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Neighborhood Patrol program bids farewell to founder, seeks new volunteers

From the desk of...

July 21, 2017


CARINA ROMANO Pioneer Staff Intern

Laura HoffMeiSTer


City moving forward on many street repairs

Over the last couple years, the City Council has worked to prioritize areas for road repavement, repairs and intersection improvements. The Great Recession severely impacted our ability to have sufficient funds for many needed projects. But with slow local economic recovery and the passage of Measure Q local sales tax, the City Council has begun to move forward on many projects. There are still more needs than funds allow, but I will update you on the many projTamara Steiner/Concord Pioneer ects recently completed or INSPIRED BY HIS SERVICE IN THE MILITARY POLICE AND POST-MILITARY LAW ENFORCEMENT, Concord resident Doug Schuster underway. saw a need for a corps of volunteers to bring more police presence to the community. Now, finally retiring in Federal transportation earnest, Schuster is hoping his experience will encourage others to step up and volunteer for Neighborhood Patrol. funds were used for repaving sections of Concord Boulevard, Arnold Industrial Way, Oak Grove Road and Salvio Street. The latter included new sidewalk on the north side, buffered bike lanes and

See Mayor, page 9

City approves two-year budget, with eye toward the future PEGGY SPEAR Concord Pioneer

They are the friendly faces in uniform you see walking through the park, stopping to say hello and making you feel a little bit safer. They are the volunteers who are more than happy to watch over your house while you are on vacation, keeping an eye out for suspicious activity so that you can relax on the beach with peace of mind. And they are the ones who drive through your neighborhood in black and white volunteer patrol cars, helping to keep our community safe. They are the Concord Police Department’s Neighborhood Patrol. The Neighborhood Patrol is a volunteer program that assists officers with critical tasks in order to help the police department function and keep Concord a safe place to live. The program was put

See Patrol, page 7

Matteo’s Dream celebrates ten-year anniversary JOHN T. MILLER Correspondent

The Bay Area Lions clubs and the city of Concord hosted a celebration marking the 10-year anniversary of Matteo’s Dream, one of the first playgrounds in the Bay Area for children of all abilities. Liz Lamach had the idea for the park after she and partner Rene Henderson adopted Matteo, who was blind, had cerebral palsy and a digestive disorder. “I had to carry him into parks, and I wondered why there could be no place where he could play alongside his cousins,” Lamach recalled. Last Friday’s event featured a visit from Lions International first vice president Gudrun Yngvadottir, who is set to become the first female presi-

Two phrases have been bantered about in Concord’s finance circles in the past few years: “balanced budgets” and “Measure Q.” That is no different for the two-year budget cycle that kicked off July 1, as the city approved nearly $100 million expense plans for the fiscal years 2016-’17 and 2017-’18 that are balanced, albeit precariously, on the shoulders of Measure Q – the half-cent sales tax voters extended in 2014. In 2016-’17, the city plans an $84,766,000 revenue plan, aided by $7.5 million from Measure Q funds for a total of $92,266,000. Next year, it increases to $92.8 million, with the same assistance from the sales tax measure. Unfortunately, the long-term look is a bit gloomier, as the sales tax is set to expire in 2025. That will leave shortfalls of up to $13 million due to rising pension costs. Concord finance director Karan Reid made that fact glaringly evident in budget reports, which she unveiled in May and THE STARSHIP ROBOT was greeted were approved June 27. with a round of applause when In the 10-year forecast, it delivered the gavel to Mayor

dent of the international group next year. She praised the efforts of Lamach and the local Lions clubs. “One woman with one disabled child has a dream that comes true and benefits others around the world,” she said. In 2001, Lamach shared her idea in an interview with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department and caught the attention of current mayor Laura Hoffmeister. She was told she needed to build this park, and the city let her choose where it would go. Lamach, who was born in Concord and grew up playing at Hillcrest Park, decided to build an all-inclusive park there. But time after time, she was told that it couldn’t be done. After exhausting local sources, she finally found a

See Matteo page 17

John T. Miller

LIZ LAMACH AND HER PARTNER RENE HENDERSON FRAME A LIFE-SIZE PHOTO of their son Matteo at the celebration last week. Matteo was able to enjoy the park for four years before passing away in 2011.

Autonomous delivery bots to roll into town

See Budget, page 9

Laura Hoffmeister at the July 11 Council meeting

TAMARA STEINER Concord Pioneer

The City Council signed off last week on a year-long pilot program with Starship Technologies to begin using 12 driverless robots to deliver groceries, food and small parcels in a 4-mile radius of downtown. The Personal Delivery Devices are already in use in Washington D.C., the UK and several European cities with test centers closer to home in Sunnyvale, Redwood City and San Carlos. “This is the heart of Silicon Valley, the technology hub, and I’m excited about Concord being a part of that,” said Mayor Laura Hoffmeister. “Starships’s decision to seek

Concord as a pilot city…shows that Concord is friendly to new business concepts and supports Concord’s position as a leader in autonomous technology development,” said Economic Development Specialist Pedro Garcia in his staff report. The PDD made its first public appearance in Concord at the July 11 council meeting, where it rolled down the center aisle to deliver the gavel to mayor Laura Hoffmeister. “What’s its name,” she asked Garcia, who said it didn’t have one. Council member Ron Leone took up the challenge and quickly came up with the acronym SPOT, for “special personal operating transport,” he said with a grin.

SPOT weighs 25 lbs and can travel up to 4 mph on six wheels using sidewalks and crosswalks on routes pre-mapped by the nine on-board cameras. When an order is placed with a participating business, SPOT is dispatched from its docking station to pick up the order. Customers pay online and can track the order with their smart phones. SPOT will send a text when it rolls up to its destination. During the pilot project, the robots will have a “human handler” at all times, either accompanying them on deliveries or monitoring remotely. Eventually, SPOT will “learn” the city, traffic patterns and obstacles and will operate with only remote monitoring. The robots are equipped

with alarms and sirens. If a thief tries to grab one, a siren will sound and police will track it within minutes. Starship boasts a 100 percent safety track record, said company spokesman David Catania. “In 40,000 miles traveled and 7 million human interactions in 73 countries, we’ve not had a single issue of foul play.”


Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . .13

Community . . . . . . . . . . .2

From the desk of . . . . . .8 Schools . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14

Performing Arts . . . . . .12


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Concord Pioneer •

In Brief...

Learn how city runs at fall class

Learn more about your city at Concord Community Institute, a 7-session workshop where you will meet with elected officials and city staff for lively discussions and interactive activities to see how the city operates and how decisions are made. The course runs Sept. 16 to Oct. 21. The first and last sessions will be on a Saturday during the day while the remaining five sessions will be Thursdays, 6 to 9 p.m. At the first session, staff will present an Introduction to Government at the Civic Center, followed by lunch and a bus tour of the city. The next five sessions will meet from 6 to 9 p.m. at various city facilities. Topics include public safety, the Concord Naval Weapons Station Reuse Plan and city economic development efforts, community services, budgeting and finance, and the development review process. There is no fee to attend, but applicants must be at least 18 years of age and live, work, or own a business in Concord. Space is limited. The deadline for applications is Aug. 18 at 5 p.m. For more information or to apply online, visit or contact Deputy City Clerk Marsha Moore, 925.671.3085 to request an application

4th of July an all day celebration

July 4 celebrations began early with the annual Stars and Stripes 5K run and the Concord Rotary Club’s pancake breakfast, followed by the traditional July 4 parade. This year, Grand Marshall of the parade was the Easy Mile driverless shuttle signifying Concord’s pride in being only one of 10 autonomous testing sites in the nation. The July 4 Festival with activities and rides followed the parade and the day wrapped up with fireworks at Mt. Diablo High School.

Contributed photo

CVCHS senior Dylan White, 17, finished first overall ahead of 1247 runners competing in the annual Stars and Stripes 5k run.

AHA! moment for City Council

The California Retired Teachers Association invites all educators from the Concord area to their next luncheon from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wed., Aug. 2 at the Pleasant Hill Community Center, 320 Civic Drive, Pleasant Hill. Featured speaker is State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson. $25. Call Lorrie at 925.937.2898 or email before July 24.

Tamara Steiner/Concord Pioneer

aHa! Ceo Debbie Smith and Mayor Laura Hoffmeister

Continued next page

Mayor Laura Hoffmeister officially proclaimed the month of July as AHA! Month in Concord in recognition of AHA! (Anti-Hazing Awareness) Movement. AHA! Movement is a non-profit organization founded by Debbie Smith in memory of her son’s death in 2005 resulting from a hazing incident while pledging a fraternity. AHA!’s research has found that 67 percent of college students experience hazing when pledging or joining a club—even if their school does not condone hazing practices— and 47 percent of students are hazed even before college. -Carina Romano

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food, art, music, dance, martial arts and family activities are on the docket at the 61st annual Diablo Japanese american Summer festival presented on the aug. 12-13 weekend at the Japanese Cultural Center. The free event is held from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. both days at the Cultural Center, 3165 Treat Blvd.

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While Councilman and event co-chair Tim McGallian was busy seeing to details, his grandmother, mother-in-law and mom were selling tickets for the afternoon festival. from left, Bernice Matoza, Louise Gee and Marsha McGallian.

61st Diablo Japanese American Summer Festival

Teachers Luncheon

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State OKs $3.5 million for GoMentum July 21, 2017

Concord Pioneer •

Concord test site also makes plans with Netherlands BEV BRITTON Concord Pioneer

The state Legislature approved $3.5 million in funding for Concord’s GoMentum Station, the largest secure autonomous vehicle test site in the country. “The work that GoMentum is doing will produce technological breakthroughs that will enable us to provide safer, more efficient transportation in our cities while also protect-

ing our environment,” said Assemblyman Tim Grayson. “California should continue to lead the world in transportation innovation, and I am proud that this measure was adopted.” GoMentum is a public-private partnership between Contra Costa County, the city of Concord and Stantec. The station allows the public and private sectors to explore innovative technology that will help redefine transportation over the coming decades. “This allocation will help leverage private sector dollars and create partnerships to promote autonomous vehicle technologies resulting in smart

jobs in Contra Costa and California,” noted Randy Iwasaki, executive director of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA). Meanwhile, CCTA is partnering with the Netherlands to use the GoMentum Station to move the smart e-mobility market forward. Representatives from CCTA and the Netherlands met on July 7 to sign a letter of intent to test autonomous vehicles at the 5,000-acre site on the former naval weapons station. “Innovation knows no boundaries,” Iwasaki said. “As the managing entity for GoMentum Station, CCTA is excited to partner with the

Netherlands and its Coast-toCoast e-Mobility Program for research and testing.” Peter van Deventer, a diplomatic liaison, said Coast-toCoast e-Mobility is excited about the partnership. “GoMentum and CCTA are leaders in the world of autonomous transportation testing and are very successful in stimulating smart emobility innovation,” he said. “They also are strongly focused on research and development.” The Coast-to-Coast Smart E-Mobility, a public-private partnership, aims to promote knowledge and innovation exchange between Dutch and U.S. governments, universities and companies. The goal is to

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In Brief...

strengthen bilateral relations between decision-makers and to help position private organizations in relevant smart emobility markets. This partnership is just one of several actions taken by California and Dutch agencies since 2013 in an effort to advance innovation to combat climate change. The Netherlands and California have committed to stringent climate change action programs to meet or exceed 2050 goals in terms of greenhouse gas reductions, sustainable energy generation and transport safety. For more information, visit

Dealing with the face of democracy The City Council is where you can put your hand on the face of democracy. You may want to slap it at times and it can be rather ugly, but nevertheless it is where you can directly confront the people who will be making policy decisions that will have an immediate impact on your lives: what you can build and where, what are the priorities of the police, the roads that get repaired or the parks that get new play structures. In a recent survey of about 200 people at, I asked if people believed they could make a difference in the course of what their city does. Fifty-two percent agreed, while 39.9 percent disagreed and 18.1 percent neither agreed nor disagreed. This was the same basically for Concord residents and nonConcord residents (about 10



percent of the group). I found it encouraging that people feel empowered. Certainly, determined individuals and small groups have made a difference in the course of what the city does by casting light on new concerns and issues. Kids basically started the skate park. The vocal group Bike Concord





Entertainer’s Delight — Fabulous 4 bed, single-story home situated on a court. Approx 1,977 sq. ft. boasting 2 updated bathrooms, hardwood flooring and dual pane windows. Kitchen/Family combo with stainless steel appliances and gorgeous fireplace. Several entertaining area’s in the beautifully landscaped backyard including a sparkling pool. A 10! Sylvia Jones (925) 200-7491




has had an impact on escalating bike concerns, as have community advocacy groups fighting for this or that park. However, I found a different view when I asked: Do you believe that public comment at City Council affects the decision of the council? There was a significant split, with Concord residents being far more pessimistic. In Concord, 41.8 percent didn’t think public comment mattered, with 24.2 percent saying it did and 34 percent neither agreed nor disagreed. Only 28.6 percent of nonresidents thought public comments didn’t matter, while 35.7 said it did and 35.7 percent neither agreed nor disagreed. If people feel that they can make a difference in their city but are not confident that they can affect a decision by public comment, how do they exercise their influence on the city? The


Mayors’ Healthy Cookoff

and go over many of their questions in advance so they have a better understanding of the issues. Sometimes those questions are repeated at the meeting, and the staff echoes the responses previously given in private because the council member wants the public to better understand why they are voting one way or the other. So while it may seem like the council is simply going along with the staff, there actually was significant vetting beforehand. One of the best ways to influence a council member is through a one-on-one meeting to go over your concerns. All of us can be reached by email, but I have always found that the old fashioned face-to-face over a cup of tea or coffee is the best. To arrange a meeting with me, email or call 510.812.8180 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.



Black Diamond — This 3 bed/2.5 bath duet has impressive cathedral ceilings and has been updated with fresh designer paint, newer carpet, modern brushed nickel hardware and light fixtures. The gorgeous living room has soaring ceilings, plenty of light and a gas burning fireplace. There is an adjoining formal dining room and a grand staircase with platform. Michelle Gittleman (925) 768-0352 Cal BRE# 01745325



Westmoreland — Charming 3 bedroom 2 bath home nestled in quiet neighborhood. Spacious family/kitchen combo light and bright. Approximately 1366 sq feet of living space on a 11,500 sq foot lot. Stunning pool for entertaining with mature landscape and a vegetable garden. Call for details. 2016 Top Producer Sylvia Jones (925) 200-7491 Cal BRE#01331733




Casey Glen — Single-story 4 bedroom, 3 bath home with 3 car garage. One bed and bath on opposite side of house, perfect for inlaw set up. Approx 2118 square feet with fresh paint and plantation shutters. Sunny kitchen with garden window and pantry. Great backyard on a quarter acre lot near walking trails.

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Canyon Creek — Gorgeous, light filled home with custom travertine tile work throughout. Soaring ceilings, hardwood and tile flooring. Gourmet kitchen with 6 burner Viking stove, double oven and island. Marble fireplace in family room, inside laundry room and formal dining. Great location, across from park and tennis courts.


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Sterling Preserve — Gorgeous single story home on a quarter acre with courtyard entrance. Open floor plan with oversized windows allowing wonderful lighting. Gourmet kitchen w/ island, walkin & butlers pantries, breakfast bar & granite counters. 4 bed/3 bath with private backyard with oversized spa with fountain.

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California Square — Beautiful 4 bedroom home with 2 full baths, including a remodeled main bath. Sunken living room and family room with brick fireplace and access to the backyard with a huge patio. Eat in kitchen with gas range, double oven and tile counters. Light & bright with hardwood floors and dual pane windows. RV Access and a 2 car garage complete this great property The Lynne French Team



Wellness City Challenge in partnership with the city of Concord and the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association announce the Ninth Annual Contra Costa County Mayors’ Healthy Cookoff Challenge on July 27. Mayors from the county and chefs from their cities compete Iron Chef style to prepare the best healthy meal. County supervisors and other local leaders judge. 4 – 7 p.m. during Music and Market at Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord.



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The city of Concord and the American Red Cross are partnering to host a blood drive on Tuesday, Aug. 22 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at John Muir Medical Center, Auditorium 1, 2540 East St., Concord. To schedule an appointment, go to and enter sponsor code: Concord or call 800.733.2767. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification, are required at check in. Must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in generally good health to be eligible to donate blood. For more information, contact Concord’s Emergency Services and Volunteer Manager, Margaret Romiti, at 925.671.3184.


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ballot box is a possible answer. But in the last election – a presidential race with a 72 percent turnout – less than half of those who voted for president voted for anyone for City Council. In the 2014 election, which featured the governor’s race at the top, there was about 50 percent turnout overall and again a drop off in attention to the City Council races. There have been some significant shifts due to public comment on some major issues, but people remember most when they do not get their way. However, the overall number of agenda issues are some of the more mundane items that have already built up a lot of momentum from either staff or prior discussions in the public. It should also be remembered that council members meet with the city manager every week before the meeting

Concord Blood Drive Aug. 22


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Clayton Woods — Gorgeous Cabin type home surrounded by mature trees. Spacious 5 bed, 3 bath home with floor to ceiling windows in living room, cathedral ceiling, family room with wood paneled wall and gorgeous laminated wood flooring. Kitchen with stainless steel apps & granite counters. Backyard perfect for entertaining with patios, gardens and grass area.

Assisting More Buyers & Sellers than Anyone Else* *Statistics based on Clayton/Concord and Contra Costa County Closed sales by volume (1/2014-12/31/2014). Data by Maxebrdi

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- Windermere Clayton!

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Concord Pioneer •

July 21, 2017

Progress made in transformation of Naval Weapons Station JOHN T. MILLER Correspondent

The Concord Reuse Project on the former Naval Weapons Station passed two important milestones in the past month, making progress on the community’s vision for a vibrant new development. The city of Concord and FivePoint, which is managing the project for developer Lennar, hosted the second community workshop on June 17 at the Concord Senior Center. City staff, FivePoint and master planner Hart Howerton spoke to more than 230 Concord residents. The next Tuesday, the development’s Community Advisory Committee met at the Concord Council cham-

bers. CAC members were impressed by the work that has gone into the community workshops and framework plan, showing how the project can successfully integrate with existing neighborhoods. The plan is the outcome of years of community input, the City Council’s approved Area Plan, multiple CAC meetings and community workshops where residents shared their hopes for the reuse project. The community stressed jobs and economic development, retail and entertainment, open space, parks and convenient access to transportation. “Collaborating with the community and the city of Concord has been a constructive experience,” said Kofi Bonner, regional president of

Northern California for FivePoint. “We are looking forward to delivering the world-class community that all envision.” That vision includes a variety of features that residents were asked to weigh in on, such as a tournament sports park, green space, transportation and traffic safety considerations, energy efficiency, a campus, a village center, community facilities, schools and a Transit-Oriented Development surrounding the North Concord BART Station. The city will develop the sports park, which will host tournaments for events like soccer, lacrosse or baseball. The city plans to hire a consultant to help design and develop the concept. They will then explore funding options.

The reuse project will also implement the Bicycle, Pedestrian and Safe Routes to Transit Plan, which envisions Concord as a community where bicycling, walking and transit can serve the needs of all users. The plan outlines a strategy to further develop a safer and more comfortable pedestrian and bicycling network. The city would like to attract a CSU type campus or a private university to allow for associated uses like research and development. The Area Plan estimates the eventual need for six public schools: four elementary, one middle and one high school. These would be based on Mt. Diablo Unified School District standards. Phase one calls for a K-8 school. Lennar/FivePoint will work with MDUSD to determine the location and whether it will be two separate schools (K-5 and 6-8) or one school with multiple wings.

As part of phase one, the TOD is planned for more than 60 acres of high-density development around the North Concord BART Station. The Village Center is proposed to front Mt. Diablo Creek to maximize enjoyment of this natural feature and greenway trails, while also bringing it closer to the tournament park and campus site. This would minimize traffic and encourage walking or biking. “We are really impressed with how thoughtful and considerate the community has been in their input and the concern they have for the future of Concord,” Bonner said. Lennar/Five Point will be refining their proposed Specific Plan framework, including phase one, for city review in mid-September. Guy Bjerke, director of reuse planning for Concord, said city staff will evaluate

Lennar/Five Point’s preferred Specific Plan framework against the goals and principles in the adopted Reuse Area Plan. Staff will provide recommendations to the CAC, Planning Commission and City Council in study sessions in September and early October. Community members will be able to review and provide feedback at a community workshop on Sept. 23. The next steps are to create an infrastructure plan and start the environmental review of the preferred framework and alternatives. The goal is to have a Specific Plan before the City Council in late 2018. Construction of phase one is slated to begin in a little less than three years and may last about 12 years. It will cover 500 acres and nearly 4,400 units of housing – 25 percent affordable – plus 1.7 million sq. ft. of commercial and a new school.

Concord man wins $750,000 from $10 lottery scratcher Day


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* Receive a $100 Reduced Refundable Deposit per person. Passengers that do not want the All-Inclusive Beverage package, alternative OBC amounts have been designated. Passengers booking sailings 6-9 days can receive $150 per person. Passengers booking sailings 10-12 days can receive $200 per person. Passengers booking sailings 12 or more days can receive $250 per person. Mixing and matching the All-Inclusive Beverage package and OBC is not allowed on the same booking. Both passengers 1 & 2 must have the same amenity. Part of the ©2017 Prin-cess Cruise Lines, Ltd. Ships of the Bermudan and British registry.

JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

Gonzalo Espinoza is a regular California Lottery player, usually buying his tickets at Pic N Pac Liquors on Willow Pass Road in Concord. Earlier this summer, his work schedule precluded him from getting to the store so he called his usual backup, his dad, to buy the tickets. As luck would have it, Espinoza’s dad also wasn’t available so he asked his brother if he could buy his scratchers. His luck turned when his brother’s purchase included a $10 Mystery Crossword Scratcher that was a $750,000 winner – the top prize for that lottery game. The Espinoza brothers recently went to lottery headquarters in Sacramento to pick up the winnings. Gonzalo Espinoza told lottery officials that the winning ticket was in his pocket 24/7 until they got to Sacramento. He added that he’d had a hard time sleeping due to the excitement of having such a valuable ticket. Like many winners, he declined to have any photos taken. He isn’t sure what he’s going to do with the winnings. “To tell you the truth, I still don’t know,” he said. “A lot has crossed my mind, but

-Jay Bedecarré

Pic N Pac Liquors on Willow Pass rd. next to PetSmart has always been a bustling spot for California Lottery sales. The store recently sold a winning $750,000 Mystery Crossword Scratcher to Concord resident Gonzalo espinoza. Pick N Pac owner aziz rowjani shows some the $10 Mystery Crossword Scratchers that he still has for sale.

I still don’t know.” While Espinoza is enjoying deciding what to do with his windfall, Pic N Pac owner Aziz Rowjani counts the winner simply as a lucky loyal customer. Lottery retailers receive one-half of one percent when they sell a winning ticket of $1 million or more.

Since this jackpot fell below that threshold Rowjani made about a nickel, which is what he earns for each $10 sale – whether it’s a winner or not. Rowjani says he doesn’t look at the commission he earns on lottery sales. Instead, selling lottery tickets “brings in customers” to his store. He estimates that about 70 percent of lottery buyers also make another purchase at Pic N Pac. Lottery spokesman Greg Parashak says in the 2016-17 fiscal year, Contra Costa County schools were paid about $21.5 million from lottery sales. Mt. Diablo Unified School District got $6,324,091 from the lottery in 2016. Other big lottery winners in Concord have included another $750,000 Mystery Crossword Scratcher to Hipolito Chino late last year. In 2015, there were two big winning tickets sold in Concord: Israel Martinez Sotero bought a $1 million Emerald 10’s Scratcher and Vasiliy Sholokhov and his sons, Danil and Vitaliy, bought a $1 million Powerball ticket. A $2 million Extravaganza Scratcher was sold in Concord to a winner who preferred to stay anonymous after claiming his prize in July 2010. In 2009, Pic N Pac sold a Fantasy 5 ticket worth $114,647.

July 21, 2017

Concord Pioneer •

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City gives green light to medical marijuana deliveries

Council opts for caution on new laws; survey will poll residents PEGGY SPEAR Concord Pioneer

On June 27, the city made a major change to its marijuana laws when it lifted a ban and will now allow deliveries of medical marijuana by licensed dispensaries to qualified patients in town. “By legalizing medical marijuana deliveries, the goal is to put safeguards in place to help improve the quality of the product available, increase access to medical marijuana to those in need of it and make the delivery experience safer and more predictable,” said Councilwoman Carlyn Obringer. It is hard to know how many patients in Concord are using medical marijuana products. A spokesperson for BUDDE, an Oakland-based dispensary, told the council during public comments that he had 330 clients from Concord. Councilman Edi Birsan estimates that 500-800 people need medical cannabis in the city. This is a victory of sorts for Birsan, who has been urging the council to lift the ban on home deliveries for several years without support from other council members. “I want to move forward on this,” Birsan said. “There are people suffering from shingles and cancer who are forced to drive to Richmond, Oakland and even San Jose just to get medical relief. Let’s help them.” The city of Concord has been weeding through the labyrinth of the Adult Use of

Marijuana Act (AUMA) passed by California voters in November 2016 and finding ways the state laws can help the city craft their own version. Other aspects of marijuana regulation remain murky, and the majority of the City Council wants to wait to see how the state interprets the AUMA before they jump in to approve marijuana dispensaries in the city. At the June meeting, the council agreed to a temporary ban on all marijuana uses and activities to allow the council and community time to explore its options and develop permanent regulations. There are more than 100 bills floating through the state Legislature that have to do with legalizing pot and its associated activities, said Michael Cass, the assistant city planner who made the presentation to the council. In determining its next steps, the council also decided to do a professional, statistically valid survey of the community to gauge how residents feel about the future of legal marijuana in Concord. One unanswered question is if there will be licensed dispensaries within city limits. Although common thought has been to put such places on the outskirts of town, a letter from the Concord Police Department said such businesses would be better off in “high traffic” areas, where they are safer and easier to police. Some such areas included the Park and Shop Center, streets near the Concord BART station and the Bel Air Center at Treat and Clayton roads. Those decisions are a ways away, much to Birsan’s chagrin. “Let’s do it now. It makes sense

financially,” he urged. “With three dispensaries, Richmond added $2 million a year to the city; Vallejo added $1.8 million … I’m looking down the road at our city budget and seeing a deficit in six to seven years. We need what we can make from medical marijuana now.” He also hopes no other city on this side of the Caldecott Tunnel approves dispensaries. “We want their business,” he noted, adding that businesses that start now could be “grandfathered in” or adopt the policies of the city once they are set. As usual, Birsan is a lone wolf in this battle. The other members of the council want to approach this more conservatively. “Overall, we’re trying to take the right approach,” said Councilman Tim McGallian. “We want to wait and see what the state is rolling out before we act prematurely.” He is a fan of the survey approach to gauge Concord residents’ feelings. “Even though 60 percent of Concord voters approved Proposition 64 last November, they all had different reasons for doing so.” McGallian says the city wants to avoid “legal nonconforming” uses, such as opening dispensaries now that won’t be “grandfathered” into new policies the city sets. He also says the state doesn’t even know how to tax it yet, so he does not know how the industry will fiscally impact Concord. Still, Birsan will urge that the city move faster. “If the marijuana is coming from licensed dispensaries, a couple of edibles are a lot safer than half a bottle of scotch,” he said.

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Since 1997, the Concord Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the city to honor businesses that contribute in a meaningful way to the city’s economic vitality. Deserving businesses qualify in a variety of areas, such as: • Longevity. • Major employers. • Major sales tax generators. • Innovative products or services. • Significant contributors to the community.

At the City Council meeting on July 11, we gave out three deserving awards. Elite Motor Cars has been in the city for about five years, building a stellar reputation by offering some of the finest luxury, pre-owned European vehicles in the East Bay. Selling more than 2,000 cars in the past five years, Elite is a major tax generator for the city. Elite’s customers are not only locals, but they also serve Silicon Valley executives, music entertainers, professional athletes and members of the iPhone product design team at Apple. Elite has supported the city’s new marketing initiative, Concord VIBE, by collaborating with the city at the January VIBE launch party. The Big C Athletic Club was recognized for its longevity in the community and significant business growth. Big C has been a staple in Concord for nearly 40 years, and the club recently undertook its most significant reinvestment and renovation by investing about $2 million into its facility. The gym has gone through a complete makeover and houses state-of-the-art training equipment, with a new room for college and professional athletic training aimed at attracting top athletes in the region. Big C has about 2,400

July 21, 2017

Chamber honors local businesses that take the lead

Pizza headquarters, which has been in Concord for about 14 years. Round Table Pizza was founded in 1959 in Menlo Park and has become a West Coast tradition, with about 450 restaurants today. Round Table prides itself on freshness, innovation and craveable flavors. Round Table’s headquarters in Concord employs about 70 people, and the company employs an additional 2,300 people in its 70 corporate-owned restaurants. Round Table Pizza has introaward winning businesses were presented with certificates duced one of its newest restaurant concepts in Conat the Council meeting July 11. from left: Jim robertson, VP of Human resources and franchise Services round cord, the Round Table ClubTable Pizza; alex Lowry, owner elite Motor Cars; Concord house. The clubhouse has all mayor Laura Hoffmeister; Marilyn fowler, President/Ceo the original favorite pizzas, Concord Chamber of Commerce; Michael Ghiorso, execu- plus an expanded menu with tive Director of The Big C athletic Club and Brad Buchholz, half-pound burgers and appeGeneral Manager of The Big C athletic Club. tizers, along with a remodeled interior with a pub area, members from across the Bay Chamber and has also arcade and party rooms with Area and as far away as Sacra- worked closely with Concord big screen TVs and lots of mento. What makes Big C VIBE. The business was feaspace to have fun. unique are the relationships tured in the VIBE marketing built with members and the video “East Bay Athletics,” If you would like to learn more welcoming and unique space which won a bronze Telly about the Concord Chamber of they’ve created. Award. Commerce and how it can assist your Big C has been a longtime The final business business, call Fowler at member of the Concord acknowledged is Round Table 925.685.1181.

Concord Disposal’s new name reflects recycle-reuse efforts The local garbage company has come a long way since it began in the 1930s as a one-truck garbage route in the country town of Concord. The business has developed into one of the few remaining local, familyowned recycling, disposal and hauling companies in Northern California. As of July 1, Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery is the new name for Concord Disposal Service, Pittsburg Disposal Service, Oakley Disposal Service, Rio Vista Sanitation Service, Discovery Bay Disposal Service and

Brentwood Disposal Service. “While we will have a new name, we will continue to provide the same excellent service,” says Nicole Garaventa Impagliazzo, community relations director. “Everything we do is designed to recover, recycle and reuse as much material as possible to benefit the environment and keep renewable items out of the landfill,” she adds. “We are changing our company name to better reflect our environmental goals.” The recycling center and transfer station facility at 1300 Loveridge Road in

Pittsburg will soon bear the name Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery Park. The facility will continue to operate a state-of-the-art recycling and education facility, composting, construction and demolition recycling operations and a transfer station, which will still sort out materials otherwise destined for the landfill. “In everything we do, it is the goal of Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery to keep as much renewable and recyclable materials as possible out of the landfill to benefit the communities we serve,” Impagliazzo says.

Personal hot spot keeps you connected even in wilderness I was in the middle of nowhere on a brief but welldeserved vacation, and I needed to use the Internet to do some research for my computer article. All I had was my cell phone and a laptop that couldn’t get a WiFi connection, but I needed to connect to do my work. (Such dedication is rare.) The surroundings were spectacular as we camped by the shores of Lake Siskiyou, right outside Mt. Shasta City at the base of Mt. Shasta. I wonder: Is camping in a self-contained RV

really camping and can you call having no Internet and no TV roughing it? Anyway, there I was with no way to research my article and my deadline was approaching. Then it hit me. I could use my cell phone to create a hot spot and connect my laptop to it. Presto – I had the Internet. I researched several article topics and surfed the web for facts and figures, but I just couldn’t decide on a topic. Then it hit me again. My topic was right there in front of

Joe Ronco/Owner 925-872-3049

35 years Clayton/ Concord resident Lic#844344

me. I must have been mesmerized by the splendor of the great outdoors, or perhaps it was the rum and Cokes. If you need to connect your laptop to the Internet and you don’t have a WiFi network like the one at home or in your office, you can create your own network with a cell phone. First, be sure you can make a cell call, which is likely as cell towers are everywhere these days. Your cell call actually operates on a separate network like Verizon or TMobile, etc., instead of Comcast or your provider. If this connection (cell call) is available, you can share it with your laptop/desktop. Find the settings (or options) on your cell phone that let you configure the phone. Most phones these days will allow you to create a shared WiFi for “Internet sharing.” It is turned off by default, meaning it is usually off. Click it to turn it on. Usually a message will pop up, or the screen will display your choices. Then it will show you the name of the new WiFi network you activated. Mine was NOKIA Lumia 635_9676 because I have a Nokia phone;



yours may say Android or Apple, etc. It then displayed my password to the network. Fire up your laptop and search for a new network with the name the phone just gave you. Input the password displayed on your cell phone and, like magic, your laptop is now connected to the Internet. Beware of two things, though. First, if there is an option to exclude other computers from the network you just created, you should exclude them. Second, all the web surfing you do is on your cell phone dime. So if you don’t have unlimited access, it could get costly. Now, with the Internet firmly in hand, you can call yourself a happy camper. William Claney is an independent tech writer and former owner of Computers USA in the Clayton Station. Email questions or comments to

July 21, 2017

Concord Pioneer •

Maintain home to help avoid allergies

Q: All my allergies are aggravating me this year. What steps should I take in my new home to help alleviate symptoms? A: Millions of Americans suffer from seasonal allergies, but there are things you can do to help keep culprits out of your home.

Dust and vacuum frequently. Avoid using a dry cloth or feather duster, as they tend to push allergens back into the air. Clean hard surfaces, floors and window shades/blinds weekly with treated dust rags, damp mops or damp rags. Hardwood, tile and linoleum flooring are ideal for chronic allergy sufferers. But if a home has carpet, vacuum those areas weekly. Vacuum and wash rags regularly as well. Keep a healthy level of humidity. Dust mites and mold love moisture, so keeping humidity at 30-50 percent helps control them and other allergens. Use an exhaust fan when cooking, running the

LyNNe freNCH


dishwasher or bathing. Empty catch fans in your dehumidifier regularly. Update and cover bedding. Use anti-allergy pillow, mattress and box spring covers on all bedding. If you have feather or wool bedding, consider replacing with synthetic materials. Ensure proper ventilation. To combat indoor allergies such as mold, dust and animal hair, open windows and doors and turn on any fans to help blow away allergens. If outdoor allergies are a problem, close windows and rely on air conditioning or use pollen-

proof screens to combat pollen that might come in through open windows. Change air filters frequently to ensure that the HVAC system efficiently removes contaminates from the indoor air. The highest-quality filters, called HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters, can remove almost all particulates and contaminates. Also, install an air purification system.

Q: What are the latest design ideas for yard landscaping? A: This is the first time wireless/Internet connectivity is included in the top 10 project types, according to the 2017 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects. The top three most popular outdoor design elements are firepits/fireplaces (71.51 percent), wireless/Internet connectivity (70.77 percent) and lightening (67.83 percent). Sustainability is also a prior-

ity. The top landscape and garden elements are native plants (81.60 percent), low-maintenance landscapes (79.25 percent) and food/vegetable gardens, including orchards, vineyards, etc. (76.52 percent). Pergolas (50.33 percent), decks (41.35 percent), fencing (39.82 percent) and arbors (38.74 percent) are expected to be the most popular outdoor structures. The hottest sustainable design elements are native/adapted drought tolerant plants (82.31 percent), permeable paving (76.31 percent) and reduced lawn area (72.66 percent). The most popular outdoor recreation amenities for 2017 will include sports courts (42.38 percent), spa features (39.68 percent) and swimming pools (39.23 percent).

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 672-8787 or stop in at 6200 Center St., Clayton.

Senior centers provide key element for healthy aging CHriSTiNe KoGuT


“We do not quit playing because we grow old; we grow old because we quit playing.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

It’s worthwhile to become a member of your local senior center, because they help offer independence to aging adults. They also play an important role in the lives of elders today by encouraging them to become and/or remain social. Recognized by the Older Americans Act as a community

focal point, senior centers have become one of the most widely used services among America’s older adults. More than 11,400 senior centers serve more than a million seniors every day. Compared with their peers, participants have higher levels of health, social interaction and satisfaction in their daily lives. Research shows that older adults who participate in senior center programs can learn to manage and delay the onset of chronic disease and experience measurable improvements in physical, spiritual, emotional and mental well-being. A study by the California

Patrol, from page 1

into effect 20 years ago through the efforts of Doug Schuster, a Concord resident who has volunteered with the police department since he moved to Concord in 1995. Schuster led the patrol for almost 20 years before retiring on July 1. In total, Schuster has been involved in law enforcement for more than 63 years. TAKING A CUE FROM THE MILITARY

The idea for the Neighborhood Patrol came from Schuster’s 22 years of service in the U.S. military. He joined the Army in 1948 at the age of 17 and was assigned to the military police. His duties included patrolling civilian neighborhoods and providing necessary services to those who lived there. He remained in the military police for the entirety of his service, retiring as a highly decorated major in 1970. Schuster enjoyed two other careers in law enforcement before his arrival in Concord, spending four years with Burns International in San Francisco and then 20 years with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Retiring from the NRC in 1995, Schuster moved to Concord. In May of that year, he became a volunteer with the Concord Police Department. “I was somewhat of an unusual volunteer in that I had some 40 years of police

investigative experience,” says Schuster. In looking for something to do after retirement, he thought he had the most to offer the Concord PD. “I wanted to do something meaningful,” he notes. Soon after becoming a volunteer, Schuster broached the idea of a neighborhood patrol to his supervisors. His military patrol experiences were a big influence in this decision. Given the green light, Schuster visited seven police departments to gather ideas on patrol programs. “I knew that other departments, in bits and pieces, could have some of the ingredients that would be necessary,” Schuster explains. “I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel.” IN-DEPTH TRAINING PROGRAM

Once he gathered enough information, he and all involved got to work on the patrol’s design. The program went through several drafts before its approval, and the official Concord PD Neighborhood Patrol was launched on June 20, 1997. At the start, the patrol had 11 dedicated volunteers. “We are citizens helping citizens” is the phrase Schuster uses to describe the patrol – stressing that these volunteers are not police officers. He explains that the program is a link

Commission on Aging found that successful aging is more likely when individuals are more actively engaged in various pursuits. Senior centers are one of the most accessible, friendly and inexpensive places for programs and services that promote active engagement and enjoyment for older adults. Many senior centers also provide congregate meal programs to help meet the daily nutritional needs of participants. Healthy independent living for seniors is not only significant in reducing pressures on the nation’s health care system, caregivers and society but, most importantly, also helps

preserve dignity and enhance lives. The Concord Senior Center and Concord Senior Club both offer a wide range of activities that help keep members’ minds sharp and their bodies agile as they age. They are safe environments that stress the importance of friendships and staying active. Christine Kogut is a marketing director for the Concord Senior Citizens Club. She has lived in the area for 40 years and formerly worked for the Contra Costa Times. To find out more about the Concord Senior Center, call 925.671.3320 or see the city’s website at

Page 7

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Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market . . . . . . . . .(800) 949-3276 Financial, Insurance and Legal Services

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between the police and the residents of Concord, helping the police department become more accessible to the community. Upon selection, the first 11 volunteers had to complete 40 hours of training at academy classes. Today, that time has tripled to 130 hours. Volunteers learn how to be an additional set of “eyes and ears” for the department, as well as how to operate a police vehicle, perform first aid and CPR and much more related to their own safety and that of the community. In pairs, patrol volunteers keep an eye on the community by taking to the streets in black and white vehicles, with Volunteers in Police Services printed on the sides. “I feel it’s really giving back,” says Steve Glazier, a patrol volunteer of four years. “What we do keeps an officer from having to do it.” According to Schuster, the main goal of the Neighborhood Patrol is to not only offer service to the community but to help the police department as well. The patrol performs vital jobs within the department and the community that allow official officers to focus on other tasks. These important jobs include everything from bringing case reports to the district attorney’s office to responding in a citywide emergency. The mere presence of patrol volunteers is a deterrent for crime, Schuster notes.


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Since the patrol began, there has been an obvious difference within the community. “I’m seeing more and more waves,” Schuster says, referring to the community’s response to the patrol. Glazier agrees. “A lot of times, we’ll be driving through an area and people will wave just to say ‘Thank you. Thank you for what you do.’ ” After 20 years, the Neighborhood Patrol has become a necessary and valued part of the Concord PD. “We’ve made so much progress because of Doug and his tenacity and his leadership,” says volunteer manager Margaret Romiti, who oversees the department’s 60-plus volunteer programs. “We’ve made so much progress that now this program is a part of our agency.” The Neighborhood Patrol is actively looking for new volunteers to help keep the community safe. “It’s a fun experience, it’s a needed experience,” promises Schuster, “and I can’t think of a better way to serve the community.” Though Schuster is retired from the patrol, he still plans on being present within the PD as a consultant as well as to assist with training new volunteers. To find out more about joining the Neighborhood Patrol, contact Romiti at 925.671.3184.

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Page 8

F r om the desk o f . . .

Concord Pioneer •

July 21, 2017

’Tis the season to donate to backpack drives

KareN MiTCHoff



With summer in full swing, school seems so far away. But many parents in our community are worrying about the costs of school supplies on limited family income. Many community groups are working to meet the needs

of these families. The following drives are collecting backpacks for children in kindergarten through high school: Backpack Drive for Kids, Bay Area Crisis Nursery. Through July 22. Drop off at 1506 Mendocino Dr., Concord. The Crisis Nursery is also accepting gift card donations for this drive. or 925.685.3695. Project Ready-to-Learn Backpack Drive, VESTIA (Volunteer & Emergency Services Team in Action). Through Aug. 10. Drop off at East Bay Times, 175 Lennon

Ave., Suite 100, Walnut Creek; Diablo Valley Federal Credit Union, 1051 Detroit Ave., Suite A, Concord; and Kaiperm Diablo Federal Credit Union, 1600 St. Main St., Ground Floor, Walnut Creek. dy-to-learn/ or 925.521.5060. Back-2-School Backpack Drive 2017, Monument Crisis Center. Through Aug. 3. Drop off at Monument Crisis Center, 1990 Market St., Concord. or email Family Justice Backpack Project, Family Justice Center. Through Aug. 6. Family

Karen Mitchoff is Contra Costa County District IV supervisor. Email questions or comments to

Since I have described the processes for planning projects in previous articles, I thought it would be important to talk about the conditions of approval. Normally, all planning projects approved by the Planning Commission include conditions of approval. These conditions are essentially the culmination of all the work between the applicant and city staff before a project is presented

to the Planning Commission. The conditions of approval are brought to the Planning Commission through a staff report. Conditions of approval are the requirements placed on a project by city staff or the Planning Commission. Without these conditions, a project might not be in conformance with federal, state or local regulations. Conditions of approval hold the applicant accountable to the city and its residents. This document outlines the local, state and federal regulations that the applicant must follow and provides the city with a document to enforce those regulations. The conditions of approval are also important for resi-

dents who might be affected by the project. This is a tool that can be used by the Planning Commission or staff to help prevent or minimize the impacts a project might have on the city’s residents. An example is tree preservation. Let’s say an applicant wants to build a subdivision on a vacant lot where a couple of trees have been deemed as protected trees by city ordinance. A typical condition of approval would require measures to ensure the protected trees are preserved during project construction by requiring, among other things, installing protective fencing around the trees and having an arborist present during construction

Justice has the backpacks but is looking for supplies to fill them. Drop off at Family Justice Center Central Office, 2151 Salvio St., Suite 201, Concord. Packing event to fill the backpacks begins 1:30 p.m. Aug. 6 at Cornerstone Ministry Center, 390 North Widget Lane, Suite 130, Walnut Creek. Distribution event to give out the backpacks is 3 p.m. Aug. 21 the Family Justice Center Central Office. or 925.521.6366.

Some ideas for school supplies

• New backpack (not mini). • Three-ring binder. • College-rule spiral notebook. • Package of college-rule binder paper. • Package of No. 2 pencils. • Pencil eraser. • Pencil sharpener. • Pencil box. • Pens (blue or black ink). • Highlighters.

• Package of fine-line colored markers (no Sharpie, permanent markers). • Colored markers. • Crayons. • Box of colored pencils. • Pocket folders. • 12-inch ruler. • Glue sticks. • Scissors. • Non-graphing scientific calculator.

A look behind conditions of approval for city projects

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City staff or the Planning Commission can place conditions of approval to minimize parking impacts by requiring additional parking spaces to be secured at a nearby facility and/or by limiting the hours or other operational aspects of businesses to reduce parking demand. The examples provided in this article are real scenarios, yet they do not pertain to any of the projects that have come before the city of Concord. This is only a high-level overview of conditions of approval.

officers to request a neighborhood cleanup. Code works with Concord Disposal Services to deliver several large dumpsters to an area in the selected neighborhood. Code also creates fliers for the residents to distribute prior to the event. Participation is limited to residents and/or businesses in the respective area. The flier serves as the “ticket” to drop off unwanted items on the selected Saturday. A resident must stay with the dumpster at all times while items are discarded. In 2015, 224 tons was removed from our neighborhoods. In 2016, there were 146 tons. So far in 2017, 55 dumpsters were used at 12 cleanup events. I was recently at a meeting with a community-based organization, and they were discussing the condition of the neighborhood and how trash is often discarded on the streets

when tenants move out of apartments. I asked when was the last time a Saturday neighborhood cleanup took place on those streets. The group was unaware of the program. If you live in a neighborhood and are unsure if there is an organization already in place that coordinates the Saturday cleanups, please call the code enforcement unit at 925671-3705. If this is a new neighborhood cleanup area (meaning there have been no organized Saturday cleanups in the past 10 years), call code enforcement. Staff will help you and your neighbors determine the right number of dumpsters and start you on your way to a cleaner community. Let’s keep our community safe and clean together.

ment. The East Bay Parks & Recreation Mobile Visitors Center will be on site as well. The event will feature games and activities for kids and grown-ups, such as face painting, button making and free ice cream and cotton candy. The front parking lot will be closed off again, and Bike Concord will have a booth and help with a Bike Rodeo. Children and their families are encouraged to bike to the event and try out the bike safe-

ty obstacle course. The Friends of the Concord Library will have books for sale and a fun game for kids to win a free book. The Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society will have activities for kids as well. For more information, call the library at 925.646.5455.

Dominic Aliano is a member of the Concord Planning Commission. Email questions and comments to at

Neighborhood cleanups a community effort

At the annual goal-setting meeting, the City Council asked for more resources in code enforcement. Council members had been hearing from residents that more code enforcement is needed in our community. Code enforcement officers are assigned to the Police Department and handle a variety of quality of life issues. There were four code enforcement officers at that time. On July 1, another code enforcement officer was added. Code officers respond to thousands of complaints each year. They include weeds, vacant homes, illegal businesses in residential neighborhoods, improper permitting, bed bugs and a host of others. The officers also inspect massage parlors and night clubs, coordinate Neighborhood Watch, conduct Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) assessments

Steven Kaplan, MD • Jana Tomsky, MD Daniel Heaney PA-C • Heather Lesieur PA-C

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activities that may impact the trees. Trees do not need to be deemed as heritage trees in order to receive this condition. City staff and the Planning Commission can add this to any tree that might be impacted by a project. Parking can be another example of a condition. In another scenario, an applicant wants to construct a shopping mall within the city. The Planning Commission and the public are concerned about the amount of parking the applicant has proposed. The Planning Commission decides to do a parking demand study, and it shows that the applicant does not have enough parking stalls.

KiMBerLi BuCKLey


The Concord Library staff is excited about the National Night Out set for Tuesday, Aug. 1. Everyone in the community is invited to celebrate the second annual celebration from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Concord Library.

Guy SWaNGer


for businesses, tag homeless camps for removal and operate many other programs. The cleanup events on specific Saturdays are one of the more popular neighborhood programs they operate. The Neighborhood Cleanup Program is a resident-driven activity to improve the quality of life by removing trash and stored items that are no longer used and are non-hazardous. Neighborhood representatives or groups contact code

Guy Swanger is Concord’s Chief of Police. Send questions or comments to

Family entertainment at National Night Out

National Night Out is a national community-building campaign that promotes policecommunity partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer and better places to live. Please come to the library to show your community spirit and support our community. The library staff is planning fun activities, including visits from the Concord Police with a K9 demonstration and the Contra Costa Fire Depart-

Kimberli Buckley is the senior community library manager at the Concord branch of the Contra Costa Library. Email questions or comments to

July 21, 2017

Concord Pioneer •

Page 9

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Budget, from page 1

Measure Q will aid anywhere from $3.7 million to $7.8 million, but operating expenses are projected to grow higher than revenues. “Every year it becomes harder,” says Vice Mayor Edi Birsan. “The state’s reassessment of the PERS (the Public Employee Retirement System) is going to cost the city an extra $13 million in the next six to seven years.” He says he and other council members fear the idea of cutting those funds from city services, and that in the long term it may hurt business development in Concord – which the city is counting on to boost sales tax revenues. “In the long range, we have problems with funding pensions as well as everything else we do, but we are legally, ethically and contractually required to do so,” Birsan says. He is also worried about medical benefits the city is legally going to have to pay retirees, since “who knows what is happening to medical benefits on a national level.” He notes that no matter how robust the economy is now, many people are expecting another downturn in a few years – perhaps greater than that of 2008-09, after which the city was

forced to cut services and lay off staff. To offset that and to help balance the long-term budget, the city is maintaining a $30 million reserve. But for now, the budget remains balanced and growing, thanks to a strong sales tax and property tax base. Measure Q, franchise fees and charges for licenses and permits make up the other major parts of the

positions in the police department into a full-time community services officer; adding a fourth school resource officer to work at Olympic High School, a cost the city splits with the Mt. Diablo Unified School District; and turning a vacant position into a new code enforcement officer. The city is also looking at the new Veranda Shopping Center on Diamond Boulevard on a 30acre former PG&E site near the Willows to generate at least $665,000 in sales tax by 2018-19.

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

Tamara Steiner Send Ads to Send Sports News to Send School, Club and Calendar Items to

The Clayton Pioneer and the Concord Pioneer are monthly publications delivered free to homes and businesses in 94517, 94518, 94519 and 94521. ZIP code 94520 is currently served by drop site distribution. The papers are published by Clayton Pioneer, Inc., Tamara and Robert Steiner, PO 1246, Clayton, CA 94517. The offices are located at 6200 Center St. Suite H, Clayton, CA 94517

LET US KNOW Weddings, anniversaries, births and deaths all weave together as part of the fabric of our community. Please let us know of these important events. We ask only that the announcement be for a resident in our home delivery area. Submit on our website and be sure to attach a JPG photo that is at least 3 MB. Also on the website are forms for calendar items, events & press releases.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Both Pioneer newspapers welcome letters from our readers.

City of Concord

The long-range financial outlook for Concord is gloomy, as budget deficits may soar after Measure Q, the city’s half-cent sales tax, sunsets in 2025.

Mayor, from page 1 installation of a storm drain line. Measure Q helped fund pavement rehabilitation improvements on sections of Hillsborough Drive, East Olivera Road and Walters Way, the intersection of Monument Boulevard and Detroit Avenue, along with replacement of traffic signal loop detectors, concrete curb ramp, valley gutter and sidewalk improvements. There were also pothole and other repairs on portion of East Olivera Road and miscellaneous concrete curb ramp, valley gutter and sidewalk improvements. Pothole and base repairs occurred on portions of Ayers Road, Concord Boulevard, Cowell Road, East Street, Meadow Lane, Mohr Lane, Pine Hollow Road, West Street, Concord Avenue, Concord Boulevard and Willow Pass Road. Pedestrian and bicycle trail improvements were made along Meadow Lane and Market Street to the tunnel under Highway 242 and along Franquette Avenue toward Willow Pass Road.

revenue stream. Reid predicts sales taxes will be $33.6 million in 2016-17 and $35 million in 2017-18. Property taxes are expected to be $24.9 million, or 25 percent of the budget, this fiscal year, and $25.8 million, or 26 percent of the budget, next year. Public employee salaries, especially that of Concord’s police force, are the biggest expense both years. That includes hiring a new civil engineer and housing analyst; converting two existing part-time

P.O. Box 1246 6200 Center Street, Suite H, Clayton, CA 94517 TAMARA AND R OBERT S TEINER , Publishers TAMARA S TEINER , Editor P ETE C RUZ , Graphic Design B EV B RITTON , Copy Editor J AY B EDECARRÉ, Sports Editor PAMELA W IESENDANGER , Administration, Calendar Editor

New traffic signal systems have been installed at three intersections: Treat Boulevard/San Miguel Road, Oak Grove Road/Smith Lane and Oak Grove Road/Sierra Road. Improvements to existing traffic signal systems occurred at 10 intersections: Willow Pass Road/Sixth Street, Willow Pass Road/Parkside Drive, Willow Pass Road/Grant Street, Willow Pass Road/Galindo Street, Concord Boulevard/West Street, Concord Boulevard/Clayton Way, Concord Boulevard/Farm Bureau Road, Concord Boulevard/Sixth Street, East Street/Salvio Street and Market Street/Fry Way. These projects also included accessible ramps, concrete sidewalks, curb and gutter, traffic signs, pavement markings and street lighting. Traffic signal overhead lights have been replaced with new energy-efficient LED lights at 30 locations. The city also completed upgrades to its central control traffic management software with a new advanced platform to serve as the

foundation to modernizing the city’s traffic monitoring and management system. It’s been many years since the city replaced or installed new children’s play equipment, the last two being at Newhall Park and the all-abilities playground Matteo’s Dream. Meadow Homes Park recently opened a children’s play area and Ellis Lake Park and Civic Center are having tot lot equipment replaced. These three areas will have separate equipment for 2- to 5-year-olds and those 6-12. Projects still to come include upgrading Farm Bureau Road from Wren Avenue to Walnut Avenue; Commerce Avenue Pavement Rehabilitation and an all-way stop at Galaxy Way as well as high-visibility crosswalks at the intersections of Concord Avenue and Galaxy Way; a new traffic signal at Clayton Road and Sutter Street and high-visible decorative crosswalk to improve pedestrian safety; Detroit Avenue/Whitman Road Pedestrian Improvements; replacing existing sanitary sewer mains and laterals in the downtown area that are undersized and structurally deficient; and replacing old sewer lines in areas between Clayton Road,

Cowell Road, the Concord BART Station and Coventry Road.

Email questions and comments to the Mayor at Laura.

925.348.5609 Nick Eisenbart

Owner/Service Provider Concord resident

As a general rule, letters should be 175 words or less and submitted at least one week prior to publication date. Letters concerning current issues will have priority. We may edit letters for length and clarity. All letters will be published at the editor’s discretion. Please include name, address and daytime telephone number. We will not print anonymous letters. E-mail your letter to Letters must be submitted via E-mail. CIRCULATION The Concord Pioneer is delivered monthly to 30,000 homes and businesses in 94518, 94519 and 94521. Papers are delivered by carriers for ABC Direct around the last Friday of the month. To stop delivery for any reason, call the office at (925) 672-0500 . If you are NOT receiving the Pioneer, please check the distribution map on the website. If you live in the shaded area and are not receiving the paper, please let us know. If you are not in the shaded area, please be patient. We will come to your neighborhood soon. The Clayton Pioneer is delivered by US Mail to 5,500 homes and businesses in 94517 around the second Friday of the month.

SUBSCRIPTIONS To subscribe to either the Clayton Pioneer or the Concord Pioneer, call the office at (925) 672-0500. Subscriptions are $35/year for each paper, $60/year for both.

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Holbrook Language Academy opens in August, principal begins dream job JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

In just one month, Holbrook Language Academy will have a ribbon cutting and 200 students will begin a journey in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District’s first bilingual school on the Holbrook Elementary School campus. For principal Marga Marshall, it will mark 20 years since she graduated from college in Spain and is now opening “the school she dreamt of.” Holbrook and nearby Glenbrook Middle School were closed at the end of the 2010-11 school year due to declining enrollment and MDUSD’s desire to trim costs. Now Holbrook is springing back to life. Work crews are buzzing around the 1950s-era campus this summer, putting new furniture and technology in the classrooms, a coat of paint on the buildings and making many other repairs and upgrades to the grounds. Marshall has worked in MDUSD for 2½ years as the district coach for English learners and dual language programs. When she saw an announcement for the Holbrook principal’s position, “It had my name on it,” she said in a recent interview with the Pioneer. She came to the United States on a three-year teacher exchange program from Spain through the California Department of Education and was assigned to the brand-new Lone Tree Elementary School in Antioch. She was in Antioch for nearly a dozen years as a classroom teacher (kindergarten through third grade) and as a reform facilitator coach for English learners. Combining that professional experience with raising two children with husband Kyle, she’s been involved with the American educational journey from both perspectives. Her daughter Maggie will be entering third grade at Bancroft Elementary (mom is a board member of the Bancroft PFA) and 4-year-old son Roberto is in pre-K at Wood Rose Academy in Concord. Besides having her kids already learning English and Spanish,

Photo courtesy MDuSD

Holbrook Language academy staff is training and readying for its inaugural school year starting aug. 22. Principal Marga Marshall (fourth from left) can’t wait for the opening. Her faculty includes, from left, Nick Sanchez (5th grade teacher), Norma robles (2nd grade), Mary Vizcay (dual immersion), Marshall, Lisa Gunderson (1st grade), Mika Phinney (kindergarten), Karen Duggan (4th grade) and Meagan Carroll (3rd grade).

she wants them to master Chinese as well. When she was selected late last year for the Holbrook job, it gave the 42-year-old Marshall the chance to explore “her passion” and achieve “perfect success to hire my team. Who gets to do that? We have a new vision, a new mission.” Holbrook’s students begin their journey with Marshall and her staff on Aug. 22. There will be a ribbon cutting before school starts that morning, and the students will then be taught in a whole new environment. Kindergarten students will spend 50 percent of their day learning in English and 50 percent in Spanish in a unique dual immersion program. As those students progress through first through fifth grades, they will maintain that same curriculum mix. The rest of the Holbrook students this year in grades one through five will have a block of time each day devoted to language skills. English-speaking students will use technology to learn a second language. “We have students interested in Russian, Japanese and Chinese,” Mar-

shall notes. Meanwhile, English learners will have teachers working with them. “Students will have 180 days of language instruction, and we’ll be monitoring each of their progress,” she says. School assemblies will recognize students making language achievements. “We hope to create a learning environment that is language rich and where students and families love to be a part of it,” Marshall says. “Holbrook Language Academy will be a new, innovative and different kind of school with a strong focus on academic achievement and the opportunity to learn other languages.” She mentioned “parent involvement” as a key to learning several times during the interview. She also spoke about having kindergarten students in Antioch who began the school year not knowing how to hold a pencil and finishing up the next spring writing complete sentences. You could tell she dreams of her Holbrook students having the same experience as it relates to language. Marshall displays the new

Holbrook logo that was designed by Mt. Diablo High Digital Safari seniors Ana Hernandez and Katherine Banuelos. The logo is in the new school colors of burgundy, white and black and features a world map in the background with four, multi-ethnic hands grasping a large H. The MDUSD regional magnet will be working in concert with nearby Wren Avenue and Sun Terrace elementary schools to offer curriculum to prepare district students for high school, college and life in the everchanging world. Sun Terrace will be a S.T.E.M. Academy, focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, while Wren Avenue Arts will feature performing and visual arts. Marshall uses the hashtags #learnlanguages and #beautifulthingshappening on her Twitter postings. They sum up perfectly what she sees for her new school and students. Holbrook is holding a “Meet the Teachers” program at Holbrook Park (corner of North Sixth Street and Esperanza Drive) 10 a.m.noon on Saturday, Aug. 12. The community is welcome to attend.

CVCHS Athletic Boosters seeking more community involvement in 2017-18 CAMILLE CLINE Special to the Pioneer

Clayton Valley Charter High School has always been a competitive school when it comes to sports because of its quality athletes. One of the organizations that helps contribute to the success of the athletic department is the CVCHS Athletic Boosters Club. CVCHS Boosters is designed to help all athletic teams at the school by raising money and providing the necessary equipment and uniforms for every sport team. Dave Cooney, the new CVCHS Boosters board president, says the main goal of the Boosters is to get more community involvement as well as 70 percent membership of all sports teams’ families. Community involvement includes working with local businesses to generate more donations through advertising

to enhance the contributions from the Boosters. The Boosters are a way to lessen the burden on the school’s coaches by allowing them to focus more on coaching and less on fundraising.   A benefit of being a member of the Boosters is receiving discounts at local restaurants and businesses.  As a member of the Boosters, a portion of the money donated can be allocated to a specific team. Another way to get involved with CVCHS Boosters is by attending monthly meetings in the school library every third Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m.   The biggest change the Boosters hope to see is more involvement within the community.  By keeping the community involved, student athletes, coaches and the community as a whole will benefit.  Keep up to date with the Boosters by visiting

Photo courtesy CVCHS athletic Boosters

The 2017-18 school year gets underway next month and Clayton Valley Charter High School sports teams will be getting assistance from the CVCHS athletic Boosters Club. The new board of directors for the Boosters includes, from left, Kevin Dern, Tony Mancini, Kristy Smith, Kelly Coppa, Todd Skow and Booster president Dave Cooney.

July 21, 2017



What makes a story worth telling? Every reader probably has her own answer, but for me “Anna and the Swallow Man” has just about everything a reader could want. Two compelling characters, Anna Lania, who finds herself abandoned on her seventh birthday, and Swallow Man, who becomes her mysteriously appearing caretaker, make the story hard to put down. The year is 1939, and the place is Krakau, Poland. Anna’s father is a linguistics professor at the university and on that particular sixth of November, he leaves Anna with his friend the butcher to look after her while he and his fellow professors attend a meeting to discuss the Nazi occupation of Poland. Anna


Concord Pioneer •

‘Swallow Man’ takes new turns on WWII

will never see her father again. The Nazis have no more love for intellectuals than for Jews. As readers, we’ve become nearly desensitized to revisiting WWII and the Holocaust, but author Gavriel Savit takes us not into the Warsaw ghetto, but into a Polish landscape we’ve never been before – its forests, farmlands, guarded rivers and cities’ hidden backstreets. Because Anna’s father spoke to her in myriad languages, her ethnic background is never clear. We know even less about the Swallow Man. He can speak to birds and is highly educated. He clearly intends to keep Anna and himself hidden from the Germans and even the Russians when it comes to that point in the war, when both armies hold Poland between them. How likely is it that a young child would willingly follow this tall, lanky man who refuses to tell Anna his name and, just as firmly, tells her that she is now “Sweetie” when they speak to strangers and she, likewise, is to call him “Daddy.” But they are in the middle of a war, and the

world becomes nothing Anna can count on. Nothing except, she finally realizes, the Swallow Man, a man reminding her at times of mythical fairy tale characters. In the years they keep from being found by soldiers or others who would do them harm, Anna learns lessons in silence, deception, fear, obedience, nature and, ultimately,

Jeff MeLLiNGer


On the surface, “Cars 3” is an unnecessary film. However, since “Cars 2” was needless as well as mediocre, a third film in the series could save some face. With the many wonderful, original films Pixar creates, the excessive amount of sequels

Can’t we all just get along?

Dogs and cats are not natural buddies, even though sometimes we wish they were. Pet owners want to pair them up because we think they are lonely and need companionship. That can go well, or it can be a disaster – as many people can tell you. Dogs are a social species, naturally cooperative with other dogs in their group. They tend to create a peaceful hierarchy. Cats can live with another cat and even like and play with another cat, but they rarely cooperate with one another for a common goal. This isn’t to say that one is better than the other. They are who they are, and we love them. It’s just that many people think they are more similar than they are, and that can get us – and our pets – into trouble. There are ways to set up successful introductions between dogs and cats. First, establish a territory for the cat in a room where the dog will not be able to go. The room should have a sunny spot for relaxing and a private spot for the litter box. When the dog is brought into the house, the cat should be in his own territory and

Page 11

DeBBie DeMeLLo




indoors. An excited dog is less likely to make good decisions than a quiet one. It’s good if the dog is used to a crate or a tether, so that he sometimes has a limited range of motion. Inside obedience is also handy with introductions. Sit, stay and watch are all good exercises for dog/cat intros because they teach impulse control. In most cases the cat is the weaker one, so he should be in control of the environment during the introduction. The dog should be on a tether when the cat is brought into the room. Many cats do not like to be held in situations like this because it can make them feel vulnerable. Still, the cat should have a safe, high spot where he can watch the dog for awhile. If the dog stares at the cat, try to get his attention. If you cannot get the dog’s attention, calmly take the cat back to his room and try again later. If the dog barks and keeps barking, cut the intro short and try later. Stay tuned for more tips on successful dog/cat intros.

should stay there for a few days. The dog will get used to the smell of the cat and vice versa. If their curiosity is overriding caution, try to introduce the two with some limited proximity. When feeding, put their bowls on either side of the separated door – encouraging them to check each other out. Direct eye contact should be avoided for awhile, since it can trigger the chase instinct. So can movement, so it’s a good idea to let the animals get to know each other by smell and sound before sight. When finally introducing the dog to the cat, it’s important to have boundaries. You might consider not allowing Debbie DeMello is a dog trainer rowdy play in the house, so the and owner of Who’s Training dog will be less excited Who in Walnut Creek. Contact her at

love. The tale is as gentle as it is brutal, as realistic as it is fantastical. It is a strangely layered story ending as mysteriously as it begins, with Anna’s words, “What is out there?” Words spoken to us as well as to the fisherman in whose boat she is taken away from the encroaching conflict. The book is marketed for

ages 12 and up. Based on the imaginative story and a vocabulary encompassing words like deference, Carpathian, Yiddish, vibrant, unreserved delight, waistcoat, liebling, Reb as in “Reb Shumlik,” proffered, exuberant, inevitable, dearth, threshold, comporting, gleaned and counterfeiting happiness, “Anna and the

Swallow Man” is a book that should have a long shelf life in homes and libraries. It’s a keeper and grist mill for a seriously lively book club.

lately could be seen as a cashgrab. When you have an established brand like “Cars,” it’s hard to blame Disney/Pixar for capitalizing. In a case of art imitating life, “Cars 3” character Mr. Sterling (Nathan Fillion) purchases the services of everyone’s favorite race car, Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson), and creates a saleable brand out of him. New director Brian Fee develops some beautiful race scenes and exquisite locales but can’t overcome the film’s weak pedigree. Thankfully, “Cars 3” leaves the espionage of “Cars 2” behind and returns to its core themes. McQueen is now an elder statesman in the world of racing. As with most sports, new technologies arrive and threaten the way of life for those who have been around awhile. Mr. Sterling pairs Lightning with young jumpstart Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo). As a professional motivator, Cruz uses all the latest techniques to bring Lightning up to speed with the likes of brash rookie Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer). At first, the banter between McQueen and Cruz seems like it was cut and pasted from several other sports movies. But

as their relationship grows, so does the quality of their repartee. In the last 20 years, Pixar invented some of the most recognizable characters in the history of film – and most of them are not people. Monsters, fish, toys, cars and robots all talk and behave as humans. And like humans, they are flawed. Whether it’s Dory’s forgetfulness, Sully’s braggadocio or Lightning’s trepidation about getting passed by, the problems are relevant. Pixar has always been about appealing to all ages. Adults can relate to McQueen’s struggle with growing older, while young adults will connect with Cruz’s regrets for not pursuing her racing career. But where is the message aimed at children? It could be one of overcoming one’s personal obstacles, as McQueen and Cruz must do. Yet when none of the characters are children, do kids even care about, much less understand, the problems of adults in their 40s? One of the overlooked mysteries of the “Cars” movies (aside from why there are school buses) is the lack of child cars. “Wall-E” had no child characters, but Wall-E

himself was childlike. Same goes for Dory. That is the missing ingredient in “Cars 3”: childlike. “Song of the South” notwithstanding, Disney loves to celebrate its history. One of the best parts of “Cars 3” is the use of flashbacks to bring back Doc Hudson (Paul Newman). Nothing feels forced when Lightning continually looks for inspiration from his deceased mentor. Nostalgia is an effective plot device when used sparingly, and Pixar does it right every time. In the end, “It’s better than the second one” is not much of a glowing recommendation. Kids will enjoy the racing scenes in “Cars 3,” as they are exciting and masterfully created. However, young kids may inevitably get bored, so having a pause button available is a good option. Kids love the “Cars” toys. Like an aging McQueen, the franchise works better as a brand. C+

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

‘Cars 3’ not quite a retread, yet film lacks inspiration

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

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ARF stars: Newman & Timpani


Eight-year-old Newman is a professional love bug who enjoys hanging out with human and animal friends. He is hoping to become someone’s co-pilot and go with them on plenty of adventures and outings or just snuggle up on the couch for the night. If you are looking to add a dedi-


cated personal assistant to your life then Newman would be the perfect dog for you. The adoption fee for dogs is $250 and includes a discount on the first six-week session of a manners class. Two-year-old Timpani is a gorgeous kitty, with her luxurious coat and soft eyes. She has

a sweet personality to match. She loves being petted and brushed, and can get talkative when the mood strikes. The adoption fee for a cat is $75. Meet your forever friend at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek, during adoption hours: Noon to 6 pm Wednesday & Thursday, Noon to 7 pm Friday, and Noon to 6 pm Saturday & Sunday.

Would you like to be part of the heroic team that saves the lives of rescued dogs and cats? Can you share your talents to connect people and animals? ARF volunteers are making a difference! For more information see our website,, or call (925) 2561ARF.

A Name to Remember in a Time of Need

Michael Nicosia, Managing Partner John & Sharon Ouimet • Don & Bea Ouimet


• fax 925.682.4281

Dignified Professional Services Complete Funeral Services Cremation & Memorialization Services Worldwide Shipping Arrangements Pre-Need Planning

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Page 12

Concord Pioneer •


Classic ‘Beauty’ comes to STARS 2000

SaLLy HoGarTy


The wonderful STARS 2000, a Pleasant Hill based teen theater company, marks its 25th anniversary by bringing the enchanted world of Disney’s “Beauty and The Beast” to life. Based on the Academy Award-winning animated feature, the story tells of a coldhearted prince transformed into a beast by an enchantress when he refuses her shelter. She also transforms his servants into household objects: a charming teapot, candelabra and much more. If the former prince learns to love another and earns love in return, the spell will be broken. But, of course, there is a time limit. If he has not found love before the last petal from a special rose falls, he and his servants will lose their humanity forever. Talk about a romantic conundrum. Aside from the lovely visuals in this show, Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice have written beautiful songs

Jim McGough

Shown here are Christian McCooey, who alternates with Mark McMillan as the Beast, and Kyra Glass, who alternates with amanda Neiman as Belle, in STarS 2000’s production of “Beauty and the Beast.”

such as “Be Our Guest,” “A Change in Me” and “Beauty and the Beast.” The production takes place July 21-Aug. 6 at Diablo Valley College Performing Arts Center, 321 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill. Reserve tickets by calling Brown Paper Tickets at 800-838-3006 or going to

Dorothy Gale (ally Murphy) and Scarecrow (rune Lauridsen) in a scene from Tri-Valley rep’s production of “The Wizard of oz,” running through July 30 at the Bankhead Theatre in Livermore. Symmetry Theatre presents


Other Place By Sharr White

July 27-Aug 13

Thurs-Sat. 8 pm, Sundays 2 pm

The story of a neurologist trying to cope with her own oncoming Alzheimer’s

Live Oak Theater, 1301 Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley Tickets $20-$30 at

415-377-0457 or


Tickets can also be purchased at the door. For further information, call 925-324-7359. Tri Valley Theatre just opened another family favorite, “The Wizard of Oz,” with all your favorite characters – Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion. Running through July 30, the Munchkin extravaganza takes place at Livermore’s Bankhead Theatre, 2400 1st St. Call 925-3736800 or go to In case you can’t make it to Livermore for “The Wizard of Oz,” the Orinda Village Starlight Players offer a new version of the popular musical. Malcolm Cowler’s original stage adaptation runs July 21Aug. 12 at the Orinda Community Center Park Amphitheater, 28 Orinda Way. Patrons are encouraged to come early and picnic prior to the performances. For reservations, call 925-528-9225. For the first time, the California Shakespeare Theatre presents a Tennessee Williams play as part of its season. “The Glass Menagerie” is one of Williams’ classics as he weaves the story of Amanda, an overbearing mother and former debutante, her son Tom and his sister Laura, who seems as fragile as the glass menagerie she cherishes. The struggling family is forever changed when Amanda invites a “gentleman caller” to dinner. Lisa Portes, an award-winning Chicago director, brings a new vision to Williams’ work by casting Amanda as an African-American. Portes’ unique take on “The Glass Menagerie” runs through July 30 at the Bruns Memorial Amphitheater, 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way, in

Live Band, Classic Car Show, free hors d’oeuvres, $6 wine glasses, themed food kiosks, and Pro Shop Sale



July 21, 2017

RSVP and register guests with

1001 Peacock Creek Dr., Clayton

Orinda. Call 510-548-9666 or visit Solo Opera teams up again this year with the Orinda Rotary Club to present “Opera in the Park.” “We have assembled a truly spectacular lineup of talent,” says Concord resident Sylvia Amorino, Solo Opera’s artistic director/producer. The program includes eight singers who have performed at San Francisco Opera, New York City Opera, Opera San Jose, West Bay Opera, Lamplighters, Carnegie Hall, etc. The singers will perform greatest hits from “Madama Butterfly,” “Carmen,” “Rigoletto,” “Don Giovanni” and much more. According to Amorino, this free “Opera in the Park” is a good introduction for children or others who might never go to see live opera. As master of ceremonies, Amorino will share a running commentary on the works. “The music is very likeable, and the explanations short to make it even more enjoyable,” she says. The free performance will be 5-7 p.m. Sunday, July 23, at the Orinda Community Park. For more information, go to or email And for the youngest theatergoers, what could be better

for summer days than an underwater adventure complete with singing sea creatures in resplendent attire? That’s what will bubble up for young audiences when the Bay Area Children’s Theatre presents “The Rainbow Fish Musical.” The show has been adapted for the stage by local playwright, composer and lyricist Austin Zumbro, with music inspired by classic rock. “We’re really excited to bring ‘The Rainbow Fish’ story to our stages,” says executive director Nina Meehan. “It’s a

beautiful opportunity to remind us all that sharing our gifts brings joy to everyone around us.” The musical runs through Aug. 6 at Children’s Fairyland, 699 Belleview Ave., Oakland. For tickets, call 510-296-4433 or go to Sally Hogarty is well known around the Bay Area as a newspaper columnist, theatre critic and working actress. She is the editor of the Orinda News. Send comments to

Kevin Berne.

Karen aldridge is amanda and Sean San José is Tom in California Shakespeare Theater’s production of Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie,” running through July 30 in orinda.

Family nurtured artist’s talent from a young age

LiSa fuLMer




Amy Eikner’s mother says that even as a toddler, she showed incredible promise as an artist. “My mom would put a household object in front of me with paper and crayons and tell me to draw it … and I did,” she recalls. “I’ve always had an eye for shape and form and never had any trouble drawing whatever I saw. Art supplies were always on hand. My parents are both musicians, so they instilled an appreciation of art in me from the moment I was born.” The private school she attended in Texas did not have an art program, so she took lessons after school from 6th through 12th grade and flourished. Her art teachers immediately recognized her innate talents and made sure she mastered all the basics. Her instincts for creating realistic art came quite naturally. “As a kid, I just assumed everybody could look at something and draw it,” she says. During college art classes, she made the switch from realistic work to abstract expression. “It was more challenging for me at first, because it wasn’t so connected to the abilities I was born with. Plus there was no photograph or object to look at.” Eikner earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology, then got a teaching certificate with specialties in both art and psychology. On the first day of her student teaching assignment, she knew how much she loved teaching art.

“Tree Goddess” is an acrylic piece that illustrates amy eikner’s fascination with trees.

After about eight years, she went back to school to earn her MFA with the hopes of teaching at the college level some day. Abstract expression remained her focus in graduate school. “I learned how to better articulate what I wanted to create during group critiques,” Eikner says. “My psychology studies came into play, too – I was able to analyze myself and my emotions as I created new work.” But once she received her degree and went back to teaching, which she did for a total of 25 years, she found little time for creating any art of her own. Eikner, who moved to Concord two years ago, is on a break from teaching and keeps busy creating. She paints and also enjoys photography, sculpture and mosaics. Trees are among her favorite subjects. “I loved climbing trees as a

kid. They were my playground. The branches wrapped around me and made me feel safe on higher ground,” Eikner says. “Tree branches are often my go-to foundation for starting a painting, then I allow my emotions to guide me in whatever direction. I’m not always sure where it will go. Some of my best work just happens on its own.” Three of Eikner’s paintings are featured in the Concord Art Association’s “New Works” exhibit at aRt Cottage, 2238 Mt. Diablo St., Concord, through the end of July. She’ll also have work displayed in August at the Raquel Amaral Gallery, 1856 Colfax St., #6, Concord. Lisa Fulmer is a mixed media artist, a small business marketing consultant, and president of the Concord Art Association. Visit for inspiration and information.

July 21, 2017

CALENDAR Concord Pioneer •



Rotating lineup of food trucks. 5 – 9 p.m. 2151 Salvio Street.

Tuesdays Farmers’ Market

Year round, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord.

Tuesday Night Blues July 25


Aug. 26 Mary Bowerman Trail Family Walk

Circle the peak of Mount Diablo just below the summit. 9 – 11 a.m. Meet at Lower Summit Parking Lot. Registration required.


Thru July 22 “The Outgoing Tide 7”

Presented by Storytellers Initiative Theatre. 8 p.m. Campbell Theater, 636 Ward St., Martinez. $5-$15. (925) 518-3277.

Thru July 22 Some of the best blues in the Bay Area. July 25, Roy Rogers. 6:30 – 8 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Free. cityofcon- “Whose Life is It Anyway?”

Thursdays Music and Market

Thursday night live music and farmers’ market. Music: July 27, Fleetwood Mask; Aug. 3, The Breedloves; Aug. 10, Soul Power; Aug. 17, Orquestra Borinquen. Market 4 – 8 p.m.; music 6:30 – 8 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Free admission.

3rd Sundays Antique Faire

Antiques, collectibles, handmade arts and crafts. 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Free admission.

On Sale Now Concerts

The Concord Pavilion is located at 2000 Kirker Pass Road. See full concert schedule for 2017 at Upcoming shows: Aug. 11, Steve Martin and Martin Short, 8 p.m. Aug. 16, Double Feature: Straight No Chaser/Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 27, 2017 Honda Civic Tour featuring OneRepublic, 7 p.m.

Thru July 28 Summer Show

The latest and greatest works from the Concord Art Association. 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tues. – Fri.; 1 – 5 p.m. Sat. aRt Cottage, 2238 Mt. Diablo St. Free.

July 27 Mayors’ Healthy Cookoff

Mayors from Contra Costa County and chefs from their cities compete to prepare the best healthy meal. 4 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord.

Aug. 12 - 13 Japanese American Summer Festival

Japanese American Club’s annual event featuring Japanese food, Kendo and Judo demonstrations, Taiko drum performances, Japanese dance performance and flower arrangements. 1 – 9 p.m. Sat.; 12 – 8:30 p.m. Sun. Japanese American Religious and Cultural Center, 3165 Treat Blvd. Free admission, parking at Ygnacio Valley High School.


Extended Thru December School Days Exhibit

Display of the history, teachers, students and schools in the Clayton area from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. 2 – 4 p.m. on Wednesdays and Sundays; 6 – 8 p.m. on Wednesday car show nights. Clayton Museum, 6101 Main St. Free. (925) 672-0240.

Saturdays, except Sep. 2 Farmers’ Market

9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 6095 Main St.

July 22, Aug. 5, 19 Saturday Concerts in The Grove

July 22, The Peelers; Aug. 5, Pride and Joy; Aug. 19, Busta Groove. 6 – 8:30 p.m. The Grove Park, 6100 Main St. Free.

July 26, Aug. 9, 23 Wednesday Classic Car Show

Car show and DJ music, 6 – 8 p.m. 6099 Main St. Free.


Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve programs are available for registration through Parking fees may apply. For additional information, contact Black Diamond Visitor Center at (510) 544-2750 or

Thru November Hazel-Atlas Mine Tours

Learn about the mining history and geology at Black Diamond Mines. Guided, 90-minute tour; Saturdays and Sundays. Must be age 7 or older with parent. $5 in advance online or day of at Sidney Flat Visitor Center. Mount Diablo Interpretive Association programs listed are free with the exception of park entrance fee. Go to and click on Event Calendar for more information.

July 21, Aug. 11 Common Poorwill Bird Walk

A hike in the dark may turn up some interesting wildlife. 7 – 10:30 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center. Registration required:

July 29 The Night Shift

Check out the park’s evening shift, including bats, owls and tarantulas. 7 - 9:30 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center. Registration required:

Save Mount Diablo’s Discover Diablo is a free public hike series. Go to for more information.

July 22 Chaparral Spring Property Tour

See the blue oak groves. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at Marsh Creek Road at the Three Springs Entry. Registration required.

Aug. 12 Wright Canyon Full Moon Property Tour

Find out what wakes up when the sun goes down. 7 – 10 p.m. Meet at Wright Canyon, 4390 Morgan Territory Road. Registration required.

An improvised comedy presented by Synergy Theater. 8:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $20. (925) 943-7469.

Thru July 30 “Crazy for You”

Page 13

Aug. 19 Monty Alexander Trio

Presented by Diablo Regional Arts Association. 5 and 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $42. (925) 943-7469.

Aug. 20 “Oliver and the Fairies”

Presented by Music Repertoire Youth Performers. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $15. (925) 943-7469.

Aug. 26 Warren Wolf/Edward Simon Quintet with Tia Fuller

Presented by Diablo Regional Arts Association. 5 and 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $42. (925) 943-7469.


Gershwin musical. Heritage High Theater, 101 American Ave., Brentwood. $10-$25. (925) 852-3612.

July 27 “Summer Sing-a-Long”

Celebrate local playwrights and their works via staged readings. B8 Theatre Company, 2292 Concord Blvd., Concord. $10. (925) 890-8877.

July 28 Summer Movie Nights

Weekends, Thru Aug. 13 New Works Staged Readings Series July 21 - 23 “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”

Presented by Broadway Repertory Theater. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $28. (925) 943-7469.

July 22 Kevin Blake

Illusionist, magician and mentalist. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $10-$20. (925) 757-9500.

July 23 “Opera in the Park”

Performed by Solo Opera and sponsored by Orinda Rotary Club. 5 - 7 p.m. Orinda Community Park, 28 Orinda Way, Orinda. Free.

July 28 – 30 “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”

Presented by Broadway Repertory Theater. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $12-$23. (925) 757-9500.

July 29 “The Songs and Stories of Neil Diamond”

Performed by Jack Wright. 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $39$49. (925) 943-7469.

July 30 Salimpour School Certification Performance

Presented by Suhaila International. 5:45 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25. (925) 943-7469.

Aug. 4 – 6 “The Yeomen of the Guard”

Dark comedy performed by Lamplighters Music Theatre. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $49$54. (925) 943-7469.

Aug. 4 – 12 “Legally Blonde JR”

Presented by Poison Apple Productions Youth Performers. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $22. (925) 943-7469.

Aug. 5 “City Lights”

Performed by Elite Dance Studio. 3 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $15. (925) 757-9500.

Aug. 5 Terell Stafford Quintet

Presented by Diablo Regional Arts Association. 5 and 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $42. (925) 943-7469.

Aug. 11 The Philippine Madrigal Singers

Presented by Music Repertoire. 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25$30. (925) 943-7469.

Aug. 11 – 12 “Express”

A new type of magic show by Jack Alexander. 6 and 9 p.m. Campbell Theater, 636 Ward St., Martinez. $15. (925) 518-3277.

Aug. 12 Concert

Performed by Mariachi Divas. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $15-$30. (925) 757-9500.

Aug. 12 Cyrille Aimee

Presented by Diablo Regional Arts Association. 5 and 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $42. (925) 943-7469.

Aug. 18 “Hot August Improv”

Presented by Funny Bone Productions. 7:45 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $15. (925) 943-7469.

Aug. 18 “Tanzania Visions”

Featuring Kendall Ross Bean. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $35. (925) 943-7469.

Aug. 18 “Vandals in Sandals”

A night on the town with Jamie Jobb. 7:30 p.m. Campbell Theater, 636 Ward St., Martinez. $10. (925) 518-3277.

Aug. 19 Elvis Tribute

Performed by James Clark and the Jailhouse Rockers. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $10-$27. (925) 757-9500.

Presented by Walnut Creek Chorus. 7 p.m. Trinity Lutheran Church, 2317 Buena Vista Ave., Walnut Creek. $20. “The Lego Batman Movie,” plus superhero/villain costume contest. Bring a lawn chair, blankets, invite friends and neighbors. Activities begin at 7 p.m. Movie starts at sundown. Clayton Community Church, 6055 Main St., Clayton. Free admission.

Aug. 6 International Food Festival

Enjoy dishes from all over the world. 1 – 5 p.m. Concord International Seventh-day Adventist Church, 1655 West St., Concord. Free admission. (925) 676-4111.


July 21 – 22 Willie Barcena

Comedy. Proceeds benefit Pittsburg Arts and Community Foundation. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $15-$25. (925) 427-1611.

July 22 Mad Hatter Tea

Hosted by Concord Senior Center to benefit their scholarship program for underprivileged senior citizens. 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Concord Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Circle, Concord. $30., #104410. (925) 671-3320.

July 29 Baking for a Cure

Bake sale for Relay For Life Clayton. 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Starbucks, Clayton Station.

July 29 Italian Classic Pasta Dinner and Show

Pre-show dinner then Italian songs and opera favorites. Sponsored by Friends of Isola delle Femmine, Pittsburg’s sister city. 6 p.m. dinner; 8 p.m. show. $25 for dinner; call Mary at (925) 439-9016 for location and tickets. $35 for show at California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg; tickets at (925) 427-1611.

Aug. 5 Paint the Town Purple

Help decorate local businesses with purple ribbons to kick off Relay For Life event. 8 a.m. The Grove Park, 6100 Main St., Clayton.

Aug. 10 Annual Gourmet Gallop

Food and wine walk benefiting Diablo Ballet and its Performing Arts Education and Enrichment for Kids program. 6 – 9 p.m. Check in at Massimo, 1604 Locust St., Walnut Creek. $39; $45 after July 27. 943-1775.

Aug. 12 Fifth Annual Fish Fry

All proceeds support Team JMJ and the Lupus Foundation of America. 12 – 4 p.m. 3441 Thunderbird Drive, Concord. $20. or

Aug. 12 - 13 Relay For Life Clayton

American Cancer Society fundraiser. Join a team or walk as an individual. Activities for participants and spectators. 10 a.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday. The Grove Park, 6100 Main St., Clayton.


The Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at or (925) 646-5455. July 21 – 23: Book Sale, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Fri. and Sat.; 1 – 3:30 p.m. Sun. July 24: Brick by Brick, 7 p.m. July 27, Aug. 24: Master Gardeners, 6:30 p.m. July 31: Harry Potter Bingo, 7 p.m. Aug. 1: National Night Out, 6 p.m. Aug. 12: Art Association Meeting and Demo, 1 p.m. Aug. 15: Kindergarten Countdown, 2 p.m. Registration required. The Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at or call (925) 673-0659. Thru Aug. 5: Summer Reading Program for all ages. July 24: Boss a Bot Around, 6 p.m. July 24, Aug. 14: Clayton Knits, 1:30 p.m. July 31: Harry Potter’s Birthday Party, 7 p.m. Aug. 3: Songs and Music Games from Near and Far, 4 p.m. Aug. 9: Electronic Snap Circuits, 6:30 p.m. Aug. 14: Clayton Library Book Club, 7 p.m.


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

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

1st and 3rd Wednesdays Concord Planning Commission

7 p.m. Council Chamber, Concord Civic Center, 1950 Parkside Dr.


Page 14

Concord Pioneer •

July 21, 2017

Recreation swim season heats up with Crossings Challenge JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

The 18th annual Crossings Challenge this Friday and Saturday has a couple of new twists that add the opportunity for more swimmers to take part in the swim meet at Walnut Country pool. The Challenge is a prelude to the meets that will culminate the season next month: 51st Concord Swimming Championships Aug. 4-6 and the 57th Contra Costa County Championships in Lafayette Aug. 12-13. The Walnut Country Stingrays host the Crossings Challenge. It has been a oneday meet for B Division rec swimmers. This year, WCST is also providing an opportunity for swimmers with A times to compete in a separate division. In keeping with the spirit of the meet, only swimmers who enter with a B time will score points toward Challenge team standings. The format of the meet has been expanded to include trials and finals. Additionally, in an effort to complete the meet earlier on Saturday, some events will be held in a Friday evening session. Over 500 swimmers are entered from eight teams. Besides host Walnut Country the teams are Bishop Estates Barracudas, Blackhawk HOX, Dana Hills Otters, Pleasant Hill Dolfins, Springwood Sprinters, Vista Diablo Dolphins and Ygnacio Wood Seahorses. Admission is free for anyone wishing to view the meet, which begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday and 8:30 a.m. this Saturday. Walnut Country pool is located at South

forest Park Swim Team has finished second in the Concord City Meet a Division to Dana Hills for the past six years and the flyers have won the Concord B Division championship five consecutive times. Leading forest Park into this year’s City Meet are returning high point winners from last summer, from left, Kyla Joseph (9-years-old), Kaylie Walker (15) and Kyle Stilinovich (9).

Jay Bedecarré photos

The Walnut Country Swim Team will host seven other teams this friday and Saturday at the 18th annual Crossings Challenge for summer rec B and a division swimmers. The host Stingrays will have a large contingent of competitors, including front from left, Lily Priddy (5-years-old), Starlah Menjivar (7), ireland Lewis (9); back from left, anders Lervaag (17), Moriah McCloskey (14) and Miles Louie (11).

cord City Meet championship in the last 26 years since the Otters won their first A Division title in 1992. The 51st City Meet includes 12 teams with Pleasant Hill Dolfins, Crockett Swim Team Crockett-iles and Forest Hills Swim Team of Martinez joining nine Concord and Clayton teams in the com2 BIG MEETS IN AUGUST petition. Bishop Estates, Dana Next month, Dana Hills Hills, Forest Park Flyers, will be seeking its 25th Con- Gehringer Gators, Oakhurst,

Walnut Country, Springwood, Vista Diablo and Ygnacio Wood complete the field. Forest Park again figures to be the biggest challenger to Dana Hills. The Flyers have been second in A Division for the past six years. In addition, Forest Park has won the City B Division five consecutive times. Walnut Country was third the last two years at City Meet.

champions were the major (Marlins), minors (Storm) and Farm (Mudhens). The 9-11 allstars were third in District allstar play. All-Star play culminates with the international Little League World Series (11-12 year-olds) in Williamsport, PA Aug. 17-27.

Foster, Johnny Garcia, S. Garrett Kamita, Miles Koster, J.J. Mattingly, Evan McKnight, Rohan Sen, Trey Shankle, Liam Walsh, John Wathen. 9/10 year olds Blue: Charlie Agulles, Nico Campopiano, Owen Fruchtenicht, Sadie Hansell, Jackson Jones, Jake Jones, Ethan Lindquist, Gabriel Ramirez, Roberto Soto-Maynez, Will Spicer, Trevor Stapf, Conor Walsh, Benjamin Walters. 9/10 year olds Red: JP Boyles, Cohen Carrasco, Liam Fruchtenicht, Luciano Gallardo, Mateo Garcia, Alesandro  Guarnaccia, Andrew Klintworth, Vincent Lopez, Thomas Martin, Caden Roberts, Ryan Samander, Rush Spurlock, Joey Walson, Derick Wong, Ethan Yu.

Larwin Ave. and Lawson Ct. This Saturday and Sunday, the 54th annual Woodlands Invitational is also being held in Walnut Creek. The Woodlands meet features top calibre rec swimming competition, considered a major benchmark before the City and County meets.

Host Springwood won City Meet A Division in 2002 to interrupt the long Dana Hills string of titles. Last August, Oakhurst Orcas won their third consecutive sportsmanship trophy at City. The City Meet is held at Concord Community Pool starting Friday evening with the individual medley and continuing Saturday and Sunday. DHST have been in the top

five at County the past six years while 11-time County champs Crow Canyon Country Club heads the list of contenders in Lafayette again. The Otters finished third in the 2016 team standings, same as in 2015. The Clayton team’s best-ever finish at County was second in 1995 and 2011. In 2015, based on the number of entries, Forest Park was placed in Division II and emerged as County champions. They accomplished the same feat in 2012 and three times in the 1970s and 80s when D-II was called Community Division. Last year, the Flyers were seventh in Division I at County.

Little League season wrapped up for 3 Concord leagues JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

Little League baseball in three Concord leagues has wrapped up regular-season, District 4 Tournament of Champions and all-star play. In Clayton Valley Little League on the baseball side, the major division Los Diablos, minor A Diamondbacks and Minor B Bulls were in TOC. The DBacks won two games before losing in the semi-finals. The CVLL softball teams in TOC were the major Thunder and minor Stingrays. The 8-10 baseball all-stars were third in District all-star play. Continental Little League crowned its league champions in majors (Cardinals), AAA (Red Wings), AA (Bulls) and A (Reds). The Cardinals made it to the semi-finals of the TOC and then the Continental 12year-old All-Stars won four games but lost twice to eventual champion Alameda to finish second in the District 4 tournament. Concord American LL

Concord American Little League all-star teams BASEBALL

50/70: Dominic Cesario, Luke Chapman, Logan Chew, Luciano Cimarra, Joe DeMaria, Anthony Franco, Cody Kopfeldt, Louis Mazzei, Tyler Wallace, Jameson Woodworth. 12 year olds: Dylan Brandt, Keoni Caban, Nathan Crabtree, Tanner Cunningham, Jonathan Down, Keenan Fitzgerald, Josh Greer, Joshua Hovland, Mario Molino, Zachary Munoz, Sean Murphy, Carter Voerge, Taleeb Weaver, Zachary Usedom. 10/11 year olds: Noah Bluth, Chance Brass, Kliwin Brown, Dylan Cesario, Nicholas Fielding, Matthew Gartner, Noah Jones, Joseph Lawler, Trevor Long,

Photo courtesy Continental LL

Continental League League all-stars made it to the finals of the District 4 tournament before losing for the second time to champion alameda. The team included, front row from left, coach Jon Campopiano, ryan Berrien, isabella Gollehon, robbie Watson, Jakob Mitkov, Cole Kemper, manager Blake Tuffli; back row, Matt Campopiano, alex Johnsen, Michael Harris, John Giannoutsos, Parker Tuffli, Charlie Walters, Luke McGuinness, Devon Henderson and coach Geoff Watson. The Cardinals won the Continental major division championship with a squad that included Berrian, Henderson, Mitkov, McGuinness and Tuffli.

Mason Lovett, Justin Pelonio, Nico Roth, Manny Serna. 9/10 year olds: Nino Barsabal, AJ Croce, Austin Grove, Brandon King, Ryder McCabe, Jameson Munoz, Kevin O’Connor, Joey Patton, Jacob Randazzo, Antonio Rodriguez, Darius Sanchez, Tyler Swenson, Isaac Taylor, Nico Voss.

Continental Little League all-star teams BASEBALL

12 year olds: Ryan Berrien, Matt Campopiano, John Giannoutsos, Isabelle Gollehon, Michael Harris, Devon Henderson, Alex Johnsen, Coleman Kemper, Jacob Mitkov, Luke McGuinness, Parker Tuffli, Rob Watson, Charlie Walters. 10/11 year olds Blue: Ryan Collins, Max Britz, Jaden Feinberg, Luke Foster, Christopher Giannini, Gavin Grove, David Harris, Noah Jennings, Ayden Jriyasetapong, Lucas LeSieur, Christina Noonan, Patrick O’Connor, Tyler Stapf, Adam Tealdi. 10/11 year olds Red: Cole Benway, Jimmy Compton, Brady

Ethan Davies, Cody DeMartini, Jake Dern, Casey Forester, Dylan Gentile, Dane Jorgensen, Gabe Lauricella, Jake Solis, Dominic Vines, Ryan Ward, Alex Walker. 11 year olds: Jack Dress, Aidan Hendricks, Jackson Huffman, Ethan Cline, Ben Hosler, Nate Luehs, Owen Luedtke, Nate Mahoney, Joey Postelwaite, Colton Seastrand, AC Young, Zack Peterson. 10 year olds: Michael Albert, Blayne Ballard, Keagan D’Arcy, Luke Dress, Lustig Tanner, Kai Parker, Jacob Jensen, Logan Knapp, Jamison Martin, Kieran Schmitt, Logan Remington, Mateo Perez; Alternates- Joe Knapp, Brad Jensen, Chris Albert. Minor B Red: Nate Lauricella, Nathan Allen, Harrison Hornsby, Tyson Lovett, Henry Cox, Bryce Clayton Valley Little Syrovatka, Benjamin Duran, League all-star teams Dylan Gettrost, Aiden Newberry, BASEBALL 50/70: Ian Alexander, Charlie Habermeyer, Nolan Nathan Barrera, A. J. Butler, Joey Trautner, Coy White, Cooper Dern, Aidan Hopfner, Ian Kelly, Smith, Keith McCormick, AlexanKody Lewis, Jeremiah Lopez, Liam der Mackechnie, Dominic Griffin. Minor B Blue: Thomas BorbeTrost, Jason Zimmer. ly, Dominic Celentano, Joseph 12 year olds: Ryan Buddle, Lucia Jr., Cody Ross, Tyler SumBrady Christiansen, Corbin mers, Daniel Villasenor, Brady Clifton, Ryan Cuddy, Luke Cuneo,

Photo courtesy Concord american LL

Concord american Little League 12-year-old all-Stars included, front row from left, Zachary Munoz, Mario Molino; middle row, Josh Hovland, Josh Greer, Dylan Brandt, Kioni Caban, Nathan Crabtree, Tanner Cunningham, Keenan fitzgerald, Taleeb Weaver, Carter Vorger; back row, manager Sterling Caban, coach Patrick Brandt, Sean Murphy, Jonathan Down, Zachary usedom and coach Mike Molino. Brandt, Caban, Molino and Murphy were on the CaLL major division champion Marlins.

Frias, Lukas Kamrud, Joshua Peach, Keon Monsef, Everette Ward, Jared Hubbard, Brooks Bradburn, Luke Goetz, Joaquin Hernandez, Wyatt Pursche, Robert Coronel.


12 year olds: Cassidy Baker, Sofia Carmichael, Makaella Cherepy, Grace Geisler, Emma Gius, Damia Glaze, Gianna Orozco, Mikaela Pike, Ella Potts, Clarice Reinwald, Isabella Scolini, Emily Storn, Jenna Cooper, Sarah Graff. 11 year olds: Avery Baxter, Esme Chadic, Jasmine Chohlis, Genevieve Dennis, Carly Fassio, Morgan Grove, Jasmine Hatanaka, Jenna Kissinger, Jessie Lovett, Anja Perreira, Abbey Potts, Katherine Pugh, Jacqueline Sanchez, Raigen Vandiver. 10 year olds: Ruby Batholomew, Addison Baxter, Brooke Burns, Camille Cherepy, Ally DeMartini, Jordan Feeny, Sophia Groce, Dalilah Lawler, Alexis Lopez, Payton Marino, Samantha Padilla, Emmalee Usedom, Elizabeth Wallace, Antoinette Wirth.

Photo courtesy Clayton Valley LL

The Clayton Valley Little League Minor a all-Stars finished in third place at the District 4 eastern Division tournament. The team beat both other Concord leagues en route to a 4-2 record. The CVLL all-stars included, front row from left, Luke Dress, Tanner Lustig, Jameson Martin, Logan remington, Michael albert; middle row, Keegan D’arcy, Logan Knapp, Kieran Schmitt, Mateo Perez, Jakob Jensen, Blayne Ballard; back row, coach Chris albert, manager Joe Knapp and coach Brad Jensen. Not pictured, Kai Parker,

July 21, 2017

Concord Pioneer • every day!” Hamilton has been on BEST for five seasons after beginning swimming as a six-year-old. She has made County times every year and broken pool records along the way as well. She’ll start her freshman year at Clayton Valley Charter High even before the County Meet. She will be on the junior varsity cheerleading squad for the Ugly Eagles. Coach Martin adds, “Naomi is an outstanding athlete. She works hard at everything she does and she has such an awesome attitude. She’s always encouraging her teammates and she is definitely a role model for our younger swimmers.”

Athlete Spotlight

Naomi Hamilton

Age: 14 Team: Bishop Estates Swim Sport: Swimming Incoming high school freshman Naomi Hamilton enters next month’s 51st Concord Swimming Championships as the defending high point swimmer in the 13-14 age group. She was the top performer last year even though she was in the lower half of that age group. She capped her week-

end by setting a new City Meet record in the 13-14 25-yard breaststroke with a time of 31.48, besting the previous mark of 32.32. Setting the record in that event is no surprise to her Bishop Estates first-year head coach Stephanie Martin. “Breaststroke is her absolute favorite. She could swim that all day

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

Concord high school football teams look to competitive season with 3 new head coaches JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

High school football is starting a week earlier this year with practices commencing Monday, Aug 7. Here’s a brief rundown on Concord schools as they prepare for the fall season:

CLAYTON VALLEY CHARTER (9-2, 5-0) “Farms in Berkeley?” is an advertising phrase made famous in the Bay Area for Berkeley Farms Milk over many decades. Might there be a new moniker for Ugly Eagles football: “Passing at Clayton Valley Charter?” Coach Tim Murphy’s wingT offense has racked up record-setting numbers over the five seasons he’s been in charge but his teams have never averaged as many as seven passes a game. In the previous four years from 20082011 the Eagles passed over twice as much with quarterback Joey Levine setting school records in 2008 for touchdown passes and completion percentage. CVCHS has only four returning starters this fall after the senior-laden team last year finished as DAL champions before losing to De La Salle in the opening round of the North Coast Section playoffs. The Eagles were moved to Open Division after dominating DII over a four-year period

with three Section titles and State Bowl game appearances in 2014 and 2015. Murphy says senior quarterback Kenny Gardner Jr. and junior Logan Sumpter may be making more use of the forward pass. In 11 games last year the team threw only 75 passes in 11 games, which was still the highest average passes per game for a Murphy team at CVCHS. “In 20 years of coaching my teams have averaged 8 yards per carry rushing. But the two QBs I have right now are pretty dang good. I’ve always said ‘I don’t care how we get in the end zone’ but I’m always going to press the things my kids do best,” Murphy says. Boosting the passing game talk is senior athlete Milan Mijanovic, who has come out for football as a wide receiver and shown well in drills. The offense should still feature senior runningback James Teofilo (“He will run you over and now will run by you with big time off season work he put in”) with offensive linemen Brandon Mello (6-7, 295 pounds with numerous college offers) and Dylan Chrisco leading the blocking. Twelve all-leaguers graduated from Clayton Valley and Murphy says this year’s squad “may take some games to get where we want to be but these guys will get better every week.”

Photo courtesy MDHS football

New Mt. Diablo High School football coach Vontre Mason (right) and his son Joshua met Stanford football coach David Shaw while 23 red Devil players took part in the Stanford football camp this summer due to a generous $5000 donation from Sunrise Bistro owner Joe Stein. Coach Mason required players to have satisfactory report cards this spring to be able to go to the camp.

The Eagles first three games are against out-of-state teams before they begin DAL play at Gonsalves Stadium against Miramonte.

CONCORD (7-5, 2-3) The first of three new head coaches in Concord high schools to be appointed last winter was Paul Reynaud. He graduated from Clayton Valley and played football at St. Mary’s College. He rejoined his high school coach Herc Pardi on the CVHS staff from 20042011 and then served on Murphy’s first two Clayton Valley

Charter staffs as assistant head coach. Reynaud spent the last three years as defensive line coach at California High in San Ramon. While Reynaud gets used to a new school and players his team faces another challenge this year. Concord High is having a major field overhaul that includes an artificial turf football field, which will complete the installation of turf fields at all Mt. Diablo Unified School District high schools.

See Football, page 16

Page 15

Local spring sports local all-league high school players named Clayton Valley Charter, Concord, Mt. Diablo, Northgate and Ygnacio Valley (Diablo Athletic League), Carondelet and De La Salle (East Bay Athletic League) all-league honorees:

Tommy Kauffman, Dylan White (CVC), Eli Skinner (BC), Ryan LaChance, Peter Michiels (NG), Ian Ellingboe, 4x100 Relay (Con). Honorable Mention – Sayed Opeyany, Jason Rogers (CVC), Jesiel Guzman, Antonio Rodriguez, Kionte Zerai (YV), Swimming & Diving DVAL Boys First Team-Max Anthony Dulay, Michael Wheeler, Bottene, Cole Welsh, Andrew 4x100 Relay, 4x400 Relay, JackRodriguez, Alex Litvinov (North- son Smith (NG), Mark Baros, gate), Nikolas Weigelt, Ryan Levy, Davion Smith (Con). EBAL Boys De La Salle First Cal Brown, Anthony Vines (Clayton Valley Charter). Second Team Team-Obasi Dees, Harrison Fish- Chase Mitchell (CVC), Evan er, Isaias De Leon, Jonathan HarStanziano (Concord). Honorable vey, 4x100 Relay. DVAL Girls First Team- Jade Mention-Jerron Miller, Anthony Vizental, Shawn Broussard, Davis, Bridget Hyland, Kiersten Cameron Brandt (CVC), Connor Fouts, 4x100 Relay, 4x400 Relay Seip (NG), Adonis Thomas (Ygna- (CVC), Jessica Dong, Amy Christensen (NG), Kaylee Chaffey (BC), cio Valley). EBAL Boys De La Salle First April Frantz, Rayna Stanziano, Team-Forrest White, Jackson Rylie Person (Con). Second TeamGabler. Second Team-Daniel Jessica Johnson (CVC), Eliza O’Connell, Ryan Iannaccone, Cashman, Megan Chappell, Jake Simpson. Honorable 4x100 Relay, 4x400 Relay, Julia Hagedorn, Michelle Hahn (NG), Mention- Driscoll. DVAL Girls First Team- Adelle Meyer (Con). Honorable Danielle Arauzo, Rebecca Proctor, Mention - Kelly Osterkamp, Carlie Polkington, Maddie Jochn- Claire Olson, Katie Rangel (CVC), er, Piper Sterling, Bryn Mcgowan, Becca Jones (BC), Ellora Easton, Seraph Woodbury, Victoria Stahl, Gabby Anderson, Asha ByrneDelanie Gearing, Taylor Cossu, Berry (NG), 4x100 Relay c EBAL Girls Carondelet First Emma Smethurst (NG), Taylor Fair, Melissa Schoell (Berean Team- Katie Kern, Avery Avina, Christian). Second Team- Erica 4x100 Relay, 4x400 Relay. SecduLong, Julia Wickware, Gabby ond Team- Julianna Ruotolo. Mancini, Kaylie Walker (CVC), Honorable Mention- Hanna Tatum Turetzky (NG), Alyssa Coloma. House, Audrey Aitelli, Kara Boys Volleyball Howard (BC). Honorable MenDVAL MVP- Bailey Mundy tion- Jordan Balek, Kaley Ng, (BC). First Team-Matt Zamolo Anna Weines, Karlee Kronquist, (BC), Anthony Tara (Con), Liam Rayna Stanziano, Mickayla Sayre Totten, Frank Stringer, Zach Han(Con), Camille Cline, Brooke son (CVC). Second Team-Joe Johnson, Melissa Cark, Alina Nelson, Chris Neely (CVC), LanWeigelt (CVC). don Nortune, Duncan Morrison EBAL Girls Carondelet First (BC), Conner Burr, Lucien GerTeam-Samantha Coloma, Madehardt (Con). Honorable Mentionlyn Murphy, Malorie Han. HonorChristian Bulanadi, Justin Lavezable Mention- Holly Williams. zoli (CVC), Sky Lopez (Con), Kenji Kamiya, Evan Benson (BC). Boys Golf EBAL De La Salle MVP- Bailey DVAL First Team- Daniel Schaefer (CVC); Jacob Ricafrente, Militar. First Team-Ryan Byrne, Steve Harvey (NG), John Scott Darius Monsarrat-Ford. Second Senz (Con), Woojin Gallo (BC). Team-Nick Adiao. Honorable Second Team- Tyler Blazer, Larry Mention-Matt Vollman. Dombrowski (CVC), Grant Sandburg (NG), Mike Cosmi (Con), Ben Smith (BC). Honorable Mention-Marcellus Medrano (CVC), Josh Quiamboa (NG), George Speris (Con), Otto Steindorf (YV), Grayson Pulver (BC). EBAL De La Salle First TeamJosh McCarthy, Ethan Atherstone.

Baseball DVAL MVP- Nicholas Simmons (NG). First Team-Brian Wright, Ian Villars, Ryne Mannie, Kevin Clancy (NG), Nick Nunez, Jesus Hernandez (Con), Casey Schwitters (BC), Manny Alcantar (YV), Bill Ralston, James Biles, Jack Miller (CVC). Second Team – Daniel Glorioso, Will Batz, Chris Boys Tennis DVAL First Team- Leonard Gotz (BC), Chris Rogan, Anders Markiwiecz, Andrew Miller, Capener (NG), Ryan Parisi, Amadeo Ashe-Ramirez, Noah Patrick O’Shea, Johnathon Stover Zakaria (NG), Matt Osterkamp, (Con), Eli Zurita-Haber, Alejandro Lopez (YV), Rob Towne, Doug Dylan Kies (CVC). EBAL De La Salle First Team- Bermudez, Justin Roper (CVC). Daniel Nomura. Honorable Men- Honorable Mention –Dre Avizenis (BC), Andrew Abbott, Milan tion- Bebarta, C. Trinkus. Mijanovic, Kevin Snyder (CVC), Track & Field Matt Tortolani, Jordan Aguallo, DVAL Boys First Team – Jacob Samuels (YV), Danny Brandon Abon, Jordan Bonano (NG), Aaron Byrd, Zach Velasquez, Aidan Jackman, Corkran (Con), Kendrick Utt, 4x100 Relay, 4x400 Relay, Jake Scott Lewis (BC). King, Jack Fouts (CVC), Andres EBAL De La Salle MVPs-ConReynoso (Con), Edwin Flores ner Roberts, Conner Redmond. (NG), Jorge Velazquez, Andrew First Team- Nick Sparks, Joe Leonard (YV). Second Team- Vranesh, Ryan Cole, Trace Tammaro, Gabe Biosso. Second Team- Armani Smith. Honorable Mention- Mason Behiel, Cullen Kafka.

Diablo FC 07, MDSA United win soccer tournament titles

Photo courtesy MDSa

MDSa united 06 girls took first in the bronze division of Photo courtesy Diablo fC the San francisco evolution Cup on the Memorial Day Diablo fC 07 girls battled triple digit heat in Sacramento last month to win Cal Cup 2017. weekend. The local team scored 17 goals while posting Diablo fC 07 under 11 girls went undefeated in three games with only one substitute to four shutout wins. The united girls are, front row from left, take them to the championship match. for the finale it was 108 degrees and the local Julia Pauline, Temi okeowo, Natalya Modawar, Katelyn girls played shut out Vacaville 3-0 to take the Cal Cup Gold title. The tittle-winning team Calderon; middle row, renata Salerno, Kate Bullis, Juliana includes, from left, Naomi Chrobak, Hailey Stuart, Charlotte orr, Julianna amaya, Mikayla Gonzales, Lilly foskett, anja Perreira, Layla Solis, Julia agnew, coach Miguel Gonzalez, Carlina Lopez, Violet Barbosa, Luz ochoa and Kiara Lovelace, emery Stephens; back row, coach Matt Stephens Walker. Not pictured, Gabriella Garcia and Mahayla Zandonella-arasa. and coach Dylan Perriera.

Softball DVAL MVPs – Morgyn Wynne, Juliana Pichardo (Con). First Team-Veronica Castaneda, Elvis Alvarado, Aleya Rath (Con), Alyse Butterfield (BC), Morgan Batesole, Hannah Brajkovich (NG), Tyce Miranda, Tammy Mason, Sophie Wheeler, Athena Franklin (CVC), Isela Garcia (YV), Melissa Odriscoll (Mt. Diablo). Second Team – Cami Cohen, Nikki Mason, Cheyenne Harman (CVC), Lucy Decker, Haley Randall (NG), Taylar McCullough, Sadie Whatley (BC), Sarah Clifton, Julia Kiester (Con), Brianna Klopatek, Rebecca Dodenhoff (MD), Angela Garcia, Adriana Gonzalez (YV). Honorable Mention –Angela Garcia, Francisca Rodriguez (YV), Angelina Perez, Gabriella Tapia (MD), Kirsten Kennon, Lauren Simitz (NG), Maya Berry, McKenna Martin (CVC), Molly Kolander, Madison Kincaid (BC), Alaina Tonna, Fiona Walsh (Con). EBAL Carondelet First TeamSierra Blair, Giovy Webb. Second Team-Keleva Salt, Sofia Earle. Honorable Mention-Emma McLaughlin.

See Spring, page 16

Page 16

Football, from page 15

The project didn’t get underway until late July so Reynaud has no idea where the Minutemen will play their five scheduled home games, including the first two non-league games Aug. 25 and Sept. 1. Third-year varsity quarterback Nick Nunez will lead the offense. Reynaud has other returning starters in juniors Brian Cruz and Austin Williams along with Nunez’ senior classmates Darion Smith, Hunter Simmers and Francisco Garcia. Top new players are a trio of juniors: Gabe Kent, Kyle Robinson and Chase Dashner. The new coach says, “I expect us to play all-out, disciplined football every snap. If we can we will win more than we lose.” He discusses his first exposure to the new DAL Football

Concord Pioneer •

Division for the Minutemen. “I relish the opportunity to compete against some of the best programs in Contra Costa County. There will be no easy games and the level of coaching in this division is some of the best in the whole Bay Area so we will have to be on our game at all times.”

DE LA SALLE (11-2) The last time De La Salle football played, not only did the Spartans lose but they gave up the most points since Bob Ladouceur came to De La Salle in 1979 when they fell 56-33 to St. John Bosco in the State championship game. Coach Justin Alumbaugh and his staff certainly didn’t have to remind returning players of that result during off-season workouts. DLS has a quartet of highly-recruited players who will

Sports Shorts

July 21, 2017

CONCORD HIGH LOOKING FOR VARSITY TENNIS COACHES Concord High School is looking for 2017-18 varsity girls (fall0 and boys (spring) tennis coaches. Send resume and references to AD Megan Coddington at Stipends available. Coaching requirements include MDUSD Fingerprints, Current TB test,  First Aid/CPR, Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Concussion certification through NFHS. 

Jason rogers

Brandon Mello (77) is one of the few returning starters for coach Tim Murphy’s Clayton Valley Charter team but the offensive lineman will be looking to block for new quarterback Kenny Gardner Jr. and open holes for runningback James Teofilo. The 6-foot-7, 295-pound Mello is being heavily recruited with reported verbal offers from Pac-12 schools arizona State, Cal, oregon, oregon State, uCLa, Washington, Washington State and Colorado.

headline the team’s efforts this fall as they navigate another tough independent schedule including a Sept. 16 matchup with two-time National Champion Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas. Gorman is riding a 54game winning streak. Senior Tuli Letuligasenoa (6-2, 295 pounds) made a strong impression on the defensive line last year and has already committed to USC. Alumbaugh’s offense will still be run-oriented with Kairee Robinson returning after a breakout junior year when he ran for 2012 yards and 25 touchdowns. Robinson may not have the size college recruiters like but his 5-8 frame reminds many of DLS runningbacks of the past including Maurice Jones-Drew. This year’s team has lots more experience than the 2016 Spartans. A couple sophomores who burst onto the scene last fall were tight end Isaiah Foskey and linebacker Henry To’ oto’o. Both have attracted college notice with two years of high school

WALNUT CREEK AQUANUTS OFFER SUMMER PROGRAMS Walnut Creek Aquanuts are offering “Try It” days to introduce athletes to its synchronized swimming program. The 90minute sessions are being held July 29, Sept. 2 and Sept. 4. Registration is $10 for a session with top WCA coaching staff on hand. The world-renowned Aquanuts also offer trainee sessions over the summer and fall, each running 4-5 weeks. The trainee sessions are for ages four and up who are new to the sport. Swimmers must be comfortable in deep water and able to swim 25 yards. Registration is open for the July 31-Sept. 3 session at Clark Memorial Swim Center in Walnut Creek. Registration for both programs can be found at

DIABLO FC HOLDING PLAYER EVALUATIONS Formal tryouts for Diablo FC under 8 through U19 competremaining. itive teams (birth years 1999-2011) have concluded but coaches The quarterback position are still holding player evaluations. Visit to get more figures to be shared by juniors information and signup for the appropriate age group evaluaAndrew Jones and Erich Storti, tion. who threw four varsity passes CONCORD ADULT FALL SOFTBALL LEAGUES between them last year. MT. DIABLO (1-8, 0-4) Head coach Vontre Mason has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success the past four years, winning a league championship each time. Unfortunately, that was as defensive line coach for Clayton Valley Charter and now he is taking over as head coach of a Mt. Diablo High team aching for success. The super-positive Mason has already been busy at the area’s oldest school fund-raising, getting the alumni and boosters involved and making sure potential players are putting in the classroom work needed to be able to play football this fall. Mason took 23 MDHS players to Stanford football camp after a local restaurant donated $5000 to the school boosters. The top returning seniors are runningback/linebacker Carlos Tiant and lineman Tenoa Swayne. The Red Devils also expect big contributions by sophomore Trevion Williams and transfers Amari Ransom (TE/OLB transfer from Antioch) and Ameen Shuladeen (RB/LB from Freedom). Mason takes over a Red Devils program that hasn’t had a winning season since 2009. He is the fifth head coach since that season. In 2014 Mt. Diablo made the North Coast Section Division III playoffs.


Concord’s fall adult softball leagues for men’s, women’s and coed teams begin in September and run through mid-November. Offering games Sunday through Friday nights, the fall program serves thousands of players annually with leagues to accommodate all skill levels. Cost per team (up to 20 people) is $625 for an eight-game season.  Additional information can be found at or by calling 671-3423. CLAYTON VALLEY LITTLE LEAGUE HAS BASEBALL, SOFTBALL FALL PROGRAMS Softball and baseball players aged 8-12 can sign up for the Clayton Valley Little League fall program. The players will have practices in August and games against Concord American and other nearby little leagues in September and October. Players get a hat and t-shirt. Contact Dave Scolini at for more info or visit

DE LA SALLE HIGH SPORTS CAMPS OFFERED ALL SUMMER De La Salle High School is hosting athletic camps for championship football, basketball, track and field, lacrosse, wrestling, volleyball, baseball, water polo, swimming, soccer, rugby and strength and conditioning. The camps are open to boys and girls incoming from kindergarten to ninth grades. For complete information call 288-8100 ext. 7090 or email Registration is open now at (athletic tab). EVENING SUMMER YOUTH TENNIS CAMPS NOW IN CONCORD Concord is offering an evening summer camp for beginning and high-performance tennis training for youth ages 7-17. Camps are grouped by age and ability and taught by Calvin McCullough, a USNTA/USPTR certified instructor with over 20 years coaching experience. To register or for details on dates, times and fees go to CONCORD AYSO FALL REGISTRATION CLOSING SOON Concord AYSO is still accepting registration for its fall soccer program with online registration. Registration fee is $175. AYSO is a great place for kids to have fun and make new friends while learning how to play soccer. Visit for details.

REGISTRATION OPEN FOR ALL OUT SPORTS LEAGUES PROGRAMS Summer programs for youth basketball and volleyball offered by All Out Sports Leagues in Clayton are taking registration YGNACIO VALLEY (2-8, 1-4) online. For complete information on All Out Sports programs, The Warriors also have a visit new head coach in Clyde Byrd, who took over for five-year DE LA SALLE ANNOUNCES 2017 ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME CLASS FOR SEPT. 10 INDUCTION coach Philip Puentes after last De La Salle High School has announced its 2017 Athletic season. Byrd has been the head Hall of Fame inductees. The Hall of Fame inductees this year coach at Oakland, Kennedy of include two teams, one coach and five athletes. They are Mike Richmond and Castlemont in Blasquez (1992-2002 strength and conditioning coach), Tom Oakland. He has also coached Joseph (Class of 1985, football and wrestling), Kevin Keane on the football staffs of St. (Class of 1989, basketball and track and field), Derek Landri Elizabeth and McClymonds of (Class of 2002, football), Michael Salvemini (Class of 1987, footOakland, San Lorenzo and ball and soccer), Nick Schnabel (Class of 1996, baseball), 2001 Richmond highs. football team and 2002 water polo team. The Sept. 10 induction He had taken the past two in the Hofmann Student Center on the De La Salle campus is football seasons off from open to the public. Registration will be online at while teaching biology at Ygnacio Valley. The year letics/hall-of-fame. For more information, contact Lloyd Schine before that he was teaching at or by phone at 288-8171. Mt. Diablo and says with a CLAYTON VALLEY JR. EAGLES smile that he’s circled the WarCHEER, FOOTBALL SIGNUPS END SOON riors homecoming game Oct. Clayton Valley Jr. Eagles football program is open to play27 against MD. “I taught the ers 7-14 years of age. Cheer programs begin for five-year-olds Mt. Diablo seniors when they through 14. The 2017 season begins August 1. Visit were freshmen,” Byrd said. for more info and to register. Byrd says his six returning starters are split evenly between offense (Devynn Thomas, Jose Ruiz and Andy Palacio) and defense (all-league linebacker Jean Felix, Alejandro Lopez and Jose Ruiz). He is also looking at varsity returning players Alberto Lacrosse DVAL Girls: First TeamDVAL Boys: First Team- Cameron Adams (NG), Sofia Geremy, Naz Allen, Brayan Buelan, Edwin Garcia, Jose Dakota Harman, Ryan Alimagno Campos (YV). Second Team-Josie Guillen, Nestor Isguerra, Jesus (CVC). Second Team-Torin Neal, McGregor (NG), Rylee Heinz Jiminez, Albert Lozaya, Fred- James Essex (CVC), Ian Morford, (CVC), Marcia Seguras (YV). HonMentionKoryna erico Ochoa, Christian Park, James Madden (NG). Honorable orable Mention-Jack Morse, Cole Car- Boudinot, Ashley Shepard (NG); Bryan Plascencia, Leo Queza- bone (CVC), Will Bitner, Andrew Sydney Wheeler, Marlinda da and Daniel Tellez for con- Lentz (NG). Ramirez (CVC), Natalie Hastings tributions. EBAL Boys De La Salle First (YV). Byrd has a couple transfers, Team-Brook Rideau. Second EBAL Girls Carondelet First students who did not play last Team-Ben Allen, Johnny Coletta. Team-Sophia Panella, Olivia year as well as some incoming Honorable Mention-Sean Rigley, Pereira. Second Team-Mia Malfreshmen that he expects will Michael Balousek, Connor oney, Katie Kuptz. Honorable Mention-Lauren Zelnik. Lencioni, Ross McDonald. be key team members.

Spring, from page 15

July 21, 2017

Concord Pioneer •

Multi-trunk smokebush—beautiful and tough



The smokebush can take some pretty harsh conditions. That’s why you will frequently see them as plantings on busy roads. There is a beautiful example of the hardy smokebush in the median at Clayton Rd. and Old Marsh Creek in Clayton. The smoke bush has round, reddish-brown foliage and is surrounded with trailing new gold lantana. It is a successful drought-tolerant and sun-loving combination. This multi-trunk smoke bush has folks interested in finding out more about this fabulous


ornamental tree and other considerations that embrace the same shape. Multi-trunk is a term used in landscaping to describe the shape of a tree that has multiple trunks and is low branching. Typically a tree or large shrub that is multi-trunk exposes a third to half of its height with its

legs (trunk), and the remaining structure has lateral branches and foliage. It is common to see crape myrtle, smoke bush, madrone, redbud and olive trees assume this natural shape. Smoke bushes have extremely desirable attributes. This small tree is very hardy to drought, sun and heat. It has reddish-brown

Don Salvio Pacheco: An upright, honest man

CaroL LoNGSHore


Don Salvio Pacheco is a man you will be hearing a lot about throughout this next year. Many of you already know that he was one of the three founders of Concord. He was the founder of Todos Santos Plaza. He was born in Monterey on July 15, 1793, and at the age of 17 he enlisted in the military. He was transferred to the San Francisco Presidio where he met and married Maria Juana Flores.  A year later, in 1818, their son Fernando was born. Seven more children were added to the family with only five surviving. After his retirement from the military in 1827, he took his family to San Jose, the first civil town established in 1777. They lived there for 20 years and during that time he saved as Mayor, Treasurer, and Sur-

a statue of Don Salvio Pacheco, one of Concord’s founding fathers and founder of Todos Santos Plaza, will be unveiled July 4, 2018 in the Todos Santos Plaza.

veyor of Public Lands. However, the most unusual public service position he held was that of Juez de Campo, supervisor of rodeos. Back in those days rodeos were government regulated and were an essential part of the economy, not just entertainment. In 1827 he was looking for a place to pasture his 850 heads of horned cattle, a flock of

sheep and three droves of mares of 30 head each.  He learned that a Scotchman, William Welsh, had asked the Mayor if Don Salvio Pacheco could herd his cattle to a ranch, Ignacio Martinez.   Pacheco hopped on a ship then went down to San Diego to get permission from the government to purchase the land. The governor granted him permission and asked if he could wait while the distribution and permission for the lands could be drawn up. On June 10, 1834 Pacheco received the grant to the land that the troops knew by the name of Monte del Diablo. All 17,921 acres became his.  By the time of his death in 1876 he saw California change in culture, character and ownership. His heritage and experience made him an upright, honest man, fiercely loyal to family and friends and magnanimous to the Americans who came to settle on his land. A statue of Don Salvio Pacheco, will be unveiled July 4, 2018 in Todos Santos Plaza. 

Carol Longshore has been a Concord resident since 1950. She is a community leader and current president of the Concord Historical Society. Send comments and suggestions for future topics to

foliage from spring through early fall. In autumn, its leaves change to yellow and orange. For the past few years, some have chosen to install a smoke bush rather than a red-leafed Japanese maple. You can expect a multi-trunk smoke bush to mature to about 10 feet tall and 6 feet wide, making it a lovely foundation plant for a waterwise landscape. Crape myrtles are a common street tree. We see them planted all around town and in many landscapes. The multi-trunk shape is the crape myrtle’s natural form. Aside from the summer flowers, another fabulous feature of the crape myrtle is its striking, smooth bark. The size of a mature crape myrtle varies, depending on the selection. Arbutus Marina is a hardy, evergreen tree available at nurseries in both a tree shape and a multi-trunk shape. This evergreen has dark green leaves and periodic, pendulous flowers. One of the most unforgettable features of Arbutus Marina is its exceptional bark, which is cinnamon colored. It makes an outstanding landscaping specimen. When installed as a multi-trunk tree, you get the opportunity to enjoy more of this tree’s best feature. Arbutus will grow large, so expect 18-20 feet tall and 9-10 feet wide. This evergreen needs minimal summer water, tolerates our hot summers and isn’t picky about our clay soil. Multi-trunk western redbuds are spring-blooming ornamental trees with medium green, heartshaped leaves. In late February, before its leaves emerge, the western redbud’s two-lipped flowers of magenta-purple line its woody stems. Install multitrunk western redbud on a Clayton hillside this autumn, and you’ll be thoroughly pleased once early spring arrives.

Fruitless olive trees thrive in heat and love drought conditions. They keep their powdery gray leaves all year long. The leaves also provide contrast to many of the green plants found in local landscapes. Fruitless olives are slow-growing trees, so you should expect to pay more for them.

Matteo’s Dream came closer to reality. After six years of fundraising, more than 2,000 volunteers built the park April 2029, 2007. It was the largest playground in Concord, covering an area a third the size of a football field. The city donated the land at Hillcrest Park and provided $232,000 in park funds. Lions Club mem-

John T. Miller

Lions Club international vice president Gudrun yngvadottir and her husband, John Biarni Thorsteinsson, have traveled the world to see playgrounds inspired by Matteo’s Dream. This was their first view of the Concord park.

bers raised an additional $500,000 and solicited in-kind donations and volunteers. Unfortunately, Matteo went into intensive care for 30 days and Lamach was unable to be on hand for the building of the park. Ridle stepped in again and directed the volunteers. “The last thing I wanted was for the park to be a memorial for Matteo, rather than a place he could play side-by-side with his friends and cousins. We were so happy he recovered and could enjoy the park as long as he could,” Lamach said of her son, who died in 2011. Michael Miller, vice chair of Concord’s Parks, Recreation and Open Space Commission, helped build the park and was at the festivities. He praised Lamach’s efforts. “She is a great example of a private citizen stepping up. Without her constantly pushing this concept, it would never have become a reality.” Hoffmeister called Matteo’s Dream “the most accessible playground built at the time and a model that has been recreated elsewhere for the benefit of children worldwide.”

Multi-trunk trees can make successful landscape installations, providing unique shapes with tons of interest. Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. You can contact her with questions or comments by email at

Outdoor Living Begins Here R&M is the place for: • Sales, repairs & supplies of all pool equipment

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Matteo, from page 1

New Jersey company that could design it – but they told her she would have to build it. She appealed to the Pittsburg Lions club but was met with a tepid response. That’s when Bill Ridle, in attendance as the district governor, said: “This is what Lions is all about.” He declared building the park a district project, and

Page 17

Call for Price 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, approx. 1900 sq. ft. Listing agent: Rula Masannat


• 1901 Meredith Ct., Concord

$619,000 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 1548 sq. ft.

Listing agent: Matt Mazzei

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3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, 2049 sq. ft.

• 2934 Putnum Blvd., Walnut Creek

$639,000 Listing agent: Rula Masannat


3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1929 sq. ft.

Listing agent: Doug Van Riper

Matt Mazzei, Jr.,

Paula & Rod Johnstone

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Paula 925-381-8810 Rod 925-286-5765 Clayton residents since 1959

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Beat the heat and head for the beach

Page 18

Concord Pioneer •

KeViN ParKer




What do you do when it’s 102° by 11 a.m? What else but pack a lunch, grab some water, sunscreen up and head over to beautiful San Francisco where we traded the heat for a cool 66° day with plenty of sunshine and a spirit for adventure. I took the kiddies along for this hike and within seconds of arrival, they were jumping up and down at the site of the Sutro Bath ruins. Originally built in 1896 as the world’s

largest saltwater complex, including six saltwater pools and one freshwater pool, these baths would fill at high tide and were serviced by rail lines and ferries near the Cliff House. The baths burned down in the 1960s from suspected arson. Descend the steps from the parking lot down to The Sutro Baths (126 steps in all) and pick a direction, because I promise, none will disappoint. We spent time frolicking around the rocks on Ocean Beach, admiring the historic Cliff House, Seal Rocks and exploring an endless amount of nooks, crannies and caves. Comparing pictures of this historic facility with the ruins that exist today really leaves a lot up to the imagination. Wildflowers have filled in the

July 21, 2017

Kevin Parker

a descent of 126 steps will take you down to the ruins of the Sutro Baths on the Lands end Trail.

secret passages, tunnels, stairways and concrete remnants left behind from long ago. An early highlight for all ages of my group.

Coastal Trail leaves directly from the parking lot at Lands End Lookout. The trail quickly delivers endless trailside wildflowers, numerous groves

of Cypress Trees along with some rolling afternoon fog, which made this hike a cool cruiser on a stunning summer day. Dogs are welcome, but bikes are not. Coastal Trail rambles and drifts through shaded cypress covered sections as you make your way around the Northeast portion of Lands End past the USS San Francisco Memorial (worth a quick side trip) and Mile Rock Overlook and eventually head out to Mile Rock Lookout Trail. Don’t miss Mile Rock Lookout Trail down to Mile Rock Beach. The 184 wooden steps which take you down to the beach are a “must do” during this hike. A shady and quick descent into the sandy conditions below put you at

Plump raspberries rule the summer table


cost, and they’re versatile in recipes. Look for plump, evenlycolored berries that have a soft, hazy “gloss” with no mold or spots. Raspberries are highly perishable, so they should be refrigerated or eaten

Lands End to Presidio Coastal Trail Distance: 5.0+ miles Duration: 2.5-3.0 hours Getting there: Parking at Lands Ends Lookout (Point Lobos Ave, SF). Restrooms, information, free trail maps in store, and coffee shop Lands End Point within minutes. This rocky point has some of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific Ocean in the Bay Area. A bonus treat lies within the massive Labyrinth Maze on a plateau hidden to those who lack “adventure mojo.” Labyrinths date back almost 4000 years and have a long association with spirituality, ritual and sacred dance. The kids ran circles while I enjoyed the Golden Gate Bridge, the fresh ocean air and lack of crowds. Hikers beware, this area in general, especially Lands End Point has some very high consequence falls. So stay away from the cliffs, edges, and never turn your back on the ocean. Coastal Trail continues along the shoreline towards the Golden Gate Bridge and the Presidio beyond. Dead Man’s Point, Eagle’s Point Overlook, China Beach and Baker Beach are not to be missed. Other highlights such as Fort Point and the Presidio will have to be conquered on future adventures. Enjoy summer!

For dressing, combine vinegar, oil, poppy seeds, salt and pepper in screw top jar. Cover and shake well; set aside. Place chicken on the unheated rack of a broiler CHICKEN/RASPBERRY pan. Broil 4-5 inches from SALAD heat about 9 minutes or until Serves 4 no longer pink, turning ¼ c. raspberry or balsamic halfway through broiling. Cut vinegar chicken diagonally into thin 3 T. olive oil slices. ½ tsp. poppy seeds Arrange salad greens, ¼ tsp. salt onion and chicken on large ¼ tsp. pepper platter. Drizzle with dressing. 1 lb. skinless, boneless Sprinkle fresh raspberries chicken breast halves over salad. Recipe: PCFMA staff 6 c. torn mixed salad greens Half a small red onion, The Concord Farmers Market is in Contact Kevin Parker with comthinly sliced and sepa- Todos Santos Plaza Tuesdays & ments or questions by email at rated into rings Thursdays. See ad page 4 for 1 c. fresh raspberries plete schedule

such as Medina Berry Farms of Watsonville, BerryLicious of Gilroy and Brothers Ranch of Watsonville. You won’t find these luscious beauties at the supermarket.

DEBRA MORRIS Pacific Coast Farmers Market

If you are making plans for a picnic or outdoor gathering, put it all together using fabulous summer berries – especially raspberries. Sweet raspberries are at their peak during the warm summer months and sometimes into early fall. With more than 200 varieties, raspberries are available in red, black, purple and gold hues. Each variety is a different strain that has its own distinct flavor, but red raspberries remain the favorite. Raspberries are rich in Vitamins B1, B2 and C and also have considerable quantities of calcium, magnesium and iron. They provide hearthealthy benefits at a fairly low

Golden Gate National Recreation Area

as soon after purchase as possible. They will last only 2-3 days. They can be frozen or made into jams as well. You’ll find the freshest, just-picked raspberries, both golden and red varieties, at the farmers market from growers

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JUL 21 Concord Pioneer 2017  

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

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