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East Bay Regional Parks Activity Guide




From the desk of...

June 23, 2017

Coolest place in town



Services hard hit by president’s budget

Last month I wrote about the president’s proposed budget and its elimination of Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and the devastating impact it would have on Meals on Wheels Senior Outreach Services (MOWSOS) and the CC Café senior lunch program at our Concord Senior Center. The proposed budget is before

See Mayor, page 6

Tamara Steiner

SUMMER ARRIVED EARLY LAST FRIDAY WITH TEMPERATURES BREAKING INTO TRIPLE DIGITS, and dozens of Concord kids and their parents sought relief in the cool waters of the Meadow Homes Spray Park. The city-owned park on Detroit Ave. is open during the summer from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., 7 days a week. A $385,000 playground approved by the city in 2016 is nearing completion and due to open by the end of June. The park is a popular gathering place for picnics, parties and rallies.

St. Bonaventure’s Mangini to retire

Concord native, Richard Mangini, will spend the first three months of retirement Italy, where family and friends will visit him in his rented farmhouse outside of Lucca.

become a priest. This summer, he is retiring from the priesthood at St. Bonaventure A young boy of five sat in a Catholic Church in Concord pew with his older cousin, after 21 years.. looking up with wide eyes at CONCORD NATIVE the altar in Queen of All Saints Born in Concord in 1940, Church in Concord. It was Mangini spent his early years 1945, and the Catholic mass living with his parents and sibwas still celebrated in Latin. lings in downtown Concord, Though the small boy did not understand the words the visiting his grandmother at the priest was speaking, he was fas- Mangini Ranch on the weekcinated by the liturgy, and ends. “I would say I had a very looked forward to mass every quintessential old-town kind of growing up,” says Mangini. He Sunday. It was here, at the age of portrays his childhood envifive, that Father Richard ronment as happy and simple. Mangini knew he wanted to “We weren’t poor, but we weren’t rich. We seemed to have had all that we needed.” Mangini’s family has lived in Concord for generations. Inside “Our roots are very deep here, Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . .11 and I feel very much at home,” Community . . . . . . . . . . .2 he says. “One of the things I enjoy about being a priest in From the desk of . . . . . .6 the community so many years Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 later is still serving many of Performing Arts . . . . . .10 the same families with whom I grew up.” CARINA ROMANO Pioneer Staff Intern

Catholicism has always been a part of his life, and he never wavered in the decision he made at 5-years-old to become a priest. “I always had this sense that this is what I was called to be and to do,” says Mangini. When he was to begin high school, he chose to attend St. Joseph’s College, a high school and college seminary program in Mountain View. His parents wanted him to wait, feeling he was too young to go away to school. “It was like going to boarding school,” Mangini says “But I prevailed upon it. It was what I really wanted to do.” He describes life at St. Joseph’s as very strict and regimented, but he enjoyed it. Though many of his classmates ended up leaving seminary school, he never once questioned his calling. By the time his class graduated, only 13 of the original 53 students remained to move on to St. Patrick’s Seminary and University to complete their education. After graduating from St. Patrick’s at the age of 26, Mangini was ordained a priest at Most Precious Blood Church in Concord on May 17, 1967. As a newly ordained priest at Church of the Assumption in San Leandro, Fr. Richard was full of new ideas, most of which the pastor, Father Thomas Browne, turned down with a terminal, “Over my dead body.” “But I never let that prevent me from being a priest,” Mangini emphasizes, “and doing what I felt needed to be done for people’s spiritual welfare.”

BUILDING COMMUNITY In 1972, Fr. Richard returned to school, obtaining a master’s degree in journalism from UC Berkeley in order to take over as head editor of the Catholic Voice, the Oakland diocese’s official newspaper. He was editor of the publication until 1980, but it wasn’t until 1996 that he returned to his hometown of Concord as pastor of St. Bonaventure Catholic Church. Anthony and Christine Romano, parishioners of St.

Bonaventure since the mid1960s, both agree that their first impression of Mangini was a good one. “He was going to add some more life to the parish,” says Christine Romano. “He was very outgoing and he expressed an interest in the parishioners that he talked with,” Tony Romano agrees. Mangini’s own impression of St. Bonaventure was just as good. “My reflection in

See Mangini, page 8


Peterson controversy stuns local leaders PEGGY SPEAR Concord Pioneer

Local political leaders reacted with sadness and disbelief after District Attorney Mark Peterson — a longtime Concord City Council member and mayor — resigned amidst an embezzlement scandal. Peterson resigned June 14 after being charged with 13 felony counts related to his admitted misuse of campaign funds. He pled no contest to the charges that he illegally spent more than $66,000 in campaign contributions for his personal use. Last month, a county grand jury formally accused him of willful misconduct and urged he be removed as D.A.


“I’m very disappointed,” said Concord Mayor Laura Hoffmeister. “It’s unfortunate he made mistakes — it’s disappointing to me personally, and to the community.

See Peterson, page 8

Plucky organization offers help to people beginning life again PEGGY SPEAR Concord Pioneer

Sarah Martin* can now see her children. That may not seem like a big deal for most people, but for Martin, it’s a major achievement. After stints in jail and an addiction rehab program, there were times when Martin thought she would never see her family again. But that all changed, thanks to a small but spunky grassroots organization called Support4Recovery, a local organization that helps recovering alcoholics and addicts get back on their feet after leaving rehab. “I was stressed out,” Martin said. “I was five days away

Contributed photo

TOM ASWAD, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT of the grassroots program Support4Recovery, helps recovering alcoholics and addicts make the transition to life outside of rehab’s doors.

from graduating from my The group provided the program — clean and sober resources to help Martin find — and I had nowhere to go. the sober living community Support4Recovery changed all that.” See Rehab, page 8


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Concord Pioneer •

Racing for Freedom

A Memorial Weekend half marathon in honor of those who lost their lives while serving and those who have faithfully served in a branch of the Armed Forces gave runners a rare opportunity to see inside the fences at the Concord Naval Weapons Station. Carla Cuschieri (512) from San Carlos and Rachelle Albin from Los Altos (293) were among 1500 runners completing the 13-mile course that began at Todos Santos Plaza up Willow Pass and through “Bunker City” before returning to the starting line for a post-festival celebration. Students from Northgate, Mt. Diablo, Berean Christian and Concord high schools

Monument memorializes MDHS alum

Captivating Photography

Carla Cuschieri from San Carlos and Rachelle Albin from Los Altos were among more than 1500 Bay Area runners in the Armed forces Memorial Day half-marathon.

were stationed along the event producers, Team Blue route to hand out water to Sky Events, donated to each the runners. In return, the school’s sports programs.

Olympic Mentor visits MDUSD Schools

Contributed photo

Kara Kohler, flanked by Catherine Whitman from Classroom Champions and Meadow Homes 5th grade teacher, Catherine Gonzales

Olympic bronze medalist, Kara Kohler, surprised students and teachers at Meadow Homes Elementary on May 30 to welcome fifth-grade teacher Christina Gonzales who was recently accepted into Classroom Champions, an international non-profit that provides support, materials and mentoring to encourage students to “Dream Big.” Gonzales was one of 20 new teachers from eight MDUSD schools who were chosen through a competitive process. Kohler is from Clayton and attended MDUSD schools. She won a bronze medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics in rowing.

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by students who died in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Each monument cost $5000 and is

Concord residents Michele and Matt (right) Hill were recipients of the Community Leadership award at the fifth induction ceremony

for the Clayton Valley High School Athletic Hall of Fame last month. Matt Hill became the junior varsity lacrosse coach at the high

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school when son Sean began playing the sport and within a year Matt Hill stepped into the head coaching position. Michele and Matt Hill threw themselves into fund raising for the non-funded sport while sons Sean and Danny (left) eventually joined the Eagles coaching staff. The Hills not only enabled the program to flourish but left behind over $40,000 for future year’s teams when they stepped aside in 2014. The couple also were leaders at Clayton Valley of the Athletic Boosters and Every 15 Minutes program. -Jason Rogers

Fantastic “Belvedere” Model 5000 Keller Ridge Dr. – Clayton fronts open space with un-obstructed Great “Santa Fe” views of rolling Model in Oak Hollow at Oakhurst Country hills. 5 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, approx. 3911sf & Club. 3 bedrooms plus a Rare 4 car garage with extensive storage & workbench! Master with retreat. $1,150,000 loft, 2.5 baths, approx. 1911sf. Well maintained with neutral décor. Walk to community pool. $729,000


funded by donations. Six monuments still need to be funded. To donate, go to

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LCPL Erick J. Hodges, who was killed Nov. 10, 2004 during the battle of Falluja, was memorialized at his high school alma mater on May 24 by the Contra Costa Blue Star Moms who placed a granite monument inside the school’s entrance. Hodges graduated from Mt. Diablo High School in 2002. He had already enlisted in the Marines by the time he graduated. He was on his second tour of duty in Falluja when he was killed. The monument is the third of 12 monuments planned for installation at local high schools attended

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Concord Market Update

June 23, 2017

. . . . . . .6/14/17 . . . . . . .6/12/17 . . . . . . . .6/8/17 . . . . . . . .6/6/17 . . . . . . . .6/6/17



1374 Mossy Court . . . . . . . . $705,000 1174 Limeridge Drive . . . . . . $825,000 2801 Westgate Ave . . . . . . . $490,000 1819 Hoover Court. . . . . . . . $725,000 3641 Clayton Rd #17 . . . . . . $370,000


. . . . .2179 . . . . .2157 . . . . .1326 . . . . .2253 . . . . .1088


. . . . . .4/3 . . . . . . . .6/5/17 . . . . . .4/2.5 . . . . . .6/2/17 . . . . . .3/1 . . . . . . . .6/2/17 . . . . . .4/3 . . . . . . . .6/2/17 . . . . . .3/2 . . . . . . . .6/1/17

June 23, 2017

Concord Pioneer •

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CVCHS names new principal; 4th to hold position this year JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

When Jeff Anderson was finishing up eighth grade at Pine Hollow Middle School he envisioned following his older brother and sister to Clayton Valley High School in the class of 1977. Instead the family moved to Benicia. It’s taken 43 years but Anderson will finally start a school year at CVCHS Aug. 16, this time as principal of the Concord charter school. Now a veteran school principal and administrator, Ander-

son was officially hired last Clayton Valley Charter. He was week to serve as principal of most recently principal of Albany High and is the fourth man to hold the CVCHS post since last fall. Jeff Eben resigned as principal early in the 2016-17 school year and Dr. Patrick Gaffney and John McMorris served as co-principals until Gaffney left this spring to become principal of the firstyear Contra Costa School of Performing Arts. McMorris was recently hired as executive director of a charter school program in his native Utah. JEFF ANDERSON

Anderson began his career in education as a teacher for nine years at Sonoma High School. He then transitioned into administration at Napa High before moving his family to New York City. He spent four years on the East Coast as a vice principal before returning to the Bay Area in 2005, spending seven years at Saratoga High before moving into administration in that school district. He took the Albany job in 2015 so he could be much closer to his ailing mother in Benicia. This spring there were

“unfortunate” racially charged cyber incidents involving Albany students with anti-Semitic and racist Instagrams. Anderson was re-assigned to the District office where superintendent Val Williams said, “We are glad that he is able to continue with us and use his skills to service AUSD students.” About that time CVCHS posted an online job announcement for the principal post. Anderson had applied when the school first sought a principal in 2015 after Executive Director David Linzey and the Govern-

ing Board decided to split out Linzey’s duties as head of the charter district and top high school administrator. By the time Anderson was contacted by CVCHS officials about his application then he had accepted the Albany High job. Now he is finally going to spend time at Clayton Valley, his first experience at a charter school. “I’m really intrigued by the exciting instructional elements that are in place. I will bring a stable influence and I’m here to help the students and school flourish.”

cate administration, dispatch, EMS, and other district functions to the Public Safety Campus on the former Concord

Naval Weapons site, but the plan is not fully developed and remains many years away from completion.

Contributed photo

systems, as well as the Fire Prevention Bureau and the Emergency Medical Services Division, will reside at the new Concord location. The Pleasant Hill building on Geary Road will house an expanded communications center and the training center will remain at Treat Road in Concord. ConFire had been negotiating final lease terms with Seecon Financial & Construction Company for months, and on June 13, McAlister received notice that the district and Seecon had agreed in principle to the lease terms. The monthly rent starts at $42,372 and rises to $47,693 over the initial fiveyear period, and the lease provides for two 30-month renewal terms. The district had allocated $400,000 for lease payments in the 2017-18 adopted budget. “This is only a mediumrange solution,” McAlister told the board. The long term vision is for ConFire to relo-

ConFire moving headquarters to Concord NICK MARNELL Correspondent

After 42 years in Pleasant Hill, the Contra Costa Fire Protection District is moving to Concord. The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, acting as the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District board of directors, unanimously authorized Fire Chief Jeff Carman to proceed with negotiations to relocate the district administrative offices to ConFire’s largest client city. The district has settled on 19,704 square feet of office space in a building at 4005 Port Chicago Highway for its new offices, and expects to move in December. “The district has a different mission than it did in 1975,” Assistant Fire Chief Aaron McAlister told the board, noting that ConFire has operated out of a 7,500square-foot building in Pleasant Hill for 42 years and as the

Confire will move from Pleasant Hill into new quarters in North Concord this December

district has expanded, it has outgrown its quarters. Not only does the present location lack conference areas and adequate storage space for sensitive records and reports, it now houses the American Medical Response dispatchers, who moved to Pleasant Hill in 2016 when ConFire assumed most of the county ambu-



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lance transport contract. The relocation will allow administrative and support staffs, who work in multiple locations throughout the district, to combine under one roof. Once the move is completed, the chief officers, finance, facilities management, human resources, clerical and support staff, and information



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Page 4

Concord Pioneer •

June 23, 2017

Concord votes to join Marin Clean Energy JOHN T. MILLER Correspondent

The City of Concord is taking steps to join other California communities in adapting the Community Choice Energy program (CCE) by proposing to join MCE (formerly Marin Clean Energy). The CCE , also known as the Community Choice Aggregation, is a local notfor-profit governmental program that buys or generates electrical power on behalf of all energy consumers within its jurisdiction, including residents, businesses, and governmental entities. The agency administering the CCE program may also elect

to administer energy efficiency programs and other greenhouse gas emission reducing activities. As California’s first CCE program, MCE pioneered its own energy efficient programs, complementing PG&E’s existing programs. The CCE would be responsible only for electrical generation, and would still rely on the existing utility, in this case PG&E, for transmission and distribution. PG&E will continue to handle all billing services. In March of last year, the County Board of Supervisors began work with Concord and other interested cities within the county to conduct

a technical study for implementing a CCE program. By August, the board approved a contract with MRW & Associates to complete the study. They came up with three options: • Form a new Joint Powers Authority comprised of the county and interested cities within Contra Costa that had not already joined MCE. • Form a new JPA comprised of interested cities in Contra Costa and Alameda County and its participating cities for the purpose of CCE. • Join MCE, the existing Community Choice Energy JPA established in

Marin County, which already included six Contra Costa cities: Richmond, San Pablo, El Cerrito, Walnut Creek, Moraga and Lafayette.

These CCE alternatives were compared to the option of remaining with existing electricity generation service from PG&E. Michael Cass, principal planner for Concord, presented the results of the technical study prior to the Concord City Council’s vote, citing the benefits of joining a CCE, which included, “Providing customer choice, establishing local control, expanding renewable energy

portfolios, enhancing local economic development and implementing the Citywide Climate Action Plan.” The Concord Council committee on policy development & internal operations recommended joining MCE, rather than the other alternatives. Cass stated that the committee preferred to use a chosen model, requiring fewer meetings than would be required with a startup, and that they appreciated MCE’s efforts to “gradually increase local economic development practices.” MCE’s Chief executive Officer Dawn Weisz addressed the council and, in answer to a question from

Council Member Tim McGalligan, commented on potential savings of the program: “While we can’t guarantee lower rates, our costs tend to be more stable and our customers have paid less, about 70 percent of the time. We can buy power at more competitive rates and pass on the savings since we have no shareholder profits.” She added that if the customer wants to stay with PG&E, they could opt out of the program. Currently, MCE is able to provide a minimum of 50 percent renewable energy,

in building it or taking advantage of it once it was built,” Lewis said. Meanwhile, more than 300 businesses have responded to a broadband survey. The city extended the deadline, hoping to reach 400 responses. The survey asked if business owners viewed high-speed internet access as an essential service, like water and electrical services. So far, 89 percent said yes. And 73 percent said their internet service wasn’t fast enough, with 65 percent saying the price they currently pay for services is too high. According to Lewis, Brentwood is the only area city to

have an extensive broadband infrastructure. Lewis reached out to Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill, but both cities said they are not interested in joining with Concord in this project at this time. Concord is working with Magellan Advisors, an industry-leading broadband planning firm, to develop a FiberOptic Strategic Plan. Lewis updated the City Council on the master plan at the June 13  meeting. Next, he will review the results of the surveys and develop a cost analysis. He anticipates bringing a plan to the council in September.

See MCE, page 7

Concord looking at broadband options BEV BRITTON Concord Pioneer

Through focus groups and business surveys, the city of Concord is finding overwhelming support for developing a Broadband Master Plan. “We had 100 percent positive response that we should be doing this,” Concord IT director Jeff Lewis said of two recent focus groups. “They felt that the services in the community were limited, they cost too much and they were too low of speed.” Broadband is high-speed internet access that enables wireless and/or wireline connectivity to cell phones, computers, tablets and other devices. The city hopes to provide broadband services at faster speeds for lower prices. On May 24, the city held two focus groups. The first included BART, Caltrans, the Mt. Diablo Unified School district, the county Office of Education and county agencies such as public works, sanitation and water. Community business owners, large property developers and those from the public health industry joined together in the second group. “We were gathering input to see how they felt about a municipal broadband network, whether they would participate

Upgrades to wireless approval process

The city of Concord is updating its Wireless Ordinance in response to increased demand for wireless service and new government regulations. According to senior planner Afshan Hamid, the Design Review Board studied the ordinance at the June 8 meeting. The Planning Commission was expected to review it on June 21, and it will now go before the City Council for approval. The revised Wireless Ordinance and Master License Agreement will establish a streamlined review process for approving new wireless communication facilities and making changes to existing facilities.

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Clayton Station Shopping Center, 5439 Clayton Road (Suite F), Clayton * Book a select 2018 Avalon Europe river cruise to qualify for $299/ per person round-trip economy class trans-Atlantic air from ATL, BOS, BWI, CLE, CLT, DFW, DTW, EWR, IAD, IAH, JFK, LAX, MIA, MCO, MSP, ORD, PHL, PIT. Other gateway cities available from $200 to $1,075/person additional (inclusive of taxes/fees). $299 air will be based on the lowest available priced itinerary at the time of air booking. Alternate schedules may be available at an additional cost. Not combinable with any other promotions or benefits except Journeys Club and $1,250 per person promotion (PRMW0554). Quotes available online or by calling a Travel Professional. Limited to new bookings for US originating travelers and economy class Flex air tickets; must be booked & under land and air deposit between June 7 and August 29, 2017 for travel on select cruise departures in 2018. Pre-assigned seating is limited and may not be available on all desired travel dates. Offer does not apply to instant purchase air or Custom Tours. Individual members of groups can qualify, if booking is made and deposits applied within the promo window. Group air contracts are not available with this promotion. Groups of 10 or more passengers flying from the same US gateway will not be booked on same flights and could lose promotion if requesting to match flights. Once ticketed, air reservations subject to change/cancellation penalties of between $300 per ticket and 100% of ticket value. Changes to air reservations (including itineraries involving $299 round-trip trans-Atlantic air) subject to airfare differentials between originally booked airline fare and re-booked air itinerary. Airline baggage fees may apply; visit for details. Air schedules are available approximately 330 days prior to last travel date. Flight schedules, routings and air carriers are at the discretion of Globus family of brands. Pre-assigned seating may not be available on all air segments. Additional restrictions apply; see Travel Terms for details. Air tickets are non-commissionable. Offer may be withdrawn at any time. Prices current as of June 7, 2017 and at time of booking, may be higher. For latest prices visit or contact a Travel Professional. Offer available from participating GFOB offices only. CST#2017032-20. ** Restrictions apply. See your Travel Agent professional for details. Travel Agents, visit for details.

Our Declaration of Independence starts out with a notice to the world that we respect mankind’s opinion and need to declare our values and causes that lead to the call for separation. It then goes on to remind us that this is not a casual thing: “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same

Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” We are then treated to a list of those things which are attached to King George III as the focus of the origin of the abuses: “He has...He has...etc” This ignored that much of the abuses were approved by an elected body or maintained as part of a longstanding tradition of the rights of the “Mother Country” as developed over almost 200 years of colonial activity worldwide. Though it should be noted that in the second to last paragraph of our Declaration we cast some blame on the British Legislature for not listening to our petitions, the focus is clearly on the main punching bag: King George III. As a technique it is important for us to remember the focus placed on one individual and yet

the call is for a complete change in a system of government. Clearly this is a proven technique historically which sometimes has worked well and other times led to unintended consequences, such as the removal of Julius Caesar to preserve the Republic accelerated the establishment of Imperial Rome and the end of the Republic. As a modern people with the full range of intense interpersonal communication access we are able to heighten the focus on an individual as a cause for drastic action on a systemic level. However we must always remember that that which impels people to resist and overthrow does not always translate well into the new creation replaces it. We must remember the phrase: “...should not be changed for light and transient causes.”

Send comments to or 510-812-8180 or visit

June 23, 2017

Concord Pioneer •

Page 5

When all else fails, a squirt of blood will do the trick

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As I was poking along Mitchell Canyon Road two years ago in June, I met another lone hiker and we fell into step together. Lee-Hong was out to take some snaps of birds. He seemed to have a keen eye as well as a good camera, so I felt fortunate for his companionship. I learn a lot from other hikers. But it wasn’t a bird that took our breath away that day. We hadn’t timed our hike all that well. It was an early afternoon during the drought, so Mitchell Creek was dead dry and the sun was hot. The birds had done the sensible thing and retired into the shade to wait for evening. So we tromped along with few sightings. When we came to the picnic table near the head of the canyon, we sat down for some lunch. We talked while munching our sandwiches. Then LeeHong fell silent. He flashed his eyes at me, directing my own to the bare ground next to the picnic table. There, in a brilliant spotlight of warm sun, stood a large, regal, horned lizard. It was bigger than any I’d seen previously. It was


standing proud, not squat-bellied against the ground. We both eased our cameras out, but it was Lee-Hong who got the shot. I doubt I’ll ever get a better look at such an impressive horned lizard. They’re becoming rare. Their main diet is ants, and as California’s native ants decline in number, replaced by the more aggressive and less edible Argentine ants, so declines the numbers of this amazing lizard. Every creature is amazing; sometime it’s a tired phrase. But this one can shoot a stream of blood from the corner of its eye. That’s not a misprint. It may try everything else first to evade a predator. It can lie flat so that a coyote would have trouble forcing its lower jaw underneath the scaly belly. It can puff out, making its horns, which are modified scales, a serious impediment to a smooth gulp. It will sometimes run in short bursts and brake suddenly in the hope that its desert camouflage will confuse a predator.

Lee-Hong Chang

But it can also slow the flow of blood from its head until the pressure bursts blood vessels in the eye, emitting a five-foot stream. It’s an unlikely defense that seems desperate and injurious. But lizard blood apparently doesn’t taste good, and it may blind a predator temporarily – long enough for the lizard to scuttle away and recover. Regional naturalist Michael Marchiano is trying to learn where these lizards are still thriving in our area. He remembers from his childhood around Mount Diablo that he could find horned lizards – also called horny toads – in his own back yard. If you see one this season, note the time of day and your location as exactly as you can, and get a photo, if possible. Then email all the info to Michael for his database at

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Page 6

F rom the desk o f . . .

Concord Pioneer •

June 23, 2017

Education continues for Central San summer students Students from across California joined the Contra Costa Central Sanitary District this summer to gain hands-on experience and learn about the real-life applications of their chosen studies. The Central San Summer Student program offers fulltime summer positions for youth interested in administration, engineering, laboratory sciences, facilities and collection system maintenance, computers and graphic design.




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“It’s hard-work,” said Tyler Jarreau-Legarda, who attends Butte Community College in Chico during the school year, “but it’s rewarding and the people are really nice.” Jarreau-Legarda is spending his summer assisting the Collection System Operations crew and learning to clean sewer pipes using power rodding and hydro jetting. Taylor Gay, a student at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, is spending her summer supporting the permit counter. “Before this, I did not realize you needed a permit to

build on property. I’ve learned a lot,” said Gay. Central San also offers a longer, more immersive Coop Program for college students who are currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program. The Co-op Program is a sixmonth term and provides students with the opportunity to apply their academic preparation to practical work experience in a wastewater utility. “I enjoy going out to the project sites and being in the field,” reflected Capital Projects Co-op student, Derrick

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nology, Engineering and Math) education both inside and outside of the classroom. Students in our summer and Co-op programs get to apply their education to real projects and initiatives,” said Teji O’Malley, human resources manager. “As a public agency, we also know how important it is to expose our future leaders to opportunities in the public sector.”

application is or is not consistent with all applicable policies, and makes a decision on whether to approve or deny the application. After the entitlement is approved, the applicant can then file a building permit to construct the project. During this process, the Concord Planning Division will assign a planner to a project when it initially submits the Preliminary Application. The planner is then the point of contact for the applicant and is responsible for routing plans for DAC review, receiving comments and preparing all reports to the design review board and the Planning Commission. This described process is for a multifamily project that is exempt from the California’s Environmental Quality Act

environmental review. An environmental review will add additional steps to this process. The development process is a long-detailed process and the steps provided are a high-level overview of what is required. If you should have any questions about this process, please contact the permit center at 925671-3107. The permit center is a one-stop shop for anyone who has interest in developing something within the City of Concord. It is located at Concord City Hall and operates from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday.

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

Steps to take for multifamily projects

Last month, I provided you with a brief explanation of how to add an addition or an accessory dwelling unit to your house. This week I have decided to inform you all about the entitling process for multifamily projects, since the City of Concord is currently working on a few of those. To begin, the multifamily project applicant would need to schedule an initial meeting with City staff to discuss the project at a conceptual level. Staff members will provide the applicant with information regarding policies in the General Plan, municipal code and other regulations. The applicant will then submit a required Preliminary Application, which is not the formal application. A Preliminary Application is a request to receive comments from the City and outside agencies regarding project issues and permit requirements. From there, the Preliminary Application is routed to the Development Advisory Committee for review. The DAC consists of City departments, agencies and service providers. The City of Concord would then inform surrounding property owners of a scheduled meeting to discuss the project, so that the applicant and the City may receive their input. The project is then forwarded to the Design Review Board for conceptual review of the projects design. After going through the Preliminary Application process, the applicant will then decide to proceed with the project by filing a formal application. This would be the entitlements process. The formal application then goes through the same process as the Preliminary Application, but in a more detailed manner. The formal application would be reviewed to ensure all necessary information has been provided



to proceed with the public hearing. Once the application is deemed complete, the project is forwarded to a Planning Commission meeting which is a public hearing. The Planning Commission receives a written report and presentation on how the

congress and now is the time to tell members that these funds are vital to many service programs in our communities. The CDBG grants are provided through our cities, including Concord, and the county. Concord receives about $1 million dollars annually and these funds are restricted for the use by community service support programs. Elimination by the federal government to CDBG funding would have a devastating effect on your neighbors, friends, relatives, and our seniors. Other programs and services that would be cut or eliminated are: Housing Rehabilitation Loans that allow seniors, to make modification to their home to address emergencies, weatherization, security, handicap accessibility, all which allow them to remain in their homes;

Dominic Aliano is a member of the Concord Planning Commission. Email questions and comments to at

Read for prizes this summer It’s that time of year again: School’s out and the kids are excited for a summer of fun. The library is excited, too, because of our Summer Reading Festival. Our theme this year is Build Your Brain and we have lots of fun activities for children and young adults to do. Summer Reading started on June 5 and runs through Aug. 5. Each week the library will have a different “challenge” that kids can pick up at our front desk. There are also fun online challenges that can be done on our website, too. Summer Reading isn’t just for a certain age group. We have reading logs for babies, kids, teens and adults. Reading over the summer can be a great way for kids to keep up their skills and provides a fun activity for them to do either at home or at the library.

Mayor, from page 1

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

Lewald, a Lafayette resident and mechanical engineering student at UC Davis,  “it’s great to see (something you’ve worked on) actually get built.” The Co-op program also gives students the opportunity to engage in more specialized learning or explore topics they’re passionate about. Marilyn Sun, a chemical engineering student at UC San Diego, came to Central San to work on recycled water projects. “It’s such an important resource,” she said. “At Central San, we support STEM (Science, Tech-

Ombudsman Services of Contra Costa which ensures that our seniors living in long term care are being properly cared for by investigating and resolving complaints; CARES after school programs at five elementary schools and two middle schools, and programs that support local affordable child care; The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano food distribution programs including Food for Children and Brown Bag for Seniors, which are offered local churches, and community centers; Monument Crisis Center, which provides wrap-around safety net services, food distribution, shelter and health care referrals, financial assistance and basic employment workshops, community service programs, and on site legal and crisis support services. Also tagged for cuts or elim-



And it can be more than fun, as everyone who turns in their reading log will get a new book for a prize. Reading logs can be completed and brought to the library to be entered into a drawing for bigger prizes, including a Fitbit, San Francisco Giants tickets, a Lego Skyline, or a Strawbees’ Maker Kit. Finishers also have a chance of winning a Go Pro Hero 5 and other cool prizes. inatio: STAND! For Families Free of Violence and its emergency shelter and services that provide comprehensive prevention, intervention, and treatment services to end domestic violence and child abuse; Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)-Children at Risk which provides trained volunteers who advocate for the needs of abused and neglected children who are wards of the county’s juvenile dependency court; Shelter Inc. of Contra Costa County and its Homeless Prevention/Rapid Re-housing Program which helps individuals and families in Concord facing a financial crisis prevent homelessness and maintain their housing. Other programs adversely impacted include Bay Area Legal Aid which provides landlord/tenant counseling and/or legal services; Contra Costa Crisis Center 211 referral line that helps children, teens, adults and seniors and the disabled to connect with services; Small

Also at the Concord Library this summer is the Lunch in the Library program that offers youth ages 1 to 18 free lunches in the library. The lunch program will start on June 20 and will run for four weeks. Lunch will be served on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 1:30 p.m. The Solano/Contra Costa County Food Bank will donate produce to the library free for families that attend Lunch at the Library on Thursdays. Please visit us at the library we’re going to have a super summer. Check out our online Summer Reading at Kimberli Buckley is the senior community library manager at the Concord branch of the Contra Costa Library. Email questions or comments to

Business Development Center (SBDC) microenterprises training program; Concord’s program for installing curb ramps and fixing or installing sidewalks that provide access for the mobility impaired. It would also eliminate federal grants that cities can receive for transportation infrastructure improvements and economic development, and the Home Investment Partnership Program which leverages nonprofit and private funds for creating affordable housing. Disaster preparedness grants would also be reduced at a time when natural disasters and terrorism and community safety should be of utmost importance. Please act now by calling or writing congress today not to eliminate these critical community funds.

Email questions and comments to the Mayor at Laura.

June 23, 2017

Concord Pioneer •


The wheels on the bus went ‘round and ‘round, all around the town

Page 7

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The Concord Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the City of Concord, recently held its second annual Business Insight Bus Tour. Chamber members met at the Senior Center and boarded a 50 person bus and for the next hour and a half toured many of the business areas in Concord. Tour announcers from Concord’s Economic Development Division, Brian Nunnally and Pedro Garcia, did an excellent job of informing us of new developments, current businesses and information about Concord businesses that were new to us. We drove through north Concord, by the Naval Weapons Station property, through the Concord Avenue Auto District, the Monument Corridor, downtown Concord and more. The following is information from some of the places we drove by. There are multiple office complexes in Concord, including Sierra Pacific Properties buildings – Gateway, Metroplex and the recently acquired Airport Plaza, which combine for more than a million square feet of Class-A

Oakhurst Country Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9737 Events

CBCA – BBQ Cook Off . . . . . . . . . Concord July 4th . . . . . . . . . . Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market . . . . . . . . .(800) 949-3276 Chamber of Commerce

Concord Chamber of Commerce 2nd Annual Business Insight bus tour took 50 members through the many commercial and industrial areas in Concord, noting robust development and new businesses opening.

office space in Concord. Swift Plaza in downtown Concord recently signed a lease for about 285,000 square feet with Wells Fargo, a relocation of approximately 2,200 employees. There is abundant shopping in Concord. The recently renovated Sunvalley Shopping Center is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year. Last year they opened a brand new food court with seating for over 500 guests. One street over is the Willows Shopping Center, with about 250,000 square feet which is 95 percent leased. Next door is the Veranda, a development in progress on the 30acre former Chevron site. Future tenants include Whole Foods 365, Cinema West Luxe Theatre and Super Duper Burger. Across the

MCE, from page 4

compared to 30 percent for PG&E. The city council voted unanimously to authorize initiating a request for membership with MCE, subject to the city attorney’s approval. Mayor Laura Hoffmeister praised the move, saying “We could get a 21 percent reduction in our required greenhouse gas emissions loading requirement by the state just by making this change.” Weisz mentioned that the group is considering a name change in the near future to

more accurately portray the makeup of its constituents, which, in addition to the six Contra Costa cities, also includes the City of Benicia, Napa County, and Marin County. In addition, Weisz said that Concord’s central location would make it an ideal place to open an office. According to the FAQ sheet provided by the City of Concord’s website, CCE was first authorized under California State law in 2002 and is currently available in six other states. MCE has been

street Golden State Lumber is almost ready to open a 74,000-square-foot enclosed building. The Auto District includes the oldest business in Concord – Lehmer’s Concord Buick GMC, and many other dealers on Market Street and Concord Ave. This is the “car capital” of the county, with more than 20 brands. John Muir Hospital Concord Campus is a great asset in Concord. It had a $170 million renovation in 2010 and a $23 million renovation that increases the number of beds by 16 in its ICU. It is nationally recognized for its cancer and cardiac care. There are a lot of industries throughout Concord, including life sciences, telecommunications, craft

beer and advanced manufacturing. Concord is home to the new headquarters of Bay Alarm, which has moved into the former Heald College building and brought approximately 110 jobs to Concord. The Garaventa Business Park has five buildings which include Comcast, Concord Disposal and Black Diamond Brewery & Taproom. The north Concord area also includes WAVE, Fresenius Medical Care, Cobham Satellite Communications, Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, Concord Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps and Epidemic Ales. Marilyn Fowler is the president/CEO of the Concord Chamber of Commerce. For more information on chamber programs, call 925-685-1181 or email

Financial, Insurance and Legal Services

Van Wyck, Doug – State Farm Insurance . . . . .672-2300 Funerals

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operating for seven years. The initial investment is usually a loan from public or private sources and is repaid once the CCE program begins. After that, the CCE is self-funded. However, MCE agreed to waive upfront costs and there is no financial impact on the City of Concord. Beginning in early 2018, if PG&E account holders take no action, they will automatically be enrolled in MCE’s Light Green plan, which is a comparable cost, and usually slightly less expensive, to PG&E, while also using a higher percentage of renew-

able energy sources. Alternatively, businesses, individuals, and government agencies can choose to opt-out and remain with PG&E for electricity procurement or they can choose to opt-up to MCE’s Deep Green plan, which utilizes 100 percent renewable energy and is on average $5 more expensive per month.

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Page 8

Concord Pioneer •

Peterson, from page 1

“It floored me,” Hoffmeister continued. “It is so out of character for him.” Hoffmeister served with Peterson on the council from 1997 until Peterson resigned in 2010 after being elected D.A. Former City Council

member and Mayor Dan Helix — who was appointed to fill Peterson’s spot on the council after Peterson won the D.A. race — also reacted with disappointment, but showed his respect for Peterson. “Mark Peterson has been

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a dedicated, superb public servant,” Helix said. “I respect his dedication to his work. Regretfully, each of us, at times, has suffered the scald of irony when our paradoxical actions compel the introspective conclusion: bad judgment. Mark is paying dearly for his temporary lapse. I thank him for his service and wish him well in his future endeavors.” Peterson was first elected to the city council in 1994, and was a strong voice for the development of the city. As a

deputy district attorney, his council colleagues said he brought a sense of balance to the dais. That’s why his resignation in disgrace is so surprising to many. “It is difficult to express my profound sadness for those many individuals and groups that supported him,” said Council Member Edi Birsan, who never served with Peterson. Other sitting council candidates contacted for this article, including Tim McGallian and Carlyn Obringer,

Mangini, from page 1

coming (to St. Bonaventure) is coming to a very wellestablished Catholic parish with a very well-established community spirit,” he says. Mangini goes on to explain that his desire was not so much to change St. Bonaventure, but to continue to develop its community. One of the ways he has done this is through inviting people into the ministry. “The thing I like most (about being pastor) is the interaction with the people. And I think I have a gift for that kind of interconnection.” Christa Fairfield, Parish

Life director at St. Bonaventure since 2002, has experienced this gift firsthand. She had just left a corporate job when Mangini approached her and offered her a position at St. Bonaventure. “The thing I’ve learned about (Mangini) is that he’s really good at seeing what someone could do, and inviting them to do that,” says Fairfield. BIG SHOES Mangini will be retiring on July 1. “I feel very happy and fulfilled in a sense that I have done the best that I could have done for these 20 years,

Rehab, from page 1

she now lives at in Pittsburg. They gave her money to get on her feet and begin looking for work. And the Sober Living Environment allows her to see her family. “Support4Recover y changed my life,” she says.

SMALL BUT STRONG It all started around Founder and President Tom Aswad’s dining room table, back in 2007. He and two other friends, all with many years of recovery, wanted to help others who may not have been as fortunate as them. “When I got sober back in the early ‘90s I was lucky,” Aswad says. I had a ‘high bottom,’ which means I didn’t lose my job or my family. I had something to go back to. Many people leaving rehabs don’t have the same luck I had, and we want to help them.” The group’s work has not gone unnoticed, and recently the Clayton Business and Community Association awarded Support4Recovery a $10,000 grant, half of which will go toward helping Diablo Valley Ranch graduates get a head start after leaving “the ranch.” “We are so grateful for the grant,” says Aswad, who

said that half the grant will help at least three DVR graduates move into sober living homes in Concord and surrounding areas and get a leg up on job searches and being reunited with their families. The other half of the grant will be directed toward similar services in East County, he says. The mission of Support4Recovery is to assess the needs of the recovering community, develop action plans to support, educate and empower the community and promote successful longterm recovery. Its focus is on “celebrating the recovery movement,” Aswad says, and breaking down the stigma and discrimination by creating a unified voice for positive change. From that first meeting at his dining room table came a strong effort to educate the community about addiction and alcoholism, and raise funds to help recovering alcoholics and addicts who need it. A special emphasis of the organization is working with women in recovery like Martin, helping to reunite them with their children. “There is a greater percentage rate for long-term recovery if the alcoholic or addict has family support,” Aswad says. The group has grown to the point that it even has a high profile board of directors, but it works on a limited

June 23, 2017 chose not to comment on Peterson’s resignation. On June 14, Contra Costa Superior Court Judge Theresa Canepa sentenced Peterson to 250 hours of community service and three years of probation, during which time he is barred from running for office. It is unclear who will take over for him at press time, but Deputy District Attorney Doug McMaster, Peterson’s hand-picked second-in-command, is a likely candidate. The state Attorney Gener-

al’s Office filed 12 counts of perjury and one count of grand theft against Peterson on the same day he was due to be arraigned in Contra Costa County Superior Court to face a civil grand jury accusation that his conduct amounted to “willful or corrupt misconduct in office.” Hours later, Peterson pled no contest to a single count of perjury and resigned from office. His attorney has been quoted as calling the ordeal “A Shakespearean tragedy.”

and I need a rest,” says Fr. Richard. “I am very hopeful that the new priest to come will continue to build upon what we have built to the present time.” Mangini understands that with every new leader comes change. “People have said ‘Oh, they have big shoes to fill.’” Mangini recalls a similar situation when taking over as editor of the Catholic Voice. He had been standing with the former editor when someone said to him, “you have big shoes to fill.” The former editor, answering on his behalf, replied, “I have my own shoes, and I’m taking them with me.” Mangini encourages the

community of St. Bonaventure to take this open perspective with their new pastor, Father Mathew Vellankal, who takes over July 1. Though Mangini will no longer be a full-time priest, he still plans to remain a part of St. Bonaventure, officiating baptisms, funerals and weddings when requested. He will also be available to lead mass throughout the Oakland diocese.

budget. There is virtually no overhead — everyone is a volunteer. “We’ve been known to have bake sales and car washes to raise funds,” Aswad says. But small doesn’t mean powerless, as the group has helped many in recovery find safe living environments, and not go straight to a homeless shelter after they leave a rehab. “The relapse rate is over 90 percent at a homeless shelter,” Aswad says. “We look for legitimate SLE’s that will enhance the individual’s chances for recovery. We provide money, job search resources, and even dental care if needed,” he said.

always bartering for help, and it works,” Aswad says. “We’ve built strong community partnerships that way.” Support4Recovery Board Member Dominic Aliano, a Concord Planning Commissioner and member of Supervisor Karen Mitchoff ’s staff, didn’t have much experience in the recovery world growing up. But when he met Aswad, “he sort of sucked me in to the movement,” Aliano says. “We want people to recover, be successful in battling their addiction, and get a job so they can feel empowered.” he says He says that besides the help they give newly recovering alcoholics, the group gives grants to people wanting to become alcohol and drug counselors themselves. But like Aswad, he says the biggest thing they do is find housing for people leaving recovery, and helps get families involved. “It’s nice to see families reunited,” Aliano says. For the CBCA, it was an easy decision to give the grant to help DVR graduates, says President Bob Steiner. “In a way, it’s a payback for all of DVR’s help,” Steiner says. Many residents of DVR help out on Clayton’s community’s activities. For more information or to donate to Support4Recovery, visit its website at The 2017 Wheels 4 Recovery Ride is scheduled for Sept. 2.

WELL CONNECTED The group also goes into San Quentin prison and helps run recovery groups there. They get referrals from counselors in rehabilitation facilities, and makes sure that the individuals they are helping have a strong plan for continued recovery, be it a 12-step program or other sobriety resources. Aswad is well connected to the recovery community and local rehabilitation facilities, and knows when people need help. The group survives on small fundraising events such as sponsored bike rides and grants such as the CBCA’s, but Aswad notes that the CBCA’s is one of the largest they’ve received. They also get “in-kind” donations from such places as Kinder’s BBQ, John Muir Health and Phillips 76 stations. “We’re

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Guest Editorial Is Northgate proposed territory transfer legal? DR. NELLIE MEYER MDUSD Superintendent

As part of ongoing review of a petition by Northgate Community Advocacy for our Public Schools and its proposed  transfer of territory  carving out five schools to form a new school district, Mt. Diablo Unified is reiterating concerns that the territory for the proposed Northgate district includes two additional schools that are physically located within the proposed NUSD boundary but have separate MDUSD attendance areas. The campuses of Oak Grove Middle School and Ygnacio Valley High are clearly situated within the proposed territory for a Northgate district.  The proposed NUSD boundaries also include attendance areas for Highlands Elementary, impacting more than half of the school’s student population. Last month at public hearings before the County Committee on School District Organiza-

tion, we shared concerns that the proposal, which would include Northgate High School, Foothill Middle School, and Bancroft, Valle Verde, and Walnut Acres elementary schools, creates an “island effect” by including the Oak Grove and Ygnacio Valley school facilities but not their attendance boundaries. The state’s education code (section 35543) is very clear on this: a school district shall not be formed or reorganized to include territory which is separated from other portions of one or more other school districts. The proposed secession prompts many questions. If CAPS’ intention is to include Oak Grove Middle and Ygnacio Valley High in their territory,  is it also their intention to retain those students? Or will these students – approximately 2,000 students – be displaced? What happens to Oak Grove and YV’s feeder schools? If the CAPS proposal was constructed knowing about these profound school

the elimination of key district programs. • Have a negative impact on both potential districts’ financial health and educational programs.

The District has made great strides over the last few years that are now paying dividends in student achievement, teacher recruitment and retention, and the provision of innovative educational programs and opportunities for every student throughout the district. This petition would derail this progress and negatively impact the district’s students, families, teachers and staff. The county committee will have the remainder of the summer to review the Northgate CAPS petition to determine whether it meets the state’s required criteria.  Additional hearings – potentially leading to a recommendation to approve or disapprove the petition – are expected to take place in early fall.

Wraparound mortgage may be right for you...or not



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



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

friends so there is existing trust in the relationship. If you do a wraparound loan, please have an experienced Realtor and an attorney involved.

Data is simple, it’s stuff: letters, documents, photos, even the Internet web pages you view. Data exists everywhere, on computers, in print and in the cloud. It’s the information we all use daily to keep track of our lives, inventory, people’s names and addresses – important stuff. Everyone has data. Storage is simple, too. It is the place where memos, memo-

ries, photos, documents, etc. are kept. Everyone has a file folder with information in it; that data is stored in a media called a folder. Yes, a file folder is a media device. In today’s world, a hard disk drive stores files, just like a paper file except it is electronic. The data is in a coded form known as binary, which is a series (an extremely long series) of 1s and

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Q: I have a significant other and we are going to buy a house together. We are not married. Do you have some insight on this? Is it harder to get a loan? A: Since I don’t have insight on your relationship, I can’t address whether this is a good idea. Just make sure everything is done legally with the loan and title. There is no difference with the lender whether you are married or not. Buying a home is part of the American Dream, equally shared by millennials and baby boomers alike. However, it is becoming extremely difficult to make it work on a single income. According to Zillow, 15 percent of homebuyers aged 24-35 are unmarried couples – up 4 percent from 2005. Zillow chief economist Svenja Gudell says the trend is taking off due to limited affordability, compounded by out-of-reach home values.

Other studies have indicated similar shifts away from conventional milestones related to homeownership. One report reveals that 25 percent of married millennial couples purchased their home together before their wedding day. As more unmarried couples become homeowners, however, fewer singles do the same. According to the analysis, 25 percent of homebuyers aged 23-25 are single, compared to 28 percent in 2005. Don’t get me wrong, many singles are striving to purchase on their own. But, of course, buying a home with two incomes is much easier. This number is growing more whether or not marriage is involved. Assuming home value growth continues to outpace income growth, this trend should increase. 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.

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facility and displacement issues, why were there no meetings held with these schools’ communities? MDUSD believes the petition fails to substantially meet many of the state’s legal requirements. Our Board unequivocally opposes the petition for several key reasons, believing the proposed division would: • Result in a new school district that is far more racially and socioeconomically segregated, depriving students in both districts of an integrated educational experience. • Result in an inequitable distribution of assets and assessed property values. • Separate communities and would result in increased negative traffic impacts community-wide. • Reduce the size of both districts, resulting in the disruptive shuffling of teaching and staff assignments, including likely necessitating layoffs and

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0s also known as bits and bytes. Binary simply means there are only two choices for data to exist, either as a one or a zero. So data is stored in a media, which could be a paper file like the one discussed above or it could be electronic in the form of a hard disk drive (HDD) or solid state drive (SSD). HDDs

Page 9

P.O. Box 1246 6200 Center Street, Suite H, Clayton, CA 94517 TAMARA AND R OBERT S TEINER , Publishers TAMARA S TEINER , Editor P ETE C RUZ , Graphic Design B EV B RITTON , Copy Editor J AY B EDECARRÉ, Sports Editor PAMELA W IESENDANGER , Administration, Calendar Editor S TAFF W RITERS : Peggy Spear, Pamela Wiesendanger, Jay Bedecarré, Bev Britton

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


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

Tamara Steiner Send Ads to Send Sports News to Send School, Club and Calendar Items to

The Clayton Pioneer and the Concord Pioneer are monthly publications delivered free to homes and businesses in 94517, 94518, 94519 and 94521. ZIP code 94520 is currently served by drop site distribution. The papers are published by Clayton Pioneer, Inc., Tamara and Robert Steiner, PO 1246, Clayton, CA 94517. The offices are located at 6200 Center St. Suite H, Clayton, CA 94517

LET US KNOW Weddings, anniversaries, births and deaths all weave together as part of the fabric of our community. Please let us know of these important events. We ask only that the announcement be for a resident in our home delivery area. Submit on our website and be sure to attach a JPG photo that is at least 3 MB. Also on the website are forms for calendar items, events & press releases. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Both Pioneer newspapers welcome letters from our readers.

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Concord – Commercial Offices Active business complex featuring a variety of commercial businesses. Well maintained with friendly atmosphere. Excellent location including ample parking. Contact Maureen (925)


CIRCULATION The Concord Pioneer is delivered monthly to 30,000 homes and businesses in 94518, 94519 and 94521. Papers are delivered by carriers for ABC Direct around the last Friday of the month. To stop delivery for any reason, call the office at (925) 672-0500 . If you are NOT receiving the Pioneer, please check the distribution map on the website. If you live in the shaded area and are not receiving the paper, please let us know. If you are not in the shaded area, please be patient. We will come to your neighborhood soon. The Clayton Pioneer is delivered by US Mail to 5,500 homes and businesses in 94517 around the second Friday of the month.

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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As a general rule, letters should be 175 words or less and submitted at least one week prior to publication date. Letters concerning current issues will have priority. We may edit letters for length and clarity. All letters will be published at the editor’s discretion. Please include name, address and daytime telephone number. We will not print anonymous letters. E-mail your letter to Letters must be submitted via E-mail.

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$190 for 200 words; $50 for photo; 90 cents/word over 200. Example: A 350 word obituary with a photo is $385 ($200 basic plus $135 for 150 words extra and $50 for photo. Send text and photo to Or call (925) 672-0500

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Concord Pioneer •


Anything goes during summer theater


STAGE STRUCK Get ready for Pittsburg Community Theatre’s annual fundraiser where this year “Anything Goes!” The cabaret dinner show takes place at 6:30 p.m. July 15 at the Elks Lodge, 200 Marina Blvd., in Pittsburg. The extravaganza features appetizers, dinner, a silent auction (including a silent dessert auction) and many exciting musical performances from Broadway shows. The evening also includes a taste of next season’s musical productions. Lou Esposito II hosts with members of the Pittsburg High School Show Band serving the multicourse dinner. Tips will benefit the students’ trip to Rome this winter. Tickets, priced at $50 per person, can be purchased by going to or by mailing to Pittsburg Community Theatre, P.O. Box 452, Pittsburg, CA 94565. Also on July 15 is the 11th Annual Chevron Family Theatre Festival. This much-anticipated event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in and around Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr. A ribbon cutting ceremony opens the festivities followed by a Prince and Princess Walk

June 23, 2017

Cheshiredave Creative

Phoebe fico (seated) is Laura and Karen Aldridge is Amanda in California Shakespeare Theater’s The Glass Menagerie.

that includes characters from “Star Wars.” Presented by Chevron and produced by the Diablo Regional Arts Association, the City of Walnut Creek and the Lesher Center, the day features free events as well as $5 events that include nonstop theater, dance and music per-

formances along with visual arts activities. Events include an interactive show featuring the musical stylings of Cruella de Vil, Maleficent and the Queen of Hearts; Alex Ramon Magic; Fantasy Forum Actors Ensemble’s “Snow White and the

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

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

Seven Dwarfs,” a Star Wars STEM Build-a-Droid Station and, back by popular demand, “Artageous,” where a team of artists paint at electric speed, sing and operate a life-sized puppet. For a complete schedule of events and ticket information, go to the website at For the first time, the California Shakespeare Theatre presents a Tennessee Williams play as part of its season. “The Glass Menagerie” is one of Williams’ classics as he weaves the story of Amanda, an overbearing mother and former debutante, her son Tom and his sister Laura, who seems as fragile as the glass menagerie she cherishes. The struggling family is forever changed when Amanda invites a “gentleman caller” to dinner. Lisa Portes, an award-winning Chicago director, brings a new vision to Williams’ work by casting Amanda as an African-American. “The tradition of African-American debutantes dates back to the turn of the last century. Amanda as an African-American woman could exist, and that she ran off with the wrong guy (and that he left her) puts her under even greater pressure to try to set things right.” Portes unique take on “The Glass Menagerie” runs July 5 through 30 at the Bruns Memorial Amphitheater, 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way, in Orinda. Call 510-5489666 or you can visit the web-

Kimberly Ridgeway and edward Nattenberg from Role Players ensemble’s production of “Honky.”

become the child Ginger has always wanted? And is that what Paul wants? The book is written in multiple voices, each one a nuanced revelation. Velveteen’s voice is strongest. When the novel ends, Velveteen looks back her on her experiences

centered around “her” mare and weighs them against what her future may bring. She knows this much: “I will see her again. My Mare.” Numerous reviewers of “The Mare” noted similarities to Enid Bagnold’s “National Velvet.” Gaitskill’s “Mare” is a

site A pair of sneakers triggers a tragedy that results in a unique conversation about race relations in America in “Honky” by Greg Kalleres. The provocative play throws political correctness out the window as five people – both black and white – muddle through one of the most difficult discussions of our time. Eric Fraisher Hayes directs this script-in-hand performance, which takes place at 8 p.m. June 24 and at 2 p.m. June 25. at Peace Lutheran Church, 3201 Camino Tassajara, in Danville. For tickets, go to There is still time to see Center Rep’s “Altar Boyz,” 90-plus minutes of high energy, fun tunes and entertaining choreography. Think “Nunsense” with hip hop, and you’ll get an idea of what this witty, slightly irreverent musi-

cal is all about. Director/choreographer Keith Pinto has outdone himself with this fast-paced musical full of energizing dance numbers where Michael Jackson would feel right at home. Cast members Josh Ditto, William Hoshida, Sean Okuniewicz, Justin Sabino and Tyce deliver endearing performances with great accompaniment from the Holy Trinity Band (conductor Ben Prince, Eryn Allen, Lane Sanders and Stephen Danska) Suitable for all ages, “Altar Boyz” runs through July 1 at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center. Call 925-943-SHOW 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

‘Mare’ trots cautiously through familial relations



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

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winner, and I’ve already pulled “National Velvet” off my shelf. 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.’

‘Covenant’ has high points that may keep fans engaged

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



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

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

June 23, 2017

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

Tuesdays Farmers’ Market

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

Tuesday Night Blues July 11 - 25

Some of the best blues in the Bay Area. July 11, Mark Hummell; July 18, Mitch Woods. 6:30 – 8 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Free.

Thursdays Music and Market

Thursday night live music and farmers’ market. Music: June 29, David Martin’s House Party; July 6, Zepparella; July 13, Frobeck; July 20, California Cowboys. Market 4 – 8 p.m.; music 6:30 – 8 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Free admission.

3rd Sundays Antique Faire

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

On Sale Now Concerts

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

July 4 Celebration

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

July 11 Cool Concord Cars


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

June 23, July 21 Common Poorwill Bird Walk

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

June 24 Night Hike Adventure

A twilight to dark excursion in Mitchell Canyon. 7:30 – 10 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center.

June 30 Night Hike Adventure

A twilight to dark excursion in Mitchell Canyon. 7 – 9:30 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center.

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

July 8 Morgan Territory Family Walk

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


Thru June 24 “Off the Shelf and OnStage”

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

Thru June 25 “King Lear”

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

Thru July 1 “Altar Boyz”

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

June 24 – 25 “The Seven Deadly Sins”

Annual car show on opening night of Tuesday Night Blues. 5:30 – A gripping story of drama, love, deception and revenge. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $20-$94. festi7:30 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Free.

Saturdays Farmers’ Market


July 7 Young Actors Studio Showcase

9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 6095 Main St.

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

June 24, Caravanserai; July 8, Diamond Dave. 6 – 8:30 p.m. Grove Park, downtown Clayton. Free.

Gershwin musical. Heritage High Theater, 101 American Ave., Brentwood. $10-$25. (925) 852-3612.

June 24, July 8 Saturday Concerts in the Grove June 28, July 12 Wednesday Classic Car Show

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

July 4 Pancake Breakfast and Parade

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

July 15 Clayton BBQ Cook Off

Pro pitmasters and backyard chef competitions, including People’s Choice. Demos, food, drink, music, kiddieland. 11 a.m. – 6 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

Thru November Hazel-Atlas Mine Tours

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

June 24 Walk into the Night

July 14 – 30 “Crazy for You”

Weekends, July 14 – Aug. 13 New Works Staged Readings Series

Celebrate local playwrights and their works via staged readings. B8 Theatre Company, 2292 Concord Blvd., Concord. $10. (925) 890-8877.

July 15 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.

July 18 “Summer ‘Pops’ Concert 2017”

Presented by Walnut Creek Concert Band. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $17. (925) 943-7469.

July 20 – 22 “Whose Life is It Anyway?”

An improvised comedy presented by Synergy Theater. 8:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $20. (925) 943-7469.

July 22 Kevin Blake

Illusionist, magician and mentalist. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $10-$20. (925) 757-9500.


July 14, 28 Walk the ridges at night and rest your mind. 8 – 10:30 p.m. Meet Summer Movie Nights

at Morgan Territory Road Staging Area. Registration required.

June 30 Bat Monitoring

Clayton Valley Village is open to serve seniors in Clayton and cessfully “Helping seniors live suc South Concord in their own homes.” Come join our team of Volunteers and help seniors in our community.

Entertainment from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Karaoke Mon. & Wed. nights Open Mic Thur. nights, 8-11 pm

Page 11

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

July 14, “Sing,” plus Karaoke Idol; July 28, “The Lego Batman Movie,” plus superhero/villain costume contest. Bring a lawn chair, blankets, invite friends and neighbors. Activities begin at 7 p.m. Movies start at sundown. Clayton Community Church, 6055 Main St., Clayton. Free admission.


Sep. 9 Reunion

Concord High School Class of 1977 is hosting a reunion open to all CHS alumni. 6 – 11:30 p.m. The Fratellanza Club, 1140 66th St., Oakland. $50 by Aug. 14.


2nd and 4th Sundays Pancake Breakfast

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

June 24 Baking for a Cure

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

June 24 Bowl to Benefit Families

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

June 24 Relay For Life Concord and Walnut Creek

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

July 7 – 8 D.L. Hughley

Comedy. Proceeds benefit Pittsburg Arts and Community Foundation. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $30-$40. (925) 427-1611.

July 15 “Anything Goes!”

A cabaret dinner show. Proceeds benefit Pittsburg Community Theatre. 6:30 – 10:30 p.m. Elks Lodge, 200 Marina Blvd., Pittsburg. $50. (925) 439-7529.

July 15 Document Shredding

Sponsored by Diablo Valley Oncology to benefit the Cancer Support Community. 1 – 3 p.m. California Cancer and Research Institute, 400 Taylor Blvd., Pleasant Hill. $20 first box; $5 each additional box. (925) 677-5041.

July 22 Mad Hatter Tea

Hosted by Concord Senior Center to benefit their scholarship program for underprivileged senior citizens. 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Concord Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Circle, Concord. $30., #104410. (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. June 26, July 17: Movie Monday, 7 p.m. June 27, 29; July 6, 11, 13, 18, 20: Summer Lunch, 1 p.m. July 3: Rockets, 6 p.m. Registration required. July 6: Origami, 4 p.m. July 10: Bubblesmith, 7 p.m. July 18: Kindergarten Countdown, 2 p.m. Registration required.

The Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at or call (925) 673-0659. Thru Aug. 5: Summer Reading Program for all ages. June 26, July 10: Clayton Knits, 1:30 p.m. June 28: Movie Night, 6:30 p.m. July 10: Bubblesmith, 4 p.m. July 10: Clayton Library Book Club, 7 p.m.


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.

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


Page 12

Concord Pioneer •

June 23, 2017

4 Concord high schools win 5 NCS championships 3-2 lead and had two outs and no one on base in the bottom of the seventh when Monte Vista forced extra innings with a dramatic home run. The Spartans scored again in the top of the eighth inning and then retired the Mustangs in order to claim their fourth title in six years and 10th overall NCS baseball championship. Monte Vista lost seven one-run decisions this season, including five in extra innings. The Section baseball tournament was not without controversy as the new CIF pitch limit rule came into play when NCS staggered its schedule in each round over two days, giving the teams who played the earlier game a distinct advantage for pitchers in the subsequent round. CVCHS was seeded one spot above DLS at No. 4 but ran into a buzz saw in the second round when DLS racked up its second consecutive 12-1 win in NCS. Clayton Valley Charter

baseball had a big season with the varsity, JV and frosh teams combining for a 64-9 record. The Ugly Eagles varsity was Clayton Valley Charter, 22-2 in the regular season Concord, Carondelet and De including winning the inauguLa Salle all enjoyed post-season ral Diablo Athletic League success this spring as the 2016Foothill Conference title, two 17 school year sports calendar games over Acalanes. The came to an end with standout team started the season with 18 individual and team performstraight wins including a title at ances dotting the results for the Alhambra Tournament. local schools. Northgate ended the Baseball — Defending CVCHS win streak at 18 and North Coast Section champion the Broncos were No. 2 seeds De La Salle lost to Granada in in NCS Division II however the East Bay Athletic League the Broncos lost in the second playoffs and then got drawn round. against the Matadors in the Softball — Concord was first round at NCS. A win to seeded third in NCS D-II but avenge that loss started the the Minutemen went all the Spartans on their way to anothway to take their fourth Secer Section championship. tion title since 2010. The finale The NCS final pitted De La was a one-sided 17-1 victory Salle against EBAL rival Monte over Livermore. Vista, which twice defeated the Concord won 2010-12-13 Spartans in league play. Monte Section titles before Alhambra Vista took an early 2-0 lead but ran off with the last three DiviDLS chipped back to tie the sion II crowns. Alhambra was game entering the seventh reclassified to D-I this season inning. opening the door for Concord DLS scored a run to take a to get back to the top rung. CVCHS Eagles were blanked by James Logan in the first round of NCS D-I. Logan went all the way to the finals before losing. Carondelet defeated Northgate 7-6 in their NCS opener before losing to Concord 2-1 in the quarterfinals, the Minutemen’s closest game of the playoffs. Berean Christian upheld its Photo courtesy De La Salle baseball No. 1 seed in D-V, earning the De La Salle High schools has won 10 North Coast Section Eagles a NCS championship baseball championships but when the Spartans defeated banner. eBAL rival Monte Vista 4-3 in extra innings in this year’s Track & Field — Local championship game it was the first time since 1996-97 that schools Clayton Valley Charter the Concord school had managed back-to-back baseball and Carondelet had a lot of titles. The team dedicated its season in memory of 2016 player Ryan Abele, who died tragically last fall early in his success this spring. The college freshman year. Cougars and Spartans won the JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

Photo courtesy Concord High School

Concord High was seeded third in NCS Division II softball with a team that featured five freshmen players, but the Minutemen used strong hitting and pitching to roll to their fourth Section title since 2010, capped by a lopsided 17-1 victory over Livermore in the championship game. The NCS champions were, front row from left, Makenzie Stange, Madi Mays, Marina Delaluna, elena oceguera, Lexi San filippo, Sarah Clifton, Amber Desena; back row, head coach Megan Coddington, Juliana Pichardo, Vero Castaneda, Aleya Rath, Alaina Tonna, Morgyn Wynne, Nicole Pickard, Kaitlin Van Brusselen, Marissa Durst, Jolie Brenes and coach Joe Santos.

Tri-Valley NCS meets on the girls and boys sides, respectively. Leading the way this spring as record setters have been Mikayla Scott of Carondelet in the sprints and Jeff Williams in the weight events, each racking up records and top NCS marks at their respective schools. Williams concluded his year with a fourth-place finish in the discus at the CIF State Meet as Pittsburg Iffy Joyner surprised the field with a championship throw of 203-8. Williams had defeated Joyner at the Tri-Valley and NCS Meet of Champions. Scott qualified for State in the two sprints and two relays for the Cougars. Her relay team with Mia Avila, Hanna Coloma and Ariel Coats took fifth at State. Scott was 10th in both her sprint races, missing

the finals by one place in each. Clayton Valley Charter sophomore Daylon Hicks was second at the NCS Tri-Valley meet, third at NCS Meet of Champions and fifth at State in the high jump with a 6-5 effort. Carondelet freshman Kelly Kern set a new EBAL meet pole vault record with a mark of 12 feet, two inches below her season best that is No. 1 in NCS. The previous record holder was none other than her sister Katie Kern at 11-2. Kelly Kern was third a the MOC and finished 15 that State as the only freshman in the PV field. CVCHS’s junior Aidan Jackman is second in the 110 and 300 hurdles and fourth in the high jump, just below coleader and teammate Daylon Hicks. Clayton Valley Charter boys

scored the triple crown of DAL, NCS Tri-Valley and NCS MOC leading up to State. The Eagles had both boys relays, Aidan Jackman in 110 hurdles, Anthony Lowe in 400 meters, Cameron Reynolds in 200, Williams and Hicks all qualify for State meet. Lacrosse — De La Salle faced off with a tough run of opponents to claim its fifth NCS lacrosse title since 2007. The Spartans beat DBAL rival Amador Valley 7-5 in the finals after beating another league foe Monte Vista 8-6 in the semis. Monte Vista was defending Division I NCS champion and have won the same number of Section titles as the Spartans. DLS repeated as NCS champion in football, basketball and wrestling earlier in the 2016-17 school year.

NORTHGATE Female Athlete of the Year: Carlie Polkinghorn The senior aquatics athlete earned all-Diablo Athletic League honors in both water polo and swimming. Her Broncos 200 freestyle relay was fifth at NCS. Male Athlete of the Year: Sean Garrigan As a senior linebacker he earned first-team allDAL Valley division honors and helped the Broncos to the NCS playoffs.

all-league honors and playing in two NCS playoffs. He was named the football Ultimate Warrior award winner, representing the best player and student in the program. He was an NCS qualifier for YV track in the long jump, 100 meters and 4x100 relay. Besides three years of varsity track and field he was twice on the varsity baseball team, making for a busy spring. He earned a football scholarship to Concordia University in Nebraska, where he will study theology and African American studies. Co-Male Athlete of the Year: Jonathan Negrete is another multi-sport standout at YVHS. He made his biggest mark on the soccer field from his forward position. He helped the Warriors to the 2016 NCS Division III championship in a season when he scored 22 goals. He was honorable mention all-NCS and first team all-DVAL that year. This season for his DAL championship team the senior captain scored 16 goals and was league offensive MVP. He ran varsity cross country and track for two years each and was a team captain. He will be majoring in exercise physiology at CSU Chico this fall. Female Athlete of the Year: Isela Garcia was a middle blocker and team captain for YVHS volleyball, earning honorable mention all-league recognition. In the winter, she was also team captain for the basketball team. She was basketball team MVP as a junior and all-DAL this year. She kept up her busy athletic calendar with four years on the YVHS varsity softball team at third base. She twice received allleague honors and this year was team captain and MVP. She is also going to DVC this fall.

Local schools name their athletes of the year JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

More local schools have announced their athletes of the year as the 2016-17 seasons drew to a close and the graduating seniors reflected on their high school careers and looked ahead to a new chapter of their life in college.

CLAYTON VALLEY CHARTER Male Co-Athlete of the Year: Ryan Fischer enjoyed quite a run as a CVCHS athlete including three years on the Ugly Eagles football team that included a pair of State Bowl Games. He was two-time, first-team all-league. This past winter he won the inaugural Diablo Athletic League wrestling title at 195 pounds and then was third at the North Coast Section that earned him a State Meet berth. Male Co-Athlete of the Year: Jeff Williams concluded a busy senior year placing fourth in the discus at the State track and field meet last weekend. His senior track season was record-setting as he shattered school, league and section marks in the discus helping the Eagles to boys team championships through the NCS Meet of Champions. He was also all-DAL in football and basketball for his undefeated league champion teams. Female Athlete of the Year: Bridget Hyland was a two-sport athlete at CVCHS, playing three seasons of varsity basketball and four years on the track team. She was varsity basketball captain her junior and senior seasons. She was all-league twice each in track and basketball. Hyland was a member of Senior Women, Multicultural Club and the Public Service Academy at CVCHS. Irvine Scholar Award (Combination of athletics and


academics) Male: Michael Cox and Female: Natalie Ruzicka Away from the classroom both senior recipients made their athletic marks as long distance runners.

BEREAN CHRISTIAN Female Athlete of the Year: Molly Kolander was first team all-league in soccer and softball for Berean. She led the Eagles into NCS playoffs in both sports. Kolander and her team captured the NCS Division V softball championship to cap her junior year. Male Athlete of the Year: MacGregor Douglass was runner-up at 285 pounds at the DAL wrestling tournament earning a berth at NCS. The junior was also on the Eagles track and field team but it was as a trap shooter that he made the biggest splash winning the Jr. National championship. CONCORD Female Athlete of the Year: Rylie Pearson is a rare threesport athlete. She played three years on varsity water polo, four years each on varsity soccer and varsity track and field. Her water polo coach Elizabeth states that “she was a very dedicated player


who initially just came out to help the team because they didn’t have a goalie. As she continued to play, she became one of the leagues’ best goalies, earning her All-League status.” She was named to the All-League soccer team four times and also earned the 2017 All-League MVP defensive player award. Her coach Jose Soltero says, “She has a laid-back attitude, but she is still intense on the field and is a leader who the players looked up to. She was the diamond-in-the-rough that we helped polish into a bright jewel.” Track and field coach Trevor Chatterton gave some insight on her performance the past four years. “Her high jump at 5’ 4” is a school record, her 4x100m relay will go down as the second best in school history and she will finish in the top 10 in the 100m and triple jump.” Male Athlete of the Year: De’Andre Morgan was a threetime varsity letter winner in both football and basketball. He was an all-league player twice for each team. Varsity football defensive coordinator Randy Coddington says, “This young man dominated on both sides of the ball. He was a very unselfish player and did what was best for


the team. Not only is he a great athlete, but he’s also a leader on and off the field. He set a great example of what it means to be a ‘student-athlete’ by maintaining a 3.5 GPA during the season. He will be attending UC Davis on a full-ride scholarship to play football at the next level.” His basketball coaches said, “We never doubted his work ethic and energy. He always gave 100% at practice, preseason, whether we were winning or losing by 20. He also took on the role as a mentor to the younger students on the team, which was very helpful and needed.”

YGNACIO VALLEY Co-Male Athlete of the Year: Tony Rodriguez was a team captain for the 2017 Warriors in his third varsity season as a two-way end. He earned all-league honors twice and helped his team to a pair of North Coast Section playoff appearances. He played one year of varsity soccer for the Diablo Athletic League champions. He twice qualified for NCS in the discus and played a year of varsity volleyball too. He will attend Diablo Valley College this fall and will continue to play football for the Vikings. Co-Male Athlete of the Year: Darius McVay played three years of varsity football, twice winning


June 23, 2017

Concord Pioneer • Minuteman varsity swim team. She was the only girl on the team to have an NCS consideration time. It came in the 100 butterfly, which is not even her best event. An early-season track injury to her hamstring kept her from swimming breaststroke this season. She has qualified for the State cross country meet in both her freshman and sophomore years by placing in the top six each time at the NCS cross country championships. Her summers are filled training for cross country with her CHS teammates and competing for the Forest Park Swim Team in Concord, which she helped to the 2015 County Meet swimming championship.

Athlete Spotlight

Rayna Stanziano Grade: Sophomore School: Concord High Sports: Track, Swimming, Cross Country

Stanziano just completed her sophomore year at Concord High and she’s already packed a full high school career of athletic achievements into that time. This spring, she qualified for the CIF State track and field meet in the 1600 meter run where she finished 17th overall with the fifth fastest time among underclassmen. Leading up to that qualification, she was undefeated in

league, won DAL championships at 800 and 1600 meters, won the 1600 at NCS Tri-Valley and took second to the state champion in the 800.  She qualified for State by placing fourth in the 1600 at the NCS Meet of Champions at Cal Berkeley. She holds Concord school records in the 800, 1600 and 3200. All those running accomplishments came while she also was a member of the

The Concord Pioneer congratulates Rayna 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

Diablo FC girls ranked number 1 U18 soccer team in United States

Coach Zach Sullivan’s Diablo FC 99/00 girls are ranked No. 1 in America and solidified that position by winning the US Club Soccer West Regionals earlier this month in Davis, beating the host Davis Legacy 9 Red 2-0 in the championship game. The Diablo FC girls outscored their Regional opponents 11-1 with another key 2-1 win over San Juan ECNL 99 team. Seven local players have already committed to colleges. They will be playing in the Davis Legacy Showcase and Surf Cup in San Diego this summer. They won the Cal North State Cup in April.

Photo courtesy Diablo fC

The team includes, front row from left, Marianna Giovannetti, Makayla Netcott, Jessie Verderame, Carly ortega, Santana Merryfield, Susanna Garcia, Kaytlin Brinkman, Alexandra Diaz, Sophia Runte, Jenae Packard, Samantha Gotz, Annie Brown; back row, emily Kaleal, Holly Gallagher, Amanda Zodikoff, Julia Hagedorn and Mikeila Martinez. Not pictured, coach Zach Sullivan and players Katie Hollister, Kari Lewis, francesca Monti, Stephanie Neys, Kylie Schneider and Sophie Harrington.

S ports Shorts

ly equal ability making league play fun and equitable. Matches are played over a two-hour time span with teams playing six games per night. The league season is six weeks with qualifying teams advancing to a playoff night in final week. Players looking RED DEVILS GOLF CLASSIC RETURNS THIS FRIDAY The Red Devil Golf Committee is holding its 22nd annual to join a team should contact the Sports Office at (925) 671Red Devils Golf Classic this Friday at Diablo Creek Golf 3423 to be added to the pickleball free agent list. To register or Course in Concord. Proceeds help athletic and academic pro- for details on dates, times and fees go to grams at Mt. Diablo High School. Registration starts at 11 a.m. FINAL BASEBALL CAMP SESSION AT followed by lunch, 1 p.m. shotgun start, dinner and raffle/silent CLAYTON VALLEY JUNE 26-29 auction. For more information contact Lou Adamo (212-9332 Clayton Valley Charter High School coach Casey Coakley or or Ralph Vallis (825-7593 or has put together a staff of current CVCHS coaches and ers as well as Eagle alumni to provide baseball instruction to youngsters 5-12 years of age. The final baseball camp June DIABLO FC JENNA BETTI MEMORIAL 26-29 will consist of instruction in the fundamentals of hitSUMMER CAMP JULY 10-14 Competitive soccer club Diablo FC and the family of Jenna ting, throwing, fielding, catch play and other aspects of the Betti have announced a “camp like no other” for July 10-14. Par- game. Each daily session runs 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. To ticipating local college athletes and aspiring college athletes have reserve a baseball school spot or to get more information prepared a fun-filled and developmentally-packed week of soc- email cer aimed at boys and girls ages 7-15. Each day will emphasize DIABLO FC OFFERING PLAYER EVALUATIONS the technical framework of soccer. The half-day sessions are at Formal tryouts for Diablo FC under 8 through U19 comHidden Lakes Field in Martinez on brand new turf field.  The petitive teams (birth years 1999-2011) have concluded but camp is geared toward local players in a variety of age and skill coaches are still holding player evaluations. Visit levels. For questions email  or phone 408to get more information and signup for the appropriate age 3683. Visit for details. group evaluation.


Concord High School is looking for 2017-18 varsity girls tennis, JV girls water polo, varsity boys water polo, varsity girls basketball and varsity boys tennis coaches. Send resume and references to AD Megan Coddington at Stipends available. Coaching requirements include MDUSD Fingerprints, Current TB test,  First Aid/CPR, Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Concussion certification through NFHS. 


Page 13

Clayton Valley grad Jesse Medrano, 3 DLS alums tabbed in MLB draft


JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer

Photo courtesy fresno State Athletics

Former two-sport Clayton Valley Charter High School star Jesse Medrano and three De La Salle alums were selected in the Major League Baseball draft this month. Michael Brdar, Allen Smoot and Hunter MercadoHood are the former Spartans who were picked in the draft. Medrano was selected as a third baseman in the 31st round but he Pittsburgh Pirates. He was the Diablo Valley Athletic League defensive MVP as a CVCHS senior and then shared the league’s 2013 MVP baseball award before moving on to Fresno State. During his time at Clayton Valley he played for three head baseball coaches under Bob Ralston, Herc Pardi and Casey Coakley. Over his three years on varsity the team reached the North Coast Section quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals, losing in the Section championship game his sophomore year. The three De La Salle players were teammates on the 2012 NCS champion

Spartans team. Smoot was just drafted as a senior from the University of San Francisco in the 40th round by the Tampa Bay Rays. He was a first team allWest Coast Conference infielder this year after finishing second in the conference batting race with a .364 average. He redshirted one year at USF after playing at College of San Mateo for two years following his 2012 graduation from DLS. Brdar, a classmate of Smoot’s at DLS, was taken in the 36th round by the St. Louis Cardinals. He concluded his Wolverine career as a first-team all-Big Ten shortstop this spring. He played two seasons at Diablo Valley College before transferring to Michigan. DLS coach David Jeans called Mercado-Hood “the best pure hitter I have ever seen.” The 2013 Spartan grad was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 31st round out of the University of San Diego. He was a fouryear mainstay for the Toreros after being named all-East Bay Athletic League three years for the Spartans. The lefty hit .495 as a DLS senior.

pionship Football Camp, basketball, track and field, lacrosse, wrestling, volleyball, baseball, water polo, swimming, soccer, rugby and strength and conditioning. The camps are open to boys and girls incoming from kindergarten to ninth grades. For complete information call (925) 288-8100 ext. 7090 or email Registration is open now at (athletic tab).


Concord is offering an evening summer camp for beginning and high performance tennis training for youth ages 7-17. Camps are grouped by age and ability and taught by Calvin McCullough, a USNTA/USPTR certified instructor with over 20 years coaching experience. To register or for details on dates, times and fees go to


Concord AYSO is still accepting registration for its fall soccer program with online registration. Registration fee is $160 until June 30 when they increase to $175. AYSO is a great place for kids to have fun and make new friends while learning how to play soccer. Visit for details.


Concord Cobras tackle football program is taking signups for DEMOLITION CREW CHAMPS AGAIN its fall season online. The football program is open for youth five OF CLAYTON COED VOLLEYBALL to 14 years of age. For more info email concordyouthfootball@ Clayton’s early spring adult coed 5’s volleyball league champi- or visit onship went to DC…demolition crew. The team includes Sergio REGISTRATION OPEN FOR Esquerre, Rodolfo Duran-Chavez, Kim Buck, Sandra Bohn, Jose Torres, John Porcella and John Jatoft. Runnersup were Spike ALL OUT SPORTS LEAGUES PROGRAMS Lightning with Crush finishing in third place of the All Out Summer programs for youth basketball and volleyball offered Sports League program at Clayton Community Gym. by All Out Sports Leagues in Clayton are taking registration online. For complete information on All Out Sports programs, CLAYTON VALLEY CHARTER SOCCER CAMP JULY 10-13 visit Clayton Valley Charter head boys soccer coach Guillermo Jara, a former MLS player with three teams, is hosting a soccer CLAYTON VALLEY JR. EAGLES CHEER, FOOTBALL summer camp July 10-13 for incoming third through ninth SIGNUPS ONLINE graders at Gonsalves Stadium. The sessions are 9 a.m. – noon Clayton Valley Jr. Eagles football program is open to players geared to develop individual player’s skills in a fun, friendly 7-14 years of age. Cheer programs begin for five-year-olds atmosphere. To register or to get more info on the camp email through 14. Visit for more info and to register.

Walnut Creek Aquanuts are offering “Try It” days to introduce athletes to its synchronized swimming program. The 90minute sessions are being held July 1, July 29, Sept. 2 and Sept. 4. Registration is $10 for a session with top WCA coaching staff on hand. The world renowned Aquanuts also offer trainee sessions over the summer and fall, each running 4-5 weeks. The trainee sessions are for ages four and up who are new to the MDSA REGULAR REGISTRATION sport. Swimmers must be comfortable in deep water and able to OPEN FOR FALL LEAGUE swim 25 yards. Registration is open for July 3-July 27 and July 31Boys and girls 4-18 years of age wanting to play in Mt. Diablo Sept. 3 sessions at Clark Memorial Swim Center in Walnut Soccer Association fall league can register now online and will be Creek.  Registration for both programs can be found at placed on the waitlist. Fall league play begins in August when all registration closes. Families are requested to sign up for volunteer duties to help the organization offer its AYSO program. For CONCORD PICKLEBALL LEAGUES START JULY 10 City of Concord is now offering men’s, women’s and coed complete information visit pickleball leagues and is now accepting registration for teams DE LA SALLE HIGH SPORT CAMPS and individuals. Organized by skill level, these round robin strucOFFERED ALL SUMMER tured leagues are designed so teams play against teams of roughDe La Salle High School will host athletic camps for Cham-


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

Page 14

Concord Pioneer •

Build it and they will ride, say bike culture enthusiasts

Randy Glasbergen MARyAM RoBeRTS


I step onto the sidewalk at Market Street from Montgomery Street in San Francisco, snap my helmet buckle under my chin, and pull high visibility yellow gloves over my knuckles. I step over the top bar onto my bike, brakes locked, one foot in my pedal cage, and one balancing on the ground. I look over my left shoulder, waiting for an opening in rush hour traffic and the buses cruising close to the curb. Cool air whips around me. When the coast is clear, I push out onto the green striped bike lane. All I can feel is the road and how good my bike feels. How connected to

925-250-0334 JeNNIfeR LeISCHeR

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each pedal stroke and tight steering maneuverability she gives me around manhole covers, utility grates and cracks in the pavement. The swirls of wind change direction with each block, like the current of a river over boulders and cliffs. These canyon walls are glass, concrete, art deco, new scaffolding, and old brick. Posters for “Hamilton” blur by as I pass the Orpheum Theatre. The green lane is clear and wide, hugging the curb. I stop behind two cyclists talking at a red light. They take off in front of me, and I tail behind them as we catch the next four red lights. At one, a middle-aged woman commuting home from work in khaki slacks and a buttoned-down shirt stops beside me. Soon I notice that we are a diverse group of cyclists, and we are about the size of a bus, moving down


When starting a bathroom project, from scratch or a refresh, there are many things to take into consideration. Think about the space you have, vanity style, storage, tile layout, lighting, color palette and ultimate design scheme. Plumbing should have its own line of discussion, both aesthetically and functionally. From basic shower and tub sets, floor and wall-hung toilets, to handheld shower heads, therapeutic massage jets and all sorts of vanity faucets, narrowing down your plumbing needs/wants and how the plumbing fixtures function is an important step. Let’s start with the shower. Unless you’re trying to keep your hair dry, a rain shower can be a lovely way to bathe. If you are starting from scratch, the plumbing for this shower head can be installed into the ceiling of the shower. If you are updating a shower, you can achieve this design by using a wallmount shower arm that has a sharp right turn at the end to provide the correct horizontal angle for the rain experience. If you’re interested in a hand-held shower, there are several variations: sleek and

modern, round and traditional, and other shapes and sizes in between. Sometimes, a handheld shower is the only shower source. Or it can be a secondary bathing option, depending on the size of the shower and the plumbing investment you’re willing to make. Vanity faucets are no longer as simple as hot on the left and cold on the right. There are single-handled faucets, gooseneck height faucets, widespread and center-set faucets and even wall-mounted faucets. The widespread style is commonly used. This means that you typically would have three holes at the top of your sink on your vanity, with two levers for hot and cold water and one faucet. But continue to explore. There’s always the traditional under-mount sink, or you could consider a sink vessel that’s mounted to the top of the vanity, paired with a chic wall-mount faucet. Or maybe you like the idea of the vessel sink, but prefer an extra tall, single-handled faucet mounted to the countertop.



925.348.5609 Nick Eisenbart

Owner/Service Provider Concord resident

Market Street together — all ages and skill levels. A quick cyclist in athletic gear passes me on my left. I pull up alongside a gray-haired man on an upright bike with saddle-bags on his rear rack, moving at a steady but slow pace. I pass a young woman on her mountain bike, backpack heavy on her shoulders. We are each quiet and focused, giving each other enough space, but passing closely when needed. The number of cyclists on my ride was at least 40 percent higher than in 2004 when I lived in the city. I developed my first urban biking legs during that time. My friend Kien showed me how to ride with traffic, making myself visible while staying safe. Back then there were no green bike lanes and no plastic separators as a barrier between me and the cars.

My ride felt like the kind of bike culture I want to help build in Concord and all across Contra Costa County. I love riding with other cyclists when I’m biking on our streets and trails, whether I’m commuting, or out for a fun ride with the family. I feel connected, visible and safer. Building bike culture is a culture shift that includes bike lanes, as well as education for cyclists, drivers, government officials and planners alike. Let’s see what kind of future is possible when we build an infrastructure to keep cyclists safe. More of us will jump on our bikes, making our communities healthy and vibrant.

Maryam Roberts is a member of Bike Concord, a volunteer organization of residents working for safe, convenient and enjoyable bicycling in our community. Find out more at

Every detail counts when planning bathroom project


Owners Dustin & Kim Waraner

June 23, 2017

Serving all of Contra Costa County for 15 years Including Marsh Creek, Morgan Territory

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on Yelp

Flim Flam artists are nothing new. I’ll wager Cain was trying to pull a fast one over on Able before his whole scheme blew all to hell…literally. What is most egregious to me is the fact that seniors seem to be high on the scammer’s list of potential dupes and apparently with good reason. Did we check our good sense at the door of the Social Security Office when we turned 65? Our generation made some amazing contributions to the world. Consider the revered hula-hoop, adored silly putty and my personal favorite, the slinky…just to name a few. Just kidding (sort of). Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were part of the Baby Boomer generation. One created Microsoft and the

for total relaxation in the bath, include chromatherapy lighting in your tub

If your bathroom has the space, a tub is a nice addition. Some bathrooms have a traditional alcove tub/shower combo. Some bathrooms have a free-standing tub and a separate walk-in shower. Whatever accommodations your bathroom has, the bath tub has come a long way in terms of style and accessories. It can be a place to simply soak, just an old school approach with maybe a fizzy bath tablet for fun. The tub can also be an electrified swirling whirlpool of water or

an infinity of massaging air bubbles. Some tubs have builtin back rests that massage and generate heat, some have integrated aromatherapy diffusers to calm and relax, and some even have chromatherapy LED lighting systems that claim to be a potent tool for achieving equilibrium and harmony. Now, that’s a tub.

other Apple. Elvis Presley and the Beatles fall into the Boomer category. Where would we be without rock n’ roll? We landed human beings on the moon, for Pete’s sake. So why on Earth are we so easily convinced that Prince Habaykunta of outer Bingoland has set aside a gazillion dollars in an account in our name? All we have to do is fork over our bank account number so the funds can be transferred into it. A particularly nasty one has a caller convincing the elderly that they are in arrears paying their federal income tax and the wolf will be huffing and puffing at their door in short order if they don’t provide Agent Harvey Wallbanger with their credit card number so he can clear this whole ugly mess up for them out of the goodness of his black little heart.   Scams come in more shapes and sizes than you can

imagine. I have stopped answering any calls that my phone does not identify as someone I know personally or already do business with. I figure if the call is important the caller will leave me a message. Just rely on the fact that you know we still live in a country where your good name means something and the gestapo will not be beating down your door. You can always check with the agency they claim they’re representing directly. Your local, state or federal government agencies are happy to help bring you peace of mind where scamming is concerned.

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

Wham, scam, thank you, ma’am!

Christine Kogut is a marketing director for the Concord Senior Citizens Club. She has lived in the area for 40 years and formerly worked for the Contra Costa Times. To find out more about the Concord Senior Center, call (925) 6713320 or see the city’s website at

June 23, 2017

Concord Pioneer •

Page 15

Terizen a sober reminder of humanity’s ugly potential Last month, my wife and I traveled to the Czech Republic city of Prague. I could write pages describing the historical, cultural and architectural features of a city buzzing with tourists. However, it was a day trip to Terizen, a Nazi Concentration camp, that provided the most unforgettable memories of this journey. Terizen is a military fortress built in the late 18th century near the intersection of two main rivers about 30 miles north of Prague. Its original purpose was to protect Prague from possible attacks by Prussian troops. By the late 19th century, it was primarily used as a military prison. During World War I, the fortress was used as a political prison camp. Its most famous prisoner was Gavrilo Princip, who’s assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the catalyst for the war. In the late 1930s, Nazi Germany occupied the Czech Republic. They converted the fortress into a concentration camp for forcibly displaced Jew-

The phrase “Arbeit Macht frei” over the entrance to the Small fortress at Terezin translated means “Work Makes one free.” The phrase has become synonymous with the Nazi concentration camps of WWII.

ish families. The camp had a dual purpose: as a provider of slave labor using the able bodied and as a transfer point to execution in the gas furnaces at Auschwitz. By the end of World War II, more than 150,000 Jews were brought to Terezin. Nearly 90,000 were deported to Auschwitz. Due to the brutal living conditions inside the camp and the on-site executions, more than 30,000 perished. Of the more than 10,000 children

Tech Talk, from page 9

you need a fast device to find and retrieve things. The faster the storage device, the faster data moves to the CPU for processing and then back to storage. Enter the SSD. Solid state means the media is electronic and has no moving parts, like the HDD which could break down and destroy data. HDDs use a spinning disk to record and retrieve binary. HDDs spin about 7200 RPM, which causes

wear and tear and eventual breakdown. A solid state drive uses “memory” chips to store data. There is nothing to wear out, making them much more reliable. SSDs move the binary at the speed of light, which is, last I looked, faster than an HDD. To move binary it takes speed, lots of speed, to move data from your storage device to the CPU, where it is processed and then returned back to the storage device. The faster you move the data, the sooner the user has results. The quicker the applications/programs execute,

the more rapid the effects. To find out more, consult a local computer expert. Better yet, try it for yourself by getting your old slow HDD converted to a speedier SSD. You really will notice the difference. It is the best upgrade you can do to enhance your computing experience. William Claney is an independent tech writer and former owner of Computers USA in the Clayton Station. Email questions or comments to

ton’s 4th Armored Division in World War II. They liberated the first concentration camp as the war ended. The images never left him. Terezin was built to be a fortress that offered protection and freedom to the Czech people. Today it is a monument to

the memory of those who lost their freedom and their lives during the Holocaust. We experienced a haunting history lesson on this day trip from Prague. Mankind must remain vigilant and ensure that one of its darkest episodes will never be repeated.

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and SSDs are simply recording devices; they record the patterns of 1s and 0s that form words, sentences, images and all things data. The mountain of data you store is really a string of binary so long that, if laid out end to end, it would reach the moon and back. That’s a lot of 1s and 0s, and it takes time to look through each of these strings to get information you can use. So,

brought to Terezin, less than 250 survived. Those are the cold facts available to anyone with a Google query. The hard facts are the ones you feel when you visit. Remnants of a large sign that proclaims (in German) “Work Makes One Free” hang over the entrance to this dungeon of enslavement. Cold, dark and damp cells, where hundreds huddled in fear, line the hallways of the old fortress.

We gazed inside a glass showcase at a yellowed typewritten piece of paper. It listed the name of each country in Europe, along with the number of Jewish inhabitants in each. The documented goal of the Third Reich, its so-called “Final Solution,” was the mass execution of more than 12 million people listed on the tally sheet. Inside the walls of the prison, water and food were scarce. Sanitary conditions were so bad that many contracted typhoid. The remains of a housing area just a few hundred feet outside Terezin’s walls show that the Nazi guards and their families enjoyed indoor plumbing and a large outdoor swimming pool. The contrast was mind-boggling. I came away from Terezin with a new respect for the feelings of my wife and sister, who are both Jewish, when they anguish about reports of antiSemitism that still exist in our world today. Also, I have a better understanding of the nightmares my father had when I was growing up. He was a member of Pat-

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Page 16

Concord Pioneer •

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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



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

Round Valley climb pays off with sumptuous views



June 23, 2017

Kevin Parker

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

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

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

Nancy E. Bennett SO




Pe As





and choose the single-track trails that branch off the main road. Routing is more favorable, the views superior and it saves you some muchneeded energy bypassing a few hills before reaching the staging area.

Contact Kevin Parker with comments or questions by email at

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JUN 23 Concord Pioneer 2017  

Local newspaper for Concord, CA and Contra Costa County. City government, schools, sports, arts and events.

JUN 23 Concord Pioneer 2017  

Local newspaper for Concord, CA and Contra Costa County. City government, schools, sports, arts and events.