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July 26, 2013

Arson confirmed in Cardinet fires TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer


MAYOR’S CORNER Plan Bay Area in line with city’s vision Along with many colleagues in the region, I voted to adopt Plan Bay Area last Thursday evening. The plan is the Bay Area's answer to SB375 requirements to plan for the growth anticipated in the region by the year 2040, while reducing per-capita greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels. A state-mandated joint effort of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), the Bay Area’s regional transportation and land use

See Mayor, page 13

Tamara Steiner/Clayton Pioneer

TEMPERATURES NEARING TRIPLE DIGITS AND VERY DRY CONDITIONS MADE IT TOUGH GOING FOR FIREFIGHTERS in a string of fires set during a two-day arson spree along the Cardinet Trail earlier this month. Police and fire officials are asking the public for assistance in the investigation.

Swim season ends with a busy July, August Clayton’s biggest meet of the season was the 19th annual Devil Mountain Pentathlon earlier this month. Dana Hills Swim Team hosted the event with 14 other Contra Costa teams taking part. Otters’ 12-year-old swimmers, from left, Niklas Weigelt, Jackson Trimble, Anthony Trimble and Teddy Conger were all smiles after the Pentathlon. See story page 10. Photo courtesy Dana Hills Swim Team

Tamara Steiner/Clayton Pioneer

What’s Inside Around Town . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Book Review . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Classified . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

Club News . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 CVCHS Reporter . . . . . . . . .9 Community Calendar . . . . .14 Design and Décor . . . . . . . .16 Directory of Advertisers . . . . .5 Estate Planning . . . . . . . . . . .8

See Fires, page 8

Ramadan brings together local Muslims to break fast 30-day tradition reminds faithful of Quran origins DENISEN HARTLOVE Clayton Pioneer

On a recent Wednesday night, families gathered at the Islamic Center of Contra Costa in Concord for iftar and evening

Concord and Clayton score big at Cook-off

HABIB JACIFI (LEFT) FROM BRAVO BISTRO, took Concord to first place in the Mayors Healthy Cook-off Challenge with a menu that included quinoa, a relative newcomer to mainstream kitchens. Above, Clayton City Councilman Howard Geller looks on as Oakhurst Country Club Executive Chef John Evans plates the fruit salad that went a long way toward garnering the award for Taste and Presentation. Assisting are sous chefs Diana and Fatima from the Mt. Diablo High School culinary arts program.

A string of grassfires along the Cardinet Trail in Clayton earlier this month were deliberately set, says Vic Massenkoff, fire investigator for the Contra Costa Fire Protection District. The first started in the late afternoon on July 7 in the grassy area across the creek from Safeway. The fire burned to within 100 feet of the apartments on Concord Boulevard. Two days later, on July 9 at around 1 p.m., firefighters responded to another fire near the same location between the Westwood open space and Safeway. About 5 p.m. that same day, five more fires were set along the creek near the Lydia Lane park. The fires were small, burning a total of no more than two acres. No homes were damaged, although several backing up to the Cardinet Trail were filled with smoke. Neighbors near the

Nine Contra Costa cities faced off Iron Chef-style last Thursday at the 5th Annual Mayors Healthy Cook in Todos Santos Park. Mayors and reps from the participating cities teamed up with a chef of their choice and sous chefs from the Mt. Diablo High School culinary arts program. Each team started with the same box containing chicken breasts and an array of fruits and vegetables chosen that afternoon from the Farmers Market. They were challenged to design and prepare a full menu in an hour and a half using only what they were given. The chefs could use herbs and spices from their own cache and they did not have to

See Cookoff, page 3

Fitness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Garden Girl . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Letters to the Editor . . . . . . .7 Obituaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Pets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Speaking of Sports . . . . . . .11

prayers. In separate rooms, men and women gathered to pray, commune and break their fasts together. The women’s side of the Concord center was awash in color, with congregants wearing a rainbow of brightly patterned scarves as they grouped around a buffet table. They shared dishes filled with dates (a traditional food for breaking the fast), homemade soups and savory combinations of meats and rice. During the 30 days of Ramadan, Muslims eat just before sunrise. Then they eschew food, drink, tobacco and sinful behaviors such as cursing until iftar, a meal that begins after sundown. The annual fasting commemorates the 30-day period in

which the prophet Mohammed received the Quran, their holy book, from Allah. Ramadan changes dates every year according to a lunar cycle. Following the fasting, Muslims enjoy a three-day celebration called Eid. TEEN GIRLS SHARE ASPIRATIONS

Like at most events, the group quickly separated by age. After helping older members get settled, teenage girls joined together to talk about school, sports and what they were watching on their families’ DVRs. Setarah Jahid, who wore bright colors and a hijab scarf draped gracefully over her hair,

See Ramadan, page 8

CHARITY TOWARDS THE POOR, OR ZAKAT, seems to be the overarching focus of the observance by Muslim families of Ramadan. That kindness was expressed recently by the young women of the Islamic Center of Contra Costa one evening in their welcoming of a newcomer to their communal meal. (From Left) Simine Froz, Salwa Saleh, Satarah Jahid, Bushra Saleh, Sadaf Shekib, Sarah Jahid, and Marwah Ahmadi.

Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Sports Shorts . . . . . . . . . . .12 Take a Hike . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Tech Talk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Teen Reads . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

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Page 2

Clayton Pioneer •

July 12, 2013

Around Town Local barbershop is ‘The Place’ for more than just a haircut William J. McDevitt III married Ruth Elizabeth Michael on July 4 at the nostalgic Hair’s the Place barber shop in Clayton where they met and fell in love nine years ago. A reception followed at their home. The couple honeymooned in Maui and live

Pioneer Travels

Bill and Yvonne Billo to mark 70th wedding anniversary

in Concord with the youngest of five sons, Deven. Their other sons are Billy, Tommy, Tim and Andrew. Shop owner Nancy Lewis-Becerra and her husband are close friends of the newlyweds. The wedding is a first for Hair’s the Place.


Longtime Clayton residents Bill and Yvonne Billo will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary Aug. 5, surrounded by their children, grandchildren and great-grand children. They were engaged during the war in 1942, while Bill was serving in the Army Air Corp

(the early Air Force). A wedding was planned in their hometown of Detroit; however, Bill’s leave was canceled due to events of WWII. Yvonne traveled by train to where Bill was stationed and they were married in a small church in Hobbs, N.M., on Aug. 5, 1943. Bill served in the Air Force for 23 years and received the Purple Heart for injuries sustained during his service. They had five children and traveled extensively while being stationed in locations throughout the world. When Bill retired, they settled in Concord. They lived in Concord until the development of Oakhurst Country Club. They then moved to beautiful Clayton, finding a house with a view of their beloved Mt. Diablo. The Billos joined St. Bonaventure’s Church in 1964 and have been active parishioners for almost 50 years.

NEW YORK In June, we went back to school with Sonja Wilkin for her 55th class reunion at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Twelve of her Chi Gamma sorority sisters were on hand for the reunion, all of whom were at Sonja’s wedding when she married her husband on graduation day in 1958.

Friends chop off locks to help others

Emma Wilcox and Madelyn Vines have been planning for months to make a double donation


6024 Golden Eagle Way, Clayton

to Locks of Love. The non-profit organization takes hair donations to makes wigs for cancer patients, especially children. Donated hair must be braided and a minimum of 10 inches. The girls have been growing theirs for two years. Friends since pre-school, the 11-year-old girls will start sixth grade in the fall. Emma loves soccer and theater. Madelyn enjoys gymnastics and crafts. Long-time friend Stacy Frost cut both girls hair for them. For more information, visit

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KANSAS From now on, when we think of middle-America, we’ll think of Lebanon, Kansas. Here we are at the Geographic Center of the lower 48 states with Dana Leong, Robert Nevins, Leslie Leong, Emma Leong, Shane Barrows, Ethan Barrows, Alexander Leong, Sean Barrows, Ashley Barrows and Carolyn Nevins.

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Desirable Dana Farms! 5 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, approx. 2,228sf on a HUGE approx. .30 acre lot! 1st floor master suite! $559,000

PENDING & SOLD PROPERTIES 177 Mountaire Parkway – Clayton Stunning Updated Dana Hills Rancher! $579,000

629 Julpun Loop – Clayton Black Diamond at Oakhurst Country Club! SOLD over list $435,000

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4303 Coyote Circle –Clayton Diablo Ridge at Oakhurst Country Club! SOLD over list $312,000

4585 Wildcat Lane – Concord Popular Turtle Creek! Sharp Single Story! SOLD over list $475,000



629 Julpun Loop ..................$435,000 . . . .1235 913 Arrowhead Terrace........$529,000 . . . .1939 21 Rialto Drive .....................$621,000 . . . .2324 5 Seminary Ridge Pl............$1,030,000 . .3475 4303 Coyote Circle ..............$312,000 . . . .1026 126 Mount Everest Ct..........$640,000 . . . .2341 1458 Indianhead Cir ............$450,000 . . . .1355 6024 High Street ..................$635,000 . . . .2124 3133 Morgan Territory Rd ....$1,275,000 . .4683 1027 Pine Hollow Court.......$1,300,000 . .1279 341 Saclan Terrace..............$498,000 . . . .1991 212 Falcon Place .................$640,000 . . . .1877 5706 Verna Way ..................$549,000 . . . .1596 328 Semillon Circle..............$655,000 . . . .2048


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Clayton Resident

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Clayton Resident

(925) 672-4433 cell: (925) 348-5700

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July 12, 2013

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 3

New budget shows little change from last year TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer

City Manager Gary Napper presented the 2013-14 city budgets to the City Council at the regular meeting on July 16. The Council is expected to adopt the budgets at a special meeting on July 30. The budgets are normally approved before the June 30 fiscal year end, but were delayed by months of operational issues that are now nearing resolution, explained Napper. The total city budget is $12,609,167 and covers the General Fund, Capital Improvements, the successor agency to the Redevelopment Agency and all restricted and earmarked funds for the landscape district and other specific uses. The budget is balanced as required by law, but Napper cautioned it is “conditional” on labor concessions staying at a status quo.

uptick in the real estate market and an increase in the property tax revenues that used to go to

the Redevelopment Agency but now come directly to the General Fund.

Staff labor concessions continue to keep the budget in control, said Napper. Over the

Revenues - Total Budget

Expenditures - Total Budget



General Fund Revenue Budget

General Fund Operating Budget

2013-14 – $3,673,442

2013-14 – $3,649,122

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

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.

The budget will be up for public comment and approval at a special City Council meeting on July 30 at 7 p.m. in Hoyer Hall at the Clayton Library.

Cookoff, from page 1



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


The city continues to chip away at its unfunded pension liability. Adoption of a three tier CalPERS plan with new city employees coming under the least expensive of the plans reduced last year’s pension costs by $107,000. According to CalPERS data, Clayton’s unfunded liability in June of 2012 stood at $1,218,118. Most of the debt will be retired in 5-7 years, according to Napper.

breasts in a saffron sauce, a Moroccan style quinoa cous cous and grilled eggplant with mushrooms. Clayton was not to be completely outdone, however. Led by Oakhurst Executive Chef John Evans, Team Clayton’s


Oakhurst – Designer paint & wide plank wood floors are lovely features of 3BD/ 2.5BA home near community pool, golf course & trails. Main level has master suite & kitchen remodeled w/top-notch appliances & fixtures.

Marinated chicken with garlic and herbs and a saffron infused quinoa with corn succotash took the top honor for Taste and Presentation. Second Place went to Antioch (Lone Tree Restaurant) and third went to the city of Pittsburg (La Veranda). The Wellness City Challenge was founded by Cindy Gershen who, after a long bat-

tle with her own weight, found that “changing food, changes everything. The goal of the Wellness Challenge, says Pamela Singh, Executive Director, is to partner with schools and cities, to change the focus of food from microwave quick foods to fresh, homemade cooking. “It’s great that the cities are participating,” says Singh.



“And, it’s working in the schools.” “Kids are now going home with new ideas about healthy eating and educating the parents.” For more information on the Wellness City Challenge, go to

Thursday Night Concerts In the Grove 7 – 8:30 p.m. Aug. 8 Crossman Country (Country) Aug. 22 My Evergreen (Contemporary) Sep. 5 Mamaluke (Pop/Rock) Sep. 19 PHDs (R&B/Rock) For more band info, go to Chairs and blankets may be set out after 4 p.m. on concert days.



Parkmall – Great 3BD/2BA home on corner lot offers newer roof, private backyard and sparkling pool. 1,921 sq. ft. with dual pane windows, two-way fireplace & wet bar. Fantastic location close to schools and shopping.

Limeridge – 4BD/3BA + office has 1BD/BA on main level. Updated kitchen w/solid Maple cabinets, granite, island, quality appliances & dining nook. 2,470 sq. ft. offers living, dining & family rooms. Enjoy a spacious, flat backyard.


Clayton Pittsburg


Revitalized Downtown – Take a look! New in 2010, this spacious & bright 2BD/2BA executive condo has an updated kitchen w/granite & ss appliances. Secured building has interior courtyard, clubhouse, pool, gym & parking.



ov e

T in


GENERAL FUND General Fund revenues are projected to exceed expenses by $24,000, largely due to the

use everything in the box. The teams bring all their own cooking grills, pots, plates and decorations. Team Concord, headed by Habib Jacifi of Bravo Bistro walked away with top honors for a menu starring chicken

last four years, the staff has seen a double digit decrease in real take-home pay after 11 unpaid furlough days, no wage or salary increases and increased payroll deductions for their benefit plans. With 70 percent of the overall $3.6 million General Fund budget going to personnel service, Napper says it is “remarkable” that the city has seen no cut in public services as a result.

s t r e c n o C he Gro

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Regency Meadows – Stunning views from this beautiful, updated 4BD/3BA Mediterranean home. 2,643 sq. ft. open floor plan could be easily converted back to 5BD. Sought-after neighborhood close to Mt. Diablo trails. Carol vanVaerenbergh, (925) 672-1772

Assisting More Buyers & Sellers than Anyone Else* *Statistics based on Clayton closed by sales volume (1/2012 – 12/2012). Data by Trendgraphix

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Clayton Resident & Broker Owner


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Page 4

Clayton Pioneer •

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June 28, 2013

Club News

Rotary grant to aid Uganda village

CLAYTON VALLEY ROTARY RECENTLY RECEIVED a grant of $47,000 to continue their work with the “Adopt a Village” program in rural Uganda. Last year, the village of Nsawo received maize seeds to help combat hunger and improve nutrition.

Thanks to a global grant of nearly $47,000, the Clayton Valley/Concord Sunrise Rotary Club and a Ugandan Rotary Club will “Adopt a Village” in rural Uganda, providing clean water, education and health services. The $46,680 matching grant awarded by The Rotary Foundation is the second given to help the village called Nsawo in central Uganda. The grant is the second phase of a project that is designed to provide clean water, vocational education for village youth, maternal and infant health, and improve and sustain agriculture production. In announcing details of the grant, the club’s International Service Director Larry Hutchings said, “The Adopt-a-Village concept’s integrated approach will provide more than 2,000 residents of Nsawo Village with a new water borehole, 10 sewing machines, a brick-making machine, youth training on the machines, catering equipment for a women’s cooperative, 400 ‘Mama kits’ to assist expectant mothers give birth, 2,000 banana plants, 10 pigs and 20 sheep for

rearing and breeding.” The first Rotary grant of $38,000 was implemented two years ago in the same village. That

See Rotary, page 7

CBCA supports seats and songs this summer GARY CARR Special to the Pioneer

The Clayton Business and Community Association would like you to take a seat. At least that’s the theme of recent meetings, as last month the association voted to help fund chairs for the Clayton Library. This month it’s a gift of benches to seniors at Diamond Terrace. In appreciation for Diamond Terrace’s ongoing donation of its conference room for monthly CBCA board meetings and its dining room for the annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner, the association voted at its June 27 meeting to fund the purchase of four teak, all-weather benches to


be placed outside for the use of their residents and guests. At the meeting, the association also voted to support the Thursday Night Concert in the Grove Series again this year. The series is organized by Jim Diaz and will run on alternate weeks from the Saturday night concert series. The first concert was July 11. Coming dates are, August 8 and 22, and September 5 and 19. Thursday concerts begin at 7 p.m. and will end promptly at 8:30. All shows will focus on local talent. The series has the support of a number of downtown businesses. For more about CBCA or to join, go to


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Beautiful Expansive Rancher on Clayton Border. 4 bedrooms 4 1/2 baths, 2 masters, 4080 square feet, possible in-law, or au pair set up. Beautifully landscaped lot 29,621 sq. ft. RV parking-Clayton Valley Charter High School!

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grant provided mosquito nets to prevent malaria, hand washing stations and toilets in public schools and improved nutrition by providing better breeds of beans and maize seeds; and by supplying piglets, chicks and feed for poultry farms. Over the last two years, malaria has dropped dramatically, and nutrition and incomes from farming and breeding have improved. The local council in charge has also created a micro-bank, and has designated a community center that will house the vocational equipment. The project will be overseen jointly by the local village council and members of the Nansana Rotary Club, near Kampala.

Fantastic one story home in desirable neighborhood. This home features 4 bedrooms plus a bonus room, spacious master bedroom suite, gourmet kitchen with granite counters, stainless steel appliances and eat-in area. Attached 3 car garage - front atrium with fireplace.

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July 26, 2013

Clayton Pioneer •


Directory of Advertisers Auto Clayton Valley Shell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-3900

Your eyes need sunscreen, too!

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

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S TAFF W RITERS : Denisen Hartlove, Pam Wiesendanger, Peggy Spear

We remember Jill Bedecarré - Her spirit is our muse


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

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.


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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.

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


Lawn & Plant Installation  Paver Patio & Walkway  Retaining Walls  Drainage  Low Voltage Lighting

925-672-9955 Lic. 542812 Fully Insured

Boyce Nichols - Owner Clayton Resident

Classified LOST Harley-Davidson travel pet food and water pouch lost in Mitchell Canyon area around July 1. Call 672-2223.

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

CAREGIVER Loving, capable nursing care. Experienced in skilled nursing

duties. Able to maintain a home; light cleaning, watering, laundry. Excellent driver. Good reference from three-year client. Speaks English. Call Jun 822-4607.

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.


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Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care Private and Companion Studios Restaurant-style Dining Sun-filled Courtyards and Private Patios

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Scheduled Transportation & Concierge Service

Life Enriching Activities

Housekeeping and Laundry Services

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. 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

Call Juliana today for complimentary lunch & tour. Remember to ask about our move-in specials.

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Page 5

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

Dining and Entertainment Clayton Club Saloon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-0440 La Veranda Café . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .524-0011 Oakhurst Country Club . . . . . . . . . .672-9737, ext. 205 Events City of Clayton – Concerts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-7300 Clayton Community Church – Movies, Derby 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 Travis Credit Union . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .800-877-8328 Van Wyck, Doug – State Farm Insurance . . . .672-2300 Funerals Ouimet Funeral Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-4242 Groceries Doorstep Farmers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .349-4568 Home and Garden Clayton Furniture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .686-2299 Diablo Lawnscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .381-3757 Interiors Panache . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-7920 Nichols Landscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9955 The Floor Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .969-9890 The Maids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-6243 Utopic Gardens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .524-0055 Waraner Bros. Tree Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . .831-2323 Waraner Tree Experts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .250-0334 Mailing Services The UPS Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-6245 Optometry Foresight Optometry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-4100 Pet Services Cat Hospital of Clayton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2287 Monte Vista Veterinary Hospital . . . . . . . . . . .672-1100 Pittsburg Pet Resort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .432-7387 Rodie's Feed and Pet Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-4600 Real Estate and Mortgage Services Crosby, Meg – J.H. Russell Real Estate Group323-2139 French, Lynne – Windermere Real Estate . . .672-8787 Howard, Don – Better Homes Realty . . . . . . .408-3184 Klock, Leigh – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . . .212-5593 Landgraf, Linda – Prudential . . . . . . . . . . . . . .876-0311 Laurence, Pete – RE/MAX Realty . . . . . . . . . .890-6004 Lopez, Stephanie – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . .932-7329 Mazzei, Matt – Mazzei Realty . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0757 Stojanovich, Jennifer – Better Homes Realty 567-6170 Vujnovich, George - Better Homes Realty . . .672-4433 Recreation and Fitness Clayton Valley Bowl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-4631 Earthquake Arabians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .360-7454 Senior Services Chateau on Broadway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .686-1700 Courtyards at Pine Creek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-3900 Diablo Senior Homes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .360-2936 Montecito – Oakmont Senior Living . . . . . . . .852-6702 Travel Travel to Go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9840

Courage Do the Right Thing

Page 6

Clayton Pioneer •

Buyers and Sellers – the time is right


Patricia Ann Acuña

3 BEDROOMS, 2 BATH AT ONLY $465,000! This expanded 3 bedroom, 2 bath also has a huge Family Room, dual pane windows, central heat & air, a stuccowalled front courtyard, sliding doors to rear patios, RV Parking, very nice landscaping and is in the CV Charter High School attendance area! Priced to sell at $465,000!

June 25, 1946 – July 5, 2013




Pete Laurence,

ete D This desired single story home has 4 bedrooms, 2 you can sel rs to l baths, a formal dining and Family rooms and has o! 1.932 Sq Ft! A double door tile entry to its vaulted ceiling living room, extra pantry closets in the kitchen, and a skylight in the Master suite. The 14,000 sq ft large yard has fruit trees & roses, a large deck for parties, sheds, and ample room for RV parking or to put in a pool! Distinctive brick and iron fence front ads to its desirability, so see it before it sells.

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Call PETE LAURENCE at (925) 890-6004 KNOWLEDGE




Patricia “Patti” Acuña died at home on July 5 after a valiant battle against cancer. She is survived by husband of 43 years, Albert (Al), two sons Matthew and Michael; brother Raymond Heimbach of Florida and her faithful dog, Gus. A California native, Patti was born in Auburn

Richard A. Littorno

August 22, 1954 – May 31, 2013

Assisted over 4,000 Families since 1979


and was raised in Weimar, where she attended local schools and was valedictorian of her high school class. She graduated from the University of California, Davis. She moved to the SF Bay Area in 1967 and worked at Lawrence Berkeley Radiation Lab at UC Berkeley. Patti and Al met when they were introduced by mutual friends. They were married in December, 1969. They lived in Richmond, Moraga and Pittsburg before settling in Clayton where they raised their family. Patti worked for Dr. William Morfeld in Pittsburg, as office manager for 19 years and at Contra Costa Community College District as administrative assistant for the teacher’s union. She was an avid 49ers and San Francisco Giants fan. She loved to go camping in her travel trailer, enjoyed cruising, traveling, beaches in Mexico and Hawaii and cooking for her family.

Anuradha Ray


July 26, 2013

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Anuradha “Anu” Ray loved knitting and stitching. Still, her family was surprised when, after the Clayton woman passed away May 31, they found, in her Oakhurst home, closets full of wool that she had bought at conventions and shows. “She loved to make gifts for relatives and friends,” said her husband, Dr. Sanjay Ray. “In fact, she made two wedding dresses even though she never had done anything like that. Anu said, ‘I’ll take a crack at it.’ When we found all the wool we realized she was thinking she had much more time and more gifts to make.” The Rays moved from a twobedroom apartment in Antioch to Clayton after son Shan was born in 1979. But after youngest son Sammy was born, “we realized Clayton was a great place to live and we never left,” Dr. Ray said. The family, including the boys’ paternal grandparents, moved to Oakhurst in 2000. The Rays were each born and raised in India. Anu got her

Grover Peterson

Linda Landgraf A Clayton resident for over 30 years

May 9, 1918 – June 22, 2013

Prudential California Realty

on May 9, 1918 to Grover F. Peterson and Madalene Thomson Peterson. He attended Oakland public schools and Piedmont High School, and graduated from UC Berkeley in 1940. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1941 to 1945, stationed in the Aleutian Islands. On his return to civilian life, he met and married Jane Hinkle, moved to Contra Costa County, and began his long employment at U.S. Steel in Pittsburg. Pete and Jane enjoyed many years of travel, plays and opera. Pete loved hiking on Mt. Diablo and later on the streets of Clayton. A voracious reader, he vol-

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bachelor’s degree at St. Xavier’s College and masters in physics at Jadavpur University. After she married Sanjay (“It was a semiarranged marriage,” he says, while agreeing with a smile that it seemed to work out pretty well), she came to the Bay Area while he was finishing up his cardiology residency at UCSF. Dr. Ray said that Anu had planned to get her Ph.D., but once the boys were born it seemed like too much time away from the family. She became very involved in school and

community activities. After Sam was in school Anu began running her husband’s Antioch Heart Care office and did that for 17 years, doing everything from keeping the books to greeting and counseling patients. “The patients loved her,” Dr. Ray said. “She had a knack for it. They loved talking to her since she had such a sympathetic way.” Diagnosed with cancer two years ago, her husband says she was “able to tolerate chemo and the disease without pain” and the couple traveled twice to India as well as Europe and Mexico. The Rays were married 35 years. Besides her husband and two sons, she leaves daughterin-law Erin, granddaughter Liam, sister Kaphakali Choudhury of Toronto and beloved nephews, nieces, cousins and friends. Funeral services were held in Antioch. The family requests any donations in her name be made to the American Cancer Society at

Grover “Pete” Peterson, a longtime resident of Clayton and fourth generation Californian, was born in Oakland, CA,

Serving Northern California for Over 30 Years

unteered at the Clayton library until he was 90. He loved his family, the San Francisco Giants, the San Francisco 49ers and the Cal Bears. Pete is survived by Jane, his wife of 64 years. He is also survived by sons Robert, Andrew and Samuel; daughter Ellen, six grandchildren; sister-in-law June; many nieces and nephews; and foreign exchange students Ricardo and Susie. His brother James and sister Jeanne predeceased him, as did foreign exchange student Gill. Memorial donations can be made to Save Mount Diablo or to the Hospice of the East Bay.

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July 26, 2013

Letters to the Editor GRATEFUL MOM SAYS ‘THANKS’

Clayton Pioneer •

Clayton walks to celebrate, remember and fight back

On June 27, my son Nick crashed on his skateboard on Marsh Creek Road. It was a pretty bad fall. I want to thank the fabulous, wonderful person or persons who stopped and helped him and brought him home. He didn’t know you and you didn’t know him and he was pretty bloody but you did it anyway. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Not many people would have brought him home or helped for that matter. You truly make be believe in people again. I just hope that one day I will be able to thank you in person. - Lisa Bazan PENSIONS NEED RESTRUCTURING BART and other public pay/pension systems are bound to fail if they aren’t adjusted NOW to what regular citizens earn and receive. Just as regular citizens do, government employees should all be paying at least 50/50 with their employer for retirement benefits. In the real world, to plan for a $50,000 annual income in retirement, at today’s 10-year treasury two percent return, you would have to set aside $2.5 million dollars. Even at the ridiculous 7.5 percent return that the public employees’ union uses in their calculations, for each retiring government employee to receive $50,000, there would have to be a half million dollars set aside. And many are retiring at more than $100,000, plus benefits and free medical! However, tax paying citizens and business owners retiring at 65 are lucky to have a paid off house, a little savings and a Social Security stipend that they’ve paid half for. They definitely should not also be saddled by corrupt union-bought politicians with making ANY, much less almost all government employees into instant millionaires. And that’s with retiring at only 55. - Pete Laurence KUDOS TO CITY It occurred to me while I was walking on one of our fabulous trails that someone needs to be thanked for all the “mowing” of the weeds etc. that need constant maintenance. I was watching the guys who were trimming the trees along Clayton Road and wondering if they ever get the thanks they deserve. And a big shout-out to the people who drive the street sweepers and pick up our garbage! Thanks to all of you who make Clayton the best place in the world to live! You are appreciated! - Alexandria Lafferty

Page 7

THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY’S RELAY FOR LIFE kicks off each year with parade of purple-clad survivors. Last year’s Survivor’s Lap included Clayton Pioneer photographer, Mike Dunn, who lost his battle on Christmas Eve 2012. Dunn, along with hundreds of others, will be remembered throughout the event.

It is that time of year again – time to get out and walk for Relay For Life, the signature event for the American Cancer Society. This is Clayton’s third year of participating. The committee and teams are gearing up for a wonderful day celebrating cancer survivors, remembering those lost to the disease and

fighting back against cancer by making positive health changes. The event runs from 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 3 to 10 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 4. at Clayton Community Park. Relay For Life is different from some other fundraisers in that it is a 24-hour event. Cancer does not sleep and neither

Armistice celebration set for Korean War vets Local Korean war veterans, their friends and families will mark the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice at a celebration on Saturday, July 27 at the Korean War Memorial in Concord’s Hillcrest Park. At the anniversary commemoration, U.S. allies who fought alongside American troops – especially South Korea – will also be honored. Local dignitaries, military

do the walkers. Teams are formed and money is raised to fund research and to offer much needed programs to cancer victims and their families. To date, 16 teams have raised over $36,000 for Clayton’s event. There is still time to sign up to walk and raise money. Walkers can even join the day of the event. Spectators are welcome as well. Some of the activities for the day include two special ceremonies. The first ceremony, Celebrate, opens the event at 10 a.m. to celebrate cancer survivors. They are encouraged to attend and walk the opening lap. At dusk, the Luminaria Ceremony lines the field with glowing luminarias decorated in remembrance of loved ones who have passed as well as to honor those who have survived cancer. A Fight Back Ceremony closes the event at 9:45 a.m. on Sunday morning. Teams set up booths and have individual fundraisers such as selling baked goods and cold drinks. Raffle tickets are on sale for amazing prizes, including both A’s and Giant’s gift baskets with tickets to a game and team accessories. A round of golf for four at Oakhurst Country Club, a fabulous gift basket from The Royal Rooster, jewelry and gift cards to local eateries are being raffled off, too. The relay event is at Clayton Community Park, Ball Field 1, Marsh Creek Road and Regency Drive, Clayton. For more information, go to or like them on facebook.


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officials and veterans will be on hand to give speeches, lay wreaths, and reminisce about the war and its aftermath. Free food will follow the ceremony. The event begins at 11 a.m., at the corner of Olivera Road and Grant Street, and is sponsored by the Korean War Veterans Association of Mt. Diablo, Chapter 264. For more information, call 925899-2015 or 925-998-8071.

Rotary, from page 4 Adopt-a-Village was created by Sebastopol Rotarians Frank and Kathie Mayhew, who in their travels to Uganda identified a number of villages and worked with local leaders to customize programs for each village, following the precepts that sick and hungry children can’t learn; that water borne diseases account for

90 percent of childhood illness; and that parents can improve their children’s nutrition if provided the tools to improve their farming. The goal and motto of Adopt-a-Village is “Ending Poverty – One Village at a Time.” For more information, go to

Dead birds signal a growing West Nile Virus threat in Contra Costa The Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District announced last week that three dead birds and two groups of mosquitoes tested positive for the virus. Two of the birds, both American crows, were found near Marsh Creek Road and Byron Highway, and Balfour Road and Walnut Boulevard in Brentwood. The third bird, also an American crow, was found near Concord Boulevard and Bailey Road in Concord. Both groups of mosquitoes were trapped near Bixler Road and Point of Timber Road in Discovery Bay. “Partnering with the public is crucial to protecting their health,” said Deborah Bass, public affairs manager for the

district. “Their dead bird reports coupled with our mosquito surveillance help us understand where the virus is active in the county and where we should concentrate our control efforts.” Bass warns everyone to guard against mosquito bites, not just the people in these areas. Here are some tips: • Wear mosquito repellent when mosquitoes are present. • Dump or drain any standing water to prevent mosquitoes from having a place to lay their eggs. • Report neglected swimming pools. One pool can produce more than one million mosquitoes that can affect people up to five miles away. The district accepts anonymous reports of water sources

where mosquitoes may be developing. • Report dead birds. The Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control website (below) has a video demonstrating how to report dead bird sightings. Since 2005, 42 people in Contra Costa County have been diagnosed with West Nile virus. In 2006, two people died from the disease. Recent studies have shown that the majority of cases are not diagnosed and grossly under reported. For more information, to report dead birds or mosquito problems, or to receive automatic emails when the district fogs for adult mosquitoes, visit or call 925771-6195.

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Page 8

Clayton Pioneer •

Create a 21st century estate plan

Diversion Wines Winemaker’s Dinner Monday Aug. 19, 6:30 p.m. 4-course dinner paired with wines $45 per person Bring your friends! Email or Call for Reservations

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ESTATE PLANNING Are you taking care of your “digital assets”? If you die without addressing these assets in your estate plan, your loved ones or other representatives may not be able to access them without going to court – or worse yet, not even know they exist. Digital assets may include online bank and brokerage accounts, digital music, book collections and photo galleries. If you own a business, your company’s website, domain name, client and other databases, and electronic invoices are considered digital assets. Traditionally, when a loved one dies, family members go through his or her home to look for personal and business documents. Today, however, many of these items may not exist in

“hard copy” form. Unless your estate plan addresses these digital assets, how will your family know where to find them or how to gain access? Suppose, for example, that you opened a brokerage account online and elected to receive all of your statements electronically. If something were to happen to you, would your family or executor know that this account exists? Perhaps you save all of your statements and correspondence related to the account on your computer. But would your representatives know where to look? And if your computer is password protected, how would they get in? Even if your family knows about a digital asset, they’ll also need to know the username and password to access it. If they don’t have that information, they’ll have to get a court order to access the asset, which can be a time-consuming process – and delays can cause irreparable damage, particularly when a business is involved. If your representatives lack access to your business e-mail account, for example, important requests from customers might be ignored, resulting in lost business.

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For the second year, rural property owners in the Morgan Territory and Marsh Creek areas will have to pay a Fire Prevention Fee to the state, regardless of whether they are within the boundary of the East County Fire Protection District. The $150 per-residence fee is charged to those in State Responsibility Areas (SRAs) that are at high risk for wildfires A $35 credit is allowed for structures within the boundaries of a local fire protection district. The Board of Equalization is responsible for collecting the fee.

According to CAL FIRE, the fee pays for fire prevention services within the SRAs, including brush clearance around communities on public lands, along roadways and evacuation routes as well as activities to improve forest health so the forest can better withstand wildfire. An effort by state Sen. Ted Gaines (R) to repeal the fee failed in April. Gaines calls the fee an “illegal tax” and is continuing to work for its repeal. For more information on the fee, go to or call 888-310-6447.

hopes to study political science at UC Berkeley after graduating from Concord High. Jahid normally doesn’t wear her hijab outside the mosque. Her classmates wouldn’t have known her family is Muslim had she not spoken up in class once to correct a misconception about Islam. “I feel like that was so 40 years ago,” she said of the strict limitations on what women are and are not allowed to do. “That’s not because of religion,” agreed fellow teen Salwa Saleh. “Our dads are telling us, “You need to go to school, learn to live independently.’ ” At the gathering, Saleh served as an ambassador to

newcomers. That’s no surprise since her father is the local imam, or prayer leader. Saleh enthusiastically recounted a recent pilgrimage with her family to Mecca and her plans to attend UC Davis next year as a math major. She hopes to work toward a career in ophthalmic surgery. Moms and grandmothers sat in a group nearby, some speaking in English, others in Farsi or Dari. They compared recipes, told stories about their families’ summer adventures and shared news of their community. On the other side of the wall, their husbands and sons sat together as well - no doubt having similar discussions and the same meal.

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The first step in accounting for digital assets is to conduct an inventory, including any computers, servers, handheld devices, websites or other places where these assets are stored. Next, talk with your estate planning advisor about strategies for ensuring that your representatives have immediate access to these assets in the event something happens to you. Although you might want to provide in your will for the disposition of certain digital assets, a will isn’t the place to list passwords or other confidential information. For one thing, a will is a public document. For another, amending the will each time you change a password would be expensive and time consuming. One solution is writing an informal letter to your executor or personal representative that lists important accounts, website

addresses, usernames and passwords. The letter can be stored in a safe deposit box, with a trusted advisor or in some other secure place. However, the problem with this approach is that you’ll need to update the list each time you open or close an account or change your password, a process that’s cumbersome and easily neglected. A better solution is to establish a master password that gives the representative access to a list of passwords for all your important accounts, either on your computer or through a Webbased “password vault.” Even though you can’t physically touch digital assets, they’re just as important to include in your estate plan as your material assets. Richard A. Littorno is an attorney specializing in estate planning. Send your questions to

Fires, from page 1

Fire protection fee bills in the mail for rural property owners

Ramadan, from page 1 Extend Your Living Space!


Kahni Horton

THIS PHOTO, TAKEN BY A PEACOCK CREEK RESIDENT, gives a dramatic perspective of the string of arson fires along the Cardinet Trail on the afternoon of July 9.

fire were out with garden hoses and chainsaws, removing low hanging branches near their properties. Clayton police helped beat back the flames until firefighters arrived. According to Police Chief Chris Thorsen, the fires appear to be connected and all deliberately set. Early reports that someone had been arrested are incorrect, Thorsen said. One

man was detained briefly during the July 9 fires but was not arrested. So far there are no suspects, and the fires are still under investigation.

A GROWING POPULATION More than 2 million Americans surveyed in 2012 identified themselves as Muslim. According to the Pew Institute, “if current trends continue, the Muslim population in the United States is projected to more than double in the next 20 years, from 2.6 million in 2010 to 6.2 million in 2030.” The Clayton Valley boasts an extensive Muslim community, with many immigrants hailing from Afghanistan and Iran. A number of local stores offer such delights as fresh-baked naan bread and baklava, a dessert made with layers of phyllo dough, nuts and honey. Nabi Amini runs the popular local business Arya Alterations on Clayton Road. He emigrated 23 years ago from Kabul, Afghanistan. His father

worked as a shoemaker, and following in his footsteps, so to speak, Amini is now a wellregarded tailor. Just down the road from his shop is the Zenith Food Mart, where Amini’s friend, Shah Wali Payanda, patiently explained the correct gift to bring when visiting a family during Ramadan. (Dates are best.) “Your eyes fast, your mouth fasts, your heart fasts,” Payanda said, describing the introspection and enlightenment sought by the tradition. “All should be fasting with you.” Back at the mosque, meal time had finished. With voices quieting, the women gathered into lines marked into the carpet to face Mecca. Their voices rose along with that of the imam, as together they recited prayers into the night.



e alss k o a Kar onday n M 11 pm o

8 pm


Police and fire officials are asking anyone with information that could help in the investigation to call the CCFPD arson hotline at 1-866502-7766 (1-866-50ARSON), or Clayton Police, 925-673-7350.

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July 26, 2013

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 9

Summer volunteers reap benefits year-round For many students, summer is a refuge from the everyday stresses of the classroom. No school, pleasant weather and long sought-after vacations provide kids and teens with continuous days of relaxation and fun. Among students, it is common to hear the expression, “you know you’re having a great summer when you don’t even know the date.” In contrast, there are numerous teenagers spending their summer days working part-time to earn some personal spending cash or gas money. But even if you don’t get paid, volunteer and community service can be even as valuable. Working non-profit is not only a great way to give back to the community, it provides students with extra benefits. For those who wish to attend a college with low acceptance rates

and find themselves matching numerous others in academic performance, volunteer work and community service might tip the scales in their favor. A growing number of universities are even requiring a form of community service. Typically, the stress of the school year alone is enough for most students, leaving no free time to help out in the community. This is why many collegebound students choose to volunteer during summer vacation – and it is apparent that many teens in our community are doing just that. One recent example was at the recent Clayton Family Fair, held on June 29. There, families gathered to participate in a variety of activities and games. Booths arranged around the Grove and along Main Street offered amusements for chil-

dren like bubble blowing, hulahoop contests, face painting and balloon animals. There were even free CPR and AED training available to anyone, thanks to Clayton Community Response Team. While not only being a successful replacement for the city’s family New Year’s Eve celebration, the event was entirely run by volunteers. They donated their time and withstood tripledigit temperatures in order to keep their commitment and benefit the community. What’s more, many of the volunteers were students from local schools. In fact, Emma Hall, who coordinated and organized the entire event, is a Clayton Valley Charter High School student. While the students who spent their Saturday evening downtown worked without immediate pay, they will reap the

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CVCHS REPORTER benefit later in life. Fortunately, the Clayton community is brimming with young adults who are not only helping the city, but also properly equipping themselves for the future. For all the other teens who are passively watching their summer go by, they are missing the perfect opportunity to gain an advantage on the growing college competition – not to mention doing something good in their town.

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Robbie Parker is a junior at Clayton Valley Charter High School. Send comments to

Sparks fly in upbeat teen love story



“Perfect Chemistry” by Simone Elkeles – the first book in a three-book series – is similar to “Romeo and Juliet” by Shakespeare. If you’re into upbeat, stay-up-at-night love stories, “Perfect Chemistry” is the answer. When head cheerleader Brittany Ellis and troublemaker Alex Fuentes start their senior year at Fairfield High School, they soon figure out that they have to sit next to each other all

year in chemistry. They can’t stand each other. But when they are told that they have to do an important assignment together, they decide to put all of their differences aside and get it over with. But the more time they spend with each other, the more they’re bonding. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with all of his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he doesn’t think anything of it. But soon

Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with actual problems, and suddenly the foolish bet he made turns into something much more. In this wistful story, will the young couple be able to overcome the stereotypes and barriers that stand in their way of being happy together? Emily York is a freshman at CVCHS. She loves to read and hopes her reviews will keep teens reading through the summer.

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Clayton Pioneer •

July 26, 2013

Sports CV Junior softball all-stars out in NorCal semis JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

When manager Brian Cohen’s Clayton Valley Little League Junior Softball All-Stars started the Northern California tournament in Martinez by winning their opening round game 21-6 over Rio Linda they probably never dreamed they would go through the rest of round-robin play scoring only one run in three games. That’s what happened though for the local girls and they were eventually eliminated in the semi-finals 12-8 last Sunday by undefeated Gilroy. Following that opening win over Rio Linda, which ended up winless in the tourney, Clayton Valley lost a tough 2-0 decision to Marysville, which eventually made it to the NorCal championship game last Monday against Gilroy by winning its semi game 8-2 over Chico. Chico defeated the CVLL Stars 5-0 and Gilroy won 15-1 against Clayton in rest of round-robin play. The NorCal champion moves on to the Western Regionals Aug. 1 in Arizona against the Oregon champ. Washington, Montana and Utah state champions also are in Regionals Bracket B. This year’s Junior Softball Little World Series is in Kirkland, WA from Aug. 11-17. To reach NorCal 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. 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 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 Cohen with coaches Mike Ligon and Amy O’Connell had to drop their only overage player, Sophie Enders, to compete in the Junior (13-14 ages) AllStar division. The CVLL Junior 13-14 Softball All-Stars were 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. CVLL has more softball success in the pipeline based on the results of the Minor (9-10) All-Stars who took third in the District 4 Tournament. The

Former Clayton Valley High baseball standout dies suddenly at age 29

Photo courtesy USSSA

Former Clayton Valley High standout Adam Elliot (left) turned to slow pitch softball after his professional baseball career was cut short by injury. He was awarded the Defensive MVP at Conference USSSA Nationals in 2010. JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Clayton Valley High baseball has a long and illustrious record of successful teams and standout players and Adam Elliot, who graduated in 2002, would be on any list of the top players the school has produced. Elliot, a Sacramento resident, died suddenly in his sleep June 25 while on a business trip. Elliot starred for Clayton Valley baseball from 2000-2002, capped when he helped the Eagles reach their first-ever North Coast Section championship game at the Oakland Coliseum in his senior year. Right out of CVHS the righthanded pitcher was drafted by and signed a contract with the New York Mets. His head coach at Clayton Valley, Bob Ralston, says,

“Besides being one of my alltime favorites, a great person and teammate, Adam stands out as one of the best baseball players to ever come out of the CV baseball program. He was drafted by the Mets in the sixth round out of high school as a pitcher. We are all heartbroken for Adam’s family and friends. We have experienced a tragic loss.” He was a three-year starter for the Eagles and was the 2002 Player of the Year in the East Bay and Bay Valley Athletic League when the Eagles went all the way to the NCS finals before falling to Newark Memorial. Elliot’s pitching exploits landed him on the first all-BVAL team twice. As a junior the team reached the NCS quarterfinals and he was an all-East Bay pitcher. He was twice the school baseball MVP and earned the same honor in the summer of 2001 at the CABA High School World Series. Current CVCHS baseball coach Casey Coakley was an assistant during Elliot’s time at the school. “On the field Adam was a five-tool player that had the ability to dominate in every phase of the game. Off the field Adam was a caring, compassionate person that was able to get along with all kinds of people. He will be greatly missed.” After signing with the Mets he played on three rookie teams during 2002 as an 18-year-old, including in South Carolina, Tennessee and Brooklyn. The following year he was injured and played only five games for Kingsport, TN. His dream of returning to

See Elliot, pg. 12

All-Stars 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.

Clayton Valley Little League celebrated its 50th season in 2013 ending with this NorCal appearance by the Junior Softball All-Stars. It started at the

opening ceremonies when the family of founder Merrill “Mack” McCarty was on hand for the re-dedication of the major division field in his name.

Photo courtesy Clayton Valley Little League

SECOND BASEMAN HALEY CROOKES SLID HOME with a run in the District 4 Tournament of Champions senior division championship game as CV Blue defeated Antioch 11-1 for the title. CVLL then entered international Little League all-star competition in the junior division and again won the D4 title. They played in the NorCal tournament over the past two weeks.

Swim season wraps up with busy schedule of league, city, county meets JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

The recreation swim season climaxes over the next three weekends with league, city and county meets coming one on top of another for Clayton and Concord teams. Coaches look for swimmers to post their best times of the year at these final meets as a way of concluding months’ of practices and competitions on a positive note. For Dana Hills Swim Team, new head coach John Tsubota will have the Otters seeking their 21st Concord City Championship in 22 years at Concord Community Pool Aug. 2-4 and then vying for a high finish at the 53rd annual Contra Costa County Meet Aug. 10-11 at Acalanes High in Lafayette. Oakhurst Orcas, Walnut Country Stingrays and Springwood Sprinters are busy this weekend before sending their squads to the city and county meets. The City Meet, as the threeday Concord championships is now called, has expanded in recent years to add Pleasant Hill teams to those from Concord and Clayton. This will be the 47th year of the meet and the second with new seeding and scoring policies in place. Many local teams tuned up for the end-of-season logjam of meets by taking part in the 19th annual Devil Mountain Pentathlon hosted in Clayton by Dana Hills. The unique format has each athlete swimming five events with their cumulative time determining award winners in A and B divisions. 10 OTTERS WIN GOLD Dana Hills always has the

largest contingent of swimmers at its own Pentathlon and doesn’t take part in the team scoring which saw Sycamore Stingrays of Danville finish first, Sun Valley Rays of Lafayette second and Pleasant Hill Dolfins third. The top local team was Ygnacio Wood in fifth. The Otters end up with five swimmers winning A Division medals and a like number earning B titles. The team had two swimmers in all but one age group take first place. Coach Tsubota will be especially pleased with the depth shown in many age groups where multiple Otters were in the top 10, foreshadowing strong relays for the city and county meets where those events score double points. Molly Boland (6 and under), Sara Abele (15-18), Diego Castaneda (6 and under), Paige Landstrom (9-10) and Anthony Trimble (11-12) won A division top honors for DHST. Finishing second were Alex Brown (1112), Erica DuLong (13-14), Abie Kubota (15-18), Jackson Trimble (11-12) and Sean Thomas (13-14). Also winning medals with third-place finishes were Ryanne Boland (9-10), Shawn Boland (6 and under), Zoe Lahanas (6 and under), Joe Snyder (13-14) and Niklas Weigelt (11-12). DHST ribbon winners by taking 4th through 8th places were Libby Celentano, Camille Cline, Kayla Conger, Teddy Conger, Joshua Ewert, Anthony Freidman, Caela Hetherton, Jason Woodling, Alina Weigelt, Logan Sherman, Colton Seastrand, Clayton Seastrand, Nikki Palmer, Gabi Mancini, Yoshiye Longley and Toshio Longley.

Ted Conger photo courtesy Dana Hills Swim Team

SWIM SEASON IN SUMMER SUN IS A PART OF CLAYTON LIFE. Smiling Dana Hills Swim Team members, from left, Erica duLong (13), Sydney Skow (12), Mackenzie Curtis (13), Jenna Ewert (13) and Madison Gundlach (11) enjoyed the recent Devil Mountain Pentathlon along with nearly 1200 other young boys and girls swimmers.

B Division champs from Dana Hills were Ethan Cline (78), Ella Habermeyer (7-8), Alyssa Liberman (9-10), Tyler Llacuna (13-14) and Connor McMurdo (15-18) while Nick Bazan (2nd 15-18) and Avery D’Arcy (3rd 6 and under) also garnered medals. Other B placements for the hosts were by Jake Dern (5th 7-8), Madison Macpherson (4th 7-8), Mason Bamberger (8th 9-10) and Stella Sheridan (8th 6 and under). ORCAS POST BEST TIMES Head coach Jasmine Millan said of her Oakhurst Orcas at the Pentathlon, “It was a great weekend with lots of season best times.” Orca swimmers collecting awards at the meet were Laine Moraes (2nd place 7-8 B), Nolan Degener (5th 9-10 A), Terrell Hopson (4th 9-10 A),

Georgia Moraes (4th 11-12 B), Taylor Silva (6th 13-14 B) and Carolyn Silva (3rd 15-18 B). The team will have its annual Green vs. White meet this Saturday and then get ready for city and county meet action to conclude the season. WALNUT COUNTRY EYES LEAGUE

Walnut Country Swim Team racked up five places at the Pentathlon with Troy Beckson (7th 13-14 A), Sarah Kindorf (3rd 78 B), Ian Wright (6th 9-10 B), Alyssa Montany (4th 13-14 B) and Eric Taboada (3rd 13-14). The Stingrays are in the Diablo Community Swim League championships at College Park High School pool this Saturday along with fellow Concord team Springwood.

July 26, 2013

Clayton Pioneer •


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Free soccer clinic for girls at Tesoro Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla is partnering with the women’s semi-pro soccer team California Storm to host the third annual Taking the World by Storm soccer clinic for girls on Saturday, Aug. 3, in Concord. The free event for girls 9 to 18 will be held 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Tesoro Soccer Fields off Arnold Industrial Way. According to Bonilla, the clinic promotes self-confidence and leadership skills. The Assemblywoman started the clinic in 2011 in cooperation with the Storm and Tesoro Golden Eagle Refinery. A free Healthy Living Fair is new this year. Advance signups are strongly encouraged. The first 200 registrants will receive a free clinic T-shirt. All participants get a goody bag and lunch. The clinic will open with a performance of the national anthem by 2013 American Idol contestant Briana Oakley. Local businessman Mike Calamusa is coordinating two sports medi-

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cine workshops for parents during the clinic. Drs. Earle Paynton and Robert Fife of STARS Rehab will speak on training, stretching and ACL injuries. Dr. Andrew Nash and his team at 1-To-1

Warriors’ state their case with off-season moves losses in the regular season, it’s safe to say that fans have high expectations for the upcoming basketball season. Not only did many of the young stars on the team show growth and maturity in their game, but they also showed a bond that grew between the team as they continued to win with the help of

Mark Jackson’s coaching. The biggest question for the Warriors this offseason was whether or not they could win a championship with the players they had, and so far, by the actions of their front office, it’s clear that moves must be made to make the Warriors a championship-caliber team.

Anthony Munch appointed Eagles cross country coach When he was junior at Clayton Valley High School about 20 years ago Anthony Munch took part in a two-mile run during PE class. His performance was so good his teacher told him he should join the cross country team. Munch’s response, “What’s cross country?” Well he now knows the answer as he was just named his alma mater’s new cross country coach and immediately began working out with his athlete’s for their summer conditioning. It’s been an eventful several months for Munch. He taught and coached for six years in the Oroville Union High School District but the district experienced declining enrollment and Munch, lacking seniority, found himself getting new assignments every year. Last December he decided to move back to Concord, where his parents still live, seeking a more stable work situation. He picked up substitute teaching jobs and also was added to the track and field coaching staff at Clayton Valley Charter where he worked with long distance coach Deborah Osteen, coaching many of the same boys and girls he’ll be in charge of this fall. Head track coach Darren Newell says of Munch, a “very talented coach, very technically versed in training and developing distance runners. He worked with Deb Osteen last season. Together they built a great foundation for a strong distance and cross country program for years

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ASSEMBLYWOMAN SUSAN A. BONILLA SPEAKS TO PARTICIPANTS at the Taking the World by Storm soccer clinic last summer. This year’s free clinic for girls 9-18 years of age is on Saturday, Aug. 3 in Concord. California Storm players (behind Bonilla) conduct the skills clinic. Bonilla founded the event in 2011 to promote self-confidence and leadership skills through a soccer clinic for young ladies. This year’s event has added free Healthy Living Fair and Sports Medicine Clinics during the 9 a.m. – noon clinic.

The biggest signing of the off-season for the Warriors was small forward Andre Iguodala. In a three-team deal with the Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets, the Warriors traded center Andris Biedrins, small forward Richard Jefferson and power forward Brandon Rush to the Jazz. The Jazz soaked up the remaining $24 million of their salaries, and sent over Randy Foye to the Nuggets. The Jazz also received two first-round picks and two second-round picks in the deal. Overall the trade works out amazingly for the Warriors. In the trade for Iguodala the Warriors got a borderline superstar, and in the process dumped three players who were merely taking up cap space. Iguodala averaged 13 points, five assists, and five rebounds a game. He is the type of player who can drive to the basket successfully almost anytime he wants, and with this great slashing ability he is also a great facilitator of the basketball. He also does a lot of things that don’t show up on the score sheet, like setting up great screens, and he is also a premier lock-down defender, especially on the perimeter. Iguodala has been by far the Warriors biggest signing of the 2013 off-season, but they have also made a few other nice acquisitions. They signed center Jermaine O’Neal and point guard Toney Douglas. These two signing are very important because O’Neal and Douglas will fill the holes left by Jarrett Jack and Carl Laundry, who both left the Warriors via free agency this offseason. O’Neal is a veteran center who’s been in the league for a long time, and he will be able to back up starting center Andrew Bogut nicely. Douglas played for the Sacramento Kings last year, and is known more as a defensive player than offensive, and he will be the third guard for the Warriors. The Warriors have made it clear through their actions this off-season that they want to compete for a championship. Their roster is now stacked with talent and the scary thing is, they are going to get even better. Their three young stars Stephen Curry, Clay Thompson and Harrison Barnes will all continue to improve, and play their hearts out to bring back an NBA championship to the Bay Area.

JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

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and Cognitive Testing). In addition to host Tesoro, the clinic is co-sponsored by Diablo FC, SportStars magazine and Concord Disposal. To register, visit members/a14/sc.

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Pediatrics will discuss concussion care and prevention. Because women’s soccer is the No. 1 incidence of sports concussion in America, Nash will speak about ImPACT testing (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment


Page 11

to come.” Munch had been focused on helping his family and working during his first three years of high school in the early 1990s. He took the advice of his PE teacher and joined the cross country team as a senior. “I was lucky to have two incredible coaches in Ron Silveira and John Millar.” He joined a 1994 Eagles team that was so good it was inducted into the Clayton Valley Athletic Hall of Fame this past spring. He was named all-league for the undefeated league champs, who were second at North Coast Section and fifth at State meet. Before graduating in 1995 he was also all-league track that spring in the 800 meters. He went on to run at Diablo Valley College and then Chico State. He was all-league in the steeplechase for both colleges. He coached cross country and track at Oroville High School from 2007 through 2012. “We won two cross country Northern Section championships in a row at Oroville with the girls team (2009 and 2010) and one championship with the boys (2009). I was the head distance coach for track all five years and was the team’s head coach in 2010 and 2011.” His predecessor as CVCHS cross country coach, Greg Fister, has moved into the dean of students position. Fister says, “Clayton Valley is very excited to have Anthony Munch leading the cross country program as our new varsity head coach. Anthony is an outstanding runner, excellent coach and relates well with the team. It should be

Photo courtesy CHS

ANTHONY MUNCH enjoyed a June vacation in Canyonlands National Park in Utah shortly before he landed the job as head cross country coach at his alma mater of Clayton Valley Charter High School. He will be coaching the Eagles boys and girls teams starting this fall.

an outstanding year for CVCHS cross country.” The 35-year-old will be a substitute social studies teacher this fall looking for a vacancy on the CVCHS faculty to assume a full-time position. Munch still “races occasionally. Last fall I was second in the Catalina Island Eco-Trail Marathon (my first marathon), first in the Folsom Lake Duathlon (run, bike, run) and finished between first and third in a variety of other runs including 5K and 10K mud runs in the Sacramento area.” The Eagle harriers will have to be in tip top shape to keep up with their coach.

Tyler Lehman is a sophomore at Diablo Valley College and a 2012 CVHS graduate. He plans to major in journalism and wants to be a sports writer. Email your comments or questions to

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Clayton Pioneer •

July 26, 2013


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Kristian Ipsen looks for World Championship success in 3 Meter JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Kristian Ipsen was excited to qualify for the one-meter springboard competition at the World Swimming Championships when he easily won the US World Championships Trials in May by over 50 points. What started as the realization of a dream turned into a nightmare when Ipsen missed several dives and failed to qualify for the finals in Barcelona last Saturday. This Thursday and Friday the pride of Clayton will be looking to challenge for a medal in the 3M, an event he has more international experience in, both as a solo and synchro diver. The 15th FINA World Swimming Championships run through Aug. 4 in Barcelona. In the 1M preliminaries Ipsen was third among 43 divers following the first dive. Defending champion Shixin Li of China took the lead in that round and ended up with the gold medal on Monday. Ipsen scored all 7s and 8s on the first dive but then barely got a score as high as 6 over his next four efforts as he dropped as low as 23rd in the competition with none of those dives higher than 20th best. Ipsen rallied in his last dive to score the third highest mark of the round, which jumped him up to his final placing of 17th. He closed out his list with 70 points on a reverse 1½ with 3 twists, the most difficult dive done by any diver in the contest. Only the top 12 divers qualified for Monday’s finals. US teammate Harrison Jones was the second alternate in the 1M after finishing three places above Ipsen. Ipsen is competing on his third senior World Championships team, although it is his first time on the 1-meter and also the first FINA finals where he isn’t on a synchro team. “Prelims are always tough. I tried to fight my way back, but it wasn’t enough. I still have 3-meter though,” said Ipsen after the 1M. In the 3M there are 49 divers entered with Ipsen diving 44th in the order. The London Olympic 3M gold, silver and bronze medalists as well as the fourthplace finisher are all entered at Worlds. The Stanford diver got his first taste of senior World Championship competition in 2009 at Rome when he and partner Troy Dumais burst onto the interna-


tional scene with a silver medal after only working together for a few months in the three-meter

Kohler’s World Cup ends with a crab After finishing third in the London Olympics the American women’s quadruple sculls boat figured to challenge for a medal at World Cup #3 earlier this month in Lucerne, Switzerland. Clayton’s Kara Kohler was the only holdover from the bronze medal crew but the team had placed second in its preliminary row and then won the repechage to earn lane two in the six-boat finals. Olympic silver medalists Germany were favored and they were on the starboard side of the Americans in the final while the “boat of the future” Australia was on the port side. The US was fourth and moving up on third-place Australia in the final 300

major league parks like the Coliseum as a player evaporated after an injury cut short his professional career when he was just 20. He pitched in one game for manager (and former MLB star) Brett Butler and the Gulf Coast League Mets in Florida that year before shutting it down. Elliot didn’t get completely away from the diamond. He became a slow pitch softball player, competing nationally at the highest level in USSSA Conference. He was the Defensive MVP as a member of Famous in the 2010 Conference USSSA Championships.

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 participate in the camps. Visit to register.

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meters of the race when a rower’s worst nightmare happened and Stesha Carle in the bow-seat broke her port oar in half, effectively ending the race for the Americans. The incident is known as “catching a crab” in rowing jargon. Esther Lofgren (Newport Beach), Susan Francia (Abington, Pa.), Kohler and Carle (Long Beach) stopped rowing for several seconds, falling immediately into sixth place before crossing the finish line more than a minute behind the fifth-place Belarus crew. Germany won gold in 6:18.97 with Poland second and Australia third. Kohler is among six women competing for spots in the

Elliot, from page 10

Sports Shorts

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

synchro. Two years later the team missed the podium with a

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 CAMP AUG. 5-9 UK International Soccer Camp instructors will be hosted by MDSA at Boatwright Sports Complex for pre-season summer camp session 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 CV FALL YOUTH BASEBALL PROGRAM STARTS SEPT. 10 Clayton Valley Charter High School baseball coaching staff and players are offering a fall instructional program Sept. 10-Nov. 14. The 10-week, 30-hour program focuses on the skills necessary to be

After retiring from pro baseball in 2005, he worked in the construction field and was engaged to marry Catia Saraiva. His family reported that “besides baseball and softball, he loved to fish, play golf, the shooting range, loved his dogs, dice with buddies and basically any game you put in front of him. Adam was the ultimate gamer with an ‘it’s all good, I got this’ attitude. “Adam often spent time coaching and encouraging young players. He had a generous, giving and loving nature. Adam was jovial with an infec-

fourth-place finish at the World Championships in Shanghai. Ipsen missed two dives in the three-meter springboard and plummeted from fourth to 31st, missing out on the finals. Ipsen is a three-time FINA World Junior champion, so he’s had success individually on the world stage against age group competition. Regardless of how well he does in the 3M Ipsen can look forward to a European vacation planned by his family following the World Championships. He’ll get some well-earned R&R before coming back for his junior year at Stanford, where he’s won three NCAA titles in his first two years. American quad for the World Championships which are Aug. 25-Sept. 1 in Chungju, South Korea. Kohler will return for her senior year at Cal Berkeley in the fall. She earned her third All-America nod in three seasons of competition after helping guide the Golden Bears varsity 8 to an NCAA title in June in Indianapolis. Kohler, who redshirted the 2012 season while preparing for the London Olympic Games at the US Rowing Training Center, was also named a first team All-America in 2011 and was honored as a second-team All-America in her 2010 freshman year. The Clayton Valley High School grad was the four-seat in the Golden Bears’ varsity 8 that captured the 2013 NCAA crown.

tious personality. His charming grin and golden heart had adults adopting him as their son and children holding him up as their role model. There is no question that, like some of our heroes who were taken from us too early, Adam has left his mark.” A memorial softball tournament is likely to be planned. Elliot is survived by his mother Mary Lou Elliot, father David Elliot Orlinsky, brother Michael Orlinsky, half sister Liat Orlinsky, grandparents Dan and Mary Lou Helix and Rina Orlinsky, his fiancé, as well as godparents, uncles, cousins and many friends. Memorial donations can be made to the Community Youth Center of Concord.

a successful player including batting, fielding, pitching, catching and base running. Sessions are held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-5:30 p.m. at the Clayton Valley Varsity Baseball Facility for boys and girls ages 5–13. Contact Eaagles head coach Casey Coakley at or (925) 285-9417 with questions. 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 CVCHS GIRLS VOLLEYBALL, BASKETBALL CLINICS, CAMPS OFFERED

Clayton Valley Charter High School coaches will be offering girls basketball and volleyball camps this summer. Volleyball coach Dave Hobson ( will have an intermediate/advanced team drills clinic July 29-Aug. 1. New basketball coach Paul Kommer ( is hosting a skills camp for middle school players July 29-Aug. 1. Contact the coaches for more information on the clinics and camp. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES SOCCER SCHOOL IN CONCORD THIS FALL The San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer are holding their Regional Development School fall session at Boatwright Fields in Concord on Fridays from Sept. 13 through Nov. 1. Girls and boys 5-10 years of age are eligible for the school which brings professional coaching experience and guidance to youth soccer players of all skill levels. Brazilian World Cup and Olympic player Tafa heads the teaching staff. For more information visit the Earthquakes Youth Alliance Partner’s website at

July 26, 2013

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 13

Don’t shy away from a special-needs pet Get Acquainted Offer


Everyone loves a heartwarming tale of an underdog persevering to overcome obstacles, and helping such an animal achieve their fairy-tale ending is easier than you might think. Even when our hearts are in the right place, a pet labeled “special-needs” can appear intimidating. Keep in mind that

caring for a special needs pet does not always require major expense or adjustment. Often, what these animals need most is a little extra patience, time and love. Special-needs encompasses a wide variety of conditions, and merely indicates that the animal’s care requires a little some-


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One-year-old Button is a happy-go-lucky gal who is happy to play the class clown. She is very bubbly and social, and is ready for some new adventures with you, her new favorite person. The adoption fee for adult dogs is $225 and includes 60 percent off one 7-week dog training session. Misty is an 8-year-old beautiful mellow lady who would love to cuddle up with you on


the couch while you pet her luxurious coat. Misty’s adoption fee has been prepaid by a generous donor. 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

Mayor, from page 1 agencies, the plan supports our local land use plans and explicitly preserves our community control of land-use decisions. It honors urban limit lines, such as the one approved by Contra Costa voters in 2004. It’s a living document that will be updated every four years. The Bay Area can expect nearly 2 million more residents over the next 27 years; most of them will be our baby-boomer seniors, our children and grandchildren. Whether we have choices of affordable homes, good jobs with reasonable commutes, added transportation options, clean air and open spaces to enjoy will largely depend on whether local city councils choose to implement the plan and its goals. Without local action, it’s simply a nice vision. Plan Bay Area has been controversial. Elected by the con-

ference of mayors to represent the cities of Contra Costa, I currently serve as vice president of ABAG. This affords me a ringside seat at these animated discussions. The plan has been called a communist plot, a socialist scheme to take away personal property rights and a conspiracy of the United Nations Agenda 21. It’s none of those. The plan concentrates about 70 percent of future housing and job growth in locally self-nominated areas near existing transit, while encouraging all communities throughout the region to plan thoughtfully and collaboratively for future generations. Downtown Concord, the Monument Corridor, Concord Naval Weapons Station and BART station areas region-wide are anticipated to gradually develop, with additional housing

to adopt. ARF also encourages kids 16 and younger and canine family members (dog adoptions only) to be present during the adoption process. Would you like to be part of the heroic team that saves the lives of rescued dogs and cats? Can you share your talents to connect people and animals? ARF volunteers are making a difference! For more information see our website,, or call 925.256.1ARF.

choices for all ages, job centers and educational opportunities for the region. Those changes won’t happen overnight, and they will only occur as our local communities want them to with extensive opportunities for residents to shape the plans. The plan incorporates our vision for growth in the Clayton community. Our Clayton General Plan and Town Center Specific Plan call for a compact, walkable, vibrant downtown of small shops and services with a variety of housing options incorporated within and nearby. Because most of the growth in the plan is focused on the more urban cities, growth pressures are actually reduced in cities like ours - where access to public transit is limited. Indeed, existing single-family neighborhoods throughout the Bay Area will remain just as they are today. As always, you can contact me at Tell me what you think.

thing “extra.” Animals with physical disabilities are considered special-needs, as are those with chronic illness, those recovering from serious injuries, or those with behavior issues requiring some extra training or management. When deciding if a specialneeds animal is right for you, consider your lifestyle. For example, working with a hearing-impaired animal requires patience and persistence and an understanding of dog’s communication via body language. Something as simple as learning hand signals can be immensely helpful to creating a healthy and understanding relationship with your hearing challenged pet. Certain conditions may benefit greatly from having another companion animal at home. Animals requiring a special diet or medication might require a bit of extra time, or a special schedule. Take inventory of your needs and the needs of your family – it may be easier than you’d think to provide for a special pet’s needs. As with any animal, taking time to get to know and understand your special-needs pet will lead to a tighter bond. Once you have a full understanding of how your pet’s challenges might impact his life, you’ll be looking for ways to help him adjust and overcome. Knowing that you’re providing a treatment plan and a safe, loving home to an animal that might have otherwise been overlooked is deeply gratifying. The next time you and your family begin the important discussion about bringing home a furry new family member, consider a special-needs animal. Though caring for one means being aware of your pet’s condition and paying more attention to his comfort, any additional time or energy you’ll spend is more than worth the investment. No special need can diminish his capacity to love. Elena Bicker is the Executive Director of Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation. She can be reached at (925) 256-1ARF (1273)

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Clayton Pioneer •

July 26, 2013

Walk into a slimmer summer Here are three suggested “walks” to help tone, burn fat and get up to speed:





Summer is here, so why not enjoy a simple stroll? Morning, noon or night, it matters not the time but taking advantage of an opportunity. Grab your honey, grab the kids, leash the dog and walk off 10 pounds this summer.

THE HILLS WALK Want to look twice as toned? Tackling hills or stairs will sculpt your legs and butt double-time while burning big calories – 58 percent more at a 17-minute-mile pace. • Start out on a flat surface for 15 minutes at a speed at which you’re hustling but still able to speak in sentences (your rate of perceived exertion, or RPE, on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is sit-

ting still and 10 is a full-tilt sprint, should be about 6 or 7) Find a hill or some steps– or set your treadmill to a four-tosix percent incline – and walk uphill quickly for two minutes. Walk downhill to recover, or if you’re on a treadmill, walk at a zero percent incline for two minutes. Aim to maintain your speed or go faster so that you can speak just a few words at a time (RPE: 8). Only one set of stairs? Walk up and down for 4 minutes. Continue up- and downhill

intervals until you’ve reached your time goal. Beginners can alternate between hills and five minutes on a flat surface. Calories burned (45 minutes): 220 (17-minute mile) to 366 (13minute mile)* STEADY-PACE WALK To burn more fat, aim for a speed at which you’re hustling but still able to speak in sentences (RPE 6 or 7). Depending on your fitness level, this will be somewhere between a 13- and 17minute mile, which will keep you in the exercise zone.

• Maintain this pace until you’ve reached your time goal, and not only will you burn more calories, you’ll boost your heart health. • Calories burned (45 minutes): 182 (17-minute mile) to 302 (13-minute mile)* INTERVAL WALK You’ll torch more fat in less time by bumping up your pace a little for manageable bursts – accelerating from a 17-minute mile to a 13-minute mile means 66 percent more calorie burn. • Warm up at your regular pace

(RPE: 6) for six minutes. • Alternate these intervals: Walk as fast as you can for one minute (RPE: 8), then slow down to your regular pace (RPE: 6) for two minutes to recover. • Repeat intervals until you’ve reached your time goal. Calories burned (45 minutes): 241 (17-minute mile) to 326 (13minute mile)* *Calorie burns are based on a 140pound woman. Ilima Heuerman holds multiple fitness certifications. She trains at Levity Fitness studio in Clayton. Email Ilima at


IN CLAYTON July 27, Aug. 3, 10 Farmers Market 8 a.m.-12 p.m. Saturdays. Diablo Street between Main and Center streets, downtown Clayton. Music: July 27, Oscar Reynolds; Aug. 3, Insteel; Aug. 10, Ukulele Bob. Aug. 3, 8, 17, 22 Concerts in the Grove Saturdays 6-8:30 p.m., Thursdays 7-8:30 p.m. Grove Park, downtown Clayton. Free. For a complete concert series list, see Page 3. July 26, Aug. 2 Moonlight Movies in Clayton 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. Aug. 3, 4 Relay For Life American Cancer Society fundraiser. Activities for participants and spectators. 10 a.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday. Clayton Community Park, Ball Field 1, Marsh Creek Road and Regency Drive, Clayton.


habitat along Marsh Creek by watering, expanding native vegetation and removing non-native weeds. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Respond to George at 947-3535 or

EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT July 26 Summer Concert Mariachi San Miguel performs. 6:30 p.m. Montecito, 4756 Clayton Road, Concord. Free. Response required. Call Michaela at 692-5838. July 26 – 28 “The Man in the Box” Reading of a play in two acts. Cue Productions Live, 1835 Colfax St., Concord. $12-$18. July 26 – Aug. 4 “Legally Blonde, The Musical” 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. July 27 Miranda Sings 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.

Aug. 10 Rib Cook-Off 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 p.m. Public: 11 a.m. to closing. Clayton Club Saloon, 6096 Main St., Clayton. Raffle tickets available for chance to be People’s Choice Judge.

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

Aug. 31 Derby and Car Show Clayton Community Church’s 10th Annual Labor Day event. Kids 7 – 14 race derby cars down Main Street. Car show and parade. 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Main Street, Clayton. Free. Register at

Aug. 2 - 4 “Iolanthe” Illogical love story about what happens when a band of fairies take over Parliament. Performed by Lamplighters Music Theatre. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25-$54. 943-7469.


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

Thursdays through Sept. 12 Music and Market 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: Aug. 1, Sol Horizon; Aug. 8, The Fundamentals; Aug. 15, Petty Theft. July 27 Korean War 60th Commemoration Korean War Veterans Association Mount Diablo Chapter 264 invites you to pay tribute to Korean War Veterans at this special salute to the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice. Free food to follow. 11 a.m. Hillcrest Park, Olivera Road at Grant Street, Concord. 8992015 or 998-8071. Aug. 10 – 11 Summer Festival Japanese food, games, cultural performances, exhibits and demonstrations. Sat. 1 – 9 p.m.; Sun. 12 - 8:30 p.m. Diablo Japanese American Club Cultural Center, 3165 Treat Blvd., Concord. Free admission and free parking at Ygnacio Valley High School with free shuttle to festival., or 682-5299 for more information.

ON THE MOUNTAIN Mount Diablo Interpretive Association programs listed are free with the exception of park entrance fee. Go to and click on Events Calendar for more information. Aug. 3 Geocaching Introduction to geocaching basics, then a short hike up Mitchell Canyon to find geocache treasures. 9 a.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center. Aug. 17 Mount Diablo by Moonlight An evening nature hike in the Mitchell Canyon area. 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center. Reservations required. Aug. 24 Tarantula Hunt Join Helene Cahill with her pet tarantula to learn about the life of the hairy spiders and then hike at a slow pace to see if you can find the native tarantulas. 4:30 – 7:30 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. Aug. 10 Native Gardening on Marsh Creek Join the Diablo Restoration Team for a fun morning restoring native

Aug. 3, 10, 17, 24 Jazz Jazz in Walnut Creek comes out swinging in August. Aug.3, pianist Cyrus Chestnut; Aug. 10, singer Stacey Kent; Aug. 17, singer/pianist Eliane Elias; Aug. 24, Stride Piano Summit. 5 and 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25-$40. 943-7469. Aug. 7 – 9 “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Jr.” Performance by Poison Apple Productions. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $12-$14.75. 9437469. Aug. 11 Perceptions This is the ultimate audience participation show regarding the power of mentalism with Tony Jones. 6:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $14.75. 943-7469. Aug. 16 Red & Navy in Concert Live rock music. Support new artists. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $8-$10. 943-7469. Aug. 16 Yuri Liberzon Classical guitarist. 7:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25. 943-7469. Aug. 17 Void Where Inhibited Improvised interaction between actors and audience presented by Ready or Not Improv. 8:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $13. 943-7469. Aug. 23 – Sept. 1 OMG, I Love That Show Production (title TBA) Musical comedy that documents its own creation from idea to Broadway opening. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $30-$35. 943-7469.

CHURCH Aug. 2 Baha’i, interaction, fellowship and discussion. Topic: Nobility, Benevolence and Connectedness: Converging on a new view of human nature. Speaker: Dr. Alim J. Beveridge, Ph.D in Organizational Behavior. 7:30 p.m. Free. For directions, call 672-6686.

FUNDRAISERS Aug. 18 Joel: “The Band” A tribute to the songs of Billy Joel to raise money for the Relay For Life fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. 3 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $15-$33.

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. Drop-in 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 30 Juicy Books and Crafts Enjoy some stories and crafts. Children 5 – 9. 4 – 5 p.m. Registration required. July 31 Cool Craft Fun for teenagers. 4 – 5 p.m. Registration required. Aug. 8 Clayton Town Hall Meeting Contribute visions and ideas to shape a new strategic plan for the library. 7 – 8:30 p.m. Register at or 6730659. Aug. 12 Reading Recommendations for Book Lovers Presented by the entertaining and engaging Ron Shoop, Random House. 7 p.m. Aug. 14 Summer Reading Festival For teenagers. 4 – 5 p.m. Registration required. The Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. or 646-5455. July 29 Hijinks! Jugging with Thomas John for all ages. 7 p.m. Aug. 12 Ice Cream Party Celebrate the end of the Summer Reading Festival with a cool treat. 7 p.m. Registration required.

SCHOOLS July 27 - 28 CVHS Class of 1963 Reunion The 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 nohost 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

GOVERNMENT 1st and 3rd Tuesdays Clayton City Council 7 p.m. Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 673-7304 or 2nd and 4th Tuesdays Clayton Planning Commission 7 p.m., Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 673-7304 or 1st, 2nd and 4th Tuesdays Concord City Council 6:30 p.m., Council Chamber, Concord Civic Center, 1950 Parkside Dr.

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

July 26, 2013

Clayton Pioneer •

Ain’t no satisfaction in Clayton for Ziggy Ziggy the zebra can no longer be seen gamboling around the Seeno hill with the resident emus, llamas and donkeys. After an intensive journalistic investigation (driving around the hill, then asking the staff for the skinny on the stripes), it was revealed that Ziggy has found a new home. Seeno property manager Anthony Parcesepe described it as “summer camp.” Boarding school is more like it. In a trend familiar to many

parents of teenage boys, Ziggy reached puberty. With the onset

of hormones, he discovered girls. No zebra girls being in

evidence, reports say Ziggy made amorous advances on a donkey. In a trend familiar to many teenage boys, the girl was entirely disinterested in his affections. Rather than risk injuries to the other animals, Seeno’s team decided to move Ziggy to a less stimulating home. Ziggy now resides on a Seeno property in the hills near Pittsburg that is out of sight of the public. There, he happily wanders the acres alongside his best friend - a llama.

Page 15

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Book Review

New King mystery tells of a lively international affair From Laurie R. King, one of the Bay Area’s favorite mystery writers, comes another excellent stand-alone mystery. King has recreated the Paris of the late 1920s, including the overflow of American ex-patriots writing, dancing, singing, drinking, painting, photographing and loving their way through the city’s heart. While the title’s “Bones of Paris” are real, they’re not the infamous bones of those encrypted or buried in mass graves after one ancient plague or another. They are much more recent and the mystery of whose bones they are, and how they got that clean, falls to the sleuthing prowess of not only a Parisian detective in charge of missing persons, but a hot-tempered American private eye hired by the uncle of a young lady recently gone missing. This is a crowded tale of French history, misbehaving Americans, all things modern, Brits still recovering from the

horrors of the War to End All Wars, an aristocratic French count, damaged and eccentric, and two detectives: Doucet, from the Préfecture De Police, and Stuyvesant, the private eye originally from the States. Female characters include Pip Crosby, the missing niece; Nancy Bergen, Pip’s roommate; and Sarah Grey, Stuyvesant’s lost love and current fiancée of – no, that would be a spoiler. If you’ve never read about all those artistic types who left America to hone their creative talents in the City of Lights, this is your chance. King peoples her novel with familiar American names – Hemingway, the surefisted writer; Man Ray, the iconic photographer; Fitzgerald of Gatsby fame; Stein, who still can’t be explained; and bookstore/salon muse Beach. There are enough others that the uninitiated reader may wonder if they were really all there. While improbable, it’s true that so many of America’s

greatest creative minds treated Paris like a revolving door in the early part of the 20th century. King’s treatment of them is more imaginative than strictly factual, but it works to enliven the mystery. Initially, Stuyvesant believes he is looking for a young American who has gone missing. But as her trail begins to fade, he is forced to face the fact he is looking for a body. The missing American is eventually included in a bizarre list of missing persons, French and otherwise. Stuyvesant and Doucet begin to cross each other’s paths with increasing regularity, becoming dangerously confrontational on both personal and professional levels. The appearance of beautiful bones, artistically presented, lead both men to a scary little artist connected to the aristocratic count, who not only keeps company with a famous American photographer but is Sarah Grey’s employer.

See what Skype has to offer computer users WILL CLANEY

TECH TALK “Seeing is believing” is an idiom first recorded in 1639 that means “only physical or concrete evidence is convincing,” according to Wikipedia. That is especially true when we are talking with people, and in these modern days, Skype makes that possible even if you are on different continents. Skype is video telephone network software that works on your PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. It is free to download and use. Your calls are free when calling site-to-site, which means that calls from your computer to another person’s computer are free over the Internet with a user name. If, however, one uses Skype to call a “real” phone number, then you need a paid telephone network. All you need to get started communicating with friends, family, co-workers or clients is a computer, any monitor, a web camera, good clear speakers and Skype software. You probably own everything you need to get started, but if you don’t, here are some tips: Your computer, laptop or tablet should be at least a Pentium 4 (or compatible AMD CPU) running at 1.8GHz or faster, with a minimum of 2GB of RAM or more. Most experts recommend 4GB. If you’re short of RAM, upgrade it. Cost will be about $50.

Get a good web camera. If yours is old and not 720 pixel resolution or better, get a new one. They’re simple to install. Cost is about $40. By the way, if you’re using a notebook, laptop, tablet or smartphone, your web cam is already built-in and ready to use. Smartphones don’t have the same prerequisites as using a PC or compatible computer. Most smartphones are fully configured to run Skype right out of the box. Speakers are a great feature; remember you are talking on a phone device and you need to hear the caller clearly. Get speakers that are clear, clean and amplified (they plug into the wall socket for power). Cost is about $30. Since Skype is free to download and use site-to-site, video calls from your computer to another computer are free. Skype is simple to set up and it supports most operating systems (Windows, Chrome, Apple). No major challenges here. But be careful from which website you download Skype. If

you Google Skype, the results from the search are likely dangerous. Here’s the problem: these free download sites add applications to the download. So you wind up with Skype, and applications you don’t want like a download manager, a video player, some software for “special” games, virus, malware and annoying browser redirects to weird websites and the like. Basically they load you up with stuff you don’t need, want or care about. The point I am making is that it is best to download Skype from the Microsoft web site. Microsoft owns it. Go to (go to bottom of page) then choose Skype to download and follow simple directions. Technology never looked so good. William Claney is an independent tech writer and former owner of Computers USA in the Clayton Station. Email questions or comments to

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The ancient and the modern converge with a vengeance; almost nothing is left to chance and every second counts. The twists and turns increase to the point that the last quarter of the book is read in one great gulp. It’s not a particularly gastronomical feast but it is completely satisfying to a King fan. Sunny Solomon is a freelance writer and head of the Clayton Book Club. Visit her website at for her latest recommendations or just to ‘talk books.’

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Clayton Pioneer •

July 26, 2013

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bit of dry wall work was required, some decorative trim added, new cabinet doors with seeded glass panels installed…and voila! Not quite a “Design on a Dime” project, but also not a project that took months and months to complete. The idea here is not necessarily to create a space under your stairs, but rather to find unused space and create something custom and functional that works with the layout of your home.


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A wine cellar of any size is a lovely luxury. If you like to drink wine, and more importantly, like to collect what you drink, you need somewhere to store your precious finds. Some cellars are wonderfully over-thetop with custom racks, tumbled stone flooring, wrought-iron light fixtures, with comfortable seating arrangements where you are able to taste your vintage of choice in a civilized setting. Some cellars are in the form of a built-in beverage cooler in your kitchen or living room wet bar, where the temperature is perfectly set, and the bottles are close at hand. And some, well, some cellars are a little more rough around the edges; an entry coat closet, under the guest bedroom bed, or anywhere else in your home where it’s cool and tucked away. True wine enthusiasts know that the storage of wine is not to be taken lightly. Constant temperature, appropriate humidity levels, and a relatively dark environment are all very important storage factors for wine to age gracefully. A true wine cellar is quite the work of

RETAIL SOLUTIONS Wine cellars don’t have to be “built-in” to be effective. art from an architectural standpoint, but if you’re looking to incorporate a “cellar” somewhere in your home, less the hefty price tag of an excavation to add a basement to your home, here are a few decorative suggestions: EXISTING CABINETRY Consider transforming one or two existing cabinets in your kitchen, dining or living room into a functional storage space for wine. Many online retailers sell various sizes of prefabricated or custom built wine racks to fit just about any space to keep your wine organized, and safe and sound. LOOK INSIDE YOUR WALLS My husband and I just took on a wine cellar project, turning unused space under our staircase into something quite functional for our modest collection of wine. Our contractor created


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See Wine Storage, page 17

Don’t be melon-choly — Try some different varieties DEBRA J. MORRIS Pacific Coast Farmers Market

It’s a sure sign of summer is in full swing when melons appear at your farmers’ market. Big watermelons, fragrant cantaloupe and honeydew and a variety of exotic melons like Persian, casaba, canary, and Crenshaw are available. Each has a distinctive sweet flavor and each is a must-try this season. Just chill and enjoy! Melons are in the same gourd family as squashes and cucumbers. Most melons have similar structure to winter squash with thick flesh and an inner seed-filled mid-section. So what’s the difference between melons and squashes? It’s the way they’re used. Squashes are considered vegetables, while melons are known as fruits with sweet and juicy flavor. Here are some interesting new varieties to watch for: Crenshaw: Salmon-pink flesh yields a sweet, rich taste and slightly spicy aroma. These melons are large, weighing up to 10 pounds. Peak season: August through September. Galia: The light-green flesh inside this melon is sweeter than that of the American cantaloupe; it’s often reserved for dessert. Peak season: May through August. Sprite: This grapefruit-sized melon has sweet, crisp ivory flesh, the taste of which contains hints of watermelon, honeydew and pear – but much sweeter. Peak season: June and July.

Orange-fleshed Honeydew: This is a luscious cross between cantaloupe and honeydew, with a slightly creamy flavor. Look for a smooth, whitish rind with a waxy texture. Peak season: May through August. Pick up some sweet cantaloupe from J&M Farms at the Clayton Farmers’ Market and try this great summer melon recipe: SAVORY CANTALOUPE SALAD One 3-pound cantaloupe, cut into one inch cubes Salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil 2 tsp. white wine vinegar 2 slices sopprassata salami, cut into thin strips 1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives 1/2 pound goat cheese 6 slices country bread Put the melon cubes in large bowl and season with salt and black pepper. Add the oil and toss gently and then add the vinegar. Garnish with the soppressata and chives. Spread the cheese evenly on each piece of bread and serve with the salad.

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July 26, 2013

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 17

Little Lakes Valley offers big beauty for hikers FREE estimates Specializing in Bathrooms and Kitchens Remodeling Windows/Doors  Crown Molding  Overhangs  Decks  Siding  Trim  





How would you like to start a hike at one of, if not the highest, trailhead in California? At an elevation of 10,200 feet, the Little Lakes Valley, located in the Inyo National Forest in the Sierras, is absolutely breathtaking. The easy access to this beautiful chain of lakes make Little Lakes Valley popular for fishing, day hikes and beginning backpackers. Glaciers carved this extensive chain of lakes, both large and small. Wildflowers bloom in the high elevation framed by the spectacular 13,000-foot peaks of Bear Creek Spire, Mt. Dade, Mt. Abbot and Mt. Mills. Even if you are a casual hiker you can take your time, picnic and take photographs to enjoy the views of the mountain peaks surrounding you. The incredible

lakes, streams, wildflowers, riparian meadows, and, of course, wildlife offer something for hikers of all ages. But if you want to test your cardio, you can hike to Mono Pass at 12,040 feet, Gem Lake at 10,800 feet and Morgan Pass at 11,080 feet. An added bonus to the beautiful scenery is the fishing in many of the streams and lakes along the way. Mostly small brook trout can be caught, but some three- to five-pound browns are caught every summer. Some streams even have wild trout. Personally, I had good luck at Gem Lake with small trout. The round-trip to Gem is seven miles. I fished Long Lake but with snow still

Wine Storage, Many popular retailers have some really nice wine storage options available from multifunctioning armoires, cabinets with diagonal wine racks and even free-standing bars that house not only your wine, but other beverages as well. Depending on the space you have available and the design of your home, finding a wine stor-

from page 16

age solution can be an interesting way to add a new piece of decorative and functional piece of furniture into your home. Jennifer Leischer is the owner of J. Designs Interior Design based in Clayton. Contact her with questions, comments and suggestions at

on the lake the fish just weren’t biting – but there were some big ones jumping right out of the water, teasing me. There are also lakes and streams for swimming, if it is a warm day. Try taking a swim at Box or Chickenfoot, but be warned that the water at that elevation can be chilly. Little Lakes Valley is also a great base camp for short backpacking trips, specifically up to Chickenfoot and Gem. Morgan Lakes is barren but a spot could be found if you don’t mind being exposed to the high-country elements. The mileage to all of these lakes is within five miles, making it a short trip. Remember to get appropriate backpacking permits. Yes, park rangers really will issue tickets if you fail to meet the guidelines for back country rules. The Mono Pass hike from the trailhead is a bit more difficult. It is drier and the air thinner at 12,040 feet on top, but the views are fantastic. Trailheads to more lakes such as Hilton and Davis are off of Rock Creek Road on your way to Mosquito Flats. I had really good luck fishing at Davis Lake, a four-and-ahalf mile hike.


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There are endless lakes and creeks in this section of the John Muir Wilderness area. I recommend it in June, early July, mid-September and October. Remember, this is high-elevation and even in June the higher trails may still have snow. But off-season is truly the best. I hiked Mono Pass on the first snow of the season in October and this area was spectacular with all the fall color. To reach Little Lakes Valley, drive up Tioga Pass – Highway 120 – and you can stop many times to take a hike in Yosemite National Park. Head south on the 395 past the Mammoth Lakes exit for about 20 miles and take the Tom’s Place exit which will put you on Rock Creek Road. It takes you 10 miles to the end, just past Rock Creek Lake to the Mosquito Flats trailhead. Parking can get full so get there early. Have a great adventure and don’t forget the mosquito repellent. After all the name had to come from somewhere. Sharon Anderson is a Clayton resident and lifelong hiker. This is the first of a four-part series on hiking in the Sierras.

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Page 18

Clayton Pioneer •

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July 26, 2013

Take pride in showy Lion’s Tail NICOLE HACKETT

GARDEN GIRL If you look at Daffodil Hill this month, you’ll see pops of orange flowers emerging from the Lion’s Tail shrubs. These shrubs, seen in the landscape at the corner of Marsh Creek and Clayton roads, are exceptionally hardy in any weather our Clayton Valley climate has to offer. Sun, frost, you name it, Lion’s Tail can take it. Leonotis leonurus is a superior selection of the Leonotis family. Leonotis leonurus can grow from 3-5 feet tall and almost as wide. This sturdy perennial shrub will begin to bloom in July and often flowers through most of fall. Lion’s Tail gets its name from the shape of the flowers. Whirls of orange, two-lip flowers stack onto the Lion’s Tail’s strong stems. The whirls look like the tufted end of a lion’s tail.

garden. It is showy enough to be in a focal setting of a landscape, clean enough to be used in a poolscape and interesting enough to stand in the background of a perennial garden. In a landscape, combine it with ornamental dwarf bamboo, fancy-colored Phormium or flowering Kangaroo Paw. If you want to add Lion’s Tail to a poolscape, use between Queen Palm trees or as a flowering accent to Leucadendron shrubs. The hot orange color of the Leonotis leonurus will contrast with other perennials in a sunny bed. Install near Salvia Mystic Spires and New Gold Lantana.

BIRD-FRIENDLY PLANTING Hummingbirds are drawn to the flowers. The two-lip shape makes for perfect access to the shrub’s sweet nectar. Keep the expired flowers on the shrub during winter, so the birds throughout our Clayton Valley neighborhood can enjoy the seed heads for months. In March, remove all of last year’s woody branches to make way for the new, more productive stems. Leonotis leonurus is useful in a Clayton Valley landscape or


Gardeners can find Leonotis leonurus at nursery and garden centers now. Planting during the summer months isn’t risky if you know what to do. Preparation and hydration is everything.

Always dig a hole wider than deep in our clay soil. Use a soil conditioner without fertilizer when planting. Mix the conditioner 50-50 with the native clay. Make sure your plant or shrub is well-watered and shows no signs of stress before installing. Once planted, water at the root immediately. Don’t rely on drip or sprinkler irrigation to water a new installation in the summer. Make it a point to visit your new planting daily the first week and give additional water. The second week after installation, give additional water every other day. The third week, skip three days between waterings. This way, you’ll build up the water table and be able to spot any trouble before it becomes a problem. Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. Contact her with questions or comments at

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July 26 Clayton Pioneer, 2013