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East Bay Regional Parks Guide See Inside

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From the desk of...


State bill on BART threatens local vote

See Mayor, page 7


n e p O s ’ l Poo


As I write this, I am leading a Concord delegation to Sacramento to argue against Assembly Bill 2923, which would allow BART to override all city zoning for BART-owned land within a half mile of a BART station. That means BART would decide how high they want to build buildings, what parking allowance are made and what they want to put in their definition of a transit-oriented development. This is a classic case of local control vs. the state.

June 22, 2018

Adam Pingatore/Concord Pioneer

Concord Community Pool was a popular place last week when it opened for the summer. The pool has been closed since mid-December for renovations which included new pool decking and improved lighting.

ADAM PINGATORE Pioneer Staff Intern

Editor’s Note: Adam Pingatore, a 2018 graduate of Clayton Valley Charter High School, discovered a passion for writing in English classes taught by extraordinary teachers at CVCHS. While managing his courses, he devoted a large part of his time to the school’s jazz band as a guitarist and to the marching band as an alto saxophone player. In the fall, he will attend UCLA, where he hopes to study English, participate in marching band and write for an on-campus newspaper. With Bay Area temperatures on the rise, the Concord Community Pool has rejoined the

See Pool, page 15

Blue Devils on journey in search of world championship JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

More than 200 people in 13 vehicles pulled out of town this week, headed for Madera and the start of a two-month cross country tour that will cover 14,000 miles this summer. This is the first week of the Blue Devils annual trek across America, showcasing the local organization’s unique performance style at 25 drum corps competitions in 18 states. The Blue Devils have won more world championships than the Golden State Warriors, Oakland A’s, San Francisco 49ers and San Francisco Giants – comRyan Carr photo courtesy The Blue Devils bined! The Concord corps has recorded 18 Drum Corps InterThe Blue Devils had their final local rehearsals of the national titles. They have been “Dreams and Nighthawks” program last weekend preparing for Family Day at Diablo Valley College. They departed first or second at the last 11 DCI finals. Since their second year of on their 14,000-mile cross country summer tour Monday for three days of rehearsing in Madera and the first compe- competing in the world champititions of the season this weekend. onships in 1974, they have never

been ranked lower than fifth (once, in 1991). The Blue Devils A Corps features 154 performers and musicians who are attracted by the Blue Devils worldwide reputation for performing excellence. They hold winter auditions for

the corps around the country, attracting outstanding, seasoned drum corps performers from throughout the world. Because of their reputation and unprecedented success, the Blue Devils are the oldest corps in DCI, an international organi-

See Blue Devils, page 3

Mark city’s 150th with a bang – a parade and more FAITH BARNIDGE Concord Pioneer

Concord: From bedroom community to urban center This is the last of a three-part The growing pains caused series leading up to Concord’s by the rapid population 150th birthday celebration. growth during the post-war years caused some residents KARA NAVOLIO to step back and discuss how Correspondent to proceed and how to protect the aspects of Concord The frantic growth of people valued the most. Concord during the 1930s to Concerned residents 1960s slowed somewhat dur- formed the Downtown Proping the 1970s, as Concord erty Owners Association and evolved into a more mature the Concord Historical Socicity. ety. Arts organizations blos-

zation promoting marching music performing arts in competitions for youth 13-22. The Blue Devils A Corps average age is 20.5, and performers age out at 22. This year’s group is about

somed. Concord residents voted to protect historical landmarks and to acquire and preserve open space. Led by former mayor Dan Helix, voters approved a measure to protect Lime Ridge in 1977. In addition to formally naming the city’s center Todos Santos Plaza, the Downtown Property Owner’s To mark Concord’s 150th anniversary, artist Paula Slater

created a bronze statue of Don Salvio Pacheco, the city’s

See Urban Center, page 8 founder. The statue will be unveiled in Todos Santos Plaza on July 4.

Residents can celebrate the 150th birthday of Concord and Independence Day together, thanks to generous participation by community members and partners. Sponsors include the city of Concord, Concord Police Association, Concord Diablo Rotary, Mt. Diablo Unified School District, Todos Santos Business Arts Foundation and Andeavor, formerly Tesoro Golden Eagle Refinery in Martinez. The Concord Police Association is sponsoring the Stars and Stripes 5K Walk & Run begin-

See July 4, page 9


Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Community . . . . . . . . . . .4 From the desk of . . . . . .7 Hearts & Hands . . . . . . .2 Schools . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Performing Arts . . . . . .16

Page 2

Concord Pioneer •

June 22, 2018

Non-profits step up to help families



Service Above Self: Clayton Valley Concord Sunrise Rotary Club members put their motto “Service Above Self ” into everything they do for our community. Cars2ndChance and Clunkers4Charity are two of their many service programs. The car donation programs return contributions to local charitable organizations chosen by the donors. Cars2ndChance accepts donated working vehicles that will be spruced up and sold, and Clunkers4Charity collects non-working vehicles to be auctioned for parts. They welcome vehicles of all types, in any condition, and arrange for the vehicle to be towed away free. The best part of this transaction is that donors may choose which charity they wish to support with 50 percent of sale proceeds. To learn more, call 925326-5868, you can send an email to or visit Other Clayton Valley Concord Sunrise Rotary service projects include the Adopt-AFamily program during the holidays, youth leadership summer camps, the Dictionary Project for third-graders, volunteering Tuesday mornings at the Food Bank, funding batting cages for the Junior Optimist Baseball League, supporting Markham Park and

Bill Anspach

The Diablo Valley Corvette Club held its 50th anniversary show in June at Todos Santos Plaza.

Arboretum in Concord, picking up litter on Clayton Road between Ayres and Ygnacio through Concord’s Adopt-ABlock program and maintenance of the Cabin Trail in Mt. Diablo State Park. Clayton Valley/Concord Sunrise Rotary meets at 7 a.m. each Thursday at Oakhurst Country Club, 1001 Peacock Creek Dr., Clayton. New members are welcome. Visit or call Ken at 925-683-0278.

Award. Visit for details. Helping families in crisis: Bay Area Crisis Nursery in Concord is the only nonprofit organization in the Bay Area offering parents in crisis free, temporary, emergency residential care for children from

infancy to 11 years olds. Families experiencing a sudden health crisis, accident, the loss of a loved one, loss of a job or home, domestic and/or child abuse or divorce may not give their children the best care. Sister Ann Weltz founded the nursery to give these children a safe home until their parents work things out, to protect children from neglect and abuse. The nursery depends on the generosity of our neighbors and local business and receives no government funding. Paid staff and volunteers manage two residences for children. The nursery houses children under 5, while Dahlstrom House supports children ages 6-11. The Concord Chamber of Commerce celebrated the grand reopening of Dahlstrom House June 21 with a ribboncutting event and reception at the Concord residence. Weltz welcomed guests and shared the mission of Bay Area Crisis Nursery. Volunteers who care about

Barbara Harper

Concord Moose Lodge 567 awarded $1,000 scholarships to Kaelan Bradley, left, James Cabral and Adrianna illa, all grandchildren of Concord Moose families.

children are always welcome. Administrative help is appreciated, too. Volunteers must be at least 18, pass a TB test and background check and agree to work three hours each week. Visit or you can send email to volunteer@bayareacrisisnurser to learn more.

Classic Corvettes on display: The Diablo Valley Corvette Club celebrated its 50th anniversary at the Corvette Car Show in June at Todos Santos Plaza in downtown Concord. The show featured more than 130 classic, custom and stock Corvettes and contests for each generation of Corvette, along with Best Engine, Best Paint, Best Wheels, Best Interiors, Kids’ Choice, People’s Choice, President’s Award, Mayor’s Award, Destination Wealth vice president Bill Sawyer, right, presented a $5,000 donation to Sister Best of Show and Distance Ann Weltz, left, and Catherine Dieterich of the Bay Area Crisis Nursery in Concord.

De La Salle volunteers: De La Salle High School recently held a Service Fair organized by the Service Leadership Class. It featured representatives from 16 local charitable organizations who hoped to interest students in volunteering their time and skills to help others, including Habitat for Humanity, Sierra Service Project, Animal Rescue Foundation, Monument Crisis Center and Shelter Inc. De La Salle students volunteered 65,000 hours of service last year by participating in several campus organizations, including Lasallian Youth and the After School Café Program tutoring elementary students at Monument Crisis Center. Visit for details. Special advocates for foster kids: Court Appointed Special Advocates for foster children in Contra Costa County, based in Concord, was

See Barnidge, page 3

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June 22, 2018

Concord Pioneer •

Barnidge, from page 2

one of the first nonprofit CASA organizations created to recruit, train and provide support for individual volunteers to become trusted and dedicated advocates and mentor for children as they journey through the foster care system. Each volunteer advocate is matched with a foster child and agrees to provide a few hours a week in caring support at foster homes, school and juvenile court. CASA represents about 150 children through this county office in Concord. Prospective volunteers over 21 are invited to learn about the program at informational sessions at CASA headquarters, 2151 Salvio St., Suite. 299, in downtown Concord. Visit for more information about this very worthwhile program. Kennedy-King Scholarships: Founded in 1968 in memory of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, the Kennedy-King Memorial College Scholarship Fund provides scholarships for minority students who have completed two years of study at Contra Costa, Diablo Valley

Conforto at 925-260-3290. The Diablo Valley Classic Open Class Championship of the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps will be 6-10 p.m. July 21 at Diablo Valley College, 321 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill. Tickets start at $20 on The Blue Devils will compete with teams from all over California and one from Utah. Relay for Life of Diablo Valley will raise funds for the American Cancer Society as families and friends participate in a 24-hour event to honor loved ones lost and those who have survived cancer. Participants from Concord, Clayton, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Orinda and Moraga will meet at 9 a.m. July 28 at Pleasant Hill Middle School, 1 Santa Barbara Road. Participants will walk around the track in teams or as individuals for 24 hours to recognize that cancer never sleeps, and neither does the fight against the disease. Sign up for a team today at the website or send email to The International Tea Party for the whole family will raise funds for senior scholarships, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. July 28 at the Concord Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Circle. Enjoy iced and hot tea along with delicious refreshments representing different parts of the world. Cost is $29; $15 for guests under 14. Visit and sign up for the excellent Concord e-newsletter to learn about what’s happening in Concord.

or Los Medanos College and have been accepted into fouryear universities. Local benefactors include Chevron, the Lesher Foundation, Wells Fargo and JFK University. This year’s Concord recipients are Daniel Marquez and Aracelli Navarro. “It means having the opportunity to finish my education and becoming better equipped to help underprivileged communities,” Marquez said. Navarro is pursuing a career in the medical field. “I want the ability to help as many in my community, because I know what it is to be helpless,” she shared. Visit to learn more.

Save the date: The Alan David Vasilauskas Memorial Golf Tournament benefitting the Bay Area Crisis Nursery will be Aug. 26 at Boundary Oaks Golf Course in Walnut Creek, followed by a celebratory dinner with raffle prizes and an auction. Cost is $145 for golf and dinner; $35 for dinner only. Register before July 20 and receive five raffle tickets. Call Michele Vasilauskas-

Photos courtesy of Kennedy King

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Daniel Marquez and Aracelli Navarro are Concord recipients of the Kennedy King Memorial Scholarship.


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for all who are involved in the Blue Devils. That has allowed us to not have to be in a reactionary mode relative to the issues that DCI has had to address this year.” This year’s A Corps program, “Dreams and Nighthawks,” was inspired by a painting by American realist Edward Hopper. They describe the program as “a fantasy of musical and visual hypothesis. In a whirlwind of puzzle pieces, a cast of characters assembles a plotline of timeless speculation. A conversation of where, when and why

unfolds to a contemporary, eclectic soundtrack from John Adams, to Carole King to Simon Dobson.” The King classic song “Natural Woman,” made famous by Aretha Franklin, is already a crowd favorite from the show. After three days of rehearsals at Madera High School this week, the Blue Devils have their first competitions Friday in Clovis, Saturday at Stanford and Sunday in Sacramento before heading to Southern California and then across the country. The DCI World Championships are in Indianapolis Aug. 9-11.

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Kurtis Kenobbie photo courtesy The Blue Devils

The Blue Devils won their 18th DCi World Class Championship in their Diamond Anniversary season last August before a record crowd of 23,342 at Lucas Oil Stadium in indianapolis. The BD snare drums perform during the Concord corps’ first-place “Metamorph” program in the championship finals.




half newcomers and half returning from the 2017 world championship squad. On the A Corps are 35 members who have moved up from the Blue Devils B Corps, which has high school performers who also travel across the country competing each summer. Six of those started in the grade school C Corps years ago. The fleet of vehicles carrying the Blue Devils, their equipment and staff includes three semitrucks, six buses, two smaller trucks, an RV and a van. A teaching staff of about 30 and another 30-40 managers, drivers, cooks, medical and health staff, roadies and media travel at any given time with the 154 performers, totaling 200-210 on the road at all times. The drum corps world was shaken this spring when numerous sexual misconduct claims were made against the Hall of Fame executive director of the second most successful corps, the Cadets of Pennsylvania. Last year, the Cadets and Blue Devils were featured in a six-part reality TV show about the 2016 drum corps season produced by Dwayne Johnson. Blue Devils president Rosa Lee Harden issued a statement April 16 in the wake of the scandal on the East Coast. “I’m proudly serving my sixth year as president of the organization and have no reservations in saying that we are doing everything possible to make the 2018 season safe for everyone associated with each of our programs,” Harden said. “Everyone deserves a safe environment to learn the amazing life lessons taught through the marching arts.” For this article, the Blues Devils said: “We have always had stringent professional standards


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from page 1



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Page 3



Ranch Property — Situated on 1.75 acres, this property is perfect for horse lovers. This flat lot offers 20 covered stalls, an arena, an outbuilding and so much more. Charming 2 bedroom, 1400 sq.ft. home with numerous upgrades. Gourmet kitchen with stainless appliances, wine frig. & granite counters gorgeous laminate flooring, recessed lighting, dual pane windows and remodeled bathroom. A perfect 10!

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Regency Meadows — Light & bright 4 bed., 2.5 bath home boasting approx. 2,390 sq.ft. Park-like, private yard with covered deck and fountain. Newer gutters, exterior paint & refinished fence. 2 fireplaces, custom window coverings & dual pane windows. Gorgeous views, RV Access and 3 car garage complete this beautiful property.

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Page 4

Concord Pioneer •

Truly ‘better late than never’ for this grandmother

On June 8, Olympic High School Principal Lynsie Castellano had the honor of awarding almost 100 diplomas. However, one diploma held special meaning in her heart. At almost 91, Esther Maes Castellano modeled a love of learning her entire life. She is one of the most intelligent people Principal Castellano has ever met – a true “Jeop-

ardy” queen who could also solve any crossword puzzle you put in front of her. Yet she never was able to obtain her high school diploma. In 1944, she had to leave Manual High School in Denver because her younger brother was ill. Her single mother had to quit work to care for him and she began working full time to provide for her family. This was also

Spring youth baseball wrapping up with championship celebrations

during World War II and due to all of these factors, she was one semester short of receiving her high school diploma. Although Esther is the principal’s grandmother, students know how strict the principal can be – so she made a record’s request to prove her grandmother really should have this diploma. The records from Denver public schools indicated that Esther Maes was a remarkable student, top of her class in academic aptitude, reading and arithmetic. She was a member of the National Honor Society, a state Spelling Bee champion, president of the Social Sciences and earned her letter in athletics. She didn’t know about this honorary diploma. In fact, she thought she’d be seeing her granddaughter receive an

June 22, 2018

Raising the Rainbow flag

On June 1, Councilmembers Carlyn Obringer and Ron Leone joined Mayor Edi Birsan at City Hall where they raised the rainbow flag to kick off Pride month. On Sunday, even the 100 degree heat didn’t dampen spirits as the LGBTQ community

celebrated in Todos Santos Plaza with live music and performances and plenty of food and drink. Mayor Edi Birsan thanked the community for their “spirit and determination in not giving up on Concord during some dark days in the past.”

Olympic High principal, Lynsie Castellano with new “graduate” Esther Maes.

award. And in many ways that was true. What better reward than presenting her grandmother with her high school During Pride weekend the City of Concord declared June diploma 73 years late. LgBTQ Pride Month for the first time and raised the Pride

flag which flies over City Hall for the entire month of June.

A diploma – and a new bike, to boot

Photo courtesy JOBL

The championship game scoreboard read 22-8 in favor of the undefeated Tigers. That wasn’t a football score but rather the season finale in the Junior Optimist Baseball League Deb’s Division for 4-6 year-old girls. The winning Tigers team included, front row from left, Reanna Pacheco, Avery Shinn, Malaya Whitney, Anaya Sandoval; back row, Kali Brockett, Ariani Madrigal, Ella Vigna, MacKenzie Allen. Coaches are Robert Pacheco and Stephanie Allen. Not pictured, Tatiana Hernandez.

Noah Yonemura is all smiles after being presented with a new bike at the Ygnacio Valley Christian School graduation.

Noah Yonemura was the last eighth-grader to walk up during the June 7 graduation ceremony at Ygnacio Valley Christian School. After he received his diploma, he turned around to an unexpected surprise – a new Trek mountain bike. The bike was a gift from the school board members, after Noah had gone through three bikes. Noah, who lives a little more than a mile from the school, would ride his bike to and from school daily. However, two bikes were

stolen off school property, with the bike locks cut off, and the other was damaged after a car hit him when he was riding to school one morning. He escaped that incident with only scrapes and bruises, but his bike was beyond repair. At the last board meeting of the year, the school board took it upon themselves to personally contribute funds to purchase him a new bike. Noah’s shock and gratitude shone across his face, bringing audience members to tears.

June 22, 2018

Concord Pioneer •

Page 5

Dan Helix – Fighting for America and a better Concord Editor’s Note: The Pioneer will feature a personal profile in every issue, including those well known in the community along with unsung heroes. As the city heads into its 150th anniversary celebration, we focus on Dan Helix – who had a profound impact on Concord’s recent history. KARA NAVOLIO Correspondent

Dan Helix is anything but an average guy. The octogenarian has spent his entire adult life serving the country and this community, making significant contributions in all his endeavors. Helix grew up in West Berkeley, where it was tough on the streets and at home. His father, a steel worker from Milwaukee, was an abusive alcoholic. Helix ended up in an orphanage at age 10, when his mother was so badly beaten that she needed long-term medical care and his father fled the state to avoid prosecution. He began taking boxing lessons at the YMCA, with the intention of protecting his mother in the future. He was reunited with her after two years and remembers her as a loving, intelligent woman. These events would shape the man he was to become. Protecting the rights of women and others in need became a theme in his life. FINDING MEANING IN THE ARMY After graduating from high school, Helix enlisted in the Army in 1948. Never having a true father-son relationship, Helix found a mentor and father figure in his first ser-

It’s the

geant. “He instilled a sense of purpose and discipline in my life,” Helix recalls. “He always felt that I could do more, regardless of what I achieved.” Helix rose quickly through the ranks and served in combat as a platoon leader and commander of a rifle company with the 45th Infantry Division during the Korean War. “The most transformational experience in my life was serving in combat,” Helix says. “The brotherhood that develops is like no other experience in life. I would never want to go through it again, but I would never trade it for anything.” His military career spanned 41 years of service, both in active duty and the Army Reserves, and more than 20 decorations – including the Silver Star, Distinguished Service Medal and the Purple Heart. He retired as a two-star general. Despite all the personal accolades, Helix notes: “What I’m most proud of is that 19 of my colonels went on to become generals.”

MOVING INTO POLITICS After the war and while working in Japan for Army Intelligence in 1953, he met Mary Lou, the daughter of a colonel. “She was a knockout,” Helix recounts. “Others were afraid to talk to her because her father was a colonel, but I wasn’t afraid of anyone. I had been in combat. I asked her to dance.” They dated every day and were married 3½ months later. The couple moved to Concord in 1955. While Mary Lou taught school, Helix attended UC Berkeley. He received a bachelor’s in history and later a

We specialize in education to improve and maintain your wellness Dan Helix, in uniform in 1988, found a sense of purpose in the military.

master’s in political science from San Francisco State. They had two children, Dan E. and Mary Louaine. He got into politics quite by accident. While teaching government at Ygnacio Valley High School, one of his students remarked that he seemed to know a lot about political theory yet he hadn’t worked in a political environment. Helix found the comment insightful and decided it was time to get some experience. He volunteered to work on Dan Boatwright’s campaign for Concord City Council. Two years later, in 1968, he ran for City Council himself. He served until 1976 and was mayor 1972-’74. He served a second stint on the council 2010-’16. His contributions to Concord are long-lasting and far-reaching. “From an enlisted soldier to becoming a general, Dan epitomizes the expanding skill and drive we can admire,” says current Mayor Edi Birsan. “From his staunch stand for civil rights against racism by sitting down at

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Concord Pioneer •

June 22, 2018

City Council considers controversial cannabis uses MIKE MCDERMOTT Special to the Pioneer

With more than 40 people signed up to speak at a city study session, the question of the day was: Will Concord become the Central County hub for cannabis operations? Residents packed the Concord City Council chambers as the council and Planning Commission held the joint study session on May 29. The room was full for the 6:30 p.m. meeting, which lasted until 12:20 a.m. The subject of cannabis has been a regular part of the City Council agenda since California voters approved Prop. 64 in late 2016. Prop. 64, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2018, gave cities and counties the right to allow or ban sale of medicinal or recreational (also called adult use) cannabis within their jurisdictions. Only about 10 percent of California cities have approved recreational retail licenses so far. Most cities have banned all cannabis uses except for limited indoor cultivation as allowed by state law.

No Central Contra Costa County cities along the 680 corridor have legalized recreational retail storefronts, and most medicinal cannabis is provided locally to patients through a patchwork of legal and illegal home delivery services. Cannabis business people are eager to find a city that will allow them to open up storefronts and/or home delivery services, and many have been looking to Concord as their best opportunity. At the April 10 City Council meeting, council members voted 4-1 to approve cannabis manufacturing for medicinal use only and directed staff to further explore medicinal retail cannabis uses in Concord. These uses may include storefront, non-storefront (home delivery), cultivation and microbusiness regulation. The purpose of May’s joint meeting was to consider these uses and provide city staff with further direction with respect to allowed uses, locations, buffers and taxation. A representative of SCI

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Consulting Group presented information on trends in the cannabis industry. In states allowing recreational use, those sales quickly exceed revenue from medicinal sales. In cities where both uses are authorized, most medicinal cannabis retailers obtain approval to sell into the recreational use market – resulting in a reduction in medicinal-only storefronts. Concord police provided a report that said they expected little impact to police services from cannabis manufacturing, distribution and testing. However, the report said retail storefronts “would result in an overwhelming amount of oversight workload for police resources”

and would “open our doors to the large black market of illegal cannabis (medicinal and adult use) operations that would flock to our city.” Chief Guy Swanger said that if any cannabis storefronts opened in Concord, he would need a special enforcement team of two to three sworn officers, a code enforcement officer and additional clerical support. The meeting audience was evenly divided on the issue. Opponents, including several families with young children, held up signs expressing opposition to recreational sales. Proponents wore green shirts and other signs indicating their sup-

port for cannabis in Concord. About 18 speakers opposed expanding cannabis uses, expressing concerns about increased crime, risks to public health and the loss of Concord’s reputation as a familyfriendly city. About 20 speakers supported recreational in Concord. Of those, 12 identified themselves as cannabis business people and two were members of a national cannabis advocacy group. Proponents reminded the council that a majority of voters in Concord passed Prop. 64. They assured the council that their businesses would operate with high standards, and they proposed a plan for a pilot storefront. Most of the speakers on both sides made their case passionately but respectfully, however, there were a couple of tense moments. One cannabis business operator accused his opponents of racism, and another cannabis supporter called out one council member and threatened to defeat him in the upcoming election. After over two hours of public testimony, it was time for council members to share their Station facilities and uses as viewpoints. With respect to part of our ongoing Specific medicinal use, the entire council Plan process,” the letter stated. expressed interest in consider“The city is excited to support this additional investment in GoMentum Station and looks forward to working with AAA as this opportunity evolves.” GoMentum Station began as a program of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) in 2015, and the city of Concord has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOA) The 3-alarm fire that with CCTA. The partnership is destroyed a downtown apartalso subject to a sub-license ment building under construcarrangement with the Navy. tion was arson, the Bureau of CCTA is proposing a Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms revised MOU with Concord to and Explosives announced extend the term of interim use May 30. for at least five years. The The fire broke out around revised MOU is likely to come midnight April 24. ATF has before the CCTA board and surveillance video which City Council later this summer. shows a slender figure in a Bjerke said the acquisition white hooded sweatshirt of GoMentum Station by jumping the fence and enterAAA does not impact either ing the building carrying the existing or proposed what appeared to be a bag. revised MOU because About a minute later, he ran GoMentum is not a party to out of the building and vaultthe MOU, but an implement- ed the fence just ahead of ing vendor of CCTA.

ing some licensing opportunity for non-storefront (home delivery). All council members wanted to help Concord residents get their medications through city licensed, medicinal-only home delivery services. However, council members cited police department testimony and public concerns and feedback as reasons to “go slow” in considering medicinal storefronts or microbusinesses. Council members Laura Hoffmeister, Carlyn Obringer, Ron Leone and Tim McGallian opposed all recreational retail sales and cultivation in Concord. Mayor Edi Birsan advocated licensing for all cannabis uses, including recreational. The council may consider a ballot initiative to tax medicinal use either this fall or in 2020. The majority of council members agreed it would not be appropriate to include references to recreational/adult use in such a ballot measure since those uses are not being approved in Concord. City staff will develop more detailed proposals for the council to consider later this year.

The proposal also included authorizing staff to investigate building a downtown conference center and to negotiate an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with him for the city property adjacent to the police station. But some council members weren’t ready to go that far. Councilwoman Laura Hoffmeister expressed concerns about the language in the memorandum. “It should be a memorandum of exploration,” she said. “I don’t want to ‘enthusiastically encourage’ because I’m not sure we’re at that point yet. … This is a concept idea.” Hoffmeister also said it was premature to discuss the city constructing a convention center and closing the Pavilion. “We haven’t even made a mention to the community about this,” she noted. Councilman Ron Leone said the project could be a “game changer” for downtown and was “enthusiastic” about the possibilities. “The city of Concord is going to make a big mistake if we shut down this process too soon,” he warned. Hall said he needed “a statement – a sense where this body is at” before he approached BART about its land around the downtown Concord station. He

many weren’t convinced. “When I first heard about it, my head exploded. All I could see was a traffic nightmare,” resident Diane Sprouse said during public comment. Other residents spoke about the need for more housing downtown and wondered why such projects weren’t being considered. Birsan noted that no other applications were pending on the site – although the city also hasn’t specifically sought applicants. John Montagh, the city’s Economic Development manager, said there has been some interest by multi-family developers in the past. “It wasn’t anything unique or dynamic,” he said, noting that he thought Hall’s project had “merit to bring forward and get the council’s input.” Hall said soccer is still an “up and coming” sport in the United States, with stadium development all across the country. “Soccer is the world’s truly only global sport. It transcends national borders, languages, cultures, genders,” he said. “The team and the stadium give us an important component in the creation of an expanded, family-oriented, regional soccer ecosystem.”

Concord supports AAA purchase of GoMentum Station The Concord City Council voted to support the potential acquisition of GoMentum Station by the American Automobile Association (AAA) of Northern California. AAA is a non-profit mutual benefit corporation that has expressed interest in acquiring GoMentum Station for the continued testing of autonomous or connected vehicles and related technologies. Guy Bjerke, the city’s director of Community Reuse Planning, presented the letter of support and it was passed with little discussion at the June 12 meeting. The letter outlines the near- and long-term issues regarding the interim and/or possible permanent use of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station site. “The city is supportive of AAA’s intent to acquire GoMentum Station Incorporated so the interim testing uses of the CNWS can continue as we explore the possibilities of permanent GoMentum

Mike McDermott is a Concord resident with a strong interest in city government. Email him c/o

Massive construction fire caused by arson

bright flashes coming from inside. He was not carrying the bag. The fire cost an estimated $55 million and is similar to other construction fires in Oakland and Emeryville. There have been no arrests in any of the fires. Construction on the new apartments is expected to begin late summer or early fall. The ATF is offering up to $25,000 for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons determined to be responsible for the blaze.

Council votes 3-2 to continue exploring soccer stadium concept Developer Hall taking his plan to BART next

BEV BRITTON Concord Pioneer

While it wasn’t quite the “Go get ’em!” Mark Hall was hoping for, the Concord City Council did approve a letter stating they are interested in future exploration of his ambitious mixed used project downtown. Hall Sports Ventures’ plan could include a 15,000-18,000 seat soccer stadium for a Division II professional team, a convention center, hotels, retail, office and multi-family units – along with the possible closing of the Concord Pavilion and moving those events to the downtown stadium. Spirits ran high at the May 22 meeting, with audience members passionate about their opposition and council members divided 3-2. In fact, Hall was the only one not showing much emotion – claiming jet lag. Hall, who went to elementary school in Concord, came to the city asking for a Memorandum of Support for his $600,000-$750,000 million plan.

called BART a “key group” in the plan. Mayor Edi Birsan agreed that getting BART on board is essential, noting that otherwise “this could be a short focus.” After the City Council vote, Hall Equities began reaching out to BART and is in the process of meeting with directors and staff to discuss the project. Hall calls for closing the Pavilion and selling the land for “much-needed housing” – with the city putting those funds into stadium construction costs. He also seeks a portion of new hotel tax revenue and assumes the city would own the convention center, which he would master lease from the city. “We have a lot of work in front of us to get this project done,” Hall told the council. “There are a lot of moving parts, financially, design-wise, contractwise.” Some council members wondered about the concept of closing the Pavilion and adding housing – and more traffic – to Ygnacio Valley Road. Along with audience members, they also posed concerns about traffic impacts downtown. Although Hall touted BART access and the fact that “all roads lead to downtown Concord,”

June 22, 2018

F r om the desk o f . . .

Concord Pioneer •

Planning Commission approves new retail projects



As the chair of the Concord Planning Commission, I am happy to report that this column is returning to the Pioneer. This month, I want to provide information about several items that the Planning Commission reviewed from the beginning of this year to now. In January, we approved a use permit for Massage Envy at the Willows Shopping Center. Massage Envy is a national




It gives me pleasure to join in celebrating Concord’s 150th anniversary – its sesquicentennial celebration. It has been an honor to represent Concord residents for the past eight years. In addition to holding this office, I was chief of staff to both Supervisors Sunne Wright McPeak and Mark DeSaulnier and worked with them to represent Concord and its residents at the county level. During redistricting, I fought to keep Concord in District 4 and not have it divided between multiple districts. This city of 128,000 people prioritizes a

brand with about 1,200 locations. This Massage Envy will serve about 1,600 members and an additional 400 plus nonmembers. It will be located across from the Eureka restaurant and next to Ike’s. Also in January, we updated the Concord Development Code to correct minor code errors and inconsistencies and to implement actions mandated by the state Legislature. It is important to understand that updates to Development Codes are normal. Sometimes the needs and the conditions of a community might change, or the state Legislature might pass certain mandates. For example, we approved an amendment for adding a minimum and maximum of densi-

close-knit sense of community, participating in so many familyfriendly events – including concerts in the park, farmers markets, concerts at the Concord Pavilion and Off the Grid food truck events. This community supports long-established, small, family-owned businesses as well as new developments such as The Veranda. Concord has done its part in providing not just for the people of Concord, but for the entire county. In 2014, Concord Mayor Tim Grayson and the Concord Police Department helped establish the Central County Family Justice Center. This is a public-private partnership with an executive board that includes a representative from the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors and Concord Police Chief Guy Swanger. On March 19, 2015, the Cen-

of the main reasons that cities were created in California as incorporated entities. That this becomes a battle ground between local cities and regional/state/national governments is often a high stakes game of influence and sometimes wellintended power politics gone awry. While the city’s knee-jerk action on the local control issue is often automatically to rally against the outsiders, there can be serious reasons to override local control. State regulations can provide

Helix, from page 5

a lunch counter in the Carolinas with Freedom Riders or slamming bigotry down from his council seat here in the ’60s, he has shown the depth of compassion we respect.” Helix led the drive to preserve the Lime Ridge Open Space, was instrumental in the building of the Concord Pavilion and the Senior Center and helped establish the Family Justice Center. He promoted women and protected seniors. He served on the BART board in the ’70s and once filibustered a board meeting until the other members would agree to promote a deserving woman to the all-male board. He also won a fight to give senior discounts on BART tickets. One of the things he’s most proud of during his time on

April. The Planning Commission reviewed the CIP and TIP to make sure it was consistent with the General Plan. We determined that it was consistent and gave our recommendation of approval to the City Council. Finally, the Planning Commission approved the sale of a three-acre vacant parcel that is owned by the city. We approved the sale to AvalonBay because the proposed sale was consistent with the General Plan. This property is behind the white picket fence between Willow Pass Road and Concord Boulevard in the downtown area. Dominic Aliano currently serves as chair of the Concord Planning Commission.

At 150 years young, Concord remains a close-knit community

Mayor, from page 1

I could imagine a 10-story building next to the BART station with retail that could include a pet store, tobacco shop, liquor store, massage parlor, methadone clinic, a small nuclear power plant as a backup source for the oil refinery placed on the upper floors and a child-care center to be topped with a garden temple for clothing-optional religious ceremonies. Of course, this is an extreme, ridiculous hypothetical. After all, who would put a pet store next to a train station? Land use planning was one

ties for residential development for the North Todos Santos Districts (NTS). In February, the Planning Commission approved a use permit and design review for a Dunkin’ Donuts at the Clayton Center shopping center. It is replacing Ghost Golf, which was in the old Hollywood Video building. Dunkin’ Donuts brings exterior and interior modifications along with parking lot upgrades, landscaping, lighting and modifications to an existing masonry wall. We also reviewed the proposed 2018-’19 Fiscal Year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) in

the council is the establishment of a consumer hotline within the city. This made it possible for seniors and others to have a local advocate to deal with unfair treatment by businesses. When Hubert Humphrey was campaigning for president and visited Concord, Helix met with him. Upon hearing about the hotline, Humphrey took that back to Congress and soon other cities followed with their own. WORKING ON WEAPONS


Helix also served on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Military Base Retention Commission, advising on base closures, and was co-chair of the initial Concord Reuse Committee for the Concord Naval Weapons

tral County location opened in Salvio Pacheco Square –where my office is located. The Central County Family Justice Center follows a regional model, with West County and East County locations currently in the works. Their mission is to bring together our community to support the healing of family violence survivors and to integrate capable partners with a comprehensive service approach to renew individuals and our community from trauma of family violence. Another example of Concord partnering with the county to best serve residents here is our partnership with the Coordinated Outreach Referral and Engagement (CORE) Teams. The teams go into the community and encampment areas to directly connect with the homeless population and extend available services to them, such as

shelters, warming centers, mental health services, and the mobile health and dental clinics. Concord has made it a priority to financially contribute toward its own CORE Team to help address the needs in our community. So far, Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill and Martinez have also partnered with the county on CORE Teams. It makes all the difference to have a strong partner like the city of Concord in serving our community. Likewise, the residents here truly make this a special place to be. I look forward to honoring this great city on its 150th anniversary celebration on July 4th and hope to see many of you there. Karen Mitchoff is Contra Costa County District IV supervisor. Email questions or comments to

a uniformity, so as to allow commerce and day-to-day activities to go on without a mess of conflicting local rules that change dramatically from one jurisdiction to another. We would not want each local city to have its own water quality standard. Historically, nearly all issues of civil rights have an application of overriding local control on something. I am reminded of the southern state that passed a referendum by 70 percent to effectively reinstate segregation in schools after the Brown vs. the Board of Education ruling in the 1950s that was subsequently struck down by the courts. There is a balance to be

maintained between when local control should be championed and when it is to be modified by regional regulations. Our role in city government is to try to understand when to scream and rally around the local control banner and when to accept a greater good. In the case of AB 2923, it is pretty clear-cut from a Concord perspective. If by the end of the week’s meeting the supporters are bleeding from their deafened ears, they may get the point that, in this case, BART needs to stay out of the city zoning business.

Station (CNWS). He recently joined the Community Advisory Committee for the CNWS but resigned over a strong belief that city staff was trying to get the committee to rubber stamp developer Lennar’s plans without thoughtful reading and discussion. “Five thousand acres is a gift. But you can’t just put houses on it,” he says. “Housing is not an income producer. Housing requires services, and a city needs economic development to be able to offer those services.” He is a proponent of a better balance between housing and business development. “We need jobs here in Concord. The current plan of mostly houses will cause gridlock in Concord and on the highways as more people commute other places.” He was encouraged by a recent 3-2 vote by the City

Council to take more time working with Lennar on the plan. “If the City Council doesn’t take charge of this, we could miss the opportunity of a lifetime,” he adds. Speaking the truth is something he values, both in his work and in his writing. His first novel, published in 2004, is a fictionalized story based on his time in Korea called “The Kochi Maru Affair.” His second novel, “The Puzzle Palace,” focuses on his Pentagon days and will be published later this year. Helix still lives in Concord with his wife of 64 years, Mary Lou. He has five grandchildren and two great granddaughters. “Concord is a great city,” Helix reflects. “It’s middleclass America, and middleclass America is the strength of this country. It’s a great place to raise a family. I won’t live anywhere else.”

Email questions and comments to Mayor Birsan at

Page 7

Letter to the Editor Yes on cannabis

Voted for Prop 64? Your elected officials have denied your request. Every city in Contra Costa voted overwhelmingly in favor of Prop 64, yet only Richmond and El Cerrito permit a local cannabis industry. I’ve attended meetings throughout the county on this issue and opponents cite concerns about child safety, DUIs, crime, and addiction. There’s a wealth of peer-reviewed studies that dispute these concerns, yet those facts are not presented in any city or county presentation. Furthermore, when a city council denies us access to a

local regulated market, they promote the black market, putting all of us at increased risk. Some elected officials: Cindy Silva (WC), Candace Anderson (County Dist 2), and Laura Hoffmeister (Concord) have indicated that voters in favor of Prop 64 didn’t fully understand what they were voting for. What an insult. Those of us who voted for 64 understand the racist history of this prohibition, the health benefits and safety profile of the cannabis plant, and the relationship between crime and bans. And that is why we voted for it. Rebecca Byars Concord Resident

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Concord Pioneer •

June 22, 2018

Council lengthens negotiating time for weapons station plan BEV BRITTON Concord Pioneer

The Concord City Council approved a 12-month extension of the negotiating agreement with Lennar for the first phase of redevelopment at the Concord Naval Weapons Station. The city approved the cur-

rent negotiating agreement in July 2016, but the scope of the Specific Plan, Infrastructure Plan and environmental documents have expanded since then. According to Guy Bjerke, the city’s director of Community Reuse Planning, the process has been lengthened because the city has asked

Concord farmers market a proud part of the community

Historical Todos Santos Plaza home to farmers markets DEBRA MORRIS Pacific Coast Farmers Market

When the town of Todos Santos (now Concord) was laid out in 1868, a plaza and park were created in the center of town for the enjoyment and leisure of its residents. After donating the land to the town, Don Salvio Pacheco officially dedicated the area to the people of Todos Santos. It soon became the focus of the city’s business and entertainment district. With an extensive revitalization and remodel in the 1960s, Todos Santos has become the permanent location for Concord’s weekly farmers markets. During the summer months, the Tuesday and Thursday markets have attracted a faithful group of farmers and producers who bring their wares each week, while loyal customers and many newcomers take advantage of the fresh and local products. The Tuesday year-round farmers market set up shop in 1992, with many local farmers and other vendors sharing their products with the people of Concord. The Thursday evening market began in 1996 and continues to be the place to come on a summer’s evening for great produce and, of course, the Music and Mar-

ket Series. On this special 150th anniversary of Concord, the farmers markets continues to grow and to offer the best in local produce, hot food, flowers, baked goods and other delicious items each week. This month welcome G&S Farm’s return with sweet Brentwood corn. Visit Bautista Ranch from Stockton to pick up their famous peppers, summer squash and succulent tomatoes. New producer Chelini Pasta Works offers fabulous pastas and sauces, or find grass-fed beef steaks or chops from Divide Ranch of Elk Creek for 4th of July celebrations. And don’t forget to pick up summer berries from Rodriguez Farms of Watsonville. There are more than 40 vendors with local products at the year-round Tuesday market and almost 35 producers participating in the Thursday evening markets. There’s a wide array of produce and other products, so come down and celebrate Concord’s anniversary this month and enjoy the farmers market in its gorgeous Todos Santos Plaza location. Pick up produce grown only by the farmers themselves, and support your local farms and your community.

Lennar to plan for the entire 2,300 acres rather than just the 500 acres in phase one. The developer is also adding plans for 18 acres of BART property and 58 acres of Coast Guard property. Bjerke pointed out that while Lennar has broadened its planning scope, they are not guaranteed as the developer beyond phase one. “They are paying for the planning process, and they’re at risk until this council adopts the DDA (Disposition and Development Agreement),” Bjerke told the council.

Council members spent some time discussing environmental concerns on the Concord site, prompted by reports of falsified soil records at Hunter’s Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco. The company in question, Tetra Tech, is also conducting testing in Concord. Councilwoman Carlyn Obringer suggested extending the agreement with Lennar only until August, so city officials could learn more about soil falsification charges and hear from the Navy. “I’m really concerned

about health and safety,” she said. But Councilman Tim McGallian and Mayor Edi Birsan said that possible soil contamination wasn’t the issue at hand. “Regardless of whichever way that goes, we still need to have a developer – we need to still go forward,” Birsan said. McGallian said there is still time for “due diligence” on soil issues. “It’s a little premature to say ‘No, let’s walk away from it.’ ” Noting that Lennar has shown to be a good partner,

McGallian said he had no major concerns with extending the agreement. “All the parties are at the table,” he said. “We still need to plan for this.” The council voted 3-2, with Obringer dissenting and Councilman Ron Leone recusing himself due to the proximity of his personal residence. With the extension approved May 22, all documents are now expected to be ready for final consideration by the City Council in June 2019.

Urban Center, from page 1 Association made plans for redevelopment and beautification downtown. One area was Salvio Pacheco Square. An entire block adjacent to the plaza was redesigned with Spanish-style architecture and a courtyard with restaurants, stores and offices. It set the tone for others to follow.

The result was the Concord Pavilion, opening in 1975 with a benefit concert by Sarah Vaughan and Henry Mancini. The Willows Theater opened in 1977, and artists formed the Concord Arts Association and the Diablo Arts Association. Through the 1980s, major building took place around the downtown area. The Concord “In the ‘70s, 70 Hilton with conference facilipercent of Concord’s ties opened in 1983, followed workers commuted for by office parks such as the Willows and Galaxy. Concord work. We wanted to elected its first female mayor, focus on bringing June Bulman. In 1987, the city received businesses here.” an honorable mention in the Dan Helix U.S. Conference of Mayors Livability Awards Program, based largely on its commit“In the ’70s, 70 percent of ment to the arts. Concord’s workers commuted SPIRIT POLES BACKFIRE for work. We wanted to focus However, in the late ’80s, on bringing businesses here,” said Helix, who served on the controversy shook city politics. As part of the city’s public art City Council 1968-1976. Mid- and high-rise office program, the Spirit Poles were buildings were added beyond installed in 1989 on Concord the downtown core to bring Avenue – one of the city’s more jobs closer to where peo- main entrances. The 91, ple lived. BART came to Con- tapered aluminum poles had cord in 1973, followed by more varying heights and were tilted business and high-density at different angles. They were housing near the station. Three intended to be symbolic of the of Concord’s largest housing city’s dynamic growth and also developments were also built to honor the Ohlone Indian during this time – Walnut practice of placing ceremonial Country, Turtle Creek and poles outside their huts. But the moment the poles Kirkwood. went up, the public outcry began. The controversy led to BOOMING MUSIC SCENE Concord’s arts scene was the election of three new thriving during this time. The council members, and Bulman Concord Summer Festival was not reelected. began to draw big-name music Due to an agreement with artists like Ella Fitzgerald, the artist, the poles could not Count Baise, Woody Herman be removed. However, 10 years and Benny Goodman. One of later, in 1999, a pole unexpectConcord’s most famous sons, edly fell and the city was able internationally acclaimed jazz to remove the poles for safety musician Dave Brubeck, per- reasons. formed often as well. Along with many other Carl Jefferson, founder of cities in this era, the city also Concord Jazz Inc., a recording wrestled with social issues company that won four Gram- like gay rights, protecting my awards, spearheaded a those with HIV/AIDS from move for a permanent home discrimination and sexual for Concord’s music festival. harassment.

Concord Chamber of Commerce

Once a small farming community, Concord is now the largest city in Contra Costa County and a major job center.

EXPANSION IN THE ’90S The 1990s became the decade of renovation and a brighter future. Concord renovated its parks, Pixie Playland expanded and Waterworld opened. Voters passed Measure A, giving the Mt. Diablo Unified School District $90 million for school renovations. Todos Santos Plaza was redesigned, and Sun Valley Mall and the Concord Pavilion were renovated and expanded. Mt. Diablo Medical Center expanded and merged with John Muir Medical Center. Brenden Theatre opened in 1995, adding much-needed activity to the downtown area and helping new restaurants flourish. Concord was becoming an even more desirable place to live. In 1996, President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore visited Concord and helped volunteers wire Ygnacio Valley High School for the Internet – the first step in preparing Concord students for the 21st century. By 1999, a customer satisfaction survey revealed that three-quarters of Concord residents were happy with the quality of life in Concord. In 1993, Concord captured the 7th Best City in the Nation to Raise Children title from Zero Population Growth.

ALWAYS MOVING FORWARD The 21st century has brought many more changes to Concord. What was once a bedroom community of mostly white, working-class residents has evolved into a diverse, multi-cultural urban city of more than 125,000 residents – with more than 30 percent Hispanic. Dense housing is being developed downtown, commercial building continues and the city is working on plans to incorporate the former Concord Naval Weapons Station land into the rest of Concord. We are now a thoroughly modern city, with vibrant parks, a world-class entertainment venue, thriving businesses, shopping and restaurants. It is fitting that in the same square where it all began when Salvio Pacheco named it Todos Santos Plaza – and in the same square where generations have celebrated holidays, festivals and parades – we will celebrate Concord’s 150th birthday on July 4th. This series includes details from three books on Concord history: “Images of America: Concord” by Joel A. Harris, “History of Concord: Its Progress and Promise” by Edna May Andrews and “Concord’s Dynamic Half Century: The Years Since World War II” by Lura Dymond.

June 22, 2018

Concord Pioneer •

Individualized Treatment Decisions for Breast Cancer

Page 9

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The long-awaited results from the TailoRx (Trial Assigning Individualized Options for Treatment) trial were released in June at the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago. The results confirm that using the gene expression test (OncotypeDX) to assess the risk of breast cancer recurrence can spare many women unnecessary treatment with chemotherapy that will not benefit them. The most common type of cancer in women is breast

with a low risk recurrence score would not likely benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy. For the patient with an intermediate recurrence score, we were uncertain of the benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy. The goal of this trial, which was supported in part by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), was to address this gap of knowledge by determining whether chemotherapy is beneficial for women with an intermediate risk recurrence score of 11-25. It was a prospective clinical trial that enrolled over 10,000 women with this subset of breast cancer at 1,182 sites in the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and Peru. In fact, several of our patients from Diablo Valley Oncology participated in the trial. According to the authors, the findings suggest that chemotherapy may be avoided in about 70 percent of women with ER-positive, HER2-negative, node-nega-

L.A. market a magnet for celebrity homeowners Q: I always enjoy your articles about celebrity real estate. Do you have more interesting facts about them? A: I also love housing trends from the rich and famous. No matter what the real estate market is doing, they are always on the lookout for the latest status symbols and toys. Real estate is always hot, and they have cash in hand. I will report on Bay Area celebrity real estate in another column, but today it will be Southern California. The area’s delicious waterfronts create a true luxury market where the sky is the limit. These buyers are looking for cool pocket listings that don’t go on the MLS. These are people who buy and sell a lot of homes – like Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen DeGeneres. Here are some celebrity scoops: For a mere $13 million, you can buy the gated home Rihanna has been renting on a private Pacific Palisades knoll. The eight-time Grammy winner was forking over $65,000- $100,000 a month for the privilege of living there. It’s sleek, sexy and super clean, with seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms in 11,000 sq. ft. of living space connected by an elevator.

Dr. Svahn is a Medical Oncologist and Breast Cancer Specialist with Diablo Valley Oncology and Hematology Medical Group in Pleasant Hill and San Ramon. She developed the Women’s Cancer Center of the East Bay where breast cancer patients are seen by three breast cancer specialists in one visit. Dr. Svahn can be reached at 925677-5041


Eco-conscious materials were key in Bryan Cranston’s Ventura “green” house. in the kitchen, Poggenpohl cabinets were chosen for their recycled wood content and for the company’s low-waste factory efficiency. The Sub-Zero Wolf refrigerator uses less energy than a 100-watt light bulb.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West recently purchased a home in Hidden Hills with a front-yard vineyard – the latest must for celebrity buyers. The home can easily host a 500-person fundraiser, and that includes parking for all 500 on the property. One problem was there was an ugly shack of a home looking down on their backyard. So, the couple bought it for an additional $3 million. “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston has also been busy in real estate. He built a beach

After the parade leaves Todos Santos Plaza around noon, the Concord Historical Society will honor one of Concord’s founding fathers, Don Salvio Pacheco, at the unveiling of a statue created by artist Paula Slater. The ceremony will be near the Grant Street entrance to Todos Santos Plaza. Concord’s Sesquicentennial Committee has placed a stainless steel time capsule beneath the statue. Stroll west a few short blocks to the Concord Historical Society Ice Cream Social 1-4 p.m., featuring free “tin roof sundaes” in the gardens between the Concord Heritage and Event Center and the historic home of Concord co-founder Don Francisco Galindo, at 1721 Amador Ave.

house on the Ventura County coast that is totally green and uses all sustainable materials. Cranston tore down the old property on the land to make way for his new pad that is run via solar and wind energy. Even the treatment on the walls is green and malleable, so nicks or scratches can be massaged out of it. It might be the future of celebrity real estate. Speaking of “Breaking Bad,” Bob Odenkirk (Saul) sold his mid-century modern in the Hollywood Hills for $2.5 million and bought another

Enjoy free tours of both historic buildings, with music and ice cream. Concord’s 150th Anniversary Festival continues at Mt. Diablo High School. Gates open at 4 p.m. for family activities including a children’s

S TAFF W RITERS : Pamela Wiesendanger, Jay Bedecarré, Bev Britton

C ORRESPONDENTS : Kara Navolio, John T. Miller


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July 4, from page 1

ning with registration at 6:30 a.m. Pre-register at andstripesrun/. Proceeds will benefit Shelter Inc. Kids Fun Run signups begin at 6:30 a.m. for children 10 years and up, with the free run at 8 a.m. Festivities continue with the Dave Crane Memorial Pancake Breakfast 8-11 a.m., prepared by Concord Diablo Rotary at Todos Santos Plaza, 2175 Willow Pass Road; $5. The 4th of July Parade celebrating the city’s sesquicentennial begins at 10 a.m. at Mt. Diablo High School, 2450 Grant St. Floats, marching bands, equestrian and dance teams and community organizations will proceed south on Willow Pass Road to circle Todos Santos Plaza and return to the school.

tive breast cancer. The findings also suggest that chemotherapy should be considered for the remaining 30 percent of women with ERpositive, HER2-negative, node-negative breast cancer: The results of this ground breaking trial confirm that the majority of the ER-positive patients can avoid chemotherapy and just receive hormonal therapy. The findings are very helpful in supporting oncologists and patients when they are making decisions about the best course of treatment.

TAMARA AND R OBERT S TEINER , Publishers TAMARA S TEINER , Editor P ETE C RUZ , Graphic Design B EV B RITTON , Copy Editor J AY B EDECARRÉ, Sports Editor PAMELA W IESENDANGER , Administration, Calendar Editor

older, Spanish style home for $3.3 million. He’s a good investor. It’s a better location, but they’re both tricked out, tastefully done homes. Scarlett Johansson snatched up a new estate in Los Feliz, and she was really smart to buy in that area. She’s had some mishaps with her real estate, but she got a relatively good price on this house. The $3.88 million home is a traditional Spanish Colonial on a good chunk of land. It’s extremely private, thanks to its walls and hedges. The home is also at the end of a cul-de-sac and accentuated with lots of mature foliage. With her husband living in Paris and her busy A-list schedule, Johansson doesn’t have a money pit – but rather a manageable 3,500 sq. ft. crib. Send your question and look for your answer in a future column. Email French is the broker/owner of Windermere Lynne French & Associates. Contact her at 672-8787 or stop in at 6200 Center St., Clayton.

carnival, live music, food booths, art exhibits, local vendors, a performance by the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps at 6 p.m. and a spectacular fireworks show at 9 p.m. Visit for more details.

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

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Concord Pioneer •

June 22, 2018

Carondelet, DLS rule diamond; CVCHS boys 3rd in State JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

De La Salle did a threepeat and Carondelet broke a 19-year drought as the two Concord parochial schools won North Coast Section championships June 2 on the diamond while Clayton Valley Charter boys used runner-up finishes in three events to take third at the CIF State track and field championships the same evening. Carondelet hadn’t won the NCS softball title since 1999 but the Cougars blanked Bishop O’Dowd 6-0 in the Division II championship game. For De La Salle it had just been 12 months since they last conquered the NCS baseball tournament and their overwhelming sweep through this year’s

tournament was capped with a six-inning 10-0 rout of East Bay Athletic League rival Foothill. CVCHS track and field has had some impressive achievements the two couple of seasons but taking third at the CIF State Meet tops them all. And yet the Eagles were one injury away from shocking the track world with a team state championship. Track & Field - Clayton Valley Charter got top 5 performances in several events to accumulate 28 points and a third-place finish at State behind Southern Section teams Murrieta Mesa (35) and Great Oak (30). The Eagles had the best NCS boys team performance since Castro Valley was second and De La Salle third in 2014.

Juniors Cameron Reynolds (400 meters) and Daylon Hicks (high jump) each took second in their specialties while the Eagles 4x400 relay was also runner-up in the country’s most competitive high school track and field championships. Reynolds set a personal best in winning the Diablo Athletic League meet last month at 47.09 in the 400 and was just off that pace while taking second at State in 47.27. He ran his two fastest ever times in the 200 meters at Clovis and was fifth in the finals. Hicks tied his personal best of 6-10 at State, taking second to defending champion Sean Lee of Trabuco Hills who cleared 7-2. The quartet of James Ward, Justin Lowe, Reynolds and Bryson Benjamin was second

Photo courtesy Carondelet Athletics

When he began his first season as head coach earlier this year Mike Creecy challenged his Carondelet softball team to add a North Coast Section championship banner to the wall in the Cougars gym. The only time the Cougars had won a Section title was in 1999 before any of the current players were born. Lo and behold, Carondelet raced through four opponents while allowing only one run in the NCS Division ii playoffs, capped by a 60 win over Bishop O’Dowd in the championship game.

to team winners Murrieta Mesa in the 4x400 relay for coach Keisha Lowe’s Eagles. Coach Lowe told the Pioneer after the meet, “Clayton Valley boys did an amazing job this weekend. Overall Clayton Valley placed 3rd in state. The 4x400 team is second in California and seventh in the nation. Hard work and determination led this team to their success. We are now looking Photo courtesy De La Salle Athletics ahead to next year as we set our sights on state again.” De La Salle High’s golf team had quite the post-season run by winning the EBAL tournaThe glow of such a high ment and Northern California championship while missing out on the North Coast Section finish at State was slightly temtitle by a single shot. The champion Spartans included, from left, head coach Terry Eidson, pered by the sight of senior coach Andrew Roberts, Jack gardner, Mackade Mangels, Justin Hopkins, Brendan Hopkins, Mitchell Hoey, garrett Coleman, coach Joe Rhodes and coach Jim Collins. The team Aidan Jackman wearing street clothes at Clovis rooting on his took fifth at the State tournament.

teammate in lieu of his CVCHS graduation that night. Jackman was the state’s top hurdler in both the 110 and 300 meters plus a highlyranked high jumper and 4x400 relay member. He began feeling hamstring issues at the Arcadia Invitational in April but had to pull out at the league meet so he wasn’t eligible to continue to NCS and State, where he would have been a major factor in both hurdles, likely scoring enough points for CVCHS to win the state title. Lowe added, “Winning State would’ve made a big statement for North Coast

Diablo FC 06 captured the under 12 boys championship of Concord Cup XXV with a stout defense that allowed only one goal in four games as the team won its second consecutive Concord Cup title. Diablo FC 06 had three victories and a 1-1 draw in its final game to claim the title in a round-robin bracket. The team is coached from former club standout player Arnol Arceta. Diablo FC 06 includes, front row from left, Araad Vafaeenia, Jameson Martin, Fito Castro, Kevin Martinez, Victor Metkowski; back row, coach Arceta, Noah Santos, Diego Cortes, Aiden Burgham, Misael Chavez, Niles West, Davis Sostenes and Angel Perez.

Diablo FC 09 Premier wrapped up first place in the under 10 girls division at Concord Cup XXV while playing up one age group. The local competitive U9 team won three and drew one while outscoring its four opponents 13-4. Coach Miguel gonzalez’s team includes, from left, Maya Barrett, Peyton Whitwam, Taylor Turner, genevienne Perry, Juliet Selva, Natalia Brunal, Ava Jara, Delaney Fraser, isabella ibanez and Kelsey Collins. They won the championship game 5-2 over PHMSA Avalanche 08.

Section because State is dominated by the southern teams. They didn’t see Clayton Valley coming. We flew in like an eagle and snatched up several points.” The other local downer was NCS champion Kelly Kern’s performance in the pole vault finals. The Carondelet vaulter tied for first at 12-6 in the prelims before having a rough State finals, missing twice at 11-6 and then going out at 120. The sophomore hadn’t been under 12-0 (except for two dual meets where she posted a winning vault and then

See Champs, page 13

6 local teams finish first at 25th Concord Cup

Photo courtesy MDSA

MDSA Fireballs 13U played in the 14U bracket at Concord Cup that included 13U and 14U girls teams and came away in first place. They scored 11 goals and gave up only one in four games. in the championship game the Fireballs scored in the final of the 70 minutes to defeat East Bay United infinity 1-0. The team included, from left, Laine Moraes, Sydney Mendelson, Brenda Ramirez, Abby Schauman, isabelle Ruff, Ellie Aragon, Cicily Schultz, Emma Stranko, gabby Vela, Libby Celentano, Lena King, Zoe Lahanas, Ashlynn Evans and Megan Ross. Not pictured, Katelynn Brown, Brooke Rickenbacher, coach KC Ross and coach Al Aragon.

Diablo FC 07 Premier won the under 12 red division at Concord Cup XXV last month by avenging a 2-1 loss in the opening rounds with a 3-0 shutout of PHMSA United in the championship game. Playing up a year, Diablo FC 07 Premier girls added the Concord Cup title to championships in the Halloween Kick or treat Classic and the Davis Legacy tournament. The U11 team coached by Miguel gonzalez includes, front row from left, Mikayla Agnew, Kiara Walker, Charlotte Orr, Naomi Chrobak, Mahayla ZandonellaArasa, Carly Lopez; back row, Julianna Amaya, gabbi garcia, Hailey Stuart, Luz Hernandez and Ari Upson.

Photo courtesy MDSA

MDSA Panthers tied Mountain View Tigers for first place in the 12U Red Division standings but lost a coin toss for the championship after all other tournament tiebreakers were even. The top two teams had a scoreless tie in their Sunday game as each team won its other three games. The Panthers team included, front row from left, Julia Jarnagin, Quin Ryan, Emma Hinkson, Cassandra Roberts, gianna Zamora, Karleigh Cooper; middle row, Madison Thys, Mia Poms, Alayna Cloven; back row, coach Dave Cooper, Alexa Parco, Olivia Henley-Bush, Katelyn Marable and coach Ted Tellefsen.

Photos courtesy Diablo FC

Photo Concord AYSO

Concord United 10U boys must like home cooking as they won the Concord Cup Red Division championship for a second straight year with a 2-0 victory over crosstown rival MDSA Storm in the finals. They beat PHMSA Outlaws in the semi-finals 4-0. The team included, front row from left, Joey Vienna, Jonathan Miranda, Cody Mcglasson, Aaron Robles; back row, Elijah Molnar, Ryan Clark, Yeshua guerrero, Luis guerreo, Ralphy Beltran, David Langhammer. Coach are gina Mcglasson and Luis guerrero.

June 22, 2018

Concord Pioneer •

Athlete Spotlight Sofia Earle

Grade: Senior School: Carondelet High Sport: Softball

It was a long time since 1999 for Carondelet to win its second-ever North Coast Section softball championship when the 2018 Cougars claimed the Section title early this month with a 6-0 shutout of Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland as Earle pitched her hometown school to the title. Coach Michael Creecy says of his four-year varsity

player and a team captain this year, “Sofia has been our ace from the start of the season and I don’t think she ever had a bad game. She kept us in every game, even against the best in the league, and some of the top teams in the state. Her leadership, both on the mound and off, helped put us in the position to play for the NCS Division II

title.” Earle was also one of the Cougars best hitters with a .384 batting average. It was her pitching that proved crucial for Carondelet with her ERA of 1.15 and an average of almost 11 strikeouts per game. She was first- or secondteam all-EBAL for three years in one of the two strongest softball leagues in the region. EBAL teams won the NCS Division I and II championships this spring and had four of the eight Section semi-finalists. Coach Creecy concluded, “This year’s team isn’t the best we’ve ever had at Carondelet, but our team played as one unit and had fun together out there. That friendship showed in the end result.” The Concord Pioneer congratulates Sofia 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

Athletes of the year, spring all-league teams honored as school year concludes JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

BEREAN CHRISTIAN Female Athlete of the Year: Becca Jones was Berean’s only three-sport athlete this year, she began her senior


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Local schools announced their athletes of the year as the 2017-18 season drew to a close and graduating senior student athletes reflected on their high school careers and looked ahead to a new chapter of their life in college.

CLAYTON VALLEY CHARTER Male Athlete of the Year: Dylan White completed four varsity cross country and track seasons as well as two varsity soccer seasons. White has been team cross country MVP and made first team all-league for both teams. He earned all-NCS honors three years in cross country, placing fifth at NCS cross country his sophomore and senior years, qualifying for the CIF State Championships three times. He was 75th as a sophomore, 51st at State as junior and 23rd this past season. He ran the 1600 and 3200 meters during track season, clocking a 4.17 mile. Beyond being a three-sport NCS scholar athlete, as part of the CVCHS Public Service Academy he had a GPA of 4.17 and he’s headed for Chico State this fall to continue his running career. Female Athlete of the Year: Kelly Osterkamp is one of those rare athletes in this era with four years of varsity participation in three sports. She was part of CVCHS varsity cross country, basketball and track since her freshman year and in 11 of those 12 seasons she was part of North Coast Section competition. She also received all-league recognition 10 times and was her Eagles team MVP five times. Osterkamp didn’t let all this athletic participation impact her classroom studies as she compiled a 4.33 GPA. She will attend San Diego State in the fall to begin her nursing studies.

Page 11

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athletic journey by breaking the school record for assists in volleyball and helped lead the team to the school’s first State Tournament as the Eagles advanced to the semi-finals, losing to the eventual state champions. She was named allleague for three years. She also played basketball and threw the shot put and discus in track and field. She finished with 11 varsity letters at Berean and headed to William Jessup to play volleyball. Male Athlete of the Year: Will Batz missed his senior football season due to a wrist injury but he stepped up and played a key role on the Eagles basketball team, primarily because of his hustle and competitiveness. This spring he was one of the team leaders on one of Berean’s best baseball teams ever. He had an ERA of 2.20 with six wins as a pitcher while batting .455. He was voted the Diablo Athletic League Valley Division co-MVP. He also broke the school’s stolen base record and finished with six varsity letters at Berean.

CARONDELET Senior Athlete of the Year: Angela Bagasbas was a four-year varsity starter on the Carondelet golf team. She contributed to her team’s fouryear league record of 59-5, including one undefeated season. Bagasbas helped her team to four NCS championship appearances, two NCS Division I titles, three NorCal tournament appearances and two CIF State appearances. Individually, she was a four-year



first team all-EBAL selection and 2015 NCS individual champion. She will continue her education and golf career at UC Irvine.

CONCORD Female Athlete of the Year: Emily Hockenbery is a rare three-sport athlete. She received her white athletic letter for playing eight seasons of varsity sport—volleyball three years, soccer four years and track and field one year. During her senior year, she was a captain for all three varsity teams she played on. In volleyball she earned the team’s Minutemen Award as well as well first team allleague. In soccer, she was the co-Offensive Player of the year and also made first team all-DAL. As a track athlete, she was part of a relay team that set a school record. Comments from her Concord High coaches include that “she’s a joy to coach and loves being part of a team. She has shown she’s a versatile athlete and can pick up new sports quickly. She’s also a proven leader and trusted by her coaches.” Male Athlete of the Year: Roberto Barahona had an amazing journey to and with Concord High soccer. Amidst a rise of mass killings and escalating violence in his home country of El Salvador in 2015, he fled the country he loved and where his family still lived in order to create a better life for himself. He came to CHS his sophomore year, barely speaking any



English and yet he never let the language be an excuse to not succeed in class. He is a three-time all-league player earning the DAL co-Most Valuable Player award this year. He led the league in goals scored and assists and was one of the top two players in all of North Coast Section Division 2 in goals scored and assists this season. Coach Alonso Jimenez says, “He is a player that with his humble background, has achieved greatness not only to his teammates but to his family. He is an outstanding young man to be around and funny in his own ways.”

DE LA SALLE Athlete of the Year: Peyton Omania stood out at a school known for its athletic accomplishments. The senior became the first Spartan to win a CIF State wrestling championship, capping a distinguished four-year career where DLS swept every NCS dual and team championship. The 5-5 Omania made history for his school and is also just the second wrestler from a Concord school to win a State championship in the past 40 years. A four-time league and three-time NCS champ, he was seeded No. 1 at 145 pounds at State but had to survive two cliffhanger matches in the semi-finals and finals to claim his title. Omania is headed to the Big 10 at Michigan State this fall knowing he accomplished something all the Spartan greats who came before him couldn’t do. NORTHGATE Female Eric Griffin Memorial Award: Amanda Sabir was a multi-sport athlete at Northgate and captain of the cheer and dance spirit teams during the fall and winter. The student athlete carried a 4.0 GPA and was the NHS student body president. She was involved in the school’s dance production and was an active volunteer in her church and the community.

See Honors, page 13

Page 12

Concord Pioneer •

June 22, 2018

DLS announces 2018 Athletic Hall of Fame induction class JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

De La Salle High School announced the five athletes and two teams in its 2018 Athletic Hall of Fame. The honorees will be inducted on the Sept. 14-16 weekend. As part of the nomination process, the schools says honorees are recognized not only

for their athletic achievements but also for their academic, professional and community involvements. These alumni will be recognized during a halftime ceremony at the Bishop Gorman football game in Concord on Sept. 14 and then will be feted at an afternoon celebration and induction ceremony on Sunday, Sept. 16.

Concord High golfer Senz wins $2,000 scholarship

Photo courtesy Concord High golf

The announcement that a three-time all-league athlete won a scholarship at the 15th annual Cal-Hi Sports Report Awards Banquet should not come as too much of a surprise. The fact that the athlete was born with cerebral palsy might put a different twist on the item. Concord High’s No. 1 golfer, junior John Scott Senz (second from right), was recently named to the first-team all-Diablo Athletic League Valley Division team for the second time. He overcomes challenges few—if any—of his competitors on the course take on as he wears a brace on his lower left leg and has lost much of the strength on his left side from the condition. The First Tee of Contra Costa alumnus received a $2,000 FNB of Northern California Scholarship Award in Levi’s Stadium last month. Joining him in the photo are, from left, Cal-Hi Sports Report hosts Aubrie Tolliver and Robert Braunstein and FNB of Northern California Executive Vice President Tony Clifford.

CVCHS mountain bikers end 2nd season


JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

A couple years ago Eric Skow went to Clayton Valley Charter High School athletic director Eric Bamberger to discuss starting a mountain bike team at the school. After the AD cleared the program through the school administration, Skow set about establishing a team, which began competing a year ago on a club basis with five boys on the team. This season the team has expanded to 12 bikers who competed in six races capped by the California High School Cycling State Championships in Petaluma last month. CVCHS has already performed well enough to finish in the middle of the pack in races with up to 48 schools involved. Races are similar to those you see in Olympic cross-country mountain bike racing with multiple laps on track/courses where each lap is approximately five miles (start and finish are at the same location) on challenging courses that are uphill and downhill. Skow and his staff of Casey Cline and Jack and Kathy Verderame are building a program that enjoys club status in

the CVCHS athletic department with the athletes eligible to earn varsity letters. The team is part of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association and competes in the NorCal High School Cycling League Southern Conference. The team began training for this season in December riding on Mount Diablo (Mitchell Canyon) and at Lime Ridge Open Space They also travel around the Bay Area on Saturdays to ride at places like China Camp State Park (San Rafael), Camp Tamarancho (Fairfax), Crockett Hills Regional Park (Crockett) and Rockville (Vacaville). This year’s squad had only three upper classmen. Senior and second-year letterman Branden Busby was high point on the team while his classmate Jack Gallagher won the team Coaches Award and junior Luke Paschall was most improved. Skow is hoping that the roster grows again next year and is especially interested in adding female bikers to the team. The CVCHS athletic boosters, Clayton Bikes and Mt. Diablo Landscape Center have helped fund the team. Visit for more information on the program.

The 2018 Hall of Fame was part of the Junior Olympic inductees are: National Team that won won the gold medal. After graduatAdam Carter (Class of ing DLS, he went to the Uni1994, swimming, basketball, versity of California Berkeley water polo) was the 1994 DLS where he majored in Ameriathlete of the year when he can Studies and played basewas water polo team captain ball. He was drafted by the and was named all-league Anaheim Angels and played goalie and All-America. He for five teams in the Pioneer, was on the BVAL champi- Midwest, California and onship basketball teams in Atlantic leagues. 1993 and 1994 and BVAL Isiah “Dwayne” Harris, water polo champions in 1994. MD (1997, soccer) was a After graduating DLS, Carter three-year starter on the varsity received a full-ride water polo soccer team including the 1996 scholarship to Cal State Long NCS champions. A midfielder, Beach, where he was a three- Harris was Contra Costa year team captain and starter. Times player of the year. After He currently holds the third- graduation, Harris attended most career saves in CSU Long Duke University where he was Beach water polo history. a four-year starter. He graduatJason Dennis (1997, base- ed from Duke with undergradball) was a three-year varsity uate degrees in biology, chempitcher. During his junior and istry and psychology. He senior years, Dennis led his attended medical school at team to back-to-back NCS UCSF and completed his resichampionships. His DLS dency at Harvard’s Brigham career statistics include a .379 and Women’s Hospital with a batting average with eight focus in obstetrics and gynehome runs and 68 RBIs. Dur- cology. He completed a fellowing his senior year, Dennis had ship in reproductive an 11-1 record with a 1.20 endocrinology and infertility at ERA and 132 strikeouts over the University of Colorado, 87 innings. He received multi- Denver, where he also ple honors, including Contra obtained an MS in clinical Costa Times (1997), all-East studies. Dr. Harris currently Bay (1996 and 1997), all-Coun- works at Kaiser Permanente ty (1996 and 1997) and Califor- Santa Clara Medical Center nia Player of the Year (High where he focuses on providing School Coaches Poll in 1996 comprehensive reproductive and 1997). In 1997, Dennis care.

Sports Shorts


Clayton Valley High grad Kara Kohler represented the U.S. early this month in the first of three World Rowing Cups in Belgrade, Serbia in the women’s single sculls. Kohler, who won a bronze medal in the women’s quadruple sculls at the 2012 Olympics, competed in the single for the first time internationally. After just missing a spot in the final during a hard-fought, fourth-place finish in her semifinal, Kohler came back to win the B final to finish seventh overall. Germany’s Marie-Catherine Arnold took the early lead, but Kohler began rowing through the German sculler just after the 500-meter mark, establishing a nearly two-second advantage at the midway point of the race. Kohler continued to build her lead through the 1,500-meter mark before holding off a late challenge by Greece’s Aikaterini Nikolaidou. Kohler crossed the line in a 7:24.63.


Carondelet High School is offering summer sports clinics in July for incoming middle school girls in basketball, dance, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis and volleyball. The lacrosse, soccer, swimming and tennis clinics will be held at the new Carondelet Athletics Complex in Walnut Creek with the others on the school’s Concord campus. The advanced sports clinics are for experienced middle school athletes looking to improve their skills and prepare for high school competition. Carondelet coaches and athletes will work on sport-specific fundamentals and skills. Sessions are in the afternoon and early evening. Visit for details and to register.


David Loverne (1994, football) was an offensive and defensive lineman for the Spartans varsity football team for four years, winning three NCS titles. A member of the first unbeaten “The Streak” team in 1992, Loverne was an integral member. He attended Idaho State before transferring to San Jose State University. Loverne was the 90th overall NFL draft pick in 1999 by the New York Jets and played for the Jets, Washington Redskins, St. Louis Rams, Detroit Lions and Houston Texans over a sevenyear stretch. Kevin Walker (1991, football, baseball, soccer) was a four-sport star at De La Salle where he played basketball (freshman) and varsity football, baseball and soccer. In baseball, Walker was the starting centerfielder. In football, he was part of a team that won two section titles. A member of the first unbeaten “The Streak” team, Walker was a starting kicker, punter, kick returner, punt returner, wide receiver and defensive back. In soccer, Walker was part of the 1989 and 1991 NCS championship teams where he was the starting forward. Walker was a walk-on wide receiver at UCLA and played there from 1992-1995. Walker has also been a freshman football coach at DLS.

1996 Cross Country Team won BVAL, NCS and CIF State Championships. They were undefeated in dual meets and the fastest team in all state divisions in meet times. The team was the Contra Costa Times cross country team of the year and ranked #12 nationally, the only California team ranked in the Top 25. 2003 Football Team was the last undefeated team in the 13-year streak. They hosted Evangel Christian of Louisiana at DVC in the first-ever ESPN high school football game in front of a national TV audience. They were ranked #1 in the nation by USA Today and Cal-Hi Sports. Including players such as TJ Ward, Jackie Bates and Chris Biller (who was part of the National rugby team), as well as top national recruits Terrence Kelly and Cameron Colvin, this team was, in the words of coach Terry Eidson, “probably one of the most talented teams of all time” at De La Salle.

The Sept. 16 Hall of Fame event is open to the public and registration will be online at For more information contact director of alumni relations Lloyd Schine, or by phone at (925) 288-8171.


The Mt. Diablo High School Red Devil golf committee is holding its 23rd annual golf tournament this Friday, June 22, at Diablo Creek Golf Course in Concord. Registration starts at 11 a.m., followed by lunch, golf, dinner and raffle/silent auction. Proceeds go to help academic and athletic programs at Mt. Diablo. Those interested in participating in the golf or dinner should contact Lou Adamo 212-9332 or or Ralph Vallis 825-7593 or For more information check


Diablo FC 8 under through under 19 competitive soccer teams (birth years 2000-2011) have held formal tryouts for the 2018-19 season. Players interested in joining Diablo FC should email director of coaching Zach Sullivan at with any questions about the club or to arrange a player evaluation for players in birth years 2000-2011. Visit to get more information on the area’s premier youth soccer club.


Coach Richard Walshin of Clayton has setup a Go Fund Me effort to raise funds for his Berean Christian High School trap shooting team to go to Las Vegas for the US Open competition July 9-14. The team includes seven girls and seven boys. The Open includes trap, skeet and sporting clay competitions. Visit and enter Berean Christian Trap Team to contribute.


Boys and girls can register until July 15 for the fall Clayton Valley Jr. Eagles football and cheer programs. Football is open to Boys and girls of all skill levels in the 6U-19U (1999-2014) boys and girls born between July 30, 2003 and July 31, 2012. age groups are invited to sign up for the Diablo FC fall rec soc- Online registration is underway at or email cer program which runs from August through October. The area’s premier soccer club is offering this new fall season proCHECK WITH ALL OUT SPORTS LEAGUES gram that includes two practices per week and one game per FOR SUMMER, FALL PROGRAMS weekend. Volunteer parent coaches get free registration for their Youth leagues, clinics and tournaments are scheduled by All child. The 8-10 game season includes coaching education provided by Diablo FC staff. Additional free clinics run by DFC Out Sports Leagues in Clayton this summer and fall. For more coaches for rec players are offered in addition to team practices. on All Out Sports programs, visit Fee includes a uniform. Visit for details. REGISTRATION OPEN


Terrapins coaches Dan Cottam and Doug Reed will be teaching three more sessions of stroke and racing skills for the summer recreational swimmer. The goal is to help all participants improve/refine strokes. In addition, the sessions will enhance racing skills like starts, breakouts, turns and finishes. Each session is two weeks, three days a week (Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays). The sessions are June 25-July 5, July 9-19 and July 23-Aug. 2. For more info and to register visit


Concord AYSO has begun accepting registrations for their fall soccer program online. The fall season starts Aug. 1. There will be in-person registration on June 21 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at Concord Bible Church, 4975 Concord Blvd. The registration fee includes a uniform, ball and insurance. Visit to register and get more information. 


Terrapins summer session for Orange Group runs through Aug. 9 at Concord Community Pool. Two practice time options (morning or late afternoon) are available for the Monday to Thursday sessions. The USA Swimming competitive team is always open for new year-round membership. Visit the team website or call 680-8372 for more info.


Concord Cobras tackle football and cheer programs are taking signups for the fall season online. The football and cheer programs are open to youth six to 14 years of age. The Cobras cheer program is returning this year. For more info on football email or call 917-0785 and for cheer email or call 383-1146. Visit for more info.


De La Salle High School hosts summer camps to provide a fun, skill-building week for boys and girls in June, July and August. Appealing to local youth with a variety of athletic interests, De La Salle will offer sessions for football, basketball, track and field, lacrosse, wrestling, volleyball, baseball, water polo, soccer, swimming, theatre/broadcasting, rugby and strength and conditioning. DLS Camps are open to K through incoming ninth graders. For more info email or visit


Registration for Mt. Diablo Soccer Association’s fall recreation program for boys and girls born 2000-2014 is open. Players must register by next Tuesday, June 26, for guaranteed placement on a team for fall league. Games begin mid-August. See for more info and to register.

June 22, 2018

Honors, from page 11

Male Eric Griffin Memorial Award: German Acosta played three sports (football, track and soccer) for the Broncos. He was a team captain on all three teams and won the Bronco and Most Inspirational awards each season. He maintained a 3.6 GPA in the classroom and as a member of the sports leadership class. He was a firstteam all-DAL Valley Division offensive lineman as a senior and second team as a junior. His three years on varsity football all ended with his team reaching the NCS playoffs.

YGNACIO VALLEY Female Athlete of the Year: Karla Santamaria played soccer, swimming, cross country, softball, track and lacrosse for the Warriors. She was a four-year varsity soccer player, two-year all-league member and team captain for the team, which this winter made it to the NCS D-IV semi-finals as the lowest seeded semi-finals team in all of NCS soccer. She was the team MVP. She was also the team captain for the YVHS cross country and track teams as a senior. She played for the lacrosse team as freshman that went to the NCS quarterfinals. Santamaria had an overall



Concord Pioneer • GPA of 4.23 and will attend UC Davis this fall majoring in cognitive science. Head soccer coach Cesar Chavez says, “Karla has been a big part of the success achieved by the YV soccer program these past four years. She is a great captain and positive role model for her teammates.”  Male Athlete of the Year: Eddie Rankin transferred to YVHS during spring semester during his sophomore year. AS a junior last fall he started on both offense (RB ) and defense (DB ) for the warriors football team. He was a first-team  all-DAL defense.  He scored nine touchdowns on offense and recorded five interceptions on defense. He’s run track for the past two years competing in the 4x100


Champs, from page 10

stopped) since the first meet of the season Mar. 3. Concord high distance standout Rayna Stanziano had a strong final month of the spring season. She’s the school recordholder in every distance from 400 to 3200 meters. She won the 1600 at the NCS TriValley meet and was second in the 800. At the NCS Meet of Championships she exchanged places with Alyssa Brewer of California, winning by nearly three seconds. In the State finals the first six runners all set personal bests with junior Stanziano matching her third-place in the prelims with a 2:09.44 time. DLS junior Connor Livingston was sixth with a personal best of 9:03.75 in the 3200 meters. Pittsburg outscored CVCHS at the NCS Meet of Champions for the boys title. Carondelet was seventh on the girls side. Reynolds won the 200 and was second in 400 at NCS MOC. Livingston was third in the 3200 while Carondelet took second in the 4x400 relay, De La Salle won the 4x100 relay and Kern won the pole vault. Hicks won the high jump and the Eagles the 4x400 relay while Northgate’s, Jean-Peter Michiels and Graham Michiels were third and fifth for Northgate in the high jump. Baseball – De La Salle ended the year ranked 18th in the USA (and third in California) by Baseball America after their offense rolled up four straight NCS opponents by a combined 41-3 score with the last three games all called early on the 10-run rule. Spartan pitches only allowed 13 hits over the four games. Coach David Jeans’ team

won 21 of its final 22 games that also included the East Bay Athletic League playoffs. They scored nine runs in their NCS opener, the only game of their six playoff victories where they failed to reach double figures. They shattered the school record with 28 homeruns this spring. They would have had one more HR but designated hitter Nick Cirelli belted his second ball out of St. Mary’s College park in the sixth inning of the NCS finals with two runners on. When those runners scored the Spartan had a 10run lead and thus won NCS so Cirelli stopped at third and thus his 11th run never happened. CVCHS made its annual NCS playoff appearance and won its opener 4-2 over Monte Vista before being eliminated by fourth seed Heritage in the quarterfinals. Northgate and Concord both lost their NCS D-II openers by one run. Boys Golf - De La Salle came up one shot short of first-place Campolindo in the NCS tournament but then went on to win the Northern California championship, this time edging Menlo by one stroke. The Spartans finished their year at the State Championships where they took fifth. Justin Hopkins paced DLS at NorCals with a one over par scored good for fifth overall. At State, Garrett Coleman and Jack Gardner were the low scorers for DLS at +4. Girls Lacrosse - Northgate and Carondelet competed in the DI championships with Northgate losing to eventual champ Novato in its opener while the Cougars reached the quarterfinals. Softball – Michael Creecy

relay and the long jump. His best long jump mark is 20-4. Athletic director Mark Tran says, “Eddie is a model student athlete, he works tirelessly in the classroom and on the athletic field.” Local schools in Diablo Athletic League plus Carondelet and De La Salle (East Bay Athletic League) all-league honorees: Baseball

DAL Foothill MVP Pitcher – Ian Villers (Northgate). First TeamChris Rogan, Nico Zeglin, Kevin Clancy, Brock Rudy (NG). Second Team – Nick Oldhan, Telly Hill (Clayton Valley Charter), Danny Shaffer, Evan Tomlinson, Luke Saunders (NG). Honorable Mention – Mitch Hofer, Ryan Pierce (CVC), Jonathan Gazdar (NG). Gold Glove- Doug Bermudez (CVC), Max Michiels (NG). Valley Co-MVP - Josh Anders (Concord), Will Batz (Berean Christian). First Team – Jonathan Miller, Jason Schultze, Ben Ziebur (Con), Tyler Werner, Jake Wilson, Nate Green (BC). Second Team – Gabe Valencia, Ryan Parisi, Angel Valderamma (Con), Nate Elizarraraz, Cole Duey, Jack Seeley (BC), Emmett Lutz, Sergio Vazquez, Nico Campos (Ygnacio Valley). Honorable Mention – James Cabral, Joel Tejeda, Ryan Murphy (Con), Ian Alvarado, Thomas Kolander (BC), Malik Shackelford, Ulysses Carrera (YV). EBAL De La Salle MVP PitcherKyle Harrison. First Team- Trace Tammaro, Nick Cirelli, Austin Elder, Taison Corio. Second Team- Chris Santiago. Honorable Mention- Ryan Costeiu, Dominic Grupalo.

Boys Golf

DAL Foothill First Team- Jack Feliciano (NG). Valley First Team – John Scott Senz, AJ Tomasini (Con). Second Team- Liam Mason, Logan Fong (CVC). Honorable Mention – Brandon Tortorice-Wallace, Ryan Willsie (Con), Otto Steindorf (YV), Kendall Matrisian (BC).


DAL Boys: First Team-Jason Madden (NG), Ryan Alimagno, Torin Neal (CVC). Second Team – Gunner Oakley, James Essex (CVC), Zach Lentz (NG). Honorable Mention-Dakota Harman (CVC), Connor Richardson, Todd Tobol, Josh Sharp, Lucas Burgoyne (NG). EBAL Boys De La Salle First Team- Michael Balousek, Nathan Rumpf, Trey Akabane. Honorable Mention-Justin Barton, Josh Thuma. DAL Girls: Second Team – Madison Maiakoff (NG), Marlinda Ramirez (CVC), Sara Hernandez (YV). Honorable MentionCaroline Welch (NG). EBAL Girls: MVP – Abbi Young. First Team – Brianna Dunn, Payton Wallahan. Honorable Mention: Shannon Bailey.

Free Relay. Honorable Mention – Ryan Iannaccone. DAL Girls Second Team – Maile Andresen, Emma Smethurst (NG). Honorable Mention- Caroline Levy, Victoria Stahl (NG), Gianna DuLong (CVC). EBAL Girls Carondelet First Team – Courtney Klausen, Jessica Davis. Honorable Mention- Kate Cilley, 200 Free Relay, 200 Medley Relay.

Boys Tennis

DAL Second Team – Jonathan Louie/Levy Pikovskiy, Jay Bass/Jack Doggett (NG). Honorable Mention-Justin Emery (CVC), Noah Zakatlia (NG), Ethan Husainali (Con), Erick Jauregui (MD).

Track & Field

DAL Boys First Team – Justin Jackson (BC), Cameron Reynolds, Kyree Williams, Daylon Hicks, Andrew McGallian, Bryson Benjamin, Jordan Francis (CVC), Lorcan McCormick, Austin Kresley (NG). Second Team- Justin Lowe, Bryan Rodriguez, Sean Malley, James Ward (CVC), Michael Wheeler, Jean-Peter Michels (NG). Honorable Mention – Scott Hashimoto, William Sornberger, Simon Lee, Alex Young (NG), Dylan White, Isa Bennett (CVC). Softball EBAL Boys De La Salle First DAL Foothill MVP Pitcher – Madelyn Mays (Con). First Team- Team- Miles Duncan, Connor LivHannah Brajkovich, Olivia Lee ingston, 4x100 Relay, 4x400 (NG), Sophie Wheeler (CVC), Relay. Second Team – Armando Savanah Whatley, Molly Kolander Nearez, Kyle Johnston. Honor(BC), Veronica Castaneda, Aleya able Mention- Cameron Ross, Rath, Lexi San Filippo (Con). Sec- Amir Wallace. DAL Girls First Team – Rayna ond Team – Sadie Whatley, Kylie Chen (BC), Amber Desena, Stanziano (Con), Kayla Turnage Makenzie Stange, Marina Delalu- (CVC), Amy Christensen (NG). na (Con), Aislyn Schwartz (CVC), Second Team- Sofia Villa, Jessica Katie Hicks, Haley Randall (NG). Ogu, Giselle Phelps, Glorianna Honorable Mention – Amaya Lee, Escobar (CVC), Eliza Cashman, Allison Harvey, Jazmyn Hanley Madison Cassidy (NG). Honor(NG), Maddie Kincaid, Ellie able Mention – Gabby Anderson Hilderbrand (BC), Lauren Fried- (NG), Katie Rangel (CVC). EBAL Girls Carondelet First man, Jordyn Williams (CVC). Valley First Team – Angelina Perez, Team- Kelly Kern, Ariya ChestnutMelissa Becerra (Mt. Diablo). Sec- Lockett. Second Team – Aryel ond Team – Melissa O’Driscoll, Coats, 4x100 Relay, Jayme Giselle Cabrera (MD), Angela Blackard. Honorable MentionGarcia (YV). Honorable Mention Kiersten Fouts, Mia Avila, 4x400 – Rebecca Cottrell, Kat Cottrell, Relay. Michelle Rodriquez (MD), Sandy Boys Volleyball Calles (YV). DAL Foothill MVP - Miks EBAL Carondelet First TeamGabriella Williams. Second Team Ramanis (NG). First Team - Cody - Sophia Earle, Makenzie Miller, Gallagher (BC), Jason Rupert Jesse Juinio. Honorable Mention - (NG). Second Team – Will Sauter Alexandria Schwenger, Keleva (BC), Brendan Thio (NG). Honorable Mention - Spencer Haynes Salt, Julianna Bridges. (BC), Nicolas Lerma (NG). Valley First Team- Levi Hansen, Cyrus Swimming & Diving DAL Boys First Team-Zach Rajeski (CVC). Second Team – Ledesma, Connor Seip, Adrian Conner Burr, Aaron Eskelson Dulay, Andrew Rodriguez, Alexi (Con), Matt Gabler, Kaleb Sancov (NG). Second Team – Hansen (CVC). Honorable MenNiklas Weigelt (CVC). Honorable tion – Ken Guan (CVC), Ralph Mention-Cal Brown, Jimmy Jimenez (Con), Earl Nunag (MD). EBAL De La Salle First Team Costello, John Parker, Anthony Logan Bassi, Tyler Henderson. Vizental (CVC). EBAL Boys De La Salle First Second Team - Kyle McGrath. Team-400 Free Relay. Second Honorable Mention – Bryson PatTeam - Daniel O’Connell, 200 terson.

Photo courtesy CVCHS track and field

Clayton Valley Charter High School graduation at the Concord Pavilion was June 2. A handful of CVCHS seniors were 170 miles away at Buchanan High in Clovis with the school’s track and field team at the CiF State Meet. The Eagles boys team finished third in the State and two of them donned their cap and gown on the State Meet podium. Representing CVCHS were, front row from left, Jordan Francis, Bryan Ruiz, Cameron Reynolds, coach Keisha Lowe, coach Mark Hicks; back row, Sean Malley, Nick Muller, Bryson Benjamin, Justin Lowe, James Ward and Daylon Hicks. Not pictured but also there to root on his senior classmates and Ugly Eagles teammates was injured hurdler Aidan Jackman.

was the junior varsity softball coach at Carondelet for 10 years before taking the varsity position for this spring’s season. At the beginning of the season he took his team into the Cougar gym where the walls are plastered with NCS championship banners. The only softball banner was from 1999. Creecy told his new charges that his goal was to win another one. Carondelet was 16-8 entering the playoffs, seeded fourth in NCS DII. The Cougars rode a little bit of luck all the way to the school’s first softball title in 19 years. The Cougars defeated four lower seeds as the top three seeds all fell before potential meetings with Carondelet. The Cougars won by at least four runs in their NCS outings with a 22-1 overall scoring advantage as Sofia Earle pitched three shutouts. Defending DII champion Concord was seeking its fifth title since 2010. The second seeds cruised to two victories before losing 8-0 in O’Dowd in the semi-finals, thus denying Photo courtesy De La Salle Athletics an all-Concord finale against it’s a threepeat for De La Salle baseball after the Spartans Carondelet. CVCHS was ousted in the overpowered four teams to win a third consecutive NCS championship while outscoring their four opponents 41-3. opening round of the DI playDLS was ranked 18th in the USA and third in California by offs while Northgate lost its Baseball America after the conclusion of the spring season. DII opener. Boys Volleyball – NorthThe final game of the playoffs saw the Spartans win by the 10-run rule in six innings over Foothill of Pleasanton. gate was seeded third in DII

Page 13

and drew a first-round bye at NCS. The Broncos then won two matches including a 3-1 verdict over crosstown rival Las Lomas. Acalanes proved too strong in the finals and took the championship in four sets.

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Page 14

Concord Pioneer •

de Botton’s philosophical novel B U S I N E S S takes seriously funny look at love Philosophers write more novels than you might think. Voltaire, Camus, Sartre, Kierkegaard, Huxley – it’s a lengthy list. In an essay in the Guardian, Sean McGrady writes: “The philosophical novel is the continuation of philosophical reflection by other means.” Now I better understand why such novels were my least favorites of those on high school and college required reading lists. I discovered Alain de Botton in 1997, when we at Bonanza Books couldn’t keep his “How Proust Can Change Your Life” in stock. I ambivalently bought a copy. And even though I had slogged my way through Proust, my unread copy of that de Botton book has taunted me ever since. Then I came across a used copy of his “The Consolations of Philosophy” and bought it only because its low price enabled me to cash in on my discount coupon. I read it, loved it and reviewed it on Bookin’ with Sunny, vowing I would read more of philosopher de Botton. At one of my favorite used book stores, Green Apple in San Francisco, I found de Botton’s “On Love, a Novel” and

sophic riff on that first sentence. Thereafter, each paragraph is numbered. The love story begins in paragraph three when the first-person narrator meets Chloe, his seatmate on a homebound flight from France to England. Inside the novel, de Botton has written a crash course on the philosophy of love. It has a beginning, a middle and sort of an end. We’ve all experienced at least some of the incidents within the story. The first numbered paragraph of each chapter tells the reader what might be coming, both in plot and philosophy. It really is a novel: They meet, they date, they question themselves, they date heavily, they, on occasion, cohabitate, they meet others, they date and then? I can’t tell you if Chloe and the narrator find happiness, but you will have found yourselves so often in this book, and laughed so hard and picked up enough serious philosophy that even Sartre might be next on your to-read list.



felt duty-bound to buy it. Once again, I loved it – but find it hard to describe exactly why. It is perfect for the newly in love, or the reader dating that special person or the heartbroken “I’ll never love again!” reader. The book includes a few illustrations, and they are generally inventive and give the reader pause. He’s a thoughtfully funny guy. Chapters are not numbered but rather titled, as in the first chapter: Romantic Fatalism. The chapters are then broken down numerically by paragraph. Romantic Fatalism’s first paragraph begins, “The longing for a destiny is nowhere stronger than in our romantic life.” What follows is a philo-

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



In honor of the city’s 150th anniversary, the Concord Chamber of Commerce has been recognizing its long-term members on social media sites. The Concord Chamber was incorporated more than 80 years ago, and some businesses have been members for 50-80 years. Clayton Valley Bowl opened in 1964 and has been a family entertainment establishment ever since. Dianda Plaza began as a sweet corn and walnut farm. The tractor on their sign commemorates the history of their land. The Concord Transcript was founded in 1857 as a local source of news for the community. Andeavor Refinery invests more than $1 million each year in local communities and is a steward of the 760-acre Point Edith Wildlife Area. Ouimet Broth-

June 22, 2018

Long-time businesses part of Concord’s history ers Concord Funeral Chapel began in 1958 and moved to its new location in 1985. John Muir Health, AT&T and Pacific Gas & Electric joined the chamber in 1960. John Muir Health started as Concord Medical Center in 1930 in a small house on East Street and is now a premier, 245-bed acute care facility. AT&T has seen many changes since it arrived in Concord and now offers wireless, television and video entertainment. PG&E continues to invest in Concord, employing more than 450 Concord residents. Concord is also home to the company’s largest regional management center. Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery, a Garaventa company, has been a member since 1956 and is one of the original pioneers of recycling in Northern California. Today, they have a state-of-the-art recycling facility where they recycle as many items as possible. Joining in 1948, Gaunt Machine and Iron Works Inc. has participated in the building of many projects in Concord,

including the Concord High and De La Salle campuses, the Concord Naval Weapons Station, the former Concord Inn and the Concord Elks Lodge. Our longest member is Lehmer’s Concord Buick GMC, with membership of more than 80 years. Erv Lehmer began the business in 1928, buying and selling vehicles at fair prices. GM offered Lehmer’s the Oldsmobile franchise in 1936. In 1938, they added the GMC truck franchise to the dealership and Lehmer’s has been selling GMC models ever since. The Concord Chamber is proud of our city’s history and the part that we have played in it. We will continue to support and represent the interests of businesses in our community for the next 150 years and beyond. Marilyn Fowler is the president/CEO of the Concord Chamber of Commerce. For more information on becoming a member, visit or call 925-685-1181.

Disappointing ‘Deadpool’– The wheels on the bus… I expected something better



Have you ever been watching a movie and wondered what the creators were thinking when they made it? “Deadpool 2” tells you several times. Ryan Reynolds’ fourth-wallbreaking, unkillable, foulmouthed “superhero” returns in a much more personal film than its predecessor. Director David Leitch (“Atomic Blonde”) pulls off an impressive feat with what could be considered a modest budget of $110 million when compared with other Marvel films. Deadpool becomes somewhat humanized, yet the film has its drawbacks. One thing both “Deadpool” films do extremely well is dark comedy. “Deadpool 2” doubles down on that aspect by really trying to get you to laugh during some very gloomy moments. Suicides, dismemberments, child

abuse and the death of a teammate are all entwined with comedy. Reynolds and gang truly do have a great comedic timing. It is certainly a nice break when you can bust your gut laughing at a superhero movie. But without giving too much away, I will say it is difficult to feel pathos during the one scene that actually calls for it. Deadpool is driven by vengeance and grief throughout the film. It is this drive that makes him look inward when he sees himself in a fiery, teenage mutant named Rusty. Rusty/Firefist (Julian Dennison) is angry because the doctors at his home for mutant children are severely abusing him. He’s so enraged that he keeps having episodes where he cannot control his abilities. Pulling double bad guy duty after being Thanos in “Avengers: Infinity War,” Josh Brolin does a nice turn as the uptight enforcer, Cable – who shows up from the future trying to kill Firefist. Deadpool feels it’s his duty to calm the kid down and to keep him from murdering anyone. It’s nice to see Deadpool find his own humanity, but in the end, I wish it could have led to something deeper. The winking, subversive look into the X-men/Marvel universe

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continues to be a high point of the “Deadpool” films. The fact that there’s hardly anyone there every time Deadpool goes to the X-mansion continues to be quite funny. The forming of X-force, while basically stalling the main plot completely, is also a hilarious bit. With its relatively low budget, “Deadpool 2” bites off more than it can chew in the effects A two hour bus ride last department. Some of the major month took some 30 Chamber visual effects fall flat, looking like of Commerce members literalthey belong in a superhero riply “all through the town.” off film. Fox Studios is absoluteThis was the third year for ly rolling in money. It’s a joke that they couldn’t spare some more millions to make the effects look proper. Despite its shortcomings, “Deadpool 2” returns us to a universe that I want to see more. The introductions of Cable, Domino and X-force are intriguing for what the future holds. I hope things will be taken at least a little more seriously. As a fan of X-force comics, I want to see Deadpool fit into that universe – rather than overwhelm it. B


Meet ARF stars Alaska and Linda

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

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the Chamber tour which highlights the major business centers in Concord. With a population of 125,000, Concord is the largest city in Contra Costa

County and a major job center. The ride, which was narrated by Pedro Garcia and Brian Nunnally from the city of Concord economic development department, started at the new Veranda shopping center and passed through North Concord, the city’s fast growing industrial and commercial center before heading up Concord Ave. to the Todos Santos business district and The Monument, a key district with a diverse group of small businesses and eateries. For information on membership in the Concord Chamber of Commerce, go to their website at or call 925-685-1181

Ed and Patsy Waraner and Wyatt


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Advertise in the Concord Pioneer Call 925-672-0500


June 22, 2018

Concord Pioneer •

Page 15

New era dawning at Clayton Valley Charter JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

Clayton Valley Charter High School honored its sixth graduating class on June 3. Just as those grads look ahead to a new chapter of their lives, their alma mater is setting a new course after the departure of executive director David Linzey in May. Interim executive director Bob Hampton, a charter school veteran administrator, was at the school’s governing board meeting last week, giving the board and small audience of members from the public and school his timetable. He plans to find a permanent successor to Linzey in time for the start of the 2018-’19 school year on Aug. 14. Hampton acknowledged that identifying, interviewing and hiring a new director in two months is aggressive but doable. “I’d prefer it was April, 1 but I’m confident we’ll find the right person,” he said. The board approved a $10,000 contract with head-

Tamara Steiner/Concord Pioneer

interim Executive Director Bob Hampton shared a vision for the school’s new direction with parents and teachers at a town hall meeting May 30.

hunter Randy Henry to lead the search. Henry and Hampton explained that the process has begun with the posting of the

position on numerous educational employment websites, in professional journals and with charter school associations.

Working with the board, they will have three panels of stakeholders. The faculty, staff, parents, students and the community members will rank their top three candidates after interviews. The top candidates will proceed to a written exam and then interviews with the board, which makes the final decision. Hampton says the written exam is a key part of the process to make sure the final choice not only has verbal and people skills (that come through in interviews) but also can communicate clearly and concisely in written format. The top one or two candidates may be brought on campus for an informal tour and meeting to see about the compatibility of the candidate, board and school. Linzey’s base salary was in the range of $240,000, but Hampton expects compensation for the new director will be in “a more frugal salary range.” He does term the position “a plum assignment” to take CVCHS through the transition and says his research shows Clayton Valley Charter

Seniors create Super Bowl City concept

Mount Diablo High School seniors from the International Hospitality and Tourism Academy presented their Senior Project to 10 community members at John Muir Hospital in Concord on April 20. Twelve groups of seniors created a proposal for a Super Bowl City. The main goal of the Super Bowl City is to build a stronger relationship between the lower and upper class members of the International Hospitality and Tourism Academy and to create partnerships between the students and members of the community.

Students demonstrated their public speaking, writing and critical thinking skills as they highlighted entertainment and a menu item they developed for the event. Community members attending included Sunrise Bistro owner Joe Stein, Dennis Costanza of Five Point Development Group, Concord Police Chief Guy Swanger, Carey Gregg of Calvary Temple, Shannon Griffin of Concord Public Works and Concord Vice Mayor Carlyn Obringer.

Community members review the Super Bowl City proposal from Mount Diablo High seniors.

School isn’t the place for political protests



Education and politics should be kept separate. Schools should not take time out of the educational day to support a political protest, and students should not be influenced by the political views of their teachers and peers. In March, Northgate High School held a walkout “commemoration” for those shot in Parkland, Fla. As promised, the walkout began by commemorat-

ing the 17 victims killed during the shooting. To my surprise, there was a noticeable change in tone halfway through the commemoration – turning a respectful ceremony into an aggressive protest. The school set aside 45 minutes of the academic day to allow students to take part in the event. Students were allowed the choice to participate. Although it was optional, staff and peers strongly encouraged attendance. Like many others, I felt pressured to attend. The teen-age girl who led the event started with a beautiful ceremony remembering those who lost their lives, but she later shifted into a violent tone. She started bashing the National Riffle Association, blaming them for the shootings in Florida and others across the country. She made the entire event a call to “fight” against the NRA and led students in the gym in a “walk-

Pool, from page 1

collective battle against the sun. The pool reopened to the public on June 11, after being closed since mid-December for crucial repairs. Workers replaced the pool’s deteriorating deck and installed energyefficient LED lighting under the water. Though lengthy, the repairs ensured the longevity and safety of this beloved

community retreat. The pool had originally planned to reopen on Memorial Day weekend, however, construction complications postponed operations. Although aquatics facility supervisor Matt Galindo said “the start of the project went brilliantly,” March rains interrupted the deck’s critical backfill processes. Workers

has a “good reputation” in the larger charter school community. Linzey was hired in the spring of 2012 and had been in charge of the charter during its first six years, also serving as school principal until July 2015. Linzey’s wife Eileen also resigned in early May. Her two terms as a school administrator at CVCHS sparked part of the dissatisfaction among faculty and community members in David Linzey and his leadership style. Both Linzeys are on paid administrative leave until the end of their contracts in August 2019. At the June meeting, the board conducted a first reading of a proposed anti-nepotism policy. It will be vetted this month and brought to the board for approval in July. The two-page policy will forbid the hiring of relatives from immediate family, spouses and domestic partners as well as first cousins, aunts and uncles. A further statement outlines policy concerning “consensual romantic or sexual relationships between supervisors and employees and between faculty/staff.” The board approved Hampton for 15 more days in his interim position, at $1,000 a day, in addition to the 13 days he served through the end of May. Besides the executive director search, Hampton is focused on developing the school’s strategic plan. He received more than 500 responses from a community survey on the school website, as well as input from a town hall meeting and meetings with staff, faculty and administrators. The 24 stakeholders he wants on the committee to develop the strategic plan in

Student’s passion for art rewarded

Huy Tran received the Michelangelo D’Onofrio Arts Foundation Scholarship for his outstanding artistic talents. Tran is a hard-working artist at Clayton Valley Charter High School who has dreams of making a difference in the world as a filmmaker. The talented and humble student has won top awards at the school’s Art Expo and local art competitions since his freshman year. His art is innovative and shows a skill level beyond his years. He was in the Engineering Academy and will be heading to UC Santa Cruz to pursue a career in film and communications. He is also an Eagle Scout. When he was younger, a teacher told him he was not very skilled at art. Determined to prove her wrong, Tran made Natalie Pursche is a sophomore it his mission to get better. at Northgate and a regular contribWhile in high school, he utor to the Pioneer. Send comments took classes in filmmaking at to Diablo Valley College. He says

out,” singing a song about fighting the NRA. While I respect that she has strong opinions, backed up by facts and passion, I don’t respect that she used this “commemoration” as an opportunity to display her opinions. It was not the right time or place. Yes, my attendance was optional. But my teachers and principal did not tell me, or my peers, the entire truth. We were told that we would be attending a “commemoration,” not a political protest. I believe strongly in the right to protest. But I do not believe my school should take time out of my educational day to push me to go to a political protest. I acknowledge that I should have looked into what a “walkout” was and found out more about the purpose of this event. But I still stand firmly that education and politics should be kept separate in a school setting.

If the school wanted to support a protest against the NRA, they should not have held it during our academic day. My education, and the education of my peers, should not be modified for the political beliefs of other peers, teachers and school board members. Everyone deserves a fair and unbiased education. Holding this protest during the school day was a violation of that. Political views should not be integrated into our educational system. It only creates students who are identical in their political beliefs. Diversity in political beliefs is a good thing. And using this setting as a way to influence political opinions on students is not only disappointing and unacceptable, it is unjust.

also encountered difficulties with the installation of the pool’s new lights. The delays primarily affected local swim teams, who had not anticipated the schedule change. Galindo, an employee of the pool since 1993, believes that the new deck will help with safety. “We have a lot of little swimmers. The better shape the deck is in, the better it is on their feet. And the more it’s on their feet, the happier they are,” Galindo remarked.

The city opted for a deep broom finish. “The idea is that you get better traction on the pavement. So when someone is running, even though they’re not supposed to be, they’re less likely to slip,” Galindo said “Decks are always this sort of weird balancing act. Obviously we want traction to be strong, but the traction can’t be so great as to create crevices that (would make it) difficult to clean the deck if something happened.”

mid-July will include county school officials, students, parents, community members and all elements of employees from the campus. He expects the strategic plan to include a more “lean and mean” management structure, eliminating some perceived redundancies. He also recently had a “productive conversation” with the bargaining unit to “get their perspective” on the school. Among the most controversial aspects of the Linzey years was the departure of the majority of teachers who were with Clayton Valley at the beginning of its charter conversion. Chair Kristy Downs and Hampton met with the county Office of Education, which has expressed a number of concerns with CVCHS since the Linzey departure. “We had a very positive dialogue with CCCOE about the charter’s compliance, mission and vision,” Hampton said. The board approved a proposed budget of $23 million for the upcoming school year, with nearly $2 in revenue surplus over expenses, pending final state budget approval by the legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown. Consultant Miles Denniston did issue a warning that potential substantial increases in health care and retirement costs must be monitored. He also said that the apparent next governor, Gavin Newsom, will be the first anti-charter California governor in a quarter century. The school anticipates a total surplus of about $16.5 million when the books are closed on this school year in the fall. Meanwhile, officials announced that governing board member Merle Hall had resigned.

Entertainment at the pool is never lacking, says student Ryan Jetter, 13, of Concord’s All That and Then Some summer camp. “Just being with friends and being able to communicate and talk and have a really fun time there” is Jetter’s favorite part of the camp – a sentiment that is enhanced by their weekly pool visits. Two, 70-foot-long inflatable obstacle courses, a 13-foot deep diving area and a total swimming space of more than


his drive is to meld art and science through filmmaking, and he hopes to share the beauty he sees in the world through this medium. Tram is an only child who came to the United States from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, when he was 8. He lives with his parents in Concord. 18,000 sq. ft. make the pool a must-visit. As a “thank you” for the community’s patience during the renovation, the city offered free swimming on Saturday, June 16. The Concord Community Pool staff encourages everyone to come enjoy a day in the water and experience the new facilities.

Concord Community Pool is at 3501 Cowell Rd. For more info, call Parks and Recreation at (925) 6713480.

T H E ARTS Page 16

Concord Pioneer •

June 22, 2018

Two opportunities to hear Solo Opera


STAGE STRUCK Before you know it, Concord’s 4th of July parade will be here. This year, the parade is especially important as it celebrates the city’s 150th birthday. Solo Opera is helping make it an even more festive event. The Concord-based group will have two of its fabulous singers, Diane Squires and Michael Orlinsky, performing along the parade route. If you’d like to hear a bit more of Solo Opera’s wonderful repertoire, join them on July 22 for the Orinda Rotary Club’s 10th annual Opera in the Park. The free performance takes place 5-7 p.m. at the Orinda Lisa Fulmer Community Center Park, 28 The cast of “A Doll’s House,” standing from left, Matthew Orinda Way. Eight professional opera gardner, Rolanda Bell, Mikah Kavita and Nathan Bogner. singers will perform the greatest Seated from left, Miia Ashley and Vince Faso. hits from such operas as “Turandot,” “Don Pasquale,” “CarThe change is important for men,” “Don Giovanni” and “La director JanLee Marshall’s castBoheme.” ing, which features an African“We have assembled a truly American woman, Miia Ashley, spectacular lineup of talent,” in the role of Nora, who is marsays artistic director Sylvia ried to a Caucasian man, TorAmorino, a Concord resident. vald. Interracial marriage was Bring a picnic dinner and legalized in 1887 in Columbus, enjoy. For more information, go Ohio. to Marshall has cast all three In addition to marching in women’s roles with AfricanConcord’s 4th of July parade, B8 American women and all the Theatre members are present- men’s roles with Caucasian men. ing a fascinating production of Given that the play is about a Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s woman striving to become her House.” Adapted by Annie Pot- own person rather than a “doll” ter, the story and language for her husband to play with, remain true to Ibsen, but the this creative casting adds another time and locale have been layer. Concord resident Sylvia As Nora, Ashley finds a nice Amorino is the artistic direc- changed from 1879 Norway to 1924 Columbus, Ohio. balance between her frenzied tor at Solo Opera.

enthusiasm as she tries to please her husband and the stress around the dark secret that she barely conceals. As her husband Torvald, Matthew Gardner certainly captures the pompous importance of his character. He really comes into his own as his world collapses around him in Act II. Mikah Kavita and Rolanda Bell give nuanced performances as Nora’s childhood friend and former nursemaid, respectively. Rounding out the cast nicely are Vince Faso as the lovable Dr. Rank and Nathan Bogner as the cad Nils Krogstad. One of my favorite things about “A Doll’s House” is that none of the characters are all good or bad. Ibsen allows you to see the multiple layers that make up a human being. Fortunately for local audiences, Marshall has found a cast capable of pulling this off. “A Doll’s House” continues through June 23 at 2292 Concord Blvd., Concord. For tickets, call 925-890-8877 or go to California Shakespeare Theater opened its season with a non-Shakespeare selection – the world premiere of “Quixote Nuevo.” Former Bay Area playwright Octavio Solis creates a music-filled, contemporary retelling of Miguel de Cervantes’ classic novel “Don Quixote.” Emilio Delgado, best known for his long-running role as Luis on “Sesame Street,” plays Quixote. “Quixote Nuevo” runs through July 1 at the Bruns Amphitheater, 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way, Orin-

Jay Yamada

ginny Wehrmeister, left, Heather Kellogg and Heather Buck appear in “Sense and Sensibility” in Lafayette through June 23..

da. Call 510-809-3290 or go to Shakespeare takes center stage in Walnut Creek when Tony Award-winning actor Len Cariou brings his one-man show, “Broadway and the Bard: An Evening of Shakespeare and Song,” June 21-24 at the Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Dr. Known for his Broadway triumphs in “Sweeney Todd,” “A Little Night Music” and “Applause,” Cariou has become a familiar face on television as Tom Selleck’s father on “Blue Bloods.” For tickets, call 925-943SHOW or go to There’s still time to catch Town Hall Theatre’s delightful version of Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility.” Written by Kate Hamill and based on Austen’s novel, the show has a bounty of clever dialogue delivered in rapid-fire succession by the talented cast. Faithful to Austen’s story,

Stage Right Conservatory Theatre presents “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” June 22-July 1 in Antioch.

Get ready to Sip + Sail

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Offer includes: • FREE Premier Beverage Package for two when booking a balcony or above‡ PLUS • FREE Unlimited Soda & More Package for additional guests in their stateroom when booking a balcony or above†† So raise a glass to this popular sale that starts June 26, it's time to Sip + Sail!


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Hamill’s version contains lots of fun devices suited to a contemporary audiences’ sensibilities. Eight actors play multiple parts, including dogs, horses and inanimate objects, as the story of the Dashwood family’s woes unfolds. Two marvelous actresses play Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, but in a crazy act of whimsy, director Susan Evans asked Heather Buck and Alisha Ehrlich to learn both sisters’ parts and alternate weekends. On opening weekend, Buck played the sensible older sister Elinor, with Ehrlich the slightly mischievous and more emotional Marianne. These accomplished performers each captured the sisters perfectly. “Sense and Sensibility” continues through June 23 at Town Hall Theatre, 3535 School St., Lafayette. Visit For younger theater-goers, Stage Right Conservatory Theatre Inc. presents “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” June 22-July 1 at the Nick Rodriguez Community Center, 213 F Street, Antioch. For more information, call 925-216-4613 or go to And Clayton Theatre’s Summer Stage begins July 9. The three-week musical theater camp for ages 6-16 concludes with a performance of “Seussical, The Musical Jr.” on July 26. For more information, call 925-222-9106 or go to

Sally Hogarty is well known around the Bay Area as a newspaper columnist, theatre critic and working actress. She is the editor of the Orinda News. Send comments to

Frequent traveler prolongs the experience through art


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‡Free Premier Beverage Package: Package applies to guests booked in a balcony stateroom or above. It is valid only for guests 1 & 2 per stateroom who are 21 years or older, and is not applicable during the land portion of cruisetours. The Premier Beverage Package price is $59.99 per guest, per day plus 15% service charge (totaling $68.99 per day) and includes beer, wine by the glass and cocktails $12.00 USD and under, all non-alcoholic beverages including bottled water (500ml only) fountain sodas, fresh juices (if available), specialty coffees and teas, Gong Cha items, Frappes at Coffee & Cones, milk shakes (if available) and Red Bull® energy drinks. The package includes the additional benefit of a 25% discount on the following excluded items; all bottles of wine, one liter bottles of water, canned soda and bottled juices. A daily limit on alcoholic beverages of 15 beverages over a 24hour period (6 a.m. to 6 a.m.) will apply. The Premier Beverage Package does not include souvenir items, room service, vending machine or mini-bar items.

††Guests 1 & 2 who are under 21 will receive the Unlimited Soda & More Package. The package may be used on a single voyage only, is not redeemable for cash at any point during the cruise and expires at the end of that voyage. Package type will be assigned prior to sailing based on age of guest. Offer is not transferable, is not combinable with other select offers or other onboard credits and does not follow guests who change promotions prior to cruising.

* Fares apply to minimum lead-in categories on a space-available basis at time of booking. Fares for other categories may vary. Fares are per guest, non-air, cruise- or cruisetour-only, based on double occupancy and apply to the first two guests in a stateroom. These fares do not apply to singles or third/fourth-berth guests. This offer has limited space regardless of cabin availability and may not be combinable with any other public, group or past guest offers, including Air discounts. Offer is not transferable and may not be combinable with other select offers and onboard credits. Offer is available to residents of the 50 United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Bermuda and the District of Columbia who are 21 years of age or older and receive this offer. Fares quoted in U.S. dollars. Please refer to for terms, conditions and definitions that apply to all bookings. Exclusions: Voyages 1 – 5 days & 57+ days are excluded from the Sip + Sail Promotion. There are a select number of Summer 2019 to Spring 2020 sailing dates that are not available for the Sip + Sail Promotion: voyages C911, C912, C913, C914 on Sea Princess® and voyages H930A and H911B on Sapphire Princess®.

Offer valid: June 26 - September 5, 2018 ©2018, Princess Cruise Lines, Ltd. Ships of Bermudan and British registry.





After retiring from her career as a project manager in the telecommunications field, Catherine Hensiek found herself thinking about something she had really enjoyed when she was in college – making art. Hensiek and her husband Bill have always taken vacations that included viewing art in museums and galleries, but it had been a long time since she put brush to paper. So she enrolled in a watercolor class with Mt. Diablo Adult Education and has been reconnected with her bliss for the last 10 years. “Taking the time to see lots of great art all over the world, from the classics to the contemporary, has really influ-

Looking Within is a mixed media collage by Catherine Hensiek.

enced my own work,” Hensiek recalls. “I’ve always tried to pay attention to color, lines, values and contrast when I’m looking at art. I really appreciate my artist’s eye wherever I go – I can see something special and inspiring literally anywhere I look.” That proved true on a recent trip to Latin America. “The colorful landscapes, unique architecture and local fauna really made a creative impact on me. I came home and started making a travel journal about my trip, with par-

ticular emphasis on the animals and what they each awakened in me. It’s my modern take on a medieval bestiary,” Hensiek muses. She has painted with both watercolor and acrylics, but currently she is enjoying mixed media collages. “I just love using scraps and found objects to create pages and bind them into small books or art journals,” Hensiek says. “I think I’ve gravitated lately toward making art books because I’m

See Arts, page 17

June 22, 2018

Concord Pioneer •

Page 17

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Tuesdays Farmers’ Market

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10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza.

Tuesday Night Blues July 10 - 31

Some of the best blues in the Bay Area. July 10, Dana Fuchs; July 17, Tommy Castro. 6:30 – 8 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Free.

Thursdays Music and Market

Thursday night live music and farmers’ market. Music: June 28, The Highway Poets; July 5, Mariachi Mexicanisimo; July 12, Chance McKinney; July 19, California Beach Boys. 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.

June, July Concerts

The Concord Pavilion is located at 2000 Kirker Pass Road. See full concert schedule for 2018 at June 22: Kevin Hart, 8 p.m. July 1: Spirit West Coast, 3 p.m. July 14: KIDZ BOP, 6 p.m. July 24: Imagine Dragons, 7 p.m.

June 25 Contra Costa County Fair Housing Community Meeting

Participate in fair housing analysis. 5:30 p.m. City Hall, Council Chambers, 1950 Parkside Drive. Free.

July 4 Celebration

Pancake breakfast, Stars and Stripes 5K fun run/walk, parade, unveiling of statue of Don Salvio Pacheco to celebrate Concord’s 150th anniversary, festival, fireworks. Events start at 7:30 a.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. For more details, go to and

July 10 Cool Concord Cars

June 22, July 20 Common Poorwill Bird Walk

Hike and listen to the birds of the early evening. 7 – 10:30 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center. Reservations required:

June 23 Solstice Evening Hike

Hike begins at Coulter Pond looking for toads and frogs. 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center. Reservations required:

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

June 23 Castle Rock Family Hike

Leisurely stroll along Pine Creek. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at Castle Rock Regional Recreation Area. Reservations required.

July 7 Wright Canyon Evening Property Tour

Beat the summer heat. 7 – 10 p.m. Meet at Wright Canyon. Reservations required.

July 20 Curry Canyon Ranch Evening Property Tour

Listen for critters that go bump in the night. 7 – 10 p.m. Meet at Park n’ Ride, 1000 Peacock Creek Drive, Clayton. Reservations required.


Thru June 23 “A Doll’s House”

Adapted for B8 Theatre Company by Annie Potter. 2292 Concord Blvd., Concord. $15-$25. (925) 890-8877.

Thru June 24 “Broadway and the Bard: An Evening of Shakespeare and Song”

Featuring Len Cariou. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $40. (925) 943-7469.

Thru June 30 “Freaky Friday”

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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.

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July 21 Chevron Family Theatre Festival

A day of affordable, high quality, family entertainment. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $5. (925) 943-7469.


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.

July 14 Document Shredding

Old tax returns, bills, business records, bank statements and other documents containing personal information (no x-rays or film) shredded onsite by a certified shredding company. Proceeds go to the Cancer Support Community. 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Parking lot at 400 Taylor Blvd, Pleasant Hill. For questions, call Diablo Valley Oncology at (925) 677-5041, ext. 272.

July 28 International Tea

Fun-filled event for all ages. Benefits underprivileged senior citizens through Concord Senior Center Scholarship Fund. 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Concord Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Circle, Concord. $29. (925) 671-3320.


The Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at or (925) 646-5455. Thru Aug. 4: Summer Reading Program June 23: Finance Workshop, 11 a.m. Registration required. June 25: Protecting Yourself from Fraud & Scams, 4 p.m. June 26, 28; July 3, 5, 10, 12: Lunch at the Library, 1 p.m. June 30: Bicycle-Friendly Driver Workshop, 2 p.m. July 1: Concord Knitting and Crotchet Group, 1:15 p.m. July 2: Family Program, 6 p.m. July 7: HALO: Read to a Dog, 10:30 a.m. Reg. required. July 7: Finance Workshop, 2 p.m. Registration required. July 8: Mystery Book Club, 1 p.m. July 9: Family Craft, 4 p.m. July 10: Tween Crafts, 4 p.m. Registration required.

An overworked mother and her teenage daughter magically swap The Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free Annual car show on opening night of Tuesday Night Blues. 5:30 – bodies. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at or call (925) 673-0659. $38-$79. (925) 943-7469. 7:30 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Free. Thru Aug. 4: Summer Reading Program June 23 June 25, July 9: Clayton Knits, 1:30 p.m. “Tribute to the Music of John Denver” July 9: Clayton Library Book Club, 7 p.m. IN CLAYTON Starring Jim Curry. 2 and 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. July 16: College Admissions for the Rest of Us, 7 p.m. Second St., Antioch. $12-$29. (925) Saturdays: June 23, July 7 July 19: Bay Area Discovery Museum Presentation, 757-9500. Concerts in the Grove 4 p.m. Registration required. June 23, The Fundamentals; July 7, Pride and Joy. 6 – 8:30 p.m. June 29 – July 1, 6 Grove Park. Free.

Saturdays Farmers’ Market

9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 6095 Main St.

June 27, July 11 Wednesday Classic Car Show

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

July 4 Pancake Breakfast and Parade

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

July 14 Clayton BBQ Cook-Off

Pro pitmasters and backyard chef competitions, including People’s Choice. Food, drink, music, family fun. 11 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. Downtown Clayton. Free admission.


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

June 23 Snakes, Fast and Slow

Take a walk and learn how endangered creatures rely on parks like these. 9 – 11 a.m. Meet at Black Diamond Mines.

June 24 Owl Barfology

Swoop in to see how owls are our allies. 1 – 2 p.m. Meet at Black Diamond Mines.

June 30 Great Granites to Glass Bottles

Investigate the mysteries of sand. 9 – 11 a.m. Meet at Black Diamond Mines.

July 14 Mine Open House

Self-guided tours through newly expanded mine passageways. 12 – 4:30 p.m.

“How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”

Presented by Broadway Repertory Theater. June 29 – July 1: El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $14-$25. July 6: Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $28.

June 30 “Roots from the West”

Presented by the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir. 7 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25. (925) 943-7469.

July 12 – 15 “Spontaneous Shakespeare!”

Presented by Synergy Theater. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $20. (925) 9437469.

July 12 – 22 “Man of La Mancha”

Presented by Ghostlight Theatre Ensemble. The Theater at Edna Hill, 140 Birch St., Brentwood. $13-$20.

July 13 “Young Actors Studio Showcase”

Presented by The Ballet School. 6:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $20. (925) 943-7469.

July 14

“An Evening of Magic with Nick Fedoroff” Magical expertise enhanced with brilliant improvisation and clever comedy. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $45. (925) 943-7469.

July 14 “Mancini”

The songs of Henry Mancini performed by Katy Stephan. 2 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $20. (925) 757-9500.

July 15 “Love, Lust and Laughter”

Presented by Festival Opera. 2 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $44-90. (925) 943-7469.


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

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

1st and 3rd Wednesdays Concord Planning Commission

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

Arts, from page 16

also a writer. I’ve been working on a memoir, some short stories and a couple novels that are also influenced by my travel experiences.” Some of Hensiek’s work will be in the Handmade Book Exhibit at the Center for Community Arts in Walnut Creek, Aug. 1-Nov. 1. Hensiek considers herself a working artist who doesn’t sell much. “I enjoy donating my art or making it for my family and myself,” she says. “I love getting other people’s feedback, but I’m not really interested in the business side of art. I’ve spent so many years in the business world already.” After living in Concord for 30+ years, Hensiek was happy to discover such a rich community of artists here once she retired. “First I made friends in my art classes, then I found the

Concord Community of Artists on Facebook and met so many creative people,” she says. A few years ago, she joined the Concord Art Association and now sits on the board of directors. “I love knowing so many artists in town. The mutual support is so great. We all understand that creativity is way of life and that what we do is important,” she notes. “We all love taking classes and feeding this collective energy. I feel really lucky to be part of a passionate, burgeoning art community that’s here in Concord – it’s a constant in my life.” Lisa Fulmer is a mixed media artist, a small business marketing consultant, and president of the Concord Art Association. Visit for inspiration and information.

Start with Calandrinia for a hot summer display

Page 18

Concord Pioneer •

of Chile can get cold, and it is good to know that a succulent can tolerate cold temperatures. Calandrinia spectabilis can withstand temperatures as low as 25 degrees, making it a safe installation for many local gardens and landscapes. From early spring through

summer, tall, thin stems stretch 24-36 inches above Calandria’s foliage, which is powdery gray and fleshy to the touch. These blooms are 2 inch wide, five-lobed flowers of bright magenta that dangle on small stems scattered along each stalk. Each

plant will produce dozens of flowering stems. Mix Calandrinia spectabilis with yellow-blooming Calylophus for a striking combination along a rock wall. Calylophus is a hardy, long-blooming Texas native that likes the weather hot. Butter yellow, cup-shaped flowers dance along wispy stems that are filled with tiny leaves. Calylophus is a perennial groundcover, and you can expect piles of flowers May through August. During winter, Calylophus will rest as it stores up energy for another productive blooming season. For raised beds in full sun, combine Calandrinia with Popsicle series Kniphofia, Rudbeckia Autumn Shades, Salvia Leucantha and Amazing Red Phormium. Together, these perennials will make your summer garden sizzle. Popsicle Kniphofia is commonly called dwarf hot poker plants. Look for Mango Popsi-

associated with Murphy’s Law. Bay Area commuters know the law well. If you move into the lane that is moving, it will stop moving as soon as you arrive. Murphy’s Law at work. The same law applies to crashing hard drives or computer infections that wipe out all your data. Most users never think about their data disappearing – unless they have experienced it – so they make no

provisions for recovering the most precious computer resource of all: you. Sure, a good tech can reload your operating system like Windows, reinstall Office, get your connection to email reestablished or load your favorite applications. But what about the stuff you were working on before the great disaster hit? One cannot retrieve data that isn’t there any longer. Yes, data recovery from your hard drive may be retrievable – but at a dear price and at great loss of productive time. There are several methods of backup. And you know,

you should back up your stuff. But do you? No, you don’t. OK, some of you do. But many think it’s such a hassle and waste of time that backups frequently get skipped. I will spare you the eyeglazing details of the multiple methods of backup available. So here’s a brief overview. You could buy an external media (hard drive), install the software and set it to back up your files. You’re done – if your drive is connected and you’ve configured the software correctly. That’s about 22 cents per day. You could use commer-



One of the raised beds in the nursery’s parking lot is planted with Calandrinia, which creates a dramatic display when in full bloom. This robust, succulent-type perennial is a superb installation for any Clayton Valley bed, border, rock wall or large container. This outstanding introduction, commonly called Rock Purslane, comes our way from the mountains of Chile. This matters to Clayton Valley garden lovers since the mountains



Edward may have said it best back in the 19th century when he quipped, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” Of course, I am referring to Edward Murphy – who is


June 22, 2018

cle, Dreamsicle and Papaya Popsicle. They’re repeat bloomers and absolutely delightful. Rudbeckia Autumn Shade is a tall, daisy-shaped flower that measures 4-5 inches wide. It has lots of movement in the garden. Look for plants in six packs and install 3-6 in each hole for maximum impact. Salvia Leucantha is commonly called Mexican Sage and features bushy gray foliage topped with fuzzy purple spiking flowers July through October. Amazing Red Phormium is an excellent choice to give an area structure. The reddish, bladed foliage will contrast nicely with the other hot colors in this garden bed. Calandrinia makes a great container installation. Plant in a large pot, and it will fill the exposed soil in the pot and run over the sides. Place large pots of Calendrinia within a poolscape for a cool look. Calandrinia will one day

be too large for your area or pot. When this happens, simply cut the plant back hard and it will regrow from the center. Save some of the cut pieces and replant in other areas of the landscape or share. They are easy to propagate. When installing Calandrinia, it is best to use a planting mix designed for succulents. This mix has a concentration of sand and pumice stone to encourage drainage. After Calandrinia’s initial flower surge, you’ll have to deadhead this perennial to keep it looking tidy and to free up additional energy for a large rebloom. Fertilize your Calendrinia using fish emulsion to keep the plant healthy.

cially available programs like Mosy, Carbon Copy or Drop Box. You still need to set up and monitor the backups yourself, which no help from them frankly. That’s about 36 cents per day. You could use a backup service that does it for you, but which one? Have you priced them? Or are you so uninterested in your data that you haven’t even checked? Let’s say there was a solution that does all the work for you. A professional will set up and monitor your backups, always. This service would automatically back you up, never bug you about it,

give you a daily report by email, make it easy to retrieve data should you lose it, be off-site and comply with all current government regulations and have HIPAA compliance as well. Would you spend 33 cents per day? Well, I wonder. Send an email and let me know about your backup nightmares.

Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. You can contact her with questions or comments by email at

Remembering Murphy–Don’t ignore data backups

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

It’s time to man up, fashion-wise Doug Van Wyck

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Much of men’s style advice revolves around suiting up or whatever’s trendy this season, but that’s not what many men want. They want to make a better first impression on people they meet in everyday life. They want to look good without looking too flashy. Really, they just want a better-dressed version of themselves. And that version still likes to keep it casual. Here are some tips for guys who want to look sharp outside of a suit and tie. Stop dressing like a boy. Many men aim to look youthful. But if you want to look well-dressed, you should always aim to look mature. After all, maturity is what separates the men from the boys. Maturity shows masculinity and commands respect, and it’s a quality you want people to see in you. That doesn’t mean you have to dress like your dad; it just means you have to avoid portraying yourself as a teenager. Everything overly flashy becomes inappropriate past a certain age. Give up the graphic tees. Funny or cartoony tees are a

Mature men should aim for a finished look. But don’t give up your jeans and t-shirt. Opt instead for a Henley shirt with straight leg jeans in the right length. Or mix up that jeans look with a pair of gray chinos.

definite no-go. Also, avoid anything with slogans. Just look at the movies. You’ll never see a tough, masculine action hero or a suave rom-com heartthrob wearing a graphic tee. The only time you’ll see a graphic tee is when the character is a man-child, an actual child or a slacker. Opt for solid, one-color Tshirts, striped tees or Henleys You might also consider wearing polo shirts or casual dress shirts. A simple white shirt looks great with a pair of dark blue jeans. Find jeans that make you look good. Jeans are the go-to casual legwear for any guy. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Many men ask me about moving on from the T-shirt and jeans look. But jeans can look amazing, as long as you’re wearing the right pair. Avoid baggy jeans. You don’t want to have to pull up your jeans every two seconds.

They should keep themselves up without a belt. Also, they should not pool around your ankles. Avoid embellishments. That means: no excessive distress, no rips and none of that bleaching nonsense. And finally, avoid big logos on your butt. In fact, no big logos anywhere on your outfit – period. Keep your jeans simple. Go for a clean, dark-blue pair that fits well. You might have to try a few to find which fit works best for you. If you’re an athletic guy with big thighs, the athletic fit might be a dream come true for you. For guys with a more average build, any of the others work well. I’m partial to slim-fit jeans. But if you’re packing some weight, straight fit is probably your best option. Change it up. Jeans are great, but they all look kinda the same. Add some variety to

your wardrobe by investing in one or two pairs of chinos. An outfit will look completely different worn with chinos, which gives you a lot more variety. Adding just one pair to your wardrobe doubles the amount of outfits you can create. Add one more, and you triple that number. I suggest one basic pair in camel or gray. And get one colored pair to change things up. Wearing color below the waist is something few men do, so it stands out. These are some basic tips to help you dress casually, but look great. More tips to come next month. P.S. I’m having a huge women’s sample sale June 2125. Susan Sappington is a J.Hilburn personal wardrobe stylist and a W by Worth stylist for women. Contact her at

June 22, 2018

Concord Pioneer •

Page 19

CBCA rooting for potato to bring in the crowds with today’s culture, the oversized tuber has sprouted a massive social media presence. BBQ Cook-off chair Rory Richmond saw a flier about the tater truck at a trade show and has been trying to bring it to Clayton for three years. “I thought: Why not? It’ll bring attention to our event and hopefully bring people to come see it,” he said. The BBQ Cook-off includes 48 teams competing in a Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned “Master Series” four-meat competition. In the People’s Choice tasting 1-3 p.m., visitors can vote for their favorite ribs.

BEV BRITTON Concord Pioneer

Contributed photo

The idaho Potato Commission’s “Big idaho Potato Truck” tours the country to promote idaho spuds and will make a stop in Clayton next month for the CBCA BBQ cook-off.

New executive director for Rainbow Center ushers in expansion plans





The Board of Directors of the Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County has hired Kevin McAllister as the next executive director. The Bay Area native brings more than 18 years of experience managing and developing organizations on the front lines of serving vulnerable populations. He received a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from Cal State Sacramento and a master’s in organizational leadership from National University. “I’m looking forward to working with a passionate and innovative team, partnering with neighboring community-based organizations, and identifying

opportunities for expanding programs and services,” McAllister said. Before joining Rainbow, he served as the executive director of a statewide coalition that provides critical support to California’s runaway and homeless youth. Under his leadership, the organization secured $10 million to support housing and shelter services, access to food, counseling and numerous other outreach services in counties with the highest number of youth experiencing homelessness in the state: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Santa Clara. McAllister was also director of operations for Beyond Emancipation, an organization that empowers Alameda County’s current and former foster youth to achieve success in housing, education, employment, permanency and wellness via coaching and case management services. “We are excited to have Kevin join the organization,” said board president Ken Carlson. “He brings experience, talent and insight. He joins us at a critical moment in our growth

For more information, visit

Main Street Downtown Clayton

•Craft Brew Garden •Wine •Live Music •Expanded Food Vendors

Free Admission • Family Fun

11 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.

• Pro Pitmasters and Backyard Chefs • People’s Choice Tasting • Cash Prizes and Trophies Awarded to Winning Entrants • Concert in the grove — Eve and the Broken Ribs. 6-8:30pm

Kevin McAllister has worked for 18 years with the state’s foster and homeless populations.

To enter or for more information, go to

NEW 2018 The Big Idaho Potato Truck is coming to town

and desired expansion as an organization to meet the needs of our community.” When not at work, you will find McAllister doing the other things he loves most in California: archery, hiking, kayaking and trips to Guerneville, where his family has vacationed for more than 20 years.

6160 Center St. Suite #C, Clayton

Robyn Kuslits is the director of community programs at the Rainbow Center in Concord. Contact her at

Lesher was once king of local news

925-693-0757 (main) Clayton residents since 1959

ACTIVE • 3295 Monika Ln., Hayward

3 bedroom, 2.5 bathrooms, approx. 1690 sq. ft.


Listing agent: Rula Masannat




The fence at the Concord Heritage Center may look like an ordinary wrought iron fence, however, there is a backstory to this little gem. Hall Enterprises gave the fence to the Concord Historical Society after Hall bought the former Contra Costa Times building off Shadelands in Walnut Creek. The historic fence surrounded the new Contra Costa Times, with its beautifully designed and landscaped building and state of the art Hoss printing press. The excitement around the opening of this new newspaper building was unprecedented when it opened in the ’70s. As many of you remember, the Times office used to be in a little brick building off Mt. Diablo Boulevard in Walnut Creek. Its growth at the time was undeniable, and it became obvious that a new building was needed. Dean Lesher purchased the Times in 1947, when it was a weekly, free and green – commonly known as “The Green Sheet.” In 1962, Lesher oversaw an aggressive and expensive shift that called for free delivery but asked readers to

With all the ribs, chicken, pork and brisket smoking at the July 14th Clayton BBQ Cook-off, you wouldn’t think a potato would take center stage. But then you have to consider that this super spud weighs more than 6 tons and would make more than 1.4 million French fries. And it’s coming all the way from Idaho. This year, the potato will travel 28,000 miles and visit more than 60 cities on the Big Idaho Potato Truck. In tune

Vendors will sell barbecue and other food items, and local breweries will pour their favorites – including Epidemic Ales and E.J. Phair from Concord. MamaLuke will provide music 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and R&B group Eve and the Broken Ribs will perform 68:30 p.m. in The Grove Park. Sponsored by the Clayton Business & Community Association and Concord Chevrolet, the event runs 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. on Main Street in downtown Clayton. Admission is free.

• 501 Suisun Ct., Clayton

3 bedroom, 3 bathrooms, approx. 1904 sq.ft.


Listing agent: Matt Mazzei

• 25 Mozden Lane, Pleasant Hill


3 bedroom, 2.5 bathrooms, approx. 1488 sq. ft.

The fence from the old Contra Costa Times building now surrounds the renovated Concord Heritage Center.

voluntarily buy subscriptions. Ultimately, he converted the weeklies into zoned daily editions. The Associated Press and United Press International news services were included, and the paper changed to white newsprint in the late ’60s. With the success of all of these changes and the population growth of the Diablo Valley, more space was needed – thus the new building. It was two stories, with an elevator. The lobby featured beautiful wood and fine art, including a sculpture of a horse. The staff was delighted with all the room they had, and especially the new printing press. Everything was hunky dory, and the newspaper life

was buzzing. Lesher died in May 1993 and his wife Margaret ended up selling the privately owned paper to Knight Ridder for $360 million in August 1995. The corporate world ultimately caused the death of the “good old newspaper days.” The fence that once surrounded the state of the art, buzz of the town, newspaper building now surrounds the Concord Heritage Center – where it will continue to protect an important piece of history.

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

Listing agent: Matt Mazzei

SOLD • 2527 Sycamore Ave., Concord


2 bedroom 1 bathroom, approx. 864 sq. ft.

Listing agent: Matt Mazzei

• 1985 Holly Creek Pl., Concord

5 bedroom, 4 bathroom, approx. 3234 sq. ft.


Listing agent: Rula Masannat Buyer Representation

Matt Mazzei, Jr.,

Paula & Rod Johnstone

Rula Masannat

BRE# 01881269

DRE# 00797857

DRE# 01923757

Broker/Owner 925-766-6745

Broker Associate Paula 925-381-8810 Rod 925-286-5765

Sales Agent 415-310-2905

Let our advertisers know you saw them in the Pioneer

Page 20

Concord Pioneer •

June 22, 2018

Senior Living

Snoring — The nighttime buzzkill

Maggie Lennon magine my chagrin when the new love of my life nudged me awake on one of our first sleepovers because I was snoring. Loudly. Yes, ladies we do it too. Men snore more until the big M – menopause – equals the


playing field and women show an increase in the nightly habit. Snoring is caused by a restriction in the airway during sleep. Tissues in the throat flop around, creating a cacophony of other wordily sounds and whistles that can wreak havoc on our health and relationships. Sleep experts maintain that

the sound of snoring can vary from 60 to 100 decibels – on par with a vacuum cleaner or, in extreme cases, a motor bike or chainsaw. No wonder many partners cover their ears with pillows or head to the serenity of another bedroom in their quest for some good ZZZs. Snoring gets worse as we

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ResCare Home Care 1850 Gateway Blvd., Suite 280, Concord Johana Seminario, LVN, Branch Manager 925.685.5577


how snoring is adversely affecting the relationship, but also try to be sensitive and understanding,” she says. “Most importantly, make sure it is not sleep apnea – as that is a serious medical condition and needs medical attention.” For natural solutions to snoring, doctors recommend losing weight, avoiding alcohol near bedtime, sleeping on our backs while keeping the room free of allergens and quitting smoking. Other solutions include nasal strips, chin wraps and a CPAP machine, which is usually used for more serious conditions. The American Academy of Seep Medicine recommends a snoring mouthpiece as a first treatment option for seniors, such as the aptly named MAD (Mandibular Advancement Devices) or TSD (Tongue Stabilizing Device), which is particularly effective if you wear dentures. With a mind-boggling amount of products available to help aid snoring, Ross Taylor says there is no reason that couples have to live with snoring at all. You can send questions or suggestions for future topics to

Park hosts can enjoy the great outdoors hat if there were a job that was dogfriendly, rent-free and outdoors? What if the air spelled of pine and reverberated with bird songs? What if the office had spectacular views like Half Dome or the Pinnacles? I used to flirt with the idea that my husband and I would become campground hosts when we retired. We’d been avid campers for almost 30 years. I’m alone now and though my spirit would definitely be willing, my body wouldn’t be able to comply. Consequently, I’ve taken up quieter pursuits these days. Summer is finally here, so I thought I’d tell my readers how to apply for one of these positions if you love the outof-doors as much as I do. We live in one of the most picturesque states in the country. According to the Department of Parks and Recreation, the California State Park System has 280 incredible state parks. Their


ResCare is committed to finding innovative solutions to help seniors and individuals with disabilities stay in their own homes. • • • • • • • •

age. People over 60 are twice as likely to snore as the general population. Weight gain is a common reasons for age-related snoring.

“As we get older, the pattern of weight gain changes and we often gain weight around the neck – so the throat space becomes narrower,” says Raphael Pelayo of the Stanford Sleep Medicine Center. “Muscle tone also decreases; that’s why we snore more. For women, menopausal hormonal changes contribute to weight gain and snoring increases.” Relationships and intimacy can suffer. With chainsaw noises going on in the bedroom, it’s difficult to bring the sexy back. It also doesn’t help if we are fuming and resentful because our partners sleep soundly and noisily, oblivious to our lack of sleep. Jennifer Ross Taylor, who has written extensively about snoring, calls it the “silent relationship killer.” “Lots of times, snoring is accepted as ‘just is’ with not many solutions to the problem – leaving many couples creating more distance and problems within their relationship,” she says. Running to separate bedrooms or shaming the snorer doesn’t help, says Ross Taylor, who suggests communication is the key to helping resolve the problem. “Talk to the snorer about

Christine Kogut miles of breathtaking coastline, remarkable wetlands, majestic redwood forests, beautiful deserts and colorful valleys provide a diversity of parks found nowhere else in the world. Volunteer host positions are available in more than 100 of these parks. The positions are often filled by a couple working as a team, though the department also hires singles. Host duties vary but generally include providing visitor information, staffing visitor centers and museums, maintenance projects and general housekeeping. Most hosts work about 20 hours a week. In exchange for these services, the hosts receive a campsite during their stay. Many parks have full hookups and are equipped with restrooms and showers. For those who prefer a more rustic setting, there are parks

with little or no hookups or commercial amenities. When applying as a campground host, make sure the location that interests you has the appropriate hookups for your needs. Most host positions require a minimum commitment of one to three months and a maximum of six months. For a complete list of state parks that use volunteer hosts, visit To request a volunteer information packet, call 916-6539069 or email Christine Kogut has lived in the area for more than 40 years and is a former marketing director for the Concord Senior Citizens Club.

June 22, 2018

Concord Pioneer •

Page 21

Consider reverse mortgage for purchase David Chee, CPA ost retirees take out a reverse mortgage to help them stay in their home, but many don’t realize you can also purchase a home with a reverse mortgage. A reverse mortgage for purchase allows seniors 62 or older to use reverse mortgage proceeds, along with a down payment, to buy a primary


residence without having mortgage payments. While the typical retiree uses a reverse mortgage to eliminate debt or have an expanding line of credit for the future, there is a growing segment of the senior population using a reverse mortgage to “downsize” to a home that is easier to maintain or more accommodating as they age. Depending on your age and current interest rates, the

reverse mortgage pays for close to half of the purchase price – up to $679,650. The older you are, the more money you receive from the reverse mortgage and the less of a down payment is required. Using a reverse mortgage to purchase a home allows you to keep more of your cash from the sale of your previous home. It can help you purchase greater value home than what you can afford strictly just from the


It takes a

proceeds from the sale of your former home. At a time when it may be difficult to qualify for a conventional loan, a reverse mortgage for purchase may be a great solution. A reverse mortgage is a loan that enables homeowners 62 or older to borrow against the equity in their home, without having to give up title or take on a new monthly mortgage payment. The money received can be used for any purpose. The loan amount depends on the borrower’s age, current interest rates and the value of the home. A reverse mortgage does not have to be repaid until the borrower sells or moves out of the home permanently, and the

repayment amount cannot exceed the value of the home. You must remain current on property taxes, homeowner’s insurance and HOA fees,

occupy the home as your primary residence and maintain the property. For more information contact David Chee at 1-800-967-3575 or email

Faith Barnidge

oday’s seniors are creating new retirement options that defy the expectations of previous generations. Thanks to medical advances leading to a longer quality of life, sound retirement planning and the will to maintain control over their lives, single and coupled seniors are finding that they can continue to live comfortably in their own homes as they age – with a little help from their friends and neighbors. Senior homeowners have established a new retirement community model that fits their lifestyle and independence by banding together as homeowners in established neighborhoods and agreeing to help each other age in place as long as they are able. This village concept features neighbors who volunteer to help each other with local transportation, shopping and referrals while creating opportunities for group social activities. After starting in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston, the village model has grown to more than 400 sites across the nation – including nearly 100 in California. For seniors who seek to choose and manage their own care and rehabilitation services at home, the village is an alternative to assisted living residences. Most villages are in urban or suburban communities, including three in our own backyard. Managed independently, Clayton Valley Village, Lamorinda Village and Walnut Creek Village have formed a Diablo Villages partnership community for members to enjoy social and educational events together. Clayton Valley Village


July 28

• A fun-filled tea event for all ages: friends and families. • International menu with a variety of tea and entertainment. • Feel free to wear international dress.

10:30am - 12:30pm Concord Sr. Center 2727 Parkside Circle

Tickets $29 or $250/table of 10 Course# 107107 For tickets or more information: Call the Senior Center (925) 671-3320, opt. 1 or email:

(CVV) is a member-funded nonprofit organization representing a group of senior citizens in Clayton and south Concord who have created a local framework for neighbors to help neighbors age in place in their own homes. “The concept of neighbors helping neighbors with our screened volunteer services is one of the cornerstones of Clayton Valley Village, an inter-generational community organized to help members remain active, involved and independent in their own homes,” said Clayton resident Sonja Wilkin, a member of the initial task force and now president of the CVV board. “At the same time, CVV provides educational, cultural and social activities,” she added. “We have learned that forming this community and making new friends has been as important as the services offered.” Members invest funds in their local village to offset insurance and other expenses, including website maintenance, speakers and venue rental. CVV membership is $600 a year per person. Village members enjoy neigh-

borhood camaraderie and social activities that stave off boredom and isolation, volunteer to help each other with small chores, and refer vetted homeowner and home health services to other members. Scores of member activities are included in monthly newsletters on an up-to-date website, Villagers participate as a group in community events, such as the Clayton Art & Wine Festival, Clayton Cleans Up, Oktoberfest, bocce teams and marching in the Clayton Independence Day Parade. New members are always welcome. Prospective members can attend coffees, mixers and other social activities, including a monthly social opportunity on the third Tuesday afternoon each month. Save the date for a Meet & Greet on July 19 on the Clayton Club patio. Village members will also make themselves available for questions at the Clayton Farmers Market throughout June and July. Register your interest on the website or contact Wilkin at 925-6722689 or

You may be able to use a reverse mortgage to access the equity in your home Mortgage Loan Originator Certified Public Accountant

• Turn Home Equity into Cash • No Monthly Mortgage Payments (Borrower to remain current on their property taxes, homeowners insurance and HOA fees, occupy home as primary residence and maintain property.) • FHA-Insured Program for Seniors

HighTechLending, Inc., Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act. #4130937 NMLS #7147. Equal HousingLender. NMLS Consumer Access: This material is not from HUD for FHA, and was not approved by HUD, FHA or any other government agency.


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Celebrating 60 years in Concord Advertise in our Senior Living section: 672-0500

Page 22

Concord Pioneer •

June 22, 2018

Plot out a floor plan before buying furniture

on either side of the sectional for you to place your beverage and bowl of popcorn, and ambient lighting is placed in key locations for a warm and cozy glow. The perfect movie night indeed. Getting to this ultimate com-

fort zone means you have done your due diligence and created a living space that was thoughtfully pulled together. There’s no such thing as an instant floor plan. But if you thoughtfully planned out your living space and shopped with that plan in mind, you can have a space that

gently sighs “Ahhhhhh.” Shopping for furniture means more than visiting your favorite furniture retailer, online or in person, to find your furniture style and color. There are several steps to ensure that the furniture you purchase will not only look good, but also will fit into your living space. Measuring your living space should be the first step when setting out to buy new furniture. Whether you’re measuring for a single piece of furniture or a room full, take the time to make sure you have accurate dimensions. Consider design elements like windows, doors, fireplaces and other things that protrude into the living space or could make furniture placement a challenge. Also plan how you will get your new furniture into your living space. Sometimes furni-

We are riding quickly into bicycle season, and summer brings many opportunities to ride, learn and celebrate on bikes. Bike Concord’s partner organization, Bike East Bay, offers free classes in many East Bay communities covering topics like urban riding safety skills, bike theft prevention and bike commuting MARYAM ROBERTS basics. There’s even a class for BIKE CONCORD drivers at the Concord Library, 2-3 p.m. June 30. In this one-hour class, participants can learn skills to to share the road. become bicycle-friendly drivFor more info on this and ers. After all, it’s up to all of us other workshops this summer,

check out Bike Concord will be joining Concord’s 4th of July Parade for the fourth year in a row. Come down to Todos Santos Plaza to celebrate the city of Concord’s sesquicentennial, or 150th anniversary, and cheer on Bike Concord riders as we cruise down the parade route on decorated bikes. The parade starts at 10 a.m. at Mt Diablo High School. We work hard to make bicycling safer and more enjoyable in Concord, and we are proud to represent cycling

in our city’s celebration. While you’re downtown, stop into the Concord Library to pick up a Summer Bike Challenge bingo card. On the bingo card are squares with parks, schools, community centers, farmers markets and places like the library. You ride to each one, earning free stuff at some locations on specific dates. If you cover them all, you can enter to win prizes. The grand prize is an iPad Mini. It’s free and open to everyone to participate, and it’s a fun way to explore our town by bike. Check out



It’s movie night, and there’s nothing better than cuddling up with family and friends on super comfortable furniture that’s perfectly placed within your great room. The sectional, the fireplace and the television are all perfectly aligned. A leather upholstered ottoman is used as a coffee table and the height is just right – a perfect place to kick up your feet. There are tables

Comfy and cozy décor that fits the room make movie night a hit with family and friends.

ture is just too big to fit into certain living spaces due to ceiling heights, turning radiuses or doorway entrances. Once you have verified your living space dimensions, or floor plan, you’re ready to start shopping – that’s the fun stuff. Sofa or sectional? Lounge chair and ottoman or recliner? Leather or fabric? Upholstered or slipcovered? Plain or patterned fabric? A typical frame depth of 36 inches or a more luxe and fabulous frame depth of 42 inches or more? These are questions you’re going to be hit with as soon as you start your furniture search, and they are important decisions that will determine how your living space ultimately comes together. But not to worry. You have your floor plan, so you know what pieces will fit in your living space and what won’t. You also have an idea of color and tex-

ture. And at the top of your furniture list, you know the functions that will take place in this living space. You’ve got this. Using your newly created floor plan, start the designing process: a pair of sofas facing each other, a grouping of four leather chairs anchored by an incredible round coffee table, a sectional that fits your living space just right with enough seating to accommodate your son’s entire baseball team. Whatever size your living space may be, whatever aesthetic and whatever flow you’d like to create, use your floor plan as a guide to your living space success. bc/ for more information. Don’t forget Bike Tent every Thursday evening in Todos Santos Plaza, where you can get a free tune-up or bike repair to keep your bicycle in good shape to stay safe on the roads. We are there to answer questions and talk to you about how you can get involved with making Concord a safe and fun place to ride. We have volunteer opportunities galore, so please bring your questions and ideas. Our community and effort is enriched by active participa-

tion and your support. One of the Bay Area’s biggest bike festivals, Pedalfest, will be July 28. Join thousands of bike enthusiasts from all over the bay in Oakland’s Jack London Square for a day of family-friendly bike fun, bike stunt shows, art bikes, live music on a pedalpowered stage, ice cream, drinks and more. Folks from Bike Concord will be heading out to enjoy the fun, and we invite you to join us. Bring the whole family for some fun in the sun. Roberts is a volunteer with Bike Concord.

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

Stay on track with fun events for bicyclists this summer

Nancy E. Bennett 1749 Humphrey Dr.. – Concord








3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1680 sq.ft. Charming single-story move-in ready Concord home with pool, featuring hardwood and terracotta floors, brick fireplace, open beam and vaulted ceilings and updated paint. Spacious living room and formal dining. Eat-in kitchen with vaulted ceiling and bay windows. Master bedroom includes en-suite bath with walk in closet.

Offered at $585,000


1248 Clover Ln. – Walnut Creek

4 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 2643 sq. ft. Stunning single-story newly constructed craftsman home with hardwood floors throughout. Updated kitchen with custom cabinets, quartz counters, tile backsplash, and large island. Open concept living space with formal dining area and family room. This beauty sits on an expansive lot with a circular driveway, huge patio and large shed.

• Concord – Dana Estates 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 1911 sq ft on .25 acre lot w/pool • Concord – Crossings single-story, 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1917 sq ft • Concord – 3 bedroom, 2 baths, 1308 sq ft single-story home

Offered at $1,285,000

What our clients say

4 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 1842 sq. ft. Beautiful and spacious Crossings home is move in ready. Gorgeous laminate flooring, updated kitchen with granite counters, dual paned windows and a brand new roof. Spacious living room with vaulted ceiling, gas fireplace and a formal dining room. Fantastic backyard with shaded arbor perfect for enjoying the outdoors.

Offered at $795,000

We had an excellent experience with Nancy and her team when we sold our house in the Crossings and bought a house in the Northgate neighborhood. Nancy had an impressively accurate prediction of the proceeds we would get from the sale of our house. Her team made sure our house was ready to be put on the market in no time and showed nicely. The timeline of selling and buying at the same time was tight and stressful, but all team members kept us on track. The agent for the house we bought was difficult with many demands but Nancy stood up for us and made this deal happen. Nancy and her team are experienced, responsive and well prepared. We feel like we were extremely well represented! – I.E., May 2018

CEO, The Bennett Team #1 Agent in Concord for the last 6 years combined

CalBRE #01399870


4486 Camstock Ct. – Concord



Selling more than 8 times as many homes as the average realtor.

JUN 22 Concord Pioneer 2018  

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

JUN 22 Concord Pioneer 2018  

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