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IT’S YOUR PAPER www.claytonpioneer.com

July 25, 2014

925.672.0500

Clayton’s first Fitness Fair and 5k run to be an annual event HANK STRATFORD

MAYOR’S CORNER

Keeping Clayton’s streets, homes safe Here is a brief update on public safety in Clayton. Our police department is fully staffed. Officers Borman, Wayne and Fragga are progressing nicely through their field training. Once field training is completed each officer will be able to fill a work shift, which will relieve some of the pressure on our fully trained officers. In the meantime, Chief Chris Thorsen continues to saddle up and patrol during the day. For nearly two decades our police department, along with the majority of police departments around the country, has used Ford’s Crown Victoria Police Interceptor as its patrol car. In

See Mayor, page 3

Julie Pierce

CLAYTON SAW ITS FIRST 5K RUN AT CLAYTON COMMUNITY PARK LAST SATURDAY. The event included a Fitness Fair with Zumba demonstrations by Kaia Fitness and CPR instruction by CERT volunteers.

More than 300 adults and kids– some in strollers–gathered in the early morning at the Clayton Community Park last Saturday for the town’s first 5K Run and Fitness Fair. The turnout far surpassed expectations for Girl Scout Sarah Owen who is organized the event for her Gold Award. The event was free, but required a donation for the Contra Costa and Solano County Food Bank. By 8 a.m., volunteers had collected at least eight barrels of food and more donations were coming. The first ten to finish received a pat on the back and a water bottle. Surprising even her parents, 11-year-old Emma Coflin finished among the top ten. “She was running along way back with her mom,” said dad Dan Coflin. “Then she suddenly took off.” One of the requirements for the award is to organize a community event that will be ongoing, said Owen. Sharon Cuff, whose company Calex was one of the major sponsors, has agreed to organize next year’s run.

Concord’s downtown plan targets business, housing PEGGY SPEAR Clayton Pioneer

It’s a Tuesday night in downtown Concord, and things are hoppin’. A couple hundred people lounge in Todos Santos Plaza listening to a blues band, coupled

Mercurio pleads guilty to felony DUI TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer

A 22-year-old Clayton woman, charged with a felony DUI after hitting and critically injuring a motorcyclist last year appeared in a Martinez courtroom last week where she changed her plea from not guilty to guilty and was sentenced to three years in state prison. Jessica Mercurio, then 21, was driving with a blood alcohol nearly four times the legal limit on June 27, 2013, when she lost control of her Toyota Corolla on Clayton Road at the Oak Street ramp. She jumped the median, crossing into the eastbound lane where she hit 51-year-old Mark Tomaszewski head on before crashing into a light pole in front of Clayton City Hall. Witnesses at

with the sounds of children laughing in the playground. Food Trucks from Off-the-Grid line Salvio Street, while patrons of local restaurants – including the new Hop Grenade taproom — pack outdoor seating areas. The Tuesday Night Blues series has become a trendy event in July, second only to the wildly popular Thursday Night Music and Market series, which draws thousands to the area around the plaza, and it’s no secret why. “The quality of the entertainment, coupled with the restaurants and businesses, make

downtown Concord a great place to be,” says John Montagh, the city’s Economic Development and Housing Manager. And if the city has its way, this will be the norm for decades to come. The city council last month adopted the Downtown Specific Plan, which will direct growth and development in the blocks in and around the historic plaza. The plan envisions a district as bustling, transit-oriented, urban space serving as both a magnet of activity for the city, as well as a more regional commuter hub for central Contra

Costa County. It has a good start, Montagh says, if only because the plaza anchors the downtown, and much of the city’s events and activities are held there. And not only do Concord residents flock to downtown, it’s pulling fans from neighboring communities as well. “We come every Thursday night,” says Walnut Creek resident Sandi Hollander. “We love just hanging out in the plaza with friends, listening to music. It’s become ‘the thing’ to do during the summer.”

Lighting Ceremony in DecemVIBRANT DOWNTOWN But it’s not just in the summer ber. Downtown Concord has months that Todos Santos Plaza become an attractive place to be, hosts activities. year round.” “Downtown Concord has She says that “with more peobecome more vibrant than ple living downtown moving here ever,” says Concord planning from other parts of the Bay Area, commissioner Carlyn Obringer. the demand for interesting, speShe attributes that to a number cialty places to eat and drink is of things. “There is practically growing.” She points to the sucalways something going on, cess of La Sen Bistro, Naan-nfrom the Winter Brews Festival Curry, Ravioli’s, E.J. Phair Conin January, to the AAUW-Con- cord Alehouse, The Pig & The cord Art and Wine (and Beer!) Pickle, The Hop Grenade and Walk the day before Mother’s Sweet Tart. “The addition of Day, to the summer Music and Market events, to the Tree See Downtown Plan, page 5

Fire district staffs up as Station 11 reopening set for Dec. 1 EMILY WRIGHT Correspondent

For the first time in twoand-a-half years, new recruits attending the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Academy had an opportunity to experience a full-scale simulation training, complete with fire engines and heavy equipment, at a parking garage in Concord. On Friday July 18, the city of Concord allowed the academy to temporarily shut down the upper floors of the parking structure at the corner of Salvio and Colfax streets so the soon-to-be firefighters

See Mercurio, page 4

could practice techniques with more space than the 25-by-25 foot training tower area they usually have. There was also the added benefit of experience out in the community and in a new environment. “It doesn’t have a fire or smoke, but it does have a training tower with a smaller set up. It gets us into a realistic situation, dealing with traffic, and people,” Brent Boling, a firefighter academy instructor, explained. “The main goal is just more hands on training for the new recruits. We try to prepare them for the possibilities from day one.”

See CCCFPD, page 3

What’s Inside Around Town . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Book Review . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Classified . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

Community Calendar . . . . .12 Concord City News . . . . . . . .5 Food for Thought . . . . . . . .14

Photo: Emily Wright

THE UPPER FLOORS OF CONCORD’S SALVIO ST. PARKING GARAGE served as training grounds last week for CCCFPD firefighters-in-training as they learned to manage the fire hose in a multi-story structure fire scenario. Garden Girl . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 MDES Correspondent . . . . . .6 Performing Arts . . . . . . . . . .13 Pets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Pioneer Photo Album . . . . .15

Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Sports Talk . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Teen Reads . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Underfoot (NEW) . . . . . . . .16

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Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

July 25, 2014

Around Town Clayton woman helps families C.O.P.E

Pioneer Travels The Pioneer in Patagonia

Tom and Kira Lass took us along last month when they headed south – waaaay south – to the tip of South America to Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, Chile.

Clayton resident Patsy Sherman, a recent recipient Contra Costa Community College District “Unsung Hero” award, was honored at the recent Wine Tasting Benefit for a local agency supporting low- or no-cost parenting classes throughout the county. The Counseling Operations and Parent Education’s (C.O.P.E.) annual wine event, held May 14 at the Oakhurst Country Club, featured a raffle and silent auction, with the proceeds benefitting the organization and the classes and services it offers to families who do not qualify for government funding assistance. C.O.P.E. hopes to soon expand its services to families with special needs children. Together with community

The Giants in St. Louis

partners such as Contra Costa First Five Commission, County Mental Health Services and Clinics, Juvenile Hall, and Head Start, C.O.P.E. works with case managers, social workers and lawyers to enroll some parents in specific parenting classes. Sherman was feted for her 50plus years of service in Contra Costa County. She started her career as Director/teacher at Clayton Valley Preschool Co-op; currently she is Director of Continuing Education for Foster, Adoptive and Kinship Care Providers at Los Medanos College. Sherman has worked with other non-profits such as the Family Stress Center, EMQ Families First, Contra Costa Children & Family Services, Independent

Cathy Botello, C.O.P.E. Executive Director with honoree Patsy Sherman C.O.P.E. volunteers, Sharon DeVillers, Dee Luce, Ann Sherman, Sheelah Gehring, Marilyn Simonsen, Lynn Gudnason at the ‘Unsung Heros’ awards celebration May 14.

Living Skills Program and many other community organizations.

Time for the ‘Antiques Roadshow’

She also serves on an advisory board for Counseling Options & Parent Education for C.O.P.E. As an adopted child herself, she says she is well aware of the needs of families adopting children and the children themselves. For more information on C.O.P.E., including parenting classes and anti-bullying presentations, contact Ashley Ryan at 925 689-5811 or ashley.ryan@copefamilysupport.org.

What’s happening Around Town?

Gary and Susan Barton of Clayton and Mitch and Marianne Roybal of Concord all headed to the Midwest last May to Marianne’s hometown of St. Louis to watch the Giants best the Cardinals three games out of four in Busch Stadium. Busch Stadium in late May. Sorry Marianne...the Giants took 3 of 4.” From left: Marianne, Susan Gary and Mitch.

The brother and sister team of Jeff McCarthy and Joyce Keller, both of Clayton, recently took a road trip to the “Antiques Roadshow” event in Santa Clara.

Only one in 3,000 applicants receive tickets, and McCarthy entered the show’s lottery six times before he snagged one, says wife Debbie McCarthy. In tow

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was his family’s old French parlor clock that once belonged to his relative, Senator Aaron Sargent. The trip was worth it, as the clock was valued at $1,500.

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1052 Pebble Beach Dr. – Clayton

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

jenstojanovich@yahoo.com

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SALE DATE

. . . . .2/2 . . . . . . .7/16/14 . . . . .3/2 . . . . . . .7/11/14 . . . . .4/2 . . . . . . .7/11/14 . . . . .2/2 . . . . . . .7/11/14 . . . . .4/3 . . . . . . .7/10/14 . . . . .3/2.5 . . . . . .7/10/14 . . . . .4/2 . . . . . . . .7/9/14 . . . . .3/2.5 . . . . . . .7/9/14 . . . . .3/2.5 . . . . . . .7/8/14 . . . . .5/3 . . . . . . . .7/8/14 . . . . .3/2 . . . . . . . .7/3/14 . . . . .2/2.5 . . . . . .6/26/14 . . . . .3/2.5 . . . . . .6/26/14 . . . . .5/2.5 . . . . . .6/20/14

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July 25, 2014

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

Page 3

Clayton skateboarders nail benefit ride PEGGY SPEAR Clayton Pioneer

Devin McHugh always knew his love of skateboarding would pay off, and this summer it did for the young patients at Children’s Hospital and Research Center in Oakland. McHugh, the son of Clayton residents Brian and Liza McHugh, and five friends completed Skate-for-Bay-Area, a two-day “wheel trip” benefit from Clayton to Santa Cruz that raised $750, which the boys used to purchase toys for children at the hospital. “It was awesome,” McHugh, a UC Davis student, says of the trip – and the experience of giving toys to the children. “We kind of got carried away buying toys,” he said sheepishly. McHugh was joined on his

ride by fellow Clayton residents Michael Kerr, Tyler Riessen and Zach Zuercher, UC Davis student Joshua Brown, and McHugh’s cousin Dylan Lee. The skaters left on June 15, traveling south on backroads through Dublin, Castro Valley and Milpitas. “Once we got going we sort of modified the route, so we ended up taking Mission Blvd. all the way to San Jose,” McHugh said. “I didn’t text or call my mom as much as I should have from that part of the trip,” he says. “I know she’d be worried.” Daunted by the hills of the winding Highway 17 to Santa Cruz, the skaters decided to hop a bus instead. But once they got over the mountain they got back on their skateboards, where they finished up at McHugh’s sister Tristin’s home. McHugh says the trek was

CCCFPD, from page 1 On each floor of the parking lot, a group of firefighters could practice different skills. On the fourth floor there was a chalk drawing of an apartment building so the trainees could practice hurrying down a hallway, and on the fifth floor they simulated a fire, giving them a chance to use the fire hoses. While some firefighters practiced using the hoses as if there was a fire, many more looked on, ready to deal out more hose if necessary, and awaiting their turns.

Boling pointed out that, during training, the soon-to-be firefighters use as little water as possible because of the drought. Boling also explained that these recruits were carrying 100 to 200 feet of hose, 28 gallons of water, 65 pounds of gear, and were wearing a suit consisting of three layers: A moisture barrier layer, a quilted layer and a fire resistant layer. In addition to all they carried, the firefighters frequently hurried up and down the stairs from the second floor, where

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an opportunity to showcase his love of skateboarding, while

helping out kids who may not have been so fortunate as he.

To raise funds, McHugh set up an online fundraising site on YouCare.com. Now that the skateboard trip is over, McHugh says he hopes to make Skate-for-BayArea an annual event. “The Clayton troublemakers will be at it again,” he says.

n o t y Clancerts CoThe Grov Saturdays

6 to 8:30 p.m. At the Gazebo in The Grove Aug 2 Diamond Dave – sings the classics of Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Justin Timberlake and even Lady Gaga

Mayor, from page 1

CLAYTON SKATEBOARDERS DEVIN MCHUGH AND TYLER RIESSEN pose by some of the toys they donated to Children’s Hospital & Research Center following their Skate-for-Bay-Area benefit ride.

the stand pipe was located for plugging in the hose, to the various floors where they would do their training. Below the parking lot, more recruits waited for their shift beside three older model fire engines that are used for training. “We’re required to teach them from Firemen One Standard,” Boling said, “We do everything from medical to breathing to smoke [training]. We get them ready.” STATION 11 TO OPEN DEC . 1 And that’s a good thing, as far as the fire district and residents are concerned. CCCFPD Chief Jeff Carmen told the

Clayton City Council earlier this month that the district is still too understaffed to reopen Station 11, Clayton’s only fire station, in August as had been previously announced, and will instead reopen Dec. 1. Besides the 18 trainees ready to graduate the academy, a new academy begins in fourto-six weeks, Carmen said. It was originally hoped that the $9.6 million SAFER grant awarded to the district in February would have allowed Station 11 to reopen, but instead the money was funneled to Concord’s Station 6, the busiest station in the district.

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2011 Ford discontinued this model and police departments everywhere are having to adapt. We just approved the purchase of a new Ford Police Interceptor utility vehicle, basically a police version of the Ford Explorer. You may have seen these police cars popping up in some of the neighboring cities. It may be a month or so before the vehicle is outfitted and on our streets. Fire safety: At our last city council meeting Chief Jeff Carman from the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District addressed the city to let us know that Station 11 in Clayton is scheduled to be opened in December. There had been rumors that the station would reopen in August and the chief wanted to set proper expectations. Council race update: Just a reminder that the nomination period is open for anyone who is interested in running for Clayton City Council. Elections packets can be picked up at Clayton City Hall. Contact Mayor Stratford at hstratford@ci.clayton.ca.us

e

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

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

Sept 13 East Bay Mudd 10-piece cover dance band with a powerful 4-man horn section

Thursdays 7 to 8:30 p.m. July 24, Plan B (Rock) August 7 CROSSMAN COUNTRY (Country)

August 21 PHD’s (Latin Jazz R&B) For more band information, go to www.cityofclayton.org.

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Page 4

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

July 25, 2014

Downed power lines spark Marsh Creek fire TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer

A fast-moving brush fire charred 80 acres on Marsh Creek Road at Bragdon Way on July 12. The fire started when a car hit a power pole, knocking power lines into the tall grass next to the road. John Ghia was watching TV in his home on Marsh Creek about 10 p.m. when he heard a crash and the lights went out. He grabbed a flashlight and he and

his nephew ran to help. A woman and her baby were out of the car, and the flames were already climbing up the hill across from his house. Firefighters from CalFire and East ECCFPD and CCCFPD responded. Five homes on Bragdon Way were evacuated and flames threatened the Marsh Creek Springs event center. Marsh Creek Road was closed in both directions until late afternoon the next day. The fire started less than a quarter-mile from

the CalFire Sunshine Station. Ghia said the driver, a Sacramento woman, told him she swerved to miss something in the road, probably a deer. “It happened so fast,” Ghia said. “She didn’t even know what it was and she never saw the pole.” The front and side airbags all deployed, said Ghia, and no one was injured. CalFire first estimated the fire to be 100+ acres, but adjusted the total downward to 80 acres after re-mapping the burn area.

With three years of drought, the wildland fire risk is at an alltime high. Says CalFire Battalion Chief Mike Marcucci. There are only five homes on Bragdon Way, but the properties are large and spread out. Marcucci credits the residents for clearing a wide defensible space around their properties. “It could have been a whole lot worse,” Marcucci said. “They made it easy for us. They did a lot of the work.”

Love your market? Snap a photo Grab your bags and a camera head down to the market as the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA) is celebrating National Farmers’ Market Week from Aug. 3 to 9, and holding a photo contest the entire month of August. PCFMA will celebrate with the second annual “Love My Market” photo contest. To partic-

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ipate, shoppers are asked to snap a photo of what they love about their farmers’ market – whether it’s unusual produce, a favorite farmer, hanging out with the family or anything else farmers’ market related. Contestants will have a chance to win the Grand Prize of a one night stay for two at the Capay Valley Bed & Breakfast and tick-

Mercurio, from page 1 Owners Dustin & Kim Waraner Contractors Lic #879423 Arborist Lic WE-7372A

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the scene say they overheard her tell officers she was texting on her phone at the time of the crash. According to witnesses, Mercurio had been drinking heavily most of the day. Clayton Club owner Steve Barton said his bartender had stopped serving her alcohol and offered to call her a taxi more than an hour before she left the bar. A patron in the bar offered to give her a ride home. She refused both offers, saying she already had a ride.

“She sat out in front for over 45 minutes on her cell phone,” Barton said. “And then she left. As far as anyone inside knew, she left with a ride.” Surveillance video shows her getting into her car and driving off. The sentencing was an emotional moment for Tomaszewski, who was in the courtroom, but did not address the court. Mercurio had prepared a statement but declined to read it. Instead, she gave it to Tomaszewski. She

ets to the nearby Hoes Down Festival at Full Belly Farm. Second place prize will be two tickets to the Farm to Fork Dinner presented by CAFF at the Guglielmo Winery in Morgan Hill. Third prizes include “Carrot Cash” (which is good at any farmers’ market that PCFMA operates) and a reusable bag filled with fresh seasonal produce.

Submit the photo to: lovemymarket@pcfma.com or post the photo on Instagram with the hashtag #lovemyPCFMAmarket between Aug. 1 and 31. One entry per person, and include the name of the farmer’s market in the caption or email. For more information on Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association call 800-949FARM or go to www.pcfma.com.

apologized and expressed a determination to use her time in prison to “become a better woman.” She asked for his forgiveness and requested a meeting with him. Tomaszewski was critically injured in the crash, suffering multiple internal injuries, broken bones and head trauma. He lost the sight in his left eye and is deaf in one ear. He was hospitalized for five months before his release last October, continuing therapy as an outpatient. In June, a year after the crash, he returned to his job as a surgical technician at the

Sequoia Surgery Center in Walnut Creek. Tomaszewski has agreed to meet with Mercurio before she surrenders on July 25. “I want to encourage her to use her time in jail to get her education so she is ready to go in a positive direction when she gets out. She’s still young.” He hopes she will be a positive influence on others. “People drive drunk a lot and nothing happens,” Tomaszewski said. “And people drive drunk and extreme things happen. This time, something extreme happened.”

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July 25, 2014

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

Page 5

Concord News New trash collection trucks raise the bar on energy efficiency This month, Concord Disposal Service is introducing a new concept in collecting and recycling trash as part of its continuing effort to increase efficiency and decrease the company’s environmental footprint. These new state-of-the-art trucks are split body, meaning there are two compartments: one for recycling and one for garbage. This type of truck helps reduce the number of trucks driving through Concord’s neighborhoods. Now there will be one truck for your garbage and recycling and another for your yard

waste. Some of the benefits of a split body are fewer emissions and less wear and tear on the roads. This is the second phase in Concord Disposal’s effort to replace its entire fleet. In addition to the split body, the new collection trucks are powered by compressed natural gas (CNG). CNG trucks emit less greenhouse gas and their engines are quieter than the older diesel trucks. “Being a good environmental steward, as well as cutting down on residential noise and wear and tear on neighborhood streets, are

top priorities for Concord Disposal,” said Joe Garaventa, CEO of Garaventa Enterprises. “We value our Concord customers and are looking forward to getting our new trucks out on the road.” Concord Disposal Service, a Garaventa Company, is the local recycling and garbage company in the City of Concord, and has served the needs of Concord residents for over 75 years. The Garaventa Company also owns and operates Mt. Diablo Recycling in Pittsburg – one of the largest state-of-the-art recycling facilities in Northern California.

CONCORD DISPOSAL’S NATURAL GAS POWERED split body collections trucks are quieter and more efficient. The new trucks are part of the second phase to replace the entire fleet.

Locals buzzing over craft beer CARLYN OBRINGER

CONCORD CITY NEWS On July 8, the City of Concord approved an amendment to the Development Code which added Micro-breweries/Micro-distilleries and Tasting Rooms as a permitted use within certain areas of the city. The need for such an amendment surfaced over the past year as two new craft beer taprooms, The Pig & The Pickle and The Hop Grenade, opened to slake the thirst of local beer enthusiasts, who have flocked, in increasing numbers, to the existing E.J. Phair Concord Ale-

house and Black Diamond Taproom for years. Concordians’ love of craft beer and microbrews is not a new phenomenon. MoreBeer!, a Detroit Avenue-based company that specializes in “Absolutely Everything for Beer-Making,” opened in 1995, spawning an uptick in the number of home brewers in the area. Five years later, award-winning home brewer J.J. Phair opened a brewery next door, due to his friendship with the MoreBeer! owners. After noticing that downtown Concord lacked a place to buy craft beer, bottled or draft, Phair opened E.J. Phair Concord Alehouse, which has served craft beers and pub fare since 2005. Black Diamond Brewery opened its brewery and taproom in North Concord the same year, quickly attracting an enthusiastic following. E.J. Phair relocated its brewery operations to Pittsburg, and

Downtown Plan, patios to many of the business fronts has also made dining and drinking downtown a more exciting and inviting experience,” she says. And it’s not just for people seeking a good time after work. Montagh says he has seen an uptick in the number of inquiries from businesses and developers

BEFORE

EXISTING GRANT STREET

streetscape looking north towards Todos Santos Plaza

from page 1

eager to move downtown. Both Obringer and Montagh are quick to point out that the new specific plan doesn’t just encompass the streets surrounding Todos Santos, but stretches down Salvio Street to the back side of the Park and Shop center, north to Mt. Diablo High School, and south to include the downtown BART station. HOUSING ANCHORS PLAN The revitalization plan adopted by the city council in June culminates 18 months of staff and community meetings, said Senior Planner Joan Ryan. “It’s a tool to jumpstart development, improve transit, and increase business and housing.” The plan calls for “leading

beer and ale company Ale Industries moved into the Detroit Avenue space, drawing beer lovers from across the Bay Area. After relocating their brewery operations in February 2014, Ale Industries opened a taproom in downtown Concord, The Pig & The Pickle, which has Oakland and San Francisco hipsters seeking it out via BART and bike. The Pig & The Pickle and E.J. Phair were recently joined by The Hop Grenade, a craft beer taproom and bottle shop, and headquarters of The Brewing Network — a live radio studio and organizer of the annual Winter Brews Festival held in Todos Santos Plaza. Attracted by the Winter Brews Festival and the other craft beer taprooms and breweries already located in Concord, Epidemic Ales, an up-and-coming micro-brewery with awardwinning beers, is searching for brewery and taproom space.

“My husband and I have lived in Concord for over 15 years,” says partner Erin Schally. “We love the idea of bringing our business to our city. A lot of things go on festival-wise here, like the Winter Brews Festival. Why not build on that?” When asked about the potential competition created by several taprooms locating close together, the consensus is, “The more the merrier.” “Craft beer drinkers are not monogamous,” explains The Brewing Network founder Justin Crossley. “They want to have choices, and they want to try them all.” E.J. Phair General Manager Chris Wheeler adds, “After drinking, craft beer enthusiasts won’t go just anywhere for dinner. They want to go someplace like E.J. Phair that has 17 rotating craft beers on tap and good food.” Looking to the future, Crossley predicts: “I see these

with rooftops,” a phrase that means that the multi-family housing created will drive other development. The city envisions 3,120 new apartments, 96 townhomes and 250 live-work lofts, with a mix of affordability. It will be supported by “alternative” transportation methods, which means BART and new bike and pedestrian walkways that will connect to the transit station, Todos Santos Plaza, the Park and Shop Center and Ellis Lake Park. “There will be wider sidewalks for pedestrians and more bike paths,” Ryan told the council. The vision also calls for a mix of retail, business and office space, often occupying the lower floors of the mixed-use housing. The plan, which was supported by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, is designated as a

Priority Development Area, one of just a handful in the Bay Area, and will be eligible to receive federal and state grants, Montagh says. The downtown plan was eagerly embraced by council members. “I never thought I’d see this day 40 years ago, when we were just starting to plan for the downtown,” says council member Dan Helix, who served on the city council back in the 1970s. “It’s better by far than I ever imagined.” Vice-mayor Ron Leone, who served as chair of the Downtown Steering Committee, says he is pleased that there is finally a vision for parts of the city that are underdeveloped and under-utilized. “This doesn’t end haphazardly,” he says. Obringer says that as a resident and a planning commissioner, the one thing she is disappointed in about the plan is that it doesn’t include all of the Park and Shop center, but concedes that it would have been difficult for the steering committee to include so many business owners in the process. “With that said, I think that the plan includes a good compromise of connecting the Todos Santos area with the back side of Park and Shop, by activating Salvio Street,” she says. Now the city will seek to get grants and find funding to start the long-term development process, which will stretch to the year 2030. But already, if the vibrant summer of 2014 is any indication, downtown Concord is on its way. For more information on the Downtown Specific Plan, visit the website at www.ci.concord.ca.us/downtownplan/.

AFTER

Artist rendering courtesy of the city of Concord

A FUTURE GRANT STREET VISION includes multi-family housing and will be more pedestrian and bicycle friendly.

downtown vacancies filling up with similar artisan models. People love food and drink made in small batches, and the personalization of being able to meet the artisan or brewer.” Carlyn Obringer chairs the City of Concord Planning Commission. Professionally, she focuses on California education issues as an Education Policy Analyst. Carlyn resides in Concord with her husband, Justin, and dog Crystal. Contact her at carlyno@yahoo.com.

Register for fall adult softball leagues by August 15. Concord adult softball league registration now open Team registrations are now being accepted for Concord fall adult softball leagues. Men’s, women’s, and co-ed divisions are offered on various nights throughout the week, Sunday through Friday. Concord softball’s fall league is a seven game season with playoffs scheduled to start in September and run through early November. The registration deadline is August 15. Registration and information packets are available at Willow Pass Community Center, 2748 E. Olivera Rd. at the corner of Salvio and E. Olivera, or on-line at www.cityofconcord.org/softball. To receive the packet by mail or to join a team by being placed on the free agent list, call (925) 671-3423.

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

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

FREE Tuesday Night Blues Series July 22 Jeffrey Marshall with the Delta Dogs and The Breedloves

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


Page 6

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

July 25, 2014

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Put in an outdoor kitchen – it is often the center of family life in the summer. It can be as elaborate or scaled down as your budget allows. And remember, when you sell your home, staging the backyard is a must. Q. How is all the bickering in Washington affecting the housing market these days? A. Have you heard the phrase “Politics makes strange bedfellows”? Well, not disturbing what works in the housing market is an idea both parties embrace. Two strategists, each from a different side of the coin, shared a stage at the Realtors party convention in Washington. Steve Schmidt, an advisor for John McCain when he ran as a presidential nominee, and David Plouffe, top campaign

advisor for Barack Obama, shared the stage. Schmidt said “lawmakers on both sides of the aisle understand the centrality of homeownership to the economy and are likely to proceed cautiously on any changes that could impact the market.” He doesn’t see the tax benefit for owning a home going away. Plouffe says “efforts to improve the federal governments financial picture doesn’t have to come at the expense of home ownership.” There are a lot of other places to look before you make changes to the mortgage interest deduction, said Plouffe. Send your question and look for your answer in a future column. Email Lynne@LynneFrench.com. French is the broker/owner of Windermere Lynne French & Associates. Contact her at 672-878 7or stop in at 6200 Center St., Clayton.

Mayors’ Cook-off serves up healthy lifestyles The county’s mayors usually face off about such issues as housing, transportation and zoning issues. On July 31, at least 1l local officials will be competing for something a little more mouth-watering and some would say even more important: healthy communities. The Sixth Annual Contra Costa County Mayor’s Healthy Cook-off pits a city’s top gun or vice mayor, along with their selection of a chef from their city, in a contest to prepare the best healthy meal. The event is sponsored by the Wellness

Big O Tires Jims California Auto Body, Inc. Anywhere Automotive Clayton Valley Bowl West Coast Muffler Oakhurst Country Club

affair with their backyard. It has become an extension of the home’s living space. Create a colorful garden such as an herb garden with a variety of plants and trees that are drought-resistant. Nightscape the yard with lights highlighting gathering spaces for entertaining after dark. Also highlight important areas of the yard such as trees or planting beds. Shade areas of the yard with overhangs, gazebos and retractable awnings to give you flexibility to enjoy when you have full sun overhead. Have a water feature such as a fountain to help you connect with nature. They project a tranquil sound that most people enjoy. Have a portable firepit or fireplace to extend the time during the year that you can enjoy the yard.

City Challenge, an East Bay non-profit that promotes building healthy communities via fitness and nutrition, as well as the City of Concord and several other local businesses. Each team will be given a grocery bag containing a protein food item, grains from Concord Grocery Outlet and fresh produce from Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association. Along with the city’s chef, each team will include a “sous chef,” a student from Mt. Diablo High School’s Sustainable Hospitality program.

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The competition will be “ironchef ” style for the grand prize. Judges will include Kish Rajan, Director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development for the State of California, and other notable leaders from the community who will decide the winning entry based on healthiness, taste, creativity and presentation. Both Concord and Clayton will be competing in the event, although at press time it was unclear what chefs from the cities would be participating. The cities of Antioch,

Concord, Clayton, Danville, Martinez, Moraga, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, San Pablo, San Ramon and Walnut Creek have signed up to participate. The Sixth Annual Contra Costa County Mayors’ Healthy Cook-off will be held a 4 p.m. at Todos Santos Plaza in Concord on Thursday, July 31. The public is invited to observe the competition and learn more about healthy eating. For more information on Wellness City Challenge, visit www.wellnesscitychallenge.org.

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July 25, 2014

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

Summer season means more need for blood

P.O. Box 1246 6200 Center Street, Suite H, Clayton, CA 94517 TAMARA AND R OBERT S TEINER , Publishers TAMARA S TEINER , Editor P ETE C RUZ , Graphic Design P EGGY S PEAR , Copy Editor J AY B EDECARRÉ, Sports PAMELA W IESENDANGER , Administration S TAFF W RITERS : Peggy Spear, Pam Wiesendanger, John Jackson, Jay Bedecarre

We remember Jill Bedecarré - Her spirit is our muse

PIONEER INFO

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Clayton Pioneer welcomes letters from our readers. As a general rule, letters should be 250 words or less and submitted at least one week prior to publication date. Letters concerning current issues will have priority. We may edit letters for length and clarity. All letters will be published at the editor’s discretion. Please include name, address and daytime telephone number. We will not print anonymous letters. E-mail your letter to tamara@claytonpioneer.com. Letters must be submitted via E-mail.

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CLASSIFIEDS

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

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

SUBSCRIPTIONS

HELP WANTED

Flower Gardening by Nicole Hackett Perennial, ornamental, rose and container care. Keep your garden in flowers this year with monthly fertilizing and pruning visits. Email for consultation or details. Gardengirl94517@yahoo.com.

Administrative Assistant Seeking part-time Administrative Assistant. Strong math, computer and phone communication skills required. Must be able to work Thursdays and Fridays 8 hours each. Email resume to sarah@rodiesfeed.com. No phone calls please.

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

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DuRee, Daniel – The Law Office of . . . . . . . . . . .210-1400 Littorno, Richard – The Law Office of . . . . . . . . .432-4211 Van Wyck, Doug – State Farm Insurance . . . . . .672-2300 Funerals Ouimet Funeral Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-4242 Groceries Doorstep Farmers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .349-4568 Home and Garden Clayton Furniture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .686-2299

Computer Programmer Wanted to code simple software in Visual Basic, working with Excel files. Call Bob at (925) 963-8608.

Diablo Lawnscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .381-3757

Sales Associate Retail feed and pet supply store, full or part time. Apply in person at Rodie's Feed, 8863 Marsh Creek Road, Clayton.

The Maids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-6243

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

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Interiors Panache . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-7920 Nichols Landscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9955 The Floor Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .969-9890 Utopic Gardens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .524-0055 Waraner Bros. Tree Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .831-2323 Waraner Tree Experts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .250-0334

The UPS Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-6245 Pet Services Monte Vista Veterinary Hospital . . . . . . . . . . . . . .276-5744 Peace of Mind Pet Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9781 Pittsburg Pet Resort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .432-7387

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

Rodie's Feed and Pet Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-4600 Real Estate and Mortgage Services French, Lynne – Windermere Real Estate . . . . . .672-8787

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City of Clayton – Concerts . . . .http://www.cityofclayton.org

To learn more or to make an appointment to donate blood, go to redcrossblood.org or call (800) RED CROSS.

Classified

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

The time is NOW

platelets continue to be available for patients. During the summer months of June, July and August, on average, about two fewer donors make an appointment to give blood at each Red Cross blood drive than what patients need. This can add up to more than 100,000 fewer donations during the summer. Blood and platelet donations are needed every day for patients with many serious medical conditions. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery patients, organ transplant patients and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all need blood.

Directory of Advertisers

Financial, Insurance and Legal Services

CIRCULATION

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

KNOWLEDGE

The American Red Cross is urging eligible blood donors to roll up a sleeve and give to help prevent a summer blood shortage. Blood donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative are especially needed. Locals can donate at these Concord locations on: July 30 from noon to 6 p.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1360 Alberta Drive; Aug. 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Paris Beauty College, 1655 Willow Pass Road; Aug. 12 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at John Muir Health Mt. Diablo Center, 2540 East St. and Aug. 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at United Health Care, 2300 Clayton Road, 10th Floor. The Red Cross is seeing fewer appointments at its blood donation centers and blood drives this summer than what is needed to ensure blood and

Page 7

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

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Help Fight Hunger Anna Chan – AKA: The Lemon Lady needs your help! Weekly commitment appreciated. For more info and contact numbers, go to thelemonlady.blogspot.com.

Howard, Don – Better Homes Realty . . . . . . . . . .408-3184 Howard, Emily – Better Homes Realty . . . . . . . .408-1871 Hudson, Cait – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . . . . .451-6844 Klock, Leigh – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . . . . . .212-5593 Landgraf, Linda – Prudential . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .876-0311 Laurence, Pete – RE/MAX Realty . . . . . . . . . . . .890-6004 Lopez, Stephanie – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . .932-7329 Mazzei, Matt – Mazzei Realty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0757 Stojanovich, Jennifer – Better Homes Realty . . .567-6170 Vujnovich, George - Better Homes Realty . . . . . .672-4433 Recreation and Fitness

Clayton Historical Society Museum The Clayton Historical Society Museum needs a greeter for two hours per month from 2-4 p.m. Wednesdays or Sundays. Call the museum at 672-0240 and leave your name.

Anytime Fitness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6700

Clayton Community Library Needs volunteers. Minimum age 13. Minimum commitment is 6 months. Some training provided. Contact Arlene at 673-9777 or nielsenjanc@aol.com.

Net Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6029

Meals on Wheels Meals on Wheels is looking for volunteer drivers one day a week between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Make a tremendous difference to seniors in your community. Contact Sharon Fitzgerald at 932-8607 or sfitzgerald@mowsos.org today!

Earthquake Arabians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .360-7454 Mt. Diablo Soccer . . . . . . . . . . . . .http://www.mdsoccer.org Services, Other ComputersUSA! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9989 Recycling Center & Transfer Station . . . . . . . . . .473-0180 Travel Travel to Go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9840

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Page 8

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July 25, 2014

Amidst some turmoil, CVCHS prepares for new school year JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

The beginning of the new school year is less than three weeks away and Clayton Valley Charter High School is still in the midst of several construction projects. While all of this work is geared for the Aug. 13 first day of school, the CVCHS community is huddled under a cloud of controversy due to a an investigation into a number of complaints filed towards the end of the 2013-14 academic year. Tensions arose between executive director Dave Linzey and administrator Pat Middendorf and some teachers that resulted in a number of complaints. Middendorf was terminated in May. CVCHS Governing Board chair Tom Branich, who was pulled into some controversy because of his personal friendship with Middendorf, assigned vice chair Ted Meriam as the board’s point person in the process. Oracle Investigations Group is researching all the issues brought up in the spring, including the eventual termination of Middendorf. Meriam reported that, “the investigation is still ongoing and neither the Board nor I have received any findings. Once the investigation is completed, the Governing Board will receive a formal report and will take

action, as appropriate, at that time.” Meriam said that Oracle told him the investigation should be completed by the beginning of the school year. Linzey gave an upbeat report to the board last week at their monthly board meeting, the shortest in the board’s history at 38 minutes. He reported about 400 students took part in summer school programs and many faculty and staff have been involved with professional development programs. Several are working on Common Core materials. FACILITY UPGRADES But it was the facilities improvements that were put to the front burner. They include upgrades to Gonsalves Stadium and the surrounding grounds, converting the wood shop to a fitness studio, adding a new outdoor weight room and making technology updates throughout the campus. The board approved installation of flooring in the building that has housed the school’s wood shop dating back to the 1950s. He explains that dance and aerobics classes were constantly looking for space while there were only two periods of wood shop last year. Mirrors and rails will be installed in the new studio and Linzey says it’s possible the wrestling program may utilize the space as well.

“We need to maximize the use of our facilities and programs during the entire school day,” Linzey said. He added that with so many students taking college prep courses wood shop has been taken by fewer and fewer students. The school still has an auto shop program. New director of operations Greg Hile says that the wood shop equipment at CVCHS is owned by Mt. Diablo Unified School District and he understands it will be relocated to Ygnacio Valley High. In addition, an outdoor weight room is being added which will be primarily used for physical education conditioning classes for both boys and girls. All ninth and 10th graders are mandated to take PE. Sophomores can choose from a variety of PE courses including conditioning, aerobics and dance. NEW LUNCH SERVICE Clayton Valley students buying lunch on campus will be served by the third food service company in as many years since the charter started in fall 2012. The board approved Linzey finalizing negotiations with Chartwells, a company the executive director says handles the same responsibilities at De La Salle. He estimates about 400 students buy hot lunch on campus each day and a similar

number buy a la carte items, so that 40-50 percent of the student body is engaged daily with the food service. “We visited De La Salle and were impressed with Chartwells,” Linzey said. “They will be revamping our operation with more food options and more service lines to speed up service.” A large Measure C project at Gonsalves Stadium includes constructing a new snack shack that will be open about Sept. 1. Linzey says discussions have taken place with Chartwells about helping with that operation at sports events and perhaps during the school day. The school currently is at maximum enrollment of 1,999 students. Linzey expects as many as 20 students among that total will not show up for registration. Freshmen, sophomores and juniors still on the waiting list will fill any vacancies. He adds that there is one unfilled faculty position to be filled. The board also approved modifications to its bylaws, mostly concerning its election process. Outside counsel Paul Minney lauded the board for constantly examining the charter’s bylaws and updating as needed. The next governing board meeting is on the first day of school, Aug. 13.

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This summer, I decided, is about trying new things and being bold and brave. Recently, I broke my record for summer firsts while on a family field trip to the North Bay. First stop was Sonoma, where I counted several different firsts. For starters, I visited the Mission San Francisco Solano, or as more commonly known as Mission Sonoma. My family took the tour at the mission and I learned so many interesting facts, like Padre Jose Altimira founded this mission because the location was near four prominent Indian Tribes: the Wappos, Coast and Lake Miwok, Pomo and Patwin tribes. The buildings looked very old and the structures were beautiful. The mission tour was amazing with the original ovens called “hornos,” which still work!

Next, my family went to Jack London State Park and visited Jack London’s grave, the famous Wolf House and the Jack London Museum. Jack London was born in 1876 in San Francisco as John Griffith Channey. London was a well-know writer and although he died young at age 40 (1876 – 1916), he wrote “Call of the Wild,” “White Fang,” and “Valley of the Moon,” among many others. London also wrote a series of short stories including “How to Build a Fire” and “Love of Life.” My favorite London visit was the Wolf House that burned down after construction. It was eerie as the only standing remnants were the stone walls. The Wolf House was built in 1910 and was almost finished in 1913 when it burned to the ground. With grandparents in tow, we next visited the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield. The Herman Goelitz Candy Company started in 1869 and is still a family-run business today. In 1976, the family was asked to make a Jelly Bean of “natural ingredients.” All Jelly Belly creations start with actual ingredients like raspberries or coconut to create the perfect flavored beans. Unlike other jelly beans, Jelly Bellies have flavor inside the

AMONG ‘FIRSTS’ THIS SUMMER was a visit to Jack London’s Wolf House in Jack London State Park in Glen Ellen, Calif.

bean as well as the shell of the bean. Of course, we took the Jelly Belly tour and enjoyed some tasty jelly beans, but since this summer is about summer firsts, I was brave and bold and tried some of the funky Jelly Belly Beans flavors. On my list of summer firsts was “Barf,” “Stinky Socks” and “Baby Wipes.” Yuck! I spit them out and went back for more of my very favorites that include Coconut, Buttered Popcorn and Cherry. As evening approached, my family had dinner at Moresi’s in

Clayton. My grandmother ordered Escargot, which is French for “snails” and is considered an appetizer, and very popular in France. It has been consumed since prehistoric times. Today, Escargot is cooked in butter and olive oil with lots of garlic and served with sliced bread. I actually liked it and would try it again. Natalie Pursche is in the sixth grade at Diablo View Middle School. She is an avid reader, enjoys writing, and loves to spend time with her friends and family. Send comments to natalie@claytonpioneer.com.

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Traveling the rocky road to true love Nowadays there are a lot of stories about star-crossed lovers who are “meant to be together” and they all have predictable scenarios and endings. But there are not a lot of books about lovers who started off hating each other. Set in 1986, Eleanor Douglas, in “Eleanor & Park” by Rainbow Rowell, is an outsider. She never wears the right things, she’s overweight, she is the laughing-stock of her school and her huge, curly, red hair doesn’t help her blend in

very well. Eleanor is terrified of Tina, the meanest bully you could ever come across. Not only is her school-life a wreck, she also goes home to a beyond-tiny house and her dysfunctional family consisting of an abusive “father,” Richie, kind-hearted mother Sabrina, and unusual siblings Maisie, Mouse and Richie Jr. Despite everything, riding the bus is probably one of the worst parts of Eleanor’s day.

She is forced to sit by this “stupid Asian kid.” Later on she finds out his name is Park Sheridan and that he is not who she thought he was. As they bond over comic books and music, the two unlikely misfits start to become friends and eventually fall in love. This novel is so interesting because you never really see the two fall for each other. It kind of just happens and there’s no warning signs or hints. It comes out of nowhere and every page

EMILY YORK

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July 25, 2014

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

Local girls thrive at Tech Trek PAMELA WIESENDANGER Clayton Pioneer

The college experience came early for three Diablo View Middle School students this summer. Alex Brown, Hannah Macaulay and Sydney Skow attended the one week Tech Trek math and science camp at Sonoma State University in June. The camp is designed for young women entering eighth grade to encourage their interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. As a result, going forward with her studies and career options, Hannah says, “I will keep my mind open to new possibilities.” Each camper was assigned to one of four core subjects: physics, math, wildlife or genetics. They attended classes in their core subject as well as labs and field trips in the other categories. One field trip was to the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens where the girls discussed plant genetics. Hands-on activities such as dissecting a cow’s eye, examining bones and building a robot showed that math and science are fun as well as educational. The teachers and staff were all women. Women with careers in math and science were guest speakers. Alex interviewed one speaker, a physical therapist, at dinner and then introduced her to the group. Alex was surprised to learn that the therapist does a lot of traveling, including to Europe. That piqued Alex’s interested in studying abroad.

ALEX BROWN, HANNAH MACAULAY AND SYDNEY SKOW, incoming eighth grade class president at DVMS, arrive at Sonoma State University for a week of math and science fun at this year’s Tech Trek camp. Sonoma is one of eight locations in California hosting the camp.

All three girls favor the sciences and aim to attend college. Alex plans to be a labor and delivery nurse. “I know science is a big part of that,” she says. Tech Trek helped her see that even math has its place in giving birth. Sydney would like to study genetics. She admits that while she likes school and learning, she sometimes forgets the material as soon as the test is over. Tech Trek motivated her to connect learning with problem res-

olution. “I’m always going to really try to stay on topic and see if I can take it further,” she said. Hannah did not pinpoint a field of study, but by experiencing so many possibilities for applying math and science at camp, she says, “Once I’ve made up my mind, I can still do other stuff.” The girls stayed in the dorms and ate their meals as a group, getting a taste of college in their future. All three most enjoyed meeting new people

and are already keeping in touch through texts and social media. Hannah says even though her new friends have the same interests, their thoughts vary. “It was cool to see a different perspective.” Tech Trek was developed in 1998 by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) to help young girls continue their interests in the STEM fields, which are still under-represented by women. The Clayton AAUW and Clayton Business and Community Association co-sponsor the Clayton students. Clayton’s AAUW has an annual spring spaghetti feed to raise their portion of the money. Five students are nominated by Cynthia Brewington, a DVMS science teacher. The students submit an essay on a selected topic, the local AAUW interviews them and chooses three to attend the camp. Brewington says in addition to being on top of their academic game, the nominees are chosen based on “leadership, ability in the classroom and a desire to help their peers succeed.”

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Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

July 25, 2014

Sports Big swim meets come in a wave to conclude summer season JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

ston (6 & under), Alex Ringier (9-10) and Lily Webster (9-10) .

The recreation swim season climaxes over the next four weekends with invitational, league, city and county meets coming one on top of another for Clayton and Concord teams. Coaches look for swimmers to post their best times of the year at these final meets as a way of concluding months’ of practices and competitions on a positive note. For Dana Hills Swim Team, second-year head coach John Tsubota will have the Otters seeking their 22nd Concord City Championship in 23 years at Concord Community Pool Aug. 8-10 and then vying for a high finish at the 54th annual Contra Costa County Meet Aug. 16-17 at Acalanes High in Lafayette. Oakhurst Orcas, Walnut Country Stingrays and Springwood Sprinters are also in the home stretch of their seasons. The 48th City Meet, as the three-day Concord championships is now called, has expanded in recent years to add Pleasant Hill teams to those from Concord and Clayton. Many local teams tuned up for the end-of-season logjam of meets by taking part in the 20th annual Devil Mountain Pentathlon this month hosted in Clayton by Dana Hills. The unique format has each athlete swimming five events with their cumulative time determining award winners in A and B divisions. Tsubota has 240 swimmers on his Orcas squad and expects about 200 going to City Meet. “Our strongest age groups include 7-8 girls, 11-12 girls, 13-14 boys/girls and 1518 girls/boys. There will be a few team records that will fall this season. The 15-18 boys butterfly record has been broken by Anthony Vines and I anticipate Ryan Iannaccone breaking one or more 13-14 boys records,” the head coach says. “Looking ahead to the Concord City meet, we are excited at the improvements the team has made from beginners to the seasoned swimmers. I am so impressed with the dedication from my coaching staff, the parents that volunteer countless hours for our

ORCAS POST BEST TIMES Head coach Jasmine Millan said of her Oakhurst swimmers, “The Orcas continue to work hard throughout the season to improve stroke techniques, build endurance and develop self confidence in all aspects of swimming. We are looking forward to numerous lifetime best times being swum by the end of the season and continuing to grow our Orca family with pride.” Orca swimmers collecting A Division awards were Grace Smith (4th 9-10), Kai Parker (2nd 6 & under) and Lindsay Treppa (7th, 15-18). In B division Taylor Silva won 13-14 girls while earning ribbons were Hannah Macaulay (1314), Caitlin O’Leary (13-14), Carolyn Silva (15-18), Sarah Padilla (15-18), Benin Lingua (6 & under) and William Lingua (11-12). The team hosts Gehringer Park next Wednesday before gearing up for city and county meet action to conclude the season next month. Walnut Country Swim Team more than tripled its top finishers at the Pentathlon this year. Medalists in A Division

Photos courtesy Dana Hills Swim Team

THE 6 AND UNDER BOYS from A and B Divisions shared their just rewards at the conclusion of the 20th Devil Mountain Pentathlon. The top finishers included, front row from left, Shawn Keifer (MCST, 4th A), Dominic Celentano (Dana Hills, 1st A), Tanner Lustig (Walnut Country, 3rd A), Henry Beckett Sheridan (DHST, 3rd B), Benjamin Lingua, (OCC, 4th B); standing, Collin Ringier (DHST, 1st B), Kai Parker (OCC, 2nd A), Marco Tredinnick (WCST, 7th A) and Tyler Summers (WCST, 5th A). Not pictured, Joaquin Hernandez (WCST, 6th A) and Cole Edmonston (DHST, 6th B).

program, the supportive board and the swimmers that have put in the work.” He adds, “Last year we placed well in both A and B levels and I expect even more depth than the previous year. Last year we had a great City Meet but I expect Dana Hills to surpass last year’s performance.” 11 OTTERS WIN GOLD Dana Hills always has the largest contingent of swimmers at its own Pentathlon and doesn’t take part in the team scoring which saw Sycamore Stingrays of Danville finish first again, followed by Walnut Country Stingrays, Pleasant Hill Aquatics Penguins, Martinez Community Otters and Bishop Estates Barracudas. The Otters ended up with eight swimmers winning A Division first-place medals and three earning B titles. Coach Tsubota will be especially pleased with the depth shown in many age groups where multiple Otters were in the top eight, foreshadowing strong relays for the city and county meets where those events score double points. Dominic Celetano (6 & under), Colton Seastrand (7-8),

Clayton baseball quartet visit Cooperstown with Walnut Creek Bulldawgs

Karlie Seastrand (9-10), Isabella Samardzic and Clayton Seastrand (11-12), Erica duLong and Iannaccone (1314) and Abbie Kubota (15-18) won A division top honors for DHST. Finishing second were Gianna duLong (11-12), Gabi Mancini (13-14) and Anthony Trimble (13-14). Also winning medals with third-place finishes were Alyssa Dern (13-14), Jackson Trimble (13-14) and Vines (1518). DHST ribbon winners by taking 4th through 8th places were Avery D’Arcy, Cami McGee, Molly Boland, Zoe Lahanas, Stephanie Iannaccone, Serafina Celentano, Paige Lindstrom, Logan Sherman, Ryanne Boland, Jenna Ewert, Camille Cline, Julia Wickware, Lily Stagner, Kayla Conger, Sean Thomas, Niklas Weigelt, Scott Iannaccone, Xander Friedman, Shawn Boland, Ethan Cline, Logan Meyer and Diego Castaneda. B Division champs from Dana Hills were Joey Dern (910), Collin Ringier (6 & under) and George Simpkins (7-8) while Megan Shipstead (9-10), Madelyn Cottam (6 & under), Anjali Ahluwalia (6 & under) and Henry Beckett Sheridan (6

& under) also garnered medals. Other B placements for the hosts were by Alayna Cloven (7-8), Keaton Curtis (11-12), Kiernan Moss (11-12), Lindsey Welker (11-12), Cole Edmon-

Sports Shorts CONCORD ADULT SOFTBALL LEAGUE

Clayton Gym including youth volleyball and basketball and adult coed softball this fall are also accepting applications. Tryouts for Blaze USSSA baseball teams (11U-13U) are Aug. 3 and 9 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. For complete information on all the Clayton programs, visit alloutsportsleague.com.

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN

CVCHS ATHLETIC BOOSTERS ELECT NEW OFFICERS A new slate of officers was elected last week for the Clayton Valley Charter High School athletic boosters club. Alicia Farr is new presidents with Dave Cooney (VP), Stephanie Sproul (treasurer) and Grant Bazan (secretary) other officers. Outgoing president Matt Hill and secretary Michele Hill will be working with the new officers to ensure a smooth transition. For more information visit their website cvhsboosters.org or email athleticboosters@claytonvalley.org. Photo courtesy Walnut Creek Bulldawgs

SOLARI WINS 11-12 B Lexie Solari won 11-12 girls B Division while her teammates who won ribbons were Charlotte James (6 & under), Ian Wright (9-10), Marisa Delizo (15-18), Troy Beckon (1518), Kennedy Kissack (7-8 girls) and a trio of 7-8 boys, Mason Wendler, Brady Cannon and Maxime Anum. The Stingrays are in the Woodland Invitational this weekend in Walnut Creek along with Dana Hills and then are in the Diablo Community Swim League championships next Saturday along with fellow Concord team Springwood. Springwood’s John Finck and Harley Estrella got ribbons in 11-12 boys A while in B Division Kimi Svoboda was third (15-18) and Kimberly Gonzalez (13-14) and Angeline Masongsong (9-10) nabbed ribbons.

KARLIE SEASTRAND (TOP LEFT) OF THE HOST DANA HILLS SWIM TEAM was the overall winner in the 9-10 girls age group at the 20th annual Devil Mountain Pentathlon in Clayton. Top finishers included, front row from left, Lily Webster (Dana Hills, 7th B), Stephanie Iannaccone (DHST, 5th A), Serafina Celentano (DHST, 6th A), Grace Smith (Oakhurst, 4th A); standing, Seastrand, Dana Hills board member Joe Celentano, Audrey Jullien (PHD, 8th A), Kailen O’Rell (SSST, 7th A), DHST president Eric Skow and Maile Andresen (Ygnacio Wood, 2nd A). Not pictured, Megan Shipstead (DHST, 2nd B).

Team registrations are being accepted for Concord fall adult softball leagues. Men’s, women’s and co-ed divisions are offered Sunday through Friday. Concord softball’s fall league is a seven-game season with playoffs Sept. through early Nov. Registration deadline is Aug. 15. Registration and information packets are available at Willow Pass Community Center or online at cityofconcord.org/softball. To receive info by mail or to join a team by being placed on the free agent list call 671-3423.

Clayton had a quartet of players representing the Walnut Creek Bulldawgs in a 12U tournament in Cooperstown, NY last month. Cooperstown is the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and, from left, David Yonemura, Patrick Gillespie, Thomas Kearney and Mason Covalt took part in the tourney with 104 12U teams. The boys and their coaches stayed in dorms with teams from across the United States as the Pony League Bulldawgs completed their spring season. Covalt is part of the WC Blue team that ended up playing eight games in New York, one more than the Bulldawgs Red team. The team’s fall season begins in Sept. The Clayton boys sport commemorative rings after the players were inducted into the American Youth Baseball Hall of Fame.

were Tanner Lustig (6 & under), Brandon Delizo (1112), Daniel Lewis and Owen Fruchtenicht (7-8) and Ryan Levy (15-18). Also placing in A for the Stingrays were 6 and under boys Tyler Summers, Joaquin Hernandez and Marco Tredinnick.

MDSA FALL SOCCER LATE REGISTRATION THROUGH JULY 31 Boys and girls 4-18 years of age wanting to play in Mt. Diablo Soccer Association fall league is open until July 31 for wait list and late registration. Fall league play begins in August when registration closes. Families are requested to sign up for volunteer duties to help the organization offer its AYSO program. For complete information visit mdsoccer.org.

PROGRAM REGISTRATION OPEN FOR ALL OUT SPORTS LEAGUES Signups are available for All Out Sports League free football camp next Monday, July 28 (2nd-9th graders). All fall programs at

DIABLO FC RECREATIONAL LEAGUE, CAMP BEGIN IN AUGUST Diablo FC is rolling out a youth soccer recreational league program starting next month that will focus on individual technical development, building confidence in young soccer players, improving cognitive development and increasing imagination by allowing players to learn the game gradually in a fun, engaged environment. Diablo FC is the area’s premier youth soccer program and is offering open registration to all players ages 4-10, regardless of ability or previous experience. A mini-camp will be held Aug. 18-22 and the league runs through Oct. 11. Refer to diablofc.org for more details.

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


July 25, 2014

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

Page 11

Sports

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Two 2014 Eagle grads each collect 10 Clayton Valley varsity letters JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Ben Linzey and Danny Condon entered Clayton Valley High School in the fall of 2010 and ended up spending a lot of time together as they lettered all four years together in cross country and track. The 2014 grads each earned two other varsity letters and thus qualified for the prestigious blue CV by earning 10 letters during their prep careers. Athletic director Amber Lineweaver says these “two superstar athletes and individuals” were the only boys or girls from the Class of 2014 to be honored with the blue CV. Both were also involved with Boy Scouts earning senior patrol leader status with different troops. Condon lettered in wrestling twice while Linzey, who played club soccer with Diablo FC 96 throughout high school, was a two-time soccer letter winner. Linzey will begin his college career this fall at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, CO on a leadership scholarship studying sports medicine. Condon is headed for Northeastern University in Boston as a mechanical engineering student with a merit scholarship. Both intend on continuing to compete as runners on the

Photo courtesy CVCHS

CLAYTON VALLEY CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL 2014 GRADS BEN LINZEY (LEFT) AND DANNY CONDON spent four years together on the Eagles varsity cross country and track teams and they each earned two other varsity letters to qualify for the prestigious blue CV by earning 10 letters during their prep careers. Linzey will begin his college career this fall at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, CO while Condon is headed for Northeastern University in Boston.

collegiate level. Condon competed in North Coast Section championships 10 times. He was the Eagles team MVP twice and Most Inspirational and team captain once. Condon won Diablo Valley Athletic League championships this spring in the 1600 and 3200 meter runs, critical to CVCHS earning the

first boys league track and field championship since 1996. This year he went on to the NCS Meet of Champions. In cross country Condon led the boys team to second place last fall and was captain of cross country once. He graduated from CVCHS with a 4.14 grade point average. Linzey played three sports

a year plus his Diablo FC club soccer duties during his entire high school career. He was co-captain of the cross country team and was awarded the Eagle Award for track this year. A distance runner his first three years in track, as a senior he discovered a flair for hurdling, competing in the 300M hurdles, 4 x 400M relay and 400 meter races up through NCS. He was 2014 CVCHS Leadership Altair. As their parents said, “Ben and Danny have truly enjoyed their years at Clayton Valley Charter High School and the great friends they made over the years. In many ways it has been magical. The support of the teachers, coaches and staff at CVCHS as well as the support from their Boy Scout troops have encouraged and cheered on both Ben and Danny to set high goals and work to achieve them. Ben and Danny have much to thank the community of Clayton for.” Both boys feel their scouting experiences were important in their development as young men, teaching them life lessons in confidence, teamwork, leadership, responsibility and tenacity. Linzey was in Troop 484 and Condon Troop 262.

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CV football’s Honor Bowl game restored JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Clayton Valley Charter High School has had its full schedule of football games restored after the controversy surrounding some June pre-season practices which were mistakenly held before the summer window allowed by the North Coast Section. The Diablo Valley Athletic League had originally ruled that the Eagles would have to give up six practice days in August, which would have made them ineligible to play in the Honor Bowl Aug. 30 in Loomis against Carson High of Carson City,

NV. Schools are required to have a minimum of 14 practice dates prior to their first official game. Head coach Tim Murphy and the school went back to DVAL commissioner Craig Lee and the league hearing panel requesting that the six disallowed practice days be split between August and Sept. The league agreed and the Eagles will not be allowed to practice Aug. 11-13 and on three consecutive Mondays, Sept. 8-15-22. In addition Murphy will not be allowed to coach or attend the school’s first two games, the Honor Bowl and the home opener Sept. 5 against Tracy. Murphy stated, “It wasn’t the

players that messed up. I’ll pay the price. It was 100 per cent my fault.” Clayton Valley Charter was also in the news this month when defensive tackle transfer Kahlil McKenzie announced he will be following in the footsteps of his dad and uncle and playing for the University of Tennessee next fall. The 330pound McKenzie recently transferred to CVCHS along with his sophomore brother Jalen. He is rated as one of the top 10 recruits in the country and potentially No. 1 before the season is over. His immediate playing eligibility is in the hands of the NCS office, which typically rules on all transfers at the

MDSA Arsenal cap season with AYSO National Games U10 title JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

The 50th anniversary of American Youth Soccer Organization was celebrated at its birthplace of Torrance in Southern California with the National Games that drew 7000 players and nearly 500 teams. MDSA Arsenal under 10 boys outdid 23 other teams to win seven consecutive games for their age group championship at the National Games earlier this month. Arsenal began the competition by beating squads from Rancho Cucamonga 3-0 and Maui 7-0, to finish atop its initial pool. The local boys then advanced to the winner’s bracket, beating San Pedro 5-0 and Key West, FL, 2-1.

The third day of action saw Arsenal defeating Bullhead City, AZ 4-0 and then its first taste of international competition, blanking a side from the Caribbean nation of Trinidad & Tobago 4-0. Arsenal went into the final day of competition first in the field and met Arcadia, also undefeated throughout the tournament. Alex Braginsky got the scoring started in the final match with a long shot from the top corner of the penalty area however Arcadia tied the score minutes later. After halftime, Arsenal keeper Noah Paschall started the next scoring sequence with a long outlet pass to Ryan Morimoto, who switched the ball to Ryan Ross, who got it past a couple Arcadia defenders to

Braginsky, who beat the keeper at the far post. Moments later, Garrett Alton sealed the Arsenal victory by making a long shot off a free kick from Adam Rychtecky. Arsenal’s back three of Alton, Logan Gonzales and Luke Maynard then played stifling defense to keep Arcadia from answering back to preserve the final 3-1 margin. Defender Dominick Rodriguez and Keegan Boustead played roles for the champions. Earlier in the year Arsenal was second in Bakersfield at the AYSO California State Cup and won Comstock Shootout and Concord Cup XXI. Coach K. C. Ross and Zbysek Rychtecky were in charge of Arsenal.

beginning of August, Murphy explained. It’s conceivable NCS will rule that McKenzie must sit out one or more games before becoming eligible for his senior season. McKenzie made his college announcement on national TV at “The Opening.” The event at Nike headquarters in Oregon presented by Student Sports is four days of competition for the nation’s most elite high school football prospects. McKenzie was the defensive line MVP at The Opening. Clayton Valley hopes to have renovations to Gonsalves Stadium completed before the Tracy game. Additional bleachers, paving and a snack shack are funded by Measure C and targeted for a Sept. 1 completion date.

Online Registration is now open for the...

2014 Fall Season! Mt. Diablo Soccer - AYSO Region 223 serving Clayton, Concord, Walnut Creek and the surrounding communities

Everybody Plays. . . Everybody Wins! Fun, affordable memories that last a lifetime. Mt. Diablo Soccer has been the first name in youth soccer in the Diablo Valley since 1980. Every child plays at least 50% of EVERY game. We are an ALL VOLUNTEER league and our Vision is to provide world-class soccer programs that enrich children’s lives.

Mt. Diablo Soccer - Fall 2014 Open to Boys & Girls, Ages 4 -18 (U5 players must be 4 by July 31, 2014 to play)

Register online today at www.mdsoccer.org Teams will be formed mid July and balanced to ensure ‘fair play.’ Practices will begin early August and the season will run through the second week in November.

2014 Registration Fee - $130

Late registration open through July 31 If you have any questions please send email to:

or check out some our website for more info

registration@mdsoccer.org

www.mdsoccer.org


Page 12

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

July 25, 2014

Clayton Community Calendar PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR CLAYTON COMMUNITY CALENDAR EVENTS BY 5 P.M. AUG. 6 FOR THE AUG. 16 ISSUE. ITEMS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY EMAIL TO calendar@claytonpioneer.com Save Mount Diablo programs listed are free unless otherwise noted. Go to savemountdiablo.org and click on Activities/Guided Hikes for more information. 947-3535.

IN CLAYTON Saturdays thru Oct. 25 Farmers’ Market Music: July 26, Kevin Kooyumjian. Aug. 2, Lacey Baker. Aug. 9, Tony de Grassi. 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Diablo Street between Main and Center streets, downtown Clayton. pcfma.com/clayton.

July 25, Aug. 1 Moonlight Movies

Aug. 2 DiRT Day Assist the Diablo Restoration Team with weeding and watering activities and cleaning up Marsh Creek 4 property. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at 3240 Aspara Drive, Clayton. Response required to Jim Cartan at jcartan@savemountdiablo.org or 947-3535.

Aug. 2 Public Astronomy Program

Bring a lawn chair, blankets, invite friends and neighbors and join us at sunset for a surround sound spectacular evening: July 25, “The Game Plan;” Aug. 1, “The Princess Bride.” Activities begin at 7:30 p.m. Movies start at dusk. Clayton Community Church, 6055 Main St. Free admission. claytoncc.com.

Rocks and ice in the solar system. Hold a real meteorite, participate in hands on activities and look through telescopes. 7 – 11 p.m. Meet at Lower Summit Parking Lot.

Aug. 2, 16 Saturday Concerts in the Grove

Aug. 9 Wright Canyon Hike

6 – 8:30 p.m. Grove Park, downtown Clayton. Free. For a complete concert series list, see Page 3.

Aug. 7 Thursday Concerts in the Grove Featuring local talent. 7 - 8:30 p.m. Grove Park, downtown Clayton. Free. For a complete concert series list, see Page 3.

Aug. 9 Rib Cook-Off Rib cook-off sponsored by the Clayton Business and Community Association. Family event with live music, food, drink. 28 teams compete for trophies and cash prizes. Attend or sign up to compete. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Clayton Club Saloon, 6096 Main St., Clayton. Raffle tickets available for chance to be People’s Choice Judge. claytoncbca.org.

Aug. 9 Paint the Town Purple Relay For Life committee and team members decorate downtown Clayton with Relay color purple to promote awareness of upcoming Relay For Life event. 9 a.m. Grove Park, downtown Clayton. Removal of purple on Aug. 17 after Relay.

Aug. 16 - 17 Relay For Life 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. Clayton Valley Charter High School, 1101 Alberta Way, Concord. Register at relayforlife.org/claytonca.

Aug. 30 Derby and Car Show Clayton Community Church’s 11th Annual Labor Day event. Kids 7 – 14 race derby cars down Main Street. Car show and parade. 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Main Street, Clayton. Free. Register kids at claytoncc.com and cars at claytonderbycarshow.org.

IN CONCORD

Beautiful hike of Wright Canyon off of Morgan Territory Road on the east side of the mountain. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at Clayton Park and Ride, corner of Peacock Creek and Clayton Roads, Clayton. Response required: smdinfo@savemountdiablo.org.

Thru July 31 Workshop Productions Performed by Young REP Theatre. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $17.50. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469.

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

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

July 26 Golden State - Lone Star Blues Revue

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

Tuesday Nights in July Blues Series

Aug. 1 Youth Dance Performance

Music and Market

Blood Drives Help the Red Cross prevent a summer shortage in blood supply by donating. redcrossblood.org.

July 30 12 – 6 p.m. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1360 Alberta Way.

Aug. 8 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Paris Beauty College, 1655 Willow Pass Road.

Aug. 12 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. John Muir Health Mt. Diablo Center, 2540 East St.

Aug. 13 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. United Health Care, 2300 Clayton Road, 10th Floor.

Aug. 5 National Night Out Celebrate the Todos Santos Downtown District with music, Farmers’ Market and great restaurants. 6:30 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. cityofconcord.org.

Aug. 9 – 10 Japanese Summer Festival Japanese American Club’s annual event featuring Japanese food, bonsai exhibits, Kendo and Judo demonstrations, Taiko drum performances, Japanese folk and classical dance performances and calligraphy demonstrations. Sat. 1 – 9 p.m. Sun. 12 – 8:30 p.m. Concord Japanese Cultural Center, 3165 Treat Blvd., Concord. Free admission, parking at Ygnacio Valley High School, 755 Oak Grove Road, and shuttle to festival. www.diablojaclub.com, jasummerfestival@yahoo.com or 682-5299 for more information.

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

Culmination of intensive workshop of intermediate and advanced dancers sponsored by Civic Arts Education and Diablo Ballet. 7:30 p.m. Shadelands Auditorium, 111 N. Wiget Lane, Walnut Creek. $10. 9435846.

Aug. 1 Zydeco Flames Premier zydeco band. Presented by Red Legged Frog Productions. 8:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469.

Aug. 1 - 3 “The Pirates of Penzance” Beloved tale of tender-hearted pirates with a soft spot for orphans and poetry presented by Lamplighters Music Theatre. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25-$54. lamplighters.org.

Comedy by Ryan Chan. 5:15 and 8:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $20. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469.

Aug. 3 Latin Jazz All-Stars Rafael Ramirez performs. Presented by Owl Eye Entertainment. 2:45 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25-$35. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469.

Aug. 5 Young Performers Orchestra Concert Sounds of Summer Extravaganza. World premiere of “Contrastare” by local composer in residence George Curtis Van Liew. 7 p.m. Shadelands Auditorium, 111 N. Wiget Lane, Walnut Creek. $10. 943-5846.

Aug. 6 – 14 Disney’s Peter Pan, Jr. Presented by Poison Apple Productions. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $15-18. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469.

Performed by the Civic Arts Education jazz band. 7:30 p.m. Shadelands Auditorium, 111 N. Wiget Lane, Walnut Creek. $10. 943-5846.

Country music. Presented by Red Legged Frog Productions. 8:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469.

Aug. 9 Things That Go Bump in the Night

Aug. 9 Because 7…(8/9)

40th Annual

George Cleve conducts the Midsummer Mozart Orchestra

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als oke ays a r a K ond on M to 11 pm

Sat., July 26 –– 8 p.m. •The San Francisco Boys Chorus, under the direction of Ian Robertson •Mezzo-Soprano Anna Yelizarova •Piano Concerto in D Minor, Tickets $30-65. •Seymour Lipkin, pianist Student/Teacher discounts available

For tickets & full program info:

www.midsummermozart.org

Aug. 16 An Enchanted Evening Highlights from many Disney shows performed by In The Light Voice Studio. 7 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $8$12. elcampaniltheatre.com.

Aug. 16 Clayton Brothers Quintet. Part of the Walnut Creek Jazz Concert Series. 5 and 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25-$40. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469.

Aug. 16 Random Acts of Improv Presented by Ready or Not Improv. 8:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $15. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469.

Aug. 17 The Diamonds Classic rock and roll with today’s attitude. 3 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $25-$27. elcampaniltheatre.com.

Aug. 25 Auditions Walnut Creek Chorus has openings for all voices. Drop by 7 – 9 p.m. Trinity Lutheran Church, 2317 Buena Vista Ave., Walnut Creek. walnutcreekchorus@gmail.com.

FUNDRAISERS July 26 Marathon Boot Camp Clayton Fitness Center team sponsors this two-hour fundraiser for American Cancer Society Relay For Life Clayton. Do 30-station circuit once or repeatedly up to full two hours. 9 – 11 a.m. Clayton Fitness Center, 1516 Kirker Pass Road, Clayton. $25. 672-2005.

July 26 Raise the Roof in the Courtyard Food, wine and beer, silent auction, raffle, wine pull. Public fundraiser to replace parish hall roof. Parish hall shelters community events and food pantry outreach. 6 – 8 p.m. Saint Bonaventure Catholic Community, 5562 Clayton Road, Concord. $20. Get tickets after Sunday mass or at Parish Office. 672-5800.

Food and wine walk in downtown Walnut Creek to benefit Diablo Ballet and PEEK Outreach Program. 6 – 9 p.m. Check in at Massimo Ristorante, 1604 Locust St. $45. diabloballet.org/events.

Aug. 16 Tea and Fashion Show Fun-filled event for all ages. Tea and refreshments, hat contest, best dressed impersonator contest. 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Concord Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Drive, Concord. $20 adults; $15 children, students and seniors. Call 671-3320, ext. 1 for tickets.

AT THE LIBRARY The Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. For a schedule of summer events, go to claytonlibrary.org or 673-0659. The Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. ccclib.org or 646-5455. For a schedule of summer events, go to ccclib.org/locations/concord.

1st and 3rd Tuesdays, except Aug. 5 Clayton City Council 7 p.m. Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 673-7304 or ci.clayton.ca.us.

2nd and 4th Tuesdays Clayton Planning Commission 7 p.m., Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 673-7304 or ci.clayton.ca.us.

1st, 2nd and 4th Tuesdays Concord City Council 6:30 p.m., Council Chamber, Concord Civic Center, 1950 Parkside Dr. cityofconcord.org.

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Aug. 15 Jon Mendle

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Mozart Festival

Time to call in the investigative team of Trapped In A Rumor Improv to see what happens when good numbers go bad. 7:45 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $12-$15. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469.

Now

Fourth annual Helping Others Pursue Excellence awards ceremony presented by Order My Life. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $15-$20. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469.

GOVERNMENT

Aug. 7 Jazz Concert

Search for Mount Diablo’s giant arachnids. Check the website for tarantula hike dates and times. Reservations are required and fill up fast.

Nature hike as darkness falls. Search for owls, bats, scorpions, tarantulas, poor-wills and other inhabitants of the dark. 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center. Registration required: mtdiablohiker@aol.com or sweettrails00@gmail.com.

Aug. 15 H.O.P.E.

Aug. 7 Gourmet Gallop

Aug. 2 Black and Tan Yellow

Aug. 8 Tom Armstrong and The Branded Men

Aug. 1 Registration Opens for Tarantula Hikes

Soft, sultry, buttery vocal renditions of the Great American Songbook. Presented by Owl Eye Entertainment. 3:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25-$35. lesherartscenter.org. 9437469.

Sound sculptress from Celtic to Coltrane with a feel for storytelling. Presented by Owl Eye Entertainment. 2:45 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25-$35. lesherartscenter.org. 9437469.

Tuesdays year round, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. cityofconcord.org.

Thursday night live music and farmers’ market. Music: July 31, Concord’s Killer Karaoke Contest and Mayors’ Cookoff featuring PUSH with Dan Ashley. Aug. 7, The Rubinoos. Aug. 14, James Garner’s Johnny Cash Tribute. Market 4 – 8 p.m.; music 6:30 – 8 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. cityofconcord.org.

Aug. 10 Sable Winters Ensemble

Aug. 17 Destiny Muhammad Jazz Trio

A cross country meeting of the minds between California and Texas musicians. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $15-$27. elcampaniltheatre.com.

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

Some of the best blues in the Bay Area. July 29, Annie Sampson. 6:30 – 8 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Free. cityofconcord.org.

Brilliant guitar work and smooth vocals. Part of the Walnut Creek Jazz Concert Series. 5 and 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25-$40. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469.

Walnut Creek Guitar Series. 7:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25. lesherartscenter.org. 943-7469.

EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT

July 27 Salimpour Belly Dance

Tuesdays Farmers’ Market

Aug. 9 John Pizzarelli

6096 Main Street, Clayton, 673-0440 Entertainment from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

July 25, 26 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Shillz August 1, 2 . . . . . . .Barefoot Country August 8, 9 . . . . . . . . . . . .Tone Pony Karaoke Mon. & Wed. nights

Open Mic Thur. nights, 8-11 pm

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July 25, 2014

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

Page 13

Performing Arts

Pittsburg Theatre unveils 2014-15 season Pittsburg Community Theatre is still riding high after its successful inaugural year performing at the California Theatre in Old Town Pittsburg. No sooner did the ghost light click on at the close of the season did the company start planning for the next theatrical season. The 2014-2015 season brings stories straight “From Page to Stage,” which include classic stories based on such great literary works such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes mystery “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” to the classic Chinese tale of honor and

duty in Disney’s “Mulan Jr.” The company will also stage a retelling of Grimm’s Fairy Tales with a twist that takes you on a musical journey exploring what happens after the happily ever after in “Into the Woods,” and then wraps up the season with a classic Neil Simon romantic comedy “Barefoot in the Park.” However, this year PCT will present a fifth “bonus show.” “Greater Tuna” is a hilarious two-man play featuring PCT’s finest: Greg Brown and Brian Villanueva. The two actors play more than 20 characters in the production, which is co-directed by Betty Brown and Marilyn

Tim McGraw tribute pretty close to the real thing No one comes closer to sounding like Tim McGraw than Tom Drinnon. Drinnon has been a country singer for many years and has performed shows with some of the biggest country singers in the world, including Tim McGraw. Drinnon performs the songs, tells the stories, and provides a memorable show for McGraw fans. It’s all good country music and just just plain ol’ great entertainment.

TOM DRINNON

Drinnon will be at the Firehouse Arts Center, 4444 Railroad Ave., Pleasanton on August 30 at 8 p.m. For tickets call (925) 931-4848.

Simmonds-Cole. Season tickets are now available. Subscriptions offer four shows for the price of three. By purchasing a season ticket, you can also purchase the bonus show at a 20 percent discount. Season ticket prices are $75 for adults, $45 for seniors and students and $30 for children younger than 11.

To purchase season tickets, call or visit the California Theatre Box Office Tuesday through Friday from 12 to 5 p.m., 925-427-1611. The box office is located at the theater, 351 Railroad Ave. For more information n the performances or auditions for any of the shows, visit www.pittsburgcommunitytheatre.org.

Oakland East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus Brings summer pops music tour to Clayton Oakland East Bay Gay’s Men Chorus (OEBGMC) will begin their East Bay Summer Pops! On the Road to Pride tour on Aug 2, at 7pm at the Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church, 1578 Kirker Pass Road in Clayton. Summer Pops! Road to Pride features music about life’s journeys — especially the amazing journey of coming out as a gay man. These songs give a taste of the heartbreak, exuberance, and daily life of what it means to be gay in the East Bay and how it feels to come out at different stages of life. The wide range of musical styles in the program include

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Frank Sinatra to Asian language songs, and fully choreographed, hilarious small ensembles. Tickets are: $8.00 for youth (ages 15 and under), $15 General Admission. For ticket information go to www.oebgmc.org OEBGMC is a 40-voice men’s chorus known throughout the East Bay for: partnering with a wide variety of community groups — from children’s choruses to homeless choruses; performing for community events — from senior centers to Pride celebrations; and donating a portion of all their proceeds to local beneficiaries.

Van Liews stage musical Honduran mission JOHN JACKS0N Clayton Pioneer

For one Clayton family, this summer has meant much more than trips to the beach and time away from schoolwork. Kris and Becky Van Liew, along with their five children, joined a “Mission of Music” to Teupasenti, Honduras, from June 29-July 5 in an effort to bring musical joy and education to both children and adults. The Van Liews are longtime Clayton residents who have home-educated each of their children through the American Christian Academy. Ranging in age from 9-20 (four boys, one girl), the kids have been involved for some time with the Contra Costa Suzuki Strings and its director, Laurie Carlson. Carlson was inspired to bring an instrumental group to Honduras when she was there last year with her church. “I took my violin and just saw how it was received, how they loved it, the joy,” she says. “So the director of the mission there said, ‘You should bring all your students.’ And the word sort of spread and ballooned, and we began to think about bringing all of our Suzuki Strings students.” According to George Curtis Van Liew, 17, the object of the trip was simple: “It is a music mission, and so what we go to do is spread the joy of music.” Trumpets, ukuleles, violins and other instruments were used by students ages 919. Nearly all of the instruments for the trip were donated by local music shops, schools and other groups that heard about the efforts of the Suzuki Strings group. “The biggest donation came from Shar music,” says George Curtis. “They sent us a cello, three violins; just thousands of dollars worth of stuff.” The travelers worked with a pre-kindergarten group each day of their weeklong trip, playing music for them and

CLAYTON’S VAN LIEW FAMILY RECENTLY JOINED Contra Costa Suzuki Strings on a “Mission of Music” in Honduras where they brought musical instruments and meals to schools in Teupasenti and surrounding villages. At each location, students performed in concerts.

engaging them in musical activities and games and visiting outlying villages.“There are lots of villages and it’s quite remote. When we’re there, we participate in their feeding program and we share the joy of music.” George Curtis gives added detail to how the group was able to bring smiles to faces a world away. “Day-to-day, we travel around and just play music for people – it may be a small group of people. We also may play in their church service on a Sunday. We might play in front of someone’s house as we’re walking around with our instruments. We try to keep an open mind and if someone wants us to play, then we play. We’re just bringing music.” The group stayed in the village of Teupasenti, at the Children’s Rescue Mission home, where missionaries stay as they are passing through. “We were received with great joy and thankfulness,” says Van Liew. “We carried music, meals, and materials to several schools and pueblos. After we would play, we would

let the children and adults handle and play the violins, ukuleles, and cello. We learned sev-

eral Latin and Central American songs, including the national anthem of Honduras. Each time we would play it the people would smile bigger and clap and sing along.” Van Liew tells of one kindergarten boy that they would see each day. The boy would seek them out and strum a ukulele over and over for as long as he could keep his hands on it, until the group would finally need to leave, simply due to schedule. As the group traveled to “excruciatingly poor” areas, they would take provisions of corn, rice or beans to the people. This was the most rewarding part for each member, says Carlson. “We take them food and play them something. We feed their soul with music and their body with food.” To learn more about the Contra Costa Suzuki Strings, visit facebook.com/contracostasuzukistrings.

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Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

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Our summer camps at Pans on Fire this year include a lot of baking, and it’s been fun showing the kids how to make homemade butter. It tastes so fresh and creamy, and it got me thinking about all the types of butter in the market, especially the cultured varieties. First, a comment about “sweet cream butter” often mentioned on packages. It refers to the cream source—it hasn’t been fermented, in which case it would be called “cultured cream butter” with a noticeably tart, sour or acidic flavor. It has nothing to do with being salted or not, although it bears noting that unsalted butter is generally fresher than salted and should be used quickly to avoid becoming rancid. Salt, on the other hand, is a preservative, so salted butter has considerable shelf life in the refrigerator and the amount of salt varies from as little as .4% to over 4%. There are several ways to culture butter. One is to incubate the cream for about 16 hours in the presence of bacteria specifically grown to sour milk products like quark, yogurt or sour cream. Another version introduces the bacteria after the butter has been churned.

There are a few American companies that make European-style butter (most of which is cultured butter) but generally you have to look for European makers. European butters are also distinguished by their higher fat content (82% or greater versus American-made of 81% or less). Serious bakers, especially those creating puff pastry, croissant dough and other laminated pastries, are much more partial to the higher fat content butters. Among the American European-style manufacturers you’ll find at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s are Vermont Creamery (86% butterfat), Plugra (sweet, not cultured, 82%), Straus (sweet, not cultured, 84%), and Organic Valley (85% butterfat) Years ago, I attended a program sponsored by Vermont Creamery. It was a decadent (and calorific) experience. We were given a plate with 8 different butter samples to taste and distinguish, and then fed

NEENA DHILLON AND HER AUNT SARAH DHILLON of Concord walked at the Concord Relay For Life in support of family members suffering or lost to cancer.

Linda Wyner owns Pans on Fire, a gourmet cookware store and cooking school in Pleasanton. Send suggestions or questions to lwyner@pansonfire.com

Book Review ‘Ghost Stories’ scares up summer fun

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THE

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Nipping at the heels of the word “summer” are the words “summer camp,” and not long after comes the word “campfire,” and it’s a no-brainer that “ghost stories” comes next. Instead of suggesting a great, bawdy, bodice-ripper to accompany one to the beach, Here’s a more family friendly, but not necessarily more literary genre to bring to the campfire after the beach. The stories in “Great Ghost Stories” (HarperCollins Sept., 1998) from the “Books of Wonder” series were selected and illustrated by Barry Moser. The tales chosen run the gamut from scary, to funny, to sweet and outright silly (the ghost who resides in a barren apple tree). You don’t have to camp to get the most from this book; a backyard barbeque, or maybe a summer porch with a camp lantern for proper effect? For those who prefer the security of home, read by flashlight with the kids sitting in a storytelling circle. A flashlight for each child to hold chillingly under their chin wouldn’t hurt, either. “The Monkey’s Paw,” the first story in the collection (by W. W. Jacobs), is so much fun that it gave me pause and goose bumps when read midday on a sunny deck along the Truckee River. See ‘Ghost Stories’, pg 16

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Heat the oven to 325°F. Butter a 9-by-9-inch square baking pan. Use electric beaters at medium speed or a wooden spoon to cream the butter until smooth. Continue beating and gradually add the sugar and salt. Keep beating until the mixture is light-colored and fluffy-look-

Purple will pop up in Clayton when its Relay for Life teams “Paint the Town Purple” with Relay’s signature color on Aug. 9. Teams will decorate the town to promote awareness of Clayton’s Relay For Life event on Aug. 16 and 17.and the efforts it funds through the American Cancer Society. Join a team, walk as an individual or donate and cheer on participants at the event. Help Clayton exceed its goal of $75,000 towards finding a cure for cancer, supporting cancer patients, honoring cancer survivors and remembering loved ones lost to the disease. Earlier this month, Todos Santos Plaza in Concord was transformed with purple banners and bows on July 12 for 24 hours of Relay For life. Nearly 500 people walked the park and camped out to help spread the word about Relay For Life. Ceremonies, food, games and entertainment ran ‘round the clock. Walkers were bolstered in their efforts by Mayor Tim Grayson and the City of Concord team and supported by the Concord Police Department and businesses around the plaza. Teams raised more than $28,000, surpassing their goal. Donations can still be made through Aug. 31.

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PEACH AND LEMON THYME SHORTBREAD From Organic Valley ½ lb European-style cultured butter, room temperature 1 c sugar 3/4 tsp salt 1 large egg 1 ½ c unbleached white flour 1/2 c rice flour 1 scant cup finely chopped, dried peaches 2 Tbsp minced fresh lemon thyme

Relays for Life target cancer

Clayton’s Relay starts at 10 a.m. in a new location, the Clayton Valley Charter High School, 1101 Alberta Way, Concord. See the Community Calendar for more details or go to relayforlife.org/concordca or relayforlife.org/claytonca.

mail for Call or e intment an appo ay tod

all sorts of butter cookies to see if we could match the plain butter with the cookie made from it. You might like to try something like that at home (with fewer varieties of course, unless you’re a hardy soul).

ing, about two minutes if you are using electric beaters. Add the egg and mix until smooth. Whisk the flours together in a small bowl. Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter mixture in four additions, mixing until smooth after each addition. Stir in dried peaches and minced fresh thyme. Spread the dough evenly into the buttered pan. Bake until shortbread is light golden and almost firm near the center, 3540 minutes. Let shortbread cool in the pan before cutting it into small squares.

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July 25, 2014

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

Page 15

Pioneer Photo Album

NICOLE HACKETT

GARDEN GIRL It is hard to not love the feathery plumes of Red Fountain Grass. This ornamental grass has become Clayton Valley landscape staple. It’s thin strap-like, purplish-red foliage and warm taupe colored fuzzy cattails are a reliable summer accent plant for many landscape situations. Introduced to the gardening masses over a decade ago, Red Fountain Grass surged in its popularity, and since has never lost its luster in the eyes of the plant lover. Folks are intrigued by Red Fountain Grass’ movement and texture that it provides to the landscape. You’ll find Red Fountain Grass sold in nurseries and garden centers under the name Pennisetum Rubrum. This ornamental grass loves to be planted in full sun, where it can reach towards the sky. Red Fountain Grass also does well in windy environments. It is perfect for those Clayton Valley residents that live on hillsides where the wind is often present. Pennisetum Rubrum can grow quite large. You should expect around four feet of height and three feet of width at maturity. This ornamental grass is winter deciduous, meaning it

browns-out when the weather chills, and regrows from the roots as spring warms. Consider the Red Fountain Grass’ deciduous winter behavior when placing it in your landscape. Try to hold off from pruning down last season’s foliage until you see signs of new growth. This should happen sometime in midMarch. Red Fountain grass requires light to regular water, and prefers a well drained soil. It will do much better planted on a slope than around a lawn. Through the years, dwarf and variegated selections of Pennisetum have been introduced. They are very desirable, and fun to incorporated in the landscape.

Red Fountain Grass is an accent ornamental. It is nicely used to adjacent to a decorative boulder, or surrounded by contrasting foliage. Consider installing Red Fountain Grass along with gray or green leafed plants for maximum drama. It looks nice with Emerald Carpet Manzinita, gray foliaged Teucrium Majoricum, and sedum Angelia. If you desire taller companion installations, plant along with Moonshine Yarrow, Salvia Indigo Spires and Coral Drift Roses. Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. Contact her with questions or comments at Gardengirl@claytonpioneer.com

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Elaine Friedman caught this “eeuuwwww” shot of a king snake lunching on a rattlesnake at her home on Morgan Territory Rd. “The king snake was huge and it appeared the rattlesnake was almost as big,” Elaine said. “I caught the action as the last third of the rattlesnake was being devoured.” It’s all part of the food chain. The Pioneer is proud to spotlight our readers’ photos. Email your photo in a high-resolution format to tamara@claytonpioneer.com with a description of the photo, where and when it was taken and a little about why you like it. Include your name and phone number. Then look for it in the next Pioneer.

You Are Cordially Invited to Oakhurst Country Club’s Open House Friday, August 1, 2014, 5 to 9 p.m. 5 p.m. Wine & Dine Model “A” Car show along with BMW of Concord showcasing beautiful classic and new cars, accompanied by delicious gourmet hors d’oeuvres.

6 p.m. taste your way through the club, enjoying culinary delights Live Band, featuring Crosstown5

7 p.m. Raffle Drawings to include FREE memberships, FREE room rentals and more Major golf company representative will be on the putting green with the latest golf technology. Putting competition

Tickets: Adults, $20++ Children (12 and under) $10++ Includes • Two complimentary glasses of wine 1001 Peacock Creek Drive, Clayton & souvenir wine glass, • Hors d’oeuvres Reserve your space now. • Dinner and dessert RSVP to directorofsales@oakhurstcc.com, • Live Music

or call Susie Sutton, 925.672.9737, ext 205

Memberships are limited and subject to availability. Members who resign their membership prior to the two year anniversary will be required to pay the full membership deposit. Offer subject to change or revocation at anytime without notice. Offer expires 8/15/14. All rights reserved. No purchase necessary and need not be present for raffle drawing. All tee times must be scheduled with Membership Director, 925.672.9737, ext. 205 and used within 90 days of Open House. Events with free room rental must be booked within 30 days of Open House with Catering Director, 925.672.9737, ext. 217l. Other restrictions may apply.

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Page 16

Clayton Pioneer • www.claytonpioneer.com

July 25, 2014

‘Green’ vinyl isn’t just a color never have a vinyl floor, period.” “But vinyl floors and kitchens are practically made for each other,” I ventured. “Vinyl is resistant to moisture and humidity, it’s strong and durable, and it’s resilient – a good thing in a room where you are almost always on your feet. Plus it comes in a million colors and patterns.” “What,” I continued, knowing what her answer would be, “do you have against vinyl?” “It’s plastic. It’s made from petroleum. It’s just one more way we’re killing the earth.” And with that (italics hers), she stepped into my trap. It surprised her, and may well surprise you, to learn the following few facts about vinyl floor-covering. Vinyl is indeed a plastic, and is made partly with non-renewable resources such as crude oil. But unlike other plastics, these account for only 43 percent of

LARRY FLICK

UNDERFOOT A friend of mine, who might be described as an unusually dedicated tree-hugger, recently moved into a new home – that is, new to her. The house was mostly in good repair, except for the kitchen floor, which indisputably needed to be completely replaced, and soon. Knowing more or less what I did for a living, she asked my advice, but with one caveat. “Anything but vinyl,” she said, in that sometimescharming way she has. “I will

‘Ghost Stories’, The list of authors chosen by Moser is as surprising as enticing: H. G. Wells, Madeleine L’Engle, Arthur Conan Doyle, H. P. Lovecraft, Bram Stoker, Joyce Carol Oates, E. Nesbit and even Moser himself. The settings are as varied as the authors themselves and may suggest why ghost stories invite retelling in more familiar locales, proving that familiarity not only breeds contempt, but maybe scariness as well. “Great Ghost Stories” is not for the blood-loving, scream-curdling aficionado, but you don’t want to send your family to bed with nightmares waiting beneath their pillows. The lengths of the

vinyl’s composition – it’s 57 percent derived from common salt – and, also unlike other plastics, it can be recycled. No hazardous materials are released into the environment as a byproduct of the manufacture of vinyl floor-covering. Waste products are either recycled at the point of manufacture or sent to a reclaimer for disposal. (The heavy metal stabilizers and pigments once used were replaced years ago with more environmentally safe materials.) So, compared to almost any other plastic you can think of, vinyl requires fewer natural resources to make, uses much less energy for manufacture, and releases lower emissions into the environment. Plus it comes in a million colors and patterns – and yes, that includes green. Larry Flick is president of the Floor Store. Email your questions or comments to larryf@floorstores.com.

bride left alone in their rented cottage. Barry Moser’s art has enlivened and enhanced both children’s and adult literature for many years. I’d recommend anything with Moser’s work attached to it, which is exactly what prompted me to buy “Great Ghosts Stories” before the closing of Clayton Books. And did I mention that when first hired to work in that store I was told it was haunted? But that’s another story. Check your Clayton cemetery history and get back to me.

from page 14

tales are perfect, long enough to satisfy, but short enough to leave you wanting “just one more, please?” Among my favorites was “The Red Room” by H. G. Wells, a tale of scaring the heck out of a young man who doesn’t believe in ghosts. You don’t believe in ghosts either, but Wells tears down that disbelief with such finesse, both readers and listeners will be glad when the story ends. E. Nesbit, the dear author of some beloved children’s literature, writes of a honeymoon gone awry, leaving a widowed groom wishing he’d listened more carefully before taking that Halloween stroll, with his young

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

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JUL 25 Clayton Pioneer 2014