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What’s Inside

Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B7 Community Calendar . . . . .B6

Directory of Advertisers . . . .5 Hearts and Hands . . . . . . . .7

Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B1

December 14, 2018 From the desk of...


Happy s y a d i l Ho

Concord Edition

‘Tis the season to be jolly



New mayor sees a full year ahead

It was with great pride that I accepted the gavel and the title of “Mayor of the City of Concord” on Dec. 4. Thank you to my city council colleagues for the confidence they exhibited in me by unanimously electing me. And, thank you to the people of Concord who elected me to the city council in 2016 in the first place. In this new role, I will continue to strive each day to serve the people of Concord to the best of my ability. What an exciting time to be a Concordian and to serve in leadership here in the city of Concord. Yes, we share challenges faced by cities across the Bay Area including homelessness, the condition of our roads, the need to create more living wage jobs in our city, and the need to revitalize our aging shopping centers, to name a few. At the same time, Concord is blessed with a growing medical manufacturing industry, the popularity of the new Veranda shopping center, our blossoming gem of a downtown, our vibrant and diverse Monument Community, and the unrivaled opportunities possible with the

Tamara Steiner/The Pioneer

The holiday season officially arrived in Concord with the annual Tree lighting and Mayor’s Sing Along Dec. 1. House Blend, a local quartet, warmed up for the mayor with an informal program of traditional carols. The four men met at Concord United Methodist Church over 20 years ago and say they are just “Four guys. We sing.” From left Kent Parr, Bill De garmo, Doug Emigh and Jim Mcguire. Festivities included horse-drawn carriage rides, visits with Santa and art projects for the kids.

Third grade honored outside the box

sented the Mayor’s Community Service Award to “all of Concord 3rd Grades.” In one of his last official The award is traditionally See Mayor, page 5 acts as mayor, Edi Birsan broke been given to a citizen or reswith traditiion when he pre- ident in recognition for their

See Dance, page 3

service and their hopes for the city. “I don’t go for tradition,” Birsan said. “I look for who will be the most important people,” he said. Those who will “continue, whatever we build on, to make it better” With that, he named Concord Third Graders as recipients of the Mayor’s Community Service Award. The third grade, he noted, is the most critical of all the grades. “It is here where you learn to break through on reading, mathmaticcs, critical thinking and being nice to one another.” Over this past year, Birsan has visited a number of elementary schools, making specific note to include the third grade class. “I’ve been very impressed with their willingness to learn, to accept one another and to try to live with respect, dignity honor and duty to their community and their families.” Receiving the honor on behalf of all Concord Third Graders were Mt. Diablo Uni-

fied Schools Superintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer and MDUSD school board president, Debra Mason with several school principals and four third graders.

February Butting heads over BART: State Assemblyman Tim Grayson of Concord announced in February that he was co-authoring a bill that would force cities to allow housing on BART-owned land. Concord city officials opposed the plan, which Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law on Sept. 30. Concord Mayor Edi Birsan said the law could greatly reduce the role of city government. “Land use regulation is a

constitutionally granted local government function of cities and counties,” he said. In the swim: Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin was on hand as Carondelet High School dedicated an Aquatics Center in her name. The center is part of a new Athletics Complex in the former ClubSport Valley Vista. “I am so happy to see that this new facility will result in greater equity for female athletes, and truly, for all current and future

students,” said Coughlin, a complaints,” said Aldrich Bautista, an associate civil engi2000 graduate. neer for the city. March Easy ridin’: On March 12, april Monitoring police response: Last the city’s Infrastructure and Franchise Committee reviewed spring, the Police Department a $27 million street repair plan. ordered 154 bodycams for The budget includes $4 million officers and 67 cameras for over five years for repair of police cars. The $1.5 million potholes and base failures, in system can record video and addition to maintenance audio evidence to review already performed by Public intense situations. “Any piece Works. “These potholes generSee Review, page 2 ate a significant number of


So you think you can dance? Concord police say sí BEV BRITTON The Pioneer

Photo from video

Concord Police and Monument Crisis Center partnered on a lip sync video to Enrique Iglesia’s “Bailando” recently. Scenes were shot in several locations around the city with several civilians jumping into the action.

“Bailando” means “dancing” – and that’s just what members of the Concord Police Department did in their new lip-sync video. Officers and other members of the department lipsynced to the Enrique Iglesias’ song in both English and Spanish, sashaying through complicated dance moves. Filming locations

Jennifer Ortega, City of Concord

MDUSD Superintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer , fifth from left, and board president, Debra Mason, fourth from left, along with several school principals and four third grade students received the Mayor’s Community Service Award on behalf of “all Concord third graders.”

Meyer thanked the mayor and the council. “We’ve had a wonderful partnership with you and your fantastic team.” “Thanks for breaking tradition, Mr. Birsan.”

Year in review: from BART to blight, and beyond BEV BRITTON The Pioneer

The city’s 150th birthday party, complete with a new statue of Don Salvio Pacheco, was among the news highlights in Concord this past year. Here’s a look at the top stories from the pages of the Pioneer: January A decision on districts: To

comply with the California Voting Rights Act, the Concord City Council voted on Jan. 2 to make the switch to district election races. The council then approved a map of the districts on Feb. 27, with the new districts going into effect for the November council election. Going forward, the council will hold several “best practices” workshops on how to work together under the new format.

Page 2

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

Review, from page 1

for medicinal manufacturing and two companies are currently applying for them. of equipment that gives us a the fence – just ahead of bright Recreational pot remains better idea of what transpires flashes coming from inside. He unregulated. during a police action is more was not carrying the bag. The May than worth the price,” said Legacy Partners’ Renaissance Changes at charter: Clayton Police Chief Guy Swanger. Square Phase 2 was about 60 Valley Charter High School Original plans called for the percent complete before the Executive Director David cameras to be in the field by fire; reconstruction of the 180 Linzey and his wife Eileen September, however, now units on Galindo Street is curLinzey, employed by the school Swanger expects them to be rently underway. ready by Christmas. New rules for cannabis: The as chief program officer, Fire under investigation: A $55 Concord City Council estab- abruptly resigned under presmillion, three-alarm fire on lished a Commercial Cannabis sure from the board on May April 24 destroyed a down- Overlay District that allows for 11. As the new school year town apartment building under the manufacture of medical began in August, the school construction. On May 30, the cannabis, along with testing for welcomed Jim Scheible as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, both medical and recreational new executive director. Board Firearms and Explosives use. A flurry of amendments chair Kristy Downs said the announced it was arson. Sur- watered down the plan at the school board was impressed veillance video shows a slender April 10 meeting. “We are with his “passion for student figure in a white hooded sweat- starting slow. There are too success and the enthusiasm he shirt jumping the fence and many loose ends,” Council- will bring to lead our staff and entering the building carrying woman Laura Hoffmeister told school community.” Both what appeared to be a bag. the Pioneer. According to Linzey and his wife, Eileen, are About a minute later, he ran Mayor Carlyn Obringer, the under investigation by the disout of the building and vaulted city has approved two licenses trict attorney for financial transactions disscovered during a forensic audit by the County Board of Education. Field of soccer dreams: Local developer Mark Hall came to 6160 Center St. the Concord City Council on Suite F, Clayton May 22 to extoll his vision for downtown: a 15,000-18,000 925.672.7920 seat soccer stadium for a Division II professional team, a convention center, hotels, retail, office and multi-family units. “The team and the stadium give us an important component in the creation of an expanded, family-oriented, regional soccer ecosystem,” Hall said. The council asked Hall to continue researching the $600,000-$750,000 million plan, including conversations with BART about its downtown property. Mayor Carlyn Obringer said she expects Hall to bring the issue back to the council in early 2019 for furThank you for your patronage. ther discussion.


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Time magazine published a leaked Navy memo reporting that Concord could house a detention center for 47,000 migrants. A huge crowd attended a special City Council meeting on June 27 to discuss the issue – then Community Reuse Planning Director Guy Bjerke found out the proposal was dead. “There will be no relocation camps in Concord or California,” he told a cheering crowd. A boost for bike safety: The city installed new green bike lanes and bike boxes on Grant Street at the intersections with Willow Pass Road, Concord Boulevard and Clayton Road. “We appreciate the city’s work to build bike routes, and we look forward to expanding the network of safe transportation for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles to move through the city together,” Maryam Roberts of Bike Concord wrote in her Pioneer column.

July Party on the Plaza: Residents gathered in Todos Santos Plaza to celebrate the 150th birthday of Concord and Independence Day together. The festivities included the unveiling of a statue of Don Salvio Pacheco, one of the city’s founding fathers. Councilman Ron Leone came up with the idea and worked with the Historical Society to raise funds. “I figured the statue would be a great way to celebrate the 150th anniversary,” he said.

august A taxing turn of events: The City Council voted against placing a half-cent extension to Measure Q on the November ballot. The plan needed a 4-1 vote to pass, and only three June Uproar over detention center: council members were in favor. Citizens and government offi- Passed in 2010 and extended in cials jumped into action after 2016, Measure Q has been a

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December 14, 2018 fiscal lifesaver for the city. Viva la Veranda: The Concord Chamber of Commerce celebrated the city’s newest shopping center, naming the Veranda as Business of the Year. “At 375,000 sq. ft., the Veranda provides a diverse collection of tenants and also offers a place to bring your family to enjoy the choreographed water fountain and play structure, go ice skating in the winter, see a new movie and dine out,” chamber president Marilyn Fowler said.

businesses. In June, the council said the current, complaint-driven code was too passive. The Housing and Economic Development Committee later decided to take a step back and work on communication, according to its chair, Mayor Carlyn Obringer. “Some centers that had a lot of code enforcement issues also had a lot of owners that did not speak English,” she noted. “We need to communicate better with them what we’re trying to accomplish.” Through a reallocation of resources in October, the city assigned one Code Enforcement officer to conduct shopping center outreach – in partnership with an Economic Development staff member. “We are trying to take more of a positive, proactive approach as opposed to issuing citations,” Obringer said.

septeMber Campus consideration: As part of the effort to bring a 120-acre university campus to Concord, the city formed a Blue Ribbon Committee of regional stakeholders. “This process allows for a lot of different content, ideas and discussion to take place,” consultant Daniel Iacofano told the City Council in June. Mayor Carlyn Obringer is spearheading the committee, which had its first meeting in September with 16 members. “We’re still in the conceptual stage,” said Obringer, who expects to bring a proposal to the council this spring.

nOveMber Honoring fallen warriors: The Contra Costa Blue Star Moms continues its effort to place 12 monuments at local high schools to honor those who died in war. On Jan. 9, the group memorialized Army Capt. John L. Hallett III and Senior Airman Jonathan A. Vega Yelner at De La Salle. As the year progressed, they honored Clayton Valley graduate Major James. M Ahearn and Army PFCs Scott Barnett and Benjamin T. Zieske of Olympic High. Memorials also stand at Mt. Diablo, Concord High, Ygnacio Valley and Berean Christian. Inspired by the group’s efforts, the East Bay chapter placed their first monument at California High in San Ramon on Nov. 27. “The response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Contra Costa co-chair Carol Prell. “With this project, we hope to ensure the sacrifice of our fallen and their families will never be forgotten nor taken for granted.”

OctOber: Good cheers and good beer: The city’s first Oktoberfest filled Todos Santos Plaza with family fun, music and, of course, a beer tent on Oct. 12-13. The Brewing Network’s Justin Crossley hosted the family-friend event as a counter to his more adult-oriented Spring Brews. “Attendees raved about short lines, great food, an elaborate kids’ area and an abundance of craft beer,” Crossley said. The war on blight: After the City Council rejected a plan that would more broadly define “blight” and increase penalties, they asked staff to better estimate the costs of the program and address the impact of enforcement on

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December 14, 2018

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

Page 3

Obringer elected mayor, McGallian as Dance, from page 1 vice mayor as new council takes over PEGGY SPEAR Correspondent

It was a celebration of old and new as the mayoral gavel changed hands for the Concord City Council last week. The council welcomed newcomer Dominic Aliano and the reelection of Tim McGallian and Laura Hoffmeister – who was first elected when Aliano was in grade school. In addition to the reorganization, the council unanimously elected Councilwoman Carlyn Obringer as mayor, replacing Edi Birsan after he completed his one-year term. The council subsequently unanimously elected McGallian as vice mayor. Patti Barsotti also took the oath of office, as she ran unopposed as city treasurer. It was the first official meeting under the new district election mandate. “Even though we’re elected by district, we serve the city as a whole,” McGallian said, echoing the sentiments of Aliano and Hoffmeister. Aliano represents District 3, which covers much of the Monument area. He thanked the voters of District 3, as well as his volunteers and family. It was a sentimental yet jovial meeting, as the council said goodbye to eight-year Councilman Ron Leone. He and Birsan received praise from the council, as well as from county Supervisor Karen Mitchoff, Assemblyman and former Concord Mayor Tim Grayson and a representative from state Sen. Steve Glazer’s office. Birsan, who remains on the council, told the Pioneer that one of the things he was most



Jennifer Ortega, City of Concord

City Clerk, Joelle Fockler, administers the oath of office to newly elected City Treasurer Patti Barsotti and council members laura Hoffmeister, Tim Mcgallian and Dominic Aliano.

proud of in the last year was establishing a role model of a responsive, engaged, compassionate and accessible mayor – “even when people knocked on my door at 9 p.m.” He also talked about his leadership in crises, such as the Lime Ridge and downtown apartment fires and “Trump’s attempt to turn the base into a giant orphanage,” regarding a leaked internal memo that discussed the possibility of using the base to house immigrants. Birsan noted his ability to listen to all sides of the issues, “making sure what was done to me was not continued,” referring to a few skirmishes where he felt other council members ignored his input. Although he and his fellow council members have had some differences, several good-naturedly teased Birsan about his signature slogan:


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“Concord was named because of the concordance its founders displayed when creating the city, and that was the recipe for civic success.” Still, his colleagues said they recognized the truth of that statement. Obringer, elected two years ago, thanked her family – especially husband Justin, “who never worried when I came home at midnight or 1 p.m. on a Tuesday night because he knew whom I was with.” She told the Pioneer she is “deeply honored” that her council colleagues elected her as mayor for 2019. “Over the past two years, first as a council member and next as vice mayor, I strove each day to serve Concordians to the best of my ability,” she said. “But serving as mayor, representing the city in Concord and beyond, is an even greater



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responsibility.” She looks forward to advancing some new initiatives over the next year. “That includes realizing a vision for a higher education institution/ research facility at the former Concord Naval Weapons Station, launching new neighborhood meetings and clean-up events, hosting one town hall in each of Concord’s council districts – while ensuring delivery of vital city services on which Concordians depend each day.” At 27, Aliano is the youngest council member but is no stranger to politics. He has worked on many campaigns for Mitchoff and Supervisor Federal Glover and has been chair of the Concord Planning Commission. He sees housing and parking as the two top issues he will face representing the Monument area.

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critical of spending $34,000 on the video, most residents enjoyed it – calling the officers “good lookin’ and HOTT.” According to Chief Guy Swanger, the department used asset forfeiture money to fund filming. “We are limited in how we spend this. We just can’t grab cash and give it to a community-based organization,” he told KRON TV news, one of many Bay Area media outlets covering the video. “With this national rhetoric toward immigrants, specifically toward Latinos, it is difficult to recruit in our largest community in Concord,” Swanger added. “This was our attempt to reach out to that community.” Mayor Carlyn Obringer said she wasn’t aware of the video before the premiere at the Brenden Theatre, but she approves of the message. “I thought it was a really positive reflection of how well our police department works with our community members,” she said. “Our police department works very hard to build those cross-cultural partnerships and relationships and, ultimately, that leads to a safer city.” Scherer invited clients and others involved with the crisis center to join in the dance scenes. She notes that one grandmother says her grandson now wants to be a police officer. “I really applaud the PD for stepping forward and doing something like this,” Scherer said. “It’s about building community on a good, trusting basis. Then when things do go wrong, you have that relationship already.”

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include a Mexican market in the Monument and Todos Santos Plaza, with civilians of various ages and races joining in the dancing and officers donning cowboy hats atop police SUVs. There are even motorcycle cops grooving as they drive. The Police Department said the video’s goals were to display the diversity of Concord as well as recruit minority officers. The opening scene notes: “We’re more than just the badges we wear. We’re mothers and fathers. Sons and daughters. Brothers and sisters. And like the community we love to serve, we come from so many backgrounds.” The video is the latest in a national lip-sync craze, this one created in conjunction with the Monument Crisis Center. “We’ve had a really good, continually building partnership with the Concord PD,” said Sandra Scherer, executive director of the crisis center. “Building that trust, respect and mutual aid has really been a great boost to the clients that we serve, knowing that they can talk to the police here and can feel comfortable going down to the police station.” Scherer said the day of filming was “the most sparkling, gorgeous day in Concord,” right before the smoky skies hit the area. “It was just fun to see the officers in a different light – being silly. Everybody enjoyed it; nobody wanted the day to end,” she said. The video already had more than 72,000 views and 1,800 shares on Facebook less than a week after its Nov. 29 debut. While some were





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December 14, 2018


Santa comes to town, trading in the sleigh for a copter

Santa arrived by chopper at Buchanan Field last week for an early holiday visit while rudolf and the others were back at the North Pole training for their Christmas Eve run.

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Santa Claus took time off from his busy schedule to visit Concord this month, greeting hundreds of children and bringing in donations for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano County. His reindeer stayed behind at the North Pole, presumably training under the watchful eye of Rudolph for the long night ahead on Dec. 24. Santa zipped onto Buchanan Field in a CalStar helicopter just a couple minutes after the ETA of 10 a.m., accompanied by one of his senior elves. The Santa visit has been a regular event for close to 20 years at the airport and is one of many public service events the airport sponsors throughout the year. According to Beth Lee, an assistant director at Buchanan Field, the visit from the jolly old man is definitely the most popular of the events. With the threat of rain showers, Santa was led into the lobby of the Crowne Plaza Hotel and greeted more than 200 children. Each was presented with a Polaroid-sized digital photo.

Lee, who collected the donations for the food bank, called it an unqualified success. “The line stretched all the way through the atrium and into the lobby,” she said. “It was amazing to see that many children behaving and waiting so patiently.” Several children brought lists and read them to Santa. When sisters came in with an iPhone, the older sister first

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read her list to Santa and then read another page of wishes for her sister. Lee said the event brought in hundreds of pounds of food and more than $300 for the food bank. No one was sure how Santa got back to the North Pole, but Lee observed CalStar escorting him to a far side of Buchanan Field with “a wink of his eye and a twist of his head.”

Members of the ruiz family of Concord visit with Santa on his trip to Buchanan Field and the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The happy children of richard and Kim ruiz include Devereaux 5, Cambridge 1, and roosevelt.

Digital Safari Academy hatches new entrepreneurs

Birsan, Pat Campbell from the Pat and Shirley Campbell Foundation, and Stephanie Scribner, Miss Contra Costa County USA. Students were mentored by representatives from the business community and government regulatory agencies. Each team member holds an executive position. Senior Cecilia De Santos is the CEO of Fine, an app designed for immigrants and newcomers to Tamara Steiner/The Pioneer help them locate essential Fine CEO, Cecilia De Santos pitches the new app to letitia services like health care and Quezera who is preparing to “buy” stock in the company banking. which developed an app for newcomers to the area. Investor Letitia Quezera arrived in Concord five years Imagine a ballroom full of economics, English and multiago with four children. “I am animated high school students media skills. a newcomer myself,” she said. in full business attire, passionStudents in the Digital “The Fine app would have ately pitching a new business Safari program form a virtual been so helpful. We didn’t to more than 350 potential company. They take their know where to go for anyinvestors. company from conception thing.” This was the scene of the through prepation of a full Other companies compet2018 Innovation Fair present- business plan including maring this year included Budi, ed by the Digital Safari Acade- keting strategy, financial proInc, a safety app that connectmy at Mt. Diablo High School jections, preparing the marketed students walking on camat Centre Concord Dec. 5. ing materials and a prospectus pus alone at night. The Fair is the culminating for investors and designing Echo assists the hearing event of a semester-long pro- the final app. The group preimpaired with a pair of glasses gram that emulates the real pares a final presentation able to detect speech and sign world of high-tech businesses before a panel of judges that language and turn it into text. and finance while teaching included Concord Mayor Edi

Visit the New Clayton Valley High School Athletic Hall of Fame web site

www.cvhshof.com Inductees for the Class of 2019 have been announced — see our web site for the winners.

For questions, comments, recommendations about the web site OR to send a photo for the Gallery section, email: admin@cvhshof.com

December 14, 2018

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

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

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

Mayor, from page 1




for humans. Right now, the channels have minimal, stagnant water. However, when the rains begin, the water levels will rise in the creeks and channels. That water will be very cold, swift-moving and full of debris. My staff recently participated in the Stay Out, Stay Alive! campaign, where we partner with students at Walnut Creek Intermediate School and the Flood Control District to spread the word about creek and channel safety. Swift-water rescuers from the county Fire Protection District joined us to tell students how dangerous fast-moving storm water can be and to demonstrate how hard it is to pull someone out of a flood channel. Students created Stay Out, Stay Alive! posters, and the winning posters hang in high-visibility locations around the county to warn people about the danger of flood control channels. The main points of the Stay Out, Stay Alive! campaign are: • Be aware of fences and warning signs identifying the flood control channels. • Stay out of the channels. • If you see a person in the channel, immediately call 911. • Inform friends and family about this program and its messages. By continuing public outreach with this campaign, we hope to raise awareness and empower our residents with the knowledge they need to stay safe. Please help us share this message for creek and channel safety: Stay Out, Stay Alive!

As we approach the winter months, the Contra Costa County Flood Control District is rolling out its Creek and Channel Safety Awareness Program. In 2011, the Board of Supervisors declared October as the first Creek and Channel Safety Awareness Month and directed the Flood Control District to continue implementation of the Creek and Channel Safety Awareness Program. Since then, the program has produced improved signage in the flood control channel, safety brochures, school and community outreach, a safety evaluation, a student-created safety video and swift-water rescue coordination with the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District. The flood control system is designed to drain storm water from our communities and take it swiftly out to sea to prevent flooding. Water passes from open creeks to underground tunnels and into concrete and earthen channels, gathering speed, debris, volume and power along the way. At key points, the county added large structures to slow down water and control power. Karen Mitchoff is Contra Costa Although these structures are County District IV supervisor. Email an efficient tool in managing questions or comments to floodwaters, they can be deadly karen.mitchoff@bos.cccounty.us

My third goal focuses on building a sense of community. I want residents to feel pride in being a Concordian, in living redevelopment of the former to the full council in spring Concord Naval Weapons 2019 with a recommendation as here, working here, shopping here, and celebrating here. Station. to what kind of higher educaAs mayor, I look forward to tion institution/ research facility Neighborhood meetings and community cleanup events are introducing several initiatives in would work best on the 120 two excellent ways to build the coming year. The first is acres. related to the redevelopment of My second initiative relates positive relationships and a sense of place. In both the former Concord Naval to districts. When the city instances, residents come Weapons Station (CNWS). council was legally forced to together to focus on a comWhen I announced my candida- divide Concord into five discy in 2015, one of my goals tricts, one of my biggest con- mon issue impacting their neighborhood and take action included establishing a four-year cerns was that parochialism to improve the situation. Over public university at the site since would inevitability develop, the past several years I have Contra Costa is the only Calipitting districts one against fornia county with a population another for limited resources. helped to convene quarterly neighborhood meetings and exceeding one million that does I still fear it will be a chalcleanup events throughout not have a full-fledged UC or lenge, over time, for counthe city, and look forward to CSU. Since my election to the cilmembers to balance the expanding these efforts in City Council, we have made needs of their district conadditional neighborhoods in progress toward achieving that stituents, with the needs of goal by establishing a 120-acre the entire city. For this reason, the coming year. On a related note, I plan to institute an campus district within the draft I propose to annually hold CNW Specific Plan, and a 16one town hall, in each district, annual Community Service member Blue Ribbon Commit- with all councilmembers invit- Day/Community Service Month whereby Concordians tee (BRC), that is working on a ed to participate. In this way, are invited to participate in a campus visioning process. As the council can better underChair of the BRC, I look forstand district-specific needs as community service project in each of Concord’s five ward to continuing to spearhead well as the common needs districts. these efforts and coming back across all districts.

Finally, I believe it is critical for the mayor to be accessible to the people and available to hear and address their city-related issues and concerns. To that end, beginning in January, I will hold open office hours at the mayor’s office located at 1950 Parkside Drive from 9 am to 11 am each Friday morning. I will also, once a month, hold “Coffee with the Mayor” or “Beer with the Mayor” at a Concord establishment, to highlight a local business. That way, Concordians can connect with their mayor in a more formal or less formal setting, depending on their preference. Going forward, I look forward to working with my city council colleagues to help make Concord an even better community in which to live, work, raise a family, operate a business, and retire. It’s going to be a great year! Send questions or comments to Carlyn.Obringer@cityofconcord.org

Page 5

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Services, Other ComputersUSA! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9989 Concord Psychic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .349-4577 Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-9113 Net Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6029

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Page 6

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

December 14, 2018

City continues review of rent programs BEV BRITTON The Pioneer

As the Concord City Council analyzed its Residential Rent Review Program at the Nov. 27 meeting, public comments ranged from calls for just cause evictions and rent control to praise for the current procedures. City housing analyst Sophia Sidhu said that the program has had “a moderating effect on significant rent increases.” From June 2017 to October 2018, the program handled 53 cases – with 14 result-

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The Pulse of Concord is a survey site that I have run for the last nine years. It has a dozen or so neutral questions about issues and views in Concord and the surrounding areas. It comes out about once every three months, and I echo the results to those who sign up for it. It is free at www.pulseofconcord.com. The following survey was of 258 folks, of which 92 percent were Concord residents. Generally, there has not been much of a variation between the Concord and non-Concord folks. Here are just some of the results: rental multifamily-only housing should be limited to a max of 10 percent rent increase a year unless approved by a rent board for extraordinary capital improvements/repairs. Strongly agree, 22.6 percent. Agree, 28.8 percent. Disagree, 11.1 percent Disagree strongly, 17.3 percent. Neither agree nor disagree, 12.8 percent. Don’t care, 3.3 percent. Don’t know, 4.1 percent.

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It applies to nearly 9,000 units and 400 properties, and all decisions are non-binding. After city staff reported on the status of the Rent Review and the Multi-Family Rental Inspection programs, the council heard from 57 speakers. Several residents referred to Dominic Aliano, who was sitting in the front row of the audience and joined the City Council on Dec. 4 to represent the Monument area. Aliano has advocated for strong rent stabilization rules and a just cause eviction ordinance. Outgoing Mayor Edi Bir-

san, who will remain on the council, said he would like the city to concentrate on approaches that “recognize the differences in the operating cultures of small landlords of a few units and corporate landlords with large apartment buildings, while at the same time trying to strike a balance between all sides and make some progress.” The council continued the topic until a meeting in December. Look for a report on that in next month’s Pioneer.

any of the categories above. This sort of goes against the concept that homeowners would side with landlords against any cap on rental increases.

their home four at a time, with the limit of not more than 20 hours a week and not more than one session of four children each day. Strongly agree, 14.8 percent. Agree, 24.2 percent. Disagree, 6.1 percent. Strongly disagree, 13.9 percent. Don’t care, 14.8 percent. Neither agree nor disagree, 21.3 percent. Don’t know, 4.9 percent. This question stems from a complaint against a single tutor, one of only 10 in the city. It highlights an aspect of city code that the council is reviewing. Like too many cases of this sort of complaint, there is sometimes an element of what I call “Hatfields and McCoys” – where neighbors are feuding and this is just another battleground for friction. After two Planning Commission meetings and a City Council meeting, this is coming back for finalization by the council as we go to press.

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ing in lower rent increases. She noted that one renter was able to negotiate a 14 percent increase instead of more than 20 percent. Renters also obtained things like new carpet and appliances. Most cases were resolved in conciliation, the first step of the resolution process. Of the 23 closed cases, 83 percent of tenants stayed in their homes. The city’s Rent Review Program addresses rent increases exceeding 10 percent within a 12-month period for multi-family properties with three or more units.

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please rate your level of agreement with the following statement: “concord is a safe city.” Strongly agree, 7.8 percent. EDI BIRSAN Agree, 40.8 percent. PULSE OF Disagree, 22 percent. Disagree strongly, 10.6 perCONCORD cent. Neither agree nor disagree, More than 51 percent 18 percent. favor a cap of 10 percent, Almost 50 percent agree, while 28.9 percent disagree. but only 30 percent disagree. There were no other restricThe advent of the Next Door tions on number of units or web application has caused a age, just a simple straight major echoing of many crimes question. in a neighborhood that could What is very interesting is attribute to the feeling of the profile of the respondents: being unsafe. On the other 82.3 percent own their hand, it has helped catch some home or live with family in criminals, as happened last that home. year on my street. 8.2 percent rent and are What constitutes safe? We spending more than 50 perneed to drill down to find out cent of their gross monthly what would make you feel income on rent. safer. Send me your sugges4.5 percent rent and are tions on framing that topic. spending 30-50 percent of Please let me know what topics their gross income on rent. people should be and questions you would like at 5 percent do not fall into allowed to tutor children in Edibirsan@gmail.com.

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mission is to provide a platform for local businesses to succeed. We have a top-notch staff, a great board of direcMArIlyN FOWlEr tors and many volunteers. CHAMBER OF Some of the events and programs that we provide our COMMERCE business members throughThe Concord Chamber of out the year require volunCommerce is a voluntary teers. One of our most business organization whose active groups is our Chamber Ambassador Committee. They are the face of the chamber, always there to & greet members at events and the first call you may receive as a new member. Specializing in large Mark Hall of NetSoluHazardous Trees & tions has been a chamber Heritage Oak trees ambassador for 15 years and Crane Service has taken the lead role as Tree & Stump removal ambassador chair for several Arborist Consulting years. He is at almost all of Arborist reports our events and always willing Pruning/Cabling to help us whenever we need Fire Abatement his assistance. You will see him holding the ribbon at Custom Milled lumber grand openings and ribbon cuttings or manning the bar at our yearly Crab Feed Dinner & Auction. Diane Covington of Mary Kay Cosmetics is an established entrepreneur and a pro at listening to your busiEd and Patsy Waraner ness needs and connecting

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you with the appropriate business partner. She has lived in Concord for most of her life and has been involved with the chamber for more than 17 years. One of our newer ambassadors is Sam Parwiz of Edward Jones. He dove into this volunteer role with enthusiasm and is always a friendly face at our events. Because of his volunteerism at the chamber, he has met so many new business contacts, which has been profitable for his business.

The ambassadors have dedicated their volunteer time to help elevate our chamber’s mission, while creating connections between local professionals to foster new business relationships. If you are interested in joining our organization, please give me a call at 925-685-1181.

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

December 14, 2018

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

Page 7

’Tis the season for volunteering to provide 1,600 food boxes to hungry families, along with a collection of travel-sized toiletries. Donations for both are welcome at their headquarters, 1990 Market St. in Concord, or call 925-825-7751 for more information. Visit www.monumentcrisiscenter.org to learn how you can help. holiday turkey donation: The De La Salle lacrosse team raised funds again this year to supply more than 150 families with free turkeys and trimmings through the food pantry at the St. Vincent de Paul Branch of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Concord. “We can’t raise all the funds needed to purchase the turkeys for the needy families, so without the help from the lacrosse program at De La Salle, this wouldn’t happen,” said Jane Streich, president of the St. Vincent de Paul branch. crisis nursery crab Feed: Tickets are on sale for the Bay Area Crisis Nursery Crab Feed, 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Garaventa Center at Carondelet High School, 1133 Winton Drive in Concord. Tickets are $65, and tables of 10 are $600. Sponsor a table for your organi-

zation or business or donate a themed silent auction basket. RSVP before Jan. 5. The crisis nursery offers a temporary loving home in Concord for children whose parents are experiencing a life FAITH BArNIDgE crisis, to avoid child neglect or abuse. The holidays are espeHEARTS & HANDS cially hard for these children. Let us all take an opportuVisit www.bayareacrisisnursnity to thank the many volunery.org to view their ongoing teers who help to make life a wish list or for information little easier for our residents – about volunteering your time and manage to have a lot of to hold babies, read to children Photo courtesy of St. Vincent de Paul fun in the process. or provide your support. The De la Salle lacrosse team raised funds to supply more than 150 families with free Volunteering keeps us Thanks to generous donainvolved in our community and holiday turkeys and trimmings through the food pantry at the St. Vincent de Paul Branch of tions, the 9th annual David St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Concord. offers opportunities to make Vasilauskas Golf Tournament friends, learn about new things raised $11,000 for the nursery and provides those blessed with with bathroom renovation, ond floor Concord Historical “We challenged our club last year. opportunities for giving back. provision of clean drinking Museum and Archive. members to come out and they Fiduciary advice: Diablo Please consider volunteer- water and training for 650 Thanks to all Historical responded.  For many, it was Valley Foundation for the ing as an individual or join a teachers. Rotary of Concord Society members who work so their first run—but it won’t be Aging representative Linda local service, nonprofit, service chair Susan Cohen hard to make these fundraising their last” said Makenna Walls, Groobin speaks to local groups church or humanitarian organ- Grossman and member Paul events a success. These beauti- Studio Manager for the Conand organizations about ization. Help is always needed Meyerhoffer recently received ful historic buildings will enable cord location options for management of and appreciated. The holidays special kudos for their leadergenerations of area residents to Monument crisis center senior health care, end-of-life may offer timely opportunities ship on this project. Visit learn about our local history, heartfelt gala: Save the date decisions, durable power of to help or make donations, www.concordcarotary.org for celebrate special occasions and for the Heartfelt Gala, 5:30-10 attorney, estate distribution and but don’t forget that these membership information. create new memories. p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at Round conservatorship. It’s essential organizations provide services anybody can sing: Join Join CHS and get in on the Hill Country Club in Alamo. to prepare for the future, espeall year around. the ABC Singers and sing fun. Memberships start at $50 The crisis center offers nutricially if we are without family Each organization offers Christmas carols with residents per family. Visit concordhistor- tious food and support to local to entrust with these important multiple ways to volunteer your of area assisted living homes ical.org for membership infor- at-risk families. During the holdecisions. Groobin is available support, so call or email the this month. Lyrics will be pro- mation. idays, the organization hopes to speak to your organization. organizations you have an vided. Children of all ages are Members volunteer as Contact her at 925-945-8040 to interest in helping and find a welcome at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. docents leading tours of the arrange her visit. volunteer opportunity that is 14, at Carlton on Broadway historic Galindo Home. TrainDiablo valley Foundation perfect for you. 1700 Broadway, Concord; ing is provided each week, so for the aging board chair Joe rotary lunch With santa: Monday, Dec. 17, Veterans you can start right away. MemBettencourt welcomes new Help Concord Diablo Rotarians Hospital, 150 Muir Road, Mar- bers also learn about Concord executive director Jody Eaton spread some joy at Lunch With tinez; Wednesday, Dec. 19, history by working with historIorns. She is the former CEO Santa, beginning 12:15 p.m. Montecito Oakmont Senior ical artifacts and updating the of the Epilepsy Foundation, Dec. 19 with clients and staff at Living, 4756 Clayton Road, archives. Volunteers will be executive director of the MusCambridge Child Development Concord; and Thursday, Dec. especially welcome when the cular Dystrophy Foundation Center, 1146 Lacey Lane, Con- 20, Stonebrook Convalescent time comes to prepare the new and executive director of cord. Cambridge provides low- 4367 Concord Blvd., Concord. museum for the public openMothers Against Drunk Drivincome families with child care The singing will continue ing. Call 925-827-3380 for ing (MADD). for preschool children. with other holiday festivities more information. Hearts and Hands shares news, soroptimists helping events and opportunities for all of us women and girls: Soroptimist Photo courtesy of Soroptimist of Diablo Vista to learn more about our community, International of Diablo Vista have some fun, and combine our Sandra Scherer of the Monument Crisis Center, center left, represents members throughresources and talents to help others. received a generous donation from Soroptimist Internaout our area who are dedicated tional Diablo Vista president gloria Utley to honor the Send items to faithbarnidge@pioto improving the lives of memory of Soroptimist and Monument Crisis Center found- neerpublishers.com. women and girls through pro- ing board member ginger Marsh. grams leading to social and economic empowerment. One annual program, the Get Real Academy, is a day-long seminar for high school senior girls to learn real life skills, such as resume writing, job interviewing and career planning from volunteer professionals. Photo courtesy of rotary Club of Concord The next academy will take Members of the rotary Club of Concord and their families place Thursday, March 7, at the helped Food Bank executive director and rotarian larry Sly, Hilton Hotel in Concord. front left, assemble food for distribution to hungry families The chapter recently raised this holiday season. $4,270 to honor the memory of beloved Soroptimist Ginger Make new friends and learn and a free Christmas dinner at Marsh, a founding member of about all the great activities Christmas For Everyone on Monument Crisis Center in Concord Diablo Rotary offers, Dec. 25 at the Korean Presby- Concord. Chapter president plus enjoy a free lunch or din- terian Church, 68 Morello Ave., Gloria Utley presented this ner at the club’s regular gather- Martinez. Call 925-228-2233 by generous donation to Monuing and meetings through the Dec. 20 for more details. Or ment Crisis Center executive end of this year. Rotary meets visit www.christmasforeverydirector Sandra Scherer. The for lunch at 12:15 p.m. on the one.com or email Maxine Chan donation will help fund holiday 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th Wednesat maxgiglist@gmail.com. meals for disadvantaged clients. days and at 6:15 p.m. the secconcord historical sociSoroptimist Diablo Vista ond Wednesday for dinner at ety gala gets results: The chapter meets the 2nd, 3rd and the Clarion Hotel, 1050 BurConcord Museum and Event 4th Wednesdays of each month nett Ave., Concord. Reserve Center renovation fund will at noon at the Concord Senior your free lunch today by visit- benefit from more than Center, 2727 Parkside Circle. ing www.cdrotary.org. $50,000 raised at the recent Visit www.sidiablovista.org to Diablo Rotarians believe in gala dinner and auction inside register to attend a meeting or sharing their talents in handsthe beautifully restored Betty for more information. on projects to serve our com- Martin Barnes Hall. Renovaconcord 5000: Contra munity, including mentoring tions will continue to transCosta Blue Star Moms were the youth in Interact Clubs at Con- form this historic building into beneficiaries of proceeds from cord, De La Salle and Carona state-of-the-art, multi-use the recent Concord 5000 run in delet high schools. Friendly event center for local celebraNovember presented by Diablo members of the Picker tions. The building includes a Valley Credit Union and sponSquadron glean unwanted fruit modern catering kitchen and sored by Orangetheory Fitness in your backyard and take it to an elevator leading to the secof Concord and Clayton.   Concord food pantries, including the Share Food Pantry at the First Christian Church, the Salvation Army Food Pantry at Concord Community Church, Monument Crisis Center and the Food Bank. More help from rotarians: The Rotary Club of Concords meets for lunch at 12:15 p.m. on Fridays at the Clarion Hotel. Members and their families volunteer to help assemble food for donations at the Food Bank four times each year, most recently in time for holiday distribution. The chapter’s International Projects commit- Concord Mayor Edi Birsan, left, congratulated the winner of tee works with host clubs in the annual Concord 5K run, Jordan reyes, with Vice-mayor Tocoa and Trujillo in HonCarlyn Obringer. Proceeds from the run will fund the mailduras for the Wash In Schools ing of care packages sent local troops overseas by Contra Project to provide 30 schools Costa Blue Star Moms.

Page 8

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com


Popular veterinarian succumbs to cancer

Concord veterinarian Larry Rothe, practicing veterinarian at Disney Pet Hospital lost his year-long battle with cancer Nov. 25. “The universe has lost a good man,” says Concord pet rescue advocate and friend, Kathy Gleason. “He made a difference.” Rothe bought the practice from Bob Disney in 1994. The hospital has been in the same Concord Blvd. location since Disney opened in 1974. Many friends attended last Friday’s service. “Once you were his friend, you were his best friend,” said long-time employee, Shara Davis. As word of his death spread, many current and former clients checked in on


social media. “He was such a good vet, but more than that, he was a dear man,” writes Beth Neudell from Arizona. “There was such a lightness about him,” said another.

December 14, 2018

The holiday season can be a selling point

before the end of the year for tax reasons. January is traditionally the month for employees to begin new jobs. Since transferees can“No matter what I lyNNE FrENCH not wait until spring to buy, you brought through the door, must be on the market now to REAL ANSWERS from an emaciated stray kitten capture these buyers. to an injured feral cat to a shy Even if your home is on rescue dog, he never hesitated Q: is this time of year a the market, you have the to help,” Gleason said. good or bad time to sell my option to restrict showings Many of the hundreds of house? during the six or seven days dogs and cats Gleason rescued a: It is a wonderful time to during the holidays. were so sick they couldn’t be sell, especially this year, because You can sell now for more saved. Euthanizing an animal it seems that we are starting a money, and we will provide for was never easy for him Gleadeclining market. I have written a delayed closing or extended son said. “Every time he had my reasons to list during the occupancy until early next year. to do it, he said a prayer first.” holidays before, but I am going By selling now, you may Rothe is survived by his to repeat them this year: have an opportunity to be a wife, Bonnie Claire and chilPeople who look for a home non-contingent buyer during dren Michael, Jordan and Polly. during the holidays are more the spring, when many more Rothe recently sold the serious buyers. houses are on the market for practice. His two associate Serious buyers have fewer less money. This will allow you veterinarians, Vicki Tillman houses to choose from during to sell high and buy low. and Elizabeth Pisanelli contin- the holidays and less competiQ: When i buy a car, i ue to see patients at the hospi- tion means more money for always pay cash. i can realtal which will remain at the you. ly strike a great deal that same location. Since the supply of listings way. i am now going to will dramatically increase in begin to shop for a house. January, there will be less Does cash give me a comdemand for your particular petitive advantage also? home. Less demand means a: The Wall Street Journal less money for you. recently reported that 30 perHouses show better when cent of home purchases are for the holidays. decorated She’s fond of petting and “all cash” transactions. Buyers Buyers are more emotional pay cash because they want to looks forward to being pamduring the holidays, so they are avoid debt and don’t want to pered by her forever family. more likely to pay your price. In return, she’ll be a great go to the trouble of garnering Buyers have more time to financing. They also they want companion. look for a home during the The adoption fee for kittheir offers to be more comtens under 6 months $125 and holidays than they do during a petitive, relative to offers with regular work week. for adult cats is $75. financing that require continSome people must buy Meet your forever friend at gencies and slower closings. Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek, during adoption hours: Noon to 6 pm Wednesday & Thursday, Noon to 7 pm Friday, and Noon to 6 pm Saturday & Sunday. Would you like to be part of the heroic team that saves the lives of rescued dogs and cats? Can you share your talents to connect people Now that the winter storm and animals? ARF volunteers are door has finally opened, we can making a difference. For more cease the rain dances. information see our website, In the dry weeks before www.arflife.org, or call (925) 256Thanksgiving, local meteorolo1ARF. gists fielded endless questions about drought, climate change and wildfires. A senior softball teammate asked me: “If cloud seeding increases precipitation, how come it isn’t used to lessen WOODY WHITLATCH the effect of drought and the WEATHER WORDS chance of wildfire?” Here’s a long version of the snowflakes in clear skies. It is short answer I provided then. only effective when clouds have Raindrops and snowflakes already formed. That rules out form in clouds when water vapor coagulates around micro- cloud seeding as a method of producing precipitation during scopic atmospheric dust particles and small ice crystals. Mete- dry spells. Cloud seeding does have its orologists call them “condensauses. Since the 1950s, several of tion nuclei.” California’s electric utilities have About a century ago, scienused cloud seeding. Their goal tists discovered that silver is to increase snowpack in the iodide, an inert insoluble chemiwatersheds that feed hydrogenacal compound, has nearly the same crystalline structure as ice- tion facilities in the Sierra Nevada. shaped condensation nuclei. Electricity generated by Further studies indicated that falling water is considerably less silver iodide is effective in polluting than the burning of attracting water vapor and profossil fuels. The economic ducing raindrops or snowflakes. rationale for cloud seeding is The problem is that cloud that a deeper snowpack will seeding can’t create raindrops or

Meet ARF stars Mickey and Kit Kat


Two-year-old Mickey, he’s so fine. This sweet, gentle giant is an easygoing dude. He’d do well in almost any home where he doesn’t need to work-out much. Mickey is hoping to meet a fellow couch potato who enjoys chilling and watching movies, and who doesn’t mind a little snorting and drooling. The adoption fee for puppies under 6 months is $300,


for adult dogs is $250, and includes a discount on the first six-week session of a manners class. One-year-old Kit Kat is an outgoing and sociable young lady who is fond of people and easily makes new friends with them. She’s a very perky and active girl who would love to have a houseful of toys to play with in her forever home.

For cash buyers that would like financing in the end, “delayed financing” remains available. Cash buyers are allowed to take cash out against a residential real property immediately after close. There is no “seasoning period” at most lending sources. Q: can you suggest any ways to offset rising interest rates? a: To keep monthly mortgage payments more affordable, more home buyers are reaching deeper into their pockets to make larger down payments. A recent survey found 64 percent of prospective home buyers say they expect mortgage rates to rise. That has prompted 57 percent of respondents to say they plan to make a down payment of 15 percent or more on their home purchase. Meanwhile, 44 percent say they will have a down payment of less than 15 percent. Also for affordability, the majority of home buyers surveyed said they prefer fixedrate mortgages, particularly 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (45 percent), compared to 15year fixed rate mortgages (36 percent) and adjustable-rate mortgages (7 percent).

Send your question and look for your answer in a future column. Email Lynne@LynneFrench.com. Contact Lynne French at 672-8787 or stop in at 6200 Center St., Clayton.

Cloud seeding is useful – but it can’t stop a fire

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lengthen the snowmelt season. Hydrogenation will then continue further into the spring and summer seasons. In California, electricity demands and fossil fuel prices peak during the hot seasons. Unfortunately, not every storm that crosses the state is a seeding candidate. Air mass temperature is the most important meteorological parameter. Meteorologists monitor current and forecasted weather conditions to determine which storms to seed. Warm winter storms are excluded from seeding consideration since snowfall is unlikely even at the highest portions of a watershed. On the other side of the temperature spectrum, storms that are too cold are not seedable. Snowflake production is inefficient in extreme cold air, and extra condensation nuclei would have no positive effect. If weather conditions are conducive to seeding, silver iodine must somehow be injected into the clouds. Meteorologists have developed two effective ways of accomplishing this. The first involves direct dispersion into a storm using an airplane. The second method consists of heating silver iodide particles with propane in ground-based burners. The hot burner plume rises into the cloud and disperses the particles. One obvious question arises: Is operational cloud seeding an effective way of increasing snowpack? Studies have shown that an overall increase of 5 to 15 percent in precipitation can be expected, although individual storm results vary. My short answer was that it is not possible for cloud seeding to produce precipitation during dry weather patterns that result in wildfires and droughts. However, it is a useful tool that can help lower electric generation costs and reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Woody Whitlatch is a meteorologist retired from PG&E. Email your questions or comments to clayton_909@yahoo.com

December 14, 2018

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

Page 9

Rotary’s Clunkers4Charity program sends refurbished cars to Paradise fire victims KARA NAVOLIO Correspondent

Ashley Irons was on her way to work in Paradise on Nov. 8 when she noticed the smell of smoke. When she arrived at the home of her clients, developmentally disabled adults under the care of nonprofit California Vocations, she knew it was time to get everyone’s emergency bags ready, just in case. Within 30 minutes, the precaution became a necessity as co-workers called saying it was time to leave. She used the company van to evacuate her three clients, leaving behind her personal car. “My goal was to get my clients out,” Irons explained. “We were in gridlock for an hour before reaching the highway.” Fire raged on both sides of the road, and they had to drive over or around downed power lines. “The whole time, I was scared that pine needles on top of the van might catch fire from a spark or ashes that were falling. I didn’t know how I would get my clients out of the van since two are non-verbal and one wears braces on his legs. It was so dark outside from the smoke that it looked like it was the middle of the night. I worried if I’d ever make it back to Chico to see my daughter again,” said the single mother. The fire burned Irons’ car and the home where her clients lived. Her auto insurance will provide just enough for her to pay off the car loan, but there will be nothing left for a new car.

our staff evacuated in company vans with our clients and had to leave their personal vehicles like Ashley did. Most of those cars were lost.” Irons was one of the first to receive a car from Cars2ndChance in Concord as four vehicles were delivered last week. “It is so generous of them,” Irons said. “This means I can get to work, get my daughter to school and her dance classes. Even people who don’t live in Paradise, but Contributed photo work there, have lost things.” Clunkers4Charity, an organization within the Clayton Valley “We are going to wrap our Sunrise rotary fixes up donated vehicles for Paradise and arms around this problem,” Santa rosa fire victims. Picture from left, rotary member Kemnitz said, “and help, no rich lueck, a recipient family from the Santa rosa fire and matter how long it takes.” rotary members Bryan Fikes, Mary Kemnitz, Dave Kemnitz and Clayton Worsdell.

That’s where Concord business owners Dave and Mary Kemnitz have stepped in. D&H Enterprises has been repairing cars in Concord since 1995. Ten years ago, they started a nonprofit, Clunkers4charity, within the Clayton Valley Concord Sunrise Rotary Club to raise money for various charities. They also run Cars2ndChance for cars that can be refurbished. Their business sometimes gives them access to cars that can’t be economically repaired; they take these cars and refurbish them or sell the parts at auction. The proceeds are then donated to charitable causes. When they heard about the need for cars in Paradise through the Paradise Rotary Club, they knew they wanted to help their fellow Rotarians. Rather than refurbish cars and turn them into cash, they are soliciting donations of cars,

To donate a vehicle, running or RVs, trailers and 5th wheels, not, visit Clunkers4Charity.org or running or not, to donate out- call 925-326-5868. right. They will fix them if needed and get them to people who lost vehicles and homes in the fire that swept Paradise and the surrounding area. People need cars so they can get back to work; the RVs and trailers can be used as temporary housing for displaced residents. “John Waterman of the Paradise Rotary Club lost his home and his business, but he is leading the charge to help others in his community,” Dave Kemnitz said. “John is finding people who need cars, and we are helping him find the cars.” Bill Irvine, also a Paradise Rotary member, is the executive director of the nonprofit California Vocations where Irons works. “We lost 22 of the 26 homes that our clients live in,” Irvine noted. “Most of

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Crisis Center’s gala focuses on programs ‘Straight from the Heart’ One of the ways the Monument Crisis Center is able to continue to do great work is by hosting the annual Heartfelt Gala with the help of community supporters. This year’s theme is “Straight from the Heart,” which is not surprising. All of their programs and services, staff, volunteers and community partners have the same mission: coming together in a unique, effective way to help those facing crisis situations and working collaboratively

with one another to expertly leverage, stretch and maximize resources. It’s all from the heart. The Crisis Center, located at 1990 Market St., has been serving the community’s most vulnerable and at-risk families for more than 15 years. The organization provides services to more than 10,000 individuals a year, including 100 new families a month. If you or your company would like to support their out-

reach, contact executive director Sandra Scherer at 925-2226868 or sscherer@monumenetcrisiscenter.org. This year’s gala will be 5:3010 p.m. Feb. 9 at Round Hill Country Club, Alamo. Tickets are $150 and include hors d’oeuvres, sit-down dinner, dancing, entertainment, raffles, live auction and Fund-A-Need. If you would like to attend, visit the website https://tinyurl.com/MCCHeartfelt2019.

Time to upgrade to a solid state drive

HDD is encased in a chassis that contains very strong magnets to keep everything aligned. When the bearings WIll ClANEy begin to wear over time, everything gets slightly out of TECH TALK tune and the drive will fail. Prices are dropping rapidly SSDs are not subject to for solid state drives (SSDs), the mechanical issues that which in turn is driving a plague HDDs, therefore, they replacement cycle from hard are more reliable. In addition, disk drives (HDD) to the SSDs don’t need an actuator faster, more reliable and effior mechanical seek to retrieve cient solid state cousins. data. The difference in speed SSDs have no moving is truly amazing. One is parts, while HDDs have a mechanical, the other speed of platter that spins on bearings, light. typically spinning from 4,200 When SSDs were introto 15,000 RPM. duced in late 2013, they were Hard drives have a small and very expensive. A mechanical actuator, or typical 32GB SSD cost about read/write head, arm that $250, and terabyte drives simseeks data from the disk as it ply didn’t exist. Today, a whizzes by. If you have ever 500GB drive is less than $150 seen one in action, it is truly and drives the size of 8TB are amazing. The head appears to available. A 2TB SSD sells for vibrate as it finds data. The less than $1,000 now.

SSDs come in a variety of shapes as well as sizes. Most SSD manufactures have upped the game by introducing even faster M.2 NVME varieties. They act like drives but use a special faster buss. “Bus or buss is a communication system that transfers data between components inside a computer,” according to Wikipedia. Your next computer should have an SSD, or upgrade your existing computer to the new technology and breathe new life into your old computer. If you’re not sure you know an SSD from a pancake, give your local computer expert a call and ask them.

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



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Travis Credit Union brings bundles of joy

This holiday season, Travis Credit Union members and employees are reaching out to the community and people in need by taking part in the Solano, Contra Costa, Napa, Merced and Yolo County food banks’ annual food drive, the Festival of Trees, Christmas Wish 2018, Toys for Tots and the Children’s Miracle Network Holiday Stocking Campaign. Credit union employees, members and the general public are encouraged to bring non-perishable foods to all Travis Credit Union branches in Solano, Yolo and Contra Costa counties through Jan. 31. Donations will be distributed in the counties that they are received. Through the Children’s Miracle Network Holiday Stocking

Campaign, Travis Credit Union employees and members can purchase and sign as many paper stockings as they want for $1 each to support the health needs of children. The stockings are available for sale and will be displayed at Travis Credit Union branches through Dec. 24. Proceeds from this year’s campaign will go to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento and Valley Children’s Hospital Central California in Madera County. Travis Credit Union has been the No. 1 corporate sponsor for the Christmas Wish program for 17 years. Through their generous giving, employees ensures that less fortunate children are granted the one wish that they have made for Christmas.

This is the 15th year that the credit union has participated in the Festival of Trees, which benefits the Opportunity House. What started out as a labor of love years ago has become a special holiday tradition in the Vacaville community. This all-volunteer festival is the shelter’s primary fundraiser. Many credit union branches adopt a family for the holidays. Employees also participate in Operation Cookie Drop by baking and hand delivering cookies to airmen on Travis Air Force Base during the holidays.

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The Pioneer

December 14, 2018

Calendar . . . . . . . . . . .B6 The Arts . . . . . . . . . . .B7

Concord Edition, Section B


Mater Dei talent, De La Salle mistakes settle State Bowl JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

No. 1 ranked Mater Dei of Santa Ana’s talent-laden team won its second successive State and National high school football championship last Saturday when they held off a fourth quarter De La Salle rally for a 35-21 victory at Cerritos College. The Spartans made their unprecedented 13th straight State Bowl appearance since the series was inaugurated in 2006 but lost for the third time in a row. De La Salle lost two of the first three years of the Bowl and the last three years. In between, they won six of seven State Bowls from 20092015, including four National championships. Last year Mater Dei defeated DLS by the lopsided score of 52-21 for their first win in four meetings between the Northern and Southern California parochial school powers as the Spartans fumbled eight times, losing four plus an interception. Head coach Justin Alumbaugh said this year’s team was an underdog again but felt his team had a valid chance of winning, primarily by playing a “clean game.” Several mishandled QB exchanges leading to lost fumbles and a disastrous bad snap on a punt gave Mater Dei too many chances for that game plan to materialize. The Monarchs have a roster full of Division I college prospects, including a dozen players who transferred to the school to fill

the void left from graduated seniors off their first-ever State championship squad a year ago. First and foremost among the transfers was junior quarterback Bryce Young, already committed to USC. He threw to Bru McCoy (No. 1 rated uncommitted college prospect) and 6-6 tight end Michael Martinez to throw to and handed off to Shakobe Harper for three touchdowns. All those skill position players had outstanding games against the Spartans with McCoy’s sensational one-handed catches late in the game snuffing out the final Spartan defensive stand when they had rallied back from 28-7 entering the fourth quarter to trail just 28-21. DLS sophomore quarterback Dorian Hale had big passing stats (254 yards and two TDs) but the Spartans vaunted rushing attack never materialized against the Monarchs big defensive line. All-America linebacker Henry To’oto’o was injured at practice the day before the game and was a non-factor. Alumbaugh said it was remarkable To’oto’o even played. “That guy showed a lot of guts tonight.” The senior acknowledged he fractured his foot but insisted on playing. “These are my brothers for life. I love everybody on this team way too much to let them down like that.” The last seven California State Open champs (DLS in 2012, 2014 and 2015, St. John Bosco 2013 and 2016, and

Photo courtesy Brian Marchiano @DLS151 on Instagram and Twitter.

De La Salle and Mater Dei met for the second straight year in the CIF Open Division Bowl Game last Saturday at Cerritos College. The Monarchs held off a late Spartans rally to win 35-21 and get a repeat State and National championship. Outstanding tight ends and team captains Mike Martinez (80, left) and Isaiah Foskey (18) met during the coin toss. Cocaptains Gunnar Rask (67, right), Henry To’oto’o and Jhasi Wilson also represented the Spartans.

Mater Dei past two years) have ous Saturday, walloping undebeen mythical national high feated Liberty 42-7 after falling behind 7-0 in the first quarter. school champions. The Brentwood school had NORCAL DOMINANCE eliminated Clayton Valley CONTINUES Charter 42-14 the previous De La Salle won its 27th week in the Open Division consecutive North Coast Sec- semi-finals. Liberty (1A) and tion championship the previ- another DLS victim this year,

Folsom (1AA), are in State Bowl Games this weekend. DLS has now won 298 straight games against California teams from north of Fresno since 1991 when the Herc Pardicoached Pittsburg Pirates defeated them in the NCS finals. Due to the Butte County fire

air issues, De La Salle did not play from Nov. 9 (the day after the Camp Fire broke out) when it beat long-time rival Pitt 38-0 in the NCS semi-finals until Dec. 1 against Liberty. At first it appeared DLS

See Football, page B4

Winter sports teams, athletes will be busy in new year JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

Diablo and East Bay athletic league soccer teams began league play this month while almost all basketball and wrestling league schedules don’t begin until the calendar turns to 2019. All winter sports lead to North Coast Section championships in February with NorCal and State competitions later that month and in early March. Carondelet and De La Salle drew byes on the opening day of EBAL soccer this week before hosting Dougherty Valley in their league openers Thursday. Like the DAL, their league will have four rounds of games before the holiday break and continue on Tuesdays and Thursdays from Jan. 8 to Feb. 7. DAL soccer got underway last week and will complete two more games this week before taking a break until Jan. 9 when they have Wednesday-Friday games until Feb 8. There is a new, single 13-team schedule for DAL boys and girls soccer. Clayton Valley Charter boys edged Ygnacio Valley (who reached the D-II semi-finals) in their DAL division last year while the Eagle girls finished a close second to Northgate. NCS playoff games are on Feb. 13-23. The second NorCal soccer playoffs are Feb. 26-Mar. 2. De La Salle won its 13th NCS soccer crown last winter after taking first in the EBAL and advanced to the inaugural NorCal tournament before losing in the first round. Carondelet was a loser for the third successive year in the


NCS championship game and then advanced to the NorCal semi-finals with an upset of unbeaten and nationallyranked Davis before losing for a fourth time to league rival Monte Vista. Ygnacio Valley’s girls also got a NorCal tournament bid after reaching the semis of the NCS D-III playoffs while enduring an incredible travel schedule.

HOOPS , MATS ON TAP DAL basketball league play is Jan. 8 – Feb. 8 while the EBAL schedule goes from Jan. 2 to Feb. 7. NCS basketball playoffs begin Feb. 12-13 and conclude Feb. 22-23. The NorCal playoffs run Feb. 26 – Mar. 5 before the State championship games Mar. 8-9 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento. Last year, Carondelet on the girls side and Clayton Valley Charter and De La Salle boys made it to the NorCal basketball tournament, where all made quick exits. CVCHS ended its historic season with back-to-back losses in the NCS Division I finals to Heritage


and then at NorCals D-I to Menlo School. Two-time defending NCS champions DLS fell in the Section quarterfinals and then lost its Norcal D-I opener to Palo Alto. Carondelet concluded its first season as a semi-independent school with a second straight NCS Division I title but forfeited its NorCal game due to an off-campus incident by the team. The school hired new head coach Mike Morris this fall and his senior-laden team is expected to battle for post-season honors again this season after a taxing regular-season schedule against top opposition from throughout the West Coast. DAL double dual wrestling meets for the Valley Division schools begin next Wednesday with two more double duals on Jan. 9 and 56. Final dual meets are Jan. 30. The DAL Foothill squad’s double duals are Jan. 9 and 16 with final dual matches Jan. 30. The league championship meet at Campolindo is Feb. 9. The NCS dual team championships featuring heavilyfavored DLS are Feb. 2 at Dublin High with the NCS



Championships in Union City CROSS COUNTRY OUTRUNS FIRE at James Logan High on Feb. No sport was impacted any 15-16 and CIF State Feb. 2223 at Rabobank Arena in more by the Camp Fire air quality issues than cross counBakersfield.

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try. The NCs meet was finally held in Hayward on Monday, Nov. 19, just five days before the State Meet in Fresno. Only five of the 10 division races were held before NCS officials called off the rest of the meet. De La Salle’s Connor Livingston rebounded from an injury to win the Division II race and lead his Spartans to second place and a State Meet berth. NCS officials had to use season results to determine the State Meet participants in the five divisions that weren’t run. Carondelet received a Division III berth, the first time the Cougars made State since 2010.

See Winter, page B4

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December 14, 2018

allows me to learn about the past and how humans have grown through time,” she said. She’s enjoyed Carondelet because of its challenging academics and the welcoming nature of the faculty and students.  Miller and her teammates are facing another daunting independent schedule this season. She is undecided about her college choice but that decision can wait as this group of Cougar seniors seeks a fourth consecutive North Coast Section championship and can exceed 100 wins in their high school careers.

Athlete Spotlight

Erica Miller Grade: Senior School: Carondelet Sport: Basketball

Miller recently began her fourth year of varsity basketball for the Cougars. “This team is special to me because I’ve known most of my teammates since 6th grade. We share a special bond.” New coach Mike Morris praises Miller for her commitment to her team and willingness to work. “Erica is as close to a perfect

teammate as you could be. She’s always even-keeled, positive and ready to work. I challenged Erica to become a better defender this season and not only did she accept the challenge, now she’s fully committed to the defensive end of the court.” The point guard is solid in the classroom too. Her favorite subject is history. “It

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

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Senior fullback Joe Protheroe, a 2013 Clayton Valley Charter High School grad, culminated his outstanding career at Cal Poly SLO by finishing fourth in balloting for the Walter Payton Award, presented to the offensive player of the year in NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision. The record-breaking runningback from Concord was one of 25 finalists for the award. He surpassed the 200yard mark in rushing three consecutive times late in the Mustangs season, four for the year and five times in his Cal Poly career. He ended up with 23 collegiate 100-yard rushing performances, including the final nine games this season. Quarterbacks Kennesaw State’s Chandler Burks, Samford’s Devlin Hodges and North Dakota State’s Easton Stick are the three top vote getters for the Payton Award, named for the legendary College and Pro Football Hall of Fame running back and presented since 1987. The winner will be announced Jan. 4. Past recipients include Steve McNair, Tony Romo, Brian Westbrook, Jimmy Garoppolo and Cooper Kupp. The only other former Cal Poly football player nominated for the Walter Payton Award— -voted on by sportswriters around the country— was slot back Deonte Williams in 2012. Williams finished 16th in that year’s balloting. Protheroe played three years of varsity football at Clayton Valley. His first two seasons were under head coach

Photo courtesy Cal Poly SLO Athletics

Senior fullback Joe Protheroe of Concord (5) finished fourth in the balloting for the 2018 Walter Payton Award, presented to the offensive player of the year in NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision. The record-breaking fullback from Cal Poly SLO is a 2013 graduate of Clayton Valley Charter High School where he led the Eagles to their first-ever North Coast Section football championship.

Herc Pardi. His former coach says, “Joe was a tremendous football player. He could have played any position he wanted - he was that talented. Joe was a real team guy.” In his sophomore and junior years he scored 23 touchdowns and rushed for over 1400 yards as the Eagles made it to the North Coast Section playoffs both years. His senior year was when the school converted to a charter school and Tim Murphy was named head coach for the 54th season of Clayton Valley football. Protheroe flourished in the new run-oriented winggun offense and rushed for 3014 yards while scoring 35 TDs and even had 51 tackles on defense. The 2012 Eagles won the school’s first-ever NCS football championship and then played in the inaugural Northern California Regional Division II Bowl game where they lost a heartbreaker to Oakdale 27-24 as Protheroe suffered an injury in the third quarter. He had a grey shirt year before joining the Cal Poly team for the 2014 season. He played all 12 games as freshman and became a starter for the next two years. He was injured in the second game of the 2017 season and was given a medical redshirt by the NCAA, allowing him to play this fall. Protheroe rewrote the Cal Poly school record book in most rushing categories and was named the team’s 2018 most valuable player. He shat-

tered school marks for singleseason (1,810) and career (4,271) yards rushing and scored 35 career touchdowns, three shy of the mark. Protheroe, whose 861 career carries is another record, finished No. 5 in the Big Sky record book for a single season and N0. 8 in career rushing in the conference. The three-time first-team All-Big Sky performer finished No. 1 in the Big Sky and Football Championship Subdivision with his 1,810 yards and is No. 2 among active rushers in the FCS with his 4,271 career yards. Protheroe averaged 35.5 carries and 183.1 yards over eight conference games and is one of six Mustangs with a pair of 1,000-yard seasons. “No one can match Joe’s passion and love for the game. He truly loves the game of football,” 10th-year Mustang head coach Tim Walsh said after the CVCHS graduate earned first-team All-Big Sky honors for the third time. “He plays with that love and passion every game and he is as tough as they come — big, strong and faster than people think. Five years went by fast, but he definitely has left his

footprints on Cal Poly football,” said Walsh. “Joe is one of the best players I’ve coached in 40 plus years! He is as humble as it gets and the future is still in his hands. I hope we get to see him play on Sundays next year. He is a three-time All-American, three-time first-team AllBig Sky, rushed for over 1,800 yards, is married, has three kids and will graduate in four years plus two quarters. I don’t know how he does it.” Mustang fullbacks/tight ends coach Kenny McMillan said Protheroe “is a really special running back and one of the hardest-working guys on and off the field. He would stay up late at night to watch film because he wanted to be the best he can be. Joe is a silent leader, but when he talked, people listened. He is a selfless guy and would hold himself accountable for the team.” CVCHS coach Murphy says, “He is a great father and husband. He defines everything we try to teach our players at CVCHS. Bottom line, he is the total package.” Cal Poly SLO Athletics contributed to this report.

The Pioneer wants to publish your sports news

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

December 14, 2018

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

Page B3

DAL schools want Clayton Valley Charter football out JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

Clayton Valley Charter High School football has been the source of much discussion during the North Coast Section quadrennial alignment period in 2014 and again this year. The Ugly Eagles haven’t lost a league football game since 2011 and NCS received realignment pro-

posals that would move CVCHS out of its exisiting league each time. Now, 11 schools in the Diablo Athletic League are requesting a new solution to the issue surrounding Clayton Valley Charter football—move the Eagles to another league while the rest of the Concord school’s athletic teams remain in the DAL.

Every DAL school except an absent Berean Christian (CVCHS abstained from voting on the issue) instructed league commissioner Pat Lickiss to send a letter to NCS commissioner Gil Lemmon requesting that the Section “approach neighboring leagues in the Valley Conference to seek cross league scheduling for Clayton Valley football effective for the 2019-20

school year.” The letter states that Clayton Valley Charter has the only Division I football program among the 13 DAL varsity teams. The schools say this placement “would give Clayton Valley Charter an opportunity to compete against schools with better athletic equity.” The Nov. 6 letter from Lickiss went on to explain that

Concord High’s Rayna Stanziano runs to Saint Mary’s College in fall JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

Concord High held a ceremony last Friday afternoon where outstanding runner Rayna Stanziano formalized her commitment to Saint Mary’s College beginning this fall on their cross country and track teams. It was an emotional event with her CHS coach (and mom) Lanette Stanziano recounting her soft-spoken daughter’s journey from a kindergarten swimmer to a place among the most highly-recruited runners in the state. A zoology and physiology teacher at Concord for the past three years, Lanette Stanziano stressed to the room full of fellow Minuteman students, runners and faculty members that one-third of the scholarship to SMC was for academics. Rayna Stanziano recently completed her final cross country season at the California State Meet in Fresno where she was third in Division III with the 10th best overall female time among over 1000 girls and No. 1 among all North Coast Section

Jay Bedecarré

Concord High senior runner Rayna Stanziano (left) will be staying close to home when she begins her collegiate career this fall for the Saint Mary’s College Gaels. Her coach at Concord High and mom at home, Lanette Stanziano, will turn her daughter over to SMC staff after the coming spring season when Stanziano will double again as a Minuteman runner and swimmer.

runners at the meet. Making that more significant was that the fire-delayed NCS meet was held just days before State and the DIII race was canceled due to air quality issues. This spring Rayna Stanziano will be running distances from 800 meters and up looking to improve on her 2018 third-place

Sports Shorts


Concord High senior golfer John Scott Senz played in the PGA Shriners Hospitals for Children Open Championship ProAm at the TPC Summerlin Course in Las Vegas this fall. Senz has been a patient at Sacramento’s Shriners Hospital for Children for nearly a decade. His golf game blossomed not long after he was able to undergo successful surgery on his left hand nine years ago. The 18-year old Senz and his two amateur partners were paired with PGA professional Chris Kirk. Team Kirk tied for 15th out of 40 teams with a net score of 10 under par 61 with Senz contributing two birdies. “Playing in the Pro-Am was a great experience for me,” said Senz. “I was a bit nervous at first because I was playing with many of the best golfers in the world. Chris Kirk was wonderful to play with. He encouraged me by telling me that I ‘had a great swing and to just hang in there.’ That really calmed me down.”



The 2019 class for the Clayton Valley High School Hall of Fame includes three North Coast Section championship Eagles teams. Event organizers are reaching out to locate members of those teams. The honorees will be inducted Friday, May 3, at Shadelands Art Center in Walnut Creek. The teams are coach Bill Smith’s 1978 wrestling team, the 1999 boys swim team of coach Matt Chamberlain and coach Gary Gardner’s 1979 girls volleyball team. Players on those teams should email committee member Herc Pardi with their contact info to herc_pardi@hotmail.com. Visit the new Hall of Fame website for more info at cvhshof.com.

CIF State 800 placement. That result propelled her to the top California Class of 2019 recruits in the 800 and the ninth overall in the country. This gave her a choice of colleges and she’s been contacted by all the competitive West Coast track schools (Cal, UCLA, USC, Stanford, Oregon) as well as prestigious

East Coast Ivy League schools. Her coach says, “She wasn’t swayed by the glitz and glamour of going to a big-name school, instead she chose what she knew would be a good fit for her, a small liberal arts college in a quiet community in the mountains.” Lanette Stanziano adds that “Marty Kinsey (head coach at Saint Mary’s) spoke with Rayna early on and they had a good connection right away. She already knew she wanted to go to a small school, so it was the first place she visited. She loved it and turned down other recruiting visits.” Rayna Stanziano has spent her summers since kindergarten on the Forest Park Swim Team in her Concord neighborhood, where she’s qualified for county meet every year. The Stanziano duo admit that swimming is “Rayna’s first love.” She has also done double duty four years in the spring on the CHS swimming and track teams. She attended Westwood Elementary and Pine Hollow before Concord High.

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Continental Little League baseball and softball for boys and girls ages 4-14 has opened online registration for the 2019 season that runs from February to June. Fees range depending on age of the players. For the first time, the league is part of the Future A’s program that provides teams with special events and branded uniforms and hats. Players must live within league boundaries. Online registration and complete information are at continentalbaseball.com.


The Northgate Broncos are seeking a junior varsity coach for its boys volleyball team in the spring season. The coach will be in charge of the JV team and assist varsity coach Leanne De Bella as well. Practices are generally on campus in the afternoon with games on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Season runs from January to May. Contact athletic director Earle Paynton by email nhsad@mdusd.org for more information and a link to the online application.


The annual Mt. Diablo High School Hall of Fame crab feed will be on Saturday, Jan. 19, at Zio Fraedo’s in Pleasant Hill. Tickets are available for the discount price of $55 until Dec. 31, before increasing to $60. The evening, which benefits the school’s Sports Hall of Fame, includes music, dancing, 50/50 raffle and lots of raffle prizes. For more information call Lou Adamo at 212-9332 or email louadamo@gmail.com.


Players interested in joining Diablo FC under 8 through under 19 competitive soccer teams should email director of coaching Zach Sullivan at docdiablofc@gmail.com with any CLAYTON VALLEY LITTLE LEAGUE questions about the club or to arrange a player evaluation for TAKING PLAYER REGISTRATIONS ONLINE Registration for Clayton Valley Little League is now open for players in birth years 2000-2011. Visit diablofc.org to get more the spring 2019 season. Baseball programs for players ages four information on the area’s premier youth soccer club. to 15 and softball for girls six to 16 are taking registrations. TryCONCORD AMERICAN LITTLE LEAGUE outs are in January and the season runs from February to June. OFFERS IN-PERSON REGISTRATION SATURDAY The CVLL program includes a Challenger Division for players Concord American Little League is now accepting online regwith disabilities and special needs. Players must reside within the istration for its 2019 spring baseball and softball seasons. The CVLL boundaries. Call Carin Musak at 705-2555 or visit cvll.org league’s website has complete information for t-ball through for complete information and to register. senior baseball and softball (4-14 years old) and Challenger (4-18 years) programs. There will also be an in-person registration this DIABLO FC BENEFIT CRAB FEED Saturday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Round Table Pizza, 3375 Port FEB. 1 AT CENTRE CONCORD The 16th annual Diablo FC benefit crab feed, raffle and Chicago Highway in Concord. Everyone registering this year dance is set for Friday, Feb. 1, at Centre Concord. Tickets will be gets an early bird $20 discount on their fees. Register online anyon sale shortly for the event that benefits programs for the local time at callbaseball.org. competitive youth soccer club affiliated with the San Jose Earthquakes. Visit diablofc.org for more details and to get information CONCORD HIGH ATHLETIC BOOSTERS HOST ANNUAL CRAB AND TRI-TIP FEED & AUCTION FEB. 2 on event sponsoring and purchasing crab feed tickets. Concord High School Athletic Boosters will host their annual Crab and Tri-Tip Feed and Auction on Sat., Feb. 2, BREAKFAST WITH SANTA THIS SUNDAY from 6-11 p.m. at Centre Concord. It includes a crab and triBENEFITING NORTHGATE HIGH ATHLETICS The Northgate High School athletic department is hosting its tip dinner, DJ and dancing, and silent and live auctions. Proannual Breakfast with Santa at Boundary Oak Golf Course this ceeds support all Concord High student athletes and athletic Sunday. The event will include an all-you-can-eat breakfast, visit with programs. Tickets are $50 per person. Deadline to purchase Santa with free photo from 9-11 a.m. The breakfast is from 9 a.m.- tickets is Jan. 20. Email chscrabfeed@gmail.com for more 12 noon. Call 938-0900 or visit northgatebroncos.org for more info. details.

UNDEFEATED IN DAL In the past three years as a member of the new DAL Foothill Division, CVCHS is 14-0 in DAL games with only one game decided by less than 20 points, a 35-21 win over Acalanes in 2017. Clayton Valley Charter has been one of the four schools competing in the new NCS Open Division playoffs each of those seasons, falling in the first round all three times. Both De La Salle and Pittsburg have also qualified for that playoff every year. NCS alignment proposals have suggested CVCHS moving to either the Bay Valley Athletic League in East Contra Costa (all six schools play D-I football) or the East Bay Athletic League, with nine of their 10 schools including De La Salle in D-I. The EBAL has scheduled five-team Mountain and Valley Divisions in football the past two years. Clayton Valley Charter’s DAL results in the other 24 varsity sports are average. The school is in the Foothill Conference (top competitive division) and Valley Conference for nine sports each, with the other six DAL sports all in one flight. The DAL conferences are set up based on past year’s results.

many DAL schools do not have three levels of football—varsity, JV and frosh—and thus there have been cancellations of frosh and JV games, many times the week of the game. The letter says, “This is not fair to players in the Clayton Valley program, as it does not give the athletes an opportunity to compete.” Both CVCHS varsity coach Tim Murphy and athletic director Bob Ralston directed Pioneer inquiries to executive director Jim Scheible, who says the school will appeal the proposed league placement. Lemmon says the appeal will be heard Jan. 23 when NCS will also hear appeals on the 20202024 Valley Conference alignment proposals. He adds, “I see the supplemental cross-league placement possibly concluding at the Feb. 12 next regular meeting.” The first four years of Murphy’s tenure were with the Eagles in the Diablo Valley Athletic League and they were 20-0 in league while winning the schools’ first-ever NCS football championships in 2012-14-15, all in Division II. They played and lost in the inaugural Northern California Regional Bowl Game in 2012 but won that game in 2014 and 2015 to reach consecutive State Bowl Games, which they lost.

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Page B4

Football, from page B1

Photo courtesy CVCHS football

Clayton Valley Charter football coach Tim Murphy says this year’s team was close-knit and “a great group to coach.” You can’t get much closer than brothers and junior runningback Carson Sumter (15) and senior quarterback Logan Sumter (14) were key cogs in the Ugly Eagles attack. Both Sumter’s earned all-league recognition for the DAL champions. Sean Curran (40) led the blocking on this play.

EAGLES SEASON ENDS 9-2 For the third successive year Clayton Valley Charter was picked as one of the four teams in the NCS Open Division playoffs and once again the Eagles weren’t able to get past the semi-final game, which would assure them of moving on in the CIF playoffs. Unbeaten Liberty was made a large favorite in that semi after comparing the score of each team’s game against Antioch. The Eagles suffered their only loss of the regular season 35-34 in September to the Panthers while Antioch lost one month later to Liberty 52-0. CVCHS coach Tim Murphy said, “We knew going into the Liberty game speed was going to be their greatest advantage. For the majority of the game our defense did a good job not giving up the big play with the exception of one touchdown near the end of the 1st half. In the 4th quarter (with the score 14-6 in favor of the Lions) the wheels fell off and we gave up three huge plays that put the game out of reach.”

had caught a break by getting the semi played before air quality turned worse. But as the fire aftermath greatly impacted NorCal air quality the Spartans ended up being off 22 days before facing Liberty. “It took us a little while to wake up,” Alumbaugh acknowledged after the game. Liberty scored the only points of the first quarter (after a DLS touchdown was called back for an illegal formation penalty). By halftime the Spartans had scored three TDs and had a fourth also called off due to a penalty. Three more third quarter touchdowns made the fourth quarter a running clock situation. The Spartans intercepted highly-touted Liberty quarterback Jay Butterfield (currently the third rated Class of 2020 pro-style QB in America) four times. Hale continued his improvement running the classic Spartan veer offense with a pair of scoring runs and one TD pass. The DLS defense took control of the game after an initial Butterfield TD pass.

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com Both the Eagles and Lions had been off for 29 days before they met after Thanksgiving and play early in their game showed the rust. “I have to give it to Liberty for making some really good open field tackles that stopped some big plays by us and kept us from scoring in some crucial situations. Overall, it was a great game and the crowd was into it. Win or lose those kinds of games are what football is all about,” Murphy added. His team won its seventh straight undefeated league title. “It was the most unique season I’ve ever had as a coach. Never before have I experienced so many injuries in the beginning of the season. Coupled with losing three other starters for various reasons going into game one we were down 10 starting positions from what we had three months earlier in spring ball. “Defeating Pitt at Pitt with that sort of adversity I knew we had a really good and, more importantly, a tough group of kids. With the exception of the one-point loss to Antioch, which was my fault for working on our two-minute offense before it was ready, we played near flawless all season,” Murphy said about the season. He added, “I thought the character of our team was outstanding as well. With a team GPA of 3.2 and absolutely no off-the-field problems, this was a great team to coach.” He mentioned the wins over Pitt, threetime league champion Canyon Springs of North Las Vegas and league rival Campolindo as highlights for the Ugly Eagles. This year, CVCHS and De La Salle were the only local schools to qualify for NCS. As mentioned, the Spartans have a 27-year Section winning streak. The Eagles have been to the Section tournament every year since 2003 except in 2007. They were losing finalists in 2003 and 2008 (as well as earlier in 1985 and 1998) before breaking through for Division II NCS championships in 2012, 2014 and 2015.

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Bring home the high country with cozy mountain decor



Have you ever noticed that you feel right at home when visiting a mountain resort? It could be the warm and fuzzy feeling of the snow flurries outside while you’re inside enjoying a hot toddy. Perhaps it’s the generously sized leather chairs with worn, antique nail heads and deep tufting that feels like a big bear hug or the rich colors found in wool area rugs, with sophisticated geometric or free-form organic patterns. Maybe it’s the warm infused lighting, heavy forged iron accents topped with a whimsical natural linen or glittery, mineral mica drum shades. These design details are what makes mountain decor so comfortable and traditional, so approachable and, well, cozy. Lake Tahoe, Vail, Colo., Park City, Utah, Mt. Baker, Wash. … regardless of where your favorite mountain resort is located, you’ll most definitely find grand and elaborate hotel lobbies and ski lodges decorated with amazing rustic accents, as well as quaint coffee shops and restaurants filled with kitschy mountain decor and toasty, stone-clad fireplaces. At its roots, mountain decor is a very collected, traditional aesthetic. Some of the antiques and eclectic pieces are from necessity – forged iron racks holding firewood, animal hides that cover furniture and gas sconces with a low, magical dim light. All of these wonderful textures and materials

Bring that cozy mountain lodge feel right into your living room with lots of wood, antiques and warm colors.

mixed together make for an inviting living space. Not a lot of snow or horse-drawn carriages in these parts, but it might be nice to bring elements of this cozy, eclectic aesthetic down to our area. If you’re looking to infuse mountain decor into your home, start with the accessories. Antiques on your hearth or mantel, a wonderfully ornate or thick shag area rug to group your furniture and, if you’re feeling bold, a real or faux mounted rack over your fireplace will set the rustic tone immediately. Consider tracking down antique drink or occasional tables to flank your side chairs and finish off the setting with a heavy, oversized coffee table. If you already have oversized upholstered furniture, the key is to accessorize yet again. Well-sized, down accent pillows with animal hide slip covers or antique rug remnants are a perfect way to take a solid-colored upholstered chair and add a huge punch of mountain whimsy and color. If you’d like to incorporate a few new upholstered pieces, deter-

Winter, from page B1

Concord High’s Rayna Stanziano was third as a junior at NCS and was given an individual berth at State. She actually ran the NCS course after her race was called off and used that as a springboard to third place in Fresno. She ended up with the best time by any NCS runner at State and was 10th fastest

Listing agent:

December 14, 2018

overall. Livingston was sixth in DII at State helping his Spartans to 11th place. He became the third DLS runner to qualify for the Foot Locker National Championship with a seventh-place finish at the Western Regional and then was 15th in the exclusive 40man field in the finals last

mine if a large wingback or oversized lounge chair, or two, will work into your furniture setting. Ornate and carved bookcases, wine carts filled with crystal decanters and gilded distressed mirrors are also wonderful accessories to bring into your mountain-inspired living space. Don’t forget the lighting. Add sconces, chandeliers, pendants, or table and floor lamps into your living space to set the tone for functional and ambient illumination, as well as a festive stylish accent that pulls the entire room together. Whether you’re envisioning a full mountain-inspired living space, from ironforged chandelier to rustic wood plank floor, or simply looking to incorporate quiet elements of this unique aesthetic, embrace the style and find a happy balance that evokes comfort and home – and memories of snow flurries and a hot toddy, or two.

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

Saturday to earn all-America honors. CONCORD HIGH WATER POLO

Among the fall sports post-season results, coach Elizabeth Butticci’s Concord High won its first-ever NCS girls water polo game when they beat Bishop O’Dowd 96. It was the Minutemen’s fifth trip to NCS since 2012 when they qualified for the first time ever.


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Celebrating 60 years in Concord


Jim Esenwein, Managing Partner John & Sharon Ouimet • Don & Bea Ouimet

December 14, 2018

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

‘Creed 2’ shows that it’s all about family



The “Rocky� franchise is unique because it creates sequels a generation later. Getting past the fourth entry in a series usually means that they’ve run out of ideas. (See “Rocky V.�) At this point, it’s either reboot time (“Rocky Balboa� sort of qualifies) or continue ad nauseam (“Friday the 13th,� “Saw,� etc.). Instead, this franchise chose to start a new era with the Creed stories. In Steven Caple Jr.’s “Creed 2,� Michael B. Jordan reprises his role as newly crowned heavyweight champion Adonis Creed. Throughout most of the first film, the name Creed evoked haunting memories of Apollo for the characters and the audience alike. In the sequel, Adonis has fully adopted the moniker as he attempts to carry on his father’s legacy. When a new challenger steps on the scene, Creed feels he owes it to his father to take on the fight. The fighter is none other than Viktor Drago, son of Apollo’s killer Ivan Drago. Memories of “Rocky IV� loom large in “Creed 2,� including role reprisals by Dolph Lundgren as Ivan and Brigitte Nielsen as his ex-wife. Ivan Drago lost everything after Rocky beat him; the only thing left to do for redemption is to have Viktor take down Creed. Lundgren brings an

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Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan return in the latest “Rocky� sequel, Creed 2.

intense pain to the elder Drago. Real-life boxer Florian Munteanu does not say much as Viktor, yet his facial expressions reveal the weight he carries. Caple does an admirable job taking over from Ryan Coogler, director of “Creed.� The fights are a little less exciting, but still expertly staged. The script lacks focus here and there, with occasional dialogue that could have used some work. A few lines seem like they were written solely to become iconic and not as a function of natural conversation. Sylvester Stallone does not have as much to do as Rocky this time around. When Rocky deals with the return of Drago, the two veterans speak very little but still show us what the past 30 years have done to them. Stallone is at his best when faced with the decision of training Creed for his fight with the younger

Drago. Rocky’s memories of losing his best friend are still painful; losing another member of the Creed line might be more than he can handle. In the end, “Creed 2� is about fathers and sons. What does a son need to do to escape a father’s shadow? To cement his own legacy? The film is about the Creed name, but it’s also about the Drago name, the Balboa name. Even Creed’s cornerman Little Duke (Wood Harris) worries about living up to his own father (Duke in the first six films). Caple’s film falls just a tad short of its predecessor. Yet it is a worthy addition to a franchise carving out its own name. B+ Jeff Mellinger is a screen writer and film buff. He holds a BA in Film Studies and an MFA in film production. He lives in Concord. Email comments to editor@pioneerpublishers.com.

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‘Kin’ tells a moving generational tale

Page B6

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

“Perpetua’s Kin” begins at the bedside of Benjamin Lorn’s mother, who is dying. The year is 1886, in the town of Perpetua, Ohio. Benjamin is the grandson of Thornton Hanson Lorn, who came to America SUNNY SOLOMON with his immigrant parents BOOKIN’ WITH from Germany in1822. His son, John Manfred Lorn, is BenSUNNY jamin’s father. “Forgive your What a pleasure to read M. father,” Benjamin’s mother tells Allen Cunningham’s “Perpetua’s him. “Understand him.” She also tells him to do Kin,” a most American novel. You may remember his first something after her death, but to tell no one. “He listened novel, “The Green Age of close and gave his promise to Asher Witherow,” which takes do it.” place in Clayton’s mining past.

The things Benjamin will do to fulfill that promise are at the heart of this story covering five generations of one family and its secrets. The letters his mother has hidden away for Benjamin’s eyes only bring him to an unimaginable family secret about his father J.M., a crippled Civil War veteran who fought alongside a childhood friend who never made it home. J.M. shares none of his war experiences – how he lost his leg or what happened to his friend. He opens a harness and leather shop, expecting Benjamin to one day take over. J.M.


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

Saturdays, December - February Nature Discoveries

Different topic every time. 10 – 11 a.m. Meet at end of Somersville Road.

Saturdays, December - February Snake Friends

Meet the snakes of Sidney Flat Visitor Center. 1:30 – 2 p.m. Meet at Sidney Flat Visitor Center.

Sundays, December - February Historic Somersville

Displays of miners’ tools or short walks to former mining town site. 1 – 2 p.m. Meet at end of Somersville Road.

February - April Vasco Caves Tours

Vasco Caves Regional Preserve is accessible only through guided tours. February tours open for enrollment now; March and April open for enrollment Jan. 29. $35-$40. Reservations required.

Dec. 16 Christmas Berry

Meet this bright plant on a short and steep hike. 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at end of Somersville Road.

Dec. 23 The Sandstone Alternative

Hike sandstone ridges. 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at end of Somersville Road.

Dec. 29 Meet a Snake

Learn how snakes live and keep the world in balance. 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Meet at Sidney Flat Visitor Center.

Dec. 30 Coal Town Boom and Bust

Reflect on the long-ago lives of local miners and Somersville town site. 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at end of Somersville Road.

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

Dec. 29 Round the Mountain Hike

Stunning views in all directions. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Meet at Juniper Camp Trailhead.

Jan. 1 First Day Hike

Start off the new year with an outing on the north side of Mount Diablo. 9:15 a.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Trailhead.



Presented by The Ballet Company of East County. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $16-$20. elcampaniltheatre.com. (925) 757-9500.

Dec. 15 – 16 “The Snowman”

Holiday favorites and a sing-along presented by Diablo Symphony Orchestra. 2 p.m. Diablo Valley College, 321 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill. $35. diablosymphony.org.

Dec. 16 “Countdown to Christmas”

Pittsburg’s top 25 favorite holiday songs. 2 p.m. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $20-$25. pittsburgcaliforniatheatre.com. (925) 427-1611.

Dec. 20 “A Very ‘Follies’ Holiday!”

Holiday revue presented by The Golden Follies. 2:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $38. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.

Dec. 22 “’Tis the Symphony”

A winter celebration presented by California Symphony. 4 and 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $42-$82. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.

Dec. 29 “Big Fat Year End Kiss Off Comedy Show XXVI” Presented by Worst of Durst. 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $33. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.

Jan. 12 Mitch Polzak and the Royal Deuces

A rockabilly, honky tonk and bluegrass night. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $15-$29. elcampaniltheatre.com. (925) 757-9500.

Jan. 16, 23, 30; Feb. 6, 13 Docent Training

Be a Bedford Gallery docent. 1 – 3:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. Register with Carmen Kelly at (925) 295-1416 or kelly@bedfordgallery.org.

Jan. 17 – 20 “Improvisors in Space”

Presented by Synergy Theater. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $20. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 9437469.

Jan. 19 – 20 “A Tango with Mozart”

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

Jan. 23 Leukemia Seminar

Sponsored by Diablo Valley Oncology. 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Lafayette Library Community Room, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette. Free. Response required: sjung@dvohmg.com or (925) 677-5041.

Thru Dec. 16 “A Christmas Carol”

Jan. 24 – Feb. 2 “Peter Pan”

Thru Dec. 16 “The Biggest Gift”

Jan. 25 – Feb. 23 “Communicating Doors”

Brimming with music, dance and spectacular effects. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $28-$50. centerrep.org. Original tale presented by Fantasy Forum Actors Ensemble. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $14. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.

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from Perpetua as a telegraphic engineer, Benjamin continues to broaden his understanding of the world. Yet he cannot outdistance his need to come to terms with his family’s secrets. “Perpetua’s Kin” is not a fast read. Cunningham carefully draws the reader into each generation of the Lorn family up to World War II, when an elderly widowed Benjamin moves to San Francisco to live with his daughter and son-in-law. He sleeps in the bedroom of his great-grandson, his namesake, who is underage and has run away from home to enlist in his



Concord Psychic

walks across the wooden floors of the store with the use of a crutch. “All through Benjamin’s boyhood, that crutch-noise sermonized.” When still a boy, Benjamin discovers the telegraph. In his family of few words, Morse Code, with its ability to communicate by wire across a landscape beyond his dreams, becomes his passion. The deathbed secret of his grandfather finally drives Benjamin from Perpetua, leaving behind a father he cannot love and a young woman who is willing to wait. Traveling away

December 14, 2018

Free Palm Reading with Tarot Card With coupon. Exp 1/31/19

Presented by DLUX Puppets. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $20. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 9437469. A hilarious mash up of “Psycho” and “Doctor Who.” Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $34-$56. centerrep.org.

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own generation’s war. The book is the story of secrets outliving those who perpetuated them. We know what each generation discovers from letters describing the horrors of war and damning military records. Cunningham skillfully moves in and out of these generations with a narrative thread as strong and dependable as Morse’s telegraph wire.

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



Thru Dec. 14 “Holiday Happenings”

Featuring the Choirs of Concord High School and the El Dorado Singers. 7 p.m. Diablo Valley College, 321 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill. $15. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.


Jan. 13 Concert

Performed by Joan Cifarelli’s jazz combo. 3 p.m. Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church, 1578 Kirker Pass Road, Clayton. $15. cvpresby.org. (925) 672-4848.


2nd and 4th Sundays Pancake Breakfast

Veterans of Foreign Wars serve breakfast to the public. 8 – 11 a.m. VFW Post 1525, 2290 Willow Pass Road, Concord. $5, $3 children under 12. vfwpost1525.org.

Thru Dec. 21 Christmas Tree Lot

While supplies last. All proceeds benefit Boy Scout Troop 317. Mon. – Fri. 12 – 8 p.m. Weekends 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Dana Plaza at Concord Boulevard and Landana Drive, Concord. bsatroop317@hotmail.com.

Thru Dec. 31 Holiday Giving Tree

Buy an ornament to hang on giving tree. Proceeds benefit Community Concern for Cats hospital in Clayton. Ornaments at Rescued Treasures Gift Shop, 1270-I Newell Ave., Walnut Creek. communityconcernforcats.org.

Jan. 2 African Children’s Choir

Performing lively African songs and dances. Benefits Music for Life Institute. 7 p.m. First Presbyterian Church, 1965 Colfax St., Concord. Freewill offering. fpcconcord.org.

Jan. 26 Stars to the Rescue XXVIII

Proceeds benefit Animal Rescue Foundation dogs and cats. 7 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $50-$275. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.


The Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at ccclib.org or (925) 646-5455. Dec. 18: Forever Young Book Club, 4 p.m. Dec. 20: Holiday Film Screening for ages 10 and up, 4 p.m. Jan. 6: Concord Knitting and Crochet Group, 1:15 p.m.

The Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at claytonlibrary.org or call (925) 673-0659. Dec. 17: Clayton Library Book Club, 7 p.m. Dec. 17, Jan. 14: Clayton Knits, 1:30 p.m. Dec. 20: Woodsy Winter Craft, 4 p.m. Jan. 17: Organize Your Finances for the New Year, 4 p.m.


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

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

1st and 3rd Wednesdays Concord Planning Commission

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

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December 14, 2018

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com


Page B7

Launch into the new year at Shellie Awards the Arts in Walnut Creek. The ceremony honors more than 120 individuals from musical and non-musical productions of the 2017’18 season, with performances by nominees. The name Shellie was derived from the venue in which the first ceremony took place – a walnut packKATHRYN G. MCCARTY ing warehouse (the NutON THE MARQUEE house) where local theater companies constructed a temporary stage and audiCelebrate East Bay theence risers in the mid-1960s ater companies at the 40th to bring live performances to Annual Shellie Awards, Jan. the East Bay. 12 at the Lesher Center for Participating companies in this year’s Shellie Awards are Center REPertory, Clayton Theatre, Ghostlight Theatre, Town Hall, Contra Costa Musical Theatre, Pittsburg Community Theatre, Brentwood Theatre, Onstage Repertory and Vagabond Players. For tickets, call 925943-SHOW or visit leshercenter.org. Join Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy and the Peanuts gang in Poison Apple Productions’ journey to discover the real meaning of the holiday season in “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” The Photo by Kevin Berne musical plays at the Poison Michael Ray Wisely jumps Apple Playhouse in Martinez for joy in “A Christmas through Dec. 23. For tickets, Carol” by Center REP in visit poisonappleproducWalnut Creek through this tions.org. weekend.

Photos by Noelle Arms

Charlie Brown (Jerry Chirip) and Linus ( Blake Leung) in Poison Apple Productions holiday treat plays in Martinez through Dec. 24.

Doug Duran

Organist Dave Moreno will play the restored Robert Morgan Pipe Organ at the Pittsburg Community Theatre, Dec. 16.

Stage Right Conservatory troupe rehearses the big battle scene in “the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” at the Nick Rodriguez Community Center Theatre in Antioch, through Dec. 16.

Did you send your letter to Santa? Then why has he not received it? No letters – no Christmas. Join the fun and laughter as Tucker the elf and the toys set out to save Christmas in Fantasy Forum Actors Ensemble’s “The Biggest Gift,” playing through Dec. 16 in Walnut Creek. For tickets, call 925943-SHOW or visit leshercenter.org. Center REPertory’s holiday play, “A Christmas Carol,” closes Dec. 16 at the Lesher Center. Audiences have enjoyed the holiday show since Center Rep’s first production of the classic in 1979. Brimming with music, dance, comedy, spectacular special effects and scary ghosts, it’s no wonder critics call it the one to see in the Bay Area. Michael Ray Wisely stars as Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ story, adapted by Cynthia Caywood and Richard L. James and directed by Scott Denison. For tickets, call 925-943SHOW or visit leshercenter.org. Town Hall Theatre hosts the West Coast premiere of Gale Childs Daly’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ coming-of-age novel “Great Expectations,” directed by Dennis Markam. On a bleak Christmas Eve in a marshy churchyard, an escaped convict kidnaps a young orphan named Pip in this rags to riches holiday treat. The production closes Dec. 16 in Lafayette. For tickets, visit townhalltheatre.com. Join organist Dave Moreno playing the restored Robert Morgan pipe organ and more than 50 vocalists from Pittsburg Community Theatre for “Countdown to Christmas,” 2 p.m. Dec. 16. The California Theatre holiday revue features the top 25 favorite holiday songs voted for by the theater’s patrons, inspired by “American Bandstand.” Louis Esposito II of


Health Expo

Resources and information for Seniors, Families and Professionals and Free Screenings

Fri. March 1 9 am – 1 pm

Alternative Health Expo

Resources about Alternative Medicine and Holistic Practices

Sat. April 6 10 am – 2 pm

Concord Senior Center 2727 Parkside Circle

Exhibits, Health Screenings & Presentations If you are interested in being a VENDOR for either event, please contact the senior center at 925-671-3320 opt. 1 or email concordsc@cityofconcord.org

the Foreverland band hosts. For tickets, call 925-427-1611 or visit www.pittsburgcaliforniatheatre.com. Concord B8 Theatre struggles to keep afloat as it searches for a new perform-

ance venue. Despite critically acclaimed work and two years in their downtown Concord location, the company will soon have to move to a new space when redevelopment begins. For information on how to help the company and its upcoming season, featuring “Fuddy

Ancient Mysteries of Andalusian Spain

33rd Annual Christmas Revels presents

Stu Selland

Kenneth Greenwell, left, and Salim Razawi appear in “Great Expectations” at Town Hall Theatre in Lafayette. Last performance Dec. 16.

Meers,” “Pinned Butterfly” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” call 925890-8877 or visit b8theatre.org. Stage Right Conservatory Theatre presents “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” the classic tale by C.S. Lewis dramatized by Joseph Robinette. The play recreates the mystery of Aslan, the great lion, his struggle with the White Witch and the adventures of four children who wander from an old wardrobe into the never to be forgotten land of Narnia. Directed by Lily Metcalf, the play runs through Dec. 16 at the Nick Rodriguez Community Center Theatre in Antioch. For tickets, call 925-216-4613 or visit www.srctgrp.org.

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

Songs, Dances, and Magical Tales in the Holiday Spirit

Friday, 12/14

at 8 pm

Saturday, 12/15

at 1 pm & 5 pm

Sunday, 12/16

at 1 pm & 5 pm

Scottish Rite Theater

1547 Lakeside Dr., Oakland

Tickets $10 -$65; Discounts for both Dec. 8 performances. Wheelchair accessible; ample garage parking nearby

(510) 452-9334


Houseplants–what’s old is new again

Page B8

Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com

As with any category of plants, folks want to know what they need to do to keep them alive. Indoor gardening is a new concept for many, and no one wants to make a mistake. There are three important NICOLE HACKETT elements to consider when GARDEN GIRL thinking of adding houseplants to your home: lighting, temperHouseplants are experienc- ature and hydration. ing a resurgence of popularity Lighting is as important in at the nursery. the home as it is in the garFiddle leaf figs, Chinese den. Some plants need more money plants, string of pearls, light, while other tolerate less. rubber plants, eternity plants, Your houseplant growing sucprayer plants and piggy back cess starts with finding the plants are all on trend this year. right location for your chosen Houseplants have become plant. social media darlings, and their Philodendrons love lots of pics can regularly be appreciated bright light. Their large leaves on Instagram feeds and Pinter- will stretch out toward the est searches. The houseplant brightness, so this will be the trend has brought a younger type of plant you’ll rotate to group of garden lovers into the balance the exposure the plant nursery with a new regard for receives. Philodendrons are indoor gardening. proud plants that look amaz-

ing elevated on a stand for a pronounced placement. Rubber plants also need a bright spot in the home. This plant family has come a long way since Frank Sinatra sang about them in the ’40s. Now you can enjoy red leaves, nearly pink variegated leaves and cream and green variegated leaves. The trailing pothos will thrive in medium light, as will Schefflera, commonly called dwarf umbrella trees. For those looking for a plant to enjoy in low light, you can’t beat a peace lily or snake plant. Both houseplants are easy to grow and tolerant of low to medium sun exposure. Houseplant watering is critical. Too much water and your houseplants will rot; too little and leaves can show stress patches and defoliation. Home temperature can also play a

December 14, 2018

large part in your houseplant’s success. Many houseplants like a home kept in the comfortable 60s during the winter. Keep your eye on houseplants that might be exposed to cool drafts or are near large windows when outdoor temperatures are cold. Fiddle leaf fig plants are members of the ficus family. They have a large rounded leaf with heavy veining. Fiddle leaf fig plants will grow like small trees and can be pruned in the spring to control height. This popular houseplant will defoliate toward the bottom, exposing its trunks. Large specimens are very desirable but expensive. Fiddle leaf figs like medium to high light and weekly watering. Chinese money plants are very cute and easy to grow. Their pancake-shaped leaves are held by tiny stems. As this plant grows, it resembles a fountain style party centerpiece. The

money plant is sought after and makes a great gift for any houseplant lover. The string of pearls plant is a succulent that will grow both indoors and out. Its tiny, pearlshaped leaves perfectly line fragile stems. String of pearls cascades and looks fresh in a small container on an end table or positioned on a shelf. Houseplants add life and color to a home. If you have a

and began to concentrate on the drying of fruit, mostly apricots and prunes, under the name Merry Rose Orchards. By 1968, son William Arthur Carter, a Stanford and USF graduate in biochemistry with a concentration in food, built and opened a year-round fruit stand on Highway 128 in Winters to sell their dried and fresh fruit. With the development of the stand, they began Winters Fruit Tree started as a tiny fruit stand in the 1920s sellgrowing and selling other proding mostly cherries. Today, they bring dozens of dried fruits to ucts such as almonds, pistachios the Tuesday Farmers Market in Todos Santos Plaza. and walnuts. Son Phillip took na and Phillip Lupertino started because of the urban growth in over and looks forward to growing the farm and its prodby selling mostly cherries and the Santa Clara area. apricots to local food procesThey relocated to the small ucts, handing it down to his children when they’re ready. sors. They moved to the Sacra- town of Winters in 1967. The farm stand is still in mento Valley 40 years later They bought a fruit orchard

operation and has expanded to selling seasonal fruits and veggies grown onsite. They also sell produce from local farmers. Centered in the middle of town, it is one of the last oldfashioned roadside fruit stands in the area. They show no signs of giving up farming, with the fourth generation now working alongside Phil and Paula. True to their nature of growing the best, they have increased their nut flavor varieties, continue to expand the farm stand and offer their nuts to several Bay Area farmers markets. Their Carmel, mission and nonpariel almonds are best-sellers, offered in flavors like chili lime,

corner that you don’t know how to accessorize, consider a houseplant this year. Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. Email questions or comments to Gardengirl@claytonpioneer.com

The Peace Lily loves low light, but won’t bloom in complete darkness.

Generations continue the tradition at Fruit Tree DEBRA MORRIS Pacific Coast Farmers Market

Visit the Concord Farmers Market on Tuesday mornings and you’ll find the Winters Fruit Tree stand piled high with containers of almonds in every flavor. Phil Carter or his son, Phil Jr., man the booth with smiles and samples to offer. They bring the best they can grow each week and might surprise you with a new flavor or two once in a while. The Fruit Tree story began in the 1920s, when the grandparents of current owners Phil and Paula Carter began farming in the Santa Clara Valley. Pauli-

butter toffee, applewood smoked, cinnamon and honey roasted. In fact, they feature more than 30 varieties. They also make a marvelous almond butter that is dry roasted with no added sugar or salt. The family puts together some delicious gift packs that are sure to make the grade on your gift list. Stop by during the holiday season, say hello to the Carters and pick out a selection of top-quality nuts for parties or gifts. Your recipients will enjoy every bite.

The Concord Farmers Market is in Todos Santos Plaza Tues.& Thurs. See ad section A, page 5 for hours.

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Profile for Pioneer Publishers

DEC 14 Concord Pioneer 2018  

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

DEC 14 Concord Pioneer 2018  

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

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