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January 11, 2008


Clayton Counts Down to 2008 TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer



City looks at more recreation options On Saturday, Jan. 12, Clayton’s new downtown park, the Grove, will have its grand opening. The opening of the Grove will be interesting for me since I am having a total knee replacement on Jan. 10. The Grove will be the latest venue for recreation in the city, and I will be there with the rest of the City Council to cut ribbons and open the park. Festivities start at 1 p.m. We already have a variety of recreation options in Clayton. We are nationally recognized for our well-used system of trails. We have playfields for baseball, softball and soccer. We have a variety of parks for people and dogs. Yet there are still unfulfilled recreation desires. The challenge is how to determine those desires and what can be done with limited funds to fulfill them. People have expressed a desire for a number of additional recreation facilities, including:. 1. Tennis courts open and available to all citizens. While there are private courts in Clayton, and neighboring Concord has public courts, people in Clayton want their own public courts. 2. Bocce courts to accommodate the needs of the Clayton league, which has trouble obtaining time on the very actively used Concord courts. Supporters say Bocce courts in town would greatly increase interest in the activity. 3. Skateboard park to accommodate young people. Again, Concord and other

See Mayor, page A6

What’s Inside SECTION A Around Town . . . . . . . . . . . .A2 From the Chief . . . . . . . . . . .A4 Letters to the Editor . . . . . . .A4 Going Green . . . . . . . . . . . . .A4 Classified Ads . . . . . . . . . . . . .A5 Directory of Advertisers . . . .A5 Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .A6 Safety Zone . . . . . . . . . . . . . .A6 School News . . . . . . . . . . . . .A7 On the Net . . . . . . . . . . . . . .A8 Music Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . .A8 Movie Reviews . . . . . . . . . . . .A9 Deal With It . . . . . . . . . . . . .A10 Financial Sense . . . . . . . . . .A11 Weather Words . . . . . . . . . .A13

Tamara Steiner/Clayton Pioneer

CREATIVE EFFORTS PAID OFF in the Clayton Counts Down Hat Making Contest for first place winner Caitlin Arango, whose feather trimmed sombrero sports a kangaroo atop. Confetti, bows and glitter brought in a second place win for Emily Wright. Third place winner, Mia Leonardy, seems to be waiting for a signal from a friendly alien.

See New Year, page A2

$756,100 awarded to protect Irish Canyon area ANDRÉ GENSBURGER Clayton Pioneer

It is not every day that a local group receives $756,100 in grant money to preserve open space threatened by development. Last month, Save Mount Diablo, an East Bay land trust formed in 1971, received an award from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the largest grant in the trust’s history. The money was used to purchase the 320 acres known as Irish Canyon on the outskirts of Clayton. The funding will allow the purchase as well as maintenance and oak woodland restoration. It will also help to speed preservation efforts along the Marsh Creek-Morgan Territory region northeast of Mount Diablo. “This grant will permanently protect the Irish Canyon parcel,” said Helen Kim, chief program officer for the San Francisco Bay Area Program of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. “It supports a

landscape-level, strategic effort to protect open space surrounding Mount Diablo.” An estimated 400,000 acres of open space in the Bay Area is at risk from development. “The Foundation seeks to protect the Bay Area’s unique lands for future generations,” Kim said. “We’re really pleased with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s confidence in our efforts,” said Ron Brown, Save Mount Diablo’s executive director. “We take seriously the incentive that they have provided us to increase the speed of our work. The same day that we closed escrow on Irish Canyon, we purchased another small property east of Mount Diablo, nine acres which we’re calling Marsh Creek I.” Prior to the award, the group conducted a BioBlitz in order to inventory all the species that could be found in the area as quickly as possible. A BioBlitz brings together scientists, naturalists and volun-

teers to document biodiversity present in the community. BioBlitz is a unique opportunity to explore, discover, educate and investigate biodiversity, cataloguing the species found in Irish Canyon as a first step in successfully understanding the environment. The study provides insight into the species that may need to be controlled or monitored on the property. The preliminary count of 273 species found during the BioBlitz included 10 mammals, 61 bird species, three reptile and three amphibian species, 25 invertebrate species including three native ants; and 171 plant species. Three different amphibian species were recorded in one pond, including the California red-legged frog, currently on the federal endangered species list, the Western toad and Pacific tree frog. In addition, three different owl species were recorded: Barn, Western Screech and Great Horned owls, as well as golden eagles

and sharp-shinned hawks. Of the plant species, Balsamroot was also observed, according to the Web site. Balsamroot is a locally rare plant known from only a few regions of the East Bay’s 40

plant regions. The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation focuses its annual awards in three areas: science and technology,

See Grant, page A12

High achieving city employees honored

Photo courtesy of Laura Hoffmeister

OFFICER RICH ENEA and Police Office Coordinator Lynn Christ took top honors at the city’s annual Employee Recognition Dinner.

TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer

SECTION B Garden Girl . . . . . . . . . . . . .B1 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B2 Crossword Puzzle . . . . . . . . .B4 Paws and Claws . . . . . . . . . .B5 Community Calendar . . . . . .B6 Church News . . . . . . . . . . . . .B7 Club News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B7 Food for Thought . . . . . . . . .B8

Whether your sights were set on a fancy hat, a fast turn around the basketball court or a bounce down the inflatable slide, you were sure to find something fun at the Clayton Counts Down celebration at the community gym on New Year’s Eve. This was the fifth year that the city has sponsored the noalcohol, free family event which is supported by donations from local merchants and individuals. An estimated 700 Claytonians and their friends polished off some 500 hamburgers and 800 hot dogs, all donated by local merchants, including major donations by Longs Drugs, A.D. Seeno Construction and Comcast. After dinner, revelers played board games, watched movies, hit the basketball and volleyball courts, played on “the big bouncy stuff ” or worked on their hat creations.

Photo courtesy of Save Mount Diablo

SAVE MOUNT DIABLO members track and identify birds in Irish Canyon.

Clayton Police Officer Coordinator Lynn Christ received double honors at the city employees’ annual awards banquet last month. Her peers in the police department honored her with the Police NonSworn Personnel Recognition Award. She also shared the Outstanding Achievement Award with City Manager Gary Napper. Hired by the city only a year ago, Christ already has a long list of achievements to her credit, most notably the inauguration of the city’s Community

Emergency Response Team training program. She also sits on the CERT Citizen Corps Council. She was also recognized for her efforts in researching, drafting and implementing the RV parking ordinance, as well as an agreement with the county for delinquent debt collections. Christ has been present at many community events this year, including being a judge for the Pioneer’s Christmas Cookie Contest. Characteristically, Christ’s favorite task was the somewhat less glamorous housekeeping chore of cleaning out and

See Employee, page A3

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Clayton Pioneer •

January 11, 2008

Around Town The Magic Kingdom comes to Englund’s It was a magical time at Englund’s Tea Room and Restaurant as Alice in Wonderland, Ariel the Little Mermaid and Snow White hosted a magical Disney Tea party for more than 240 people. Children of all ages sipped tea and nibbled on Mouse shaped finger sandwiches and castle shaped cookies as Disney music like “It’s A Small World” filled the air. Minnie Mouse and Mrs. Potts from Beauty and the Beast also stopped by for photos with the children.

Linda Blickensderfer makes Dean’s list at SOU Linda Lee Blickensderfer, 18, attending Southern Oregon University in Ashland, made the Deans List for fall term 2007. Linda is the daughter of Douglas Blickensderfer of Concord and Deborah Blickensderfer of Clayton. She graduated Clayton Valley High School in 2007. After obtaining her four-year degree in pre-medicine/chemistry Linda plans to attend medical school to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor.


Willem Ridder’s ‘Countdown to Freedom’ views WWII from a young boy’s perspective Ridder was a young Dutch boy during the War and much of the book reflects this perspective. This, along many documented references from a wide variety of sources, makes Ridder’s book an easy read, very interesting in its presentation. Ridder’s book is available through Clayton Books, as well as online at

Young Jenna West of Clayton enjoyed the tea party with Minnie Mouse (Kathy Paulson), Snow White (Meagan Kennedy), Ariel from “Little Mermaid” (Jessica Leist) and Alice in Wonderland (Mira Foster).

New Year,

from page A1

The festivities culminated in the hat judging with first place going to a kangaroo sombrero designed and crafted by Caitlin Arango, 9, of Clayton. Second place went to Emily Wright, also of Clayton. Mia Leonardy of Pittsburg captured third place. Clayton Counts Down began with a conversation several years ago between city council members Julie Pierce and Gregg Manning. They liked the idea of First Night event in Martinez, but it was too expensive. First Night is a licensed event requiring specific activities and fees and beyond the budget for Clayton. “We wanted something for families,” said Pierce, “and we had this beautiful new gym, so we figured we’d use it. The idea just grew.”

Dan Richardson, Craig Johnson and Dave Shuey cooked up the hot dogs and hamburgers at Clayton Counts Down.

The event takes a roster of volunteers some 40 strong and a budget of about $3,500. Clayton Counts Down is free to families, but donations are encouraged. The “tip jar” at this year’s event netted about $360 which will go towards next year’s event.

After signing a copy of his book “Countdown to Freedom”, Clayton author, Willem Ridder happily reads aloud from the book.

What’s happening Around Town?

Appearing for a book signing at Clayton Books, midDecember, 2007, Clayton author, Willem Ridder was happy to sign books for customers and chat about his childhood experiences during the Second World War

We want to know what’s happening in your families and in your neighborhoods. Send your news of births, special recognitions, engagements weddings, anniversaries, etc. to

“I am very happy to have the chance to talk with people,” Ridder said. “While we may believe that we are far from the dangers of WWII, it is my hope that my book will help people to understand what happened from a different point of view.”

See page B1 for More Fantastic Investments! n





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$1,239,980 Concord Crystyl Ranch – Marquis-model 4BD/3BA incl. a master bedroom w/retreat, fireplace & huge closet. The other bedrooms offer ample closets. 4th room is media room wired for sound! In back enjoy pool w/solar heat & outdoor kitchen w/built-in BBQ & fireplace.

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$969,980 Clayton Falcon Ridge – New flooring throughout this 4BD/3BA w/apprx. 3,079 s.f., vaulted ceilings & a full b/b downstairs. Elegant formal living & dining rooms. Gourmet kitchen w/double oven, pantry, island, breakfast bar & dining area. Pool-sized .5 acre lot w/fantastic RV/Boat pkg. & plush lawns.

Clayton $965,000 Morgan Territory – Peaceful, private 3.5 acre horse property w/Mt. Diablo views! 3BD/2BA has an updated kitchen w/double oven, oak floors & cabinets. Master suite has ample closets & French door to glass-surround sun room that brings nature to your door! 3-stall barn, hay storage & arena.

Clayton $699,980 Oakhurst – Popular single-story floor plan, Keller, has 3BD/2BA & apprx. 2,053 s.f. w/soaring ceilings & large windows. New paint, carpeting & tile throughout PLUS remodeled baths! Formal living & dining room & large, open kitchen/family room combo w/breakfast area. Private, groomed backyard.

Clayton $574,980 Downtown Clayton – Brand new everything inside and out! Fantastic Lemke home w/3BD/2.5BA plus loft. Kitchen is updated & has breakfast bar, pantry and island. Lovely fireplace in family room will warm you on these long winter days. Walk to award-winning schools!

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January 11, 2008

Clayton Pioneer •

Page A3

Single parents, STAND receive cars from Mike’s Auto Body AMY CRANE Special to the Clayton Pioneer

Christmas came early for three deserving families and one nonprofit organization in Contra Costa County. Mike’s Auto Body, owned by Clayton residents Mike and Lauri Rose, is one of more than 55 shops across the nation that participated in the Akzo Nobel National Benevolence Program, which presents refurbished cars to deserving individuals or organizations during the holiday season. Mike’s Auto Body, along with help from participating parties, has fixed up and donated 19 cars over the last seven years. Mike’s Concord location refurbished a 2000 Honda Accord donated by AAA of Northern California for Gloria Parker, who lost her daughter in a car accident and is now raising

her 4-year-old granddaughter. Six months after Parker’s daughter’s death, a relative totaled her car in an accident. She has been renting cars for the past year and a half. Kanika Guillory-Ashford is a single mother of two. Originally from Contra Costa County, she moved to Oakland for work, but still attends Los Medanos College in Pittsburg. She spends sometimes up to five hours getting to school on public transportation. The 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe, donated by Safeco Insurance and repaired by Mike’s Pittsburg shop, will help her balance her life between Oakland and Pittsburg. Non-profit organization Stand! Against Domestic Violence received a 2003 Ford Windstar, donated by Mercury Insurance Group and repaired by Mike’s Brentwood location. Many women flee their homes

with their children due to lifethreatening abuse. It is critical that STAND be able to provide families with quick and safe transportation. Ruben Garcia received full custody of his grandchildren due to his daughter’s fight with substance abuse. In Garcia’s struggle to be a better role model for his grandchildren, he joined the Proud Father’s Men’s Circle Support Group. He currently relies on public transportation for shopping and all of the children’s activities as well as attending his group. The 2001 Dodge Intrepid donated by Todd W. Ellicott and fixed up by Mike’s on Broadway in Walnut Creek will help Garcia’s days run more smoothly. “We are in an industry that has the means to get these vehicles road ready,” says Mike Rose. “It is just a matter of getting all our vendors on the same page.”





BRENNAN (holding baby) with three representatives from STAND.

Clayton Post Office rates high on customer service Employee, ANDRÉ GENSBURGER Clayton Pioneer

André Gensburger/Clayton Pioneer

THE CLAYTON POST OFFICE TEAM: Linda Martin, Johnnie L. Johnson (Postmaster), Andy Caceres, Jimmy Hernandez, Jocelyn Devera, Judy Corbett (Customer Service Supervisor)

Johnnie L. Johnson, Postmaster of the Clayton Post Office, will be the first to tell you that he takes his job very seriously. “Our goal is five minutes or less in line,” he said, explaining the district office “Secret Shopper” program, where they randomly visit post offices and stand in line. “They do this twice a quarter,” he said. “We scored 100 percent both times.” Johnson’s been on the job as Clayton’s Postmaster since August 2004, after transferring from a supervisory position at Concord’s post office. He had

been there since 1979 and has seen all the changes over the years, including online stamps, the effects of e-mailing and, of course, those “other guys.” “It’s all about service,” he said. Judy Corbett, customer service supervisor, agreed. “He’s all about the service.” “We just received a Five-Star Customer Service Award from the Oakland district office,” Johnson said, holding up the plaque and letter from District Manager Kim Fernandez. “This is a rating done by customers.” Following a tour of the Clayton facility, Johnson said it is the post office goal to have all mail delivered before 5 p.m.

When asked about the old motto: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” Johnson laughed as rain poured down outside the office. “We don’t have that,” he said, “but we do take our delivery seriously. We want our carriers safe,” he said. “It’s God first, then the post office. Even when we’re busy, we focus on our customers. They depend on us.” This holiday season, the post office was very busy. “I think we got a lot of 94521 business,” he said. “They like coming because of our friendly clerks. And we have very friendly clerks.”

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from page A1 organizing the police property evidence room. “I liked getting rid of all that stuff,” she said, laughing. “I’m detail oriented, so that was a fun job. I like success.” Christ describes herself as “married, with one dog.” Husband Steve is a BART police officer. Also receiving peer recognition awards for the second year in a row were Officer Rich Enea, who was named Sworn Police Employee of the Year, and Russ Eddy, who was “hands down” the favorite for Police Reserve Officer of the Year.

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Clayton Pioneer •

January 11, 2008

New laws in ‘08 DAN LAWRENCE




Many new laws take effect at the start of the New Year, covering everything from criminal justice to civil rights to education to health and safety. One new law makes it an infraction for a person to smoke a cigarette, pipe or cigar in a motor vehicle when a minor is present in the vehicle. For the purposes of this law smoking means to have in one’s immediate possession a lighted pipe, cigar or cigarette containing tobacco or any other plant. The law applies whether the vehicle is at rest or in motion. Officers will not stop a vehicle for the sole purpose of determining whether someone is smoking or not. Typically, a

determination will occur when the officer actually sees a violation, or is investigating other traffic infractions such as speeding. Another new law requires a person operating a bike during hours of darkness to utilize specified illumination devices (commonly referred to as lights) while riding on a highway, road, sidewalk or bikeway. Before the new law, these lighting requirements only applied to bicycles operated on highways during hours of darkness. The new law also requires a white or yellow reflector on each pedal, shoe, or ankle visible from the front and rear of the bicycle from a distance of 200 feet. Another new law prohibits the use or sale of any product that would impair the reading or recognition of a license plate by an electronic device operated by state or local law enforcement, or an electronic device operated in connection with a toll road, high-occupancy lane, toll bridge or other toll facility.

Letter to the Editor Trails and Landscape Committee thanks Dan Richardson We wish to publicly thank our former Chairman of The Trails and Landscape Committee, Dan Richardson, for his four years of dedication, determination and hard work. Over the course of the past four years, he has remained at the helm, while navigating two successive, advisory committees, through the uncertain territory of Clayton’s expiring Landscape District. The first of these was the Blue Ribbon Committee, which was

then followed by the Trails and Landscape Committee. Ultimately, the Landscape District was replaced last June when Clayton voters passed Measure B. We attribute our Committee’s ability to remain focused and its devotion to the District, to Dan’s diverse leadership skills and his genuine love for Clayton. The combination of his public service and landscape background has proven to be an invaluable asset in helping to define the Committee’s direction. We are extremely grateful for his perseverance and for his unwaver-

Finally, all drivers will be required to have a hands-free device in order to use a cell phone while driving a motor vehicle. This new law goes into effect July 1. In addition, the new law also prohibits anyone under 18 from operating a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone, even when equipped with a hands-free device or while using a mobile service device. The new law provides an exemption for the use of wireless telephones or mobile service devices for emergency purposes only. Officers will enforce this section if they observe a violation. Remember to follow the law in the New Year. If you have further questions about these new laws, or others, please call the Clayton Police Department at 673-7350.

Dan Lawrence is Clayton’s Police Chief. Please send your questions, comments or topics you’d like to see covered to

ing support. Both of these were instrumental in our continual outreach effort to inform residents about the Committee’s work and to raise the community’s awareness of our public landscape district. Indeed, he leaves behind huge shoes to fill. We wish him a well deserved rest and quality time with his close friends and family. The Trails and Landscape Committee Candace Bass, Chairman Victor Geisler, Vice-Chairman JoAnn Caspar David Disend David Johnson Jerry Kosel Kelly Marshall Virginia Siegel Bill Vineyard

Learn to be a licensed amateur radio technician with local classes ANDRÉ GENSBURGER Clayton Pioneer

If you have ever had an interest in learning to be an amateur radio operator, classes are now starting. Chuck Graham, licensed Amateur Radio operator and Clayton/ Concord Sunrise Rotarian, is offering a class leading to a technician (entry level) FCC amateur radio license. “Don’t worry,” Graham said. “You do not need to know Morse code anymore.” The classes are held in conjunction with the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network and will last six weeks at the Salvation Army, 3950 Clayton Road, Concord.

For the lexophile A plateau is a high form of flattery. The short fortune teller who escaped from prison: a small medium at large. Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end. When you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall. If you jump off a Paris bridge, you are in Seine. When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye. Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis. Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses. Acupuncture: a jab well done.

Photo courtesy of Chuck Graham

CHUCK GRAHAM AT HOME WITH HIS AMATEUR RADIO EQUIPMENT will be conducting amateur radio classes at the Salvation Army.

“While classes start on January 9,” Graham said, “people can make up classes and start later.”

To register or for more information, call Graham at (925) 689-7640.

Mark Anderson

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Getting rid of “toxic toys” Recent concerns surrounding toxic chemicals in children’s toys have focused on “phthalates” (pronounced THA-lates), a group of chemical compounds typically added to plastics to increase their softness and flexibility, and bisphenol A (BPA), a building block for polycarbonate plastic that is used primarily in shatter-resistant baby bottles. Phthalates are found in numerous industrial and consumer products, including plastic intravenous (IV) bags used in hospitals, fishing lures and nail polishes. One phthalate, diisononyl phthalate (DINP), is commonly used in the manufacture of soft vinyl products made for babies, such as bath books, rubber ducks and teething rings. Studies have linked BPA to the disruption of hormone function in rats, and to increased breast and prostate cancer cell growth, early puberty and obesity in humans. Other studies have linked phthalates like DINP to rodent cancers and genital abnormalities, especially in males. The city of San Francisco would have been the first U.S. jurisdiction to ban phthalates and BPA from children’s toys and feeding products under a “Stop Toxic Toys” bill signed by mayor Gavin Newsom in June 2006, but lawsuits backed by chemical and toy manufacturers (and filed by a coalition including the California Retailers Association, the California Grocers Association and the American Chemistry Council) stalled the initiative, which had been set to take effect December 1, 2006. Then on October 15, 2007, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law AB 1108 (also known as the California Toxic Toys Bill), making California the first state in the country to ban the use of phthalates from children’s products. “We are thrilled that California is taking action to protect our kids from dangerous chemicals,” said Dan Jacobson, Legislative Director for Environment California, which co-sponsored the legislation along with the Breast Cancer Fund. “This bill is so important because as children’s minds and bodies go through the delicate processes of growing and developing, they are particularly vulnerable to chemicals that could affect proper development.” The European Union considers phthalates dangerous enough to ban them from children’s products, and has ordered the removal of many variations from children’s products and banned still others, including DINP, from anything that kids might put in their mouths. Environment California and other groups see the EU ban as evidence that alternatives to these plasticizers exist and must be explored in the U.S. “Many places in the world have to comply with restrictions on phthalates,” says Rachel Gibson, an attorney for Environment California. “It’s a mystery why we sell toxic toys to American kids.” Until more stringent regulations are passed, consumers can use the recycling codes on plastic products to determine content. If it’s marked #7, it’s polycarbonate plastic and contains BPA; if it’s marked #3, it’s polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic and contains potentially harmful phthalates. For more information contact: Environment California,; or Breast Cancer Fund,

HOW TO MAKE SHOPPING MORE “GREEN-FRIENDLY” Although green-friendly goods are starting to show up just about everywhere, finding all the right products is still not as simple as a one-stop trip to the mall or major grocer. However, there are several reputable websites, mail order catalogs and storefront retailers that cater to the ecomotivated consumer. Online shoppers need not steer their web browser any further than The company sells, via its website and a printed catalog, a wide range of green items—from phosphate-free detergents and organic cotton bedding to compact fluorescent light bulbs and backyard composting kits. In 2000 Gaiam acquired RealGoods, the nation’s foremost retailer of “solar living” products, including solar water heaters, energy-efficient lighting and household battery chargers. Beyond mail order endeavors, the merged company also gets green goods out into mainstream retail outlets via partnerships with Target, Borders and others. Another good one-stop shop for green consumer goods is Green Home, which sells thousands of environmentally responsible home products online. From bedding and table wear to paper goods and lunchboxes, Green Home has the green consumer covered. Green Home was founded by Linda Mason Hunter, author of The Healthy Home: an Attic-To-Basement Guide to Toxin-Free Living, because she was having trouble sourcing environmentally friendly home items. Green Home also publishes the online magazine Living, a repository of feature articles on various aspects of living a greener lifestyle. If you’re more inclined to browsing store aisles than websites, natural foods markets like Whole Foods and Wild Oats (now being acquired by Whole Foods) carry a large number of green lifestyle products on their shelves. These stores aren’t just about organic produce anymore, and now stock everything from green detergents to cookware. Looking for more durable kinds of goods? The best one-stop source for green building materials is Ecohaus (formerly the Environmental Home Center), which stocks and ships a wide range of building materials, household equipment and supplies, kitchen and bath fixtures, flooring, countertops and cabinets, paints, finishes, wall coverings and home energy systems. The company has three stores in Portland and Bend, Oregon and Seattle, Washington, and also sells online. For those harder-to-find green goods, check out, which bills itself as “the Internet’s first green product search engine.” The site includes links to and in some cases reviews of more than 6,500 different green products from over 300 merchants. While it’s no one-stop shop—users purchase individual items direct from individual merchants—it does make for some interesting browsing. Another good online stop is EcoMall, which lists thousands of socially responsible manufacturers and distributors of just about every type of green product imaginable. For further information check out these websites: Gaiam,; Green Home,; Ecohaus,; EcoSeek,; and EcoMall,

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January 11, 2008

Clayton Pioneer •

Page A5

Classified HELP WANTED


Massage Therapists. Certification required. Call Massage Envy, (925) 672-3689. Real Estate Agents. Be Successful! Lynne French is expanding and interviewing for a few agents. Call her today (925) 672-8787.

MISCELLANEOUS Bookstore Wants Used Books Clayton Books is looking for quality used books to buy or trade. 5433 D Clayton Road, Clayton, 673-3325.

Nanny. Are you looking for a great nanny who is responsible and loving? I live in Clayton. Bi-lingual English/Spanish. Free Spanish lessons. References upon request. Please call me at 925-212-1418. Tutor/Educational Coach Experienced classroom teacher. Tutoring for grades 2-5 all subjects. Study skills/ Homework help. Professional, mature, and kind. Will come to your home or the local library. Please call Janet, 925-672-4360.

Perennial Garden Design by Nicole Hackett AKA the Garden Girl Personal consultations regarding plant choices, placement, identification, fertilizing and maintenance. Get your garden ready for the fall. Call or email for information and pricing. 673-1746 (leave message).

VACATION RENTAL Cabin for Rent Cabin in Blue Lake Springs (Arnold, CA). Sleeps 6, fully remodeled, quiet, use of recreation facilities. $150/night,

CALL FOR LOCAL ARTISTS The Clayton Community Library Foundation, (CCLF), a 501c3, non-profit organization is seeking artists, musicians, authors, storytellers and environmental groups to join them during the 5th annual Creekside Arts Celebration. This free public event will again highlight both visual and performing arts and entertainment for all ages, environmental groups, a local celebrity guest author and participation from local schools. This year's event will be held on Friday evening, February 29th; Saturday, March 1st and Sunday, March 2nd. Friday evening will include an artists "minishowcase" with a sampling of art for sale, a “live” raptor, a musical performance and refreshments. Saturday will include ongoing environmental groups, art sales, live demonstrations, authors book signing during “Meet the

Artists are requested to donate $25 for participation as well as a small percentage (20%) of their profits that will go towards supporting the library wildlife habitat and environmental programs and related materials for the library. CCLF will provide all advertising and publicity for this community fundraising event. Call Arlene Kikkawa-Nielsen, Community Events Coordinator, CCLF at 673-9777, e-mail

The CAC serves the Regional Authority by reviewing and commenting on the Authority’s implementation of Measures C and J (1/2 cent countywide sales tax).CAC’s role includes reviewing compliance checklists submitted by the government jurisdictions in fulfillment of growth management requirements and advising the Authority on strategic policy issues pertaining to the ongoing business of the Authority.


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R OBERT S TEINER , Publishers

P ETE C RUZ , Graphic Design B EV B RITTON , Copy Editor and Feature Writer R ANDY R OWLAND , Sports Writer

In Memoriam Jill Bedecarré

Directory of Advertisers Abbey Carpets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .686-9901 Aegis of Concord . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .692-5838 Allied Waste Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .685-4711 American Discount Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .680-0677 Apronstrings Pet Sitting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-7621 Beautique Beauty Supply and Salon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-0405


Benton, Mureleen - Ameriprise Financial

. . . . . . . . . . .685-4523

Burkin Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-1519 Butterfly Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-4238

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

Calkins, Bill - Charlotte Clifford Realtors . . . . . . . . . . . .673-9164


Cartridge World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-3500

Tamara Steiner

CD Federal Credit Union . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .825-0900

Send ads to Send Sports News to Randy Rowland Send Club News to Send Church News to

Return a completed application to the City Clerk by 5 p.m., Jan 25, 2008. The City Council’s screening committee will review applications, interview applicants, and recommend appointments to the City Council. Appointment of the City’s representative is expected to be made at the first meeting in February.



TAMARA S TEINER , Editor A NDRÉ G ENSBURGER , Reporter and Feature Writer

Carol Keane and Associates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .937-5200

Cegielski Jewelers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-2855 City of Clayton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-7300 Clayton Books . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-3325 Clayton Club Saloon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-0440 Clayton Mind and Body Connections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-0686 Clayton Valley Bowl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-4631 Clayton Valley Medical Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6744 Clayton Valley Shell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-3900 Computers USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9989 Cruise Adventures Unlimited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .935-7447 Diablo FC Soccer Academy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .212-8460

Applications may be obtained in person or by mail from City Hall, 6000 Heritage Trail, 673-7300; or download from the city’s Website at; or email the City Clerk at


Hospice of the East Bay Become a volunteer with Anna’s Program, a specialized program of Hospice of the East Bay, which provides support to women in Central and East Contra Costa who have been diagnosed with recurrent breast cancer. To apply for free training, call Hospice of the East Bay at (925) 887-5678 and ask for the Volunteer Department, or email

Beth Neudell

The city of Clayton is accepting applications for a Clayton resident to serve on the CC Transportation Authority’s Citizen’s Advisory Committee (CAC).


P.O. Box 1246 6200 Center Street, Suite F Clayton, CA 94517 Office: 925.672.0500, Fax: 925.672.6580

VOLUNTEERS WANTED Tax Assistance Volunteer Training The AARP Tax-Aide program provides free income tax assistance to many low and moderate income taxpayers, and in particular senior citizens. Volunteers are needed. Training will commence in early January. For more information about becoming an AARP Tax-Aide volunteer, contact Helen Crisman, TaxAide State Coordinator, at (650) 5914284.

B ETH N EUDELL , Administrative Assistant

Author”, as well as performances by the local community. On Sunday the art sales continue along with environmental groups and performances by local professional musicians. The weekend celebration will be held in the Library Community Room, adjoining outdoor courtyard and interpretive area in the certified wildlife habitat. The artisans will be both demonstrating and selling their artforms throughout the inside of the library as well.

Citizen’s Advisory Committee Contra Costa Transportation Authority


$950/week. Call Kevin Parker at 3839430 or parkerpaw.

Diamond Terrace Senior Retirement Living . . . . . . . . . .524-5100 Dromlewicz, Kim - Century 21 Hosking Assoc. . . . . . . .324-7072


Englund's Tea Cottage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-8327

Classified rates per insertion: Non-profit: $12 for first 30 words, $.20 each additional word Individual/non-commercial: $18 for first 30 words, $.30 each additional word Commercial: $48 for first 30 words, $.40 each additional word

Fly Media . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .437-2318

To place your classified ad over the phone, call the office at (925) 672-0500 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. Or, you may fax your typewritten ad and credit card information to (925) 672-6580 All classifieds must be paid for in advance by credit card (Master Card or Visa) We will not accept any ad that discriminates on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, nationality, family status or disability. The Clayton Pioneer reserves the right to reject any advertising we believe is unsuitable.

Laurence, Pete - Better Homes Realty . . . . . . . . . . . . .939-7920


Neptune Society of Northern California . . . . . . . . . . . . .944-5100

Weddings, engagements, anniversaries, births and deaths all weave together as part of the fabric of our community. Please let us know of these important events. We ask only that the announcement be for a Clayton resident. You will find the appropriate form for your announcement on our Website. Attach your photo to the form. Make sure the image size you are about to send is at least 3 MB but not bigger than 6MB. The only format we accept is JPG. You can also mail or bring your print to the office and we can scan it for you. Also on our Web site are forms for submitting Community Calendar items and press releases for your organization.

Flannery, Patty - Diablo Realty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-0541 French, Lynne - Windermere Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . .672-8787 Granelli Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-7238 Help - U - Sell Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .680-4950 Hudak, Jim - Pianist and Composer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-7293 Insite Design and Build . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .980-0465 Isagenix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .570-5187 Ken Mitolo Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2460 La Veranda Restaurant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .524-0011 Lifelock . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .888-215-1391 Littorno, Richard - Attorney at Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6463 Mavericks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .602-5600 Massage Envy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-3689 Mazzei-Hyundai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .757-5600 Michael Dwyer & Sons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-3980 Mike's Auto Body . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-1739 Miller, Tom - Certified Public Accountant . . . . . . . . . . . .354-1385 Monte Vista Veterinary Hospital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-1100 Morucci, Kim - Intero Real Estate Services . . . . . . . . . .280-8563 Music Together . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .946-2990 Navlet's . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .681-0550 Nichols Landscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9955 Nuchols, Alicia - Bank of America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .497-6195 Oakhurst Country Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9737 Ouimet Funeral Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-4242 Pans on Fire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .600-7267 Patrick, Michael, Realtor - Keller Williams . . . . . . . . . . .858-5690 Postal Annex + . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-8900 R.E. Carpet Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .595-8623 RMoney Coach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .265-1115 Roberta Claire Photography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .625-1123 Robin's Ranches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-7323 Rocco's Ristorante & Pizzeria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .947-6105 Schaefer's Painting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .260-6065 Seasonal Reflections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-4425 Simply Clean . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .395-1906 Smith Bernal Roofing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-0138

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Clayton Pioneer welcomes letters from our readers. As a general rule, letters should be less than two double spaced pages 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 your name, address and daytime telephone number. We will not print letters from “anonymous.” E-mail your letter in a Word Document to Letters MUST be submitted via E-mail.

Sonset Flowers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .685-8200 Sorelle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-3500 Straight Line Imports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .335-9801 Tabernacle School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .685-9169 The Maids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-6243 The Royal Rooster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2025 The UPS Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-6245 Tipperary Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216-2679 Today Hauling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .497-4907 Travel to Go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9840 Travis Credit Union . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .800-877-8328 Utopic Gardens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .524-0055 Van Wyck, Doug - State Farm Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2300 Vonage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .800-581-7152 Vujnovich, George - Better Homes Realty . . . . . . . . . .672-4433 We The People . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .246-0370

Clayton Pioneer •

January 11, 2008

Get creative to get the home you want At that time, creative financing might not have been the preferred way to finance a home sale. But, in many cases, it was the only way to close a sale.


REAL ESTATE Creative financing, a term used to describe any financing arrangement that deviates from conventional financing, has a place in today’s market, even though interest rates on conventional mortgages are incredibly low. Homeowners who are trading from one home to another should consider creative financing options if they intend to buy a new home before selling their

current home. A seller who doesn’t need all of his equity in cash at the time of sale might be willing to carry financing for a buyer who needs an interim loan in order to buy before selling his current home. For example, let’s say you’re trying to buy a $700,000 home. You have enough in savings for a 15 percent down payment, or $105,000. Your objective is to have a mortgage amount equal to 75 percent of the purchase price, or $525,000. So, you’re $70,000 short. Suppose the seller owns his home free and clear of any mortgages. He’s trading down to a smaller home that will cost him $500,000. He doesn’t have any immediate need for the other $200,000. The seller could carry a $105,000 loan for you or even a larger loan if you want to conserve cash for emergencies. The seller’s loan would be secured against the property that you’re buying and he’s selling, as a second mortgage. It would be secured behind the new first mortgage you obtain from a conventional lender.

The terms of the loan-loan amount, interest rate, due date and payment schedule are negotiable between the buyer and seller. A due on sale clause is usually included in such a loan. This clause states that the loan is to be paid off when the buyer’s home sells. In some cases, the seller may want the loan he’s carrying for you to be recorded against both the property you’re buying and the one you’re selling. This guarantees that the seller is repaid when your old home sells. To ease the financial burden of owning two homes, ask the seller to defer monthly payments during the term of the loan. In this case, you would pay the deferred payments in a lump sum when you repay the loan in full. Deferred payments will also make it easier for you to qualify for the new first mortgage on the home you’re buying.

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Few buyers in this country pay all cash for a home. Most buyers make a cash down payment and finance the balance of the purchase price with one or more mortgages. In today’s low interest rate environment, conventional lenders provide most of this financing. But, that hasn’t always been the case. During the early 1980s, when interest rates shot up to as high as 18 percent, most buyers couldn’t qualify for mortgages. In order to complete home sales, buyers and sellers had to get creative. A seller who owned his home free and clear of any loan could offer to carry a mortgage for the buyer. In this scenario, the seller became the bank. The seller didn’t receive all his equity as cash at the time of sale. Instead, he carried a loan that was secured by a known property, and he collected a monthly income until the loan was paid off. There were also tax advantages for some sellers who carried financing, which made the arrangement beneficial to both parties.

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Thur . Jan. - Sat. 17 - 1 9

CERT moves ahead with disaster prep


SAFETY ZONE Much has happened since the second Community Emergency Response Team class graduated in October. The city of Clayton Citizen Core Council has been organ-

ized, area coordinators and an administrative coordinator have been selected, the Clayton CERT Web site and hotline have been established, and training dates for 2008 have been set. In 2007, 65 individuals completed CERT training in sessions in May and October. Three training classes have been scheduled for 2008, with the first six-week session beginning April 14 in Endeavor Hall. Applications may be obtained by calling Lynn Christ at the Clayton Police Department, 673-7350, or by calling the hotline. The city has been divided into three areas. Area coordinators are Lief Johannson for

Mayor, from page A1 nearby communities have skate parks, but they are some distance away and difficult to reach those without cars or drivers’ licenses. 4. A community swimming pool has come up as a recreation facility need in conjunction with the Diablo View Middle School. It would supplement both the middle school and the YMCA. I am sure there are other facilities residents desire. We all have wants and needs both on a

personal and community level. I would classify recreation facilities as wants rather than needs, but the issue should be addressed. The question is how to start the process. The last mayor wrote a column on a farmer’s market to try to assess the volume of interest. As part of that article he asked for input through e-mails. I am going to do the same thing to determine the community’s interest and desire for various

Area 1; Jim Webb for Area 2; and Rita Freeman for Area 3. These three key individuals are finalizing the Area Coordinator’s Guide, which will provide guidelines for CERT teams. Area coordinators are selecting rallying points and will be holding area team meetings within the next several months. A drill for current CERT members may be held in April. Administrative Coordinator Joan Manning will be responsible for monitoring the CERT hotline, as well as scheduling classes and other activities. Janet Johnson and Harun Simbirdi maintain the Web site. It includes information about



Clayton CERT, a map showing the three city areas, minutes of monthly meetings and other important information. The site also includes an earthquake preparedness quiz in the Other Links section.

Call the CERT hotline at (925) 673-7355 or go to for more information. Herb Yonge is a volunteer with the Clayton Police Department.

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recreation facilities. I am asking each of you who have an interest in seeing additional recreation facilities in Clayton to express to me what facility you think should be the city’s focus in the coming year. To participate in the process, e-mail me at I would like to know what you would like to see as the next recreation facility and what you want to do to help. Thanks!

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January 11, 2008

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer .com

Megan’s Law Database omits many offenders

cy Emergen s pair Storm Re tc. e Fences,


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There are three listed, registered sex offenders in Clayton, according to the Megan’s Law Web site database. Compared to the 63,000 registered sex offenders in the entire state, this number is small. However, it is important to note that the database, often assumed to be complete, omits many sex offenders. At this time, approximately 22,000 offenders statewide are not listed, although the site claims that their whereabouts are known to local law enforcement. There are also exceptions that can have sex offenders given an exemption from being listed. In fact, according to the site, approximately 25 percent of the

offenders are exempt from the list for a variety of reasons, including if the offender is a grandparent or a step-parent, if probation was ordered, or if acts are classified as “misdemeanor child molestation” or “sexual battery by restraint.” Arguments persist from state to state defining who should be listed. Registered sex offenders are required to update their addresses annually, within five days of their birthday. Transients must update their location every 30 days. Statistics gathered from the site show that 90 percent of child victims know their offender. Over half the offenders are family members. Most offenders do not use force; they use deception or enticement, and the abuse is typically over a long

School News DIABLO VALLEY MIDDLE SCHOOL DVMS will host a workshop on Raising Children in a Techno-savvy Home. A study by the Children’s Digital Media Center at Georgetown University revealed that kids volunteer far too much information to strangers. When asked, twothirds provide their age and at least their first name; 60 percent offer their location and contact information; one in five offer up their full name. Parents and teachers wonder if students and the children who are creating these blogs understand that ANYONE in

the world can read them. The World Wide Web is exactly that: World Wide. It is the responsibility of teachers and parents to help students understand the basics of Internet safety. And if parents and teachers don’t understand these dangers, how can they help students learn? Bradley Snider, a teacher of technology at Pleasant Hill Middle School, is currently studying for his Masters Degree in Educational Technology. He offers workshops to teachers and parents to get the answers to these serious questions: How much danger is my teen capable of getting in? How can I pro-

your you for I thank is past year. s th busines w Year


Happy N

period of time. Megan’s Law was named after 7-year-old Megan Kanka of New Jersey, who was raped and killed by a convicted sex offender who lived across the street. “We knew nothing about him,” says M a u r e e n Kanka, Megan’s mother, on the family’s foundation Web photo source: (AP) Megan Kanka site. “If we had been aware of at age 7. his record, my daughter would be alive today.” Passed hand-to-hand, more than 400,000 citizens signed a petition demanding immediate legislative action. The law was passed in 89 days, and from there the United States Supreme

Court agreed that the database could be placed on the Internet. The database was made public in 1996, and most states have some form of similar database. In an anonymous survey of 10 Clayton residents conducted outside the Clayton Post Office, eight believed that the information was necessary for the protection of the public. “That kind of thing just makes people go after the person for retribution,” one respondent said. Anyone who uses the information from the Megan’s Law database to harass an offender or his or her family is subject to criminal prosecution and civil liability.

For additional information, visit or htt p://

by statewide audition, to perform with the California Honor String Orchestra. Tiffany is a member of the Clayton Valley Orchestra, under the direction of Mr. Mundy Viar, and she studies violin privately with Lawrence Huang. The Honor Orchestra rehearsed and performed at the University of Redlands in Southern California December 7-8. *** The Mt. Diablo Unified School District Middle and High School Honor Bands perform Saturday, January 12, at Northgate High School. The annual music honor event is conducted in two parts this year to accommodate the large audiences expected for each band. Middle School Honor Band is led by guest conductor, Rick Meyer, of the Acalanes High School District, and the High School Honor Band is led by Monte Bairos, director of bands at Diablo Valley College. For more information on the music programs at CVHS, contact Mr. Mundy Viar, 6827474 x 3125 *** The Feb. PFC Meeting is scheduled for Feb. 7, 7 p.m. in the school library. *** For the CVHS students that attended the PFC Sponsored Ames Seminar PSAT preparation classes, a ParentStudent Review Night with Bill Ames will be held on Jan. 15, at 7 p.m. in the school library. Parents can also sign their students up for the Ames Seminar College SAT Prep Seminars Section 33, classes will be held at Clayton Valley High School, 12 Wednesdays, Feb. 6 through Apr. 30, 7 - 9:15

tect my teenager from accessing adult sites? How can I stop predators from accessing my teen’s MySpace? How can I monitor what Websites they visit? How can I monitor and save what is emailed from my teen? How can I monitor and save what is typed in chat rooms? These questions will be answered and reviewed extensively in Bradley Snider’s workshop Tuesday, Jan, 15 at 7 p.m. at Diablo View Middle School Please feel free to bring laptop computers if available. Email for more information or to let us know if you plan to attend. Refreshments will be served. CLAYTON VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL Clayton Valley High School students, Aaron Hill and Justin Page, have been selected by audition to perform with the All Northern California Honor Band. High School students from all California counties north of the Tehachapi Mountains may audition for the elite music ensemble. This is the third consecutive year that Clayton Valley students have auditioned for, and been accepted into, the honor band. Each year, a guest musician is hired to conduct the weekend of activities. This year, local band leader John Maltester is the conductor. Maltester is the director of bands at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg. The All Northern California Honor Band rehearses January 18-19, and performs on January 20, at the San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton. *** Clayton Valley High School sophomore, Tiffany Ng, was the first-ever student from Clayton Valley to be accepted,

See School, page A10 Pre

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Clayton Pioneer •

January 11, 2008

New Year’s Web-olutions warned – some Wikipedia entries are more factual than others.





This year, see how the Web can help you be healthier, happier and in control of your life. I’ve listed America’s 10 most popular New Year’s resolutions and how the Web can make them a reality. smoking 10 Quit If you want to kick the habit this year, look online for resources and communities. provides a quitting plan for those who don’t know where to start. After reviewing these basic plans, join communities like to meet other people who are in the process of quitting and can help you quit, too. Quitnet tracks the amount of money saved and years added to your life by quitting. Learn something new I love - it’s the best place on the Web for the knowledge-hungry person with a busy schedule. I guarantee you’ll learn something new if you visit the site just once a day. Read the daily featured article on Wikipedia’s home page for a taste of the site’s 2 million entries. Recent features included California condors, Uranus and Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.” But be


Go back to school Before you pack your books, check out, a blog that advises “mature students” who want to resume or enhance their education. It has tips about avoiding fake Internet universities and tips for “preserving your sanity when returning to school.” The author explains that future students should set aside the desire for academic perfection and instead “try to achieve excellence in your schoolwork, maintain balance in your life, and enjoy the journey.”


Get out of debt If you spent too much on Christmas gifts in December, there’s help online. You can check out the website for useful articles about dealing with mortgage and credit card payments and managing your debt. The site also provides loan calculators and consolidation advice. Also look at, a blog that gives debt reduction a more personal touch. Tricia, the blog’s author, uses it to celebrate victories over her family’s nearly $40,000 credit card debt.


Help others You can use the Web to find out which organizations will put your donation to good use.


investigates a group’s financial information to see how much is actually spent on charitable programs. The site illustrates the data with helpful pie graphs and revenue charts. It also offers tips for potential donors and lists nearly 1,500 4-star charities like the African Wildlife Foundation and the International Children’s Fund. Take a trip Plan your next adventure by investigating’s Last Minute vacation packages. These packages, which can be booked two weeks in advance, have themes like “Ski” or “Casino.” You can also choose from trips that cost less than $250 per person. Travelocity and its rivals, and, allow you to plan more extensive vacations such as Caribbean cruises, as well.


Get organized Defeat your junk in 2008 by following’s helpful tips. Run by a professional organizer, the site advises people how to reduce stress and simplify their life by conquering their closet and managing their time. The site also discusses why it’s important to be organized and how to avoid becoming a packrat. Here’s some advice for paper pushers: “Don’t use a bulletin board. It’s a burial ground.”



Find a better job Stop by to find your dream job in

2008. Indeed searches newspapers, company career pages and other job search sites to give you more thorough results than regular classifieds or Craigslist. Just enter a job title and city and you’re good to go. You can even ditch the long commute and search for jobs within 5 miles of Clayton. I’m using Indeed to find summer internships in the area.


Lose weight’s Health and Diet Center offers advice for those looking to shed a few pounds. The comprehensive health site helps people figure out if they really need to lose weight and what options are available. WebMD also discusses diet scams and how to set realistic goals. A tip for those with a sweet tooth: Try dipping healthy fruits into chocolate to get your fix while keeping the calories under control. Spend more time with friends and family Although social networks are great, I sometimes find myself spending more time on Facebook than with my family. For 2008, I’ve resolved to invest in more “unplugged” time.


Document your donations New rules apply this year to any cash contributions you make to charity, regardless of the amount. You now need either a formal receipt from the charity or evidence such as a cancelled check or other bank record. The receipt or bank record must show the date of the donation, the amount, and the name of the charity. If you need details or assistance with this or any of your tax concerns, contact our office.

700 Ygnacio Valley Rd., #360 Walnut Creek, CA 94596 (925) 937-5200 (925) 937-5202 fax

Mark Freeman is a student at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, studying economics and English. He enjoys creative writing and is a reporter for the school paper. Questions/comments can be sent to


All ages are right for playing music






We're spreading harmony across the neighborhood with our music and movement program. Our exciting family classes are filled with infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and their grownups. All free to move, sing, play instruments, and have fun. Make beautiful music with your children in one of our joyful, research-based classes. Call today to schedule a visit.

Many people seem to think that learning to play music can only be done when one is a child. I’m always amazed at how many times someone will say, “I took piano lessons as a young girl (or boy), and I should have kept it up,” implying that they’re now “too old” to take or resume their lessons. It’s never too late to learn how to play a musical instrument. True, some people are more naturally musically talented than others. But it all starts with desire. If it’s genuinely in your heart to learn to play an instrument, you can, no matter how old or young you are. A few years ago, I met a man who told me he’d recently retired and had just turned 72 years old. One of the things he’d finally gotten around to was taking piano lessons. He’d put it off his entire life, and he was having a ball learning to



MUSIC NOTES play. His relatively late start wasn’t holding him back at all. He can serve as an inspiration for all of us. On the other end of the spectrum, I recently spent some time introducing children as young as 6 to the basics of piano playing. The hardest part about playing the piano at such a young age is physical limitations. Most kids that age have tiny hands and can’t get much action going with the piano


keys. Furthermore, their legs are so short they usually can’t reach the floor, or even the piano’s foot pedals. Still, they weren’t too young to begin their appreciation of how sounds and notes fit together to make music. Even learning the basics of the joy of music is rewarding. Every musician started from the same place. I remember the great pleasure of learning my first song on the piano. It sounded so good to me, which was enough impetus to learn another song, and another one after that. It even got to where the lessons themselves, the scales and exercises and learning to read music, were fun. But it’s the songs themselves that bring the most delight. It’s an indescribable feeling to be able to play a song you love from start to finish. Piano is a wonderful “stand


Wed., Jan. 16, 7 p.m.

alone” instrument. It’s a bit like having an orchestra at your fingertips. But other instruments are just as important. Guitar, flute, saxophone, percussion and a whole list of less “popular” instruments are there to be learned and enjoyed. After all, you need not be an expert or a professional to have fun playing music. It’s all about the personal enjoyment and a certain Zenlike therapy that playing music can provide. Forcing someone to learn to play music seems wrong. But if the desire is there, it’s never too early – or too late – to take some lessons and learn to play a musical instrument.


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One Warm Coat Project Thank you very much for your participation in this important community project. Because of your support we collected more than 30,000 coats, sweaters, blankets and warm clothes! We look forward to community support for additional community projects in 2008! Happy New Year, and thanks for making a difference in the lives of families in our area who are at risk.

Jim Hudak’s Music Notes column appears regularly in the Pioneer. Contact him at His piano music CD’s are available from his Web site at or at

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January 11, 2008

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer .com

Page A9

At the Movies

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Five notable epic films



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“Waitress.” Kerri Russell plays a gifted pie maker who discovers she’s pregnant with her deadbeat husband’s child. She then begins an affair with her doctor (Nathan Fillian). What makes this film extra bittersweet is that knowledge that it’s writer/director /co-star Adrienne Shelley was found murdered in her Tribecca office a few months before “Waitress” premiered at Sundance. “Black Snake Moan.” This is writer/director Craig Brewer’s follow-up to “Hustle and Flow.” “Moan” stars Samuel L. Jackson as Lazarus, a down-and-out blues singer who discovers Christina Ricci’s Rae beaten unconscious in a ditch. Believing she’s possessed by some kind of sex demon (I guess); Lazarus chains her to his radiator until she’s cured of her “wickedness.” Brewer brilliantly incorporates the blues to create some deeply haunting moments. “Juno.” In director Jason Reitman’s follow-up to “Thank You For Smoking,” Ellen Page plays Juno, a sixteen year-old who discovers she’s pregnant and decides to give the baby up for adoption. Diablo Cody’s script’s power is twofold; it’s one of the funniest and most moving films of 2007. “Away From Her.” This is the devastating first feature from Canadian actor Sarah Polley. Julie Christie’s Fiona has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and her husband (Gordon Pinsent) is forced to move her into a nursing home. Christie’s performance alone will break your heart. “Atonement.” Moving from Jane Austen to Ian McEwan, director Joe Wright brings “Atonement” to vibrant life. Elegantly adapted by Christopher Hampton, cleverly scored by Dario Marianelli and masterfully acted by James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, Saoirse Ronan and Vanessa Redgrave, “Atonement” takes us through time and through the psyche of its characters with clarity. “Away From Her,” “Black Snake Moan” and “Waitress” are available on DVD. “Atonement” and “Juno” are still in theatres.



Top five from new filmmakers JIM BRIGGS


t u p t h e pa r t y L ig h L I G HT S a s t r i n g o f FO OT B ALL w i th

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The Pioneer’s movie reviewers take a look back at last year’s films.





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The top five epic movies of 2007, whether for their special effects, raw emotion, or sweeping heroism, were enough to make any movie-going experience a step closer to extraordinary. The fifth installment in the Harry Potter series, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” brought a refreshing outlook from new director David Yates. As the characters grow, no one is safe from getting on Harry’s


nerves. With the addition of visual wonders like thestrals and Luna Lovegood, Potter fans are prepared for yet another adventure. Summer could not have been complete without a bit of swashbuckling and rum in the form of “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.” Following the clutter of the second Pirates, “World’s End” makes you believe sea adventure is always complicated. Still, the trilogy gives Will, Elizabeth, and Jack the endings they deserve. “Sweeney Todd” brings a new flavor to holiday films, as Tim Burton is the perfect director for this dark musical and Johnny Depp a suitable demon barber. The vigor of Depp’s voice (why hasn’t anyone thought of making him sing sooner?) is enough to overlook Bonham Carter’s airy tone, so pay a visit to your good friend, Sweeney. “Atonement” transformed the seemingly overlooked gesture of an apology to a sweeping epic of torn emotions. From lazy summer days to the war front, one child’s misconception shatters an entire future. A definite tear jerker, “Atonement” lingers with its vivid imagery and brings a new importance to the choices everyone makes. Even “Spiderman” has a dark side, as shown in the third flick of the series. The hero’s faults would have been enough to satisfy a good chunk of the movie, but Spidey also had two new villains to deal with. Doubleteaming seems like a good idea, but the result was an unsatisfying collage of comic book action best judged scene-by-scene.

The year’s disappointments In the seasonal spirit

JANE of Festivus, I wish to air MAILANDER grievances against five films that have disappointed me this year – I’d hoped for better from all of these: “Pan’s Labyrinth” This film about human monsters nurtured by war was advertised as a fantasy. I have a low threshold for watching a man crush someone else’s face with a wine bottle or take wire cutters to a prisoner’s hand. The Hieronymus Bosch phantasms were the least horrific parts of this film. “Bridge to Terabithia” Katherine Paterson’s award-winning tragic novel about friendship, art and imagination lands on the other side of the misguided-fantasy ledger. The film took “imagination” to mean CGI everything, and combined children’s conflicts with bullies with animated ogres and monsters from the imaginary world, weakening the film. “Balls of Fury” It’s the “Airplane!” of kung fu films, only not funny. My disdain encompasses all such “comedies” that assume homophobia, disabilities, groin punches and white people using AfricanAmerican slang are intrinsically hilarious. “Dan in Real Life” If this is real life, I’ll stay in Terabithia, thank you. Better to





deal with CGI ogres than this sickeningly perfect New England family in which a widower courts a male-fantasy Perfect Woman (the only thing Juliette Binoche doesn’t do is turn into a beer after sex). Steve Carell’s likeable Dan can’t save a film that’s about as romantic as “Balls of Fury” was funny. And last, and least – “Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World’s End” Another wonderful first film spawns dreadful sequels; another summer film substitutes special effects and fight sequences for plot. But the worst crime in “At World’s End” is the emasculation of Captain Jack Sparrow, who has gone from being Johnny Depp’s rogue creation to a lame, tame Disney animatronic. …Better luck next year.


My own private awards list The Jeanna Ross Widest Audience Award goes to “Ratatouille.” In 2007, Pixar changed the face of motion picture animation yet again. This is an adult movie that children enjoy. The food, the wine, the inside of the French Laundryesque kitchen – it’s a Food Network reality show in two dimensions. The Proud Papa Award goes to “Hairspray.” They could have screwed it up. They could have cast famous nonsingers or changed the story so it would appeal to a wider audience. But they didn’t. They took a chance on a totally unknown star and found C-list actors who had the vocal chops to pull off the supporting roles. Brand New Hottie Award: James McAvoy. Ten bucks says that the first time you clapped eyes on James McAvoy, it was as Mr. Tumnus in “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” back in 2005. He was already a standout actor then, for the riveting “Inside I’m Dancing,” and then he shot to the top of the charts in 2006 with “The Last King of Scotland.” This year, he’s been insanely busy playing the romantic hero to a slew of lovely lasses, including Christina Ricci, Anne Hathaway, and Keira Knightley. Next up? Angelina Jolie. Not bad for a 27-year-old from Scotland… The Surprisingly Addictive Soundtrack Award goes to “Music & Lyrics.” The 80’s ripoff songs in this film are like the irritating ditties cooked up by advertising campaigns – you can’t listen just once. The good news is that the opening number, “Pop Goes My Heart,” is accompanied by one of the most ridiculously hilarious spoof music videos ever created in the history of film. Catch it on YouTube. And my Favorite Movie of the Year Award? “Amazing Grace.” I reviewed this back in March and I still love it. Thank goodness Ioan Gruffudd has proven that he’s capable of more than simply Mr. Fantastic…If only Hollywood would take notice.


Page A10

Clayton Pioneer •

January 11, 2008

Boys, ‘Pull up your pants’ Girls, ‘Put on some clothes’ Am I just getting old? I always believed that pants needed to fit and be worn properly, not halfway to the floor like a saggy diaper, prohibiting any attempts at normal walking. It seems that young males disagree; in odd groups they waddle, urban ducks who cannot escape the scene of a crime because they cannot run – worse, they hold up their pants by grabbing a tuft of it in front and scrunch it into a tight ball. They are wearing belts! The trend for girls is the opposite; barely called clothing, a few sizes small, showing off their un-pregnant swellings – the result of living in a fast food nation – and usually with attitude. What happened to

Pleasantville? Was it that bad of an image? Why bother designing for this generation? Are the fashion queens of New York leaping from buildings or reveling in the lack of skill needed to sell clothes? It is the generation of the bag look – unshapely, unsized and one blob fits all. Yet, the prices are high! Ugly ain’t cheap in the modern world. Fashion has certainly reflected society throughout the ages, from the puritanical skinless generation at the turn of the old century, to the ripped and stained new clothing at the turn of this century. Perhaps the message of the moment is that values are askew, lost between the com-

mercial prostitution of holiday shopping and the uncertainty of global warming, with toxic levels of pollution added for good measure. Certainly, members of the saggy generation do not stand out within their own group, waddling without the grace and purpose of the Emperor Penguin, yet with higher numbers I am glad to be old enough to want to fit into my clothes; but I still want to shout out to the rest: “Pull up your pants, people, and deal with it.” WHAT OUR READERS THINK On the street, outside the Clayton Post Office, Clayton


DEAL WITH IT resident Dean McCoy laughed at the question posed to him. “I tell my nephew to pull up his pants all the time,” he said. “I guess it’s OK as long as it is not hurting anyone.” Tracy Greene, also from Clayton, disagreed. “I feel it is a part of the disrespect from youth of today,” she said with a grimace. “It seems popular for girls to look like a tramp.” Turning to leave, she added, “you know, I’m young, but I don’t think it needs to be a fashion statement.”

Isagenix: Renewed health for the new year ANDRÉ GENSBURGER Clayton Pioneer

Wendy Moore got started with Isagenix 14 months ago after a friend showed her dramatic weight loss with benefits. Undergoing the program herself, she dropped 20 pounds in two months. “I went from a size 6 to a size 2, and I feel great,” Moore said. “You’ve got to understand the pitfalls of most diets that are out there that don’t address the toxins that have accumulated in cells and put you in a low caloric state. People are just starving themselves.” Isagenix offers complete programs to help everyone reach the goal of health and nutrition through proper methods of weight loss, skin care, cleansing and fat burning. The business continues to grow on client referral alone. Moore acknowledges that the word “cleanse” has become the buzzword with a less than pristine reputation, most of

School, from page A7 p.m. No class on Wed., Mar. 26 due to Spring Break. For more information and tuition fees please call Ames Seminars at 925.937.2280. *** The Clayton Valley HS team for Quiz Kids is ready to go on to its next round! The match will be played at Sat, Jan 12, 3:30, at the Quiz Kids Studio in San Carlos, CVHS vs. Westmoor HS.

which comes from a lack of understanding about the processes needed by the body in order to stay healthy.

Photo courtesy of Wendy Moore

WENDY MOORE looks forward to “retirement by chocolate.”

“I’m a cleansing coach,” she said. “This means that my job is to get you the correct information first because you want to know that this is safe, effective and you won’t just gain the weight back.” Of course, to a large degree, the mental preparedness of the client plays a large part in any program. By having a coach, Isagenix keeps the client accountable for their actions. “People want to be kept accountable,” Moore said. “It helps them to stay focused and allows for ongoing adjustments to be made.” Moore pointed out society’s obsessive need to be “amped on caffeine” as a coping mechanism. “Just look at the lines at the coffee houses. Sometimes people come back a few times a day just to keep that edge.”

There is no magic to Isagenix; just good nutrition, a sound plan and dedication from the people involved in the program. “We have a scientific advisory board made up of doctors who are looking at the program because their own clients are showing amazing results,” Moore said. Moore has found success by integrating her involvement in real estate and Isagenix by bringing together a group of “highly stressed” people. “The economy has left Realtors very stressed,” Moore said. The majority of her clients are referrals. The company relies on its customer base to spread the word. With 15 years as a health and nutrition counselor, Moore firmly believes in the product line and the underlying message as cornerstone to a healthy and well-balanced life. “You don’t starve on this program,” she said. “There are abundant calories, well balanced nutritionally, that leaves you with energy, a mental clarity and even improves your sleeping patterns.” She knows that people are skeptical, and she said she can’t blame them. “Fitness professionals use the program as well, not for weight loss, but for the nutritional benefits they get. … When you’re done losing weight, you also will find that you are not shopping processed foods, picking carefully from the outside aisles of the store.” Moore likes to talk about the science behind the products and strongly believes that when people understand something it makes more sense. “I’m on three-way calls 10 to 15 times a

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day with clients who are trying to explain this to their family and prefer the way I explain it. That’s how much activity is out there.” For 2008, Moore is pleased to announce that she would like “retirement by chocolate.” Laughing, she explains that Isagenix is about to release a new chocolate product that not only curbs appetites, but also increases energy levels. What more could you want? For more information, contact Moore at (925) 570-5187, or visit her online at See ad this page.

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January 11, 2008

Clayton Pioneer •

How to invest when the economy cycles up and down

Have you ever said? “I am afraid to look at my bank balance.” “We’re tired of money arguments.”

The economy moves in cycles. In prosperous times, rapid economic growth tends to help most of us earn and keep more money, and it generally helps companies prosper as well. During a downturn or recession, common in the fourth quarter, more consumers and businesses find themselves facing financial challenges. The same kinds of cycles can influence the stock market, as well. There are some companies that enjoy a rather steady stream of business regardless of economic trends, namely consumer staple stocks – products that people need regardless of the economic environment. These are basic necessities, ranging from food to toothpaste to electricity in your home.

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Other companies build their business around products or services that can be affected, at least in part, by economic trends. These are referred to as cyclical stocks. Their performance tends to be driven by market or economic cycles. Cyclical stocks can offer attractive opportunities for investors, but it is an area of investing that requires knowledge research to understand the potential and avoid serious mistakes. AN EXAMPLE OF CYCLICAL INVESTING

Trends in the housing market in recent years offer a good example of cyclical stock investing in action. For instance, home construction companies will benefit greatly when the housing market is enjoying strong growth as it did earlier this decade. But when a slowdown occurs, the market becomes more difficult. The Dow Jones Home Construction Index (a group of stocks tied to the homebuilding industry) declined 20.69 percent in 2006. In that same year, as oil prices began to steadily rise, the Dow Jones Oil & Gas Index (made up in part by energy companies that were recording

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record profits) rose 20.31 percent, according to the Wall Street Journal. In both cases, the cyclical nature of the economy had a significant impact on these businesses. With demand for oil rising due to rapid economic expansion worldwide, oil company stocks were poised to ben-

“Investing in cyclical stocks involves a narrow focus on the market, zeroing in on specific industries that are likely to be affected by economy trends.” Mureleen Benton efit. With a housing “bubble” beginning to deflate nationwide, homebuilders were seeing slower activity, reducing their profits and making their stock less attractive. CYCLICAL TRENDS AFFECT SPECIFIC INDUSTRIES

Investing in cyclical stocks involves a narrow focus on the


FINANCIAL SENSE market, zeroing in on specific industries that are likely to be affected by economy trends. Sectors of the market that are considered either entirely cyclical, or are made up in part by companies that are viewed as cyclical in nature, include:  Basic materials – metals (gold, aluminum), steel, timber, coal  Capital goods – large machinery and electronic equipment  Communication – telephone and other telecommunications related businesses  Consumer discretionary – automobiles, home furnishings, retail stores, houses  Energy – primarily oil and gas and related industries  Financial – banks, brokerages and insurance companies  Health care – biotechnology and medical equipment companies

See Financial, page A13

What’s in a name? Don’t ask the U.S.B.G.N.D.N.C. ANDRÉ GENSBURGER Clayton Pioneer

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Page A11

Names of places usually are taken for granted. It is assumed that famous citizens will likely see their names on streets, mountains, canyons and parks, but the procedure to do so is rarely examined. The city of Clayton was obviously named after founder Joel Clayton, but other names may be less obvious. In August 2006, the United States Board on Geographic Names, Domestic Names Committee (U.S.B.G.N.D.N.C.), approved a motion to change the name of Goethis Canyon, just south of Irish Canyon on the outskirts of Clayton, to Goethals Canyon, correcting the name that had been misspelled since 1953. The change had been proposed by an unidentified Clayton resident who, in all likelihood, was not aware of the complicated and strictly followed procedure in place for the naming and renaming of landmarks and natural features in the United States. “With as much evidence to support this name change, you would think that it would be a simple matter,” said Jennifer Runyon, chief researcher for the geographic names board, a branch of the United States Geological Survey in Washington, D.C. Upon submission, the board contacted local government agencies to clarify the validity of the changes requested. “We are a reactive body,”

Runyon explained. “We are not may not show up quickly.” the ones to initiate anything; we “In the case of Goethals present the information and see Canyon,” said Janet Easton, what turns up.” Vice-President of the Clayton Typically, agencies are given Historical Society, “the naming an unspecified time to respond. was in honor of Gustone L. Usually, a response is given “Gus” Goethals, a native of quickly, although there France who had moved are cases where no to Clayton in 1888. response is made. Employed as a “In these situnews writer and ations, we set a correspondent, meeting date he submitted and notify the articles to The agency that Transcript and unless we hear The Daily back, we will O a k l a n d assume that Enquirer. there is nothGoethals ing to prevent was also a approval of the Justice of the request,” Runyon Peace, and a said. skilled carpenter California has the who not only built State Geographic his own home, but Names Authority also his office (now GUS GOETHALS and from them the the right hand side of CIRCA 1895 California Advisory M o r e s i ’ s Committee on Geographic Chophouse). Additionally, he Names, that meet twice a year. sold real estate and insurance.” They examined the request and “He was regarded by the reported up the chain. The community as a ‘walking encyUnited States Board meets clopedia,” Runyon reported monthly, so once approval was from the official name change received from the state level, request. finalizing the request was “There are about 300 “swift.” requests submitted yearly, some The Goethals Canyon name for corrections, as well as new change took one year to com- names,” Runyon said. plete. Commemorative names require “At this time, the County the person to be deceased for Board and Mapping agencies are five years. About 90 percent of notified in writing,” Runyon said. the requests are approved. “The changes are logged, howevGoethals died in 1925. er new maps are not issued until However, his canyon is now cortheir scheduled date, so changes rectly spelled.

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Page A12

Clayton Pioneer •

Clayton author overcomes life obstacles to write children’s books ANDRÉ GENSBURGER Clayton Pioneer

Former Clayton resident Dante Salvatierra has had an interesting life so far. As a “latchkey kid” coming home to an empty house, Salvatierra, now 35, has always channeled his energies toward creative purposes, living up to the Spanish translation of his last name, “Save the Earth” or “Save the Land.” His family originated in the Philippines. Salvatierra was born in Oakland but spent most of his school years in Clayton, attending Mt. Diablo Elementary, Pine Hollow and Clayton Valley High School. “I still remember when Center Street was a gravel road,” Salvatierra said during a recent telephone interview. Graduating from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., in 2000, he relocated to Nebraska, following his future wife, Sara, who had convinced him that “they were hiring teachers in Omaha.” Salvatierra got hired to teach third- and fourth-graders. It was there that he started writing children’s books. “I didn’t write them for publication,” he said, “just for my class. But then people kept asking where they could get copies.” Rather than incurring the

cost of copying a 200-page book, Salvatierra turned to where Print-OnDemand functionality made publishing his Latchkey Kids book series much easier.

Former Clayton resident, teacher, politician, and author, Dante Salvatierra.

“The books are a lot of fun to read,” said fifth-grader Brian Coleman of Sacramento. “I like that the new one’s about fifth grade.” Salvatierra has even inserted Clayton descriptions in his fictional towns of Somersville and Nortonville. Salvatierra’s commitment to children and education led him from book publishing to an aspiring political career. Unhappy with the No Child Left Behind legislation and finding that the district con-

Grant, from page A1 museums, nursing facilities and land protection grants. To date, in excess of $90 million in land protection grants have been awarded, representing more than 250,000 acres of land - the size of the city and county of San Francisco. Located on the grounds of the former Presidio, the foundation was established by Gordon Moore, co-founder of the Intel Corporation. (Moore is also known for his bold prediction that the

number of transistors on a computer chip would double every 12 months. This prediction became known as “Moore’s Law” and, while the number of transistors has been revised to 18 months since first created, it remains an established rule.) The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation employs more than 70 people and manages approximately $6 billion in assets. Running an annual operations budget of $20 mil-

gressional seats were unfilled for the upcoming elections, Salvatierra made the decision to run for Congress during the 2004 elections. “Politics is a necessary evil,” he said of the experience, which he said made him aware how difficult political roles are to fulfill without temptation. “I don’t want to say that I felt a bit dirtied by the experience, but one does not see politics from a politician’s point of view where you have to try to please everyone, often by playing both sides.” As a member of the Green Party, he received 2,208 votes; however, he did not win the election, much to his relief. “I don’t really want to do that again,” he said. In 2006, Salvatierra’s life took another major change when he underwent surgery to remove a plum sized, astrocytoma-type tumor from his brain. Some 15 percent of the tumor remains, as it is too close to vital nerves to remove safely. Salvatierra says the experience shaped his perspective on life. “You think differently about having children,” he said. “You don’t want them to have no father.” While the tumor remains static, he undergoes yearly MRIs to ensure that it has not

changed. “The problem with this type of tumor is that if it returns, it is usually more aggressive.” The primary symptom he had prior to the surgery was dizziness. “The surgery was done while I was awake,” he said. He decided to give the tumor a name to help him fight against it mentally, to channel the anger he was feeling and to bring some levity to the situation. He named the tumor Dubya, after President Bush. “At first I felt like a walking dead man, and naming it helped me to deal with thinking about it in a different way,” he said. “Now I think about living with it rather than dying from it.” Salvatierra is now releasing his fourth book in the Latchkey series. “The Fight for a Free Fifth Grade” tackles issues such as standardized testing in public schools, where the Latchkey Kids uncover a sinister plot to raise test scores at their school. “Marketing my books is my weak point,” he said of his decision to continue selling through The online site offers a built-in promotion system designed to help authors. “I still have the greatest job on earth,” he said. “I teach children every day, and I write stories for them.”

lion, it assigns 5 percent in annual endowments, such as the one received by Save Mount Diablo. The Irish Canyon purchase includes the historic Mount Diablo Coal Field and a public trail that now occupies a former stage coach road, allowing access to beautiful property views of Suisun Bay, Mount Diablo and the San Francisco peninsula. The property had been threatened by ranchette development before Save Mount Diablo, a non-profit conservation organization, secured an

option to buy it more than a year ago. The parcel is also close to Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, City of Clayton Open Space, Save Mount Diablo’s Chaparral Spring property, East Bay Regional Park District’s Clayton Ranch landmark and Mount Diablo State Park. Restoration efforts will begin in the spring. For further information, contact Save Mount Diablo, 1901 Olympic Blvd., #220, Walnut Creek, CA. 94596. or call (925) 947-3535. Http://

January 11, 2008


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non-cloudy air masses. In the early 1960s, our local newspaper would publish the times that the man-made satellites would cross the night sky. I remember standing outside and watching with wonder as a satellite would orbit overhead. Little did I know that one of those orbiters was taking pictures of the sky. And how would I have guessed that these eyes in the sky would become a tool I would use as a professional meteorologist many years later? Woody Whitlatch is a meteorologist with PG&E. Email your questions or comments to

Financial, from page A11

CYCLICAL STOCKS IN TODAY’S MARKET The current economic environment, which appears to be slowing, does not present as many attractive buying opportunities for investors looking for cyclical stocks. Certain areas of the economy, such as housing, are facing significant challenges. If consumer spending should slow, consumer cyclical stocks are likely to suffer as well. This is particularly true of stocks related to non-essential items for consumers or businesses. For instance, individuals concerned that they may face a possible layoff are less likely to spend money on a new car or a big screen TV, dampening prospects for companies that produce those items.

Remember that cyclical investing involves significant knowledge and time in order to generate returns that will outpace what you can earn by simply buying and holding a stock mutual fund. Consult a financial advisor to review your overall financial picture.

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of the object being photographed. Clouds are usually higher in the sky than land or ocean objects, and are therefore much cooler. Since cloud temperatures change little between night and day, infrared photographs can continually track cloud movement. An additional benefit of the infrared images is the ability to track the movement of developing storms. Since storm clouds develop vertically as they strengthen, the cold high cloud tops associated with these storms show up nicely on infrared images. A third useful type of satellite photograph is called the

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of the earth below. It was evident that pictures of cloud cover, weather fronts and hurricanes would enhance the science of weather forecasting. The first satellite dedicated solely to weather observations, TIROS, was launched by the United States in 1960. This satellite enabled meteorologists to compare ground based observaWOODY WHITLATCH tions with larger scale cloud formations. This program was so WEATHER WORDS successful that nine additional Over the last 50 years, tech- TIROS satellites were launched nological advances have greatly by the end of the decade. improved our ability to forecast A major achievement in the the weather. Supercomputers are evolution of weather satellites used to obtain and map meas- was the launch of a geostationured data and run forecast mod- ary satellite in 1966. A geostaels that require billions of com- tionary satellite is launched in an putations. Another technical orbit about 22,000 miles above tool that revolutionized the way the earth. At this orbit height, observations are made and fore- the satellite travels at the same casts are developed is the weath- speed that the earth rotates. The er satellite. benefit of a geostationary orbit The practice of taking pic- is that it allows cloud pictures to tures of clouds from above be taken from the same referstarted in the post World War II ence point. Meteorologists look rocket age. In 1947, an at sequential cloud pictures, a unmanned American rocket technique called looping, and equipped with a camera record- measure the movement of indied pictures of vidual weather the earth’s “Although the space race systems. clouds from C u r r e n t l y, space. Ten years seemed to be an extenthere are five later, Russia’s sion of the Cold War, geostationary Sputnik orbited the meteorological comsatellites around the earth. Its the globe spaced primary pur- munity benefited greatly about 30 degrees pose was to since many of the early longitude apart. measure and satellites were deployed These solar powtransmit atmosered units can be pheric density to take pictures of the easily reposii n f o r m a t i o n earth below.” tioned in case back to earth. one fails, so that Woody Whitlatch global coverage With the launch of continues. Sputnik, the United States accelThe earliest satellite photoerated its space conquest pro- graphs showed visible image gram. Although the space race pictures of cloud formations, seemed to be an extension of similar to what you would get the Cold War, the meteorologi- with a standard camera. Since cal community benefited greatly the sun is the main light source since many of the early satellites for visible images, a huge disadwere deployed to take pictures vantage of the visible photo-

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water vapor image. Meteorologists use these photos to show patterns of moisture and dryness. To get this information, satellites measure the amount of energy that water vapor molecules emit. Meteorologists use this information to track the movement of clouds, precipitation and even

A water vapor image from AWIPS (Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System ) shows North America during April 2007.

Mureleen Benton is a Certified Financial Planner. Call her with questions at 685-4523 This information is provided for informational purposes only. The information is intended to be generic in nature and should not be applied or relied upon in any particular situation without the advice of your tax, legal and/or your financial advisor. The views expressed may not be suitable for every situation. Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., Member NASD and SIPC, part of Ameriprise Financial, Inc.

Page A14

Clayton Pioneer •

January 11, 2008

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Clayton Market Update Provided by George Vujnovich of Better Homes Realty ADDRESS 417 Chupcan Pl 717 Acorn Dr 793 Bloching Circle 1167 Shell Lane 1390 Shell Lane 7 El Portal Dr 205 El Pueblo Pl 3405 Coyote Circle 27 London Ct 209 Mountaire Cir 54 Karkin Pl 14 Mount Lee Pl 628 Julpun Loop 10 Mt McKinley Ct 1378 Shell Lane 106 Forest Hill Drive 4297 Morgan Territory Rd 8 Whitt Ct 180 Mountaire Parkway 332 Saclan Terrace 13 Atchinson Stage Ct 407 Grenache Circle 25 Clark Creek Circle 1203 Buckeye Terrace 48 Marquette Ct 1125 Peacock Creek Dr 1801 Yolanda Circle 3021 Windmill Canyon Dr 1469 Indianhead Circle 4707 Keller Ridge Dr 1407 Indianhead Way 1108 Peacock Creek Dr 201 Round House Pl 632 Mt Olivet Ct 1288 Shell Circle 1236 Buckeye Terrace 3103 Morgan Territory Rd 226 Stranahan Circle 1126 Peacock Creek Dr 121 Forest Hill Drive

PRICE $515,000 $995,000 $650,000 $519,000 $508,000 $610,000 $735,000 $420,000 $715,000 $712,000 $560,000 $775,000 $465,000 $800,000 $501,500 $1,085,000 $925,000 $835,000 $600,000 $613,000 $650,000 $790,000 $435,000 $590,000 $593,800 $895,000 $865,000 $620,000 $555,000 $545,000 $514,900 $1,125,000 $489,900 $784,000 $520,000 $580,000 $1,115,000 $597,000 $1,199,000 $900,000




12/31/07 12/21/07 12/21/07 12/20/07 12/19/07 12/12/07 12/11/07 12/11/07 12/7/07 11/16/07 11/15/07 11/6/07 11/5/07 11/1/07 10/30/07 10/29/07 10/26/07 10/26/07 10/24/07 10/23/07 10/12/07 10/5/07 10/5/07 10/2/07 9/28/07 9/25/07 9/24/07 9/13/07 9/11/07 9/6/07 8/29/07 8/28/07 8/22/07 8/22/07 8/22/07 8/17/07 8/16/07 8/16/07 8/15/07 8/15/07

1749 3079 2325 1709 1430 1895 2390 1252 2324 2171 1904 2481 1235 2566 1430 4076 1995 2600 1858 1904 1926 2052 1457 1639 1471 3030 3533 2143 1366 1554 1355 3675 1246 2694 1367 1343 2709 1650 3820 2748

3/2.5 4/3 5/2.5 3/3 3/2.5 4/2 4/2.5 2/2.5 4/2.5 4/2.5 3/2.5 5/3 2/2 5/3 3/2.5 5/3.5 3/2 5/3 4/2 3/2.5 4/2 4/2.5 3/2.5 3/2.5 3/2 4/3 5/4 3/2.5 2/2.5 3/2.5 3/2.5 4/3.5 2/2 4/2.5 3/2.5 3/2 4/3 3/2.5 4/2.5 4/2

CLAYTON PIONEER January 11, 2008

Section B

Clayton Pioneer •

Page B1

Celebrate the new year with brand new perennials


GARDEN GIRL Happy New Year, Clayton Valley gardeners! This year holds many surprises for our yards and gardens in the form of great new perennial selections to try in 2008. Terra Nova Nurseries and Proven Winner Growers, as well as Flower Fields, have all been busy breeding the newest of the new perennials for our yards and gardens. I love the new introductions. Some prove themselves to be spectacular, and a few forget to read their own tags to see what they are supposed to do. But overall, searching for and eventually planting a new introduction is exciting for any level of gardener. There is a new campanula on the scene in 2008. This perennial does great in our climate and soils. The new kid on the block is the campanula called Blue Eyed Blonde. The initial description claims that this perennial can take full sun in our zone. However, to be on the safe side, give slight protection from late afternoon summer sun.

Blue Eyed Blonde has brilliant gold foliage and 1-inch blue bell shaped flowers that stand on stems over the base of the plant. Install this selection among your hardy geraniums, like Johnson’s Blue or Rosanne; the punchy foliage color will make the other blues pop. Do not over-water this or any campanula; they like to dry out slightly between waterings. Heuchera Georgia Peach is another new introduction. It does best in mostly sunny spots, with some shade during the afternoon. Those of you who know of the fancy leafed coral bells will be excited by the newest selection. Georgia Peach has huge, peachy colored leaves, with a showy white overlay and large lush growth, almost hostalike in size, but as evergreen as a shrub. Plant this heuchera in


rich soil that is not heavy in clay. You will need to amend the hole for this selection. Use this selection with your delphiniums; the evergreen foliage will compliment the herbaceous delphinium, and the subtle white blossom of the Georgia Peach will not clash with its spiking color. Those gardeners that crave a tropical look in their gardens

should keep their eyes peeled for the newest bears breech in town. Acanthus Tasmanian Angel has striking bold leaves with white margins resembling a philodendron of sorts. This aggressive perennial forms large clumps that may reach 4 feet wide and tall at the time of bloom. Ornamental flower stalks of pink and cream appear in late summer. Often the Bears Breech will go dormant in early fall and return during the spring rains. Therefore, you need not worry about the frost with this tropical looking selection. Lavender is a commonly planted shrub in Clayton Valley landscapes, and there is a new one this year. Oh La Lavender Red has a compact growth with a powerful bloom. This fragrant shrublette makes a great middle in a bed or filler in a container. The recognizable foliage is both heat and drought tolerant, and the flower is a dark crimson cluster that will have all your garden friends wondering where you got such a find. Every year we have a new Echinacea to enjoy. This year, there is Purity. This robust white cone flower has the potential to be a star in any full sun, cut flower garden. Pristine white blooms reach 4-5 inches across on sturdy stems; expect over 25 large blossoms after a year of establishment. One big mistake with the cone flowers is our desire to over-water these perennials. Once established, coneflower will be fine with water every second to third day during the summer months. Too


much water means early dormancy or rot. Be careful to install all coneflower in a drought-tolerant garden. Hellebores have long been an evergreen perennial for the true plant collector. This year introduces Mellow Yellow, a new solid yellow selection with lots of promise. The breeders at Terra Nova Nurseries have been working on a yellow helleborous for 15 years. This is the year of the Hellebores. Install this selection in the shade of your garden, and protect it from any afternoon sun. Prepare yourself to pay dearly for this evergreen perennial. Common hellebores can set a gardener back $12-$18; it will be interesting to see how

expensive this selection initially is. Brandywine Viburnium is a new selection for the colorful berry lovers. This deciduous selection comes from a family that has long been common in Clayton Valley yards and gardens. Brandywine has a beautiful berry display of green, vivid pink and blue, all on the same plant. This shrub has an upright habit, and needs full sun with a little room. Brandywine Viburnium eventually becomes a hedge. Another bonus is the fall color, a definite crowd pleaser. Cerveza n’Lime plectranthus is a new selection of Swedish ivy great for your hang-

ing basket or trailing plant needs. Soft foliage and a pleasant fragrance make this selection even more appealing. The name is also clever and easy to remember. This perennial is heat and drought tolerant, as well as deer resistant. Green leaves have yellow overtones, nice texture to heavy bloomers. The new year holds lots of opportunity to extend your garden’s palate. Keep you eyes open for the new introductions. Happy gardening. Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden Contact her with questions, comments or suggestions at



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$544,980 Concord Clayton Valley Highlands – Upgraded 3BD/2BA w/nearly 1,700 s.f. features expanded master suite w/elegant bath incl. jetted tub. Recessed lighting, neutral paint, raised panel doors & spacious bedrooms w/mirrored closet doors. Inside laundry & poss. RV Prkg.

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$399,000 Concord Ayers Ranch – Great location & endless possibilities! 3BD/2BA home has a roomy kitchen and large dining area with new vinyl, and an open family room w/fireplace. Front and back lawns are amply sized and out the back door you have a large covered patio & storage.

Pittsburg $376,000 Wonderful Investment! – Perfect family home 4BD/3BA incl. detached in-law w/kitchen & bath. Fresh paint & baseboards, lovely tile floors plus hardwood. Flowing floor plan & family room access to backyard w/covered deck & built-in hot tub. Call Jim Bartneck (925) 381-2141.

Concord $335,000 Newhall Village – Rare condo w/attached 2-car garage! Gorgeous 2BD/1BAw/vaulted ceilings, oversized windows, updated flooring & paint + inside laundry. Open living space makes this home light & bright 2story feel like a townhome. Call Shelly Gwynn (925) 2073069.

Concord $310,000 La Terraza Condo – Completely remodeled 2BD/1BA upper unit has a large balcony w/storage & great view of pool & greenbelt. Kitchen offers maple cabinets & granite counters; bath w/dual marble vanity; master has a walk-in closet. Convenient inside laundry a big plus!

Lynne offers FREE staging on her listings

Clayton Resident & Broker Owner

Page B2

Clayton Pioneer •

January 11, 2008

Clayton Sports Basketball is in the genes for Gina Del Bene RANDY ROWLAND Clayton Pioneer

Gina Del Bene comes from a basketball loving family with a long tradition of playing hoops. Her uncles, Joe and Jim Del Bene, and her father, John Del Bene, all played basketball and all had very successful careers at Ygnacio Valley High School. Her cousins Dan, John, Natalia, and Keaton all starred at Clayton Valley High School. So it is no wonder that Gina followed in their footsteps and developed a love for the sport at a very young age. In fact, before Gina was even born, John had already installed a permanent basket in the backyard of their family home. As a toddler, Gina began learning to bounce the basketball and trying to put it in the basket. Gina began organized basketball in second grade at Mount Diablo Elementary. She signed up to play CYO through St. Bonaventure, and continued to play for her parish through the end of eighth grade, when she graduated from Diablo View Middle School. There, her classmates named her “Most Athletic.” During her seven years of playing with St. Bonaventure, she was coached by her dad, John, who quickly understood

Photo courtesy of John Del Bene.

GINA DEL BENE, freshman on Clayton Valley Eagles Varsity basketball team, began her career in the second grade.

that she was ready to take on the challenge of playing for a club team. As she continued to dominate the competition, she natu-

rally progressed to the next level and tried out with AAU, and made the team. Following her sixth-grade

season at St. Bonaventure, she began playing with her yearround team, the Orinda Magic. The Magic consists of 11 girls, including two from Clayton — Del Bene and Sarah Nelson. The Magic play a year-long schedule and travel to tournaments within the Bay Area and as far away as Nevada and Oregon. “I immediately grew really attached to Gina because she was just so determined, and such an incredibly hard worker,” said Magic coach Darrell Hirashima Jr. “She is a very genuine person who has no ulterior motive. She just works hard and wants to improve to help her team. She has a never give up attitude, and is so coachable. I think she will be a very good high school player, and am looking forward to having her back next year.” Likewise, Gina has been very impressed by her coach. “He is an awesome coach, he has taught me a lot, and has been great at teaching fundamentals,” she said. This year Gina is a freshman at Clayton Valley High School. After tryouts were completed the first week of November, first-year coach Bernard Barnes notified her that she had made the Varsity team. She was one of two freshmen to make the Varsity squad, along with her club teammate Sarah Nelson.

“It was really exciting to be pulled aside and told I was going to be on Varsity,” Gina said. The Clayton girls practice Monday through Friday for two hours, and Gina said she has really enjoyed her time with the team so far. “The other girls have really taken me in and have been really great,” she said. “This is a great group to play with.” The Eagles faced some adversity in the non-league preseason schedule, but have been improving each time out. They have wins against Terra Linda and a very good Foothill team from Pleasanton. On Jan. 7, the Eagles began a very difficult league schedule, including two games each against league powerhouses Carondelet and Deer Valley. “My goal for the team is to go to the playoffs,” Gina said. “That would be tremendous accomplishment. It is going to be tough, but we are getting better and better as a team.” Gina can play anywhere on the basketball court, and is a versatile all-around contributor to both of her teams. She usually plays the guard or small forward positions, but has stepped in anywhere there is a need. She likes the physical nature of the sport and is not afraid to defend bigger players.

Gina considers her defense to be the strength of her game, but she is learning to be more involved in the offense. In a recent game against Amador Valley, she made three of four free throws in the last 30 seconds of the game. Gina is dedicated to improving her game and has attended basketball camps twice a year since second grade. She has also participated in the Knights of Columbus free throw shooting competitions, and last year qualified for the State Finals in Fresno, where she finished third. In the regional finals, Gina converted 20 of 25 attempts for an 80 percent mark. Gina says she thinks she would someday like to play at the college level, but she is not even thinking about that right now, as her focus is on her development, and helping her teams. She says her biggest influences in basketball are her dad, “who taught me how to play, and my cousin Natalia.” She hopes to emulate their success in the sport and continue the tradition of Del Bene basketball in the Concord and Clayton area. Her sister Anne Marie, a sixth-grader at Diablo View Middle School, is waiting in the wings to take her turn next. She is currently tearing it up for her own St. Bonaventure team.

After slow start, DVSC Demolition finishes third in league RANDY ROWLAND Clayton Pioneer

The Diablo Valley Soccer Club Demolition U14 boys class III team played in the finals of the Newark Soccer Club Winterfest tournament on Dec. 8-9. This tournament was the team’s second finals appearance this season, and comes after a very good league season in District 4 gold division, where the Demolition boys finished in third place with 15 points. After beginning the league season 0-3, the team had an

impressive run of competitive games, and won five games down the stretch against very good teams from Richmond and Oakland. Demolition is made up of 15 boys, most of whom attend Diablo View Middle School. “At the beginning of the season we were a little bit shell shocked.” said Coach Rick White, who also coaches the junior varsity boys’ soccer team at Clayton Valley High School. “There was a big difference in the speed of play in the gold flight, and the boys had trouble adjusting. But after around the

Sports Shorts Clayton Valley High School Athletic Boosters Club will be hosting its 14th annual Crab Feed & Auction on Saturday, Jan. 12th at 6pm at the Centre Concord. This is a major fundraiser which directly bene-

fits all athletic programs at CVHS. Seating is limited. Tickets are on sale now for $50 each at the school or online at www. Donations or questions are accepted by emailing

fourth game they clicked, they learned to play as a team, and have really stepped it up since that time.” On the first day of play, the Demolition faced local rivals East Diablo Rebels from Brentwood and got by them 1-0, with Zach Shaw scoring the only goal of the contest after a pass from Ryan Jeans. The second game of the day saw the Demolition take on the Manteca Rangers, whom they also beat 10, this time with Jeans scoring on an assist from Zach Jacobson. After the first day of the tournament, the boys were 2-0 and had two shutouts. Going into the Sunday morning game against Petaluma, the boys dominated play and coasted to an easy 3-0 victory. Goals in this game came from Sammy Marchant, Jacobson and Jeans, with his second goal of the tournament, and off of a header. This third shutout win in a row qualified the Demolition for the finals, where they met the undefeated Sunnyvale club, which had also

experienced only shutout victories in the tournament. Unfortunately, the Demolition’s fantastic run ended

against a very skilled Sunnyvale team that had no weaknesses, leaving the Demolition holding the second place trophy.

“This tournament summed up our season, we came out and

See Demolition, page B4

Photo courtesy of Steve Jacobson

THE DVSC DEMOLITION U14 CLASS III BOYS TEAM after receiving their Runner Up Trophy at the Newark Soccer Club Winterfest tournament. Back Row: Coach Rick White, Sammy Marchant (Mid), Coach Dan Shaw. Middle Row: Matt Jacobson (G/Fwd) Cole White (FB), Ryan Long (FB), Ben Coffey (Fwd), Anthony Nahal (Mid), Zach Pauline (FB), Chris Lee (G), Joe O’Leary , Coach Dan Pauline. Front Row: Casey Hood , Ryan Jeans, Cameron Bacigalupo , Zach Shaw , Zach Jacobson, Ryan Nelson.


January 11, 2008

Clayton Pioneer •

Page B3

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DIABLO FC SOCCER ACADEMY Diablo Valley Soccer Club and Mt. Diablo Soccer League are offering a Winter Soccer Academy for recreational players interested in training at a higher level. Learn the fundamental skills of shooting, passing, dribbling, trapping, attacking and defending from our professional coaching staff.

Diablo FC Academy Details: Days & Dates: Mondays and Thursdays – Jan. 14 to Feb. 14 Time & Location: 5 to 6 PM at Willow Pass Park, Concord Eligibility: Girls & Boys ages 5 to 14 Cost: $95 per child, includes training fees and Academy t-shirt Please make checks payable to Diablo FC and mail registration form to: Diablo FC Academy, PO Box 97 Clayton, CA 94517

Hall of Fame San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice made a memorable appearance at Clayton Books on Dec. 16, thrilling crowds who had waited up to four hours to meet the NFL great. Rice was on hand to sign copies of his new book, “Go Long, My Journey Beyond the Game and the Fame,” and mingle with fans, some of whom came from as far away as Pacifica and San Jose. Rice, arguably the greatest wide receiver of all time, if not the greatest overall player in the game’s history, appeared ready to jump right back in the huddle and contribute to the 49ers offense. He looked to be fit and still in the incredible shape that defined his career as he greeted his fans warmly. He laughed and joked with the crowd, who had waited patiently to meet their idol and buy his new book. Rice played for three NFL teams over the course of his 20 years in the league, but he is mostly remembered for his 16 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. With the 49ers, Rice won three Super Bowls, including an MVP award for Super Bowl XXIII. He played four seasons with the Oakland Raiders and

Randy Rowland/Clayton Pioneer

JERRY RICE, with Scott Kinney, and son Ryan Kinney, at Clayton Books.

Seattle Seahawks before ending his career in 2005. Rice holds virtually all NFL receiving records, including career yards, touchdowns and receptions. Clayton Books owner Joel Harris organized the event. Clayton residents Mary Del Monte and Steve Jacobsen were also involved in helping with the book signing. Del Monte has worked with Rice for eight years and has been an annual supporter of his celebrity golf tournament at the Edgewood golf course in Lake Tahoe. “He is such a superstar who shares himself graciously, and is so down to earth,” Del Monte

said. “He is a family man, and him coming to a small town such as ours says a lot about him.” “He’s a superstar, a legend, and a Hall of Famer,” Jacobson added. “For a guy who was the greatest player of all time, he was as nice as can be to everyone.” Many Clayton families lined up to meet the football legend. Scott Kinney was a big 49er fan during the Joe Montana years and was thrilled to meet Rice. He brought his son Ryan with him to share the moment. “My best memories of Jerry Rice were from Super Bowl XXIII, and a game I remember

against the New York Giants in the Meadowlands, when he took over the game. He was without a doubt the greatest receiver of all time,” Kinney said. Jim Wickware of Clayton attended the event with his son, Kyle. Wickware said meeting Rice is “meeting a living legend, and it gives me an opportunity to explain to my son about his work ethic. Jerry was from a small town like Clayton, and he is an example to our youth that if you work at it, you can make anything out of your life.” Robert Connel of Clayton stopped by to get a book signed for his father as a Christmas present. His Dad “is a huge 49er fan.” Connel’s sons Tyler, 12, and Bryden, 9, both remember their grandfather talking about Rice and the 49ers. Clayton’s Robert Helena was born and raised in San Francisco and followed the 49ers from their days in Kezar Stadium, and was thrilled to meet Rice. “Meeting Jerry is like a dream,” he said. “Rice is one of the icons of the 49er along with Lott and Montana.” Like many in the crowd, he brought his entire family to buy the new book and to greet the man who left many lasting impressions on his legion of fans.

Or register at the first session Jan. 14 Please contact Brian Voltattorni, Director of Coaching, if you have any questions at or (925) 212-8460

It’s a brand new day at Mavericks

2008 Team Tryouts Coming in February!



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It is not the same old Mavericks Sports Club, although at first glance, the changes may not be so apparent. Sure, they have new locker rooms about to open, but members have watched that project drag on over a few years, despite promises to the contrary. Mavericks is now under new management. Club president Craig Lazarchik and operations manager Kelly Busch have combined their experience in the health and sales industries to not only turn Mavericks into a premium facility, but to convince their membership that the tough old days have gone, along with the old management team. “We’ve reworked everything that didn’t work,” Lazarchik said. “The members deserve it.” Lazarchik, whose background included six-and-a-half years as director of sales and service for the Golden State Warriors, has had lots of experience with Mavericks’ owner

Gene Campbell, running sports facilities such as Pinnacle Fitness in San Francisco. “I love working with Craig,” said Dara Merritt, the Group-X Fitness Director, who has been with Mavericks for the past three years. Merritt said she was “ready to quit” when Lazarchik and Busch came along. Lazarchik “is the most wellrounded person I know,” Merritt said. “I respect (Busch) as well. They both are positive and very proactive.” “I’m the new guy here,” Lazarchik said, “and the members have had to deal with a lot of promises in the past that didn’t pan out, so I didn’t want to just come in and seem indifferent.” In his six months with the club, Lazarchik has made many behind-the scene changes. “Kelly and I examined everything, looked at what was not working, and made the changes needed. The staff we have now are excellent people.” Tackling the never-ending locker room project proved

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room,” said Denise Menzie, senior sales and service representative for the club. “It’s a reflection of how your business is run.” Enthusiastic about the new direction of the club, Menzie explained the new direction for senior programs under the

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more complex. In the end, a change of construction team was needed, with Lazarchik bringing in Ward Alan Emery, who quickly completed the men’s locker room, now awaiting permit approval. The women’s lockers are expected to be completed within approximately 13 weeks. “It’s like your home bath-

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Page B4

Clayton Pioneer •

Demolition, from page B2 continued to get better,” White said. “There are no superstars on this team, but they all play together.” Central defender Cameron Bacigalupo said of the tournament, “We started out strong and kept up the intensity

throughout the tournament. … After playing together with my teammates for the last two years, we figured out how each other plays, and we grew together, and got better as a team. It has really paid off this year.”

Added midfielder Zach Shaw, who is also in his second year with Demolition, “I like playing on this team because of the competition. We played against some really good teams this year. It is really fun to have such good players on our team too, and most of us go to the same school.” The Demolition used this

tournament to warm up for the Association Cup season ending tournament, which was played Jan. 5-6. The team traveled to Turlock Sports Complex in the Central Valley to play preliminary first-round games against American River Arsenal, East Fresno United and Windsor Wolves.

January 11, 2008

Patty Flannery Realtor Clayton Resident since 1979

serving all your

Real Estate needs Call me voicemail: 925.975.5255 residence: 925.672.0541 email:

Crossword Puzzle

Happy New Year

ACROSS 1- Swedish pop band whose hits include "Waterloo" 5- Sudden convulsion 10- Cloak 14- Timber 15- Large artery 16- Dutch name of The Hague 17- Having wings 18- Facial hair 19- Therefore 20- Abominable snowman 21- Disconcert 23- Evergreen tree 25- Center Ming 26- Simple cell division 31- Stench 35- Gun, as an engine 36- Nostrils 38- At full speed 40- Journey 42- Fermented grape juices 44- Game played on horseback 45- Bed down 47- Arranges in groups 49- Central 50- Borders 52- Actual time 54- Furrow 56- Handwoven Scandinavian rug 57- Light at the front of a stage 62- Of the highest quality 66- Maize 67- Artificial waterway 68- Home to most people 69- Russian range 70- Salt of uric acid 71- Social standing 72- Depend 73- Satisfied 74- Ellington, e.g.

13- Feeling of self-importance 22- Roster 24- Electrically charged particle 26- Plastic or liberal, e.g. 27- Blackbird 28- Like Wrigley Field's walls 29- Greek goddess of the rainbow 30- Spanish Mister 32- Mischievous fairy 33- Mother-in-law of Ruth 34- Middle East rug 37- Withered 39- Protuberance 41- Fastener 43- Surprised 46- Saucy 48- Wily 51- Furrow or groove 53- Knight wear 55- Jewelled crown worn by women 57- Golfer's "watch out!" 58- Spoken 59- Solely 60- Midge 61- Detest

63- Name of Isaac's eldest son in the Bible 64- Gravitate

65- Grasp 66- Mongrel dog The Clayton Pioneer’s “Music Notes” columnist

Clayton’s own

Jim Hudak

Solution for 12/21 crossword

Pianist and Composer

For bookings and performances:

Visit our Website E-mail Piano CD’s available on his Brainstorm Records label

Call Or Write:

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January 11, 2008

Clayton Pioneer •

Page B5

Follow these steps to keep pets’ teeth healthy Was it “ruff” saying goodbye this morning? Pet Care in your home while you travel

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Once again it is that time of the year when veterinarians direct their attention to pet dental care. We focus on educating our clients about dental home care as well as recommending appropriate dental procedures. By age 3, 85 percent of pets need dental care. The overall health of your pet can be seriously affected by neglected oral hygiene. The bacteria found in the mouth, which causes bad breath, can result in seriously diseased teeth and gums. This bacteria sheds internally, which can result in premature deterioration of vital organs.

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Step 1: Dental Diets Dental care should be high on your list when you first bring home your new cat or dog. Your choice of food is important. Dry food is key to shearing off the biofilm that builds on teeth. This film is composed of saliva, food debris and bacteria. All puppies should be started on dry food. It may be tempting to feed those cute little Yorkie pups canned food or people food, but once we start, it is difficult to switch to dry food. The biofilm develops into brown calculus harboring bacteria. Gingivitis then forms, which progresses into periodontal disease and eventually tooth loss. Starting kittens on dry food is also recommended. But cats often develop diseases requiring increased water intake, so I like to feed half canned and half

gulped. Again, look for the VOHC seal for best results. Cats are rarely chewers, but consider offering some chew sticks or toys. Otherwise, VOHC dental treats are recommended.






dry. Look for foods that have the Veterinary Oral Health Council Seal of Acceptance. These foods have been formulated to better remove biofilm. Step 2: Toys and Treats Dogs are chewers, and providing the appropriate toys will promote good dental care. There are many chew toys to choose from. The firm rubber toys with holes to hide food to attract your dog’s attention are the safest. Rawhides and similar semi-digestible chews have questionable safety. You must assess how your pet chews these items. It is safer if your dog chews slowly, “melting” the rawhide over time. But if your pup bites them into pieces, these pieces may become caught in the mouth or throat or potentially cause intestinal obstruction. Dogs may also fracture teeth on these items. Edible treats that are formulated to clean teeth also work better if chewed over time rather than

Step 3: Brushing Brushing your pet’s teeth two to three times per week is perhaps the most important dental care you can provide. It helps to start your pet at an early age, but not during the teething stage from 3.5 to 6 months old. The gums are tender at this time, and brushing will become a painful, unpleasant experience. Choose a convenient time when your pet is relaxed. For the first few days, hold your pet as you normally do when petting it. Slowly lift your pet’s lip and gently massage the teeth and gums with your finger. Start with the front teeth and begin rubbing back teeth a few days later. End with praise and a healthy treat. After your pet accepts this handling, wrap a cloth or gauze around your finger, add pet toothpaste, and gently rub your pet’s teeth and gums. Many pets love the malt, beef, fish or poultry flavors of pet toothpaste and consider it a treat. Your veterinarian can provide a pet toothbrush. Place a small amount of pet toothpaste on the pet toothbrush. Gently raise your pet’s lip and place the brush against the teeth at a 45-

degree angle to the gumline. With a slow back and forth motion, gently brush one side. Be careful not to go beyond your pet’s comfort level. Increase brushing until you spend about 30 seconds of brushing per side. After each session, reward your pet with praise and a healthy VOHC treat. One of my more memorable home dental care successes was a 12-year-old golden retriever with beautiful white teeth. The owner set a brushing routine as a puppy connected with his own dental hygiene. Eventually, Sierra would follow his owner into the bathroom and put his front feet up on the sink patiently waiting for his tooth brushing turn. Step 4: Observe for the 8 Warning Signs While brushing your pet’s teeth, observe the mouth for these signs: Bad breath, swollen or bleeding gums, broken or discolored teeth, drooling or excessive salivation, loss of appetite, swelling under the eyes, discharge from nose and weight loss. If you have concerns, contact your local veterinarian. Step 5: Schedule Annual Dental Exams Veterinarians routinely examine your pet’s month during physical exams. We grade

See Teeth, page B7

Sabella and Zappa are ARF’s Adoption Stars Beautiful two-year-old Sabella is looking for a lap in a nice, quiet, warm home. She is a gentle Domestic Shorthair Tortie who is a world class snuggler with a “purr motor” that just keeps on going. The adoption fee for Sabella is $50. Zappa is a busy and friendly dog with a zest for life. Just over

a year old, this Bull Terrier/Poodle mix is intelligent and spunky. He’s available to families with children 14 years and older who have prior terrier experience. In addition to enjoying people, Zappa likes other dogs and would make a good second dog. The adoption fee for Zappa is $225 and includes the first six

training courses. Meet your purr-fect match at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek, during adoption hours: 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The primary caretaker, kids 16 and younger, and canine family members (dog adoptions only)


must be present to adopt a pet at ARF. Would you like to be part of the heroic team that saves the lives of rescued dogs and cats? Can you share your talents to connect people and animals? ARF volunteers are making a difference! For more information see our Web site,, or call (925) 256-1ARF.


Richard A. Littorno Rives & Littorno, Attorneys At Law Since 1979

Nursing Home Costs Can Be Controlled With Medi-Cal and Asset Protection Planning If you or a loved one is facing the huge costs of nursing home care, our Medi-Cal and estate planning techniques can reduce or eliminate these costs, protect your home and other assets. Learn about your options NOW, before you spend too much money on nursing home costs.

Clayton office:

Pittsburg office:

6160 Center St., Suite D Clayton, CA 94517 Phone: (925) 672-6463

2211 Railroad Ave. Pittsburg, CA 94565 Phone: (925) 432-4211 Fax: (925) 432-3516

Page B6

Clayton Pioneer •

January 11, 2008

Clayton Community Calendar PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR CLAYTON COMMUNITY CALENDAR EVENTS BY 5 P.M. JAN. 16 FOR THE JAN. 25 ISSUE. FAX TO 672-6580 OR E-MAIL EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT THROUGH FEB. 7 Picture Book Time @ Clayton Community Library 11 a.m. Story time for 3 - 5 yr old. Child may attend without caregiver. Drop in any Thursday. Clayton Community Library, 6125 Clayton Road, 673-0659. THROUGH FEB. 17 Diablo Valley College Presents Bat Boy, the Musical @ DVC The little town of Hope Falls is desperate. Their coal mines have run out and their cattle are dying. This delicious twist on the modern day musical comedy tells the amazing story of a strange boy with pointy ears, his struggle to find a place in a world that shuns him, and the love that can create both miracles and madness.Performances Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2:30pm. Tickets $10$15. Box office open Monday-Friday 12pm to 4pm. (925) 687-4445 THROUGH MAR. 25 Patty Cakes @ Clayton Community Library 11 a.m. Story time for babies - 3 yr old. Child attends with caregiver. Drop in any Tuesday. Clayton Community Library, 6125 Clayton Road, 673-0659. JAN. 15 Queen of All Saints School 60th Anniversary Alumni Planning Meeting @ QAS School Hall 7 p.m. We welcome alumni who attended Queen of All Saints School to a pizza planning meeting in preparation for the school's 60th anniversary. Our hope is to grow the alumni committee to ensure a successful celebration. For Information call Mary at (925)685-8700 or email Queen of All Saints School, 2391 Grant Street, Concord. JAN. 19 Want to write a Book? @ Clayton Community Library 3 p.m. Diane Lando will present the workshop: "The Fictionalized Memoir: the New Novel and How to Get There". Diane will demonstrate how to transform personal journals and diaries into prose. Diane Lando is Brentwood's 2007 Poet Laureate and author of the Bentwood Chronicles. Clayton Community Library, 6125 Clayton Road, 673-0659. JAN. 24 California Telephone Access Program (CTAP) Presentation @ Diamond Terrace, Clayton 4 p.m. CTAP will discuss their programs. They distribute telecommunications equipment and services to individuals certified as having difficulty using the telephone. CTAP is a California State mandated program and provides free equipment and some network services to eligible consumers. Find out if you are eligible. Refreshments provided. Diamond Terrace Retirement Community, 6401 Center Street, CA. JAN. 31 Smart Discipline Seminar @ St. Bonaventure Church 7 - 9 p.m. This is one of America's most popular seminars for parents. Gain positive cooperation from your children while eliminating negative behaviors. Issues such as promoting positive values, self confidence and self motivation will also be addressed. $15 per person or $25 per couple can be paid at the door. For more information email Patti Collyer at St. Bonaventure Church, 5562 Clayton Road, Concord, California. FEB. 4 From Invention to Marketplace: Lessons from One Entrepreneur's Adventure @ Clayton Community Library 7 p.m. Deborah Stephens Stauffer, co-inventor of the DaysAgo Digital Day Counter and founder of double u products, inc. will discuss her adventure bringing the award winning DaysAgo product to market. Debbie has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNBC's The big Idea and HGTV. Clayton Community Library, 6125 Clayton Road, 673-0659.

CLUBS & ORGANIZATIONS JAN. 12, 26 Scrabble Club @ Carl's Jr. 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Club meets the second and fourth Saturday of the month. All ages and skill levels. Prizes and contests. We have grown from six players to a roster of sixty in a year's time. Just $2 to play for the day. Carl's Jr., 1530 Kirker Pass Road, Clayton. JAN. 13 VFW Breakfast @ Concord Veterans Memorial Hall 8 - 11 a.m. Breakfast is held on the second Sunday of each month. The menu includes eggs, pancakes, sausages, coffee, tea and orange juice.

$4/adults and $2/children under 12. Concord Veterans Memorial Hall located at 2290 Willow Pass Road, Concord. JAN. 13, 20, 27 Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting @ Clayton Community Church 7-8 p.m. AA Big Book Study every Sunday night. 673-9060. Clayton Community Church, 6055 Main St., Clayton. JAN.15, 22, 29 Kiwanis Club of Walnut Creek 12-1:30 p.m. every Tuesday. All are invited to check us out and be our guest for lunch. Call Sam Totah at 941-1536. Massimo’s Ristorante, 1604 Locust St., Walnut Creek.. JAN. 16 Ygnacio Valley Republican Women @ Oakhurst County Club. 10 a.m. Lunch is $20. Installation of new officers. Please phone Barbara Allen at 672-5061. YVRW meets the 3rd Wednesday of the month. Oakhurst Country Club, 1001 Peacock Creek Drive, Clayton. JAN. 17 Veterans of Foreign Wars Meeting @ Concord Veterans Hall 6 p.m., meeting begins at 7 p.m. the third Thursday of the month. All veterans of foreign wars are invited to attend. The VFW is here to support eligible veterans and their families. Wives and daughters of eligible veterans are invited to join the Ladies Auxiliary. Veterans Memorial Hall, corner of Colfax and Willow Pass Road, Concord. JAN. 17, 24, 31 Rotary Club of Clayton Valley Concord Sunrise @ Oakhurst 7 a.m. every Thursday. Meeting includes breakfast and usually features a speaker. Visit www. or call Chuck Graham at 6897640. Oakhurst Country Club, 1001 Peacock Creek Dr., Clayton. JAN. 17, 24, 31 Weights Watchers Meeting @ Contra Costa Farm Bureau Building 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Thursdays. Weekly Weight Watchers weigh-in and meetings. Call 800-326-8450, x 2023. Contra Costa Farm Bureau, 5554 Clayton Rd., Concord. JAN. 17, 24, 31 Contra Costa Chess Club @ Starbucks, Clayton 7:30 - 10:30 p.m. every Thursday. The Contra Costa Chess Club welcomes chess players of all ages and skill levels, and we provide instruction and materials for beginners. We are governed by the USCF Rules of Chess, and it's coffeehouse chess at its best. There is no cost to playing in or joining the club. Contra Costs Chess Club meeting at Starbuck's, 1536 Kirker Pass Rd., Clayton. JAN. 22 Clayton Valley Woman's Club @ Holy Cross Lutheran Church 9:30 a.m. coffee; 10 a.m. meeting the second and fourth Tuesday of the month. Call Joyce at 672-3850 or Sheila at 672-7947. Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 1092 Alberta Way, Concord. JAN. 23 Blue Star Mom Meeting in Concord 6:30 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of each month. Blue Star Moms is a support and service group for those serving in all branches of the Armed Forces. 1792 Elmhurst Lane, Concord, 676-3654. JAN. 31 Clayton Business & Community Association @ Oakhurst Country Club 6:30 p.m. Monthly dinner meeting the last non-holiday Thursday of the month. This is a great place to meet fellow Claytonites and become involved in some of the ongoing events that CBCA sponsors. Cost of the dinner is $24. Reservations due by Tuesday noon prior, 672-2272. Mike Fossan, President. Oakhurst Country Club, 1001 Peacock Creek Dr., Clayton. FEB. 3 Knitting Club @ Concord Library 2-4 p.m. the first Sunday of the month. Have you noticed that knitting is all the rage? Join the group and get creative. 646-5455. Concord Library, 2900 Salvio St. FEB. 5 Knights of Columbus @ St. Agnes Church Hall 7:30 p.m. the first Tuesday of the month. We look forward to seeing our brother Knights at the general membership meeting of the Knights of Columbus Concord Council 6038 of Concord and Clayton. St. Agnes Church, 3478 Chestnut St., Concord. FEB. 7 Sons in Retirement (SIRS) @ Oakhurst Country Club 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Meetings are the first Thursday of the month. SIRs is

dedicated to promoting the independence and dignity of retired men and has no initiation fees or dues. The only requirement, other than being a man who is retired from his primary employment or career, is attendance at the monthly luncheons. Oakhurst Country Club, 1001 Peacock Creek Dr., Clayton. For more information, call Carl Sisson, 672-6418. FEB. 10 Concord Mystery Book Club @ Concord Library 2:30-4 p.m. All mystery readers are invited to participate and explore a different genre each month. Group meets the second Sunday of the month. Concord Library, 2900 Salvio Street, Concord, 646-5455. FEB. 11 Clayton Valley 4-H Club @ Farm Bureau Hall, Concord 7 p.m. Open to boys and girls ages 5 - 19, and adults. Many projects, community service and leadership opportunities. Conferences, 4-H Camp and scholarships. For information contact Candy Hogan 925 969-1325. Farm Bureau Hall, 5554 Clayton Rd. Concord 94521. FEB. 13 Creekside Artists Guild - General Meeting @ Clayton Community Library 7p.m. Come hear the exciting plans for the 2008 New Year! All levels and all art forms are welcome! Join this unique group of eclectic artists that meet the 2nd Wednesday of each month. S-T-R-E-T-C-H your artistic boundaries and bring artwork to the meeting that creatively expresses this months theme, "WINTER CHEER" if you wish." We provide an environment for all artists to inspire, create, educate and prosper"...Questions? Arlene KikkawaNielsen (925) 673-9777, email: or visit our website:

BUSINESS & GOVERNMENT JAN. 14 Clayton Trails and Landscape Committee @ Clayton Library 7 p.m. The committee meets the second Monday of the month. Residents are invited to attend to hear what is being proposed and to provide input and get answers to questions. Clayton Community Library Meeting Room, 6125 Clayton Road. JAN. 15 Clayton City Council @ Clayton Community Library 6 p.m. The council meets the first and third Tuesday of the month. Agendas posted at City Hall, 6000 Heritage Trail. Clayton Community Library Meeting Room, 6125 Clayton Road. JAN. 15, 22, 29 County Board of Supervisors @ County Administration Building 9 a.m. Tuesday mornings. or 335-1900. County Administration Building, 651 Pine St., Room 107, Martinez. JAN. 22 Clayton Planning Commission @ Clayton Community Library 7 p.m. The coommission meets the second and fourth Tuesday of the month. or 673-7304. Clayton Library Meeting Room, 6125 Clayton Road. FEB. 14 Clayton Community Services Commission @ Clayton City Hall 7 p.m. The commossion meets the second Thursday of the month. Clayton City Hall, 6000 Heritage Trail.

SCHOOLS AND EDUCATION FEB. 7 Parent Faculty Club (PFC) @ Clayton Valley High School (CVHS) 7 p.m. Club meets in the school's library. All parents/guardians in the school community are welcome and encouraged to attend. If you are interested in placing an item on the agenda, please contact either of the Co-Presidents: Dianna Sutherland: 672-9392, or Carolyn Hartnell 672-4146, CVHS, 1101 Alberta Way, Concord. FEB. 12 Parent Faculty Club Meeting @ Diablo View Middle School 9 a.m. Meetings held in the Gym Community Room. All parents welcome. Dates, times and places are subject to change. Diablo View Middle School, 300 Diablo View Lane, Clayton. FEB. 19 Parent Faculty Club Meeting @ Mt. Diablo Elementary 7 p.m., Club meets in the library. Make a difference in your child's education. For items to be included on the agenda, contact PFC co-presidents Kristy Smith 673-1795, or Susan Sovik, 673-5094, Childcare is available. Watch website for details.

YMCA Calendar of Activities league. League winners will receive championship jerseys. Contact Jacob Duncan at 925.889.1600 or ccyprograms@ for more information. JAN. 8-29 VOLLEYBALL OPEN GYM AT THE CLAYTON COMMUNITY GYM Tuesday evenings from 7-10 p.m. Call 925.889.1600 for more information or visit to register.

The Clayton YMCA offers a variety of classes and activities for all ages. From Pilates to ornament decorating, from Kids’ Nights Out to Lego Camp, try the Y for fun things to do. JAN. 6-MAR. 16 ADULT BASKETBALL: MEN’S 5 ON 5 AT THE CLAYTON COMMUNITY GYM Sunday evenings from 5-9 p.m., age eighteen and up. Show off your skills in the YMCA Men’s 5 on 5 Basketball league. This is an eight week season that meets once a week for a game. At the end of the season a playoff will be held to find the winner of the

JAN. 9-30 PILATES AT THE CLAYTON COMMUNITY GYM Wednesday evenings from 6:45-7:45 p.m., age twelve and up. All levels welcome. This class benefits all body systems and contributes to overall wellness. This ongoing class is an ideal complement to any exercise program and great for stress relief. Call 925.889.1600 for more information or visit to register. JAN. 10-MAR. 13 ADULT VOLLEYBALL AT THE CLAYTON COMMUNITY GYM Thursday evenings from 7:30-10 p.m., age eighteen and up. If you like to pass, set and spike the YMCA Co-ed Adult Volleyball league is for you. This is an eight week season that meets

once a week for a game. At the end of the season a playoff will be held to find the winner of the league. League winners will receive championship t-shirts. Contact Jacob Duncan at 925.889.1600 or ccyprograms@ for more information. JAN. 10-31 TUMBLING TOTS ENDEAVOR HALL Thursdays from 1:30-2:30 p.m., age three through five. Tumbling Tots is a structured playgroup that emphasizes developmentally appropriate activities that encourage coordination, memorization and motor skills. Call 925.889.1600 for more information or visit to register. AT

JAN. 19 KIDS NIGHT OUT AT THE CLAYTON COMMUNITY GYM 6-11 p.m., age three through twelve. Bring the kids down to the Clayton Community Gym for an evening of fun while you have a night out on the town. Children will enjoy crafts, games, movies, and dinner while you are worry-free knowing they are in a safe and friendly environment. Dinner and snacks are provided. Kids Night Out is offered the third Saturday each month from 6:00-11:00 pm. Call 925.889.1600 for more information or visit to register.

JAN. 25 MOVIE NIGHT AT THE CLAYTON COMMUNITY GYM – SHREK THE THIRD 6-8 p.m. FREE EVENT! Join the YMCA on Fri., Jan. 25 from 6-8 p.m. for an evening filled with movies and popcorn at the Clayton Community Gym! Grab your blanket, pillows, and bean bag chairs and bring your entire family to enjoy our feature for the evening, Shrek the Third. It’ll be sure to keep the whole family entertained! Call 925.889.1600 for more information or visit to register. JAN. 26-MAR. 15 BASKETBALL 9 a.m, Grades Pre K-8. Dribble, pass and shoot your way into the YMCA’s basketball league. The games are coached by parent volunteers and are refereed by YMCA staff. All practices and games are played for one hour on Saturdays and game times are scheduled by the YMCA at the Clayton Community Gym. Register by December 26 and receive special early bird pricing. FEB. 5-MAY 27 MODEL UNITED NATIONS AT THE CLAYTON COMMUNITY GYM Tuesdays from 3:00-4:00 pm, seventh through ninth grade. Learn about the real United Nations and how it works. As a delegation, we will choose a country to represent,

and then each teen will be assigned to one of the organizations that make up the Model United Nations. We have weekly meetings from February through May. We have one training conference before we head down to Pasadena, where we will stay in the Hilton Hotel. During this four-day event, we will be dressed to impress and express our views as they relate to our country. Call 925.889.1600 for more information or visit to register. FEB. 5-26 VOLLEYBALL OPEN GYM AT THE CLAYTON COMMUNITY GYM Tuesday evenings from 7:00-10:00 pm. Call 925.889.1600 for more information or visit to register. FEB. 6 BE MY VALENTINE AT THE CLAYTON COMMUNITY GYM 6:00-8:00 pm. FREE EVENT! With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, spend the evening with the YMCA creating something special for your someone special. Call 925.889.1600 for more information or visit to register.

For more information or to register for any of these classes, call (925) 889-1600, or register online at

January 11, 2008

Clayton Pioneer •

Page B7

Club News

La Veranda Café Northern Italian Cuisine in downtown Clayton Fresh soups, salads, antipasti, pizza and pasta Dinner and lunch daily Brunch on Sunday Children’s menu and take out service available

For reservations call (925) 524-0011 6201 CENTER ST. CLAYTON

AAUW POETRY READING NIGHT The Clayton branch of the American Association of University Women will bring an evening of poetry reading to the local club scene. The program will feature Sunny Solomon, creative manager of Clayton Books and book reviewer for the Clayton Pioneer. This talented and versatile writer will read some of her own poetry. There will be an opportunity during the “Open Mike” portion of the program for members and guests to read either their own poetry or a poem that has special meaning to them. The Poetry Reading Night is Monday, January 28, 7:30 p.m. at Diamond Terrace, 6401 Center St. in Clayton. Coffee & sweet treats will be available before and after the program to encourage socializing between visitors and members. The Clayton Branch of AAUW sponsors varied activities appealing to a wide range of interests. Both young and

mature women will appreciate the overall focus on educational

KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS ESSAY CONTEST Last chance to enter this contest that is open to all Catholic students in grades 4-6, 7-8 and 912. Winners will receive $50 to $100 savings bonds at council and regional levels of competition and a special certificate. State awards will be from $50 to $250. Subject matter is as follows: grades 4-6, “What does

being a Catholic mean to me?; grades 7-8, “How can I display Charity in my daily life;” and grades 9-12, “As a Catholic youth, how can I promote advocacy for the culture of life.” All entrants will receive a participation certificate. Deadline to enter is Jan. 31. For more information contact Claire Tryon, Youth Director and State Essay Chairman for the Knights

topics. Reservations are not needed but for further informa-

tion call Mary Ann 672-4391 or Sheila 672-7947.

CLAYTON VALLEY WOMAN’S CLUB INSTALLS NEW PRESIDENT & OFFICERS Co-President Sheila Driscoll welcomed members and guests at a recent gathering. The Co-Presidents Holiday Gift Project was the Layette Program. Barbara Cotton, representing the Hillcrest Congregational Church Layette Program, thanked the members for their generosity in donating an abundance of baby clothes. The choral group, Ladies First from Concord High School, provided the entertainment. Arleen Lewandowski installed the incoming coPresidents Joan Bergum and Merle Whitburn and the new officers for the 2008 Board of Directors for CVWC. Amenities Chairman Marjorie Thrulow thanked outgoing co-

Photo courtesy of Clayton Valley Woman’s Club

Outgoing and incoming co-presidents:Joyce Atkinson, Merle Whitburn, Sheila Driscoll and Joan Bergum.

presidents Sheila Driscoll and Joyce Atkinson for their services to CVWC and a donation

was made in their honor to the Diablo Valley Literacy Council.

Church News Clayton resident, Mike Rose, has been in business for over 35 years and has always provided quality repair with excellent customer service!

Mike Rose proudly proudly announces our newest location Mike’s Auto Body 3001 North Park Blvd. Pittsburg, CA (925) 432-9910

Teeth, from page B5

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Visit our website for our other 7 locations WWW.MAUTOBODY.COM

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the teeth from 0 to 4. Stage 0 equals clean, white teeth. Stages 1 and 2 exhibit calculus build up with mild gingivitis. The worst stages, 3-4, result in severe peri-

odontal disease and tooth loss. The appropriated dental procedure will then be recommended. Proper dental cleaning does require anesthesia. Depending

Mavericks, from page B3 motto, “Something for everyone.” “We want to be more than just the neighborhood gym ,” Lazarchik said. “We want to offer choices that make us a lifestyle destination for the area.” Some of the programs in the works include additional nutritional support, non-surgical procedures to compliment the existing in-house spa and massage therapy, and the on-site chiropractic center. Lazarchik and Busch stress that in the 70,000-square-foot facility, there is no waiting lists for equipment. With lots of space and lots of equipment, claiming your machine is a piece

of cake. In addition to fitness training, the club offers a variety of aerobics, yoga and Pilates classes, as well as hike clubs, powerkick, childcare, Trainer Tools Café and more. “We have over 50 classes,” Lazarchik said, “each well attended. Our Group X members take ownership of the classes.” Friendliness is an obvious club feature, from the front desk, where Sales Manager Jamar Clark takes time to discuss club features, to the maintenance operators who, as Lazarchik points out, are very proactive and quick to respond to member needs.

ST. BONAVENTURE The Smart Discipline seminar will be presented on Thursday, Jan. 31 from 7 to 9 p.m. This is one of America’s most popular seminars for parents to help them gain positive cooperation from their children

while eliminating negative behaviors. Issues such as promoting positive values, self confidence and self motivation will also be addressed. St. Bonaventure Church, 5562 Clayton Road, Concord, California. $15 per person or $25 per couple can be paid at the door. For more information email Patti Collyer at

on your pet’s age and physical condition, pre-anesthetic lab work and other diagnostic procedures may be recommended. Make pet home dental care a natural habit by starting early in life, setting a routine and finding the appropriate combination of

care that works for you and your pet. Add this to your New Year’s resolution list to promote your pet’s oral hygiene and overall health. Marybeth Rymer, DVM, can be reached at Monte Vista Veterinary Hospital, Concord. 672-1100.

The club boasts a diverse age range, from early twentysomethings up past 80 years old, each finding an area of activity that suits their needs. The club offers free lifetime memberships to members over 80. “Don’t be fooled,” said Menzie. “You’ll find the same demographics here as you will in the neighborhood Safeway. These are loyal members who have stayed through some rough times.” “Our members deserve to have a facility they can be proud of,” Lazarchik said. “And our team is very open to member input, suggestions, and comments. I am always walking the floor and always approachable.” “There’s a new sense of pride,” Merritt added. “I’m proud of my department. We

have a stellar group of instructors.” Lazarchik manages three Northern California Mavericks: Concord, Emeryville Mavericks and the San Jose Athletic Club. The Concord facility is located at 5294 Clayton Road, next to Clayton Bowl. For more information, call (925) 602-5600. See Mavericks’ ad on page B3.

of Columbus, (925) 673-8564 or email

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Page B8

Clayton Pioneer •

January 11, 2008

Sweet and complex, Marsala pairs well with dessert cheese


must (the grape pulp, skins and seeds left over after the crush) and then simmered to reduce the wine by a third. Sicilians began to age the wine in large oak casks, and the best selections were served directly from the casks after aging for decades. Marsala might have remained a regional wine had it not been for a storm in 1773. English merchant John Woodhouse was blown ashore in a little seaport town where he refreshed himself with the local beverage. Deciding to ship more than 100 gallons of Marsala back to England, Woodhouse opted to fortify the wine with about 2 percent brandy. He figured that the brandy would help stabilize the wine as it tossed about in casks during its voyage. In addition, sherries and ports (fortified wines) were very popular in England and elsewhere in Europe at the time. The English took an instant liking to Woodhouse’s Marsala.




Tiramisu. Zabaglione. Chicken scaloppini. Risotto. What do they have in common? Sweet and memorable Marsala wine — the “Sicilian Sherry.” Despite its checkered past and most recent relegation as strictly a kitchen wine, Marsala has a long and venerable history and deserves a place in a wine glass, as well. Marsala is native to southwestern Sicily. It was well known to the ancient Romans as a strong conciato wine. The “concia” wine-making technique involves the addition of cooked

Realizing the potential for huge profits, Woodhouse returned to Sicily and set up vineyards and wineries for mass production and commercialization of the wine. He also built up the port city of Marsala as


his own shipping hub. Other Englishmen bought up Sicilian land and began their own Marsala production, and these products found their way to such far-flung locales as America and Australia. An Italian family finally entered the Marsala scene in the early 1800s, and over the years other Italian families acquired the English vineyards and production. However, production was so fragmented that the quality of the wine began seriously to deteriorate. In the 1980s, astute Sicilian politicians recognized the decline and passed laws regulating its formulation and production, returning Marsala to its former glory. Marsala has several characteristics. It can be Ambra (amber), Oro (gold), or Rubino (ruby), all determined by the type of grape used to make the base wine. Aging and alcohol volume are also important elements. A “fine” Marsala is aged

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a minimum of one year and has at least 17 percent alcohol content by volume. A Marsala Superiore is aged at least two years with 18 percent or more alcohol content by volume. Marsala Superiore Riserva and Soleras Marsala are aged up to 10 years, retaining the same 18 percent alcohol content. Finally, Marsala wines are characterized by sweetness (secco, semisecco and dolci – dry, semi-dry, and sweet), based on residual sugars generated by the production process. Marsala was traditionally served as an aperitif between the primo (first) and secundo (second) courses of a meal. Today, it is more popularly served chilled with Parmesan, Gorgonzola or Roquefort cheeses or at room temperature as a dessert wine. Now, Marsala is most commonly an ingredient in Italian restaurant kitchens. It is reduced to a syrupy consistency and blended with onions, shallots, mushrooms and herbs. Chicken Marsala is one of the most popular Italian dishes. Flour-coated pounded chicken breast pieces are sautéed in butter and olive oil and simmered with Marsala, mushrooms, and herbs. Secco or semisecco Marsala pairs well in shrimp dishes. SHRIMP MARSALA OVER LINGUINI ½ onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 Tbsp olive oil ¼ c dry Marsala wine 6 oz canned or freshly steamed clam meat 1 6-oz bottom clam juice 1 Tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped 1½ lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined 1 lb. linguini, cooked and drained Heat olive oil in medium

skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until tender and translucent. Add Marsala and bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for five minutes. Add clams and garlic and simmer for five minutes. Add shrimp, clam juice and parsley and cook until shrimp have curled, turned pink and are just cooked through. ZABAGLIONE 2 egg yolks 2 Tbsp sugar 3 Tbsp sweet Marsala wine 1/3 c whipping cream, whipped Place a bowl over a saucepan with barely simmering water. Add yolks and sugar to the bowl and using an electric mixer (preferably with a whisk attach-

ment), whisk or beat until the mixture becomes pale and thick. It should triple in volume. Be patient. This could take up to 15 minutes. Continue whisking/beating the mixture as you add the Marsala. Remove from the pan and place the bowl in another bowl of ice water. Continue to whisk/beat the mixture until it is cool. Fold in the whipped cream. Serves 2-4. ** Caution: this recipe involves lightly cooked eggs, which can be a source of food-borne illness. Linda Wyner, a local attorney and foodie, owns Pans on Fire, a gourmet cookware store and cooking school in Pleasanton. Direct your suggestions or questions to

Jan 11 Clayton Pioneer 2008