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January 17, 2014


Dry year is flaming drought fears for local residents PEGGY SPEAR Clayton Pioneer

While it seems as if the entire rest of the nation was huddled in a deep polar vortex, northern Californians have been enjoying blue skies, temperate heat and even sunbathing on the banks of Lake Tahoe. In January. It’s no secret that California

has an arid, Mediterranean climate, but this year’s unseasonably dry weather still has many residents shivering in fear of the D-word: drought. “It’s scary,” says Clayton Pioneer weather columnist Woody Whitlatch, a former longtime PG&E meteorologist who has crunched rainfall data of the

past 165 years. It is scary when you see that the 2013 calendar year was the driest on record, with only 5.59 inches of rain measured in San Francisco. The average is about 22.5 inches. The “water year,” which experts use, runs July 1 through June 30, and so far totals for this water year are

shallow: just 2.08 inches of precipitation since July. The thought of a drought brings fears of severe water rationing, empty swimming pools, brown yards and reduced toilet flushing, all things that live in the memory of many local residents who experienced the severe drought of 1976-77.

ARE WE IN A DROUGHT? One of those people is Contra Costa Water District spokesperson Jennifer Allen, who remembers the drought back then as a child growing up in the North Bay. “We put a brick in our toilets,” she says. “Now, thanks to low-flow toilets, that’s a thing of the past.”

Still, she says it is impossible to call our dry weather pattern a drought because “all the information isn’t in yet,” she says. “We don’t know what the weather will bring this winter, or what the state water allocations will be.”

See Drought page 6

Clayton woman finds her passion helping save African painted dogs A midlife Safari inspired Wendy Blakeley to found Zimbabwean nonprofit




Watch for persuasive snakes in 2014 Happy New Year! Self-discipline will be the focus of the Do the Right Thing character initiative during January and February. A definition of self-discipline that has stuck with me is doing what you know you should do when you don’t want to do it. One aspect of self-discipline is exercising self-control. This reminds me of a story I once heard, an old Native American legend. Many years ago, Native American youths would go away in solitude to prepare for manhood. One such youth hiked into a beautiful valley. There he fasted, and on the third day he decided to test himself against the mountain. He put on his buffalo-hide shirt, threw his blanket over his shoulders, and set off to climb the peak. When he reached the top, he could see forever, and his heart swelled with joy. Then he heard a rustle at his feet. Looking down, he saw a snake. Before he could move, the snake spoke: “I am about to die. It is too cold for me up here, and I am freezing. There is no food, and I am starving. Put me under your shirt and take me down to the valley.” “Oh, no,” said the youth. “I know your kind. You are a rattlesnake. If I pick you up, you will bite me, and I will die.” “Not so,” said the snake. “I will treat you differently. If you do this for me, you will be special. I will not harm you.” The youth withstood his pleas for a while, but this was a very persuasive snake with beautiful markings. At last the youth tucked it under his shirt and

See Mayor page 4




WENDY BLAKELEY, (RIGHT) AND HER ASSISTANT, AGNES NCUBE, VISIT A RURAL VILLAGE IN ZIMBABWE where they buy locally crafted baskets to sell to gift shops in the United States to support African Painted Dogs were a declining species until Wendy Blakeley's nonprofit helped to save the big-eared pack animals.

Many parents, when faced with an emptying nest as their children leave behind their childhoods and head off to school, find activities to keep them busy. They may immerse themselves in volunteer work, turn their hobbies into home businesses, and, in some cases, start new careers. Wendy Blakely was no different. A single mom, she worked 45 hours a week at a civil rights law firm and started and ran a dance studio while raising her. So when he left to attend college at UC Davis in the early 1990s, she had a little bit of extra time. Turns out, an African safari was being planned by one of the school’s staff members. Blakely, never one to let moss

See Painted

Dogs pg 3

The Orchards Center to lay deep roots along YVR PEGGY SPEAR Clayton Pioneer

The complexion of a very busy intersection at Ygnacio Valley and Oak Grove Roads, a critical part of the East Bay’s main artery to Clayton, will be changing in the next few years, thanks to an ambitious proposal at the Shadelands business park. Known as The Orchards at Walnut Creek, it is a planned shopping center that include 219,000 square feet of retail space, including a new 55,000square-foot Safeway grocery story, other “major tenants,” specialty shops, restaurants, 200units of senior housing, a children’s splash park and play area, green space and a mile of

jogging trails. Just last week, Walnut Creek planners released the eagerly anticipated draft EIR, and community members have 45 days in which to comment. Meanwhile, across Ygnacio Valley Road, in the Encina Grande Shopping Center, a Whole Foods is slated to take over an enlarged space vacated by the smaller Safeway store, which will close when the newer, bigger one opens. It is part of a renovation of that center that will also see Walgreens move to the east end of the center and expand to include a drive-through. Safeway currently owns the

See Orchards page 3

What’s Inside Around Town . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Church News . . . . . . . . . . .13 Classified . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

Community Calendar . . . . . .9 Design and Décor . . . . . . . .15 Directory of Advertisers . . . . .5

THE PUBLIC WILL HAVE UNTIL FEB. 20 TO COMMENT ON THE DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT for The Orchards, a major shopping and residential development planned for the corner of Oak Grove and Ygnacio Valley Rd. YVR is a major traffic corridor for those living in Clayton and Concord. To read the report, go to www. Estate Planning . . . . . . . . . . .7 Garden Girl . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Get Up & Get Out . . . . . . . .13 Letters to the Editor . . . . . . .6 Performing Arts . . . . . . . . . .14 Pine Hollow Reporter . . . . . .8

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Clayton Pioneer •

January 17, 2014

Around Town Former mentor visits Moresi

Concord honors Colin Tittel for US Marines Eagle Scout project Life Scout Colin Tittel of Troop 444 led volunteers in assembling 250 care packages in November to be sent to the

United States Marines as his Eagle Scout project. This was the culmination of a year-long effort by the De La Salle High

COLIN TITTEL STAGES THE 250 CARE PACKAGES he organized to send to the Marines for his Eagle Scout project.

School junior to provide some comfort and a small taste of home to the Marines serving in a remote part of Afghanistan. Colin was always interested in the military and wanted to do something for his Eagle Project that would benefit members of the Armed Forces. Through a letter campaign, he raised almost $5,500 in donations. He and volunteers collected another $2,500 and four truckloads of goods such as food and pocket warmers. After assembling the packages, Colin met with Clayton Postmaster Judy Corbett to schedule a mail truck to pick up the boxes. Colin was honored for his efforts at the Concord City Council meeting on Dec. 3. Colin will have his Eagle Scout board of review in late January or early February.

ED MORESI VISITS WITH HIS high school home economics teacher, Phyllis “The Judge” McAfee, now retired.

So, one wonders, was Ed Moresi born running good restaurants, or did he have to learn just like everyone else? The answer was clear when, over the holidays, Moresi was paid a visit at Ed’s Mudville Grill by his mentor, former Clayton Valley High School home economics instructor, 89-year-old Phyllis

McAfee. Known as “Judge,” a nickname she was given in college, McAfee had “always wanted to return and say hello to Ed,” according to her caregiver, Clayton resident Pricilla Mercado. The reunion “was a really cool moment,” Mercado said. “Ed gave her a big hug, and they held

hands and reminisced,” she said. McAfee founded and taught an all-boys cooking class at CVHS, and something she taught there must have rubbed off on Ed, who graduated in 1975 and now owns the popular Mudville and Moresi’s Chophouse. “Judge taught me things about cooking and running my business I still use today,” says Moresi, who says he was “thrilled” by the unexpected visit. “You learned things in Judge’s kitchen that you didn’t learn in your Grandma’s,” he says. “Like there’s no such thing as a ‘smidge’ or a ‘pinch,’” Moresi says. “Judge was like her name implied.” McAfee was also vice principal at Mount Diablo Elementary in Clayton, but now lives in Lafayette.

Pioneer Travels AUSTRALIA

Carter Newton achieves highest Scouting rank On Jan. 19, Clayton’s safety enhancement Carter Newton will stand project on the campus before fellow scouts, leadof Berean Christian ers, family friends and local High School, his alma dignitaries at the Eagle mater. Scout Court of Honor to Eagle Scout is the receive the highest rank highest rank achievable possible in the Boy Scouts in the Boy Scouts and of America. Along with is only awarded after CARTER his medal and badge, Claythe scout completes a NEWTON ton’s mayor Hank Stratford major community servwill present Carter with a procla- ice project. Carter’s project mation naming Jan. 19, 2014 involved adding handrails and a Carter Newton Day in Clayton. chain link barrier to a walkway to Carter, a member of BSA separate it from cars entering the Troop 484, earned his rank last parking lot from the street. To August when he completed a achieve his Eagle Scout ranking,

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Carter planned, guided and managed the project with the help of a dozen or more fellow scouts, parents and skilled volunteers who completed the improvements in two days. “It was a very personal and profitable learning process,” notes Carter. Especially managing and directing adults who are experts in their fields, and experienced managers themselves.” Carter is the son of Tamara and Phil Newton and a June 2013 graduate of Berean Christian School. He is currently attending Diablo Valley College.

FOR HIS EAGLE SCOUT COMMUNITY PROJECT, CARTER NEWTON designed and managed the construction of a protected walkway at Berean High School.

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January 17, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

sands, painted dogs are now listed as endangered, due to due to growing human populations that infringe on their territory and resultant disputes over land and livestock. Now there is an estimated 3,000-5,000 remaining, and seeing them in the wild can be challenging. Blakely saw the pack go by, and found her cause.

SAVING A SPECIES “I knew I had to find a way to do something,” she said. “It was cataclysmic.” Shortly thereafter, Blakely teamed up with another member of her safari that year, and together they worked on a project geared towards conservation of the painted dogs population. A Bay Area mom, she had little in the way of experience with conservation efforts, but found that her skills transferred nicely. Labeling, organizing, prioritizing, all skills she’d used at her law firm and dance studio, proved useful. “I had no academic background in conservation or wildlife or sciences at all,” she said. “But finding a way I could make a contribution for conservation, using what I had to offer, is wonderful.” The project grew, and today, the organization she’s worked

mile away. What’s more important, Elster says, is that the neighborhood doesn’t need more traffic, something residents who travel along Ygnacio Valley Road to Concord and Clayton will agree with. “It’s the residents number-one concern,” he says. “We still don’t know how this big new development will impact traffic.” Still, many merchants are embracing the idea. One of them, Rocco Biale, who owns Rocco’s Ristorante in Encina Grande, was an early supporter of the Orchards project. “I think overall the competition will be good for the community,” he says. “My main concern, like everyone else’s, is the traffic.” The city plans to release an enhanced traffic study later this spring. Another unknown is how

the Orchards will impact Citrus Center Marketplace, which already has several vacancies. Elster has already combed through portions of the EIR, and cites in the “Urban Blight” section that says the Nob Hill Foods is the most vulnerable to shut-down. “We don’t want to lose that,” he says. City officials say they hope to have final approval of the project by next summer. Walnut Creek hopes to gain as much as $5 million in fees associated with the project, not to mention increased sales tax. Meanwhile, to help facilitate growth in the Shadelands, landlords and the Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce are looking to develop a Property Improvement Business district, which will allow for better signage, tougher security and even a BART shuttle.

Painted Dogs, from page 1 said. “I’d never been in a foreign country until I went to Africa.” Blakely came home to see her life through new eyes. Two years later, she found herself called back to Africa for another safari. While camping, one of the rangers got a call from outside their area that a pack of painted dogs was travelling by. Painted dogs are not, in fact, dogs. Four legged carnivores, with the word “dog” in their name (courtesy of early settlers who thought they looked like dogs), sure, but on sight, the differences are clear. Tall, with big round ears (like pandas or bats) and beautiful mottled earth-tone coloring, they’re social and intelligent pack animals. Once prevalent, numbering in the hundreds of thou-

grow under her feet, checked the itinerary, then signed herself up, and was soon on a 33hour long flight to Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zaire and the Congo. The trip was life-changing. MORE THAN A ‘ROMANTIC ADVENTURE’ “Africa was sort of portrayed to the world, when I was young, as a romantic adventure. Between the culture, the music, and the animals, it just captured me,” she said. But although she’d seen pictures and read books, Blakely was caught unawares by the scale of what she saw: animals racing across the plains, and the beauty and diversity of her surroundings. “I maybe managed to sleep four hours a night,” Blakely

Orchards, from page 1 land where the Orchards will be built, with two of its corporate buildings located there. It received approval to rezone the property for a multi-use project. The plan has undergone several renovations based on months of community input, and the latest calls for rooftop parking with elevators down to the stores, right-turn entrances on Oak Grove and Ygnacio Valley, and larger entry/exits on Via Monte and Shadelands Avenues. There will be pedestrian walkways, a shallow play-creek, and even a Main Street-like drive through the development. “We really want to reflect the needs of the community,” says project spokesperson Deborah Karbo.

While it might sound like a huge improvement for the Shadelands, which has been suffering decreasing tenancy in the last five years, the project is not being greeted with open arms by all residents. Traffic concerns, and the fate of the Citrus Center Marketplace just across Oak Grove Road, are all major concerns, says Steve Elster, a Woodlands resident and a vocal opponent of the project. “We don’t need another grocery store,” says Elster, citing Whole Foods, the new Safeway, and Nob Hill, as well as stores like Trader Joe’s, just down the street on Oak Grove, and the Bancroft Avenue Safeway and the Fresh and Easy grocery store in the Ygnacio Plaza shopping center, barely a


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with since 1997,, has an on-site facility in Zimbabwe, boasting a rehabilitation facility for the dogs that have been injured, anti-poaching units, and a children’s daycamp through which more than 1,000 local sixthgrade children pass, free of charge, to learn about their local wildlife, see the painted dogs, and create artwork. Although she lived in Zimbabwe to work with the organization for eight years, today Blakely now resides in Clayton, where the wildlife she sees trends towards domestic dogs and coyotes. HELPING AT HOME She’s still involved, however. Having helped get the organization off the ground, she was asked to set up community

workshops for Zimbabwean locals to make crafts. The items, geared towards the African painted dogs, are sold to gift shops, such as the one at the Oakland Zoo, with the proceeds shared between the artisans and the painted dogs conservancy. Meanwhile, Blakely returns to Africa each year. There, she has a room of her own in the art center, and each weekend she takes a drive in the park, where she occasionally sees the results of her organization’s work in the slowly growing packs. Last year, she took a group on safari, and is planning to do the same this year as well. “I have friends all over the world now,” she said. “My work is quite well known. It’s just been really rewarding.”



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Clayton Pioneer •



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January 17, 2014

New housing concept allows Clayton seniors to ‘age in place’ Community-based ‘Villages’ are catching on nationwide GARY CARR Special to the Pioneer

For Clayton seniors who want to stay in their homes for the next 20 or 30 more years, the national Village Movement can provide a solution. Villages are self-governing, grassroots, community-based volunteer organizations developed with the sole purpose of enabling people to remain in their homes and communities as they age. The concept began at Beacon Hill in Boston and spread quickly. Now there are more than 100 “Village Initiatives” in the U.S., with another 120 under development. In the East Bay, there are villages in Oakland and Lamorinda. “Now, it’s time for a village in Clayton,” says Maria Xiaris, founder and chair of the Clayton Village Initiative and a Clayton resident. Xiaris was intro-

duced to the village movement after seeing an NPR news special. She has spent the past six months researching the subject and contacting long-established villages around the country through the Internet-based “Village-to-Village Network,” the national resource organization for villages. “I have a passion to help Clayton develop a village and my aim is to attract and work with others with the same interest,” she says. “We are looking for like-minded people with an interest in seeing how we can maintain a high quality of life and build a vibrant active community where we support one another as we age. We are so lucky to live in our beautiful Clayton. By harnessing the talents and interests that exist among neighbors and working together we plan to create a community like no other.” Xiaris has been joined by other residents and are now forming a planning committee. Among them are long-time Clayton resident Sonja Wilkin, who has studied the Village

Mayor, from page 1 carried it down to the valley. There he laid it gently on the grass. Suddenly, the snake coiled, rattled and struck, biting him on the leg. “But you promised—” cried the youth. “You knew what I was when you picked me up,” said the

snake as it slithered away. (From Iron Eyes Cody, “But You Promised,” Reader’s Digest, June 1989, p. 131.) I hope that we can exercise self-control in our lives and that we can help our kids avoid picking up those “persuasive snakes” that will only harm them.

Movement for several years. The first steps for the Clayton Village Initiative include building a database of current services available and conducting a needs assessment to determine the services most attractive to Clayton seniors. “We don’t want to reinvent the wheel,” Xiaris says, “We need to know what services are already available so we can refer members using a call-in network and website to those services that will help solve their problems. Based on our survey, we will try to fill in any gaps we find.” “We are looking for people to serve in volunteer roles ranging from ambassadors who help inform the community to leaders who oversee needed tasks,” she says. For more information, a Clayton Village Introductory meeting will be held on Wed. Jan 29 at 7p.m. at the Clayton Library. Contact Gary Carr at 925-672-8717 or email To learn more about the village movement, go to

In 2014, Clayton will be celebrating its 50th anniversary as an incorporated city. Clayton was founded in 1857 and incorporated in 1964. You’ll hear more about this anniversary in the upcoming months. Here’s to a happy and prosperous 2014! Feel free to contact me with questions and comments at

January 17, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

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Directory of Advertisers Business Services Rising Moon Marketing & Public Relations . . . . .672-8717 P.O. Box 1246 6200 Center Street, Suite H, Clayton, CA 94517 TAMARA AND R OBERT S TEINER , Publishers TAMARA S TEINER , Editor P ETE C RUZ , Graphic Design P EGGY S PEAR , Copy Editor J AY B EDECARRÉ, Sports PAMELA W IESENDANGER , Administration

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can also mail or bring your print to the office and we can scan it for you. Also on the website are forms for calendar items, events & press releases. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Clayton Pioneer welcomes letters from our readers. As a general rule, letters should be 250 words or less and submitted at least one week prior to publication date. Letters concerning current issues will have priority. We may edit letters for length and clarity. All letters will be published at the editor’s discretion. Please include name, address and daytime telephone number. We will not print anonymous letters. E-mail your letter to Letters must be submitted via E-mail.

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

LET US KNOW 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 resident in our home delivery area. Submit on our website and be sure to attach a JPG photo that is at least 3 MB but not bigger than 6MB. You

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The Mt. Diablo Branch of the California Writers Club and the Contra Costa County libraries are sponsoring a free workshop for middle school students on Feb. 1 in preparation for the annual Young Writers Contest. Contra Costa County sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students are invited to attend the free workshop led by children’s authors Sarah Wilson and Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff. The topic is, “How You Can Write the Best Short Story or Personal Narrative Using Character and Plot.” The contest entry deadline is March 27. Winners are celebrated at a banquet on May 10. The free workshop is at the Walnut Creek Public Library from 9 a.m. to noon at 1644 N. Broadway, Walnut Creek. To reserve a space at the workshop and for contest details, contact the California Writers Club Mt. Diablo Branch at


148 El Portal Place - Clayton

Dining and Entertainment Clayton Club Saloon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-0440 Oakhurst Country Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9737

Alain Pinel – Estates by Wendy TEAM

Direct: 925.286.7593 | EFax: 925.226.4735 | | LIC#01425653

Financial, Insurance and Legal Services DuRee, Daniel – The Law Office of . . . . . . . . . . .210-1400 Littorno, Richard – The Law Office of . . . . . . . . .432-4211 Sorensen, David – Wells Fargo . . . . . . . . . . . . . .296-3086 Travis Credit Union . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .888-698-0000 Van Wyck, Doug – State Farm Insurance . . . . . .672-2300 Funerals Ouimet Funeral Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-4242

Vineyard Shopping Center

Free Young Writers Workshop for CC Middle School Students

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Christine and Estates By Wendy Team Pending


CIRCULATION Total circulation of the Clayton Pioneer is 15,500. Papers are delivered to households in ZIP codes 94517, 94518 and 94521. In Clayton, all papers are delivered Every Door Direct by the US Post Office. We cannot start or stop delivery to individual addresses. All Concord delivery is by carrier and delivered twice a month on a Friday morning. To stop delivery for any reason, call the office at (925) 6720500 or email If you are NOT receiving the Pioneer, please check the distribution map on the website. If you live in the shaded area and are not receiving the paper, please call us or send an email to If you are not in the shaded area, please be patient. We will come to your neighborhood soon.

Over 35 years Experience

Construction and Trades Appliance Repairs by Bruce, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2700 Belfast Plumbing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .457-5423 Burkin Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-1519 Diablo View Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .822-5144 Gary’s Home Repair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .787-2500 Iron Horse Concrete . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .566-8666 Tipperary Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216-2679

Office and retail space for lease in Historic Clayton City Center: Village Oaks Center, 6200 Center St., Clayton. Call Nick Adamson at (408) 371-8770, ext. 21.

HELP WANTED Computer Tech Growing business has position for onsite pro computer tech in Contra Costa County. Must have experience in Windows and Mac OS, network repair and troubleshooting. ComputersUSA! 672-9989. Park District Seasonal, full and part-time positions for youth, 16 and older. Also, two training programs available for student aides to work year-round at visitor centers or in Public Safety Department. Go to jobs or contact Human Resources (510) 544-2154 or Sales Associate Retail feed and pet supply store, full or part time. Apply in person at Rodie’s Feed, 8863 Marsh Creek Road, Clayton. Come join Mazzei Realty! Currently interviewing and hiring new and experienced real estate agents. Call 693-0757 for details. Real Estate Agents Be Successful! Lynne French is expanding and interviewing for a few agents. Call her today 672-8787.


Groceries Doorstep Farmers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .349-4568 Home and Garden Clayton Furniture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .686-2299 Diablo Lawnscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .381-3757 Interiors Panache . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-7920 Nichols Landscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9955 The Floor Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .969-9890 The Maids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-6243 Utopic Gardens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .524-0055 Waraner Bros. Tree Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .831-2323 Waraner Tree Experts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .250-0334 Mailing Services The UPS Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-6245 Optometry Foresight Optometry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-4100 Pet Services Cat Hospital of Clayton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2287 Monte Vista Veterinary Hospital . . . . . . . . . . . . . .276-5744 Pittsburg Pet Resort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .432-7387 Real Estate and Mortgage Services French, Lynne – Windermere Real Estate . . . . . .672-8787 Geddes-Sinclaire, Christine – Alain Pinel . . . . . .286-7593 Howard, Don – Better Homes Realty . . . . . . . . . .408-3184 Howard, Emily – Better Homes Realty . . . . . . . .408-1871 Johnson, Terry Mohr - Prudential . . . . . . . . . . . . .914-0061 Klock, Leigh – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . . . . . .212-5593 Landgraf, Linda – Prudential . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .876-0311 Laurence, Pete – RE/MAX Realty . . . . . . . . . . . .890-6004 Lopez, Stephanie – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . .932-7329 Mazzei, Matt – Mazzei Realty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0757 Peterson, June – Prudential . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .963-8605 Stojanovich, Jennifer – Better Homes Realty . . .567-6170 Vujnovich, George - Better Homes Realty . . . . . .672-4433 Recreation and Fitness Diablo FC – Soccer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-4625 Earthquake Arabians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .360-7454 Levity Fitness Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2995 SNAP Fitness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0110 Senior Services Courtyards at Pine Creek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-3900 Diamond Terrace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .524-5100 Montecito – Oakmont Senior Living . . . . . . . . . . .852-6702 Services, Other 1-800-Junkster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .800-586-5783 ComputersUSA! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9989 Net Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6029 Recycling Center & Transfer Station . . . . . . . . . .473-0180 Travel Travel to Go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9840

Help Fight Hunger For more info and contact numbers, go to Clayton Historical Society Museum Greeter needed for two hours per month from 2-4 p.m. Call 672-0240 Clayton Community Library Needs volunteers. Contact Arlene at 673-9777 or

Refreshments served

Meals on Wheels Drivers needed one day a week. Contact Sharon Fitzgerald at 932-8607 or

Self Discipline Do the Right Thing

Page 6

Clayton Pioneer •

Letters to the Editor CC Times miscast information in Jan. 2 editorial On Jan. 2, 2013, the Contra Costa Times ran an editorial, “It’s time for serious discussion about the compensation of local elected officials,” (Jan. 2, 2013) in which there were serious factual misstatements and omissions about the health insurance benefits I receive as a result of my 16 years on the board of Mt. Diablo Hospital District before the merger with John Muir Medical. The Times editorial painted all elected officials receiving health care benefits after their service ended with a very broad brush, using loaded terms such as “putrid ethical conflict.” I cannot speak for all who were painted with this brush, but I can clear up the mis-characterization of the facts in my case. The Times editorial stated that when the hospital district was dissolved, an estimate of the future value of my health insurance was $556,000; partially correct, but grossly incomplete. In lieu of this $556,000 future value, the district offered us a lump sum payment of $150,000. Since, as a member of the Concord City Council, I was eligible for the city’s much cheaper health plan, we did not need the cash buyout from the district. So, that $150,000 was given to the American Cancer Society in the form of an irrevocable delayed annuity

with all profits going directly to assist cancer patients. Maria, a cancer survivor herself, and I have never received a penny of this money. The Contra Costa Times knew this and failed to report it in their editorial—a serious omission. Ron Leone Concord City Councilman

RESPITE SAYS THANKS I want to sincerely thank you for the beautiful article about The Respite Inn (Clayton Pioneer, Dec. 20, 2013). John Jackson truly is a gifted writer. We’ve had many articles written over the years in various newspapers. This article is by far the best and so right on. John captured the true spirit and essence of The Respite Inn. From the bottom of our hearts, Thank you for all you do Maureen Wright Executive Director, The Respite Inn

Thank you to The photo of Concord Mayor Tim Grayson and Vicemayor Ron Leone that appeared on page 9 of the Dec. 20 issue of the Clayton Pioneer was taken by David Gomez for and reprinted with permission. We inadvertently ran the photo without photo credit and apologize.

SEE what’s ahead this New Year... Call now and schedule your annual eye exam.

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January 17, 2014

Concord seeks input on housing The City of Concord Planning Division is asking Concord residents to participate in an online survey to gather input about the current and future state of housing within the city. The survey data will be used to update the city’s Housing Element, part of the city’s General Plan. The city is interested to learn

through the survey what residents see as the Concord’s most significant housing issues, how residents would address statemandated requirements to plan for increased housing units, and what could be done to improve the city’s housing inventory. The 20-question survey is available online at,

from the home page of the city’s website at, and in paper format at the Permit Center, 1950 Parkside Dr. The deadline for completing the survey is Monday, Feb. 10. Local governments are required to prepare and adopt a Housing Element as part of their General Plan. The Hous-

ing Element must include existing and projected housing needs, and the resources and constraints to address those needs. For more information, contact Senior Planner Joan Ryan at 925671-3370 or

Concord seeks members for two commissions The Concord City Council is looking for residents to serve on the Appeals Board and the Commission on Aging. Deadline for applications is Friday, Feb.14. The Appeals Board is comprised of up to five members, but needs to fill only one slot. An additional member may be appointed to serve as an alter-

nate. Board members must be qualified by experience and training to consider matters pertaining to building construction. The board hears appeals of decisions made by the City Building Official. Meetings are scheduled on an as-needed basis. The Commission on Aging is comprised of up to 11 mem-

bers. This recruitment is for up to five members. Commission members act as a resource to identify, improve, and develop services and opportunities for senior citizens in Concord. At least 51percent of members are required to be over the age of 60 years. Meetings are held on the third Wednesday of the month at 1:30 p.m. at the Con-

cord Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Circle. Applications may be obtained at the City Management offices, 1950 Parkside Drive, or requested by calling 925-671-3495. Application forms are also available at the City’s website at

For 100-year-old Wilbur Daly, life is still sweet married Feb. 10, 1935. Six years later Daly was called to active duty and was sent to be part of service company headquartered in Gilroy, CA, shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Myrtle followed her husband to Gilroy taking their two sons and daughter along. With the National Guard Daly traveled to various different states and countries before landing in Okinawa. It was here in Okinawa where Daly was stationed until the war ended. But even though WWII was over Daly was still on active duty and was sent to Korea before heading back to the states.

ASHLEY RICCI Special to the Pioneer

At the ripe age of 100, Wilbur Daly has lived an interesting and well-traveled life. Born on June 9, 1913 in Detroit, Daly has lived through some of America’s greatest milestones, as well as served his country, joining the National Guard in 1933. But his greatest milestone is his 78-year marriage to Myrtle Daly. When asked what his happiest memory was, Wilbur replied “Right over there, that gal I married.” He and Myrtle met while Daly was working at a Ford Motor Company in Michigan and were


COMING HOME In 1945 Daly finally returned

home to stay with Myrtle and their four children in Michigan. Over the next 10 years the Dalys had two more children, both girls. The past 78 years have seen Daly and Myrtle traveling across the United States and parts of Europe, even passing through the Panama Canal. It wasn’t until three years ago that they came to live with their daughter, Pamela J. Daly, here in Clayton. For the Dalys it is a peaceful life with Wilbur’s favorite activity, walking around the park five times every day except Sunday. Though his greatest accomplishment in life so far, “I’m alive and I got married and all of my children are alive,” says Wilbur.

Drought, from page 1

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Basically, a drought is determined by the amount of water available, she says, and good planning and conservation methods, as well as increased supplies from Delta waters, have kept the water supplies in a fairly good position to serve customers. “But we rely on the Sierra snowpack, so all that can change if we continue to see dry weather patterns.” She says that the water district has an internal team of experts working on a scenario if that happens, and will have a plan in place if rationing happens later this summer, she said. It’s not clear how much rain, or more importantly, how much Sierra snowfall, is needed to avoid water rationing. “Weather is an art, not a science,” she says. DRY PERIOD OR CLIMATE CHANGE? Whitlatch agrees that the unpredictable nature of weather makes it nearly impossible to

foresee what is beyond the horizon, despite the advanced meteorological technologies available today. “Currently, California is sitting below a stubborn high-pressure ridge that isn’t letting go,” he says. “It’s bumping all the wet weather systems north and east of us. That in part is what’s causing the severe weather in other parts of the country. That weather has to go somewhere.” Californians are used to that high pressure ridge, as it has been a frequent companion for the past three years. Using the data he’s compiled, Whitlatch says that we are in a three-to-four year dry weather pattern. Based on “water year” data, the last two years have been pretty dry, with 2012-13 ranking 42nd of 165 years, in the 25th percentile of rainfall, and 201112 ranking 35th, in the 21st percentile. “If we hadn’t had such a wet December in 2012, the 2012-

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13 water year would have ranked much drier,” he says. Still, Whitlatch says that he sees the current pattern as just that, an event, and not a sign of climate change. However, he says that doesn’t mean that climate change does not exist. “It’s a good chance we are in climate change, and maybe 30 years from now we can look over the patterns, and really determine that yes, we are getting drier,” he says. “But it’s just too early determine that with the rainfall records we have now.” Still, in the second decade of the 21st Century, it’s hard to understand why we can’t have more of a positive impact on the weather via technology. “There is always cloud seeding,” Whitlatch says, referring to the process of adding moisture to existing rainmakers. “But you need clouds for that, and we just haven’t had much cloud cover at all. You can’t make water where there isn’t any.” He agrees with Allen that residents are more savvy now in dealing with water shortages than we were in the past. “Back in 1976-77, we didn’t have a clue how to handle a drought. Now, water companies, and water users, are more prepared.” WHAT’S AHEAD? How to be prepared for water shortages and rationing is on the minds of many people, according to Nicole Hackett, the Pioneer’s gardening expert. “I hear it all the time now: ‘What should I be doing if there is a drought?’ People are scared,” she says. Hackett’s column this issue (see page 16) details some ideas, but she is quick to point out that people need to examine their water usage, and make sure they are “water wise.” “Are you watering your lawn, or the sidewalk? What time of day do you water? There are very simple things homeowners and garden aficionados can do

to make sure they are getting the best bang for their water buck, so to speak.” She and Allen suggest contacting the CCWD to see about some of the free programs offered to customers that will help residents gauge their water usage. “There are tools available, such as programs to help replace landscapes so that they are more ‘water-wise,’” says Hackett. “I’ve seen some lovely dryscapes in the Clayton Valley area that have little or no grass. Not only does it save on water, but it is a lot easier to tend.” Still, looking ahead, Whitlatch says that by reviewing historical data, he suspects that the rest of the 2013-14 water year will be about 75 percent of average. He came to that conclusion after sorting through JuneDecember rainfall in San Francisco in the past 165 years, coming up with an average for 25 of those years. That average is 13.04 inches. While he did not study the jet stream charts for those 25 years, Whitlatch says that he did note that a persistent high pressure ridge over the West Coast, like the one we are currently experiencing, was mainly responsible for the abnormally dry fall and early winter seasons. So, during at least 20 of the 25 dry first sixmonth segments of the water year, those with at least 75 percent of normal January to June rainfall had some breakdown of the ridge during the second sixmonth portion of the water year. In other words, statistically speaking, we’re likely to see some breakdown of that stubborn ridge. And looking ahead at one weather model, Whitlatch says there is a chance of “some decent rain” beginning after Jan. 20. “Weather” or not that happens, he, like all residents, is hoping for the best, and preparing for a drought.

January 17, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 7

Benefits, drawbacks of VA loans


REAL ANSWERS Q. I am a veteran of foreign wars. I have never used my VA benefits. Is there anything you can think of that could preclude me from using them to buy a home now? A. Thank you for your service . You are a veteran forever. These are your benefits. Of course you can use them. A Department of Veteran Affairs loan (VA) is a great loan to get. A borrower has the ability to take out a mortgage loan with no money down. You will have favorable inter-

est rates, and of course it is government insured. One problem veterans have had in this hot Real Estate market, though, is that they are competing with cash buyers or buyers who can buy the home as-is. On a VA loan there are certain repairs that the buyer isn’t allowed to make. The sellers worry that the VA appraisers will be tougher, bringing in a lower value than other appraisers would. In my experience this isn’t proving true, though. In the past VA loans took a longer time than other loans to fund. These days that also isn’t true. Your realtor needs to put together a desirable package to present to the seller showing you and your family as the best choice for the home. You should put the highest “Good Faith” deposit into escrow that you can afford. If you are putting down a low or no down payment, then you will be refunded the extra money from the deposit at the close of escrow. Hopefully being a veteran and planning to occupy the home will also weigh in your favor.

I am also concerned with the current returning troops having to face the same obstacles. A recent study showed that becoming a homeowner can help the veteran adjust to life back home significantly. Eighty-eight percent of veterans said that owning a home makes them feel safer. Other reasons they desire home ownership are to establish a household (43 percent) and have financial security (36 percent). For 75 percent of military families, owning a home is one of the most important things to accomplish upon returning from service. Some other obstacles, other than getting an offer accepted, are the price of homes and having enough personal savings. Therefore only 33 percent of military families say they will look for a home within a year of returning from active duty. When they do start a home search, vets and their families report space, in terms of bedrooms and bathrooms, is more important than other specific features in finding the home they want to buy. The most

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important amenities are an updated kitchen, storage space, outdoor space and square footage. Q. I am a newlywed and my wife and I are buying a home together. She has a foreclosure on her credit report from two years ago. My lender said I should take the mortgage loan out in my name only. Can she still be an owner of the home and is this legal? A. The answer is yes on both counts. You will be the only one responsible for the loan repayment. The preapproval letter from your lender will only have your name on it. Your wife can be on the purchase contract, if your lender says it is okay, and she definitely can be on the title to the home.

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• Wills • Trusts • Healthcare Directives • Powers of Attorney • Probate

DANIEL DUREE ESTATE PLANNING Michael Jackson may have been one of the most successful musical performers of all time, but his prowess in song and dance unfortunately did not extend into the estate planning arena. Apart from the Grammywinning performances and the number one-selling albums, his legacy also continues to live on in what may be the mother of all probate proceedings currently underway in Los Angeles County. This time around, the only people that consider the event a “Thriller” are the attorneys and executors of his will who are collecting massive fees, and the gossip columnists who get to

Winnie and Solomon Browne are ARF’s adoption stars


11-month-old Winnie is a social butterfly who loves to hang out with people. She is very playful and outgoing, and would probably be a great dog sports partner in noseworks, advanced obedience, or other outdoors adventures. She’s exceptionally smart and easy to train, and already knows Sit, Down, Bang! (lay on her side), Stay, and Touch (target your palm with her nose). Winnie is cuddly and affectionate, and will be a wonderful down time companion for Friday night movie marathons on the couch. Winnie needs to be the only animal


in the home, and prospective adopters must meet with a trainer before taking her home. Trainers are available M-Sat. Winnie’s new guardian(s) will receive three private training sessions for the same price as a group class at ARF, in order to make her transition into her new home easy, fun, and fabulous. Winnie prefers a home without small children. She currently weighs 44 pounds. The adoption fee for adult dogs is $225 and includes 60% off one 7-week dog training session.

12-week-old Solomon Browne is a sociable little cutie who enjoys petting and attention, and also loves to play and explore! It is unknown whether Solomon Browne has previous experience with children. He is suitable for a first time cat guardian. The adoption fee for kittens is $125. Meet your forever friend at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek, during adoption hours: Noon to 5 pm. Wednesday, 3 to 7 pm. Thursday and Friday, Noon to 5 pm. Saturday and Sunday. The primary caretaker must be present to adopt. ARF also encourages kids 16 and younger and canine family members (dog adoptions only) to be present during the adoption process. Would you like to be part of the heroic team that saves the lives of rescued dogs and cats? Can you share your talents to connect people and animals? ARF volunteers are making a difference! For more information see our website,, or call 925.256.1ARF.


ls ke ay o a r Ka onda s on M to 11 pm

Lessons learned from the Michael Jackson probate because Jackson’s estate is going through court administered probate, a public proceeding where anything submitted to the court is on the record for all to see. Personal details thus far center on the lives of Michael’s children, who receive a combined $70,000 a month allowance for living expenses, including more than $14,000 a month in salaries and payroll taxes for the people that take care of them. While this sounds like a large amount, it is far less than either the attorneys or the executors of the will are pulling in per month. It doesn’t seem right but it is happening. The most unfortunate part of this situation is that it all could have been avoided with proper planning. Make sure that your family is spared the expense, delay and loss of privacy associated with the probate process.



soak up every juicy detail of the very public process. Over four years into the probate administration and things continue to drag on while fees continue to add up. Under a special agreement approved by the probate judge, the executors of Jackson’s will (who are not relatives) receive 10 percent of certain income the estate earns. With earnings of up to $600 million since probate began, the executors may eventually walk away with north of $100 million. The attorneys are also entitled to statutory fees during probate, fees which could run into the tens of millions of dollars before all is said and done. These fees are a serious amount of money that will not go to Jackson’s family and designated charities as he wished. The reason we know so much about this situation is

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Clayton Pioneer •

January 17, 2014

Bad blood ignites melee between Northgate and College Park IVAR LAANEN Clayton Pioneer

A near-riot following a recent Northgate High men’s basketball game against College Park is spurring the schools to take drastic measures, including keeping student rooters from their next matchup at College Park. The melee was the latest in a series of hostile altercations on and off the court in Walnut Creek following basketball games between the two schools. Last season’s game ended in a violent brawl outside the gym between both schools’ Sixth Man, the student fans. The incident was captured on video and spread like wildfire on social media. This year, the bad blood continued. On the court Jan.7, players from both teams made gestures to the crowd, shooting dirty looks instead of hoops and shoving each other. Following the final buzzer, a crimson and purple mob of 150 students exchanged words in the parking lot and even a Northgate vice principal was pushed to the ground in the melee. With the school district involved and a

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community up-in-arms over the events, the questions is, how can these schools be so hostile over a mere game? And what can be done to make sure it doesn’t happen again? “Rivalry is great,” Northgate Principal John McMorris said. “ I don’t see this as a rivalry, I see this as a negative culture. A culture around disrespecting the other school. Unfortunately, it’s become a culture of ‘we don’t like you, and we’re going to get you.’” As a consequence of these events, the next basketball game between these two sides on Jan. 31will be played at 3:30 p.m. at College Park, and no Sixth Man from either school will be admitted. At the last game, Northgate senior shooting guard Matt Trowbridge led the team with 18 points in the loss against the league rival. But when the he broke from the locker room, he found he was the center of attention on Twitter, receiving much hate mail along with support from the Bronco faithful. “There’s been conflict between both Northgate and College Park ever since I was a freshman,” said Trowbridge.

“Past students at both schools have had several conflicts. I think it’s because our schools have been evenly matched in basketball throughout history so it’s always an exciting game to watch.” Students “tweeted” their uncensored opinions on the schools along with direct comments on everything Trowbridge did. He said he understood the importance of the game and ignored what was said. “On social media, I didn’t

Scientists take science to the classroom

The bright little screen shines as you peer down and see what your distant friend is doing over winter break. You do not remember the last time you had a full-blown conversation with this person, and yet you inform each other on the minuscule details of your personal life.

Local students will get a front row seat to a full day of science when volunteers from the American Vacuum Society bring their Science in Action program to Mt. Diablo Elementary on Jan 30. The program for the students will utilize demonstrations and simple experiments with student participation, to illustrate the force of atmospheric pressure and the science involved when various degrees of vacuum are produced. Students will learn about the evaporation of moisture in weather, dehydration of food products and coatings on surfaces. Using common everyday objects, such as balloons, water bottles and marshmallows, students will see that Science of STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math] are involved in daily life.

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let it bother me. I actually enjoyed the attention because it felt like I was in the NBA for all the hate and love I was getting just for playing basketball,” Trowbridge admitted. “I didn’t do anything but play basketball. It shows how seriously students take sports. They let their feelings of competition affect whether or not to treat someone with respect. It’s a sad but true concept.” Northgate’s always been known for its Sixth Man, their

boisterous student section. Unfortunately it’s not always in the best light. An incident occurred years back between Northgate and Berean Christian where the sixth man held up the numbers “666” as a joke. The Berean community wasn’t impressed, and had those responsible removed from the game. Yet it takes two to tango, or in this case fight, and College Park has been up for the fight in all sports.

“It’s not only basketball,” senior Drew Downing said. “We beat them here to knock them out of NCS in football this season and there were altercations then, too. Same with baseball. The benches cleared last season.” Perhaps it’s the critical games played between the sides, or a difference in culture between the schools, but one thing is certain: these schools don’t like each other.

Social media can be positive



This is typical of more than 100 million people all over the world, as major social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have dominated and revolutionized the way people interact and communicate with one another. Most people tend to see the negative aspect of social media, and I started to also until I realized that these Internet sites can actually do more good than harm. School, work, and relationship drama, lack of privacy, it all seems to dampen the reputation of the Internet and the new generation’s use of it. Nevertheless, there are various benefits to using social media. For one, family and friends have a different way of interacting, sharing pictures and memories. Just a few weeks ago,

I received a phone call over Facebook and had a conversation with my aunt and cousins in Mexico. They were able to initiate the call without having to pay because of the WiFi connection they had. This is merely one example of the positive results from social networking. Furthermore, social media is a way for not only people but businesses and schools to reach out into the community. It informs teenagers about their surroundings; there is more of a chance that high school students will hear the latest breaking news from their phones rather than from the news channel on the television at home. With the recent Snapchat Hack, many questions were raised about the security of certain social media. There is with-

out a doubt a need for the companies behind the social network to provide better security for their users; however this event should not overshadow some of the good that using these sites can bring Millions of people use Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and others every single day. Although they can be perceived as “bad,” we have to remember that the may be essentially harmless; there is a reason why they have grown so much in popularity. Liliana Hernandez is a Senior at Clayton Valley Charter High School. She loves to read and plans to pursue her interest in writing in the future. Send email to her at

Pine Hollow’s New Year’s Resolutions


PINE HOLLOW REPORTER At the start of every New Year, everyone says “New Year, new me.” For Pine Hollow Middle School that means that students and staff get to start over. After talking to some students, they said Pine Hollow’s New Year’s resolutions are to prevent bullying, have more school activities, use planners more, and have the students follow the dress code more. The teachers and administrators think that Pine Hollow should try to raise all test scores, have a cleaner P.E. field, have activities to fit the age group of the students, and have

a better overall average of grades per grade level. The question is, how will these improvements be carried out? To accomplish these goals, the students believe that they should stand up for one another and instead of bullying someone; they should talk it out with an adult or peer. To follow the dress code more, they will think of it as something for the weekend or for class. To use their planner more frequently, students will be reminded every day to bring their planner and they feel that the teachers should

remind them to write down their homework at the start of class. Lastly, the students want to put together more sports tournaments or activities to make lunch more fun. The teachers and staff feel that it is up to themselves to fulfill the resolutions for the school. To raise the test scores of students, teachers would like to enforce more studying and preparing for tests. They also believe that there should be more monitoring going on around campus and up on the field to eliminate as much trash

and other issues as possible. Pine Hollow is trying to make it a place where students come and have fun when it is appropriate and trying to keep the school improving on various subjects. The New Year has a lot in store for Pine Hollow and it will be great watching the school become more mature. Carlie Beeson is an 8th grader at Pine Hollow Middle School. She enjoys reading, playing soccer, and singing. Questions or comments? Send her an Email at

‘Firefly Lane’ lights up winter gloom EMILY YORK

TEEN READS Best friends. What would we do without them? They’re there for us when we cry, they have our backs, and they make us laugh when we think we’ll never smile again. “Firefly Lane” by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin’s Griffin; May, 2013) starts off with Kathleen Mularkey (Kate) spending the summer of 1974 dreading the start of her eighth grade school year, knowing that she has no friends and that she is a flat out zero on the social scale. But everything takes a major turn the day Tallulah Hart (Tully) moves in across the street. Kate secretly admiresTully, thinking the is the coolest girl in the world, with her pretty face, cigarette smoking and a

my-way-or-the-highway attitude. What Kate doesn’t know about Tully is that she had been abandoned by her pot-addicted mother, Cloud, at a very young age and taken in by her grandmother. When Cloud came back for her (yet again), Tully’s grandmother decided that it wouldn’t hurt to see if Cloud is ready to start acting like a real mother by allowing Tully to go stay with her. But once Kate realizes that she and Tully are complete opposites, she pretty much gives up on trying to be her friend. One night, 13-year-old Tully makes an awful mistake by going to a senior party. After the heart-clenching “party,” Tully needs someone to turn to, but with Cloud high all the time, she surprisingly turns to Kate. From that day forward, they become “TullyandKate,” best friends forever. They went to college at The University of Washington, both

getting their degree in Broadcast Journalism, and landed jobs at KCPO in Tacoma. At KCPO, Tully and Kate met Johnny Ryan, the “boss” of the news station. They worked there for several years, until Kate married Johnny and Tully was given her big break at CBS. Despite their paths separating, Tully and Kate’s friendship only got stronger with time. The rest of the novel is filled with much-needed comfort and unexpected betrayal. Not only does this book give you friendship lessons, but also lifelong advice. Kristin Hannah really pulls at your heart strings with this electrifying page-turner. You will cry tears of happiness and tears of sadness while reading Tully and Kate’s nostalgic tale. Emily York is a freshman at CVCHS.

January 17, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 9


IN CLAYTON Jan. 27 Aprons Wear a favorite apron and take a walk down memory lane with Diana Bauer. Sponsored by the Clayton Branch of the American Association of University Women. 7:30 p.m. Diamond Terrace, 6401 Center St., Clayton. Free.

First Thursdays Oakhurst Business Network Meets first Thursday of the month for social hour. Hosted hors d’oeuvres, cash bar. 6 – 7:30 p.m. Oakhurst Country Club, 1001 Peacock Creek Drive, Clayton.

Jan. 25 Winter Concert

Thursdays Thru Mar. 6 Picture Book Time

Performed by Winds Across the Bay. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $12. 9437469.

Story time for 3- to 5-year-olds. Child may attend without caregiver. 11 a.m.

Jan. 26 Hollywood Franc D’Ambrosio sings songs from the Silver Screen. 3 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $25-$27.

Jan. 30 – Feb. 1 Edge and Entertainment

Jan. 29 Mayor’s Luncheon Lunch and state of the city address with Mayor Tim Grayson. 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Hilton Concord, 1970 Diamond Blvd., Concord. $45.

Tuesdays Farmers’ Market Tuesdays year round, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord.

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

Jan. 18 Fire Recovery Hike Mary Bowerman Trail. Expect to see unique post-fire flowers. 10 – 11:30 a.m. Meet at Lower Summit Parking Lot. Reservations required.

Jan. 18 Fire Recovery Hike North Peak Trail. Expect to see unique post-fire flowers. 12 – 2:30 p.m. Meet at Lower Summit Parking Lot. Reservations required.

Jan. 26 After the Fire Perkins Canyon Area. Ground zero for the Morgan Fire. See the fire devastation and recovery and see some volcanic features, an old mercury mine and hear about Mount Diablo’s “Doc” William Ryder Powell, circus clown turned prospector. 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. For reservations and more information, email

Mitchell Canyon to White Canyon to Black Point. 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon trailhead. Save Mount Diablo programs listed are free unless otherwise noted. Go to and click on Activities/Guided Hikes for more information. 947-3535.

Jan. 25 Mangini Ranch Join David Ogden at Mangini Ranch for a unique family hike to start the 2014 Family Hike series, fourth Saturday of the month at various locations. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at hiker gate on Crystyl Ranch Drive between Autumn Oak Circle and Rolling Woods Way, Concord. For reservations and more information, email

EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT Jan. 18 Comedy Variety Show Moonie and Broon. 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $15-$23. 9437469.

Jan. 19 Anniversaries and Tributes Performed by the California Symphony. 4 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $15-$65. 943-7469.

Jan. 24 Flappers and Flasks

Performed by Diablo Ballet. Shadelands Art Center, 111 N. Wiget Lane, Walnut Creek. $24-$39.

Jan. 31 – Mar. 1 “Clybourne Park” Jokes fly and hidden agendas unfold as two different generations tiptoe the dance of social politics. Performed by Center REP. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $39-$57. 943-7469.

Feb. 1 Mariachi Divas Get ready for a south-of-the-border evening of cheerful music. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $25-$27.

The Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. or 646-5455.

If you need help with your mouse, come to our house. Drop-in assistance to learn how to use computers, smart phones and tablets. 12 - 2 p.m. Additional dates and times offered. Check library calendar.

Jan. 18 Get Covered, California! Join representatives from Covered California’s Community Outreach Network for answers to your questions about Covered California healthcare. Enrollment counselors on site to help you sign up. 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

SCHOOLS Thru Jan. 29 Open Enrollment Enrollment for Clayton Valley Charter High School is open through Jan. 29 at 4 p.m. 682-7474.

Feb. 1 Pops and Broadway Performed by Music Repertoire. 2:45 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $10. 943-7469.

Feb. 7 – Mar. 1 “Guys and Dolls” Romantic comedy performed by Diablo Theatre Company. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $49-$53. 943-7469.

GOVERNMENT 1st and 3rd Tuesdays Clayton City Council 7 p.m. Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 673-7304 or

2nd and 4th Tuesdays Clayton Planning Commission

Feb. 8 Leap Before You Look

7 p.m., Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 673-7304 or

Presented by Ready or Not Improv. 8:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $15. 9437469.

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

Presented by Chamber Music San Francisco. 2:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. Tickets on sale Jan. 25 at 12 a.m. 943-7469.

Feb. 8 The Sun Kings

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

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

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ arrival in 1964, The Sun Kings perform The Beatles’ releases from that year. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $25-$27.

FUNDRAISERS Feb. 8 Crab Feed Crab feed; no host bar. Proceeds support programs of the Knights of Columbus 6038. 6 p.m. Saint Bonaventure Large Hall, 5562 Clayton Road, Concord. $40. Tickets available through Parish Office at 6725800 or call Chuck Cooper at 849-8566.

It could be a virus, or it could just need a tune-up.

Feb. 22 Dinner Dance Mardi Gras theme featuring Concord High School Jazz Bands and Orchestra. Auction and raffle. Proceeds benefit CHS Instrumental Music Program and Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. 6 p.m. Clarion Hotel, 1050 Burnett Ave., Concord. $30 through Jan. 31; $35 after. Contact Theresa Dowd at or 5860889.

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

Kick off Walnut Creek’s year-long centennial celebration in a speakeasy setting. Must be 21 or older. 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $100. 9437469.

Jan. 24 – 26 Die Fledermaus Lamplighters Music Theatre presents Johann Strauss’ bubbly tale of temptation and revenge. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25-$54. 943-7469.

Tuesdays Thru Mar. 4 Patty Cakes

Prevent problems caused by viruses and spyware with regular proactive maintenance.

TOTAL DESKTOP CARE & SERVER WATCH Low cost, fixed fee services that monitor & maintain your network Call Mark 925.672.6029 or to minimize IT problems

Story time for babies to 3-year-olds. Child attends with caregiver. 11 a.m.

Wednesdays Book Buddies A volunteer will read stories for children 3 and older. 1 - 2 p.m. Call in advance.

Buyers and Sellers – the time is right Coming Soon

Feb. 1 – 28 “Bee a Reader”

Jan. 18 Computers and Technology

Jan. 31 – Feb. 1 Emotions Into Movement

Feb. 8 The Eroica Trio

Feb. 2 Black Point Hike

An introduction to the library for teens. 4 p.m. Registration required.

Kids’ winter reading program. Read 10 books for a prize. Children grades kindergarten through second grade.

Performed by Company C Contemporary Ballet. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $10-$48. 943-7469.


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Clayton Pioneer •

January 17, 2014

Sports Eagle soccer teams seeking top tier DVAL finishes JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Clayton Valley Charter High School soccer took a dip last year after an extended run of top league and section results and both girls head coach Scott Booth and newcomer Guillermo Jara for the boys expect results to improve this season as they target top finishes in the Diablo Valley Athletic League. Booth’s girls have gotten off to a good start in league play with three victories out of four matches while the boys have yet to taste DVAL success as they try to rebound from a difficult season a year ago when the team had one win and two draws in 23 games after taking first or second the previous three league campaigns. Jara has outstanding credentials as a coach and former professional and collegiate star player. He is looking to turn around the Eagles. “Final expectation is that we create tradition, pride and honor. We want to not only develop the soccer player but the overall individual for life after soccer.“ The Eagles had four players earn 2013 all-league and they all graduated. Jon Belasorte in midfield and Ryan Glockener at centerback are junior stalwarts for this year’s squad. Freshman Taylor Heurerman and sophomore Ryan Bolender head the team’s newcomers. Booth is in his ninth year with the program and fifth as

Steve Mann photo courtesy CVCHS soccer

NEW COACH GUILLERMO JARA SAYS JUNIOR JON BELLESORTE (on the ball) is “ice in the midfield” for his Clayton Valley Charter soccer squad. Teammates Alex King (left) and Rey Chavez are looking for a cross in this non-league game last month.

head varsity coach. “Our expectations for all three teams [varsity, JV and frosh] are always high. The players realize this the moment we begin tryouts.” The Eagles had 94 girls

attend tryouts with 50 of them expecting a look on varsity. The varsity squad includes 12 returning players and nine newcomers, including five freshmen.

Seniors Kiana Mason, Megan Coppa, Jasmine Partida, Marina Arcaya and Sydney Mendez will provide veteran leadership along with juniors Rachel Lanfranchi, Lindsay

Clayton’s own Golden Bear Jeff Powers shoots the lights out for Cal basketball JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Photo courtesy Golden Bear Sports

JEFF POWERS HAD NOT HAD A CHANCE TO SHOW OFF his shooting prowess for the Cal Bears basketball team this season until he came on against Furman in the final non-conference game in late December. The De La Salle grad from Clayton shot six for seven from three-point range and tied for team honors with a career-high 18 points.

During a holiday season game late last month against Furman redshirt senior Jeff Powers of Clayton came off the bench to score a career high 18 points for Cal in a 9060 win as the Golden Bears finished preparations for the Pac-12 basketball season. That established playing time for the rarely used Powers and he’s now helped Cal to its best conference start since 1957. Powers hit six 3-pointers on just seven attempts against Furman as California remain unbeaten at home. The performance earned Powers 22 minutes of playing time in the conference opener at Stanford as the Bears won again before heading to Top 20 team Oregon, where they grabbed an upset victory last week. Perhaps his biggest performance, however, came last Saturday when Powers gave his injury-depleted team a huge boost as they rallied from 14 down at Oregon State for their Pac-12 season-opening third consecutive road win, a feat Cal last accomplished 57 years ago. Powers had 14 points, took two charging fouls and made the clinching two free throws in Corvallis. “Jeff Powers was fabulous,” coach Mike Montgomery said. After the Furman game Powers said, “I can’t put into words how it felt. It was pretty special. I haven’t done anything like that since high school.” Powers played at De La Salle where he was a two-time allleague performer for coach Frank Allocco and was on a State championship squad.

Powers, a redshirt senior, entered the Furman game with two points in a combined 21 minutes on the season. He had six 3-pointers all of last season. “He is a good shooter and that’s what he’s always been,” Montgomery said. Cobbs added at Oregon State, “He knocks down shots, [in practice], talks trash. I’m not surprised he’s doing this.” Powers easily drew the loudest reaction from the Cal home crowd against Furman and he did not shy away, broadly smiling and acknowledging the fans. “My shots fell, there’s really nothing else to say,” said Powers. “My teammates did a good job of finding me when I did hit shots.” Powers originally enrolled at the University of Denver after completing his De La Salle career but transferred to Cal midway through his 20092010 freshman year. He is playing his fourth season with the Bears. As a redshirt freshman he got into both 2011 National Invitational Tournament post season games for the Bears and played in the NCAA tournament a year later. He started against Washington State both as a freshman and junior. Powers comes from an athletic family. His oldest sister Alicia played volleyball at Cal while middle child Monica, a standout in basketball and water polo at Carondelet, competed for UCLA water polo. All three Powers kids swam for the Dana Hills Swim Team as youngsters. UC Berkeley Intercollegiate Sports Information contributed to the story.

Mondloch, Paige Alford, Kimi Dennis and Amber Booth. Sophomores Marjan Haydaree and Katelyn Penner round out the returning players. Arcaya was first-team allDVAL last year while Mendez was second team. New to varsity are freshmen Alexis Espitia, Bailey Reading, Anita McNally, Sierra Bruni and Kaci Trujillo, soph Eryn Dudley and juniors Cassie Snyder, Alyson Robinett and Korissa Lewis. Booth misses his departed graduates including Janelle Bandayrel, Samantha Boeger, Jasmine Bandayrel, Casey Adams and goalkeeper Megan Elms.

“Last year we dropped to third in the league and failed to meet our goal of winning DVAL. So, this season we are hungry and determined to not have a repeat performance. The talent pool for all schools continues to get better and better so we must work very hard to achieve these goals,” Booth explains. The Eagles lost to Northgate last week after winning three straight to open league play and figure to battle the Broncos, College Park and Ygnacio Valley for top places in league and a berth in North Coast Section for the ninth successive year. NCS playoffs begin Feb. 19.

Young Eagle wrestlers may be a year away JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Coach Kyle Behmlander was still in the process of setting the best Clayton Valley Charter High School lineup when his wrestling team hosted the Clayton Valley Invitational last Saturday, one indication that the squad is not as settled as he expects his team to be a year from now when it will have a majority of seniors heading weight classes. That doesn’t mean that the former Eagle wrestler (CVHS Class of 1989) isn’t placing expectations on his athletes this season. “We should compete for second place against Northgate [in Diablo Valley Athletic League]. College Park should still be top dog,” the coach adds. His top returning wrestler is senior Christian Arteaga, who won North Coast Section last year at 146 pounds and figures to be a favorite to repeat at the NCS Girls Championships Feb. 14-15. Another top finish will get Arteaga back to the CIF State finals Feb. 28Mar. 1 in Visalia. She was sev-

File photo by Mike Dunn


enth at state a year ago. As Behmlander sorted out his top athlete in each weight group it appears that Michael Nocerino at 145 pounds may be the only senior heading his division for the boys. Nocerino was second in DVAL last year. The Eagles have a pair of DVAL champs returning this year in juniors Mustafa Sheridil at 115 and Lorenzo Yacarini at 138 (was 126 champ a year ago).

See Wrestlers, page 11

January 17, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Sports Local cheer squads head to Vegas for Nationals JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Youth football season is over but two cheer Clayton Valley Athletic Association Falcon cheerleader sqauds are heading back to Las Vegas next week for JAMZ Nationals. CVAA had one standing invitation for jazz dance as the winners at 2013 Nationals last January but that invite wasn’t needed because the girls qualified through regional competitions in October to go back and defend their second- and thirdplace National showings in Show Cheer and Performance Cheer. “Due to the success of all five CVAA squads we are taking two teams this year!,” cheer coach Paula Schiff says with a touch of understated enthusiasm. The Falcons will have an upper division age group (Gold) and a lower division age group (Blue) representing the team colors. The cheer teams range in age from 7-10 year-olds and 10-13. Competition is next Friday 24 for the Blue team and Jan. 26 for the Gold. They will compete as Diablo Valley Youth Cheer

Wrestlers, from page 10 Missing from the lineup are graduates Matt McCoy, Jesse Davis, Dakhota Cramer and Logan Bangert. McCoy reached the DVAL podium four straight years including twice as league champion. Jake Lynch has moved up from 152 to 160. He was second at DVAL last year as a freshman. Junior Kyle Tran was third in league last year at 106 and hopes to improve on that placing in the smallest weight class. Christian Jimenez also took third at 120 a year ago as a freshman. Juniors Alec Lindsey (152) and Elijah Breon (170) along with freshmen Ryan Fischer (182) and Andy DeLira (285) were topping the ladder of their weight classes heading into the invitational, which draws 25 teams to the Concord campus. Behmlander says, “We are still a young team but we should be competitive at tournaments. We have a few weight classes that have not been settled but come dual time if healthy we should compete. This year is about building the young guys for next year when we will have seven seniors. If everything goes right I think we have five guys competing for NCS medals come March. On his girls team besides standout Arteaga Behmlander says, “We have four new wrestlers in seniors Vanessa Parham and Seana MartirCortes and freshmen Claire Smithey and Aisha Boudiz.” The alumnus is in his 13th year coaching at CVCHS and ninth as head coach. His coaching staff includes Ron McCoy, Dan Relei, Billy Gore, Matt McCoy, Josh Morris, Jeff Kaplan, Russ Smigluski and Halley Leta-Pombo, girls head coach. The DVAL boys championships are Feb. 12 with the NCS Dual Championships three days later. The NCS boys finals are Feb. 28-Mar. 1 where berths to the State Meet in Bakersfield Mar. 7-8 are on the line.

Page 11

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Photo courtesy CVAA Falcons Cheer

A PAIR OF CLAYTON VALLEY ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION FALCONS CHEER SQUADS are heading to Las Vegas next week for the JAMZ Nationals. The gold team of older girls will be competing Jan. 26 while their younger counterparts for the Falcons blue squad have their competition two days earlier.

Falcons. The teams include Krista Confetti, Carolyn Simbirdi, Sydney Caulder, Miranda Romo, Isabelle Wilson, Kayla Confetti, Riley Bluth, Jordan Banda, Bailey Weidner, Kayla Concepcion, Natalie Spencer, Sierra Bush, Leah Nelson, Sophia JOHNSON, Savanah Sprague, Chloe

Wigton, Maddy Brigance, Francesca Stolarz, Halle Cohen, Avery Baxter, Haley Rose, Sophia Williams, Jayda Monroe, Reagan Clemons, Alexandra Doll, Isabelle Gonzales, Marissa Mancini, Kylee Rinaldi and Brooke Warner. The gold team coaches are Nichole Schuman, Allison John-

stone, Emily Lopretta and Alex Williams. Junior coaches are Melissa Williams, Rya Nelson and Kate Kirmsee. The blue team is coached by Paula Schiff, Becky Schiff, Amanda Schiff and Leah Rose with junior coaches Cami Cohen, Sarah Levine, Julia Morgan, Kaitlyn O’Connell and Zoe Wilson.

Will picking Clowney in the draft make Raiders fans smile?

TYLER LEHMAN SPORTS TALK The 2013 NFL season ended bitterly for Raiders fans, which unfortunately for them is nothing new. The Raiders finished last in the AFC West, with a record of four wins and 12 losses, losing their last six games. For a fan base that is used to a commitment to excellence, the last decade has been grotesque for Raiders fans; the last winning season for the Raiders was in 2002 when they lost the Super Bowl to Tampa Bay. So the question remains for the Raiders: What do they need to do as an organization to get back to winning ways? There are numerous different answers to this question, and one would be that they need to accumulate more talent through the NFL draft. The Raiders have the fifth overall pick in the draft. There

are three positions that the Raiders will most likely draft for: defensive end, wide receiver and quarterback. When factoring in the teams before them and their spot in the draft, it seems most likely that the Raiders will draft Jadeveon Clowney with the fifth pick. Clowney would be a huge acquisition for the Raiders, bolstering their front four on defense greatly. Clowney played for South Carolina under Steve Spurrier and is extremely talented. Looking just at his physical attributes, Clowney is a freakish athlete, weighing around 250 pounds at a height of 6-6. He has all the intangibles an NFL team looks for in an elite defensive end, but his attitude could possibly be a problem. Clowney had a very underwhelming season in 2013 for South Carolina, after a stellar sophomore campaign. Rumors swirled that Clowney was taking it easy in his final college season to preserve his health for the draft. He claims to have had rib injuries over the season, which in turn affected his play, but to many outsiders this seemed like a poor excuse. If Clowney did indeed sit out games to merely protect his health, that is a definite red

flag for the Raiders if they wish to draft him. What’s to say that Clowney won’t simply pretend to be hurt in his last contract year with a team in order to stay healthy for the free agent market? I don’t think Clowney would do this, but his actions still leave one to question his character, although his physical abilities are top-of-the-line. The Raiders could also consider taking a wide receiver with their fifth overall pick, possibly Sammy Watkins from Clemson. Picking a quarterback is also a possibility for the Raiders, but they could choose to stick with Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin. But now that Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has declared for the draft, there is a chance the Raiders will make a play for “Johnny Football.” The Raiders have a lot of work to do to rebuild their franchise back into a contender and the first step towards doing this is bringing in young, talented players. Tyler Lehman is a sophomore at Diablo Valley College and a 2012 CVHS graduate. He plans to major in journalism and wants to be a sports writer. Email your comments or questions to

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Clayton Pioneer •

January 17, 2014

Sports Young MDSA boys shine at year’s end tournaments JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Photo courtesy MDSA

MDSA UNITED FINISHED A PERFECT SEASON against AYSO Elite competition with a penalty kick shootout victory over American Canyon in the league tournament. The U10 boys team includes, from row from left, Ryan Morimoto, Hunter Bock, Adam Rychtecky, Garrett Alton, Ryan Ross, Chase Caldwell; back row, coach David Caldwell, Logan Gonzales, Noah Paschall, coach Zbysek Rychtecky, Keegan Boustead, Luke Maynard and coach Mas Morimoto. Not pictured, Jacob Oledan.

Under 10 and 12 boys teams from Mt. Diablo Soccer completed fine 2013 years with end of the season success. The U10 boys MDSA United finished a perfect season against AYSO Elite competition while the U12 Men in Black team won the AYSO Section 2 Tournament and qualified for the California Cup in Bakersfield Mar. 15-16. After completing an undefeated U10 league season in which they outscored their opponents 66-3, MDSA United swept through the league tournament defeating Pacifica Breakers 5-0, Pacifica Piranhas 5-0 and San Jose 1-0. In the

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JUSTIN MASHORE PROMOTED BY TEXAS RANGERS Clayton Valley High School Hall of Famer Justin Mashore has been promoted by the Texas Rangers to the position of hitting coach for the American League team’s AAA Round Rock squad under new manager Steve Buechele. Mashore was with Class A Hickory as the Rangers hitting coach in 2013. Last year Mashore and his older brother Damon Mashore were inducted to the CVHS Athletic Hall of Fame, where their dad Clyde Mashore was already a member. Justin Mashore played 11 years of minor league baseball before entering the coaching ranks.

DIABLO FC SOCCER TRYOUTS FOR 2014 TEAMS COMING UP Tryouts for girls and boys Diablo FC competitive teams in the under 9 through U14 age groups will be held Jan. 26-Feb. 9. Players born between Aug. 1, 2000 and July 31, 2006 can try out for teams in the area’s premier competitive soccer program which is affiliated with the San Jose Earthquakes. U9-U12 tryouts are Jan. 26-Feb. 1 while the U13-U14 age groups will hold sessions Feb. 1-9. There is no cost to try out and players can register in advance online at



Oakhurst Orcas summer recreation swim team registration dates are Mar. 12 and Apr. 11 from 6:30-8 p.m. at Oakhurst Country Club. Early registration discounts are available before March 12. Informa-

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ACCIDENTS: Dec. 20, 1:01 p.m. Eagle Peak Ave./Miwok Wy. Dec. 20, 1:09 p.m. Tiffin Dr./Kenston Dr. ARRESTS: Dec. 29, 12:06 a.m. Regency

Dr./Marsh Creek Rd. A 24-yearold Martinez female was arrested for DUI. Dec. 30, 2:26 a.m. Fleming Dr. A 16-year-old Bay Point female was arrested for false identification to police officer. Jan. 7, 11 a.m. Yosemite Ct. A 19-year-old Clayton male was arrested on a warrant.

championship game, MDSA played a tough American Canyon squad and trailed 1-0 going into the final seconds of the match. With less than a minute left, Chase Caldwell won a ball in the left corner, crossed it past three American Canyon defenders and Logan Gonzales streaked to the pass and booted it by the keeper to tie the score. The finale went to penalty kicks where Ryan Morimoto, Gonzales, Ryan Ross and Adam Rytecky converted their kicks to give United the championship. Ironically, the local team had missed a pair of penalty kicks during regulation time. In mid-December the Men in Black faced off with eight other U12 teams at the AYSO

Section 2 Tournament in Foster City. AYSO Section 2 covers Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and most of Nevada. Teams qualified by winning their AYSO Area Cup. The Men in Black were rusty after a month’s layoff and got off to a slow start with a 2-2 tie against Capay Valley but rallied with a 7-2 victory over Cupertino. Their next game was in near freezing temperature and they beat Menlo Park 6-2, setting up a rematch with Capay Valley which MDSA won 5-1. MDSA then beat the top seed Hillsborough 5-3 in the championship match. Hillsborough had only surrendered one goal in four previous outings.

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MORE YOUTH, ADULT PROGRAMS COMING TO CLAYTON GYM A variety of programs at Clayton Community Gym are taking signups now through All Out Sports League with spring programs being offered soon. Youth hip hop and jazz classes are every Monday for 5-16 year-olds. Zumba classes are Wednesday and Friday at 6 p.m. Registration for spring basketball academy and t-ball is open. For complete information on all the programs, visit

11TH ANNUAL DIABLO FC CRAB FEED & AUCTION FEB. 7 The 11th annual Crab Feed and Auction to support Diablo FC youth soccer programs is Friday, Feb. 7, at Centre Concord. Besides the crab feed dinner and fund-raising live and silent auctions, there will be dancing. Tickets are $50. To get more info or to buy tickets visit

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES WINTER ACADEMY RUNS THROUGH FEBRUARY San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer and Diablo FC are holding the 13th annual Regional Development School Winter Soccer Academy on Mondays and Thursdays through Feb. 27 under the lights at Willow Pass Park in Concord from 5-6 p.m. Girls and boys 5-10 years of age are eligible for the Academy, which brings professional coaching experience to youngers of all skill levels in a noncompetitive environment. For more information visit the Earthquakes Youth Alliance Partner’s website at

Jan. 7, 10:03 p.m. Clayton Rd./Washington Blvd. A 60year-old Concord male was arrested for DUI; driving while license suspended for DUI; probation violation. Jan. 9, 8:48 a.m. 5400 Clayton Rd. A 37-year-old Concord male was arrested on a warrant. BURGLARIES/THEFTS Dec. 22, Cardinet Trail/Shell Ln. Theft – Vehicle. Dec. 23, 5400 Clayton Rd. Burglary – Commercial. Dec. 26, Regency Dr./Rialto Dr. Burglary – Vehicle. Dec. 26, Wright Ct. Burglary

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January 17, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Church News

Variety spices up Tilden’s trails





January’s dry trails are a late holiday gift for local mountain bikers. I recently “pounded the dirt” on a sparkling early January day with a beautiful loop in Tilden Regional Park. This park has so much variety in activities for people of all ages in its 2,079 acres. I enjoy hitting its many trails, either biking, running or hiking. I look forward to some relief from the heat and sun in our area during the hot months, enjoying the fog in the early morning or watching from the peaks the city lights being devoured by mist in the evening. The cool foggy weather in Tilden, often year-round, enhances the aromatic smells that come off the Eucalyptus trees and other fragrant plants. In the gorge of bedrockcutting Wildcat Creek grows a riparian forest of alder, willow, creek dogwood, and bay laurel. The west- and south-facing canyon slopes are covered with introduced annual grasses like oat, rye and barley. There are many native wildflower species that make riding this trail in spring very scenic. You can see many sorts of wildlife, like coyotes, deer, snakes, a big variety of hawks and songbirds. The view is incredible and panoramic, from Nimitz Way looking toward the San Francisco Bay, Berkeley, San Francisco, Mt. Tamalpais and wrapping around to Mt. Diablo. I recommend a map of the area as there are a number ways

to access Tilden and many trails to choose from, especially if you are running or hiking on a single track. Those trails are less crowded and bikes are not allowed on these. I like to add miles to the dirt loop by starting out in downtown Orinda. Ride a mile and a half on San Pablo Damn Road to turn left on Wildcat Canyon Road, and start a three-mile climb to Inspiration Point. Or, you can start your ride at Inspiration Point if you want to avoid road miles. From Inspiration point start on Nimitz Way, a four-mile paved trail. At the end of the pavement enter through the cattle gate, staying to the left, passing San Pablo Ridge Trail. Continue on straight to Mezue Trail. This will drop down to Wildcat Creek Trail; take a left and follow to Jewel Lake. You can watch the turtles sunning themselves here. From Jewel Lake take Loop Road and continue straight on

Eternal Life Lutheran Church Eternal Life Lutheran Church’s fall Growth Group joined forces with WELS Prison Ministry to share the good news about the forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ with inmates across the country. The Growth Group studied the correspondence Bible studies provided to inmates. The group then corrected tests completed by students at jails in Mississippi, Arkansas, Florida, California, Ohio, Maryland, Wisconsin and Texas. They also added notes of encouragement to the students. WELS Prison Ministry utilizes the services of hundreds of

Wildcat Gorge Trail. Go left at Curran Trail and you will climb out of the canyon to take a right on Seaview Trail and cross over Wildcat Canyon Road. From Seaview you will take a right on Big Springs Trail, which turns into Quarry Trail. You will come out on Wildcat Canyon Road; turn right to ride a few minutes back to your car. After you ride you may want to picnic and enjoy other activities in Tilden. You can cool off by swimming at Lake Anza, fill up on popcorn and hot dogs at Tilden’s Merry-Go-Round, ride the Steam Train or stroll through the Botanic Gardens. Distance: From downtown Orinda the loop is approximately 23 miles, and from Inspiration Point the loop is 14 miles. Sharon Anderson is a Clayton resident and lifelong hiker. This is the second of a four-part series on hiking in the Sierras.

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Clayton Pioneer •

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January 17, 2014

Performing Arts

Shaw’s ‘Major Barbara’ marches into A.C.T. After 16 years, George Bernard Shaw returns as the American Conservatory Theater stages a production of “Major Barbara,” Jan. 8 through Feb. 2 at A.C.T’s Geary Theater in San Francisco. Salvation Army officer Major Barbara gets in an intriguing tangle of morality and religion when her church accepts money from her estranged

father, a wealthy armaments manufacturer. If the price of supporting the poor is complicit with the country’s most successful gun factory, who has the right to be righteous about saving the poor? Timely and topical, “Major Barbara” is a funny satire exploring themes of business, faith, family and philanthropy. Directed by Theatre Calgary

Artistic Director Dennis Garnhum, “Major Barbara” features an international cast of both Canadian and American actors. “It’s thrilling that this will be a genuinely international project, as we team up again with the remarkable Theater Calgary and create a company of superb

Canadian and American actors to tell this suspenseful, disturbing and often hilarious tale,” said Carey Perloff, Artistic Director of A.C.T. The Geary Theater is located at 415 Geary Street, San Francisco. Tickets are may be purchased online at or by calling 415749-2228.

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Ballet sets ‘Emotions into Movement’ Diablo Ballet’s 20th Season continues in 2014 on Jan. 31-Feb. 1 at the Shadelands Arts Center in Walnut Creek and April 11-12 at Hillbarn Theatre in Foster City. “Emotions into Movement” features a wide range of both classical and contemporary works will be presented as part of the series, including “End of Time” by awardwinning choreographer Ben Stevenson, set to Sergei Rachmaninoff ’s Cello Sonata in G minor. Also on the program is “Esmeralda Pas de Deux” choreographed by Jules Perrot and set to the music of Cesare Pugni. The ballet, which premiered at Diablo Ballet in 1995, is a

high-spirited duet that will be staged by former San Francisco Ballet Principal Dancer Joanna Berman. The company will also premiere a new work by Diablo Ballet company member David Fonnegra. Resident Choreographer and dancer Robert Dekkers, will present “AnOther” set to the music of Yann Tiersen. This work premiered July 11, 2008 at the Tempe Center for the Arts in Arizona for Ballet Nova. The Ballet’s Winter and Spring series at Shadelands Auditorium places the audience close to the stage, features live music, and a lively, interactive question-and-answer program with the dancers hosted by local

celebrity moderators. A reception follows, with the opportunity for audience members to meet the artists. For tickets and more information, visit or call 925-9431775.

‘Clybourne Park’ tackles touchy race issues Center Repertory Company will present the dramatic “Clybourne Park,” Jan. 31 through March 1 at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. Winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, “Clybourne Park” uses Lorraine Hansbury’s landmark drama “A Raisin in the Sun” as its jumping-off point. The first act takes place in 1959, and is told from the point of view

of a white family that is about to sell its home to the first black family to move into a Chicago neighborhood. The second act takes place 50 years later; the neighborhood has become allblack and now a white couple wants to buy the house and move into the neighborhood. The play takes a fascinating look at how we talk about, or avoid talking about, race in America.

Center Rep has issued an audience advisory for the play, in that it’s highly charged racial overtones may be disturbing. It also contains a significant amount of strong language, including both profanities and strong vulgarities. In addition, in the climactic scene, several deliberately offensive racist and sexist jokes are told, in one of which an extremely derogatory vulgar slang expression for women

is used. For a detailed list of the exact language used, please contact the company at: and more information will be sent to you. For ticket information visit or call 925-943SHOW (7469). You can also visit the LCA Ticket Office at 1601 Civic Drive or the Ticket Office Outlets at Barnes & Noble in Walnut Creek and the Downtown Walnut Creek Library.

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From late summer to early fall is when we start to see beautiful varieties of beans enter the market. Beans with splashes of pink and purple, yellow, green and purple will delight your senses. Some you can eat fresh while others must be shelled and cooked. One of my favorite beans of the season is the cranberry bean. It stands out from the rest with the splatters of magenta that are embedded on the shell and bean. Unfortunately when cooked, the pinkish hue dissipates, but the delicious nutty flavor makes up for the loss of color. To prepare, add the cranberry beans to boiling water for 20-25

minutes and make sure to taste them before draining the water. I like the beans to be tender but still hold their shape. They can be served at room temperature with a simple shallot dressing and herbs, tossed with pasta, or put into a soup. You can also buy cranberry beans in bulk, remove the outer shell and store them in their dried form in a cool, dark dry area to use throughout the winter. Look for them at your local Farmers’ Market. CRANBERRY BEAN AND TOMATO STEW 8 oz. (about 225 grams) fresh shelled cranberry beans 1 onion, chopped 1 jalapeno, seeded, or to taste (optional) 1-2 garlic cloves

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4 medium-large (about 12 oz.) ripe tomatoes, chopped 1/2 tsp. dried oregano, 1/2 tsp. dried thyme Sugar to taste, optional (if tomatoes are off-season) Salt to taste Few fresh oregano leaves to garnish Combine the beans, salt and water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Bring to medium heat and cook until tender. (10-12 min.) While that’s cooking, saute the onion and garlic in a skillet in 1 tsp. oil. When soft, add the chopped tomatoes along with the dried herbs. Add about 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Cook until the tomatoes soften. You can add sugar if your tomatoes are tangy.

Mostly you won’t need this when using seasonal and ripe tomatoes. Add the beans. Cook for another 5-10 minutes. You can mash some beans to thicken the stew. Garnish with fresh oregano and serve hot. Try it with flatbread, Indian rotis, or even flour tortillas, bread, etc. We especially loved the leftovers added on top of Bruschetta the next day (along with some basil pesto).

January 17, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 15

Resolve to make some chic new changes to your home cessful business endeavors.


A CHANGE OF SCENERY Accessories and furnishings become very tired and stale looking when they sit in the same position, day after day, year after year. Of course, some furniture only has one realistic place within a living space, but smaller pieces of furniture and accessories do not. For a fresh take on everything from the books on your shelves to the occasional chair in the corner, consider moving to a new position within your living spaces.

DESIGN & DÉCOR The holidays have come and gone with a festive whoosh; now it’s time to store away your sparkly baubles and evergreen-scented garlands and get crackin’ on your list of resolutions for the new year. You might be considering a new exercise routine at the gym (just getting to the gym would be nice), or sadly, tightening up the reins on your monthly fashion allowance. Whatever your personal resolutions may be, don’t forget about jotting down a few for your home. Yes, even our homes need a little kick in the bed skirt pleats from time to time. GET ORGANIZED The beginning of the year is actually a really good time to get organized. Many retailers are having sales that focus on storage solutions, from various sized plastic bins to complete closet layouts and organization systems. One thought for getting your home in order is to tackle one area at a time. Maybe this is the year that you officially organize your holiday décor before storing it away in your attic, sorting through the trimmings and discarding items that have no sentimental value

and maybe have lost their “chic” holiday appeal. If your closet is overflowing with everything from sundresses to wool sweaters, take some time to organize your wardrobe. For seasonal clothing that you won’t be parting with any time soon, consider taking the time to put the bikinis and shorts on the upper shelf and make space on the lower shelf for what you’re

wearing now. Now that the kids are back in school, take a day or two to organize where you work; organizing everything from the overflowing inbox to the filing system for your receipts to just taking that much-needed step and buying the ergonomic desk chair you’ve been needing for the past few years. An organized and chic-looking workspace contributes to suc-

ADD SOME TRENDY COLOR It’s the new year, so bring in some new color to freshen up your furnishings. Try new accent pillows and throws, a colorful tray on your ottoman, a new vase for your kitchen table, or even a new tablecloth and coordinating napkins for when you host a dinner party. These are all great ways to keep your house looking fresh throughout the year. And notice that these items are relatively small accessories. They’re not going to take over your existing design and décor, but they will enhance and bring new life to your home. Jennifer Leischer is the owner of J. Designs Interior Design based in Clayton. Contact her with questions, comments and suggestions at


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Clayton Pioneer •

January 17, 2014

Garden survival in a dry year Our upcoming spring and summer will hold many challenges for us in the yard. With our winter’s rain totals being what they are, it doesn’t quite stir in us the “let’s get out and plant” vibe. Rather, it creates a surge of anxiety. What should I plant that needs less water? What steps can I take to make my existing landscape and garden happy during dry spells? Local water officials aren’t talking about mandatory rationing yet, but it is our best interest to be more responsible with our water usage. I do understand how our water use is measured and compared from one year to the next. Therefore I am not asking you to cut back so much on your watering that you jeopardize to beauty of your landscape. I am encouraging you to water wisely and waste less. Rainwater: Look for a way to capture rainwater. Rain barrels have come a long way. They are now attractive and functional. Place them under downspouts. The rainwater that runs off the rood can be captured




GARDEN GIRL and used to water containers and other non-irrigated areas. Irrigation: Has your irrigation been evaluated in the past year? The Contra Costa Water District will visit and give you an irrigation checkup. They call it a Home Water Use Survey, and it is free. Fertilizers: We must consider how much and the strength of the fertilizers that we use on our gardens and landscapes this spring. Fertilizing to surge a lot of growth means our plants will demand and need more water to look happy. If you haven’t done so already, this may be the year you switch to organic fertilizers. Compare the numbers on the bags and boxes of organic and synthetic fertilizers, you’ll notice that the organic products have a touch less of almost everything. You can still use a multi-purpose fertilizer on your landscape, but rather using a 20-20-20, consider a 8-4-4 or a 5-5-5.

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Penetration: Throughout the years I have been mentioning the use of water penetrates to help guide water from the top of our soil to the roots of our plants. If you haven’t used such a product yet, doing so in early spring and a couple of other times through the growing season is all that you will need to really help the water that you use go where it needs to go. These products are water-soluble and need to be watered in by hand or with a hose-end sprayer. Monterey Lawn and Garden has a product called Perc-O-Late Plus available. It is easy to find and proven to work. Please follow package directions, ask questions of sale personnel, or call Monterey Lawn and Garden directly. They are wonderful on the phone. Soil Conditioners: Work soil conditioners around garden beds and landscape borders now before spring. Soil conditioners serve a purpose by adding nutrients to the soil, and they create an environment more accepting of water and oxygen. Choose soil conditioners with natural ingredients like earthworm castings (which are also sold alone), and mushroom compost. Both of these ingredients help soil hold its moisture naturally. Choose plants wisely. There are many plants to consider that need less water to survive. When choosing plants to install make sure you are grouping plants with like needs together. My next few columns will feature perennials, shrubs and trees that thrive with less water. Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. Contact her with questions or comments at

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