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July 12, 2013

Revelers brave blazing heat for 40th anniversary of Clayton’s July 4 parade JULIE PIERCE

MAYOR’S CORNER Family Fair proves to be a hot attraction What a scorcher of a Fourth of July we had! Clayton’s Fourth is always the best, but this time it was one of the hottest, too. But no matter the heat, we can always count on our Clayton folks to make it a great day. Speaking of great local folks, I want to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate Clayton’s own Emma Hall, 15, on the outstanding job she did organizing and running our Clayton Family Fair and Picnic on Saturday, June 29. You’ll see some of the pictures of the fun events posted here in the Pioneer (page 3). For the hardy people who volunteered to help and those who came to participate on one

See Mayor, page 3

Clayton and Concord wrestle with new budgets PEGGY SPEAR Clayton Pioneer

Creating – and sticking with – a municipal budget is tough in the best of times, but add in uncertain pension costs, an stillrocky economy and troublesome implementation of new financial software, and you get a perfect storm of monetary woes for the cities of Concord and Clayton. As the fiscal year 2013-14 dawned on July 1, both Contra Costa's largest city and its much

See Budgets, page 6

CONGRATULATIONS TO TIFFANY WELKER WHOSE PHOTO OF THE VIET NAM ERA HUEY HELICOPTER FLYOVER was the winning photo in the Clayton Pioneer July 4 Photo Contest. With Clayton’s streetlamp and flag in the foreground and the helicopter above, the photo best captured this year’s theme of “Community and Country.” Tiffany wins $100. For the other winners, see page 4.

Even blistering temperatures couldn’t keep Claytonians away from the annual Fourth of July Celebration. Tradition holds strong and for the 40th year, Main Street, awash with red, white and blue, was lined with crowds cheering on and waving as the parade made its short, but important, way from one end of town to the other. The first “official” Clayton July 4 celebration was in 1896 when “A Cordial Invitation” was extended to all for a “17764th of July Grand Celebration.” In 1973, a group of residents resurrected the tradition with a July 4 celebration in the eucalyptus grove at the east end of Main Street – what is now The Grove park. Those celebrations were all day family events that included old-fashioned games and food supplied by local eateries. Senator John Nejedly was Grand Marshall in the 1973 event and the parade kicked off with a bicycle

See 4th of July, page 4

Clayton woman at full speed to complete 25 half-marathons PEGGY SPEAR Clayton Pioneer

Twenty-five is a significant number for Robin Cutter these days. She recently celebrated her 25th wedding anniversary, and it is one-half her age – and her husband’s. And her daughter will turn 25 this year. It’s also the number of halfmarathons the Clayton woman plans to complete in just one year. Cutter is well on her way to her goal, the finish line being the Pomona Half Marathon on Dec. 15 – the event she kicked off her personal journey with last Dec. 9. And she’s doing all to bring awareness and support for her pet causes, the American Stroke Association and American Heart

Association. “I just want to give back,” Cutter says. She is no stranger to elite running, having trained for and ran her first half-marathon back in 2008 – just after her father died after a heart attack. She is currently a coach for the Start! program for the AHA, a charity-based race training plan whose motto is “We get you from the couch to the finish line.” Heart disease and strokes are prevalent in Cutter’s family, she says. She saw her father experience two heart attacks and her mother and grandparents suffer strokes. A neighbor’s stroke at age 46 woke her up to her own threat, so she took matters into her own hands – or more appropriately, legs. “I want to bring awareness to

the fact that women suffer strokes as often or more often than men, and even at younger ages,” she says. “We believe it’s because many of us shrug off the symptoms, and are especially vulnerable to stress,” she says. In just five short years she has completed 50 half-marathons, and has 15 more to go this year to reach her goal. As a freelance bookkeeper, Cutter didn’t have much time to run races in the early part of 2013, during the busy tax season. But from the first week in May she has upped her pace, and has run six 13-milers in the past seven weeks. Although most of the races are held in northern California, Cutter says she is using her mission to do a little traveling. Besides several races in southern California, she

Crash victim still critical but improving A 51-year-old Brentrio, 21, jumped the wood motorcyclist median into oncoming remains in the hospital in traffic and hit critical condition and a 21Tomaszewski head-on. year-old Clayton woman She continued on after faces criminal DUI the collision, finally hitcharges after a head-on ting a pole in the center collision on Clayton Road divide in front of the on June 27. Clayton City Hall. MARK Mark Tomaszewski She failed the field was headed home after TOMASZEWSKI sobriety test at the work about 5:40. He was scene and was arrested traveling in the southbound lane for DUI. Witnesses at the scene when a northbound Toyota say they heard her tell officers Corolla driven by Jessica Mercu- she was texting when she lost

control. According to Clayton Police Chief Chris Thorsen, criminal charges are pending final toxicology reports. Tomaszewski sustained life threatening injuries and remains in critical condition at John Muir Medical Center. According to his brother, Tomaszewski is “improving some every day.” He is responsive to voice commands and recognizes family during the brief times he is awake.

What’s Inside Around Town . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Book Review . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Classified . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

Club News . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Community Calendar . . . . .12 Directory of Advertisers . . . . .5

Tomaszewski is an operating room technician at the Sequoia Surgical Center in Walnut Creek. “Mark is going to need ongoing care and support for a long time,” said Sequoia administrator, Tina Hadaway. His co-workers have donated their unused time off to him and a website has been set up to raise funds to help offset mounting medical bills. For information, go to

Fashion Over 50 . . . . . . . . .14 Garden Girl . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Hiker’s Haven . . . . . . . . . . .15 Mind Matters . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Pets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Pocket Parenting . . . . . . . . . .8



will travel to Chicago and Idaho for events there, and will compete in three consecutive halfmarathons in three days around Lake Tahoe in September, as part of the Lake Tahoe Marathon. “The main thing we want to stress is that it doesn’t matter how fast you go,” she says, “but just that you get up and go. We are not concerned about times as much as just finishing the race.” She herself says that she will often stop to help other runners during races who may be having difficulties, mainly because she

Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Speaking of Sports . . . . . . .11 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Sports Shorts . . . . . . . . . . .10 Teen Reads . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Weather Words . . . . . . . . . . .4

heart and stroke charities. remembers how hard it was when she was starting out. “I love the community of the races, especially when we’re all working for a cause,” Cutter says. “That’s the part of racing that I’m addicted to.” While she says she is “not a Facebook person,” Cutter has set up a Facebook page for friends and family to follow her journey. It can be found at s/START-Training-AmericanHeart-Association-DonationPage-for-Robin-Cutter.

Check us out on Facebook


Page 2

Clayton Pioneer •

July 12, 2013

Around Town Local girls take a Tech Trek Diablo View Middle School students Sarah Cook, Lissa Stewart and Cassie Bizicki got a crash course in college life while learning that math and science can be


fun at Tech Trek Math and Science Camp, a summer program at Sonoma State for girls entering the eighth grade. Teachers nominated the stu-

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dents to attend the camp, and the girls were sponsored by the local branch of American Association of University Women with help from the Clayton Business and Community Association. The students lived on the campus of Sonoma State and attended classes taught by middle school teachers that featured hands-on experiments, core class work in math, science and technology, lab work and field trips, such as hiking, kayaking and astronomy night. Women who are professionals in these fields were guest presenters. AAUW volunteers served as camp directors, health aides and chaperones, and past Tech Trek campers served as guides and assistants to the campers. For more information on AAUW, visit the organization’s website at


Hats off to Edwin Edwin Macasero’s, duties are varied and includes frequently dusting the doors of the Clayton post office. But, you won’t find him using a feather duster. All of Edwin’s feathers are in his hat. Edwin says “A very nice lady with a lot of birds” brings him a feather whenever she comes to get her mail. And each time, Edwin adds the feather with a new piece of tape to his hat. So, next time you’re at the post office, tip your hat to Edwin.

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July 12, 2013

Clayton Pioneer •

Around Town

Mayor, from page 1


The Pallotta and Banderas families, both of Clayton, just returned from a vacation together in Belize and

Guatemala. We went along with them to such amazing locations as Actun Tunichil Muknal (Cave of the Stone Maiden) and Tikal, in Guatemala. Here we are at Mayflower Bocawina National Park, where we rode along with them on a zipline adventure in the jungles of the Maya Mountains. We soared through the jungle with the birds on the longest zip line course in Belize and Central America, approximately 2.5 miles. What a trip! Pictured: Derek Banderas, Noah Banderas, Domenic Pallotta and Doug Pallotta.

MONTENEGRO On June 2, we took an Eastern Mediterranean vacation on board the Seabourn Odyssey with Roger and Donna Franz. We stopped in Kotor, Montenegro and huffed and puffed the 1,350 steps up St. John Fortress to see a panoramic view of the city. Donna says, “We brought along our beloved Clayton Pioneer to show everyone where we have traveled.” (Awww, she called us ‘beloved.’)

PARIS What we learned in Paris … Je t’adore does not mean “shut the door” in French. But, we did learn that we adore traveling with the York family in Europe, especially when it included a stop at the Eiffel Tower. Pictured, from left, Emily York, Kevin York, Madison York, Todd York and Lisa York.

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Page 3

of the hottest days of the year, thank you! Emma created this event as her Girl Scout Gold Award project and did it all with a smile on her face every minute – what an inspiration she is. If she’s an example of our future leaders, we’re in great shape. This event was created as a substitute for the New Year’s Eve Clayton Counts Down, which had been experiencing dwindling attendance due to unpredictable winter weather and lower numbers of young children living in Clayton. Lots of youngsters had fun with the games and activities – how many times can you hulahoop? How big a bubble can you make? The scouts of Troop 262 had an orienteering course. There was also musical entertainment and numerous game and activity booths. The star attraction was the Clayton Bikes Stunt Team, who put on a thrilling show. Our Clayton CERT was there, too, and trained 24 people in hands-only CPR and how to use an AED (defibrillator). We are well on our way to being designated a Heart-Safe community. For those of you who would prefer to learn these skills in an air-conditioned room, CERT is offering another training session next Wednesday, July 17 at 7 p.m. at the Clayton Library. Come on down – it’s free! INJURY UPDATE Many of you have shared your concern and asked about the condition of the local man badly injured in a motorcycle accident two weeks ago. Mark T. was in critical condition for some time, but is now stable. He will need a lot of rehab and it’s going to take time, so many of his co-workers are donating their

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vacation time to him. It’s also going to be expensive, so his family has set up a website where folks can send Mark and his family messages of hope or make a donation to help him with his recovery. That website is y o u c a r i n g. c o m / m e d i c a l fundraiser/teammarkt/70184.

Let’s rally some big support from our generous Clayton community. I hope you are having a fabulous summer. I’ll see you at the concerts, and please be safe out there!

s t r e c n o C he Gro T in

ov e


6 to 8:30 p.m. At the Gazebo in The Grove

As always, you can contact me by email at Let me know what you think!

Set up chairs and blankets on the lawn after 4 p.m.

July 20 Mixed Nuts Dance music from the 50s to today.

August 3 Live by the Groove Enjoy the sounds of your favorite music from the 70s, 80s and 90s.

August 17 Flashback Six-piece band featuring hits from big band/swing, early rock 'n' roll, Motown/soul, R&B/funk, classic rock, disco and country.

August 31 The Chicago Tribute Authority This upbeat tribute band plays the music of the greatest hit bands of the last 45 years.

Sept. 14 East Bay Mudd This 10-piece cover dance band with a powerful 4man horn section, will keep you on your feet asking for more.

Photos by Ted Hall

Clayton Family Fun Fair and Picnic: (Top) CERT volunteer Sue Elliott trains CPR; (Bottom) The TGC Action Sports Team stunt riders were the highlight of the June 29 Fair.

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Page 4

Clayton Pioneer •

June 28, 2013

Will July continue with historical heat? atmospheric conditions. Like all California heat events, the main ingredient was an abnormally strong upper atmosphere high pressure system that built over the western United States. One unusual feature of the 2006 heat wave was its duration. Bay Area coastal valley locations like Clayton usually cool off after two or three days of a heat wave. Excessive heat in the California Central Valley strengthens coastto-inland pressure gradients allowing a cooling sea breeze to penetrate the coastal valleys. That natural air conditioning effect did not occur in 2006. Review of temperature data at Buchanana Airport in Concord shows that afternoon maximums of 95 degrees or greater were

WOODY WHITLATCH WEATHER WORDS When the calendar turns from one month to another, I tend to reflect on extreme or unusual weather events that have affected the Clayton area. This July began with a series of days when afternoon temperatures exceeded 100 degrees. I immediately recalled the historical heat wave of July 2006. In many ways the 2006 heat wave was a perfect storm of

recorded for 12 consecutive days. Even more impressive was the fact that maximums of 105 degrees or greater were recorded for six consecutive days. At the peak of the heat wave on July 23 and 24 the maximum temperature at Concord was 112. Unofficial reports from the Clayton area showed maximum temperatures above 115 both days! Strong California heat waves also tend to be very dry events with extremely low relative humidity values. Dry air allows nighttime temperatures to cool down and provide some relief from the excessive heat. This was not the case during the two hottest days of the 2006 heat wave. The jet stream circulation around the heat-producing

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high pressure system became perfectly aligned to deliver a surge of subtropical moisture from western Mexico. This band of moisture settled

over northern and central California resulting in record high minimum temperatures. Many Bay Area and Central Valley weather stations reported record all-time

4th of July, from page 1

PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS: Top, First Place Under 12, Mia Peterson; Top right, 2nd place Adult, Tammy Demler; Bottom right, 3rd Place Adult, Kita Kopfelt-Thompson.

contingent followed by the local horsemen, 4-H clubs, scout troops and other local clubs. “The parade was so short,” writes Elaine Evans in the history of the event, “that some thought participants should turn around and come around a second time.” The only thing that has really changed over the years is the length. Food is still a big part of the day, starting early with the Clayton Valley Sunrise Rotary Club’s pancake breakfast at Endeavor Hall. Kids on bikes and trikes, on scooters and in strollers along with their dressed up family dogs lead the parade as usual. But this year, they were followed by 42 more entries that included local dignitaries in convertibles, a collection of mouth-watering Corvettes, veterans groups, scout troops, clubs and merchants all waving flags and celebrating “Community and Country.”

high minimum temperatures on July 23 and 24.

See Weather, page 7

July 12, 2013

Clayton Pioneer •

Doodleton Ranch Summer Nature Camp

5 one-week sessions in July $210 per week, Before & after camp care available

Peggy Spear

For complete brochure, or to register: email, (510)

We remember Jill Bedecarré - Her spirit is our muse


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

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

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

MB but not bigger than 6MB. You can also mail or bring your print to the office and we can scan it for you. Also on the website are forms for calendar items, events & press releases. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Clayton Pioneer welcomes letters from our readers. As a general rule, letters should be 250 words or less and submitted at least one week prior to publication date. Letters concerning current issues will have priority. We may edit letters for length and clarity. All letters will be published at the editor’s discretion. Please include name, address and daytime telephone number. We will not print anonymous letters. E-mail your letter to Letters MUST be submitted via E-mail.


Call 925-680-7792

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 individual addresses. All Concord delivery is by carrier and delivered twice a month on a Friday morning. To stop delivery for any reason, call the office at (925) 6720500 or email If you are NOT receiving the Pioneer, please check the distribution map on the website. If you live in the shaded area and are not receiving the paper, please call us or send an email to If you are not in the shaded area, please be patient. We will come to your neighborhood soon.

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Classified MUSIC LESSONS Clayton teacher, your home or mine. Voice, piano and beginning guitar, all ages 5-100. All lessons are tailored to students’ goals and music preference. Over 20 years experience teaching privately and for the National Guild of Piano Teachers, a division of the American College of Musicians. $25 per 30 min. private lesson. Fun lessons and we do two recitals a year. Julia D. Aguilar 497-1003;

SUBSCRIPTIONS To subscribe, call the office at (925) 672-0500. Subscriptions are $50/year and are not pro-rated for mid-year stops.

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

HELP WANTED Computer Tech Growing business has position for onsite pro computer tech in Contra Costa County. Must have experience in Windows and Mac OS, network repair and troubleshooting. ComputersUSA! 672-9989. Construction Diablo View Construction is looking for a full-time employee. Requirements: Basic construction knowledge, driver’s license and car, hard working and dependable. Room for advancement. 822-5144. Come join Mazzei Realty! Currently interviewing and hiring new and experienced real estate agents. Call 693-0757 for details. Real Estate Agents Be Successful! Lynne French is expanding and interviewing for a few agents. Call her today 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 Hospice of the East Bay Help needed at Hospice of the East Bay Concord Thrift Shoppe located at 5350 Clayton Road, Concord. 674-9072. For information contact Carmen Siems, volunteer coordinator at 887-5678 or

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Auto Clayton Valley Shell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-3900 Beauty and Pampering Bella Mia Spa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .680-7792 Business Services Rising Moon Marketing & Public Relations . . . . .672-8717 Village Oaks Building . . . . . . . . . . . .408-371-8770, ext. 21 Construction and Trades Appliance Repairs by Bruce, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2700 Belfast Plumbing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .457-5423 Burkin Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-1519 Diablo View Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .822-5144 Gary’s Home Repair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .787-2500 Iron Horse Concrete . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .595-3951 Steffan Smith Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .914-0497 Tipperary Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216-2679 Dining and Entertainment Clayton Club Saloon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-0440 Oakhurst Country Club . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9737, ext. 205 Events City of Clayton – Concerts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-7300 Clayton Community Church – Movies . . . . . . . . .673-9060 Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .825-9090 Financial, Insurance and Legal Services DuRee, Daniel – The Law Office of . . . . . . . . . . .210-1400 Held, Chris – Morgan Stanley Smith Barney . . . .930-3815 Littorno, Richard – The Law Office of . . . . . . . . .432-4211 Mingham, Pete – Guild Mortgage Company . . . .906-8166 Prosperitas Wealth Management . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-7700 Van Wyck, Doug – State Farm Insurance . . . . . .672-2300 Funerals Ouimet Funeral Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-4242 Groceries Doorstep Farmers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .349-4568

Clayton Historical Society Museum Greeter for two hours per month from 2-4 p.m. Wednesdays or Sundays. Summer volunteers needed 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Saturdays and 6 – 8 p.m. Wednesdays, June through August; 4 – 6 p.m. on concert Saturdays. Call the museum at 672-0240 and leave your name.

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

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Courage Do the Right Thing

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Clayton Pioneer •

July 12, 2013


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Long-time Clayton resident, Ronald Munk passed away after a short illness on August 11. He was 74. Ron was born in Gallup, New Mexico, but spent most of his life in California. Ron graduated from Napa High School and attended the University of Nevada, and was a veteran of the United States Army. Ron spent many years working in the tire business and enjoyed his time working for Loard’s Ice Cream. He was an active member of the community, coaching Little League for many years. He was a member of the Clayton Business and Community Association, volunteering for

Historical Society. He enjoyed golfing and cheering on the SF Giants and 49ers. His wife of 34 years, Dee Munk, died in 2008. He is survived by his sons Darren and Dale (Kristin); daughter Dawn Ewen (Bob); grandchildren Taylor, Kori and Robbie Munk and Travis, Courtney, Caitlin and Blake Risden. Friends and family are invited to celebrate Ron’s life on July 12, 2013 at 11 a.m. at the Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Assoc. 1600 Trail Ride Rd. Clayton. events and serving on the scholarship committee. He was also a member of the Clayton

Budget, from page 1 smaller neighbor moved to implement new sp• ending plans, but it hasn’t been easy. For Clayton, the city council in June agreed to “keep paying the bills,” according to City Manager Gary Napper, until the city could catch up with a backlog of financial statements and a new budget could be proposed. He hopes to have a 2013-14 budget in the city council’s hands by its July 16 meeting. “I have never had to do this in my professional career,” Napper said, citing a string of set-backs that made it impossible for the city to prepare a budget, while at the same time fixing some internal problems that required auditing of the last three years. CLAYTON TACKLES BACKLOG The problems started back in 2010, when the city converted to new financial software. However, Napper says that city staff did not receive adequate training on the software. “It set us backward, and we got behind.” Adding to the problem, Clayton Finance Director Merry Pelletier became injured from using a computer mouse and required surgery – and in a city the size of Clayton, that loss was significant. The result is that the 2010-11, 2011-12, and 2012-13 budgets all needed auditing, while at the same time staff needed to put together correct numbers for this year’s budget. To get the accounting back on track, the city hired former Oakley executive Rick Sanders – who has expert knowledge of the computer platform and small city budgets – to catch up on the past years’ audits, while Pelletier focused on this year’s budget – hence the unprecedented delay. “We’re doing well now, in that we’re getting caught up,” Napper says. “By divvying up

the duties, we can get back on track.” “The ship wasn’t sinking,” he says. “It’s just that it’s taking us longer to row to where we need to go.” The total Clayton budget is about $3.7 million – about the size of a city department in neighboring Concord. And much like household budgets these days, the city must figure out how to generate more revenue with increasing expenses and a fairly stagnant property tax base. “We don’t have big-ticket businesses like Concord’s car dealerships to bring in a lot of sales tax, so most of our revenue comes from property taxes,” Napper says. “And they are not growing as quickly as we would like them to.” Meanwhile, expenses continue to rise, including increases in water rates, workers compensation and general increases that he sees every year, Napper says. Over half of the Clayton budget goes to police services, Napper says. “It’s a challenge to put together a budget each year, but this year, because we got behind, it was even tougher,” Napper says. “The loss of one person can have a huge impact.” FEES INCREASE IN CONCORD Next door in Concord, the city council in June approved a $121 million budget for 20132014 as well as a 10-year financial plan, but the big question mark is what is known as “unfunded liabilities” – such as the massive pension costs to a city its size. Both City Manager Valerie Barone and Budget Officer Jovan Grogan said that it is difficult to do long-range financial planning when they don’t have all the information – in Concord’s case, its predictions on how much the city will spend on pen-

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Clayton Historical Society.

sions for city employees, information that has not yet been provided by CalPERS, the public employees retirement system. Grogan told the council that his staff is hoping to get that information from CalPERS by the end of the year, but the delay has been disconcerting to the city leaders like councilman Edi Birsan. “I am tired of being scared of the unfunded liability in the closet,” Birsan told the council at an earlier budget review meeting in May. Birsan was also concerned about the many fees that were approved as part of this year’s budget. The budget calls for a new business application fee of $72, a home business administration fee of $90, and an annual business license renewal of $48. Birsan wants to get rid of the application and home business fees, and consider offering multiple-year business licenses if it can be done without sacrificing other city services. Barone said that eliminating the $72 new business application fee could cost Concord $100,000 annually. But Birsan said that it wasn’t just the cost of the fees. “It is the message we send through the Bay Area. It is worth $100,000 to get those businesses,” he said. At the June 25 meeting, he also asked the council to lower or eliminate some fees altogether, besides the business licenses, including proposing that lap swimmers who are age 65 and above get a 20 percent discount at public pools, as Concord provides for golfers at city courses. All motions went down to defeat. Still, the other members of the city council were not ready to shut the door on examining city fees altogether, but didn’t want it to be a “knee-jerk” reaction. “Maybe it is a good idea,” said Councilman Ron Leone, “but we just need to study it further.”

Keep your home safe while on vacation





With summer upon us, many residents will be making plans for family vacations. As you travel to places far away, there are things you can do to safeguard things at home. By taking some simple steps, you reduce the chances of returning home to the unpleasant experience of discovering you’ve been a victim. Consider the steps to safeguard your home while away: • If you have an alarm, be sure it’s in working order and your emergency contacts the alarm company has are current. Be sure to teach those contacts how to turn the alarm off and how to reset it. Most importantly, set the alarm prior to leaving. • Be sure to arrange for pickup of your newspaper and mail. It’s best to have these items picked up by a neighbor or friend rather than stopping service. • If you leave a pet behind, be sure they are adequately cared for. Dogs tend to bark when their owners don’t return home for several days. This can be very frustrating for your neighbors. • Let your neighbors know you will be away, when you will return and how you can be reached in the event of a problem at the house. • Contact the police department and arrange for a vacation house watch. We have volunteers who check your residence while you’re gone. • Technology today allows some folks to monitor their home while away. Some let your turn lights on and off from a distance via the Internet. If you have such a system, turn different lights on during the evening to make it appear as though somebody is home. Be sure to share this plan with your neighbors who are watching your house. In reality, your home and belongings are very safe here in Clayton. By taking these simple steps, you reduce the chances of having an unpleasant end to a wonderful vacation. Chris Thorsen is Clayton’s chief of police. For questions and comments, call him at (925) 673-7350.

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July 12, 2013

Clayton Pioneer •

Weather, from page 4 California set a record for electricity consumption during this heat wave. Outages also were at record summertime levels as transformers failed under the stress of the heat and air conditioning related electric load. More devastating was the loss of human life. Over 125 confirmed heat-related fatalities were recorded in the state during the 2006 heat wave. Livestock were also adversely affected, with an estimated 25,000 cattle succumbing to the heat. July is a month when heat waves can affect our area. Even though last week was a scorcher, we hope no heat waves will be as strong as the heat storm we experienced in 2006. Woody Whitlatch, a retired PG&E meteorologist, regularly writes the Pioneer’s Weather Words column in addition to contributing frequent travel articles.

Clayton Children’s Center to reopen on Marsh Creek Road

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A piece of land off Marsh Creek Road where Miwok Indian children once congregated will once again be home to a childcare center. Longtime Clayton resident Julie Gilchrest, owner of the land of a recently vacated Kindercare center, announced that she will reopen the Clayton Children’s Center on the site, the latest chapter in a saga that has pitted local parents against a national corporation. In May, Kindercare announced it was shuttering its Marsh Creek location on June 14, suggesting that families enroll their children in the other Clayton Kindercare center on Main Street. The closure was the result of declining enrollment at the site, and Kindercare officials said that the four-week notice was the usual timeline in closing a center.

“This allows families time to adjust to the news and to look into the options we are providing for their children,” said Kindercare spokesperson Colleen Moran. However, the move shocked and angered parents, who felt that four weeks was not enough time to find new childcare, and who worried about losing teachers and staff. But to Gilchrest, it also meant much more: Having operated a childcare center on the site from 1980 to 1997, she felt that the community was losing a valuable resource. “We offered something special,” she said. “And we will do so again.” So Gilchrest decided to revive the Clayton Children’s Center. “How could I not?” she says. As of last week, all the teachers from the closed Kindercare have agreed to stay on at the new Clayton Children’s Center. Sandy

Keys to safety while showing your home Q. I am planning to put my home on the market soon. I am very uncomfortable with the security issues especially during open houses and having a lock box with my key in it on or near the home. How do people deal with these issues? I am a single woman, by the way. A. Your concerns are valid for sure but I want to preface my answer. I have been selling real estate for nearly 18 years and have never had a theft at one of my listings and have never been robbed. I say this so you don’t worry too much, just be prepared. Don’t tempt a possible thief. Here are some common sense tips: Before having your house shown remove all valuables including jewelry, money, bank statements, credit cards and keys. Don’t ever leave them in a drawer with easy access. Prescription drugs should be locked away in a cabinet or removed. Before an open house discuss with your realtor their security techniques while people are walking through. Be sure that they are going to engage with the people coming through, not just let them have free rein of your home. If they expect it to be especially busy ask for two realtors to be there. Before having a showing, all lights should be turned on and all blinds, shades and curtains

Page 7

opened. Homes are safer for showing when someone outside can see in. If a real estate agent or potential buyer shows up without proper notification do not let them in. Tell them to call your agent if they have interest. When I list a home for a single, especially female, seller, I don’t put the lockbox on the door. She keeps control of the lockbox and only puts it our when she is expecting a showing. Most of all, trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable with someone or a situation be very alert and perhaps contact someone nearby. Q. My family is thinking about installing a pool in our back yard. We have plenty of room in our yard and we all water activities. We are wondering about the cost and whether or not it’s a good investment. A. A pool as a financial investment? No. But as an investment to your quality of life? Absolutely. You need to do as much research as possible on the expenses it entails for installation and upkeep. In an area like ours where you will get many months use, it can be an attractive feature when selling a home. Some buyers only want a home with a pool, and some won’t consider it at all. These are often people who have had a pool


REAL ANSWERS and don’t want the upkeep any longer. The first thing you should consider will be installation costs. On the very low end they could be $25,000 to $50,000 and up from that depending on options. Experts estimate that pools can have from $3,000 to $5,000 worth of maintenance a year. If something goes wrong, say with the filters or pump, costs can add up quickly. These items cost more than $500 at least. When a pool needs resurfaced it could cost more than $10,000; if you wanted to upgrade the tile, decking or plaster that could cost you up to $20,000. If at some point you want to remove the pool it can cost over $15,000. Knowing all of this, pools are still in demand. They may be costly but the quality of life and enjoyment you get is priceless. Send your question and look for your answer in a future column. Email French is the broker/owner of Windermere Lynne French & Associates and a Clayton resident. For any real estate needs or questions, contact her at 672-878 7or stop in at 6200 Center St., Clayton.

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McCracken will serve as director, and Kara Frederickson – “Mrs. Freddie” to parents and students – will stay on as assistant director and a teacher. Although Gilchrest was unable to say exactly how many families – including former Kindercare students – have enrolled, she says that it is “more than halfway” full. The center is licensed to hold 60 students at a given time, she said. She will offer daily childcare, a Monday-Wednesday-Friday prekindergarten program, a TuesdayThursday preschool program, and daily after-school care. Gilchrest, who now lives in Lincoln but whose son Terry is local, says she has been astounded by the amount of community support she’s received in her efforts to reopen the center. “I’ve had incredible offers from the community to help us get up and running.” There is a lot of work to do before she can officially reopen, she says, including putting a new roof on the building, re-landscaping the play yard and finishing the licensing. But she says she will be open when public schools resume on Aug. 26. “When I bought this property back in 1980, everything just fell into place,” she said, in regards to opening a childcare center. “And it’s happening again.” She says she harbors no ill will toward Kindercare, and allows that the community needs more than one option for childcare. “[Kindercare] is a different program – they offer different things than we will, including the fact that they care for infants, which we do not,” she says. “But it’s not ‘one-size-fitsall’ when it comes to caring for children. I hope we can work side-by-side for the children in the community.”


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Page 8

Clayton Pioneer •

July 12, 2013

Concord Walks to Celebrate, Remember and Fight Back Design • Installation Maintenance Commercial & Residential

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Community members are invited to Todos Santos Plaza in Concord on July 13 and 14 to Celebrate, Remember and Fight Back. Concord’s 2013 Relay for Life begins at 10 a.m. on July 13 through 10 a.m. on July 14. This year’s event starts with opening ceremonies at 10 a.m. A Survivor Walk immediately follows. The Luminaria Ceremony is at 9 p.m. The Fight Back ceremony closes the Relay at 9:45 a.m. on Sunday morning. “Pretty much everyone knows somebody affected by cancer, whether they’ve had it themselves or a family member or friend,” event chairwoman Elizabeth Cofer says. “It’s a powerful day for a lot of people.” Activities are planned for registered kids and adults throughout the day and evening, including music, dance groups and a midnight movie. To date, the event has 22 teams. As of June 27, the group

CANCER SURVIVORS WALK THE FIRST LAP of Relay For Life after opening ceremonies at last year’s Relay.

raised over $10,500, with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society. “We are still receiving registrations for teams and participants,” Cathy Guzman, team recruitment chair says. “We expect to have a lot more people show up than are actually registered.” Survivor and participants can register at the event. This is the first year for the

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Clayton’s Relay For Life has two more pre-events coming up; one to create awareness and the other is a fundraiser for the relay and the American Cancer Society. July 13 through July 21 is Paint the Town Purple to create awareness for and encourage participation in the main event on August 3 and 4. Meet at the Grove Park at 8 a.m. and help decorate the town in purple items provided. Participate at home and work by hanging purple decorations and wearing purple. Unpainting takes place July 21 from 7 to 9 p.m. Tahoe Joe’s donates 50 percent of tickets purchased for a steak, chicken or rib dinner on July 18. Vegetarian options available. Dine in or takeout. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. 999 Contra Costa Blvd., Pleasant Hill. Must purchase tickets in advance. $20. Contact Kathy or Rich Evon at 674-1263. For more information about Clayton’s Relay For Life, go to or like them on facebook.

Romano nails it with a creative eye PAMELA WIESENDANGER Clayton Pioneer

6096 Main Street, Clayton, 673-0440

event to be held at Todos Santos Plaza. “We are so excited to bring the event downtown. The community has really rallied around recognizing how many people are touched by cancer,” Cofer says. For more information about registering for Relay For Life or to make donations, go to Todos Santos Plaza is at 2151 Salvio St., Concord.

Relay For Life, Clayton

Gary Romano has created custom stained glass for 40 years, though he finds there is not a big market for sales. “But I have an artistic eye,” Romano says. “That’s why I’m able to do a lot of design work. This lends to success with his business, Gary’s Home Repair. Romano does everything from home repair and maintenance to construction. His creative eye helps him solve problems, large and small. Where others say, “I don’t know how to do that,” Romano meets the challenge head-on. Gail Chau of Concord hired Romano to install a vanity that left at least two other tradesmen stumped because of its

AN ARTISTIC NATURE and an eye for design gives Licensed Contractor Gary Romano an edge when it comes to problem solving. particular angles. “He took care of it. I was very impressed,” Chau says. She found it enter-

taining to observe as he figured out placement of the vanity, thinking out loud. “You could almost hear the brain working.” She adds, “He was a handyman, but you liked the person, too.” Virginia Cowen of Clayton agrees. “He is very personable. I was very pleased with his work,” she says. “We were on the same page. You like to have a rapport with the people who work for you.” Romano repaired dry rot damage on the exterior of Cowen’s home. Romano says what makes him a unique handyman is “my ability to do almost anything.” He often does repair work demanded by a realtor to prepare a house for sale, but he has additions and remodels under his tool belt, as well. He learned all the trades – painting, plumb-

ing, electrical, drywall, tile, brick, doors and windows – while operating a repair and landscaping business in the 1970s and 1980s. Romano worked simultaneously at construction and landscaping during his 31 years in law enforcement at the Berkeley Police Department. He retired in 2004 and built Gary’s Home Repair. Formerly from Clayton, he lives in Walnut Creek with his wife, Dana. Dana teaches kindergarten while Gary measures, saws, hammers and paints the days away. “I like staying busy, building, designing and working with my hands.” Contact Gary Romano at 925787-2500.

Soothing a child’s separation anxiety

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POCKET PARENTING Our 13-month-old has a really hard time when either his mother or I leave the house; sometime even when we leave the room. Is there a way to help him outgrow this? First, it’s normal. It’s separa-

tion anxiety and to one degree or another, most kids have it at some point. Around six months of age, babies begin to realize that things exist even if they can’t see them (it’s why they love “peek-a-boo”). The downside is babies begin to realize that they’re separate from their parents and that thus they could be abandoned. What they don’t yet have the capacity for, however, is figuring out that you’re likely to come back. It can be pretty scary for them. I’m actually surprised that so many kids just sail through this period, but many do. For those who don’t the following can help: When you leave…don’t sneak out. It’s tempting, and a lot of people do it to save themselves

the hassle, but it reinforces the idea that your presence is undependable and you could just disappear at any time – which is what your child’s afraid of. Wave goodbye. Say you’re leaving. Prepare him in advance. He may not understand everything, but does more than you realize. Talk about your plans. Where. When. If possible, create some consistency in your leaving. Though it’s not always possible with those rare nights out, with work and other predictable partings, try to create a similar scenario so he can help himself prepare through the familiar things that lead up to you heading out the door. Set up a fun activity with the sitter that he can be engrossed in when it’s time to leave. Still follow the

above steps, but make your goodbyes brief… hopefully he’ll be back to the game quickly. And lastly, remember that learning how to cope is one of the main tasks of childhood. There are times he will be unhappy and great parenting doesn’t – and shouldn’t – prevent that. Helping him name his feelings, and having empathy for his unhappiness, isn’t the same as teaching him that being miserable will change what other people do, or that it is always a tragedy. Pete Caldwell, MS, MFT is the Mental Health Director for We Care Services for Children. He teaches counseling courses at CSUEB in addition to maintaining a private practice.

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July 12, 2013

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 9

Griddle and Adam are ARF’s Stars


Two-year-old Griddle is a polite, independent young dog with a bouncy side. Griddle would enjoy regular exercise and daily walks to satisfy his curious, busy nature. Griddle is smart and likes to train. We recommend a


Basic Manners class for young Griddle so he can show off how smart he is, learn important doggy skills and spend some quality time bonding with his new adopters. The adoption fee for adult

dogs is $225 and includes 60 percent off one 7-week dog training session. Two-year-old Adam is a sociable and outgoing fellow, who likes to talk to you and get lots of gentle petting and atten-

tion. It is unknown whether Adam has previous experience with children. He is suitable for a first time cat guardian. The adoption fee for adult cats is $50. Meet your forever friend at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek, during adoption hours: Noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday, 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The primary caretaker must be present to adopt. ARF also encourages kids 16 and younger and canine family members (dog adoptions only) to be present during the adoption process. Would you like to be part of the heroic team that saves the lives of rescued dogs and cats? Can you share your talents to connect people and animals? ARF volunteers are making a difference! For more information go to, or call 925.256.1ARF.

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You can’t force loved ones into therapy

STEPHANIE HO MIND MATTERS Hi, my name is Stephanie and I watch “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” Now, there is a reason why I revealed my guilty televisionwatching pleasure. On a recent episode, the matriarch of the family meets with a marriage and family therapist. The matriarch seems to want to talk about how she can help her troubled adult son. But, instead of focus-

ing on what she could be doing to make or manage things better, she really wants to know how to get her son into therapy because he has the problems – not her. The therapist wisely tells the matriarch that she has no control over, or responsibility for, what her son does; she can instead concentrate on dealing with her own issues that get stirred up by his behaviors. So often, I get asked the question, “Why do people come to therapy?” I think the better question is, “Who wants the person to come to therapy and why?” I cannot tell you how many times I been contacted by a significant other, a friend or family member who is looking for a therapist for their loved one. Now, sometimes, the research is for an important reason as the loved one is so incapacitated by their mental health

issues that they would struggle mightily on their own to get the much-needed therapy in place. But, far more often, the research is done because the loved one, a.k.a. the “identified client,” has all the problems and is ambivalent or resistant to finding a therapist on their own. Now, one might think, “Hey, the friends or family are doing an intervention and the person should be in therapy, darn it!” Well, yes, perhaps they should be in therapy, but that is not the job of anyone else. People benefit most from therapy when they come to it with an openness and willingness that is all their own. Most of us like to take care of our own business, solve our own problems, and resolve our own issues. But sometimes we hit a wall and we cannot do it on our own. We just cannot get out of

Club News The heat is on for the annual Rib Cook-off The Clayton Business and Community Association is prepping for one of its tastiest events of the year, the fourth annual Clayton Rib Cook-off on Saturday, August 10. CBCA member and Cookoff Committee Chair Dennis Mitchell says it’s guaranteed to be hot and smoky again this year. The food, that is. Four lucky residents will be chosen as a People’s Choice Judge, a plum assignment that allows for “all you can eat.” The People’s Choice Judges will be

selected randomly from people who purchase a $1 raffle ticket on the day of the event before 1 p.m The committee is expecting 28 amateur barbecue teams to round out the competition this year, which will be held at the historic Clayton Saloon in downtown Clayton. If you would like to compete, visit for information and entry forms. The teams will be competing not only for bragging rights, but also for first-, second- and third-place trophies

and cash prizes. The cooking begins at 8 a.m. and heats up for the first round of judging at 1 p.m. The event opens to the public at 10 a.m. The CBCA will also be providing hamburgers, hot dogs and coleslaw in addition to ribs. The CBCA sponsors such nonprofit events as the Clayton Art & Wine Festival and the Clayton Oktoberfest. All proceeds go to charity in support of Clayton and the immediate surrounding community.

the hole that we are in, or cannot climb over the mountain that is in our way. We need a guide who knows the landscape and all its obstacles and pitfalls to show us where we went wrong and why and how to get back on track. Then it is up to us to take the brave step to admit that we made some mistakes and are now making some choices to do things differently in order to keep moving forward. It rarely ends well for people to come to therapy because someone else wants them to be in therapy. For those folks who want their loved one to see a therapist and it is not happening, I say, find your own therapist first because you’ll benefit from that support while you wait. It might be awhile. Stephanie T. Ho is a licensed psychologist. She has a private practice office in Walnut Creek and works at UC Berkeley. She can be reached at



Owners Dustin & Kim Waraner Contractors Lic #879423 Arborist Lic WE-7372A

Page 10

Clayton Pioneer •

July 12, 2013


CV Little League softball wins District title JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

CV Blue had quite a softball season and the players on the team who now make up the Clayton Valley Little League Junior All-Stars hope it keeps going as they enter the Northern California playoffs in Martinez. The CVLL Junior AllStars are one of five District champions in the running for a berth in the Western Regionals in NorCal round-robin play this Friday evening running through the finals July 22. The CVLL Junior (13-14 ages) All-Stars won the District 4 tournament on their home field at Clayton Valley Charter High School with back-to-back victories over Martinez LL 10-8 and then 18-2, setting them up for the NorCal tourney. CV Blue was a senior division team (ages 13-16) during the regular season when they were undefeated, including winning the mid-season Martinez Senior Classic in early May. They then

capped the season with three consecutive wins at the District 4 Tournament of Champions. The Blue opened with a 10-6 win over homestanding Pittsburg followed by a 14-3 decision over East County. In the finals at Hercules, CV Blue defeated Antioch 11-1 in a game shortened by the 10-run rule. After the Senior Division TOC the team managed by Brian Cohen had to drop their only overage player, Sophie Enders, to compete in the Junior (13-14 ages) All-Star division. CVLL has more softball success in the pipeline based on the results of the Minor (9-10) AllStars who took third in the District 4 Tournament. The AllStars managed by Todd Keys played five games in six hot days but couldn’t find a way past Pinole-Hercules, which twice beat Clayton Valley. The local girls showed offensive muscle as they defeated Pittsburg 14-8, East County 12-10 and Antioch 18-7 in their other games.

Photos courtesy Clayton Valley Little League

THERE WAS A TRAFFIC JAM AROUND FIRST BASE during an openinground game of the District 4 Little League 11-12 All-Star game as Clayton Valley defeated Concord American 9-5. Unfortunately CVLL lost its next two games to be eliminated from the tournament. Three Clayton Valley players converged on first base to put out the Concord American batter. Covering on the bag were, from left, second baseman Matt Hyland, pitcher Shuichi Rountree and first baseman Teddy Conger.


The California Storm women’s professional team will present its third annual Taking the World by Storm free girls soccer clinic on Saturday, Aug. 3, at host Tesoro Golden Eagle Refinery in Concord. Each participating girl from 9-18 years gets a t-shirt, goody bag, lunch and the clinic that runs from 9 a.m. – noon. The clinic is co-sponsored by Diablo FC and SportStars magazine. There are injury prevention workshops and a healthy living fair for parents arranged by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla. Free registration is available now at

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES SUMMER SOCCER CAMPS IN CONCORD Boatwright Youth Sports Complex in Concord has two weeks of San Jose Earthquakes summer soccer camps planned. The sessions are July 29-Aug. 2 and Aug. 5-9 for girls and boys ages 4-14 from 9 a.m. - noon. Beginner through elite players are invited to the camps. Register at

CLAYTON VALLEY CHARTER BOOSTERS GOLF TOURNAMENT JULY 22 The 22nd annual Clayton Valley Charter High School Athletic Boosters Club Charity Golf Tournament is coming up on Monday, July 22, at Oakhurst Country Club. The format is a four-person scramble (singles will be paired up). Shotgun start with box lunch is at 11:30 a.m. with dinner immediately following the tournament in the clubhouse. Interested golfers (21 and over) and sponsors can visit


Mt. Diablo Soccer is holding online signups for the fall AYSO season. Players who register now will be placed on a waitlist. Girls and boys 4 (by July 31) through 18 are eligible for MDSA. Parents are strongly encouraged to also accept a volunteer assignment to assist MDSA operate. Email or visit

CVLL GIRLS ALL-STARS The Minor All-Stars are Kendall Albert, Juliana Balestrieri, Sarah Barker, Haley Brown, Samantha Childs, Isabel Collins, Emma Cuddy, Lauren Friedman, Katie Harkness, Taylor Keys, Emma Postlethwaite, Grace Pugh, Amanda Roach, Karlie Seastrand and Katelyn Walling. Manager Keys and coaches Mike Cuddy and John Postlethwaite guided the 9-10 team. Major 11-12 All-Stars include Madeleine Bellew, Haylie Eisele, Owyn Elento, Alison Harkness, Kaylie Krupa, Olivia Linkhart, Tamara Mason, Maureen McSweeney, Amanda Perry, Emma Ramirez, Sarah Stahl, Jordan Steinberg, Gabriella Warnke and Allison Fosbery. Manager Joe Eisele and coaches Steve Linkhart and Josh Harkness led the team. Junior 13-14 All-Stars are Kylie Alberts, Madison Briscoe, Cami Cohen, Haley Crookes, Lauryn Douglas, Nicole Mason, Lauren Ness, Savannah O’Connell, Sophia Scott, Sierra Sprague, Chasey Tooker and Melissa Williams. Cohen is managing the squad with coaches Mike Ligon and Amy O’Connell. CVLL BASEBALL ALL-STARS The three CVLL baseball allstar teams all won games at the District 4 tournament and one team was still going this week. The 10-11 All-Stars of manager Kevin Confetti won three consecutive times before losing last weekend 7-2 to South Oakland, dropping them into a door-die elimination game to determine the finalist to face South Oakland for the title. CVLL showed lots of offense as they beat rivals Concord American 14-4, then Walnut Creek 6-4 and finally East County 6-2. Walnut Creek and Lafayette played an elimination game Monday with the winner meet-

FINAL FOOTBALL, CHEER SIGNUP FOR CLAYTON VALLEY FALCONS Registration is still open for Clayton Valley Youth football and cheer. Football is for ages 7-14 while cheer accepts ages 5-14. The final registration day for the CVAA Falcons is on Saturday, July 20, from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at Clayton Valley Charter High School. Practice starts July 29. Online registration:

ST. BONAVENTURE CYO CROSS COUNTRY STARTS TRAINING AUG. 21 St Bonaventure CYO cross country begins its third season with training Aug. 21. The program is open to boys and girls in 2nd-8th grades in the St. Bonaventure attendance area. Cross country is a short, family-oriented season with practices Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5:30 p.m. Parents are highly encouraged to run too. Meets begin in late September on Friday evenings with the Oakland Diocese meet in mid-October. The team meets at Newhall Park by the big oak tree. Signups will be taken at practice.

AYSO SUMMER SOCCER CAMPS THIS JULY, AUGUST UK International Soccer Camp instructors will be hosted by MDSA at Boatwright Sports Complex for pre-season summer camp sessions July 15-19 and Aug. 5-9 in Concord. Boys and girls 5-14 years of age can take the camp in a half day (9 a.m. - 12 noon) or full day (9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.) format in order to hone their skills for fall league play. For more information or to register visit

TENNIS CAMP THIS SUMMER AT OAKHURST Clayton Valley Charter High School tennis coach Rick Ortega is holding the Oakhurst Grand Slam Summer Tennis Camp through Aug. 8 on weekdays from 1-3 p.m. for high school players of all levels at Oakhurst Country Club. Contact coach Ortega for details at

DVC HALL OF FAME HONORING 1989 FOOTBALL TEAM The Diablo Valley College Athletic Hall of Fame will be honoring the undefeated 1989 Vikings football team early next year with induction into the DVC

See Sports Shorts, page 14

PITCHER AIDAN REINWALD (left) has helped the 9-10 Clayton Valley Little League All-Stars in the District 4 tournament. Max Keil was ready to field any balls from his second base position.

ing CVLL Tuesday. The winner of that game played South Oakland Wednesday, hoping to force a final game this Thursday in the double-elimination tourney. The 9-10 All-Stars won their first three games as well. They were rather offensive in wins 108 over Concord American, 11-7 over Antioch and 15-5 over East County. The youngest CVLL All-Stars managed by John Mahloch were edged 3-2 by

Martinez and then dropped from the competition by Continental 7-4 last week. Clayton Valley regular season league champs Cardinals won the AA District 4 TOC with a 14-0 win in the finals over Martinez. Earlier the team defeated Walnut Creek 6-3 and Albany 14-4. The 11-12 All-Stars completed a sweep of CVLL over Concord American when they won their opener 9-5. Manager Dave

Shuey’s boys weren’t able to enjoy the victory for long as they fell to Antioch 12-2 and Walnut Creek 9-4 to be eliminated from the District 4 tournament. District 4 play isn’t completely over as the Summer Classic begins Saturday for 11-12 boys. Eight teams are entered including Clayton Valley, Continental and homestanding Concord American.

Pentathlon draws 15 teams, 1200 competitors in two-day swimfest Both Clayton swim teams, Dana Hills and Oakhurst Country Club, along with five Concord swim clubs will be taking part in the 19th annual Devil Mountain Pentathlon in the Dana Hills pool this weekend. Nearly 1200 athletes from 15 teams representing seven cities are entered. Livorna Dolphins, Ygnacio Wood, Bishop Estates, Forest Hills, Springwood, LMYA, Martinez Community, Walnut Country, Pleasant Hill Aquatics, Pleasant Hill Dolfins, Sun Valley Rays, Sycamore Stingrays and Vista

Diablo Dolphins are also sending teams to the unique meet that challenges each swimmer in five events on the same day. Dana Hills is dedicating the meet to former Otters swimmer and student coach Dylan Mitchell, who was tragically killed in a May accident. Saturday’s competition is for 6 and under and 7-8 boys and girls and 9-10 girls. On Sunday the 9-10 boys plus 11-12, 13-14 and 15-18 swimmers take part. Every swimmer competes in freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly races and the

individual medley, where they swim a lap of each stroke. The 6 and under age group swims a 50yard freestyle in place of the IM. Times from all five races are combined to determine which swimmers top the A and B divisions in each age group. As the host team with the most entries Dana Hills does not compete in the team standings. Each day’s meet begins at 8:30 a.m. Admission is free and a number of vendors will also be on hand displaying their wares. The Dana Hills pool is located at 298 Mountaire Circle in Clayton.

Candiotti named one of top 50 all-time Cleveland Indians JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Former Clayton resident and Concord native Tom Candiotti was recently selected #47 on the list of all-time Cleveland Indians by Let’s Go Tribe, part of the online SB Nation. Candiotti was a knuckleballing starting pitcher for the Indians from 1986-91 and then in 1999 when the 41-year-old concluded his 18-year major league baseball career. Candiotti was raised in Concord and first came to notice as a standout pitcher in Concord American Little League when he was dubbed “No-No” for throwing so many no-hit games. He played baseball at Concord High School and then St. Mary’s College, where he was inducted into the Gaels Athletic Hall of Fame in 1989 and last year was also placed in the West Coast Conference Hall of Honor. Undrafted after college Candiotti played for an independent team in Canada before getting purchased by the Kansas City Royals and then drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers. After some minor league success his career

appeared to be sidelined by a major elbow injury. He was one of the first players to undergo the procedure now called “Tommy John surgery” before being called up by the reigning American League champion Brewers in 1983. In an ironic twist his second MLB start was a shutout victory over the California Angels and their starting pitcher Tommy John! It was during a down season out of the majors in 1985 that he developed his knuckleball and signed with Cleveland. In 1986 he led the American League in complete games with 17. Candiotti was 72-65 for the Indians, reach-

ing double digit wins four times, a number he achieved for more times in his career. He was the Opening Day pitcher for the Indians multiple times and was considered one of the top 10 starters in the AL. He started twice in the American League playoffs for the Toronto Blues Jays in 1991 before signing a lucrative free agent contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers after that season. He then played for the “hometown” Oakland A’s in 1998-99 before finishing up with seven appearances for the Indians in ‘99. Since retiring Candiotti was a broadcaster for ESPN and the Blue Jays. The past eight years he’s been the radio analyst for the Arizona Diamondbacks, for whom he also does some television work. He lives in Arizona. Showing his versatility Candiotti also was inducted into the Professional Bowling Hall of Fame celebrity wing in 2007 and still participates in PBA events in Arizona. SB Nation is the largest and fastest-growing networks of fancentric online sports communities and is profiling the top 100 Indians this year.

July 12, 2013

Clayton Pioneer •

Sports 2 Diablo FC girls teams Regional champions U12 boys headed to Kansas City for Nationals Diablo FC has already had an eventful summer through early July with four teams racking up impressive honors. A pair of girls teams from the local club won US Club Soccer West Regional championships last month while the U12 Diablo FC 00 boys are headed to Kansas City, KS later this month competing in the VW Junior Masters Nationals during Major League Soccer All-Star week. Diablo FC 95 boys defended their Western College Development Association championship in Redmond, WA. All they had to do to accomplish the feat was defeat the No. 1 teams from Colorado, Oregon and Washington in the final three games. The under 12 Diablo FC girls went to penalty kicks but they prevailed 1-0 in the championship match of the USCS West Regionals in Davis against Tualatin Hills United SC Silver, a premier team from Beaverton, Oregon. Diablo FC 97 team squared off with the

host David Legacy 97 Heat in the Regional U16 finals and came away with a 2-1 victory. The 95 boys opened WCDA Showcase of Champions in Washington against West FC United 95 of Southern California and won 2-0. They then ran the gauntlet of top-ranked teams beating Pride FC Predators 96 of Colorado 3-2 and FC Portland Academy 95 2-1 to reach the finals undefeated. Diablo FC edged hometown Crossfire Premier 95 1-0 in the championship match. Diablo FC 96 U16 boys also reached the WCDA finals but finished with a 1-3 mark in Washington. Diablo FC 00 boys are preparing for the trip of a lifetime competing with 19 other teams from VW Jr. Masters Regionals in Dallas, Denver, Chicago, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Houston and Massachusetts. Diablo FC qualified from the

Photos courtesy Diablo FC

THE LOCALLY-BASED U12 DIABLO FC 00 GIRLS won the recent US Club Soccer West Regional in Davis. The champions include, front row from left, Holly Gallagher, Jessie Verderame, Sydney Copeland, Carly Scharff, Carly Carpenter, Kylie Zentner, Erica Tims; back row, Holly Brown, Colette Cardinale, Skylar Ramer, Julia Hagedorn, Allyson Carroll, Gabrielle Darden, Mackenzie Tobin, coach Lewis Woodward, Alicia Perez and Larissa Mercado.

Page 11

Kristian Ipsen off to Worlds this time as a solo for USA JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

COACH ZACH SULLIVAN SAW HIS DIABLO FC 97 GIRLS dominated the U16 championship game against the host Davis Legacy 97 Heat to come away with a 2-1 victory and the top spot in the US Club Soccer National Cup XII West Regionals. The squad includes, front row from left, Gabrielle Brown, Madi Nortune, Karla Ramos, Kelsey Randall, Kylie Dodge, Cameron Chan, Rachel Lanfranchi; back row, Jasmine Partida, Spencer Wikander, Kaitlyn Emigh, Jacqueline Laird, Katelyn Penner, Erin Wardle, Maggie Aires, Ashley Scannell, Cassie Snyder, Brianne Newell and coach Zach Sullivan. Not pictured, Maritza Grillo, Gabby Vinco, Abagail Heuschel, Rebecca Dong, Kendall Marsh and Julia Hair.

San Francisco Regional that the local club hosted in May. The Regional was won by San Diego SC with the top two teams from the 10 Regionals moving on. The winner of the Kansas City Nationals will compete next May in Rome for the VW Junior Masters World Championship. Coach Chris Brown and his Diablo FC 00 players will attend the Major League Soccer All-Star Game July 31 where they will see club alumnus Chris Wondolowski again representing the San Jose Earthquakes for the All-Stars against AS Roma. Diablo FC 00 girls opened the USCS Regionals with a 2-2 draw against Tualatin Hills but never surrendered a goal in three subsequent games. Coach Lewis Woodward’s team blanked Briceno SC 1-0 and Davis Dynamite 2-0 to make the finals where they had a return match with Tualatin Hills. This

time the game was scoreless through regulation and two overtime periods. Diablo FC goalkeeper Ally Carroll stopped two shootout shots and her team converted enough chances for the win. The U16 Diablo FC 97 girls also started Regional play with a draw, 1-1 with FC Sporting Spirit 97 and followed that up with a pair of 3-0 shutouts over East Valley FC Black 96 and Sacramento United Spitfire. In the finals, coach Zach Sullivan’s team, which includes six Clayton Valley Charter High School players, got goals from Karla Ramos in the 15th minute and Spencer Wikander in the 55th off a corner. The homestanding Davis Legacy 97 Heat then pulled a goal back but the Diablo FC backline held strong against more Davis challenges to claim the crown.

Kristian Ipsen will be with the United States diving team in Barcelona at the 15th FINA World Championships beginning next weekend. This is the local lad’s third World Senior Championships but it’s a little different this time as he will be competing in two individual events and not as part of a synchro team with former partner Troy Dumais. Ipsen will be competing as the No. 1 American diver in both the one- and three-meter springboard events in Barcelona against the world-class field headed by the Chinese, who have dominated the sport for over two decades. The Clayton diver got his first taste of senior World Championship competition in 2009 at Rome when he and Dumais burst onto the international scene with a silver medal after only working together for a few months in the three-meter synchro. Two years later the team missed the podium with a fourth-place finish at the World Championships. Making the meet even worse for Ipsen he missed two dives in the threemeter springboard and plummeted from fourth to 31st, missing out on the finals. Last year Ipsen and Dumais improved by one place from their 2011 World Championship finish and that earned them the bronze medal at the London Olympics and ensuring them a place in diving history.

Ipsen is a three-time FINA World Junior champion, so he’s had success individually on the world stage, albeit against age group competition. In order to qualify for Barcelona, American divers competed in May at the US World Championship Trials. Ipsen won the one-meter springboard and said, “I’ve always wanted to do one-meter at a world meet but I’m usually doing 3M and 3M synchro and three events is a little tiring. Since I’m not diving synchro with anyone this year, I thought I might as well do 1-meter. It’s fun.” Ipsen won the 1M by more than 51 points over second-place Harrison Jones. In the men’s 3M he was even better winning by 90.7 points over runner up Samuel Dorman. “I knew finals was going to be a good event and in a competition like that, everyone feeds off of each other. Everyone in the competition was diving really well, so it allowed me to step up my game too. I’m really happy with how the final went,” Ipsen said. He added, “Going to worlds with three years until Rio [2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil] is going to be an amazing learning experience. I’m really looking forward to it.” Regardless of how he finishes in Barcelona Ipsen will embark on a European vacation after the meet before he returns for his junior year at Stanford. His college coach Rick Schavone is on the World Championships staff, just as he was in London last summer.

Hot weather makes hard work tougher

Champion Giants hit hard times at mid-season





It’s no secret that the San Francisco Giants are now an elite franchise in baseball. After winning two World Series in just three years, they have cemented their spot in the history books of baseball. Considering how well they’ve done in recent years, justifiably many fans and analysts alike had the Giants making it into the playoffs easily this year. As the saying goes though, “it’s a long season” and so far at the halfway point of the Major League Baseball season, the Giants are struggling. Considering the fact that they retained almost all of the starters from their World Series run in

2012, it begs the question as to why they are struggling. Two key reasons factor into why the Giants have been very inconsistent this year: health and underperformance from an elite pitching staff. The Giants have a lot of key players on the disabled list and it is hurting their production as a team. Angel Pagan, by far their best center fielder, recently underwent surgery on his hamstring, and isn’t expected back until the end of the season. Pagan is a stud at the lead-off position, with a great on-base percentage and stealing capabilities. With him out of the line-up for a few months, naturally it is going to cause the Giants to struggle as they currently have aplatoon going for center and left field. Andres Torres and Gregor Blanco are decent bench players, but aren’t the type of players you want starting in your outfield during a championship run. Health and underperformance has been the Achilles’ heel of the Giants pitching staff this season. All of their starting pitch-

ers, except for Madison Bumgarner, have an earned run average above four. No one expected Matt Cain to have an ERA of 4.85, which is extremely uncharacteristic of a pitcher of his caliber. Many fans thought Tim Lincecum would have a turnaround year, but instead he has continued to struggle just like he did last year. Then there is Ryan Vogelsong, the man who came out of nowhere for the Giants two years ago and pitched like an ace. This season, though, he had an ERA of 7.187 before he went on the disabled list. With inconsistent pitching and lots of injuries comes a lot of

struggles for any team. The Giants as of July 7 have 40 wins and 47 losses, which isn’t great but puts them in striking distance to make a run into the playoffs. Luckily for the Giants and their fans they are currently in the weakest division in baseball, the NL West, which only puts them three games out of first place in the division. If the Giants want to get to the playoffs again this year, their front office is going to have to make a lot of trades to fill the many gaps they currently have. Email your comments or questions to

Jay Bedecarre photo

CLAYTON VALLEY CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL’S SUMMER WORK PROJECTS are going full bore this month in preparation for the start of the second year as a charter school when classes begin Aug. 14 after student walk-throughs the previous week. Workers endured temperatures over 100 degrees last week while they manually applied the first of three layers of the “sandwichtype” track at Gonsalves Stadium. The Measure C-funded project is slated to be completed about July 19.

y e l l a V n o Clayt owl


5300 Clayton Rd, Concord, CA  925.689.4631


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Page 12

Clayton Pioneer •

July 12, 2013


IN CLAYTON July 13, 20, 27 Farmers Market 8 a.m.-12 p.m. Saturdays. Diablo Street between Main and Center streets, downtown Clayton. Music: July 13, Vintage; July 20, Keenan Webster; July 27, Oscar Reynolds.

July 20 Concerts in the Grove 6-8:30 p.m. Grove Park, downtown Clayton. Free. For a complete concert series list, see Page 3.

July 12, 19, 26, Aug. 2 Moonlight Movies in Clayton Bring a lawn chair, blankets, invite friends and neighbors and join us at sunset for a surround sound spectacular evening: July 12, “Hook”; July 19, “Tangled”; July 26, “The Incredibles”; Aug. 2, “We Bought a Zoo”. Movies begin at approximately 8:45 p.m. Clayton Community Church, 6055 Main St. Free admission.


July 20 Chevron Family Theatre Festival

July 17 Smencils

A day of affordable, high-quality family entertainment. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $5. 943-7469.

Craft for teenagers. Come find out what it is. 4 p.m. Registration required.

July 20 Duets Vocal showcase. 7 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $13.

The Heartland Institute of Financial Education, a non-profit that promotes financial literacy, will present a program on the new face of college financial planning. Aimed at parents and college-bound students. 6:30-8 p.m. Register at or 673-0659.

July 23 Walnut Creek Concert Band

July 23, 30 Juicy Books and Crafts

July 22 College Financial Planning

Performing with trumpet virtuoso Allen Vizzutti for their summer pops concert. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $14-$17. 943-7469.

Enjoy stories and crafts. Children 5 – 9. 4 – 5 p.m. Registration required.

July 26 Summer Concert

Fun for teenagers. 4 – 5 p.m. Registration required.

Mariachi San Miguel performs. 6:30 p.m. Montecito, 4756 Clayton Road, Concord. Free. Response required. Call Michaela at 692-5838.

July 24 Board Games July 31 Cool Craft Fun for teenagers. 4 – 5 p.m. Registration required.

July 14, 15, 16 Auditions Audition for Clayton Theatre Company’s presentation of “The Robber Bridegroom.” July 14 at 12 p.m. July 15 and 16 at 7 p.m. Endeavor Hall, 6008 Center St., Clayton. More info:

July 26 – 28 “The Man in the Box”

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

Reading of a play in two acts. Cue Productions Live, 1835 Colfax St., Concord. $12-$18.

July 20 College Planning

July 20 Book Signing

July 26 – Aug. 4 “Legally Blonde, The Musical”

Meet local author, Thea Jue, and local artist, Mary Lenz, of the new children’s book, “Remember the Love.” 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. Cup O’Jo, 6054 Main St., Clayton. Books available for $13.

Feel good musical comedy based on the hit movie and performed by Diablo Theatre Company. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $30-$53. 943-7469.

Aug. 10 Rib Cook-Off

July 27 Miranda Sings

Fourth annual rib cook-off sponsored by the Clayton Business and Community Association. 28 teams compete for trophies and cash prizes. Hours for competitors: 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Public: 11:00 a.m. to closing. Clayton Club Saloon, 6096 Main St., Clayton. Raffle tickets available for chance to be People’s Choice Judge.


Hilariously bad singing; dishing out laughs and life lessons. 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $37. 943-7469.

Thursday night live music and farmers market. Market 4-8 p.m.; music 6:30-8 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Free. Music: July 18, Hotel California; July 25, Puro Bandido.

July 13, 14 Relay For Life American Cancer Society fundraiser. Activities for participants and spectators. 10 a.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday. Todos Santos Plaza, 2151 Salvio St., Concord.


Aug. 2 – 4 “Quadrille” Reading of a romantic play. Cue Productions Live, 1835 Colfax St., Concord. $12-$18.

FUNDRAISERS July 13 Open Mic Night

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

July 13 Evening Poorwill Hikes

July 19 - 21 “In the Heights”

July 20 Mount Diablo by Moonlight

July 26 Night Hike at Mangini Explore Mangini ranch for nighttime wildlife encounters. Moderate, fourmile hike. 7:30 – 10 p.m. Reservations required. 947-3535.

EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT July 12 Young Actors Studio Showcase Final performance of students in Performing Arts Studio summer workshop. Program of the Ballet School and Fantasy Forum Actors Ensemble. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $10. 943-7469.

Two-day event begins with a 3 p.m. tour of Clayton Valley High School, 1101 Alberta Way, Concord, on July 27, followed by a no-host pizza party at 5 p.m. at Skipolini’s, 1033 Diablo St., Clayton. On July 28, there will be picnic 10 a.m.-7 p.m. at Clayton Community Park, 7411 Marsh Creek Road. Contact Linda Amos Shelton at

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

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

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

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

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical about life in one of Manhattan’s most vibrant communities. Fundraiser for Children’s Hospital and Research Center in Oakland. Diablo Valley College Performing Arts Center, 321 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill. $12-$25.

An evening nature hike in the Mitchell Canyon area. 6:30-9:30 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center. Reservations required. Save Mount Diablo programs listed are free unless otherwise noted. Go to and click on Activities/Guided Hikes for more information. 947-3535.

July 27-28 CVHS Class of 1963 Reunion

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

Calling all singers, songwriters, musicians to perform for the community. Beverages and goodies available. Fundraiser benefits the church. Sign ups for performers at 6 p.m. Entertainment from 7-10 p.m. St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 2925 Bonifacio St., Concord. Suggested donation $5 for adults; $3 for students; children under 12 are free.

Join Denise Wight to hike White Canyon and listen to birds of the evening. Bring a flashlight, binoculars and water. Meet at Mitchell Canyon trailhead. 7 p.m.



July 29, Aug. 26 Mini Mondays Children aged 2-5 discover the natural world. Children must be accompanied by adult. 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Lindsay Wildlife Museum, 1931 First Ave., Walnut Creek. $15. 935-1978.

Thursdays through Sept. 12 Music and Market

How to choose the best college for your student and your pocketbook. Parents and students are encouraged to come. 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

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

Through Aug. 13 Patty Cakes Story time for babies to 3-year-olds. Child attends with caregiver. Dropin 11 a.m. Tuesdays.

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

Through Aug. 15 Picture Book Time Story time for 3- to 5-year-olds. Child may attend without caregiver. Drop-in 11 a.m. Thursdays.

July 15 Juggling Americana

July 12 – 14 “Welcome to Little Fork, Rene Lundstrom” Reading of new work by local playwright Harold Smith about a young man returning home to Little Fork, Texas in the summer of 1958. Cue Productions Live, 1835 Colfax St., Concord. $12-$18.

July 18 Guitar Series Slide guitar by Chakrapani Singh. 7:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25. 943-7469.

“Hijinks” with Thomas John, for all ages. 7 p.m.

July 17 CPR Learn how to apply hands-only CPR and use of an Automatic External Defibrillator. Training offered in partnership with the Contra Costa County Emergency Medical Services Agency and CERT. 7 p.m. Free.

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Clayton Pioneer •

Page 13

Book Review

Intriguing look at the fine art of ethics





Summer reading has officially begun. With B.A. Shapiro’s “The Art Forger” (Algonquin Books,

2013), we are invited to sit back and follow the intrigue as a promising young artist crosses the line between legit and starving, to slightly shady and flush with more cash than she can spend without calling attention to her change of circumstance. Claire Roth is a painter of great talent and an expert of Edgar Degas in all of his impermeable shades of genius. By day she is a “legitimate” copier of famous artworks, churning out copies for Claire feels good about her work, because it pays her enough –

Teen learns to stand up for what’s right


TEEN READS Different authors write about different things. Some write about adventures and some write fairy tales. Susane Colasanti writes about young love and how love can cause hate from your peers. My personal favorite by Colasanti is “Keep Holding On.” In this emotionally-satisfying attention grabber, Noelle’s life is all about surviving high school. Even her best friend, Sherae,

doesn’t know how much she gets bullied, or the ways her mom insults and ignores her. All her life Noelle’s kept a secret, so when her longtime crush, Julian Porter, starts noticing her for the first time ever, she’s horrified. Surely it’s safer to stay reclusive than to risk the pain of a broken heart. But when the school’s worst bully, Carly, takes one of her schemes upon Noelle’s only friend too far, she realizes just how bad things are and how she needs to stand up for herself and for what’s right. Noelle needs to keep holding on. Colasanti’s books inspire teens everywhere to embrace who they are and to not care about what anyone else thinks. Emily York is an eighth grader at Diablo View Middle School. She loves to read and hopes her reviews will keep teens reading through the summer.

barely – to sustain the more important original paintings she creates. From the outset, Claire is plagued by a past that sent her skittering to the sidelines of the art world. Before her mentor and lover’s untimely death, she collaborated on a painting with him which garnered immediate commercial success, and for which he took all credit. In the shock of betrayal, Claire challenged the authenticity of her mentor’s work, claiming it (rightfully) as her own. Critics and art experts agreed that the work she claimed was not her own, and she was disgraced by the elite clutch of experts that could make, or in her case break, a career. Fast forward several years, and

Claire is surprised by an offer from the celebrated Aiden Markel, owner of the Markel G gallery, to create a copy of a famous work. No one is more surprised than she is to find that the “copy” is to be the famous After the Bath by Edgar Degas, a masterwork missing since a daring theft at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Markel assures Roth that the Degas is an original and that she is doing the art world a favor by creating an exact replica so that the black-market clients who are clamoring for the painting with never get their hands on the real one. The trouble is, when Claire begins to painstakingly examine the painting, it becomes clear to her that the stolen painting is itself a copy.

To muddy the waters even further, Aiden Markel is smooth and seductive and when she questions the authenticity of the work or the danger of copying a master like Degas and trying to

pass it off as original, he assures her he has it all worked out, that none of the work can be traced back to her. It eases her

See Book Review, page 16

Four Performances only!

July 19-21 Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill The Peter Pan Foundation presents

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A fundraiser for Children’s Hospital & Research Center-Oakland

Page 14

Clayton Pioneer •

July 12, 2013

Cops take to the links to help kids A local service bringing organic, in-season produce straight from local farms to your doorstep.

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Many current and retired law enforcement officers are getting teed-off about helping kids. Teed-off on the greens, that is, as they prepare for the 15th Annual Contra Costa Kops for Kids Golf Classic, Sept. 16 at the Oakhurst County Club in Clayton. Contra Costa Kops for Kids is made up of volunteer active and retired law enforcement officials who strive to help prevent drug abuse, gang violence, and juvenile delinquency by mentoring at-risk youth. The golf classic is its primary fundraiser. Demand for Kops for Kids’ services is on the rise in Contra Costa County, says Dan Lawrence, former police chief

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for the city of Clayton and current president of Contra Costa Kops for Kids. One of Kops for Kids most popular programs is the Positive Mental Attitude & Sports Clinics Program, which is offered at no cost to schools in Contra Costa County. The seminars stress the importance of academic endeavors and how critical it is for students to have successful relationships with both adults and their peers. The organization also provides grants to active and retired law enforcement officials who mentor at-risk youth. Although the organization targets youth who come from areas with the highest crime and poverty rates in the county, See Kops

for Kids, pg 15

FORMER CLAYTON POLICE CHIEF DAN LAWRENCE (LEFT) AND CURRENT POLICE CHIEF CHRIS THORSEN practice their putting for the 15th Annual Contra Costa Kops for Kids Golf Classic to be held Sept. 16 at the Oakhurst Country Club in Clayton.

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For any body type it’s a challenge to find a style you like and that fits properly. But plus-size women often have a much smaller selection to choose from, making shopping a real chore. Thanks to the Internet, there are more and better ways to find stylish plus-size fashions. Here are just a few sites to check out:

Torrid – For the fashion-forward shopper, this site offers sizes from 12 to 28. While you can find a physical store as close as Sunvalley Mall, their website is fun to peruse. You’ll find everything from skinny jeans to trendy shoes. Plus, they offer a flat rate of $6 shipping to anywhere in the U.S. ( Navabi – this international online shop carries over one hundred brands, including such national recognized names like Roberto Cavalli, Kenzo and Not Your Daughter’s Jeans. They also offer fashion advice on how to handle problem areas such as full upper arms or a “voluptuous” bottom. ( Madison Plus Select – Working in the plus-size fashion industry as both a buyer and a model, founder Aimee Cheshire saw firsthand some of problems and mistakes in the design/cre-

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those numbers car vary, depending on the brand. If you’re between two sizes, choose the larger one. You can have it altered for a perfect fit. However, if the site offers free returns and you don’t mind the hassle, order both. Read customer reviews. You’ll discover whether an item runs true to size, the color pictured is accurate, and more. If there’s a video, watch it. You’ll get a much better sense of a piece when you see it moving. For even more help, there are a number of inspiring plus-size blogs on the web. Here are just a few:,, Live long and pester! Judith Marshall is the author of “Husbands May Come and Go but Friends are Forever.” Send comments to

from page 10 be offering girls basketball and volleyball camps this

Hall on the 25th anniversary of its 10-0 regular season. Please email Hall of Fame founder and chairman Steve Ward at if you were a member of the team or know any of the players so they can be contacted about the event.

FALL YOUTH, ADULT PROGRAMS COMING TO CLAYTON GYM Fall leagues are taking signups now for All Out Sports League programs through Clayton Community Gym. Adult softball (ages 18 and older) and leagues for youth volleyball (8-16 years-old), rec basketball (4-16 year-olds) and Blaze AAU-style basketball will all be offered. There are different Aug. and Sept. deadlines for each program. For complete information, visit


summer. Volleyball coach Dave Hobson ( will have a beginner/intermediate individual skills clinic July 22-25 and an intermediate/advanced team drills clinic July 29-Aug. 1. New basketball coach Paul Kommer (pkommer@ is hosting a skills camp for middle school players July 29-Aug. 1. Contact the coaches for more information on the clinics and camp.

BLAZE TRAVEL BASEBALL TRYOUTS Blaze baseball is a member of USSSA offering 11U and 12U teams which play in highly competitive tournaments throughout Northern California. This is a fall travel team that competes in weekend tournaments during September, October and November. Tryouts will be held this Saturday and Sunday, July 13-14, at Clayton Community Park from 2-6 p.m. These competitive teams carry only 11 players. For questions about the Blaze program or tryouts, contact Casey Copeland (510) 282-4986 or visit to register for tryouts.

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July 12, 2013

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 15

Steep and shady Buckeye Ravine is worth the climb restrooms and drinking water, and heads you due south into the heart of this 1,060-acre park. As I passed through the first cattle gate and picked up elevation, I could not help but notice the Castle Rocks of Mt. Diablo, which look more prehistoric than anything else. The trail hugs the hillside and dives into a thicket of overgrowth that provided shade for almost the entire route up to the Buckeye Ravine junction. I didn’t see another person on the trail and had the place to myself. Buckeye Ravine Trail, or at least the first section of it, is a half-mile of pure leg-burningup hill. And what do you get for all your pain? Shade – provided free of charge on this

Where: Diablo Foothills Regional Park – Buckeye Ravine Trail Distance: 3.12 miles Hike Time: Little over one hour During the heat of summer it takes a precise amount of research to find a trail packed

Kops for Kids, Clayton Police Chief Chris Thorsen said all youth can benefit regardless of their life circumstances. “The interaction between youth and law enforcement officials gives them the opportunity to see us as real human beings who can be there in their time,” Thorsen said. “Sometimes these messages of hope and encouragement can be just what is nec-

essary to improve a young person’s outlook and desire to excel,” Thorsen said. Registration for the golf classic begins at 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 16, and the awards reception will be held at 5:30 p.m. The cost is $160 per golfer or $625 for a foursome. For more information on the 2013 Contra Costa Kops for Kids Golf Classic, visit or call 925-827-1998.

easy during this dry season. Shell Ridge Loop Trail made my final climb a memorable one as I reached a vantage point that gave me views of the entire area. There is even a perfectly placed bench for that extra five minutes because you’ve got no place to be. A final descent back to the Trail Staging Area was the most treacherous of the hike with loose rock and dirt, not to mention a fairly steep grade. (Easier alternative routes are available – consult the trail map). I completed this hike in little over an hour after work. Looking to hike longer? Consider Little Yosemite or Borges Ranch trails, as these will lengthen your trip and still allow

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with adventure, but immune to exposure and sun. Buckeye Ravine and the surrounding trails for meet the “adventure and shade” criteria, and are easily accessible from the Trail Staging Area located at the end of Castle Rock Road in Walnut Creek. Stage Road quickly passes you through Castle Rock Recreation Area, complete with

from page 14

trail (and when it’s 104, that matters). Every time I return to Buckeye I am quickly reminded what a good pair of hiking boots will do for you. Poison oak is plentiful all along this trail and is easily spotted, as it is a striking red. As you continue up Shell Ridge, you eventually meet up with Mokelumne Coast-to-Crest Trail for a welcomed downhill section that gave my legs a much-needed rest. Section Two of the Buckeye Ravine Trail drops you back toward Pine Canyon and the lush shade below. Most of the trails were a combination of sandstone, sand or hard-packed dirt, all of which made navigation fairly

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Clayton Pioneer •

July 12, 2013

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Clayton Valley residents have been ooh-ing and ah-ing at the red leafed, multi-stemmed large shrubs that are planted down the center of Clayton Road in Concord. This small tree that everyone is talking about is called a Cotinus coggyagia, or Smoke Bush. The Cotinus coggyagia shrub has broad, reddish-purple colored leaves and is planted between Ayers Road and Claycord Drive. It is in rows surrounded by masses of Yellow Wave Phormium. The colors of the Smoke Bush and the Phormium contrast incredibly well with each other. They create a bold statement. The Smoke Bush is easy to grow, and thrives in our Clayton Valley climate. It is tolerant of all our heat and sun. The broad leaves are tough enough to handle all the drying winds that some of our neighborhoods have to endure. The Smoke Bush isn’t picky about the soil, and hardly needs any fertilizer. It is also drought-tolerant once established. When planting a Smoke Bush you’ll need to consider its mature size. You can expect your Cotinus to reach 10- to15-feet tall and almost as wide. Part of the appeal of the Smoke Bush is from its bloom. During the early days, tiny greenish to pinkish purple flowers appear on the tops of the stems. As the flower fades, it gives way to masses of billowy hairs that

resemble smoke. This is where the Smoke Bush gets its name. As the weather of summer begins to cool and autumn approaches, the Smoke Bush leaves change color to a vibrant orange. Their fall color is amazing, and adds interest to your autumn landscape. Once winter is here, your Smoke Bush will be without leaves until spring. It is easy and inspirational to create landscapes using the Smoke Bush. Their red foliage easily adds interest to many desirable plants. Since the Smoke Bush is deciduous, always consider pairing with evergreen plants to extend the beauty of the area. Hardy, drought-tolerant evergreens that would make good companions for the Smoke Bush are Westringia, Leucadendron, Phlomis, Nandina and Rhaphiolepis. If you are craving ornamental

grasses or grass-like plants near your Smoke Bush, look for any of the attractive Carex grasses, or the gray foliaged Fescue. Blue Oat grass would also look awesome near a Smoke Bush. There are many flowers to consider when complimenting your Smoke Bush. Daylilies come in many colors and they would thrive near a Smoke Bush, as would the simple-shaped flowers of Coreopsis. Penstomen, Lavender and Euphoria would also look fabulous. Install a Smoke Bush where you may have considered planting a Crape Myrtle. Plant on a slope, hillside or as a focal installation. They make the spots where they’re planted beautiful. Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. Contact her with questions or comments at

Book Review, from page 13 conscience to know that she is merely copying a copy, but still, Claire is walking the finest of ethical lines. Markel manages to seal the deal and win over Claire’s mind and heart however, when he offers to host a show of her original work at his ultra-hip uptown Markel G; offering her the legitimacy that she so craves. Success is not without its price

however, and in the end, both Roth and Markel pay dearly. A fun read, “The Art Forger” is a clever whodunit that makes perfect poolside reading. Cynthia Gregory writes book reviews, award-winning short stories and a blog. Visit her at or write

Family owned & operated since 1981

Strand Bamboo

Per Sq. Ft. Installed


Per Sq. Ft.

Grecian Marble

Per Sq. Ft.



African Mahogony


Fire up your yard with colorful Smoke Bush


Per Sq. Ft.

New! Hardwood Restoration by The Floor Store. Deep clean, scrub & recoat, or sand & refinish, The Floor Store’s Hardwood Restoration will make your floors like new – or even better.

Our passion is pets.

Veterinary Clinic Drop-ins OK

Upcoming Dates SUNDAYS

July 14, July 28 & August 11

Competitive prices on dog and cat vaccinations

10 am to 11 am

Including rattlesnake vaccines! Coupons available in store

Deep Freeze products • Therapeutic Pain Relief • Relieves Swelling, Soreness & Stiffness For more information: For a limited time only.

• Total containment system means no dust, period • No health hazard, no need to vacate your home • Superior finishes, low VOCs, no toxic fumes • EPA registered and Greenguard certified • The official hardwood finish of the NBA • Trained & certified professional craftsmen

FREE Truck rental

10% OFF

We have products for your small animals too!

Did you know we have Storage too? Lowest rates in the county


50 Off

Dog Kennel

Call or Go to for a Free In-Home Estimate. YOUR




5’ x 10’ x 6’ (h)


PITTSBURG 2685 EAST LELAND RD. 925.473.1400 C O N C O R D 1 4 6 0 C O N C O R D AV E N U E 9 2 5 . 9 6 9 . 9 8 9 0 Plus four other locations in the Greater Bay Area. Visit for directions.

Reg. price $499.99

Keep your pup cool in this hot weather!

Open 7 days

(925) 672-4600

Mon - Fri 10 to 6 

Sat 9 to 6

Sun 10 to 4

8863 Marsh Creek Rd. in Clayton

July 12 clayton pioneer 2013  

Clayton Pioneer newspaper for July 12, 2013

July 12 clayton pioneer 2013  

Clayton Pioneer newspaper for July 12, 2013