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It’s Your Paper

This is the new, combined Pioneer, covering both Concord and Clayton in one community newspaper.

February 15, 2019

Police unions trying to keep old personnel cases private PEGGY SPEAR The Pioneer


Concord’s Shiva Marugan temple breaks ground in elaborate ceremony TAMARA STEINER The Pioneer

In a blow to the Concord Police Officers Association, a Contra Costa Superior Court judge last week dissolved a temporary restraining order that the POA and two other police unions had received to keep certain criminal files against its members private before Jan. 1, 2019. The Concord POA is one of three in the county trying to curb a new state law that sheds light on alleged criminal activities of its members. The court also issued a preliminary injunction in the case, waiting to determine if the case should move forward. SB1421, by state Sen. Nancy Skinner, illuminates police disciplinary actions that for years have been hidden by strong privacy laws. Tamara Steiner/The Pioneer The law opens certain misMembers of the Hindu community, Concord dignitaries and well-wishers gathered at Concord’s Shiva Murugan Temple conduct records relating to for a traditional ceremony on Jan. 26. The priest, contractor, architect, engineer and temple director placed the conse-

See POA, page 5

crated foundation stone in the ground at the northeast corner of what will be the new temple.

In a day-long celebration replete with religious rituals, Concord’s Shiva Murugan Temple broke ground Jan. 26 for a new Shaivite Hindu temple at Concord Boulevard and Second Street. An estimated 2,000 people attended the Vastu Puja as the temple priest, the local architect and the general contractor placed six bricks comprising the foundation stone in the ground at the northeast corner of the future 7,000 sq. ft. building. The temple’s Sthapati, a UNESCO recognized expert on Hindu temple archaeology, describes the location of the stone as the place where the “sole of the foot” would be and the main sanctum as where the “embryo,” or the life, would be. The builders will not disturb the stone during construction. “It is there for posterity,”

See Temple, page 4

Camp Fire survivor, 96, finds a true home in Clayton PEGGY SPEAR The Pioneer

Alair VanOutrive, flanked by grandsons Justin Martin and Devin VanOutrive, moved to Clayton after she lost her home in Magalia.

See Inside East Bay Regional Parks Activity Guide

Some people might think 96-year-old Alair VanOutrive is one unlucky woman. Most people don’t have one house burn down in their lifetimes, much less two. That’s what happened when VanOutrive’s Magalia home burned to ashes in Butte County’s Camp Fire. That followed a 2004 electrical fire that destroyed another home in Magalia. But as she looks lovingly over her new condo on Long

Creek Circle in Clayton, VanOutrive says she is one of the luckiest women around. Eighty-six people died in the Camp Fire, and thousands more lost their homes and businesses. It essentially wiped out the towns of Magalia and Paradise. In the aftermath, a strong family and a friendly realtor helped VanOutrive. Not to mention her new city that came together to make her nightmare turn into a dream. “I am so grateful for all this community has done for me,” says VanOutrive.

FIVE MINUTES TO LEAVE She remembers the morning of the November fire vividly. “A friend called at 8:30 and told me there was a fire and I should be ready to evacuate,” she says. “But I went outside and didn’t see anything, or even smell smoke, so I wasn’t too worried.” A little bit later, another friend called and told her to evacuate – or at least open her electric garage door, as the electricity would be going out and she would be unable to get to her car. “That’s when I started

smelling smoke and took things more seriously,” she says. She gathered up some jewelry and a few important papers, when there was a knock on the door. “There was a man at the door named Tanner. I’m sorry I don’t know his last name. He said he worked for the city and already his home was destroyed, and he was trying to help evacuate the town. He said we had five minutes to leave.” After about five minutes,

See Camp Fire, page 5

Concord moves forward with feasibility study for downtown stadium and housing project BEV BRITTON The Pioneer

What’s Inside

Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B7 Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B6 Directory of Advertisers . . . .7 From the Desk of . . . . . . . . .8 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B1 Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10

Next issue, Mar. 15 Deadline, Mar. 4

The possibility of a soccer stadium in downtown Concord inched closer to reality as the City Council voted 4-1 to enter into an Initial Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (IENA) with Hall Equities Group on Jan. 22. Mark Hall first brought the idea to the council last spring, after obtaining the rights for a United Soccer League championship team for the East Bay. The current proposal includes a mixed-use, soccer-specific stadium, hotels, a convention center, multi-family housing and retail or commercial development. “What we’re really talking about here is a city center, in a very real way,” Hall told the council. For the stadium to be profitable, he said it needed to be a

See Stadium, page 5 downtown Concord.

Mark Hall is proposing a soccer stadium and convention center and as many as 2000 units of housing on 33 acres in

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February 15, 2019

Kiwanis Club honors detective for fighting sex trafficking

For his efforts to thwart human trafficking, Detective Joshua Gilfry is the 2018 Kiwanis’ Officer of the Year for the Concord Police Department. “Detective Gilfry has worked tirelessly to bring human trafficking suspects to justice and to provide assistance to the victims of their crimes,” said Lt. Michael Kindorf, who nominated him. “His dedication, ingenuity and never give up attitude

bring great credit to himself and the law enforcement profession.” Once assigned to the Violence Suppression Unit, Gilfry decided to run a proactive sting with two main objectives: target the pimps who are trafficking sex workers and identify and rescue the victims. He used fictitious social media accounts to contact pimps and arrange for meetings with sex workers the pimps were controlling.

Gongxi, Gongxi

Gilfry met four human trafficking victims at an area hotel, where law enforcement officers and victim advocates intercepted them. The Task Force arrested four individuals for felony pimping and pandering charges. Gilfry uncovered enough evidence to charge two with felony human trafficking. Later in 2018, Gilfry reviewed an arrest by officers of the Concord Special Enforcement Team. He wrote search warrants on the cell phones of two women arrested for prostitution. Although the women initially denied being human traffick-

ing victims, Gilfry uncovered that the young women were being trafficked by a violent street gang from the Central Valley. He found that this gang was trafficking woman to make money for the purchase and sale of illegal drugs and to provide money to gang members in prison. His investigation identified additional human trafficking victims living in other cities. Gilfry traveled throughout the state to put together one comprehensive case. His work led to formal charges against the main suspect, who is awaiting trial.

Detective Joshua Gilfry holds his award, with Concord Police Chief Guy Swanger, left, Vice Mayor Tim McGallian, Mayor Carlyn Obringer, Kiwanis District Gov. Rocci Barsotti and Concord Kiwanis President Patti Barsotti.

Heartfelt concert benefits Camp Fire victims

Contributed photo

Concord Public Library held its annual Chinese New Year celebration on Monday Feb. 4. It is the Year of the Pig, 2019. Parents brought their children to experience Chinese calligraphy, pig drawing, a chopstick game, lantern making, and a spectacular lion dance. One Tribe Martial Arts studio of Concord provided a jaw-dropping lion dance performance and student demonstrations. Every child present received a red envelope and learned the receiving ritual. On Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, children bow to their parents and receive lucky money in a red envelope. Happy Chinese New Year. Gongxi, Gongxi.

People of different faith traditions gathered to help Paradise Camp Fire victims at an ecumenical concert performed by 80 adults and 10 children on Jan. 19 at St. Bonaventure Catholic Church in Concord. The choirs from St. Bonaventure, Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church and the United Methodist Church of Concord came together because they wanted to do something to lessen the pain of those who lost so much in Paradise. Four people, representing friends and neighbors in Paradise, traveled to St. Bonaventure to tell their incredible stories of courage, despair, fear, hope and trust. The music selected

Choirs from three churches perform together at a Camp Fire fundraiser at St. Bonaventure Catholic Community in Concord on Jan. 19.

allowed these four witnesses, to know that they had not who experienced devastation, been forgotten. The concert destruction and loss of life, helped restore their sense of

worth – giving them renewed strength to fight on and a deeper realization that people still cared about their desperate plight. It’s not too late to help. Just write a check to St. Bonaventure Church and put Victims of the Paradise Fire in the memo section. Mail your check to St. Bonaventure Church, 5800 Clayton Road, Concord CA 94521. All money received will be sent to Paradise and go directly to people who are struggling to rise from ashes and rebuild their lives. All donations will provide a tax write-off, as well. -Karen Mangini

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Sought After Bishop Estates Home tucked away on a court . 3 bedrooms, 2 baths approx. 1596sf with inside laundry and a two car attached garage. Updated kitchen features slab granite counters, new Viking stainless appliances, and an abundance of cherry cabinets. Large backyard features covered patio with built-in BBQ, lush lawn area, a putting green & relaxing spa. Updated/upgraded throughout. $695,000

1179 Shell Lane – Clayton

Updated “Manzanita” Model in Chaparral Springs at Oakhurst Country Club. Tucked away at the rear of the complex. Beautifully updated gourmet kitchen features slab granite counters, decorative tile back splash, slate tile flooring, crown moulding & newer appliances. Private backyard offers cozy deck and shade tree. HOA offers community pool & greenbelts. Walk to downtown. $539,000

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Sensational “Doral” Model in Ironwood at Oakhurst Country Club. 4 bedrooms, 3 baths plus den & loft approx. 2854sf with an attached 2 car garage. Full bedroom & bath on first floor. Open floor plan with new carpet & paint. Large gourmet kitchen with slab granite counters & Euro style cabinets. Private backyard with covered patio. $849,000



9155 Marsh Creek Rd . . . . . . $712,000 1107 Whispering Pines Rd . $1,200,000 522 Mt Dell Dr . . . . . . . . . . . . $595,000 415 Leon Ct . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,200,000 323 Saclan Terrace . . . . . . . . $640,000 1480 Yosemite Cir . . . . . . . . . $803,990 26 Widmar Ct . . . . . . . . . . . . . $835,000


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February 15, 2019

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Clayton votes to restrict parking on Regency Drive TAMARA STEINER The Pioneer

Hikers on their way to Mt. Diablo State Park trails who have been parking on Regency Drive in Clayton will soon have to pony up for the $6 fee at the Mitchell Canyon trailhead. The Council approved a plan at the Feb. 5 meeting to designate permit only parking on Regency Drive on weekends. Residents say the situation has become unbearable since the advent of social media. Several hiking websites, some with international following, direct hikers to Regency Drive to avoid the parking fee at Mitchell Canyon. Regency is not an official “gate” to the park. Access is

Internet trail sites encourage hikers to park on Regency Dr. to avoid the state park fee at the Mitchell Canyon park entrance. On weekends, the street fills up early leaving residents with no where to park.

down a steep, rocky trail. By early morning on weekends, cars line both sides of the quiet residential street for almost a mile, frequently blocking driveways. Hikers hang out on sidewalks and leave trash behind. Drives speed along the street, are rude to residents and compete aggressively for limited curb space. “It’s a safety issue,” said Jeff Weiner, a 40-year resident. Residents first asked the Council for relief last May. The city took some intermediate steps with signage to discourage parking and increased police patrols. It wasn’t enough, Weiner said. Residents came back to the Council at the January 15 meeting asking for further action.

“We can’t even have a birthday party for our grandkids because there’s no place for people to park,” Weiner told the Council. Following the January 15 meeting, Councilmembers CW Wolfe and Jeff Wan met with the residents to draft a permit plan, which they presented at the February 5 meeting. The plan designates the area in front of residences on Regency Drive as permit parking only. It excludes the area that deadends at the park boundary where there is room for about 25 cars. Residents will pay a nominal permit fee to cover administrative costs. Mayor Tuija Catalano and Councilmember Julie Pierce

both oppose the plan they say gives preferential treatment to one group and merely pushes the problem into other neighborhoods that border the park. Residential lots in Clayton are zoned for four spaces per resident, Pierce noted. “I have a very big concern that this is precedent setting for other parts of the community,” she said. “Creating preferential parking on the weekend guarantees them more spaces than the four they were zoned for. Councilmember Jim Diaz first said he wanted stronger enforcement of existing regulations, but in the end voted for the plan. The permit parking plan passed 3-2.

etc. None of it can go into landfills. According to Susan Hurl of Republic Services, businesses

that meet a certain threshold are already required to have an organic waste program. In 2019, the requirement expands

to multi-family dwellings. Composting at the customer level will be voluntary for the time being. A long-term fix must happen at the state level, with tighter regulations and a central funding source. Manufacturing and packaging decisions will have to revolve around recyclability. “We need to crack down on manufacturers who have been getting a free ride,” Rajan said. A state fee on garbage bills could replace lost revenue from the China Sword, Lapis said, noting that services like Comcast and PG&E collect state and federal fees. Local level changes can also help. Many municipalities, including Concord, ban nonrecyclable polystyrene in things like beverage cups and take-out containers. “Local government is in a pressure cooker,” Lapis said.

China’s restrictive policy on recycling puts cities in a bind TAMARA STEINER The Pioneer

Mayors from some 20 Contra Costa County cities got sobering news from a panel of recycling experts at the Mayors Conference last week. China, long the major global importer of recyclables, has drastically cut the amount of solid waste it will accept from other countries in an effort to clean up its environment. The 2017 initiative, known as the China Sword, reduced acceptable contamination from garbage and dirty wastes to 0.5 percent and banned mixed paper altogether. “We were shipping 10-15 percent contaminated materials,” said Nick Lapis, director of advocacy for Californians Against Waste. “Low-grade plastics, glass shards and food were mixed in with the recyclables.”

With the threshold at 0.5 percent, something as little as the baling wire around the bundles could cause contamination. While haulers seek new markets, bales of unacceptable plastics and mixed paper pile up at local recycling centers – putting pressure on the cities and haulers to deal with the problem. “This is not a blip in the market,” warned Kish Rajan, chief administrative officer for Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery, which serves Concord. “This is the new normal.” In November 2016, recyclers were getting $77.50 per ton of mixed paper. By March 2018, that dropped to less than $5. “But the cost of collecting is still 70 percent of our operating costs,” Rajan said. Material recovery centers, where haulers take trash to be sorted, have hired more workers and slowed down the sort-

ing process to deliver clean material to buyers. But what used be a profit center is now running in the red. Lapis said most consumers “single stream” recycle, meaning everything recyclable goes in the brown cart – leaving recycling center to sort it. “It’s just too confusing to customers to try to figure out what is ‘good’ plastic, what is ‘bad’ and what may be in the middle,” Lapis said. And, it’s about to get a whole lot more complicated. In 2016, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation to curb greenhouse gasses by reducing organic waste in landfills 50 percent by 2020 and 75 percent by 2025. Beginning January 2020, garbage companies must start composting all green waste, including food, yard trimmings, wood, food-soiled napkins, paper towels, egg cartons,

Tamara Steiner/The Pioneer

Workers at Republic Services’ Newby Island Recovery Center in San Jose sort through tons of trash to separate the clean recyclables, which are baled and shipped to China. The process requires more workers and takes longer as a result of the China Sword iniative.

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Corner Lot — Beautiful 3 bedroom 2.5 bath home built in 2004. Plantation shutters, sparkling wood flooring and recessed lighting. Upgraded kitchen with granite counter tops, family room with fireplace and inside laundry. Backyard perfect for entertaining with arbors, flagstone accents and lawn area.



Oak Glen — Charming townhome in desirable complex. Light and bright living room, eat-in kitchen with breakfast bar and indoor laundry room. 3 spacious bedrooms with beautiful laminate flooring, central heat and air, and a two car garage. Approx 1,468 square foot unit complete with private patio for entertaining.



Sierra Gardens — Priced to sell 2 bedroom 1.5 bath condo in gated community. Over 1200 square feet 2 story unit with 2 decks. Inside laundry room and living room with brick fireplace. Peaceful location situated in the back of the complex. Convenient location, close to shopping, easy freeway access and transportation.



Kirkwood — Beautiful patio home with fresh paint and scrapped ceilings. 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, formal dining, living room with cathedral ceiling and family room with fireplace. Newer drainage system and dual pane windows. Several fruit trees, patio, deck and gate for easy access to the greenbelt.

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CVCHS student’s winning essay focuses on voting

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Sydney Caulder of Concord will travel to Washington, D.C., in March for the final round of the Voice of Democracy essay competition. Caulder, a senior at Clayton Valley Charter High School, won the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ Post 1525, District 10 and state levels of the Voice of Democracy Essay Competition. The contest is the VFW’s premier scholarship program, in existence since 1947. High school students write and record an essay with a patriotic theme. Nearly 40,000 students compete for more than $2 million in scholarships and incentives. The 2018-’19 theme is “Why My Vote Matters.” “In 2019, I will be able to vote and exercise my right to decide the direction of our nation,” Caulder wrote. She received a paid trip to Washington, where she will tour the city with other state winners and be honored by the VFW. The national winner will take home the grand prize of $30,000. Caulder’s father, Leonard, is an Air Force veteran who told her about the contest last fall. Inspired by stories of

Terry Murphy, VFW District 10 commander, and Patrick Leary, VFW District 10 quartermaster, honor Sydney Caulder as she won the state level of the VFW’s Voice of Democracy Essay Competition. Sydney advances to the national competition in March

wars her father and other family members served in, she wrote about how they went to battle for the rights of those who live in this country. She said her parents always keep her informed of current events, and she also learned about politics in her government class. Her drama background and experience delivering speeches as senior class president helped her compile her thoughts about voting. She plans to major in theater in college. VFW Post 1525 judged 16 entries on originality, content and delivery. “Her essay was

heartfelt and personal,” says Commander Mark Steinberg. “We knew that we had something very special.” She then advanced to the district level, with 19 VFW posts in Contra Costa, San Francisco and Alameda counties. The post and district celebrations were one and the same in December. In January, Caulder competed with 17 districts at the state level, concluding her speech with: “My vote matters because I matter.” For more information on Voice of Democracy, go to vfw.org.

Temple, from page 1

explained Meena Annamalai, director of temple construction. The temple front faces Second Street. A second, smaller building will house an auditorium, kitchen and dining rooms. “One of the many things that I love about Concord is its cultural diversity,” said Concord Mayor Carlyn Obringer, who was joined at the groundbreaking by Vice Mayor Tim McGallian. “I am glad to have this faith community in Concord and look forward to the building dedication.” The temple design team worked with the Concord Design Review Board for two years before gaining final city approval. The Sthapati’s first designs focused only on the beauty of the main temple, leaving the side facing Concord Boulevard plain and unadorned. But the Design Review Board wanted the temple to look beautiful from the Concord Boulevard side as well. “Our Sthapati could not comprehend why we would want to beautify the side view,”

The Rajagopuram, the main temple of the Shiva Murugan tower shown in this rendering, is based on 12th century architecture and will have a five-color combination, the Panchavarna, that is rarely found outside South India.

Annamalai said. The local architect, Sharad Lal, tried in vain to explain the city’s requirement to the him. Finally, Dr. Dakshinamoorthy Sthapati visited the site in person. “After we led him over to the sidewalk on Concord Boulevard, he understood that it is a main street and came up with this exquisitely beautiful, two-story design,” Annamalai said. The Shiva Murugan Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and his son, Lord Murugan, who, according to Hindu belief, were known for destroying the sins of ego and arrogance. Followers established the temple in 1957 in San Francisco and, according to temple historians, it was


likely the first Hindu temple in North America. By 1988, the small building in San Francisco could not accommodate a growing Hindu community, and they moved the temple to the Concord corner. They chose the site in part because it had always been a place of worship. The architect, contractor and engineers are all local companies. Sculptors from India will do the specialized work. The construction will take about two years. “We take pride and joy in the fact that beautiful Concord has been inclusive and welcoming of our temple,” Annamalai said. “It warms our hearts and gives us a special kind of joy.”


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February 15, 2019

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Page 5

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Camp Fire, from page 1

where son David and daughter-in-law Colleen live. And that’s where realtor Heather Gray came into the picture. A family friend who had already closed 12 escrows for VanOutrive’s relations, Gray was more than ready to help out. As was the entire community. Gray showed VanOutrive the two-bedroom condo, and VanOutrive immediately fell in love. The open space was perfect for entertaining – “something I love to do,” says VanOutrive. Gray spent Thanksgiving Day dirt biking in the Mohave Desert with her family but found time to write up an offer on the condo on her phone. She included a letter explaining VanOutrive’s situation as a fire survivor. It turns out the sellers had two FINDING CLAYTON children who lost homes in The move to Clayton the Southern California fires, made sense because that’s so they were sympathetic to VanOutrive got in her car with only one of her cats – she couldn’t find her other one. That’s when she saw the flames licking the trees at the end of her street. “Every house ended up being lost,” she says of her neighbors. She thought they would make a straight shot down the highway to the Skyway, the main artery between the Paradise area and Chico, but it was ablaze. She was directed to take a northern route to Highway 32, usually a 30-minute drive to Chico. The trip that day took 6½ hours. Once in Chico, she contacted her frantic family, including grandson Justin Martin, who lives in Yuba City. He drove to Chico and helped her get to his home, where she stayed until she decided where to go next.

Stadium, from page 1

“very flexible workhorse for many different public events: music, performing arts, sports.” The project would include city-owned properties along Oak, Mt. Diablo and Laguna streets and Monument Boulevard – as well as BART-owned property. Hall also needs to acquire approval from BART for the bulk of the 33½ acres. Many residents spoke out against the project, saying they didn’t want to “take away from the small-town atmosphere” and turn Concord into “a metropolis” while emphasizing the “urgent” need for affordable housing. BART director Debora Allen, speaking as an individual, was the only member of the audience to show support for the plan. City Council members noted that the IENA does not guarantee the project will move forward. “We’re not saying we’re sold and it’s a done deal,”

said Councilman Tim McGallian. “We are trying to figure out that next phase for the downtown.” “I would like the community to give this proposal a chance,” added Mayor Carlyn Obringer. “I think the housing helps to meet a need, and there are opportunities for economic development and different kinds of jobs.” Councilwoman Laura Hoffmeister voted against the IENA, citing concerns about the city’s current investment in the Pavilion, traffic and a “changed vision” for downtown. “I haven’t heard an uprising from our community that yes, we want to go in a different direction,” she said. The IENA gives the developer 18 months to conduct market studies about the soccer stadium and convention center concepts. Hall Equities will pay costs of studies, consultants and city staff time. The council could still reject

POA, from page 1

findings of sexual assault, dishonesty on the job and unnecessary use of force, according to Josh Clendenin of the Concord city attorney’s office. Some of the cases even involve police K-9 Unit bites. The unions don’t want the transparency to be retroactive before Jan. 1, 2019, and had obtained a temporary restraining order to that effect. Joseph R. Lucia of the firm Rains Lucia and Stern in Pleasant Hill, represents POAs in Concord, Antioch

and Richmond. “It’s about protecting police confidentiality,” Lucia told the Pioneer. “SB1421 should not be retroactive.” Concord Police Chief Guy Swanger refused comment on the pending litigation, referring media inquiries to Clendenin. Although he couldn’t comment on the pending legislation, Clendenin said he is looking forward to a resolution of the issue. In court filings, union attorneys said the law in place prior to SB1421 “afforded

oncology and radiation oncology. Similar to multidisciplinary tumor boards at academic centers, board certified, highly trained and experienced physicians offer a multidisciplinary team approach to diagnosis and treatment planning. This way, patients receive multiple medical opinions from a group of specialists, helping them feel confident they have explored all of their options. Research shows that a multidisciplinary approach leads to better outcomes, with improved quality of life and higher survival rates. Our multidisciplinary breast cancer clinic evaluates

patients with diagnosed breast cancer in a comprehensive, single-day setting to minimize the time between diagnosis and treatment. In the initial appointment, women meet with a breast surgeon, medical oncologist and radiation oncologist. After a tumor board discussion, each physician consults with the patient and presents the most appropriate course of treatment based on the opinions from the breast cancer physician team. By the end of the appointment, each patient receives a comprehensive treatment plan and a list of the next steps. This team approach spares patients and their family the

VanOutrive’s cause and accepted the offer – even though it wasn’t the strongest on the table. But the insurance money promised VanOutrive was slow in coming, and the family needed a down payment. That’s where the community of Clayton showed its true colors. A GoFundMe page netted thousands of dollars, and a local preschool even held a bake sale, “with all the proceeds going to me,” VanOutrive says. “I was never so moved in my life.” Escrow closed in early January, and VanOutrive, who was staying with David and Colleen, moved in soon after. But that wasn’t the end of the help she received. Local businesses gave her discounts on furniture, and Gray’s company, Windermere, made a donation in her honor. “My boss and I went out and bought her kitchen supplies, because we know she loves to cook,” Gray says. “It was so much fun.”

SYMBOLS OF SURVIVAL One kitchen adornment sits proudly on her windowsill: a bell that says “Grandmother” that Martin gave her when he was a child. When he and brother Devin VanOutrive went up to explore the ashes of VanOutrive’s lost home, it was the only thing left from a cupboard of Waterford crystal and other fine pieces. The backside is burnt and melted, but “Grandmother” still stands out proudly. In another incredible story, VanOutrive’s daughter April scoured SPCA sites and found her lost cat a month after the fire. He too is a proud new resident of Clayton, albeit with singed feet and whiskers. “I can’t thank the community enough for all they’ve done for me,” VanOutrive repeats. ”It’s time for the next chapter of my life.” A new sign on her wall perhaps expresses it best: “New Home, New Beginnings, New Memories.”

the plan even if the studies show its feasibility. With BART owning much of the land targeted for housing, the city would not have control over that component. BART requires that at least 35 percent of housing on its land be affordable. Hall told the council the housing would be “a very unconventional approach” utilizing “new technology,” without providing any specifics. However, he said, moving forward, his team will have a “much higher public profile” about the plan’s details. “We also share the broad view that it’s not just about dollars and cents. … It’s about the impact on the community at large,” he said at the meeting, where the council and community members emphasized the need for more public input. “I’m heartened to hear that the developer has gone on public record as understanding the importance of public engagement,” Assemblyman Tim Grayson said, noting he was speaking as a Concord respeace officers a confidentiality privilege to all the information contained in their personnel files.” Many media organizations and the American Civil Liberties Union oppose the police unions’ petition, arguing for transparency. The ACLU is seeking records relating to several high-profile shootings, including the death of Oscar Grant at the Fruitvale BART station. Oakland’s police union has also filed suit to prohibit retroactivity in seeking police records. “In many investigations, these records wouldn’t be disclosed,” Lucia said.

anxiety and uncertainty of waiting days or weeks between appointments. Patient response to the multidisciplinary breast cancer clinic has been fantastic. The Women’s Cancer Center of the East Bay integrates all of the essential components necessary for a comprehensive breast cancer program, all in one day – all in one place.

Svahn is a medical oncologist and breast cancer specialist with Diablo Valley Oncology and Hematology Medical Group in Pleasant Hill. She is the medical director of the Women’s Cancer Center of the East Bay. You can contact her at 925-6775041or www.dvohmg.com.


BEST program pairs teachers and businesses

Muir Medical Center for an overview and then the teachers split into small groups and went out to more than 20 businesses to shadow for a few hours. Businesses they visited include Sun Valley Shopping Center, Alpine Pastry & Cakes, Pacific Coast Farmers Market Association, Concord Public Works and Mt. Diablo Recycling. MARILYN FOWLER Teachers and some busiCHAMBER OF ness partners reconvened at John Muir for lunch, where COMMERCE teams debriefed and discussed The Concord Chamber of impacts that the experience Commerce has been involved would have on them and what with education for decades. they could take back to the One of our programs is classroom. The teams shared BEST Day (Business & Edu- memories of their day with cators Shadowing for Tomor- the whole group. row), which is in its 22nd year. Teachers said they learned The event is a joint effort of about the importance of the Chamber of Commerce, teamwork and collaboration, John Muir Health, OPUS the importance of working LEEDS (Linking Education & together to solve problems, Economic Development the need for a clear focus, the Strategies) and the Mt. Diablo importance of students having Unified School District. hands-on learning and how BEST Day provides essential the basic skills are. opportunities for elementary, They also saw how many job middle and high school teach- opportunities there are for ers to shadow one of nearly students in the Bay Area. two dozen business leaders The chamber is proud of and experts in a wide variety its connection to education in ident. “Let’s get all the infor- of fields. This “field trip for our community. Watch for our mation to the public so they teachers” pairs them with local upcoming scholarship procan be engaged.” technology, finance, retail, gram for high school seniors Then, Grayson said, the health and other industries. and our Student Showcase on council should make a decision They visit the various busiApril 29. based “on facts, on truths, on nesses and learn skills that studies.” their students will need to For more information, contact In October, Hall named Joe compete, contribute, lead and Marily Fowler at Garaventa as president of Hall succeed in the 21st century. mfowler@concordchamber.com. Sports Ventures. Garaventa On Feb. 7, we met at John was the CEO of Concordbased Garaventa Enterprises, a family-owned recycling, waste management and real estate business. According to Hall Equities, the Garaventa Family Foundation was the benefactor behind the Sil Garaventa Sr. Soccer Field at St. Mary’s College in Moraga as well as a major contributor to the University of Portland’s soccer field. Because the Garaventa family has given campaign donations to several City Council candidates in Concord, the city is amending language in the INEA to prohibit lobbying and Concord Chamber President/CEO Marilyn Fowler is shadcampaign contributions from owed by Concord High School Work-Based Learning Coordinator Kathy Koch as part of BEST Day the “developer parties.” Serving Northern California for Over 30 Years

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February 15, 2019

Last issue, I talked about asking the right question and used rent issues as an example. Here are the results, with 339 responses. Q. Should residential rent increases be limited to once every 12 months, unless approved by a binding rent review board? 42.43 percent, strongly agree. 24.04, agree. 9.5, disagree. 25.43, strongly disagree. 7.12, neither agree nor disagree. 1.48, don’t care.

Q. Should a tenant always be given the option of a one-

year lease when moving in or when a lease expires? (Landlords may offer different rates for different lease terms.) 24.93 percent, strongly agree. 26.41, agree. 15.73, disagree. 14.54, strongly disagree. 15.73, neither agree nor disagree. 2.67, don’t care.

Q. Should notice of rent increase at the end of a lease be given in advance, based on the formula of one month for every year a tenant has been in the unit to a total of not more than six months? 21.24 percent, strongly agree. 30.97, agree. 16.52, disagree 10.32, strongly disagree. 14.75, neither agree nor disagree. 6.19, don’t care. Q. Should rules relating to the timing of notices of rent increases be restricted to landlords who own more units – and how many units? 41.96 percent, no limit. 8.93, two or more units. 8.04, five or more units. 5.65, 10 or more units. 2.98, 15 or more units.

4.46, 20 or more units. 7.74, 28 or more units. 20.24, don’t know.

the survey will attack the survey participants. I often repeat the same questions of big-money, scientifically billed polls of likely Q. Do you agree that the voters, and the Pulse tracks market will fix the housing cri- pretty close to them. So I am sis? confident that we have a rea10.06 percent, strongly agree. sonable mix of demographics. 12.13, agree. There will also be com28.40, disagree. plaints that the number is not 28.99, strongly disagree. representative, although it 14.50, neither agree nor dis- seems it is always representative agree. when you agree with the major5.92, have no clue. ity of the participants. The next thing will be to Taken as a whole, there is a attack the questions themselves fairly consistent 22-33 percent as biased. I always ask for who are opposed to anything advice on better phrasing. I relating to changes in the rent found it interesting that two of regulations. This range is pretty my most conservative followers consistent on a bunch of other took opposite views, one saying issues in our city, such as the questions were very neutral cannabis, birthright for citizen- and the other saying that the ship, taxes or choices in presiquestions were very biased in dents. I am not sure of the their structure and biased by overlap, but it might be an inter- virtue of the topic. esting subject to explore. Clearly, I found large supI think that regardless of the port for regulation of these rent topic, there will be always a 22- issues and a determined opposi30 percent minority either for tion minority. Whether the or against the matter. What I opinions will match the applied find most interesting is when power to bring things in line is there is 30 percent for, 30 perto be seen. And that is what we cent against and 30 percent call politics. unsure. That is the condition Send comments to EdiBirfor a great social debate. san@gmail.com or 510-812-8180. People who disagree with

Whopper polar vortex can’t touch us The polar vortex weather pattern dominated headlines at the end of January, producing the coldest air temperatures in a generation at many locations in the Upper Midwest. But, thankfully, that kind of extreme weather doesn’t occur here. The polar vortex is a large area of organized, counterclockwise airflow north of the polar jet stream. For much of the year, the coldest air in this air mass is confined to the areas near the Arctic Circle. Viewed from above, the polar jet stream looks like a snake circling the northern latitudes from west to east as a series of low-amplitude ridge and trough couplets. During winter, the polar jet and associated vortex drift southward toward the mid-latitudes. The ridges and troughs typically move rapidly across the country, and the cold air in the polar vortex remains well north of the United States. The polar jet occasionally buckles, and a very high-


amplitude ridge/trough couplet develops. Under the right conditions, this leads to the frigid weather that recently affected the Midwest. The ridge must be located along the west coast of North America and extend well into western Canada. Northerly flow on the east side of the ridge then drives frigid dry air south from the Arctic toward central Canada. On rare occasions, this high-amplitude polar jet will remain stationary for several days. This gives the Arctic air time to travel from central Canada into the Midwest states. In effect, a piece of the

polar vortex is forced south into the United States. A factor that allows polar vortex temperatures to drop so low is the dryness of the air mass that formed over the frozen Arctic. The lack of moisture means skies remain clear during the long winter nights. Any warmth delivered by the low daytime sun escapes the lower atmosphere quickly after sunset, allowing temperatures to plunge. Nighttime temperatures during the most recent polar vortex dipped below -30 in many Upper Midwest cities. Daytime maximum temperatures also remained below zero. The jet stream conditions responsible for the coldest winter temperatures in the Bay Area are similar to the Midwest pattern. The major difference is that the ridge over the western United States tilts, allowing the jet stream winds to flow from northeast to southwest. This tweaked jet stream drives cold Canadian air

across the Sierra Nevadas and into California. Fortunately, the long journey from Canada allows the Arctic air mass to warm somewhat. Local meteorologists often call our polar vortex event an Alberta clipper. One polar vortex case that sticks out in my mind is the December 1990 cold wave, which sent nighttime temperatures in the Concord/Clayton area below 20 degrees for a couple of days. Whenever a strong polar vortex circulation reaches the United States, record cold temperatures can occur. In the Midwest, that means several days of below zero temperatures. In the Bay Area, the threat is limited to a few nights of below freezing temperatures. I much prefer our encounters with the polar vortex, by about 50 degrees. Woody Whitlatch is a meteorologist retired from PG&E. Email your questions or comments to clayton_909@yahoo.com

Get less spam in your inbox beneficial to you. But a large percent are trying to trick you into divulging details that the spammers can use to hack your credit card information or infect your computer so they can sell you a useless service that keeps getting you infected. They intentionally lie and say your computer is infected WILL CLANEY when it’s not. Then these bandits want you to call a techniTECH TALK cian in some far-off country About half of all emails to get it fixed. But they don’t are spam or junk. fix it – ever. Not only do they clutter Instead, they will intentionyour inbox, they bring nasty ally damage your computer so surprises like malware and you must pay for service hacking attacks. again. And again. You get the According to Wikipedia, picture. Spam is a “meat product There are several methods made mainly from ham.” Wait, of blocking spam, including that’s the wrong spam. dedicated spam blockers and Spam is “irrelevant or manual blocking. If you use inappropriate messages sent web mail – by logging into the on the Internet to a large Internet to get email – your number of recipients.” service provider (Gmail, for Some spam messages are example) offers a manual way “legit” and offer a plethora of to mark an email message as goods and services that are junk. That way, if the same

blocker sees this message on the Internet, or algorithms used in the design of the blocker. Then there is the cost of the spam blocker, its reputation for ease of use, its effectiveness for keeping up on the spam definitions and a whole host of other issues. Keep in mind that spam blocking is either manual or automatic. Manual depends upon your diligence at reportemail sender uses the same ing new junk messages and email address, it will be managing variations of known blocked and go to the junk spam. Automatic blocking folder. depends on the software you However, if the same choose, its price and its ability sender sends you another to update the international email but uses a slightly differ- spam environment. ent email name, it will not be Perhaps you should look blocked. into a managed service An automated spam block- provider (MSP), especially if er may recognize this ruse you are a small to medium used to circumvent the manu- business without an IT al blocker and automatically department. determine the email as spam, William Claney is an independent assigning it to junk. Problem tech writer and former owner of Comsolved. Well, sorta. puters USA in the Clayton Station. The effectiveness of a Email questions or comments to willspam blocker depends upon claney@gmail.com. the number of times your

February 15, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

P.O. Box 1246 6200 Center Street, Suite H, Clayton, CA 94517

TaMara anD r OberT S Teiner , Publishers TaMara S Teiner , Editor P eTe C ruz , Graphic Design b ev b riTTOn , Copy Editor, Calendar Editor J ay b eDeCarré, Sports and Schools Editor PaMeLa W ieSenDanger , Assistant to the Publisher

S TAFF W RITERS : Pamela Wiesendanger, Jay Bedecarré, Bev Britton



C ORRESPONDENTS : Peggy Spear, Kara Navolio, John T. Miller


Tel: (925) 672-0500 Tamara Steiner


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The Pioneer is a monthly publication delivered free to homes and businesses in 94517, 94518, 94519 and 94521. ZIP code 94520 is currently served by drop site distribution. The papers are published by Clayton Pioneer, Inc., Tamara and Robert Steiner, PO 1246, Clayton, CA 94517. The offices are located at 6200 Center St. Suite H, Clayton, CA 94517 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Pioneer welcomes letters from our readers. As a general rule, letters should be 175 words or less and submitted at least one week prior to publication date. Letters concerning current issues will have priority. We may edit letters for length and clarity. All letters will be published at the editor’s discretion. Please include name, address and daytime telephone number. We will not print

Baked goods you can Feel Good about

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CIRCULATION The Pioneer is delivered monthly by the third Friday to 38,500 single-family homes and businesses in 94517, 94518, 94519 and 94521. Papers to Clayton are delivered by US mail. Concord zip codes are delivered by commercial carriers for ABC Direct. To stop delivery for any reason, call the office at (925) 672-0500. If you are NOT receiving the Pioneer, please check the distribution map on the website. If you live in a single-family home within the shaded area and are not receiving the paper, please let us know. If you are not in the shaded area, please be patient. We will come to your neighborhood soon.

Page 7

Dining and entertainment

Clayton Club Saloon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-0440

Mary’s Pizza Shack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .938-4800 events Contributed photo

The staff at Feel Good Bakery enjoy talking with customers at the Concord Farmers Market.

Stroll through the Concord Farmers Market on Tuesdays and you’ll catch a glimpse of Feel Good Bakery, with a delightful display of tempting baked goods. They bake up some delicious rustic artisan breads, fanciful pastries, buttery croissants and scones, crunchy bread sticks and an array of decadent cookies. They make everything daily from scratch with the best locally sourced ingredients and then bring them to the market at peak freshness. Small-batch, handcrafted, European-style breads are what Rick Kellner, founder of Feel Good, does best. Kellner grew up on the Upper West Side of New York City, where his grandfather was a baker in the 1920s. Though he never knew his grandfather, baking was in his blood. While working in the energy-efficiency business years later, Kellner took a vacation that changed his life. He attended the San Francisco Baking Institute to learn more about the sourdough process, sparking the idea for Feel Good Bakery. He decided to move to San Francisco. In 2002, he started baking in his small apartment and eventually supplied local shops and restaurants with artisan breads that couldn’t be found at other bakeries. “I wanted to raise the bar on bread in the Bay Area,” he says. Two years later, Kellner opened Feel Good Bakery in Alameda’s Marketplace. He makes his baked goods with organic, non-GMO ingredients that are sourced locally and of the highest quality.

He buys flour, nuts, fruit and chees from local vendors who share similar beliefs on quality and freshness. Along with producing the finest baked goods they can, Kellner and his employees are committed to giving back to the community and being environmentally sustainable. They donate excess baked goods to homeless shelters and reduce/recycle waste whenever possible. Whatever can’t be donated is composted. “I believe in what our name stands for,” he says. “It dictates how we treat our customers, each other, our vendors and the community.” At the farmers market, they enjoy talking with customers about how they bake their breads with old-world techniques and new-world creativity. Be sure to try their seeded cheesy breadsticks, wonderful bagels and cookies, and rustic wheat and rye breads. But you better get there early if you want one of their fabulous ham and cheese croissants – they sell out quickly. We want to share what you love about your farmers market on Facebook and Instagram while we share what we love: Engaging in conversation with farmers, finding new and interesting varieties of produce, learning about the support they receive from customers and the engagement from the community surrounding the market.

The Concord Farmers Market is in Todos Santos Plaza Tuesdays & Thursdays. See ad this page for hours.

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Page 8

F r om the Desk o f . . .

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

February 15, 2019

680/4 project is all about safety

It is no secret that for too many years we have neglected our infrastructure. As a result, Californians spend too much time in traffic, too much money on car repairs and far too little time with their friends and families. As Contra Costa residents, we are all too familiar with the grueling commutes plaguing

the Bay Area. As we are stuck in standstill traffic after a long day of work, we wonder: Will I make it home in time to see my kids before bedtime? How much of my paycheck goes to the gas I burn just idling? Are the drivers around me paying attention so I can get home safely? Many local roads and high-

ways are no longer capable of handling the volume of traffic that utilizes them daily, which leads to agonizing congestion. This could not be truer for the I-680/State Route 4 interchange, which was originally constructed in the 1960s – before Contra Costa County experienced a substantial economic and residential boom.

Today, this interchange serves upwards of 100,000 daily drivers, a reality arising in part from residents and workers having to commute farther between their homes and good-paying jobs. The fact that this interchange is lacking the necessary capacity to efficiently serve our region has been apparent for years, with major reconstruction formally considered for nearly three decades now. Unfortunately, funding shortfalls have kept our county from implementing the largest transportation highway project since the Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore Project. Improving the 680/4 interchange has long been one of New technology is on the my top priorities. Over the last horizon at BART. Mobility as two years, I have worked dilia Service (MaaS) will offer ridgently with the California ers end-to-end trip support. State Transportation Agency The vision includes multi(CalSTA), California Transmodal and real-time informaportation Commission (CTC) tion portal available to riders and the Contra Costa Transon different digital channels, portation Authority (CCTA) offering payment platforms, trip planners, maps, real-time schedules and a perks program for riders who shift their travel to times of less demand. BART will continue its rebuilding projects this year, including the beginning of the three-year seismic retrofit of the Transbay Tube, realignment of the tracks in the Caldecott Tunnel, traction power system replacements, I am excited to share our and rehabilitations and station progress with expanding the modernization programs. The prestigious International Bacrebuilding projects mean that calaureate (IB) program in the BART will shift its opening Mt. Diablo Unified School hour from 4 a.m. to 5 a.m. District. and other schedule changes. The program offers stuTransit-oriented developdents a balanced, global edument projects will continue at cation, facilitates geographic stations throughout the sysand cultural mobility and protem, with a goal of adding motes international under20,000 housing units to the standing. It takes significant Bay Area by 2040. Parking effort to gain approval for this battles will ensue. rigorous program, with the These are just some of the better part of three years and more interesting BART topics hundreds of hours of traincoming in 2019. It’s going to ing, planning and preparation. be a year packed full of Ygnacio Valley High changes, improvements, setSchool is our first school to backs, major accomplishments be awarded the IB Diploma and controversy. I look forProgram (DP). It’s now in its ward to giving you a more in- second year, with the first IB depth look at the latest BART students graduating this year. issues each month, from my The diploma program is seat on the train. made up of six subject groups and the DP core: Contact Debora Allen at Theory of Knowledge Debora@FixOurBART.com.

BART sets goals for improvements through 2027



BART’s a busy place these days, with many new initiatives for change in the works. As your BART director for District 1, I am honored by the invitation to share BART news here with Concord-Clayton Pioneer readers. Last month was the annual public BART board workshop, an opportunity for our board to have open and frank discussions with staff about priorities for the coming year. The workshop opened with Horizon 2027: the vision for BART customer experience. With rider satisfaction setting a new all-time low and ridership still declining, BART must address the rider experience. It’s long overdue. The target is 2027, as that is when BART expects to have achieved meaningful capacity expansion through railcar

replacement, computer-based train control implementation and completion of many of the Measure RR infrastructure upgrades and replacements. BART is working on quality of life improvements needed to make riders feel safer and more comfortable on their journeys. The improvements include addressing homelessness, drug use and crime, along with increasing resources for system cleanliness and police presence. Combatting fare evasion has moved way up on the priority list this year, while escalator replacements and canopy construction over street level escalator entrances are underway with 41 escalators in San Francisco. New initiatives for this year include BART’s participation in the Metropolitan Transit Commission’s means-based fare discounts, a police cadet program, community ambassadors and shifting the way riders access BART away from automobiles. Parking initiatives include expanding the carpool program, automation of fee collection and enforcement ticketing, as well as parking fee increases. Staff will be presenting demandbased, variable pricing parking policy to the board for consideration.

to secure more than $77 million to finally bring critical upgrades to this interchange. This money will fund one of several phases of improvements CCTA plans to reduce congestion and increase safety. Last month, we broke ground on this long-awaited project. Construction has now begun to widen four miles of SR4, providing a third lane in both directions between Morello Avenue in Martinez and State Route 242, extend on-ramp and off-ramp merging, retrofit bridges for seismic activity and install safety lighting. These improvements will also lay the groundwork for future phases to further enhance and improve traffic safety of the area. Increasing capacity on this interchange is going to help ensure that residents and workers can spend less time on the road and more time at home, but it’s also going to help ensure that drivers are



able to get home safely. It’s easy to forget when we talk about transportation projects that what we are really talking about are safety projects. I am thrilled that this project will deliver muchneeded safety improvements to one of the main transportation arteries for our area. Reach Assemblyman Tim Grayson at (925) 521-1511. Visit or write the district office 2151 Salvio Street, Suite P, Concord, CA 94520

Middle and elementary schools next for Internation Baccalaureate program




process for Oak Grove Middle School and it is now considered a candidate school – the next step toward full authorization – for the IB Middle Years Program. This past year, we began the application process for Sequoia and Monte Gardens elementary schools to establish the IB Primary Years Program. We are pleased with the opportunities these programs offer our students and believe the IB programs promote greater equity and access for our students to an engaging, globally inclusive college preparatory experience, especially for students who haven’t believed that they could be college-bound.

(TOK), Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) and the extended essay. Through this program, students reflect on the nature of knowledge, complete independent research and undertake a project that involves community service. Nellie Meyer is Superintendent of A couple of years ago, we Schools for MDUSD. Email questions began the application or comments to meyern@mdusd.org

Accessory units can help answer housing needs




As my wife Ashleigh and I watch our children grow at what seems like a furious pace, I find myself asking many questions about the future. Will my son Logan want to attend college far from home? Will my daughter Nora want to spread her wings and move out on her own after completing high school? Selfishly, I’d like both of our children to remain close to home, here in Concord. But that line of thinking always leads to a burning question: Will our children be able to afford to live near us while the cost of housing has risen to unsustainable levels?

Although we can’t predict what the future holds, I believe we all need to be creative and work together to address the cost of housing in our community, the greater Bay Area and beyond. Between 2011 and 2015, the Bay Area added 500,000 jobs but only 65,000 housing units. As a region, we only created one housing unit for every eight jobs. An economist I am not, but I do understand the basic principle of supply and demand. Due in large part to a lack of housing supply, home sales prices and rental rates have been driven to a height that is unreachable for many. The bottom 25 percent of income earners are spending 67 percent of their income on housing, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office. Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are one option available to help ease the lack of housing, although they are not often considered or pursued.

ADUs are also referred to as granny flats, in-law units, backyard cottages or secondary units. In 2016, California passed legislation that eased regulatory hurdles and empowered homeowners to create secondary living spaces on their properties. Essentially, the review for approval of ADUs by local jurisdictions, including Concord, became a ministerial process instead of discretionary. In other words, as long as you submit an application within the guidelines provided, the approval process is relatively quick. The Concord Planning Commission and City Council supported the creation of additional housing by adopting local ordinances that not only comply with state law, but further relieve the barriers by reducing city fees for ADUs. ADUs can: Create housing to help address the housing supply crisis and, in turn, relieve the

high cost of housing. Provide an affordable living space to construct, because they don’t require the cost of land or significant new infrastructure. Provide a source of income for existing homeowners going into retirement on a fixed income. Provide a source of income for new homeowners needing to offset high home prices and mortgage payments. Allow extended families to live near each other while maintaining privacy. For more information about ADUs, visit hcd.ca.gov/policyresearch/AccessoryDwellingUnits.shtml or cityofconcord.org/pdf/permits/pla nning/appscheck/adui2.pdf.

Jason Laub is Chief Operating Officer at RAD Urban and is a City of Concord Planning Commissioner. Email questions or comments to jlaub.concordplanning@gmail.com

February 15, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Page 9

State of the City: from housing to homelessness It was my honor to give the State of the City address to the Concord Chamber of Commerce, in conversation with East Bay Leadership Council executive director Kristin Connelly. We began with a look at Concord’s elevated regional profile and economic development efforts. Through city partnerships with entities like Visit Concord, our Tourism Business Improvement District, word is finally getting out about Concord’s great quality of life – as exemplified by “Concord’s Living Room,” Todos Santos Plaza. The heart of our vibrant downtown, the plaza attracts thousands annually to Music and Market concerts. There is also buzz about new apartment complexes, like the under-construction Renaissance Phase II and the Grant apartments and Enclave townhomes poised to break ground.



They will offer new homes that are more affordable than in much of the Bay Area. Efforts are underway to grow Concord’s biomedical industry, including the recent increase in jobs and space leased by companies like Akesis and Cerus. I take economic development seriously, helping to provide business leads, assist with business retention or relo-

cation and conduct outreach to Silicon Valley. Turning to public safety, I acknowledged that like most California communities, Concord still faces car thefts, breakins and petty property crimes. These are difficult to address due to 2014’s Prop. 47, which reclassified some former felonies as misdemeanors – making it hard to detain repeat offenders. However, violent crime rates remain low, and the Family Justice Center is helping combat domestic violence. The Concord Police Department is focused on building strong relationships with the community through partnerships via the Monument Crisis Center to prevent youth gang involvement, placing resource officers in high schools and welcoming the Leaven to provide after-school programming at an apartment complex

in the Monument. The PD also recently began the use of body and dash cameras to help ensure greater transparency. The condition of Concord’s roads came up next. I was relieved to see SB1 transportation funds preserved in the November election, as that amounts to $2 million annually for Concord roads. By adding SB1 money to Measure Q dollars, Concord leverages these funds for regional and federal dollars to get as much bang for our roadwork buck as possible. During our conversation, I emphasized that housing affordability and homelessness are issues across California and beyond, but the city of Concord is working hard to do our part. As mayor, I recently formed an ad hoc committee to develop proposed rental housing policies to be considered by the full council. Regarding

Clayton looks at parking, sign rules Temporary non-commercial signs. Historically, Clayton has regulated the size and number of political and other noncommercial signs fairly restrictively. More recent case law prohibits content-based local sign ordinances although still authorizes cities to regulate, for example, the size and location of signs, provided such regulation is content neutral. The council TuIJA CATALANO recently reexamined its sign CLAYTON MAYOR ordinance for all temporary, non-commercial signs. A majorThe City Council is conity of the council wanted to sidering a residents’ request restrict individual sign size, to for a residential permit parkthe extent legally permissible, in ing program for Regency and order to avoid large billboards Rialto drives. in our residential districts. With While all council members a 4-1 vote, the council provided expressed a desire to mitigate direction for staff to prepare a impacts to the Regency and draft ordinance that would limit Rialto neighbors, the council individual sign size to a maxidisagreed as to what actions mum of 16 sq. ft. but no limit should be taken initially and on the number or total area of whether to create an on-street, signs per private property. parking-by-permit only proWeed control policies. gram available solely to adjacent Like most cities, Clayton uses residents and their guests. By a glyphosate (commonly known 3-2 vote, the council decided to as Roundup) sparingly to elimifurther consider a draft parking- nate weeds in public landscapby-permit only program at a ing areas, such as medians and future meeting. (For more, see right-of-ways, but not in park story on Page 3.) turf areas. The Maintenance

Department employs certain “best management practices” and recently added another measure that allows residents to be aware of when and where such herbicides are being sprayed. During the one hour it takes for the herbicide to dry, maintenance will post signage across the area to alert passersby and dye the herbicide blue. Glyphosate use and application method on private property areas is up to each property owner and homeowners association, as applicable. Property tax update. Originating from 1978’s Prop. 13, Clayton is considered a “low property tax city.” We receive about 7 percent of the 1 percent ad valorem property tax our residents pay to the county – less than the typical 11-12 percent other cities receive. That means a Clayton property owner paying $10,000 annually in ad valorem property taxes only results in about $700 in general revenue to the city. More than 50 percent of the general revenues received by the city each year go to operate our Police Department. Other revenue sources, such as in-lieu

Interchange upgrades crucial for Central County traffic



vehicle license fees and sales taxes, are necessary to keep the city operational. SB1 gas tax money is one revenue source that helps the city maintain its roads. Clayton’s Pavement Condition Index score is 84/100 (very good), tying for second place with El Cerrito among 101 Bay Area cities, compared to the Bay Area’s average road condition rating of 67 (fair). Mayor’s office hours. 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at Cup O’ Jo and 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24, at the Clayton Historical Museum (coinciding with museum hours).

Contact Mayor Catalano at tcatalano@ci.clayton.ca.us. For more updates, follow her at www.facebook.com/CouncilmemberTuijaCatalano.

homelessness, I reminded the audience that Concord is one of just two cities in the county with a full-service shelter. The county often locates services for the homeless in our community because of the shelter and Concord’s central location. I plan to dedicate an upcoming Pioneer column to homelessness. When asked about the redevelopment of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station, I explained that the City Council continues to work with staff, Lennar/Five Point and the public to bring the community vision to fruition. I encouraged the public to remain active participants in development of the Specific Plan. The final question was,

“What makes you hopeful and excited about the year ahead as mayor of Concord?” I was thrilled to see a sell-out crowd of nearly 300 members of the business community present. That made me hopeful they were ready to consider applying for a city board, committee or commission, or to participate in the Concord Community Institute. It would be helpful to have business minds more deeply engaged as Concord assesses the opportunities and challenges our community is facing. The entire State of the City address is available at www.cityofconcord.org. Send questions and comments to Carlyn.Obringer@cityofconcord.org

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Officials celebrate the ground-breaking of the 680/4 interchange project.

other parts of the county. Since there are several improvements needed, this It’s official: The first segproject has been broken into ment of the Interstate segments. The first segment will 680/State Route 4 Interchange widen four miles of 4 from Improvement Project broke Morello Avenue to State Route ground. 242 by adding a third lane in In addition to being the Dis- both directions. This additional trict 4 supervisor, I am a comlane will allow for a safer lane missioner for the Contra Costa transition while merging from Transportation Authority the cloverleaf of 680 to 4. (CCTA). One of my highest The project will also raise priorities is to ensure that resithe profile of the roadway and dents of our county get from widen the median and the outpoint A to point B safely and side shoulders at Grayson smoothly with minimal traffic. Creek. This phase will lay the Anyone who has driven dur- foundation for future segments, ing commute traffic hours can which include improvements to testify to the need for improve- the connector ramps to 4 and ments to the 680/4 interchange. 680. Not only will the widening I-680 is the main artery that increase capacity, but small connects central Contra Costa upgrades like lighting and new County to Solano, Alameda lane striping will improve road and Santa Clara counties, visibility at night and increase while SR4 serves as the only safety overall. major link to connect East This project is possible Contra Costa County with because of Senate Bill 1, which

created a new funding source from the state for cities and counties to use for road maintenance. The 680/4 interchange project is a partnership between CCTA and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). CCTA was formed to manage the county’s transportation sales tax program and oversee countywide transportation planning efforts and projects. CCTA is also the Congestion Management Agency, responsible for programs to keep traffic levels manageable. Caltrans manages California’s highway and freeway lanes. The construction of the first segment of this project is expected to be completed in late 2021, for a cost of $136 million.

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

Thank you to all who helped us celebrate our grand opening • Representatives and elected officials from Supervisor Karen Mitchoff ’s office and the cities of Concord & Clayton • Concord Chamber of Commerce • Clayton Business and Community Association • Friends and family

As our Grand Opening gift to the community, We donated $711 each to CVCHS, Mt. Diablo Elementary and Diablo View Middle School

Clayton Valley Shell 7-Eleven 1500 Kirker Pass Rd. Open 24/7


Page 10

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

February 15, 2019

School news roundup: Busy time of year for area schools

The second semester of the 2018-19 school year is well underway and area schools are busy with this year’s activities while already looking ahead to the new school year in the fall. Mt. Diablo Unified School District: The District is inviting families, community and business leaders, and other stakeholders to attend one of a series of Town Hall forums designed to provide an update on the development of the District’s Facility Master Plan for all school sites and charter facilities. During these meetings, attendees will be able to view the Draft Master Plan proposals, provide written comments/ feedback and ask questions of the FMP design team.  In addition to the forum

1, 2019, to be admitted to kindergarten. Children who turn five between Sept. 2 and Dec. 2, 2019, are eligible to enroll in transitional kindergarten, providing families an opportunity to give their child extended time to prepare for kindergarten. Parents can take their online enrollment summary and required documents to their resident school site. Registration packets are available at each elementary school. Kindergarten/TK  intradistrict transfer applications will be available online only from Feb. 18 – Mar. 18. TK transfers for two-way dual immersion and bilingual programs will be available online only during that same time period. For more information, go to the MDUSD Student Enrollment website or contact Student Services at (925) 6828000, ext. 4069. Clayton Valley Charter High School: The charter school is continuing the process of responding to the concerns raised by the Contra Costa County Board of Education centered around former executive director Dave Linzey, who was terminated in May by the CVCHS governing board. The CCCBOE ordered a

Bringing the garden into the classroom

Tamara Steiner/The Pioneer

Kindergarteners Olivia Schnurr and Landon Hothem are ready for some salad.

As part of a new Mt. Diablo Unified School District garden education pilot program, Mt Diablo Elementary students are taking to the kitchen for cooking and nutrition lessons. Students are learning how to balance their plates with a rainbow of whole foods from the garden. At the same time, they are learning basic cook-

ing skills like recipe reading, using knives, measuring and mixing. The program connects the food the students grow in the school garden to a lifestyle of eating healthier, whole foods. The students create and taste recipes to motivate them to eat more plants and fewer processed foods. In fact, the recipes students vote most

popular may end up being served in the school cafeteria. And, the program may be replicated at other districts. Healthy dishes like spinach and tofu salads were popular as the 4- and 5-year-olds made them and enjoyed them with their peers. Most recipes have a 75-100 percent approval rating. This program has been a community effort, with “Lemon Lady” Anna Chan harvesting and collecting citrus for the recipes. Because of Chan’s efforts and the generosity of local residents, students enjoy the fresh seasonal fruit that would normally go to waste. Led by garden educator Sheila Hill and parent Laney Cline King Ultimately, these cooking and nutrition classes should help students understand the benefit of growing and eating their own food. It’s not only fun, but a win for their health and the environment.

forensic audit of the school focusing on compensation paid to Linzey and his administrator wife Eileen, as well as hiring practices and board composition and procedures. Executive director Jim Scheible, who was hired last summer, and board chairperson Kristy Downs have been working with the county to resolve all the audit findings. They say they have addressed each of the issues raised in the audit. They are considering ordering a second audit. This all comes at a sensitive time as the school will be

renewing its charter, which expires in June 2020. The county board elections last fall saw two new members elected, replacing board members who had been favorably inclined towards accepting charter schools in the county. This fall, the heavy lifting will be undertaken in the process as CVCHS seeks a five-year renewal. The board is looking at changes to its existing charter concerning the composition of the board, which currently includes four school employees, who must recuse themselves for many

discussions and votes due to their conflict of interest. The school has setup up Governance Oversight and Fiscal Oversight committees and are soliciting applications from the general public to serve on them. The committees are scheduled to meet quarterly. In another issue connected to CVCHS, officials withdrew a petition to open two charter schools in Antioch this fall, just days before the Antioch Unified School Board was scheduled to

origin, citing PG&E as liable for the property damage. But since fire officials have not yet established the cause of the ALYSSA ARINO fire, any allegations against PG&E at this point are specuTEENSPEAK lation. The principle of innocent If PG&E is, in fact, at until proven guilty has been fault, then the victims of the thrown out in the aftermath Camp Fire have every right to of the most destructive wild- pursue legal action. But anyfire in California’s history, as thing at this point is essentially hundreds of Camp Fire vican educated guess. tims file lawsuits that seem Investigators recently conpremature. cluded that the company was Now that the initial chaos not responsible for the 2017 of the 2018 Camp wildfire has Tubbs fire, the second most passed, those whose houses destructive wildfire in our were destroyed in the blaze state’s history. Similar to the are looking for where to place Camp Fire, thousands of blame for this disaster – and homeowners filed lawsuits many have pointed their finagainst PG&E for the Tubbs gers at Pacific Gas and Elecfire prior to determination of tric (PG&E). its cause. People are filing lawsuits These incidents prove that declaring the company the public condemnation of responsible for the wildfire’s California’s largest utility

provider may be hasty. Many critics ask why PG&E didn’t turn off power if there were conditions suitable for a fire – a clear example of hindsight bias. Often times, these accusations are from the same individuals who would wildly complain if their power were turned off and they were inconvenienced. If PG&E customers want to help decrease the chance of wildfires, they’ll have to also be OK with their power being turned off pretty regularly. The combination of California’s characteristically dry climate and high temperatures during the summer and fall months create an almost constant fire hazard. PG&E has become California’s favorite target any time a wildfire occurs without an immediately obvious cause. But very little progress is possible until investigators determinate the true fault of any fire. And while dozens of lawsuits are based on speculation, the 20,000+ Californians employed by PG&E are left unsure of their job security as topics like bankruptcy and legal action are broadcast on the news. This, of course, doesn’t erase the fact that thousands of people are in need of compensation for the loss of their homes. But let’s wait for the official word before crucifying PG&E. Arino’s mother works for PG&E.

See School, page 11

Know the facts before fixing blame

A helpful harvest

Ryder Bartholomew, Ava Chan and Ruby Bartholomew help Clayton resident Cassie Bartholomew gather fruit to donate to the Mt. Diablo Elementary School garden project and local hunger efforts. Bartholomew, who works for stopwaste.org in Oakland, is a frequent contributor to the school garden.

Alyssa Arino is a senior at Clayton Valley Charter High. Email alyssaarino@yahoo.com

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events, each school’s School Site Committee are reaching out to their local community stakeholders to gather further feedback. The results of these meetings will be conveyed in subsequent one-on-one meetings with the design team and the site principals. Upcoming Town Hall meetings (all schools in the feeder programs for the host school are invited to attend): Feb. 19, 6-8 p.m. Concord and Northgate High Schools Feb. 20, 3-4:30 p.m. Site TBA re: Eagle Peak Montessori and Clayton Valley Charter High School Feb. 20, 6-8 p.m. College Park High School and Riverview Middle School Kindergarten registration: Incoming kindergarten students for the Class of 2032 can register now for this fall. Enrollment is also open for transitional kindergarten students for Class of 2033 – the first year of a two-year kindergarten program. The 2019-2020 school year begins Aug. 15. The Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010 changed the entry date for students enrolling in kindergarten and first grade. For the 2019-2020 school, children must turn five on or before Sept.

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February 15, 2019

School, from page 10

consider revoking their charters. Antioch Unified approved East Bay Tech Academy’s charters for both a middle school and high school last spring but board members were to consider reversing that action at a meeting based on allegations that the academy’s leaders concealed financial information and misled trustees about the schools’ connection with Clayton Valley Charter High School, whose management and spending practices are being investigated by the county. The audit by the Contra Costa County Board of Education found that leaders of CVCHS spent about $40,000 of school money on legal fees associated with the East Bay Tech Academy schools. Last week, CVCHS held its annual lottery for open positions in the fall class. The 550-member freshman class of 2023 had 68 openings after eighth graders from its traditional feeder schools and siblings of current students indicated their intention to enroll. Limited places in the upper three classes are also filled by the lottery. Carondelet High School: This year’s Harvard Model Congress drew nearly 400 students from across the United States and around the world to San Francisco to assume the

role of congressional leaders, senators and important government officials to engage in vigorous debate. Over the course of three days, Carondelet students Christina Abudayeh, Laura Bocek and Ellen Bezanson received the highest awards possible, Best Delegate. Mary Siemons, Nicole Abudayeh and Alli Lowe were awarded honorable mentions. Carondelet’s 15 delegates won six of the 55 total awards possible. Carondelet’s Abudayeh earned the highest award of Best Delegate for her threeday performance. For closing ceremonies, a speech contest was held and she was one of three speakers chosen to address the entire delegation. Asked about the experience, sophomore Siemons said, “Harvard Model Congress was an amazing experience and so different than anything I’ve ever done. I was able to talk about interesting political issues with other students from all over the world.” Social studies chairman Phil Miller advises the Model United Nations, one of the clubs at Carondelet that allows students to develop the type of skills necessary for college success and to develop well-rounded thinkers who may one day serve the highest offices of the land.

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Page 11

Rolling into the new year with bike education

Bike Concord is pedaling into the new year with a new program, “Wrench Time.” The first in a series of afterschool classes went off without a hitch on Dec. 20, with a small group of Olympic High students attending. Bike Concord is partnering with the Mt. Diablo Unified School District to offer this after-school program weekly on Thursdays for the rest of the school year. The first class covered basic bike anatomy, identifying all parts of the bicycle, proper tire pressure and inflation, how to keep the brakes in good working order and how to

care for a bike chain. Ken Carlock is leading the class. He works in the repair shop at REI in Concord and is a primary instructor there for all bike repair classes. “One of my favorite handson exercises that the students did was an exercise to give them a feel for how much force to use when tightening a bolt,” said Smitty Ardrey, Bike Concord’s Outreach and Community Bike Shop coordinator. “We gave each student a bolt, nut and had them put them in a vice. Then they used a wrench to torque the nut as hard as they could until the bolt broke.”

Ardrey also talked to the students about what kind of biking they like to do. “Some like to BMX, road bike and mountain bike.” The class will culminate with a field trip and group bike ride to Castle Rock. The Community Bike Shop is intended to be an educational environment where students and community members can learn how to maintain, fix up bicycles, and build community and leadership at the same time. Bike Concord installed a custom, 32-foot shipping container on the Olympic High campus. The container is fully insulated


to hold the equipment and activities of the Community Bike Shop so that community members can be comfortable in the winter chill and summer heat. The space also houses a workbench and multiple bike stands for bike repair. If you have any bikes that

See Bike, page 12

Crime in Clayton – from the bizarre to the trivial

enforcement. He dealt with turned out to be a neighbor minor crimes, while a justice merely barbecuing his dinner. of the peace handled minor Or a woman who requested DEBBIE EISTETTER legal issues. Beginning in that police dispose of a bowl1860, three generations of the ing ball found on a trail that THE WAY Chapman family were Clayton she felt was sure to injure WE WERE constables: George, Charles someone walking. Police also and Victor. responded to a house alarm During his routine 1 a.m. Recorded in a 1895 justice and found that the gardener check of downtown Clayton, of the peace ledger is a nota- had set it off after losing conConcord Police Officer tion about Constable Charles trol of his lawnmower, which Lawrence Joseph Lee came Chapman seeking a warrant crashed into the garage door. upon a strange scene in 1965. charging Charles Johnson of Law enforcement and the Chubby Humble’s was a “willfully and maliciously driv- courts have to be ready for popular restaurant that noring his horse at a fast and just about anything – whether mally would have been closed unusual rate of speed on the they be issues major or minor. by this time, but there were public streets of the town of cars in the parking lot and all Clayton.” Chapman recomDebbie Eistetter is a board Melvin Gomez the lights were on. Lee walked mended a fine of $30 or 30 member of the Clayton Historical through the open door and days in the county jail. Society. For more information or to Before Clayton had a police called out several times as he Interesting and amusing become a member, visit claytonhisto- department, a justice of the peace handled minor legal made his way through the din- entries to the Clayton Police ry.org. The Clayton Museum, at issues. Gus Goethals served ing room and kitchen. No daily log continue in modern 6101 Main St., is open 2-4 p.m. answer. All was quiet. times, like a complaint about Wednesdays and Sundays. Admis- in that role 1903-’20 He noticed the padlock to someone burning garbage that sion is free. the large walk-in freezer was unlocked and hanging on the hasp. He opened the door and, to his astonishment, found eight people inside. The employees of the restaurant had been robbed, then pushed into the freezer. “To this day, I have no idea FEATURED HOME FEATURED HOME why I opened the freezer door,” Lee said. 309 Mountaire Parkway 2342 Stewart Avenue Contributed photo The victims were in relaNorthgate teacher Amber Lineweaver and junior Tyler tively good condition when French perform during the annual speakeasy. examined by the fire department, but it was soberly noted Zelda Fitzgerald fought in the that all of them would have ELLE MARACCINI corner. died had they been trapped Special to the Pioneer “Dressing and talking like for another 30 minutes. The Northgate High School’s real people from the ’20s perpetrator of this crime was American Threads classes put made us really feel like it was found to be another employee on a dazzling party to replicate to live during that time,” said and his friends. Call for Price Offered at $1,255,000 a 1920s secret speakeasy, junior Kyleigh Cassidy, who In that same year, the offishowing that some trends will played Coco Chanel. “It was cer went to the aid of a THE Clayton Mountain View Home! Spec- This Rudgear Meadows 4 bedroom, 2.5 always be popular. tacular 5 bedroom / 3 bathroom with bath, exceptional home features updated so much better than just read- homeowner on Oak Street bonus loft and sitting rooms. kitchen, baths, pool, 3 car garage, hardEnglish teacher Amber ing about the history in a who had been rototilling his 2 full bedrooms downstairs. EVERYTHING wood floors,fireplace, two TVs, and enLineweaver and history book.” yard and struck an artillery updated new kitchen, baths, high end ergy-efficient solar panels. Perfect floor teacher Scott Harris integrate The party sparkled with shell. The shell did not detosolar. Did I mention the breathtaking diplan for family and fun and move in U.S. literature and history into glitz and glamour. A musical nate, and it was later deterrect views of the mountain? ready. TOP Walnut Creek schools, parks, the project-based curriculum. trio of drums, trumpet and mined to have landed in Clay#THISisClayton. community pool. +++ Presented while learning saxophone performed, and a ton at the time of the Port about the ’20s and reading quartet of choir girls harmoChicago Naval Munitions COMING SOON COMING SOON “The Great Gatsby,” the nized a popular ’20s melody. explosion in 1944. famously fun annual party Dana Hills Beauty 1810 Wildbrook Court #D Anyone watching the teens Officials bundled the shell represents the students’ creenjoy their hard-earned party in rags, gently loaded it into ative but hard-working attiand witnessing their dedicathe man’s car and drove to the tude. Four classes band tion through their performConcord Naval Weapons Statogether to enhance the class- ances and decorations would tion, with Lee leading the room with decorations that find it difficult not to be small convoy that progressed transport guests to an older inspired by their enthusiasm gingerly at 5 mph. This interAmerica. Students black out and the innovative style of esting episode ended with the the windows, cover every sur- teaching. shell being safely disposed of face with glitter and dance the “The Threads curriculum without injury. Charleston. is basically the same as the In 1965, the newly incorCall for details Offered at $399,000 As a part of their grade, general curriculum, but we porated city of Clayton conjuniors transform into wild cover the material with more The 4 bedroom 2 bath single level home Updated and upgraded “Tip to Toe.” This tracted with the Concord flappers, gangsters and lovers projects,” Harris said. “These Police Department to keep is at the doorstep of Mt. Diablo State Park. beautiful 2 bedroom 2 bath townhouse Situated on a private view lot, surrounded features lovely wood floors, gorgeous of the night – ready to gamble projects tend to focus on the the peace. A typical shift by gorgeous landscaped yards including kitchen with granite counters, modern and and party away their cares, just big picture rather than getting included one or two runs patios, pergolas, lawn, dining area, and beautiful bathrooms, inside laundry, prilike the young folk of the bogged down on the details.” through town to check on the hoop sized play areas. Interior features vate patio and a 2-car garage. Quiet, Roaring ’20s. The projects allow students resident who lived in the eucaentertainer’s floorpan with bright open well maintained small complex convenient The kids talked, walked to be independent and enjoy a lyptus grove and to monitor kitchen. to everything. and danced in true vintage break from traditional school, activities at the Clayton Club. fashion, discussing the stock while also encouraging hard In July 1972, the city formed I have several other new properties coming soon – call for more info market and the wild politics. work with the promise of a the Clayton Police DepartMany students took the acting delightful event that each stu- ment – made up of three men a step further and adopted the dent will remember forever – dedicated to “three areas of personas of real people of the an achievement no textbook main concern: burglary, juveASP Stager@ / Relocation Specialist time. One could spot Al could accomplish. nile relations and traffic.” Capone chatting with Bill In earlier days, a Clayton Realtor®, BRE#01370548 925.305.9099 “Bojangles” Robinson and Elle Maraccini is junior at resident appointed as constadrinking Coca Cola with Greta Northgate High. ble was the small town’s law Garbo, while F. Scott and

Northgate High Threads class time travels to the ‘20s



Page 12

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Don’t worry. Be happy “I highly recommend worrying. It is friends and/or spouse, finanmuch more effective than dieting.” cial loss and death as the – William Powell major worries for those in their golden years. Just the MAGGIE LENNON thought of all those concerns Special to the Pioneer is enough to set my worrying mind into spin cycle. I’m a worrier. I always “Sometimes worry is a think something awful will good thing” says Bruce Levin, happen and jump to worsta psychiatrist in Plymouth case scenarios. Meeting, Penn. “If there is an It goes back to when I was actual threat, then there is 8 years old and decided that if something to worry about. If I worried about life, everything you run into a bear in the would be OK – but if I woods, you have something to relaxed and let go, something worry about.” awful would happen. In these cases, he notes, In the Irish Catholic school “not worrying may be more of days of my youth, something a problem than to worry.” bad really could happen. It Think about Woody Allen, appeared nuns with robes and who made a career and milhuge headgear spent their lives lions of dollars making fun of metering out physical and his worry and neurosis in his mental punishment to chilmovies. dren, who were supposed to But being a worry wort can be seen and not heard. Mean- have many negative outcomes. while, my family’s motto Unrelenting anxious thoughts seemed to be: When in doubt, and fears can be paralyzing. panic. It’s no wonder I worThey can sap emotional energy ried. and send anxiety levels soarIn adulthood, worrying ing, leaving people feeling restbecame a mantle I carried less and jumpy. This can cause around like a security blanket – insomnia, headaches, stomach immobilizing me and making problems and muscle tension. me unable to sometimes make Psychologists and health decisions or jump into life. experts have suggestions to But I am not alone. Seniors help eliminate some of the have their fair share of worremnants of a worried mind: ries, with one report listing Exercise. If we can put sexual problems, loss of our worries aside and get up

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Bike, from page 11

can be serviced, Bike Concord is ready to take donations. Students and community members will earn the bicycles by volunteering with Bike Concord, either fixing them up themselves or volunteering in other capacities of our com-

munity work. We look forward to building out our workshop offerings for the community by offering classes for women and organizations like the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, who have expressed interest in

and get moving, we can help ourselves. Exercise can release endorphins that relieve tension and stress, boost energy and enhance your sense of wellbeing. Meditate. Meditation switches your focus from worrying about the future or dwelling on the past to what’s happening right now. By being fully engaged in the present moment, you can interrupt the endless loop of negative thoughts and worries. Deep breathing. When you worry, you become anxious and breathe faster – often leading to further anxiety. Deep breathing exercises can calm your mind and quiet negative thoughts. Mindfulness. The centuries-old practice of mindfulness can help you break free of your worries by bringing your attention back to the present. Accept uncertainty. If you’re a chronic worrier, the vast majority of your anxious thoughts probably are not solvable. Worrying is often a way to try to predict what the future has in store as people try to control the outcome to prevent unpleasant surprises. Sometimes, this is simply not possible.

partnering with us. The Community Bike Shop is open on most Friday evenings. Swing by after work with your bike and learn some tune-up skills, or just chat about how to make cycling better in our community.

Roberts is a volunteer with Bike Concord. Email mightymars@gmail.com


The Pioneer

February 15, 2019

Pets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B5 Calendar . . . . . . . . . . .B6 The Arts . . . . . . . . . . .B7

The Pioneer, Section B


Post-season playoffs underway this week JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

East Bay Athletic League championship basketball and soccer teams from De La Salle received the top seed in their respective sports for the North Coast Section playoffs that get underway this week. Carondelet basketball is No.1 in girls Division I while the Cougars soccer team is seeded second to EBAL nemesis Monte Vista. Clayton Valley Charter and Northgate each qualified all its basketball and soccer teams in NCS, Ygnacio Valley qualified three of four teams while both Concord High soccer teams are in the tournament.

Photo courtesy Carondelet Athletics


pionship this winter. They open play Wednesday hosting long-time rival Pittsburg. CVCHS is seeded sixth in D-I boys and face visiting San Leandro Wednesday. In D-II Northgate has Vallejo coming to the Broncos field while Concord High will host Alameda in a pair of Wednesday games under the lights. Ygnacio Valley was successful in appealing its placement to D-III and SOCCER the third-seeded Warriors square off Last year, De La Salle broke a with Analy of Sebastopol in Concord three-year drought from winning Wednesday. NCS Division I soccer titles and are See Playoffs, page B2 favored to take a 14th Section chammeet No. 4 California in their Tuesday D-I opener. Northgate is also a 13th seed and face Acalanes in its first D-II in Lafayette. Ygnacio Valley girls basketball heads to San Francisco to meet Lick Wilmerding in a first-round D-IV tussle. NCS playoffs run through championship games Feb. 22-23. NorCal playoffs are Feb. 26 – Mar. 5 with the State Championship games Mar. 22-23.

BASEBALL De La Salle avenged its only EBAL loss to Dublin by edging the host Gaels 64-62 to end the season at 12-1, the same record as Dublin. That gave the Spartans the No. 1 D-I basketball seed and they host No. 16 Irvington Tuesday in Concord. CVCHS is 12th seeded in D-I and travels to Pleasant Hill for a Tuesday game against College Park. The Falcons own a pair of league wins over the Ugly Eagles. Northgate grabbed the seventh seed in D-II and hosted Newark Memorial in the first round Tuesday. Ygnacio Valley is 14th seed in D-IV and travel to Albany for a game against #3 St. Mary’s in the first round. On the girls side, Carondelet is seeking its fourth successive NCS title and the third in a row in Division I. The Cougars open NCS against league rival Monte Vista, who they beat in a late January clash. CVCHS travels to San Ramon to

North Coast Section Local Participants BOYS BASKETBALL

Division I –

Division II – Division IV –

De La Salle #1 (24-3) Clayton Valley Charter #12 (16-10) Northgate #7 Ygnacio Valley #14 (14-12)


Division I –

Division II – Division IV –


Division I –


Division I –

Division II –

Carondelet #1 (22-4) Clayton Valley Charter #13 (17-9) Northgate #13 (15-11) Ygnacio Valley #11 (20-6) De La Salle #1 (17-2-2) Clayton Valley Charter #6 (13-2-3) Northgate #6 (11-7-1) Concord #7 (10-7-3) Carondelet #2 (12-2-6) Clayton Valley Charter #7 (14-6-1) Northgate #3 (14-1-3) Concord #14 (9-10)

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Page B2

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com played club basketball for Bay Area Magic the past two years. “Auxanne is a dynamic student athlete who continues to excel on the court and in the classroom. She earned her title as senior captain. Her development in basketball and the classroom reflects her ability to be successful at anything she puts her mind to. It is her hard work and dedication that has raised the standard of play for other athletes at Ygnacio Valley High School,” says head coach Rae Jackson. She’s applied to three Northern California state universities and is hoping she can continue playing basketball next fall in college while majoring in business marketing.

Athlete Spotlight

Auxanne Beugre

Grade: Senior School: Ygnacio Valley High Sport: Basketball

Beugre is in her fourth season on Warriors varsity basketball and she is enjoying quite a season with her teammates. The senior center is ranked No. 1 among all Division IV North Coast Section girls in rebounding, collecting 13 boards per game. She is scoring 12 points per game and had 15 double doubles in her first 25 games this season. She had a career high 23 rebounds

against Berean Christian last month. Beugre was second team all-Diablo Athletic League last season and honorable mention all-league as a sophomore. The 5-9 post player is a team captain this year for the Warriors, who have a 20-6 overall mark and tied for first at 82 in the DAL Valley Division. The team is hoping for a high seed in the NCS DIV playoffs beginning this week. She

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

Storm leads way for MDSA champions

MDSA Storm have been selected as the Section 2 representatives for the AYSO Western States Championship in Lake Forest on Mar. 16-17. The tournament features the top four AYSO Elite teams from California, Oregon, Washington,

Photo courtesy MDSA

Nevada, Alaska and Arizona battle for a spot in the AYSO National Championships later this year. The Storm finished first in the BAFSL U10 boys division last fall with an 8-0, scoring 56 and allowing only six goals getting them into the Western States tour-

nament. The storm includes, coach Peter Laverick, Jamie Laverick, Harrison Hornsby, Alexander Hernandez, Alex Lahanas, Jacob Asselin, Cayden Baker, Aaden Torrez, Cooper Smith, Tyler Gary, Ryan Kern, Teddy McGee and coach Billy Torrez. They also won four of their five tournaments. Five MDSA teams won their Cal North CCSL divisions in the past season including MDSA Legends 2008 boys U11 Copper Division, MDSA United girls 2006 U13 Silver Division, MDSA Phoenix girls 2004 U15 Gold Division, MDSA Velocity girls 2003 U16 Bronze Division and MDSA Heat girls 2001 U18/19 Gold Division.

February 15, 2019

Playoffs, from page B1

Carondelet managed a 1-1 draw in their first meeting this season with Monte Vista before losing 3-2 at the end of January. The Mustangs are No. 1 and Cougars No. 2 in the seedings. Carondelet has taken second in NCS the past three years and hope to move up one position this year. Clayton Valley Charter girls are seventh seeds but head to Union city to meet No. 10 James Logan in the first round. Northgate is seeded third and Concord 14th in the D-II bracket. The DAL foes meet in Walnut Creek this Wednesday in a first-round NCS clash. The NCS playoffs finish Feb. 23 with the second annual Northern California championships are Feb. 26 - Mar. 2. WRESTLING De La Salle dominated the NCS Division I East Bay team dual championships early this month with four lopsided wins including a63-12 win over Liberty in the championship


match. They earlier beat James Logan and American for their fifth straight Section title and 12th in 13 years. The Spartans won the EBAL championship last weekend as they prepare for the NCS championships this Friday and Saturday at James Logan as they seek a fifth straight title. The top three placers in each weight category qualify for the State Meet in Bakersfield the following week.

18 local athletes make college commitments

DLS duo announce college decisions live on ESPN.

Highly-touted seniors Isiah Foskey (left) and Henry To’oto’o made their choice of college known live on ESPN last week on National Letter of Intent day. The Spartan standouts over the past three years

racked up a room full of awards and helped their team to State Open Division finals every year, finishing fourth in national rankings last fall. Foskey is going to play next fall at Notre Dame while To’oto’o

surprised the recruiting world by picking Tennessee over Alabama and Washington in front of a jam-packed DLS gymnasium. To’oto’o seemed headed to Alabama until former DLS star Tosh Lupoi stepped down as the Tide’s defensive coordinator after the National Championship game to join the Cleveland Browns staff. “Tosh was everything to me. He was a De La Salle brother, basically. Me going there under his wings, him being defensive coordinator, would have been perfect. But going down to Tennessee now, it’s a new journey, start something new for my family and everyone else here in California.” At Tennessee he’ll be with another great former Spartan. Kevin Simon is on the Vols’ football staff.

Nine other DLS seniors, including six more football players, also committee last week. The Spartan signees were, seated, Jhasi Wilson (football Northern Arizona university); standing from left, Jack Napper (lacrosse Kenyon College), Justin Barton (lacrosse Roanoke College), Shea Grosz (water polo Occidental College), Christopher Abbes (football uC Berkeley), Clayton Ingram (football Northern Arizona university), Gunnar Rask (football uC Berkeley), Amir Wallace (football university of San Diego) and Zamir Wallace (football university of San Diego).

CVCHS lucky seven: Clayton Valley Charter had seven seniors make their college commitments last week. The ugly Eagles signing NLI were, from left, Justin Wolfe (soccer San Francisco State), Cameron Reynolds (track and field uCLA), Daylon Hicks (track and field Washington State), Kaylie Hartuickson-Krupa (rugby Central Washington), Mackenzie Tobin (soccer Westmont College), Cade Carter (football Air Force Academy) and Dusty Mitchell (football uCLA).

February 15, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Page B3

Prep sports news roundup: Spring sports are rolling JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

Spring sports are underway with non-league competition with league and North Coast Section schedules looming before the high school season ends in May and June. Baseball — The Diablo Athletic League Foothill Division begins a double roundrobin schedule Mar. 19 while the Valley Division starts Apr. 9. Both divisions conclude DAL play May 9. Clayton Valley Charter and Northgate are in the highly-competitive Foothill Division while Valley Division includes local schools Ygnacio Valley, Mt. Diablo and Concord. Northgate tied with College Park for the Foothill Division title last spring while Concord finished second to Miramonte in the Valley. Concord and Northgate earned berths in the Section Division Ii playoffs while perennial NCS Division I participant CVCHS was eliminated in the quarterfinals for the fourth year running. The East Bay Athletic League Mountain Division schedule runs from Mar. 13 to

May 3 before the league playoffs are May 7-10. De La Salle has won three consecutive NCS Division I championships and five of the last seven. In their recent run the Spartans were ranked second national in 2016 and 2018. Campolindo finished second at NCS D-III last year. The NCS playoffs begin May 14-15 with the finals set May 24-25. Lacrosse — The DAL has a single division in both boys and girls lacrosse. Eight schools, including Clayton Valley Charter and Northgate, are fielding teams in each league. Teams are playing a single round-robin weekly schedule that begins Feb. 22 and runs through Apr. 26. The league playoffs are Apr. 30 – May 1. NCS tournaments for boys and girls begin May 7. Softball — Carondelet won its first NCS softball championship since 1999 last spring, ending a run of Division II titles by Alhambra and Concord, who had won every title since 2010 except 2011. Concord reached the semifinals last year after winning



Terrapins Swim Team is offering a spring stroke and racing skills clinic on Tuesdays and Thursdays from Mar. 5-28 with staff coaches Dan Cottam and Doug Reed at the new Natalie Coughlin Aquatics Complex in Walnut Creek. The clinics are open to recreation swimmers broken out between 8 and under and 9 and swimmers who want to get a jump on the summer season. Swimmers can signup up for all eight sessions of any four. The nationally-ranked Terrapins are also taking signups for swimmers ages six and above of all levels for their year-round swim team. For information visit terrapinswim.com.


Registration is still open for Mt Diablo Soccer Association’s spring season. The program is open to boys and girls under 5U19 divisions. The older divisions are co-ed teams. Games start in mid-March. MDSA AYSO Region 223 serves Clayton, Concord and surrounding communities. Registrants now may be placed on a waitlist. For more details and to register visit mdsoccer.org.


Ygnacio Valley High has put tickets on sale for its 2019 Athletic Hall of Fame dinner on Saturday, May 4, at Contra Costa Country Club. Inductees are Ron Thompson (Class of 1972, football and baseball), Joe Del Bene (’78, football and basketball), Xan Halog (’84, tennis, basketball and softball), Doug King (’72, tennis), Shawn McGarry (’84, football and basketball), Mike Ivankovich (’87, football and track; coach and teacher) and Wes Greenwood (coach and teacher). Visit yvathletichof.com for details and to order tickets.


St. Bonaventure CYO spring track and field program is open to boys and girls in second through eighth grades. Practices are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 4-5:15 p.m. at Newhall Park. Saturday meets begin in March and the season runs through May 10, culminating with the Oakland Diocese championships. For more information call 826-7426, email head coach Matt Tillman at matttillman@gmail.com or go to stbonaventurecyo.com.


Forest Park Swim Team coach Jeff Mellinger is offering spring swim clinics starting Mar. 4 and running through the month. The sessions improve strokes for swimmers of all skill levels ages 3-14 before the start of summer rec swimming season. The Flyers will be holding team signups at their pool Thursday, Mar. 7, from 6-8 p.m. and Sunday, Mar. 10, 2-4 p.m. Contact coach Mellinger at jeff.mellinger@gmail.com for details.

the DAL Foothill championship. Carondelet took second in the EBAL. The DAL softball schedule mirrors baseball with the double round-robin Foothill schedule running from Mar. 19 to May 9 while the Valley Division is Apr. 9 – May 9. CVCHS, Concord and Northgate are in the Foothill Division while Mt. Diablo and Ygnacio Valley are in the Foothill. NCS playoffs begin May 14-15 with the finals May 2425. Swimming & Diving — Five aquatic powerhouses (including Northgate) are in the DAL Foothill Division with dual meets Mar. 11- Apr. 15. Clayton Valley Charter will be a favorite in the boys and girls Valley Division that has the same five-meet schedule Mar 11 – Apr. 15. The league dual meets run from the week of Mar. 12 through Apr. 16. The DAL championships are Apr. 25-27. Concord Community Pool hosts NCS May 2-4 and the CIF State meet is in Clovis May 10-11. Boys Tennis — DAL tennis matches run from Mar. 14

through Apr. 24 and the DAL championships are Apr. 25-27. The Section team championships are May 7-11 after the singles and doubles tournament May 3-4. Track & Field — Clayton Valley Charter made a big splash at the CIF State Meet last June and the Ugly Eagles figured to do well again this year. Senior Cameron Reynolds, who is headed to UCLA in the fall, finished second in the state last year in the 400 meters and 4x400 relay. His classmate Daylon Hicks was second in the high jump at state last year and is currently ranked No. 1 in the state. Concord middle distance star Rayna Stanziano will be looking for a potential state title this May in her final season. The DAL track and field dual meet schedule on Wednesdays goes from Mar. 6 – Apr. 10 while the EBAL is Mar. 13 – Apr. 11. The DAL and EBAL league meet finals are May 4. The EBAL Trials are Apr. 26, a day before DAL Trials. The Tri-Valley NCS Championships are May 11 in Dublin, the NCS Meet of Champions


Springwood swim team will hold signups on Sunday, Mar. 24, from 2-4 p.m. at Sports Basement in Walnut Creek. Preseason practices begin on Monday, April 15. For more information email Dori Freitas at dorifreitas@att.net or visit springwoodswim.com.


Clayton Valley High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame is holding a benefit bocce ball tournament in Clayton at the Ipsen Family Courts on Saturday, Mar. 23 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. The tournament is limited to 16 teams with a $500 cash prize to the champions. For more information and to register email Herc Pardi at herc_pardi@hotmail.com.

May 17-18 at Diablo Valley College and the State Meet May 2425 in Clovis. Boys Volleyball — The double-round robin DAL Valley schedule runs Mar. 5 through April 25 with matches on Tuesdays and Thursdays. All local schools except Northgate are in the Valley. The Broncos are part of the

Foothill Division that plays matches from Mar. 19-Apr. 25. De La Salle lost in the Division I semi-finals at NCS last spring in the Section playoffs while Northgate made it to the D-II championship match before losing in four tight sets to Acalanes. NCS playoffs are Apr. 30 - May 9. NorCal championships are May 14-18.

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The area’s largest annual youth soccer tournament, Concord Cup, returns for its 26th season at a variety of local parks May 18-19. Boys and girls club and recreation teams from under 9 (2010) through U19 (2000) are eligible to participate. Diablo FC, Mt. Diablo Soccer and Concord AYSO co-sponsor the tournament. Visit concordcup.com for complete information and to register a team to participate.


The Triggerfish Aquatics spring stroke clinic is a comprehensive stroke technique clinic designed to develop swimmers of all abilities, improve the four competitive strokes and establish sound muscle memory by using sound mechanics prior to the start of rec summer season practices. The clinic is open to all swimmers and is fully compliant with the latest County Meet rules meaning that participation will NOT jeopardize your summer rec eligibility. The clinic is at Springwood Swim Pool in Concord. Information and registration available at triggerfishaquatics.org.

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Diablo FC is offering a spring recreation league for boys and girls 3-12 years of age at Newhall Park in Concord. Diablo FC professional coaches work with parent volunteers to train in a fun, developmental atmosphere. The league runs from Mar. 18May 4. Visit diablofc.org to get more information on the rec league and other club programs.


St. Agnes CYO spring track and field program is open to boys and girls in second through eighth grades. Saturday meets begin in March and the season runs through May 10, culminating with the Oakland Diocese championships. For more information email stagnescyotrack@gmail.com or visit stagnescyo.com.


Walnut Country Swim Team is now registering swimmers 418 years for its summer rec program. For more information and REGISTRATION OPEN FOR ALL OUT SPORTS LEAGUES to register for the summer season visit the Walnut Country Swim SPRING PROGRAMS Team Stingrays website. Youth basketball and adult softball leagues, spring tee ball and spring break basketball clinic are scheduled by All Out THE FIRST TEE HOLDING MAR TEE GRAS Sports Leagues in Clayton this spring. AOSL is taking registraCRAB FEED MAR. 8 tion online for all those programs. For complete information on The First Tee of Contra Costa is hosting its Mar Tee Gras All Out Sports leagues, clinics and other programs, visit alloutCrab Feed fund-raising dinner on Friday, Mar. 8, at Clarion sportsleague.com. Hotel in Concord. The diner supports The First Tee youth golf program. Tickets are $75 and can be ordered online at CONCORD AYSO SPRING PROGRAM thefirstteecontracosta.org. TAKING REGISTRATIONS Concord AYSO is now accepting registration for their spring OAKHURST ORCAS SCHEDULE SWIM TEAM soccer program. The spring season, which runs Mar. 10 - April MEET AND GREET NIGHTS 14 for playground (3-year-olds), 6U and 8U programs. The Oakhurst Orcas and eighth-year head coach Jasmine Castillo region’s 10U - 14U program runs Mar. 23 - May 18. Registration have scheduled meet and greet registration on Thursday, Mar. and payment are done on-line at ConcordAYSO.org. Fee is $70 14, and Tuesday, Apr.16, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Oakhurst Counplus $17.50 annual player fee for participants that did not play in try Club in Clayton. Early registration discounts are given to the fall program. To pay by cash or check, email registrar@confamilies that register before Mar. 14. Registration forms are availcordayso.org. For more info about Concord AYSO visit Concorable at oakhurstorcas.com under the forms tab.  dAYSO.org.  

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The Pioneer wants to publish your sports news

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

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The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Fate of Clayton Valley Charter football for 2019 to be settled soon JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

Clayton Valley Charter High School football has been one of the top four teams in North Coast Section the past three seasons, but that success has placed the team in limbo with all three local leagues voting against having the Ugly Eagles on their league schedule this fall. In what appears to be an unprecedented situation in local prep sports, the schools in the Diablo Athletic League petitioned to have CVCHS removed from its football schedule for the 2019 season. Subsequently, both the Bay Valley Athletic League (6-0) and East Bay Athletic League (11-0) recently voted unanimously against adding the Eagles to their league for football only. The North Coast Section Alignment Committee’s regular meeting agenda this Tuesday morning includes this matter. NCS commissioner Gil Lemmon says, “It will be decided Tuesday. It could have been solved last September but neither league wanted to do it then. Clayton Valley agreed to move, but everybody dug their heels in. It has delayed the process.” Those comments indicate either the BVAL or EBAL will be adding Clayton Valley Charter to league schedules for this fall. “The alignment committee will decide where to place Clayton Valley,” Lemmon said. The decision Tuesday, which can be appealed, could go before the NCS Board of Managers on Mar. 29 for a final

determination. The Ugly Eagles haven’t lost a league football game since 2011 (in the former Diablo Valley Athletic League and the new DAL since 2016). For the 2016-2020 alignment cycle NCS received proposals that would move CVCHS out of its existing league. The same thing happened in the current alignment cycle as well. Eleven DAL schools requested that Clayton Valley Charter football (an “overly competitive school in football”) be moved to another league while the rest of the Concord school’s athletic program remain in the DAL. They further requested that the Section “approach neighboring leagues in the Valley Conference to seek cross league scheduling for Clayton Valley football effective for the 2019-20 school year.” That precipitated the unsuccessful approach to the BVAL and EBAL about adding Clayton Valley Charter to their football league schedule this fall. New CVCHS executive director Jim Scheible says the school’s preference is to remain in the DAL this fall and then have their new football assignment (if any) be handled as part of the 2020-2024 realignment. There are other changes afoot for NCS football. The Section is proposing to drop the number of football teams in the playoffs from 80 last fall to 56 this year (seven divisions of eight teams). That would eliminate the four-team open division that has been held the past three years.

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February 15, 2019

Athlete Spotlight

Levi Hanson & Matthew Gabler Grade: Senior School: CVCHS Sport: Volleyball

Matthew Gabler and Levi Hanson bring a legacy of hard work, determination and dedication to the CVCHS volleyball program as they prepare for their final year with the team. Hanson is playing his fourth year on varsity team and Gabler his third. In addition, the duo play competitive club for the Bay Area Volleyball Club. Gabler plays outside hitter, middle and opposite, while Hanson is an outside hitter. The two were captains as juniors and seniors. Hanson comes from a family full of volleyball players, with his older brother a former player for CVCHS and his younger brother also on the CVCHS

team. Growing up, he played every sport in the book, but decided to continue playing volleyball in high school to keep the family tradition of volleyball alive. Gabler’s mom is a Clayton Valley alumnus while playing volleyball in high school and beach volleyball in college. “I’ve met a lot of new people and made new friends through volleyball,” Gabler says, “I wasn’t planning on playing, but I’m really glad that I did. Volleyball is the most fun sport to play...after every point, you get an adrenaline rush,” Hanson explains. He was first team all-league as a junior and freshman and second team as a sopho-

more. Hanson was second in voting for DAL MVP last spring while teammate Gabler was second-team all-DAL. Both boys have received Scholar Athlete awards throughout their high school careers.“It’s been a blessing and an honor to coach Matt and Levi. They are outstanding athletes who show so much strength and tenacity...Their work ethic and dedication to the sport is inspirational,” says boys and girls volleyball coach Youki Bradley. “I hope to make their last high school season their best one yet. Matt and Levi have become family to me and I’m so grateful to have them on the team!” Gabler and Hanson have both been active members of the CVCHS Medical Academy all four years and plan on working in the medical field someday. Gabler hopes to receive his Bachelor’s in nursing and eventually become an ER nurse. Hanson also hopes to study medicine and become a surgeon. CVCHS student journalist Sydney Skow wrote this Spotlight.

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

Terrapins swim fast, have a blast as Pacific Swimming Zone II champions

Photo courtesy Terrapins

The Zone II Championships at the Soda Aquatic Center in Moraga kicked off the 2019 season for the Terrapins with 80 age group swimmers on the local uSA Swimming team racking up 2677 points and 170 lifetime bests times to win the championship. JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

The Terrapins began the year with a championship at the Zone II Championships at the Soda Aquatic Center in Moraga, with the 80 swimmers on the local USA Swimming team racking up 2677 points and 170 lifetime bests times. Morgan Wendler won the

eight and under boys high point award, while many other Terrapin swimmers finished in the top 10 of their age group point standings. Terrapin senior group swimmers made goody bags and special notes to hand out to all the age group swimmers at the meet, which helped bring an extra sense of comradery to the team and meet. For the first time in many years the Terrapins

had full relays at the meet, covering all genders and age groups. The championships are also used as a qualification meet for swimmers to make the Zone II All-Star Development Team which will compete against the other Zone teams within Pacific Swimming at the 2019 All-Star Development Meet next month. The Terrapins had 11 swimmers qualify for the Zone II all-star team:

8 & under girls - Sophia Struempf, Claire Meissner 8 & under boys - Morgan Wendler, Giovanni Castenada, Maxwell Goreshnik 9-10 girls - Abby Keller 11-12 girls - Elizabeth Joseph 11-12 boys - Aden Li, Mason Wendler, Diego Castenada 13-14 girls - Diana Chan

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Temper current trends to match your style February 15, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Rustic plank hardwood flooring and white painted cabinets? A fantastic, gold-finished chandelier with crystals and baubles hovering over a silk and wool area rug in the dining room? Hand-painted terracotta tile on the powder room floor, with a vessel sink perched on a found dresser converted to a vanity? JENNIFER LEISCHER Pick through the trends of DESIGN & DÉCOR the moment and decide what works with your aesthetic, your budget and your way of Every year, design trendlife. setters determine what is hot Color trends are easy to try and what is not. because you don’t have to be From colors and textile married to them indefinitely. design to furnishings and The color for 2019 is living accessories, design is constantcoral, “a shade of orange with ly evolving – aesthetically and golden undertones,” according functionally. Contributed photo to Pantone, the industry leader Sometimes design trends Clean lines and interesting lighting are smart choices when in color. are industry-wide, with subremodeling a bathroom. That doesn’t mean that stantial support for why a you should run out and buy ways to look at design trends. design is worthy or, for better ors quite often. But if you several gallons and repaint only admire from afar, you’re First, and most important, or worse, retired. On the your residence, inside and out. not participating in the design- consider what makes you other hand, some design Instead, add color with accesing fun. happy. No need to lie down trends come from online sories like pillows or artwork, The answer is to find your on your leather upholstered design aficionados, popular guest bedroom linens or tableway through the never-ending chaise lounge and ponder this retailers or even your bestie top accessories. Or, physically question with your inner psyIt can be overwhelming to supply of design trends with class, style and balance. My che. But if you’re considering try on the color with a new interpret how to make the trends work with your aesthet- advice is to start with an open a remodel or improvement of dress or pair of shoes. If you feel you need to be any kind, think seriously about ic. If you follow them all, you mind. part of the color trend, I think there are a few what you like. could be changing your interi-

‘Books for Living’ a timeless look at some really good ones

Will Schwalbe, author of “The End of Your Life Book Club,” has once again given life to his love of books and reading. “Books for Living” is sort of a book club for everyday living and a pure pleasure to recommend. There are as many reasons for reading as there are readers. Schwalbe’s introductory pages contain his inventory of reasons for picking up a book. “I’m not the same reader when I finish a book as I was when I started. Brains are tangles of pathways, and reading creates new ones. Every book changes your life. So I like to ask: How is this book changing mine?” The author takes us back to some of the books he read in his youth, into the reading of his middle years and now in his maturity. Each chapter captures not only a singular title, but his reasons for reading the book at the time it was

picked up and how the book may have changed him. The first chapter bears not only a book’s title, “The Importance of Living,” but also its life lesson: “Slowing Down.” I’ve reread this chapter several times and have already ordered a copy of Lin Yutang’s “The Importance of Living.” It is a book first published in 1937, and I suspect its mantra of slowing down is more important today than it

was in its popularity all those years ago. For those who love books about books, Schwalbe’s latest is a treasure. Not only does the reader get to see which books have made a difference in the author’s life, but we get to measure, and often remeasure, our own association with those titles. We may not begin a novel expecting to discover something within its plot or characters that will change our lives, but it can happen and often unexpectedly does. David Copperfield becomes a lifelong hero of sorts for Schwalbe, which is another reason for recommending “Books for Living.” It’s not only the author’s personal take on books, but without becoming preachy his writing about books that were or are important to him invites us to remember our favorite books and maybe discover that they, too, taught us something about living.

tian Bale and Steve Carell inhabit the roles of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, respectively. The film focuses on Cheney’s path from Yale dropout to shot-caller vice president. It takes a long time getting there, but the payoff watching Cheney mastermind much of the Bush presidency is worth it. “BlacKkKlansman.” Spike Lee tells the true story of Ron Stallworth (Denzel’s son John David Washington), a rookie black policeman in Colorado who infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan. Stallworth talks his game on the phone, while Adam Driver plays the white Jewish cop who does the in-person infiltration. “Green Book.” All-star acting by Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen elevate what could have been a bland road film into an excellent look at an unknown piece of history. When black musician Don Shirley (Ali) goes on tour in




You will love his appendix of authors and titles, and I would bet that you will see some book titles you’d forgotten you’d read. Schwalbe’s books range from novels (literary and popular) to history, self-help, essay collections and “how to” books (“Bird by Bird”) and even cookbooks. “Books for Living” is the perfect winter read. It is the sort of book that can be read straight through or by skipping around to chapters that strike your fancy.

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

the south during the 1960s, he hires a slightly racist white New Yorker (Mortensen) to be his driver. Both men learn a lot about each other and the cultures into which neither of them neatly fit. “Black Panther.” As I stated in my review of the film, “(Ryan) Coogler proves adept at exploring themes of race and equality while keeping the film focused in the superhero universe.” However, unlike the bulk of the superheroes of the MCU, Black Panther is morose and introverted. Perhaps that’s why I did not enjoy it as much as “Thor: Ragnarok” or “Avengers: Infinity War.” “A Star is Born.” Bradley Cooper plays self-sabotaging, fading rocker Jackson Maine. He encounters a diamond-inthe-rough singer Ally (careeraffirming performance by Lady Gaga). His star falls as

See Movies, page B7

I’m not suggesting all white or beige, or anything boring and muted. Think clean lines, colors that enhance the architecture of your home, lighting that is both interesting and functional, and a layout that provides functional storage and good movement. Consider trends that modernize and ultimately make your living space better, rather than start the clock on an expiration countdown. Jennifer Leischer is the owner of J. Designs Interior Design based in Clayton. Contact her with questions and suggestions by email at jenna@j-designs.com.

ARF Stars Mercury and Hops


Delving into this year’s best picture choices

Colman emits a grace in Anne that history has long forgotJEFF MELLINGER ten. Longtime friend and confidant Lady Sarah (Rachael SCREEN SHOTS Weisz) battles with upstart maid Abigail (Emma Stone) for Anne’s love and friendship. Academy voters were A darkly funny and obscene unimpressed by films from 2018 that took place in mod- film, it is also one of the best cinematic achievements this ern times. century. Only two Best Picture “Roma.” “Children of nominees are based in the Men” and “Gravity” showpresent – one whose original cased Alfonso Cuaron’s deft version was made in 1937, the use of the camera, and other a fantastical superhero “Roma” cements his place movie. among the masters of the art. This year’s crop is good, Long takes, use of space and but not great. Movies have beautiful tracking shots capcontinued a troubling trend of ture the lives of an upperbeing overall less impressive middle class family in early year after year. I hope 2019 1970s Mexico. Their live-inwill buck that movement. Here’s a look at this year’s nanny Cleo (Yalitza Aparacio) navigates being a pseudo-famOscar nominees: ily member while trying to “The Favourite.” Director Yorgos Lanthimos follows establish her own life. “Vice.” Adam McKay folthe bonkers “The Lobster” lows “The Big Short” with with this gem based on a love another true story that triangle during the time of demands to be heard. ChrisEngland’s Queen Anne. Olivia

indulge just enough to satisfy your curiosity – but not so much that you’re spending your design budget on something that could be just a fling. Bathrooms and kitchens can be challenging when it comes to trends, because these living spaces have no-nonsense budgets and timelines when starting from scratch or remodeling. Instead of bright and daring colors, tricked-out cabinetry with busy countertops or accessories that you “just” read about in House Beautiful, think classic and timeless design.

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Ten-month-old Mercury is a pleasant, personable dog looking to capture your heart. This goofy gal is a rawhide chew enthusiast who loves getting belly rubs and would do just about anything for a tiny morsel of cheese! She’s also a pretty serious cuddler and she might just try to crawl into your lap if the opportunity presents itself! The adoption fee for puppies under 6 months is $300, for adult dogs is $250, and includes a discount on the first six-week session of a manners class. Three-year-old Hops is one handsome guy with his beautiful blue eyes and creamy fur. He’s also very loveable and affectionate. He has a deep rumble of a purr that he turns on whenever he’s being petted or cuddled. Hops is a confident and outgoing fellow


and will fit in to just about any home. He is bonded to his good buddy Malt and they need to be adopted together. You really couldn’t ask for a more delightful twosome and you’ll have twice as much love as a reward. The adoption fee for kittens <6 months $125 and for adult cats is $75. Meet your forever friend at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek, during adoption hours: Noon to 6 pm Wednesday & Thursday, Noon to 7 pm Friday, and Noon to 6 pm Saturday & Sunday.

Would you like to be part of the heroic team that saves the lives of rescued dogs and cats? ARF volunteers are making a difference! For more information see our website, www.arflife.org, or call (925) 2561ARF.

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March 2, 9 English as a Second Language Workshops

Sponsored by the Diablo Valley Literacy Council. No teaching experience required but volunteers must attend both training sessions and commit to 1-2 hours a week after being matched with a student. 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 4000 Clayton Road, Concord. $20 for materials and training. Register at 925-685-3881. dvlc4esl.org.

Tuesdays Concord Farmers Market

10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays, Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. pcfma.org.


March 14 St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

Open to the public. 4 p.m., Diamond Terrace Dining Room, 6401 Center St., Clayton. Free. 925-524-5100.

Health Feb. 23, March 2, 9, 19

Introduction to Mainstream Mindfulness Meditation Relieve stress and reduce emotional and physical discomfort by learning how to be kinder to yourself and others. 10-11 a.m., Arts and Crafts Room, Diamond Terrace, 6401 Center St., Clayton. Attendance at all classes recommended. Free. Contact joe_machamer@comcast.net.

Feb. 28 The Most Common Female Urologic Conditions

February 28, 2019 Medical experts will discuss the latest treatment options for female incontinence, overactive bladder, pelvic organ prolapse, menopause and postmenopause. 6:30-8:30 p.m., Lafayette Library Community Room, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd. Register by email at sjung@dvohmg.com.

March 1 Live Strong Health Expo

Presentations on back pain and boxing fitness, raffle prizes and health resources for all ages. 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Circle, Concord. Free. 925-671-3320.

Tuesdays Nar-Anon Family Group

A support group for families and friends of addicts. 7:30 p.m., John Muir Medical Center, 2540 East St., Concord. Free. 510427-2607.


Feb. 16, 23 Nature Discoveries

Learn what’s flying, crawling or blooming with a different nature subject each week. 10-11 a.m., meet at the end of Somersville Road, Black Diamond Mines. $5 parking. 510-544-2750 or ebparks.org.

Feb. 16, 23 Snake Friends

Meet the snakes and learn about snakes and other ectotherms. 1:30-2 p.m., Sidney Flat Visitor Center, 5175 Somersville Road, Black Diamond Mines. $5 parking. 510-544-2750 or ebparks.org.

Feb. 16, 23 Historic Somersville

Learn about 19th-century mining and go on a short walk. 1-2 p.m., meet at the end of Somersville Road, Black Diamond Mines. $5 parking. 510-544-2750 or ebparks.org.

Feb. 23 Amazing Amphibians

Learn about salamanders, newts and frogs. For those 5 and older. 10:30-11:30 a.m., meet at Briones Road Staging Area, 2537 Reliez Valley Road, Martinez. Parking fee. 510-544-2750 or ebparks.org.

Feb. 24 Frog Pond/Green Ranch Hike

A 9.5-mile hike with an elevation gain of about 2,100 feet, sponsored by Mt. Diablo Interpretive Association. Rain cancels. 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Meet at Curry Point on South Gate Road, Mt. Diablo. $10 car fee. RSVP to jvanakkeren@comcast.net. Hike 2-3 miles through this windswept landscape. 9 a.m.-2 p.m., 9450 Marsh Creek Road, Brentwood. $35-$40. 510-544-2750 or ebparks.org.

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Through Feb. 23 “Communicating Doors”

A hilarious mash-up of “Psycho” and “Doctor Who,” Center REP, Lesher Center. $34-$56.

Through March 2 “Fuddy Meers”

A rare form of amnesia plagues Claire, B8 Theatre. $15-$25.

Through March 3 “White Guy on a Bus”

A brutal look at race in America, Women of Words, Campbell Theater. $20-$22.

Through March 15 Valley Art Gallery Celebrates 70

Featuring 12 artists. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 1661 Botelho Dr., Suite 110, Walnut Creek. Free. Free. 925-935-4311 or valleyartgallery.org.

Through April 9 Call for Entries/“Around and About Diablo”

Juried, two-dimensional Valley Art Gallery exhibit focusing on the mountain and the communities surrounding it. Entries due April 9. valleyartgallery.org.

Feb. 15-16 “Pirates of Penzance JR”

Set sail with Sing Out, Del Valle Theatre. $25.

Feb. 15-24 “Noises Off”

A “loony” comedy about the theater world with mature content, Pittsburg Community Theatre, California Theatre. $20-$25.

Feb 16-17 “Let’s Dance”

Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra. Feb. 16, El Campanil Theatre. Feb. 17, Lesher Center. $7-$30.

Feb. 17-25 “Stage Kiss”

A romantic comedy set in the theater world, Other Other Theatre Company. Lesher Center. $17.

Feb. 24 “Beau Jest”

A sweet romantic comedy, Vagabond Players 2 p.m., El Campanil. $15-$18.

Feb. 25 “The New U.S.-Russian Cold War”

With Stephen Cohen and Katrina vanden Heuvel, to benefit KPFA radio. 7:30 p.m., First Congregational Church, 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley. $12-$15. See ad in today’s Pioneer or brownpapertickets.com.

March 1 Victor Krummenacher’s Flying Circus

To promote a new CD release. 8 p.m., Armando’s 707 Marina Vista Ave., Martinez. $15. 925-228-6985.

March 1, 3 “The Emporer’s New Clothes”

Classic tale of a vain emporer, El Campanil Children’s Theatre. El Campanil. $9-$13.

March 7-10 “The Emporer’s New Clothes”

A family-friendly music that encourages audience participation, Fantasy Forum. Lesher Center. $14.

March 15-16 “La Vida Loca”

A one-man show about a Mexican Immigrant, Los Medanos College Equity Series. California Theatre. $10-$12.

March 15-24 “I Am My Own Wife”

A one-man show about a cross-dressing antique collector and the LGBT movement during WWII. Martinez Campbell Theatre.

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Feb. 16 Alpha Rhythm Kings.

Swing band and dancing. 7:30 p.m., Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church social hall, 1578 Kirker Pass Road, Clayton. $15. 925672-4848 or cvpresby.org.

Feb. 23 Daddy-Daughter Dance

Open to all girls and dads, uncles, granddads and friends. Includes professional portrait, dessert and dancing. Sponsored by Clayton Community Church. 6:30-9 p.m., Oakhurst Country Club, 1001 Peacock Creek Dr., Clayton. $25 per couple; $5 each additional guest. Register at claytoncc.com/daddydaughter. Details at jamie.davis@claytoncc.com or 615-495-4349.

March 9 Viva Las Vegas


To benefit St. Agnes School in Concord. Carondelet High School, 1133 Winton Dr., Concord. stagnesconcord.com.

March 23 Blue Devils B/C Crab Feed

All you can eat crab, salad, garlic bread, pasta, plus wine with dinner and desert. Silent auction, raffle, music and dancing. 5:30-10:30 p.m., Sunset Hall, Contra Costa County Fairgrounds, 1201 West 10th St., Antioch. $60. eventbrite.com/e/2019-crabfeed-fundraiser-tickets-54606108340.

2nd and 4th Sundays Pancake Breakfast

Eggs, pancakes, sausage, beverage. 8-11 a.m. VFW Post 1525, 2290 Willow Pass Road, Concord. $5, $3 children under 12. vfwpost1525.org.

Cars for the Camp Fire

Donate a running vehicle for victims of the fire in Paradise, sponsored by the Clayton Valley Concord Sunrise Rotary Club and the Rotary Club of Paradise. 925-326-5868 or cars4paradise.org.


Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. Full schedule at ccclib.org. 925-646-5455.

Fridays and Saturdays through March 9. AARP Tax Services, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Call 925-405-5135 for appointment. Feb. 19, Adult Book Club, “The Sun is Also a Star.” 4 p.m. Feb. 21, Commuting by Bike, presented by Bike East Bay, 6 p.m. Feb. 25, African Dancing, Drumming and Traditions, 7 p.m. Feb. 25, Dr. Seuss Celebration, 1:30 p.m. Feb. 28, Adventures in Coding, 3 p.m. Registration required. March 4, Go with the Flow: Juggling Event, 7 p.m. March 5, Telling Your Story: Writing and Women’s History Month, 4 p.m. March 6, Teen Tech Week, 3:30 p.m. March 10, Mystery Book Club, “To Love and Be Wise, 1 p.m. March 12, Concord Art Association Meeting and Demonstration, 1:30 p.m.

Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. Full schedule at claytonlibrary.org. 925-6730659. Feb. 25, March 11, Clayton Knits, 1:30 p.m. Feb. 28, Kindergarten Countdown, 2 p.m. Feb. 28, Seussiville Puppet Party/Craft, 4 p.m. March 6, Author B. Lynn Goodwin: “Never Too Late,” 4 p.m. March 11, Women’s History Month movie, 2 p.m. March 11, Dinosaur craft, 4 p.m. March 11, Book Club, 7 p.m.


March 15-31 “Peter and the Starcatchers”

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

March 16-17 “All John Williams”

1st and 3rd Wednesdays Concord Planning Commission

DVC Drama Department, 321 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill. 925-969-2358 or dvcdrama.net. Featuring light sabers and Quidditch brooms, California Symphony. Lesher Center. $42-$72.

b8 Theatre Company, 2292 Concord Blvd., Concord. b8theatre.org. 925-890-8877. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. pittsburgcaliforniatheatre.com. 925-427-1611. Del valle Theatre, 1963 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek. lesherartscenter.org. 925-943-7469. el Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. elcampaniltheatre.com. 925-757-9500. Lesher Center for the arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. lesherartscenter.org. 925-943-7469. Martinez Campbell Theater, 636 Ward St., Martinez. campbelltheater.com. 925-350-9770.

Meeting dates and times for local clubs and organizations are listed at concordpioneer.com. Click on ‘Links’

6:30 p.m., Council Chamber, Civic Center, 1950 Parkside Dr. cityofconcord.org. 7 p.m. Council Chamber, Civic Center, 1950 Parkside Dr. cityofconcord.org.

1st and 3rd Tuesdays Clayton City Council

7 p.m. Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. ci.clayton.ca.us or 925-673-7304.

2nd and 4th Tuesdays Clayton Planning Commission

7 p.m., Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. ci.clayton.ca.us or 925-673-7304.

February 15, 2019


The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

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Sidle up to CTC’s ‘Savannah Sipping’

son and Chelsea Bearce star in this exploration of the seen and unseen, spoken and hushed sides of white and black America. The play by Bruce Graham runs through March 3 at the Martinez KATHRYN G. MCCARTY Campbell Theatre. Tickets at ON THE MARQUEE womenofwords.brownpapertickets.com or 925-3509770. Clayton Theatre Company Pittsburg Community Thecelebrates two 2018 Shellie atre production of Michael Award winners for their outFrayn’s comedy “Noises standing work in Contra Costa Off ” is an hysterical, playtheater. Heidi Cross won the within-a-play look at the folShellie for Special Contribulies of theater folk, whose sustion to the Performing Arts, ceptibility to out-of-control and lighting designer Don egos, memory loss and pasStone took home the award sionate affairs turn every perfor his work in “Lend Me a formance into a high-risk Tenor.” Up next for the comadventure. It is a delightful pany is the hysterical comedy backstage farce, brimming “The Savannah Sipping with slapstick and complete Society,” March 28-April 13. with slamming doors, falling Tickets at claytontheatrecomtrousers and sardines. It plays pany.com or 925-222-9106. Jonathan Mercer B-8 artistic director JanLee “The Savannah Sipping Society” runs March 28-April 13 at through Feb. 24 at the California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave, Marshall stars in David Lind- Endeavor Hall in Clayton. Pittsburg. Tickets at 925-427say-Abaire’s “Fuddy Meers,” 1611 or pittsburgcaliforniatheplaying through March 2. lotte von Mahlsdorf. The romantic comedy that blurs Directed by Max Minton, the cross-dressing antique collec- the line between onstage, off- atre.com. The Los Medanos College comedy is about a woman suf- tor’s “museum” served as a stage, truth and farce. It’s a Equity Series is producing fering from a rare form of key meeting place for LGBT classic love story. Actor meets “La Vida Loca,” an apolitipsychogenic amnesia who citizens during WWII. actor. Actor loses actor. When cal, in-your-face odyssey of encounters a host of hysteriOnstage Theatre founder the actors are forced to work Mexican immigrant Carlos cal characters as she attempts Helen Means directs Nott, together again as romantic Manuel. The one-man show is to recall everything she has portraying more than 40 char- leads, is art imitating life of a highly kinetic monologue forgotten. This is the compa- acters in the story of a surlife imitating art? Lexie Lazear that crosses physical and psyny’s last show in the downvivor of Nazi and Communist directs, with performances chological borders as Manuel town Concord location, 2292 regimes in East Berlin. The Feb. 17-25 at the Vukasin challenges the assumptions of Concord Blvd., as it will show runs March 15-24 at the Theatre, Lesher Center, Waluproot for the rest of its sea- Martinez Campbell Theatre, nut Creek. Tickets at 925-943- ethnic and sexual identity. Performances are March 15 and son. Tickets at 925-890-8877 636 Ward St. Tickets at 925SHOW or leshercenter.org. 16 at the California Theatre, or b8theatre.org. 350-9770 or Take a bumpy ride with Randall Nott stars in the campbelltheater.com. some hard truths about racism 351 Railroad Ave, Pittsburg. one-man show “I Am My The Other Other Theatre in Women of Words (WOW) Tickets at 925-427-1611 or pittsburgcaliforniatheatre.com. Own Wife,” Doug Wright’s Company presents Sarah production of “The White “A Grand Night for innovative work about CharRuhl’s “Stage Kiss,” a Guy on the Bus.” Avi Jacob-

Where there’s paint, there’s passion and problem-solving



After working together at a preschool, Amy O’Brien and Abby Conner realized they shared a common dream of opening a family art studio. As moms themselves, they knew the value of such a space – where kids and grown-ups can make art and make a mess, too. With some research and planning, they became business partners in 2016 and opened I Heart Art in Pleasant Hill. “We bring art to all ages,” says O’Brien. “It’s especially sweet to watch parents create with their toddlers. Art is both calming and bonding for both of them.” O’Brien goes on to describe their after-school program for older kids, without parents in tow. “We host a really fun Art Club twice a week for 7- to 12 year-olds. We have lots of different art and craft supplies they can use, including recyclables. We teach them about certain tools and techniques, but really there’s no right or wrong way to make art,” she explains. “Kids can spend hours drawing, painting or gluing things together randomly while their imagination runs wild and free. They can also be inspired to create by specific experiences they’ve had,” she adds. “We had a boy one


summer who was in town visiting his grandmother. They had just been to San Francisco, where he saw the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time. He came in to the studio afterward, went to our makers table, which is always filled with random stuff, and he made an amazing replica of the bridge out of straws, cardboard and string.” In addition to providing parents with respite, I Heart Art gives kids a sense of pride. “Making art is about more than color and composition,” Conner says. “It’s also about problem-solving and self-empowerment.” Conner notes that children are often skeptical about their artistic skills at first. “But with a little trial and error, they figure out how to make it. Then they make it better. Then they realize they have the power to create,” she says. “It does wonders for their confidence and self-esteem.” Through this process, the kids become part of an art community – what Conner calls “a special place to make new friends and share common interests that doesn’t

story and a community to write a school report in “Brooklyn Bridge.” This California premiere, penned by Melissa James Gibson, also stars Tom Reilly, Emma Curtin, Terrance Smith and Leticia Duarte. It runs Feb. 28-March 23 at Town Hall Theatre, 3535 School. St., Lafayette. Tickets at 925-2831557 or townhalltheatre.com.

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

Joel Roster

“The White Guy on a Bus” from Women of Words plays through March 3 at the Campbell Theater in Martinez.

Movies, from page B5



Singing,” a Role Players Ensemble fundraiser, features music from legendary Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein classics. Co-directed by Sharon Sprecher and Tielle Baker with music direction by Greg Zema, the show includes a special appearance by Danville resident Gary DeAtley. It runs March 15 and 16 at the Village Theatre, 233 Front St., Danville. Tickets at roleplayersensemble.com. Charming Emma Curtin plays a 10-year-old latchkey kid searching her brownstone neighborhood for a pen, a

Lisa Fulmer

involve staring at a mobile device.” There’s no shortage of creative things to try at the I Heart Art studio for kids, teens and adults alike. Visitors will find papers and paints, a pottery wheel and a kiln, sewing machines, rubber stamps, wood crafts, glass fusing supplies and more. In addition to the monthly children’s art programs, they host birthday parties, paint and sip nights, drop-in days, pop-up art shows and studio workshops. Connor and O’Brian have turned their passion for art into a business, and it brings them joy to help people discover their own passion for art. They are now working closely with local artists and community organizations to provide a wider variety of activities, like an Art Nite Out for adults on the first Friday of each month.

You can learn more at iheartartstudio.co. Lisa Fulmer is a mixed media artist, small business marketing consultant and community arts advocate.

hers rises, even though her music worsens. The story has been told several times before. Cooper directs the modern version using excellent cinematography and performances by Sam Elliot and Andrew Dice Clay. “Bohemian Rhapsody.” This film is about the band Queen but focuses almost solely on lead singer Freddie Mercury (wholly embodied by Rami Malek). Malek perfectly captures Mercury’s ferocious stage presence and flamboyant personality. Other than some fantastic song creation scenes, the film doesn’t do much besides act like a greatest hits collection onscreen. My personal top 10: 1. “Mission Impossible 6” 2. “The Favourite” 3. “Hereditary” 4. “Roma” 5. “Vice: 6. “Avengers: Infinity War”

Jeff Mellinger is a screen writer and film buff. He holds a BA in Film Studies and an MFA in film production. He lives in Concord. Email comments to editor@pioneerpublishers.com.

7. “A Quiet Place” 8. “BlacKkKlansman” 9. “Creed 2” 10. “Green Book”

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2:00 pm


2:00 pm

March/A pril

28 Preview 7:30 pm 4 7:30 pm

11 7:30 pm

29 7:30 pm

5 7:30 pm

12 7:30 pm

30 2:00 pm 7:30 pm 6 2:00 pm 7:30 pm 13 2:00 pm 7:30 pm

Endeavor Hall – 6008 Center St. – Clayton, CA

“The Sa vannah Sipping Society” is presented through special arrangement with Dramatists Play Ser vice, Inc..

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The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

February 15, 2019

February blooms a wonder to behold

February, yet garden chores still need to be completed. Daphne shrubs have basilshaped, leathery leaves of either dark green or dark green with yellow margins. The branches are mahogany NICOLE HACKETT colored and flexible. Daphne GARDEN GIRL starts to bloom in February, and the flowers last almost February is one of my through March. Tight clusters favorite months in the garof pink buds slowly open to den. expose white, star-shaped Daphne flowers perfume flowers. The clusters can easithe air, camellia plants bow ly be ¾-1½ inches wide. heavily with blossoms, tulip Although the flowers of magnolia trees create striking Daphne are beautiful, it’s the displays of boldly colored fragrance that is absolutely saucers and yellow, trumpetintoxicating. Install Daphne shaped flowers from Carolina in mostly shade with partial Jessamine beam along fences sun. and trellises. There is so Camellia japonicas are also much color to be enjoyed in just beginning to pop into


bloom. Large, peony-shaped flowers in all shades of red, pink and white cover the dense shrub this time of year. Camellias are forgiving bushes but do best when installed

“American Pickers” to film in California this March

Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz of “American Pickers.”

“American Pickers,” a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique “picking” on History, is returning to

California in March. The hit show follows Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for

America’s most valuable antiques. They are always excited to find sizeable, unique collections and learn the interesting stories behind them. The pair hopes to give historically significant objects a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about America’s past along the way. “American Pickers” is looking for leads and would love to explore hidden treasure in California. For consideration of a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques that the Pickers can spend the better part of the day looking through, send in name, phone number, location and description of the collection with photos to: americanpickers@cineflix.com or call (855) 653-7878.

in filtered light or morning sun. Keep camellias looking their best by fertilizing regularly and pruning after flowering. Tulip magnolia trees are spring’s most dramatic ornamental tree. They display huge, goblet-shaped flowers of cream, purple, mauve and red. These sought-after installations do great in full to afternoon sun. They

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Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. You can contact her with questions or comments by email at gardengirl94517@yahoo.com

Rose Hill, as seen from the trailhead, is lush from winter’s rains.

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struggled with pests should also apply dormant spray oil to fruit trees and citrus at this time. As the winter rains continue, it’s an excellent opportunity to apply multi-purpose granular fertilizer beneath the drip lines of landscape shrubs and ornamental trees. You can also apply multi-purpose granular fertilizer in flower beds. If you want to install summer vegetables, begin to get control of your veggie beds. Hand pull weeds, top off soil levels with a nutrientrich soil conditioner and add organic ingredients such as alfalfa meal and bone meal. Begin preparations now to ensure rich growing conditions once it’s time to install.

Transport yourself into Black Diamond’s wonders

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thrive in the spring months, but summer sun can burn their leaves. This is expected, and the spring beauty is worth every bit of the summer burn. Tulip magnolia trees can reach 10-15 feet tall and about half as wide, so plan accordingly before installation. Carolina Jessamine is a vine that blooms February through most of March. Generically called yellow jasmine, it has a shrubby tendency and does well grown around a post. Install in full to afternoon sun. Young vines do best when pruned back after bloom to promote dense foliage growth. If you haven’t done so yet, it’s time to give stone fruit trees their final application of copper fungicide. This late winter application is the most important and should be done while the trees are in bud, but before buds open. Those who have





Some call it an epidemic that sweeps over parts of California this time of year, while others believe it is some unexplained ailment. But those who are in tune with the karmic forces of the universe know that “hiking season” has officially started in Contra Costa County. As I found myself entangled in a network of trails sprawled within the 5,985 acres of Black Diamond Regional Preserve, I felt guilty for not returning to work after lunch but figured that delaying some much-needed trail time one more day might cause irreversible psychological damage. My time spent in Black Diamond Mines ingrained so many mental snapshots of wide open hillsides and never ending fields that I cannot get the color “green” out of my mind. We’re not talking about the forest green you might find in a crayola box, but a green so brilliant that I still have shades of this wonderful color burned onto the backs of my eyelids. Time was on my side for this hike. So with plenty of sunlight, I hooked together enough trails to stay outside for the better part of the afternoon. Stewartville Trail streamlines out of the Somersville Staging Area on a direct route toward Ridge Trail overlooking the entire Stewartville Valley. Within 15 minutes, I felt as if this were the top of the world. With so many choices at

this junction, I decided to take the high road in the form of Ridge Trail. It meanders atop the hillside high above the valley below and ultimately connects to Corcoran Mine Trail. This trail makes a healthy descent directly toward the Stewartville town site, which is nothing but a bit of history at this point. In 40 minutes, I went from the highest point I could find to a location deep at the end of the valley. My only trail mates during this entire hike were some local cattle who minded their own business and stayed off the trails, helping to minimize trail grenades (a.k.a. cow patties). I proceeded up the valley until I found Miners Camp Trail, an uphill single-track that abruptly lifts up from the valley floor as it skirts along a hillside – with Black Diamond Mines seen in every direction and Mt. Diablo standing tall in the background. Miners Camp Trail eventually meets back up with Stewartville Trail and put me back where I stood earlier

in the hike. While most folks would be heading for home, I must confess that I was not ready to return to my car, traffic or civilization. Therefore, a quick left onto Ridge Trail offered an easy escape from wide open, grass-laden hills and dropped me into a completely different environment. Green transformed to sandstone and grass to chaparral and manzanita as I followed Chaparral Loop Trail, which eases down into Manhattan Canyon. Cool temperatures, dense vegetation and views of the surrounding sandstone cliffs make this my trail of choice if you only pick one trail to hike all day. Finally, hike down to the bottom of Manhattan Canyon and walk past many of Black Diamond’s historical mine sites. Now, go hit the trail.

Send comments/suggestions to lukehollywood@gmail.com.

Black Diamond Mines/ Stewartville Loop

Trailhead: Black Diamond Mines Somersville Staging Area, end of Somersville Road in Antioch Distance: 5.5 miles Difficulty: Strenuous Duration: 2.5-3 hours

Profile for Pioneer Publishers

FEB 15 The Pioneer 2019  

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

FEB 15 The Pioneer 2019  

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

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