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July 11, 2014


Clayton marks major milestones with huge turnout for 4th of July TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer



Clayton marked some major milestones last week when thousands gathered downtown for the annual July 4 parade. The town has always done Independence Day in a big way. But this year the city of Clayton is celebrating 50 years since incorporation. The CBCA, Clayton Historical Society, AAUW, Skipolini’s, Ed’s Mudville Grill, Clayton Bikes and Clayton Sunrise Rotary are also marking major decade birthdays, giving added cause for celebration and making the 2014 parade one of the biggest ever. The parade has come a long way from Clayton’s first July 4 celebration around 1966 or ‘67. It was inspired by an old muslin-cloth banner discovered in a local barn. When thenmayor Al Liming unrolled the banner, it was an announcement for a 1896 Fourth of July

Council stint rewarding, but time to move on On Nov. 4, Clayton, along with the state and nation will participate in a general election. Two Clayton city council seats will be on the ballot, including mine. I have decided not to run for re-election. It has been a great honor to serve our community for the past almost eight years. However, it feels like it is time to step aside. Clayton is full of wonderful people who are qualified to serve on the city council. I hope we can find a new council member who is more concerned with what is in the best interest of the community than what is in his or her best interest. A council member must act in favor of what is good for the greater community, even if that means acting contrary to the wishes of friends and associates. Albus Dumbledore said that it takes great courage to stand up to your enemies but even greater courage to stand up to your friends. There are parts of the job as a city council member that are rewarding and even at times fun. There are also parts that are just real work – like long agenda packets and

See Mayor, page 2

parade and celebration. Liming thought the city should revive the tradition and the city council agreed. Bob Hoyer, Clayton’s first mayor, remembers that first celebration. “There were kids,” he recalls. “And a few floats, some Model Ts and someone had an old fire engine.” After the parade, people gathered in the eucalyptus grove for a greased pole contest and barbeque. Hoyer remembers the Boy Scouts were there selling corn on the cob. Last Friday, 47 years later, Bob Hoyer climbed into the rumble seat of a vintage Model A Ford, for a ride down a Main Street lined with an estimated 10,000 spectators—all cheering and waving as Clayton’s first mayor led the 2014 parade. Following Hoyer were some 600 participants in 46 entries ranging from 24 pristine classic Corvettes to Hillbilly Doug’s

See 4th of July, page 3

The Grove funding renewal heads for November ballot TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer

BLANCA LEE SUBMITTED THE WINNING PHOTO IN THE CLAYTON PIONEER’S JULY 4 PHOTO CONTEST. Lee’s photo of her friend Ve’Laine Manion, was chosen from over 50 entries. Both Lee and Manion are Clayton residents. First place prize is $100. See page 3 for the rest of the winners.

Teen helps community get on the right foot, fitness-wise PEGGY SPEAR Clayton Pioneer

GIRL SCOUT SARAH OWENS tacks up a poster for her 5K Run and Fitness Fair this Saturday at Clayton Community Park.

When Sarah Owen broke her leg in eighth grade, she faced intense physical therapy to recover. It was then that the 17-yearold Clayton girl decided she wanted to be a physical therapist, and dedicate her life to helping people stay physically fit. “My recovery time was extensive and my physical therapist ended up being a huge role model in my life,” she says. “Ever since that incident, I have been set on becoming a physical therapist and for my career to inspire others to work hard and get well.” Sarah is jump-starting her career goals by organizing the first Clayton 5K Run and Fitness Fair on Saturday, July 19 at Clayton Community Park. She is putting on the event as a project for her Girl Scout Gold Award. “The most rewarding thing about Girl Scouts is that we always get to give back to our community,” she says. “I have always

What’s Inside Around Town . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Behind the Badge . . . . . . . . .6 Book Review . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Captain Grammar Pants . . . .6 Classified . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

believed that community service is essential and extremely rewarding,” says the Clayton Valley Charter High School senior, who is a member of her school’s Public Service Academy. There is no registration fee for the run, but canned food donations will be accepted at check-in for the Food Bank of Solano and Contra Costa Counties. The first 50 people who register will receive a prize, Sarah says. “The goal of the 5K is to encourage residents to get up and move and learn that exercise can be fun, especially when you do it with others,” Sarah says. “The Fitness Fair promotes businesses and activities that advocate for healthy living and will help educate my community about what is available to them.” It will include booths from fitness and sports organizations, demonstrations of yoga and Zumba, Hands-on CPR training from CERT and a Kids’ Zone with fun

Club News . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Community Calendar . . . . .14 Concord City Beat . . . . . . . . .5 Concord News . . . . . . . . . . .5 Design and Décor . . . . . . . .18 Directory of Advertisers . . . . .7 Fit with Levity . . . . . . . . . . .16

Clayton city officials are putting the final touches on a measure for the November ballot that will assure funding for the downtown park until 2038. In 2006, Clayton voters approved a 10-year parcel tax to pay for the operation and maintenance of The Grove through a special Community Facilities District (CFD). Although the CFD won’t expire until June 2016, the Council wants to play it safe by placing it on the ballot in November. A tax measure can only be on the ballot in a general election year and only when there is at least one elected official on the same ballot. The CFD was approved in 2006 with a healthy 68.19 percent and the council expects

that voters will have no problem renewing the CFD. However, in the event of a surprise, the city would have one more opportunity in 2016 to pass the tax before the park funding runs out. The current rate is $18.56 per parcel which will go up 2.78 percent in 2014-15. The new CFD will use the same tax rate as the expiring one with the same provision for an annual CPI increase of up to 3 percent. There are approximately 4,000 parcels — including residential, commercial and open space — subject to the CFD parcel tax, which will generate an estimated $120,000 in revenue. Only The Grove Park is funded by the CFD. Maintenance and operation of the other Clayton parks comes from the general fund.

See Owen, page 13

Garden Girl . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 MDES Correspondent . . . . .8 Performing Arts . . . . . . . . . .15 Pets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Pocket Parent . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Police Report . . . . . . . . . . .12

Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Sports Talk . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Teen Reads . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Performing Arts . . . . . . . . . .15 Voyage of the Eagle . . . . . . .8 Weather Words . . . . . . . . . . .9

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Clayton Pioneer •

July 11, 2014

Around Town Pioneer Travels Vineyards “hell”-bent for the Carribbean Bill and Chris Vineyard, 20 year residents of Clayton, made a 7-day cruise on Carnival “Legend” to celebrate Chris’ birthday. They departed from Tampa, Florida on June 1 and stopped at the ports of

Triple snip for Clayton friends

Hangin’ with the Gellers in St. Lucia

Cozumel in Mexico where they trekked out among the Mayan ruins; Belize City for an airboat ride in the marshes), Isla Roatan and Grand Cayman Island where they went to Hell, literally. (Seriously, it’s a town).

For the Geller family (all 12) the Carribbean island of St. Lucia was the site for a week-long vacation to celebrate Howard’s birthday and Fathers’ Day. Sunshine, beaches, maid service…we could get used to that in a hurry.

Kelsey Macaulay, Brooke Halliday and Lily Wilcox recently headed to A Touch of Class salon for haircuts. The girls had been growing their hair for months – until their ponytails were 10 inches long when they could donate them to Locks of Love. Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children suffering from longterm medical hair loss from any diagnosis.

Back: Matt Mullins, Howard Geller, Nick Pandelis, Rebecca Pandelis, Alex Geller; Middle: Annie Kohn, Debbie Geller, Jaxon Pandelis, Nikki Pandelis; Front: Andrea McGrath holding Addie McGrath, Seamus McGrath.

Machu Pichu

Audrey Spencer-Alvarado, Ed Osada, and Claytonians Chris Smith and Sue Elliott all took time to read the Pioneer at Machu Picchu, Peru, in June. “It was a great trip,” Elliott says. “Peru is beautiful, the food and service are wonderful and we had a great time.”


Windmill Canyon at Oakhurst Country Club! 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, approx. 1877sf. Gorgeous hardwood floors. Backs to open space. Coming Soon

from page 1 dealing with issues that are necessary but not necessarily interesting. If anyone is interested in running for Clayton city council the nomination period starts on July 14 and runs through Aug. 8. Candidate packets can be picked up in person at City Hall, 6000 Heritage Trail, Clayton starting on July 14. For more information, call the city clerk, Janet Brown, (925) 673-7300. Feel free to contact me with questions and comments by email at

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We want to know what’s happening in your families and in your neighborhoods. Send your news of births, engagements, weddings, special recognitions, etc. to Please attach your photos to the email as JPEG file between between 3MB and 6MB and include a caption to identify people in your photos.

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(925) 408-3184

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July 11, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

4th of July, from page 1

1926 Model T Ford truck, purchased 64 years ago for $12.50. The old truck coughed and sputtered its way down Main Street, finally losing a wheel near the end. Spectators quickly rallied and pushed the truck out of the way Sadly, Hillbilly Doug says this was probably the truck’s last public appearance. Among the many decorated bicycles was one very special entry. Stan Zukowski, 80, proudly pedaled down Main on his newly restored 1948 Columbia, 3-Star Deluxe that he

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s t r e c on C n o t Clay he G ro

bought new 66 years ago when he was a paperboy in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

in T

THROUGH THE LENS Nothing captured the spirit of the day better than Blanca Lee’s winning photo of Ve’Laine Manion, also from Clayton, in the Clayton Pioneer’s 12th annual July 4 Photo Contest. “She had such energy,” Lee said. “She just looked like a winner.” Lee will take home a check for $100. The rest of the winners are shown here.

o ve

Saturdays 6 to 8:30 p.m.

At the Gazebo in The Grove Set up chairs and blankets on the lawn after 4 p.m.

July 19 Rachel Steele & Road 88 modern country and rock and roll High energy dance music.

Aug 2

Diamond Dave – sings the classics of Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Justin Timberlake and even Lady Gaga

Aug 16 AJA VU plays the music of Steely Dan and Chicago

Aug 30 Apple Z – high energy rock and roll spanning the decades from Rolling Stones to Lady Gaga

Sept 13 East Bay Mudd Second Place, Adult CLAYTON WORSDELL Early Morning on Parade Day

10-piece cover dance band with a powerful 4-man horn section

Kid’s Entry FIONA SUNDY, 12 Draggin’ the Main

Thursdays 7 to 8:30 p.m. July 10


July 24,

Plan B (Rock)

August 7


August 21 PHD’s (Latin Jazz / R&B )

Third Place, Adult LAYLA WOOD Parade of Corvettes


Walnut Creek

For more band information, go to

Honorable Mention LORI LEONTINI Bob Hoyer, Clayton’s First Mayor



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Clayton Resident & Broker Owner

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Clayton Pioneer •



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July 11, 2014

Local neighborhoods go high-tech with Nextdoor DANIELLE MICHELSEN Special to the Pioneer

While studies show that almost one-third of Americans don’t know a single neighbor by name, Claycord area residents – those in Clayton and Concord – seem like the exception. With events like the annual Art & Wine Festival, the Fourth of July parades and summer concerts in the local parks, neighbors maintain a strong sense of closeness and community. In addition to the normal methods of keeping in touch – like bumping into each other at the farmers markets, chatting at the dog parks, or perusing the old cars downtown on a weekday evening – there’s a new app in town that’s connecting neighbors online:, the free and private social network for neighborhoods. Started by a group of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, Nextdoor aims to use the power of technology to help build stronger and safer places to call home. Already, 10 Clayton neighborhoods and 49 Concord neighborhoods are using Nextdoor in their communities. On Nextdoor, neighbors create private websites to get to know one another, ask questions and exchange local advice and recommendations. According to local resident Kahni Horton, her Peacock Creek neighbors use Nextdoor to communicate about rattlesnake sightings, recommendations for babysitters, pet sitters, handymen, and piano teachers – and they have a 100 percent success rate of returning lost pets back to their owners. “We used to have some serious issues with suspicious characters in our neighborhood, but thanks in part to Nextdoor, we

KAHNI HORTON’S PEACOCK CREEK NEIGHBORHOOD is just one of 10 Clayton neighborhoods using the Internet site to keep in touch are now connected and can do a much better job of watching out for each other,” Horton said. “Think of the benefit of being able to have the whole neighborhood connected if there was ever a lost child!” Nextdoor offers the kind of immediate communication that is helpful, even when you’re not at home. Available on both online and as a mobile app, the social network has become the lifeline to the community. In instances where safety or timesensitive information needs to be shared, members can also use the Urgent Alerts feature to send out a post that reaches Nextdoor members immediately via text message and email. Concord residents can also receive important information and updates from the city and police department on Nextdoor. Nextdoor was specifically designed to make neighbors feel

comfortable sharing information with one another. All members must verify that they live within the neighborhood. Information shared on Nextdoor is passwordprotected and cannot be accessed by those outside the neighborhood or found on Google or other search engines. Nextdoor never shares personal information with any third parties. “I have always felt that it is people caring for each other and looking out for each other that ultimately makes the safest possible neighborhood,” Horton said. “Our neighborhood is better for having this way to connect.” Nextdoor is available on the web and iPhone and Android devices. To join or start a Nextdoor website, visit and enter your address. Danielle Michelsen has been a resident of Clayton for 22 years and is an employee at

July 11, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

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Concord News

Politics may decide fate of Concord Senior Center PEGGY SPEAR Clayton Pioneer

The Concord Senior Center is a popular destination not only for the area’s aging population, but also for many groups who rent the attractive space on Parkside Circle. It also is shaping up to be a political hot potato as the November general election nears. Specifically, some Concord council members want to waive the fee the city charges to keep

the center open on Thursday mornings, long enough to provide a healthy warm lunch for more than 40 people. Others on the council don’t want to be seen as doing favors for a specific group. At the heart of the issue is the approximately $22,000 a year the Senior Citizens Club spends to keep the center open on Thursdays. Council members Ron Leone and Edi Birsan suggested at last month’s final public hearing on Concord’s 201415 budget that the city waive the fees.

Young, hip and hungry Hipsters (young millennials) in the know are understanding that Concord is swiftly becoming the new place to be. As reported in the Pioneer’s May 23 issue, Concord has dynamic regional marketplaces attracting a young and vibrant crowd. Concord’s strong demographic, central location, affordability and daytime employment make the city an attractive destination. Major shopping centers and an attractive downtown provide outstanding opportunities for megastores, discount clubs, department stores, specialty shops, supermarkets, restaurants, automotive dealers and lodging facilities of all kinds. Concord was selected by as one of the top 10 Cities with the Best Music Scenes Outside of Nashville, New York City and Los Angeles. One of the reasons it was selected is our Music & Market Series at Todos Santos Plaza. For 25 years, thousands have packed the plaza weekly from May through September to enjoy a variety of music, for free. This year, it’s more popular than ever. Several other key factors making Concord a hip place to be are the revamped Concord Pavilion, the new breweries popping up, and “Off The Grid” food trucks at the Willows Shopping Center on Saturdays. The Willows Shopping Center is in the process of a face-lift and re-branding this

club decided to chip in to make sure the center’s doors stayed open. But the nearly $88,000 the club has spent has “severely impacted our treasury,” Driskill said. “I don’t know if we can continue to do it.” Birsan and Leone proposed that the city waive the fee for six months, and then review the arrangement. But Council member Laura Hoffmeister disagreed, saying that if they waived the fee for the seniors, other groups who use city services would want the

same consideration. “I think we need to review all those arrangements, such as with the Terrapins, to make sure we are fair,” Hoffmeister said. She directed city staff to investigate those other arrangements, something that city Manager Valerie Barone said could not be done until September at the earliest. However, the senior center fee would be waived for two months until the council has a chance to review all the financial arrangements with other groups, including the popular

Terrapins Swim Team. Council member Dan Helix agreed with Hoffmeister about postponing any decision on the senor center fee, leaving Mayor Tim Grayson as a possible swing vote. Birsan says that he suspects the council will vote more favorably with the seniors’ request in September, as no one will want to anger the city’s senior population, traditionally a powerful voting bloc in Concord. Hoffmeister, Grayson and Leone are all up for reelection in November.

City targets illegal sign postings view or obstruct walkways. Recently, the city’s Public Works Department removed more than 1,000 illegal signs during their normal work routine over a 10-week period. “We are asking residents for assistance,” says Concord Public Works Director Justin Ezell. “Please help keep your neighborhood clean by not posting illegal signs. Your streets will look better and the staff time required to take down the signs


CONCORD CITY BEAT year. The shopping center includes REI, Old Navy, Any Mountain, Fuddruckers, Claim Jumper, Panera Bread, Benihana’s and Pier One Imports. The Willows property owner, Equity One, is investing in a $12 million redevelopment construction project making more walkable public spaces, more outdoor restaurant seating and improve traffic flow in the center. These plans will help to modernize the outdoor space and add amenities for the many office workers and young families that frequent the property. The shopping center also hosts “Off The Grid” food trucks on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This mobile food market comes to the parking lot with 10 food trucks, offering various cuisines with live music playing in the background. There are cooks who have retrofitted Econoline vans to serve up inexpensive and fast gourmet cupcakes; Cantonese roast duck tacos; roasted poblanos with artichoke cream cheese; falafels, provolone and egg subs, and bacon ice cream. Whether young or old, don’t miss this food truck revolution here in our town. Ron Leone is vice mayor and a former mayor of Concord. Email comments or questions to, or call (925) 680-1776

Sponsorship programs available  Birthday Parties  Camp

sh & Engli nced Western inner to Adva t  Beg to Adul us!  Youthome ride with C 925-360-7454

“The seniors have taken a big hit in the last few years,” Birsan said. “We should not be shutting doors on our seniors.” The $2,200-plus-a-month arrangement was a product of the recession back in 2010, when the city’s recreation department was forced to cut costs by closing the senior center one day a week, on Thursdays. “We didn’t want to lose that day, especially for the seniors who rely on the lunch program,” said Harry Driskill, president of the Seniors Club. So his

3141 Morgan Territory Rd.

RECENTLY, MORE THAN 1,000 ILLEGAL SIGNS ended up on the trash heap over a 10-week period, costing the city of Concord thousands of dollars in staff maintenance time.

You’ve seen them all over town — those signs posted on utility poles and streetlights for things such as garage sales, lost pets and business promotions. However, the city of Concord is taking aim at these illegal postings with a new awareness campaign. These signs are often never

removed and quickly litter the visual landscape of the community, say city officials. They detract from the appearance of neighborhoods as they fade and blow away, leaving behind tape, staples, nails and other materials. They can sometimes present hazards for motorists and pedestrians if they block the

Concord passes ‘status quo’ budget PEGGY SPEAR Clayton Pioneer

November’s election day may be four months away, but it was on the top of the minds of the Concord City Council when it passed its 2014-2015 budget late last month. Specifically, the city gave the nod to draft an extension to Measure Q, the half-cent sales tax that is scheduled to sunset in 2016. The council will vote on the final language at its meeting on July 29, and likely send it to voters on Nov. 4. “I was all for having [Measure Q] sunset when it was passed by voters in 2010,” said Councilman Dan Helix. “Regretfully, the economy has not responded like we’d hoped, and we need a little more time for it to recover.” At earlier public meetings on the 2014-15 budget and the 10year financial plan, City Manager Valerie Barone said that the city could see an immediate hit of $4 million in 2015-16 and 2016-17, if Measure Q expires. “It could decimate city services,” she said. In a letter posted on the city’s website, Barone says that “Residents value our quality of life and want to maintain a safe community,” and that Measure Q has allowed the city to maintain police

services and other vital programs. The adopted 2014-15 fiscal year budget is “status quo,” and its $85 million in revenue and $81.4 million in expenses calls for no cuts. That’s mainly due to $11.6 million coming to the city from Measure Q. The difference of $3.6 million would be put to the city’s reserves. There were some last minute adjustments to the budget, including an expense of $270,000 for the addition of three Safety Resource Officers at local schools, a partnership with Mt. Diablo Unified School District. They would be sworn officers from the Concord Police Department. “These types of partnerships are what makes Concord move forward,” said Mayor Tim Grayson said of the relationship with MDUSD. The council also agreed to amend parking fines to be on par with the highest in the county. “I don’t want our city to be the weakest when it comes to enforcing fines,” said Councilman Edi Birsan. The city also agreed to increase the fines imposed on graffiti artists when caught. “When you litter on the highway, it costs $1,000 in fines,” Birsan said. “My city is worth that.”

can be used for more important projects.” Signs continue to be posted illegally throughout the city, requiring employees to spend valuable staff time removing them. Residents are being called upon to contribute to the solution by not posting illegal signs in public areas. For more information, contact Ezell by email at or call 925-671-3231

Concord Concert Schedules July 29 Annie Sampson Concord’s Blues and Soul Diva For more Concord concert info go to

CONCORD PAVILION FREE Thursday Night Music in the Market July 17 The RaveUps A Live Tribute to the 1960’s Yardbirds July 24 Foreverland Michael Jackson Tribute Band July 31 PUSH with Dan Ashley Aug. 7 The Rubinoos Seminal Power Pop Quartet from the 1970s Aug. 14 James Garner’s Johnny Cash Tribute Aug. 21 Zepparella All Female Led Zeppelin Tribute Sept. 4 The Purple Ones 10-piece Tribute to Prince Sept. 11 Lafayette Studio Big Band; Count Basie-style 9/11 Memorial Show

FREE Tuesday Night Blues Series July 15 Chris Cain Jazz-Tinged Virtuoso



July 22 Jeffrey Marshall with the Delta Dogs and The Breedloves

Buy tickets at Or the Pavilion Box Office, 2000 Kirker Pass Rd., Concord, (925) (925) 676-8742 July 2, 7 p.m. Kiss and Def Leppard July 10, 8 p.m. Steely Dan July 29, 6:45 p.m. Journey and Steve Miller Band July 31, 7:30 p.m. Chicago and REO Speedwagon Aug. 13, 7:30 p.m. Aerosmith and Slash Aug. 17, 7 p.m. Monumentour, Fall Out Boy, Paramore Sept 7, 7 p.m. Marc Anthony Sept. 19, 6:30 p.m. Carnivores Tour: Linkin Park, 30 Seconds to Mars and AFI Sept. 25, TBA Zac Brown Band Oct 1, 7 p.m. Kings of Leon, Young the Giant and Kongos Oct. 17, 7 p.m. Luke Bryan, Lee Brice and Cole Swindell

Page 6

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Q. You have expressed that you don’t think we are heading for another bubble in real estate. In fact you said you are expecting prices to soften soon. What is a hurdle to continued appreciation on home prices? A.The biggest hurdle is affordability. Many buyers are either getting into homes that they can’t afford, if they can get qualified, or dropping out of the buying market. They are making sacrifices to cover mortgages or rent. For some it is not a bad thing

that qualifying standards seem to be overly tight. This is not creating the demand we would need for continued appreciation. When the government stops holding interest rates down artificially they will go up. Less people will be able to qualify. Prices might have to edge down a bit or even more people will not be able to qualify for a mortgage or even to rent a home. Wages are not going up much and home prices have risen 20 percent in the last two years. On a median priced home, the mortgage is over 30 percent of

Nomination period for Clayton, Concord elections opens July 14 Clayton and Concord will both have city council seats up for grabs this November. In Concord, voters will also be electing a city treasurer. All elected office terms for council and treasurer in both cities are four years. Candidates must be registered voters at their current residence in Clayton for the Clayton council, or Concord for the Concord council and treasurer, citizens of the United States, 18 years of age

or older and not disqualified from holding office by the constitution or laws of the State of California. The period for filing nomination papers is from July 14 to Aug. 8, 2014. If one of the incumbents does not file nomination papers before 5 p.m. on Aug. 8, the nomination period will be extended to Aug. 13, but only for non-incumbents. Candidates for the Clayton council seats can pick up nomination packets at City Hall, 6000

Heritage Trail, Clayton. For more information, call the city clerk, Janet Brown, at (925) 673-7300. Those seeking to run for the Concord city council or city treasurer will need to make an appointment with the Concord city clerk to obtain nomination papers beginning July 14. To make an appointment, call Mary Rae Lehman at (925) 671-3495 or visit the city of Concord website at

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Routinely during the summer months we receive calls regarding animals left in cars unattended. In nearly every case, we find the driver left the pet only for a few minutes while they ran a quick errand. Though I fully understand that most pet owners would never intentionally injure their animal, many don’t realize just how quickly the vehicles interior can heat up to lethal heights. Even in relatively mild weather, the interior of your vehicle can reach extremely high temperatures in a very short time. On a day when the

sun is out and the ambient temperature is only 85 degrees, the temperature inside your car can increase as much as 20 degrees in only 10 minutes. Worse yet, in an hour the interior of your car can reach 140 degrees. To combat the rising temperature, people often leave the car running with the air conditioner on. This practice is fraught with potential problems. A vehicle left running, even with the doors locked, is an invitation to have your car stolen. Even more frightening, the vehicles air conditioner may fail, leaving your pet in a car that is heating up. California Penal Code section 597.7 addresses the act of leaving a pet in the car. There are several factors which must be considered when determining if there is a violation (temperature, ventilation, access to food/water). Being a dog owner (Chloe the wonder dog, a golden retriever), I could not imagine the pain I would feel if I harmed our dog by leaving her

in the car. Most pet owners feel the same, as our pets truly do become part of the family. When I talk to folks who leave their pet in the car, they simply don’t realize how quickly the car can heat up. I understand the desire to take your pet with you as you travel. However, on some days, both you and the dog will be better off if you leave them home.

their income for a growing percentage of home owners, especially in the Bay Area. In San Francisco County it can be as high as 70 percent. These statistics are from a “How Housing Matters” survey. I also don’t think we will have a huge dip in home prices because we have very low inventory and I don’t see that changing much very quickly. I am hoping for an eventual balanced market with normal appreciation. Send your question and look for your answer in a future column. Email French is the broker/owner of Windermere Lynne French & Associates. Contact her at 672-878 7or stop in at 6200 Center St., Clayton.

National Night Out fights crime Clayton residents are invited to participate in the 31st annual National Night Out on Tuesday, August 5. National Night Out is an annual event designed to strengthen communities by encouraging neighborhoods to build stronger relationships with each other and with their local law enforcement partners. The goal is to heighten crime-prevention awareness, build support and participation in local anti-crime programs and, most importantly, send a message that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back against crime. It’s also the perfect opportunity to get to know your neighbors even better. The Clayton Police Department participates in these events. Last year members of the city’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) provided Hands-only CPR training. If you would like to organize/coordinate an activity in your neighborhood please contact Herb Yonge at 925-6726173, email or call Clayton Police at 925-673-7350.

Captain Grammar Pants The word SCRIBE (Latin, “write”) serves as an elegant foundation for various prefixes, including DESCRIBE (“write down”), PRESCRIBE (“write before”), PROSCRIBE (“write in front of ”), SUBSCRIBE (“write under”), ASCRIBE (“write to”), and CONSCRIBE (“write together”). Note the subtle differences between prescribe (recommend) and proscribe (forbid). To ascribe is to attribute, while to conscribe is to make part of a list. As a scribe, I prescribe clarity to my subscribers while proscribing the overuse of “literally.” I ascribe my interest in words to the great writers, who conscribed me among the ranks of literature enthusiasts. Sean Williams is a professor of ethnomusicology at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash. She is currently working on a Captain Grammar Pants book. Follow her regular postings on Facebook.

July 11, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

City of Clayton

Notice of Election 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 S TAFF W RITERS : Peggy Spear, Pam Wiesendanger, John Jackson, Jay Bedecarre

We remember Jill Bedecarré - Her spirit is our muse


MB but not bigger than 6MB. You 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.


Tel: (925) 672-0500 Fax: (925) 672-6580 Tamara Steiner Send ads to Send Sports News to Send Club News to Send Church News to

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.

Send School News to

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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

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.

SUBSCRIPTIONS To subscribe, call the office at (925) 672-0500. Subscriptions are $50/year and are for full year only.

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a Municipal Election will be held in the city of Clayton on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. Two (2) council members of the Clayton city council are to be elected at-large for full terms of four years. A nominee must be a registered voter residing within the city of Clayton. Nomination petitions may be obtained from the city clerk, located at 6000 Heritage Trail, Clayton, CA, commencing on July 14, 2014, the 113th day before the election and shall be filed with the city clerk in person no later than 5 p.m., Aug. 8, 2014, the 88th day before the election. Candidates may submit a candidate statement 200 words in length. Statements must be submitted in block form; standard upper and lower case words; no bold, underlined or italic words; and no bullets, stars or asterisks. The city clerk shall submit a certificate of facts to the city council (1) if no one or only one candidate files for any office which is elected on a city wide basis, or (2) if no one or only one candidate files for any office which is elected from or by a city legislative district, or (3) if the number of persons filing for offices elected at large does not exceed the number of seats to be filled. The city council shall adopt one of the courses of action outlined in Elections Code Section 10229. Polls will be open election day between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Janet Brown City Clerk NOTA: Si desea obtener la versión en Español de este aviso legal, puede solicitar una copia de la misma llamando al Departamento de Elecciones, 925.335.7800

Rising Moon Marketing & Public Relations . . . . .672-8717 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 Schaefer’s Painting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .260-6065 Tipperary Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216-2679 Dining and Entertainment Clayton Club Saloon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-0440 Oakhurst Country Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9737 Subway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0621 Events City of Clayton – Concerts . . . . . . . Moonlight Movies – Clayton Community Church . . . . . . . . Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market . . . . . . . . . . .800-949-3276 Financial, Insurance and Legal Services DuRee, Daniel – The Law Office of . . . . . . . . . . .210-1400 Littorno, Richard – The Law Office of . . . . . . . . .432-4211

Van Wyck, Doug – State Farm Insurance . . . . . .672-2300

Classified MUSIC LESSONS Electric Bass Lessons Beginners welcome! Forty years experience playing all styles from Led Zeppelin, Tom Petty, Green Day to Sinatra. Reading, scales, arpeggios, music theory. Call Kelly: (925) 8990075. In Clayton; can travel.

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

GARDENING Flower Gardening by Nicole Hackett Perennial, ornamental, rose and container care. Keep your garden in flowers this year with monthly fertilizing and pruning visits. Email for

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Travis Credit Union . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .888-698-0000

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Page 7

Independent Living, Assisted Living and New Exceptional Memory Care Environment

HELP WANTED Administrative Assistant Seeking part-time Administrative Assistant. Strong math, computer and phone communication skills required. Must be able to work Thursdays and Fridays 8 hours each. Email resume to No phone calls please. Computer Programmer Wanted to code simple software in Visual Basic, working with Excel files. Call Bob at (925) 963-8608. Sales Associate Retail feed and pet supply store, full or part time. Apply in person at Rodie's Feed, 8863 Marsh Creek Road, Clayton.

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Tech, Computer Growing business has position for onsite pro computer tech in Contra Costa County. Must have experience in Windows and Mac OS, network repair and troubleshooting. ComputersUSA! 672-9989.

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Come join Mazzei Realty! Currently interviewing and hiring new and experienced real estate agents. Call 693-0757 for details.

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Real Estate Agents Be Successful! Lynne French is expanding and interviewing for a few agents. Call her today 6728787.

Pittsburg Pet Resort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .432-7387 Rodie's Feed and Pet Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-4600 Real Estate and Mortgage Services French, Lynne – Windermere Real Estate . . . . . .672-8787 Howard, Emily – Better Homes Realty . . . . . . . .408-1871 Hudson, Cait – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . . . . .451-6844 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

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Clayton Historical Society Museum Greeter for two hours per month from 2-4 p.m. Wednesdays or Sundays. Call the museum at 6720240 and leave your name.

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Page 8

Clayton Pioneer •

July 11, 2014

Community stunned by departure of NHS principal PEGGY SPEAR Clayton Pioneer

The Northgate High School community is reeling from the sudden resignation of its popular principal, and some parents claim that he was forced to leave the post he held for six years. In a letter to parents emailed last week, John McMorris announced he was resigning his position. “It is with great regret that I announce to you that I have resigned as principal of Northgate High School,” McMorris wrote. “For six years, it has been my biggest honor and highest accomplishment to be your principal. Together, we have moved Northgate forward and created a strong, collaborative and supportive community between all the stakeholders of our school.” It was his success and the sense of community he fostered

that makes the sudden resignation so surprising and troublesome, according to Linda Loza, a staunch supporter of McMorris and whose two children attended Northgate. Loza is heading up efforts to create a Northgate Unified School District, made up of the high school and other schools in its feeder system. “I am just sad and livid,” she said. “I have no doubt that John’s departure was the result of bad blood between he and high ranking members of the teachers union.” McMorris came under fire earlier this year for taking payments of $40,000 over two years to run the school’s Model United Nations program. While payments like that are not rare for the Northgate PFC, according to former PFC president Monica Fitzgerald, it raised the ire of members of the Mt. Diablo Educational Association.

According to sources close to the situation, McMorris received notification from Mt. Diablo Unified School District that he would be reassigned, but that it would not be in a principal’s role. “It’s my opinion that McMorris empowered parents, and that scared the union and the district,” Loza said. Over his tenure, McMorris is credited with turning around a lackluster yet high achieving school into a local powerhouse,

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thing right. I think it was a witch hunt.” MDEA President Guy Moore, a Northgate parent, had no comment on McMorris’ resignation. At press time MDUSD Superintendent Nellie Meyer had not responded to requests for comments from the Pioneer. Parents expressed sorrow when they heard the news. “He really turned Northgate around,” said Debbie Schwartz, whose daughter is a Northgate

junior. “It’s a totally different school than when my son started school eight years ago.” McMorris said that his next step will be developing curriculum and instruction materials as well as teacher training on Global Studies for schools across the country. It is unclear when a new principal will be selected, but in the past, the district has appointed an interim principal while conducting a more formal search.

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with the support of parents, students and most of the staff. Test scores rose, more Advanced Placement courses were offered, and the school’s athletics and performing arts showed dramatic improvements. A recent report from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges commended Northgate for its “outstanding leadership and direction.” “That’s what makes McMorris’ departure so sad,” Loza said. “The school was doing every-

School is out, summer break is in full swing, and as I write this article, I hope that our school community is enjoying some well-deserved fun and relaxation. Clayton Valley Charter High School never really takes a vacation as it requires yearround effort to succeed in education. The school is still bustling with staff closing the books on last year, supporting students with summer school, and already preparing for the 2014-15 school year. I am very proud and excited to share that as part of ongoing efforts to support our mission of building “first class citizens, with a world class education,” we are offering four different professional development opportunities to our staff this summer.

CURRICULUM INSTITUTE In early June we held what has now become our annual Curriculum Institute. This year’s focus was on the transition to the new Common Core State Standards. While our staff has had opportunities over the last year to become familiar with the new standards, our summer institute allows for much deeper analysis and planning to occur. One of the main focuses of the Common Core is on literacy and critical thinking across the curriculum. As a result, a significant amount of time was spent on drilling down into how to implement effective close reading techniques and argumentative writing to help support content literacy across all curricular areas. CHARACTER COUNTS SEMINAR Also in June, the staff focused on the other half of our mission statement, character education. For three days, teachers were able to partici-

pate in a “Character Counts” Seminar. Character Counts is a nationally recognized character education program developed by the Josephson Institute. The curriculum is centered on six character “pillars” – Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship. Teachers were presented with practical ways to integrate these concepts into their existing content curriculum. There was also lengthy discussion about how this program could dovetail perfectly into the “Do the Right Thing” initiative that the City of Clayton and CVCHS already support. MODEL SCHOOLS CONFERENCE This year, more than 30 CVCHS teachers, staff and administrators will attend the national Model Schools Conference put on by the International Center for Leadership in Education. Dr. Bill Daggett, one of the most influential and important educational leaders

in the world today, is the president of the ICLE. Daggett is the father of the “rigor, relevance, and relationships” motto which is at the heart of CVCHS. EDTECH INSTITUTE Sixteen years ago a current high school junior was born… and so was Google. It is difficult to even grasp what the world will look like in another 16 years. In 2013 technology is no longer just a tool, it is a way of life, underpinning our society. CVCHS’s EdTech institute (also an annual event) is dedicated to assisting teachers in preparing our students for the 21st century. The training provides for a deep knowledge of how to efficiently and seamlessly integrate our content, our pedagogy, and technology to design and implement high quality instruction that is rigorous and relevant. David Linzey is executive director of CVCHS. Contact him

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness July 4 is a very important day for all Americans as well as a very important day in the United States history. The 4th of July, Independence Day, has been celebrated since 1776, making our country 238 years old. I asked my neighbors what they think we celebrate on the 4th of July. I asked the young, the old and the in-between. My grandmother, Cathe Dods, says that the 4th of July is a “celebration of our country’s freedom.” Carolyn Wetzel, my neighbor who is younger than my grandmother, says the 4th of July is about celebrating “our


DVMS CORRESPONDENT independence.” Heather Pacak says it is her “favorite holiday because of fireworks” and my friends’

father, Tim Hintzoglou, says the 4th of July is a “chance to celebrate our freedoms.” My younger brother Wyatt says it’s “America’s birthday” and my friends, Matthew and Kellie Hintzoglou, say the 4th of July is meant to celebrate “our founding fathers” and their amazing work to “turn 13 colonies into a country.” Young, old and in-between, we all agree that on the 4th of July, we celebrate our independence from Great Britain and the freedom that has cost so much in human lives. Independence Day honors the Revolutionary War and all of the patriots who

have fought for our freedom, making us “the land of the free and the home of the brave. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Happy 238th Birthday America, and many more! Natalie Pursche is in the sixth grade at Diablo View Middle School. She is an avid reader, enjoys writing, and loves to spend time with her friends and family. Send comments to

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Love is a weird thing. And people have unusual ways of showing it. But one of the hardest things to do is to get out of it. In “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han, 16-year-old Lara Jean Song Covey gets over all the boys she’s ever had feelings for by writing them “I-don’t want-tobe-in-love-anymore” letters.

She pours her heart out onto paper, puts it (or them) into an envelope, seals it, addresses it, but she doesn’t send them. Instead, she puts them all into a teal hatbox her mother gave her before she passed away and hides in on her top shelf in her closet. In all, there are five boys Lara Jean has ever written about. Josh, her next-door neighbor and her big sister (Margot)’s boyfriend; Peter Kavinsky, Lara Jean’s first kiss; Kenny, a boy she met at summer camp; Lucas Krapf, just because

he’s handsome; and John Ambrose McClaren, Lara Jean’s eighth grade crush. On the first day of her sophomore year, everything is going spectacular until Lara Jean is confronted by Peter and is scolded about the letter she “sent” to him. Panicked, she runs home just to find that her box along with all five letters are gone and if Peter got one, that means it won’t be long until Josh, Kenny, Lucas, and John

receive theirs. Throughout the rest of the story, Lara Jean’s life slowly falls apart in some places and comes together in others. With Margot gone to college in Scotland and no one to turn to, Lara Jean steps back and watches as her love life crumbles to the ground. This book is unique because there are five different ways it could end and you have no idea how it’s going to conclude because things are constantly changing and stories are alternating non-stop. This novel is so real and brutally honest. Han has knocked it out of the park once again. Emily York is a sophomore at CVCHS.

July 11, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 9

Good riddance, grim water year


WEATHER WORDS Happy New Year! Actually, I mean Happy New Water Year, since July 1 marks the beginning of the new precipitation measurement cycle in California. Let’s start this new water year off by saying “good riddance” to a very dry year. Local rainfall statistics show us not only how dry the 20132014 water year was, but also how dry the last few water years have been. We are lucky to have a nearby weather station, the

city of San Francisco, with continuous rainfall records going back to the 1849-1850 water year. It’s true that on average San Francisco receives about five inches more rain per year than the Clayton area receives. However, since yearto-year variations in rainfall are nearly the same at both locations, it is justifiable to consider the SF water year statistics as representative of the Clayton area. It turns out that 2013-2014 water year ranked 15th driest, placing it in the top tenth percentile of dry years. It was the driest water year since 19761977, nearly 40 years ago. Unfortunately, this is the third dry year in a row. SF rainfall data for three consecutive water years show the current dry spell ranks as the fourth driest in the last 165 years. The Bay Area is in the midst of a strong drought weather cycle, no doubt about it! Most of our local water

supply has its origin in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Rainfall statistics from the mountains to our west show the intensity of the current drought in that area. Data from an eight-station monitoring network in the northern half the California portion of the Sierras show that the 2013-2014 water year was the seventh driest in the last 92 years. That places it in the top tenth percentile of dry years, similar to the SF ranking. Over the last three-year period this mountain area has also been abnormally dry. It ranks as 13th driest of the 90 three-year periods. This data shows why Northern California water supplies are so limited. While it is relatively easy to evaluate the past, it is difficult to predict the future. With the beginning of a new water year there is a lot of hope that the upcoming winter season will

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THE POCKET PARENT It’s summer, the time of year to throw the kids in the back of the minivan and take off for parks, beaches and some of the most magical kingdoms around. If only it was that easy, though. Traveling with kids takes organization, patience and a little creativity. Whether you are taking a plane, train or automobile, here are some tips for keeping the journey enjoyable for all family members, and help with healthy development along the way: Preparation: Spend some time getting new things for your child’s backpack that they have not seen before. Pack small bags with some favorite snacks. Small trays such as a lid from a box can help contain play items and may fit nicely down the side of a backpack Fill diaper wipe containers with a variety of play items

such as a small coin purse with legos, magnets in a small tin, finger puppets, and different types of containers with snacks, toys, etc. Games: Treasure hunt – Old purses and bags with a variety of fasteners (Velcro, snaps, zippers, etc.) will help with fine motor skills. Include favorite snacks, small books, magna doodles, crayons, paper, stickers, etc. available in their backpacks. The more compartments, the more fun your child will have “looking for treasures.” Keep a bag of “treasures” in your own backpack to switch out if they get bored. Clothespin fun: Put a few clothespins or small tongs in the container, to pick up items like cotton balls, pom poms and small toys. “Paint” some small clothespins with sharpie markers (different colors) and

match the clothespins to a card (or other item) of the same color. This is great for hand strengthening, sequencing and pre-writing/cutting skills. Cereal jewelry: Try making an edible necklace by stringing different cereals on a clean shoelace or string. Card sharps: Get a deck of “Go Fish” cards and tape some of the matching pairs on a small tray then find the matching card and stick it on the “sticky dot.” Glow-in-the-dark: Get small flashlights and hide under the airline blanket. Maybe get glow-in-the-dark stickers to put on little arms and legs. Kathy Youngson is an occupational therapist at We Care Services for Children. Reach her at

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provide at least normal rainfall and mountain snow. A lot of that hope may be riding on the development of El Niño conditions in the tropical Pacific. The most current models (end of June) indicate that there is an 80 percent chance of El Niño development by this winter. As I’ve mentioned in a previous column, El Niño doesn’t necessarily mean wetter than normal winter precipitation in our area, but the likelihood of wetter weather is higher during moderate or strong events. Hopefully the next water year report will feature statistics showing substantial winter rainfall totals and increasing water supply levels.

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Clayton Pioneer •

July 11, 2014

Sports Clayton Valley Charter trap team shoots high marks at state JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Clayton Valley Charter High School’s trap team concluded its second season last month in

Stockton at the California State Championships scoring several top performances and finishing in the top 20 varsity teams. Some of the local athletes also competed in other shooting

events for the Diablo Valley Jr. skeet team, bringing home more honors. CVCHS trap coach Jim Middendorf brought 25 athletes to the state meet divided

into five teams (two varsity and three JV). The Eagles black team featuring Quincy Winship, Michael Baker, Mitch Mikkelson, Clayton Smith and Gabby Bacigalupo placed 20th

in varsity with Baker’s score of 187 leading the team which, posted a 877. Local rivals De La Salle were eighth at 925. The Eagles blue varsity team of Trent Suddaby, Jeremiah York, Jack Kelly, Tristen Miller and Chris Bredehoft was 31st with a score of 835. The top junior varsity silver team for the Eagles took eighth with 884 points. Michael Saint Germain led the way with a 190 score. Individually, JV Shannon Dunley shot her first straight 50 while varsity shooters Baker and Smith each had a pair of perfect 25 scores. Mikkelson, Winship and Suddaby all had varsity 25s as did JVs Saint Germain and Erik Ortiz. Saint Germain was 12th among 243 JV shooters

while sophomore Baker was top individual for CVCHS varsity at 48th. Winship, Ortiz and Blake Cathcart are also members of the Diablo Valley Jr. skeet team and represented that squad in skeet and sporting clays in Stockton. Sophomore Cathcart and junior Ortiz took third place in JV sporting clays while Cathcart was first in JV skeet as an individual and placed second as part of the varsity skeet squad. Ortiz also earned a bronze as part of the JV skeet squad. Winship finished second individually in varsity skeet, shooting a personal best of 96 out of 100 targets, and earned another silver medal as a member of the varsity skeet squad.

Photos courtesy CVCHS trap team

THREE LOCAL STUDENTS COMPETED FOR BOTH THE CLAYTON VALLEY CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL TRAP AND DIABLO VALLEY JR. SKEET TEAMS at the California State Championships in Stockton last month. Sophomore Blake Cathcart (left) took third place in junior varsity sporting clays and first in JV skeet. Senior Quincy Winship (middle) finished second in varsity skeet, shooting a personal best of 96 out of 100 targets, and earned another second-place medal on varsity skeet squad. Junior Erik Ortiz earned honors as well. Winship and Ortiz both shot perfect scores of 25 for the CVCHS trap team coached by Jim Middendorf.

Brassil honored on Pac-12 All-Academic track team

Sports Shorts CVCHS ATHLETIC BOOSTERS ELECTION JULY 16 A new slate of officers is expected when the Clayton Valley Charter High School Athletic Booster Club meets next Wednesday, July 16, at 7 p.m. The nomination and election process will be conducted per the group’s by-laws at two special meetings on the school’s campus. Nominations from booster club members will be accepted at the first meeting before the election is conducted at the second meeting. Votes will be tallied and the new board will be presented at the meeting. Prospective board candidates are asked to submit their names to the board via email to

MDSA FALL SOCCER GUARANTEED PLACEMENT EXTENDED TO SUNDAY Boys and girls 4-18 years of age wanting to play in Mt. Diablo Soccer Association fall league can register for guaranteed placement until this Sunday, July 13. After that date players will be placed on wait-list until end of this month. Fall league play begins in August when registration closes. Families are requested to sign up for volunteer duties to help the organization offer its AYSO program. For complete information visit


DE LA SALLE GRAD T.J. BRASSIL OF CLAYTON had quite a spring as part of the Oregon Ducks men’s NCAA track and field championship team. The shot put and discus athlete redshirted his first year in Eugene after an injury but was part of the 2014 Oregon track and field team that claimed its first national title in 30 years. The journalism major also scored 3.63 GPA in the classroom for second-team Pac-12 academic recognition.

Signups are available for All Out Sports League baseball camp July 19 (ages 6-17) and free football camp July 28 (2nd-9th graders). All fall programs at Clayton Gym including youth volleyball and basketball and adult co-ed softball this fall are also accepting applications. For complete information on all the Clayton programs, visit

DIABLO FC INTRODUCES RECREATIONAL SOCCER LEAGUE THIS FALL Diablo FC is rolling out a youth soccer recreational league program starting in August that will focus on individual technical

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CLAYTON VALLEY FOOTBALL CAMP JULY 21-24 Two-time DVAL champion Clayton Valley Charter High School hosts its Future Champions Full-Pad Youth Football Camp July 2124 from 1-5 p.m. at the Concord school for players in second through eighth grades. Camp Director Michael Dominquez and Eagles head coach Tim Murphy explain that the camp has individual and group instruction and team competition with fundamentals and techniques of football taught by the CVCHS staff. To register, email or call (925) 726-1503 for an application.

FALCON DAY FOR CLAYTON VALLEY FALCONS FOOTBALL, CHEER JULY 19 Registration is still open online for Clayton Valley Youth football and cheer. Football is for ages 7-14 while cheer accepts ages 5-14. The season starts July 28. All players and cheer members must attend the mandatory final registration “Falcon Day” next Saturday, July 19, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Clayton Valley Charter High School. For more information and online registration visit

FORMER CONCORD HIGH FOOTBALL STAR RICKY LLOYD TRANSFERS Quarterback Ricky Lloyd, who led Concord High to the 2010 North Coast Section football championship, has transferred from Minnesota State from Southern Mississippi. Lloyd spent three years at Southern Miss and had three different coaching staffs. He redshirted his freshman year so has two years of eligibility left for the Mavericks, who were 11-0 last year before losing in the first round of the NCAA Division II playoffs. This means he will be eligible to play in the fall.

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SOPHOMORE MICHAEL BAKER shot 187 out of 200 at the California State Championships last month sponsored by the California Youth Shooting Sports Association to finish in the top 50 among varsity competitors for Clayton Valley Charter High School trap team. His total included two perfect 25 of 25 scores. Teammate Trent Suddaby shot 181, including a perfect round of 25.

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Clayton Pioneer •


Page 11

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Devil Mountain Pentathlon marks 20th year in Clayton this weekend JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Each July the Dana Hills Swim Team hosts the Devil Mountain Pentathlon, bringing together over a dozen recreation swim teams and more than a thousand swimmers for a unique event that has each boy and girl swimming five events in one day. It’s not only a one-of-a-kind meet for the swimmers but also the Clayton team’s major annual fundraiser to supplement family fees to pay the coaching staff, meet entry fees and other expenses for a large swim team. The Pentathlon, being held this Saturday and Sunday for the 20th time, first germinated in the minds of Otter swim team parents Mike and Toni Biel. “One weekend, while at the 1994 Rancho San Miguel Relays, Toni and I could not help but notice the hundreds of delighted kids in attendance. The relay races were exciting and the team aspect of the event made it even more fun,” Mike Biel recalled last week at the pool while young DHST swimmers trained. “We observed vendors selling swimsuits. The host team sold t-shirts and food at the snack bar. Toni and I wondered aloud, ‘could DHST host an event and how much revenue would it generate?’ Our team had a spacious venue [the eight-lane pool had opened in 1990] and parents from other teams always had positive comments about the facility.

“It would have to be a meet with a theme that would be attractive to other teams. The Pleasant Hill Dolfins had The Battle of the Ages and Springwood had the Concord City Meet. We recalled a swim

Jay Bedecarre photo

TONI (RIGHT) AND MIKE BIEL came up with the original idea for the Devil Mountain Pentathlon that began in 1995 and celebrates its 20th edition this weekend at the Dana Hills pool in Clayton. Mike Biel retired at the beginning of the year as Deputy Chief of Police in San Francisco. Their sons, Matt and Garrett, both swam in the Pentathlon, which is the DHST Otters largest annual fund raiser.

meet that our son Matt had swam in the previous year while participating in the Concord Terrapins fall program, the Montclair Swim Team’s Pentathlon.” The Biels spoke to team president Matt Mazzei and got the green light to begin developing the Pentathlon concept. At Piedmont each competitor swam all five events (backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, freestyle and individual medley) and the swimmer with the fastest combined time after the five swims was champion. “Toni and I recalled what a fun meet it was and how exciting the final IM race had been. We could attract other teams and coaches by calling it a midseason time trial. It would be a fun meet for both the kids and their parents.” The DHST board of directors and new head coach Serge

Dmitrenko approved of the concept and set about making it a reality. “We had a great committee that included Jill Bedecarre, Roxanne Pardi, Tom and Kristi Brassil, Cindy DeVecchio, Cecilia Zefeldt, Judy Pousard, Deena Zeidler and many more came together and did an outstanding job to make the inaugural 1995 Devil Mountain Pentathlon a success.” There were six teams that first year and three of them— Springwood, Pleasant Hill Aquatics and DHST— are involved this year along with a dozen more teams —- Bishop Estates Barracudas, Forest Hills Beavers, Livorna Dolphins, LMYA Dolphins, Martinez Community Otters, Oakhurst Orcas of Clayton, Pleasant Hill Dolfins, Sun Valley Rays, Sycamore Stingrays, Vista Diablo Dolphins and

Walnut Country Stingrays from Concord. Fifth-year meet director Lauren Velez explains that this weekend’s Pentathlon features the younger age groups (six and unders through 9-10 boys) competing on Saturday and the olders (9-10 boys through 15-18 boys and girls) on Sunday. Interestingly this 20th edition will be the last one where swimmers born before that first Pentathlon are able to compete as the age cutoff for recreation swimmers is June 15. Swimmers turning 19 before that date are ineligible so next year not even the oldest swimmers will predate the start of the Pentathlon. Mike and Toni Biel eventually were exposed to swimming at the highest levels as older son Matt, who competed in the first Pentathlon, eventually moved fulltime to USS Swimming, swam for the University of Arizona and competed at the 2004 and 2008 United States Olympic Trials. While visiting the pool last week they saw that their son still holds two DHST individual and two relay team records that are about 20 years old. In hindsight the Biels feel the primary reason the Devil Mountain Pentathlon has endured “is because the philosophy and mission of the meet has not deviated over the past 20 years. This is a testament to all those meet directors, committee members and parents who have followed us. “The meet recognizes and rewards all of the kids who participate [everyone gets an ‘I survived the Devil Mountain Pentathlon’ ribbon] plus heat and stroke awards. The awards are no different for A and B flights. And the DHST doesn’t count in the team standings. The Devil Mountain Pentathlon will always be about the kids.”

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“Big Time Timmy Jim” closes in on a spot at Cooperstown TYLER LEHMAN SPORTS TALK No matter how terrible he looks at times, the inconsistent Tim Lincecum still manages to show flashes of greatness. Despite not having the same arm that he had four years ago, Lincecum still managed to throw a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres on June 25, the second no-no of his career. With this no-hitter, it begs the question: Is Tim Lincecum a future Hall of Famer? No one can deny the success he had early in his career. Even with his small frame, Lincecum won back-to-back Cy Young Awards in 2008 and

2009. He is a four-time all-star and two-time World Series champion. At the age of 30 that is already quite the resume for Cooperstown. But it’s the Hall of Fame; the best in history of the game are enshrined there. As of now, Lincecum doesn’t seem to have sufficient credentials to get into the Hall of Fame. He needs a few more good seasons under his belt in order to secure himself a spot in Cooperstown. It’s a question of whether or not Lincecum can last another five years in the league in order to accumulate more wins and possibly more World Series titles. His two no-hitters have come in the past two seasons, but he can’t seem to stay consistent.

This season alone he has an earned run average the mid 4’s, which is rather sub-par. It is due to Lincecum being unable to completely adapt to the lack of velocity on his fastball which marked his early career. When Timmy won his two Cy Young’s, he was overpowering batters at the plate. He could strike out anyone at any time, because he had a mid-90s fastball with movement and a change-up that was nearly impossible to hit when in the dirt. Currently, Lincecum doesn’t have those weapons at his disposal. He doesn’t have the same fastball to set up his change-up. Location of the fastball is the key to Lincecum being a successful pitcher at this stage of his career. When he is on his spots, low on the corners, he has the

ability to throw a no-hitter like he did against the Padres. But throughout most of this season and last, Lincecum has had the tendency to throw the fastball high in the zone, where hitters have been having little problem making contact. Lincecum still has enough gas in the tank to be a competitive pitcher for many more years. If he can become consistent in locating his fastball, he should be able to accumulate more accolades and eventually one day be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame

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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Page 12

Clayton Pioneer •

40th Annual

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KIMBERLY HATHAWAY Special to the Pioneer

Rick Abbott says he’s lived Camelot. Teaching thousands of Mt. Diablo Unified School District students as chorus director or music teacher over the last 27 years has been trumped only by being the proud father of five. He estimates teaching about 1,200 students per year, a respectable number of Contra Costa County school-aged children. “My motto is ‘build the community,’” Abbott says. “Music in the schools has a tremendous capacity to do just that. When you build children’s self-esteem through meaningful music performance, you build community.” Abbott dreamed of becoming a film score composer after finishing his B.A. in studio composition at Brigham Young University. A real-life “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” Abbott

has led the choirs at Clayton Valley High School, Concord and Northgate as well as rotating through all of the K-12 schools in the district. “The Concord High concert choir was selected to sing back-up vocals at four Barry Manilow concerts in the Bay Area,” Abbott proudly remembers. “Several years later, the Valle Verde Elementary school choir won a state-wide contest of a counter-melody to the Oscar Meyer Weiner jingle.” The school won $10,000 and got a visit from the newest ‘Weiner Mobile,’ which generated radio and television coverage. Abbott hails from a family of educators. Father Ted was a beloved coach and athletic director for the district for 37 years. In fact, the Northgate High School baseball field was re-dedicated in his honor in 2012, four years following his death. His brother Tom is a MDUSD kindergarten master teacher.

Duane Campbell, Jack Peterson and MDUSD choral music teacher Rick Abbott make up The Tuneriders.

In 1965, then-12-year old Abbott was a seventh grader at Pleasant Hill Intermediate (now Sequoia Middle School). He teamed with fellow student and bass player Duane Campbell and former fellow student Gary King, playing school concerts and a school dance. The three continued to play the melodic 60s era music of

Club News CBCA helps theatre turn up sound; students text with more than thumbs GARY CARR Special to the Pioneer

At their June 26 meeting at Oakhurst Country Club, the Clayton Business and Community Association honored requests for help in providing louder sound, better strings and fewer typos for Clayton theatre and schools. CBCA approved a donation to the Clayton Theatre Company for upgraded sound gear, including wearable mics. The equipment will help CTC audiences pick up every nuance, even from the back of the hall. The club’s donation to the CVCHS Music Boosters comes with strings attached – to the three cellos and two bass vio-

lins, that is, which the Boosters will purchase for the student orchestra. In a world where the ability to type is a crucial skill, Mt. Diablo Elementary School students will get a hand up on keyboard competence with the addition of a new typing program CBCA is funding. The program teaches all grade levels to type, in order for students to be tested on computers when taking the staterequired “Core Curriculum.” Another program related to student success is Junior Achievement, and CBCA voted to help fund the program in Clayton schools again next year. CBCA members approved a donation to the Blue Star

Moms’ program to send “care packages” to deployed troops. CBCA has supported this effort for the past five years. Yes, the show will go on. The CBCA board said yes to Clayton Community Church to help with the annual Summer Movie Night series. An estimated 2,000 people attend these movies each summer. The Board sees the donation as a community quid pro quo, since the church allows the club to use their facility for both Art & Wine and Oktoberfest. The CBCA meets on the last Thursday of the month at Oakhurst Country Club. For membership information, call (925) 672-2272

Police Activity Report

The Clayton Pioneer wants to hear your sports story We get plenty of information from local high schools, sports leagues and clubs. What we don’t hear about so often are from our neighbors who are competing below that radar screen. There are Claytonians who are participating in sports and recreational endeavors that we don’t normally hear about but we’d like to tell their stories too. If you know of someone — or even if you are that someone — let us know what you’re doing and perhaps we’ll find it something our readers would love to read about! If you’re running, jumping, hiking, biking, swimming, skydiving, bowling, golfing or participating in any of dozens of other sports and recreational activities let us know. Give us a brief rundown and your contact information and we might be in touch with you. It’s as simple as sending an email to

Police Activity for two weeks ending July 3, 2014 ACCIDENTS: June 29, 6:40 p.m. Molluk Wy. ARRESTS: June 20, 7:20 p.m. Pine Hollow Rd. A 37-year-old Clayton male was arrested for DUI.

arrested for possession of a destructive device. A subsequent search uncovered a pipe bomb in his pants pocket. The Walnut Creek Police Department bomb squad, called to the scene by Clayton police, later rendered the device safe.

June 21, 12:36 p.m. Indiana Dr. A 29-year-old Concord female was arrested on a warrant.

June 27, 4:53 p.m. Westwood Park. A 45-year-old Walnut Creek resident was arrested on a warrant.

June 21, 9:20 p.m. Marsh Creek Rd./Diablo Pkwy. A 36year-old Concord male was arrested for DUI alcohol; DUI alcohol over .08; willful cruelty to child: possible injury/death; driving without a license.

June 28, 5:15 p.m. El Camino Dr./Michigan Blvd. A 22-year-old Concord male was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia.

June 24, 6:21 p.m. Easley Dr./Marsh Creek Rd. A 34year-old Concord male was arrested on a warrant.

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The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and others. They graduated Class of 1970 at Pleasant Hill High School, dreamed of continuing their music, but went on to attend college and the business of raising their families. In 2010 Abbott reconnected with now long-time Concord resident Campbell at the 40th class reunion of Pleasant Hill High School. They thought it would be cool to jam together. Campbell was working in solar energy and had lived some of the rock star dream, having toured with rock and jazz bands across the U.S. In 2012 they brought in 26year Vacaville music educator Jack Peterson, and their current band, The Tuneriders, was born. Peterson brings eight years of operatic training, an important element in creating the complex harmonies in the band’s repertoire. “I’m fortunate to be working with two music educators,” says Campbell. “They spend their entire days immersed in music, both teaching and performing with their students. It doesn’t get much better than this.” Forty years in the making, the dream of two 12-year old Pleasant Hill junior high school kids in 1965 finally came true. The band most recently performed at Todos Santos Plaza on July 3.

June 24, 11:54 p.m. 5400 Clayton Rd. A 41-year-old Concord male was arrested for driving while license suspended. June 25, 11:50 p.m. Clayton Rd./Mitchell Canyon Rd. A 19year-old Oakley male was

June 28, 5:15 p.m. El Camino Dr./Michigan Blvd. A 24-year-old Portland, Ore. female was arrested for possession of a controlled substance; warrant. BURGLARIES/THEFTS: June 23, Mt. Vernon. Burglary – Residence. VANDALISMS: July 1, Diablo View Ln.

July 11, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Your pets can’t resist this resort You won’t find the Pittsburg Pet Resort on —and that’s just fine with its guests, who get to enjoy the boarding service, pet taxi, grooming and pet spa for themselves. Through loving care, socialization and obedience training, the Resort is onestop-shopping for a pet’s needs. “I love animals and that is why I got into the pet business,” says owner Josie Van Fleet, who previously owned a kennel in Oregon and a grooming shop in Walnut Creek. “My vision was to make friends with each and every pet that became our client over the years.” It’s hard not to be friendly in the newly renovated 6,000-square-foot facility, all indoors and free from sun and rain. Pets — Van Fleet refers to them as “guests” — are walked each day in addition sharing fun and games in the play and potty areas. The Resort features upscale private rooms which double as rooms for senior guests or those with special needs. The Marriot should be so accommodating! The Resort can house 35-50 guests at a time, Van Fleet says. Their days begin early, with morning feedings, health checks, medication, shared playtime in the common areas, then cuddle time. After the guests

Cuddle time is always on the schedule at Pittsburg Pet Resort. Pictured, Sasha heads for staffer Heather Nazdam’s lap for her snuggles.

Owen, from page 1 fitness activities for the younger crowd. Sarah says that she has been working on the event for more than a year, and at times was worried that it wasn’t coming together. “But in the last few

weeks everything seemed to click,” she says. She says she has received tremendous support from city officials, friends and family, especially family friend Sharon Cuff. She is also being support-

have their mid-day naps they are all taken out for exercise, playtime and potty time. “We allow socialization together with other guests when we know them well and know they will get along,” Van Fleet says. Canine and feline guests can even get salon services — a new coif or a pedicure — to round out their spa day. Late afternoon brings the second meal, medications and health checks, as well as the final room cleanings of the day. Bedtime is early but these busy guests are tired from their exciting day. And if this isn’t enough excitement, the Resort will soon be starting Phase II of its remodel, which will include adding petfriendly television for the guests. The Resort is open for tours anytime during the business day, and kennel tours begin at 10 a.m. and continue for the duration of business hours. The Resort is open Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Sundays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. It is located at 671 Willow Pass Rd., Suite 6, in Pittsburg. For more information, contact the Pittsburg Pet Resort at 925-432-7387 or online at

ed by members of her longtime Girl Scout Troop. Sarah gives a shout-out to Mayor Hank Stratford, council member Julie Pierce, and Assistant City Manager Laura Hoffmeister for helping her put on a community-wide event. She is also getting support from Coldwell Banker, Sports Base-

ment and All-Out Sports. Check-in for the race will be held at 7:15 on the morning of the race, with an 8 a.m. scheduled start. Racers can preregister at, but she says you don’t have to run the race to enjoy the fitness fair.

Page 13

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Forlorn and abandoned, The Growlers, pictured here circa 1960, had a bright future ahead.

In May 2007, Ed and Stephanie Moresi opened Moresi’s Chophouse in a location that for more than a century has been home to not only early town businesses, but fine drinks and dining in downtown Clayton. It was 144 years ago that this gourmet address was first built. Originally an 1870s home, Jack Duncan rebuilt it in 1908. It became a store, post office (1926–1937), barber shop, and the Growler Saloon. Just next to it on the east side was Justice of the Peace Gus L. Goethals’ Insurance and Real Estate office, built in 1898. Patrons

“banked” in his large safe. The saloon was moved north of its original site by Joe Pastor and Ed Minadeo, who opened the Growlers Restaurant in 1973. Josef and Marie Salas bought the property and moved Goethals’ building alongside the Growlers, restoring both to establish La Cocotte Restaurant in 1975. Ingrid and Rudi Hempell bought La Cocotte in 1976. Ingrid later won city recognition for 25 years of improving and operating La Cocotte. In 2002 she sold the business to John and Sharon Johnston, who renamed the restaurant The Fox and the Fiddle. It briefly became the Elysium restaurant until the Moresis opened the popular steak house. Information from the Clayton Museum’s research center. Misty Bruns is a docent at the Clayton Museum.

Recycle this paper The Growler (left) has had many incarnations since the 1870s. In 1975, it would be combined with the real estate office next door and become La Cocotte Restaurant. Today, the buildings house Moresi’s Chophouse.

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Clayton Pioneer •

July 11, 2014


SATURDAYS THRU OCT. 25 Farmers’ Market Music: July 12, Tony de Grassi. July 19, Mama Mia D’Bruzzi. 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Diablo Street between Main and Center streets, downtown Clayton. July 11, 18, 25 and Aug. 1 Moonlight Movies Bring a lawn chair, blankets, invite friends and neighbors and join us at sunset for a surround sound spectacular evening: July 11, “Frozen;” July 18, “Despicable Me;” July 25, “The Game Plan;” Aug. 1, “The Princess Bride.” Activities begin at 7:30 p.m. Movies start at dusk. Clayton Community Church, 6055 Main St. Free admission. July 19 Saturday Concerts in the Grove 6 – 8:30 p.m. Grove Park, downtown Clayton. Free. For a complete concert series list, see Page 3. July 20 - 21 Clayton Theatre Company Auditions Auditions for fall production of Clayton Theatre Company performance, “A Trip Down Broadway.” Musical revue of songs from 15 Broadway shows. July 20: 12 – 6 p.m. July 21: 6:30 – 10 p.m. Call backs July 22: 6:30 - 10 p.m. at Endeavor Hall, 6008 Center St., Clayton. Go to and click on Auditions for more information and audition form. If you attended general auditions in January 2014, no need to audition again. Call Beth Neudell at 381-1615 with questions. July 24 Thursday Concerts in the Grove Featuring local talent. 7 - 8:30 p.m. Grove Park, downtown Clayton. Free. For a complete concert series list, see Page 3. Aug. 9 Rib Cook-Off Rib cook-off sponsored by the Clayton Business and Community Association. 28 teams compete for trophies and cash prizes. Attend or sign up to compete. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Clayton Club Saloon, 6096 Main St., Clayton. Raffle tickets available for chance to be People’s Choice Judge.

IN CONCORD Tuesdays Farmers’ Market Tuesdays year round, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Tuesday Nights in July Blues Series Some of the best blues in the Bay Area. July 15, Chris Cain. July 22, Jeffrey Marshall with the Delta Dogs and The Breedloves. 6:30 – 8 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Free. Music and Market Thursday night live music and farmers’ market. Music: July 17, The RaveUps. July 24, Foreverland. Market 4 – 8 p.m.; music 6:30 – 8 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. July 12 Drought Tolerant Plant Class Killing your lawn softly: Recommended drought tolerant plants for the California garden. Sponsored by Markham Regional Arboretum Society. 10 – 11 a.m. 1202 La Vista Ave., Concord. Free. Registration required: July 12 - 13 Relay For Life American Cancer Society fundraiser. Activities for participants and spectators. 9 a.m. Saturday to 9 a.m. Sunday. 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. July 12 Common Poorwill Bird Walk Listen to the birds of the early evening along Red Road. 7 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Trailhead. Registration with Denise Wight required: Save Mount Diablo programs listed are free unless otherwise noted. Go to and click on Activities/Guided Hikes for more information. 947-3535. July 19 Highland Springs Hike The property is situated just below the summit of Highland Peak and offers amazing views to the south and provides a crucial habitat for sensitive species. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at Morgan Territory Staging Area. Registration required:

EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT July 11 – 12 Chip and His Dog Exciting double bill of opera and choral music for children and families. Presented by Solo Opera. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $22-$27. 943-7469.

July 12 Concert Performed by Walnut Creek Jazz. 5 and 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25-$40. 943-7469. July 13 Great Piano Masterworks Performed by Taboloff. 4 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $40. 943-7469. July 13 New Magic Starring Alex Ramon. 3 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $35. July 18 Performing Arts Studio Young Actors Studio final showcase presented by The Ballet School. 7 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $14. 943-7469. July 19 Chevron Family Theatre Festival Fun-filled day of affordable world-class family entertainment. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. Free entertainment and activities. $5 per performance. 943-7469. July 20 “Music Makes Us Dance” High energy, Las Vegas style revue featuring senior performers, The Golden Follies. 2 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $12-$25. July 22 Summer “Pops” Concert Performed by the Walnut Creek Concert Band. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $14-$17 or buy one, get one half off with code: Sousa; or buy adult ticket, get child’s ticket free with code word: family. 943-7469.

July 26 Raise the Roof in the Courtyard Food, wine and beer, silent auction, raffle, wine pull. Public fundraiser to replace parish hall roof. Parish hall shelters community events and food pantry outreach. 6 – 8 p.m. Saint Bonaventure Catholic Community, 5562 Clayton Road, Concord. $20. Get tickets after Sunday mass or at Parish Office. 6725800. Aug. 7 Gourmet Gallop Food and wine walk in downtown Walnut Creek to benefit Diablo Ballet and PEEK Outreach Program. 6 – 9 p.m. Check in at Massimo Ristorante, 1604 Locust St. $35 until July 24; $45 after.

AT THE LIBRARY The Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. or 673-0659. Thru July 31 Photo Contest Children grades 6 – 12: Snap a photo of your pet or an animal and enter the contest. Prizes for Best Looking, Grumpiest and Best Action Shot. Part of Summer Reading Festival. Entry forms available at library. Deadline: July 31. Judging by Creekside Artists Guild. Tuesdays thru Aug. 12 Patty Cakes Story time for babies to 3-year-olds. Child attends with caregiver. 11 a.m. Thursdays thru Aug. 14 Picture Book Time Story time for 3- to 5-year-olds. Child may attend without caregiver. 11 a.m. Thru Aug. 16 Contest Guess the number of pet treats in the jar. Closest guess wins a prize. All ages. One guess per person.

July 25 John Mayall Blues virtuoso. Presented by Red Legged Frog Productions. 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $55. 943-7469.

July 14 Clayton Library Book Club Sunny Solomon leads the discussion of “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” by Carson McCullers. Open to anyone who would like to join. 7 p.m.

July 25 – Aug. 3 “Thoroughly Modern Millie” A high-spirited, musical romp that has all of New York dancing the Charleston. Performed by the Diablo Theatre Company at Diablo Valley College Performing Arts Center, 321 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill.

July 14 Paws to Sing Sing along, move along, play along for families. 7 p.m.

July 26 Golden State - Lone Star Blues Revue A cross country meeting of the minds between California and Texas musicians. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $15-$27.

July 14 Puppet Workshop Make a puppet, write a script and put on a show. Grades kindergarten - 5. 4 p.m. Registration required. July 16 Craft Come create a yarn creature. Grades 6 – 12. 4 – 5 p.m.

July 26 tLas in Concert Featuring Hyphee Heels and cellist Freya Seeburger. 7 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $20$25. 943-7469.

July 17 Paws and Claws Meet animal ambassadors from Lindsay Wildlife Museum. Find out how paws and claws are alike and how they are different. Grades preschool – 5. 4 p.m.

July 27 Salimpour Belly Dance Students perform required choreographies and improvise to live music for their Suhaila Level 4 format certification. 6:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $14.50. 943-7469.

July 23 Writers’ Hour Share your writing. Grades 6 – 12. 4 – 5 p.m.

CHURCHES AND RELIGION July 14 – 18 Weird Animals Adventure Camp Open to preschoolers through incoming 5th graders. Leadership opportunities for junior and senior high school students. 9 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Clayton Valley Pumpkin Farm, 1060 Pine Lane, Clayton. For more information, fee and registration, go to

FUNDRAISERS July 19 5K Run and Fitness Fair All ages welcome. Sarah Owen’s Girl Scout Gold Award project. 8 – 11 a.m. Clayton Community Park, Regency Drive, Clayton. No registration fee; canned food donation requested for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. Register: or at event. July 19 Ice Cream Social Ice cream, games, raffle. Fundraiser honoring cancer survivors sponsored by Relay For Life Clayton. 2 – 4 p.m. Dana Hills Cabana, 296 Mountaire Circle, Clayton. Free to cancer survivors; $5 donation others. July 26 Marathon Boot Camp Clayton Fitness Center team sponsors this two-hour fundraiser for American Cancer Society Relay For Life Clayton. Do 30-station circuit once or repeatedly up to full two hours. 9 – 11 a.m. Clayton Fitness Center, 1516 Kirker Pass Road, Clayton. $25. 672-2005.

Aug. 2 Puppy Obedience Demonstration Eileen Hanson of the HH Ranch provides demonstration of beginning obedience techniques for puppies and answers questions. Demonstration only; bring the whole family, but no dogs. 11 a.m. The Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. or 646-5455. July 17 College Essay Writing Workshop Brittney Griffin highlights the key elements for a good personal essay for college applications. For high school students. 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. July 24 Deeper into Meditation Dr. Zaslove leads this stimulating workshop for old and new meditators. Adults. 1 p.m.

GOVERNMENT 1st and 3rd Tuesdays Clayton City Council 7 p.m. Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 6737304 or 2nd and 4th Tuesdays Clayton Planning Commission 7 p.m., Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 6737304 or 1st, 2nd and 4th Tuesdays Concord City Council 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’

July 11, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 15

Performing Arts

Book Review

Light and lovely, this romance CTC holds auditions for fall show will break your heart In Florence, she befriends Irishman Michael Kelly, who with “his long flaxen hair and a round, birdlike face. . .specialized, he said, in ‘lechers, windbags, and doctors.’”





If you love Mozart and you love a good romance, you must read Vivien Shotwell’s “Vienna Nocturne.” Wait. What – romance? Yes. It’s summer –when thoughts turn to light, frothy literature, something to be consumed with lemonade poolside, or near the thundering shore. If you’re looking for a sweet, well-crafted historical romance and Mozart is your guy, this is the book for you. Based loosely on historical characters, Shotwell has deftly shaped a tale with heart. There really was an English girl named Anna Storace, who at a precocious age was discovered to have exceptional talent. In “Nocturne”, Anna is taken to study with Venanzio Rauzzini, a castrati, also of exceptional talent and vocal range. After years of meticulous training, Anna’s maestro deems her worthy of singing in Italy, the center of the operatic universe. Soon caught up in a world of opera singers, who in their time were the original rock stars, Anna learns to be a diva. She sings and her voice is golden, and she is worshiped.

When she meets up with Michael again in Milan, history is in her favor. Serious opera is on the outs, and opera buffa is all the rage. Lucky for Anna, she is a natural buffa, and a star is born. In Milan, when Anna’s star crosses that of Francesco Benucci, her life is forever changed. But it isn’t until Anna reaches Vienna and meets Wolfgang Mozart, that her world seriously tilts on its axis. Mozart is funny and strange, dazzling and brilliant. Anna is sophisticated and beloved by the emperor and her public. The two artists are the darlings of their perspective musical worlds and when they meet the heavens smile. Anna’s voice is every bit an equal to Mozart’s elaborate musical

compositions and Mozart is able to create arias for Anna that no other can match. “They began with the recitative, the dialogue-like speak-singing that led into the aria proper “at last,” she said in Italian, “the moment has come when I can enjoy myself without care in the arms of my beloved.” And as she sang this he felt her hand come to rest on the top of his left shoulder.” Ooh la-la! In Shotwell’s version of history, the two musicians become lovers – even as Mozart is married to endearing Constanze. Their affair is a sad enchantment between two equally matched artists who know that their passion is as deep as it is doomed. The two burn so brightly for each other that finally Anna leaves Vienna for London because she can’t end it any other way. Anna Storache’s epic life reads itself like an opera: from a poor and struggling child, to rock star of Vienna’s glittering opera, and then: the dénouement. What good is a love story that doesn’t break your heart – just a little? We love a tragedy as much as we love a love story and in “Vienna Nocturne,” we get both. Cynthia Gregory writes book reviews, award-winning short stories and a blog. Visit her blog at or send email to her at

Aspiring singers and actors have a chance to show what they have on stage as the Clayton Theater Company holds auditions for its fall show, “A Trip Down Broadway.” Auditions are July 20 from noon to 6 p.m. and July 21 from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at Endeavor Hall. Call-backs will be from 6:30 to 10 p.m. on July 22. No appointment is neces-

sary to audition, but actors should come prepared to sing 32 bars of a Broadway show. They are also asked to bring their own music, and if they haven’t auditioned before, a head shot and resume. An accompanist will be provided. Actors can also do a cold read from the script. More information about the audition, as well as audition forms, can be found on the Audition tab at

Direct questions to Beth Neudell at 925-381-1615. The auditions follow a successful first year for CTC, capped by the second Dine Out Fundraiser at Pavilion Bar and Grill on June 30. The CTC is also supported by a grant from the Clayton Business and Community Association. For more information go to

Cabaret performance brings Sondheim to Pleasanton theatre Experience the music of the great American musical composer, Stephen Sondheim when Society Cabaret brings “Sing a Song of Sondheim,” to the intimate cabaret-style surroundings of P l e a s a n t o n’s F i r e h o u s e Arts Center in a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. on July 27 “Sing a Song of Sondheim” brings selections from this prolific composer’s greatest works, including “West Side Story,” “Company,” “Sweeney Todd,” “and “Follies.” Described by Frank Rich of the New York Times as “now the greatest and perhaps bestknown artist in the American musical theater,” Sondheim is the winner of an Academy Award, eight Tony Awards, eight Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and the Laurence Olivier Award. G. Scott.

For ticket information, call the box office at 925.931.4848. The

Firehouse Arts Center is at 4444 Railroad Ave., Pleasanton.


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Clayton Pioneer •

July 11, 2014

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Thinking about cooking up a quick Asian stir-fry or entrée? Try something new and different from the Asian producers at the farmers’ market. They offer everything from leafy greens, herbs, and long beans, to Japanese eggplant, squash, daikon radish, Chinese broccoli and bok choy. Try one of the big opo, or bottle gourd, squash. It is obviously bottle-shaped, varies from a light green to chartreuse and is usually harvested when 10 to 12 inches long. The white meat holds several edible white seeds and offers a mild flavor reminiscent of a lemony blend of summer squash and

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lipped flowers. Colors differ depending on the variety. Salvia leucantha Purple has a purple flower with a purple calyx. Salvia leucantha Purple & White has a purple flower with a white calyx. This year, Salvia leucantha Pink was introduced. The spike and bloom is almost white and the calyx is pink. As Salvia leucantha matures it can reach three- to five-feet tall and wide. Several years ago a dwarf selection called Santa Barbara was introduced, unfortunately this variety did not read its own label and it too grows well into the three-by-three-foot range. Mexican Sage is both deer and gopher tolerant. For those of us that garden where deer and gophers are a problem, this is seriously good news. From July through October growers enjoy the flower spikes of Mexican Sage. Mexican Sage is a great perennial to incorporate in a landscape to extend the flower power of an area. Use as a companion to earlier bloomers like Moonshine Yarrow, Santa Barbara Daisies and Spanish




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July 11, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Officers take a swing at curbing youth violence and delinquency

Page 17


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LAURY OLSON Special to the Pioneer

Past and present Clayton police officers are preparing to take to the greens in the annual Contra Costa Kops for Kids Golf Classic, which will again be held at the Oakhurst County Club in Clayton on Monday, Sept. 15. Police Chief Chris Thorsen, former Police Chief Dan Lawrence, and officers Allen White and Allan Pike from the Clayton Police Department are long-time supporters of the event, which supports the charitable efforts of Kops For Kids. Contra Costa Kops for Kids is a group of active and retired police officers who work to help prevent violence, drug abuse, and juvenile delinquency in Contra Costa County. All proceeds from the Kops for Kids Golf Classic will go to support at-risk youth in Contra Costa County. Two of Kops for Kids’ primary programs for assisting youth are the Kops for Kids Youth Mentoring Program and the Positive Mental Attitude Seminars and Sports Clinics Program. Volunteer officers who mentor a single youth are offered grants of up to $250, and up to $1,000 in grants are provided for a group of four or more. Kops for Kids has awarded more than $120,000 in youth

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Use a low number if you are in good health and sedentary, use a higher number if your under stress, pregnant or recovering from an illness, or if you are consistently doing intense weight and endurance training. For example, a 154-pound male who is a consistent exerciser and lifts weights: • 154lbs divided by 2.2 = 70kg • 70 kg times 1.5 = 105 gm protein/day Another way to calculate how much protein you need is by using daily calorie intake and the percentage of calories that will come from protein. To do this you will need to know how many calories your body needs in a day. First find out what your Basal Metabolic Rate. Next, figure out how many calories your burn through activity daily and add the number to your BMR. This gives you an estimate of how many calories you need to maintain your current weight. Then figure out what percentage of your diet comes from protein. The percentage you choose is based on your goals, fitness level, age, body


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POLICE CHIEF CHRIS THORSEN (LEFT), FORMER POLICE CHIEF DAN LAWRENCE, and Officers Allen White and Allan Pike from the Clayton Police Department prepare for the Contra Costa Kops for Kids Golf Classic to be held Sept. 15, 2014 at the Oakhurst Country Club in Clayton.

mentoring grants over the life of the program. “We believe we are making a difference in the lives of some of these youth,” Chief Thorsen said. “Many of these youth come from difficult environments where positive role models simply do not exist.” The Positive Mental Attitude Seminars and Sports Clinics programs, which are offered at no charge to local schools, reached 6,242 youth during the 2013-14 school year — the highest number in the history of

Fitness, from page 16 require more protein but any more than the recommended daily allowance (RDA) won’t necessarily help build more muscle. Three groups of bodybuilders were studied, one lowprotein group, one moderateprotein group, and one highprotein group, and found that there were no effects varying protein intake had on lean body mass. Essentially, the more you exercise, the greater your protein needs will be. However, taking in excess or doubling your protein intake won’t necessarily help build muscle. Here is how to calculate your protein needs: 1 weight in pounds divided by 2.2 = weight in kg. 2 weight in kg. times (0.8-1.8 gm/kg) = protein grams.

Rochelle Douglass

type and metabolic rate. Most experts recommend your protein intake to be between 15 and 30 percent. When you have determined your desired percentage, multiply that percentage by the total number of calories for the day. For example, in a 140-pound female, calorie intake equals

the program. When the program first began more than 18 years ago, officers hoped to reach a few hundred youth per year. “There is a tremendous need for our services in Contra Costa County,” Chief Thorsen said. “The more we can do to support Kops for Kids, the more the organization can do to assist young people in our community.” The cost for attending the Golf Classic is $175 per golfer or $675 for a foursome. The

1,800 and protein equals 20 percent: • 1800 times .20 = 360 calories from protein. Since one gram of protein equals four calories, divide protein calories by four. • 360 divided by 4 = 90 grams of protein a day.

package includes green fees and cart, brunch, prizes and awards, tee package and golf cap, awards reception, dinner, and a no host bar. The format is fourperson scramble/handicap, and awards will be presented for a putting contest, the longest drive, most accurate drive, closest to the hole, and the Vegas hole. There will also be a holein-one prize. Registration begins at 10:30 a.m., and the awards reception will be held at 5:30 p.m.



For more information on the 2014 Contra Costa Kops for Kids Golf Classic, visit, or call 925827-1998.

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Ilima Heuerman holds multiple fitness certifications. She trains at Levity Fitness studio in Clayton. Email Ilima at

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Page 18

Clayton Pioneer •

July 11, 2014

For surfaces, leave no stone unturned JENNIFER LEISCHER

DESIGN & DÉCOR If you’ve recently remodeled a significant surface in your home, like your kitchen or bathroom countertops, the face of your fireplace or even a decorative wall in your bathroom, you’ve probably participated in the chore of selecting granite, marble, travertine or limestone. I say chore, because even though it’s a really interesting outing to visit a slab yard and see these beautiful works of art that nature has designed one feldspar, quartz or mica at a time, the task of narrowing down hundreds of slabs down to the one, two or three that is required for your project can honestly feel like searching for the golden needle in the haystack. No need to stress or panic, just look for slabs that speak to you. Look for slabs that have your colors. Look for slabs that you can live with on a daily basis.



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texture that roughs up the face of the stone. Whichever texture you choose, make sure the feeling of the stone fits the task at hand, and of course, your decorative comfort level. IMPERFECTION IS PERFECT During your stone search, it’s important to remember that granite, marble, travertine and limestone are not man-made. Nature takes great care in making these beautiful works of art. When searching for natural stone, go in with the mindset that what you see is what you get. Stone can be very quiet and neutral with soft cloudy patterns, and can also be very wild and bold, showing big areas of contrasting colors and veining. During your search, think of the stone as somewhat of an art piece, in the same way you would purchase an area rug for a living room. As you build your colors from that rug, do the same with the stone slab. Embrace the intri-

FEEL YOUR STONE You might be surprised to learn that you have some choices when it comes to stone texture. Yes the good ole standards still remain, polished and honed, but as you’re out and about shopping for stone, take some time to “feel” some of the other options. Consider a leather finish that has a very similar feeling to rippling suede. Or a tumbled finish has the look and feel of very aged stone with pits and grooves and worn down, tumbled edges. Maybe try a more industrial finish like a brushed or sandblasted

cate veins, the cloudy patterns and the big splotches of color. Mix, match and coordinate Sometimes it’s hard to just pick one stone, so why not pick two? If you’re working on a kitchen project, consider one slab for the perimeter countertops and a contrasting slab for the island. Or, in the bathroom, try one slab for the vanity countertop and one slab for the back of the shower wall for a decorative and unexpected design detail. And remember, most of the slabs that you are viewing in the slab yard can also be purchased as sheets of tile mosaics. For example, consider using subway-shaped Carrera marble for your backsplash with Black Impala granite countertops. The result? Classic, chic, and timeless. 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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JUL 11 Clayton Pioneer 2014  
JUL 11 Clayton Pioneer 2014