IT’S YOUR PAPER www.claytonpioneer.com
February 14, 2014
Memorial bike ride helps Concord officers remember fallen comrades JOHN JACKSON Clayton Pioneer
Strive for progress, not perfection When Benjamin Franklin was 20 he launched an ambitious plan to achieve “moral perfection.” His plan included identifying 13 virtues and then systematically focusing on each virtue. Mr. Franklin worked on these virtues throughout his life. During the process he discovered he was surprised “to find myself so much fuller of faults than I had imagined.” The 13 virtues Franklin chose were: temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, chastity, tranquility and humility. In Clayton, our striving for personal self-improvement includes a community-wide, character building initiative called Do the Right Thing, which emphasizes six character traits throughout the year – Courage, Responsibility, Respect, Kindness, Integrity and our current trait – Self-discipline. I think anyone who has tried to improve oneself has, as Benjamin Franklin wrote, discovered more personal faults than originally imagined. However, I believe that discouragement and self-doubt are the two biggest obstacles that keep us from improving. I hope that we can avoid these two hazards as we work systematically to improve our lives and the lives of those around us. One of the reasons I love living in Clayton is the people. I have been fortunate to glimpse the efforts made by many of you to improve our schools, our safety, our neighborhoods – in general, our quality of life. At the end of a day it is a great place to come home to. Feel free to contact me with questions and comments at email@example.com.
Rochellezphotography.com FIVE MEMBERS OF THE CONCORD PD WILL JOIN 1,500 OTHER OFFICERS FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY in a 300-mile ride to remember and honor fellow officers who have died in the line of duty. The ride raises funds to support the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, DC. From left, Ollie Sansen, Adam Hart, Krista Sansen, Kenny Trimble and Amy Hendricks
Clayton teen takes skateboarding to new level PEGGY SPEAR Clayton Pioneer
Growing up, Devin McHugh was a familiar sight around downtown Clayton or Diablo View Middle School, zooming around on his skateboard and cheerfully getting kicked out of places he wasn’t supposed to be. But that never dampened his love of the sport, and it’s something the 2013 Clayton Valley Charter High School graduate carried with him to UC Davis this year, where inspiration struck. “I love skateboarding, and I wanted to do something to help get rid of its negative stereotype,” he said from between midterms last week. “So I decided I wanted
to do a ride for a cause.” McHugh and five friends will embark on a three-day charity ride in June that will benefit Children’s Hospital and Research Center in Oakland, the Skatefor-Bay Area. They will roll from Clayton all the way to Monterey. “On June 15, 2014, we will hit the road with nothing but backpacks on our backs and skateboards under our feet,” he said. The trek is an opportunity to showcase his love of skateboarding, while helping out kids who may not have been so fortunate as he. “I was lucky enough to grow up in the Bay Area doing things I loved, like skateboarding,” McHugh said. “But I know a lot of kids suffered from chronic illnesses and couldn’t do the same things I
was able to. That’s why I want to help them.” McHugh, the son of Clayton residents Brian and Liza McHugh, says the inspiration for the ride was his own, but that his mom helped him find a worthy charity recipient. “My family has been great, helping get the word out to raise money for the cause.” It also includes his sister Tristin, a 2013 UC Santa Cruz graduate. To raise funds, McHugh has set up an online fundraising site on YouCaring.com, with a modest goal of $1,000. He hopes that as word gets out about his ride, that total will increase. “One-thousand seemed like a good place to start, but I’m
See McHugh page 3
DEVIN MCHUGH will skateboard to Monterey to raise money for Children’s Hospital.
Past joins the present at 37th Annual Camellia Tea TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer
Ever wonder what things were like in the “olden days” in Clayton? Come take tea with descendants of the town’s pioneering families at the Clayton Historical Society’s 37th Annual Camellia Tea and find out firsthand. The annual event began in 1977 when a few “old timers” and several long-time residents
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Around Town . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Book Review . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Classified . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Club News . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
Community Calendar . . . . .14 Concord City Beat . . . . . . . . .9 Design and Décor . . . . . . . .16 DVMS Reporter . . . . . . . . . .8 Estate Planning . . . . . . . . . . .7 Fitness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
reunited at a home on Morgan Territory Road to share memories and a love of Clayton. Dozens of camellias were in bloom along the home’s driveway set against the rugged backdrop of North Peak, and a tradition was born. By 1979, the two small Victorians downtown that were built in 1869 were joined to make one building. The two smaller houses had belonged to Joel Clayton, founder of the town, and became a home for
Food for Thought . . . . . . . .17 Garden Girl . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Performing Arts . . . . . . . . . .15 Pets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Pine Hollow Reporter . . . . . .8 Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
the Clayton Museum. That year, the Clayton Historical Society hosted the 3rd Annual Camellia Tea in the new museum. Today, old-timers and newcomers come together to continue sharing memories at the annual Camellia Tea. Although founded in 1867, Clayton has only been a legal city since 1964. To help celebrate Clayton’s 50th anniversary of incorporation, the city’s first
This spring, six officers from the Concord Police Department will embark on more than an ordinary bike trek; they’ll participate in an annual ritual to show respect to more than 19,000 of their fellow officers nationwide who have fallen in the line of duty. “I couldn’t imagine what it would be like [to lose a partner],” says Officer Ollie Sansen. “This helps people to move on to the next chapter.” On May 10, he along with Officers Kenny Trimble, Adam Hart, Krista Sansen, Mike Roberts and Amy Hendriks will join nearly 1,500 law enforcement officers from around the country in the 18th annual Police Unity Tour, an extensive bicycle ride totaling 300 miles and four days. The riders will begin in New Jersey and travel through Philadelphia and Baltimore, before finishing in an emotional ceremony at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C. “People are able to lean on each other for support,” Sansen says. “I’ve seen the healing process take place [during the ride].” He says he and his fellow officers are doing the trek to raise awareness for fallen officers and to help raise money for the Memorial, a monument dedicated to police officers killed in the line of duty, says Sansen. MOVING CEREMONY AT MEMORIAL Two curved marble walls are at the centerpiece of the Memorial, 304-feet long and hold the name inscriptions of the thousands of men and women who have died in the line of duty. The walls are continuously changing, as names are added each year. The tour ends at a moving candlelight ceremony at the Memorial, when the names of each officer who died in 2013 will be read aloud and their name will be added to the Memorial in front of 50,000 onlookers.
See Memorial page 9
Inside this issue
See Camellia page 3 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Sports Talk . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Tech Talk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Teen Reads . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Teen Speak . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Voyage of the Eagle . . . . . . .8
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Men’s soccer team takes home championship The Clayton Wonders soccer team won the championship in the Men’s Over 48 Division at the King Cup Tournament in
Las Vegas in January. Suat Atkin, captain of the Clayton Wonders, is also president of the Clayton Soccer Club. Atkin says there
February 14, 2014
are two teams in the club now. Next season, there will be three teams representing age groups over 30, over 40 and over 48.
CBCA begins funding projects for 2014 GARY CARR Special to the Pioneer
Hungry families, inquisitive young women, and folks in need of a defibrillator got a boost from the Clayton Business and Community Association at their Jan. 30 meeting. The club overwhelmingly approved a grant for AAUW to again send three middle school girls to their Tech Trek Camp at Sonoma State. The camp is to encourage girls to consider careers in science, math, technology and engineering.
CBCA also granted funds to the St. Bonaventure Food Pantry and to the Clayton Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) for two automatic external defibrillators to be placed in two strategic locations in Clayton. One of the main sources for CBCA funds for grants like these is the annual Art & Wine Festival, scheduled this year for May 3 and 4. The downtown bocce court project continues to move forward, according to club president Gregg Manning. However,
the club’s application for a 501(c) 3 designation is going to take much longer than anticipated. The club hoped for a tax exempt status right away in order to use tax deductible donations to help offset the $175,000 the club has committed in partnership with the Ipsen family to build the four-court park. CBCA exists to benefit the Clayton community through fundraising activities and other events. To join CBCA or to volunteer for an event, call 925-672-2272 or visit www.claytoncbca.org.
Clayton Valley Garden Club Blossoms BLOSSOMS FOR BARBARA Kneeling: Eran Nadler, Peter Piwek, Adam Filipczyk and Dan Slaven. Standing: Alex August, John White, Marek Soja, Suat Atkin, Abdul Dennoun, Jose Ortiz, Martin Vega, Sam Jagnjic, Edgar Olmedo, Jose Mazariego and Omar Montoya.
Kendall Albert spells her way to second win For the second year in a row, fifth-grader, Kendall Albert, spelled her way to first place in the Mt. Diablo Elementary School spelling bee on Jan. 23. Kendall knocked off such tough words as “parallel” before hitting it home with “kernel.” She triumphed over a field of 18 and will represent MDES at the county spelling bee on March 22.
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925 Douglas Court – Clayton
CONTINUES TO GROW
This week, members of the Clayton Valley Garden Club said “Be My Valentine” to the ill and homebound with some 850 flowering plants delivered to the area’s ill and homebound. This is the third year for the Blossoms for Barbara outreach program. At the center of this growing annual event is Linda Manss Karp, a garden club member and floral designer. Barbara created the event to honor her late mother, Barbara Manss. It is important to bring a bit of happiness to those who are ill, says Karp. “It’s hard to believe the love and joy a flowering plant can create.” Karp’s focus is on distributing the small Valentine’s Day flowering gifts to those under hospice care, local assisted living and convalescent home residents, the Martinez Veterans Affairs hospice patients and Meals on Wheels recipients in
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the Contra Costa County area. Local merchants and associations generously donated to the program. For more information or to contribute to Blossoms for Barbara throughout the year, go to
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Peacock Creek at Oakhurst Country Club! Spacious "Belvedere" model features 4 bedrooms + a den, 3.5 baths, approx. 4100sf & 3 car garage! (Down bed & full bath) LR w/fireplace. Separate Formal DR. Gourmet eat-in kitchen with granite counters & island, new travertine floors & 2-way fireplace shared w/HUGE Great room! Large master suite with retreat + walk-in closet w/ extensive organizer! Private lot offers a trellis covered patio plus an elevated patio, multiple lawn areas, & mature landscape. Front porch features a cozy sitting area to view the hills. Neutral decor/carpet/tile floors & plantation shutters! $1,049,000
ANN FRAISER, ELAINE CLARK AND SHARON FITZGERALD of Meals on Wheels received flowers last year from Sharon Osteen and Linda Manss Karp of the Clayton Valley Garden Club as part of the Blossoms for Barbara program.
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February 14, 2014
Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com
Slow down or ‘silent sentry’ may not be quite so silent CHRIS THORSEN
During my time as your police chief, I’ve received complaints about various matters around town. By far, the most consistent complaints are regarding traffic matters — speeding in neighborhoods, inattentive driving, loud stereos and an occasional “he/she was just plain rude!”
Camellia, from page 1 mayor, Bob Hoyer, the current mayor, Hank Stratford and several other past mayors will be on hand at the Camellia Tea to greet visitors and pour. The public is cordially invited to this free event to take tea and explore the museum. The current exhibit, “Our Town,” celebrates Clayton through the years. The Camellia Tea is Feb. 16 from 1-4 p.m., at 6101 Main Street, Clayton. The museum’s normal hours are 2 to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays and Sundays. The Clayton Museum is run by volunteers and members of the Clayton Historical Society. Although admission is free, donations are gratefully accepted. For more information, call 6720240 or go to claytonhistory.org.
There are three E’s in traffic management; Engineering, Education and Enforcement. Most of our roads in Clayton are up to date, well designed and meet modern standards for residential streets, collector roads and main thoroughfares. The educational component comes in articles such as this that remind our residents to slow down, wear their seatbelts and be aware of their surroundings. Additional educational reminders come in the form of our radar trailer that reminds drivers of their speed. Other teachable moments come when our ever-popular “silent sentry” magically appears in traffic hot spots – like the old fire station. The third component,
Enforcement, comes at the hands of our officers issuing citations. Clayton officers issue tickets for a variety of violations — speeding, stop sign violations and cell phone violations just to name a few. While receiving a citation is never a positive experience, they are issued to help us achieve our larger goal, safety on our streets. You can help us meet our safety goals. If you must take a phone call while driving, and you don’t have access to a hands free device, please pull over and have your conversation. Pay attention to your speed! Often we become so familiar with our route home, the car seems to be on “auto pilot.” You would be amazed how
many drivers have no idea of how fast they were driving. Finally, remember Clayton is a small town. We often put the “silent sentry” in the same place days in a row. But, beware. More than one driver has been surprised to find the car is occupied by a real police officer waiting to fulfill his portion of the “three E’s!” Drive Safe! Chris Thorsen is Clayton’s chief of police. For questions and comments, call him at (925) 673-7350.
McHugh, from page 1 hoping as more people hear about the ride, they will support it, and not just friends of the family.” McHugh, who is studying managerial economics at Davis, will be joined on his ride by fellow Clayton residents Michael Kerr, Tyler Riessen and Zach Zuercher, UC Davis student Joshua Brown, and McHugh’s cousin Dylan Lee. Besides earning money for Children’s Hospital, McHugh said he hopes his charity ride will inspire other young skaters.
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“I’d like to see skaters, even younger than myself, learn how to be leaders, and show that skateboarding isn’t just a brainless sport. My motto is ‘stay out of trouble, have fun, and be respectful.’ “It’s all about having fun with friends, and making our community better.” Visit McHugh’s website at www.youcaring.com/nonprofits/skatefor-bay-area-kids/131141 for more information.
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Designed to Delight – Absolutely gorgeous 3BD/2BA home with decorator colors & fixtures and rich slate floors in an open 1,600 sq. ft. floor plan. Kitchen/family/dining combo has a fireplace and access out to back patio and huge pool. This is a 10!
Mitchell Canyon – Plambeck 3BD/2BA rancher with 1,715 sq. ft. has large lot with pool and panoramic views. Updated kitchen w/granite & recessed lights opens to family room w/shutters & slider to extensive deck. Separate guest house/ in-law unit has 1BD/1BA.
Black Diamond Duet – Wonderful curb appeal, privacy, and a large yard w/patio and mature trees. Largest model 3BD/2.5BA Presley home has an open floor plan and dual fireplace in living and family rooms. Master suite w/bay window & organized closet.
3BD/1.5BA townhome in a gated complex offers a central Concord location. Kitchen has newer cabinets and counters. Appreciate the updated bath and indoor laundry. Large patio in the backyard and storage.
Morgan Territory – Built by student of Frank Lloyd Wright, this 3BD/3BA home sits on 5 acre creekside lot in the rolling foothills of Mt. Diablo. Fresh carpet & paint. Great decks & walls of windows surround you in nature. Fantastic potential in a very private home.
Central Concord – Updated 4BD + bonus room and 3BA has a great kitchen with cherry cabinets, breakfast bar, high end appliances, tile floor, and recessed lights. Nice pool and private location at the end of a cul-de-sac.
Assisting More Buyers & Sellers than Anyone Else* *Statistics based on Clayton closed by sales volume (1/2012 – 12/2012). Data by Trendgraphix
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February 14, 2014
The Way We Were
Historic cornet on display at Clayton museum Eighty-four years ago, on Feb. 2, Joseph (Josef) Schwendel, organizer and leader of the Clayton Silver Cornet Band in the 1870s, died at the age of 89. He is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery. The cornet and other Schwendel family items will be on display at the Clayton Historical Society Museum during the 37th Annual Camellia Tea, Sunday Feb. 16, 2014, 1-4 p.m. at the Clayton Museum on Main Street. Admission is free. Many of the band members were taught by
Schwendel, who was trained in classical music in his native Austria. Among the band members were Jack Atchinson and Henry Frank, son of Frederick and Elizabeth Bisber Frank. Schwendel was an accomplished musician in demand throughout the area. He played the violin for all the Clayton dances and frequently played engagements in San Francisco. Schwendel’s cornet was represented on his cattle brand above the letter “S.” Mary Spryer, Clayton Historical Society
Travis CEO to step down The Travis Credit vice president and secUnion Board of Direcond in command, has tors has announced been unanimously selectthat Patsy Van Ouwed by the Board as the erkerk, president and credit union’s future presCEO of Travis Credit ident and CEO. Nelson Union (TCU), will is a credit union veteran retire late this summer with 23 years of industry after 38 years in the experience. PATSY VAN credit union industry, OUWERKERK Since Van Ouwerkerk 12 of which she took the helm at TCU in served as TCU’s top executive. June 2002, TCU has grown from Barry N. Nelson, who cur- $1.1 billion to $2.1 billion in rently serves as TCU’s executive assets and added 14 new
branches. The credit union now serves more than 161,000 members at 22 locations in 12 Northern California communities and military and civilian personnel at Travis Air Force Base. Headquartered in Vacaville, California, Travis Credit Union is a notfor-profit, cooperative financial institution serving those who live or work in Solano, Yolo, Sacramento, Placer, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Napa, Contra Costa, Alameda, Sonoma, Colusa, and Merced Counties.
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Beautiful Expansive Rancher on Clayton Border. 4 bedrooms 4 1/2 baths, 2 masters, 4080 square feet, possible in-law, or au pair set up. Beautifully landscaped lot 29,621 sq. ft. RV parking-Clayton Valley Charter High School!
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February 14, 2014
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P.O. Box 1246 6200 Center Street, Suite H, Clayton, CA 94517 TAMARA AND R OBERT S TEINER , Publishers TAMARA S TEINER , Editor P ETE C RUZ , Graphic Design P EGGY S PEAR , Copy Editor J AY B EDECARRÉ, Sports PAMELA W IESENDANGER , Administration
On a clear day, you can see forever ...
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Well, maybe not forever. But you can see the Sierras from the newly weather-sealed observation deck on Mount Diablo Summit. The refinished telescopes offer a closer look at the breathtaking views. “The work was done as a cooperative effort to assist the park,” Mike Woodring, president of the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association says. Visiting hours are daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, go to mdia.org.
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Caldwell tapped for ED at We Care Pete Caldwell, a long-time mental health professional and parenting columnist for the Clayton Pioneer, is the new Executive Director of We Care Services for Children. Caldwell has a long and rich history of non-profit leadership in Contra Costa County. Most recently he has served as We Care’s Mental Health Director where his key roles in strategic planning, staff development and quality assurance have strengthened the agency immeasurably, according to the organization’s Board of Directors. The board asks that if anyone has any questions or suggestions as it moves forward, contact Cald-
well at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 925-849-8892. We Care Services for Children is a private, nonprofit agency devoted to serving children birth to 6 and their families in Contra Costa County. We Care’s approach emphasizes the development of the “whole child” by providing a variety of programs in Contra Costa County for special needs and typically developing children. For additional information about We Care Services for Children, please visit their website at www.wecarechildren.org or contact Barbara Langsdale at 925-671-0777 ext. 108.
Classified GARDEN Flower Gardening by Nicole Hackett Perennial, ornamental, rose & container care. Keep your garden in flowers this year with monthly fertilizing and pruning visits. Email for consultation or details. Gardengirl94517@yahoo.com.
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FOR LEASE Office and retail space for lease in Historic Clayton City Center: Village Oaks Center, 6200 Center St., Clayton. Call Nick Adamson at (408) 371-8770, ext. 21.
HELP WANTED Computer Tech Growing business has position for onsite pro computer tech in Contra Costa County. Must have experience in Windows and Mac OS, network repair and troubleshooting. ComputersUSA! 672-9989.
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Retail feed & pet supply store, full or part time. Apply in person at Rodie’s Feed, 8863 Marsh Creek Rd, Clayton.
Come join Mazzei Realty! Currently interviewing and hiring new and experienced real estate agents. Call 693-0757 for details. Be Successful! Lynne French is expanding and interviewing for a few agents. Call her today 672-8787.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Help Fight Hunger Anna Chan – AKA: The Lemon Lady needs your help! Weekly commitment appreciated. For more info and contact numbers, go to thelemonlady.blogspot.com. Clayton Historical Society Museum Need a greeter for two hours per month from 2-4 p.m. Wednesdays or Sundays. Call the museum at 6720240. Need volunteers. Minimum age 13. Minimum commitment is 6 months. Some training provided. Contact Arlene at 673-9777 or email@example.com.
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Dining and Entertainment Clayton Club Saloon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-0440 Oakhurst Country Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9737 Financial, Insurance and Legal Services DuRee, Daniel – The Law Office of . . . . . . . . . . .210-1400 Littorno, Richard – The Law Office of . . . . . . . . .432-4211 Sorensen, David – Wells Fargo . . . . . . . . . . . . . .296-3086 Van Wyck, Doug – State Farm Insurance . . . . . .672-2300 Funerals Ouimet Funeral Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-4242 Groceries Doorstep Farmers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .349-4568 Home and Garden Clayton Furniture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .686-2299 Diablo Lawnscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .381-3757 Interiors Panache . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-7920 Just Floors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .681-4747 Navlet’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .681-0550 Nichols Landscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9955 The Floor Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .969-9890 The Maids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-6243 Utopic Gardens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .524-0055 Waraner Bros. Tree Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .831-2323 Waraner Tree Experts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .250-0334 Mailing Services The UPS Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-6245 Optometry Foresight Optometry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-4100 Pet Services Cat Hospital of Clayton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2287 Monte Vista Veterinary Hospital . . . . . . . . . . . . . .276-5744 Pittsburg Pet Resort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .432-7387 Rodie's Feed and Pet Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-4600 Real Estate and Mortgage Services French, Lynne – Windermere Real Estate . . . . . .672-8787 Geddes-Sinclaire, Christine – Alain Pinel . . . . . .286-7593 Howard, Don – Better Homes Realty . . . . . . . . . .408-3184 Howard, Emily – Better Homes Realty . . . . . . . .408-1871 Johnson, Terry Mohr - Prudential . . . . . . . . . . . . .914-0061 Klock, Leigh – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . . . . . .212-5593 Landgraf, Linda – Prudential . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .876-0311 Laurence, Pete – RE/MAX Realty . . . . . . . . . . . .890-6004 Lopez, Stephanie – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . .932-7329 Mazzei, Matt – Mazzei Realty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0757 Stojanovich, Jennifer – Better Homes Realty . . .567-6170 Vujnovich, George - Better Homes Realty . . . . . .672-4433 Recreation and Fitness Earthquake Arabians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .360-7454 East Bay Regional Park District . . . . . . . . . .888-327-2757 Levity Fitness Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2995
Real Estate Agents
Clayton Community Library
Automotive Clayton Valley Shell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-3900
Child Care and Education Clayton Children’s Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-4543
Tel: (925) 672-0500 Fax: (925) 672-6580
Directory of Advertisers Business Services Rising Moon Marketing & Public Relations . . . . .672-8717
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Looking for volunteer drivers one day a week between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Make a tremendous difference to seniors in your community. Contact Sharon Fitzgerald at 932-8607 or firstname.lastname@example.org today!
Senior Services Courtyards at Pine Creek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-3900 Diamond Terrace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .524-5100 Montecito – Oakmont Senior Living . . . . . . . . . . .852-6702 Services, Other 1-800-Junkster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .800-586-5783 ComputersUSA! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9989 Net Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6029 Recycling Center & Transfer Station . . . . . . . . . .473-0180 Travel Travel to Go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9840
Self Discipline Do the Right Thing
Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com
February 14, 2014
County Grand Jury seeks applicants The Contra Costa County Superior Court is accepting applications for Civil Grand Jury Service for the fiscal year 2014-2015 term. The Civil Grand Jury is made up of 19 members who serve for one year, July through June, to monitor, review and report on city and county governments, special districts and school districts. “Grand Juries are the citizen watchdogs of civic functions,” says current Grand Jury Foreman Stephen Conlin. “All county citizens have the authority to call the juries’ attention to issues within their governmental agencies that they think should be reviewed.” Every effort is made to ensure that the Grand Jury
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reflects the makeup of the residents of the county. Approximately 60 applicants will be selected to be interviewed by the Grand Jury selection committee, which is composed of Superior Court Judges. After interviews, the judges will nominate approximately 30 applicants to constitute a grand jury pool from which the final panel of 19 will be selected by random drawing. The drawing is scheduled to be held on Friday, June 13, 2014, with the members of the 2014-2015 Grand Jury officially being sworn in on the same day. Individuals selected for service will be expected to be available during the last two weeks of June to meet with outgoing
jurors, tour county facilities, meet with department heads, become familiar with their colleagues, learn about juror responsibilities and procedures, and select committees on which they will serve. Grand jurors must be a United States citizen, 18 years of age or older, who have been a resident of Contra Costa County for at least one year prior to selection. They cannot currently hold any elected position within the county. Applicants should have reliable transportation to Martinez, and must be prepared to devote at least 20 hours per week to Civil Grand Jury service. Citizens who work should apply only if they can be released from their jobs to per-
form the jury duties. Applicants selected as one of the 30 nominees will be fingerprinted before the drawing. Jurors receive a stipend for attending full jury and committee meetings and are reimbursed for allowable jury travel. Parking permits are provided to park in the city of Martinez while performing Grand Jury duties. Persons interested in applying may contact the Office of the Civil Grand Jury at 925957-5638, or visit the website at www.cc-courts.org/grandjury to receive additional information regarding service on the Civil Grand Jury and to obtain an application. Application deadline is Friday, March 28.
Exercises your heart will love
As life continues to cool down with cold, shorter winter days, rev it back up. February is all about you and your heart health. Don’t be shy, spread the love and have fun. Include those closest to you and make discoveries that take your breath away. Open up your heart, make it expand and work with you. It’s one of the most powerful muscles we have, so challenge it to work harder. Stay home, don’t go the gym, discover fitness anywhere. Try this workout with someone else by your side.
CLIMBING A ROPE CRUNCHES 12 reps. per minute, 25 reps. a set (work up to three to four sets) Lie on your back with your lower back flat to the floor, legs extended in line with the hips, ankles crossed, and arms reaching up in line with the shoulders. Exhale and engage the abs to lift your shoulder blades off the mat as you reach your right hand up and to the left as if climbing a rope up. Inhale and lower back down to the starting position. Exhale and engage the abs to lift your shoulder blades off the mat as you reach your left hand up and to the right as if grabbing a rope and climbing higher. Inhale and lower back down to complete one rep.
PLANK WITH PIKE Eight reps. per minute, 25 reps. a set (work up to three to four sets) Start in a plank position, with hands clasped together, elbows under your shoulders, forearms flat, toes curled under, and body “hovering” above your mat in a nice straight line with the abs pulled in tight. Exhale, keeping the abs pulled in, and “pike” your hips up towards the ceiling, shifting your weight back and brining your head to a natural position between the arms. Inhale and slowly lower back down to the plank position to complete one rep. SIDE PLANK WITH CRUNCHES Eight reps. per minute, 25 reps. a set (work up to three to four sets) Lie on your left side, legs stacked, abs engaged, elbow directly under your shoulder, and top hand by your ear, elbow up. Lift your hips up off the ground and hold, breathing steadily. Hold 15-30 seconds. Exhale and crunch down-
ward, twisting from the waist and bringing your top elbow towards the floor. Inhale and bring the elbow back up to the start position to complete one rep. Finish all reps on this side and then switch sides to do the Side Plank and Side Plank with Crunch before moving to the next exercise. LOWER BACK EXTENSIONS Eight reps., one hold, eight pulses (work up to three to four sets) Lie flat on your stomach, legs extended, elbows bent, hands behind the ears, and neck in a neutral position in line with the spine. Exhale and lift your chest away from the floor (keeping neck in line with the spine) to engage your lower back. Inhale and slowly lower back down to complete one rep. Ilima Heuerman holds fitness certifications. She trains at Levity Fitness studio in Clayton. Email Ilima at IlimaHeuerman@levityfitness.com
An office guide to tech lingo Sponsorship programs available Birthday Parties Camp
sh & Engli nced Western inner to Adva t Beg to Adul us! Youthome ride with C
3141 Morgan Territory Rd.
Have you ever wondered if there were a way to make computer terms easy? When buying or upgrading your computer, laptop or tablet it is helpful to know the purpose of the device, how you intend to use it and what the terms mean to you. I will try to explain the terms in easy, colorful English and relate the whole explanation to computers by using common items found in a typical office build-
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ing, including the workers, desks and file cabinets. First, let me set the scene. You are sitting in an office building typing on your computer, and jobs pop into your inbox for your worker (employee) to process. The more jobs you get, the more you must process, the longer it takes. Get the picture so far? CPU In computers the CPU is the worker, your employee. The worker has a skill level and a speed at which they work. Relate that to the speed of the CPU or the megahertz or gigahertz labels. The higher the hertz, the more work gets done. But, that’s not the whole story, there is a catch. More work comes in and we need more workers. In computer terms that is the number of “cores.” Therefore more workers, more cores. So, now you have higher speeds, hertz (GHz), and more workers. More is getting done indeed. RAM Here is the catch, if you have more workers you NEED more desktops, bigger desktops, more efficient desktops, desktops with drawers (lots of drawers), and pigeon holes, yes holes, and folders (lots and lots of folders). Anyway RAM solves this problem. More work can be organ-
the number, the more file cabinets you have.
TECH TALK ized, placed neatly into folders, modified, printed, etc. RAM is the desktop size. HARD DRIVE Jobs are getting done, stuff is flowing smoothly and now it’s time to store the results of our hard work. The place where you store folders is, well, the filing cabinet. Your hard drive is the filing cabinet. Open the cabinet and alphanumerically file your data as a file in a folder. The size of the hard drive relates to the size and number of filing cabinets you have. If you have a big office with lots of folders, files, data, documents and photos, you need lots of file space. The hard drive is specified in bytes, or rather thousands, millions, zillions of bytes. For example, 500GB means 500 gigabytes (as in loads of computer bits of information). The bigger
MOTHERBOARD So our workers are working, files are getting completed, and a lot of work is getting done. Well, all that work is located somewhere, isn’t it? In a perfect office the work is all organized by desks in neat rows, papers and folders inside the cabinets along the wall. Now that’s a motherboard. The motherboard becomes the place to store everything. Here’s something computer manufacturers don’t want you to know: not all motherboards are good floor plans. A TIP OR TWO Computers, tablets, laptops and smartphones all have their purposes. One cannot match the performance of a desktop or workstation with any other device. Someday they might, but that’s a way off. Think of it this way: desktops are for work, design and play. Laptops are not as fast as desktop computers, but mobile and able to run most programs adequately. Tablets offer some of those things but they’re really just a clipboard in our office example. Smartphones are just phones. William Claney is an independent tech writer and former owner of Computers USA in the Clayton Station. Email questions or comments to email@example.com.
February 14, 2014
Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com
Must-haves for luxury home-buyers
The Law Office of
Q. You have mentioned that high end luxury homes are now selling well. What are some of the features those buyers demand? A. There was a recent survey of 500 luxury home buyers recently. This group places high value on real estate. A majority believe their real estate is a bigger indicator of success than their job title. They also believe that home ownership is a sounder investment than the stock market. One interesting fact is almost all of these buyers believe their house is the best one on the block. These are some of their desires: • Sixty-six percent expressed a stronger desire for a “smart” home than a “green” home. A whopping 87 percent said they wouldn’t consider purchasing a home that wasn’t tech friendly. • Outdoor amenities are a must for the luxury buyer. There was big interest, for example, in a garden oasis, outdoor fireplace or fire pit and a separate guest house outside of the main home. Most wanted a dramatic water feature and an outdoor kitchen. • Fifty-three percent said they prefer owning multiple “lifestyle” homes to support
REAL ANSWERS their lifestyle activities, such as skiing or cultural events. Fifty-eight percent said they already owned multiple homes. • Sixty percent said they would have as many upgrades as they can afford rather than greater square footage. Most, 94 percent, of the luxury home owners surveyed would be willing to give up 1,000 square feet of living space in their home in order to get the amenities they most desire. These include a better neighborhood, living in a house with character, more land, access to dining and entertainment and a shorter commute.
Q. We are in the process of selling our home. We have lived here for five years. During that time we have put in many expensive energy efficient features. During the appraisal process these upgrades added little value. Why would that be? I would definitely pay more for a home that was energy efficient. A. This has been a problem for awhile now. It is very frustrating that the appraisers and lenders are behind the times on this issue. I am happy to say that this problem is finally being recognized by our government. A bipartisan Senate bill supported by a broad coalition of business, real estate, energy and environmental groups seeks to put energy cost savings into the underwriting equation for loans. Called the SAVE Act (for Sensible Accounting to Value Energy), the legislation could make energy-efficient features more affordable to averageincome home buyers by allowing them to qualify for a larger loan amount. The legislation would require Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to incorporate energy efficiency into their underwriting policies. The Department of
Daniel L. DuRee
Housing and Urban Development would set the guidelines for a homeowner or buyer to submit a qualified home-energy report. I am sorry that this remedy isn’t available yet for you. Good luck.
Estate Planning Attorney
Please call today for a complimentary consultation
Send your question and look for your answer in a future column. Email Lynne@LynneFrench.com. French is the broker/owner of Windermere Lynne French & Associates. Contact her at 672-878 7or stop in at 6200 Center St., Clayton.
1535 N. Main St., Walnut Creek
• Wills • Trusts • Healthcare Directives • Powers of Attorney • Probate
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Power of attorney abuse: What can yu do about it?
RICHARD LITTORNO ESTATE PLANNING A financial power of attorney — sometimes called a “power of attorney for property” or a “general power of attorney” — can be a valuable planning tool. The most common type is the durable power of attorney, which allows an agent to act on the behalf of a person (the “principal”) even if the person becomes mentally incompetent or otherwise incapacitated. It authorizes the agent to manage the principal’s investments, pay bills, file tax returns and handle other financial matters if the principal is unable to do so as a result of illness, injury, advancing age or other circumstances. The main disadvantage of a power of attorney is that it’s susceptible to abuse by scam artists, dishonest caretakers or greedy relatives. A broadly written power of attorney gives an agent unfettered access to the principal’s bank and brokerage accounts, real estate and other assets. So if you have elderly parents or other family members who’ve signed powers of attorney, keep an eye on their agents’ activities. And if you or a loved one is about to sign a power of attorney, make sure it includes safeguards to help prevent abuse. WATCH
OUT FOR YOUR LOVED ONES
Many people mistakenly believe that once an agent has been given a power of attorney, there’s little that can be
done to stop the agent from misappropriating money or property. In fact, despite these broad powers, an agent has a fiduciary duty to the principal, requiring him or her to act with the utmost good faith and loyalty when acting on the principal’s behalf. If you suspect that an elderly family member is a victim of financial abuse by the holder of a power of attorney, contact an attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you act, the greater the chances you’ll recover some or all of the property. Your relative may be able to sue the agent for breach of fiduciary duty or conversion and obtain injunctive relief, damages (including punitive damages) and attorneys’ fees. Conversion involves an agent’s use of the principal’s property for his or her own benefit or otherwise in a manner inconsistent with the principal’s ownership rights. Keep in mind that in most states, to establish an agent’s liability for conversion, you must show that the principal demanded the return of the property (preferably in writing) and that the agent refused to do so. TAKE STEPS TO PREVENT ABUSE If you or a family member plans to execute a power of attorney, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk of abuse: Make sure the agent is someone you know and trust. Consider using a “springing” power of attorney, which doesn’t take effect until certain conditions are met, such as a physician’s certification that the principal has become incapacitated. Use a “special” or “limited” power of attorney that details the agent’s specific powers. The drawback of this approach is that it limits the agent’s ability to deal with unanticipated circumstances.
Appoint a “monitor” or other third party to review transactions executed by the agent, and require the monitor’s approval of transactions over a certain dollar amount. Provide that the appointment of a guardian automatically revokes the power of attorney. Some state laws contain special requirements, such as a separate rider to authorize an agent to make large gifts or conduct other major transactions. ACT NOW When dealing with powers of attorney, the sooner you act, the better. If you’re pursuing legal remedies against an agent, the sooner you proceed, the greater your chances of recovery. And if you wish to execute or revoke a power of attorney for yourself, you need to do so while you’re mentally competent. Richard A. Littorno is an attorney specializing in estate planning. He has offices in Walnut Creek and Pittsburg. Send your questions to Richard@LittornoLaw.com.
This close-in land at Clayton’s border already has corrals, electricity and a well. Buyer can bring in CCWD water from Marsh Creek Rd. Ideal terrain for a custom home, barns, a possible caretaker cottage and your orchard, vineyard or livestock.
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This parcel with hills overlooking a large, flat area is ideal for a custom home with dramatic views of Mt. Diablo. Great location for livestock, vineyards or orchards to thrive (think Livermore Valley). CC water is at the Marsh Creek frontage, ready for buyer to bring in. This spectacular land is priced at only $27,000 per acre.
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Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com
February 14, 2014
Major demand for CVCHS education DAVID LINZEY VOYAGE OF THE EAGLE What a difference a couple of years make! The tremendous success of Clayton Valley Charter High School has created a “supply and demand” environment where many more students want to enroll in CVCHS than in years past. While schools and districts face
myriad challenges, big and small, one problem that every school superintendent wishes they had was that of handling growth in enrollment. What has been a bit of a surprise for me personally in taking the helm of CVCHS is just how hungry families in the area are for a first class public high school. Parents and students thrive when you have teachers, staff and administrations that truly care, work hard to prepare effective lessons every day and go out of their way to strive for excellence in the classroom, in center quad
and in the athletic arena. When all systems are firing at full capacity and working in harmony, schools can become places of educational excellence. When they aren’t —when schools and districts are struggling and declining in enrollment —jobs are lost, budgets are cut, and families look for greener pastures. At CVCHS, we find ourselves in the fortunate position of having more than 1,000 applications for the 201415 school year. To maintain our current enrollment of 2,000 we would
typically just replace the graduating class with the same number of enrolling students, which would allow us to only enroll about 500. I have a very difficult time, as do the board members and staff, turning down so many students whose dreams are to attend CVCHS — an academic powerhouse with a positive school culture and excellence in music and the arts as well as athletics. So what do we do about the 1000 applications? There is no room at the inn! Our mission as a charter
PHMS collects ‘Pennies for Patients’
PINE HOLLOW REPORTER Pine Hollow Middle School didn’t pinch pennies when it came to its annual Pennies for
Patients Drive, but it still wasn’t as much as last year. Pennies for Patients is an organization that raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The proceeds help patients suffering from lymphoma or leukemia to pay for treatments and other medical expenses. However, one thing that has confused the Leadership class was, why did we get less donations than last year? When Pine Hollow Middle School held the annual drive last year, they collected $2,123.55. This year, the school collected $1,095.28. After talking to some of the students at Pine Hollow, some
thought it was because of the drop in number of students. Others thought it is because the students weren’t motivated enough. Teachers believe that non-participation is due to the age of the students and that they do not want to participate in fundraisers anymore. As part of the Leadership class, I get to observe what goes on during Pennies for Patients. I think that the students weren’t motivated enough, it wasn’t advertised as well as it could have been, and because of a decrease in the number of students at Pine Hollow Middle School. I think the students weren’t motivated because they
didn’t know where the money was going to go. Plus, over the past two years, Pine Hollow Middle School has lost about 50 students, not including graduating eighth graders. This is a major factor because it means that less donations were coming in. Although this year we donated over $1,000 dollars, we are hoping that next year we will have a greater turn out.
TEEN SPEAK tine” because of the letters he would smuggle to her. Another story says that Emperor Claudius II of Rome banned marriage in the third century in order to keep his military men from spousal distractions. Upon hearing this, St. Valentine rebelled and married couples in secret. When he was discovered, he was sentenced to death.
Thus, Valentines Day was not created so that some investors could fill their pockets with money, but was a day to celebrate the relationships we have with friends, family and significant others. Some may still argue that people in the candy, flower and stuffed animal businesses take advantage of this celebration for personal profit, and with this I do not argue. These people use marketing and other techniques to sell their products on this famous day; however we do not have to perceive this as something bad, because these companies do nothing wrong. We, the consumers, choose to believe what the marketing and advertising specialists tell us; no one is being forced to buy anything for Valentine’s Day, but people buy things anyway. By definition, a scam is a dishonest way to make money by deceiving people. There is no deception here because these large businesses did not create the image of love, and they did not invent the idea that you have
CAITLIN REIMER DVMS REPORTER
to give someone a gift because it is Valentines Day. For centuries, it has been customary to show your affection with a simple rose or with some kind of gift on this special day. What people believe is a scam is actually their belief that they have to go above and beyond to make sure others know of their affection. It all boils down to competition: the size of the gift you give equates to the amount of love you have. This day of love has become subject to competition, but that does not mean we have to accuse big corporations of scamming everyone in the United States. The day that originated from the legendary St. Valentine lives on as a cherished festivity, where love and peace reigns. Why tarnish this day with false claims and controversy? Liliana Hernandez is a Senior at Clayton Valley Charter High School. She loves to read and plans to pursue her interest in writing in the future. Send email to her at firstname.lastname@example.org
on campus and within a couple of years, add permanent classrooms. If all goes according to plan, we will be able to accommodate about 500 more students over the next couple of years. And with increased zero and seventh period class options, we can even balance out the additional traffic flow. I am very pleased with the commitment of our staff and our governing board to accommodate our demand. This is why we are educators and this is what our calling is: make a difference in as many lives as possible, to prepare students to become meaningful participants and contributors in society, and to shape the future. David Linzey is executive director of CVCHS. Contact him David.email@example.com
DVMS defies gravity with after-school program
Carlie Beeson is an 8th grader at Pine Hollow Middle School. She enjoys reading, playing soccer, and singing. Questions or comments? Send her an Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Why Valentine’s Day has heart Known as the day to show your loved ones how much they mean to you by buying them chocolates and life-sized teddy bears, Valentine’s Day has come again. And although to some Valentine’s Day is considered a scam created by the candy business to make money off of poor civilians in love, I beg to differ. Valentine’s Day was traditionally celebrated long before big candy companies like Hershey’s were even in existence. The legend of St. Valentine seems both improbable and astonishing, but somehow rings with a sense of truth. There are various different legends that tell the story of the heroic St. Valentine; one story portrays him as a man who was imprisoned unjustly, fell in love with the daughter of the jail keeper, and coined the phrase “from your Valen-
school is to educate all students to become first class citizens with a world class education. When we say all, we certainly are not thinking of the capacity of our facility, or the size of our community or even the number of applications. The mission is about more than a number – it articulates a core belief, it sums up our educational philosophy, it is a call to action for every CVCHS employee. The reality is that we are inhibited by certain uncontrollable factors. So the CVCHS administrative team is working extremely hard to come up with the solution to our growth problem. The good news is we do have options and we have made a proposal to MDUSD, our landlords, to add additional interim housing
DVMS has been working with Defying Gravity Foundation, a drama program dedicated to helping children of the East Bay find their passion for the
arts. The program is run by Margie Morris and Amanda Pouch. Students meet Wednesdays after school to rehearse for the upcoming performance, while also learning acting and singing skills. Other performing arts programs require participants to audition first before joining the cast. Defying Gravity is unique because students practice their theatre skills before auditioning for a part. Through improvisation and singing games, students learn skills that will help them be confident on stage. In one of these exercises, students are broken
into groups. Each group must create a scene and then perform it for the class. After presenting the skit, an instructor will give the students a twist; such as, “do this scene in a made-up language” or “do this scene in slow-motion.” This game not only stretches improvisational skills, but also fosters cooperation and teamwork. “It gives people courage to perform in front of other people which can help for future presentations, said student Emma Kelly. “Defying Gravity has given me that courage.” Defying Gravity has helped several schools in the Bay produce shows, including Annie,
Oliver Twist, and A Christmas Carol. This spring, Diablo View will be performing The Wizard of Oz (dates to be announced). Defying Gravity Foundation is an unforgettable drama experience that encourages students’ confidence and performance skills while also supporting their passion for the arts and theatre. For more information, go to www.defyinggravityfoundation.org Caitlin Reimer is a sixth grader at Diablo View Middle School. She enjoys dancing, reading, writing, acting, and volleyball.
When teenage emotions get ‘Flipped’
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When Julianna Baker (Juli) moves in across the street from Bryce Lowski in the beginning of second grade, Juli immediately feels a connection between the two, but Bryce isn’t sure if he feels the same way. In “Flipped” by Wendelin Van Draanen (Ember; May 2003), Juli publicly admires Bryce through elementary school and middle school. Even though Bryce was showing absolutely no signs of liking Juli, the confident dreamer held on to him in hopes that one day he would come to his senses. After years and years of
TEEN READS smiling at him in class and trying to make a conversation with him whenever she had the chance, Juli gave up on trying to be
Bryce’s superwoman. She stopped looking at him through her window and quit her habit of catching quick glances of him at school. Once Bryce realized that Juli had given up, he wasn’t the least bit relieved, he felt empty. After putting up with Juli constantly looking over his shoulder since the second grade, Bryce had grown accustomed to her always being there. One day at a date auction at their school, Bryce was done pretending like he didn’t have feelings for Juli so he made a decision to do something that instantly switches the
train tracks and puts the story on a whole new path. I read this book for the first time when I was in sixth grade with my reading class and I loved the story and the message so much that I bought my own copy of the book for myself along with the movie. I must have read and seen them both a dozen times. The tragic and humorous tale of Juli and Bryce is impeccably sculpted and a must-read novel. Emily York is a freshman at CVCHS.
February 14, 2014
Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com
State of the City message – Concord is thriving PEGGY SPEAR Clayton Pioneer
Concord is poised to become a more vibrant city with thriving businesses, unique neighborhoods and a global perspective that will serve it well into the 21st Century. At least that is the opinion of new Mayor Tim Grayson, who shared his vision at the annual state-of-the city address Jan. 29, in front of residents, business leaders and local politicos.
Anyone who talks to the effervescent Grayson knows he is passionate about his community, and that passion came through in his address. “We can go from a dot on the map to a star on the globe,” he said. “Concord has survived fire, the Great Depression, the building of malls and freeways, a debilitating recession, and we’ve survived. In fact, we are thriving.” At the forefront of that fact is that the city is “emerging
stronger than ever” from the recent economic decline and the loss of vital redevelopment funds that plagued previous administrations. He cites the residents support of Measure Q, a half-cent sales tax, as a major reason the city was able to stay financially afloat. And now, thanks to Concord’s emergence as a car sales Mecca and other business growth, as well as such developments as the reemergence of running the Concord Pavilion,
the city is able to move forward, Grayson says. The heart of his vision is fueled by three distinct areas of interest: the future development of downtown from the Concord BART station to Todos Santos Plaza, the continued enrichment of Monument Boulevard, and what he calls “the diamond in the rough,” the eventual development of the Concord Naval Weapons Station. “Grant Street can become Concord’s Santana Row,”
‘Green’ programs plan for a sustainable future RON LEONE
CONCORD CITY BEAT The city of Concord is turning green, both economically and through a number of sustainable projects and programs on tap. The city has completed one of the largest, most ambitious solar and energy efficiency projects in the Bay Area. The Energy Service Company (ESCO) project, in association with Chevron, included solar energy and numerous infrastructure upgrades which have reduced the city’s energy and maintenance costs. Over the life of the project we will save more than $18 million. The centerpiece of the project is a 200-kilowatt solar power system that will reduce electricity usage at the Concord Community Pool by more than 70 percent. Additionally, the project often generates more electricity than is required, creating an overage which will be applied to future bills. This will be particularly useful during the winter
season when the solar panels are not generating as much energy and power bills are generally higher. The project also included replacing and upgrading existing infrastructure city-wide, including 1,600-plus street lights, cooling and heating systems in city facilities, and the replacement of swimming pool equipment. In all, these infrastructure upgrades and energy efficiencies are expected to reduce future electricity usage by 30 percent and the city’s annual carbon footprint by more than 3,200 metric tons of CO2. That will have the same impact as eliminating more than 600 vehicles from the road. These are just some of the ways Concord is being “green.” Here are others: The city has also developed a Climate Action Plan, which defines policies, measures and strategies to improve health, safety, mobility and livability across Concord by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and streamlining environmental review processes. Through a grant, the city
Memorial, from page 1 Just a few years ago, the $1.5 million proceeds from the Police Unity Tour went directly to restoring the walls of the monument and refinishing the names to “a beautiful state,” Sansen says. Although the Unity Tour began with a group of four guys in New Jersey, it has become a national and international draw for a large number of police officers, many of them on the West Coast. Officer Hart first got involved in the ride five years ago and brought in Sansen a year later, seeing it as a way to personally honor those they have lost in their profession. “This is a way for me to show gratitude to the officers who have gone ahead of me and given their lives in the line of
duty,” says Hart. “It helps me to know that I’m honoring them and the sacrifice that they and their families have made. It’s not just about them, it’s also about their families and their loss. “It really helps me to feel better about my profession and know that I’m doing something to honor those people who have made such a great sacrifice,” Hart says. TOUGH TRAINING To prepare for the tough 300-mile ride, each of the officers begins some type of training months in advance to make sure they are ready for four long days on the bike. “On an average day when we ride out there, we’ll be in the seat upwards of 8-10 hours,” says Krista Sansen. “And if
will be purchasing 10 electric cars and charging stations. The charging stations will be located at the Civic Center, Concord Police Department and the city’s Corporation Yard. Concord’s sustainability reputation has also been bolstered by recognition for the vision expressed in the Reuse Plan for the Concord Naval Weapons Station, which was adopted by the city council. The plan establishes a new benchmark in planning for sustainable communities of the future, winning an Innovation in Green Community Planning Award of Merit from the Northern California Chapter of the American Planning Association. In addition, Save Mount Diablo, an organization dedicated to preserving park and open space, awarded the city its Mountain Star Alliance Award for its “incredibly visionary leadership” during the six-year reuse plan process. Concord also received the Contra Costa Leadership in Sustainability Award from Sustainable Contra Costa for outstanding contributions and commitment to a healthy environment,
economy and society. Concord has again been named a Tree City USA community by the National Arbor Day Foundation. The national award honors Concord’s commitment to its community forest. Concord is also the recipient of a Tree City Growth Award for demonstrating progress in its community forestry program. The city council passed the Complete Streets General Amendment Plan which included designing a transportation system which meets the needs pedestrians, bicyclists and public transit patrons as well as motorists. The council is also developing a Downtown Specific plan that includes these same transportation elements. Concord is committed to developing and implementing environmental policies and programs that will help make our city more livable and beautiful, and protect the environment for future generations.
you’re smart you’ll start training six months ahead of time.” Several of the officers use their training time biking Mount Diablo together. They also vary between what Sansen called “long and flat” and “short and steep.” The focus is being prepared for the cardio demand and being in the seat for a long period of time, she says. Additionally, each rider is required to complete a 50-mile training ride before the tour. But the work is worth it, the officers who’ve made the trek say. The riders typically receive a “hero’s welcome” in several of the communities they ride through on the tour. “There’s one guy in particular, when we’re riding through Jersey, who comes out with his bagpipes and he’ll serenade us as we’re riding by,” says Krista Sansen. “Those kinds of things make it really incredible.” Hart says that in some of
the communities they ride through, some of the schools will actually let their students out and come out to the street to cheer the riders on and hold up signs. “We’ll get the occasional fly-by from a police helicopter, which is always inspirational when you’re grueling out a hundred mile day,” he says. Although the ride raises funds for the Memorial, each officer is driven by a deep appreciation for their comrades and a passion for honoring them, they say. “It’s kind of a calling,” says Krista Sansen. “Once you do it, it’s hard to not do it again. Just realizing that it could be any one of us at anytime, it’s good to get out there and remember.”
Ron Leone is vice mayor and a former mayor of Concord. Email comments or questions to email@example.com, or call (925) 680-1776
To donate to the Police Unity Tour, please contact the Concord Police Department, (925) 671-3220.
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Concord parks needs volunteers to help with tree-planting project Feel a need to get some dirt under your fingernails? The city of Concord is looking for 150 volunteers to plant 56 trees at the Boatwright Sports Complex this Saturday. The Concord planting is part of a much larger effort to get 1,700 trees in the ground in one day in the Bay Area and San Joaquin Valley. The project is sponsored by Invest from the Ground Up, a program of the California Urban Forest Council. Concord was awarded a grant from the
sponsor to cover the cost of the trees. When the trees are mature, the trees will remove 2.13 tons of CO2 and 560 lbs. of pollutants from the air every year. To participate, bring a shovel, gloves and a water bottle to the Boatwright fields, Saturday, February 15, at 8:30 a.m. The planting should finish by noon. Carpooling is encouraged. For more information, email Chris.Llata@cityofconcord.org.
Recycling contest targets creative students Do you know a child who is passionate about recycling? If so, they can enter Mt. Diablo Recycling’s first ever Recycling Contest for elementary, middle school and high school students. The contest is an effort to encourage the youth of Contra Costa County to share their recycling knowledge and inspire the greater community to increase their recycling behavior. Each contest entrant is being asked to answer the question, “How are you encouraging your family, friends and community to recycle?” by drawing a picture, writing an essay, or creating a video, depending on their age. “There is no better way to influence the entire community about the importance of recycling than to educate and embolden our kids to share their knowledge,” said Mt. Diablo
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Recycling’s Nicole Impagliazzo. “Small, daily steps that keep more and more items out of landfills will have a lasting effect on the health and sustainability of our neighborhoods.” Cash prizes range from $50 to $500. Recipients will be chosen by a panel of community experts based on the applicant’s creativity and clarity, and the overall effectiveness of the recycling project. Winners will be announced at Mt. Diablo Recycling Earth Day event on April 26 at the Recycling Center, 1300 Loveridge Rd. in Pittsburg. Look for entry forms and full instructions for each age group on the Mt. Diablo Recycling website: www.mtdiablorecycling.com. Click on the Recycling Contest tab. Submit completed entry by email to Irecyclethemost@Garaventaent.com by April 4.
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sure we grow responsibly.” Another project close to Grayson’s heart is the development of a Family Justice Center. Already he is working with the Concord Police Department and local politicians and law enforcement officials like District Attorney Mark Peterson to make that a reality. It will help to curb domestic violence in and around Concord. Grayson was first elected to the council in 2010, and is the first mayor in more than two decades to serve a two-year term. He is in the unique position of having to run for city council re-election next fall halfway through his mayoral term.
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Grayson said of downtown. “It can become rich in performing arts, shopping, cultural events and festivals.” He even envisions a performing arts center and a conference center. He cites the new additions of a Walgreens and a 7-11 as improvements to the Monument corridor, while also retaining its rich culture and economic vitality. But it is the weapons station that perhaps has the most bang for the buck, as the huge addition to the city will bring thousands of new residents, not to mention the possibility of a major sports complex, a PGAlevel golf course, a world-class hotel, businesses, and perhaps even a university. “Concord is home, it’s what we love,” Grayson said. “I will do whatever it takes to make
Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com
February 14, 2014
Sports HS sports head towards winter playoffs, tournaments JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer
Photo courtesy CVCHS basketball by Scott Anderson
JUNIOR GUARD MORGAN GIACOBAZZI (11) tried to shake her Northgate defender Cecilia Cuneo (24) when Clayton Valley defeated rival Northgate 53-45 in Walnut Creek. The Eagles doubled up on their rivals with a 67-46 win last Friday in the return game between the DVAL’s perennial top two girls basketball teams in Dan Della Gym at CVCHS.
A new coach came on board and a star player graduated but Clayton Valley Charter High School girls basketball continues to roll through Diablo Valley Athletic League competition as the team heads towards a possible third undefeated league record in the past four years and another trip to the North Coast Section tournament. Girls basketball is the only CVCHS winter sports team that is a cinch to earn a berth in the season-ending NCS playoffs. Their male counterparts on new coach Eric Bamberger’s team suffered a tough 70-67 decision last Friday to Northgate, which dropped the Eagles’ record to 6-3 entering Friday night’s game at College Park, the undefeated league leaders. Overall CVCHS is 13-9 and will be battling for one of the 16 DII playoff berths. An upset of the Falcons and closing out with three straight league wins will bolster their chances. Clayton Valley soccer may be shut out from NCS for the first time in nearly a decade. Scott Booth’s girls are in a battle for second place with Northgate entering the league’s final games this Thursday. CV closes out DVAL action hosting undefeated league champion College Park on Senior Night. A loss will probably hand the runner-up spot to the Broncos and would level the Eagles season record at 9-9-2, putting them on the bubble to reach the Division I section
playoffs. Clayton Valley has been in the girls soccer playoffs for the past eight seasons. New coach Guillermo Jara has seen his boys CVCHS soccer squad rebound from a rough start to the season to even its league record at 5-5-1 before Thursday’s finale at College Park. Ygnacio Valley has already clinched a third straight DVAL boys title. The Eagles have found themselves in a cluster of five teams (except unbeaten YV and winless Berean Christian) battling for second through sixth places and final standings won’t be clear until the league season concludes this week. WRESTLERS GEAR UP Clayton Valley Charter wrestling is gearing up for the DVAL and NCS tournaments. Coach Kyle Behmlander’s team will be in the league tournament next Wednesday at heavily-favored College Park hoping to qualify numerous wrestlers for NCS, which is at Newark Memorial High Feb. 28-Mar. 1, a week before the State Meet in Bakersfield. The first three finishers in each weight class at league meet move on to NCS. Perhaps the biggest favorite in Clayton Valley wrestling for post-season honors is defending 146-pound NCS girls champion Kristina Arteaga, who will be in the 152 division at the NCS meet this Friday and Saturday in Pittsburg. Girls State Meet is Feb. 28-Mar. 1 in Visalia. Arteaga was seventh last year at State.
GIRLS BASKETBALL SEEK UNBEATEN MARK
Paul Kommer took over the CVCHS girls basketball program last spring from predecessor Bernard Barnes, who resigned after last season when the Eagles reached the Northern California playoffs for the second time in three years. Star player Ashley Allen graduated after twice winning the DVAL MVP award. Non-league play pretty much matched wins with losses but the Eagles have found their comfort zone in DVAL play and may be headed to a third 12-0 record since the 2010-11 season. A pair of wins over arch-rival Northgate has led the way for the Eagles. Last Friday CVCHS came away with a 21-point homecourt victory over the Broncos. Senior center Kayla Taylor had 21 points and 10 rebounds for a double double while Hailey Pascoe scored 18 and sparked an early comeback after the Eagles fell behind 16-5. Annemarie Del Bene dished five assists, junior guard Morgan Giacobazzi grabbed six rebounds and Sarah Williams scored 16 on Senior Night as the Eagles had a well-rounded effort. Northgate was led by junior guard Madison Casten who had a trio of three-point baskets in her 11 points and Drew Chase with 10. Standing between the Eagles and an undefeated league season this Friday afternoon is current second-place
See Playoffs, page 11
Clayton Valley baseball Hot Stove Dinner readies team for season JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer
San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s pitchers and catchers report this Friday for
spring training. They have nothing on Clayton Valley Charter High School players who began formal practices this past Monday as they prepare for the school’s 55th base-
Photos courtesy Clayton Valley Charter High baseball
THE STORIES WERE TALL AND THE SMILES LARGE at the second annual Clayton Valley Baseball Hot Stove Dinner last month in Walnut Creek. CV alums and former Eagle players, from left, Steve Simmons, Ronnie Simmons, Herc Pardi, Craig Olson and Jack Duncan shared memories.
Sports Shorts DANA HILLS SWIM TEAM REGISTRATION STARTS FEB. 28 Dana Hills Swim Team kicks off the 2014 summer swim season with a Registration Night on Friday, Feb. 28, at Sports Basement in Walnut Creek from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Registration and swim season volunteer job preferences will be taken. Sports Basement will provide refreshments and 10% off all purchases. The DHST coaching staff will meet the attendees and discuss the Otters program. New members will also be given the option to sign up for the team on a free, one-week “trial” basis. Online registration opens Saturday, Mar. 1. For additional info, please visit danahillsotters.com.
XAVIER CRAWFORD GOING TO OREGON STATE FOOTBALL Versatile player Xavier Crawford from Clayton Valley Charter High made a switch from San Diego St. to Oregon State of the Pac-12 last week on national letter of intent day. Crawford, a senior transfer last season to CVCHS, played the latter half of the season for the league champion Eagles. Coach Tim Murphy says, “Xavier is an extremely talented
ball season. Clayton Valley baseball got things rolling last month with the second annual Hot Stove Dinner bringing together 300 former and current players, coaches and team supporters to share stories and get everyone primed for 2014 and the Diablo Valley Athletic League campaign. Coach Casey Coakley’s Eagles are perennial North Coast Section participants (15 straight years) and hope this season is no different as they look to dethrone four-time NCS champion Campolindo. The team has a pair of college-bound Division I players in Grant Meylan and Garrett Nelson, who will head off to Santa Clara and Long Beach State, respectively, next fall. The Eagles have won four of the past five league championships and in six of the past
seven years CV has reached the Section semi-finals or finals. Baseball practice began Monday with the team’s first scrimmage at De La Salle next Monday with the first pre-season game at Pittsburg Feb. 25 on the new all-weather surface diamond on the school’s campus. Coakley has his team entered in the prestigious St. Francis Elite 8 Tournament over the Easter break in April. The DVAL has also reintroduced a post-season baseball tournament for the first time in almost two decades. The Hot Stove Dinner in Walnut Creek featured several speakers including pitching coach Herc Pardi, Tom DiMercurio, Bob Johnson, Coakley and Vince Bruno, 2009 NCS champion who is competing for a starting position at Cal this spring.
CASEY COAKLEY (LEFT) AND BOB RALSTON have lead Clayton Valley High School baseball to tremendous success since 1999 and enjoy a respite from coaching at the recent Hot Stove Dinner. Coakley is in his second season as head coach and also led the Eagles in 2007-08 when Ralston left the school to coach at Diablo Valley College. Ralston was head coach from 1999-2006 and 2009-11 before moving to his alma mater Cal State East Bay. Coakley ran the Los Medanos baseball program from 2009-12. Herc Pardi was Eagles head coach in 2012. The school has reached the NCS playoffs for 15 consecutive years.
football player who can do a lot of things and play a lot of positions. If he gives it everything he has and completely commits himself he could eventually play on Sundays.” Crawford will be “greyshirted” next year will. Coach Mike Riley’s Beavers also have a handful of players from De La Salle, including incoming freshman Sumner Houston.
begins March 16, a week after a coed softball tournament Mar. 9 in Clayton. For complete information on all the programs, visit alloutsportsleague.com.
DIABLO FC SOCCER TRYOUTS FOR 2014 TEAMS THIS WEEK
Clayton Valley Charter High School Athletic Boosters will hold their 20th annual Crab Feed and Auction on Saturday, Mar. 15, at Centre Concord. Tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis and the popular event always sells out. Must be 21 or older to attend. For more info email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to cvhsboosters.org to order tickets for a night of food, drink, dancing, exciting auctions and outstanding raffle prizes. The event is at Centre Concord. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with dinner served at 7 p.m.
Tryouts for girls and boys Diablo FC competitive teams in the under 15 through U19 age groups will be held in March and April high school age teams on the area’s premier competitive soccer program, which is affiliated with the San Jose Earthquakes. Players who missed U8-U14 tryouts can sign up for a player evaluation on the club website. There is no cost to try out and players can register online at diablofc.org.
REGISTRATION FOR MANY YOUTH, ADULT SPRING PROGRAMS ENDING SOON AT CLAYTON GYM A variety of spring programs at Clayton Community Gym begin in March and signup deadlines are approaching for the All Out Sports League programs. Youth volleyball league (Feb. 25), youth hip hop classes (Feb. 28), youth basketball league (Mar. 1), tee ball and tot soccer (Mar. 5) are still accepting registrations. Adult Sunday softball league
20TH CVCHS ATHLETIC BOOSTERS CRAB FEED & AUCTION MAR. 15
OAKHURST ORCAS SIGNUPS FOR 2014 UPCOMING Oakhurst Orcas summer recreation swim team registration dates are Mar. 12 and Apr. 11 from 6:30-8 p.m. at Oakhurst Country Club. Early registration discounts are available before March 12. Information is available at oakhurstorcas.com.
February 14, 2014
Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com
Interest in MMA led Kristina Arteaga to NCS wrestling championship in first try
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Kristina Arteaga enjoys watching mixed martial arts matches on TV and told her dad Enrique that she would like to become a MMA fighter. Being a practical father, Enrique suggested she try wrestling at Clayton Valley Charter High School to see how she would do in a contact sport on the mat and learn one of the skills that MMA competitors need to master. That was in 2012 when Kristina was preparing for her junior year and after completing the fall water polo season she turned out for the Eagles wrestling team without “knowing the rules, how to do a takedown, anything!” She was the only girl on CVCHS wrestling coach Kyle Behmlander’s squad and thus was thrust into training solely with boys, most of whom had years in the sport. Some of that competition and experience must have rubbed off on Arteaga, who completed her first year by winning the North Coast Section girls championship at 146 pounds and ended up seventh at the State Meet. She hopes to repeat her NCS success Mar. 1 at Pittsburg High before moving on two weeks later to the CIF State Meet in Visalia. Arteaga’s success last year encouraged four other girls —
Jason Rogers photo
KRISTINA ARTEAGA MAY HAVE BEEN A NEWCOMER to the sport last year but she caught on quickly and earned the 2013 North Coast Section 146-pound wrestling championship. She will be looking to claim another title at 152 pounds when the Section meet is held Feb. 28 and Mar. 1 at Pittsburg High.
seniors Vanessa Parham and Seana Martir-Cortes and freshmen Claire Smithey and Aisha Boudiz — to join the Eagles wrestling team, although she still does her “live action” training against boys at Clayton Valley. This season Arteaga has accumulated a 13-2 record including 11 pins and also has one win against a male wrestler. Both her losses have come at 160 pounds to Niauni Hill of Hayward, the reigning NCS champ at 165. For North Coast this year
Arteaga, now 17, will be competing at 152 and thus unlikely to run into Hill again. Her CVCHS female teammates are all expected to take part at Section as well. At NCS a year ago Arteaga had two pins and an injury decision before the finals, where she edged Rachel Butler of Foothill 5-4. Halley Leta-Pombo is now the CVCHS girls head wrestling coach. Last year, boys assistant coach Russ Smigluski took Arteaga to the NCS and State meets.
The youngest of three children (older brother Lucas and sister Julia), Arteaga was already a busy athlete at Clayton Valley, playing water polo in the spring and softball in the spring, when the wrestling bug hit her. She enjoys lifting weights at InShape Health Club and shopping with her friends. Following her senior year and completing the spring season in centerfield for Eagles softball, she is holding out hope of a wrestling scholarship. There is only one school in California, Menlo College, offering women’s wrestling among the 20 schools around the country with women’s intercollegiate programs. Only four schools west of the Rockies have wrestling teams for women even though the sport received a big boost when women’s wrestling was added as a medal sport at the 2004 Olympics. Short of receiving a scholarship Arteaga plans on attending Diablo Valley College, where sister Julia is a freshman, and work for two years before transferring to a four-year school. She will probably find one of the local gyms which offers MMA training as well. And her journey to follow in the footsteps of her MMA favorites Rhonda Rousey and Christiane “Cyborg” Justino may take its next steps.
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Clayton Valley Little League volunteers are unusually busy this month as they scramble to get everything set for the 2014 season. Still reeling from the recent revelation that they are unlikely to have use of three fields on the Clayton Valley Charter High School campus, the league is coming up with alternative practice and playing sites after recently concluding the draft for 22 baseball teams scheduled to play at CVCHS fields. Practice is underway and, for the time being, will go on as usual on the fields at the high school where the local youth baseball organization
has played for the past 40 years. However, league officials anticipate that their March-June playing season will not have use of those fields. It was announced last month that Clayton Valley Charter is pursuing an expansion of its campus to accommodate approximately 300 additional students for the 2014-15 school year starting in mid-August. It was determined the best and most practical site to add sufficient classrooms on school property is where CVLL has its Minor B and Major division fields along Academy Rd. Adding an additional twist to the expansion situation, CVCHS was served with a Title IX complaint right before
the winter break alleging unequal athletic facilities and opportunities for girl and boy athletes at the school. A major portion of the complaint centered on the shared use of the Major and Minor A diamonds for CVCHS softball and CVLL. The permit for this year from the school to the little league eliminated use of those fields on Tuesdays and Thursdays so that the Eagles softball teams can play games on the diamonds. This added additional challenges for little league scheduling says CVLL president Kevin Christiansen. “Because of International Little League rules on pitch counts we don’t schedule games on Mondays and Thursdays [for pitcher rest days from
Saturday games].” Christiansen says the league and school are “partnering for the greater good” to find immediate short-term field solutions. A primary option is to “rehab” four fields in Concord and Clayton the league currently uses only for practice to “game ready. All of these solutions cost money and we are getting lots of bids from contractors,” he adds. Time is of the essence, he understated. Concurrently the CVLL board is busy looking for a new home within its boundaries for 2015 and beyond where the league can again have multiple fields, snack shack and storage. All of these issues swirl around as Mar. 23 opening day looms closer and closer.
Playoffs, from page 10 College Park, which hosts the CVCHS at 5:30. The Falcons are intent in getting into the DVAL top two which Northgate and CV have occupied for a number of years. NCS basketball playoff seedings will be determined Feb. 23 with section games beginning Feb. 25-26. Clayton Valley is in Division II basketball. The Eagles season record is 17-6. A pair of midseason January non-league losses to Campolindo and Presentation won’t help the seeding prospects for CVCHS. The team has lost four of its last five non-league games.
Jason Rogers photo
CLAYTON VALLEY CHARTER WRESTLERS ARE PREPARING FOR NEXT WEEK’S DVAL CHAMPIONSHIPS on Feb. 19 at College Park hoping to earn their way to the North Coast Section tournament Feb. 28Mar. 1. Among the Eagle wrestlers looking for post-season honors are, from left, Alec Lindsay, Michael Nocerino, Lorenzo Yacarini, Kyle Tran, Jake Lynch, Mustafa Sherdil and Elijah Breon.
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Clayton Valley Little League finding alternate field solutions for 2014 season
Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com
February 14, 2014
Sports Falcons cheer squad returns with two national championship trophies JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer
lined up for strong performances in the future. Falcons cheer has qualified for JAMZ Youth Nationals annually for over a dozen years and this is the fourth time since 2002 that the Falcons have sent a team to Nationals. Squads qualify for Nationals by rankings in the top 30% of their age group during the season. Among the four trips to Nationals the Falcons have returned to our area with championships three times. This year’s gold team included Riley Bluth, Maddelyn Brigance, Sydney Caulder, Reagan Clemons, Kayla Confetti, Krista Confetti, Airiana Dargan, Leah Nelson, Kylee Rinaldi, Miranda Romo, Carolyn Simbirdi, Savannah Sprague, Brooke Warner, Chloe Wigton, Sophia Williams and Isabelle Wilson. There were 15 teams entered in show cheer 13 and under Level 3 (highest in the meet) category. JAMZ then
“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” might be a great marketing slogan but it isn’t a hard and fast rule. As soon as the local CVAA Falcons cheer squads finished their competition late last month at the JAMZ Youth National Championships at The Orleans Arena phone lines, Facebook, email and texting were burning up announcing and celebrating a pair of first-place finishes by the Falcons gold team. The team of 16 girls 13 years and younger were champs in the Division 13 show cheer and performance cheer nonmount categories, defeating a runner-up squad from Southern California in each event. And backing up the gold team’s performance was the 10 and under blue squad which took fifth in show cheer and demonstrated that the local football and cheer program is
Photo courtesy CVAA Falcons cheer
THE CVAA FALCONS GOLD CHEER TEAM came away from the JAMZ Youth National Championships last month in Las Vegas with a pair of titles in Division 13 show cheer and performance cheer non-mount. The girls celebrated with a number of JAMZ staff instructors after their big day.
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splits such large categories the competitors into two divisions based on the number of members in the cheer squads. The Falcons finished over two points ahead of second-place Corona Chargers among the eight teams in their division. The gold team also topped Carson Colts Divaz Jr. Midget team for first place in the performance cheer non-mount category. The younger Falcons blue team in Division 10 consisted
of Jordan Banda, Avery Baxter, Sierra Bush, Halle Cohen, Kayla Concepcion, Alexandra Doll, Isabella Gonzales, Marissa Mancini, Jayda Monroe, Haley Rose, Natalie Spencer, Francesca Stolarz and Bailey Weidner. They took fifth place in 10 and under (next to youngest age group in the meet) performance cheer nonmount, an event won by the Carson Colts. They also entered the show cheer category but did not get a trophy placing
with nearly 50 teams in that category. Gold team coaches for the Falcons are Nichole Schuman, Allison Johnstone, Emily Lopretta and Alex Williams and they are assisted by junior coaches Melissa Williams, Rya Nelson and Kate Kirmsse. The blue team staff is Paula Schiff, Becky Schiff, Amanda Schiff and Leah Rose. Their junior coaches are Cami Cohen, Julia Morgan, Kaitlyn O’Connell and Zoe Wilson.
“The Clayton Valley Athletic Association and our National cheer gold and blue teams want to thank the surrounding Clayton and Concord businesses and families for all their support! The Falcons were a significant presence at JAMZ Youth Nationals,” Paula Schiff said on behalf of the Falcons. She adds that cheer and football signups for the 2014 season begin in March and practices commence Aug. 1.
Warriors reach midpoint of the season; Stephen Curry selected to the all-star team
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TYLER LEHMAN SPORTS TALK Clutch, automatic and a silky-smooth release. These are just a few of the many phrases that can be used to describe Warriors superstar Stephen Curry. Curry has had an amazing season and for his efforts he is going to be the starting point guard for the Western Conference at the NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans this Sunday. He is averaging a career high 24 points a game and a career best
nine assists a game. Curry is more than deserving of being elected to the all-star team, especially after he got snubbed last season. The level at which Curry is playing has a lot to do with himself, but his teammates have also helped him tremendously. The Warriors as a whole have looked great at certain points this season, led primarily by Curry. After 50 games the Warriors had 30 wins and 20 losses, which puts them seventh in the Western Conference. Their record is actually great and not what would be expected of a team in the seventh spot. Unfortunately for the Warriors, the Western Conference is stacked with high-caliber teams such as the Spurs and Thunder who are still as dominant as they have been in years past and teams like the Suns and Trailblazers who are emerging as serious threats.
The Western Conference is unarguably much better than the East. The seventh seed in the Eastern Conference is the Brooklyn Nets and they are six games under .500. If the Warriors were in the East record would put them third. However the Warriors are not in the East so they have to grind through the brutal West to make the playoffs. If they can manage to continue to improve as a team they might be able to get into the playoffs as a fourth or fifth. For the Warriors to even make it to the playoffs they are going to need their starters to continue to do the bulk of the work on offense and defense. With a bench that has been abysmal it is up to the starters to win games. The starting five for the Warriors can get it done though, because they are arguably the best starting five in the NBA.
Their center Andrew Bogut is a rebounding juggernaut, averaging just over 10 a game and power forward David Lee is having an all-star caliber season in his own right. Along with the two big men, Andre Iguodala has been the Swiss Army knife of the team, adapting to whatever situation he is needed for in a game. Klay Thompson has been struggling slightly this season but he should be able to pick up his numbers as the season progresses and then there is Curry. His season has been fantastic, and he is going to have to continue to play amazingly for the Warriors to get a high seed in the playoffs. Tyler Lehman is a sophomore at Diablo Valley College and a 2012 CVHS graduate. He plans to major in journalism and wants to be a sports writer. Email your comments or questions to Tyler@claytonpioneer.com.
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Police Activity Report Police Activity for two weeks ending Jan. 23, 2014 ARRESTS: Jan. 13, 12:01 a.m. Clayton Rd./Tara Dr. A 44year-old San Leandro male was arrested for driving without a license; warrant.
Jan. 18, 9:08 a.m. Clayton Rd./Kirker Pass Rd. A 33-year-old Clayton male was arrested for possessing a controlled substance; possessing controlled
substance paraphernalia. Jan. 20, 2:53 a.m. Clayton Rd./Washington Blvd. A 31-year-old Concord male was arrested for driving while license suspended for DUI; probation violation; warrant. ACCIDENTS: Jan. 12, 5:51 p.m. Clayton Rd./Mitchell Canyon Rd.
BURGLARIES/THEFTS: Jan. 10, 5400 Clayton Road. Grand Theft – Commercial. Jan. 17, Yolanda Cr. Petty Theft. Jan. 18, 5400 Clayton Rd. Burglary – Commercial. Burglary occurred overnight at GNC. Reported at 7 a.m. Product/merchandise taken. No sign of forced entry. VANDALISMS: None.
February 14, 2014
Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com
Early training key to happy kitty ELENA BICKER
PET PALS Congratulations, you’ve adopted a kitten and are ready to chart his path from fearless kitten into loving, well-mannered cat. Although classes on puppy socialization are common (including here at ARF), rarely are there training classes and playgroups for young kittens. What can you do you make sure your kitten becomes a social, happy family pet? Your kitten’s brave curiosity
works to your advantage. His experiences at this stage will teach him how to interact with people and other animals and introduce him to the sights and sounds he’ll experience in your home. Handle your kitten daily. Pet him gently all over his body, paying attention to his paws, and press gently to exteriorize each nail. If you come across any sensitive spots, keep the handling brief and pair it with a tasty treat. Teaching him to enjoy this type of handling now will work to your advantage when you want to clip his claws or handle him later in life. Under your supervision, introduce your kitten to different adults and children. Give
your friends and family handling tips as needed and show kids the proper way to pet and play. In a safe environment and under your supervision, introduce him to a cat-friendly dog and reward him with verbal encouragement and treats. Next, set up your kitten’s environment for success. Cats and kittens should always have a “cubby” or other safe spot to retreat to if they are feeling overwhelmed. Remove the door of her carrier or turn a cardboard carrier on its side to create an instant hidey hole at the same time you help kitty get used to her carrier. Introduce your kitten to a scratching post or pad, and encourage use by playing with toys over it and
rewarding him with treats and verbal encouragement when he scratches the appropriate surface. Play with your kitten often using interactive toys such as wands. Never use your hands as toys or allow your kitten to bite
Mel and Numi are ARF’s adoption stars
10-month-old Mel is an allout athlete! She is looking for a new guardian(s) who is interested in spending time teaching her tricks. She would be great as a hiking or running partner or even learning agility. Mel would benefit from Basic Manners
Classes to help build a solid training routine with her guardian(s). She currently weighs 42 pounds. The adoption fee for adult dogs is $225 and includes 60% off one 7-week dog training session.
2-year-old Numi is a pretty girl with a beautiful green eyes and a social personality. She would make a great companion, as she will purr for your affection and sit close for pets. It is unknown whether she has previous experience with children.
She is suitable for a first time cat guardian. The adoption fee for adult cats is $50. Meet your forever friend at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek, during adoption hours: Noon to 5 pm. Wednesday, 3 to 7 pm. Thursday and Friday, Noon to 5 pm. Saturday and Sunday. The primary caretaker must be present to adopt. ARF also encourages kids 16 and younger and canine family members (dog adoptions only) to be present during the adoption process. Would you like to be part of the heroic team that saves the lives of rescued dogs and cats? Can you share your talents to connect people and animals? ARF volunteers are making a difference! For more information see our website, www.arf.net, or call 925.256.1ARF.
or grab at hands, feet, or other body parts! If your kitten nips or swats at you, stop the playtime. Most kittens will require a “cool down” period between playtime and petting, so don’t try to pet him while he’s engaged in play. If your kitten shows any “bad” behaviors, make a noise loud enough to interrupt, then divert kitty’s attention with a toy. Never, ever use physical correction like nose-tapping, scruffing or pushing. Using physical punishment with a very young kitten can cause him to become afraid of handling, or of you. With a little work, your kitten’s fun and enriching kittenhood will be filled with all sorts of diverse experiences to help him grow into a well-adjusted adult cat whose company you will enjoy for years to come. Elena Bicker is the Executive Director of Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation. She can be reached at (925) 256-1ARF (1273)
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A little dark, a little bizarre; ‘H. Mouse’ is hilariously funny CYNTHIA GREGORY
A fun thing happens when literary fiction slips its corsets of seriousness. In her debut novel Elect H. Mouse State Judge, Nelly Reifler spins a compact tale that is simply delicious. Under the guise of a children’s story peopled with dolls and furry creatures, Reifler manages to both question authority challenge our perceptions of good and evil. H. Mouse is an important figure who has inserted himself into the political structure of his idyllic town because he cares so much about the rightness of their hamlet; of prosperity and family and making right choices. In fact, Mouse’s campaign platform and personal motto is that everyone is inherently good; that bad things only happen when people are confused and make poor choices. The hook in this book starts with the first lines: “H. Mouse was running for State Judge. He had diligently worked his way up the ranks from apprentice to secretary to uniformed guard to courtroom stenographer to lawyer to attorney to village councilor.”
However, on the day of the election, darkness looms over the H. Mouses’ personal affairs. Mouse’s daughters, Margo and Susie have been kidnapped by a gang of religious zealots who will kill or die for the cause, as prophesied by The Power. The Sunshine Family, stiffjointed dolls out of the play closet from hell, have taken the girls and H. Mouse is frantic about a news leak. Quickly, and to his possible regret, he enrolls the assistance of two shady detectives: Barbie and Ken. B&K live in a mansion with Barbie’s baby sister Skipper, living a dangerous/glamorous double life with real rubber tired cars and real swimming pools, fighting crime in their own uniquely narcissistic fashion. Barbie doesn’t just care about pretty things and loving Ken, she has a knack for hunting criminals and paying off extortionists with briefcases full of real paper money, too. In this fast paced tale, Mouse wins the election and
before the swearing in, is interviewed by journalist Liz Fox. Like any reporter worthy of the title, Liz slyly traps Mouse in a cocktail conversation, trying to sniff out corruption in the elected’s new life as a high velocity public servant. She cleverly asks Mouse if his platform might have been...er... influenced by any private interest groups. Like the Offspring of the M u g g e d , Association of the Return of Separated Limbs and Digits, and so forth. Mouse can only think of his girls, and manages to give nothing away before his inauguration. He fervently hopes his beloved girls will return before the big day and we are not sure if what twitches his whiskers is regret is for hiring B&K to find the kidnappers, or if there is indeed a darker story. In the end, Barbie and Ken hunt down the evil kidnappers and rescue the girls by taking out Father Sunshine and Mother Sunshine. Sadly, in the melee of their covert scheme, Ken takes a shot to his plas-
ticine neck. Still, B&K persevere and Boy and Girl Sunshine, keenly aware of Father Sunshine’s facist devotion to The Power, willingly release the Mouse girls to the custody of B&K in exchange for their bendable joint parents. Flawed as the Sunshine family is, they are a family unit. Reifler’s keen satirical eye is clean and clear. Her voice is lyric and honest. Her characters, including the ubiquitous Skipper, are first rate. Reifler’s frolicking fable is a must read. Love it? Yes. Buy it now. Cynthia Gregory writes book reviews, award-winning short stories and a blog. Visit her blog at PersephonesStepSisters.Wordpress.com or send email to her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Send a photo (JPEG, PDF format, 300 dpi) with your reflection (maximum words – 75) to Reflections@claytonpioneer.com. Include your name, address, phone and email address. Memorial box is 4” wide by 3” high. Cost is $90. We will call you for credit card info.
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Community Calendar PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR CLAYTON COMMUNITY CALENDAR EVENTS BY 5 P.M. FEB. 19 FOR THE FEB. 28 ISSUE. ITEMS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY EMAIL TO email@example.com
IN CLAYTON Feb. 16 Camellia Tea Clayton Historical Society’s 37th annual Camellia Tea and Open House. Camellia display and refreshments. Current and former mayors of Clayton will be honored by pouring tea. Children welcome with adults. 1 – 4 p.m. Clayton Museum, 6101 Main Street. Free. claytonhistory.org. 672-0240. Mar. 2 Clayton Club’s Annual Chili Cook-Off Contestants must register. Public enjoys samples after judging is complete. 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Prizes awarded at 1 p.m. Clayton Club Saloon, 6096 Main St., Clayton. claytonclubsaloon.com. 673-0440. Mar. 18 Happy Birthday, Clayton Mark the date for a day-long celebration of Clayton’s 50th birthday as an incorporated city. Endeavor Hall, 6008 Center St., Clayton. Watch the Clayton Pioneer for more details.
Feb. 16 “2 to Fly” Acrobatic and aerial duo. 3 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $10-$20. elcampaniltheatre.com. Feb. 16 Crazy Eights Performed by the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $10-$30. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469. Feb. 20 Damon Runyon A reading of selected works of Damon Runyon. 8 p.m. Butterfield 8 Theatre at Cue Productions Live, 1835 Colfax St., Concord. Paywhat-you-can admission fee. b8company.com.
Feb. 21 – Mar. 9 “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” There’s a new tenant at Armadillo Acres and she’s wreaking havoc all over. Presented by “OMG, I Love that Show!” Productions. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $30-$35. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469.
Feb. 28 Healthy Lifestyle Expo Information about services, resources and products that benefit older adults, their families and caregivers. 9 a.m. – 2:15 p.m. Concord Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Circle, Concord. Free. cityofconcord.org/healthfair. 671-3320, ext. 1.
Feb. 23 Contra Costa Camp and School Fair Find out about summer camps, daycare, schools, sports and more. Activities and exhibitions. 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Acalanes High School, 1200 Pleasant Hill Road, Lafayette. Free. contracostacampfair.com.
Tuesdays Farmers’ Market Tuesdays year round, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. cityofconcord.org.
Feb. 28 – Mar. 2 “Jack and the Beanstalk” This classic play performed by the El Campanil Children’s Theatre is full of magic. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $8$12. elcampaniltheatre.com.
ON THE MOUNTAIN Mount Diablo Interpretive Association programs listed are free with the exception of park entrance fee. Go to mdia.org and click on Events Calendar for more information. Feb. 23 Frog Pond and Green Ranch Hike Hike Curry Point to Frog Pond, Green Ranch and Oak Knoll before returning to Curry Point. Covers area burnt by the Morgan Fire; early season wildflowers should be abundant. 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Meet at Curry Point trailhead. Mar. 8 Fire Recovery Hike Easy hike on Mary Bowerman Trail. Unique post-fire flowers expected. 10 – 11:30 a.m. Meet at Lower Summit Parking Lot. Reservations required. Mar. 8 Fire Recovery Hike Moderate hike on North Peak Trail. Unique post-fire flowers expected. 12 – 2:30 p.m. Meet at Lower Summit Parking Lot. Reservations required. Mar. 9 Oak Knoll and Summit Loop Hike Hike from Juniper Camp around the mountain to Oak Knoll and up to the summit before descending. Includes visit to museum. 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Meet at Juniper Camp trailhead. Save Mount Diablo programs listed are free unless otherwise noted. Go to savemountdiablo.org and click on Activities/Guided Hikes for more information. 947-3535. Feb. 22 Mangini Ranch Family Hike Visit a secret spring and watch for bobcats and coyotes plus burrowing owls, quail and other feathered friends. 3 – 5 p.m. Meet at hiker gate on Crystyl Ranch Drive between Autumn Oak Circle and Rolling Woods Way, Concord. For reservations and more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT Thru Mar. 1 “Clybourne Park” Jokes fly and hidden agendas unfold as two different generations tiptoe the dance of social politics. Performed by Center REP. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $39-$57. centerrep.org. 943-7469. Thru Mar. 1 “Guys and Dolls” Romantic comedy performed by Diablo Theatre Company. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $49-$53. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469. Thru Mar. 9 “The Maltese Falcon” A story about what it’s like to want something so badly until the chase itself means more than what you’re chasing. Cue Productions Live, 1835 Colfax St., Concord. $12-$18. b8company.com.
Mar. 2 Catch a Rising Star The California Symphony welcomes Kenneth Renshaw, an exciting, young violinist. 4 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $15-$65. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469. Mar. 4 - 8 Percussion Discussion Join percussionist Ken Bergmann with his smashing spectacle of drums, cowbells, chairs and more. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $14. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469. Mar. 5 In the Mood Fully-staged tribute to all the big band greats of the 1940s. 2 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $34. elcampaniltheatre.com. Mar. 6 20th Season Celebration Diablo Ballet performs stunning works from their 20-year history. 6:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $26-$52. diabloballet.org.
Mar. 29 The California Philharmonic Youth Orchestra Performance benefiting Imagine No Malaria. Sponsors needed also. Coordinated by the Concord United Methodist Church. 3 – 5 p.m. California Theater, 345 S. First St., San Jose. $30. Contact Betsy Mcleod at 212-7459 or the church at 685-5260.
AT THE LIBRARY The Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. claytonlibrary.org or 673-0659. Tuesdays Thru Mar. 4 Patty Cakes Story time for babies to 3-year-olds. Child attends with caregiver. 11 a.m. Wednesdays Book Buddies A volunteer will read stories for children 3 and older. 1 - 2 p.m. Call in advance. Thursdays Thru Mar. 6 Picture Book Time Story time for 3- to 5-year-olds. Child may attend without caregiver. 11 a.m. Thru Feb. 28 “Bee a Reader” Kids’ winter reading program. Read 10 books for a prize. Children grades kindergarten through second grade. Feb. 25, Mar. 4, 11, 18, 25 Paws to Read Learn to read by reading aloud to a dog. Grades 1 – 5. Registration required. 4 or 4:35 p.m. Feb. 26 Conservation in Africa Wendy Blakeley shares her two decades of bringing conservation to youth in Africa through art, science and education. 6:30 p.m. The Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. ccclib.org or 646-5455. Friday and Saturdays thru Apr. 14 Free income tax assistance from AARP to low and middle-income people. Appointment required. Feb. 15 Computers and Technology If you need help with your mouse, come to our house. Drop-in assistance to learn how to use computers, smart phones and tablets. 12 - 2 p.m. Additional dates and times offered. Check library calendar. Feb. 24 Movie Night Come see a G or PG movie. Kids 5 – 11. 7 – 8:30 p.m.
FUNDRAISERS Feb. 22 Crab Feed Crab feed and auction. Sponsored by St. Agnes School. 5 p.m. cocktails and auction; 6:30 p.m. dinner. Silvio E. Garaventa Sr. Center, 1133 Winton Drive, Concord. $55. email@example.com. 689-3990. Feb. 22 Dinner Dance Mardi Gras theme featuring Concord High School Jazz Bands and Orchestra. Auction and raffle. Proceeds benefit CHS Instrumental Music Program and Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. 6 p.m. Clarion Hotel, 1050 Burnett Ave., Concord. $35. Contact Theresa Dowd at firstname.lastname@example.org or 586-0889.
Chris Cain to perform at Delta Blues Festival Benefit Concert
Mar. 1 Benefit Concert Proceeds from concert go directly to the free, annual Delta Blues Festival in September. 7 – 10 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $15-$40. elcampaniltheatre.com.
Mar. 1 Poker Tournament Held by Soroptimist International of Diablo Vista. 5:30 p.m. registration and instruction; 6:30 p.m. tournament. Concord Moose Lodge, 1805 Broadway St., Concord. $55 before Feb. 15; $65 after. Call Sue Manning 672-2727. Mar. 15 Crab Feed Crab feed and auction benefiting CVCHS Athletic Booster Club. Raffle, auction and dancing after dinner. Must be 21 years or older. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; dinner at 7 p.m. Centre Concord, 5298 Clayton Road, Concord. $50 before Mar. 7; $60 after. Tickets available from CVCHS teams or at cvhsboosters.org.
SCHOOLS Feb. 14, 15 “Guys and Dolls” The Clayton Valley Charter High School Drama Department presents this hit Broadway musical. 7 – 9:30 p.m. CVCHS Multi-Use Room, 1101 Alberta Way, Concord. Tickets at the door only. $10 general admission; $5 students. For more information, contact email@example.com or 682-7474, ext. 2678.
GOVERNMENT 1st and 3rd Tuesdays Clayton City Council 7 p.m. Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 673-7304 or ci.clayton.ca.us. 2nd and 4th Tuesdays Clayton Planning Commission 7 p.m., Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 673-7304 or ci.clayton.ca.us. 1st, 2nd and 4th Tuesdays Concord City Council 6:30 p.m., Council Chamber, Concord Civic Center, 1950 Parkside Dr. cityofconcord.org.
Meeting dates and times for local clubs and organizations are listed at claytonpioneer.com. Click on ‘Links’
February 14, 2014
Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com
Money woes threaten local theatre company TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer
The latest theatre company threatened with financial ruin is putting on the gloves and fighting back. The 56-year-old Diablo Theatre Company (DTC), formerly known as Diablo Light Opera Company, is jumping into the fundraising ring, determined to raise enough to keep the doors open. “This past year has been extremely challenging,” says DTC board president Sherry Dorfman. “It’s been great artistically with six major Shellie awards for ‘Singin’ in the Rain,’ but hugely disappointing financially.” Declining ticket sales and the high cost of the Lesher Center venue, together with the average cost per show of $300,000 have put the company’s 2014-15 season in jeopardy. Dorfman says the company must raise “in the high five figures” in order to close the budget gap for two major musicals and a holiday show. The company was born in the late 1950s, when a small group of musical theater lovers gathered to produce the
operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan. Soon, Gilbert and Sullivan were joined by the likes of Lerner and Lowe and Rogers and Hammerstein and the company became a staple in the local arts scene. In 2009, on the company’s 50th anniversary, Diablo Light Opera Company changed their name to Diablo Theatre Company – a more accurate reflection of their nearly half century of producing Broadway musicals. With ticket sales providing at best 40-50 percent of the income needed to support a season, the company depends on grants, sponsors and individual donations to make up the rest. “We’ve had some resources to keep us going for awhile,” Dorfman said. “But they’re all gone.” Fundraising is now taking center stage and the company has turned to the Internet for help. They’ve set up a website at Indiegogo.com with a modest goal of raising $10,000. Next up will be a cabaret-style show and possibly a street-fair event with performances by local artists donating their talent. The list of local performing arts groups either closing or in
Last chance to roll the dice with CVCHS ‘Guys’
CONNOR MCMURDO AND A GAMBLER AND MAXWELL RENNER as Sky Masterson in CVCHS ‘Guys and Dolls,’ Feb 14 and 15.
All the hot gamblers are in town, and they’re all depending on Nathan Detroit to set up this week’s incarnation of “The Oldest Established Permanent Floating Crap Game in New York.” The only problem is, he needs $1000 to get the place. Throw in Sarah Brown, who’s short on sinners at the mission she runs; Sky Masterson, who accepts Nathan’s $1000 bet that
he can’t get Sarah Brown to go with him to Havana; Miss Adelaide, who wants Nathan to marry her; Police Lieutenant Brannigan, who always seems to appear at the wrong time, and the music/lyrics of Frank Loesser, and you’ve got quite a musical. The show starts at 7 p.m., Fri. and Sat., Feb 14 and 15 in the Multi-Use Room, 1101 Alberta Way, Concord. Tickets are available at the door.
serious financial distress is growing. Late last year, Diablo Actors Ensemble lost their lease on Locust Street in Walnut Creek, and, absent any affordable alternative, closed for lack of a venue. In 2012, the Willows Theatre went dark – and bankrupt. This week, Walnut Creek’s Company C contemporary ballet announced it will forego a regular 2015 season because of funding challenges, focusing instead on one project at a time. DTC’s final show of the current season, the hugely popular “Guys and Dolls,” opened at the Lesher Center last week. Dorfman says the company has enough resources to cover pro-
Simpsons.” As the story moves decades later, the recollection takes on a life of its own, becoming an almost religious-like fable, elaborately staged for crowds through live theater and opera. This fall, Carey Perloff will direct “Testament,” Colm Tolbin’s fiercely lyrical solo play originally staged at the Dublin Theater Festival in 2011, and retitled for Broadway in 2013 as “The Testament of Mary.” Hailed as “beautiful and daring” by the New York Times, this incisive, intelligent, and challenging work (a 2013 Tony Award nominee for Best New Play) recounts in riveting detail Mary’s personal narrative of the last days in the life of her son, Jesus. With pungent wit and wrenching resolve, Mary questions the motives behind the movement to deify her son, as she grieves for the child who has been taken from her by men she regards as fanatics. Canadian actor Seana McKenna will play Mary in this powerful, tour-deforce role that is as heartbreaking as it is immediate and vividly alive. Continuing its exploration on the power of memory and storytelling, A.C.T. will present an all-
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Butterfield 8 performs Hammett thriller Catch Butterfield 8 Theatre Company’s latest production, “The Maltese Falcon,” by Dashiell Hammett, playing from Feb.13 through March 9 at Cue Productions Live in downtown Concord. In Hammett’s third novel, the tough, independent detective Sam Spade is hired by the beautiful and mysterious Miss Wonderly, who walks into his San Francisco office pleading desperately for help finding her sister. This sets into motion a story about what it’s like to want something – a fortune, a lover, or even respect – so badly that you would kill for it; until finally the chase itself means more to you than what you’re chasing. “The Maltese Falcon” was Hammett’s third novel that was serialized in the magazine “Black Mask,” and set the standard by which all subsequent detective fiction would be judged. Written in 1930 and adapted several times for film (most famously in 1941 starring Humphrey Bogart and directed by John Huston), the novel wasn’t adapted for the stage until 2007. “The Maltese Falcon” plays at 1835 Colfax Street, Concord. For a performance schedule and ticket information, go to www.butterfield8.org.
Debuts, premiers and Sondheim’s ‘Night Music,’ all part of A.C.T 2015 season American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) Artistic Director Carey Perloff announced four of the seven productions that will highlight the lineup of the company’s 48th subscription season, including two of the most acclaimed new works of the last year, a remounting of one of A.C.T.’s biggest hits in an all-new production, as well as a production of one of Stephen Sondheim’s most rapturous and seductive musicals. In addition, the 2014–15 season will include the inaugural production at the brand-new, stateof-the-art Strand Theater, located in the revitalized Central Market Street Corridor. A.C.T.’s 2014–15 season includes the West Coast debut of the outrageous and enthusiastically acclaimed new comedy “Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play,” by Bay Area–born playwright Anne Washburn. Hailed by the New York Times as one of the Top Ten Plays of 2013 and “downright brilliant,” the play begins in a dark dystopia where a group of surviving strangers bond by recreating from memory the iconic “Cape Fear” episode of “The
duction costs, but plans for 2014-15 are on hold until they raise enough to finance the season. “If enough theater lovers get behind this,” Dorman says, “we can make this campaign a success and get back to what we do best – musical theater!” To donate, go to Diablotheatre.org and click on “Keep Our Doors Open.” “Guys and Dolls” plays Thursdays-Sundays through March 1 at the Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. For tickets, call 925-943-SHOW (7469) or go to diablotheatre.org.
new production of Tom Stoppard’s great time-travel romance “Indian Ink.” Directed by Perloff, the play, which is one of A.C.T.’s most often-requested return productions, will take the stage in early 2015. Stoppard’s exquisitely ruminative play tells the story of a contemporary English biographer and a young Indian man, who separately attempt to explore the mysteries of the erotic artwork and poetry left behind by a racy, freethinking English poet from the 1930s and the Indian painter whom she has come to love. Sondheim’s most rapturous and seductive musical, “A Little Night Music,” waltzes onto the Geary stage this spring in a new production. Filled with Sondheim’s signature wit and some of his most gorgeous melodies including the beloved and haunting “Send in the Clowns,” this is a bittersweet tale of lost love, scandalous infidelity, and passions that intertwine over a midsummer’s eve at a country home in 1900s Sweden. For season ticket information, call (415) 749-2250 or go to www.act-sf.org.
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Make a kitchen work for you from your adjoining family or dining rooms. Maybe incorporate a hand-painted stripe, a textured finish, or a whimsical fleur de lys pattern on your walls. Whichever color or pattern you choose, be sure to select colors and designs that coordinate well with your existing cabinetry. Kitchen décor can be as lighthearted or as eclectic as you choose. Consider adding an oversized wall clock, a collection of vegetable photography framed just in glass, a chandelier made of utensils, a copper tub or an oversized rattan basket. Keep kitchen décor to a stylish minimum, but be sure it has an interesting punch that reflects your personal aesthetic.
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The kitchen works hard in our lives. It’s where we gather. Whether it’s to cook and dine, socialize with our friends, or help our children do their homework, the “kitchen door” is always open. Such a busy room needs to be functional on many levels. It needs to be stylish and festive. And it needs to be comfortable for an intimate dinner for two or a room full of kids baking and decorating cookies. If you’re feeling like your kitchen is working more of a part-time schedule these days, here are some ideas to improve its work ethic. STORAGE Functional storage is essential in a kitchen. From organizing wooden spoons and spatulas to housing your mini-appliances, all of this stuff needs to go somewhere, and not just anywhere. Stored items in a kitchen need to be placed in areas of relevance; pots and pans next to the cooktop, dishes and glasses near the dishwasher. When you’re planning the design of a new kitchen, or decluttering and reprogramming your existing cabinetry and
THE KITCHEN TABLE CAN BE A MULTI-TASKING workhorse with both comfy chairs and storage seating. drawers, consider how you use your kitchen before randomly assigning a storage location for your wine glasses or mixing bowls. Big box DIY retailers and specialty home furnishings retailers have just about everything you might need, from shelving systems that could be used in a pantry to cutesy drawer organizers for your utensils. Also, consider storage systems that are not meant to be hidden; decorative baskets above the refrigerator to store
extra napkins or paper towels, narrow shelves behind your breakfast nook table that display serving platters, or a hanging rack above your island to showcase your pots and pans. COLOR AND DÉCOR Most kitchens are short on open wall space because of cabinetry. So, with the open wall space you do have, this is your chance to add a festive touch. Consider pulling colors or complementary colors in
COMFORT Depending on the size of your kitchen, you may have space for an upholstered banquette with decorative accent pillows, a lounge chair and ottoman, or upholstered barstools or counter stools. Fabric in the kitchen can be a little scary when it comes to accidents involving foods and beverages that stain, but if you use synthetic outdoor fabrics on your seating or durable leathers that either have natural distressing or have been sealed with a specialty stain repellent, you’ll be able to dine worry free.
Jennifer Leischer is the owner of J. Designs Interior Design based in Clayton. Contact her with questions, comments and suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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WOODY WHITLATCH WEATHER WORDS The drought is not over, but the early February rainfall in Northern California gives some hope that our water situation may not be dire as forecast last month. December and January normally provide about 40 percent of our annual rainfall, but this year’s contribution was only 2 per cent. For most of Northern
California last month was the driest January on record. Our water year begins in July and ends in June. For the current water year, long term records from San Francisco indicate this season’s rainfall accumulation through the end of January ranks as driest in the entire 165 year period of record. If we are lucky enough to get normal rainfall for the months February through June, it would amount to just over 50 percent of normal for the year. In that case, water year 2013-14 would compare nearly equally to
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the famous drought year 197677 and rank as one of the ten driest years in history. Our luck will depend on the position of the jet stream during the next s e v e r a l months. Jet streams are fascinating meteorological phenomena, and understanding their behavior is a key component to weather forecasting all over the world. Jet streams are defined as narrow bands of strong winds located near the top of the troposphere, the layer of atmosphere closest to the earth. Typically at an altitude where most jets fly, these winds result from effects of the Earth’s rotation and temperature differences between the equator and poles. The Earth’s rotation is mainly responsible for the wave-like jet stream bands that encircle it. Like any wave, the jet stream pattern consists of ridges and troughs. The area under a jet stream ridge is usually associated with high surface pressures and clear skies. The area below a jet stream trough tends to have lower surface pressures and storminess. The strength of the jet stream is largely dependent on temperature gradients. Jet streams intensify on the borders of warm and cold air masses with large temperature differences. There are two semi-perma-
nent jet streams in each hemisphere; polar and subtropical. The stronger polar jet races at up to hundreds of miles per hour, west to east across the major continents and oceans at mid and northern latitudes. As the sun shifts south during winter, the jet stream path also extends southward. Surface weather fronts that produce rain storm conditions are typically associated with passing jet stream troughs. During the Northern California summer the jet stream path is typically well north of our area, giving us relatively dry weather from late spring to early fall. As winter approaches the jet stream normally moves south, increasing the chances that troughs and wet weather will reach our area. Unfortunately, this winter the polar jet stream tracked far north of normal along the west coast and eastern Pacific. As the remainder of the winter unfolds, keep an eye on the jet stream. If a strong persistent jet stream ridge rebuilds, we will experience the driest water year in recent history. If we are lucky, a juicy jet stream will bring us fabulous February and miracle March rains. Woody Whitlatch is a meteorologist retired from PG&E. Email your questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
February 14, 2014
Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com
, e l e d b i a b t l e c e l De Valentines
Valentine’s Day has evolved into quite the commercial holiday, nearly as big as Christmas if you’re a baker, confectioner, jeweler or card-maker. From rather macabre roots arising from the martyrdom of Saint Valentine of Italy, the modern version began evolving in the Middle Ages with various mid-winter celebrations. The poet Chaucer romanticized Valentine’s Day and by the 1600s it was an English holiday, celebrated with handwritten notes professing love and loyalty. Since the mid-19th Century, mass-produced greeting cards have led the charge of Valentine’s Day acknowledgments, but starting after World War II, the practice of exchanging cards extended to all manner of gifts, including roses, chocolates and jewelry. The gift-giving trend continues to evolve and we now see a lot of culinary gifts, espe-
cially homemade ones. Chocolate-making is on the rise (check out Rachel Dunn Chocolates in Concord for chocolate-making classes) and many more of us are baking heart-shaped cookies, cakes, tarts and pies in a variety of designs and flavors. Here is another idea. You can make these cute Valentine cookies, decorated or left plain as you prefer.
HEART SUCKERS 1 egg ¾ cup sugar ¼ tsp. salt ½ tsp. baking powder ½ cup butter 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour 1/3 cup cocoa powder ½ baking soda Beat butter, sugar, egg and vanilla in large bowl until blended. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to butter mixture, beating until well blended. Cover; refrigerate dough about 1 hour or until firm enough to roll. Preheat oven to 325 F. On lightly floured silicone baking mat, roll small portion of dough at a time to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into hearts with cookie cutters; place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until no indentation remains when touched. lightly. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet after 5 minutes to cooling racks. Cool completely. Fill with buttercream frosting and add a sucker stick. BUTTERCREAM FROSTING 3 cups powdered sugar 1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened 1 ½ tsp. vanilla 1-2 Tbsp. milkIn medium bowl, mix powdered sugar and butter with spoon or electric mixer on low speed until blended. Stir in vanilla and 1 Tbsp. milk. Gradually beat in just enough remaining milk to make frosting
Christine’s clients love her ghout the whole “Christine was calm and cool throu issue, she was transaction, as we received each new She renegotiated e. quick to jump in and get the job don to keep things able with the seller several times and was the FHA gh throu calm and together while we worked from her word tive loan process. I never heard a nega home!” my love I mouth and she never lost her cool… Andrea - Clayton
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February in the landscape is a very busy month. There’s a lot of preparation to be done before spring officially arrives. Pruning and fertilizing should keep you busy a few hours here and there. First order of business is to tend to our roses. Rose bushes, climbers, groundcovers and trees will need to be pruned and fertilized this month. This is an unusual year for pruning. Many may feel nervous about pruning down and away rose canes that have already begun to push leaf. We must shake off any concern, and prune anyway. Approach each rose bush (Hybrid Tea, Grandiflora, and Floribunda) from the lower half of the plant, and start your pruning there. When pruning a rose you need to remove all or most of the past years growth, crossing branches and, weak and gray old canes. All you should be left with is an open basket shaped frame of canes anywhere from 10- to 18-inches tall. Each cut needs to be made above the swell of a new leaf bud. Make your cuts at a slight angle. This is where a good set of sharp bypass pruners comes in handy. Climbing roses are pruned to encourage length, thinning of
older canes and lateral branches. Pruning your climbing roses will take more effort. Tree roses are pruned just like the bush roses, although you may leave more canes and stems. Groundcover-type roses need a hard shaping, sometimes removing 75 percent of growth to control. Along with pruning, you’ll need to fertilize all groundgrown roses. Doing so that’s the application of several ingredients: ½ cup Multi-purpose fertilizer (Either 16-16-16 or a 5-5-5 organic) 1\2 cup of granular iron 1\2 cup of bone meal 1\2 cup of alfalfa meal 2 Tbsp. Epsom salts
PRUNE ROSE CANES AT AN ANGLE slanting away from the developing bud to direct moisture away the young leaves. Cut too high and the rose wastes energy dying back; too low and you’ll sacrifice the bud you were trying to develop. Start preparing vegetable beds. Layer bone meal, alfalfa meal, bat guano and chicken manure on top of your beds and work in. By doing this now you’ll be able to benefit from rain to work the ingredients into your soil. Beets, carrots, scallions, leafy greens and radish can be planted into prepared soil if you’ve been considering an early-season vegetable garden.
Container-grown roses and new installations need to have quantities modified. Once ingredients are applied, work into soil a couple of inches and top dress with chicken manure. Repeat this recipe in late July. Citrus is another plant that should be tended to. The frozen nights of early December took a toll on young and adolescent citrus. We need to take steps now to help our plants recover. Give a recommended dose of iron, and follow with Citrus food. If you citrus are still ripening fruit, feed with 0-10-10. Do not prune citrus yet. Azalea, rhododendron and camellias should be fertilized with 0-10-10, and given a dose of iron. If you grow any loropetalum, feed those the same way you are tending to the azaleas. Fertilize your lawn with lawn food that includes a PreEmergent. Do this now to help prevent crab grass.
Spray fruit trees now with copper fungicide. Follow package directions. Tending to the landscape makes our plants strong. Strong plants will have a better time fighting through stresses from lack of water and heat. Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. Contact her with questions or comments at Gardengirl@claytonpioneer.com
from page 17
smooth and spreadable. If frosting is too thick, beat in more milk, a few drops at a time. If frosting is too thin, beat in a small amount of powdered sugar. (To make Chocolate Buttercream, reduce vanilla to 1 tsp., add 3 oz. unsweetened baker’s chocolate, melted, and increase milk by a tablespoon or two to reach the desired consistency.)
or bake a meatloaf in a heartshaped cake pan. You can also celebrate Valentine’s Day with a themed weekend class at Pans on Fire in Pleasanton. Seats in the Chocolate Obsession class/dinner on Feb. 15 or the Valentine’s Weekend Family Brunch on Feb. 16 were available at the time this article was published.
OTHER IDEAS Don’t forget to think outside the box and make something savory, like a heart-shaped pizza
Linda Wyner owns Pans on Fire, a gourmet cookware store and cooking school in Pleasanton. Send suggestions or questions to email@example.com
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