochoa (OL/DL), Jovanny Ceballos (OL/DL) and CJ Garcia (TE/DB). Newcomers to Ygnacio varsity include Jean Felix (FB/LB), Andy Palacios (OL/DL), Christian Park (RB/LB), Jose Ruiz (OL/DL), Leo Quezada (RB/DB) and sophomore Alex Lopez (FB/LB). NON-LEAGUE SCHEDULES Clayton Valley Charter8/26 Reed (Sparks, NV), 9/3 Helix (La Mesa) Honor Bowl in Mission Viejo, 9/9 Canyon Springs (North Las Vegas), 9/16 at James Logan (Union City), 9/23 at Deer Valley (Antioch).

Boys B Division 6 & under: 3. Everett Peters (VDD), 6. Nick Mucha (SW). 7-8: 3. Jake Dobbs (WC), 5. Joey Mucha (SP), 7. Liam Fruchtenicht (WC). 9-10: 8. Owen Fruchtenicht (WC). 11-12: 2. Aaron Easley (YW), 3. Brian Mucha (SP), 7. Diego Navas (WC). 13-14: 5. Grant Sielman (WC). 15-18: 1. Silverberg, 2. Connor Pierce (YW), 4. Brady Lauer (YW), 7. Steven Galli (YW).

Page 15

Like to talk Bay Area sports?

How about writing about them in a monthly column for the Pioneer?

The Pioneer newspapers are looking for someone interested in writing a monthly column about Bay Area professional and college sports. This is the chance to give your opinions on Bay Area professional teams and the leagues they play in. For the past three years our readers have enjoyed our SportsTalk column with sports takes of Tyler Lehman. He started writing for us in 2013 about the Raiders, 49ers, Giants, A’s, Warriors and more while he was a student at Diablo Valley College. He transferred to San Francisco State and continued his column. He recently graduated and is starting his professional journalism career. We’re looking for someone who would like to follow in Tyler’s footsteps, giving us their take on local teams and national matters impacting pro and college sports. We don’t offer any monetary remuneration for the column but our sports editor Jay Bedecarre will give editing and style guidance and the published columns will certainly add to a writer’s portfolio. Anyone interested in this assignment should send a letter of interest and writing samples to sports@claytonpioneer.com. If a prospective writer has any questions they can address them to the same email address.



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Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

August 26, 2016

Expanded freshman class increases CVCHS over 2,200 JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

Clayton Valley Charter High School began is fifth year as a charter this month with a freshman class that includes about 150 more students than in the past couple of decades as CVCHS seeks to partially meet the demand of families wanting placement in the school. For the past several years, Clayton Valley Charter has had a lengthy waitlist of students wanting to get into the area’s only charter high school. In March, the CVCHS governing board greenlighted the administration’s request to increase enrollment “up to the capacity

of the facilities,” citing a need for additional students to keep the charter’s budget balanced. This year’s student body is expected to number 2,200. Second-year principal Jeff Eben says the freshman class of 2020 will have between 600 and 650 students. Another class of this size will not happen until this 2020 group graduates. To meet this additional student count, the school freed up a half dozen classrooms that had been used for other purposes. Over the summer, they also made a number of technology enhancements for faculty and students. There had been some discussion about split lunch periods to accommodate the larger

Mt. Diablo High Liane Cismowski MDHS PRINCIPAL

MDHS gears up on all fronts for new school year

The Mt. Diablo High School Red Devils are looking forward to another wonderful school year. As a Wall to Wall Academy comprehensive high school, Mt. Diablo is dedicated to providing an exciting, challenging

and rewarding learning environment for all students. This summer, our academy teacher teams met often to ensure that all students are prepared for college, career and civic responsibility. Our staff is opening the

student body, but that idea was not implemented. The larger enrollment does not impact which division Clayton Valley Charter sports teams are placed in the North Coast Section in 2016-17, even though it surpasses the 2,000 student threshold. Commissioner Gil Lemmon says NCS has adopted a new division placement policy in several sports that primarily take competitive factors into account when placing teams. The two-time State finalist CVCHS football team will be playing in the top NCS playoff division this fall against the likes of De La Salle, Monte Vista, Antioch and Pittsburg. In other sports such as cross country, tennis and soccer,

enrollment will still be used for school placement. Lemmon said that CVCHS’s 2015-16 enrollment figure of 1,985 was used for this year’s placement. The school has moved to the new 12-school Diablo Athletic League this year, with its teams matched against the six other former Diablo Valley Athletic League schools it has been with for the past four years plus Miramonte, Las Lomas, Campolindo, Alhambra and Acalanes. Early this month, the school worked out an arrangement with the city of Concord to use parking spaces at the Daniel Boatwright Sports Fields below the Cal State East Bay Concord Campus near the corner of Alberta Way and

school year with specialized training in academic language support for English learners called “Constructing Meaning.” This program ensures the academic achievement of English learners through a comprehensive approach for developing English proficiency. “Constructing Meaning” provides teachers with the process and tools for weaving explicit language instruction into content area teaching. Over the course of the year, teachers will have five days of training on how to provide explicit academic language instruction in every class, every day. Another area which we would like to strengthen is parent outreach. The Spanish/ English bilingual parent liaison, Carla Solari, is available 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. every day to

meet with parents, answer questions and encourage parent participation. There are many ways for adults to participate as parent leaders and community volunteers at MDHS. Mount’s Angels (our parent/teacher/ student group), English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC) meetings, sports boosters and general volunteering at Walk Through, Teacher Appreciation Days and Open House are just a few opportunities. This promises to be a great year for students, families, staff and the community. Watch this space for more information about MDHS events. It’s a great year to be a Red Devil.

Pine Hollow Road for additional student parking. Although the increased enrollment is primarily among nondriving freshmen, the school says the spaces will help keep surface street parking around the campus available for residents. The school will pay the city $850 a month during the school year for the sublease. CVCHS will provide crossing guards across Ygnacio Valley Road each morning and afternoon, as well as monitor the parking area a minimum of three times daily. CVCHS also intends to use a supplemental parking lot at the

Concord High Aasim Yahya


New faces in admin, Link Crew welcomes class of 2020

As summer draws to a close, Concord High School is excited for its 50th year of green and gold. This year includes bringing back old traditions and embracing new changes. One of the biggest changes is the addition of two new CHS administrators. We are glad to welcome Ron Little and Send comments and questions to edi- Heather Veasley. Along with tor@concordpioneer.com our new admin, we are implementing a unique point and scanner system. The scanners can instantly distribute points to students for things such as dressing for Spirit Week. These points can then be redeemed for gear at the Spirit Shack. The Link Crew program is back to work as the class of 2020 walks into the halls of Concord High. Link Crew is a national program that allows juniors and seniors to act as mentors for incoming fresh-

Clayton Valley Charter High Jeff Eben CVCHS PRINCIPAL

Teachers teach teachers to empower students

At Clayton Valley Charter High School, one of the core principles for academic success is ensuring students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to compete in the 21st century workforce, solve important challenges and contribute to the global marketplace of ideas. Teachers play an immeasurable role by empowering students with cutting-edge instructional programs and fostering a culture of academic excellence. One such teacher is Scott Farquhar, who was nationally recognized as a Project Lead The Way (PLTW) master teacher. PLTW is a nonprofit

organization that provides transformational learning experiences to K-12 students and teachers through innovative pathways in computer science, engineering and biomedical science. Farquhar spent the past summer at Cal Poly Pomona, teaching fellow educators from around the country the importance of empowering students and transforming  the classroom into a collaboration space where content comes to life. PLTW course instruction is vital to modern students who seek to apply to an engineering program at a university or obtain a career in a technical

Lydia Lim will be directing the marching band, symphonic band and orchestra as well as competitive, audition-only, wind ensemble and jazz band at Clayton Valley Charter High School. Lim earned her bachelor’s of music and master’s in music education from USC. She most recently worked with the award-winning Foothill High School music program in Pleasanton, where they became one of the most awarded and

successful marching bands in the state. She has been working work with CVCHS’s marching band over the summer, preparing a new field show featuring music from “Pirates of the Caribbean.” The Instrumental Music Boosters have much more in store this year, including a benefit concert, dinner and live auction Oct. 7 and more local performance opportunities. The boosters are also rais-

Scott Farquhar (standing) brings experience and passion to the classroom in the engineering and Design academy.

field following high school. At CVCHS, Farquhar brings his passion as a dedicated instructor for the Engineering and Design Academy. The school provides a firm educational foundation in math and science, enhanced by problem-solving and engineering applications. We emphasize the critical thinking, collaboration

and teamwork skills necessary in our increasingly technological world. The academy is more than just science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). It’s about learning real skills, solving real problems and making real discoveries about the world. Send comments and questions to editor@concordpioneer.com

Clayton Valley Charter welcomes new instrumental music direrector ing funds for much-needed instruments as well as a spring trip to Boston for music students to attend educational clinics and perform at the acclaimed Berklee School of Music. The boosters have lofty goals and aspirations for the young, passionate musicians and look forward to sharing beautiful music with the community. For more information, visit www.claytonbands.org.


rear of the school off Academy Road to accommodate parking demand for early A-period students, who typically have an earlier dismissal schedule to spread out the afternoon traffic load. In June, the CVCHS board ratified a three-year contract with the Clayton Valley Education Association giving the teachers (and thus all school personnel) a three percent raise retroactive to the beginning of 2016. Long-time teacher Kipp Penovich has left the school and collaborative education codepartment chair Robin Soto is currently replacing him as the teacher’s union rep.

men. The program’s weekly meetings help ease the transition into high school. CHS’s award-winning band program has been prepping all summer for the winter competitions. The band and auxiliary unit are marching toward the first competition of the year, Walnut Fest on Sept. 17. Meanwhile, the football program is ready to tackle the league. Despite the loss of several key seniors, young leaders are emerging across the team. They are ready to prove the work ethic that is a strong value on the CHS campus. After 50 years, CHS continues traditions while constantly finding ways to improve. We are proud. We are passionate. We are Minutemen. Aasim Yahya is a junior. He has a passion for basketball.. Send comments to editor@concord pioneer.com

Carondelet Laura McFarland


Cougar athletes gain new territory

As the new school year starts, Carondelet has unveiled plans for purchasing a new athletic complex for its student athletes. Because Carondelet was founded in 1965, when little emphasis was placed on women’s sports, the campus contains only a small gym and a scattering of tennis courts. Carondelet athletes must hold swim and diving practice at the De La Salle pool across the street, and soccer, lacrosse and softball practices at various parks up to 30 minutes away. “It’s really difficult to figure out transportation since we practiced off campus,” notes former lacrosse player Sydney Moore. “Often times, we had to run to a park several miles away while our coaches brought our gear in their cars.” With nearly 500 student athletes, Carondelet needs a

central location for practices and games. The new athletic complex, formerly ClubSport Valley Vista, will provide practice space as well as a “home turf ” for the previously nomadic Cougar teams. Located 2½ miles from the school, the complex will feature soccer, lacrosse and softball fields, as well as an aquatic center with a full-sized pool and diving area. Six new tennis courts will be adjacent to new facilities for strength and conditioning, training and rehabilitation. If all goes to plan, the facility will be ready for student use at the beginning of the 2017’18 school year.

McFarland is a senior at Carondelet High School and a member of the cross country team. Send comments and questions to editor@concordpioneer.com

August 26, 2016

Ygnacio Valley High Lauren Curtis


Understanding the key to strong leadership

With the presidential election quickly approaching, I find myself thinking about the characteristics and qualities I would like to find in leaders – whether it’s our country or our school.

I think the most important characteristic of a leader is a willingness to do the work involved with the title. I’ve seen people who want the title of president of a club or organization, yet they have no

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

desire to do the work involved with the position. Being a member of ASB Leadership at Ygnacio Valley, I know it’s important to lead by example. When something is going on or needs to be done on campus, I know that I need to be involved to encourage others to get involved as well. I can’t expect others to do what I am not willing to do. I shouldn’t have to wear an item of clothing that establishes my position in a class or club on campus for people to know my motivation to make the school a better place. They should see my willingness

based on my actions and service to the school. A lot of times, leaders will say something along the lines of “You are nothing without me.” That is a wrong approach. Without others and their wants and needs, you have no one to lead. Instead, these leaders should be saying “I am nothing without you.” As we head into this election, it’s important to think about what we want in our leaders now and into the future.

Page 17

District may reopen Holbrook Elementary

JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

When Mt. Diablo Unified School District facilities Send comments and questions to sprung into action this week editor@concordpioneer.com for the 2016-17 school year, Holbrook Elementary was not among those busy sites for the sixth consecutive year. That may be changing as the MDUSD Board of Education was scheduled this week to discuss re-opening the first school in the district to sought help and guidance Crew program. Now, it is fea- 1950s-era site in North Conhave Link Crew. In the last from YV program directors tured at all of the district’s cord beginning a year from now. two years, Northgate High to set up their own Link high schools. Superintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer and her staff presented the board with four options of “strong instructional programs” at a re-opened Holbrook: model education center, magnet school, theme-based (arts, STEM, technology, project-based) or dual language. It is projected Holbrook would initially open with kindergarten through second or third grade and then add a grade each school year through sixth grade. In 2011 the board voted to close Holbrook and nearby

Link Crew helps ease freshman transition MEMORY WOODARD Special to the Pioneer

Link Crew is a high school transition program that welcomes freshmen and helps them feel comfortable throughout the first year of their high school experience. Built on the belief that students can help other students succeed, Boomerang Project’s proven high school transition program trains mentors from junior and senior classes to be Link Crew leaders. As positive role models, Link Crew leaders guide freshmen to discover what it takes to be successful during the transition to high school and help facilitate freshman success. More and more studies show that if students have a positive experience their first year in high school, their chance for success increases dramatically. Link Crew provides the structure for freshmen to receive support and guidance from juniors and seniors who have been through challenges that high school poses and understand that the transition to a larger school can be overwhelming. Ygnacio Valley was the

Childcare/Preschool YV PRINCIPAL EFA HUCKABY, center standing, receives a check for $2,500 from Memory Woodard, director of youth Services of the rotary Club of Concord, on aug. 17. The rotary has annually funded yV’s link Crew for nearly the last 10 years. also pictured are seven of the 130 link Crew leaders and three of four program directors. Seated are lauren Curtis, Kelly Cooper and daughter leah, erica Huie, Corissa Stobing, Hunter Caldwell and Miriam escobedo. Standing are lynn Keller-redding, geremy alberto, anthony arias and natalie Hastings.

Mt. Diablo, from page 11

parcel in Curry Canyon in Morgan Territory and several along Marsh Creek Road. The value of a house may have been much of the property’s acquisition cost, and resale allows SMD to both protect the property’s resources and to recoup that cost for additional preservation. Ted Clement, SMD’s new executive director, started this initiative based on his years of work with conservation easements and Conservation Buyer efforts. “A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and a qualified organization, such as a land trust, to protect the natural or cultural resources on that land forever,” Clement said. “In our area, development threatens unique habitat, creates a huge barrier to the movement of wildlife and also depletes essential components of the ecosystem, such as water.” Meredith Hendricks, the group’s land programs director, said the new program will ultimately help preserve more land in the Diablo wilderness. “The conservation easements will protect the resources we purchased the property to save and allow the landowner to live in and maintain their homes, as they normally would,” Hendricks said. “We work with the landowner to reach a permanent agreement that gives

Glenbrook Middle School citing declining enrollment plus a cost savings of $1.5 million per year. In order to get Holbrook back up to speed the District estimates needed heating and air conditioning, restrooms, technology, flooring, painting, windows, playgrounds, kitchen equipment/repairs and roofing will cost about $4.6 million, largely funded by Measure C. In addition, another $660,000 of computers, classroom furniture, instruments and library books will need to be purchased using Measure A funds, bringing total cost estimate to $5.3 million. Staff says that needed design work has to begin almost immediately in order to be able to complete all the work in time for the next school year. They further say a principal will be hired by the end of this year to begin assembling a staff, work on curriculum and myriad other projects. A community survey is planned for this fall along with public meetings in November and February.

them the flexibility they need within a small portion of the property, usually an acre or less, while conserving the habitat over the vast majority of the property.” Save Mount Diablo was founded in 1971 with the goal of quickly turning land acquisitions over to park agencies for long-term management. Much of the land SMD has purchased over the years is now incorporated into Mt. Diablo State Park or the East Bay Regional Park District. However, park agency transfers became more difficult around 2000, when the state park system dramatically slowed in accepting new properties. The last SMD parcel transferred to Mt. Diablo State Park was the 20-acre Morgan Red Corral in 2005. Kim Morucci of J. Rockcliff Realtors is the listing agent for four properties to be sold with conservation easements. A seven-acre site in Curry Canyon is currently listed for $500,000 in an area of million dollar homes. Morucci, who lives on Morgan Territory is not worried that a sale at this price will affect property values in the pricey rural neighborhood. “The home is a 35-year-old modular with some water issues,” she said. “Combined with the easement, the property will not be considered a comparable property when

real estate agents are pricing new listings to sell.” Several other parcels on Marsh Creek Road are not yet on the market. One site has a home, while the others are bare land. According to Clement, the conservation easement limits some of the landowners’ rights on the property in order to protect the property’s conservation values, such as habitat and wildlife. The easements will prohibit subdividing property for addi-

tional homes, protect creek corridors and protect habitat such as the oak woodlands. Some of the easements may reserve trail and access rights. In some cases, conservation easements may offer lowered property taxes, income taxes and/or estate taxes for the owner. For more information, visit www.savemountdiablo.org/lands_ conservation_buyers.html or contact Meredith Hendricks by email at mhendricks@savemountdiablo.org.

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Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

August 26, 2016

From ‘Fiddler’ to ‘Charlie Brown’ to Sinatra, fall theater is revved up Sinatra in a Vegas-style tribute show. Poretz will create an intimate, after-hours atmosphere reminiscent of the swinging ’60s in a special performance 3 p.m. Sept. 11 at the El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. 2nd St., Antioch. Poretz will perform favorites such as “That’s Life,” “The Best Is Yet To Come,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and “New York, New York.” Tickets are $25 and can be reserved by calling 925-7579500 or by going to www.elcampaniltheatre.com.


STAGE STRUCK Lots going on in the coming weeks as theaters ramp up their fall seasons after a busy summer of camps and workshops. Pittsburg Community Theatre opens its season with the popular musical “Fiddler on the Roof,” Sept. 16-25 at the California Theatre in downtown Pittsburg. Directed by Steven Mergogey-Conti and with musical direction by Carille Bruno-Thayer, the show is set in the little village of Anatevka. Tevye, a poor dairyman, and his wife are raising five daughters with the help of their colorful and tight-knit Jewish community. For more information, go to www.pittsburghcommunitytheatre.org. Clayton Theatre Company is busy preparing “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”

BILL DIETZ, SHEILAH MORRISON AND LYNN ELIZONDO star in Onstage Theatre’s “The Last Romance,” at the Campbell in Martinez through Oct. 1.

THE HIGHLIGHT OF THIS YEAR’S EUGENE O’NEILL FESTIVAL, subtitled (R)Evolution, features “Seascape” and “The Emperor Jones.”

for October performances at Endeavor Hall in Clayton. Directed by Roxanne Pardi with choreography by LaTonya Watts, the show features James Bradley Jr. as Charlie Brown, Gretchen Lee Salter as Sally,


CINDY GOLDFIELD, JEREMY KAHN AND MAUREEN MCVERRY in Center Rep’s comedy “It Shoulda Been You,” opening Sept. 2 at the Lesher Center.

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Jennifer Katzer as Lucy, Alan McElroy as Schroeder, Jason Knott as Linus and Jeffie Givens as Snoopy. For tickets, go to www.brownpaper tickets.com. Onstage Theatre celebrates love later in life with its production of Joe DiPietro’s “The Last Romance,” Sept. 16-Oct. 1 at the Campbell Theatre, 636 Ward St., Martinez. The romantic comedy follows Ralph, an 80-year-old widower who attempts to woo the elegant, but distant Carol in this funny, yet heartwarming story. Helen Means directs, with Bill Dietz as the widower, Sheilah Morrison as Carol and Lynn Elizondo as Ralph’s sister. For tickets, call 925-5183277. Eugene O’Neill fans will want to catch the 17th Eugene O’Neill Festival in Danville. It

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Torchia and a solid acting ensemble make this a must-see show. It runs through Sept. 4. Call 510-548-9666 or go to www.calshakes.org. Celebrate the legacy of American icon Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack when jazz artist Jonathan Poretz brings Ol’ Blue Eyes and Friends to Antioch’s El Campanil Theatre. Best known for his role as Sinatra in the long-running Las Vegas show “The Rat Pack Is Back,” Poretz recently JONATHAN PORETZ brings returned from a 52-city tour of “Ol’ Blue Eye”to Antioch’s El Germany – where he played Campanil Theatre, Sept. 11.

Sabrina Zuniga Varela attempts to reason with her young siblings played by Lance Gardner and Khalia Davis in Cal Shakes’ “You Never Can Tell,” through Sept. 4.

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features a wide range of performances and events, beginning with Edward Albee’s “Seascape” Sept. 2-18 at the Village Theatre, 233 Front St., Danville, and followed by O’Neill’s “The Emperor Jones,” Sept. 23-Oct. 2 at the Old Barn at Tao House, part of the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site in the Danville hills. For information on all the activities, call 925-820-1818. For tickets, go to www.villagetheatreshows.com. Also opening on Sept. 2 is Center Repertory’s hilarious musical “It Should Have Been You” at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr. This heartwarming culture clash for the ages puts two wildly different families together to celebrate a wedding. Plots are hatched, promises broken and secrets exposed. Call 925-943-SHOW or go to their website: www.lesherartscenter.org. There’s still time to catch Cal Shakes “You Never Can Tell.” George Bernard Shaw’s satirical comedy takes on marriage and the modern woman in this well-directed, fast-paced entertainment extravaganza. Gorgeous costumes by Melissa




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Jim Jordan will show 3D art as well as his many paintings as the featured artist at aRt Cottage in October. He is continuously producing new works and has shown in venues around the Bay Area. Diablo Valley College featured him in a solo exhibit at the campus library, and he has had many shows with the CC14 group of artists. Jordan has no trouble expressing himself in a variety of mediums, especially acrylic and oil. Most of his 3D works are ceramics, varying from small to large, lifesize pieces. aRt Cottage will feature many of his unique sculptures as well as his large paintings. Before becoming a fine artist, Jordan worked as a designer. He continuously enrolls in art classes and keeps his creative mind and hands experimenting and producing. Although he does have some florals and landscapes, Jordan seems to favor painting people. He creates using a palette knife as well as large brushes. Some of his large paintings have minimal strokes.

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

DAFFODILS IN OIL by Jim Jordan, done with palette knife.

He was a follower of Pam Glover and painted with the Glover group for some time. He has also learned from Gary Bergren and Mark Jezierny, as well as many other artists. An artist reception will be held 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10. Come to enjoy good art, food and music as Jordan explains his work and techniques. FROgard Butler is the proprietor of the aRt Cottage, 2238 Mt. Diablo St., Concord. For more information, call 925-9563342.

Advertise in the Concord Pioneer Call 925-672-0500

Play ponders a world with Charles as British king With its witty echoes of Shakespearean drama, Mike Bartlett’s brilliant contemporary work “King Charles III” blurs the boundaries of truth and tragedy. In this speculative history, Queen Elizabeth is dead and Prince Charles ascends to the throne. The play comes to the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco Sept. 14Oct. 9. Flanked by wife Camilla and sons William and Harry, Charles challenges an uncompromising Parliament, but it is his daughterin-law, Princess Kate, who shows the real ambition for the sceptered isle. Is Charles the man who would be king, or was he born to succeed only in name? Nominated for five 2016 Tony Awards, this imaginative glimpse of future history is a theatrical event of crowning achievement. “King Charles III” is a co-production with Seattle Repertory Theatre and the Shakespeare Theatre Company of Washington, D.C. It’s written by Bartlett and directed by David Muse. Tickets are $20-$105. The theater is at 415 Geary St., San Francisco. For more information, call 415-749-2228 or visit act-sf.org.

August 26, 2016

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

Let’s keep Social Security off the chopping block



The election for a new president is looming before us like a boogeyman hiding under our beds. As director of marketing at

the Concord Senior Center, I see and hear how frightened people are about the very real possibility of losing or, at the very least, having changes made to their Social Security benefits. It’s heartbreaking. Whatever your party affiliation, age, race, ethnicity, gender or economic status, you should be concerned as well. Social Security represents the best of American values. It is responsibly funded, does not add a penny to the deficit and

only pays benefits if it has sufficient income to cover the cost. According to the Huffington Post, “Social Security is the most efficient, universal, secure and fair source of retirement income. It provides basic economic security when wages are lost as the result of death, disability or old age. Its one shortcoming is that its benefits are too low. Against wise policy and even smart politics, three of the four candidates expressed their strong desire for huge Social


Security benefit cuts.” Um … isn’t the money ours? We earned it by paying into the system for the day we’d need it. The only people advocating cutting benefits are the fat cats. If you happen to be one of the latter, then God bless you. But just remember that there is no way to predict your future, no matter how savvy you’ve been with investments. Believe me, it’s no picnic worrying about affording your next meal or your ability to pay the rent.

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

Tuesdays Farmers’ Market

Tuesdays 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: Sept. 1, PUSH; Sept. 8, Evolution; Sept. 15, The Purple Ones. Market 4 – 8 p.m.; music 6:30 – 8 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. 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. livenation.com. Concert schedule for 2016: Aug. 27, Outcry Tour, 6 p.m. Aug. 28, Snoop Dogg, 7 p.m. Sept. 4, Hot Summer Night Feat, 4 p.m. Sept. 10, Fifth Harmony, 7 p.m. Sept. 18, Daryl Hall and John Oates, 7 p.m.

Sept. 21 Leadership in Sustainability Awards Gala


Aug. 27 Mark O’Connor’s “Hot Swing”

Presented by Diablo Regional Arts Association. 5 and 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $40. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469.

Aug. 27 Nonoy Zuniga

Professional vocalist. 7:30 p.m. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $38-$48. pittsburgcaliforniatheatre.com. 4271611.

Sept. 6 – Oct. 8 “It Shoulda Been You”

Hilarious and heartwarming musical that is a culture clash for the ages. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $37-$63. centerrep.org

Sept. 10 Erik “Awesome” Alston

Pittsburg’s very own comedian. 8 p.m. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $10-$25. pittsburgcaliforniatheatre.com. 427-1611.

Sept. 11 “Ol’ Blue Eyes and Friends”

Frank Sinatra tribute with Jonathan Poretz. 3 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $25. elcampaniltheatre.com.

Sept. 16 – 25 “Fiddler on the Roof”

Rich in historical and ethnic detail. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $10-$25. pittsburgcaliforniatheatre.com. 427-1611.

Sept. 17

Paying tribute to those who demonstrate outstanding commitment Delta Blues Festival Music, arts and crafts, food. 12 – 7:30 p.m. Antioch’s Rivertown to implementing sustainable practices and inspiring change. 6 – 9 p.m. Concord Hilton, 1970 Diamond Blvd., Concord. $50. sus- District. Free admission. deltabluesfestival.net. tainablecoco.org/awards.


Saturdays, thru Sept. 24, except Sept. 3 Farmers’ Market

8 a.m. – 12 p.m. 6095 Main St., Clayton. pcfma.org.

Aug. 27 Wine Tasting and Book Signing

Clayton’s own Chloe Laube invites you for a peek at her novella, “Dream On, Dancing Queen.” 1 – 4 p.m. La Veranda Café, 6201 Center St., Clayton. Free admission; book $7. For more information, contact anncastellucci@hotmail.com.

Aug. 27, Sept. 10 Saturday Concerts in the Grove

Aug. 27, Hot Rods Band; Sept. 10, East Bay Mudd. 6 – 8:30 p.m. Grove Park, downtown Clayton. Free. ci.clayton.ca.us.

Aug. 31 Wednesday Classic Cars

6 – 8 p.m. Downtown Clayton. Free. ci.clayton.ca.us.

Sept. 3 Derby and Car Show

Clayton Community Church’s 13th Annual Labor Day event. Kids 7 – 14 race derby cars down Main Street. Car show and parade. 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Main Street, Clayton. Free. Register for both events at claytoncc.com.

Sept. 24 – 25 Skip Ipsen Memorial Bocce Tournament

Inaugural open bocce tournament in memory of Skip Ipsen. Sponsored by Clayton Business and Community Association. 12 – 6 p.m. Ipsen Family Bocce Park, 6000 Main St., Clayton. $400 per team. claytonbocce.org/event/ipsen.


Aug. 26 “The David Bowie Concert Experience”

According to contracting data, the Pentagon bought an average of $2 million worth of toiletry paper products annually between 2000 and 2010. Yet that figure jumped to $230 million in 2012. Those are some pampered heinies. Meanwhile, NASA requested a $17.5 billion budget in 2015 to fund new science missions (vague, right?) and an airborne, infrared telescope. I can’t be the only one who thinks this is ludicrous. Let’s start



Page 19

Presented by West Coast Performing Arts. 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $45. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469.

Sept. 18 Opening Night

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

Sept. 23 – 24 “Dance Series 01”

Presented by Smuin Ballet. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $57-$73. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469.

Sept. 24 “Now and Then”

Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra performs. 2 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $7 - $15. elcampaniltheatre.com.

Sept. 25 “Let’s Hang On”

Frankie Valli tribute. 3 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $25-$27. elcampaniltheatre.com.


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.

Ongoing Tarantula Hikes

Search for Mount Diablo’s giant arachnids. Check the website for tarantula hike dates and times. Reservations are required and fill up fast.

Aug. 28, Sept. 11 The California Tarantula

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

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.

buying the cheaper brand of toilet paper and stop sending people into outer space. Use those billions of dollars (we earned, by the way) our government spends yearly on God knows what and take care of the ones we love here on Earth.

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


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. For reservation and ticket information, go to ebparks.org.

Aug. 28 Old-Fashioned Cemetery Picnic

Pack a picnic and hike to Rose Hill Cemetery to learn about the lives of the 19th century coal miners. 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at Black Diamond Mines.

Sept. 11 Homestead Hike

Visit a prominent ranching family’s homestead. 8:30 – 11 a.m. Meet at Black Diamond Mines Park Offices.

Sept. 18 Late Summer Evening Hike

Enjoy the sights and sounds of twilight. 6:30 – 9 p.m. Meet at Black Diamond Mines Upper Parking Lot. Registration required.


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.

Sept. 17 Plant Sale

Next to last sale of the year. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Markham Regional Arboretum Society Nursery. 1202 La Vista Ave., Concord. Free admission. markhamarboretum.org.

Sept. 24 Black Tie Event

Music, dinner, auction benefiting Pillars of Hope. 5:30 – 10 p.m. Oakhurst Country Club, 1001 Peacock Creek Drive, Clayton. $100. pillarsofhope.us.

Sept. 24 Red, White and Brew

Wine and craft beer tasting sponsored by Contra Costa Blue Star Moms. 1 – 3:30 p.m. Concord Police Association, 5060 Avila Road, Concord. $35 per person or two for $60. fundraisers@ccbluestarmoms.org.


The Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at ccclib.org or 6465455.

Thru Sept. 5: Library Closed for Renovations Sept. 10: AARP Free Tax Assistance, 10 a.m. Sept. 12: Movie Monday, 7 p.m. Sept. 13: Crafty Tuesday, 4 p.m. Registration required. Sept. 17: Summer Art Show, 10 a.m. – 4p.m. Sept. 19: Explore Code.org, 7 p.m. Registration required. Sept. 22: Concord Library Refresh Celebration, 5 p.m. Sept. 23 – 25: Book Sale, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Fri. and Sat.; 1 – 3 p.m. Sun.

The Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at claytonlibrary.org or call 673-0659. Sept. 12: Clayton Knits, 1:30 p.m. Sept. 12: Clayton Library Book Club, 7 p.m. Sept. 21: Protect Your Assets, 6:30 p.m.


1st, 2nd and 4th Tuesdays, except Sept. 6 Concord City Council

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

1st and 3rd Wednesdays Concord Planning Commission

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

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Page 20

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

Author deftly covers the plight of wild mustangs Readers who come to Bookin’ with Sunny, those in the Bay Area and those in the high desert of northern Nevada are already familiar with author Terri Farley’s love affair with the wild horses known as mustangs. Her “Phantom Stallion” series for middle and young Sponsored content

By Dr. Armando Samaniego

This is a busy time of year for many individuals and families as they juggle back to school, work and family. As a physician and father of three young adults, I often hear from friends and neighbors of the challenges scheduling school or team physicals, immunizations and necessary

adult readers has been popular since first published in 2002. And for good reason. These are not teen romances under the guise of horse stories. Farley writes not about the heart, but from the heart. She understands the connection between girls and horses (and boys, as well).

Her latest book, “Wild at Heart, Mustangs and the Young People Fighting to Save Them,” should be in the hands of every horse lover, young or old. What makes “Wild” so essential is the depth of Farley’s coverage exposing the plight of America’s mustangs.

Her book is wonderfully put together. It begins with a personal introduction about the fight to allow the wild horses to live on public lands. That’s followed in Chapter One with an homage to Wild Horse Annie. Also known as Velma Johnston, she’s the one-woman powerhouse who brought about the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, passed by Congress in 1971. In chapters 2-5, Farley approaches the historic, scientific, behavioral and political background, covering such questions as: Are present-day mustangs merely interlopers and not native to our continent? Do they really decimate the grasslands that should rightly only be grazed by cattle? The facts will blow some minds. Within these chapters are inserts, called “Eyewitness.” These short, personal insights 80 percent of visits to an ER highlight the author’s experican be handled at an advanced urgent care like STAT MED. With all these changes taking place, STAT MED’s goal is consistently to provide fast access to top quality medical care while ensuring an outstanding patient experience. STAT MED opened a new location in Pleasant Hill/Concord by Sunvalley Mall, with onsite X-rays and labs to expedite diagnosis and care along with private treatment rooms for dedicated time with a physician. JEFF MELLINGER As you prepare for fall, SCREEN SHOTS STAT MED Urgent Care is here whether you want a flu There are a lot of uses for shot or a physical, or experi- black light: counterfeit money ence an illness or injury. detection, criminology and art fraud to name a few. The Samaniego is the founder of newest one to add to the list STAT MED Urgent Care. For would be to reveal Diana, the more information, visit statmed.com ghostly apparition that can or call 925-234-4447. only appear and do damage in the dark. With producing help from next-gen horror master James Wan, director David F. Sandberg gives us “Lights Out,” a too-brief window into the terror that lurks in the shadows. The two darkest places in the house are under the bed and in the closet. As children, we dread the dark and what we might find. There is nothing more frightening than something hiding there. In this movie, 10-year-old Martin (Gabriel Bateman) comes face-to-face with what we fear the most. He knows something has been wrong with his mom for awhile, and it has only gotten worse since an accident involving his stepfather. Sophie (a nervous, aged Maria Bello) talks to herself often and has been neglecting Martin more and more. Martin’s lack of sleep due to Diana’s sudden appearances at night causes a social worker to come calling. As Martin’s older sister Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) and boyfriend Bret (Alexander

STAT MED helps ease medical treatment decisions

laboratory tests. It is a welcome surprise for them to learn that STAT MED Urgent Care is a quality option for routine needs, along with more serious immediate medical issues. While our physicians have years of experience in busy emergency rooms treating unexpected illness and injury, STAT MED is also an outstanding option for any routine care you seek – either when your primary physician is not available or if you don’t have one. Most insurance plans are accepted. As the health care landscape continues to change, determining where to seek immediate medical care can be confusing. Primary care practices are increasingly stretched, and “minute clinics” have limited clinical capabilities. We know from experience that 60-

ence, as well as one from Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Melissa Farlow, whose work enhances the beauty of “Wild.” These inserts break into the fact-based content just long enough to keep the reader’s interest heightened. Other inserts deal with the difficult subjects of slaughterhouses and Bureau of Land Management roundups. “Wild at Heart” is a passionate book, but it’s a passion reached through years of research, observation and careful thought. As tough as her subject is, like Wild Horse Annie, she turns to children as messengers in the last section of the book. She introduces us to children who have rescued mustangs and trained them, and even a young boy who has gone to the halls of Congress to advocate for them. Continue to read Farley’s fictional horse stories, but don’t miss this very special

August 26, 2016



book. It will not only touch your heart but also engage your mind. The next time the subject of what should happen to our public lands and the wild animals that live there comes up, reach for “Wild at Heart.” Between Farley’s text and Farlow’s photography, the answers are there. 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.’

Dark mood of ‘Lights Out’ fades too quickly

Gabriel Bateman and Maria Bello play a haunted child and his mother in “Lights Out.”

DiPresia) get involved, it’s clear that something has to be done. However, Sophie will not admit that there is a problem. What little we get in the way of plot is typical of horror movies as of late. Something in a family’s past literally comes back to haunt them. There is typically an incident involving one or both parents when they were young, and it gets passed on to the children. “Lights Out” is no exception. While the story may be a bit cliché, the execution is flawless. At a scant 81 minutes, “Lights Out” does not feel all that short. After long bouts of exposition and plot development, Sandberg draws out the tension whenever Diana grows near. Bits of light from a blinking neon sign or a cell phone are all that keep Rebecca and her family alive. The camera work frames the scenes to put the audience just out of harm’s

way, but then quick cuts put Diana right in our faces. “Lights Out” did not have the lasting effect of films such as “Paranormal Activity” or “The Conjuring,” which stick around well into the night and even the next day. I assumed I would go home and be wary of turning the lights off before bed. However, once home, I forgot I had even been scared an hour before. Movie theaters today always have ambient lighting, which is distracting during dark scenes. Perhaps “Lights Out” would be better watched in a fully dark living room. Good luck flipping the switches after that. 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.

August 26, 2016

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

Page 21

Condos offer affordability and convenience



Q: Why would I buy a condo instead of a singlefamily home? A: They are an appealing way to enter the housing market if the cost of a single-family home is out of reach. Con-



dos are especially popular among single homebuyers, empty nesters and first-time home buyers in high-priced housing markets. Some people, such as senior retirees and active young people, choose to buy a condo even if they could afford a single-family home. Unlike a house, condos offer a lifestyle that is free of yard work and exterior maintenance and repairs. Many condominium communities also offer amenities such as exercise rooms, tennis courts and swimming

pools that buyers might be area: the garage. unable to afford if they purStorage is one of the chased a single-family home. biggest benefits of a garage. Buyers consistently point to its Q: Is my garage impor- usefulness as the main criteria tant in getting my home used to rate a garage. A clutready for sale? tered or unorganized garage A: As I have expressed can send the wrong message to before, staging is an important a potential buyer, making it element in getting a home sold impossible to visualize all the for top dollar in the least space can offer. amount of time. Staging is a If you absolutely have to great way to be sure your home use some of the space for storappeals to the masses. While age purposes, be sure to keep staging spaces within your everything neat and organized. home is crucial, many sellers This can subconsciously imply often neglect one important that you take better than aver-

There’s a new groundcover in town called Calylophus, and it’s taking Clayton by storm. Pronounced kal-ee-LOWfus, the plant is sun and heat hardy, long-blooming and has low water needs. This Texas native comes from a harsh

environment, therefore growing in our Clayton climate feels natural. The first time we spotted Calylophus growing locally was in the back acre of a fully exposed landscape off Pine Hollow Road. In the distance,

Keeping your garage presentable can be the difference between getting a terrific offer and seeing buyers move on to a competing home. Taking the time to clean and organize will do wonders for making the space more appealing to potential buyers. Send your question and look for your answer in a future column. Email Lynne@LynneFrench.com. French is the broker/owner of Windermere Lynne French & Associates. Contact her at 672-8787 or stop in at 6200 Center St., Clayton.

Sun-hardy Calylophus a natural for Clayton

Monsoon can bring lightning show to Sierra

In a few days, we’ll be joining the grandkids for a weekend in the Sierra Nevada. I hope the daytime skies will be sunny for swimming and hiking. I won’t complain, however, if a surge of monsoon moisture produces a show of lightning and thunder for us to enjoy. Thunderstorms can develop in the mountains for a variety of reasons. The main ingredients include a moist air mass and an unstable atmosphere. In the late summer and early fall, the moist air mass most likely originates over the warm water on either side of northern Mexico. Atmospheric instability occurs when the monsoonal winds lift the moist air over the Sierra. A monsoon wind pattern develops when land masses heat up during the hottest months of the year. In response to the heat, low-pressure zones develop over the land surface and winds become on-shore. A significant amount of moisture can be transported inland if warm sea water borders the land and the jet stream aligns with the lower level winds. The largest and most famous monsoon is the South Asia monsoon. The warm Indian Ocean is the moisture source, and strong onshore winds deliver periods of rainfall to India, Pakistan and sev-

age care with your home. It may also lend a feeling of newness to the property. Getting your garage in top shape begins with removing all the junk that has collected over the years and organizing everything on clean shelves. Vacuum up any dirt and do away with spider webs and bugs. It is also important to make sure there is plenty of light. If there are windows in the garage, be sure to clean them. Make sure the batteries are fresh and everything is working properly with the garage door.


ed rainfall in the state. Several times per year, however, a strong and persistent southwesterly jet stream will steer moisture into the Sierra Nevada and northern mountains of California. It takes a “perfect storm” of jet stream conditions to deliver monsoon moisture to the Bay Area. When that does happen, we can see fantastic lightning displays and beautiful sunsets from our backyards. Unlike its South Asian cousin, the North American monsoon is not a key factor in the economy of the area. It can occasionally cause environmental harm by producing flash floods and landslides, especially in Arizona, New Mexico and Southern California. Monsoon-related lightning strikes have been known to trigger forest fires in the mountains throughout the west. Monsoon season weather patterns impact economic and environmental conditions for several areas around the world. If we get a surge of monsoon moisture during our vacation in the Sierra, it will be a great opportunity for the grandkids to experience and understand this unique weather pattern.

eral other countries during the summer and fall. Monsoonal winds deliver a large percentage of annual rainfall in the South Asia countries. Agricultural harvests depend on ample monsoon season rains. However, extremely strong monsoons are responsible for devastating floods that can ravage the region. Closer to home, the North American monsoon affects northern Mexico and states from Texas to California. Both the Gulf of Mexico and Gulf of California contribute moist air that the monsoonal winds push northeastward toward the Sierra. The inland extent of monsoon rains depends on the strength and orientation of the jet stream above the Woody Whitlatch is a meteormoist air mass. The southern ologist retired from PG&E. Email mountains of California typiyour questions or comments to cally form the northern clayton_909@yahoo.com boundary of monsoon-relat-

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we could see a sweeping groundcover of yellow flowers. It was planted along a pebble walkway besides gigantic salvia and a pile of daylily. Since it was unfamiliar, we approached this groundcover to see what it could be. The flowers were 2 inches wide and cup shaped. The color was a buttery yellow, and the leaves were very fine, almost fernlike. I was amazed that this groundcover could deal with both the relentless sun and the reflective heat generated from the pebbles. I have sought out Calylophus ever since that day. Calylophus Southern Bell and Calylophus drummondii are equally fabulous. They both are small-scale groundcovers reaching 2-4 inches tall and about 30 inches wide. Calylophus grows from a single root, making it an excellent plant for drip or netafim irrigation. Yellow flowers emerge once the heat arrives. They behave similar to lantana,

Nicole Hackett

This brilliant pile of Calylophus creates a proud border along the lawn area of Fred and Judy Pueringer’s Clayton landscape.

blooming when it’s hot and resting during winter months. Calylophus would make an excellent addition to a dry creek application. Plant along the border of an area for some

interest. Consider using a copper-colored Carex testacea to accent Calylophus. It would also look lovely when planted alongside the blue-flowering Veronica Georgia Blue or near a plush pile of gray-colored lamb’s ear. Calylophus looks awesome trickling over the side of a container. Consider surrounding Cordyline Electric Star with Calylophus. The dark bronze foliage of the Cordyline will contrast nicely with the bright yellow Calylophus. Calylophus has piles of bold color and works well with many plant combinations. It really is an excellent plant for any summer garden. It’s much more appealing than it looks in a nursery pot, so prepare to be thrilled. Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. You can contact her with questions or comments by email at Gardengirl@claytonpioneer.com

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Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

August 26, 2016

New railroad exhibit tracks down Clayton Valley history STEVEN LANE Clayton Historical Society

The Bay Point and Clayton (BP&C) Railroad Co. is making a return trip to the Clayton Historical Society Museum in the form of a new, updated exhibit opening Aug. 28. Unlike a 2013 railroad exhibit that included a broad view of multiple themes, this year’s exhibit will focus specifically on two small local railroad companies. It will interpret the once bucolic Clayton Valley landscapes the railroads rolled through, along with the changes and events that occurred in the area from 1907 to the present. BP&C was a little-known, nine-mile, private shortline railroad. Incorporated Aug. 29, 1906, by the Cowell Portland Cement Co., it hauled company shipments, provided common-carrier revenue service and passenger timetable service between Clyde and Bay Point (later Port Chicago/today’s Military



Microsoft released Windows 10 about a year ago, and it has made history as the largest, most successful release

Photo montage by Steven Lane

USING THE POWER OF IMAGINATION, the Bay Point and Clayton Railroad stops by the Clayton Museum for a new exhibit opening Aug. 28.

Ocean Terminal Concord). The train traveled through the greater Clayton Valley alongside Mt. Diablo Creek, including today’s Concord Naval Weapons Station property proposed for parkland development by the East Bay Regional Park District. It also went to the former company

town and community of Cowell, at the base of the Lime Ridge hills. Cowell was once the site of the largest Portland Cement manufacturing plant in the United States. Today all that remains is the road name, a smokestack monument, a water tank and a firehouse structure.

Windows 10 anniversary marked with roll-up upgrade of an operating system. It’s hard to imagine an operating system maturing so fast, but it has happened under the guidance of Satya Nadella, the current CEO of Microsoft. Congratulations should go both to the high-tech company and those 350 million device users who have adopted and adapted to change so quickly. To celebrate their success,

Microsoft is going the extra mile and introducing the Windows 10 Anniversary Edition. It’s Windows 10 going forward into the future. Essentially, the anniversary edition is a roll-up of all previous upgrades. That means in one update you get all the features you may have missed with incremental updates. Think about each update on

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The Cowell Portland Cement Co., producers of Mt. Diablo cement, had its own company-lettered and numbered subsidiary railroads: the standard-gauge Cowell Portland Cement Co. (CPC Co) RR and a unique, 42-inch narrow-gauge limestone quarry railroad. They

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Tuesday (called patch Tuesday) that you may have not installed; now every patch or update will install. (Patches are fixes to software bugs or faulty features.) The Internet browser called Edge will get some needed features, like support for plug-ins. A plug-in is a supplementary program that works in your browser. “A browser plug-in (such as Macromedia Flash or Apple QuickTime) allows you to play certain multimedia files within your web browser,” according to the TechTerms website. Microsoft is now requiring plug-ins to be certified so they work correctly and are more secure so they won’t let malware invade your web surfing. In addition, Edge is now more battery efficient – meaning it won’t drain your laptop as fast as other browsers will. Cortana, the audio and visual assistant derived from the hugely famous Halo game, can now be a major part of your web searching. She will assist you to focus your web searches. She can even save web pages, book appointments, act as a reminder “nanny” and interact better with your existing apps. For tablet users, Ink is now part of your ability to annotate across different apps, if you have a stylus. And now some X-Box features are part of gaming. New tools for classrooms with better “group” sharing and better data protection with Windows Information Protection are all bundled free for existing Windows 10 users. If you missed the free upgrades to Windows 10, future upgrades will cost about $150 for the software and labor if you choose not to do it yourself. Here’s a tip if you’ve ever had an app, browser or video freeze. Right mouse click on the Windows Start logo in the lower left of your screen. Then choose Task Manager. When the window opens, be sure it’s set to less details (default). Find the offending app in the list, highlight it, right click and choose End Task. Poof, it’s gone. Until next time, surf safely.

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

also had steam shovels on rails and a traction railroad. Images of operations in the Lime Ridge quarries still exist, as well as some rare images of cement plant railroad operations, plant machinery and equipment prior to it being auctioned and scrapped to make way for the Walnut Way housing subdivision – today’s Walnut Country/The Crossings. On Sunday, April 2, 1939, the Northern California Railroad Club hosted a rare “Steam and Juice” excursion to the Cowell Portland Cement Plant. Sacramento Northern (electric railway before BART) railcars were pulled on nine miles of BP&C track, under BP&C steam locomotive power, to and from the cement plant.

The event provided a memorable day for many railfans, with several beautiful photos surviving for us to view. Steve Lane, a 43-year Clayton resident and local railroad historian, will give an overview of the Bay Point and Clayton Railroad Co., the Cowell Portland Cement Co. Railroad and the Clayton Valley landscapes these railroads rolled through at 7 p.m. Sept. 1 at Diamond Terrace, 6401 Center St., Clayton. Suggested donation is $5 per adult. “Rolling Through the Clayton Valley – A Look Back 110 Years after Incorporation” opens 2 p.m. Aug. 28. It runs through December and includes a railroad gift shop. The Clayton Museum is at 6101 Main St., Clayton. Admission is free.

Former residents do not want Port Chicago to be forgotten



This story is about a little town that cried and wasn’t heard. The founders named the town Chicago. However, the mayor of Chicago, Ill., did not want them to use the name, so they named it Port Chicago. Families lived there and raised children, but things began to change when the Navy acquired the land in the early 1940s. This little community became closer and more protective and, I might add, more proud. After the 1944 munitions explosion killed 320 people, they started rebuilding their little town. However, in l969, the Navy condemned the land and they were told to leave the little town they loved. Dan Colchico and others organized a march. Colchico was our local 49er hero, a Mt. Diablo High School graduate and, more importantly, a family man who wanted to protect his land and family. The march made the news but was unsuccessful.

Daisy Sahm, who died in l997, had taken the Great Depression in stride and lived through the explosion but stated that packing up and leaving her little town was the saddest day of her life. As they relocated throughout the valley, the residents started an annual Port Chicago Reunion. Nancy Colchico and Ruth Hegarty were the ring leaders of the first reunion in June l970, with 800 people meeting at Ambrose Park in Bay Point. They shed tears, shared laughs, danced and played co-ed baseball and horse shoes. As the years wore on, the numbers shrank. But the tradition continues, with old neighbors and community lovers gathering to share stories, history, entertainment, swimming and tri-tip with a secret Dan Colchico BBQ sauce. But the leaders of the Port Chicago Reunion are getting tired. Marcia Ravizza Lessley, Gabe Navarro, Lefty Butler, Larry Reece, Jerry Sanders, Nancy Colchico and her son Joe are hoping to attract newcomers next year to celebrate and learn about the little town that couldn’t.

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.

This monument stood in front of the Port Chicago American Legion hall. It was relocated to Ambrose Park, where it was vandalized

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Page 23

Police officers mingle with youth at leadership camp LAURY OLSON Special to the Pioneer

Concord police officers showed off police dog skills at the Contra Costa Kops for Kids’ first Leadership Camp for at-risk youth in Clayton. Fourteen young adults from Richmond, Antioch and Pittsburg spent three days in July camping, swimming and practicing decision-making skills at the Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association. Other presenters were from Save Mt. Diablo, the East Bay Regional Parks Police Mounted Patrol Unit and the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office. “Many of these youth are out of their comfort zone”

said Larry Lewis, executive director of the Richmond Police Activities League (RPAL). “Many of them have never been camping before, and they don’t necessarily have a positive view of police. Now they are seeing us do things that are of interest to them.” Concord officers Ollie Sansen, Nick Davison, Jim Nielsen and Brandon Oswald brought three police dogs to show the youth how they are able to find cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines. One of the officers hid a bag of heroin in a chair, and the police dog Gelle – nicknamed “Jelly Belly” – was able to find it in a few minutes. Police dogs have been

invaluable in helping find lost children and difficult subjects, according to Dave Cutaia, a retired chief from the Martinez Police Department. “They are so important not only to cops, but to you guys,” Cutaia told the students. To demonstrate “apprehension work,” an officer “patted down” a decoy officer dressed in a padded suit. When the decoy turned to attack the officer, the police dog jumped up and grabbed the padded suit in his teeth – badly tearing it. Campers also enjoyed a presentation by East Bay Regional Park police officers Tom Walsh and David Greaney and their horses, Dusty and Guinness.

“This is really cool,” said Michelle. “I like how they (the horses) can listen and hear things that we can’t hear.” Contra Costa Kops for Kids is a group of active and retired police officers who work to help prevent violence, drug abuse, gangs and juvenile delinquency by reaching out to at-risk youth in the county. The Leadership Camp, organized by executive director Diane Jorgensen, is part of the Kops for Kids Youth Mentoring Program.

For more information or to make a donation to Contra Costa Kops for Kids, call 925-827-1998 Young adults at Kops for Kids leadership camp saw police or visit contracostakopsforkids.org. dog “Bano” react promptly when he saw “decoy” Officer Brandon Oswald pretend to attack Officer Ollie Sansen.

Don’t judge jicama by its ugly cover DEBRA MORRIS Pacific Coast Farmers Market

Looking at the big brown tuberous orb, you would never know about the sweet crisp flavors within jicama. The earthy, dull brown of the exterior hides an interior that’s a lovely pure white color with the texture of a crisp apple or raw potato. Jicama is slightly sweet and is eaten raw, most notably in salads, salsas and on vegetable platters. It is used extensively in Mexican cuisine, since the plant originated in Mexico. When purchasing jicama, choose those heavy for their size, usually about 2-3 pounds. Larger ones tend to be woody inside because the natural sug-

ars turn to starch, so purchase a smaller one. Peel and cut into sticks or slices and store in a bag in the refrigerator for several days. Along with its delicious flavor, jicama is a fantastic source of dietary fiber, is low in calories and rich in vitamins C and

B complex. Look for jicama at most Asian specialty produce growers’ stalls at the market. Try FT Fresh or KYK Produce for the best the market has to offer. Try this recipe from Cookin’ the Market Chef Mario Hernandez.

CRUDITÉ PLATE 6 radishes, cut into quarters 1 jicama, peeled and cut into sticks 4 small carrots, cut lengthwise into fat sticks 1 cucumber, sliced into sticks 2 T. olive oil 2 T. lime juice Salt, to taste Tajin Mexican spice, to taste Assemble vegetables on a platter. Mix remaining ingredients and drizzle over vegetables. The Concord Farmers Market is in Todos Santos Plaza Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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Page 24

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

August 26, 2016

Develop a strategy when buying dining room furnishings The dining room is a living space where family and friends gather for casual feasts or intimate, candlelit dinners. It’s a place to host a friendly poker game with your nearest and dearest, or a festive house party spread of jewelry and handbags. And it’s great for club meetings, homework or wrapping gifts. Whatever purpose a dining room serves, most likely there is a well-sized table that makes the room functional. It really is all about the table. When searching for a dining table, there are two important guidelines: table size/shape and dimensions of the room. Rectangular rooms usually support a rectangular or oblong tables, while square rooms accommodate square or round ones. While you’re searching for

Code prohibits riding “any bicycle with the wheel size in excess of 20 inches (almost all adult bicycles) on any sidewalk in front of stores, schools or buildings used for business purposes” (Section 10.45.240). The Municipal Code may soon prohibit bicycling on sidewalks anywhere in Concord for all riders over age 12. This is a recommendation in the Bicycle, Pedestrian and Safe Routes to Transit Plan, which goes to the City Council Sept. 27. So it’s urgent that we add safe bicycle travel space on our streets. Otherwise we will

the perfect table shape, don’t forget to account for the chairs that will flank the table. Chairs also come in all sorts of sizes and shapes, and the width and depth of a chair is equally important as it will take up space in the room too. You need to be able to walk around the table with the chairs pushed under the table, as well as when the chairs have been

pushed away from the table. Table leaves are always a great lengthening and enlarging accessory to consider. Some tables can be purchased in a set size, while others have the option to add two or three leaves from 12-20 inches. Some round tables can be turned into a racetrack shape, while others become larger in diameter as the leaves are attached to the perimeter. Always confirm that the leaves will not make the table so big that it won’t fit in the dining room. The chandelier is the last bit of business to consider when pulling a dining room together. While it’s important to coordinate table and chandelier shape and scale, height of the light fixture is the next measurement to keep in mind. Dining tables are 30 inches

high. It’s a practiced rule that the bottom of the chandelier is 30-36 inches off of the table. This ensures that you can see your neighbor across the table, as well as aesthetic positioning. Another good rule to keep in mind is that chandeliers above dining room tables should have a diameter of half to two-thirds the width of the table. This is a functional rule, as well as an aesthetic one. You certainly don’t want to hit your head as you stand or sit at the table, and a chandelier larger in width than the table would look out of proportion.

have to choose between following the law or keeping safe when we head to work, shopping or school on a bicycle. Misconception: Bicyclists are required to stay to the right at all times on the road. Fact: The Vehicle Code (Section 21202) defines several exceptions to this rule. The most frequently applicable exception is when a lane is “too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.” In this circumstance, a bicyclist may take the full lane to prevent passage by a car at an unsafe distance within the lane.

Another exception is when making a left turn. A bicyclist may use the left turn lane the same way as a motorist. A third exception is “when approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.” This means a bicyclist may move to the left of right-turning traffic to avoid the risk of a motorist turning right and crossing their path or hitting them. This type of collision is called a “right hook.” There are intersection designs that greatly reduce right hook risks, and Bike Concord is working to bring some of them to our city. Progress is being made in

Concord for safe non-motor travel. Thanks to hard work by the Central County Regional Group, Monument Impact, Bike Concord, Bike East Bay and other community advocates together with city staff, Detroit Avenue is now a great street to walk and bicycle on. Please mark 10 a.m. Sept. 24 for a parade and celebration at Meadow Homes Park.



Jennifer Leischer is the owner of J. Designs Interior Design based in Clayton. Contact her with questions, comments and suggestions at jenna@j-designs.com.

A look at the laws for bicyclists on roadways KENJI YAMADA


While it’s important for everyone to follow the rules of the road, there are some common misconceptions about the law regarding bicycling.

Misconception: Bicyclists are supposed to stay off the road and ride on the sidewalk. Fact: Bicyclists are allowed on roadways in California and are prohibited on many sidewalks in Concord, including those along most busy streets. The California Vehicle Code specifies that a bicyclist “has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions” for motor vehicles, “except those provisions which by their very nature can have no application” (Section 21200). It leaves the question of riding on sidewalks to local jurisdictions such as Concord. Concord’s Municipal

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Profile for Pioneer Publishers

AUG 26 Concord Pioneer 2016  

AUG 26 Concord Pioneer 2016