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Bitter CVCHS feud ends with Middendorf firing Scandal at CVCHS splits loyalties

JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

A simmering feud between two top Clayton Valley Charter High School leaders exploded in the waning weeks of the school year, resulting in the dismissal of a top administrator. Pat Middendorf, Director of Operations and Athletics, was terminated without cause by the charter school board at a stormy governing board meeting May 21. This followed a flurry of rumors, intrigue, politics, charges against Executive Director David Linzey, countercharges and complaints, all largely played out in a very public forum on local website The bitter battle sharply divided the school and community at a time when the Eagles should be soaring. CVCHS was celebrated for having one of the largest state test score improvements — 62 API points — in California and receiving a maximum six-year certification from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. In March, Linzey and administrator Neil McChesney were invited to Washington, D.C. to speak to the U.S. House of Representatives Education and the Workforce Committee on the subject of “Raising the Bar: The Role of Charter Schools in K-12 Education.”



ture,” lack of trust and absence of “shared decision-making.” The antagonism between the two administrators boiled over when Middendorf and other Linzey critics claimed that the

The usual end-of-the year excitement at Clayton Valley Charter High School was eclipsed by another type of excitement, a scandal that played out over the local news website, fueling gossip that spread from the school hallways to the streets of Clayton; false information spread through the town like wildfire. In the end, an explosive board meeting resulted in riled students, staff and community members, teachers calling for the ouster of Executive Director David Linzey and the termination of Director of Operations Pat Middendorf.

See High School, page 8

See Teen Speak, page 8

Tamara Steiner/Clayton Pioneer

JUST TWO YEARS AFTER A TEACHER-LED MOVEMENT CONVERTED CLAYTON VALLEY HIGH TO A CHARTER SCHOOL, strife between the executive director and the administrator who was on the board that hired him, erupted in a firestorm of controversy at the end of the school year. When the smoke cleared, Pat Middendorf, who led the movement to convert two years ago, was without a job.


It was just two years ago that Middendorf was on the committee that chose Linzey as executive director to run the newly chartered high school.

‘Celebrating Clayton’s City calls for July 4 Parade entries Milestones’ Red, white, blue…and gold are the Fourth of July colors this year as Clayton celebrates America’s birthday and Clayton’s 50th year as a city. Gather the star spangled gear, add a dash of gold sparkle and prepare to march, drive, ride or stroll

See Parade, page 4

Middendorf enthusiastically championed the new director and immediately became part of his administrative staff as director of operations and athletics. But that partnership began to fray late last year over plans

to expand the school and Middendorf ’s claims of Linzey’s “aggressive and disrespectful management style.” The criticism snowballed with some teachers attacking Linzey’s leadership ability, “top-down struc-

CVCHS contract includes 6 percent raise JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Almost lost in all the turmoil surrounding the termination of administrator Pat Middendorf, the Clayton Valley Charter High

School Governing Board ratified a new collective bargaining agreement May 21 that effectively gives all employees — administrators, classified staff, security, as well as teachers — a 6 percent raise retroactive to July 1, 2013 and an improved

three-year benefits package through the 2015-16 school year. The approval culminated 18 months of negotiations with the teachers’ union. When Clayton Valley High School converted to charter status before the start of

the 2012-13 school year teachers and staff were paid off the existing Mt. Diablo Unified School District salary schedule. Teachers at CVCHS are represented by the California

See Contract, page 8

Clayton balances 2014-15 budget with small surplus Revenues - Total Budget*

Expenditures - Total Budget

General Fund Revenue Budget



2014-15 – $3,879,561

General Fund Expenditures by Department 2014-15 – $3,849,444

Landscape District 16.6%

Landscape District 16.3%

Misc. Funds** 6.0%

General Fund 63.5%

Gas Tax 5.2% Grants Fund 2.4% Grove Park 2.2% Street Lights 2.1% Stormwater 2.1%

Franchise Fees 13.5% Admin/Finance 20.7% Transfers In 9.1%

Misc. Funds** 5.2%

General Fund 62%

Gas Tax 5.1% Grants Fund 3% Grove Park 2.8% Street Lights 2.2% Stormwater 3.3%

Community Dev. 7.7%

User Fees/Permits 8.5% Taxes 63.9%

In-Lieu 4.0% Interest 1.0% Misc. Other 0.1%

Community Park 4.4% Public Works 4.4% Library 4.2% Gen. Gov. 3.2% Engineering 2.1% Legislative 1.7%

Police 49.2%

At the June 3 city council meeting, city staff proposed a $9.37million budget for 2014-2015 which includes $3.26 million in fiduciary funds. The General Fund budget balances with a small $30k surplus which assumes Misc. Employees’ salaries and benefits remain status quo. This surplus is supported by a healthy uptick in real property assessed values and further return of a portion of former Redevelopment Agency revenues to the General Fund. Capital projects planned for next year include a federal collector street rehab project targeting Keller Ridge Drive, a new SUV police car and replacement of a 23 year old Maintenance tractor. Last year’s budget suffered one-time spikes for audit delays/ finance dept. illness, overtime expenses for Clayton PD staffing shortages, and water overages caused by constant irrigation breakages at Community Park. Landscape District planned improvements include trail bridge renovations, a neighborhood median landscaping and refurbishing the downtown planters. Source: City Manager Gary Napper.

What’s Inside Around Town . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Behind the Badge . . . . . . . . .6 Book Review . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Classified . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Club News . . . . . . . . . . . . .18

Community Calendar . . . . .16 Concord City Beat . . . . . . . . .5 Concord News . . . . . . . . . . .5 Design and Décor . . . . . . . .20 Directory of Advertisers . . . . .7 Fit With Levity . . . . . . . . . . .14 Garden Girl . . . . . . . . . . . . .18

Letter to the Editor . . . . . . . . .6 Mayor’s Corner . . . . . . . . . . .3 MDES Correspondent . . . . . .9 Northgate Correspondent . .9 Obituary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Pets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Police Report . . . . . . . . . . .13

Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Senior Moments . . . . . . . . .13 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Teen Reads . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Teen Speak . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 The Pocket Parent . . . . . . .13 Weather Words . . . . . . . . . .13

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Page 2

Clayton Pioneer •

June 13, 2014

Around Town CBCA honors stand-out high school seniors Each year, the Clayton Business and Community Association gives out awards to several outstanding graduating seniors. Each finalist received $5,000 to use to help defer the cost of their higher education. The winners of the 2014 CBCA education scholarships are: Kasey Fitzsimmons, Sadie Dowling. Grant Melan, Kyle Metz and Rachel Siver. The original field was made up of 18 applicants, of which 11 were invited for a formal interview with the CBCA scholarship committee. “Every one of the applicants has an outstanding academic and extracurricular resume. And it was very difficult to narrow it down to just five,” said Rory Richmond, chairman of the committee. The winners are graduates of CVCHS, with the exception of Fitzsimmons, who attended Carondelet. Fitzsimmons’ interest in the healthcare field is evident by her past volunt e e r work/internship at John Muir HospiKASEY tal. She is also FITZSIMMONS active in her church, where she is a youth group leader. She also played on the tennis team for four years. She plans to major in Biochemistry/Biological Science at Cal Poly-San Luis

Obispo. Dowling is off to UC Santa Cruz and will major in Molecular Biology/Bioengineering. For the past four years she has been a member of the CVCHS Jazz Ensemble and Full Orchestra Performance Ensemble, is actively involved with her church as a youth leader, and organizer of many community projects. M e l a n will attend Santa Clara University and focus on the school of Arts and Sciences. He earned six varsity letters while at GRANT CVCHS. As MEYLAN a member of the CVCHS Public Service Academy, he has been involved in many public service programs and contributed hundreds of hours of community service. Metz is planning to attend San Diego State and will pursue a degree in business. His role in student government is outstanding, KYLE METZ and he has a deep appreciation for the theater as well. While at CVCHS, he was involved as a performer, technician, and director for many

3043 Windmill Cyn. Dr. – Clayton

Julie Caruso receives law degree from Gonzaga University

stage productions. He also is a drama volunteer at the local elementary schools. He is a varsity letterman in both track and cross country. Siver will attend UCLA where she will major in Aerospace Engineering. Her acad e m i c achievements are impressive, includRACHEL SIVER ing membership in the California Scholarship Federation. She also has a rich athletic history, including three years DVAL All-League-Softball and a NCS Scholar Athlete three years running. In addition, she has donated many hours to a variety of community service projects.

AAUW honors Abele In the May 23 issue, there were to errors in t h e A A U W scholarship story. The recipient was SARA ABELE S a r a Abele, not Ashley Abele, and the amount was $1000, not $500. Our congratulations to Sara.

Clayton native Julie Caruso graduated from law school at Gonzaga University on May 10 in Spokane, Washington. She is the daughter of long-time Clayton residents David and Ann Caruso. Julie is a 2007 graduate of CVHS. She received a dual BA



in political science and French from Whitworth University. During her undergraduate education, Julie worked at the Center for Justice, a Spokane nonprofit law firm providing legal aid to low income clients. In law school, she received awards for her work with various organizations. Most recently, she served with the Washington State Office of the Attorney General in the Social and Health Services division. Julie will take the bar exam in Washington where she plans to practice law.

Diablo Ridge at Oakhurst Country Club! 2 bedroom, 2 bath unit, inside laundry, fireplace, plus 1 attached and 1 detached garage. Coming soon!

Kathy O’Toole and Herb Yonge had a chance to read the Pioneer while visiting the Tower of London. They took a river cruise beginning and ending in Amsterdam. While in Amsterdam they visited the Keukenhof Gardens and the Rijksmuseum. After their cruise they ventured to England for nine days and visited Bath and London.

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2715 Oak Rd, #D – Walnut Creek Extensive remodel in Oak Road Villas! 2bed/1bath, approx. 878sf, inside laundry & fireplace! $325,000


Top of Falcon Ridge backing to open space w/ views! 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, approx. 2894sf & 3 car garage! In-ground pool with built-in spa & automatic pool cover! $799,000

925 Douglas Rd. – Clayton


Stately Custom Home with separate cottage on .56 ace lot! 5 bed/4.5bath + a bonus room & den! Magnificent Creekside setting! A rare find! $899,000

Alamo Elegant & Stunning Roundhill North Custom Home! Built in 1991 and Extensively remodeled in 2014! Approximately .85 acre lot! 4 bed/4.5 baths, approx. 3900sf, 3 car garage. Sweeping views! $1,900,000

Clayton Market Update provided by Better Homes Realty ADDRESS

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Clayton Resident

Lifelong Concord/Clayton Resident Cal BRE #00711036

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20 Regency Dr.....................$640,000 904 Deer Place ....................$850,000 321 Chardonnay Cir ............$745,000 3017 Windmill Canyon Dr....$735,000 1025 Feather Circle .............$470,000 5193 Keller Ridge Dr ...........$640,000 1853 Yolanda Circle.............$638,000 100 Mt. Etna Drive...............$680,000 216 Condor Way..................$636,000 25 Widmar Court..................$640,000 269 El Pueblo Place ............$598,000 5211 Keller Ridge Drive .......$820,000 239 Mountaire Parkway .......$690,000

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

60-plus years together given to them by their family. They also savored a champagne breakfast on their balcony as a gift from family. Ken was raised in Scottsbluff, NE, and Jean was raised in El Sobrante, Ca. They met while Ken was in the Navy stationed on Treasure Island. When Ken was discharged from the Navy, he moved to Lincoln to attend the University of Nebraska. Their relationship strengthened even with the long distance and they were married on June 12, 1954 in El Sobrante. Congratulations on 60 years together.


3385 Aspara Dr. – Clayton

5718 Verna Way – Clayton

Fantastic Wooded Setting on a half acre+/lot! 3 bed/2 baths, approx. 1744sf. Inground pool & mature landscape. $925,000

Ken and Jean Williamson of Clayton celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary by enjoying a seven-day Alaskan Cruise. They were joined by 21 members of their family, including four children and spouses, seven grandchildren and spouses, plus three great-grandchildren. Family members came from as far as Florida, Tennessee and Ohio to join in the celebration. On the voyage, they enjoyed stops in Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and Victoria B.C. One special highlight of the trip was watching the glaciers calving at Glacier Bay. The Williamsons were delighted by a special musical slide show presentation of their

3205 Coyote Circle – Clayton

Windmill Canyon at Oakhurst Country Club! 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, approx. 1877sf. Gorgeous hardwood floors. Backs to open space. Coming Soon

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Still cruisin’ after 60 years


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Don Howard Realtor-Associate

Clayton Resident

(925) 408-3184

Emily Howard


925-408-1871 Cal BRE #01846446 & Cal BRE#01938441

June 13, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 3

rts e c n o C n o t y Cla eG

Around Town ZZ says life is more fun at camp

ZZ the mule, outreach director from Doodleton Ranch was in town last week reminding Clayton kids that the June 23 deadline to sign up for nature camp is fast approaching. This summer, ZZ wants to see all these kids out at her 20acre Doodleton Ranch on Morgan Territory Rd., bordering Mt. Diablo State Park.

The four one-week sessions begin July 7 and continue through Aug. 4 for kids between 7 and 11. Campers will get to know ZZ and her four-legged pals. They might spend a morning learning what and why things grow where they do, creating art masterpieces from natural materials, catching tadpoles, studying a rotten log or hiking in the state park. Each professionally staffed session is five days, 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. with before and after child care available. Sessions begin July 7 and continue through Aug. 4. To enroll, go to, or call camp director, Kathryn Palau, (925) 207-7467.

rov e G e h T n i

Local teen to study at Tanglewood


Sarah Carrico, a Clayton Valley Charter High School sophomore, will take her

Saturdays 6 to 8:30 p.m.

French horn to Boston University for their prestigious Tanglewood Institute summer program. While there she will study with notable guest artist conductors and perform several concerts with three large ensembles on the Tanglewood estate in July and August. Students for the program are selected through a rigorous application and audition process and come from all over the world. Sarah has studied French Horn for five years. She is the daughter of Archie and Joan Carrico.

At the Gazebo in The Grove Set up chairs and blankets on the lawn after 4 p.m.

City Swing Big Band

June 21

featuring the big band sounds of the 40s, 50s and 60s including era greats like Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Glen Miller

The Fundamentals -

July 5

R&B, rock, pop and soul tunes.

Rachel Steele & Road 88 -

July 19

modern country and rock and roll High energy dance music.

Diamond Dave –

Aug 2

sings the classics of Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Justin Timberlake and even Lady Gaga

What’s happening Around Town?


Aug 16

plays the music of Steely Dan and Chicago

We want to know what’s happening in your families and in your neighborhoods.Send news of births, weddings, anniversaries, celebrations, special recognitions, etc. to us at Please attach your photos to the email as JPEG files between between 3MB and 6MB and include a caption to identify people in your photos.

Apple Z –

Aug 30

high energy rock and roll spanning the decades from Rolling Stones to Lady Gaga

East Bay Mudd -

Sept 13

10-piece cover dance band with a powerful 4-man horn section

A ‘Thank You’ for our freedom



As we have just commemorated Memorial Day and the Fourth of July is around the corner, my thoughts have turned to this great nation we call home and to the men and women that have fought for our country. With the exception of two years living in South America, I have lived all my life in the United States of America. It is easy for me to take for granted the freedoms this nation offers. I have been able to worship freely, speak freely and vote freely. I have been able to pursue an

education and a career of my choosing. I have been able to own a home. At times it seems that peace is valued more than freedom. However, I believe that peace without freedom is shallow. I wish to thank those men and women that responded to the call of their country, who put country above self. I wish to thank those men and women who gave their lives in obtaining our freedom as a new nation. And since the Revolutionary War, I wish to thank those men



and women who have given their lives protecting, maintaining and ensuring not only our freedom but also the freedom of many around the world. I also wish to thank the men and women that served alongside those that lost their lives. I want to thank the veterans that bear the scars and memories of their sacrifice for freedom. I thank those men and women that are currently serving in the armed forces today.

7 to 8:30 p.m. June 12

Tone Pony

July 10


July 24,

Plan B



August 7 CROSSMAN COUNTRY August 21 PHD’s


(Latin Jazz / R&B )

For more band information, go to

See Mayor, page 4


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(Rock / R&B)


Regency Woods – Single-story 3BD/2.5BA on a corner lot offers hardwood thru most of the 1,800+ sq. ft. floor plan. Sparkling kitchen has a garden window, granite & ample cabinetry. Master suite with garden views through bay window, 2 closets. Close to Mt. Diablo trails.


Call for Price

Canterbury Village – Lovely home on a large corner lot boasts 4BD/2BA. Nice fenced backyard and patio for summer fun. Auto sprinklers to keep plants and lawn flourishing. You will love the treelined neighborhood close to commute routes.

Shelly Gwynn, (9250 207-3069 k



n Pe


242 El Pueblo Place, Clayton

Crystyl Ranch – Exceptional home has 4BD/3BA within a 2,797 sq. ft. floor plan. Marvelous backyard offers patio, lovely gardens, and huge koi pond w/waterfall. 1BD/BA downstairs and up is a large loft for flexible use and a huge master suite with veranda & views.

Cal BRE#01467993



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Clayton Valley Highlands - 3BD/2 full updated bathrooms and fresh paint inside. Hardwood floors throughout most of living space. Separate living and family room, cozy fireplace. ~7,500 Square foot lot.

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

Carol vanVaerenbergh, (925) 672-1772

Cal BRE#01221965

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Clayton Valley Highlands Specialist


Clayton Valley Highlands – Stunning remodel of detached into duplex w/separate meters and yards! Main living space is1,500 s.f., 3BD/2BA; Income/In-Law unit is 680 s.f., 1BD/1BA. Spa-like bathrooms, dream kitchens, fantastic living spaces in both units!

Shelly Gwynn, (9250 207-3069 Visit my home décor blog

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

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Clayton Resident & Broker Owner

Cal BRE#01122025

- Windermere Clayton!

Page 4

Clayton Pioneer •



Realtor®, DRE#01874255

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925.932.7329 302 Mt Sierra Place

Breathtaking Builder's View Home in Dana Hills 5 bedrooms/3 full baths plus builder's option office/ sixth bedroom! Vaulted ceilings, g crown molding, n i beautifully updated Comon So master bath with rain shower and soaker tub. Fabulous yard with patios, hot tub, gas firepit, and AMAZING Mount Diablo Views!! Absolutely fabulous 4 bedroom 2 1/2 bath completely updated home! New kitchen, baths, windows, beautiful floors, vaulted ceiling and so much more!! Charming front and back yards and beautiful view of the mountain. No rear or side neighbor. Step into this serene and elegant home and make it your own.

June 13, 2014

Concord workshop will train ‘sustainable’ citizens Concord residents will have the opportunity to learn how to become a bit greener in a workshop that takes the concept of recycling to the next level — and can help save money in the process. The City of Concord is hosting a free workshop entitled Zero Waste & Be a Sustainable Citizen from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 25. at Civic Center, 1950 Parkside Dr., in the City Council Chambers. “Almost everyone knows about recycling and mostly everyone does it. That’s a good thing,” says Concord Senior Planner Joan Ryan. “Many of us know we can do more, want to do more, but are not sure how. This is an opportunity to

learn how to do more, be more sustainable, and take action to be part of the solution, right now, and right here in your community.” She says that the workshop takes residents “to the next level – beyond basic recycling – and arms you with information and simple, meaningful actions you can practice immediately so you become a ‘sustainable citizen.’” The workshop uses the “Sustainable in 10” principle – 10 actions that cost no money, create savings and reduce environmental footprints. The average “sustainable citizen” household can save over $550 per year, while simultaneously eliminating significant amounts of carbon dioxide per

year and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The instructor, Todd Sutton, an expert with over 20 years in the environmental field, has appeared on national television including Discovery and the History channels, and has educated thousands on being sustainable. The Zero Waste & Be a Sustainable Citizen class is free but registration is required and space is limited. To register, email or call 925-671-3370. To register online, visit the Eventbrite website at en-w orkshop-tickets11665031423 . Registration deadline is June 25.

Offered at $515,000


Gorgeous Eagle Peak home! Wonderful 4 large bedrooms, 2.5 baths with chef size kitchen, and huge master suite. Approximately 3,000 sf on a .50 acre premium lot. Live at the top with views, privacy, and trail access.

Offered exclusively at $875,000


Clayton Parade, downtown in this year’s parade to the theme of “Celebrating Clayton’s Milestones.” The Kiddie Parade does not require advance entry. Children line up along Oak Street with their bicycles, roller skates, non motorized scooters, wagons strollers, small kids’ battery motorized play vehicles all decked out in the celebratory colors. The Main Parade requires advance registration so applications can be approved before the parade. New and returning clubs, bands and organizations are encouraged to sign up. For those patriotic souls wanting to be somewhere

from page 1

between the sidelines and the middle of Main Street, volunteers are needed. Clayton’s Cw Wolfe will be back on the grandstand as Grand Marshall. Local choir Yesterday’s Kids will be joined by soprano Mechele Fong for the National Anthem. The Parade starts at 10 a.m. on July 4. For parade applications, go to or pick one up at City Hall. Applications must be postmarked by June 23. To volunteer, call 673-7304 to help out even a portion of the day between 6 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Mayor, from page 3 My heart goes out to the mothers and families of not only our current soldiers but also of all of the past soldiers. I acknowledge the worry and heartache that is felt at home. I am grateful for the freedoms we enjoy here in the United States of America. I am grateful for these freedoms that were bought and purchased with the blood and sacrifice of dedicated patriots. May God bless America and may we have the courage to live our lives in a way that honors those individuals that have lost their lives for our freedoms.

June 13, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 5

Concord News

Concord housing: new market for the hip Year

Median % Price Change







2006 $523,750




















2013 $351,500


PEGGY SPEAR Clayton Pioneer

Housing in Concord has been called a lot of things over the past 50 years – plentiful, affordable, diverse – but now it has a new tag: Hip. A recent study by the website RealtyTrac concluded that Concord is one of the top communities in the U.S. appealing to “hipsters,” that vague age group of people aged 25 to 34. Whatever your age, however, the fact remains that real estate in Contra Costa’s largest city is hot. “I’m really bullish on Concord,” says longtime local realtor Pete Laurence. “The city has a great future.” Laurence is quick to say that

The above chart shows the median home price for single-family detached home sales in Concord for the years 2004 through 2013.

the sheer diversity of the city, along with good planning, has always made Concord “a great place to live.” He cites the neighborhood feel, the preplanned community parks, and the many options and styles of homes as reasons Concord has attracted a wide range of homeowners and renters. By attracting more businesses to the community, people who once feared a nasty commute can find work closer to home. That’s not to say that there aren’t problem areas where crime rates are higher, such as near the Monument corridor and around Solano Way, but recent inroads made by the Concord Police Department are helping that as well.

Laurence says that like in all communities, schools play the largest role in determining home values in the city. Neighborhoods that feed Northgate and College Park high schools — like Lime Ridge, The Crossings and Crystyl Ranch – command higher home prices because of higher test scores of the local schools. But lately, homes that feed the Clayton Valley Charter High School are rising in popularity, mainly because the school has shown such great improvement in its test scores. Another issue that has always impacted Concord homebuyers is proximity to transportation. Homebuyers in the past may have preferred such neighborhoods as Sun Ter-

Concord eyes Measure Q extension patrols at a level the city needs, she says “vital services” like traffic enforcement and gang prevention would suffer, if not be eliminated altogether. Other possibilities include closing the city jail, increasing the workload of officers, looking at longer response times in emergencies and overall “decreasing public safety and the quality of life in Concord.” She also listed cutting city staff and the city’s economic development funds, both of which she feels will hurt the city. “When you cut staff, you cut services,” she said. She also said that economic development is vital to keeping much needed sales taxes flowing into the city. She also mentioned closing a community center and cutting recreation activities, two thing that would have a direct impact on the city’s youth. “I know you feel the same way I do, that keeping kids busy is important to public safety.” The city would also use up any reserves it has built up, without making a dent in “unfunded liabilities,” like deferred maintenance on roads and public buildings, as well as employee pension costs. Her dire warnings came

PEGGY SPEAR Clayton Pioneer

Faced with having to cut more than $4 million in upcoming years from its city coffers, the Concord City Council this month made the first moves to extend Measure Q, its half-cent sales tax set to expire in 2015-16. City Manager Valerie Barone’s projections were bleak when she addressed the council at the first of its two public hearings for the 2014-15 budget and 10-year financial forecast on June 3. “To maintain the vital services that the people of Concord expect and deserve, we are looking at having to cut $4 million from the next two years’ budgets,” she told the council. Her report was spurred by questions at the May council meeting unveiling next year’s budget and the 10-year forecast. Council member Dan Helix had asked to see what the impact of losing Measure Q would do to city funds. “There are no easy cuts out there,” Barone told the council, saying that most of the cuts would have to be made to the city’s police department, Concord’s biggest expense. To keep

despite the fact that the proposed 2014-15 fiscal year budget is “status quo,” and its $85 million in revenue and $8.4 million in expenses calls for no cuts. That’s mainly due to $11.6 million coming to the city from Measure Q. The difference of $3.6 million would be put to the city’s reserves. The sales tax was approved by voters in 2010 for five years. City officials felt that would give the city time to recover from the recession. But a slower-thanexpected recovery and the loss of vital redevelopment funds to the state has made Measure Q “a lifeline” for the city, Barone said. She said that the council would have to pass an official resolution asking that Measure Q be extended by June 24 to make sure

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CONCORD CITY BEAT The city of Concord’s free Thursday night “Music in the Park” series in Todos Santos Plaza has begun! We’ve already started rockin’ to the Concord High Jazz Band, Stealin’ Chicago and some Cajun music. Look for the music of the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Led Zeppelin, Animals, Yardbirds, Johnny Cash and Prince But it isn’t all rock and roll. The Symphony appears on Aug. 28 and a moving 9/11 Memorial big band concert. The California Symphony will appear on Aug. 28 and on Sept. 11, the Lafayette Studio Band will honor 9/11 with the sounds of the big bands era. This marks the 26th anniversary of our summer music series. Two years ago the music series was in jeopardy of closing when the Economic Redevelopment Agency money used to fund the series dried up. To balance the State’s budget, Governor Brown and our State Legislature took $7.8 million annually from our city’s budget when they shut down our Redevelopment Agency. Fortunately

we’ve had the support from the general public. We’ve collected about $20,000 in donations from passing the jug around at the park during concerts. We have secured several corporate sponsors such as Concord Disposal, Tesoro, Dolan’s Lumber, Ashby Lumber, Chevron, Pacific Service Credit Union, Pacific Coast Farmer’s Market and Cole Printing. In addition, the Brenden-Mann (Theaters) Foundation supports the summer series with a $20,000 matching grant on any money collected when we pass the jug. The concerts draw between four and five thousand people to Todos Santos Plaza. Many venders will be surrounding the park with goods to eat and items to buy while you enjoy the Farmer’s Market and Music from 4 to 8 pm. The Tuesday Night Blues Series will continue during July and host a Father’s Day treat Sunday June 15 with the rockin’ Jailhouse Rockers with their Elvis Presley revue. It’s no wonder that Concord has been named as one of the top ten music cities in the nation by See this page for a complete concert schedule and for more information on the guests and the events, go to Ron Leone, Vice Mayor of the City of Concord and former Mayor, welcomes comments and questions. Call him at (925) 680-1776 or

for an additional 12,000 housing units, in a mix of single-family homes, townhouses and apartments. At least 15 percent of the units built will be affordable, offered below market rate. MOST HOUSING IN CONTRA COSTA Currently, Concord has about 47,125 housing units, based on 2010 data, says John Montagh, Concord’s Economic Development & Housing Manager. More than 27,300 are detached residences, 3,184 are single-attached, 3,425 are du- and four-plexes, and the rest are five-plus unit apartments and mobile homes. Concord has more than 1,700 mobile home units. “We have more housing units than anywhere else in the county,” he says. One of the growing areas in Concord housing are multi-family developments like those near downtown. It’s the sheer diversity of housing available in Concord

See Housing, page 15

Concord Concert Schedules July 15 Chris Cain Jazz-Tinged Blues Guitar Virtuoso | July 22 Jeffrey Marshall with the Delta Dogs and The Breedloves

FREE Thursday Night Music in the Market June 19 The Sun Kings The Premier Tribute to the Beatles

Music in the Park


Fan Installation Specials

it would get on the November ballot, something the council members seemed willing to do. It is also something residents seemed willing to embrace, at least those on hand at the public hearing. “At first I wasn’t a Measure Q supporter…but thank God the people of Concord were smart enough to pass it when it first came up,” said Ray Barber. “Now, I’d stand up on a street corner and holler for it.” Barone likened Measure Q and the long-range financial forecast to having a broken finger. “You can keep the cast on longer, allowing the finger to heal properly,” she said. “Or you can cut off the arm altogether.”

race and Holbrook Heights because they have easier access to Highway 4 – and therefore I680 – than neighborhoods out Ygnacio Valley Road, like Clayton Valley Highlands, otherwise known as the “State Streets.” “People didn’t want to live far from the freeways,” Laurence says. The biggest issue Laurence says that faces Concord housing is that the community is already “built out.” “There’s not anyplace else to build,” he says. That will change if and when the city develops its downtown plan over the next decade or so, which aims to bring as much as 3,000 new housing units to the downtown area and near the concord BART station, according to Concord Mayor Tim Grayson. Most, if not all, of that housing is mixed-use, with living units on upper floors and retail and business below. The other major change on the housing front is development of the Concord Naval Weapons Station land. Plans call

June 26 Midnight North New Generation Americana Roots

July 29 Annie Sampson Concord’s Blues and Soul Diva | For more Concord concert info go to


July 3 The TuneRiders Hits of 60’s and 70’s Legendary Vocal Groups July 10 Puro Bandido Kings of Latin Rock | July 17 The RaveUps A Live Tribute to the 1960’s Yardbirds

Buy tickets at Or the Pavilion Box Office, 2000 Kirker Pass Rd., Concord, (925) (925) 676-8742

July 24 Foreverland Michael Jackson Tribute Band

June 22, 2:30 p.m. Spirit West Coast: Newsboys

July 31 PUSH with Dan Ashley

July 2, 7 p.m. Kiss and Def Leppard

Aug. 7 The Rubinoos Seminal Power Pop Quartet from the 1970s

July 10, 8 p.m. Steely Dan

Aug. 14 James Garner’s Johnny Cash Tribute Aug. 21 Zepparella All Female Led Zeppelin Tribute | Sept. 4 The Purple Ones 10-piece Tribute to Prince | Sept. 11 Lafayette Studio Big Band; Count Basie-style 9/11 Memorial Show

FREE Tuesday Night Blues Series July 1 Frank Bey and Anthony Paule July 8 Frankie G & the Conviction Contra Costa’s Blues Guitar Hero

July 29, 6:45 p.m. Journey and Steve Miller Band July 31, 7:30 p.m. Chicago and REO Speedwagon Aug. 13, 7:30 p.m. Aerosmith and Slash Aug. 17, 7 p.m. Monumentour, Fall Out Boy, Paramore Sept 7, 7 p.m. Marc Anthony Sept. 19, 6:30 p.m. Carnivores Tour: Linkin Park, 30 Seconds to Mars and AFI Sept. 25, TBA Zac Brown Band Oct 1, 7 p.m. Kings of Leon, Young the Giant and Kongos Oct. 17, 7 p.m. Luke Bryan, Lee Brice and Cole Swindell

Page 6

Clayton Pioneer •

Thefts are warming up in Clayton





Recently there has been an uptick in property crimes. This is typical for many communities this

time of year. With the warm weather, windows and doors are left open to allow the cool breeze in and cool off the house. Criminals see this as an invitation to entry, so the practice can result in you being a victim. There are steps you can take to help your police department keep you safe and prevent crimes from happening: If you have an alarm on your house or car, please use it. Lock your car, don’t leave valuables inside, even when parked in the garage.

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If you leave windows open on your home, use a secondary lock or dowel that does not allow the window to open more than a few inches. Know your neighbors, know what cars they drive and have a basic idea of their habits. Lock gates leading to the side of your home. Most importantly, don’t hesitate to call the police when you see something suspicious. We often hear that a resident hesitated because he/she didn’t want to bother the police department with minor issues. In most cases,

when you report a suspicious circumstance, we find there was a rational reason for the activity you are reporting. However, we have solved crimes based upon neighbors calling in and reporting what appear to be minor incidents. The Clayton Police Department takes great pride in helping make Clayton a safe place with a high quality of life for all our residents. Please help us help you. Chris Thorsen is Clayton’s chief of police. For questions and comments, call him at (925) 673-7350.

Should I co-sign daughter’s loan? Q. My daughter recently married and she and her husband want to buy a house. They both have jobs but don’t make enough to qualify. They asked me if I would co-sign for the loan. They will make all of the payments. Do you think this is a good idea? Is it like cosigning for a car where I am liable if they don’t pay? A. I can’t tell you if this is a good idea for your family. It just makes me wonder that if they can’t qualify for the loan how are they going to make the payments? You, the co-signer will be liable for 100 percent of the debt for which you co-sign if the kids don’t make their payments. The loan will appear on your credit report as well as theirs. The missed payments will appear on both their credit report and yours. The loan will affect the your debt ratios and your ability to qualify for other financing for yourself. I hope you will make the right decision with this knowledge. Q. My husband and I feel the time is right to downsize our home. We need to reduce our expenses. We need a single-story in a safe location. We don’t know how to get started. Do we sell or buy first? We have gone to a few open houses and noticed first-time buyers looking as well as other seniors. It seems very competitive. Where do we start? A. You need to find a reputable realtor that you can trust to guide you through the process. It sounds like you realize that the smaller single-story homes are the most competitive. It is an unpleasant fact that you pay more per square foot for the smaller the home. For instance, if you buy a home half the size of your current home it won’t be half the price. It will be much higher. The reason is both that they are more in demand and because a larger home has a lot more air space. You only have one kitchen and so many bathrooms on either a small or large home. The question of whether to buy or sell first is a dilemma for trade down buyers as well as other seller/ buyers. I understand the anxiety of selling first and wondering where you will live, or buying first and not knowing exactly how much money you will end up with or if you will find the house you want. Fortunately many senior homeowners are in a good financial position to buy the new house first. If you have benefitted by many years of appreciation one strategy is to take out an equity loan on your current home to help fund the purchase of the new home. Then sell the current home. If buying the trade-down home first is not possible and you feel uncomfortable selling first because you don’t know if you will find the right home, you could sell first and put the proceeds in the bank. You could then put your things in storage and

June 13, 2014

Letter to the Editor CVV takes a village Thank you for the article by John Jackson on the Clayton Valley Village in the May 23 issue. All of us involved in the development of the CVV idea appreciate the chance to get the story out about a concept that allows us to remain in our great community and “age in place” in our own homes for those of us who so choose. On behalf of all the people who are helping get our village off the ground, I want to point out that it truly takes a village to make a village. The article might make it seem like this is a one-person show, but nothing could be further from the truth. Clayton Valley Village is a group effort by what is, so far, a small but dedicated band

of people concerned about the futures of our fellow residents, seniors and others who would like support to live independently and thrive. CVV is less a retirement community then an active part of our larger community in which seniors can live among us comfortably and productively. We have a great task before us and are looking for volunteers, sponsors, and others who can make Clayton Valley Village come alive. You can monitor our progress at and contact us at (925) 6728717. Sincerely, Maria Xiaris and the CVV Development Committee

Clayton PD looking for two new sergeants TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer


REAL ANSWERS live in an interim rental until the right house comes along. One good thing about this strategy is that you will have pared down the amount of your belongings before you moved so you are ready to move right into the new house when you find it. 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 672-878 7or stop in at 6200 Center St., Clayton.

By the end of summer, the Clayton Police Department will have seen a full 50 percent turnover in uniformed police offices. In the past few months Darren Billington, Todd Sorrell, Andre Charles and Sgt. Rich McEachin have all moved on to bigger departments that offer more opportunities for career advancement and better pay. Another sergeant has been our on medical leave for a work related injury for several months and is slated for retirement soon. Three of the vacancies have been filled by three new hires, the newest to begin on June 16. All are or will be in some stage of training until

August, said Thorsen. That leaves five fully trained officers to do the work of 10, says Chief Chris Thorsen, who has been covering patrol shifts in addition to his management duties. Thorsen says they are considering asking Concord Police to help out at least on graveyard until they are at full staff. Clayton currently contracts with Concord for dispatch and booking. Two of the positions open are at the sergeant level. Thorsen will consider filling from both inside the department and recruiting from outside. There are a lot of advantages to working in a safe, small town. But, it seems, high excitement and big paychecks don’t count among them

SUBWAY owner spreads on community spirit PAMELA WIESENDANGER Clayton Pioneer

Varinder Ragbotra had a very strong reason why he sold his French Camp SUBWAY and bought the Clayton SUBWAY in April, 2013: Not only did the financials add up, but he wanted to be part of a small community where he could interact with the people. And he’s doing that every day, making sandwiches and salads and greeting customers during the lunch rush. Varinder lives by his father Jasbir’s words, “Don’t think about yourself. Think about the future.” Jasbir encouraged his son to think beyond his aspirations and interact with his employees and community as a way to build a better future for all. When he is not at the sub shop, he is introducing himself to local schools, clubs, businesses and other organizations offering meals and deals. He donates food to volunteers for civic events and also provided sandwiches and drinks to firefighters during the Morgan Fire. Varinder was born and raised in India. He earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science. The plan was for the family to come to America to work at his uncle’s restaurant in San Francisco. Varinder made the trip a little sooner than expected in 2006 when his father died of a heart attack upon arrival at the airport. Varinder married wife Jaspreet and worked at the

VARINDER RAGBOTRA WITH HIS WIFE, JASPREET,who also works at their Clayton SUBWAY. He says whether working at his uncle’s restaurant or SUBWAY, “It’s still our family business and we are trying to expand...We are all together.”

restaurant for a few years before buying a SUBWAY franchise in French Camp. Jaspreet’s family owned several SUBWAYS, so it was familiar territory to the couple. To overcome the challenge of what Varinder calls his “hidden location” and entice people to come to Clayton instead of nearby SUBWAYs, he says, “We make it comfortable. We maintain a good quality of food.” Jim Burkin, a local electrician, frequently lunches with his wife at Clayton’s SUBWAY. Burkin says, “People use me. I certainly use other businesses locally.” This camaraderie is what brought him to SUBWAY, but it is the clean environment, good food and welcoming staff that keep him coming back. “They defi-

nitely mesh with the community,” Burkin says. Arlene Huerta of Clayton came in for the salads and regularly returns because she says Varinder is so pleasant, the store is clean and they make her salad “exactly how I like it.” Varinder’s short-term goal is to expand his business in Clayton by gaining more customers and offering a variety of menu options. He lives with Jaspreet and their two children in Lathrop. Long-term, he would like to move his family to Clayton and open more SUBWAY locations. “I want to be a part of the community anytime, any day.” The Clayton SUBWAY is located at 1026 Oak Street. For more information, call 925-693-0621.

June 13, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •


Directory of Advertisers

Cynthia L. Smith Johansson P.O. Box 1246 6200 Center Street, Suite H, Clayton, CA 94517 TAMARA


R OBERT S TEINER , Publishers

TAMARA S TEINER , Editor P ETE C RUZ , Graphic Design P EGGY S PEAR , Copy Editor J AY B EDECARRÉ, Sports PAMELA W IESENDANGER , Administration S TAFF W RITERS : Denisen Hartlove, Lou Fancher, Nicci Shipstead, Pam Wiesendanger, Mike Dunn

We remember Jill Bedecarré - Her spirit is our muse

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

Send School News to

Send Classified Ads to

CLASSIFIEDS Classified rates per insertion: $48 for first 30 words, $.40 each additional word Non-profit: $24 for first 30 words, $.20 each additional word To place your classified ad over the phone, call the office at (925) 6720500 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. Or, you may fax your typewritten ad and credit card information to (925) 672-6580. All classifieds must be paid for in advance by credit card (Master Card or Visa) We will not accept any ad that discriminates on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, nationality, family status

or disability. The Clayton Pioneer reserves the right to reject any advertising we believe is unsuitable. LET US KNOW Weddings, engagements, anniversaries, births and deaths all weave together as part of the fabric of our community. Please let us know of these important events. We ask only that the announcement be for a Clayton resident. You will find the appropriate form for your announcement on our Website. Attach your photo to the form. Make sure the image size you are about to send is at least 3 MB but not bigger than 6MB. The only format we accept is JPG. You can also mail or bring your print to the office and we can scan it for you. Also on our Website are forms for submitting Community Calendar items and press releases for your organization. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Clayton Pioneer welcomes letters from our readers. As a general rule, letters should be 250 words or less and submitted at least one week prior to publication date. Letters concerning current issues will have priority. We may edit letters for length and clarity. All letters will be published at the editor’s discretion. Please include your name, address and daytime telephone number. We will not print letters from “anonymous.” E-mail your letter in a Word document to Letters MUST be submitted via E-mail.

Page 7

January 17, 1956 – May 26, 2014 A memorial celebration will be held on June 27 for Cynthia L. Smith Johansson, who died May 26 at her home in Clayton, surrounded by family. Born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, daughter of the late Jessye M. Farris Condello and Thomas A. Smith, Cindi attended St. Christine, St. Dominic, Our Lady of Lourdes (East Palestine) grade schools as well as Poland Junior and Seminary High. In 1979 she moved to San Francisco to join her brother Jeffrey and sister Judith. She enjoyed careers at Blue Cross, Del Monte, and Honeywell/Bull, and later worked as a real estate agent and as a dental assistant in Contra Costa County. In 1989 Cindi moved to Clayton, and in 1995 she married the love of her life, Leif Johansson, residing with him in Clayton. In addition to world travel, the California Shakespeare Festival, the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Giants, Cindi also loved running five miles a day and gardening. She enjoyed entertaining innumerable friends for holidays, special events and just for fun. Cindi was kind, compassionate, and generous,

and always had a smile and a kind word for everyone she encountered. In addition to her husband Leif, she is survived by siblings Jeffrey of San Francisco, Daniel, Judith and Katherine of Concord, CA; Leif ’s children Erik of Alameda, CA, and Jennifer of Toledo, Ohio. Cindi enjoyed returning often to Mahoning Valley to visit family and is survived by her aunt Bonnie Oliver of Hubbard, uncle Duke Farris of Youngstown, niece Melissa Smith of Boardman, and many cousins throughout the United States. The June 27 memorial celebration will be at 1:30 p.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 2039 Mount Diablo Blvd., Walnut Creek. Private Internment services will be held at Queen Of Heaven Cemetery in Lafayette at a later date. The family suggests memorial donations in Cindi’s honor be made to the following organizations: St. Jude’s Hospital for Children (, Southern Poverty Law Center (, Doctors Without Borders ( and Pacific Siamese Rescue.

Classified GARDEN


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

Prescription glasses on Dana Hills greenbelt in May. Call 413-3083.

FOR LEASE Office and retail space for lease in Historic Clayton City Center: Village Oaks Center, 6200 Center St., Clayton. Call Nick Adamson at (408) 371-8770, ext. 21.

HELP WANTED Administrative Assistant Seeking part-time Administrative Assistant. Strong math, computer and phone communication skills required. Must be able to work Thursdays and Fridays 8 hours each. No phonecalls please.Email resume to Sales Associate Retail feed and pet supply store, full or part time. Apply in person at Rodie's Feed, 8863 Marsh Creek Road, Clayton. Tech, Computer Growing business has position for onsite pro computer tech in Contra Costa County. Must have experience in Windows and Mac OS, network repair and troubleshooting. ComputersUSA! 672-9989. Come join Mazzei Realty! Currently interviewing and hiring new and experienced real estate agents. Call 693-0757 for details. Real Estate Agents Be Successful! Lynne French is expanding and interviewing for a few agents. Call her today 6728787.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Help Fight Hunger Anna Chan – AKA: The Lemon Lady needs your help! Weekly commitment appreciated. For more info, go to Clayton Historical Society Museum needs a greeter for two hours per month from 2-4 p.m. Wednesdays or Sundays. Call the museum at 672-0240. Clayton Community Library Needs volunteers. Minimum age 13. Minimum commitment is 6 months. Some training provided. Contact Arlene at 673-9777 or Meals on Wheels Volunteer drivers one day a week 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.Contact Sharon Fitzgerald at 932-8607 or today!

Beauty and Pampering Bella Mia Spa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .680-7792 Business Services Rising Moon Marketing & Public Relations . . . . .672-8717 Construction and Trades Appliance Repairs by Bruce, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-2700 Belfast Plumbing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .457-5423 Burkin Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-1519 Diablo View Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .822-5144 Gary’s Home Repair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .787-2500 Schaefer’s Painting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .260-6065 Tipperary Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216-2679 Dining and Entertainment Clayton Club Saloon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-0440 Oakhurst Country Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9737 Subway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0621 Events City of Clayton – Concerts . . . . Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market . . . . . . . . . . .800-949-3276 Financial, Insurance and Legal Services DuRee, Daniel – The Law Office of . . . . . . . . . . .210-1400 Littorno, Richard – The Law Office of . . . . . . . . .432-4211 SAFE Credit Union . . . . . . . . . . .800-733-7233, ext. 2772 Travis Credit Union . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .888-698-0000 Van Wyck, Doug – State Farm Insurance . . . . . .672-2300 Funerals Ouimet Funeral Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-4242 Groceries Doorstep Farmers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .349-4568 Home and Garden Clayton Furniture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .686-2299 Diablo Lawnscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .381-3757 Interiors Panache . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-7920 Just Floors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .681-4747 Nichols Landscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9955 The Floor Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .969-9890 The Maids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-6243 Utopic Gardens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .524-0055 Waraner Bros. Tree Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .831-2323 Waraner Tree Experts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .250-0334 Mailing Services The UPS Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-6245 Optometry Foresight Optometry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-4100 Pet Services Monte Vista Veterinary Hospital . . . . . . . . . . . . . .276-5744 Pittsburg Pet Resort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .432-7387 Rodie's Feed and Pet Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-4600 Real Estate and Mortgage Services French, Lynne – Windermere Real Estate . . . . . .672-8787 Howard, Don – Better Homes Realty . . . . . . . . . .408-3184 Howard, Emily – Better Homes Realty . . . . . . . .408-1871 Hudson, Cait – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . . . . .451-6844 Kavanaugh, Mike – Town & Country . . . . . . . . . .383-6102 Klock, Leigh – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . . . . . .212-5593 Landgraf, Linda – Prudential . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .876-0311 Laurence, Pete – RE/MAX Realty . . . . . . . . . . . .890-6004 Lopez, Stephanie – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . .932-7329 Mazzei, Matt – Mazzei Realty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0757 Stojanovich, Jennifer – Better Homes Realty . . .567-6170 Vujnovich, George - Better Homes Realty . . . . . .672-4433 Recreation and Fitness Anytime Fitness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6700 Doodleton Ranch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .510-207-7467 Earthquake Arabians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .360-7454 East Bay Regional Park District . . . . . . . . . .888-327-2757 Senior Services Courtyards at Pine Creek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .798-3900 Diamond Terrace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .524-5100 Montecito – Oakmont Senior Living . . . . . . . . . . .852-6702 Services, Other ComputersUSA! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9989 Net Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6029 Recycling Center & Transfer Station . . . . . . . . . .473-0180 Travel Travel to Go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9840

Responsibility Do the Right Thing

Page 8

Clayton Pioneer •

High School, from page 1 executive director overstepped bounds in late 2013 when he submitted expansion plans to the Contra Costa Board of Education without any input from staff, buy-in from faculty or board approval. Linzey defended his action, referring to the documents as “placeholders” on the county board agenda that could be changed at any time prior to approval. In order to get county board approval in time for the 2014-15 school year, the application needed to be submitted quickly, he said. The required number of credentialed teachers signed the application. The expansion for 2014 ran into roadblocks with the school’s landlord, Mt. Diablo Unified School District, and has been shelved for the time being. Besides opposition to the expansion plans, Middendorf and some teachers also objected to the hiring of Linzey’s wife as a Clayton Valley Charter counselor. Linzey says the subject of hiring his wife was addressed at the time of his hire since he said his family would need to find her employment in order to move to this area. Middendorf and the rest of the board unanimously approved hiring Ms. Linzey as coordinator of guidance and collaborative services for the recently concluded 2013-14 school year. Ms. Linzey was the No. 1-ranked candidate for the position. MIDDENDORF LEFT IMPRINT Middendorf‘s firing marked the end of a nearly two-decade career at the school. She came to Clayton Valley as a coach in 1996, began teaching there in 2002 and was a leader in the movement to convert to a charter school in 2012. As a coach and athletic director she was instrumental in the development of Gonsalves Stadium lights and turf and then spearheaded the formation of United Mt. Diablo Athletic Foundation that picked up the slack when MDUSD stopped funding sports at the six district high schools in 2009. Last year, she reduced her work load and was planning to retire after the 2014-15 school year. She says “everyone wanted Linzey” when he was hired but their working relationship dissolved to the point that she filed

a complaint with the board in the beginning of April and more recently submitted a second complaint. She said “little things began coming up” and she objected to his “in-your-face” management style. TEACHERS TAKE ON LINZEY A few teachers at the school also targeted Linzey. In May, two teachers, (who have asked that their names be redacted because their letters were sent to this paper without their permission) submitted letters to the board complaining about Linzey and his relations with staff and faculty. Middendorf sent copies of both letters to the Clayton City Council and to the Pioneer. In (one) letter (the teacher) says, “Our school is at a dangerous crossroads...a significant number of teachers and other staff members have serious concerns that David Linzey is not an effective leader for Clayton Valley Charter High School.” (In the other letter, the teacher said he) wrote the board “with a very heavy heart” and as one who calls Linzey “an enormously talented administrator.” He adds, however, “Linzey does not have the support necessary to remain an effective leader [at CVCHS].” The board has 60 days from early May to respond to all the complaints, which have not been made public. The board has retained an outside investigations group to look into the complaints and report back to the board. Some students also wandered into the fray, expressing their support of the teachers and critical of Linzey at the May 21 board meeting and on social media and The student involvement didn’t sit well with Linzey. In a two-hour interview with the Pioneer last week his only sharply-worded statement was, “There is an unwritten rule in education, an ethic that everyone agrees to: You don’t use kids when it comes to politics and in an administration vs. teachers matter. Several teachers have chosen to use kids in the worst way possible. I’m ashamed for them.” CITY SUPPORT FOR LINZEY Despite the criticism, Linzey has widespread parent and community approval, including the full support of the Clayton City Council. In a letter to the board

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IN HAPPIER TIMES JUST TWO YEARS AGO Dave Linzey (left) signed papers to take the position of executive director at newly converted Clayton Valley Charter High School. Pat Middendorf served on the committee which selected Linzey. Two years later Middendorf was terminated in the wake of a dispute with her boss.

prior to the May 21 meeting, Councilwoman Julie Pierce called Middendorf ’s charges “Un-substantiated accusations, halftruths and outright lies,” and urged the board to “excise the cancer for the health of the remaining organism” Among those most vocal in his support of Linzey and the board is Clayton Vice Mayor David Shuey, a leader in the charter school conversion effort. Shuey also took to the Internet to make his feelings known. In fact, it was a posting by Shuey that first alerted Middendorf to the fact that her complaints, aired online, might lead to termination. “I never thought I’d be fired…until reading Shuey’s comments on,” she said. Middendorf fired back, immediately posting her own letter on the site, setting off a firestorm of back-and-forth comments – mostly anonymous – between supporters of Middendorf and the teachers in her corner and the administration and Linzey on the other side. Many comments were blistering personal attacks. Family members also took up support of Middendorf and her board ally, athletic director Amber Lineweaver. CONTENTIOUS BOARD MEETING By the time of the once-postponed board meeting on May 21, the CVCHS multi-use room had more than 250 people facing the eight board members.

Most in the audience seemed to have pre-formed opinions and reacted with cheers and applause to speakers reinforcing their viewpoint. A large number of CVCHS students were in attendance. Because they are school employees with an inherent conflict of interest, board members Middendorf, Lineweaver and Diane Bailey were not eligible to participate in discussions or vote on agenda items in the closed session that would follow the public comment. About 20 people spoke during the public comment period. City council member Howard Geller and long-time Clayton Valley coach and teacher Dennis Bledsoe both urged a satisfactory resolution of the MiddendorfLinzey issue. Geller said, “We should be celebrating not mudslinging.” Most of the other speakers spoke passionately on one side or the other. There seemed to be no middle ground. After an hour of public comment, the board adjourned to a closed session in the school library to decide the Middendorf matter as well as a new employee contract (see separate story on Page 1.) During the closed session deliberations, which lasted nearly four hours, Bailey went to her school office while Lineweaver and Middendorf waited outside the library.

June 13, 2014 TERMINATED WITHOUT CAUSE Eventually board president Tom Branich and school attorney Jim Young came out to inform her that the board had voted to “terminate her without cause.” She was offered the chance to resign but “I declined,” Middendorf said. Branich, reportedly a close personal friend of Middendorf ’s, passed on a request to speak to the Pioneer for this article. Bailey and Lineweaver returned to the board meeting. Middendorf, accompanied by husband Jim, joined the audience in the multi-use room. The final vote was 4-1 in favor of termination with Branich dissenting. April Winship, Megan Kommer, vice chair Ted Meriam and Dick Ellis voted in favor. When the board reconvened in public session they announced the actions and then listened to dozens more speakers. A CVCHS parent called it “brutal.” Among the most critical of Middendorf ’s firing was Debra Gonsalves. She and husband Steve are Clayton Valley alums, members of the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame and heavy financial supporters of the school. The football stadium bears their name. Within days after the board meeting they informed the board that “we are unhappy with the apparent current culture that exists at Clayton Valley” and withdrew committed capital funding for the football field and any “future capital requests.” Linzey says the school will make up the estimated $250,000 needed to supplement Measure C funds, and that the stadium renovation and expansion – which has been a pet project of Middendorf ’s – is set for completion by early September. CVCHS ‘IN GOOD HANDS’ Before the new school year begins Aug. 13 Linzey and his administrators can reflect on a statement the new director made to the Pioneer in June 2012 when he first came on board: “For me, test scores are a signal, a sign that you’ve done good work. But more than that, did we create a culture where the staff is united?” Linzey answered his own question last week by saying, “Parents love the school. We have a 97 percent approval rating. We were united for the first year and a half. There will always be a diversity of opinions and issues to debate but at some time you need to agree to disagree and get things moving. Our test is to get everyone reunited for the good of the kids and our school community.” “We are very proud of

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Contracts, from page 1 Teachers Association and they formed their own Clayton Valley Education Association chapter, replacing their former bargaining unit, Mt. Diablo Education Association. The previous MDEA contract included 26 articles in an inchthick document. Since MDEA represents teachers from preschool through adult ed at a multitude of schools, the CVCHS negotiations entailed a complete reworking of the contract, which now contains 25 articles, said Neil McChesney, the charter school’s director of administrative services. The contract covers myriad issues including class size, work hours, benefits, leave, vacation, professional development, peer review and many more. CVCHS Executive Director Dave Linzey added that salary didn’t enter the discussion “until March or April.” He added that salary talks “went pretty quickly.” McChesney and Legal Counsel Jim Young represented the charter school in negotiations while the teachers group this year included Kip Penovich, Cate Sundling and Maureen Allan.

The entire negotiating process was described by the administrators as “cordial and professional.” The 6 percent salary increase starts first-year teachers with a bachelor’s degree at $47,329 while teachers with more than 30 years service and maximum additional educational units earn $87,265. Advanced degrees add pay to all salary steps. McChesney, a 1999 graduate of the school who was on the school’s faculty for nine years before joining the administrative staff this past year, also noted that health benefit increases were “significant” and “quadruple the benefit package (for a family of four).” Teacher Amber Lineweaver, administrator Middendorf and board classified staff representative Diane Bailey were recused from closed door discussions on the contract. The public session reconvened after a four-hour closed door session that included the contract discussion as well as the vote to terminate Middendorf. In that tense atmosphere surrounding the Middendorf firing, Bailey and Lineweaver were

incorrectly allowed to vote on both motions concerning the contract, although they should not be voting on matters in which they have a financial stake. The first motion was unanimously approved to accept the teacher’s contract. A second “me too” motion that applied the same salary increase and benefit package to the rest of the CVCHS employees was passed with Lineweaver dissenting. Lineweaver, the school’s athletic director and close ally of Middendorf ’s, questioned the final contract’s impact on administrators. She said it was her understanding that administrators would be getting an additional 5 percent raise, a claim both Linzey and McChesney deny. Salary negotiations for a new teacher’s contract can be opened at any time by mutual consent, although no talks are anticipated until late this year at the earliest. MDEA ratified and the MDUSD board approved a threeyear contract for MDUSD teachers in March that included 3, 2 and 4 percent raises, respectively, over the three years ending with the 2015-16 school year. Those were also retroactive to July 1, 2013.

CVCHS and the success we have achieved to date,” Linzey said in a prepared statement to the Pioneer. “The distraction created the past several weeks is truly unfortunate for our community. I am very confident CVCHS is in good hands. There is tremendous support from our community in the leadership of their great school.” He added that the May 29 commencement ceremony at the Concord Pavilion went off without a hitch or protest. “It was a great event and best grad night ever,” he added.

Teen Speak, from page 1 Although I am not too familiar with the true events of what happened leading up to the infamous board meeting, I do believe I am familiar enough with the school as a whole to say that we have phenomenal teachers and that the school has shaped up in recent years. Nevertheless, the scandal caused a rift among community members, teachers, and specifically, students. One of the main things that contributed to the change in atmosphere at CVCHS was, a news source that seems to be more petty talk than reliable news. brings out the immaturity of every person who comments (mostly anonymously) and only serves to advertise false information about delicate matters. Moreover, as the community split into pro- Linzey and pro-teacher factions, so did the students. Students were confused, having only received information from social media comments, yet what was certain was the attack that our beloved teachers were facing: accusations of laziness and lack of professionalism. Students of all grades would defend their teachers, including myself, because teachers have the biggest impact on the lives of students than any other adults at school and deserve their rightful appreciation for the hard work they do. Nonetheless, other students defended Linzey, and thus unity among the student body was demolished. The scandal at CVCHS brought out the worst and even the best of some people; from it we learned that people should focus on the students and what the students need. Truly, it is the teachers at CVCHS that care the most about their students; I and many other students feel that certain members of the administration really do not care, that they are running CVCHS to be a business. A cold hard business like environment is not what this high school is about. CVCHS is not making products, it is educating the new generation and trying to create leaders with the skills necessary to succeed. Over the course of a couple weeks, arguments arose and people defended their opinions without fail. Nevertheless, now is a time to compromise and for the adults to set an example for the students. Pat Middendorf gave 17 years of her life to help our high school, and she had a positive impact on the school. Although the circumstances are regrettable, I hope she may reflect and admire how far the school has come in recent years, and have others respect the part she played on the CVCHS team. Liliana Hernandez is a Senior at Clayton Valley Charter High School. She loves to read and plans to pursue her interest in writing in the future. Send email to her at

June 13, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

As this son graduates, he reflects on dad’s success IVAR LAANEN Northgate Correspondent

When I run out of article ideas, my instinct is to turn to my father. When I publish an article, he’s the first to read it. Yet rarely is it that one’s father is the news. But in this case, the focus is on my father, Peter Laanen. Dad will become the fourth foreigner recognized by the U.S Senate with a resolution for his work as the International Trade Director of the Netherlands Business Support Office in San Francisco, and that’s worth an article. Senator Berryhill awarded this prestigious honor May 16 in the State Capitol.


“… if my Dad can make it this far in life while remaining so happy, then I think the future holds a fulfilling life for me.” As I Interviewed my Pa on his achievement, it donned me that his story, from the ruins of post World War II Rotterdam to the 31st floor of the Montgomery Building, where the Dutch Consulate is based, in itself is newsworthy. As Father’s Day approaches, the achievement made me think about how he has balanced his work while always being there as a Father. In other words, I’m simply saying “Papa, you rock.” As I’m preparing to walk the stage and receive my diploma at the Concord Pavilion, I started thinking that if my Dad can make it this far in life while remaining so happy, then I

think the future holds a fulfilling life for me. My dad, Peter, was born in July 1946 as a baby boomer in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. When he was 12, he lost his father due to illness yet found himself picked out of hundreds of kids to be on Holland’s oldest professional soccer club, Sparta, Rotterdam’s youth squad. (He may have passed his genes of a receding hairline to me but the soccer skills never truly broke for me.) Nonetheless Peter would have to quit Sparta in order to work and support his family. Luckily. after a few years of work, Peter found himself back on the squad before asking for a contract from his club — to which they responded with an open door off of the team. He looks back on that moment humbly with little remorse. Peter would compete at several other clubs such as Alexandria, also in Rotterdam, while working as a computer analyst on the side. From his days on the playing field on, Peter became a major player in MultiFunction Computers, a software company based in Holland. After he guided his company to the Amsterdam Stock Exchange and a successful IPO, the Dutch Baseball Federation appointed Peter to become their commissioner. With success, he rebuilt the program, especially financially, and led them to the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, even throwing a ceremonial first pitch. Following that Peter made his way to Germany and served as director of Arcade Records for many years, working with artists like Prince, Lutricia McNeal and Alan Parsons. In 1999, Peter moved the family to the Bay Area in order to co-create Ex’pression College for Digital Arts in Emeryville. After many successful years, Peter moved on to his current position at the Dutch Consulate. My senior year is nearly over and I have an unknown, boundless journey before me. But seeing a success story like my father’s, where a man with only a high school diploma goes on to do something successful and enjoyable is inspiring. Congrats (or “Gefeliciteerd” in Dutch), you’ve really made it, Papa. Ivar Laanen is a senior at Northgate High School. The “Dutch speaking, German born man with a Swedish name” has a passion for journalism and enjoys turning events and ideas into stories freshly printed in newspapers. Contact him at

Father’s Day is a time for ‘thanks’ Father’s Day is a day to celebrate the male role model in your life, no matter who they might be. If it is a dad, an uncle, grandfather, family friend or a very special person that you know, celebrating Father’s Day is a time for reflection. Father’s Day is celebrated differently in every family. Usually it involves gifts, food and may include activities of celebration, but, what are we celebrating every Father’s Day? In the early 20th century, the first Father’s Day was celebrated on the third Sunday in June, where it has remained ever since. The celebration of Father’s Day started as a complement to Mother’s Day. In the 21st century, Father’s Day is not only a day to celebrate our fathers, but it is also a day to honor our fathers, no matter where they are or who they might be. If they are not here on this day, serving overseas, or at home with us now, fathers or father fig-


MDES CORRESPONDENT ures, the male mentor in your life has much meaning to you and that meaning may be different for each of us. Mychal Dolan, a fifth grader at Mt. Diablo Elementary, lost his father to lung cancer when he was fairly young. Mychal says that “On Father’s day, if I made a Father’s Day project in class, I bring it to his grave and leave it for him.” Mychal remembers his father as “a wonderful man; a firefighter, sometimes funny, and

someone who I cared a lot about.” Kellie Hintzoglou, another of my fellow fifth graders, says, “Father’s Day is about celebrating my father for everything he does for me and I get to spend time with him too.” Then my sister Liana, a first grader, says, “I love my daddy. He is the most special person in the whole world to me.” Father’s Day is much more than a day to give your father presents. It is a day to celebrate your father’s time, his concern, his interest in you and the way he never gives up. And celebrating the male role model in your life may be as simple as telling him “thank you.” “Thanks dad!” Natalie Pursche is a fifth grader at Mt. Diablo Elementary School who is an avid reader, enjoys writing, loves the outdoors, and is a member of the MDE school council. Send comments to

Page 9

Daddy oh! Locals get ready to celebrate Father’s Day JOHN JACKSON Clayton Pioneer

With Father’s Day arriving in just days, kids are excitedly preparing the art projects they made in those last hours of school and dad is looking forward to a “day off ” that may include barbequing and receiving some appreciation from those he loves. A day of relaxation is exactly what many fathers will enjoy on Sunday, June 15. For many, this will include family, friends, food and possibly watching the last round of the U.S. Open on television. No matter what, it’s a day to celebrate. Some local “experts” — kids — discuss what makes Father’s Day special. “On Father’s Day you have a special dinner and take your father out to lunch,” says 5-year old Reese Jackson. “He’s so special and I love him.” Bernie Conrad, the 12-year old 2014 Student Body President at St. Agnes School, sees it this way: “Father’s Day is saying ‘well done, you’ve made it this far and you haven’t gone crazy. Every day you go to work, you come home and have to deal with a messy house and crazy kids.’ It’s just kind of saying congrats, you earned a day off.” Bernie also expresses a great appreciation for his dad, Charlie. “He’s a great mentor and a great friend, because he’s always there to lend a helping hand. He’s just there to guide me through life.” He also recounts his most amazing moment with his dad. “We came home from school one day and he just, out of nowhere goes, ‘Hey, we’re going to Disneyland for the week!’ Everything was packed and we left like 10 minutes later.”

MIKE HANSEN AND HIS DAUGHTER, MELISA, take on a roller coaster at Great America in Santa Clara. The birth of his children is a memory that Hansen cherishes each year at Father’s Day.

the spirit of the day. Gerard Freed of Concord says that his family of five always makes their way to his father’s house to celebrate. Freed has a deep appreciation for what this day means to him and his dad. “On Father’s Day, I realize

how much my father sacrificed for me,” he says. “He was always there for me, no matter what.” And now that Freed is a father to three girls, there is added levity to fatherhood. “As a dad,

See Fathers, page 14

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When friendships and romances go awry EMILY YORK

TEEN READS Everyone hates first days of school. Sometimes they’re predictable, and other times, they completely take you by surprise. But what if you made one of the worst decisions you could ever make the day before? In “Sometimes It Happens” by Lauren Barnholdt, Hannah

starts off her senior year in the worst way possible. She is going to have to face Sebastian (the guy who broke her heart on the last day of junior year), Ava (Hannah’s best friend) and Noah (Ava’s boyfriend, and the guy Hannah has secretly fallen for). Over the summer, Noah had surprised Hannah by showing up at her work, confessing all his secret feelings for her, and kissing her. Throughout her first day, secrets slowly but surely come out, friendships are broken are fixed, and the number of betray-

als rank up higher and higher by the minute. By the end of the day, everyone is back together, but not in the order you would expect. This book has a little bit of everything: love, betrayal, friendship and change. Barnholdt has put a unique twist on the idea of teenage drama and rekindling “friendships.” Sometimes you mess up, sometimes you make mistakes, and sometimes it happens. Emily York is a freshman at CVCHS.

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Clayton Pioneer •

June 13, 2014

Sports Fallout from administrative strife reaches CVCHS teams, facilities JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

The law of unintended consequences has visited itself on the Clayton Valley Charter High School athletic program as four coaches have reportedly resigned and the school’s major donors have withdrawn financial support in the wake of school administrator Pat Middendorf ’s termination last month. Boys lacrosse coach Matt Hill, tennis coach Rick Ortega and trap shoot coach Jim Middendorf have confirmed their resignations. Softball coach Kristen Morley is rumored to have also resigned but she had “no comment” in an email to the Pioneer. Debra and Steve Gonsalves have also withdrawn their financial support of the current $2.7 million stadium improvement project. Middendorf was terminated without cause May 21 after a stormy governing board meeting that featured accusations and harsh words for CVCHS Executive Director Dave Linzey and Middendorf from an audience that had been fueled for weeks prior to the meeting by rumors and hundreds of posts on local websites. Middendorf was the school’s director of operations and athletics until her termination. She began coaching soccer at the school in 1996 and was Clayton Valley athletic director until taking on her administrative role for the 2012-13 school year. She

Jay Bedecarre photo

PHASE 2 OF THE MAJOR RENOVATION OF THE CLAYTON VALLEY CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL STADIUM that the Eagles football, soccer, lacrosse and track and field teams call home is underway with the stadium scoreboard rising at the southeast end of the complex. Gonsalves Stadium continues to carry the name of the family that has been the major donor to school programs for many years but Debra and Steve Gonsalves have withdrawn their financial support from this current project after the termination of administrator Pat Middendorf.

taught at the school from 20022012. She was also the founding president of United Mt. Diablo Athletic Foundation started in 1999 to ensure the continuation of sports at the six Mt. Diablo Unified School District high schools, including Clayton Valley, after the school board sus-

We’re looking for 1992-2003 De La Salle football players, fans With the major motion picture release of “When the Game Stands Tall” about De La Salle football coming in August the Pioneer would like to speak to former Spartan players from our area who were part of the 151-game winning streak (1992-2003) that forms the backdrop for the movie. Please email us at if you’d like to give us your input. Include your name and years on the team. We’d also like to hear from fans of the teams.

Community Youth Center cheer squad scores at Southern California event

Photo courtesy Community Youth Center

A HALF DOZEN LOCAL GIRLS ARE PART of the Community Youth Center Diamond and Amethyst cheer squads that competed last month in the Galen Center at the University of Southern California for The U.S. Finals. Clayton’s Fiona Sundy along with Lexi Smith, Jessie Lopez and Merissa Lopez from Concord were on the Diamond team (pictured) that won the Senior Level 3 competition. The CYC Amethyst team, which includes Concord sisters Kali and Madi Blackmon, was second in the Junior Level 3 meet. Head coach Nicolle Tissot and program director Kim Garcia recently started the new season for their eight CYC cheer teams.

pended funding of sports. Ironically, MDUSD recently announced it would resume full funding of sports for the 201415 school year, so UMDAF recently suspended operations. Hill and Ortega consider themselves friends of Middendorf and reacted quickly follow-

ing her termination. Jim Middendorf is her husband and he both spoke and wrote passionately in her defense during the recent process. Morley and Pat Middendorf got embroiled in a controversy this spring with Clayton Valley Little League. Morley arranged

for a weekend College Showcase recruiting clinic at CVCHS on fields that are shared with the youth baseball program. Players from throughout the Western United States attended. The little league’s Challenger Division was scheduled to use two fields on Sunday, April 13,

for two hours, the only time the league was using the site that weekend. Morley felt that there weren’t a sufficient number of Challenger players to take up two fields (which would have necessitated moving the showcase to an alternate site) and the CVLL moved to a single field where five teams attempted to play. The clinic had been discussed just several days before with CVLL and CVCHS officials, including Middendorf, and the disruption that Sunday caused a strong reaction from little league officials towards Middendorf and Morley. The league claimed that they had a tenuous relationship with Morley for several years as the youth baseball group shared the fields they have played on for 40 years with both CVCHS softball teams and Morley’s club softball teams. Linzey apologized for the situation to the little league while adding that he felt Morley had “no bad motives” in making her decision about field use, which Middendorf had left up to Morley. LACROSSE LEADERS LEAVE Matt and Michele Hill took over the fledgling CV boys lacrosse program in the 2004-05 season from Jim Burkin, who along with some students petitioned Middendorf to start the team in 2003. Matt Hill says, “I had never coached the sport

See Fallout, page 12

All-league honors come to spring sports standouts from Clayton Valley, Northgate JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

High school sports season came to a close last weekend with the CIF State track and field championships and local athletes have been hauling in honors for their exploits during the spring sports season. BOYS & GIRLS LACROSSE Clayton Valley Chart boys lacrosse had a steak of five consecutive North Coast Section appearances ended while rival Northgate made it into the section playoffs but lost to top seed Redwood in the opening round. Neither team had a first-team allleague player with Austin Channell was second team for the Broncos and junior Brent Tovrea for the Eagles. Honorable mention went to Northgate’s Jonathan Madden, Kyle Muller and Vincent Garaventa. For CVCHS the trio of Clayton Martin, Alex Pishney and Drew Larke were noted. Clayton Valley’s girls made history this spring with their first NCS appearance and were rewarded by having Kyra Ortiz and Morgan Bennett (a repeat pick) on first team all-Diablo Valley Athletic League, while Priti Lal, Quincy Winship and Alaina Campbell were second team and Rita Regelbrugge and Hope Boone honorable mention. Northgate’s Val Wirfel repeated on the first team and was joined by teammate Ailish Casey on all-league. Holly Fleck and Lauren Valla were second team and Koryna Boudinot, Colleen Shepherd and Demitra Victor were HM. BOYS GOLF Seniors Kyle Austin and Ethan Helms were co-most valuable golfers on the all-DVAL team which was dominated by

the Broncos. Cody Jones and Matt Carter were first team allleague, Grant Russell, Alex Christodoulou and Billal Achekzai second team and Kevin Wieder honorable mention. The Broncos advanced to the NCS Tournament of Champions. Clayton Valley Charter’s Daniel Schaefer was first-team all-DVAL, Liam Calkins second team and seniors Eric Carlson and Tyler Blazer HM. SOFTBALL Clayton Valley nearly reached the mountaintop a year ago with a runner-up finish in the NCS playoffs but this year was bounced in the first round. Rachel Siver, Cheyenne Harman, Kimiko Zapanta, Julia Morgan and Cat Buenrostro earned firstteam all-league laurels for the Eagles. Tyce Miranda, Madi Tamichi and Jenni Zukowski were second team while Kaitlyn Montgomery was honorable mention. Northgate lost to local rivals Carondelet in the NCS opening round. Shortstop Octavia Bond was co-MVP in the league after being first-team all-DVAL the past three seasons. Lucy Decker, Morgan Batesol and Maddie Caswell got second-team notice while Aerial Miraflores, Payton Buccellato, Julia Pelletier and Maddie Thompson honorable mention. BOYS VOLLEYBALL Northgate was the second seed at NCS and lived up to that billing going to the finals before falling to Campolindo, which ended up winning the Northern California Division II championship. The Broncos were eliminated in four sets of the opening NorCal round by Drake. Matt D’Angina of CVCHS and Will Wright of Northgate shared league MVP honors. Both were

David Chin photo

AUSTIN CANNEDY (left) recently committed to attend Cal State Northridge this fall on a baseball scholarship. The Clayton Valley Charter High School pitcher was co-MVP in the Diablo Valley Athletic League for the second-place Eagles. Austin’s dad, Greg, joined him in signing his letter of intent to Northridge. The senior Cannedy is a nationally-renowned slopitch softball player who was on the 1990s National AllDecade team for the ASA Softball.

first team all-DVAL a year ago. Steven Daily was first team and Garrett Blatter second team for the Eagles. Zach Hanson was honorable mention. For the league champion Broncos Matt Hall, Chris McDonough and Jackson McDonough were first team, Sam Spoden second team and Eddie Carson and Brecon Richards HM. BASEBALL On April 23 the Clayton Valley Charter baseball team was riding a school record 19-game winning streak to open the season. Less than a month later they had lost five of their last eight games to not only fail to gain even a share of the DVAL championship but were bounced from the NCS playoffs in the first round, a distinction they had along with four-time champ Campolindo. This was the Eagles earliest exit from post-season play since 2006. Clayton Valley

has been a fixture in NCS for the past decade and a half. The Eagles can take a little solace in that three of those losses were to College Park, which went on to DVAL and NCS titles behind league MVPs Joe DeMers and Chris Brown. Austin Cannedy of CVCHS shared the league MVP designation. Gabe Taylor, Garrett Nelson, Ethan Utler and Grant Meylan were first-team all-league choices. Cannedy, Meylan and Utler were repeat choices for top honors. Brandon Truesdell, Ryan Milligan and Jordan Chin were second team all-DVAL while John Allen and Riley Smith were honorable mention. Brandon Gazdar and Ryan Strong of Northgate got allDVAL first team places with Broncos Tyler Sandberg, Drew Downing and Spencer Johnson second team. Kyle Graham, Anthony Dito and nick Simmons were HM.

June 13, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 11

Sports Kara Kohler ends distinguished Cal career, looks ahead to Olympics in Rio JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

The honors continue to pile up for Clayton’s Kara Kohler who recently completed her collegiate career at Cal Berkeley and is once again spending her summer in Princeton, N.J. at the US Rowing training center as she endeavors to be selected to represent America at another international competition. Kohler was a swimmer at Clayton Valley High School during her 2008-09 senior year when she visited Berkeley and was exposed to rowing for the first time. Her physical ability manifested itself and the Cal coaches recruited her to walk-on that fall. Five years later Kohler has racked up a slew of awards as a Golden Bear rower and helped her team to excellent finishes in invitational, conference and NCAA competitions, including the 2013 national championship. This spring the Bears varsity eight was third in the NCAA finals and the Cal women’s crew team finished second overall. The Bears have now placed in the top three as a team at the NCAA Championships for the seventh straight season and nine of the last 10 years. Kohler is a three-time allconference selection and she was the Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year in 2010. The Clayton native sat out the 2012 college season while she prepared for the London Olympics where she won a bronze medal with the USA quad team. She has served in the varsity eight each

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CLAYTON’S KARA KOHLER IS NOW A THREE-TIME ALL-PACIFIC 12 CONFERENCE SELECTION as well as being the Newcomer of the Year in 2010. She was on the varsity eight each of her four seasons at Cal which concluded at the 2014 NCAA Championships in Indianapolis as the Bears team finished second overall and the varsity eight were third.

of her four seasons competing at Cal. She is now in competition for a spot on a USA boat for the World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam Aug. 24-31. Kohler will be back in Berkeley for the fall semester to complete her studies and then return to Princeton and remain until 2016 when she hopes to gain another Olympic berth for the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. Kohler told the Pioneer, “I never imagined my time in college to be as life changing as it has. The best part of my time at Cal was meeting and witnessing some incredibly talented and

driven people do some amazing things academically, athletically and, most impressively, in the face of adversity. Those interactions inspired me to challenge my own limits and push beyond what I thought I was capable of both physically and mentally. I am so grateful for the relationships that have come out of my time at Cal.” The local woman added, “With that, I really had not the slightest idea of what kind of community I was getting myself into when I decided to pursue rowing at Cal. Now, having completed my college rowing career I can say how lucky I am

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that I crossed paths with this opportunity to row at Cal because the Cal Crew community has been and will be invaluable to all my future endeavors. “Although my achievements on the team have been written into history, my commitment to Cal Crew is everlasting. Given the opportunities Cal Crew has afforded me and the opportunities available in women’s rowing in general, I hope more young women will be able to receive the life experiences and fulfillment that I have from being a part of such a well-established and supportive athletic community. Go Bears!”

Clayton Valley LL names 7 all-star teams JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Clayton Valley Little League’s regular-season has wrapped up and league winners have moved on to the District 4 Tournament of Champions which begins this weekend. On the baseball side, the major Marlins and minor A Giants are in the TOC with the Minor B champ determined after deadline earlier this week. The CVLL softball teams in TOC are the junior CV Red, major CV Blue and minor Magic. The mini minor Thunder won an end of season tournament last weekend defeating Purple Jaguars of WCLL/Continental 16-12. The local youth baseball organization has also announced the players on its seven division all-star teams. All-Star play begins in late June culminating with the international Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA Aug. 14-24. The second Intermediate World Series will be held in Livermore July 29-Aug. 4. BASEBALL 12 year olds: Riley Christiansen, Joe Course, Sean Curran, Tristan Daly, Jayson Downs, Seth Gwynn, Anthony Hughes, Lucas Lauricella, Derek Luedtke, Jack Saylor, Daniel Ward, Eric Zimmer; alternates- Dennis Curran, Jack Gwynn, Dustin Hurtz, Nicholas Stelchek, Julian Rodriguez. 11 year olds: Joey Hawk, Clayton Mahloch, Quinton Mahloch, Jake Lucas, Mikey Mann, Aidan Reinwald, Mitchell Hansen, Sean Nimr, Tyler

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CATCHER CHARLIE SHUEY CHASES AFTER A WILD PITCH in an all-star game at Clayton Community Park. The Clayton Valley Little League intermediate stars edged Pinole Hercules 7-6. Pitcher Derek Gardner (right) came in to cover home plate.

Perkins, Matthew Hubbard, Eric Abbett, Lukas Linkhart; alternates- Tanner Maltbie, Terrell Hopson, Joey Berardi. 10 year olds #1: Jason Zimmer, Charlie Saylor, Mason Bamberger, Alexander Friedman, Andrew Pesmark, Jeremy LaGrave, Nolan Degener, David Seeno, Dane Elento, Alexander Kowalewski, Zakary Rath, Aiden Hopfner. 10 year olds #2: Gabe Lauricella, Joey Dern, Dane Jorgensen, Angelo Rodriguez, Ian Wright, Jack Skow, Niko Bohler, Wade Elento, Ryan Bomar, James McCaffrey, Ryan Ward, Scott Tomaszewicz. alternatesIan Mayer, Luke Cuneo, Jacob Solis, Thomas Tarantino, Drew Warner, Michael Boyle. Minor B: Colton Seastrand, Dominic Seeno, Mo Garcia, Alex Walker, Cody DeMartini, Jerry Coakley, Jake Morris, Aidan Moss, Ryan Buddle, Al Mendoza, Ryan Cuddy, Dominic Vines, Pablo Blanco, Richard McKay,

Michael Sawyer, Ethan Cline, Aaron Woodling, Daniel Sanna, Justin Mitchell, Kian Connors, Nick Johnson, Zylar Anwar, Lucas Hilderbrand, Liam Trost; alternates- Nicholas Rowoldt, Mathew Oswald, Payton Crua, Francisco Partida. SOFTBALL 9/10 year olds: Abby Hallet, Cat Shuey, Clarice Reinwald, Emma Postlethwaite, Grace Pugh, Haley Brown, Halle Cohen, Juliana Balestrieri, Karlie Seastrand, Katie Pike, Makaella Cherepy, Sophia Miller, Taylor Nunez; alternates- Ella Potts, Emily Storn, Julianna Vandal, Katie Mirabella, Miya Quesada, Taylor Sandy. 11/12 year olds: Aliya Sarna, Ellie Hilderbrand, Emily Lyons, Grace Zodikoff, Isabell Collins, Katie Harkness, Lauren Friedman, Olivia Linkhart, Sarah Barker, Sarah Stahl, Skylar Aldridge, Tammy Mason,

Taylor Keys; alternates- Emma Cuddy, Juliet Beach.


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Clayton Pioneer •

June 13, 2014

Sports Bay Area baseball looking mighty fine Sports Shorts


TYLER LEHMAN SPORTS TALK Bay Area baseball is looking good right now; real good. The Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants are each terrorizing their league. They aren’t just beating opponents, they are humiliating them. Some baseball teams have stellar pitching and are able to get wins by scoring a few runs. Other teams have great lineups which simply outscore the other team making up for a lackluster pitching rotation. It’s a hard combination to come by when a team has excellent batting and pitching. The A’s and Giants have both. Either team can score 10 runs on any given night, while their pitching blanks the opponent. It doesn’t get much more humiliating for an opposing team when they get swept in a series and get outscored 30-2. What is most impressive about the A’s and Giants records is the fact that they are in competitive divisions. The Giants have to deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have an endless stream of money to continuously add new talent. Even with the highest payroll in baseball, the Dodgers have taken a backseat to the Giants so far this season. The Giants success is a team effort, but the off-season additions of Michael Morse and Tim Hudson have seemed to revital-

ize the team which has won two of the last four World Series. Hudson appears to have found the fountain of youth, because at 38 he is having arguably the best season of his career. He is pitching well enough to win the Cy Young Award. Along with Hudson, Morse is tearing it up for the orange and black. The Giants have needed a consistent left fielder for several years and Morse has brought consistency to the position as well as filling in for the injured Brandon Belt at first base. Morse isn’t the only player in the Bay Area who is mashing homeruns, as many of the A’s have been going yard repeatedly so far this season. The A’s success can be attributed to many different factors. The heart of their lineup is arguably one of the best in baseball; with Yoenis Cespedes, Brandon Moss and Josh Donaldson. The A’s consistently produce runs, making it easier on their pitching staff. The A’s starting pitching is statistically the best in baseball. Four of their starting five pitchers have sub-3 earned run averages It is almost impossible for opposing teams to take a series from the A’s since the team’s pitching and hitting is simply too good. Bay Area baseball fans have a lot to be excited about this year. The A’s and Giants are two of the top teams in baseball right now and it isn’t a long shot to say we might have a Battle of the Bay World Series this year. Tyler Lehman is a sophomore at Diablo Valley College and a 2012 CVHS graduate. He plans to major in journalism and wants to be a sports writer. Email your comments or questions to

Fallout, from page 10 before that time and never any sport at the high school level. Pat Middendorf mentored me as a new coach and taught me many things about high school coaching.” The program struggled for wins the first few seasons but in 2009 the Eagles won the first of four straight league championships and five straight North Coast Section tournament berths. “We put our heart and soul into the lax program and Pat supported us every step of the

way. We became very involved in volunteer activities for the athletic booster club as a result of the example Pat set for the school and athletics. My wife (Michele) became the boosters secretary, normally a two-year term and stayed from 2008-14. I became booster President for the 2012-14 term.” Matt Hill adds, “I have been contemplating retirement from my position as head coach of the lacrosse program, while still staying on as program director. During the last CVCHS Gov-

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Diablo FC is rolling out a youth soccer recreational league program starting in August that will focus on individual technical development, building confidence in young soccer players, improving cognitive development and increasing imagination by allowing players to learn the game gradually in a fun, engaged environment. Diablo FC is the area’s premier youth soccer program and is offering open registration to all players ages 4-10, regardless of ability or previous experience. A mini-camp will be held Aug. 18-22 and the league runs through Oct. 11. Refer to for more details.

MDSA FALL SOCCER REGISTRATION OPEN Boys and girls 4-18 years of age wanting to play in Mt. Diablo Soccer Association fall league can register for guaranteed placement until June 12. After that date players will be placed on wait-list until end of this month. Fall league play begins in August when registration closes. Families are requested to sign up for volunteer duties to help the organization offer its AYSO program. For complete information visit 3 BASEBALL CAMP SESSIONS AT CLAYTON VALLEY THIS MONTH Clayton Valley Charter High School coach Casey Coakley has put together a staff of current CVCHS coaches and players as well as Eagle alumni to provide baseball instruction to youngsters 6-13 years of age at the school. Summer baseball school sessions will be held June 16-19, June 23-26 and June 30-July 3. Each daily session runs 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Fee is $120 for one session with discounts for multiple weeks. To reserve a baseball school spot or to get more information email

DIABLO FC SOCCER PLAYER EVALUATIONS CONTINUE Tryouts for U9-U19 players with Diablo FC are complete but players who missed formal tryouts can contact the club for an individual evaluation and possible placement on a competitive team for the 2014 season. Visit to register for free tryouts in all age groups.

UGLY EAGLES BASKETBALL CAMP THIS MONTH Head coach Eric Bamberger and his Clayton Valley Charter High School coaches and players are offering a pair of Ugly Eagles Basketball Camps this month for boys and girls. The two sessions for incoming third through ninth graders are June 16-20 and 23-27. Sessions run from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. with the gym open an hour before and after the formal camp for pickup play. The camp includes offensive and defensive instruction and games. For more information and to register contact coach Bamberger by phone (925) 726-9999 or email

CLAYTON VALLEY FOOTBALL CAMP JULY 21-24 Two-time DVAL champion Clayton Valley Charter High School hosts its Future Champions Full-Pad Youth Football Camp July 21-24 from 1-5 p.m. at the Concord school for players in second through eighth grades. Camp Director Michael Dominquez and Eagles head coach Tim Murphy explain that the camp has individual and group instruction and team competition with fundamentals and techniques of football taught by the CVCHS staff. To register, email or call (925) 726-1503 for an application.

erning Board meeting we were dismayed at the outcome of the meeting resulting in termination of Pat Middendorf. It is our feeling that we no longer believe in the direction of CVCHS without the leadership of Pat Middendorf as Director of Operations and Athletics. “Following the meeting [where Matt Hill spoke passionately on behalf of Middendorf in the public comment section] we both decided that after 10 years of volunteering at CV, we would both retire, especially since both our children have graduated from Clayton Valley.” The CVCHS Athletic Boosters have a slate of board mem-

bers which will be voted on in August. Alicia Farr is the new president and MaryAnn Quinn the VP. TENNIS COACH RESIGNS Rick Ortega coached tennis at Clayton Valley for nine years. Last fall Brian Corbett took over the girls program while Ortega, who is a tennis pro at Oakhurst County Club, continued this spring with the boys team. He told the Pioneer, “I announced my resignation during the last CVCHS Booster Club meeting. I decided to resign my position after the termination of Pat Middendorf for no cause. Pat has always

DE LA SALLE FOOTBALL PLAYING AT LEVI’S STADIUM AUG. 29 The De La Salle High football team will open its 2014 season at Levi’s Stadium, the new home of the San Francisco 49ers, in a nationally-televised game on ESPN2 against Jesuit of Carmichael. The Spartans will play Jesuit in the nightcap of a doubleheader on Friday, Aug. 29, with an 8 p.m. kickoff. “It’s an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” De La Salle athletic director Leo Lopoz said. “We had a chance to tour the stadium before it was complete. I can only imagine what it’ll look like when it is complete.”

SUMMER CAMP REGISTRATION OPEN FOR ALL OUT SPORTS LEAGUES Signups are still available for some All Out Sports League summer programs at Clayton Gym. Flag football academy camp (June 24-26), weekly basketball camps (June 30-July 4 and July 7-11) and adult volleyball league (games on Wednesdays from July 2-Aug. 20) have registration deadlines upcoming. For complete information on all the Clayton programs including a full slate of fall programs, visit

RED DEVIL GOLF CLASSIC JUNE 27 The 19th annual Red Devil Golf Classic benefiting Mt. Diablo High School athletic programs is on Friday, June 27, at Diablo Creek Golf Course. Contact chairpersons Lou Adamo ( or Ralph Vallis ( for more information. Registration deadline is June 13.

FOOTBALL, CHEER SIGNUPS ONLINE FOR CV FALCONS Registration is open online for Clayton Valley Youth football and cheer. Football is for ages 7-14 while cheer accepts ages 5-14. The season starts July 28. All players and cheer members must attend the mandatory final registration “Falcon Day” on Saturday, July 19, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Clayton Valley Charter High School. For more information and online registration visit

Clayton Pioneer wants to hear your sports story We get plenty of information from local high schools, sports leagues and clubs. What we don’t hear about so often are from our neighbors who are competing below that radar screen. There are Claytonians who are participating in sports and recreational endeavors that we don’t normally hear about but we’d like to tell their stories too. If you know of someone—-or even if you are that someone—-let us know what you’re doing and perhaps we’ll find it something our readers would love to read about! If you’re running, jumping, hiking, biking, swimming, skydiving, bowling, golfing or participating in any of dozens of other sports and recreational activities let us know. Give us a brief rundown and your contact information and we might be in touch with you. It’s as simple as sending an email to

been the heart and soul of Clayton Valley High. She was instrumental in the development of our school into a charter school. Her life was dedicated to the students, staff and school. “I built programs that developed students into leaders. Those students had integrity, honor and commitment to our team and school. After Linzey and the board fired Pat those elements were no longer present in this administration. I came to this decision with a heavy heart. I will miss all the students and staff but I can’t work for administration that lacks honestly and integrity.” Jim Middendorf started the CVCHS trap team two years ago. There were 30 kids involved this year. He had served as athletic booster club president at one time and was also a youth sports coach for many years. MAJOR DONORS WITHDRAW Clayton Valley alums Debra and Steve Gonsalves have been a part of the school community for over four decades. The football/soccer/lacrosse/track and field stadium bears their family name. In 2013 they were inducted into the Clayton Valley Athletic Hall of Fame as Community/Leadership honorees and they are both close friends of Pat Middendorf. Debra Gonsalves was a vocal supporter of her friend at the public meeting May 21. Six days after that meeting the couple sent a letter to the CVCHS governing board saying “…we are unhappy with the apparent current culture that exists at Clayton Valley Charter High School.

As a result, we are withdrawing all committed capital funding for the football field and future capital requests.” They concluded their letter by saying, “We are disheartened by the current course of action and are hopeful for a change in the future.” The Gonsalves’ were also the first donors with a six figure contribution to kick start the UMDAF effort in 2009. CONSTRUCTION CONTINUES There is a major construction project in progress at Gonsalves Stadium, primarily funded by MDUSD Measure C money, to update the facility with additional bleacher seating for over 900, a new snack shack with restrooms, landscaping, lighting and a dramatic new entrance from the school pavement to the stadium including a new permanent ticket office. On May 19, two days before her ouster, Middendorf sent an email notice that project construction of this Phase 2 at the stadium was underway. As head of operations and athletics this and other projects had been in her pervue. The new snack shack and restrooms have also been targeted for potential use by students during the school day. It’s understood that the Gonsalves’ Conco Companies were donating nearly a quarter million dollars to this project. Linzey says the school’s budget will replace that funding and he expects the project to be completed around the start of school this fall. First-year athletic director Amber Lineweaver couldn’t be reached for comment on the coaching vacancies.

June 13, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 13

Here’s some news: weather forecasts vary in local media Recently I fielded a question from a Pioneer reader concerning the accuracy of temperature forecasts found in local daily newspapers. At issue was the large discrepancy between maximum temperatures predicted for Concord and Clayton. I really couldn’t explain why the newspaper forecast for Clayton was more than 10 degrees warmer, but it did make me think about the variety of ways weather information is presented to the public. Most newspapers do not provide weather forecasts inhouse, but subscribe to third

WOODY WHITLATCH WEATHER WORDS party weather information services. These service providers have access to National Weather Service model data and local forecast products. Weather maps, forecast points and graphics

design are tailored for each newspaper client. In my opinion, the main issue with newspaper weather forecasts is the timeliness of the information, not the accuracy. By the time the newspaper lands in your driveway the weather forecast can be more than 12 hours old due to printing deadlines. Broadcast media like TV and radio usually offer temperature forecasts based on newer information than print media. Unfortunately, TV weather forecasts are available only a few times per day and offer limited local detail. Radio weather reports may

appear hourly, but local information is nearly non-existent. In the new age of smart phones and even smarter desktop computers, weather apps have sprouted up like summer corn. Clayton temperature observations and forecasts are now just a finger-poke away anytime, anywhere. The app dilemma is that there can be several different temperature observations and forecasts for Clayton available at any one time. Apps can be fulfilling and frustrating at the same time. One solution to the Clayton temperature prediction

problem is quite simple: go directly to the source of the forecast. The most recent weather data and forecasts for the San Francisco Bay region are available online at the National Weather Service site There is an interactive map at that site and you can dial it right in to Clayton. A lot of weather information is packed into this page. The menu on the left side contains links to real time weather observations, radar displays and climate information. One of my favorite links is labeled “Forecast Discus-

Play therapy can help emotionally distressed kids LIZA BRENNAN

POCKET PARENT Most people tend to be shocked that children as young as 3 could need help in the mental health capacity. However, there are many events in life that could result in a child struggling and having emotional challenges. Here are some common questions that can come up when considering therapy for a child: WHY MAY CHILDREN NEED TO SEE A THERAPIST? There are a variety of reasons why a child could be having a hard time. At times, adults think that some certain experi-

ences are not a big deal or that a child is too young to know what is going on. However, since most children learn to read their caregivers’ facial expressions and body language as infants, they tend to be clued into what is happening around them. Some of the events that could lead to a referral include, but are not limited to, a new sibling, medical issues, moving to a new town, separation or divorce of caregivers, starting at a new school, the loss of a loved one (including pets), natural disasters, witnessing something violent on television, in the home or community, caregivers working longer hours, caregivers with illnesses, and/or removal from the home. What behaviors could lead

to a referral? Every child responds to feelings and events in different ways. Some children may become angry and aggressive while others are sad and withdrawn. There could be regression in milestones they have already mastered, such as eating, sleeping through the night and using the bathroom. Social interactions with other children might be difficult and they may show some anxiety in any given situation. WHAT IS PLAY THERAPY? In play therapy, the therapist provides a safe space for the child to play out whatever is causing their emotional distress. Oftentimes, it is difficult for children of this age range to talk

Shedding light on skin cancer Did you know that the odds of developing skin cancer (melanoma) rise as you get older? Now that the season of warmer weather is upon us the barbeques, trips to the beach and shorts will be out in full force. Although most of us like a good tan, we must always remember to put on sun screen, especially seniors. It is advisable to limit outdoor activity between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to avoid unhealthy sun exposure. Make sure to also wear clothes that cover as much of your body as possible. (That also includes wide-brim hats.) Use lotion frequently to help keep skin moist but avoid bathing too often because it can actually


SENIOR MOMENTS dry out your skin and worsen wrinkles. Melanoma is one of the leading causes of cancer in the elderly and at least one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetimes. The more sunlight you are exposed to throughout your life corre-

lates to how likely you are to develop melanoma. Keep an eye out for new moles or spots that appear on your skin as melanoma typically takes on those characteristics. Fortunately, if caught early, it is usually treatable, with high survival rates. Finally, please avoid using tanning beds. There really isn’t anything worse you can do for your skin than by lying in closed bed with UV rays hitting your skin for hours at a time. Alexander Payne is the Activities Director at Courtyards at Pine Creek in Concord. Email questions and comments to

about what they are feeling or experiencing. Because children learn to play before they talk, play is considered the first language of a child, making it a comfortable environment even when limited in verbal communication.

sion.” It provides a technical analysis of current and forecast weather conditions for our region. The best feature of the NWS site is that all forecasts are the most current available. Unlike the newspapers, media and apps, the issue time of each forecast is posted. If you are interested in weather forecasts anywhere in the United States check out the interactive map at Woody Whitlatch is a retired meteorologist from PG&E. Email your questions or comments to

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HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE? This depends on the child, the reason for the referral and the goals that were set with the child’s caregivers. Information from the caregiver about how their child is doing in different environments helps the therapist determine how much progress the child has made. Children, especially young children, are just beginning to experience big feelings and do not know how to manage them in the way grown-ups do. This does not mean that there is something wrong with a child, but rather that they just need a little more support in learning some tools on how to control their emotions in a different way.

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Police Activity Report Police Activity for three weeks ending June 5, 2014 ACCIDENTS: May 17, 12:21 a.m. Center St. No Injuries. May 29, 8:32 a.m. Mt. Vernon Dr./Mt. Etna Dr. Injuries. June 1, 12:31 a.m. El Pueblo Place. No Injuries ARRESTS: Mar. 18 1:305 a.m. Clayton Rd./El Camino Dr. A 33-year-old Clayton male was arrested for disorderly conduct/under influence of alcohol.

May 24, 2:20 a.m. Oak St./Center St. A 28year-old Concord male was arrested for DUI. May 25, 12:51 a.m. Kirker Pass Rd. A 21-year-old Concord male was arrested for possessing a controlled substance; warrants. May 26, 1:02 p.m. Main St. A 39-year-old Hayward male was arrested for disorderly conduct/under the influence of alcohol.

May 28, 2:56 p.m. Yolanda Cr. A 21-year-old Concord male was arrested on a warrant. May 29, 1:30 a.m. Kirker Pass Rd./Olive Dr. A 28-yearold Concord male was arrested for driving on a suspended license. May 30, 9:35 p.m. Kelok Wy. A 19-year-old Concord female was arrested for possessing narcotic controlled substance; possessing marijuana 28.5 grams or less. June 1, 12:31 a.m. El Pueblo Place. A 21-year-old Clayton male was arrested for DUI. June 2, 3:18 a.m. Kirker Pass Rd./Concord Blvd. A 31-


year-old Concord male was arrested for DUI; DUI/Over .08. BURGLARIES/THEFTS: May 18, Mt. Washington. Burglary – Residential. May 19, Fleming Dr. Burglary – Residential. May 20, Regency Dr. Vehicle Theft. May 23, Mountaire Cr. Burglary – Vehicle. May 28, 7400 Marsh Creek Road. Petty Theft. June 2, Kelok Wy. Burglary – Residential. June 3, El Camino Dr. Burglary – Residential. June 4, El Camino Dr. Petty Theft VANDALISMS: None.

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Clayton Pioneer •

June 13, 2014

Kick-start your strength training program are some tips for getting started on the right foot:





[Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series on strength training.] In past articles I have looked at the value of strength training. Now, here

• Check with your doctor before starting an exercise program. • Always warm up for at least five to 10 minutes before strength training. • Proper form is essential for safety and effectiveness. Start with light weights as you perfect your form and get accustomed to strength training. Gradually increase the amount of weight you lift over time, by no more than 10 percent each week. • Always cool down at least five to10 minutes at the

Fathers, from page 9 Father’s Day reminds me to be the best dad I can be, to be a good man in their life. I try to emulate my own father.” The Father’s Day concept was originally created in 1910 by Sonora Dodd in Spokane, Washington, who staged the first celebration at the Spokane YMCA. It was done in response to Mother’s Day, which began in 1908. The celebrations, led mostly by Dodd, lost steam in the 1920s and nearly died out when Dodd moved to Chicago. She then got the movement going again in the 1930s, but the national government refused to officially recognize it. Finally, after five decades, President Richard Nixon signed the Father’s Day holiday into law in 1972. Nearly all dads have moments that come to mind in their fathering journey that are frozen in time. No one forgets the first time

they held their little one at the hospital. Some remember frightening nights when their child was sick with a high fever. Others have great memories forever etched into their mind of sporting events where a kid accomplished something spectacular. FOOTBALL VS. LABOR Mike Hansen of Clayton remembers like yesterday the day his daughter Melisa entered the world. “At first, we were at home and the Vikings were playing the Raiders. I was watching the game. I told my wife, ‘You can make it until 1:30.’ But things got worse and worse and I started feeling guilty. We got to the hospital and had to have a c-section done. I just remember being in that room and when they said it was a girl, I just started weeping.” Hansen describes the overwhelming emotions of trying to

end of your workout. • Vary your exercise program to avoid boredom and plateaus. Changing your routine every six-toeight weeks is crucial to keeping your body/muscles surprised and constantly adapting. They’ll have to work harder, you’ll be challenged, and you’ll burn more calories and build more lean muscle in the process. Learn how to change your exercise routine to avoid plateaus. • Drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise to stay hydrated.

care for his wife in the hospital while suddenly realizing that he now had a new life to care for who had just taken her first breaths. “I was so happy,” he says. “All I could think about was her health. Is she okay? Is everything okay? And everything was perfect. My wife and daughter were fine and healthy.” Recently Hansen received a letter from his now-teenage daughter, Melisa, that gave him a beautiful perspective on parenting. “She wrote me the nicest letter for my birthday and basically told me that she thinks I set a good example for the family and that she admires me. It’s one of those things that I’ll always remember and cherish,” Hansen says. “It brings a tear to your eye, because sometimes you don’t always know how your kids feel about you. It was one of those times where you realize that they really do appreciate you.”



Machines are best for beginners. They usually have detailed instructions and a picture on them, plus they show which muscles you are working. They are set up to put your body in proper form and isolate the right muscles. They are usually grouped together (upper body, chest, arms, legs, etc.) in a weight room, so that you can easily move through them and target every major muscle group. Free weights are more advanced. After you’ve had a good foundation with machines (or body weight exercises) you can move into

free weights. When using free weights, form becomes even more important because there is nothing to support you or make you do it properly. Lift in front of a mirror and use the proper benches for support. Always watch the alignment of the joints and their relationships: shoulders, hips, knees and ankles should be aligned. Your back should remain flat and your abs should be contracted to help support the lower back. Have a trainer assist you and have someone there to spot you if you are lifting heavy weights. Use your trainer to help you achieve proper form. Don’t hold your breath,

which can be dangerous (it increases blood pressure and can cause lightheadedness, for example). Exhale fully and forcefully on the exertion phase — usually the phase where you are lifting the weight. Inhale deeply on the easier phase — usually when returning to the starting position. Try to keep this rhythm throughout every set. In the beginning, it will take some concentration, but after a while, it will become habit. Ilima Heuerman holds multiple fitness certifications. She trains at Levity Fitness studio in Clayton. Email Ilima at

Rotary club seeks host families for Belgian teen The Rotary Club of Clayton Valley/Concord Sunrise is sponsoring a Youth Exchange student from Belgium for the 201415 school year, and is looking for volunteer families to host the teen. Aline will arrive in California in mid-August and will return to her native Belgium in mid-July 2015. While in the U.S. she will attend a Concord-area high school, where she will be a senior. While French is her native language, Aline also speaks Dutch and English. She says she likes to dance, ski and play tennis, and appears to be very good at tennis since her dad teaches it. She also mentions in her application letter that she would like to study psychology because she likes to help people. Her dream” is to work with disabled people or with people in

jails.” Aline will stay with the host families for a three to fourmonth period during the time she will be here. Host families can come in all shapes and sizes (including single parents) and might include young children, older children or no children at all. Like other Rotary-sponsored Youth Exchange students, Aline will be provided a monthly allowance by Rotary. Each year Rotary districts worldwide arrange more than 9,000 international youth exchanges for secondary school students. A primary goal of the program is to foster world understanding and peace through intercultural exchange. Youth Exchange promises to enrich the lives of the student and every member of a host family. Not only do families provide an unforgettable service

to a student from abroad, but the students will educate the family about the world around them. In addition, Rotary sponsors outbound students to live abroad in one of 188 countries with qualified host families for anywhere from a few months to an entire year. If your child has an interest, contact Rotary. The Rotary Youth Exchange plan is for students 15 to 18-1/2 years old, and the majority of American students choose to go right after they graduate high school. Most colleges will hold a student’s admission slot, acknowledging the exchange experience makes for a much better student. For more information, contact Monica Fraga at the Clayton/Valley Concord Sunrise Rotary Club at 925-566-8166 or

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Haunting Irish novel clutches the heart There is something sad and beautiful about an Irish novel, and Michele Forbes’ debut tale, “Ghost Moth” (Bellevue Literary Press; April, 2013), is no exception. Set in Belfast in the turbulent 1960s, and alternating to a parallel storyline in a more hopeful, post-war 1940s, “Ghost Moth” tells the story of Katherine and George, of their courtship and subsequent marriage, of their life with children Maureen, Elsa, Elizabeth and Stephen. By sly contrast to her ordinary life, Katherine becomes lost in the memory of an affair she had with a young tailor before marrying George, and which provides an undercurrent of tension in an otherwise common existence. In the summer of 1969, Katherine nearly drowns on a family outing to the seaside town in Northern Ireland. Leaving her husband and children on the beach and swimming past the point of wisdom or stamina, Katherine encounters a seal, bobbing in the water near her, and is terrified by the beast’s sudden appearance. “The seal appears from nowhere, an instant immutable presence in the sea—although he must have been swimming silently beneath the surface for some time without her knowing.” Though she is rescued by

George, Katherine is shaken, and when they return home, she can’t dodge the sense that a dark menace is immanent. And yet, their life goes on as normal. George is a devoted husband, and her daughters and son weave a rich tapestry around her. Katherine, like Mrs. Dalloway, moves through her days as she should, looking after her children, taking care of her husband. Increasingly however, in the aftermath of her own near-drowning, she recalls the achingly illicit affair she had as a young woman, with the handsome young man who, when she broke it off with him, was found drowned the next day. She can’t help but feel that while she made the safe choice in husbands, she might have made the wrong one. Forbes’ prose is lyric and she perfectly captures the vulnerability a city on the brink of civil war. Maureen and Elizabeth are tormented by Protestant toughs as they walk home from their Catholic school, and Katherine herself become the victim of a hate crime in a city that grows more violent by the day. Of her three girls, the youngest, Elsa, is most like Katherine, with her blonde hair and sensitive nature. Elsa is friends with a rough girl from the neighborhood, Isabel. The girl is bossy and rude, but Elsa tolerates





Isabel and even seems to crave her attention. Isabel is a Protestant and barely endures Elsa for many reasons, but mainly because her family is Catholic. When the threat that Katherine sensed was coming arrives, it does not claim George, who is a volunteer fireman, or her children or Belfast itself, but it comes to Katherine. She is diagnosed with an aggressive cancer and wastes away, even as devoted George watches and her children grow frightened by the shadow she becomes. “Ghost Moth” is a story of the heart; of love and its immovable faces. Like a sweet fable of family, it will wrap you up and love you. And then like love sometimes does, in its sweetness, it will break your heart. Cynthia Gregory writes book reviews, award-winning short stories and a blog. Visit her blog at or send email to her at

June 13, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 15

Don’t let the fur fly when dealing with kittens ELENA BICKER

PET PALS Kittens are oh-so-cute bundles of fun — and also require a lot of time, energy and patience. Most kittens are born in the spring and summer, so many households are thinking about adding a little one during this time of year. How do you know if a kitten is right for your lifestyle? Kittens are basically babies, which means you must supervise them, prevent accidents from occurring, and, most importantly, socialize them. At this stage, kittens may be more

open to new experiences (such as meeting gentle dogs), but they are also malleable enough to be affected by negative influences. For instance, if a kitten isn’t handled enough while he’s young, it can be difficult to make up for that later in life. Or if someone is too rough with a kitten, she may grow to dislike handling. Reinforcing good behaviors and discouraging normal but problematic behaviors such as nipping of hands and fingers — without using physical correction or harsh discipline — is especially important for proper development. A kitten’s temperament is a mix of genetic factors and environmental factors. Though there hasn’t been enough research to say exactly what traits are “genetic” and what traits are determined by the

environment, it is safe to say that both play a part. That sweet kitten you fell in love with at the shelter might not turn out to be the lap cat you wanted...and there’s nothing you can do about that. If you have your heart set on a particular personality, like a mellow lap cat or a high-energy, ready-for-action cat, it is better to adopt an adult cat who already demonstrates those traits. Kittens are physically fragile and need to be handled carefully. Since they play with everything (like electrical cords), you will need to kittenproof your home. Adult cats can require this too, but with kittens it is especially crucial. Also be pre-

pared to keep a close eye on your kitten. They are small enough to squeeze into ridiculously tiny spaces, but not always wise enough to figure out how to get out. We have heard of kittens getting into places like chimneys, under stoves, inside walls and even in pipes. If you have young children, an older kitten over five months or an adult cat may be a better match than a twopound kitten, because the fragility of very young kittens makes them especially vulnerable to injury. Kittens need lots of attention and get bored quickly, so a great way to get your kitten off on

the right foot in life is by adopting two kittens. Two kittens are not more trouble than one, and will play together and teach each other important things like bite inhibition, which prevents naughty boredom behaviors. Of course, both kittens will need socialization to people and lots of cuddle time, but that’s the fun part. There are lots of beautiful kittens this time of year who

need good homes. If you are in the market for a feline, we hope this has helped you decide if a baby or an adult would be a better match for your lifestyle and your household. Whatever you decide, ARF has plenty to choose from. Elena Bicker is the Executive Director of Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation. She can be reached at (925) 256-1ARF (1273)

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Concord Housing, from page 5 that appeals to homebuyers and renters, Montagh says. “We have housing units that fit a wide range of needs and wants, from smaller homes that appeal to first-time home buyers to executive single-family homes.” The wide range of multifamily homes is also a plus, he says. “We have higher-end apartments like Park Central

and Renaissance near Todos Santos Plaza, to the more traditional apartments along Clayton Valley Road and Monument Blvd.” And even though land for building is scarce, Montagh sees infill developments – those collection of homes built in pockets on a few acres in established neighborhoods – as continuing to grow.

been prepaid by a generous donor. Four-year-old Ringo Starr is a handsome and confident fellow. He likes petting and he likes to explore and play as well. He

As for those hipsters descending on Concord? Montagh says that the city’s quality of life and resurgent downtown commerce is driving that. “There are two new ale houses in downtown Concord, and people are already attracted to the summer Music & Market Series,” he says. “It’s just a really cool place to be.” And that’s why realtor Laurence thinks Concord has a bright future in the housing market. “We are just going to see our home values going up.”

Meet your forever friend at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek, during adoption hours: Noon to 5 pm. Wednesday, 3 to 7 pm. Thursday and Friday, Noon to 5 pm. Saturday and Sunday. The primary caretaker must be present to adopt. ARF also encourages kids 16 and younger and canine family members (dog adoptions only) to be present during the adoption process. Would you like to be part of the heroic team that saves the lives of rescued dogs and cats? Can you share your talents to connect people and animals? ARF volunteers are making a difference! For more information see our website,, or call 925.256.1ARF.

Exotic Pets Welcome!

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Page 16

Clayton Pioneer • Now

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IN CLAYTON Saturdays thru Oct. 25 Farmers’ Market 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Diablo Street between Main and Center streets, downtown Clayton. Music: June 14, Lacey Baker. June 21, Apryll Gilbert. June 21, July 5 Concerts in the Grove 6 – 8:30 p.m. Grove Park, downtown Clayton. Free. For a complete concert series list, see Page 3. June 21 Diablo Bowmen’s Open House A once-a-year opportunity to try archery. 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. $10 for a lesson and lunch. For directions, visit July 4 Pancake Breakfast and Parade The day begins with the Clayton Valley 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: $5 adults; $3 kids. No registration for Kiddie Parade. Register for main parade at

IN CONCORD Tuesdays Farmers’ Market Tuesdays year round, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Tuesday Nights in July Blues Series Some of the best blues in the Bay Area. July 1, Frank Bey and Anthony Paule. 6:30 – 8 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Free. Music and Market Thursday night live music and farmers’ market. Market 4 – 8 p.m.; music 6:30 – 8 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Music: June 19, The Sun Kings. June 26, Midnight North. July 3, The TuneRiders. June 15 DadDay Celebrate Dad with James Clark and the Jailhouse Rockers performing their vibrant Elvis revue. 12 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Free. June 21 Summer Social Food, fun, raffle presented by the Concord Historical Society. 1 – 4 p.m. Historical Galindo Home, 1721 Amador Ave., Concord. $10. For tickets and information, contact Diane at 682-9281. June 25 Sustainability Workshop Zero Waste and Be a Sustainable Citizen program taking you to the next level beyond recycling. Hosted by the city of Concord. 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Civic Center, City Council Chambers, 1950 Parkside Drive, Concord. Free. Registration required: Email or call 671-3370. July 4 Celebration Fun run, parade, festival, fireworks. Events start at 8 a.m. For more details, go to

ON THE MOUNTAIN Mount Diablo Interpretive Association programs listed are free with the exception of park entrance fee. Go to and click on Events Calendar for more information. June 14 Fire Recovery Hike Mary Bowerman Trail. 10 – 11:30 a.m. Meet at Lower Summit Parking Lot. Registration required. June 14 Fire Recovery Hike North Peak Trail. 12 – 2:30 p.m. Meet at Lower Summit Parking Lot. Registration required. June 15 Round the Mountain Hike This classic loop provides views in all directions circling the park via Deer Flat, Prospector’s Gap and Oak Knoll. Pass through burn areas; wildflowers should be abundant. 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Meet at Juniper Camp Trailhead. June 20 Common Poorwill Bird Walk Listen to the birds of the early evening in White Canyon. 7 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Trailhead. Registration with Denise Wight required:

June 21 Search for Alien Worlds Held by Mount Diablo Interpretive Association and Mount Diablo Astronomical Society. Explore where weird life exists on Earth. 8 - 11:00 p.m. Meet: Lower Summit Parking Lot. June 21 Summer Solstice Saunter Experience Mother Nature’s evening shift as we search for owls, bats, tarantulas and other creatures. 7 – 10 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center. Registration with Liz Watson or Ken Lavin required. June 28 Common Poorwill Bird Walk Listen to the birds of the early evening in White Canyon. 7 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Trailhead. Registration with Denise Wight required: Save Mount Diablo programs listed are free unless otherwise noted. Go to and click on Activities/Guided Hikes for more information. 947-3535. June 28 Mangini Ranch Family Hike Visit a secret spring and look for bobcats, coyotes, owls, quail and other feathered friends. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at hiker gate on Crystal Ranch Drive between Autumn Oak Circle and Rolling Woods Way. Registration required:

EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT Thru June 21 “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” Riotous musical comedy about six adolescent outsiders vying for the spelling championship of a lifetime. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $37-$65. Thru Aug. 20 Amateur Radio Auxiliary Training Classes to improve emergency and radio skills. For more information, go to Register: June 21 Best Intentions One of the most talented Motown shows touring today. 8 p.m. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $15. 427-1611. June 21 Tuck and Patti A musical marriage unparalleled in jazz. Presented by Red Legged Frog Productions. 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $40. June 25 – July 6 “Ella the Musical” The story of one of the greatest jazz vocalists of all time. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $37-$65. June 28 Fallen Heroes, Rising Stars A Juneteenth Dance Celebration honors African American musical artists that have died since 2000, but will inspire for generations to come. 8 p.m. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $25 in advance; $30 at the door. 427-1611. June 28 Speak No Weevil Presented by Ready or Not Improv. 8:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $15. June 28 – 29 “On Golden Pond” Classic American comedy/drama. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $12-$15. June 29 Concert 15th anniversary gala concert by Music Repertoire. 3 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $10. July 4 Concert Patriotic salute performed by Walnut Creek Concert Band. 6 p.m. Civic Park, 1375 Civic Drive, WC. Free.

CHURCHES AND RELIGION Summer Programs Vacation bible school, camp outs and more at Concord United Methodist Church. For more information, go to or email

FUNDRAISERS June 14 Plant Sale Summer herbs, especially those that are drought tolerant, are featured. Free class on culinary uses of common summer plants. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Markham Regional Arboretum Society Nursery. 1202 La Vista Ave., Concord. 681-2968. June 30 Dine Out Support local theatre and a local eatery. Pavilion Bar and Grill will donate 20 percent of all receipts to the Clayton Theatre Company. Good for dine in or carry out orders. Download flier from or mention Clayton Theatre Company. 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Pavilion Bar and Grill, 1508 Kirker Pass Road, Clayton. For more information, call Beth at 381-1615.

AT THE LIBRARY The Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. or 673-0659. Starting June 14 Photo Contest Children grades 6 – 12: Snap a photo of your pet or an animal and enter the contest. Prizes for Best Looking, Grumpiest and Best Action Shot. Part of Summer Reading Festival. Entry forms available at library. Deadline: July 31. Judging by Creekside Artists Guild. Tuesdays June 17 thru Aug. 12 Patty Cakes Story time for babies to 3-year-olds. Child attends with caregiver. 11 a.m. Thursdays June 19 thru Aug. 14 Picture Book Time Story time for 3- to 5-year-olds. Child may attend without caregiver. 11 a.m. June 14 – Aug. 16 Contest Guess the number of pet treats in the jar. Closest guess wins a prize. All ages. One guess per person. June 16 Kid’s Scavenger Hunt Complete the hunt and get a prize. Children in grades kindergarten through fifth. 4 – 5 p.m. June 16 Magician/Illusionist The magic of Timothy James. Family fun. 7 p.m. June 18 Beading with Yolanda For children in grades 6 through 12. 4 – 5 p.m. Registration required. June 19 Busy Bee Dogs Formerly homeless pets who amaze and educate audiences of all ages through heart-capturing, extraordinary entertainment. 4 p.m. The Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. or 646-5455. June 16 Busy Bee Dogs Formerly homeless pets who amaze and educate audiences of all ages through heart-capturing, extraordinary entertainment. 7 p.m.

GOVERNMENT 1st and 3rd Tuesdays Clayton City Council 7 p.m. Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 6737304 or 2nd and 4th Tuesdays Clayton Planning Commission 7 p.m., Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. 6737304 or 1st, 2nd and 4th Tuesdays Concord City Council 6:30 p.m., Council Chamber, Concord Civic Center, 1950 Parkside Dr.

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

June 13, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 17

After 30 years, CBCA means business in Clayton GLORIA UTLEY Special to the Pioneer

This year the Clayton Business and Community Association is celebrating its 30th anniversary, and the 180 members are instrumental in creating and maintaining the quality of life so many Claytonians enjoy. From events like the annual Art & Wine Festival and Chili Cook-off to helping fund scholarships for the area’s youth to helping preserve city properties, the CBCA is at the heart of the community. “I feel that the CBCA has grown to an amazing size and [level of] participation,” says Skip

the city’s support for the downtown area. This situation was partially the result of unsuccessful input from the business community. Efforts either met with opposition or total lack of response. Ipsen and Morris contacted the businesses in the area asking if they saw a need for a downtown merchant’s association. This would allow the group to work together with city representatives and Clayton residents. The businesses — and therefore the community — could move in a more positive direction to create awareness and solve some of these problems.

Courtesy Sher Laurence

FRED ALBRECHT (FAR LEFT) AND DON WILLIAMS (FAR RIGHT) grill up a pile of beef at the CBCA’s first Round-up fundraiser in 1984, held at the Lemke Horse Ranch on Marsh Creek Rd. Today, the ranch is the site of the Stranahan development.

Ipsen, one of the club’s original members. “John Morris and I originally thought in terms of 5075 people becoming members of the Clayton Business and Professional Association.” Fellow original member John Rubiales agrees that the club has made an impact on the city. “The downtown area is better now than it used to be,” he says. “The city is paying attention to what we do and what we say. “ It wasn’t always that way. In 1984, the merchants in downtown had long needed to promote their interests. Clayton’s population was a little more than 4,300 with very little room for growth within its boundaries. Main Street was the only way in or out of town. It contained three blocks of commercial establishments. NO BUSINESS INPUT Downtown was zoned for commercial use, but had not attracted new building in years. The city’s building criteria made development costs prohibitive and did little to encourage business or residential expansion. City funds could barely maintain the roads, much less finance capital improvements. City and utility services were inadequate to support long-range development. And business owners, as individuals, had been ineffective in gaining

The inaugural meeting of the Clayton Business Council was held in June 1984 at the Pioneer Inn with 17 businesses represented. Businesses from surrounding areas showed interest as well, and the name changed to the Clayton Business and Professional Association. The first board of directors consisted of John Helmer, Gloria Utley, Deborah Kline, Nancy Younce and Roy Hawes. The motto was and still is “For the good of the Clayton community.” Membership has always been open to businesses and residents alike. In September of that year, the CBPA participated in a “Main

Street USA” teleconference held at the Pioneer Inn. It was broadcast from Washington D. C. to 300 cities around the U.S. and Canada. It addressed revitalization of downtown areas, lasted six hours and was locally viewed by 30 people involved in the business community and local government. It ignited a lot of interest in the community. REELIN’ AT THE ROUND-UP The first of what would become many fundraisers, the Clayton Round-up, was held in October of 1984 and was the club’s major fundraiser for 12 years. Tickets were $10 for a chuck wagon dinner and dance held at John Lemke’s Diablo Horse Center (now the Stranahan subdivision). Members did all of the work and cooking. The Acting Police Chief, Fred Albrecht, was grill master. The club estimated an attendance of 300-350. The event actually drew 500 people. It was truly a town party where everyone knew everyone else. A few years later, the Round-up moved it to the Easley Ranch with 1,200 in attendance and a $50 admission. The club raised $4,179. The club’s first donation was to the Clayton Police Reserves for $100. The club began giving back to the community in other ways, as well. At Christmas, members constructed a lighted Christmas banner and purchased and hung wreaths downtown. Members serenaded the neighborhoods in the back of trucks with portable radios for music. The decorations have since been expanded upon. These days the Clayton maintenance department helps to hang the wreaths and decorate the live tree downtown. The club has added the tree lighting, a visit with Santa and Dessert with Mrs. Claus. For 30 years the CBPA — now the CBCA — has sponsored community events and fundraisers to give back to the community. “I am most proud of contributing to the city and being a part of major improvements

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FROM BUBBLE GUM TO BOCCE The first Clayton Classic golf tournament was held in 1987 at Boundary Oaks with the proceeds to help fund Clayton Valley High School’s golf team. The club also held a bubble gum blowing contest and an art contest for CVHS students. Winning artists displayed their work at Skipolini’s Pizza. The Clayton Art and Wine Festival was started in 1986. There were more than 40 booths, a food court and music. It was well received by the vendors and the community and increased to

100 booths the second year. The club now provides areas for vendors as well as the food court and musical entertainment. “I am most proud of watching the CBCA grow and all the citywide events it provides,” Ipsen says. “The CBCA is the main benefactor of so much of the local happenings around Clayton and its outside environs. The CBCA provides help to local schools, scout troops, downtown groups and many others. It is now able to help finance such a wide swath of the community.” Most recently, the CBCA has been co-funding the construction of the new Clayton bocce courts, adjacent to Ipsen’s

Skipolini’s restaurant. The club will manage and operate the park. Coincidentally, in 1987, Ipsen proposed that two bocce courts be built on land owned by Jim Cox across from Endeavor Hall. (Flora Square is on that lot now.) Ipsen recommended that the Clayton Business & Professional Association take this on as a project. It was voted down. CBCA dinner meetings are held the last working Thursday of each month at the Oakhurst Country Club. For more information call 925672-2272 or visit the website,

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After such a long cold winter, you’re long overdue for a Club Med vacation in paradise. From our award-winning family resorts in Florida, Mexico, and the Caribbean - to far-off, dreamy destinations such as Thailand, our “Bring on the Sun” sales event has you covered. With 50 properties included in this extraordinary sales event, you’re sure to find the ideal destination for your next escape. Book your 7-night getaway by 06/25/2014, and save big on all-inclusive packages from $119 per person/per night* on travel through 12/19/2014.

What’s included, and so much more.

We offer dining, social events, cooking classes, live music, heated pool, swim, tennis & golf lessons!

For more information or to book, please contact:

Travel To Go, Inc. -

Golf, sport and social memberships are available

It’s time to join! Contact us for a tour and lunch at the club.

Banquet facilities are available for your special occasion

Ph: 925.672.9840 -

Clayton Station Shopping Center 5439 Clayton Road (Suite F) - Clayton, CA

Oakhurst Country Club (925) 672-9737 ext. 205

* Sample price is per person, based on double occupancy in a Club category room on select weeks at Ixtapa Pacific, Sandpiper Bay and Turkoise. Prices on other dates and/or at other resorts may vary. Offer requires a 3-night minimum stay (7-night minimum for Columbus Isle). Available at select resorts. Does not include airfare. Valid for new individual bookings only for select travel dates through 12/19/2014 and must be booked by 6/25/2014, subject to capacity control and may increase at any time. **Children aged under 4 years stay for free. For flights that are booked through Club Med, tickets for children must be paid for by the client. Children who are eligible for free stay must be lodged in the same room as the adults who are paying for their stay, or in a connecting room. Costs associated with Baby & Petit Club Med are at full day rate during entire stay booked. †Blackout dates apply. See website for Terms and Conditions. General Conditions: Blackout dates apply, including holidays and other dates. For Turkoise all guests must be 18 and older. Guests at Columbus Isle must be 2 and older. Club Med Membership fees of $60 per adult and $30 per child are additional. Other restrictions apply including brochure terms and cancellation/change fees. Not responsible for errors or omissions. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. CST#: 2020955-50.

CST #2033054-40

Page 18

Clayton Pioneer •

June 13, 2014

Try this beautiful, water-wise sage “Good nutrition brings good health, brings happiness. Thank you, Doorstep Farmers.” Clayton resident, Leo Schindler

A local service bringing organic, in-season produce straight from local farms to your doorstep. Sign up today.



Just Listed

107 Samuel Court


Fantastic 4 bedroom 2.5 home in Regency Woods. Over 2,300 square feet with backyard oasis. Huge deck, pool, spa, fruit trees & stunning views of Mount Diablo make this home an entertainer’s delight. Don't miss the RV parking. All on a quiet court with access to Mt. Diablo trails.

Salvia Clevelandii Winifred Gilman is an exceptional sage that any Clayton Valley landscape lover would be proud to grow. It is a sturdy, evergreen perennial with fragrant foliage, and a long bloom season. Salvia Clevelandii is a California native shrub that is easy to find and adapts quickly once planted. Maturing to four- to-fivefeet- tall and wide, Salvia Clevelandii can be utilized in the landscape as a foundation plant. It can visually stand up against a fence or property line. Since it keeps its leaves throughout the winter, Salvia Clevelandii also makes a nice backdrop for deciduous trees.

Considering this year’s water issues, Salvia Clevelandii is the type of plant that Clayton Valley residents should consider installing. This shrub is very water-wise, surviving on very little water, and still thriving. There are many members to the Salvia Clevelandii family. Winifred Gilman is one of the best. The foliage of Winifred Gilman is mostly gray, while the stems are a dark eggplant color. In the summer, whirls of light lavender, two-lipped shaped flowers bloom in rows atop this evergreen’s strong stems. Both bees and hummingbirds are attracted to this sage. Install Salvia Clevelandii with companion plants that require similar watering. Mix with other water-wise native plants such as manzinita, arbutus, other salvia, and sedum. Many non-native plants would also mix well with Salvia Clevelandii. Consider installing with crape myrtle, smoke bush, teucrium, nepeta and lavender. A couple tricks to remember when purchasing and planting Salvia Clevelandii Winifred Gilman is not to buy too large

of a container at the nursery. Actually, the smaller the container the better. With native plants, you want one that hasn’t live for too long in a pot. Fourinch sizes are the best, with one gallon coming in second. When installing, avoid any planting mix with built-in fertilizers. Natives do best with a hand full of soil conditioner. Once installed, Salvia Clevelandii Winifred Gilman will need babysitting the first three weeks after planting. Week one, the plant should be watered every day, week two, you should water every other day, and week three, skip three days between watering. After the three week establishing period, your plant should only need water a couple times a week its first summer.

Water-wise, drought tolerant, whatever you want to call these types of plants, just understand that they all don’t have to look like dry grass. Many beautiful, desirable plants are water-wise and ready to be discovered. Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. Contact her with questions or comments at

Club News

Mike Kavanaugh

CVCHS receives grants for safety

Broker/Associate CDPE

Town & Country Realty Associates Inc 1026 Oak St., Suite 204 Clayton (925)


DRE #01309778


f f O % 0 1 ton for Clay only s t residen

Remodeling Specialist Kitchens Bathrooms Windows Mouldings Decks Siding Painting interior & exterior  Kevin Schmidt, Clayton Resident  Family Owned and Operated license 962284

925-822-5144 738 Bloching Circle, Clayton

GARY CARR Special to the Pioneer

Moving forward from the recent success of the Art & Wine Festival, the Clayton Business and Community Association focused on the needs of students and scouts at their May 29 meeting at Oakhurst Country Club. CBCA overwhelmingly approved a donation to the Clayton Valley Charter High School football team for new helmets. The club also approved a grant to support the CVCHS “Every 15 Minutes” program, which uses graphic reenactments of auto crashes and their aftermath to warn students of the consequences of drinking or texting while driving. Further assistance to youth came as a grant to Boy Scout Troop 484 for a storage shed and camping equipment. The CBCA convinced the troop to take half of what they asked for and to use the money to buy materials to build their own shed. The boys readily accepted the challenge to their skills and ingenuity. In an update of the downtown bocce courts, Ed Hartley

reported that the opening has been moved back from June 15 to June 22, with adjustments already having been made in game schedules. Hartley said that all four courts are ADA

compliant and wheelchair accessible, as are two of the four picnic tables. The new bathrooms adjacent to the court are also wheelchair accessible.

Volunteers are needed to help at the Fourth of July parade. Just show up an hour or so before the parade, said Julie Pierce. To volunteer, call 925-672-2272 or visit the website,

Clayton Valley Woman’s Club 2014-15 Officers

Officers for the 2014-15 year were installed for the Clayton Valley Woman’s Club on May 27 at the Oakhurst Country Club. The newly-elected officers are, in the first row: First Vice President Linda Pasini, Co-Presidents Kathy Hester and Merle Whitburn; in the second row: Second Vice President Sheila Driscoll, Treasurer Rosemary Harwood, Recording Secretary Jeanne Groschwitz, Co-Third Vice Presidents Aleta Huck and Barbara Glass, Budget Director Joyce Atkinson, Newsletter Editor Maggie Gardner and Corresponding Secretary Kathy Olson. For more information, call 672-7947 or go to

2809 Ptarmigan Dr. #6, Rossmoor in Walnut Creek

D SOfoLr rice! ng P




• Rossmoor is an affordable adult community in Walnut Creek. • Rossmoor offers an ideal environment for active adult living. • Rossmoor homes offer unparalleled luxury • Rossmoor is rich in award winning amenities. LET ME HELP YOU ACQUIRE IT ALL!

1830 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek, CA 94595

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

LINDA LANDGRAF Real Estate Professional Cal BRE License #01504011

(925) 876-0311

June 13, 2014

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 19

The root of tasty salads and delicious soups DEBRA J. MORRIS Pacific Coast Farmers Market

Celery root, also called celeriac, is an edible root vegetable in the celery family. The stalks and leaves strongly resemble celery, although they are not very good to eat. The root itself is a lumpy tuber in appearance, resembling a misshapen turnip. The brown outer skin should be washed and peeled before cooking.

When picking out celery root to eat, look for firm tubers without fleshy spots or discolorations. Smaller roots will taste better, while larger roots are woodier and more suitable for roasting or long stewing. In flavor, the root resembles a concentrated version of celery, with a spicy hint of parsley. Celery root can be used in any recipe that calls for celery,

and a variety of others as well. It can be stored in the refrigerator in a brown paper bag with stems trimmed for approximately one week before use. Celery root is excellent when roasted, added to gratins, or added to soups and stews. It can also be eaten raw in thin slices on salads and appetizers, and it adds a zesty crunch. Celery root needs to be peeled — and be aggressive when you do it. Remove all of the slightly hairy brown exterior to reveal the creamy, solid flesh inside. Celery root is most classically and commonly used shredded and cooked in a simple celery root salads. It is also delicious added to soups and stews. Like all root vegetables,

celery root is quite flexible, taking well to roasting, braising or simmering CELERY ROOT SALAD 1 celery root (celariac) fresh lemon juice extra virgin olive oil 1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley toasted sesame seeds sea salt and black pepper Peel and cut the celery root into matchsticks. Shake the olive oil and lemon juice with the other ingredients in a small jar and combine with the cut-up vegetable. Serve over raw baby spinach leaves.


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

925-672-9955 Boyce Nichols - Owner

Lic. 542812 Fully Insured

Clayton Resident

Pioneer Photo Album Can you see me now? Friends Laura Kelly and Elise Agnew found this very camouflaged California Horned Lizard near the top of Eagle Peak on Mt. Diablo on May 15. At first, Laura thought it was a frog, by the shape of its body and by the way it moved. But once she got a glimpse of its “spiky” head, she knew it wasn’t. “It looked to me like a medieval dragon lizard,” Laura said. Upon research at home, she found it to be a California Horned Lizard, also named “Horny Toad” by its spiky head (and not by the way he looks at his mate). There are four species that can actually squirt blood out of their eye up to five feet as a way to fend off predators. The Pioneer is proud to spotlight our readers’ photos. Email your photo in a high-resolution format to with a description of the photo, where and when it was taken and a little about why you like it. Include your name and phone number. Then look for it in the next Pioneer.

Full-Service Design Firm • Design consultations • Hunter Douglas Priority Dealer 6160 Center St, Clayton CA • Major furniture brands at a discount • Licensed general contractor • Remodels, Kitchens & Baths • Clayton resident for 15 years



4701 Keller Ridge Dr. Clayton

3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, 1,595 sq. ft. Listing agent: Matt Mazzei


1340 Louisiana Dr. Concord


4 bedroom, 2 bathroom approx. 1,437 sq.ft Listing agent: Doug Van Riper 

2123 Arabian Dr. Fairfield

Diane and Bill Hayes Sales Agent DRE#01222762

925-890-4701 Dianemariehayes25@


4 bedroom, 3 bathroom approx. 2,626 sq.ft Listing agent: Matt Mazzei

174 Mountain Cyn. Ln. Alamo


4 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom Approx. 2,892 sq.ft. Listing agent: Rula Masannat

Paula Johnstone Broker Associate DRE# 00797857



113 Westminster Way, Vallejo

4 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom, 2,251 sq.ft.


Listing agent: Matt Mazzei


2004 Alvarado Dr. Antioch


4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, Approx. 1,794 sq.ft. Listing agent: Matt Mazzei 

3944 Bayo St. Oakland

2 bedroom, 1 bathroom,


Listing agent: Matt Mazzei Clayton residents since 1959

925-693-0757 (Main)

Matt Mazzei, Jr. Broker/Owner DRE# 01881269


6160 Center St. Suite #C, Clayton

925-693-0752 (Fax)

Page 20

Clayton Pioneer •

June 13, 2014

Make sure furnishings are sized, scaled to fit your home

ing at the dimensions. And to prove this theory, you’ve just purchased a sectional sofa for your family room that fits just right, floating in the middle of your family room, facing the flat screen TV perfectly hung above the fireplace. So here’s your chance to push your inner designer to think outside of the box and try something new. Consider an oversized floor lamp that arcs over the sectional or maybe a pair of two pharmacy lamps, sitting low at reading height, on either end of the sofa. Maybe a petite 24-by36-inch wooden coffee table fits just fine, or a big, bold 48-by-48inch square or round upholstered ottoman is a better fit. And what about your walls? Do you hang one or two extra large pieces, or create groupings of smaller scaled art or family photos? Area rugs come in several different sizes, but how do you know which size will work for you? If you’re looking to somewhat ground your furniture and pull everything together, try going for an area rug that is eight-by-10-feet or larger. If you’re looking for more of a decorative accent, just a splash of color, a smaller rug like a five-byseven-feet might be a better fit. Work within the footprint of your living space, but push the


DESIGN & DÉCOR Scale. It’s one of the most important concepts to understand when taking on a design project. Knowing how to implement a range of differently scaled building products, furnishings, lighting and accessories can mean the difference between a living space that has depth and a feeling of being collected over time, rather than a living space that falls flat due to a lack of varying sizes and shapes. Maybe this “scale” business seems pretty obvious, but take a quick inventory of your furnishings and see how things stack up. Are your furnishings perfectly balanced? Or are you in need of a little scale adjustment? SMALL, MEDIUM OR LARGE? It’s pretty basic know-how to determine if a piece of furniture will fit in a living space by look-

limits on sizing so you don’t end up with a setting that’s fit for a giant, or sized more appropriately for children. WHY IS THIS NOT FITTING HERE? Flipping through the physical or online pages of retail catalogues can sometimes be a little misleading. The photos show beautiful, desirable vignettes. But sometimes, in order to show off as many products as possible, these same retailers need to work a little magic. Often, lighting fixtures are hung lower than typically hung above dining tables, furniture is placed close together, oversized bedding looks full and voluminous laid across a small mattress. I’m not suggesting that our favorite retailers are trying to trick us, but I am strongly recommending that you know the exact dimensions of your living space from width to length to height when purchasing any type of furniture or accessory. Once you have the basic dimensions of your living space, then you can start to increase or decrease sizing and scale as necessary to achieve your desired look. Jennifer Leischer is the owner of J. Designs Interior Design based in Clayton. Contact her with questions, comments and suggestions at

Senior Tuesday Seniors 55+ take 10% off every Tues. Excludes livestock feed & sale items.

Our passion is pets.

Nyjer Thistle Special 20# bag Reg. Price $

3 Off Buy 3 . . . . . $5 Off Buy 5+ . . $10 Off Buy 1 . . . . . $

While supplies last


Rodie’s Gourmet Wild Bird Mix

Wild Bird Value Mix

20# bag (ea)

Reg. Price $


$ (ea)

40# bag




Reg. Price $





We have a wide variety of exotic birds from Finches to Macaws New Babieblse availa

• Congo African Grey • White-Bellied Caique

• Black-Headed Caique • English Budgies

Bird Grooming First Saturday of each month Bird boarding Includes daily handling & TLC Huge selection of bird cages, toys and food

VIP Shot Clinic

Sat. 10 - 11:30am

June 14 & July 12

If we do not have your product, we can special order. Open 7 days  Mon - Fri 10 to 6  Sat 9 to 6  Sun 10 to 4 (925) 672-4600


8863 Marsh Creek Rd. in Clayton

JUN 13 Clayton Pioneer 2014  
JUN 13 Clayton Pioneer 2014