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Downtown station idea runs out of gas


August 29, 2014


Summer orientation programs translate into school-year success at Clayton Valley JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer


Clayton Pioneer

It was “Uh oh, here we go again” at the Clayton City Council meeting last week when Councilman Howard Geller suggested the city not rule out a potential gas station when seeking a developer for the 1.67-acre vacant lot on Main Street. “I don’t want to stir the pot,” Geller said when he opened the discussion. “Too late,” retorted Vicemayor Dave Shuey, who said he is “totally opposed” and likened Geller to Don Quixote tilting at windmills. In 2002 a gas station was proposed for the corner of Center and Clayton Road, where CVS is now located. The issue was such a hot potato that the council sought an advisory vote from the residents, who rejected the proposed gas station by an overwhelming majority, and the city council denied the use permit. “That was a past council that

See Gas Station page 2


Tamara Steiner photo

SENIORS BRODY ROGERS (STANDING LEFT) AND SARA WOOD MEET WITH A GROUP OF FRESHMEN during the second week of school at Clayton Valley Charter. Rogers is a commissioner in the Link Crew Leadership class and as such “captains” between 60 and 70 freshmen during the school year. The Link Crew maintains connections all year with first-year students on the Concord campus.

The first thing the administration of new executive director Dave Linzey did when Clayton Valley Charter High School became a reality in the spring of 2012 was set up a summer school program for its students who had failed classes or needed credits to catch up with their graduation track. It worked, as the senior class at CVCHS this past school year had a 95 percent graduation rate compared to 83 percent two years earlier. Right after that summer school got underway they put together a week-long orientation program, Summer Transition, for all incoming CVCHS students from ninth through 12th grades. The school places such a high value on this program— now in its third year—that it is a graduation requirement, says director of administrative services Neil McChesney. Faculty member Kat Marzel’s Link Crew Leadership

See School Year, page 6

Clayton’s annual Relay For Life helps stomp out cancer PAMELA WIESENDANGER Clayton Pioneer

More than 1.6 million. That’s the number of new cancer diagnoses expected in 2014. So nearly 300 walkers put their feet

down to reduce or eliminate that number altogether at Clayton’s American Cancer Society Relay For Life, held Aug. 16 and 17 at the new venue of Clayton Valley Charter High School. The annual event raised

Town gears up for Labor Day Derby

Photo courtesy of Clayton Community Church

YOUNG RACERS HEAD DOWN THE RAMP in a race to the finish line on Main St. at last year’s Labor Day Derby, Aug. 30.

Kids all over Clayton are revving up for 11th Annual Labor Day Derby and Car Show, which will race through downtown this Saturday, August 30. Children ages 7 to 14 can

build and drive soap box derby cars, speeding down a ramp along Main Street for a chance to win a trophy. More than 250 racers are expected to take the

See Derby, page 2

more than $80,000, exceeding the goal of $75,000. Relay For Life draws cancer patients, survivors, friends and family for a 24-hour walk-athon. “I never thought I’d be standing here watching one of my friends,” said Shelley Harrison as her friend, Clayton’s Tracy Rivas, walked the track. Rivas is battling Stage 4 colon cancer. Rivas’ team, The Pink Party Posse, was formed in the hospital on the day Rivas had surgery related to her diagnosis in December. Rivas is in remission, meaning she shows no signs of new cancer growth. “I have an incredible group of friends. They really rally around me.” Teams and individual participants walked to celebrate cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost to the disease and fight back with a commitment to take cancer prevention measures themselves. Team Christy returned to make laps with the cardboard likeness of Christy Harris, who lost her fight against cancer after the 2013 Relay. Two of the original teams from the first Relay in Clayton in 2011 were back, Campers for a Cure and St. John’s Cancer Crusaders. Sydney Alcock, team caption for Campers, and her father, Mike Fossan, are the event chairs for Clayton’s Relay in 2015. Mike and his wife, Susan,

What’s Inside Around Town . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Book Review . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Classified . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Community Calendar . . . . .14

Concord City News . . . . . . . .5 Directory of Advertisers . . . . .7 DVMS Correspondent . . . . .15 Garden Girl . . . . . . . . . . . . .16

Tamara Steiner/Clayton Pioneer

PURPLE-CLAD CANCER SURVIVORS LED PARTICIPANTS on the first lap of the annual American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. The event raised over $80,000, this year, surpassing the goal of $75,000 set by last year’s fundraiser. are both cancer survivors, and they cheered on as Grandson Tristan was recognized for his outstanding help and participation as one of the younger walkers at the event. Many new teams joined the mix, including the Gamma Girls, a philanthropic sorority with local members. Despite the success of the event, reactions were mixed about the new location of the Relay this year. It moved from Clayton Community Park to Gonsalves Stadium at CVCHS to accommodate more partici-

Get Up and Get Out . . . . . .17 Special: LIVING WELL . . . .8 Mayor’s Corner . . . . . . . . . .12 Northgate Correspondent . .15 Pets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Police Report . . . . . . . . . . . .7

pants. Many felt the more expansive setting made it less intimate and not conducive to creating a strong connection with other walkers. There were technical problems as well, as challenges prevented the lighting from being dimmed during the Luminaria ceremony, casting a harsh glare on the solemn tribute. David Linzey, executive director of the school, says the current construction on campus will be done well before next year’s event. “I’m so happy to be hosting. I hope we’ll be the

Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Sports Shorts . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Sports Talk . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Teen Reads . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Underfoot . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Voyage of the Eagle . . . . . .15

home for many years to come.” Kealoha Pomerantz, the Relay For Life specialist at American Cancer Society, says she will gather feedback and help “grow the event” for next year. This year, she says, “went amazingly well.” The Relay begins with cancer survivors proudly walking the first or “Celebrate” lap of the Relay after opening ceremonies. Teams joined them one by one as they were announced. Many teams had tents along the route to sell refreshments and crafts.

See Relay, page 13

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Page 2

Clayton Pioneer •

Around Town

August 29, 2014

Gas Station, from page 1 made that decision,” said Geller. “Not this sitting council.” The idea had no support from the rest of the council members. Mayor Hank Stratford said maybe the site where the old fire station is on Clayton Road might be a possible site, “but not in the historic downtown.” The Municipal Code specifically lists a gas station as a prohibited use. Such a use would require a zoning change. Including a gas station in the marketing plan as a potential use “would be dealing in bad faith,” said council member Julie Pierce. The last time a gas station was proposed, “It was shot down in flames.”

Clayton twosome on the fence about art

The downtown property is currently listed with Transwestern, a Walnut Creek commercial realty firm. The firm is actively seeking developers for the 1.67acre Main Street parcel and a buyer for a proposed 7,000square-foot mixed-use development already approved for the .75-acre parcel on Oak Street. A one-acre parcel behind City Hall is also available, but not currently listed with the broker. Geller suggest the property be actively marketed, but the rest of the council was not behind that idea. The awkward location of the lot makes it unsuitable for almost anything except residential.


Theresa Ruscitti and Kahni Horton, both of Clayton, were recently honored at a reception held at Civic Arts in Walnut Creek. Their original oil paintings were selected from hundreds of pieces by Bay Area artists who submitted them to be used for a very special installation. The 22 paintings selected will be enlarged to approximately seven feet tall, printed on weatherproof vinyl and attached to the construction fencing located at 1500 Mt. Diablo Blvd. in Walnut Creek, at the northwest

intersection of Main Street and Mt. Diablo Blvd. The finished installation will be a very long mural that interprets the theme “Life in the Creek.” Ruscitti’s painting depicts the windmill at Borges Ranch. Horton’s paintings show the September, 2013 fire on Mt. Diablo as well as the Koi that live in the pond behind Va de Vi Restaurant. The installation of the “streetscape” should be completed by the end of August and will be on view for the public until the project is finished sometime in 2015.

Pioneer Travels Italy Vernne Victa, from San Ramon and Angela Musiello McBride, from Clayton went to Italy for 10 days in June. They visited Venice, Florence, Pisa and Rome. Pictured is the background of the Ponte Vecchio Bridge in Florence.

119 Crow Place – Clayton

Derby, from page 1 challenge, cheered on by a crowd of more than 1,500 family and friends in what has become one of Clayton’s most popular family events. Soap box derby races can be traced back to as early as the first automobile races when local kids took to building their own cars out of orange crates, sheet tin and baby-buggy wheels. In 1914 the motion picture “Kid Auto Races at Venice” starring Charlie Chaplin was shown in cinemas. During the All American Soapbox Derby’s heyday in the 1950s and 1960s, as many as 70,000 people would gather in Akron, Ohio, every August to eat snow cones and cheer for hundreds of youthful racers. The kids will start on the ramp at the east end of Main Street, where gravity launches the cars and momentum propels them down the race course. The street is lined with bales of hay,

which comes in handy when a driver veers off course. This year, the derby will be running concurrently with the Classic Car Show. Nearly 300 cars will be shown and judged for Custom Design, Restored, Retros, Foreign, Muscle and Rods, from vintage 1900s to 2014. The Car Show is free to enter and tee-shirts and goody bags will be given to the first 300 entrants. This annual Labor Day weekend event is presented by Clayton Community Church and began as the brainchild of Pastor Shawn Robinson after experiencing a similar event in Southern California. There will also be jump houses, face painting, music, games and refreshments. Kids are encouraged to register for the race in advance at but there will be a limited amount of spots available for walk-up registrations.

‘Yiayia’ sisterhood highlights Greek Fest The popular — and tasty — annual celebration of all things Greek lights up Concord next month as St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church presents the 36th Annual Contra Costa Greek Food & Wine Festival, Sept. 12, 13 and 14. The event draws Greeks and wannabe-Greeks from throughout the Bay Area, many to taste the authentic food prepared by “Yiayias,” the Greek grandmothers who dish up meals made with fresh ingredients right on the church premises. There are also

booths selling other freshlymade Greek specialties like gyros and loukoumades (tasty Greek doughnuts). Besides the food, there are Greek wines to taste, dancing to enjoy, and games and attractions for children. There is also a selection of Hellenic arts, crafts and jewelry for sale. The festival runs Friday, Sept. 12 from 5 to 11 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 13 from noon to 11 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 14 from noon to 8 p.m. St. Demetrios is located at 1955 Kirker Pass Rd. in Concord. For more information, visit

OPA! THE ANNUAL GREEK FESTIVAL celebrates all things Greek – dancing, food and art—At St. Demetrios in Concord, Sept. 12-14.

What’s happening Around Town? We want to know what’s happening in your families and in your neighborhoods. Send your news of births, engagements, weddings, special recognitions, etc. to Please attach your photos to the email as JPEG files between between 3MB and 6MB and include a caption to identify people in your photos.

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August 29, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 3

2 t s a L yton s Claoncert C

Blue Devils win 16th world competition

he Grov T e in

ANNE-MARIE STARK Special to the Pioneer

The Concord Blue Devils continued to show why they are one of the nation’s top drum and bugle corps as they took top honors at this year’s World Class Drum Corps International competition in Indianapolis. The Blue Devil’s A Corps won their 16th World Class DCI title with a record score of 99.65. The Blue Devil’s B Corps won their fourth Open Class DCI championship with a score of 80.825. The corps also won for high brass, high general effect, high visual and, for the seventh year in a row, high color guard. It’s no secret why the Blue Devils won everything they competed in this year: Practice, and a lot of it. The Blue Devils have two practice fields affectionately known as “Mars.” The fields are located behind the baseball fields near the Solano Drive-in. When they are on tour they practice at the high schools where they stay. They sleep on air mattresses on gym floors,

Anne-Marie Stark


Saturdays 6 to 8:30 p.m.

At the Gazebo in The Grove Aug 30

Apple Z – high energy rock and roll spanning the decades from Rolling Stones to Lady Gaga

Sept 13

East Bay Mudd 10-piece cover dance band with a powerful 4-man horn section Hans Kloppert

THE CONCORD BLUE DEVIL’S A CORPS won their 16th World Class Drum Corps International championship in Indianapolis with a record score of 99.65.

boys on one side, girls on the other side. “We’re a traveling circus!” says member Emily Nunn, of Clayton. Nunn, a Clayton Valley Charter High School graduate, as well as Carondelet High School senior Alyssa Citero, were the two local members who marched in the winning shows. Alyssa, who performs in the B Corps, was on tour for two weeks. After competing in their Open Class, they went on to compete in the World Class and placed 15th. The members of the Blue Devil’s A Corps spent more than two months on tour throughout the United States and winning every show they performed in. The theme of their show was “Felliniesque,” inspired by Italian film maker Federico Fellini. They interpret-

ed, on a football field, Fellini’s legacy and his thought process of developing his films. Nunn says that the corps’ success isn’t about “filling the spots with the right members,” but rather, “It is about how the members feel about performing and the audience connecting with them.” “There were times when the Blue Devils entered competition with the crowd booing them,” since they weren’t local and local audiences wanted to see their own groups perform, she said. “Yet we would leave the field to a standing ovation. We won our haters over with great performances.” Another highlight of the tour was when snare drummer Brandon Olander, 16, from Tucson, was featured on the CBS Evening news. His youth, and the fact that he battles Sco-



liosis, drew national attention, and he said that it was always his dream to march with the Blue Devils; his skill landed him in Concord to march with this top-rated corps. Concord Mayor Tim Grayson, who was on a family vacation, was in the audience to see the shows. Seeing both corps perform, the mayor said that the “world class performance of the Concord Blue Devils, A and B Corps, are exemplary of the spirit of Concord.” For information on joining the Concord Blue Devils go to The A Corps are for performers age 18-21, the B Corps are for performers age 13-21, and the C Corps are for performers age 9-12. No experience is necessary for the B and C Corps.


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Page 4

Clayton Pioneer •

August 29, 2014

‘Walk-n-Roll’ hopes to raise awareness of Ataxia JOHN JACKSON Clayton Pioneer

‘Walk-n-Roll’ When: Sept. 13 Time: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Where: Newhall Park, 1351 Newhall Pkwy, Concord What:

Help Brian Petersen and Joanne Loveland bring awareness of Ataxia and raise funds for the National Ataxia Foundation. Meet at the park, either on foot or wheelchair, to stroll and roll together.

For Brian Petersen, the loss of his 36-year old wife in 1989 to breast cancer was a blow. However, the determined father knew that he had the physical ability and emotional resources to raise his four young children. He just needed to be healthy himself. That wasn’t easy when he found he suffered from a debilitating disease. The Concord man was no stranger to medical conditions. During his wife’s cancer battle, his youngest daughter, only three months old, was found to have a heart disease. During this time, Petersen found himself splitting time between two dif-


ferent hospitals visiting his wife and his daughter until his daughter eventually healed. Then came the Ataxia diagnosis. After his wife’s passing, Petersen says he slowly began to notice that something “was wrong.” As Joanne Loveland, the Northern California Ataxia Support Group Leader explains, Ataxia is a lesser-known cousin to Parkinson’s disease with many similarities. “It is a motor movement disorder,” she says. “There is a cognitive impairment and some memory issues, but it is not like Alzheimer’s.” The disease often impairs balance, causes loss of coordination and slurred speech, and can progress quickly over a 10- to 15-year span.


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This is the time of year the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association is gearing up for their fall tarantula treks. However, this year’s arid weather and drought has added a little twist to the spiders mating season. Generally, Northern Coast Range California Tarantulas (Aphopomelma sp.) start to appear in very late August or early September and then are out and about through late October as the amorous males attempt to locate receptive females in their burrows on the mountain. With last year’s drought conditions MDIA member noticed that the males started appearing in mid-August. With the continued drought this year, the male tarantulas were seen out pursuing their mates as early as the last week of July. This is highly unusual but does point out how nature is able to adapt to climate changes. Our local gentle giants are totally harmless to humans. The small amount of venom they possess is just enough to paralyze a cricket or other small insect. Their main defense comes from shedding microscopic hairs into the eyes or mouths of at predators that get within a few inches.

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his children to adulthood and lives with a heartwarming attitude of overcoming adversity. He simply refuses to have anyone feel pity for him and he has an infectious joy that seems to endear him to people that are

around him. “It’s what you do with what you have left in life,” he says. “I get up, count my blessings, and I’m glad that I can walk. I’m glad I have a walker. There is always someone who has it worse than me.”

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Romantic tarantulas start lookin’ for love early this year

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Although Petersen felt “off,” his supervisor at work was the first to push him to get evaluated. He had noticed limping, uncoordinated movements and uncharacteristically weak legs in his employee. “My boss said, ‘Something’s not right, let’s have a doctor check you out,’” says Petersen. “I had five doctors look at me and find nothing. I was too young to be sick and I didn’t look like I was sick. It just didn’t add up.” Two years went by as Petersen continued to work without a diagnosis and his symptoms continued to worsen. During this time, he worried that his lack of muscle control and balance could become a safety hazard to his children, so he decided to pay for yet another medical opinion, this time from Parkinson’s specialist. “It’s so close to Parkinson’s, but it’s not. In two days, he diagnosed me.” Petersen, now 57, has raised

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Male tarantulas reach maturity between three and seven years old at which time they shed their skins for the last time and develop nuptial claspers on their front legs that they use to hold the female while mating. At the end of mating season the males will die. Female tarantulas also reach maturity within seven years but they will continue to raise families each year for the next 18 years. Mating takes place in fall and then the females spend winter in burrows until spring, when the mother makes a silk pillow case and lays hundreds of eggs. She cares for her precious brood for approximately a month before tearing a small

hole in the egg case and hundreds of tiny white pinheadsize spiders emerge. Within a week they will molt (shed their exoskeletons) and disperse. Out of these hundreds of spiderlings, only two or three will be fortunate enough to reach adulthood. Guide hikes and interpretive presentations are being offered throughout the season. Check the MDIA events calendar at to sign up for hikes and learn about these fantastic gentle giants of Mount Diablo. Michael Marchiano is a naturalist and a member of the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association.

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August 29, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 5

Concord News

Family Justice Center to serve county women CARLYN OBRINGER

CONCORD CITY NEWS A woman you know – maybe your neighbor, your sister, your friend, residing somewhere in central Contra Costa County – decides that today is the day. She has made a courageous, momentous decision and every aspect of her world is going to change – her family composition, her children, her finances, her home. She has chosen to create a permanent buffer zone between violence and her family. She is seeking a restraining order from her abuser – her husband of 10 years, the father of her two small children, and the family bread-

winner. The only problem? In order for her to obtain a restraining order and temporary shelter for her family, she must visit eight different agencies, scattered across the county, with her children in tow, relying upon public transportation to get from here to there. Bring Concord Police Chief Guy Swanger and Concord Mayor Tim Grayson into the picture. In 2011, during a crime briefing presentation to the Concord City Council, Chief Swanger mentioned that one out of three felony aggravated assaults in Concord was related to domestic violence. ThenVice-mayor Grayson reflected that some kind of wraparound support service was needed for victims of domestic violence, to remove them safely from this cycle of violence. After learning about it from

Swanger, Grayson visited the Family Justice Center (FJC) in San Diego in late 2012. Impressed by how safe and cared for victims there are made to feel, and by the joint location of public and private agencies so that domestic violence victims can find all of the help they need in one spot, he decided that central Contra Costa County could use its own FJC. Work on an initiative to establish a Family Justice Center in Concord, under the direction of Chief Swanger, began shortly thereafter. If this Family Justice Center is to serve central Contra Costa County, why locate it in Concord? In addition to Concord’s location in the heart of Diablo Valley, the Concord Police Department comes to this work with a unique perspective – a long, successful history of detectives working side-by-side with advocates from Catholic Chari-

Monument Tour rocks Concord Pavilion stage SARA BENNETT Special to the Pioneer

A couple of Sundays ago, the Concord Pavilion opened up their gates to one of the biggest tours to come to Northern California this summer: The Monument Tour featuring co-headliners Fall Out Boy and Paramore, and with Danish opening band, New Politics. It was a magical night. As the sun set in Concord, the lights came up and a very energetic New Politics took the stage. The sold-out Pavilion was completely packed with people coming together to experience one thing all of these complete strangers have in common: the love of music. More so, they showed their love of the two headliner bands. These fans don’t just come out to see these great musicians; these diehard fans come out to show support and sing their hearts out — and believe me, they did. The screaming began even before Paramore took the stage. The cheering intensified to an almost deafening sound, so loud one might think that the Concord hills might begin to quake. Hayley Williams, lead singer for Paramore, was silhouetted

the community. “I want us to have a place where when victims make that big, courageous decision to change their situation, that we won’t fail to work together enough to prevent them from going back to their violent situation.”

Carlyn Obringer chairs the City of Concord Planning Commission. Professionally, she focuses on California education issues as an Education Policy Analyst. Carlyn resides in Concord with her husband, Justin, and dog Crystal. Contact her at

Festival brings Latin food, music and art to Todos Santos

Tamara Steiner

Todos Santos Plaza was alive with music and color last Sunday when the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce brought together music, dance and food for their Third Annual Festival of Latin Culture. The program included exciting native folkdancing by Mexico’s Ballet Folklorico, Zumba dancing on the lawn and a kid’s piñata decorating contest, and well-known Latin rock band Puro Bandido. Mayor Tim Grayson proclaimed Aug. 23 Festival of Latin Culture Day in Concord to honor the event. Pictured: Hispanic Chamber of Commerce , Past President, Eric Maldonado; Manager Laura Maldonado, President Johnny Huang and Secretary Leonard E. Marquez who also served as event chairman.

County schools tap Joann Rossi as TOY Representative THE FINAL DAYS OF THE MONUMENT TOUR ended Sunday evening at the Sleep Train Pavilion with New Politics and co-headliners Paramore and Fall Out Boy.

at center stage as she greeted the frenzied crowd. When the band begin their first song, “Still Into You,” the crowd went insane, getting their money’s worth out of this epic show that had only just began. The band continued to play many of their older hit songs along with new ones. The shouted every lyric of every song. So much energy was coming off of the crowd it was as if they were being

Concord Concert Schedules Concord Pavilion Sept 7, 7 p.m., Marc Anthony

FREE Thursday Night Music in the Market

ties, Community Violence Solutions and STAND. However, victims from all over Central County will be welcome at the Center. “A regional FJC should work just as smoothly as the county library system and builds into the county’s role of providing support services to so many at a local level,” says Chief Swanger. At the moment, partnerships are being formed with the West Contra Costa County Family Justice Center and Zero Tolerance for Domestic Violence, he explains, “because domestic violence isn’t a cityspecific issue. The more we partner with other agencies, the stronger we are.” Police department staff, working with Mayor Grayson and the Family Justice Center Executive Committee (of which I am a member), are searching for a facility to begin operating the FJC by early 2015. The Concord Police Department will be seeking financial partners and community volunteers to support this endeavor. When asked how success will be measured, Chief Swanger says, “We will measure success by how easy it is to use, whether or not we created an environment that gave each victim every opportunity and every path to get help.” He believes that the Central County Family Justice Center will become a cornerstone of

Sept. 19, 6:30 p.m. Carnivores Tour: Linkin Park, 30 Seconds to Mars and AFI NEW: Sept. 20, 7 p.m. MAZE: featuring Patti LaBelle, Rubin Stoddard

Sept. 4, The Purple Ones 10-piece Tribute to Prince

Sept. 25, 7 p.m., Zac Brown Band

Sept. 11 Lafayette Studio Big Band; Count Basie-style 9/11 Memorial Show

Oct 1, 7 p.m., Kings of Leon, Young the Giant and Kongos Oct. 17, 7 p.m., Luke Bryan, Lee Brice and Cole Swindell

absorbed by the band and vice versa. The band put on such an immaculate performance that no one wanted it to end. It left everyone screaming for more. As the moon took over the night sky, there was only one thing left on everyone’s mind: Fall Out Boy. Fans grew restless as they watched the readying of the stage. There were shadows moving behind the large white curtain. Then the white parachute curtain fell with all four members faintly lit up. The screaming crowd finally got what they were asking for. Then all at once, the darkness was shattered. All the members took their positions as the crowd cheered them on. They played all of their bigger, well-known songs, such as “Sugar We’re Going Down” and “thnks fr th mmrs,” songs that every fan adores. One highlight of the evening was when front man Patrick Stump appeared with a drum set ready to awe everyone with his surprise drum solo. Sadly, the encores came and went and the house lights came up; it was time to go home. But it was a magical evening I’ll never forget.

In recognition of her 25 years of outstanding work and results, Joann Rossi was selected as the 2014-2015 Contra Costa County Office of Education’s Teacher of the Year. As one of the Contra Costa County Office of Education’s (CCCOE) Early Start instructors, Rossi works with children, newborn to 3-years old, who qualify for special education services. These young children have vision, hearing, orthopedic challenges, or other developmental disabilities. Though Rossi works out of the CCCOE’s Marchus School in Concord, her classrooms are primarily in her students’ homes. “Being told that your baby has or may have a disability or delay is not something any parent wants to hear and it may very well be one of the most painful experiences in their lifetime,” says Rossi. “Whether I’m

The Contra Costa County School Board will recognize Early Start educator, Joann Rossi for her work with special education children at the CCCOE Teacher of the Year Dinner on Sept. 11. providing direct services, helping a family navigate the confusing system of early intervention, or brainstorming ideas with them on the issue at hand, I am grateful and honored that I’m able to share this journey with them, even if it is for a short

time.” Rossi and 21 other distinguished Contra Costa County TOY district representatives will be honored at the upcoming Teacher of the Year Dinner Celebration on Sept. 11 at the Concord Hilton.

Coming Soon

Beginning next month, Concord will have its own Pioneer. The new content-rich Pioneer will cover civic affairs, local politics, schools, sports and the business community. Look for well-written features on interesting people and places and lifestyle columns on the outdoors, food and cooking, health and recreation. The paper will be delivered by carrier every month FREE to 28,000 homes in 94518, 94519 and 94521 and to homes in 94520 by the end of the year. Residents in 94518 or 94521 who have been getting the Clayton Pioneer will receive the Concord Pioneer instead. To continue receiving the Clayton Pioneer, call (925) 6720500 to subscribe for $35/year. Follow us on Facebook for updates. For advertising information, go to or call (925) 672-0500.

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Clayton Pioneer •

Coming in Septembe r

ual The 23rd Ann

San Francisco

stival e F e g n i Fr 4 days ws in 1 35 sho

dgy, E f o t s The Be pendent Inde e Theatr Sept. 5 - 20

Animal Love, one of 35 shows at this year’s Fringe Festival.

Concord native keeps news flowing for Bonilla JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Ryan Morimune celebrated his 29th birthday earlier this month and the Concord native looked back over the past six months as “a whirlwind” since taking on the position of press secretary for Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, the Concord Democrat. Morimune entered into government work after earning his master’s two years ago from CSU

Sacramento, where he also got his bachelor’s degree. His girlfriend’s aunt works in Sacramento and directed him to apply for an unpaid internship with the Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review, chaired by Assemblyman Jim Frazier. This gave Morimune a birdseye view of what goes on in the Sacramento legislative process. The committee work is done in the Legislative Office Building but capitol staffers told him he needed to get closer to the

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Spelling Bee,” from Sept. 4 through Oct.12. For six young people who are quirky and awkward, with equally quirky parents and teachers, the spelling bee is the pinnacle of their school career. With honest and heartfelt songs such as “My Friend, the Dictionary,” “Woe is Me,” and “I’m Not That Smart,” these misfits learn that winning isn’t everything and that losing doesn’t make you a loser. The production, with book by Rachel Sheinkin and music and lyrics by William Finn, opened on Broadway in 2005 and received the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical along with several other nominations, including Best Original Score and Best Musical. A feature of the production is audience participation. Four spectators are invited to join the cast and spell until they are eliminated. The cast features Kate Patton, Ella Wolfe, Shelly McDowell, Eric Johnson, Ron Craven, Meghan Telles, Sergio Ramirez, Alan McElroy, Ms. Ben Walker, John Gishe and Norm Gilbert. Vagabond Players will perform the show at a dozen senior centers and assisted living facilities as well as El Campanil Theatre in Antioch on Oct. 11 and 12. For tickets and information for the El Campanil shows, visit

action in the State Capitol. He approached Frazier about an internship in his Capitol office and that position eventually led Morimune to apply for an opening with Assemblywoman Bonilla’s staff. He was hired in February. BUSY LEGISLATIVE SEASON Morimune spent a few halfdays shadowing his predecessor in the post and then jumped right in as the legislative season was hot and heavy. February is the final month for new legislation to be introduced for the session. “The Assemblywoman is a very active, hard-working member. She expects a lot of us [her staff] and appreciates the work we do,” Morimune said. He adds that “it’s cool” to be working for the district he grew up in. Morimune attended Highlands Elementary, Pine Hollow Middle, Clayton Valley High (Class of 2003) and Diablo Valley College before matriculating to Sac State. His parents, Dick and Lil Morimune, live in the home where they raised Ryan and older brother Scott. The press secretary has a list of more than 300 contacts that receive his frequent email press releases and those often generate emails and calls from media with follow-up questions for Morimune and the assemblywoman. Many requests also come in for audio and video interviews with Bonilla. Bonilla explains the current status of her assembly work with the session ending this Sunday: “It has been another busy, but always exciting, year in the Capitol. I still have a number of important pieces of legislation to pass.” The assemblywoman mentioned that two of her most publicized bills, AB 2293 and AB 1147, are being heard during this final week of the session. “Assembly Bill 2293 clarifies insurance coverage for Transportation Network Companies such as Uber and Lyft, to ensure that drivers, consumers and pedestrians are all protected. AB 1147, the Massage Therapy Reform Act, is a monumental measure which will return landuse authority to local governments so they can better regulate massage therapy establishments. This bill seeks to continue the professionalization of the massage therapy industry by

School Year, from page 1 students play a key role in the Summer Transition program and then as mentors for freshmen during their first year on the Alberta Way campus. The Link Crew comprises sophomores, juniors and seniors. Commissioners such as senior Brody Rogers ‘captain’ teams of 60-70 freshmen while others on the crew handle smaller teams of 10-12 frosh. This year’s program ran the mornings of Aug. 4-8 with the 480 freshman class joined by transfer students in the three upper grades. McChesney estimates that 90 percent of the Transition students were ninth

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graders. “I can’t begin to explain how beneficial this is in setting a positive tone, establishing their CVCHS experience and getting the school year off to a smooth beginning for these new students,” he says. “Transition students spend Monday in a walk-through to handle all their administrative duties such as getting their picture taken, class schedule, locker assignment and text books and completing paperwork,” McChesney said. The next four days include personalized tours to show students their classrooms, the library, gymnasium and locker rooms, lunch room, office and

Jay Bedecarre photo

RYAN MORIMUNE is the press secretary for Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, the Concord Democrat. Bonilla hosted her fourth annual Taking the World By Storm girls soccer clinic last month in Walnut Creek and Morimune and his fellow staffers helped manage the event for over 200 girls.

eradicating illicit activities and human trafficking.” She explains that she’s already had two measures approved by the legislature and signed by Governor Jerry Brown. She chairs the Assembly Business, Professions and Consumer Protection Committee, and sits on the Assembly Health Committee and the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee. She also chairs the Assembly Select Committee on Increasing the Integration of STEM Education in California K-14 Schools. Morimune spends his work week in the 14th District office at the Capitol. Chief of Staff Luis Quinonez heads the office there. Bonilla has a district office across from Todos Santos Plaza in downtown Concord. “Ryan has been a great asset to the team,” said Bonilla. “He strives for success, has a relentless drive and is a great resource to our office being a local native of Concord in Assembly District 14.” Morimune says the job is a “huge, huge learning experience and you don’t stop learning.”

NEW OFFICE IN THE OFFING? Bonilla ran unopposed in the June primary and will be termed out of the assembly in 2016 at the conclusion of her upcoming third two-year term. It’s an open secret if State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier wins the congressional seat of retiring Rep. George Miller in November that Bonilla is eyeing moving into his Seventh District senate seat. Besides their work in Sacramento and Concord, Bonilla’s staff gets out to many community events. Staff from both offices, including Morimune, was involved with the recent fourth annual Taking the World by Storm girls soccer clinic last month in Walnut Creek. About 200 girls were instructed by the California Storm professional team. The Assemblywoman hosts the clinic to empower young women and promote healthy and active lifestyles. A number of local companies and organizations such as Garaventa Enterprises, Diablo Futbol Club, SportStars magazine and Tesoro Golden Eagle Refinery are annual sponsors.

other school facilities they will be using during the year. There’s a fashion show to visually explain the school dress code and a thorough review of the student handbook so newcomers understand school policies and procedures. All of the administrative and office staff are on hand and introduced as well. “There are team building, games, group activities and socialization exercises, many conducted by the Link Crew,” McChesney says. The school alumnus has been an administrator for two years after a decade on the faculty.

inaugural charter year is Achieve3000. The online program has more than 20,000 Associated Press articles on a wide range of subject matter that can be accessed by CVCHS faculty for their students, filtered to the individual’s reading level which is set and adjusted each school year. The school has seen a marked increase in the use of Achieve3000 across the curriculum from year one to this current school year.

NEW TEACHERS TRAINED TOO Not to be outdone by student needs, CVCHS has a separate orientation for new faculty members. This year 11 teachers joined the faculty and about a third are first-year teachers. Their intensive two-day orientation covered myriad topics, from meeting all the administrators and office staff to a full review of the school’s philosophy, policies, procedures, protocols and programs. “We go over all the nuts and bolts so that our new faculty members have the tools they need from the first day of school,” McChesney says. Topics from grading to using the school website to disaster preparedness are covered. A number of school managers and administrators lead sessions. One of the pivotal educational tools CVCHS introduced in its


In other school news, facilities manager Alison Bacigalupo reports that Measure C-funded renovations to Gonsalves Stadium have a completion target date of Sept. 19, in time for the second home football game. It was originally hoped to be completed by the first home game Sept. 5. Additional bleachers, a large entrance walkway and snack shack, ticket office, bathrooms and storage area are all under construction. When the new projects are complete the current snack shack will be converted to a sports medicine facility. The Eagles host Tracy on Sept. 5 with accommodations made for areas and facilities not completed by then. Also set to be finished in next few weeks are the conversion of the wood shop to a fitness studio and a new outdoor weight training area.

August 29, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Police Activity Report Thieves use electronic gadget to unlock car doors

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 P EGGY S PEAR , Copy Editor J AY B EDECARRÉ, Sports PAMELA W IESENDANGER , Administration S TAFF W RITERS : Peggy Spear, Pam Wiesendanger, John Jackson, Jay Bedecarre

We remember Jill Bedecarré - Her spirit is our muse


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CIRCULATION as of Sept. 2014 Total circulation of the Clayton Pioneer is 5,500 to ZIP code 94517 . The Concord Pioneer is delivered monthly to 28,000 in 94518, 94519 and 94521. In Clayton, all papers are delivered monthly by the US Post Office. We cannot start or stop delivery to individual addresses. All Concord delivery is by carrier and delivered once a month on a Friday morning near the end of the month. To stop delivery for any reason, call the office at (925) 672-0500 or email If you are NOT receiving the Pioneer, please check the distribution map on the website. If you live in the shaded area and are not receiving the paper, please call us or send an email to If you are not in the shaded area, please be patient. We will come to your neighborhood soon.

CLASSIFIEDS Classified rates per insertion: $48 for first 30 words, 40 cents each additional word Non-profit: $24 for first 30 words, 20 cents each additional word To place your classified ad over the phone, call the office at (925) 6720500 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mon.Fri. All classifieds must be paid for in advance by credit card (Master Card or Visa) We will not accept any ad that discriminates on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, nationality, family status or disability. The Clayton Pioneer reserves the right to reject any advertising we believe is unsuitable.

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Locking your belongings up in your car may not be enough to keep them safe from burglars, says Clayton PD. Thieves hit several cars in Easley Estates last week and owners say they were locked. The burglars appear to be using an electronic gadget that unlocks the door. Local blog, reported that a resident on Olive Dr. Concord caught a thief using one of the devices on surveillance video. “The best way to protect your valuables is to take them out of the car,” says Clayton Officer Allen White. “When there’s nothing in the car to take, there’s no loss.” Anyone with any information about the recent burglaries are asked to call Clayton or Concord PD.

Police Report for two weeks ending Aug. 21, 2014 ACCIDENTS: Aug. 15, 5:12 p.m. 5400 Clayton Rd. ARRESTS: Aug. 10, 10:16 a.m. Stranahan Cr. A 33-year-old Clayton male was arrested for battery on spouse/cohabitant. Aug. 12, 4:04 a.m. 5400 Clayton Rd. A 26-year-old Pleasant Hill female was arrested for false identification to a peace officer; probation violation. Aug. 12, 7:40 p.m. Clayton Rd./Peacock Creek. An 18-year-old Clayton male was arrested for reckless driving. Aug. 13, 5:13 p.m. Main St. A 39-year-old Clayton male was arrested on a warrant. Aug. 14, 1:16 p.m. 6000 Heritage Tr. A 32-year-old Clayton female was arrested on a warrant. Aug. 15, 1 a.m. Indian Wells Dr./Arrowhead Tr. A 20-year-old Concord male was arrested for possession of marijuana over 28.5 grams. Aug. 16, 1:58 a.m. Marsh Creek Rd./Deer Valley Rd. A 60-year-old Brentwood male was arrested for DUI, drugs; probation violation. Aug. 16, 3:06 p.m. 5400 Clayton

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Rd. A 35-year-old Concord male was arrested for burglary; battery. Aug. 17, 1:12 a.m. 1500 Kirker Pass Rd. A 46-year-old Modesto male was arrested for possessing controlled substance; under the influence of a controlled substance; driving while license suspended; probation violation. Aug. 18, 2:20 a.m. Allegro Ave./Forte Ln. A 45-year-old Concord female was arrested on a warrant. Aug. 21, 2:01 a.m. Kirker Pass Rd./Concord Blvd. A 31-year-old Pittsburg male was arrested for driving with a suspended license – DUI; possession of marijuana 1 ounce or less while driving; warrants. Aug. 21, 7:30 a.m. Marsh Creek Rd./Pine Ln. A 23-year-old Concord male was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon on person. BURGLARIES/THEFTS: Aug. 12, W. Myrick Ct. Burglary – Residential. Aug. 12, Atchinson Stage Rd. Burglary – Residential. Aug. 13, Kirker Pass Rd. Petty Theft – Vehicle. Aug. 15, Mt. Washington Wy. Petty Theft – Vehicle. Aug. 15, Easley Dr. Petty Theft – Vehicle. Aug. 16, 5400 Clayton Rd. Burglary – Commercial. Aug. 20, Samuel Ct. Burglary – Vehicle. Aug. 20, Bigelow St. Burglary – Vehicle. Aug. 20, Bigelow St. Burglary – Vehicle. VANDALISM Aug. 13, Clark Creek Cr.

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Clayton Pioneer •

August 29, 2014

August 29, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 9

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This creamy, tangy snack is loaded with calcium — and studies show that calcium may curtail weight gain by hindering the absorption of fat in the small intestine

Eggs Turn breakfast into a fatburning morning boost by skipping the stack of pancakes and feasting on a couple of eggs instead. According to a study, huevos beat out carbs when it came to helping folks feel full longer and helping them beat back snack attacks later in the day

the garbage, and eat more whole grains instead. Research shows this one move can help whittle your middle. We’re talking brown rice, quinoa, steelcut oats, whole-grain cereal, and 100 percent whole-wheat bread and pasta.

Pistachios Nuts may be high in fat, but it’s a healthful unsaturated kind of fat. Like all nuts, pistachios offer lots of hunger-curbing protein and fiber.



Grapefruit Of all the foods rumored to boost weight loss, grapefruit is likely the most famous. And research confirms that this fruit’s get-slim celebrity status is for real. One study in particular revealed that eating half a grapefruit before each meal helped dieters shed more pounds than people who skipped the tart appetizer.

This green goddess of heavenly, creamy taste can help you whittle your waist. It’s true! Researchers suspect that the unsaturated fat in avocados may ratchet up body levels of the hunger-halting hormone called leptin — a hormone that lets your brain know that you’re full, so you stop eating.


Add some heat to your meals and you’ll boost not only the taste but also the effectiveness of your weight loss diet. A dash of cayenne pepper or some diced jalapeno or red peppers will do the trick. They all contain capsaicin — the heat-inducing compound in red peppers that, according to research, tamps down appetite and curbs food intake later in the day.


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Olive Oil This rich-tasting oil found in salad dressings and marinades contains a hunger-busting monounsaturated fat called oleic acid — which triggers a complicated process in the gut that ultimately tells your brain you’re full and makes you want to stop eating.

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By JEANETTE HOCHSTATTER, O.D. any people come in to my practice asking about contact lenses, so I thought would address the most frequent questions. How old do you have to be to wear contact lenses? There is no age limit: babies can wear them, and so can seniors. Use of contacts is more dependent on your attitude and hand skills than your age. When done properly, the contact lens success rate for people of all ages, is very high. Why not just wear eyeglasses? Contacts allow visual clarity of both your center and side vision. As a result many new wearers describe their first contact lens experience as “vision in HD,” and many sports enthusiasts marvel at how this visual difference changes their game — no more pushing glasses up their nose as they exercise.

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When it comes to weight loss foods, celery and dry toast may be a classic. But the fact of the matter is you won’t lose weight nibbling on scant amounts of those items. In fact, your body will just think it is starving and hang onto those extra pounds! Rather, to lose weight effectively and permanently, you need to eat. And eat smart. Here are 10 of the best foods for easy weight loss.

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Additionally, contacts allow for ease with many specialty items such as protective eyewear, and even those sunglasses you have always wanted. How much care do contact lenses require? Cleaning regimens are easier than ever. In our office, we use primarily daily disposable contacts, which are applied fresh out of the package each morning. Since they run about $1 a day, the occasional loss or tear of a lens is so much easier than in the past. Clean, healthy, comfortable and convenient, contacts are a perfect option for those looking to be free of glasses or looking to change their eye color. Are contact lenses more or less expensive than glasses? As with eyeglasses, the cost of contact lenses varies widely depending

on the brand, the prescription and how often the lenses are replaced. You can always call your eye care practitioner and ask for a price range of the lenses and the contact lens evaluation. You will also want current glasses available even if contacts are your primary form of eyewear. Are contacts comfortable? Modern contact lenses are designed to be very comfortable. Most are made of a soft material that is hardly noticeable on the eyes. Eye-care practitioners have very sophisticated tools for measuring the eyes and making sure the lenses fit comfortably and in a healthy way. Some wonder if it will hurt to apply contact lenses to their eyes for the first time, but most patients describe their first contact lens experience as “so much easier

and more comfortable than they had ever imagined.” If you have astigmatism or a strong prescription, don’t you have to wear glasses instead? Not anymore. That may have been true years ago, but now contact lenses are manufactured in designs that work for nearly everyone, including people with astigmatism and those who need bifocals. Contact lenses offer one more way to see clearly and comfortably. Should you have more questions about contact lenses or other eye concerns you would like to see addressed in this column, feel free to email me. Jeanette Hochstatter, O.D. is the optometrist at Foresight Optometry in the Clayton Valley Shopping Center. Email questions or comments about eye health to

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ver last century our lives revved up and now we are forgetting how to “stop and take a breath.” This can cause serious health issues, not least of all, heart attacks. Heart disease (coronary artery disease) is the single leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for more than one in five deaths each year. The key focus should be on prevention, and a knowledge of risk factors can help to each of us to stay well. There are risks which we can influence, such as smoking, eating habits and physical activity. Risks that can’t be modified or changed include genetics and age. There is a frequently used tool doctors and other health professionals use to calculate the risk of heart disease, the “Framingham Risk Score Calculator, “ that gives an estimate of

risk in 10 years. It combines age, gender, cholesterol numbers, smoking status and blood pressure. A recent update of this risk assessment also takes in consideration body weight, which is measured as BMI (body mass index) and is based on height and weight in adults. There are also many other online tools that can help estimate this; go to, or to start. A “Healthy” BMI is 18.525, “Overweight” is 25-30 and “Obese” is 30 and above. This tool has some limitation in

athletes where there is muscle build-up and it is not used in children. The higher the BMI number, the higher risk for diabetes, heart disease and more. Since body fat is frequently stored in the abdominal area, there is a consensus that abdominal obesity is more dangerous than fat in other body areas. (Fat deposits in liver and internal organs lead to higher risk of artery disease and metabolic disorders). This is the reason why we now use “waist circumference” as measure of risk. The risk goes up with a waist size – it shouldn’t be greater than 35 inches in woman and greater than 40 inches in men. Energy balance is important for maint a i n i n g healthy weight. If overweight or obese, reduce your daily intake by 500 calories for weight loss.

To do this, think what unnecessary calories you add on during the course of the day. For example, are you regularly indulging in sweet beverages, Frappuccinos, unnecessary snacks and alcoholic beverages? Replacing these with wholesome nutritious food as fresh fruits, water and nuts can make a huge difference. High-carbohydrate diets not only promote fat storage in our body but also constantly makes our hormone Insulin “chase after sugar” to bring it to normal levels. This process can lead to fatigue and a lack of energy. On the other hand, wholesome nutrition, which supplies our body with all necessary building blocks such as protein, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, makes metabolism “ run smooth” and over time makes us feel better, more energetic, happier and reduces pain. Jana Tomsky, M.D. is a physician with the Clayton Valley Medical Group located in the Clayton Station, 5439 Clayton Road,Suite B, Clayton. Email questions and comments to

Big benefits from sunshine vitamin


f your mother gave you vitamin D-rich cod liver oil when you were a child, she may have been way ahead of her time. We’re talking about the sunshine vitamin – good old D. PROMISING ALZHEIMER’S STUDY A new animal study from Japan suggests that vitamin D may be a defense against Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloid beta, a toxic, protein-like compound that builds up in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Even more amazing, the lab animals that received vitamin D in the Japanese study were able to remove a significant amount of amyloid beta literally overnight. It seems the vitamin may somehow regulate production of transporter proteins that ferry the across the blood-brain barrier and out of the brain. Pretty exciting stuff. D-BUG THE FLU Getting plenty of this vitamin may make venturing out of your house a little less scary this flu season. In a study done during flu season, people who had higher blood levels of vitamin D were half as likely to get hit with the bug – or any other viral infection of the respiratory tract, for that

matter. Not only were the D lovers in the study less likely to get sick compared with people who had lower D levels, but the high-D group also tended to be out of commission for fewer days when they did get hit. Researchers aren’t totally sure why D helps, but it could be that the nutrient’s inflammation-suppressing powers help reduce the severity of infections Many grown-ups lack vitamin D – especially in the winter months. Are you ready to make sure you get your fill? Try these strategies: Go fishing. Canned salmon supplies a whopping 530 international units (IU) of vitamin D for each 3-ounce serving. Or open the canned tuna for 360 IU of vitamin D from a 3-ounce serving. Seek fortification. Grab the orange juice that’s been fortified with vitamin D and you’ll add an additional 100 IU of the sunshine vitamin to your day with each cup you drink. Crack an egg. If you like scrambled eggs, you’ll garner 20–26 IU of vitamin D per large egg. Source:

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Clayton Pioneer •

August 29, 2014

Sports Seastrand sibs lead Dana Hills to top 4 county finish JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Dana Hills Swim Team has always been a summertime family affair with children swimming and parents volunteering for the large Clayton recreation team that will celebrate 25 years in its eight-lane, 25-yard pool next year. This year’s Otters team had three Seastrand children—Clayton (12-years-old), Karlie (10) and Colton (8)—-capture high point honors at both the 48th annual City Meet in Concord and the recent 54th County Swimming Championships in Lafayette. A year ago sisters Molly and Ryanne Boland took high point awards at county and the Iannaccone clan (Ryan, Stephanie, Alan and Erick) have garnered their share of individual laurels over the past few DHST seasons. Karlie Seastrand won the 9-10 50-yard backstroke and freestyle events while other brother Clayton was 11-12 champ in the 50 free and butterfly while their younger sibling Colton was 7-8 boys winner of the 25 breaststroke and back. The three Seastrands were among 16 swimmers who each won both their events. Teammate Jenna Ewert was the only Otter to break a county meet record this year. Unfortunately her time of 26.24 seconds in the 13-14 fly was only good for second place to Sophia Kosturos of Orinda Country Club who clocked 25.93 for the new county mark. Ewert was also third in the 100-yard individual medley.

Caela Hetherton, Sean Thomas, Alan Iannaccone, Joe Snyder, Joshua Ewert, Nick Bazan and Tanner Armas.

Photo courtesy Dana hills Swim Team

THE NAME SEASTRAND FILLED THE TOP STEP OF THE AWARDS PODIUM AT SWIM MEETS THIS SUMMER and the success of, from left, Karlie (10), Colton (8) and Clayton (12) Seastrand helped the Otters to another successful season. The siblings from Clayton were all high point winners at the City and County swim meets this month for the Otters.

OTTERS MOVE UP TO 4TH Dana Hills took fourth in the team standings, one place higher than their fifth place showings of the last two years. Crow Canyon Country Club was first for the 10th year in a row with Round Hill second and Blackhawk third. A total of 54 Contra Costa swim teams scored points at the County Meet in the Acalanes

High School pool. Ryan Iannaccone was first in the 13-14 boys 100 back and second in the IM, tying for second in the age group high-point standings. Other top DHST performers were Erica duLong (13-14, 4th 50 breast, 5th 100 IM), Anthony Vines (15-18, 5th 100 free, 4th fly) and Sara Abele (15-18, 2nd 100 breast, 8th

IM). Stephanie Iannaccone (910), Logan Sherman (11-12) and Abbie Kubota (15-18) placed in two championship finals each. Otters who scored in one championship and one consolation final were Isabella Samardzic, Serafina Celentano, Cami McGee, the Boland sisters, Kayla Conger and Gabi Mancini. Also scoring points

for the Otters with a pair of consolation placings were Gianna duLong, Niklas Weigelt, Alyssa Dern, Paige Landstrom, Ryan Calkins and Erick Iannaccone. Camille Cline accounted for the other top 10 placing for DHST in 13-14 IM. Consolation finalists included Kate Madigan, Diego Castaneda, Avery D’Arcy, Melissa Cark,

ORCAS SCORE POINTS Oakhurst Country Club standout Grace Smith was eighth in 9-10 back and 14th in fly for the Orcas. Kai Parker (6 & under) and Kaitlyn Sheffield (11-12) placed in two consolation finals while teammates Tyler Brown, Brandon Hristov and Lindsey Treppa picked up points in conso finals. Dana Hills relays placed in 13 championship finals with both the A and B 13-14 girls in the freestyle finals. The girls outperformed the boys with eight top five finishes. The 15-18 boys were sixth in both the medley and free relays with Snyder, Vines, Calkins and Thomas in both events for the best male showings for DHST. On the distaff side the 15-18 medley relay was runner-up with Kubota, Abele, Conger and Madigan. The same quarter was third in the free relay. The 9-10 Otter girls were third in the medley relay with Karlie Seastrand, Stephanie Iannaccone, Rochelle Cloven and Celentano. Libby Celentano replaced Cloven on the fourthplace free relay. In 11-12 the foursome of Samardzic, Gianna duLong, Sherman and Ryanne Boland was third in free and fifth in medley. The 13-14 team of Mancini, Erica duLong, Jenna Ewert and Cark was fourth in the medley relay and fifth in free.

Rich Feldmann takes over Clayton Valley girls volleyball JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

The surname of Clayton Valley Charter High School varsity girls volleyball coach is no longer Hobson. Rich Feldmann has taken over as the Eagles headman succeeding Dave Hobson who had the job for three years after he replaced his wife Lisa Hobson following her four years in charge of the Eagles. Dave Hobson is pursuing his master’s degree and an administrative position at his school in Crockett and because of the busy schedule relinquished the coaching role last spring to his assistant coach Feldmann. “I will truly miss the amazing young people,” said Hobson, who like his CVHS Athletic Hall of Fame wife is an alumnus of the school.

Feldmann joined the Eagles staff last fall as the team earned a North Coast Section berth after a two-year spell out of the playoffs. The new coach is immersed in volleyball as he founded the Bay Area Blast Volleyball Club with his wife Tracy in 2012. Making it even more of a family affair, son Ryan (a starter on De La Salle’s 2011 13th-ranked national volleyball team) is a volunteer assistant at CVCHS. Feldmann previously was assistant coach two years for the Las Lomas girls varsity and four years with the DLS boys froshsoph team. He was a three-sport (baseball, basketball and football) high school athlete and student body president in Maine before graduating from the University of

Maine and then went to grad school at University of Wisconsin Madison. He was Cum Laude at both schools. He’s been involved in finance and accounting during his professional career. The new coach began playing grass and sand doubles volleyball when he moved to California in 1978 following college. He earned a California Beach Volleyball A sand rating and has taken that experience to coach 45 girls in the largest sand volleyball program in the East Bay. He has over 20 years of coaching experience in youth athletics since beginning coaching his son’s youth baseball and basketball teams. The Feldmann’s club volleyball program has grown in two years to nine girls and four boys

teams from 13-18 years of age playing out of Martinez, Pleasant Hill and San Ramon. “I have the belief that youth athletics is an essential part of the youth experience and that coaches can play a significant role in the life of their players. We focus on fundamentals and accountability. All players should be well-rounded with passing, setting and hitting skills,” Feldmann said. He adds, “Coaches need to be clear and concise in what they communicate and with expectations. There needs to be an emphasis on positive reinforcement while challenging players and holding them accountable.” Feldmann will be continuing the Dig Pink benefit game Hobson brought to CVCHS two years ago.

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Photo courtesy CVCHS volleyball

HEAD VARSITY COACH RICH FELDMANN puts some Clayton Valley Charter High School girls through their paces this summer in a club sand volleyball exercise. The players include, clockwise from left, Kiana Smith, Alissa Guevara, Kayla Caton, Taylor Sproul and Mia Mudaliar.

“We need to provide players with a positive experience that mirrors the one I had growing up. I remember all my coaches and the positive impact they had

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August 29, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 11


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High school football season kicks off this weekend for local teams JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Nothing says fall like high school football and before the calendar even turns to September there are non-league games taking place for the local high schools this weekend. Clayton Valley Charter is in the Honor Bowl Saturday evening against Carson City, NV at Del Oro High in Loomis. Concord High (Benicia) and Northgate (Hayward) both host games Friday evening. De La Salle has been basking in the national spotlight all summer leading up to the premiere last week of the acclaimed movie “When The Game Stands Tall” and begins its 2014 season this Friday evening at Cal’s Memorial Stadium in Berkeley against Jesuit of Carmichael, coached by former Spartan standout Marlon Blanton. The game was originally scheduled for the new $1.3 billion Levi’s Stadium but was moved last week because the turf had to be replaced after the Niners first preseason game. The 8 p.m. De La Salle-Jesuit game Friday will be nationally televised on ESPN2. DLS will play in the first ever high school weekend at Levi’s Stadium when they meet traditional East Bay power James Logan of Union City on Saturday, Oct. 11, in a game that was originally set at the Concord school. Coach Tim Murphy enters his third season at Clayton Valley Charter with Northern California’s ninth-ranked team (SportStars magazine pre-season poll). He’s been happy with the team’s preseason workouts. “We’re pretty healthy. The team is better off having been in the program for two years so they know our expectations and the coaching staff hasn’t had to teach as much. We have good leaders and no academic worries.” Senior captain Jax Carter was Diablo Valley Athletic League 2013 lineman of the year and is a two-way starter this year. “Caveman” Harrison Boyle spent most of his time as Carter’s backup as a

Jason Rogers photo

SENIOR RYAN COOPER (left) is a returning all-DVAL defender and also plays runningback for Clayton Valley Charter High School. The Eagles meet Carson City, NV in the Honor Bowl this Saturday evening in Loomis and then have their home opener Sept. 5 at Gonsalves Stadium against Tracy. Coach Tim Murphy says Cooper’s “heart is the size of his chest.”

junior but this year Murphy says he’s joined Carter as a two-way starter. “He’s so aggressive,” his coach says. Murphy won’t get a first-hand look at his Eagles against Carson or in the home opener Sept. 5 against Tracy. He’ll be serving his two-game suspension for the premature practice sessions the team held at the end of the prior school year. His coaching staff will fill in calling plays at the first two games. The Eagles have outstanding running back Miles Harrison (37 touchdowns, 2020 rushing yards as an all-DVAL runningback) to take the load off new starting quarterback junior Nate Keisel, who Murphy said stood out in the annual Blue-Red game two weeks ago. Other all-DVAL returners are Ryan Cooper, Brandon Estrada, Daniel Ferrell, Rich Peralta (“he doesn’t miss tackles”), Justin Zapanta and Griffin Bentley. CVCHS has a handful of

transfer players awaiting word this week from North Coast Section commissioner Gil Lemmon as to their eligibility for this fall. Defensive lineman Kahlil McKenzie, rated the No. 1 college recruit in the country by Scout, is the highest profile of the new players. Jamel Rosales, another transfer from DLS, was the first to be informed that he will have to sit out the first six games. Clayton Valley plays five non-league games before a bye week and then five DVAL games as they hope to advance to the NCS playoffs again. The high-scoring offense of CVCHS led them to the 2012 NCS championship and the semifinals in Division II last fall. De La Salle’s storied 151-game winning streak and its aftermath are chronicled on the big screen in “When The Game Stands Tall” but this year’s team is anxious to get on the football field and put that notoriety behind them.

Second-year head coach Justin Alumbaugh faces one of the most challenging schedules ever for the top-ranked Spartans as they will meet Top 20 Northern California teams Jesuit, Foothill, Del Oro, California and Serra carrying a 262-game unbeaten streak against NorCal opposition. They also host Byrnes, South Carolina Sept. 12 and Servite-Anaheim (No. 10 in the nation) Sept. 27. DLS lost the State championship bowl game 20-14 last December to St. John Bosco, ending a 40-game overall winning streak that included four straight State titles and an 81game winning skein against California teams. The Spartans have an experienced team with Antoine Custer, Adam Mayer, Devin Asiasi, Drew Sullivan, Northwestern-commit and co-captain Simba Short, Jevari Anderson, Andrew Hernandez, Boss Tagaloa and Cameron Lissarrague all geared for big seasons as they hope to withstand the even greater spotlight put on them due to the movie publicity. New quarterback Anthony Sweeney hopes to give the offense more consistency than it showed last year when Alumbaugh said the team had trouble firing on all cylinders (offense, defense and special teams) at the same time when he began the daunting task of replacing the legendary Bob Ladouceur. Last year’s challenge for the new coach was replacing a legend and this year it may just be tackling the schedule laid out for his Spartans. Defensive coordinator Terry Eidson says the De La Salle players “love Alumbaugh and want to ‘redeem themselves’ this year.” Eidson says the Spartans have more depth than last year and expects his defensive line to stand out. The Northgate Broncos debut new head coach Ben Ballard, formerly the NG defensive coordinator, who replaces his good friend Justin Lowell who left for Valley Christian in Dublin after last season.

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Time to Just Win, Baby TYLER LEHMAN SPORTS TALK The regular season for NFL football is right around the corner and the Oakland Raiders are looking forward to a fresh start this year. Last year was a complete disappointment for Raiders fans and players alike, but a multitude of things point towards a better season this season. For starters, the Raiders open the regular season September 4 against the New York Jets. The Raiders have a good chance of beating the Jets, a team which struggled greatly last year. The key to the Raiders beating the Jets, and winning many other games, is to run the football. They need to run, run, run. New Raiders quarterback Matt Schaub is coming off the worst season of his career, so he is going to need some pressure taken off his shoulders. The Raiders will not win games

when Schaub has to throw the ball over 40 times because their offense is not geared for success by throwing the football. The offensive line is bigger than it has been in years so there is a lot of muscle in the trenches for the Raiders. Feeding the ball repeatedly to Maurice Jones-Drew, Darren McFadden and Latavius Murray will ease the load for Schaub and open up play-action passes Schaub had so much success with in Houston. Murray is a relatively unknown player who might end up having a surprisingly big impact for the Raiders this year. Murray was drafted in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL draft but did not play last season due to an injury. What is so impressive about Murray is his freakish athleticism. At his Central Florida proday, he ran a 4.38 40-yard dash. That is respectably fast for most running backs, but there aren’t many who are also 6-3, 230 pounds and can run that fast. Another player who is due for a breakout year with the Silver and Black is wide receiver Rod Streater. Going into his

third year with the Raiders, Streater showed tremendous growth last season when he had 888 yards receiving and four touchdown catches. Streater needs to continue to improve and be the Raiders #1 receiving option over former Green Bay Packer James Jones. Jones was signed in the offseason to be the Raiders #1 receiver, but he seems to have lost a step. Jones had a great run in Green Bay but the majority of his success came off go-routes deep down the field. Without the

same speed, it is going to be hard for Jones to have the same success in Oakland that he had in Green Bay, but only time will tell. With a week one start against the Jets, the Raiders will look to come out of the gates sprinting this year. In the words of the late Al Davis, “Just Win, Baby!” Tyler Lehman is a sophomore at Diablo Valley College and a 2012 CVHS graduate. He plans to major in journalism and wants to be a sports writer. Email your comments or questions to

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Clayton Pioneer •

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August 29, 2014

A big ‘thanks’ to city employees

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Clayton Valley Charter High School has new aquatics award boards outside the girls locker room across from the campus gymnasium. The red, white and blue boards display boys and girls swimming and diving records as well as a list of all Eagles high school swimming and diving all-Americas dating back to the 1960s. Coach Dennis Bledsoe and a team parent Stan Hansen were at a water polo match in Orinda several years ago when they noticed the welldesigned Miramonte High swim boards and asked each other why Clayton Valley couldn’t have something like that. At Bledsoe’s urging Hansen went about turning the idea into two separate Eagle Scout projects. The All-America board was done by CVCHS junior Anthony Vines and the top 10 times board was produced by Matthew D’Angina, a recent graduate of the school. Now all these boards need is a place of honor at the proposed CVCHS Aquatic Center.

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St Bonaventure CYO cross country is looking for coaches for its fall season for boys and girls in 2nd-8th grades in the St. Bonaventure attendance area. Cross country is a short, family-oriented season with practices typically on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Parents are highly encouraged to run too. Meets begin in late September on Friday evenings with the Oakland Diocese meet in mid-October. Anyone interested in helping with the cross country program should contact St. Bonaventure athletic director Tim O’Hara by phone 6725774 or email



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Diablo FC is rolling out a youth soccer recreational league program starting next month that will focus on individual technical development, building confidence in young soccer players, improving cognitive development and increasing imagination by allowing players to learn the game gradually in a fun, engaged environment. Diablo FC is the area’s premier youth soccer program and is offering open registration to all players ages 4-8, regardless of ability or previous experience. The league runs Sept. 9 through Oct. 18. Refer to for more details.

As my time on the Clayton City Council winds down, I have been reflecting on some of the things I have learned during the past two terms. I quickly learned how important and how good the city employees are. Being a small city, each of our employees in City Hall perform a variety of roles. Everyone seems to pitch in and help out whether it is planning the Fourth of July parade or unwinding the redevelopment agency. Our maintenance staff is comprised of five full-time employees and varying number of part-time and seasonal employees. This small group is responsible for our parks, all of the city landscaping, our buildings, many of our street lights, the open space, and any other physical task.

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All fall programs at Clayton Gym including youth volleyball and basketball and adult co-ed softball and volleyball are accepting applications with deadlines fast approaching. A fall youth basketball camp is also accepting registrations. For complete information on all the Clayton programs, visit

PICKLEBALL IS COMING TO CONCORD Already very popular in Arizona and other parts of the country, pickleball is a racket sport that combines elements of tennis, table tennis and badminton. It’s played with two to four players on a court about half the size of a tennis court with wooden paddles and a plastic whiffle ball. One of the fastest growing sports among adults of all ages, pickleball is especially popular with young adults and adults nearing or in their retirement years. To receive information on upcoming pickleball clinics and leagues in Concord visit or call 671-3423.

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Book Review Thrills float ‘Tahoe Ghost Boat’

WALNUT CREEK AQUANUTS FALL SHOW THIS WEEKEND Walnut Creek Aquanuts Fall Synchronized Swimming Show takes place over this Labor Day weekend through Sunday at Heather Farm Park. The 45th anniversary of this iconic show showcases synchronized swimming in a theatrical format complete with lights, monumental 3-D stage and glittering costumes. Many Aquanuts Olympians and United States National Team swimmers perform along with the newest members of the club. Tickets are available at or at Sports Basement. For more information visit

I am often amazed at the maintenance department’s talents – from designing the beautiful landscaping around the fountain to overseeing the installation of a new power circuit. I have already expressed my appreciation for our police department and police chief in past columns. They are a dedicated group of officers and staff. So is the maintenance staff. As the smallest city in Contra Costa County we don’t have the resources to pay our employees as much as other cities pay. Nevertheless, our employees are dedicated to serving Clayton and seem to enjoy being part of the Clayton family. The key component of our Clayton family of employees is City Manager Gary Napper. The city manager serves at the pleasure of the city council. As a result, Gary has the unenviable challenge of not only managing our city’s staff, but also managing his bosses. Gary often is the one that makes us, as a city council and individually, look good. Everyone that I have served with on the city council has expressed how fortunate we are to have Gary as our city manager. I give a big “Thank You” to all of our city employees.





Driving down Spooner Summit on my way to South Lake Tahoe from Reno, I had no trouble staying below the speed limit because around almost every bend in the road was a scene Todd Borg’s “Tahoe Ghost Boat” (Thriller Press, First edition; August, 2014) or an earlier Borg mystery. I happily remained in the slow lane so I wouldn’t miss anything. At Tahoe Keys I unpacked, relaxed and read the last 30 pages of the book, although “relaxed” is not the state I was in when I finished. The contrast between the heavy winter snows in “Tahoe Ghost Boat” and the frighteningly dry Sierra of this August day gave me pause and reason to think about changes. “Tahoe Ghost Boat” is more than a bit of a change for Borg’s low-key but heroic ex-San Francisco cop Owen McKenna, and all who know Tahoe well can expect climate changes will leave their mark on the next Tahoe adventure. What Borg does best is write a fast-paced, intelligent mystery, keeping his readers on their toes before being swept away in an avalanche of a finale ending. Sort of like the last three minutes of a really good fireworks display. “Tahoe Ghost Boat” begins with an explosively mysterious boat accident that is followed by the introduction of McKenna’s next client, the boat

captain’s not-so- grieving widow. She is vain, shallow and not McKenna’s favorite client, but typical of the genre, our private detective is in a bit of a dry spell and will take what he can get. It’s the client’s 15-year-old daughter Gertie who takes the mystery to the next level. She is estranged from her oncedivorced and now widowed mother and lives with an ambivalent father in Sacramento. Vain mom is threatened with blackmail in connection with her husband’s death. The threat is pay up or die and the death threat extends to Gertie. In spite of McKenna’s warning when he meets Gertie in Sacramento, just days later she is kidnapped and “Tahoe Ghost Boat” shifts into high gear. Action-packed is putting it mildly. Enough to say that Gertie, a truly neat softball-loving teen, has found a place in McKenna’s heart and he will do anything to find her. Once found, he again will do anything to keep her out of the hands of the men behind the kidnapping and all the while the reader is learning more about some fabulous lakefront homes, a bit about kayaking, and how to make an object of any size fall to topple a prey (with a nod to Paiute lore). Who are the bad guys? What do they want and why? It takes McKenna and all his law enforcement cohorts to identify them (and a few surprises). Spot and Street don’t hurt, either. Todd Borg has written McKenna into some pretty tight cases, but this one comes down to the very last moments, with some amazing and unexpected help from Gertie. Prepare for the fireworks! Sunny Solomon is a freelance writer and head of the Clayton Book Club. Visit her website at to ‘talk books.’

August 29, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 13

The benefits of ‘no kill’ shelters The term “no kill” is frequently bandied about by pet experts, but what exactly is it referring to? “No kill” describes a new approach to animal sheltering and a new commitment to saving lives within animal welfare organizations and communities. “No kill” is a phrase that protests the killing of millions of healthy and treatable animals — whether that be medically or behaviorally — in the nation’s animal shelters every year. In the Contra Costa County Animal Shelter, more than 4,000 animals were killed last year. “No kill” is further defined as saving both healthy and treatable dogs and cats, reserving euthanasia for only unhealthy or untreatable animals. It attempts to end the problem described as “too many pets not enough homes.” To do this, the demand for


PET PALS shelter pets needs to be increased and the supply of animals being born needs to be reduced. Programs to accomplish this might include adoption outreach, new marketing strategies, advertising, and events and promotions that put animals in front of potential adopters. Even changes like longer hours the shelter is open and lower adoption fees can help build a

broader base of new adopters. There are several reasons to consider promoting “no kill” shelters in your community: “No kill” boosts adoptions. “No kill” shelters hear it everyday. “ I came to your shelter to adopt because you don’t kill animals.” Many people go to “no kill” shelters because traditional shelters make them feel depressed and guilty. It troubles people to see all those sad eyes and know that if they animal is not adopted it may die. “No kill” attracts and retains more volunteers. “No kill” shelters are able to have more volunteers because people know the animals they help care for and fall in love with will be adopted and loved for life. Its a devastating blow to a love a shelter animal and find out it didn’t make it to a loving home. “No kill” improves staff morale at shelters. Imagine

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working in an environment where animals die around you every day. Killing healthy and treatable animals is debilitating and demoralizing for the people who have to do it. The real irony is that people work at shelters because they love animals and want to help them. To have to kill an animal is devastating. Killing creates stressed out employees and high turnover. “No kill” generates more funding. People who love animals want to donate their money to agencies that save animals. More funding equals more options for the shelter. They can add groomers and trainers to boost adoptions, and they can add spay/neuter outreach programs, among other things. And as more programs and services are added and more lives are saved, a track record of success is proven and donations increase even more. To learn more about “no kill” in your community go to Debbie DeMello is the owner of Who’s Training Who and a past volunteer with ARF. She welcomes questions from readers. Contact her at

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Relay, from page 1 Organizers also held a raffle, which added to Clayton’s total donations. The Salvation Army Canteen was on hand to offer three free meals, and Magic Entertainment DJ Services provided music. Teams walked hand-inhand around the track in silence during the Luminaria/Remember ceremony after dark. Because “cancer never sleeps,” the march continued

on the through the night. The dawn of a new day and the words of three-time cancer survivor Cathy Vincent brought hope after the final lap as part of the Fight Back ceremony. “Hope binds us together,” Vincent said. “I challenge you to make a year-round commitment to fight cancer. Too many birthdays have not been celebrated.” Relay For Life was founded in 1985 by Dr. Gordy Klatt, who

Meet your forever friend at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek, during adoption hours: Noon to 6 pm Wednesday & Thursday, Noon to 7 pm Friday, and Noon to 6 pm Saturday & Sunday. The primary caretaker must be present to adopt. ARF also encourages kids 16 and younger and canine family members (dog adoptions only) to be present during the adoption process. Would you like to be part of the heroic team that saves the lives of rescued dogs and cats? Can you share your talents to connect people and animals? ARF volunteers are making a difference! For more information see our website,, or call 925.256.1ARF. died on Aug. 3 from heart failure while fighting stomach cancer. In four years, Clayton has raised more than $175,000 to support the American Cancer Society’s efforts in finding a cure for cancer, caring for those battling the disease, supporting caregivers and educating the community. Event chair Mindy Thompson closed the Relay by encouraging the crowd to “Be the change.” Donations will be accepted through Aug. 31. For more information or to donate, go to

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Clayton Pioneer •


August 29, 2014

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IN CLAYTON Daily thru Sept. 11 9/11 Remembrance

EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT Aug. 22 – Sept. 7 “Beau Jest” Family comedy about romance and love performed by Onstage Theatre Company. Campbell Theatre, 636 Ward St., Martinez. $12-$18. 518-3277. Aug. 29 – Oct. 5 “Life Could Be A Dream” A 1960s doo-wop musical. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $37-$66.

A flag and information about each firefighter lost in 9/11 will be placed in the lawn at Clayton Fire Station 11. The public is welcome and encouraged to visit and pay their respects. 6500 Center St., Clayton. Saturdays thru Oct. 25, except Aug. 30 and Oct.4 Farmers’ Market Music: Sept. 6, Insteel. Sept. 13, Angel the Harpist. 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Diablo Street between Main and Center streets, downtown Clayton. Aug. 30, Sept. 13 Saturday Concerts in the Grove 6 – 8:30 p.m. Grove Park, downtown Clayton. Free. For a complete concert series list, see Page 3. Aug. 30 Derby and Car Show Clayton Community Church’s 11th Annual Labor Day event. Kids 7 – 14 race derby cars down Main Street. Car show and parade. 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Main Street, Clayton. Free. Register kids at and cars at

IN CONCORD Tuesdays Farmers’ Market Tuesdays year round, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Music and Market Thursday night live music and farmers’ market. Music: Sept. 4, The Purple Ones. Sept. 11, Lafayette Studio Big Band. Market 4 – 8 p.m.; music 6:30 – 8 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Sept. 13 Tribute to Congressman George Miller Lunch and guest speakers. 11:30 a.m. Crowne Plaza Hotel, 45 John Glenn Drive, Concord. $45 and up. For more information, call 945-1938.

Aug. 30 Before Your Eyes Featuring illusionists Alvin Lui and Timothy James. For ages 15 and up. 4:15 and 8:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $24-$27. 943-7469. Aug. 30 Tim McGraw Tribute Performed by Tom Drinnon. 8 p.m. Firehouse Arts Center, 4444 Railroad Ave., Pleasanton. $17-$27. Aug. 31 Concert 15th anniversary celebration by Music Repertoire. 2:45 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $10. 943-7469.

Starting Sept. 2 Healing the Heart A safe place to express grief and begin healing after loss. Six weeks on Tuesdays, 7:30 – 9 p.m. St. Bonaventure, 5562 Clayton Road, Concord. Register with Janie Eddleman at 623-6254.

FUNDRAISERS Sept. 13 Plant Sale Refresh your garden with new, drought-tolerant, flowering plants in the colors of fall. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Markham Regional Arboretum Society Nursery. 1202 La Vista Ave., Concord. 681-2968. Sept. 20 Car Show The Lee Harvell Classic. Family fun. Barbecue, music, cars. 4:30 p.m. Crossroads Church, 5353 Concord Blvd., Concord. Free. Sept. 26 “CLUE-DUNNIT? – The Musical” New, hilarious, original story presented mystery dinner theatre style. Benefits church’s music ministry and theatre’s orchestra. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Church of the Good Shepherd, Father Dabovich Hall, 3200 Harbor St., Pittsburg. $30.


Sept. 5 – 21 “Dogfight” Depicting three young marines on the eve of their deployment to Vietnam. Recommended for audiences 17 and older. Presented by OMG I Love that Show Productions. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $35. 943-7469.

The Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. or 673-0659.

Sept. 7 Close to You A Carpenters tribute sung by Michelle Whited with Don Stamey on the piano. 3 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $25-$27.

Thursdays Sept. 11 thru Nov. 20 Picture Book Time Story time for 3- to 5-year-olds. Child may attend without caregiver. 11 a.m.

Sept. 21 California Symphony Performs an opening night spectacular. 3 p.m. lecture. 4 p.m. concert. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. Sept. 22 “Pastures of Heaven” Live The Walnut Creek Library Foundation brings to life characters from John Steinbeck’s book of the same name. 7:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $14. 943-7469.

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

Sept. 26 Not a Genuine Black Man Special 10th anniversary performance by Brian Copeland. 8:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $20-$35. 943-7469.

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.

Sept. 27 Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra Performs masterpieces from past and present. 7:30 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $7-$15.

Aug. 30 Up in the Clouds Take a one-mile hike around Mary Bowerman trail, enjoy the view and hear history and folklore of landmarks below. 4 – 6 p.m. Meet at Lower Summit Parking Lot. Registration required: or

Sept. 27 The Scion Brian Copeland looks at the murders of three meat inspectors at San Leandro’s Santos Linguisa Factory as a case study on roles of privilege and reputation in society. 8:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $20-$35. 943-7469.

Sept. 14 Tarantulas Continuous presentation and live tarantula with Michael Marchiano. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Summit Visitor Museum.

Sept. 28 Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra Performs masterpieces from past and present. 2 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $10-$30. 943-7469.



Tuesdays Sept. 9 thru Nov. 18 Patty Cakes Story time for babies to 3-year-olds. Child attends with caregiver. 11 a.m.

Sept. 3 Life Success Workshop What you need to know to get what you want personally and professionally with Tom Pearson. 6 p.m. Sept. 10 Library 101 An introduction to the library. Registration required. 6 p.m. Sept. 17 CERT Learn hands-only CPR, use of an automated external defibrillator and emergency preparedness information. 7 – 9 p.m. Sept. 27 SAT/ACT Practice Test For high school students. Registration required. 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

GOVERNMENT 1st and 3rd Tuesdays, except Sept. 2 Clayton City Council 7 p.m. Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 673-7304 or 2nd and 4th Tuesdays Clayton Planning Commission 7 p.m., Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 673-7304 or 1st, 2nd and 4th Tuesdays Concord City Council 6:30 p.m., Council Chamber, Concord Civic Center, 1950 Parkside Dr. 1st and 3rd Wednesdays Concord Planning Commission 7 p.m., Council Chamber, Concord Civic Center, 1950 Parkside Dr. Meeting dates and times for local clubs and organizations are listed at Click on ‘Links’

August 29, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 15

Concord vice-mayor will serve as Northgate interim principal As Northgate begins the new school year, it is without the leadership of former principal John McMorris as well as two other top administrators, all of who resigned during the summer. But that vacuum at the top is being filled by several temporary administrators, including Concord Vice-Mayor Ron Leone as interim principal. Leone, who was a teacher for 19 years and an administrator for 18 years in another school district, is already acquainted with Northgate. In recent years, he coached the Northgate mock trial team and was a substitute teacher at the school. He says those experiences will help him understand the school.


NORTHGATE CORRESPONDENT “I think part of it is knowing some of the students already, having a familiarity with the student body in general, the type of students that are here,” Leone says. “That helps,

plus I also help to coach the mock trial team, so I also know some of the students that way.” He also says he knows some of the teachers, has met with the department heads, and those “familiar faces” will help him as well. He says that his responsibilities for the City of Concord won’t interfere with running Northgate. “Most of my work for that is in the evenings when I’m not here, so it won’t detract from my job here at the school.” Leone is also currently running for re-election to the council. Beyond the changes in the Northgate administration, the new school year is bringing a

new curriculum: Common Core. Leone says that there is going to be “some coordination” of Common Core during the early part of the school year, when he is at the helm. “It’s something that will be carried on throughout the school year, so I just want to make sure we have the first steps in place,” he says. Despite that challenge, Leone says he is looking forward to his time at Northgate. “I’m really excited about it. I want to help the school feel a sense of stability, even though they’re not starting off with a permanent principal. I want people to be assured that I’m here dedicating myself 100 per-

cent to Northgate while I’m here, for however long it is.” He says he doesn’t know how long his tenure at the school will be. “It might be a month, it might be two months, but until they have a permanent principal, I want to help with the stability of starting out the school year on a good foot, and based on my past experience of


DVMS CORRESPONDENT Swimming pools are closing and school supplies are going fast. Summer vacation is at its end and it’s time for the new school year. On Aug. 20, I attended Camp Diablo View for incoming sixth grade students at Diablo View Middle School. We took a tour of the campus, talked about organization and ways to improve our class work. It was everything you would expect teachers to

work for fifth period English, be sure to do it during fourth period math,” and “If you have homework be sure to copy it from the World Book Encyclopedia.” Of course, I don’t think any student really wants to flunk and so Mr. Haymes gave us another paper entitled “Quick Tips for Success in School” which advised, “Eat something for breakfast — a candy bar and a Coke don’t count; hang out with winners; read, read a lot; ask questions; and follow what your “gut” tells you is right.” And, of course most importantly, “treat others like you would like to be treated.” Overall, I believe, do your best in everything you do and always be prepared for any-

Teen faces choice of her life It was a day that started like any other. School was cancelled due to snow, so 17-year-old Mia and her mom, dad and little brother, Teddy, all gathered up in their old station wagon for a family drive. All is perfect; everyone is together, laughing and smiling. Then, in a flash, it’s all over. In “If I Stay” by Gayle Foreman, a drunk driver hits Mia and her family head on, instantly killing her whole family except for Mia. As she leaves her body in a spirit-like manner, she observes the scene, wondering if she’s dead or an angel. Over the next 24 hours in the hospital where she is in a coma, Mia narrates how all of her


TEEN READS friends and family rush to her side. No one can see her but she can see everyone else and how they’re reacting to her maybesoon-death. Many cry by her bedside while others have to break into the ICU just to catch

a glimpse of her, hoping it’s not the last time they see her. Now, Mia has to choose: does she wake up and face a life without a family, or does she confront the uncertainties of the afterlife? I read this book in one day because you just cannot put it down. Due to it’s raging awesomeness, “If I Stay” has been made into a major motion picture that was released to theaters on Aug. 22. “If I Stay” is literary rollercoaster that has absolutely no dull moments and is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat. Emily York is a sophomore at CVCHS.

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thing and everything. Go with your common sense and always be efficient because if you follow these tips, it is sure to be a great school year. Though after I finished reading the “Quick Tips for Success,” I thought the best advice was “take three deep, slow breaths before doing anything you’re nervous about.” Well, guess I’ll be doing that just prior to walking in the door on the first day of school. Natalie Pursche is in the sixth grade at Diablo View Middle School. She is an avid reader, enjoys writing, and loves to spend time with her friends and family. Send comments to

Emily Wright is a senior at Northgate High School. She is currently the news editor for the Northgate Sentinel newspaper and is in her second year of ROP Journalism II. Email comments or questions to

‘Character Counts’ is hallmark of CVCHS

How to flunk out of school talk about. However, about half way through the day I was getting a little bored until we met Mr. Haymes, who talked about how to be prepared. What got my attention? Well, Mr. Haymes passed out a paper titled “How to Flunk.” It was hilarious and described exactly what you would do if you wanted to flunk out of school. For example, there was the “always arrive late, never have your books, don’t bring paper and pencils, never do your homework.” Then there was the “Never slip into your desk quietly. Instead, make a big production by slamming the door and dropping all of your books and roll your eyes at the teacher.” Then there was “If you decide to do some home-

being a high school principal, I’m sure that that’ll happen.”

DAVID LINZEY VOYAGE OF THE EAGLE As we start year three of our charter school, we have so much to celebrate: Tremendous academic achievement growth (highest growth in the state a year ago for large high schools); WASC 6 year “clear” term of accreditation (the best term possible); student enrollment at capacity with 400 students on the wait list to be accepted; invitation to speak before Congress due to our academic success …and the list goes on. Clayton Valley Charter High School is a great school and we will continue to build upon that tradition this year as we focus upon liter-

acy, critical thinking and developing the 21st century skills to better prepare all of our students for college and careers. But I want to ask you an important question: When you think about what kind of traits you look for in your child’s future spouse, what is the first trait that comes to your mind? What kind of person do you want your child to select? Is it a straight “A” report card that matters most? Is it a 2000 score on the SAT exam? Probably not. Most important to us would most likely be how kind, respectful, humorous, and considerate that other person is. What kind of character does that person have? How honest, committed, hardworking is that future son-in-law or daughterin-law? CVCHS is very proud of our academic success. We have truly taken this school to new heights of achievement and are turning out students who are top thinkers, ready to take on the

See Eagle, page 18

Page 16

Clayton Pioneer •

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Are you considering growing fall and winter vegetables? Now is the time to get your seeds started. Starting vegetables by seed is a successful, inexpensive way to maximize your growing potential. Seeds cost pennies per plant. They are found labeled “not treated or genetically engineered” if that information is important to you. Planting by seeds will extend your harvesting season since home growers have the option to start some now, wait a couple weeks and start some more. Seed selections are far more vast compared to

the starts available on nursery shelves. Some say they can’t grow seeds. It is important to pay attention when planting. Folks planting their seeds too deep in the soil can simply cause failure. Seed packages all list the required planting depths. Most fall and winter vegetables are planted at depths from onefourth to one-half- inch deep. That’s fairly shallow. If seeds are installed too deep, they will not get the right amount of heat to germinate. No germination, no veggie plant. It’s the time of year for leafy greens, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, beets, carrots, radishes and onions. Start seeds in small vessels like reused 6-pack containers, four-inch pots or egg cartons. Once you have a couple sets of leaves, replant your veggie “starts” into the ground, raised bed or pot. Most seedlings will need to be thinned for proper maturity. It is easy to plant seeds too close together. Thinning is removing one plant so another

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Remodeling Specialist Kitchens Bathrooms Windows Mouldings Decks Siding Painting interior & exterior

Figs are now available at your farmers’ market. Sweet, plump and delicious, figs are great under the broiler, on the grill or just eaten out of hand. They make great jam and awesome fig bars as well. There are literally hundreds of fig varieties, but only about a half dozen are grown commercially in California. Figs were brought to California by the Spanish missionary fathers who first planted them at the San Diego Mission in 1759. Fig trees were then planted at each succeeding mission, going north through California. The Mission fig,

California’s leading black fig, takes its name from that history. The popular Calimyrna fig, greenish brown in color, is the Smyrna variety that was brought to California’s San Joaquin Valley from Turkey in 1882, and was renamed

Re a neady for this w lo sum ok mer ?

Schaefer’s PAINTING

 Family Owned and Operated license 962284

the plant too long it can get tough and bitter. Fall and winter vegetable gardens are handy and healthy. Start this next season’s garden by seed. You’ll be amazed at the success. Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. Contact her with questions or comments at

And, they have no fat, no sodium and no cholesterol. Recent research has shown that California figs also have a high quantity of polyphenol.

DEBRA J. MORRIS Pacific Coast Farmers Market

Cal BRE License #01504011

 Kevin Schmidt, Clayton Resident

has a chance to thrive. Read the mature widths of the veggies you install, as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower take up lots of room as they mature. Remember to fertilize your “starts” after they begin to surge. Your first application of fertilizer should be a 4-5-3 granular type fertilizer. Organic fertilizers are recommended. Leaf lettuce, spinach, chard and kale need to be harvested regularly. If it is allowed to sit on

It fig-ures: This fruit is delicious

1830 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek, CA 94595


August 29, 2014

925-822-5144 738 Bloching Circle, Clayton Interior & Exterior Popcorn Ceilings

Sheetrock, Texture Cabinet Refinishing

Bryan Schaefer Clayton Resident License #708321

(925) 260-6065

Family Trade since 1936



Owners Dustin & Kim Waraner Contractors Lic #879423 Arborist Lic WE-7372A

Calimyrna in honor of its new homeland. FIG FACTS Although considered a fruit, the fig is actually a flower that is inverted into itself. The seeds are drupes, or the real fruit. Figs are the only fruit to fully ripen and semidry on the tree. Figs provide more fiber than any other common fruit or vegetable. The fiber in figs is both soluble and insoluble. Both types of fiber are important for good health. Figs have nutrients especially important for today’s busy lifestyles. One quartercup serving of dried figs provides five grams of fiber — 20 percent of the Recommended Daily Value. That serving also adds 6 percent of iron, 6 percent of calcium, and 7 percent of the RDV for potassium.

GRILLED FIGS WITH GOAT CHEESE & PROSCIUTTO 8 ounces fresh soft goat cheese 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary Salt and freshly ground black pepper 24 fresh figs, mixed varieties 1/4 lb. thinly sliced prosciutto 6 long woody sprigs rosemary Olive oil for brushing and drizzling Combine goat cheese, rosemary and a pinch of salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl and stir. Make a small slit in bottom or side of each fig. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip with cheese mixture. Pipe cheese into each fig through slit. Fill figs with just enough cheese so they expand slightly. Tear or cut the prosciutto slices into long strips. Wrap a strip of prosciutto around each fig, and skewer 4 figs on each rosemary sprig. Brush figs with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place figs on a moderately hot grill, rotating skewers until figs are very hot and cheese starts to ooze, about six minutes. Remove from grill; serve immediately with olive oil and bread.

August 29, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 17

Scenic views and historical trails highlight Mt. Tam ride SHARON ANDERSON

GETTING OUT Mt. Tamalpais offers up 6,300 acres of stellar hiking and mountain biking trails through redwood groves and oak woodlands to peaks, cascades, beaches, campsites, a natural stone amphitheater, and even a couple of watering holes – The West Point Inn and Mountain Home. History records the name Tamalpais as being a Miwok word meaning “coast mountain,” while another version holds that the name is the tribe’s word for “sleeping maiden,” an image one can easily allow understand when beholding the mountain from a perch in the East Bay.

Mt. Tamalpais State Park’s Hoo-Koo-E-Koo Loop is a favorite for mountain bikers. A long steady climb to the 2,571foot East Peak (the highest point on Mt. Tam) will challenge you but offer rewarding views of the Farallon Islands, the Marin County hills, San Francisco and the bay, the hills and cities of the East Bay and Mount Diablo. Riders will spin past lakes, open grasslands, dense laurels, redwoods and fern-filled canyons. There’s lots of climbing but the views, descents, and the trip past the historical West Point Inn make it all worthwhile. Part of this loop follows the Old Railroad Grade, which gained international fame as the “Crookedest Railroad in the World.” Boasting a total of 281 curves and 22 trestles, “gravity cars” (small four-wheel carts) whisked passengers down the mountain at 10 - 12 miles-perhour. It was abandoned in 1930 after a wildfire damaged the line.

West Point Inn is the only surviving structure of the world-famous Mill Valley and Mt. Tamalpais Scenic Railway. The Inn was built in 1904 by the railroad as a restaurant and stopover for passengers making connections with the stagecoach to Willow Camp (Stinson Beach) and Bolinas. To begin your biking trek, start on the Phoenix Lake Road Trail from Natalie Coffin Green parking area. (Phoenix Lake is on your left.) Ride about one mile to a four-way intersection, go left on Fish Grade Road, and continue left up Filter Grant Road. Go left on Sky Oaks Road, a paved section that leads to Lagunitas Lake. Ride around the lake with it on your left side then make a right on Lakeview Fire Road. Turn right on Eldridge Grade Road. (For a shorter ride, from Phoenix Lake Road veer left on Eldridge at Fish Grade.) Stay right on Eldridge passing Indian Fire

Road and continue another twopoint-six miles up Eldridge. The last mile to the top will make you glad you have full suspension. But don’t worry if you don’t have it. I rode this rocky trail for many years without it and never stopped on the climb for any relief. But you may want to take a rest and walk a bit to give certain parts of your anatomy a break. You’ll reach the top to cross over the paved Ridgecrest Blvd. for more than three miles of downhill bliss. Around onepoint-five miles you will pass the West Point Inn. Follow the trail counter clockwise around the

Inn and keep going downhill on Old Railroad Grade. Go left on Hoo-Koo-E-Koo, with views of San Francisco and the Pacific Ocean interspersed with stints through dense groves with seasonal waterfalls. Take a left on Blithedale Ridge then left up Indian Fire Road, which is steep for the first few hundred yards , then go right onto Eldridge Grade. Now you can smile because it’s downhill all the way. Go right at Phoenix Lake, back to the car. The trip is approximately 20 miles, intermediate to advanced because of so much climbing.

Getting There Take the RichmondSan Rafael Bridge to Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Highway 101 South. In the town of Ross go left on Lagunitas Road, following it to the end, and park at Natalie Coffin Greene Park. Sharon Anderson is a Clayton resident and lifelong hiker. This is the second of a four-part series on hiking in the Sierras.

Floor Sample Fountain Sale 20% Off

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Family owned and operated since 1983 A CHALLENGING, LONG STEADY CLIMB TO MT. TAMALPAIS’ 2,571-FOOT EAST PEAK rewards mountain bikers who tough it out on the Hoo-Koo-E-Koo Loop with sweeping views of San Francisco.

6780 Marsh Creek Road, Clayton


1336 El Camino Dr. Clayton


5 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 2,435 sq. ft. Listing agent: Matt Mazzei 

898 Ventura Dr. Pittsburg

Rula Masannat Sales Agent


3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1,459 sq. ft. Listing agent: Matt Mazzei

DRE# 01923757



4701 Keller Ridge Dr. Clayton


3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, 1,595 sq. ft. Listing agent: Matt Mazzei

1340 Louisiana Dr. Concord


4 bedroom, 2 bathroom approx. 1,437 sq.ft Listing agent: Doug Van Riper 

174 Mountain Cyn. Ln. Alamo

Doug Van Riper Sales Agent DRE# 01883875



4 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom Approx. 2,892 sq.ft. Listing agent: Rula Masannat

SOLD: Buyers Representation 

Travel To Go, Inc. • (925) 672-9840 CST #2033054-40

Clayton Station Shopping Center, 5439 Clayton Rd. Ste. F, Clayton, CA

* Sample price is per person, based on double occupancy in a Club category room for a 7-night stay at Club Med at Club Med Chamonix Mont-Blanc, France. Round-trip flights and transfers to/from the resort are not included. Offer requires a 3-night minimum stay and is available at select resorts. **Sample price is per person, based on double occupancy in a Club category room for a 7-night stay at Club Med at Club Med Chamonix Mont-Blanc, France for a departure from JFK to GVA. Round-trip flights and transfers to/from the resort included. Offer requires a 3-night minimum stay and is available at select resorts. Both offers valid for new individual bookings only for select travel dates through May 1, 2015 and must be booked by October 28, 2014. Subject to capacity control and may increase at any time. General Conditions: Blackout dates apply, including holidays and other dates. Club Med Membership fees of $60 per adult and $30 per child are additional. Other restrictions apply including brochure terms and cancellation/change fees. Not responsible for errors or omissions. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. CST#: 2020955-50.

5523 Nebraska Dr. Concord

$595,000 agent: Matt Mazzei

1585 Oakroyal Concord

$485,000 agent: Rula Masannat

1800 Wildbrook Ct.

$332,000 agent: Steve Ingebretson

Matt Mazzei, Jr. Broker/Owner DRE# 01881269


6160 Center St. Suite #C, Clayton

Clayton residents since 1959

925-693-0757 (Main)

925-693-0752 (Fax)

Page 18

Clayton Pioneer •

August 29, 2014

Laminate vs. engineered wood; Is one better than the other? business, this is a surprising question. But when you think about it, it’s not so surprising. After all, both are laminated, right? Yes, but “laminated” only means fabricated in layers. The question is, layers of what? THE QUICKEST ANSWER: Engineered hardwood is real wood all the way through. But rather than a solid piece of a single species (oak, maple, etc.), it’s composed of layers of various kinds of wood (including plywood), with the top layer being the species you want to see in the finished floor. Laminate flooring looks like wood, but it isn’t. It’s made of


UNDERFOOT Those of us in the flooring business often forget that not everyone knows all the details about various products. For instance, I am often asked the difference between laminate flooring and engineered hardwood flooring. To anyone in the

Eagle, from page 15 colleges and careers of their dreams. But we are also a school that believes in character education. If we graduated students who were really smart people but not good citizens, we would not have done our full job. In a 2009 survey of the top CEOs in America, the feedback showed that the most severe deficit in skill level was not reading, writing, or other academic skills, but rather personal traits like workethic, perseverance, respect and other such attributes that a person of good character often shows. At CVCHS we are working hard to develop student citizenship. We have embraced two complimentary character educa-

tion initiatives. First, the city of Clayton’s “Do the Right Thing” program has been a clear and pervasive articulation of important character traits since the inception of our charter. Most recently, we have added to this through our adoption of the “Character Counts” program. Created by the Josephson Institute, Center for Youth Ethics, this international effort helps schools build character education into the classroom curriculum. Both programs work well together to clearly establish character education as a fundamental component of the CVCHS experience. Our Link Crew program led by teacher Kat Marzel does an

layers of several synthetic materials, primarily melamine resins and high-density fiberboard. The second-to-top layer is a printed reproduction of the color and texture of real wood; the top layer, called the “wear layer,” is a clear polymer whose purpose is to protect the picture of wood below it. So now you know the difference between the two. But don’t tell me, I already know your next question: which is better? The answer to that is not so simple, so we’ll have to save it for the next column. Larry Flick is president of the Floor Store. Email your questions or comments to

excellent job of delivering this content and supporting it throughout the year. Link Crew is a class comprised on upper grade level student leaders who are paired up with underclassmen to support them in their high school journey. We also have two highimpact, individual programs that support character education: Challenge Day and Summer Transition. Both are incredibly valuable in terms of establishing a school culture of respect, trust, compassion and ethics. You can truly feel the impact of this work when you come on campus and we are very proud of it. David Linzey is executive director of CVCHS. Contact him

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AUG 29 Clayton Pioneer 2014  
AUG 29 Clayton Pioneer 2014