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East Bay Regional Parks Activity Guide




June 9, 2017


VFW remembers America’s fallen in solemn Memorial Day program

JiM DiAz


City honors 40 years of EMS program

Last month marked the 40th anniversary of emergency medical services in Contra Costa County. The county Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) arranges first responder services in Clayton and other areas for people needing emergency medical attention. The Clayton City Council recognized the county EMSA, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District personnel and Clayton resident Kacey Hansen, chair of the county Emergency Medical Care Committee, at the May 16 meeting. The council issued a proclamation declaring May 21-27 as Emergency Medical Services Week. I also had the pleasure of attending the County First Responders Demonstration and Barbecue held at the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District training headquarters in Concord. An EMS team, along with units from the fire district and California Highway Patrol, provided a demonstration response to a simulated traffic collision, with the need to extricate an injured passenger from a vehicle. The coordination of all three entities offered a look at the exacting teamwork these trained emergency personnel use when they respond. It was reassuring to see the precision of their abilities to address and resolve a serious incident. Should we have the misfortune of being involved in such a traffic collision, we have the assurance of receiving help from expertly trained and dedicated emergency personnel. Incidentally, under the direction of Chief Jeff Carman, the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District has entered into a combined first response services agreement with the county fire district and American Medical Response (AMR). This combined service provides seamless responses to emergencies that makes it the leading edge model being embraced and adopted throughout California. MOSQUITO ABATEMENT UPDATE

At the May 2 City Council meeting, we received a report from Peggie Howell, president of the board of the Contra Costa Mosquito Vector Con-

See Mayor, page 7

What’s Inside

Around Town . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Community Calendar . . . . .15 Directory of Advertisers . . . .7 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12

Tamara Steiner/Clayton Pioneer

VFW POST 1525 ALONG WITH THE MT. DIABLO HIGH SCHOOL JUNIOR ROTC, Boy Scout Troops 262 and 444, Cub Scout Pack 379 and the Highlands Elementary Brownie Troop 32485 post the colors at the annual Memorial Day service which included Concord High’s Ladies First Choir and Gold Star Mother Roxane Langevin.

After years of isolation, Vietnam vet finds comfort through VFW

A young man, ecstatic to be home after a year and a half away, walked off the plane and into the San Francisco airport in 1969.

Fresh from his service in the war, he was smartly dressed in his Army uniform. The familiar buildings of the San Francisco skyline framed by the wide airport windows were a welcoming sight. But the view was the only welcome he received. Everywhere he looked, his gaze met hostile eyes. As he began to make his way out of the crowded building, something splat-

tered at his feet. Someone had spit at him. Scott DeVenney, a Clayton resident now active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and was Master of Ceremonies for last week’s Memorial Day Celebration. He was only 19 when he was drafted into the Vietnam War. He was in the midst of studying theater arts at Cabrillo Community College, with big dreams of

Come on down to Main Street for the annual old-fashioned Indepndence Day celebration and say “happy birthday” America…and to Clayton. This year marks the town’s

160th birthday; 1857 to 2017. The day kicks off with a pancake breakfast, 7-10 a.m. at Endeavor Hall. Hosted by the Clayton Valley/Sunrise Rotary Club. Breakfast is $7 for adults

and $5 for children. The highlight of the day is the Kiddie Parade down Main Street with hundreds of kids and dogs all decked out in red, white and blue. They come on foot, on bikes and scooters, in strollers and on dad’s shoulders with streamers and flags waving in the breeze. No limit on the number of kids and no advance entry is required – just show up by 10 a.m. at the flagpole. Other groups – from clubs and Scout troops to marching bands – need to enter for the parade by June 26. Fill out a parade application at or pick one up at City Hall. Cw Wolfe will be back on the grandstand as grand marshal and soprano Mechele Fong will start the parade with the National Anthem. This magical day doesn’t just happen. It takes an army of volunteers to set up, organize and clean up. Volunteers are needed anytime between 6 a.m. and noon on Monday, July 4. Consider it your patriotic duty to lend a hand. Call city clerk Janet Brown to sign up at 925.673.7304 or email

CARINA ROMANO Pioneer Intern

Volunteers needed for Fourth of July celebration

Earth” because of its freezing winters and miserably hot summers. The Army assigned the young DeVenney to be a medic. During a tour in Vietnam, he served in the Army’s 4th Infantry division. For most of his time there, he worked as a platoon medic, administering medical treatment to soldiers in combat. He also worked on a MEDCAP team, providing medical assistance to civilians in nearby villages. Returning home at the end A TOUR AS A MEDIC of his service, DeVenney felt DeVenney received his basic the animosity of his fellow training at Fort Bliss, Texas, a Americans first-hand. “I think desert location he describes as “the most misnamed place on See Vietnam Vet pg 11

becoming an actor, on the day his father walked down the stairs and, ashen-faced, handed DeVenney his draft notice. Upon hearing he had been drafted, many of DeVenney’s friends urged him not to go. “I didn’t quite feel right about that,” he recalls. “I really felt that if your country says ‘We kinda need you,’ then there’s an obligation to show up and make an effort. So I showed up and made an effort.”

Clayton seniors win athletic honors

Photos courtesy De La Salle and Carondelet high schools

TWO GRADUATING HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS from Clayton received special athletic recognition before getting their diplomas. Midfielder Sophia Panella of Carondelet was selected to the US Lacrosse Girls High School All-America team while Jonathan Hackett capped a busy year playing football, wrestling and rugby at De La Salle by being named the school’s athlete of the year. See Sports, page 8, for more information.

Postal Customer ECRWSS


Around Town

Page 2

Clayton Pioneer •

Hills receive CVHS Community Leadership Award

Council honors Hufford for civic service

Michele and Matt Hill were recipients of the Community Leadership award at the fifth induction ceremony for the Clayton Valley High School Athletic Hall of Fame last month. Matt Hill became the junior varsity lacrosse coach at the high school when son Sean began playing the sport and within a year Matt Hill stepped into the head coaching position. Michele and Matt Hill threw themselves into fund raising for the non-funded sport while sons Sean and Danny eventually joined the Eagles coaching staff. The Hills not only enabled the program to flourish but left behind over $40,000 for future year’s teams when they stepped aside in 2014. The couple also were leaders at Clayton Valley of the Athletic Boosters and Michele and Matt Hill with their son Danny (left) were recognized for Community Leadership. Every 15 Minutes program. Jason Rogers

What’s happening Around Town?

Send your news of births, engagements, weddings, special recognitions, parties, travels etc. to

Please attach your photos to the email as JPEG files between between 3MB and 6MB and include a caption to identify people in your photos.

At the May 16 meeting, the Clayton City Council honored retiring city treasurer Merle Hufford with an appreciation plaque culminating almost 20 years of dedicated civic service to his community and city. As a public official appointed by the City Council, Hufford served in this voluntary, uncompensated position from October 1997 through March 2017. He was a key overseer ensuring that city investments and public monies were properly accounted. Mayor Jim Diaz and city staff noted Hufford’s willingMERLE HUFFORD AND MAYOR JIM DIAZ ness to come to City Hall at a moment’s notice to sign urgent hearted men to be found. admirably and honorably in city checks that needed two City manager Gary Napper this important fiduciary posisignatures. In addition to pro- says the city was fortunate to tion. He will be missed at City tecting taxpayer money have Hufford serve so Hall in task and in person. through a check and balance system required by law, city officials say Hufford is one of the nicest and genuinely good-

hours to date are Norris at 560 hours and Delony at 655 hours spent shelving and checking in books. Delony also moves books for the book sales, marches with the library float in the July 4 parade and even trims the library roses. Norris and Delony are pictured with Jeanne Boyd, Clayton Community Library Foundation vice president; Karen HansenSmith, library manager; Lisi Norris; Joyce Atkinson, Library Foundation president; Lisi Norris and Tim meeting as Clayton Communi- Tim Delony and Arlene Delony were recognized at the ty Library Volunteers of the Kikkawa-Nielsen, branch volApril Clayton city council Year. Their total volunteer unteer coordinator.

Each Office Is Independently Owned & Operated.

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246 Mountaire Circle – Clayton

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Jerry and Susan Sappington took us along on their recent three-week trip to Africa. Among the stops were the Masaai Mara Wildlife Preserve and Sarova Shaba Game Lodge in Kenya. “it’s an amazing place,” says Susan. “it changes your life.” This was Susan’s fourth trip to Africa and Jerry’s first. “We will definitely go back,” she said.

18 Clark Creek Cir. – Clayton


provided by Better Homes Realty

Pioneer Travels

City recognizes library volunteers

Helping friends, neighbors and newcomers buy and sell since 1979

Clayton Market Update

June 9, 2017

Oak Hollow at Oakhurst Country Club! Desirable Single Story “San Antonio” model on a premium lot back to golf course with wooded & hill view. 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, den, approx. 1,343sf. Updated kitchen & baths. Private lot. $653,500



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54 Tuyshtak Court – Clayton

Simply Stunning “McKinley” Model! Straight out of a decorator magazine! 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, approx. 3008sf, 3 car garage & 2 fireplaces. Tucked away at the end of the court with views of hills, city lights & beyond!



1127 Peacock Creek Dr.–Clayton

Sensational “Belvedere” Model has it all! Views, 4 car garage, Updated kitchen & baths & spectacular lot with pool and spa! 5 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, den, plus a bed/bath downstairs, approx. 4076 sf! $1,275,000



44 Barcelona Way . . . . . . . . $840,000 2389 Morgan Territory Rd . . $770,000 1351 Yosemite Circle . . . . . . $755,000 1023 Feather Circle . . . . . . . $591,150 508 Caulfield . . . . . . . . . . . . $835,000



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June 9, 2017

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 3

2017 Kidfest wraps up 28th year; better than ever and no end in sight CARINA ROMANO Pioneer Intern

Face painting, roller coasters and monkeys took over the campus of Mount Diablo High School on Memorial Day weekend with the commencement of the 28th annual KidFest, Concord’s longest running family-oriented event. The first KidFest was held in 1990 under the leadership of Beth Clark. According to Jay Bedecarré, a long-time Clayton resident currently in charge of KidFest, the Concord Parks and Recreation Department hired Clark to run an event made for kids – a festival the whole family could enjoy. Held in Todos Santos Plaza in Concord, the first KidFest was a huge success. Clark and her team, consisting primarily of local mothers, worked with the city to put on KidFest for 20 years. For eight of those years, Clark ran KidFest from Illinois, where she moved so her children could be closer to their grandparents. In 2009, Concord had planned to put an end to KidFest. “After the 20th year, (the city) said, ‘Well, we think that’s a long enough time for KidFest,’ ” says Bedecarré. The 2008 recession had left the city unable to financially support the event, and a few business owners in the plaza were concerned about the loss of business KidFest cost them over the holiday weekend. Bedecarré, who had been working KidFest’s marketing for many years, was approached by Clark in 2009 and asked to take over. He found a new venue for the festival, and for the last eight

e Grove h T n i Saturdays

the zip-line, Dragon Wagon Roller Coaster, Ferris Wheel and Bobble Lagoon, where children run across the water in large plastic bubbles. Preparing for KidFest takes essentially all year, says Bedecarré. “I’m already looking to book our traveling attractions for next year.” This year’s traveling shows included Wild About Monkeys, Reptile Kingdom and the BMX Freestyle Team. Three local organizations – Da Island Way, D’Ann’s Academy of Music and Dance and USKS Family Martial Arts – have been performing at KidFest for more than 20 years each. Every year, KidFest attendees donate canned goods to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. Individuals receive a dollar discount from the $7 entrance fee with the donation of one can of food. In 28 years, KidFest has donated more than 100,000 pounds of food. Bedecarré’s service over the years has been recognized by the Concord Human Relations Photo courtesy of Kidfest Commission Lifelong AchieveClayton resident Jay Bedecarré took the reins of ment Award and the Arts and Kidfest in 2009 when the City of Concord could no Culture Commission of Conlonger fund the popular event. tra Costa County. The Central County community eagerly awaits next years, Bedecarré has run Kid- shows that weren’t possible year’s KidFest and looks forFest on the campus of Mount given the space restrictions in ward to enjoying the festival Diablo High, his alma mater. Todos Santos Plaza. for many years to come. “The advantage of having This year, KidFest had one it at Mount Diablo was that we of its biggest turnouts ever. To learn more about KidFest, had more space to do more More than a hundred volun- visit things, rather than be con- teers, the bulk being students stricted to a city block and from the high school, showed Carina Romano is serving a three side streets,” explains up to help KidFest run summer internship with the Bedecarré. smoothly. Bedecarré estimates Pioneer. She attends Dominican KidFest is now able to pro- that more than 100,000 tickets College in San Rafael, is a Clayvide attractions such as amuse- were sold for the 20 rides. The ton resident and plans on a career ment park rides and traveling most popular attractions were in publishing.



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At the Gazebo in The Grove

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

The Boys of Summer

June 10

Eagles Tribute band

June 24


Santana tribute band

July 8

Diamond Dave

Bay Area favorite, covers classics of Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Timberlake, Lady Gaga and others

July 22

The Peelers

Cover band playing music from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and today

Aug. 5

Pop/Soul singing the sounds of Motown

Aug. 19

Busta Groove

Dance party band with hits from the 70s, 80s, 90s and today

Sept. 2


High-energy stage show with three lead vocalists, horn section and four-piece rhythm section

Sept. 16

10-piece cover dance band with four-man horn section

Pride and Joy

East Bay Mudd

Please, no glassware, BBQs, water balloons, beach balls or “silly-string.” Please clean up before leaving. This is your park - help keep it clean & safe!

$$ THANK YOU FOR YOUR DONATIONS $$ Your donations are the primary source of funds for next year’s “Concerts in The Grove.” We thank Republic Services and CBCA for their on-going and generous support. Donations may be sent to Concerts in The Grove—Saturday concerts, c/o City of Clayton, 6000 Heritage Trail, Clayton, CA 94517

For information go to


Morgan Territory Area — Recently updated, single-story home in breathe taking country setting at the foot of Mt Diablo. 4 bedrooms, 2 baths and approx 2436 sq ft of living space. Flat 1 acre lot with sparkling pool, spa, gardens, and room for your horse and or toys. Kelly McDougall (925) 787-0448 Cal BRE#01156462


6 to 8:30 p.m.


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Lynne & Kelly offer free staging on ALL LISTINGS

Even the smallest of gestures can mean so much to others. Every year since 1984, Windermere associates have dedicated a day away from work to complete neighborhood improvement projects, Creating vibrant communities is one of the things that inspire our network to be involved in service projects that make things a little brighter for all our neighbors.

Windermere’s Community Service Day is June 8

This year our office is partnering with the Contra Costa Animal Shelter. They are in dire need for donations of pet supplies. If you’d like to help, please call us to arrange for pick up, or drop off at our office next door to Ed’s Mudville Grill.

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

"Like" us on

- Windermere Clayton!

Page 4

Clayton Pioneer •

June 9, 2017

General Plan amendment means fewer homes TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer

The City Council passed an amendment to the General Plan on Tuesday that will go a long way toward preserving Clayton’s rural ambience by reducing the density requirements on the few buildable residential parcels left in the city. Prior to the change, the minimum and maximum number of units for a given project was calculated on the

parcel’s total acreage regardless of undevelopable areas. Under the amendment, creeks, streams, steep slopes, habitat conservation areas, wetlands, unstable hillsides, rock outcroppings and land designated as floodplain will be subtracted from the total acreage in determining allowable density. “With 98 percent of Clayton already built out, most of what is left has constraints or it would have been built on by now,” noted Council-

SAT. JUNE 17, 6-10pm

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woman Julie Pierce. “We are reducing the density in Clayton,” said Councilman Dave Shuey. “We’re doing what you [citizens] want us to do.” Impetus for the change came last year after city staff determined that the 59-unit Silver Oak Estates, proposed on the 14-acre Hurd Ranch property between Lydia Lane and Oakhurst Blvd., was not in compliance with the city’s General Plan for that parcel because the project included 52 attached townhomes. The General Plan designation for

that parcel calls for single family, detached homes with maximum density of 70 units. But 47 percent of the Hurd property is taken up by Mt. Diablo creek, steep slopes and a Habitat Conservation easement which would require squeezing those 70 units on half the land used to calculate the density requirement. The amendment removes the sensitive or unbuildable land areas from the calculations and applies the density requirement to the net developable land and removes the

minimum density requirement. If the Silver Oaks developers want to continue with the Hurd Ranch development, they will need to submit a whole new project, said Community Development Director Mindy Gentry. “Right now, the ball is in their court to revise their plans and resubmit,” Gentry said. “It must be single family detached.” The amendment will potentially affect development on the High Street/Marsh Creek parcel as

well. Last year, local developer Bill Jordan presented a 60unit condo development for the three lots. He has since abandoned that project in favor of senior apartments. The project isn’t far enough along to comment, he said. It’s likely the amendment will affect his plans since much of his property is on a steep slope. “This amendment is one more tool in the tool box to allow us to build appropriately and not over-build on sensitive areas,” said Pierce.

The Relay for Life of Clayton will team up with the Mt. Diablo Elementary School Playfield Project to present Round Up for Relay on Saturday, June 17. The Round Up for Relay features the band American Honey, made up of multi-talented musicians who produce a high-energy, spirited country/rock show that will have everyone kicking up their boots. They have shared the stage with Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Alan Jackson and Sugarland, just to name a few. Local DJ Louie Gernhardt will help rock the house and keep things moving. Mavericks will be pulling out the barbecue grills again to serve up a buffet of fingerlickin’ chicken and steak. “I’m so excited for Round

Up this year,” says Debra Gonsalves, one of the organizers. “Everyone I talked to last year had such a great time. They loved the music and cowboy atmosphere, but they especially raved about the delicious food.” Relay for Life is a 24-hour celebration of cancer survivorship and a tribute to those who have lost their battle to this horrible disease. Many of the people who

worked behind the scenes for the Clayton event recognized that the large elementary field used for the past two years was not safe. They surveyed the community and found overwhelming support to raise money to provide a safe, all-weather track and field for the students and community. The Round Up will equally raise money for two great causes. The Round Up will

remain at the same location, Easley Ranch on Marsh Creek Road. The Pre-Posse party sells out early, with tasty appetizers and fine wines held before the hoedown. This historic event is not to be missed. The Pre-Posse begins at 4 p.m., with the Round Up 6-10 p.m. For adults only. Get tickets at /home.

the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. Numbers such as these demand action. May is Older Americans Month, which was the perfect opportunity for our community to highlight the urgent issues facing our aging population. Senior Rally Day had an excellent turnout, with seniors and advocates traveling from all over the state to gather at the Capitol to inform policy makers on these vital issues facing our state. We were thankful to be a part of this event. On May 31, the Walnut Creek Recreation Department hosted a workshop on “Living Life Well: A Free Day of Lifelong Learning.” This was a free event in celebration of Senior Health and Fitness Day. The Walnut Creek Seniors Club along with John Muir Health presented health screenings that included cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure, memory and hearing screenings. Educa-

tion sessions ranged from nutrition, fitness after 40, mind-body connection, to caring for your loved one while caring for yourself and health insurance counseling. I’m proud to represent a community that cares about our seniors and organizes events such as this to provide health, caregiver and aging resources for residents of Contra Costa County. On Tuesday, June 13, my colleagues on the Board of Supervisors and I will recognize Walnut Creek Seniors Club, Walnut Creek Recreation and John Muir Health on their contributions to our community in recognition of Senior Health and Fitness Day. We understand the growing need for quality aging and adult services in our county, and I am pleased to see so many organizations make this a priority.

Round Up tag-teams funds for cancer, MDES school field

Groups come together to celebrate older Americans

Leigh Klock, Realtor Senior Real Estate Specialist Accredited Staging Professional

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This custom California Ranch home in the highly desirable Diablo Downs equestrian development nestled at the base of Mt. Diablo, boasts 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, 2500+ sq ft. of living space and bonus art studio/office. The nearly one-acre homesite features expansive gardens highlighted on a recent Clayton Home and Garden Tour and offers the perfect setting for entertaining or quiet meditation surrounded by stunning Mt. Diablo views. Offered at $998,000

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On May 11, my staff participated in the Seniors Count Coalition’s 3rd annual Senior Rally Day at the state Capitol in Sacramento. The Seniors Count Coalition is a group of nonprofit service and advocacy organizations and associations that work to raise awareness among policy makers and provide a coordinated advocacy platform for senior issues. In California, 7,000 people turn 65 every week. People age 85 or older constitute

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

June 9, 2017

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 5

Historic ports await on Canada/New England cruise

Robert Casey

The photo shows the Maasdam anchored off of Bar Harbor, Maine, where passengers are ferried into the docks. The sailing vessel in the foreground is the 151-foot "Margaret Todd," that sails Frenchman's Bay three times daily

For those wary of traveling in Europe due to terrorism concerns, there is a wonderful alternative: Canada and New England cruises. As an independent travel consultant, I attend numerous webinars. Holland America, a major cruise line serving maritime Canada and New Eng-

land, recently said they are featuring numerous incentives to boost traffic. On this itinerary, it’s all about the rich European and early American history of the regions. Here are the key ports and highlights: Boston: The cradle of American democracy is a city

rich in history with lots to see, including the Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Old North Church and Bunker Hill. If American history isn’t your cup of tea (pardon the pun), there are cultural icons like the “Cheers” bar and Fenway Park. Bar Harbor: At this Maine seaport, ships anchor out and passengers take launches into the dock. Once there, you can stroll the quaint streets in search of antiques or lobster rolls. But the No. 1 destination is Acadia National Park. Bus tours take you to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest mountain on the East Coast, offering a fabulous view of Bar Harbor, Frenchman Bay and the ships at anchor. Halifax: The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, just down the street from where the ships dock, has the world’s finest collection of Titanic memorabilia, including deck chairs and a child’s shoes recovered from the water. Hal-

ifax has a strong British influence, including the 18th-century Citadel National Historic Site that overlooks the city. Sydney: Nova Scotia is Latin for “New Scotland,” which says quite a bit about the history of this coal-mining region. A giant fiddle greets travelers at the port, symbolic of the Scottish influence. Cruise passengers can take bus excursions to the Fortress of Louisbourg, often compared to Williamsburg in terms of meticulous recreation of an era, in this case its past as a French fortification. Charlottetown: In this Prince Edward Island town, visitors can see the house that inspired “Anne of Green Gables” or explore Prince Edward Island National Park. Quebec City: The Chateau

Frontenac, with its distinctive green roof, sits high on a bluff overlooking this UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the docks, you can easily walk around the Old Town district, which many compare to Paris. A funicular tramway will take you to the Frontenac, from which you can catch a horsedrawn carriage for a tour of the upper part of the city. Montreal: The cultural capital of Canada features picturesque narrow streets and plenty of sidewalk bistros serving French cuisine. The cobblestoned Rue St-Paul has upscale boutiques and galleries, while Place Jacques-Cartier is a square that often features classical quartets. Don’t miss Notre Dame Basilica. With these cruises, you can discover American, British,


French and Scottish sites and sounds without leaving North America. It’s all largely within walking distance of your ship, too. Robert Casey is an independent travel consultant with Fair Winds Cruises & Expeditions in Clayton. He can be reached at 925-7878252 or

People’s Choice award added to this year’s Clayton BBQ Cook-off Eight years ago, the Clayton Rib Cook-off (as it was called then) began as a small Clayton Business and Community Association event in the parking lot of the Clayton Club. The community so loved the event that it continued to grow. Last year, it moved onto Main Street and received the blessing of the Kansas City BBQ Association as a “sanctioned” event. That brought professional Pitmasters to compete for prizes and KCBS points toward the national championship. Backyard grillers also competed for prizes and prestige.

A BBQ judging class at Endeavor Hall drew Clayton residents and people from western states wishing to join the KCBS official ranks. Clayton now boasts 20 certified BBQ judges, with more coming on board this year. The cook-off drew nearly 5000 people last year, and KCBS deemed it a success. However, as with any new festival, there were some lessons to be learned and corrections to be made to ensure ongoing success. Listening to the public, this year’s event will feature tastings of some competitors’ food in a People’s Choice Award for best-of-

the-best. More food will be available, along with additional vendors, an enhanced kiddie land, beer/wine/margaritas and bands. Raffle tickets will be available for a custom grill/smoker, built and donated by Wally’s Rental Centers. Raffle tickets will also be sold at the 4th of July Parade. The 8th annual Clayton BBQ Cook-Off takes place 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, July 15, in downtown Clayton. Proceeds benefit the CBCA. For more information, go to To sign up as a competitor or vendor, email

This summer, put safety on your checklist CHRiS WEnzEL




Summer is upon us, and we are ramping up to enjoy all sorts of activities. But plan accordingly so you don’t have to rush, as there will be more pedestrian and bicycle activity on the roads this time of year. Always have dogs on a leash and be considerate of the

community and pick up after your dog. Do not leave children or pets unattended in a vehicle. When the temperature reaches 100° outside, the temperature in a vehicle can reach 114° and is very dangerous. If you have to deal with rattlesnakes that wander onto your property, always be careful and call Animal Services. When you go on vacation, please take the time to secure your property and vehicles. Also make sure to stop your mail.

Telephone scams continue to occur, as well as contractors offering deals on work. You can check with the state Contractors Licensing Board to confirm a license as well as review complaints received. As always, give us a call if something seems suspicious. When in doubt, call. Have a safe summer. Chris Wenzel is Chief of Police of Clayton. Send questions and comments to or call (925) 673-7350

Residents can apply for Planning Commission posts Two terms on the Clayton Planning Commission will expire on June 30, and any resident can apply for a position. The Planning Commission comprises five Clayton residents appointed by the City Council for two-year overlapping terms. The Planning Commission advises the City Council on land use matters, including General Plan amendments and Zoning Ordinance amendments. The commission also makes decisions on development projects such as site plan review permits, use per-

mits, subdivisions and variances. Meetings are open to the public, and its decisions may be appealed to the City Council. The Planning Commission meets at 7 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. Commissioners presently receive a monthly stipend of $120. Any applicant must be at least 18, a registered voter and a resident of Clayton. Applications are a public record. Each commissioner must file a Statement of Economic Interests (Form 700) on appoint-

ment and annually thereafter. That document is also a public record. Applications may be obtained in person at Clayton City Hall, 6000 Heritage Trail, by calling 925-673-7300, emailing or visiting Applications must be returned to the City Clerk by 5 p.m. June 15. The City Council will interview candidates in a public meeting tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, June 20. Final appointments are expected to be made later that evening.

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Page 6

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This high survivorship rates is due to improvements in screening, earlier diagnosis and advancements in treatments. About 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. Fortunately, we are actually curing more than 90 percent of women diagnosed with this disease. And for those breast cancer patients who cannot be cured, advances in therapies allow us to treat and manage incurable breast cancer as a chronic disease, like diabetes and heart disease. Create your own team or join us, Team DVO, at the walk on Saturday, June 17, in Heather Farms Park in Walnut

Creek. Registration opens at 8 a.m. and the walk begins about 9 a.m. Stronger together, we can Make Strides Against Breast Cancer. Svahn is a board certified medical oncologist with Diablo Valley Oncology. Svahn specializes in treating patients with breast cancer. She sees patients at Diablo Valley Oncology’s comprehensive cancer center at the California Cancer and Research Institute in Pleasant Hill and at a satellite office in San Ramon. For more information, call 925677-5041.

Wraparound loan may be a good way to go...or not

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Q: My house isn’t selling. But I have an acquaintance who offered to buy it for a good price with a wraparound loan. What is this and what are my risks? A: This is a viable solution to get your home sold, and it allows the buyer to acquire a home for which they might not otherwise have been able to qualify. However, if this isn’t someone you know well, you should first try lowering your price. Then when it closes, you are free and clear of it. A wraparound is also called an all-inclusive mortgage. A new home loan is placed in a subordinate or secondary position to the original mortgage, and the new loan includes the unpaid balance of the first. The wraparound allows the buyer to purchase a home without having to qualify for a loan or pay closing costs.

The contract is made between the buyer and the seller, with the seller remaining on the existing loan and title. The buyer pays the seller a fixed monthly amount, and the seller uses part of this money toward the existing loan. The seller benefits by offering the buyer a loan at a higher interest rate than the existing mortgage. Sometimes the buyer pays the seller a down payment, so the buyer assumes some of the risk. Wraparounds are not for the novice. Many mortgages have a due on sale clause in the first mortgage. The best way to do one of these is to notify the first lender about what you are doing. Sometimes the first lender isn’t aware of the new transaction. In this case, they can call the loan to be paid off immediately when they find out. Your other risk is if the buyer doesn’t make the payments, and you would have to foreclose. These loans are best used if the buyer is family or close friends so there is existing trust

in the relationship. If you do a home values. wraparound loan, please have Other studies have indicatan experienced Realtor and an ed similar shifts away from attorney involved. conventional milestones related to homeownership. One Q: I have a significant report reveals that 25 percent other and we are going to of married Millennial couples buy a house together. We are purchased their home together not married. Do you have before their wedding day. some insight on this? Is it As more unmarried couples harder to get a loan? become homeowners, howevA: Since I don’t have insight er, fewer singles do the same. on your relationship, I can’t According to the analysis, 25 address whether this is a good percent of homebuyers aged idea. Just make sure everything 23-25 are single, compared to is done legally with the loan 28 percent in 2005. and title. There is no difference Don’t get me wrong, many with the lender whether you singles are striving to purchase are married or not. on their own. But, of course, Buying a home is part of buying a home with two the American Dream, equally incomes is much easier. This shared by Millennials and Baby number is growing more Boomers alike. However, it is whether or not marriage is becoming extremely difficult involved. to make it work on a single Assuming home value income. growth continues to outpace According to Zillow, 15 income growth, this trend percent of homebuyers aged should increase. 24-35 are unmarried couples – Send your question and look for up 4 percent from 2005. Zillow your answer in a future column. Email chief economist Svenja Gudell French is says the trend is taking off due the broker/owner of Windermere to limited affordability, com- Lynne French & Associates. Contact pounded by out-of-reach her at 672-8787 or stop in at 6200

To improve your drive, upgrade to solid state

If you’ve ever wondered to another – it’s your lucky about your data storage – day. whether it’s reliable and fast or Data is simple, it’s stuff: how data gets from one place letters, documents, photos, even the Internet web pages you view. Data exists everywhere, on computers, in print and in the cloud. It’s the information we all use daily to keep track of our lives, inventory, people’s names and addresses – important stuff. Everyone has data. Storage is simple, too. It is the place where memos, memories, photos, documents, etc. are kept. Everyone has a file folder with information in it; that data is stored in a media called a folder. Yes, a file folder is a media device. In today’s world, a hard disk drive stores files, just like a paper file except it is electronic. The data is in a coded form known as binary, which is a series (an extremely long series) of 1s and 0s also A Name to Remember in a Time of Need known as bits and bytes. Binary simply means there are only Dignified Professional Services Michael Nicosia, Managing Partner two choices for data to exist, John & Sharon Ouimet • Don & Bea Ouimet Complete Funeral Services either as a one or a zero. Cremation & Memorialization Services So data is stored in a Worldwide Shipping Arrangements 925.682.4242 • fax 925.682.4281 media, which could be a paper Pre-Need Planning file like the one discussed 4125 Clayton Road, Concord, CA 94521 OUIMETBROTHERS.COM above or it could be electronic

in the form of a hard disk drive (HDD) or solid state drive (SSD). HDDs and SSDs are simply recording devices; they record the patterns of 1s and 0s that form words, sentences, images and all things data. The mountain of data you store is really a string of binary so long that, if laid out end to end, it would reach the moon and back. That’s a lot of 1s and 0s, and it takes time to look through each of these strings to get information you can use. So, you need a fast device to find and retrieve things. The faster the storage device, the faster data moves to the CPU for processing and then back to storage. Enter the SSD. Solid state means the media is electronic and has no moving parts, like the HDD which could break down and destroy data. HDDs use a spinning disk to record and retrieve binary. HDDs spin about 7200 RPM, which causes wear and tear and eventual breakdown. A solid state drive uses “memory” chips to store data. There is nothing to wear out, making them much more reliable. SSDs move the

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binary at the speed of light, which is, last I looked, faster than an HDD. To move binary it takes speed, lots of speed, to move data from your storage device to the CPU, where it is processed and then returned back to the storage device. The faster you move the data, the sooner the user has results. The quicker the applications/programs execute, the more rapid the effects. To find out more, consult a local computer expert. Better yet, try it for yourself by getting your old slow HDD converted to a speedier SSD. You really will notice the difference. It is the best upgrade you can do to enhance your computing experience.

William Claney is an independent tech writer and former owner of Computers USA in the Clayton Station. Email questions or comments to

June 9, 2017

Clayton Pioneer •

Obituary P.O. Box 1246 6200 Center Street, Suite H, Clayton, CA 94517

TAMARA AND R OBERT S TEINER , Publishers TAMARA S TEINER , Editor P ETE C RUZ , Graphic Design B EV B RITTON , Copy Editor J AY B EDECARRÉ, Sports PAMELA W IESENDANGER , Administration, Calendar Editor S TAFF W RITERS : Peggy Spear, Pamela Wiesendanger, Jay Bedecarré, Bev Britton

C ORRESPONDENTS : Kara Navolio, John T. Miller I NTERN : Carina Romano

We remember Jill Bedecarré


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

Tamara Steiner Send ads to Send Sports News to Send Club News to Send School News to LET US KNOW Weddings, engagements, anniversaries, births and deaths all weave together as part of the fabric of our community. Please let us know of these important events. We ask only that the announcement be for a resident in our home delivery area. Submit on our website and be sure to attach a JPG photo that is at least 3 MB but not bigger than 6MB. You can also mail or bring your print to the office and we can scan it for you. Also on the website are forms for calendar items, events & press releases. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Both Pioneer newspapers welcome letters from our readers. As a general rule, letters should be 175 words or less and submitted at least one week prior to publication date. Letters concerning current issues will have priority. We may edit letters for

length and clarity. All letters will be published at the editor’s discretion. Please include name, address and daytime telephone number. We will not print anonymous letters. E-mail your letter to Letters must be submitted via E-mail. CIRCULATION

Total circulation of the Clayton Pioneer is 5,500 to ZIP code 94517, all delivered by US Mail to homes and businesses. We cannot start or stop free delivery to individual addresses. This must be done directly through the Post Office. The Concord Pioneer is delivered monthly to 30,500 in Concord by carrier. Papers are delivered once a month on a Friday morning near the end of the month. To stop delivery for any reason, call the office at (925) 672-0500 or send an email to If you are NOT receiving the Pioneer, please check the distribution map on the website. If you live in the shaded area and are not receiving the paper, please call us or send an email to If you are not in the shaded area, please be patient. We will come to your neighborhood soon.

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


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The city is nearing completion of repaving on arterial streets, namely Clayton Road, Marsh Creek Road and Oakhurst Drive, through the use of $1.07 million in restricted funds. The final pavement markings should be completed by the time this article is published. The next phase of street repaving is planned for later this summer and includes Keller Ridge Drive, from Eagle Peak Avenue up to Golden Eagle Way (and perhaps beyond if bids are favorable), and the El Portal Drive Restoration Project. These three projects alone are an investment of about $2 million

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Dee Collins-Hadley; his brother William H. Hadley III and Michaele; sisters Deborah L. Brownrigg and Katherine E. Ahlborn; father-in-law William O’Neil and mother-in-law Kay; sister-in-law Lori Smith and Rick; brothers-in-law Mark O’Neil, Stephen O’Neil, Matt O’Neil and Marie; and all of his nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his mother Shirley, his sister-in-law Seana, his brother-in-law Bill and his godson Zachary. Galen’s family was always his priority, even in his last days. He was filled with love and generosity, and his family and friends will remember him and hold him close as they navigate their journeys without him. A memorial service was held May 19 at St. Bonaventure Catholic Church in Concord. Graveside services will be 1 p.m. Saturday, June 24, at the Chester Cemetery on Highway 36. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Galen’s name to the American Cancer Society (; 800-2272345) or a favorite charity.

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Mayor, from page 1



Area code 925 unless otherwise indicated

January 11, 1963 - April 30, 2017

trol District and the city of Clayton’s representative. She provided an overview of the services and noted that the district’s funding comes through local property tax revenue. The district’s current status includes monitoring for two species of mosquito that are found in Contra Costa County. These species potentially carry the West Nile virus. The monitoring is done through weekly collection of mosquitos, then identification of the species and testing for viruses. One collection trap is located in Clayton. In 2016, collection results revealed that out of 442 West Nile virus cases in all of California, only four cases were found in Contra Costa – and none in Clayton.

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Galen Yarber Hadley, 54, of Clayton, died April 30 with his family at his side. From the day of his birth, Galen brought love, generosity and warmth to our world. Galen was the third of four children born in Walnut Creek to William H. Jr. and Shirley (Yarber) Hadley. He attended grammar and high school in Concord and discovered his talent as an iron worker with Cal Erectors. He served as a foreman until his retirement in 2009. Galen loved his work, but he loved his colleagues even more. Galen married Sarah O’Neil, the love of his life, on March 23, 1991. Sarah was his rock, his rudder, his biggest fan. Galen’s greatest joy was spending time with his family, in-laws and outlaws, biking with his buddy, hunting and fishing with his brothers, uncles and cousins, sharing his love of wine and organizing joyous shenanigans with everyone. His artistic talent showed up in his iron work and in his glorious vineyard, creations here for us to still enjoy. He loved gardening, especially his cactus and succulent gardens, which he shared with everyone. The songbirds, owls, squirrels, human neighbors and friends were constant sources of joy for him, and he made sure they all were nourished with his love, sage advice and protection. Galen was proud of his nieces and nephews, always making sure they benefited from his knowledge of hunting, fishing, art and the joys of life. Galen is survived by his wife, Sarah; his father, William H. Hadley Jr. and

Page 7

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CLASSIC CAR SHOW RETURNS The 2017 Clayton Classic Car Show series begins 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, June 14. As in previous years, the classic cars will be on display in the public parking lot downtown at 6099 Main St. Local DJ Don Vogel will be providing 1950s to 1970s music. Classic cars will be on display for seven shows, every other Wednesday night. Check the city website ( for all 2017 dates and times. Send comments to the mayor at

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Page 8

Clayton Pioneer •

June 9, 2017

De La Salle, Carondelet, CVCHS win NCS championships JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Clayton Valley Charter, Carondelet and De La Salle all enjoyed post-season success this spring as the 2016-17 school year sports calendar came to an end with standout individual and team performances dotting the results for local schools. Baseball-Defending North Coast Section champion De La Salle lost to Granada in the East Bay Athletic League playoffs and then got drawn against the Matadors in the first round at NCS. A win to avenge that loss started the Spartans on their way to another Section championship. The NCS final pitted De La Salle against EBAL rival Monte Vista, which twice defeated the Spartans in league play. Monte Vista took an early 2-0 lead last Saturday but DLS chipped back to tie the game entering the seventh inning. DLS scored a run to take a 3-2 lead and had two outs and no one on base in the bottom of the seventh when Monte Vista forced extra innings with a dramatic home run. The Spartans scored again in the top of the eighth inning and then retired the Mustangs in order to claim their fourth title in six years and 10th overall

Jason Rogers

Sophomore Daylon Hicks (left) and senior Jeff Williams earned sports on the podium at the CiF State track and field championships last week in Clovis. Hicks took fifth in the high jump with a 6-5 leap and was the top soph in the competition. Williams was a state leader for much of the season in the discus and placed fourth at State with Pittsburg’s iffy Joyner the surprise winner with a toss 10 feet longer than Williams’ best mark in Clovis of 193-05. Joyner qualified eighth during the preliminaries while Williams was second.

NCS baseball championship. Monte Vista lost seven onerun decisions this season, including five in extra innings. The tournament was not without controversy as the new CIF pitch limit rule came into play when NCS staggered its schedule in each round over two days, giving the teams who played the earlier game a distinct advantage for pitchers in

the subsequent round. CVCHS was seeded one spot above DLS at No. 4 but ran into a buzz saw against their Concord rivals in the second round when DLS racked up its second consecutive 12-1 win in NCS. Clayton Valley Charter baseball had a big season with the varsity, JV and frosh teams combining for a 64-9 record.

in the discus at the State track and field meet last weekend. His senior track season was recordsetting as he shattered school, league and section marks in the discus helping the Eagles to boys team championships through the NCS Meet of Champions. He was also all-DAL in football and basketball for his undefeated league champion teams. Female Athlete of the Year: Bridget Hyland was a twosport athlete at CVCHS, playing three seasons of varsity basketball and four years on the track team. She was varsity basketball captain her junior and senior seasons. She was all-league twice each in track and basketball. Hyland was a member of Senior Women, Multicultural Club and the Public Service Academy at CVCHS. Irvine Scholar Award (Combination of athletics and academics) Male: Michael Cox and Female: Natalie Ruzicka Away from the classroom both

senior recipients made their athletic marks as long distance runners.

defending Division I NCS champion and have won the same number of Section titles as the Spartans. After beating Las Lomas 120 in the first round of NCS DLS beat Marin Catholic 6-5 in the quarterfinals. Marin were three-time D-II titlists who were moved up to D-I this year. CVCHS boys had their best season in several years and reached NCS where they lost to Granite Bay in the opening round. DAL school Campolindo won both the boys and girls DII lacrosse titles. Swimming & DivingNorthgate boys were fifth and the Bronco girls eighth in NCS swimming finals. Carondelet took seventh and De La Salle 11th for other local teams. On the girls side the top nine teams were from the DAL or EBAL. At the State Meet, Northgate boys were second after winning both free relays and junior Alexei Sancov was the 200 freestyle champion. Softball- Concord was seeded third in NCS D-II but the Minutemen went all the way to take their fourth Section title since 2010. The finale was a lopsided 17-1 victory over Livermore.

The Ugly Eagles varsity was 22-2 in the regular season including winning the inaugural Diablo Athletic League Foothill Conference title, two games over Acalanes. The team started the season with 18 straight wins including a title at the Alhambra Tournament. Northgate ended the CVCHS win streak at 18 and the Broncos were No. 2 seeds

in NCS Division II however Northgate lost in the second round. Lacrosse- De La Salle faced off with a tough run of opponents to claim its fifth NCS lacrosse title since 2007. The Spartans beat DBAL rival Amador Valley 7-5 in the finals after beating another league foe Monte Vista 8-6 in the semis. Monte Vista was




respectively, at the Arcadia Invitational April 8. She broke her school records with NCS TriValley meet record times of 11.76 in the 100 and 24.07 in the 200 leading her team to the championships. She placed first in all four of her events at the EBAL Championships and the

NCS Tri-Valley Championships. Culminating her season last weekend, Scott and her teammates were fifth at State in the 4x100 relay and was 10th in both sprints, missing the finals in each by one place.

See NCS, page 11

Clayton Valley, local schools name athletes of the year JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Local schools have announced their athletes of the year as the 2016-17 seasons have drawn to a close and the graduating seniors reflect on their high school careers and look ahead to a new chapter of their life in college.

CLAYTON VALLEY CHARTER Male Co-Athlete of the Year: Ryan Fischer enjoyed quite a run as a CVCHS athlete including three years on the Ugly Eagles football team that included a pair of State Bowl Games. He was two-time, first-team allleague. This past winter he won the inaugural Diablo Athletic League wrestling title at 195 pounds and then was third at the North Coast Section that earned him a State Meet berth. Male Co-Athlete of the Year: Jeff Williams concluded a busy senior year placing fourth

BEREAN CHRISTIAN Female Athlete of the Year: Molly Kolander was first team all-league in soccer and softball for Berean. She led the Eagles into NCS playoffs in both sports. Last week, Kolander and her team captured the NCS Division V softball championship to cap her junior year. Male Athlete of the Year: MacGregor Douglass was runner-up at 285 pounds at the DAL wrestling tournament earning a berth at NCS. The junior was also on the Eagles track and field team but it was as a trap shooter that he made the biggest splash winning the Jr. National championship.

Cougars 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams. She qualified for the CIF State Championships in all four events, becoming the first runner in school history to break the 12-second mark in the 100 and CARONDELET the 25-second mark in the 200 Athlete of the Year: Mikaywhen she set school records la Scott competed in the 100 and with times of 11.86 and 24.25, 200 meter dashes and on the

See Athletes, page 11

Diablo FC teams win pair of Concord Cup XXIV titles

Photo courtesy Scott Ramsey Life Through a Lens Photography

Diablo FC 06 captured the under 11 boys championship of Concord Cup XXiV in dramatic fashion by winning a penalty kick shootout with PHMSA Hammers. Diablo FC 06 had won a lopsided preliminary game on Saturday but when the two neighboring teams met again in the championship match it was 2-2 after overtime before Diablo FC 06 won the shootout. The title-winning team includes, front row from left, niles West, Robbie Pulido, Angel Perez, Kevin Martinez, Davis Sostenes; back row, Aiden Burgham, Diego Cortes, Giovanni Robledo, Aahan Bagga, noah Santo and coach Arnol Arceta. not pictured, Gianluka Verdin and Jameson Martin.

Photo courtesy Diablo FC

Diablo FC 05 Blue wrapped up first place in U13 girls division at Concord Cup XXiV while playing up one age group. The local team won three and drew with club sister team Diablo FC 05 Gray 0-0. Diablo FC 05 Blue edged Walnut Creek04 White 4-3 in the opening round that proved the decisive result. on Sunday, the team scored a pair of shutouts to wrap up the title. Front row, Makenna Brady, Cassidy Baker, Aubrielle irwin, Lauren Gherlone, Lizzie Pauline,  Emily Jimenez, Sydney Sopenoff, Katie Kavanagh,  Mikka Sopenoff; back row, Abby Gee, Erika Salazar, Arlise Souza, Kira Barrett, Amanda Monahan, coach Daniel Rednic, Shelby Bonham , Ananda Walker, Emily Beeson and Joey Kremin.

June 9, 2017

Clayton Pioneer •


erwise never met.” The busy student athlete has been on CVCHS’s honor roll four years and won North Coast Section recognition for her GPA. She has maintained a cumulative GPA of 4.3 while playing two sports. Verderame is in the CVCHS Engineering Academy and was awarded the Engineering Student of the Year for the women in the academy. She was also involved in Senior Women, CSF and STEM clubs. Verderame will attend Colorado State University this coming fall and plans to major in mechanical engineering, pursuing a career as a biomedical engineer. Of course, she also plans to keep on running the rest of her life. CVCHS student journalist Sydney Skow wrote this Spotlight.

Athlete Spotlight

Sarah Verderame

Grade: Senior School: CVCHS Sports: Soccer, Cross Country

Senior Verderame has a love and passion for running that has stuck with her throughout her childhood and high school years, and will continue to stay with her into adulthood. Verderame ran on the Eagles varsity cross country team for all four years and “was hooked on the sport and the team the first day,” she says. She was team captain her junior and senior seasons and received the Team Captain Award her senior year. Verderame also played on CVCHS soccer and was on varsity the past two years. She won team most improved her

junior season. Growing up, Verderame was very active, playing soccer, tennis, swimming and running. Her parents are very active and motivated her to try out cross country. Her love for soccer (she played club soccer for seven years, including locally with Diablo FC) pushed her to continue playing in high school. Verderame especially loves being an athlete for Clayton Valley Charter because of the relationships she formed with people she met on her teams. “I was able to develop new relationships with people I would have oth-

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

Clayton Valley Charter wins two titles, local athletes earn all-league honors JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Clayton Valley Charter won Foothill Division championships in track and field and baseball this spring to cap off their first season as part of the new Diablo Athletic League 12-school super league. During the seasons of the 2016-17 school year CVCHS won eight DAL championships, matching the total titles of the other six former Diablo Valley Athletic League schools in the new league. Eagle teams also won the Foothill Division football title last fall and captured Valley Division team crowns in girls and boys cross country, girls tennis, girls water polo and boys basketball.


The CVCHS baseball championship team was honored when Kevin Snyder was named the Foothill Division most valuable player and workhorse James Biles the co-MVP pitcher with Josh Candau of Acalanes. Campolindo of Moraga had nine DAL championships or co-championships this school year to top all schools in the new league. Carondelet’s athletics program had a successful 2016-17 school year and won the East Bay Athletic League Ernie Berger All-Sports Award, which is presented to the EBAL institution that had the most successful athletic school year during league play. Carondelet collected 44.5 points in its 11 EBAL varsity sports, edging out second place Monte Vista by a half point. Highlighting the 2016-17 Carondelet athletic year were three EBAL championships. The Cougars’ first two titles came during the winter as soccer won its second straight EBAL title and basketball posted an unbeaten 13-0 record during league play, before winning the EBAL playoffs. That marked the eighth straight year the Cougars won the outright EBAL basketball title and the 10th straight time they have at

Photo courtesy Carondelet High School

Carondelet athletics program had a very successful 201617 school year and was recognizied for that success with the East Bay Athletic League Ernie Berger All-Sports Award. The Award is presented to the EBAL institution that had the most successful athletic school year during league play. Athletic Director Caitlin Lawson (second from left) was joined in the Cougars gym by, from left, Hannah Macauley (soccer), Ali Bamberger (water polo-basketball) and Kelly Kern (track and field). All three local athletes will be back for at least two more years on Cougar teams.

least shared the championship. The Carondelet track and field program closed out the school year with the program’s third league title by scoring 132 points in the EBAL Championships to collect their second straight league crown. Cougar teams had a runner up finish in golf and third-place results in cross country, water polo, swimming and diving and softball. De La Salle had another stellar athletic year as Spartan football, basketball, wrestling

and baseball teams all repeated as North Coast Section champions. DLS lacrosse also earned a NCS title banner. Clayton Valley Charter and Northgatex (Diablo Athletic League), Carondelet and De La Salle (East Bay Athletic League) all-league honorees: SWIMMING & DIVING

DAL Boys First Team-Zach Ledesma, Connor Seip, Andrew

See All-League, page 11

Page 9

Is the CavaliersWarriors Trilogy the best ever?

ica’s team. It was all about Believeland and Lebron James trying to end a city-wide drought that spanned a generation. Draymond Green become the player America loved to hate, with his ferocious style of play rubbing many people the wrong way. Cleveland came through with that elusive title after trailing in the series 3-1, winning in seven games that were more entertaining than the final scores would indicate. These past two matchups have brought many memorable moments. Curry drained threes like they were nothing. Lebron dominated in every facet of the game. Igoudala played outstanding defense. Draymond never took a minute off (except when the NBA forced him to). Kyrie Irving (when healthy) showed himself as a true superstar. The list goes on and on and on. Part III is like the two before it, in that it has yet another new storyline. Neither team is standing out as America’s favorite, at least not yet. Kevin Durant is the headline as the new kid on the block. He is going for his first ring. On the other hand, Curry and Thompson are trying to cement their legacy as the best sharp-shooting guard duo in NBA history. Lebron’s legacy is also at stake. He is attempting to get his fourth NBA title, which could put him in the conversation with Michael Jordan as the best of all time. Once again, the list could go on for a long time. Long story short, potentially seven more games between basketball’s (far and away) two best teams is must-see TV. That equates to about five and a half hours of basketball. While it might seem like a lot, I recommend to not miss a single minute. Because before you know it, a champion will be crowned, a parade will commence and you will have to wait 12 months for more drama.


There are many great trilogies in life, both in and out of sports. The Yankees of 1998-2000 were absolutely dominant. Ali v. Frazier gave the sport of boxing a nearly unmatchable peak. “The Hunger Games” trilogy sent parents and children alike running to the book store (or running to their computers). “Star Wars” and “Lord of the Rings” sent movie goers to the box office in hoards. But there is something different about this most recent trilogy-- the trilogy we are witnessing at this moment. It is a combination of all the legendary trilogies mentioned above. It has the dominance of the Yankees and the anticipation of Ali v. Frazier. It has the ability to be told in a story like “The Hunger Games” or shown in pictureperfect clips like “Star Wars” and “Lord of the Rings.” It goes by the name Cavs v. Warriors. This is the trilogy in our lifetime that our grandkids, their grandkids and maybe even their grandkids will reminisce about. In the last two NBA finals, there have been two completely different storylines in the eyes of America. Part I was all about the Warriors with their Baby Faced Assassin leading the way against Cleveland and Evil King James. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson (with help from NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala) led Golden State to their first title since 1975 by beating the Cavaliers in six games. Email any comments or quesPart II featured a new Amer- tions to

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Clayton Pioneer •

June 9, 2017


Clayton Valley inducts 2017 Hall of Fame class JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Just like the four induction ceremonies before it, Clayton Valley High School’s Hall of Fame ceremony last month celebrated the achievements of athletes, coaches and teams left their mark at the school over the past six decades. Even before the honorees were inducted into the Hall of Fame Steve Woodruff of the 1972 wrestling team led the audience in the CVHS School Song. Committee chairperson Herc Pardi said, “It was a great, spirited start of the program. The song  lyrics are printed in the back of the program but many knew by heart.” Pardi was delighted that eight members of the 1960 CVHS baseball team were on hand for their induction, 57 years after their last game. Besides all the athletes and teams, the Community Leadership award went to Matt and Michele Hill who spent 10 years running the school’s boys lacrosse program. The couple spent even more time away from the field, games and practices helping raise funds for the program. After they retired from CVHS lacrosse in 2014 they left the team with over $40,000 to provide the nonfunded sport with a base to continue for many years. Profiles on inductees not previously featured in Pioneer:

Jason Rogers

The fifth Clayton Valley High School Hall of Fame class was inducted last month. Athletes being honored, included from left, Doug Balough, Mike Emry, Ryan Salazar, Heather Wallace Bock, Sharon york and Katie Beck Vegvary.

and North Coast Section championships. Over his three years on the Eagles varsity he lost only seven matches, none to a league or NCS opponent. His 74 wins over those three years included those perfect records in league and Section competitions. As a sophomore he was part of the team that not only won the Diablo Valley Athletic League and NCS championships but placed second at the State Meet. Heather Wallace Bock (1996, track and cross country): She earned seven varsity letters running for the Eagles going to the State cross country meet four times as part of legendary CVHS teams that won team championship her junior year and taking second when she was a sophomore and senior. Individually, she was 30th at State as a freshman, then third, fifth and fourth in the next three years. She was even more successful in NCS where she was two-time winDoug Balough (Class of 1969, ner of the Meet of Champions while wrestling): He is the only Clayton Val- her team won three successive chamley wrestler to ever win three league pionships. She capped her high

Sports Shorts


The Red Devil Golf Committee is holding its 22nd annual Red Devils Golf Classic on Friday, June 23, at Diablo Creek Golf Course in Concord. Proceeds help athletic and academic programs at Mt. Diablo High School. Registration starts at 11 a.m. followed by lunch, 1 p.m. shotgun start, dinner and raffle/silent auction. For more information contact Lou Adamo (212-9332 or or Ralph Vallis (825-7593 or


Competitive soccer club Diablo FC and the family of Jenna Betti have announced a “camp like no other” for July 10-14. Participating local college athletes and aspiring college athletes have prepared a fun-filled and developmentally-packed week of soccer aimed at boys and girls ages 7-15. Each day will emphasize the technical framework of soccer. The half-day sessions are at Hidden Lakes Field in Martinez on brand new turf field. The camp is geared toward local players in a variety of age and skill levels. For questions email or phone 4083683. Visit for details.


school career as the school’s athlete of the year and a Top 100 Bay Area Athlete. Wallace won the 1996 CIF Female Scholar-Athlete of the year award. Mike Emry (1974, cross country, track and field): He set school records on the track as well as winning league and NCS championships and helping is cross country team to a second-place finish in NCS his sophomore season. Emry won DVAL cross country and track championships his senior year that climaxed with a State Meet appearance in the mile as a senior. Like Wallace, he still holds the school record in the 3200. He set the school one-mile record as a freshman and had dropped the mark by 26 when he graduated. Emry was first team AllEast Bay and send team all-NorCal cross country as a senior when he won league. He was co-athlete of the year as a senior in 1974. Lealand Rowland (1987, tennis, football, soccer): The 1987 CVHS athlete of the year was a three-sport standout. His Eagles football teams

were first or second in DVAL as he was the first team all-league placekicker two years and first team all-East Bay, Bay Area and State as a senior. He set school records for longest field goal (45 years) and most career FGs (17) as his teams went deep in the NCS playoffs. His final high school football game was in the Contra Costa-Alameda all-star game. He was league tennis singles runner-up as a senior and winning DVAL #3 singles as a junior. He was all-tournament at Bishop O’Dowd as a senior soccer player and was unanimous all-league choice and team MVP. Katie Beck Vegvary (1995, volleyball, softball, swimming, track, water polo): She earned six varsity letters and did that in an incredible five different sports. The versatile athlete competed in track and field only as a senior and was able to win the league and NCS discus championship and took seventh at State. Water polo was the only sport where she took two varsity letters and as a senior set school records in goals scored and ejections

drawn in a season, marks that still stand. She was MVP of the NorCal tournament and third team all-America. She as the schools 1995 athlete of the year and also earned numerous NCS distinguished scholar athlete wards. She was on the 1996 USA Pan American water polo team. Coach Dennis Bledsoe (aquatics): “The Godfather” of the school’s aquatics program has been a fixture at CVHS for over 50 years, interrupted only for a year at his alma mater, Fresno State, and then coaching water polo at Cal with the legendary Pete Cutino. He was responsible for building “from the bottom up” the Eagles girl’s swimming program as well as the boys and girls water polo teams. The

Kim Lackey nets another national tennis title Kim Lackey of Clayton and her partner Pam Cooke of Alamo won the USTA National Women’s 55s Doubles Clay Court Championship in Houston. They also reached the finals before falling in Women’s 45s doubles. Lackey currently plays out of the Berkeley Tennis Club. Cooke and Lackey were ranked No. 1 in the nation in Women’s 55s Doubles in 2015 but last year Cooke took a break from playing national tournaments to help plan her daughter’s wedding. This year, seeded at No.

4 in the Women’s 55s doubles draw, the pair beat the No. 5 seeds in the semifinals before overcoming second seeded Una Davis and Tracey Thompson of La Jolla to claim the title 6-4, 64.


Head coach Eric Bamberger and his Clayton Valley Charter High School coaches and players are offering three Ugly Eagles Basketball Camps this month for boys and girls. The sessions for incoming second through eighth graders are June 12-16, June 19-23 and June 26-30. Sessions run from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. with the gym open an hour before and after the formal camp for pickup play. The camp includes offensive and defensive instruction and games. For more information and to register contact coach Bamberger by phone (925) 726-9999 or email

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See Fame, page 11

of instruction in the fundamentals of hitting, throwing, fielding, DE LA SALLE HIGH SPORTS CAMPS catch play and other aspects of the game. Summer baseball OFFERED ALL SUMMER school sessions will be held at the school starting next week: De La Salle High School will host athletic camps for ChamJune 12-15, June 19-22 and June 26-29. Each daily session runs pionship Football Camp, basketball, track and field, lacrosse, 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. To reserve a baseball school spot or to get wrestling, volleyball, baseball, water polo, swimming, soccer, more information email rugby and strength and conditioning. The camps are open to boys and girls incoming from kindergarten to ninth grades. For DIABLO FC OFFERING PLAYER EVALUATIONS complete information call 288-8100 ext. 7090 or email summerFormal tryouts for Diablo FC under 8 through U19 compet- Registration is open now at (athletic itive teams (birth years 1999-2011) have concluded but coaches tab). are still holding player evaluations. Visit to get more information and signup for the appropriate age group evaluaCONCORD COBRAS FOOTBALL tion. SIGNUPS NOW TAKEN ONLINE Concord Cobras tackle football program is taking signups DEMOLITION CREW CHAMPS AGAIN for its fall season online. The football program is open for OF CLAYTON COED VOLLEYBALL youth five to 14 years of age. For more info email concordClayton’s early spring adult coed 5’s volleyball league champi- or visit onship went to DC…demolition crew. The team includes Sergio Esquerre, Rodolfo Duran-Chavez, Kim Buck, Sandra Bohn, Jose REGISTRATION OPEN FOR Torres, John Porcella and John Jatoft. Runnersup were Spike ALL OUT SPORTS LEAGUES PROGRAMS Lightning with Crush finishing in third place of the All Out Summer programs for youth basketball and volleyball offered Sports League program at Clayton Community Gym. by All Out Sports Leagues in Clayton are taking registration online. For complete information on All Out Sports programs, MDSA REGULAR FALL REGISTRATION ENDS JUNE 18 visit Boys and girls 4-18 years of age wanting to play in Mt. Diablo Soccer Association fall league can register for guaranteed placeCLAYTON VALLEY JR. EAGLES CHEER, ment until Sunday, June 18. After that date fees increase by $40 FOOTBALL SIGNUPS ONLINE per player. Fall league play begins in August when all registration Clayton Valley Jr. Eagles football program is open to players closes. Families are requested to sign up for volunteer duties to 7-14 years of age. Cheer programs begin for five-year-olds help the organization offer its AYSO program. For complete through 14. Visit for more info and to register. information visit

Concord High School is looking for 2017-18 varsity girls tennis, JV girls water polo, varsity boys water polo, varsity girls basketball and varsity boys tennis coaches. Send resume and referCLAYTON VALLEY FOOTBALL CAMP NEXT WEEK ences to AD Megan Coddington at Two-time State championship finalist and Northern CaliforStipends available. Coaching requirements include MDUSD Fin- nia Bowl winner Clayton Valley Charter High School hosts its gerprints, Current TB test, First Aid/CPR, Sudden Cardiac Future Champions Youth Football Non-Contact Camp next Arrest and Concussion certification through NFHS. week, June 12-15, from 5-8 p.m. at Gonsalves Stadium on the Concord school campus for players in second through eighth 3 BASEBALL CAMP SESSIONS grades. Camp Director Michael Dominquez and Eagles head AT CLAYTON VALLEY THIS MONTH coach Tim Murphy explain that the camp has individual and Clayton Valley Charter High School coach Casey Coakley has group instruction (including safer blocking and tackling techput together a staff of current CVCHS coaches and players as nique) and team competition with fundamentals and techniques well as Eagle alumni to provide baseball instruction to young- of football taught by the CVCHS staff. To register, email sters 5-12 years of age. The summer baseball camp will consist or visit

35 years Clayton/ Concord resident

list of league champions and NCS teams and athletes is too numerous to mention. He’s had swimmers earn allAmerica designations and is one of three coaches from the school to be named NCS Honor Coach of the Year (water polo 2003), the highest honor bestowed by the Section. He was also 2007 MDUSD Coach of the Year. 1960 Baseball: The second varsity season for CVHS baseball was special as the team won the DVAL championship. Coach Vic Petreshene had only one senior in the starting lineup and three sophomores manned infield positions. CVHS won its last seven games for a 13-2 league and 16-3

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June 9, 2017

Easley property rooted in history Clayton Pioneer •



The area we know today as Easley Estates and the Easley Ranch was once the site of Mt. Diablo Winery, the largest winery in Contra Costa County in the early 1900s. Philip Morshead first planted grapes in 1878 with his next door neighbor Ernest F. Kohler, who had been a distiller in Germany. Both men sold their land just four years later to Jacob Levi, a San Francisco wholesale grocer and importer. Levi organized the Mt. Diablo Vineyard Company. By 1888, the land was under the management of San Francisco jeweler Moses Samuel. That year, 100 acres were recorded planted in Mission, Chasselas and Riesling grapes used in the production of sherries, brandies and sweet dessert wines. In the Daily Alta California newspaper, a Nov. 24, 1890, article reported the Mt. Diablo Vineyard Company’s winery and distillery in Clayton were seized by the deputy Internal Revenue collector for “illicit distilling.” “The Company will be put to considerable expense before

they get through with the Government, as the fine will be several thousand dollars, besides the duty on the brandy,” the paper said. It is not known how this unfortunate event ended, but the grape growing continued. A reporter for the Contra Costa News wrote about a visit to the winery in 1897, naming the varieties of grapes being grown as “Sauvignon Vert, Sauterne, Haut Sauterne, Riesling, Cabernet, and, in fact, nearly every kind of wine known to the trade.” He went on to say: “Both sides of the driveway are lined with trees – walnut, olive, orange, lemon, fig, cherry, peach, plum and other varieties of fruit … the summer cottage of Mr. Samuel stands overlooking the entire place.” Also mentioned is the threestory “splendid” stone winery with a capacity of 400,000 gallons of cooperage that had been built under Levi’s direc-

Concord won the 201012-13 Section titles before Alhambra ran off with the last three Division II crowns. Alhambra was reclassified to D-I this season opening the door for Concord to get back to the top rung. CVCHS Eagles were blanked by James Logan in the first round of NCS D-I. Logan went all the way to the finals before losing. Carondelet defeated Northgate 7-6 in their NCS opener before losing to Concord 2-1 in the quarterfinals, the Minutemen’s closest game of the playoffs. Berean Christian upheld its No. 1 seed in D-V, earning the Eagles a NCS championship banner. Boys Volleyball- Amador Valley continued an undefeated season with a four-set win over No. 2 seed De La Salle in the NCS D-I championship. De La Salle won three consecutive three-set matches. The semi-finals were an all-EBAL affair. The No. 5 Spartans started the NorCal tournament this week against Roseville. Track & Field- Local schools Clayton Valley Charter and Carondelet had a lot of success this spring. The Cougars and Spartans won the Tri-Valley NCS meets on the girls and boys sides, respectively. Leading the way this spring as record setters have been Mikayla Scott of Carondelet in the sprints and Jeff Williams in the weight events, each racking up records and top NCS marks at their respective schools. Williams concluded his year with a fourth-place fin-

ish in the discus at the CIF State Meet last weekend as Pittsburg Iffy Joyner surprised the field with a championship throw of 203-8. Williams had defeated Joyner at the Tri-Valley and NCS Meet of Champions. Scott qualified for State in the two sprints and two relays for the Cougars. Her relay team with Mia Avila, Hanna Coloma and Ariel Coats took fifth at State. Scott was 10th in both her sprint races missing the finals by one place in each. Clayton Valley Charter sophomore Daylon Hicks was second at the NCS TriValley meet, third at NCS Meet of Champions and fifth at State in the high jump with a 6-5 effort. Carondelet freshman Kelly Kern set a new EBAL meet pole vault record with a mark of 12 feet, two inches below her season best that is No. 1 in NCS. The previous record holder was none other than her sister Katie Kern at 11-2. Kelly Kern was third a the MOC and finished 15 that State as the only freshman in the PV field. CVCHS’s junior Aidan Jackman is second in the 110 and 300 hurdles and fourth in the high jump, just below coleader and teammate Daylon Hicks. Clayton Valley Charter boys won the triple crown of DAL, NCS Tri-Valley and NCS MOC leading up to State. The Eagles had both boys relays, Aidan Jackman in 110 hurdles, Anthony Lowe in 400 meters, Cameron Reynolds in 200, Williams and Hicks all qualify for State meet.

Contributed photo


NCS, from page 8

Fame, from page 10

overall record. They defeated East Bay Division champ Alhambra 6-2. This was only the second year of varsity baseball at Clayton Valley, which opened in 1958. 1972 Wrestling: Even though the team lost a pair of DVAL dual matches (each by two points) the Eagles of coaches Glen Scrimger (varsity) and Bill Nelson (JVs) rallied to take the league tournament and then “shocked” the Bay Area by winning the NCS championships by 19 points over

#1 ranked Del Valle. Jerry Hatch won gold, Gil Martinez silver and Steve Kikuchi bronze at NCS. At State, Hatch was silver medalist and CVHS was 15th. 1978 Softball: Larry Fogelstrom had taken over the Eagles softball program as the hand-picked successor to Dee Billeter in 1977. His first team won league and advanced to the NCS-sanctioned Acalanes Tournament. In 1978 NCS sanctioned a true Section softball championship and the

tion. You can glimpse this building today through the tall board fence as you walk along the trail that runs east of the Easley Ranch. Note the tan sandstone and other similarities of the structure to our City Hall, the former DeMartini winery building (1885) – suggesting the two may have been built by the same stonemasons around the same time. Samuel expanded the vineyard from 100 to 600 acres,

making it the largest in the county. In 1902, more than 800 tons of grapes were crushed, and the wine business was booming. The Mt. Diablo Vineyard Company won a gold medal for its wine at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. Italian Swiss Colony bought the “famous Mt. Diablo Vineyard” in 1911and sold it in 1919, when the grape mite Phylloxera vastatrix and Prohibition had wreaked havoc on the wine

Vietnam Vet, from page 1 the Vietnam era soldier had a tougher time ‘repatriating,’ as it were,” explains DeVenney. “World War II soldiers and sailors and service men and women were welcomed home with tickertape parades and the thanks of a grateful nation and all of that. … I literally was spit at.” Soon DeVenney decided to hide his veteran status from the rest of the world to avoid facing indifference and animosity Vietnam veterans had come to expect from their countrymen. “We were not heroes,” DeVenney says, “and we were the first generation to have lost a war, and so everybody wanted to just get us out of sight.” At first, DeVenney was aimless, finding it hard to readjust to civilian life. But his college counselor encouraged him to once again pick up his dream of becoming an actor, and for 25 years his acting career was suc-

cessful. He was never out of work, acting in industrial videos during the day and performing in the theater at night. DeVenney had parts in movies and television, including the fourth “Star Trek” movie and TV’s “Evening Magazine,” as well as dozens of commercials for companies such as McDonald’s, General Electric and Activision.

JOINING THE VFW DeVenney did not join the VFW until many years after the war. Because of the negative perception of Vietnam veterans, DeVenney was at first refused membership. But years later, at the constant encouragement of friends, he finally felt ready to try again. “One day I said, ‘It’s time to embrace this part of my life that I’ve never been able to really embrace before,’” DeVenney explains.

All-league, from page 9 Rodriguez, Alex Litvinov (Northgate). Honorable Mention-Cal Brown (Clayton Valley Charter). EBAL Boys De La Salle First Team-Jackson Gabler, Daniel O’Connell. DAL Girls Second Team- Bryn McGowan. Honorable Mention- Taylor Cossu, Emma Smethurst, Becca Proctor, Carlie Polkinghorn (NG). EBAL Girls Carondelet Second Team-Courtney Klausen. Honorable Mention- Holly Williams, Sarah Hamilton, Delaney Sprague.


DAL Foothill Second TeamJacob Ricafrente (NG). Honorable Mention-Grant Sanberg (NG). Valley First Team-Daniel Schaefer (CVC). Second Team- Jake Benton (CVC). Honorable Mention- Liam Mason (CVC). EBAL De La Salle First TeamJack Gardner, Brendan Hopkins.


DAL Second Team-Leonard Markiewiczch (NG). Honorable Mention-Donovan Hunter (CVC), Noah Zahasia (NG).

industry. Local farmers ripped out vineyards and planted more profitable crops, mostly almonds and walnuts. The land had several more owners until 1941, when W.H. Easley, who founded a regional 7-Up Bottling Co., bought the property and added an airstrip he used to fly between Clayton and San Francisco on business. He produced a limited amount of wine for a few years, and the stone winery building was


He slowly became more involved with the VFW and today is a service officer and trustee for VFW Post 1525. The VFW is the largest veteran service organization in the country, and is dedicated to supporting veterans through a multitude of services from donations and lobbying for laws to promoting patriotism in the community. DeVenney co-runs the post’s youth program and helps veterans in need by facilitating paper work and finding housing or monetary assistance. He has also

Fouts, Kelley Murphy, Mia Avila.


EBAL Second Team – Danny DAL Foothill Second TeamNomura. Jason Rupert (NG). Honorable Mention- Miks Ramanis (NG). ValTRACK & FIELD ley First Team- Chris Neeley, DAL Foothill Boys First Team FrankStringer (CVC). Second Team – Brandon Abon, Aidan Jackman, – Levi Hanson, Ken Guan (CVC). Cameron Reynolds, Jeff Williams, Honorable Mention – Joe Nelson Anthony Lowe, Javier Balderamos, (CVC). James Ward, Justin Lowe (CVC). EBAL De La Salle First TeamSecond Team- Jack Fouts, Dayton Jack Klapperich, Matt Grywczynski. Hicks, Anthony Lowe (CVC). Honor- Second Team-Christian Bermudez, able Mention – Peter Michiels, Carter Stone. William Sornberger (NG). EBAL Boys De La Salle First BASEBALL Team-Isaias De Leon, 4x100 Relay. DAL Foothill MVP- Snyder Second Team – Tre White, Evan (CVC). Co-MVP Pitcher – Biles Lonestar. Honorable Mention- (CVC). First Team- Bill Ralston, Peter McMahon, 4x400 relay. Doug Bermudez, Matt Freeman DAL Girls Second Team- Sofia (CVC), Chris Rogan, Nico Zeglin Villa, Jessica Ogu, Katie Rangel, (NG). Second Team – Justin Roper, Jade Davis (CVC), Amy Christensen Milan Mijanovic, Chad Treppa (NG). Honorable Mention – Bella (CVC), Kevin Clancy, Nick Krauth Kelly, Gabby Anderson, Ryan Mor- (NG). Honorable Mention – Mitch ris, Sara Wheeler, Nichole Hofer, Vince Lentz (CVC), Ryan Markiewicz, Julia Hagedon (NG). Graham, Alec Skyhawk (NG). EBAL Girls Carondelet First EBAL De La Salle MVP PitchTeam- Mikayla Scott, Kelly Kern, er-Cullen Kafka. First Team- Ryan Hanna Colomba, 4x100 Relay, Cole, Trace Tammro, Khalid John4x400 Relay. Second Team- Ariya son. Second Team- Gabe Giosso, Chestnut-Lockett, Haley Chimienti. Gio Mijares. Honorable MentionHonorable Mention- Kiersten Austin Elder.

Athletes, from page 8

Senior Athlete of the Year: Michaela VanderKlugt was a starter for Carondelet basketball that posted a 28-5 overall record. The second team All-EBAL selection helped the Cougars win the EBAL and NCS Division I girls basketball championships as they advanced to the

CIF NorCal Open Division State playoffs. In her three years on the varsity basketball team, she helped the Cougars post a perfect 54-0 record against EBAL opponents. As a member of the softball team, she helped the Cougars advance to three NCS tournament appearances,

Eagles won 10 straight DVAL games for a 14-2 championship record and victory over College Park in the title game. The team defeated three straight league champs to reach the first-ever NCS finals before falling in the finale. 1994 Girls Swimming: In 1993 CVHS girls lost the North Coast Section team championship by one point. A year later coach Tom Sparks and assistant Bledsoe left no doubt as they were 84 points ahead of runner-up Northgate at NCS. Freshman Kasey Harris won two events while the Eagles 400 free and 200 medley relay

teams won NCS titles. The team still holds four individual records and three school relay marks. The team posted 16 all-America times. 1994 Girls Water Polo: Head coach Dave Borland said the 1994 water polo team was “loaded with outstanding athletes.” The team won 21 matches, a school mark tied twice since. The Eagles won the regular season and Mountain Bay Athletic League tournament championships. The lost by one goal to Carondelet in the NCS-sanctioned North Bay/East Bay championship game.

including a second round finish this season. During her time at Carondelet, she was a three-year varsity letter winner in basketball and two-year letter winner in softball. Scholar Athlete of the Year: Olivia Pereira Olivia Pereira was a team captain for the 2017 Carondelet lacrosse team and started at defender every game during her senior season. She was a key contributor in helping the Cougars post a pair of victories over nationally-ranked opponents this past season. Olivia was also an outstanding student, posting a 4.24 cumulative grade point average during her four years and was a 2017 Carondelet valedictorian candidate. DE LA SALLE Athlete of the Year: Jonathan Hackett of Clayton played three sports this year. In football, he rushed for over 500 yards and scored six touchdowns, earning honorable mention all-EBAL. He

Page 11

used for his bottling business. The Easleys own the property today. The ranch bunkhouse continues to be the site of many Clayton community gatherings, thanks to their generosity.

Debbie Eistetter is membership chair of the Clayton Historical Society. For more information or to become a member, visit The Clayton Museum is open 2-4 p.m. Wednesdays and Sundays at 6101 Main St. Admission is free. begun taking a more active role in VFW events by helping to organize them and acting as emcee, as he did this past Memorial Day in Clayton. DeVenney feels that joining the VFW has been a very rewarding experience. “It was the first time I felt welcomed home.” DeVenney has lived in Clayton for 33 years with Linda, his wife of 45 years. They have a son, Lance, who is the production manager for Fifty Licks Ice Cream in Portland, Ore. DeVenney is a beloved substitute teacher at El Monte Elementary in Concord, a Boy Scout leader and a bass vocalist in the Devil Mountain Chorus. For more about the VFW, visit Carina Romano is serving a summer internship with the Pioneer. She attends Dominican College in San Rafael, is a Clayton resident and plans on a career in publishing.


DAL Foothill First Team- Morgan Batesole (NG), Nikki Mason (CVC). Second Team – Tammy Mason, Sophie Wheeler (CVC), Hannah Brajkovich, Haley Randall (NG). Honorable Mention – Lucy Decker, Lauren Simitz (NG), Leilani Mestas, Lauren Friedman, Jordyn Williams (CVC). EBAL Carondelet First TeamSophia Earle, Emma McGlaughlin. Second Team-Gabrielle Williams. Honorable Mention-Alexandria Schwenger, Keleva Salt.


DAL Boys: First Team-Dakota Harman, Cole Carbone, Torin Neal (CVC). Honorable Mention-Jack Morse, James Essex, Ryan Alimagno (CVC), Zach Lentz, Nick Kellum (NG). EBAL Boys De La Salle First Team-Sean Rigley. Second TeamJohn Burke, Johny Coletta, Michael Babousek. Honorable MentionTrey Akabane, Caden Kol. DAL Girls: Honorable Mention- Annie Iskin (CVC), Allison Wade, Rachel Easton (NG).

helped the Spartans return to the State championship game after winning another NCS title. In wrestling he was 29-6 including 6-0 at The Clash and 3-0 NCS Section Dual Championships. He was the EBAL and NCS champion at 170 pounds. Reaching the State meet he won four of six matches and was one victory away from placing. Completing his senior year this spring Hackett was a major contributor for the DLS rugby team NORTHGATE Female Athlete of the Year: Carlie Polkinghorn The senior aquatics athlete earned allDiablo Athletic League honors in both water polo and swimming. Her Broncos 200 freestyle relay was fifth at NCS. Male Athlete of the Year: Sean Garrigan As a senior linebacker he earned first-team allDAL Valley division honors and helped the Broncos to the NCS playoffs.

Page 12


Clayton Pioneer •

Hannah Jane Kommer

I am so proud of your accomplishments in high school, especially your senior year! I love the way you carry yourself and your smile. I love the twinkle in your eye and your angel kisses. I am proud to be your Nanna.

Carol Longshore

Jordan Aszklar

You have only given us reasons to hold our heads up in pride. We are so lucky to have you in our life and can’t wait to see what your future holds. Hit one out of the park . . . we know you can! Don’t ever forget how much you’re loved! Congratulations! Love, Mom & Dad

Vincent Del Monte

Congratulations on an amazing 4 years. You inspire and are loved by so many. We can't wait for you to begin your journey at Chapman. Life is just beginning! Love, Moo, Dad, & Dominic

Jonathon Hackett

Dear Jonathon, We're very proud of the fine, young man you've become. You're a man of faith, loyalty, passion, self-discipline and understanding. These values will help you achieve anything you desire. Congratulations! We love you, Dad, Mom and Lance

Appreciating the transition to upperclassman




ing myself later. This is when the feeling of graduation being too far away hit me. Just three days earlier, two years felt like nothing. But now, they felt like 200. This stemmed from a place of stress and worry over all the things I had to do, but it was a legitimate emotion that I am sure many of my fellow sophomores were feeling as well. Sophomore year, and the transition into becoming an upperclassman, brings much more responsibility: a driver’s license, a job and advanced classes, among others. But it also gives us the opportunity to have these new responsibilities and experiences in a place and a time that we are safe. If I mess up at my first job, it will be a learning experience. If I fail one test in Honors chemistry, my life will not be forever altered. I urge students to take advantage of this time. Transitioning to an upperclassmen is a big change, and although there are times that it feels much too far away, the day will come that we will be at our second freshmen orientation. Enjoy it all now, while we can.

The end of sophomore year gives tenth-graders two contradicting emotions: feeling as if graduation is too far away while also feeling that it is very close. As a domino effect, this can lead to a lack of motivation or a surge of excitement for the future that propels you through finals. As a sophomore, I experienced moments of both of these feelings. After saying goodbye to the seniors of the Public Service Academy at Clayton Valley Charter High School, I felt that it was all too close. In two shorts years, that will be my PSA class receiving our graduation stoles and attending our final PSA picnic. Sydney Skow is a sophomore at My classmates felt it, too. CVCHS. Email her at Student president of PSA Caitlin O’Leary gave a short speech about her time in the academy. She advised us not to let the time slip away too quickly because we will be in her same position soon. Grabbing my closest friends’ hands around me, I wished for time to slow down for a just a bit to allow us to enjoy every moment that we have together. But that feeling quickly slipped away three days later. My to-do list of studying was mocking me the moment I woke up on Sunday morning. I had the entire day and the next day to prepare for finals. I had one project to complete and five tests headed my way. If I DAViD LinzEy didn’t do just a bit of work ahead of time, I would be kick- VOYAGE OF THE EAGLE

June 9, 2017

Nominated by their peers, Altair winners receive CVCHS highest honors The Altairs – Scholarship, Service, Leadership and Grand Altair – are the highest award a student at Clayton Valley Charter High School can achieve. Members of the senior class select Altairs, with the final vote made by a committee of student leaders and teaching staff. For the Scholarship Altair, a committee reviews the transcripts of the top six seniors. Judging is determined not only by the grades, but the difficulty of courses taken. Alyssa Liu possesses a UC/CSU GPA of 4.57 and an academically adjusted GPA of 4.49. During her four years at CVCHS, Alyssa took four Honors classes and eight Advanced Placement courses while participating in a traveling soccer club. Teachers note that Alyssa stands out for being poised and mature. She is always curious and responsible.

Contributed photo

From left: Michael Cox, Kimberly Svoboda, yennifer Molina and Alyssa Liu were named CVCHS Altairs, the school’s highest honor.

The Service Altair is awarded to the student who best exemplifies the virtue of selfless giving, both to the

Fischer awarded wrestling scholarship

school and the community. Peers say Yennifer Molina has an unwavering passion for helping others and a dedication to promoting a strong sense of civic duty on campus. She has volunteered for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, spends Thanksgiving bringing food to the homeless,

teaches Sunday Bible school, is a 5th-grade camp counselor and helps run blood drives. Yennifer is the senior class president and Mock Trial president. For Leadership Altair, the deserving student possesses

See Altairs, page 13

Ten chosen for CBCA scholarships

Ryan Fischer with wrestling coach Kyle Behmlander at the CVCHS Senior Awards night.

Ryan Fischer is this year’s recipient of the Pete Laurence wrestling scholarship. Fischer is a dedicated wrestler as well as being a stand-out on the Clayton Valley Charter High School Football Team. He has wrestled all four years, placing 2nd and 3rd at the state NCS tournaments. Before that, he placed 3rd at nationals in Greco Roman freestyle competition. The team respects him as a hard-worker who strives to be

the best athlete, student and teammate that he can possibly be. He is carrying a 3.64 GPA. Fischer plans to wrestle at Boise State, where he intends to become a physician’s assistant and work in an ER. Wrestling has taught him to persevere, to lead others and to push himself as hard as he can. He agrees with Olympic great Dan Gable that “Once you have wrestled, everything else in life is easy.”

Tamara Steiner/Clayton Pioneer

Competition was tight this year for the Clayton Business and Community Association scholarships. From 29 applicants, 10 were chosen for a $2500 scholarship each. nine were CVCHS seniors. Standing: Melissa olson, Sierra Bruni, Bryden Connel, Genevieve Mansell, Alison Mitchell. Seated: Kathryn zuercher, Sara Verderame, Molly Fitzsimmons, Caitlin o’Leary. not pictured, Catherine Lopez, Carondelet High senior.

Reflections on middle school are enlightening



I have many great memories of my middle school years. I made a lot of new friends, became closer to old friends and met a lot of great teachers. I also learned a few lessons. My first year of middle school was an emotional rollercoaster. I didn’t have any strong friendships, and it was a huge struggle to figure out where I belonged. Being shy, I find it hard to make friends and connect with people. One friend is very social, and it influenced me quite a bit. I

spent a lot of time wishing that I could be more like that, so I tried to push myself to be friends with everyone. It was hard. When the end of the year came, I was relieved and happy. I felt like I could really breathe. I didn’t feel so self-conscious. Seventh grade was the most eventful year. It was pure chaos. I really don’t remember much because it went by so fast. It was a lot easier emotionally, but a lot harder academically. I struggled in math, but I created some lasting friendships that have shaped

me and gave me confidence about the kind of person I am. Still, I spent a lot of time worrying whether my clothes were “cool” or if I had to be involved in something social all of the time to feel worthy. Eighth grade has been different. When I started writing this column, I couldn’t think of a topic. And I realized that eighth grade has been uneventful in the sense that I am less worried about what others think of me.

See Reflections, pg 13

Recapping this year’s achievements at CVCHS

Another amazing year is any high school in California received by members of the You can see why I am so completed, and the students – three years of math, three graduating class. proud of our charter school. I once again have proven to be years of lab science, 230 • Recipient of the state Depart- commend the staff, students “first-class citizens with a worldcredits. ment of Education’s 2017 and parents for providing a class education.” • A 99 percent college admisGold Ribbon School Award, great learning environment. I The vision of Clayton Valley sion rate, with 42 percent of one of 15 charter schools in also thank our governing Charter High School has truly graduating seniors attending California with this honor. board, school administration, become a reality. Here are some a four-year university. • Recipient of the National tremendous teachers and staff of our accomplishments: • A 96 percent daily school Model School Award, one of for going above and beyond attendance rate, which is a the most prestigious and chal- every day to ensure we offer a • A 99 percent graduation rate testament to our great lenging awards presented by dynamic education that leads with the most challenging parental support. the International Center for graduation requirements of • $1.3 million in scholarships Leadership in Education. See CVCHS, page 13

June 9, 2017

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 13

Congratulations CVCHS 2017 Graduates

Edrees Abdiani Brandon Abon Viviana Aceves Ochoa Laurel Adams Michael Adams Samantha Adams Tyler Adams Michael Adkisson Miya Adolphson Troy Agers Alfredo Aguirre Angelo Aguirre Mikayla Alcock Andra Alday Ana Aleman Cordova Usmaan Alloo Laura Almeida Jackson Altizer Davianna Alvarado Alejandro Alvarez Coco Cherelle Alvarez Patricia Camille Ancheta Anthony Andrews Emmy Andrews Dalia Anwar Nazanena Arghandiwal Jenna Armstrong Issac Arriaga Torres Jaylyn Arviola Yusuf Asalati Jordan Aszklar Starr Aven Fatema Azam Russell Azucenas Alisha Badhan Nargis Bahaduri Nooria Bahaduri Javier Balderramos Celene Balido Ricardo Barba II Evan Barney Elias Barrios Jaime Basurto Ryan Bean Nicholas Becker Edlira Bekiri Jake Benton Karma Bergstad Samantha Berkson Jeffrey Bermudez Mauricio Bermudez Maya Berry Cameron Bertolini Sahrish Bhatti James Biles Branden Bizicki Tyler Black Cecilia Blanco Taylor Borges Aisha Boudiz Chase Boustead Thomas Bradley Kyle Branco Cameron Brandt Ethan Brick Shawn Broussard Alani Brown Sierra Bruni Amina Bryant Kellianne Bryant Megan Brys Talia Bullock Krystal Burney Samantha Bush Joseph Butler Kaeli Calica Connor Calimlim Kaithleen Calitis Carely Campechano Kelly Campos Mitchell Campos Cole Carbone Christopher Cardoso Kylie Carlson

Ashley Castellanos Angel Castro Josiah Marion Castro Blake Cathcart Kayla Caton Michael Caulder Lucia Chang Chirinos Janelle Chapman Jessica Chapman Joshua Chapman Darla Chavez Chavez Morgan Christensen Elisha Ciccone Alana Clement Cameron Cohen Connor Collins Luke Jamie Columna Michael Combs Clayton Comfort Sarah Condon Bryden Connel Jericho Cook Dalton Cooney Lauren Cooper Michael Cox Adam Craig Haley Crookes Bianca Cruz Andrew Cummings Faith Cunha Amber Curley Isis Curtis Christopher Da Silveira Eva Daher Shadi Daher Eric Danielsen Lauren Danielsen Haley Darr Jade Davis Sabrina Davis Reyna De Avila Andy Gamaliel De Lira Carolyn Anne De Los Reyes Joelle DeBeaumont Ashley DeHart Sebastian Deisieh Kaeli Delmar Kristen DeLong Nicole DeLong Mitzi Diaz Ryan Dickson Zachary Dickson Miriam Diego Gutierrez Erin Dietrich Julia Dimech Eric Dionne Hellen Do Tiffany Doldol Adrian Dolo Emma Donley Madison Downs Maya Dromlewicz Angelica Rose Dudley Kelly Dugan Allyson Dulude Deiondre Durham Summer Edwards Myenna Ehsan Naomi Emoto Mariya Erlikh Marissa Espinosa Alexis Espitia Andrew Evans Max Farrell Emma Felt Maike Ferrier Sarah Fine Ryan Fischer Molly Fitzsimmons Trevor Fletcher Alexis Flores Angel Flores Sharlene Flores Aaron Fonseca

Jack Fouts Athena Franklin Matthew Freeman Michael Fregosi Angela Freitag Mathew Fryer Jose Gallardo Gonzalez Melody Galliano Francesca Gamba Viviana Garcia Adriana Gauthier Gianna Ghirardo Kiley Gibson Emma Giomi Grace Gius Natalie Goldeen Briana Gomez Angel Gonzalez Angeles Gonzalez Byron Gonzalez Elba Gonzalez Luis Gonzalez Zobair Gowhary Nicholas Grant Kaylee Grossi Alissa Guevara Cuhatemoc Gutierrez Cameryn Guzman Faisal Hakimi Colton Haley Payton Hall Henna Hamidi Andrew Hamilton Brittany Harrison Zakariya Hattab Jordan Hennessee Melissa Henriquez Elizabeth Hernandez Carreto Daniel Isaac Hernandez Eliana Hernandez Taylor Heuerman Hannah Hitchen Tori Hofstein Michael Hopfner Francesca Horna-Adaui Drew Hotovec Valeria Huaco Rebaza Donovan Hunter Bridget Hyland Zachary Ibalio Meguen Ibanez Zavala David Ibrahim Germeen Ibrahim Yanni Indindoli Wilfredo Iparraguirre Anne Iskin Madison Jackett Aiyanna Jackson Austin Jackson Ailin Jacobo Gonzalez Anthony Jajeh Taylor James Melanie Jauregui Matthew Jin Brian Joaquin Collin Johnson Mariana Jones Sarah Jones Sierra Jones-Ross Duncan Jue Khalid Kakar Thomas Kauffman Zareen Kayoumi Layla Keshavarz Fard Brandon Kidd Kyler King Victoria Klock Hannah Kommer Nikita Korolev Kyle Kortes Morgan Kreamer Kasey Kreske Jake Lagrave Mira Laiho

Akeal Lalaind Rito Larson-Ramirez Wyatt LeClaire Cathy Ledesma Sydney Lee Vincent Lehman Stephanie Leighton Elizabeth Leist Cynthia Lepe Sarena Letts Sarah Levine Nicholas Lilly Alyssa Liu Gilbert Llacuna III Shane Lobsinger Dylan Lofgren Logan Longmuir Nathan Longmuir Vincent Lontz McKenzie Lopes Adrian Lopez Vanegas Miranda Lopez Trevor Loria Daija Lovejoy Anthony Lowe Jr. Verona Lozano Joi Lucas Henry Luce Terry Luo Meghan Luttmer Jeffrey Luttrell Grace Lyon Khalled Mahmoud Skylar Maltbie Christina Mangini Genevieve Mansell Dino Marraccini Cameron Martin Jon Martin Lee Martinez Jr. Erika Martinez Vicki Martinez Nicole Mason Maxine Matthews Jalen McKenzie Karina McKillip Jared McNab Anita McNally Georgi Melentev Dalton Meredith Natalia Michta Michael Milem Jerron Miller Tyce Miranda Alison Mitchell Jalyn Mitchell Robert Mitchell Yennifer Molina Su Mon Marcus Montoya Emily Morales Jonathan Morse Candice Musico Jose Navarro Mansur Nawabi Christopher Neely Emily Nelson Joseph Nelson Nhu Nguyen Cameron Nodal Trevor Nolen Chisom Nwakor Colton O'Connell Kaitlyn O'Connell Gwendolen O'Connor Dillon O'Donovan-Rojas Caitlin O'Leary Cormac O'Sullivan Cailin O'Toole Nalla Lorraine Obero Annalise Offord Obageli Ogbodo Ty Ohlendorf-Hawley Melissa Olson

Reflections, from page 12 Altairs, from page 12

It just doesn’t matter to me anymore, because I have found a sense of confidence. I focus on the things that have meaning in my life: my family, my friends and my happiness. The biggest thing I learned this year isn’t the Quadratic Formula or Newton’s Laws of Motion. It is that you have to accept yourself as you are. The important things are those closest to you. What matters is how you carry yourself, your character and how you feel inside. And, the most important thing is to find happiness. If going to that party on Friday night doesn’t make you happy, it isn’t worth going. If those “cool” people you hang around with don’t make you happy, find people who do make you happy and who care about you. As I move on to high school, I will take these lessons

with me and build upon them. There is always room to grow. It’s the little things inside that make you, you. As Mr. Rogers says, “Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.” Natalie Pursche is an eighthgrader at DVMS and a regular contributor to the Pioneer. Send comments to

the ability to motivate and encourage others to reach for a goal while exercising one’s own efforts to do the same. Kimberly Svoboda was thrown into a difficult position and came through it with increased focus and renewed optimism. When asked to step into an important role within the Leadership class, she answered the call with fierce

CVCHS, from page 12

to college and careers. Each year, we honor CVCHS seniors for academic, community service, athletic and leadership achievements. We announce collegiate scholarship and award winners at Senior Awards Night.

confidence. Kimberly’s passion for what’s right and her unapologetic confidence in stressful situations helped keep the Leadership class together and end the year with a strong sense of family and community. The Grand Altair is awarded to a student with a 4.0 or higher GPA and represented in all three areas: scholarship,

to their individual commitment to academic success, these students represent the best of our school community. Congratulations to our Altair award winners, department recognition winners and the entire Class of 2017. Well done.

With Principal John McMorris and other department staff, I was proud to participate in our annual recognition ceremony and to showcase the graduating seniors who have invested so David Linzey is executive direcmuch time and effort into their tor of CVCHS. Contact him high school careers. In addition

Hernan Ortiz Perez Kevin Orvis Emily Oviedo Breanna Parsons Jesse Patino John Perez Arturo Perez-Schoffer Joeseph Perry-Wagnor Mimi Pho Stephen Faith Poe Faesal Popal Cynthea Porter Casey Prasitsak Makayla Price Andrey Pristinsky Hannah Propersi Matthew Pruitt Jasmine Purzycki Syeda-Amber Qadri Alejandro Race Zia Rahmany William Ralston Giselle Ramirez Gomez Austin Ramirez Elizabeth Ramirez Lauryn Randolph Jordan Ray Bailey Reading Lani Regelbrugge Jordan Reyes Johnathan Rhodes Samuel Riddle Brett Riessen Natasha Risser Kimberly Rizon Dylan Roach Jordan Robichaud Cameron Robinson Megan Robinson Ethan Rocheleau Dominick Rodriguez Leonardo Rodriguez Jason Rogers Konlan Rondini Justin Roper Isa Rosario-Martinez Spencer Rutledge Natalie Ruzicka Brianna Sadighian Miyah Saeyang Sana Saleem Mariana Samayoa Andrew Sanchez Jonathan Sanchez Yesenia Saravia Moreira Lance Sarkissian Daniel Schaefer William Schaffer Jr. Erika Scheafer Zachary Schipper Suzanne Schofield Sophia Scott Wyatt Seaton Vincent Seddiqi Areej Shaikh Anuradha Sharma Sahra Sherdil Haleigh Sherman Sarah Shikanov Jared Siegrist Devin Sigmund Francisco Siino Maxwell Silverberg Brianna Simeone Elizabeth Slivinski Claire Smithey Kevin Snyder Robert Solari III Alexandria Solis Angel Solis Katie Sovik Lauren Sparks Sierra Sprague Monique Spurling

Maya Stellini Kathryn Stratmann-Kirmsse Frank Stringer Wen-Lin Su Puneet Sudhir Brandon Sudo Kevin Susanto Kimberly Svoboda Elijah Tafao-Braganza Jaymielyn Kate Tagadaya Spencer Tamichi Caroline Tarantino Hrisiyan Tasev Gloria Tay Armani Taylor Travis Taylor Zachary Terry Christopher Terstegge Kristina Tham Anabella Thompson Dylan Thompson Taylor Thompson Teresa Tippery Willaim Tippery Garrett Tong Alejandro Torres Bryan Torres Jovelle Ann Torres Chad Treppa Kaci Trujillo Thy Truong Angelica Urias Christian Utne Heikoti Vaisima Valeria Valerio-Mora Alec Valles Kyle VanMeter Aundreya Varas de Valdes Ramon Vasquez Jr Silas Vaughn Nicolas Ventura Vanessa Ventura Sarah Verderame Alex Via Khylle Villamor Logan Voight Alexis Wakefield Ivy Walker Seth Walton Vanessa Wan Sharon Wang Catherine Ward Kayli Watada Michael Weatherwax III Sarah Weeks Emma Wenger Jeffrey Williams Jr Jennifer Williams Melissa Williams Zoe Wilson Desiree Wirth Anna Wisborg Sierra Wisman Kevin Woffinden Seth Woodring Alix Woolner Charles Wullenweber Kristin Wullenweber Lanimaka Yandall Ronald Yonemura Emily York Wyatt York Amelia Young John-Andrew Zacharakis Sadaf Zafari Zabiullah Zafari Kimberly Zamora Steven Zavanelli Autumn Zelmon Hannah Zodikoff Kathryn Zuercher

leadership and service. Michael Cox is highly intelligent and a talented problem solver – and always helps others in need. Whether for academics, sports or community service, Michael is widely known as one of the hardest workers by students, teachers and coaches. Michael has earned six letters and par-

ticipated in 10 seasons of sports at Clayton Valley. He has shown great leadership as a team captain in two sports. He volunteers at the Contra Costa Food Bank, a retirement home and the Animal Rescue Foundation, as well as other community events.

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Clayton Pioneer •

Performing Arts

June 9, 2017

From forest to warehouse, play is ‘As You Like It’

Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” which runs through June 18 at the Bruns Amphitheater. Director Desdemona Chiang moves the action from the traditional Forest of Arden to a contemporary urban world where an abandoned wareSALLy HoGARTy house becomes home for STAGE STRUCK those exiled from the land Cal Shakes opened its sea- ruled by the power-hungry son with an innovative look at Duke Frederick (a marvelous Onstage Theatre presents

Off the Shelf & On Stage A Festival of One-Acts

June 9-24

Including “Jenny Gets Her Wheels On” by Gary Carr

June 9, 10

Campbell Theater, 636 Ward St. in Martinez. Info & Reservations: 925-518-3277

FREE ESTIMATES •Lawn & Plant Installation

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•Retaining Walls •Drainage •Low Voltage Lighting

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Boyce Nichols - Owner Clayton Resident

James Carpenter). Ten versatile performers play all 20-plus characters in the romantic comedy. Jessika Williams is a fascinating Rosalind, who must disguise herself as a boy following her banishment. The play is at 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way, Orinda. For tickets, call 510548-9666 or go to Ninety-plus minutes of high energy, fun tunes and entertaining choreography make Center Rep’s “Altar Boyz” a sure winner. Think “Nunsense” with hip hop, and you’ll get the idea behind this witty, slightly irreverent musical. The premise is that this is the Altar Boyz final concert in their national “Raise the Praise” tour. Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan and Abraham (the group’s Jewish member) sing and dance their hearts out as they try to unburden the souls of audience members. A Soul Sensor keeps score, and the group must get the sensor to zero before the concert ends. Director/choreographer Keith Pinto has outdone himself with this fast-paced musical full of energizing dance numbers where Michael Jackson would feel right at home. Cast members Josh Ditto, William Hoshida, Sean Okuniewicz, Justin Sabino and Tyce deliver endearing performances with great accompaniment from the Holy Trinity Band of Ben Prince (conductor), Eryn Allen (keyboard), Lane Sanders (drums) and Stephen Danska (guitar). Suitable for all ages, “Altar Boyz” runs through July 1 at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Dr.. Call 925-943SHOW or go to Onstage Theatre contin-

and wanders into an English country house to find a woman, gun in hand, standing over her dead husband. Suspenseful until the very end. For tickets, call 925-5289225 or email Meanwhile, Lafayette’s Town Hall Theatre Company goes with witty and “Wilde” for its summer show. Oscar Wilde’s hilarious “An Ideal Husband” runs through June 24 at 3535 School St., Lafayette. One of the more serious of Wilde’s social comedies, “An Ideal Husband” takes various institutions to task as well as the idea of an “ideal” marriage and how public and personal morality can collide. The playwright’s wonderful tongue-incheek dialogue provides a plethora of laughter as fate Kevin Berne catches up to politician Robert Maryssa Wanlass as Celia and Craig Marker as oliver in William Shakespeare’s “As you Like it” now at the Califor- Chiltern when a mysterious woman reveals a past misdeed. nia Shakespeare Theater in orinda through June 18. Tickets are available at 925283-1557 or www.townhalltheues its short play festival “Off Concord’s B8 Theatre the Shelf and on Stage” at the takes on one of Shakespeare’s Sally Hogarty is well known Martinez Campbell Theatre. greatest tragedies, “King Lear.” around the Bay Area as a newspaBlock Two runs through June The tale of greed, lust and per columnist, theatre critic and 10 and includes “Jenny Gets betrayal has captured imagina- working actress. She is also the Her Wheels On” by Gary Carr tions for hundreds of years as editor of the Orinda News. Send (about an injured actress who the story of an aging, prideful comments to finds new ways of using her king and his three daughters talent), “The Martini” by Leon unfolds. It’s quite an undertakAtkinson (the story of the ing for this small theater commartini), “Real Fun” by Dean pany that always surprises with Engle (a tale of choice its innovative productions. between life and death) and According to managing “Tee Vee” by Stacey Reeves director Kerry Gudjohnsen, (stand-up comedy). Shakespeare’s story of the danBlock Three runs June 16- gers of “unchecked hubris in 24 and features “The Last men of power” has much to Piano Lesson” by Gretchen say to America today. Givens (the story of a piano Directed by Jeremy Cole, student and her teacher), “Eat “King Lear” runs through June A Bug” by C.C. Cardin (a 25 at 2292 Concord Blvd. Call humorous look at the antics of 925-890-8877 or go online to childhood), “Fourteen” by Alice Gerstenberg (a hilarious 08. attempt at organizing a dinner If you love a little suspense, party) and “Kisses” by Mark be sure to see Agatha Christie’s Hinds (a love story between “The Unexpected Guest,” childhood friends). through July 1 at Orinda’s Reserve tickets at 925-518- Community Center Park Kerry Gudjohnsen 3277. Thursday night is Bar- Amphitheatre, 28 Orinda Stanley Spenger as King gain Night. For a complete list- Way. Lear and April Culver as ing of shows, visit In Christie’s intriguing tale, Cordelia/Fool in B8’s prowww.onstagetheatre.home- a stranger finds himself lost in the English fog (of course!) duction of “King Lear.”

‘Covenant’ has high points that may keep fans engaged

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At 79, Ridley Scott has spent half his life involved with the slimy, dual-mouthed xenomorph he created with 1979’s “Alien.” That must make for some horrific nightmares on occasion. After others followed his film with sequels of varying success, Scott returned in 2012 with “Prometheus” – a prequel to his original. Many thought the film was too confusing, and fans were disappointed with the lack of actual aliens. What was clear was Scott’s intention to begin his story not with the creation of aliens, but with that of human life. “Alien: Covenant,” the latest in his franchise, has the rare distinction of being both a sequel and a prequel. It looks as beautiful as its predecessor and packs the suspense of its immediate successors. “Covenant” picks up 10 years after Professor Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and the android David (Michael Fassbender) escaped the Engineers’ virus-run-amok. The Covenant is a ship carrying more than 2,000 colonists and hundreds of embryos to a new planet. While repairing the ship, the crew of 15 picks up what sounds like a distress call from Shaw. Believing Shaw and her entire crew to be lost, the crew is driven to investigate. The lone dissenter is Daniels (Katherine Waterston). Having lost her hus-



band in the recent damage, she does not want to take a side trip to a planet they did not spend decades scouting. Daniels is a stern, no mess woman, a la Ripley from “Aliens.” It is obvious Daniels should be the one in charge. Although Scott did not direct the three sequels to his original “Alien,” he takes some of the best parts of those films and imbues them in “Covenant.” The banter and calm-to-chaos moments of “Aliens,” the climactic bait-and-follow of “Alien 3” and the hybrid monstrosities of “Alien: Resurrection” are all present. One could almost say Scott took a cue from the Engineers and created his own hybrid. Yet, “Covenant” stands well enough on its own. While the vegetation on the planet is a striking facsimile to Earth’s, Scott mutes the colors and washes in enough grays and blacks to remind us this is not a

friendly place. “Covenant” is not at the “face-hugger” stage of the aliens’ creation. Thus, we do not know from where they will appear. Scott uses this to great advantage when the crew descends to the planet. Will they be attacked immediately? What might cause one of them to become impregnated? Once that becomes clear, the suspense and chaos ramp up as they try in vain to survive. What Scott keeps from “Prometheus” is the philosophical rhetoric about the creations of man. While reprising his role as the emotional android David, Fassbender also plays the newer, duty-oriented android Walter. These two have fascinating conversations that occasionally serve to only slow the film down. Fans of the “Alien” series will enjoy this movie yet may have mixed feelings on Scott’s plans to do at least one more sequel/prequel film. If you are new to the franchise, this is definitely not the proper entry point. Start with the 1979 original and work toward “Covenant” – it is a wild ride. B+ Jeff Mellinger is a screen writer and film buff. He holds a BA in Film Studies and an MFA in film production. He lives in Concord. Email comments to

June 9, 2017

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 15

Clayton Community Calendar



9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 6095 Main St.

June 10, 24 Saturday Concerts in the Grove

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

additional information, contact Black Diamond Visitor Center at (510) 544-2750 or

Thru November Hazel-Atlas Mine Tours

Learn about the mining history and geology at Black Diamond Mines. Guided, 90-minute tour; Saturdays and Sundays. Must be age 7 or older with parent. $5 in advance online or day of at Sidney Flat Visitor Center.

June 14, 28 Wednesday Classic Car Show

June 10 Prospect Promenade at Night

June 17 Round-Up For Relay

June 24 Walk into the Night

Car show and DJ music, 6 – 8 p.m. 6099 Main St. Free. Barbecue, music, prizes. Sponsored by Relay For Life Clayton; benefiting the American Cancer Society. 6 – 10 p.m. Easley Ranch, 6995 Marsh Creek Road. $75.

July 4 Pancake Breakfast and Parade

The day begins with the Clayton Valley/Concord Sunrise Rotary pancake breakfast at 7 a.m. at Endeavor Hall, 6008 Center St., followed by the parade down Main Street at 10 a.m. Breakfast: $7 adults; $5 kids. No registration for Kiddie Parade. Register for main parade at


Mondays Off the Grid

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

Tuesdays Farmers’ Market

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

Thursdays Music and Market

Thursday night live music and farmers’ market. Music: June 15 at 6 p.m., Purple Haze plus The RaveUps; June 22, Mitch Polzak plus KillBillies; June 29, Dave Martin’s House Party; July 6, Zepparella. Market 4 – 8 p.m.; music 6:30 – 8 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord.

3rd Sundays Antique Faire

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

On Sale Now Concerts

The Concord Pavilion is located at 2000 Kirker Pass Road. See full concert schedule for 2017 at Upcoming shows: Jun. 11, Spirit West Coast Concord, 3 p.m. Jun. 23, United We Rock Tour, 7 p.m. July 6, Deftones and Rise Against, 6:30 p.m. July 15, I Love the ‘90s Tour, 7 p.m.

June 10 47th Annual Corvette Car Show

Enjoy the finest examples of classic, custom and stock corvettes. 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Free to the public; $40-$45 car entrants.

June 12 Stroke Support Group

Speaker: Steve Molinari, OT, from the driver rehabilitation program at John Muir. 7 – 9 p.m. Concord Room 1, John Muir Medical Center, Concord Campus, 2540 East St. Free. Contact Ann Dzuna (925) 376-6218.

June 17 Concord Naval Weapons Station Workshop

The public is invited to the second of three workshops on the Concord Community Reuse Plan for the former Naval Weapons Station. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Concord Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Circle.

July 4 Celebration

Pancake breakfast, Stars and Stripes 5K fun run/walk, parade, festival, fireworks. Events start at 7:30 a.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. $42 race; $5 breakfast. For more details, go to and


Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve programs are available for registration through Parking fees may apply. For

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

See the beauty of night on a walk to Prospect Tunnel and back. 7:30 – 10 p.m. Meet at the Frederickson Lane Trailhead. Walk the ridges at night and rest your mind. 8 – 10:30 p.m. Meet at Morgan Territory Road Staging Area. Registration required.

June 30 Bat Monitoring

Stay after hours in the park and help monitor the bat colony. 7 – 9:30 p.m. Meet at Black Diamond Mines Upper Parking Lot. Registration required.

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

June 11 Snakes Alive

Drop in to meet several local types of snakes. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Summit Museum.

June 17 Summer Solstice Evening Hike

Saunter up to Mitchell Canyon as the sun sets. 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center. Registration required:

June 23 Common Poorwill Bird Walk

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

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

June 10 Mangini Ranch Property Tour

9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at hiker gate adjacent to 5318 Crystyl Ranch Drive, Concord. Registration required.

July 8 Morgan Territory Family Walk

Spectacular vistas. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at Morgan Territory Road Staging Area. Registration required.


Thru June 24 “Off the Shelf and OnStage”

A festival of one acts. Onstage Theatre at the Campbell Theater, 636 Ward St., Martinez. $16. (925) 518-3277.

Thru June 25 “King Lear”

One of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies. B8 Theatre Company, 2292 Concord Blvd., Concord. $18-$22. (925) 890-8877.

Thru July 1 “Altar Boyz”

Spoof about a heavenly guy group. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $37 -$72.

June 10 “A Taste of Me”

Presented by Noel Anthony. 8:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25-$50. (925) 943-7469.

June 10 “Fifteen”

The Danville Community Band’s season finale. 3 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $17. (925) 943-7469.

June 11 “June Demonstration”

Presented by The Ballet School. 11 a.m., 2 and 5 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $27. (925) 943-7469.

June 11 Opera in the Park

An afternoon of music under the trees. 3 p.m. Civic Park, 1375 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. Free.

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June 16 – 17 Dance Show

Performed by D’Ann’s Academy of Dance. 7 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $20-$25. (925) 757-9500.

June 17 Concert

Gregory Taboloff performs. 2 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $55. (925) 943-7469.

June 24 – 25 “The Seven Deadly Sins”

A gripping story of drama, love, deception and revenge. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $20-$94.

July 7 Young Actors Studio Showcase

Presented by The Ballet School. 6:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $15. (925) 943-7469.


June 12 – 16 Vacation Bible School

Kindergarten through sixth grade. 1 – 4 p.m. Mon. – Thu.; 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Fri. Concord United Methodist Church, 1645 West St., Concord. Free. Register at (925) 685-5260.


July 29 30th Reunion

YVHS Class of 1987 reunites. 6 – 11 p.m. Blackhawk Auto Museum, 3700 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Danville. $95. Go to Ygnacio Valley High Class of 1987 on Facebook or email


2nd and 4th Sundays Pancake Breakfast

Veterans of Foreign Wars serve breakfast to the public: Eggs, pancakes, sausage, beverage. 8 – 11 a.m. VFW Post 1525, 2290 Willow Pass Road, Concord. $5, $3 children under 12.

June 24 Baking for a Cure

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

June 24 Bowl to Benefit Families

Raffles, contests, prizes. Proceeds go to the C.O.P.E. Family Support Center. 6 – 8 p.m. Clayton Valley Bowl, 5300 Clayton Road. $20. (925) 689-5811.

June 24 Relay For Life Concord and Walnut Creek

Fundraiser walk to benefit the American Cancer Society. 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Ygnacio Valley Park, 901 Oak Grove Road, Concord.


The Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at or call (925) 673-0659. Thru Aug. 5: Summer Reading Program for all ages. June 12: Clayton Knits, 1:30 p.m. June 12: Clayton Library Book Club, 7 p.m. June 14: Wrap Animals Craft, 4 p.m. June 28: Movie Night, 6:30 p.m. July 10: Bubblesmith, 4 p.m.

The Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at or (925) 646-5455. June 1, July 6: Origami, 4 p.m. June 19: Open Explorations, 7 p.m. June 20, 22, 27, 29; July 6: Summer Lunch, 1 p.m. June 22: Master Gardeners, 6:30 p.m. June 26: Movie Monday, 7 p.m. July 3: Rockets, 6 p.m. Registration required.


1st and 3rd Tuesdays Clayton City Council

7 p.m. Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. (925) 673-7304 or

2nd and 4th Tuesdays Clayton Planning Commission

7 p.m., Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. (925) 673-7304 or

Page 16

Clayton Pioneer •

SUnny SoLoMon


‘Mare’ trots cautiously through familial relations

“The Mare” is so much more than a horse story. For those who know what it’s like to love horses, it is exactly that: A story about a horse and one girl who loves that horse and the mother who loves the girl, and another woman who longs to be a mother to that girl and, finally, every person who comes in contact with both the horse and the girl. The novel occurs in a threeyear period in two locations, Brooklyn and upstate New York. The girl, 11-year-old Velveteen, takes part in a summer program that gives needy kids the chance to spend two weeks with a far-from-needy family in upstate New York. Velveteen’s Dominican Republic-born

mother is never a willing participant in the endeavor, and Ginger and Paul, the couple who are assigned Velveteen, have conflicting issues that shadow their enthusiasm for the experience. Velveteen’s hesitancy in the venture is cracked open when she visits a nearby stable and comes up against a horse named Fugly Girl. She slowly and dangerously connects with the horse, who is damaged and almost as untouchable as the girl. Velveteen and her “summer mother” manage a relationship as slow to develop, but not so physically challenging as her relationship with Fugly Girl. Mary Gaitskill’s characters are never what is initially seen. Ginger is both more and less than the wife of a college professor, living a very upscale life. Both she and her husband are recovering alcoholics, but Gin-

Club News

CV Woman’s Club Donates to Community Organizations

ger is also a failed artist and motherhood is another loss. The summer visit improves when the manager of the stable discovers a latent equestrian in Velveteen. At the same time, it’s Velveteen’s introduction to the mercurial world of horse people and the animals in their care. Both people and animals are often meaner than the streets back in Crown Heights in Brooklyn. More visits, with much difficulty, are planned for the remainder of that first year and two more. Such visits play havoc with Velveteen’s relationship with her mother and younger brother. Should a parent give up their child to spend short periods of time with folks who obviously can offer more chances than available in Brooklyn? Should a young girl on the

See Books, page 17

CBCA can makes wishes come true GARY CARR Special to the Pioneer

Recipients of the Clayton Valley Woman’s Club donations this year were Gwin Lewis-Phillips, Elizabeth Sanches and Ellen Diamond from Diamond Terrace; Katie Pena from George Mark Children’s House; Carol Lombard and Mary Fenelon from Trinity Center; Karen Hansen-Smith from Clayton Community Library; Brittany Ayala from DVC and Mike Wendorf, Clayton Historical Society.

The Clayton Valley Woman’s Club held their Celebration of Giving at Diamond Terrace in Clayton on May 9. The Club presents each May the monies raised by past fundraising activities to select community organizations. Club members provided appetizers and desserts to celebrate the event. Checks were presented to George Mark Children’s House and Trinity Center as well as Diamond Terrace, the Clayton Community Library, the Clayton Historical Society and the Concord Historical Society. The club also provides a scholarship each year to a woman attending Diablo Valley College who has a financial need, excellent grades, community involvement and leadership skills and is transferring to a four-year university to pursue a

degree. The 2017 scholarship recipient is Brittany Ayala. She will attend the University of California, Berkeley, in the fall to major in political science with a goal of becoming a civil rights attorney. She is the first in her family to graduate from high school and attend college. She maintains a 3.5 GPA and is very involved in college activities, including the Latino Student Alliance Club and Alpha Gamma Sigma Honor Society. Ayala worked at various internships related to her field of study and is currently interning for the Mount Diablo Peace and Justice Center. The club meets the second Tuesday of every month, except July and August, at Saint John’s Episcopal Church, 5555 Clayton Road, Clayton. For more information, go to

Wishes came true for local swimmers, Blue Star Moms, and the keepers of a vintage police vehicle at the May 25 meeting of the Clayton Business and Community Association meeting held at Oakhurst Country Club. The club granted a request from the Dana Hills swim team for funds to help replace their pool-lane storage reels. The reels answer the question, what do you do with the lane markers when the swim meet is over? Continuing its dedication to projects by the Blue Star Moms, CBCA approved a $5,000 grant for a Fallen Warrior monument to be erected at CVCHS in memory of Army Major James Ahearn. The monument will be dedicated in early 2018. CBCA also approved a request from the Clayton P.D. for funds for the critical maintenance of the department’s vintage 1977 special events vehicle used at the Fourth of July Parade and Christmas festivities. For those of us who remember 1977 like it was yesterday, the word “vintage” has a chilling effect.

June 9, 2017

Lemon cucumbers a refreshing summer treat DEBRA MORRIS Pacific Coast Farmers Market

Lemon cucumbers are one of the hidden gems at farmers market. Mounds of these fun, whitish-yellow orbs are available now through August or September from FT Fresh, KYK Farms or Padao & Ky Yang, all from Fresno. The light green to lemonyellow color turns a golden yellow as it ripens. They offer a


ASIAN CUCUMBER SALAD 2 large cucumbers, sliced thinly 2 lemon cucumbers, peeled and sliced thinly 1 red onion, sliced thinly in half rings ¼ c. rice wine vinegar ¼ tsp. sugar (more or less to taste) Pinch salt 1 T sesame seeds Make pickles, mixing with regular pickling cucumbers Note: Lemon cucumbers or canning them on their have tiny prickles on the skin own. Slice into salads for great so they need to be peeled. You can also peel the regular texture. Make a chilled cucumber cucumbers, but I think the skin soup, perfect for summer. adds a nice color contrast. Place all sliced vegetables in Slice and add to chilled a bowl. Add remaining ingrediwater or a cocktail. Serve with a platter of ents and toss gently. Chill or cheeses, crackers, fruit and serve at room temperature as a light side dish. other pickles.

mild cucumber taste with just a hint of lemon and are less acidic than other cucumbers. It is also a “burpless” variety, meaning it is less bitter and will not have an aftertaste. With a cool, crisp texture, the lemon cucumber is a great addition to salads this summer. Among the uses: • • • • •

While still looking for Pretty, owner finds inspiration in loss JILL ENDERS Special to the Pioneer

Good things can come from bad times. For my family, those bad times began on Jan. 10, 2016, when our beloved Yorkiepoo Pretty ran away from our Clayton home while we were in Ohio celebrating Nicky Enders 11th birthday with his grandparents. Pretty had a collar with tags, but I didn’t chip her. That is one of my biggest regrets. As anguished days turned into weeks, then months and a full year, the family left no stone unturned in our search. We plastered the county with neon signs, went to the shelters twice a week and even dressed as a giant alligator and danced in the intersection with “lost dog” signs. The Facebook page Prettycomehome attracted hundreds of followers and thousands of views. As a composer and playwright, I revised a musical I had written about a dog who left home to find a “Spotless House.” It was always a coming of age story, but now it was also about a runaway dog and the family he left behind.

For more information or membership application go to or call 925.672.2272. PRETTY

Contributed photo

The Trailblazers, a group of homeschooled students led by Jill Enders, collected donations for Antioch Animal Services.

Writing this musical was therapeutic. While driving around looking for our dog, I was also writing a haunting new song, “Pretty Please Come Home.” I still sing it as I drive through the neighborhood with the windows rolled down, praying and hoping she might hear my voice and find her way to me. But this is not the only good thing that has come from our grief. Through my family’s efforts, a dozen dogs have found new homes or been reunited with owners. And I learned the hard truth about lost and abandoned dogs and cats. This led to a new career as a social media representative for the best-selling author of “A Dog’s Purpose,” now released as a movie. A large part of my job entails comforting dog owners who have had to say goodbye to beloved furry family members. With Sarah Mero of San Ramon, I also lead a large group of homeschooled middle schoolers called “Trailblazers.” In their book club, they read the two-part series “A

Dog’s Purpose” and “A Dog’s Journey.” Then the class held a riveting personal interview with author W. Bruce Cameron. The Trailblazers reserved Brenden theater to hold a private showing of “A Dog’s Purpose” on opening day, raising close to $300 in cash and supplies to donate to Antioch Animal Services. Volunteers at the Antioch Animal Shelter are so compassionate about the animals in their care, even though it is clear they have an abundance of need and a shortage of resources. Our family still holds out hope that we will have a happy ending against all odds. But thanks to those who showed me grace in the darkest storm, I have not lost my faith in people. And that is what a good dog like Pretty taught me. If you have any information about Pretty, call 925-639-3431. “Spotless,” a coming of age tail in dog years, will be presented at 7 p.m. May 20 at the Grange Hall, 743 Diablo Road, Danville.

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The adoption fee for a cat is $75. Meet your forever friend at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek, during adoption hours: Noon to 6 pm Wednesday & Thursday, Noon to 7 pm Friday, and Noon to 6 pm Saturday & Sunday.


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

June 9, 2017

Bathroom project requires forethought



When starting a bathroom project, from scratch or a refresh, there are many things to take into consideration. Think about the space you have, vanity style, storage, tile layout, lighting, color palette and ultimate design scheme. Plumbing should have its own line of discussion, both aesthetically and functionally. From basic

Clayton Pioneer •

shower and tub sets, floor and wall-hung toilets, to handheld shower heads, therapeutic massage jets and all sorts of vanity faucets, narrowing down your plumbing needs/wants and how the plumbing fixtures function is an important step. Let’s start with the shower. Unless you’re trying to keep your hair dry, a rain shower can be a lovely way to bathe. If you are starting from scratch, the plumbing for this shower head can be installed into the ceiling of the shower. If you are updating a shower, you can achieve this design by using a wallmount shower arm that has a sharp right turn at the end to

Page 17

other shapes and sizes in between. Sometimes, a handheld shower is the only shower source. Or it can be a secondary bathing option, depending on the size of the shower and the plumbing investment you’re willing to make. Vanity faucets are no longer as simple as hot on the left and cold on the right. There are single-handled faucets, gooseneck height faucets, widespread and center-set faucets and even wallmounted faucets. The wideFor total relaxation in the bath, include chromatherapy spread style is commonly used. lighting in your tub This means that you typically would have three holes at the provide the correct horizontal hand-held shower, there are sevtop of your sink on your vanity, angle for the rain experience. eral variations: sleek and modwith two levers for hot and cold If you’re interested in a ern, round and traditional, and water and one faucet. But continue to explore. There’s always the traditional under-mount sink, or you could consider a sink vessel that’s mounted to the top of the vanity, paired with a chic wall-mount faucet. Or maybe you like the idea of the vessel sink, but prefer an extra tall, single-handled faucet mounted to the countertop.

Timeless pieces every man should have in his closet



black, depending on which color you wear most. If you’re not sure, survey your closet to see whether your leather shoes and belts tend to be black or brown. If you need help and guidance, I am here to answer all your wardrobe and fit questions. Please contact me for a personal fit appointment. I am a personal wardrobe stylist for both men and women.

If your bathroom has the space, a tub is a nice addition. Some bathrooms have a traditional alcove tub/shower combo. Some bathrooms have a free-standing tub and a separate walk-in shower. Whatever accommodations your bathroom has, the bath tub has come a long way in terms of style and accessories. It can be a place to simply soak, just an old school approach with maybe a fizzy bath tablet for fun. The tub can also be an electrified swirling whirlpool of water or an infinity of massaging air bubbles. Some tubs have built-in back rests that massage and generate heat, some have integrated aromatherapy diffusers to calm and relax, and some even have chromatherapy LED lighting systems that claim to be a potent tool for achieving equilibrium and harmony. Now, that’s a tub.

Leischer is the owner of J. Designs Interior Design based in Clayton. Contact her with questions, comments and suggestions at

Books, from page 16

edge of womanhood make bring. She knows this much: “I choices she is ill equipped to will see her again. My Mare.” make, especially knowing the Numerous reviewers of places her growing equestrian “The Mare” noted similarities to skills could take her? Can this Enid Bagnold’s “National Velsummer daughter become the vet.” Gaitskill’s “Mare” is a winchild Ginger has always wanted? ner, and I’ve already pulled And is that what Paul wants? “National Velvet” off my shelf. The book is written in multiple voices, each one a nuanced Sunny Solomon is a freelance revelation. Velveteen’s voice is The classic men’s wardrobe should include a blue oxford-cloth button down shirt, navy writer and head of the Clayton Book strongest. When the novel ends, blazer and khaki chinos, worn separately or all together in one outfit. Club. Visit her website at Velveteen looks back her on her For more information, visit for her latest experiences centered around for recommendations or just to ‘talk Because June is the month special occasions. suit pants of a contrasting “her” mare and weighs them books.’ men or Father’s Day, I decided to Light blue Oxford cloth color) and you’re good to go. against what her future may help the men in our lives with button-down shirt. For every Go with a dark gray, which will sappington for women. a list of 15 things that will other occasion. match navy, black, brown, never go out of style. Brown belt. Wear it now. khaki, denim. For when you Navy sport coat. Makes Wear it forever. To match the want to dress up, but don’t you look put-together, no mat- shoes, of course. need a suit. ter what. Plus, patch pockets Colorful pocket square. Tie. Not too skinny, not ensure it doesn’t look like you For adding some punch to too wide and in a classic color lost your suit trousers. your outfit. scheme. Suits don’t always reKhaki Chinos. A bona Trench coat. Takes you quire ties. In fact, I find a suit fide classic, but rendered in a from spring to fall and back paired with a nonchalantly unslim, modern fit. Same fit re- again. buttoned-at-the-collar shirt quirements as jeans, but this Cashmere sweater. rather attractive. But you time, in a dark khaki color – Everyone deserves a little should have a go-to option for not that stonewash, almostcashmere. when a tie is required. Opt for gray color of Dockers you Navy suit. Seasonless. solid gray or dark red if you’re wore at age 12. Go with a Timeless. As versatile as they traditional, thick navy diagonal caramel or camel hue that come. You likely wore a black stripes with a contrasting color will work with a gray sport suit to your high school gradu- if you’re preppy and a small, jacket or red flannel button- ation, Bar Mitzvah or your sec- subdued print in dark colors if down alike. ond-cousin’s wedding. But as a you’re daring – think gingham Dark-brown shoes. You grown man, leave the black for or micro-checks in neutral Call us for ALL of your real estate needs. can wear these with anything. funerals and go with timeless tones. Seriously. In fact, a lighter navy. A navy suit will flatter all Polo shirt. Casual, but still COMING SOON camel color is preferred to a skin tones, fit in at both laidsmart. J. Hilburn now has • 5463 Preston Ct., Concord Call for info dark chocolatey brown, since it back and more formal events made-to-measure polo shirts. will match that navy suit perand give you endless possibiliWatch. There’s nothing 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, fectly – not to mention the ties for shirt-and-tie color classic about checking the 2049 sq. ft. gray and khaki suits I hope are combos. time on your phone. I don’t Listing agent: also in your collection. Gray wool trousers or care how many digital deRula Masannat Black cap-toe Oxfords. sport coat. When a suit is a vices you have to tell you the They may be pricey, but you’ll tad too formal and a plain but- time, a grown man wears a have them for the rest of your ton-down shirt won’t do, watch. Avoid seeming too life. Trust me. throw on a sport coat with just flashy by choosing a leather • 2934 Putnum Blvd., Walnut Creek Call for info White dress shirt. For about any pants (jeans, khakis, band in either brown or

Looking to buy or sell?

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• 1959 Esperanza Dr., Concord

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Page 18

Clayton Pioneer •

Lavender is an incredibly hardy, evergreen herb/perennial. It is extremely water-wise, and the flower is highly attractive to bees. Lavender is available in many varieties. Selections vary by flower color, length of bloom, fragrance and mature plant size. Lavender plants all look the same in one-gallon nursery pots, so research any variety that you might be considering. English Lavender is the most planted member of the family. Highly suggested by landscape designers, it’s sold as Lavandula angustifolia. This evergreen is tolerant of drought

conditions, deer and gophers. Once mature, expect 3-4 feet of height and width. Consider the size when installing, because overplanting lavender creates a crowded display. English Lavender is a summer bloomer with lavenderblue flowers. You will get the largest displays of flowers June through August. To keep lavender blooming, cut away expired flowers. When pruning, always make deep cuts and take stems down into last year’s growth. Lavandula x intermedia ‘Provence’ is one of the most desired lavender plants. Folks

seek it out for its intense fragrance. Provence is a fantastic selection for borders, beds and containers. It also makes a great cut flower. This selection attracts bees and butterflies, so consider planting near a vegetable garden or fruit tree area. Provence has a typical lavender-blue flower. Spanish Lavender is a nursery standout. This lavender has a popular, deep purple color and is one of the earliest blooming lavenders. I always suggest those gardening in full sun plant some Spanish Lavender. The early bloom makes spring more enjoyable. Spanish Lavender could mature to 3



Opened to the public in 1998, Round Valley Regional Preserve is a relatively new park in the East Bay Regional Park District arsenal. Covering 1,979 acres, this park offers hiking, biking, horseback riding and even camping. Once home to California Native Americans, the land was later purchased by Thomas Murphy for ranching and farming. His grandson, Jim Murphy, had this land set aside as a regional preserve to protect it from development.

feet tall and wide. Not all lavenders are big; two cousins of English Lavenders have been successfully hybridized and made dwarfs. With the Hidcote and Munstead varieties, expect 1-2 feet of height and about 3 feet of width. They make nice front row additions to perennial beds or small borders. Lavender plants are drought-tolerant once established. Drought-tolerant plants need several weeks to establish themselves in our local landscape before becoming waterwise. Establish new installations using the three-week rule.

Hand-water a new installation each day the first week after planting. The second week, water every other day. The third week, check new installs every third day and give extra water if needed. Once established, lavender should only need irrigation twice weekly June through September. Help inhibit evaporation of moisture from soil by mulching 2-3 inches around all shrubs and perennials. Lavender is commonly mistreated. After a couple of seasons, many lavender plants suffer from overgrowth, fertilizer damage and overwatering. Past

up and into Hardy Canyon, you can expect full exposure to the sun followed by more tree cover. Temperatures often exceed 100 in the summer, so be prepared with sunscreen and plenty of water. Plan on climbing for the next 40 minutes, but don’t despair as this trail section is easily the best in the park. Brilliantly laid out routing, shady rest spots and miles of hard-packed dirt with a gentle covering of silt make this a trail not to miss. Some trails in this preserve are slippery, rocky and steep with tons of roots, rocks, holes and uneven footing. I suggest a hearty pair of hiking shoes. (Running gaiters are worth the $30.) Hardy Canyon Trail tops out near an open meadow and vista point with views of Mt. Diablo and the surrounding adjacent parks of Morgan Territory and Los Vaqueros. The

trail drops in elevation rapidly, with long exposed sections cut smartly into the hillsides above Murphy Meadow. With their orange, yellow, white and black moss, the rocks were a cool contrast to the golden hillsides as a panoramic backdrop. The trail eventually intersects Miwok Trail on the valley floor. At this point, you can hike back to the staging area. Or if you are up for it, continue on Miwok and add another three miles to your trek. I added the loop. And although I enjoyed the trail alongside Round Valley Creek, most of the hiking was on flat roads that seemed to be more for equestrian activities. Add in a few head of cattle, their droppings and some flies, and I would suggest bypassing these trails. Miwok Trail takes you back to the staging area, but use your adventurous spirit



experiences give lavender a bad name, and potential planters are quick to pass by this ornamental. Don’t over-love your lavender plants. Cut back faded blooms deeply and often, and you’ll fall back in love with this fantastic ornamental. Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. You can contact her with questions or comments by email at

Head to Round Valley for sumptuous views



June 9, 2017

Kevin Parker

A strenuous 8.5 mile hike above EBRPD’s Round Valley pays off with this spectacular view of Mt. Diablo.

You have two hiking options in Round Valley: Hardy Canyon Trail or Miwok/Murphy Meadow Loop. I opted to hike both trails on a fairly windy weeknight after work. If you hike the full 8.5 miles, I would rate this hike as difficult. Hardy Canyon Trail begins

by making a quick left just over the foot bridge and follows a slowly flowing Marsh Creek through some shaded areas on the “honeymoon stage” of this hike, which lasts for about 10 minutes. Blue and Valley Oak provide intermittent shade, but as you start the gradual grinder







1505 Kirker Pass Rd., #131, Concord Ov




Pe As



Distance: 8.5 miles Duration: 2.5-3.0 hours Elevation Gain: 1,919 ft. Getting there: Staging Area off Marsh Creek Road (13 miles from Clayton). Restrooms, water, maps, picnic area, no dogs. Entry gates open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and choose the single-track trails that branch off the main road. Routing is more favorable, the views superior and it saves you some muchneeded energy bypassing a few hills before reaching the staging area.

Contact Kevin Parker with comments or questions by email at

Nancy sells more than 8 times as many homes as the average realtor. Call today to learn why.

Nancy E. Bennett 5486 Roundtree, Unit C, Concord

Round Valley Regional Preserve



3510 Halfmoon Lane, Concord Mu



Nicely updated condo featuring 2 beds / 1.5 baths with over $25k in updates! Lovely kitchen with shaker style cabinet doors, quartz counters and new stainless steel appliances! Fresh paint and carpet throughout. Offered at $318,000

Fantastic turn key condo featuring 1 bed / 1 bath in 647 sq. ft. This lovely home has been updated top to bottom with fresh paint and carpet, updated kitchen with granite counters and glass subway tile backsplash. Offered at $242,000

Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.

altors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase by this time next year. An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.








Spacious tri-level Ygnacio Hills beauty featuring 4 beds / 2.5 baths in 2,123 sq. ft. Vaulted exposed beam ceiling, freshly painted with updated lighting throughout. Large eat-in kitchen and wonderful terraced yard with decks on each level. Offered at $742,000

4 Reasons to Buy A Home This Summer

Prices will Continue to Rise: CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices have appreciated by 7.1% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.9% over the next year. The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase: Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac & the National Association of Re-

Either Way, You are Paying a Mortgage : There are some renters who have not yet purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that unless you are living with your parents rentfree, you are paying a mortgage - either yours or your landlord’s. As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a

renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity. Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you? It’s Time to Move on with Your Life: The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise. But what if they weren’t? Would you wait? Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer, or you just want to have control over renovations, now is the time to buy. If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

How can we help you and your family today? We helped more than 100 families buy and sell homes in 2016.

Nancy Bennett, Realtor @ Keller Williams Realty CEO, The Bennett Team #1 Agent in Concord, #1 Team, Keller Williams East Bay #5 Team Nationally (U.S. & Canada) Keller Williams CalBRE #01399870



JUN 09 Clayton Pioneer 2017  

Local newspaper for the Clayton/Concord area. City government, sports, schools, concerts and activities for Clayton and surrounding areas in...

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