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March 15, 2019

Hiring issues imperil AvalonBay project


Neto honors six community volunteers as Unsung Heroes

LISA FULMER Special to the Pioneer


The Concord City Council’s commitment to union hires and prevailing wages continues to complicate AvalonBay’s plans for a multifamily, mixed-use project on the so-called “white picket fence property.” The March 5 council meeting was one of many discussions about 310 housing units and 6,500 sq. ft. of commercial/retail space on three cityowned acres at 1765 Galindo St. After trying to hammer out an agreement on labor, the council continued the plan to the April 9 meeting. That could be do or die time for the project, because the city’s Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with the developer expires May 1. “We will either resolve this or we won’t. We don’t want to Unsung Hero winners, from left, Isabel Lara, Dave Pitman, Carlos Marroquin, Father Richard Mangini, Rosalia Ramos de keep dragging this out,” said Palomera and Ronald Berliner. The six were recognized by the organization for their often behind-the-scenes volunteer David Bowlby of AvalonBay. efforts to improve their communities.

OTHER PROJECTS DELAYED The development might not be the only downtown Concord housing project plagued by rising costs. Councilwoman Laura Hoffmeister referred to projects “that don’t pencil out” and may not move forward. “So that’s no jobs in the construction industry,” she noted. The plan for 230 units at Concord Village includes a Project Labor Agreement (PLA), but developer Brent Nicholson said it’s not the reason for the delay. He told the Pioneer he is out to market for a sale or joint venture. He hopes to have an agreement soon and be under construction within a year at Salvio Street and Willow Pass Road. Nicholson called the PLA “a unique situation” for him but says it’s not restricting the development. “The labor agreement just adds to the overall project cost. It’s just one of those things you have to factor in and sort your way through,” he told the Pioneer. According to John Montagh, the city’s Economic Development manager, that

See AvalonBay, page 7

What’s Inside

Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B8 Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B7

Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

Directory of Advertisers . . . .7 From the Desk of . . . . . . . . .4 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B1 Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10

Next issue, April 19 Deadline, April 8

Communities thrive and families prosper when passionate, dedicated people pitch in behind the scenes – at work, at home and in their neighborhoods. Neto Community Network, a Concord nonprofit, launched the Unsung Heroes Awards to celebrate these people for their efforts. The awards, presented on Feb. 21, acknowledge people who others might not realize have made meaningful commitments to improving our community. “Neto is a Spanish expression meaning ‘exactly equal’ or ‘exactly right,’ ” said Molly Clark, one of Neto’s cofounders. “Neto is about people from all walks of life coming together around a common belief in the Golden Rule – treat others as you wish to be treated – which is the foundation for social and economic equity.”

See Neto awards, page 7

Young Clayton actor keeps rolling up film credits KAHNI HORTON Special to the Pioneer

Six-year-old Mateo Garcia of Clayton was at the center of the excitement during a private showing of “40: The Temptation of Christ” in Concord on March 5. Director/producer Douglas James Vail joined family, friends, neighbors and cast at the Brenden Theatre screening. Mateo and other cast members happily greeted fans and signed autographs for classmates and friends who came

out enthusiastically to support the film’s release. Mateo lives in Dana Hills with parents Christopher and Sarah Garcia and brother Kylie. His career began in 2016, when he and his extended family shared a Christmas vacation in Southern California. Little did they know that they would receive a suggestion from a relative that would lead to Mateo’s first appearance in a Giant’s commercial. Mateo Ray, as he is now known in movie circles, was only 4 when he got his first job. Very

quickly after that, Mateo earned print campaigns and a stand-up comedy gig. He has also had roles in “Lumen,” “And They Lived” and “Designer Genes” for HBO. Recent notable credits include “One Last Cut,” “A Life Passed,” “The Divisible” (currently in production) and “R.I.P.” CUE THE CHARM In addition to building an impressive resume before age 6, Mateo is on a personal

See Matteo Ray, page 3

Contributed photo

In the film, “40: The Temptation of Christ,” Clayton 6-yearold Mateo Ray Garcia portrays Jesus as a child.

Changes at Todos Santos, with closings, new options PEGGY SPEAR The Pioneer

A longtime chapter in downtown Concord closes in May, when Half-Price Books, the popular corner anchor of Todos Santos Plaza, shuts its doors. The bookstore, which sells used and new books, records, cards and more, is looking for another location in Concord, says store manager Jake Hansen, but no new lease has been inked. It’s the latest change in the western block of the plaza since a private Northern California family sold the 40,000 sq. ft. property to a joint venture involving Long Market Property Partners and Paragon Commercial Group. But as some businesses close, new

Half-Price Books is looking for a new location in Concord because its lease was not renewed at Todos Santos Plaza.

ones are on the horizon. Concord Mayor Carlyn Obringer, who represents the downtown district, says the city is actively working with Half-

Price Books to find a new location. “I personally spend my time and dollars there, because it’s one of the few retailers in

our downtown,” Obringer says. “I asked staff to start working with Half-Price Books back in October to help them identify other potential spaces to which to relocate in Concord, when I first heard a rumor that their rent might be increased by the new property owner. Half-Price Books and their property owner could not come to an agreement on their next lease, so Half-Price Books is looking to move elsewhere in Concord.” Although Hansen did not go into detail regarding rent, he said the new owners decided not to renew the lease. However, one longtime tenant, Peter Bumphenboon of Bangkok Kitchen on Galindo Street, said he had to shutter his doors after 25 years due to increased rent. He too is look-

ing for another location in the city. “Rent went from around $5,000 a month to more than $11,000,” said the owner of the popular Thai restaurant. “We just couldn’t do it. In Concord, that price is too high. That’s why I’m leaving.” Representatives from Long Market and Paragon did not respond to repeated requests for comment. NEW RESTAURANTS ON THE WAY

John Montagh, Concord’s director of Economic Development, stresses that the closings on the block will not change the vibrancy of the city. “We will still have Peet’s, the Spaghetti Factory, Capriotti’s, Cream and others,” he said.

See Todos Santos, pg 7

Postal Customer ECRWSS



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enjoying area trails, recycling, gardening and making do-it-yourself projects. Bring family, friends, neighbors and club members. Clayton resident and member of the Creekside Artists Guild Renaye Johnson returns as the designer of this year’s T-shirt featuring a favorite local scene. The event is sponsored Save the Date for Clay- by The Pioneer and the city ton Cleans Up 2019 on of Clayton with generous April 20 from 9 a.m. – 12 donations from Republic p.m. at the Clayton City Services, CBCA, Travis Hall Courtyard. Rain or Credit Union and Innovative shine, grab a volunteer shirt Impressions. Clayton City to wear and garbage bag to Hall is at 6000 Heritage fill around town, then Trail, Clayton. return to City Hall for a barbecue celebration. Download registration form The Clean Up honors from the city of Clayton website Clayton’s beauty and Earth and bring filled out to event: Day. Local clubs and organi- ci.clayton.ca.us. For more informazations will share earthtion, call The Pioneer at (925) friendly ideas at the event for 672-0500.

March 15, 2019

Club brings joy of reading to Silverwood

Members of the Clayton Valley Woman’s Club read and donated books at Silverwood Elementary School in

Concord as part of Read Across America on March 4. They shared their love of reading with students in

grades 1-3 during the annual celebration, which both members and students enjoy. The Clayton Valley Woman’s Club is a nonprofit organization of communityminded women who volunteer and raise funds for community organizations and scholarships at Diablo Valley College. Guests are invited

to club meetings the second Tuesday of each month, except July and August, at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 5555 Clayton Road, Clayton.

For more information, call Linda at 415-652-3503 or Sheila at 925-672-7947 or visit claytonvalleywomansclub.org.

Scouts honor St. Bonaventure Parish

The Clayton Valley Woman’s Club brought Dr. Seuss books to Silverwood Elementary School for Read Across America.

Winning chili entry cries ‘fowl’

Clayton Club co-owner Steve Barton (left) and Clayton mayor Tuija Catalano presented the $300 first prize and blue ribbon to Joe Orcutt.

It was all about the meats at the Clayton Club Saloon March 3 when four VIP judges for the 19th Annual Chili Cookoff took on 17 pots of the tasty stuff, finally narrowing it down to the four best. The competing recipes included every imaginable meat from venison to turkey, and beef tri tip to lamb. Clayton Club Steve Barton and Clayton mayor Tuija Catalano presented the $300 first prize and blue ribbon to Joe Orcutt, who was receiving the honors for wife Naomi’s savory pot made with turkey and chicken sausage. Dominic

Leonardini walked away with $200 and second place with a combo of pork, lamb and beef. Mike Ghelfi’s brisket recipe took the $100 third place prize. Honorable mentions went to George Robles and Travis Denton. Other judges were city councilman Jim Diaz, Pioneer publisher Bob Steiner and Clayton police officer Daryl Englund. Located on historic Main Street in Clayton, the Clayton Club was established in 1873 and is the second oldest continuously operating saloon in California.

Arnel Jaime

St. Bonaventure Parish in Concord was named outstanding Community Partner by the Mount Diablo Silverado Council of the Boy Scouts of America at the 2019 Annual Recognition Dinner on Feb. 9. St. Bonaventure has been a supportive partner of scouting for the past 50 years. Those in attendance at the dinner from scouting programs at St. Bonaventure were (pictured from left) Tom Santos, associate advisor Crew 444; Greg Gamache, chartered organization representative for all of St. Bonaventure’s scouting programs; Emily Kinsey, Crew 444 scout and recipient of a 2018 Venturing Leadership Award; Craig Mizutani, scoutmaster Troop 444 for boys and Courtney Mizutani, assistant scoutmaster Troop 444 for girls.

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Concord/Clayton Market Update CONCORD


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March15, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Page 3

Clayton Valley Garden Club Matteo Ray delivers Valentine joy from page 1

Garden club members David and Sharon Osten, left, David Caldwell, Linda Karp, Marcia Hart, Rico Marcelli, Gloria Blecha and Barry Hart at East Bay Hospice prepare to deliver Valentine’s Day plants.

Blossoms for Barbara is a favorite community event organized by the Clayton Valley Garden Club. For Valentine’s Day, the club presents decoratively wrapped flowering plants to those in hospice care, patients in assisted living and convalescent locations, battered women’s shelters and recipients of Meals on Wheels. Linda Karp named for the event for her deceased mother, Barbara. “It’s to send a little love and compassion to those who are going through such a difficult time during

Valentine’s,” Karp said. Thanks to continued support from the Clayton Business and Community Association and local businesses, Blossoms for Barbara has grown from 250 recipients in 2012 to more than 1,300. The program touches the hearts of patients, family members, caregivers, nurses, counselors and the volunteers. The event means so much to so many, as evidenced by the thank you cards and letters that the club receives after deliveries each year, Karp noted.

Send news items for the Community section to editor@pioneerpublishers.com. Include a high resolution photo in jpg or pdf format. Go to www.pioneerpublishers.com for a deadline schedule.

Walnut Creek


Rossmoor — Stunning open-concept Sonoma model with great views in Walnut Creek’s premier retirement community. Total remodel from the studs up with 2 bd., 2 full baths: brand new HVAC & ducts, electrical, and plumbing. Cabinets & storage galore, inside laundry & living area with gas fireplace; incorporates 1/2 enclosed veranda for office space. Inge Yarborough (925) 766-6896 www.IngeYarborough.withwre.com Cal BRE# 01309306

Pleasant Hill

mission to make friends. He exudes joy, with his signature mop of golden curly hair accentuated by hazel eyes and a sun-kissed complexion. His energy was infectious as he explored my house and yard before winding down a bit and snuggling into the cushions on the couch. Most of his answers were just a word or two. His favorite things about portraying the young Jesus in the movie were being able to pet the little lamb and being hugged by his movie father, Joseph. Like most 6-year-olds, he is very interested in being delightfully playful and snacking on granola bars. He can also raise and lower one eyebrow at a time. When he found out that all of my five kids had already

Clayton residents can learn how to keep families and neighborhoods safe when a disaster or emergency strikes at a special meeting on March 18 at Hoyer Hall. The presentations begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Clayton Community Library, 6125 Clayton Road., followed by time for audience questions. Residents can help form a community-wide emergency network to ensure everyone is ready to respond in the event of a fire, earthquake or other emergency. There will also be information on how to reinvigorate the Clayton Neighbor-



Kirkwood — Contractor/Handyman Special. Remodel to suit your own design. Situated on a court with 3 spacious beds that have crown molding, 2 full bathrooms, 2-car garage. Light and bright eat-in kitchen that leads to side yard with pergola perfect for entertaining, family room, formal dining room, living room with vaulted ceiling and fireplace. Carol vanVaerenbergh, (925) 683-2568 CVanVaeren@aol.com

Valhalla Hills — Contractors special with Mt Diablo Views. Great 4 bedroom 2 bath home loaded with potential. Approx. 1649 square foot with central heat & air, inside laundry and 2 bedrooms on main level. Desirable location near schools, shopping and transportation with easy freeway access.

week, karate, piano and online acting lessons. Movie stars and kids, not to mention their parents, have very active lives. He said goodbye with a “low five” of our toes touching, a soft head bump and a big hug. He left fingerprints on my heart as well as the coffee

hood Watch Program. Presenters include: Clayton Police Chief Elise Warren and Police Sgt. Tim Marchut, Clayton Neighborhood Watch and on how public safety agencies work together. CalFire Assistant Chief Mike Marcucci, what happens in an emergency, the greatest areas of fire risk in the community, and the pluses and minuses of a planned evacuation drill. Fire prevention technician Kathy Woofter, wildland fire safety and defensible space as it pertains to Clayton.

Assistant Chief Terrance Carey of Contra Costa County Fire Protection District’s EMS Division, CCCFPD operations in Clayton. Emergency planning coordinator Meredith Gerhardt of the county Office of the Sheriff, general emergency preparedness. Senior emergency planning coordinator Livia Pop of the Sheriff ’s Office, the Emergency Alert System, including how the alert system works, the types of alerts, how you should respond to them and instructions on how to register for them.


table, neither of which will disappear anytime soon.

For information on setting up a screening of “40: The Temptation of Christ,” visit info@Faithworkspictures.org. For more on Mateo, visit IMDb.me/MateoRayGarcia.

Fire season meeting for MTR/MCR May 4

Residents in the high-risk wildfire areas of Morgan Territory and Marsh Creek can attend a critical fire season preparation meeting 10 a.m.-1 p.m. May 4 at Sunshine Station on Marsh Creek Rd. Representatives from CalFire, East Contra Costa Fire Protection District, county Office of Emergency Services, Fire Safe Council and PG&E will be on hand. Topics will include code compliance, evacuation plans, communication channels including social media, mail and phone trees. There will be time for questions. Watch for a mailing in mid-April.


Lincoln Village — Tastefully remodeled 3 bedroom, 2 bath home in sought after community. Approx. 1372 square foot traditional home updated though out with designer touches. Single story, ranch style home with 2 car garage. Priced to sell. This one won’t last. Kelly McDougall (925) 787-0448 KMcDougall@windermere.com Cal BRE#01156462

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left home, he nodded soberly, with eyes wise beyond his years, and said, “Less distractions.” He would like to star as Luke Skywalker someday. Or Superman. But for now, he had to leave for Little League baseball practice and, later that

Emergency/Disaster Prep meeting for Clayton residents

ed uc d Re e c Pri


Mateo Ray Garcia, front row center, joined the crowd at the screening of “40: The Temptation of Christ” at Concord Brenden Theater.


Corner Lot — Beautiful 3 bedroom 2.5 bath home built in 2004. Plantation shutters, sparkling wood flooring and recessed lighting. Upgraded kitchen with granite counter tops, family room with fireplace and inside laundry. Backyard perfect for entertaining with arbors, flagstone accents and lawn area.

Walnut Creek


Tice Valley — Beautifully updated townhome featuring 2 bedrooms and 2 and ½ bathrooms. Gorgeous European style kitchen with granite counters, living room and master suite with fireplaces and inside laundry. Nearly 1600 square feet with hardwood flooring and numerous other upgrades. 2 patios and an attached 2 car garage complete this property



Cardinet Glen — 4 bedroom, 2 bath home loaded with potential. Detached garage with workshop through breezeway on approx. .36 acre lot in desirable community. Single story rancher with updated bathrooms, inside laundry, living & family rooms and central heat/air. Detached office/shed with electricity. Priced to sell quickly.

Assisting More Buyers & Sellers than Anyone Else* Lynne offers free staging on ALL LISTINGS

*Statistics based on Clayton/Concord and Contra Costa County Closed sales by volume (1/2014-12/31/2014). Data by Maxebrdi

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March 15, 2019

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Costa 2040, an effort to update the county’s general plan, zoning code and environmental review. The public has the opportunity to provide input beginning this month. Through nearly 80 community meetings during the next two years, county staff will work to integrate the demands of our environment, the concerns of our community and the urgent need to solve our housing crisis into a modern general plan that will guide the county for the next 20 years. Our county’s Climate Action Plan is among the initiatives integrated within the Envision 2040 framework. Specifically, this will produce long-term sustainability goals and policies, with the Climate Action Plan providing strategic implementation programs to keep Contra Costa on track with California’s goals for greenhouse gas emissions reductions.




A general plan is a local government’s long-term blueprint for the community’s vision of growth. The elements within a general plan are wide-ranging and cover topics such as economic vitality, land use, growth management, transportation, parks and open space, safety and noise, public facilities and utilities and, last but not least in terms of importance, housing.

The city of Concord adopted its 2030 Urban Area General Plan in 2007. Concord’s 2030 General Plan can be viewed at cityofconcord.org/463/2030General-Plan. Each year, the planning agency of local governments prepares an annual progress report to provide an update on how we’re tracking to achieve our goals. The annual report also shines a light on whether we’re meeting our fair share of regional housing needs, as well as efforts to remove governmental constraints to the maintenance, improvement and development of housing. The Planning Commission will review Concord’s annual


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Karen Mitchoff is Contra Costa County District IV supervisor. Email questions or comments to karen.mitchoff@bos.cccounty.us

report covering calendar year 2018 at the 6:30 p.m. March 20 meeting in the city’s Council Chambers. The annual report provides a summary of the year’s progress. While governments are often viewed as moving at glacial pace, I’m often impressed with the volume and quality of work that our staff produces and what is accomplished throughout the year. I encourage you to attend the meeting or view the annual report when it’s posted to the city’s website.

Jason Laub is Chief Operating Officer at RAD Urban and is a City of Concord Planning Commissioner. Email questions or comments to jlaub.concordplanning@gmail.com


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The updated plans will also respond to community concerns around sustainability, environmental justice and affordable housing, while carrying forward enduring county values like balancing growth with conservation. As your county supervisor, I work to ensure that the diverse voices of our community are represented in the general plan. The county has launched an interactive portal for folks to stay up to date with the project and to provide a platform to share your ideas for the future. You can access this website at envisioncontracosta2040.org. I encourage you to voice your opinion and frequent the website for updates in the coming months.

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Page 5

Clayton stays the course on parolee housing ordinance

On March 5, the Clayton City Council held a hearing about whether the city’s parolee housing ordinance that was finalized in September 2018 should be revisited. Although the topic was discussed extensively over five months last year, including four public hearings, the following notes may help provide further clarity. The topic originates to the adoption of AB109 (Public Safety Realignment Act) by the California Legislature in 2011 to comply with a U.S. Supreme Court decision requiring California to reduce prison overcrowding. AB109 provides for certain community-based programs and services for non-violent, non-serious and non-sex offender inmates and parolees, including housing. Although AB109 does not impose direct requirements on cities, Clayton’s municipal code did not previously regulate parolee housing. Absent

parolee housing would have been principally permitted citywide – without any permit, notice or hearing requirements. Instead, the council chose to regulate parolee housing, limiting the areas, requiring a conditional use permit and hearing process and providing for approval criteria for the Planning Commission upon review of any application. The TUIJA CATALAnO action resulted in CLAYTON MAYOR council’s Clayton having the most restrictive parolee housing any regulation, such use would application process in the have been permitted as of county. right in any residential zone. While this focuses on In 2016, the Clayton counparolee housing, in the larger cil adopted a moratorium procontext it is important to note hibiting parolee housing. The that there are other types of moratorium was set to expire residential group housing in October 2018 and could options: sober living housing not be extended further, environments that could prompting the council to coninclude parolees, adult group sider and adopt permanent care or registered sex-offendlegislation prior to its expiraers. State law and state licenstion. ing regulations preempt all If the council had not from local control if they adopted Ordinance 843 last involve six or fewer occupants. year, as of October 2018,

At our March 5 meeting, county officials administering the county’s program for parolee reentry programs clearly indicated that the path for parolee housing in any city in the county would be through a state license for sober living environments or transitional housing, exempt from local control or local permit regulations. Only Councilman Jeff Wan advocated for adoption of a complete ban on parolee housing, a position noted to be legally indefensible. Out of 482 California cities, only one city has adopted a ban since the passage of AB109. The American Civil Liberties Union subsequently sued, causing that city to repeal its ban. That resulted in citywide as of right permissibility, along with almost half a million dollars in attorney fees. Neighboring cities have adopted regulations similar to ours, with some variation in

scope – e.g. whether to allow the use as of right in certain zoning districts vs. requiring a use permit, or by imposing buffer zones relative to sensitive uses similar to what Clayton did. There have been no parolee home applications or inquiries to our city since October, when the city’s permanent regulation became effective.

Mayor’s Office Hours: 910 a.m. Saturday, March 16, at Cup O Jo downtown and 4- 5 p.m. Friday, March 22, at City Hall, third floor. Stop by for any questions or comments.

Contact the emayor at tcatalano@ci.clayton.ca.us and follow at www.facebook.com/CouncilmemberTuijaCatalano for more updates.

Working to prevent gun violence in our schools

There are certain days when I already know exactly what I’ll be hearing from every friend and neighbor that I talk to – and those days fall directly after another horrific school shooting in our country. As a parent of two, it’s an issue that weighs heavily on my mind and one that desperately needs our attention. I joined Alhambra High School students at a recent assembly for Sandy Hook Promise Day, a national opportunity for students, school staff and the commuthat does not welcome aniadministers programs to serve an outreach worker to help nity to come together and mals. homeless individuals access the homeless, continues to That could change if Sen- commit to doing everything medical care, mental health locate mental health, subpossible to prevent a tragedy counseling and other services. ate Bill 258 passes. It would stance abuse treatment and from happening on their other homeless services within This is one of the Coordinat- empower shelters to take in CARLyn OBRInGER campus. individuals experiencing our city limits. The shelter and ed Outreach, Referral and That assemblies such as CONCORD MAYOR the concentration of support Engagement (CORE) teams homelessness who also have this are necessary is a heartpets by awarding grants to working under the county services makes Concord a breaking and unique feature of The growing number of qualified homeless shelters for Division of Health, Housing more attractive place for life in modern America, where individuals living on streets, in homeless individuals through- and Homeless Services. the provision of shelter, food almost half of school days parks and under freeway over- out Central Contra Costa and basic veterinary services The CORE team visits involve a school shooting. passes has become a hot topic County to locate. for pets. (See homeless camps and shelters These shootings are a moral in the Bay Area, elsewhere in to connect individuals to sub- http://leginfo.legislature.ca.go failing of our society, and we California and across the EAST COUNTY ISSUES stance abuse treatment, men- v/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?b must all take personal responcountry. Even though East County tal health counseling, case ill_id=201920200SB258.) sibility to do our part to end While attendees came to has seen the greatest uptick in managers, medical care, beneIn November 2018, the them – in honor of those we discuss a variety of issues at homeless individuals, they do fit counselors, temporary shel- Concord City Council have tragically lost and in a my February Coffee with the not have a full-service home- ter, housing and other servic- declared a “shelter emerpromise to our children, Mayor, the topic of collective less shelter. As a result, the es. Unfortunately, many of the gency” to be eligible for onewhom we hug a little tighter concern was the increasing Concord Shelter has been time Homeless Emergency individuals the CORE team after every awful headline. number of people living on serving not only the homeless encounters are not interested Aid Program (HEAP) fundOver the last 25 years, the street in Concord. For this of Central County, but also in accepting services or treat- ing. Based on feedback from research has shown that in 7 reason, I want to share infor- the increasing number of the CORE team and Concord ment due to mental illness out of 10 acts of gun viomation as to why residents are homeless individuals from Police Chief Guy Swanger and/or drug addiction. lence, another individual knew seeing more homeless individ- East County. regarding how these funds that an act of violence would uals and what my City Council I have spoken on several ADDRESSING THE could make the greatest be committed. If we are going PET PROBLEM colleagues and I are doing to occasions with City Council impact, the City Council to end violence in our schools, For those interested in address this situation. members from cities in East directed that they be used to receiving services, there are Concord is one of only County and with county build lockers so the homeless we must take all information two barriers that discourage two cities in all of Contra Supervisor Karen Mitchoff can store their belongs during seriously. We must recognize Costa County that has a fullabout encouraging East Coun- homeless individuals from their shelter stay, to build ken- and act on it. However, right now in Calservice homeless shelter serv- ty to move forward with plans coming off the street and into nels so dogs can be welcomed ifornia, if you post online a shelter. There is often a dis- into the shelter, to make 30 ing both men and women. to build a full-service homeyour plans to commit violence trust of others and fear of the additional shelter beds availBecause of Concord’s central less shelter on a site that has against a school, with a gun or theft of one’s personal location and the presence of been identified for this purable and to keep the shelter otherwise, law enforcement belongings at shelters. For this homeless shelter, the pose. open seven days a week. has a limited ability to pursue county Health Services’ DiviIn the meantime, Concord some, a dog is their most sion of Health, Housing and has been partnering with Wal- trusted companion, so they Send questions and comments to a criminal prosecution. It is Homeless Services, which nut Creek since 2017 to fund are unwilling to enter a shelter Carlyn.Obringer@cityofconcord.org backward and unquestionably

Concord continues to tackle homeless issues


14TH ASSEMBLY DISTRICT immoral that someone will be criminally charged for threatening violence against an individual but won’t be charged when they are threatening an entire campus. This year, I authored Assembly Bill 907 to update our laws to ensure that we are treating threats against schools with the gravity they demand. One of the things emphasized at Alhambra High was the Say Something program, which strives to educate, encourage and empower students to speak out when they see something that might be a sign of future violence. If students do not feel confident that speaking up will help prevent a tragedy, they will lose the motivation to do so. We cannot let their voices fall on deaf ears. While it is upsetting that Promise Days and Say Something programs have to exist, it gives me hope that we are turning the national conversation toward taking action. As we continue to look out and care for one another as a community, we can play our part in making our schools, our neighborhoods and our state a safer place to live. Reach Assemblyman Tim Grayson at (925) 521-1511. Visit or write the district office 2151 Salvio Street, Suite P, Concord, CA 94520

BART needs to fully understand fare evasion numbers

The media has talked a lot about fare evasion at BART stations recently, and rightfully so. If you are a paying BART rider or a taxpayer of any kind, you should care about this. It’s your money being lost. It’s unclear how much revenue BART is losing because of fare cheats. BART staff has estimated $10 million to $25 million per year in lost revenue, but one recent conservative estimate puts the number of fare evaders at 4 to 5 percent of overall ridership. At that rate, the loss is in the range of $22 million to $35 million a year. In other words, losses could easily exceed the struc-

open. Meanwhile, BART is developing plans to enclose elevators that sit outside of the paid areas, part of a significant station modernization program. BART staff and board members are still debating how to best crack down on fare evaders through enforceTWO AVENUES TO EXPLORE ment of existing laws and regDEBORA ALLEn BART’s proposed soluulations. In 2017, BART hired BART DIRECTOR tions to fare evasion generally a team of fare inspectors – fall under two categories: pre- non-sworn civilian personnel – to issue non-criminal tickets tural operating budget deficit vention and enforcement. One prevention option similar to parking tickets to of $327 million projected by would upgrade the gate sysviolators. But after one full BART over the next 10 tem and make it more difficult year, the program has proven years. to enter or exit without swipnot to be cost effective There are many ways riding a ticket. Efforts are under because only about 10 percent ers cheat on BART. Most way to replace the emergency of the 9,790 tickets issued commonly, they hop over, swing gates with electronic have been paid. And fare evaslide under or simply push ones controlled by station sion has not been deterred. open the barriers. In some agents, which riders could not In years past, BART offistations, the elevator sits outside of the fare gate system and serves as a free ride straight to the platform. Other evaders simply walk through unlocked emergency swing gates or piggyback on fare-paying passenger ahead of them.

cers issued criminal infraction tickets to evaders that were handled through the court system. If left unpaid, or if multiple tickets were issued, the violator could face misdemeanor charges. This process proved effective and also resulted in the apprehension of parole violators and other wanted criminals. TIME FOR ACCURATE FIGURES

Whether to continue the fare inspector program at a rate of almost $2 million a year will be the subject of a lively debate during upcoming budget discussions. But there’s a bigger issue. If we can’t properly estimate the amount of lost revenue from fare evasion, we can’t

really know how much to spend on solutions. Should we spend $250 million or $5 million a year on fixing the problem? That’s why I, along with BART board members John McPartland and Liz Ames, have recently called on staff to develop a concise methodology for more accurately estimating fare evasion and including the results in quarterly financial reports to the board. I firmly believe it’s time BART took fare evasion seriously. Let’s support the vast majority of riders who always pay the correct fare. Contact Debora Allen Debora@DeboraAllen.com.


Concord OKs extra funds for potholes Page 6

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Council also talks about Measure Q extension in 2020 BEV BRITTON The Pioneer

After hearing “gloom and doom” about the future of the city’s roads, the Concord City Council allocated an additional $400,000 for pothole repairs at the Feb. 26 meeting. The council also discussed putting a one-cent sales tax on the November 2020 ballot to help with increasing budget issues.

doom scenario” on the current condition of the city’s roads, along with maintenance costs for the next 20 years. Joe Ririe of Pavement Engineering Inc. said most of the city’s roads are rated 60 out of 100 on the Pavement Condition Index (PCI). He calls 60 “the steepest slope of the deterioration curve.” Given the city’s current spending and Measure Q expiring in 2025, Ririe said the roads could be at a PCI of 28 in 20 THE ROAD TO years. If Measure Q were DETERIORATION increased to one cent, he estiThe vote came after what mated a 47 PCI in 20 years. Birsan called “a gloom and “There is not enough revenues out there to really make a significant improvement in PCI,” Hoffmeister said. “And we’re not the only city facing this. Statewide, there is an issue in infrastructure deterioration.”

The $400,000 was a one-time general fund residual because the city collected more than expected in fiscal year 2017-’18 from Measure Q, Concord’s half-cent sales tax. Although Councilman Edi Birsan initially proposed using half the surplus for the City of Concord Retirement System, the council voted 5-0 to put all the funds into roads. “I know that in the large volume of emails, the text messages and the in-person comments that I receive, overwhelmingly one of the top three issues in the city is related to the roads,” said Mayor Carlyn Obringer. “And

people are looking for some immediate action on the part of the council.” “I think it’s very clear and evident that our roadways, especially the potholes and some of these small little pavement failures areas, are irking our community,” said Councilwoman Laura Hoffmeister. “To some extent, these are the things we talked about trying to improve or keep up with when Measure Q was extended by the voters.”

Digging into bookstores, sidewalks and more



The Pulse of Concord is in its 10th year as an independent survey of your local views. I encourage both Concord and non-Concord folks to participate in the surveys. I have compared the results of past polls and found that there was a significant difference in less than 5 percent of the responses. But when there were differences, they were amusing. The second 2019 survey covers a diverse collection of topics. I already had more than 200 responses as of March 5. It will be closed in a few weeks, so if you have not taken it please do so at pulseofconcord.com. I structure the typical survey format as a statement, followed by a question asking whether you agree, agree strongly, disagree, disagree strongly, have no clue, or just want to throw up, etc. Sometimes the followup question is looking for more specific information, such as whether you would prefer a high-rise development of 28 units, 20, units, 15 units, no units, etc. THE TOPICS AT HAND Some of the topics in the current survey include: 1. Whether taxpayer money should be used to supplement retail rents in the downtown area. 2. Whether the market will fix the availability of retail bookstores downtown.

3. Whether sidewalks in front of residential singlefamily homes, which are on the property owner’s deed but also within the public right of way, should be the responsibility of the city to repair, replace and maintain. And whether the city should accept responsibility for trips and falls. 4. Whether a 14-story apartment with 250 apartments, including 75 affordable units, is acceptable downtown. 5. Whether motorized scooters should be allowed on Concord sidewalks. Other questions touch on taxes, tree policies and the like.

now agreed or disagreed with the proposition; in other words, to determine if they had changed their minds. The survey again rated the level of agreement or disagreement on a numeric scale. The goal of the experiment was to determine how strongly people would hold to preconceived ideas or beliefs, even when the facts changed. The study found that, even when the participants were advised that the original facts they based their opinions on were lies, their opinions did not change. In fact, their belief in their original conclusions only became stronger when quantified on a numerical scale. The conclusion was that JUST THE FACTS, PLEASE an individual’s initial emotionI removed one question al commitment to a position after some early criticism that I is a very important factor in found to be valid. In this ques- their belief system and that tion, I was attempting to dig people tend to discard subseinto people’s emotional comquent information that runs mitment to something, but the counter to their initial beliefs. topic I picked was somewhat boneheaded in that it related SEEKING MEANINGFUL RESOLUTIONS to national rather than local One of the things I find politics. My apologies. most valuable in a democraWhat I was trying to get at, and maybe the readers can cy is the ability to engage freely with people in order help, is reflected in the folto exchange information and lowing situation: to be able to arrive at a About 10 years ago, a study in England included a common understanding hypothetical political propo- regarding an issue. And sition. One group of people most importantly, to be able received 10 facts in support to change one’s opinion of the proposition; the other based on new facts that were group got 10 facts in oppo- previously not known or not considered. sition to the proposition. So one of my objectives Those who were given facts with the Pulse is to help me in support of the proposition were asked to determine identify which issues may have the greatest potential for how strongly they agreed meaningful resolution through with the proposition. Simipublic debate. For example, larly, those given facts in an issue with 30 percent of opposition to the proposition were surveyed to deter- the respondents in support, mine how strongly they dis- 30 percent against and the agreed with the proposition. rest unsure. The survey rated the level of As always, send topics and agreement or disagreement questions for the Pulse to EdiBiron a numeric scale. The survey takers then told san@gmail.com. It is an independent survey of mine that has nothing each group that all of the 10 facts supporting their positions to do with local government, the NBA or copyrighted by Major were, in fact, lies. The two groups were surveyed again to League Baseball. determine how strongly they

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members stressed the need for more public education about the budget issues and the possible extension of Measure Q. “We failed by one vote last year to get Measure Q on (the ballot), and the criticism was that we had not prepared the people enough,” Birsan said. “So let us start now so that argument goes away.” The council directed staff to immediately begin informing the community about the budget situation. “There will be much public outreach prior to the council making a decision on placing a revenue measure on the ballot for November 2020,” Reid told the Pioneer after the meeting. Hoffmeister noted that Measure Q is just one option. “I’d like to hear if the public has any other ideas, given this scenario of needs and revenue streams.”

County Connection adds service On March 10, County Connection added more service to bus routes serving Concord. Route 14, which runs from Concord BART to Pleasant Hill BART, now extends to Walnut Creek BART and service frequency increased to every 30 minutes. County Connection also increased frequency on Route 19, which connects Concord BART to Martinez Amtrak, and on Route


While it’s wonderful that we have received plentiful precipitation this winter, like many in the Bay Area, I’m ready for warmer and dryer weather patterns. Spring also means the beginning of baseball season, and I love hearing the ping of aluminum bats emanating from the ball fields near our house. As batters swing and connect with a pitch, I wonder how many are aware of how changes in weather conditions will affect the ball’s flight. Travel distance and trajectory of any projectile can be mathematically predicted. Once a ball is sent in motion, it will continue to move unless acted upon by external forces like gravity or friction. The force of gravity is constant near the earth’s surface, but frictional forces vary. Friction is the result of the resistance of the molecules in the air, commonly referred to as air density. Near the surface of the earth, air density changes are mainly due to variations in meteorological

20, which runs from Concord BART to Diablo Valley College. Meanwhile, County Connection replaced service on Route 28 between North Concord BART and Mason Circle with new Route 27. Additional service to the area is through a realignment of Route 99X to serve Arnold Industrial Way. Rides are $2 each way with a Clipper card or $1 if transfer-

ring from BART, but cash fares increased to $2.50. In addition, the county discontinued the 10 a.m.-2 p.m. free fare program for seniors and disabled passengers. However, seniors and those with disabilities will continue to get a 50 percent discount off the regular fare.

conditions. Consider air temperature. Cool air has a slightly higher density than warm air. A batted ball struck hard enough to travel 350 feet during a 50 degree night game would travel approximately 365 feet during a 90 degree day game, about a 7 percent difference. This calculation assumes that there is no wind, and air pressure and relative humidity conditions are identical. Calculating the effects of increasing relative humidity is a bit trickier. A common assumption is that moist air is heavier than dry air, and therefore, more dense. Actually, the opposite is true. The molecular weights of nitrogen and oxygen, which make up 99 percent of our lower atmosphere, are 38 and 32 atomic units, respectively. Water vapor (H2O) only has a molecular weight of 18 atomic units. Increasing the humidity, which means adding water molecules to replace dry air molecules, actually results in less dense air. Compared to temperature changes, the effect of increased relative humidity is slight. At a temperature of 70 degrees, a ball hit 350 feet will travel about one foot farther if

the relative humidity is increased by 30 percent. If the air becomes extremely moist, the ball could absorb some of the moisture and gain weight, lessening the distance it will travel. Change in atmospheric pressure can have a significant effect on the distance a batted ball travels. Air pressure decreases with elevation, so a good example is to compare the distance a ball will travel at a stadium located near sea level to one located in the mountains. A ball at sea level in the Oakland Coliseum that travels 350 feet would land about 25 feet farther in the mile-high city of Denver, assuming identical wind, temperature and humidity conditions. All the weather-related effects of flight distances discussed here were calculated in still air. Winds are seldom calm, and even light winds can have a significant impact on the distance a ball travels. For example, a 5 mph wind blowing out to center field will carry a ball about 30 feet farther than a ball hit well enough to travel 350 feet in calm air. So, bring on the warm dry spring weather and take me out to a ball game. It’s time to watch kids of all ages try to hit a ball into the air. But how far it will travel depends on the batter’s skill – and the weather.

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director of finance, discussed ways the city could combat the problem in the upcoming budget process. She outlined various plans to phase in more money for roads, parks, facilities and other unfunded needs. The proposals included a city vote to increase Measure Q to one cent in November 2020, with the new rate going into effect in April 2021. “This is not a recommendation – this is just a modeling,” Reid said. “We’re not asking council to solve this problem tonight. This is prep work to look at budget stabilization measures.” The next steps include a March 23 City Council goalsetting workshop and a May 14 council budget workshop. June 11 is the target for adopting a two-year operating budget and reviewing/amending the secLOOKING AT SALES TAX HIKE ond year of the capital budget. Karan Reid, Concord’s Meanwhile, several council

March 15, 2019

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March15, 2019

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AvalonBay, from page 1

PLA was a private agreement between the developer and the unions. The difference with the AvalonBay proposal is that because the city owns the property, the City Council is pushing labor agreements as part of the land sale. “This is the City Council’s opportunity to do the right thing,” Mayor Carlyn Obringer said. “We don’t always have the opportunity to require union labor on projects.” The Argent, with another 181 units on Willow Pass Road, may also be stalled. The project changed hands, and the developer did not return calls for an update. Montagh said that plan did not include a PLA. NEW INCENTIVES FROM AVALON Using feedback from the Jan. 8 meeting, AvalonBay senior vice president Nathan Hong brought the council additions to the Disposition and Development Agreement for review on March 5. Noting that the $120 million project was “barely feasible as it is,” Hong said AvalonBay would add five affordable units to the market-rate project and donate $30,000 a year for 10 years to a community event benefit fund. As for labor, however, Hong’s proposal only included a commitment to local workforce outreach before going out for bids. At the March meeting, Hong said it would cost 32 percent more to pay prevailing wages for the entire project. Keyser Martson Associates, a third-party consultant, concurred with Hong’s findings. “That would result in a $30 million increase in construction costs, which is an insurmountable delta for us,” he said. Throughout the meeting, though, Hong stated the company’s commitment to the project. “We do want to be here in Concord. We want to contribute what we can to the community, long-term,” he said. Hong also brought the council information compar-

ing the Concord project to Avalon’s plan at the Pleasant Hill BART station. There, BART retains ownership of the land and Avalon receives ongoing subsidies. In Concord, Avalon needs to purchase the land for $4 million – with no city subsidies. “The main reason that Avalon Walnut Creek can take prevailing wage is that it is a subsidized development,” Hong said. LOOKING FOR A COMPROMISE

After it was clear the updated proposal was unacceptable to the council, Hong suggested a 15 percent commitment to union labor. Because the idea came together late in the meeting, Avalon executives couldn’t provide exact figures. Therefore, the council directed Hong to meet with four local unions – sheet metal 104, electrical 302, sprinkler fitters 483 and plumbers 159 – to see if an agreement could be reached. The groups had sent the city a letter suggesting union goals for the project. “I hope they can work it out. I think they’re a lot closer than they are apart,” Hoffmeister told the Pioneer. “Both sides are compromising. Maybe they can figure out the right formula.” Hoffmeister noted that while affordable housing is important, the city needs a variety of housing ranges and options. “We’re trying to also add a balance of having some different income brackets in our community in that area to help support the businesses and the mixed-use vibrancy we’re getting,” she said at the meeting. “So I think we need to look at this as another catalyst site that can help generate more interest.” Vice Mayor Tim McGallian also expressed hope the project could be a success. “If we can’t get some feet underneath this, we could delay getting something built here for now another three to five years,” he said. “You kind of go back to: Do you want a little bit of something or all of nothing?”

Letter to the Editor

building with an inviting archway, where people who walk to and from the downtown Concord BART station can I think that the Concord City Council made a big mis- find shops and services. I also would like to see a roof gartake in giving an investor/developer control of den, with restaurants, paths, the property next to the Con- gardens and playgrounds for Concord residents and visitors cord police headquarters, under the guise of building a to enjoy. I think that the sooner that professional soccer stadium. property comes back to the That available land is much city of Concord, and other better suited for a mixed-use, ideas for what could be built Transit-Oriented Developon that property are submitment (TOD) with commercial ted, the better. and retail components, plus housing – including some George Fulmore affordable housing. Concord I envision a 5-6 story Time to rethink plans for downtown property

Neto, from page 1

The network provides training, support and networking for fresh, impassioned leaders who want to work toward more engaged, cohesive, equitable, productive and fulfilling communities. In creating the awards, the group first surveyed supporters for nominees. Then the board of directors pored over a long list to determine the top candidates. Six Concord residents received plaques and Certificate of Congressional Recognitions from Rep. Mark DeSaulnier during a dinner in downtown Concord, with more than 70 in attendance.

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Concord native Father Richard Mangini was instrumental in opening the doors of local Catholic churches to the growing population of Latino residents and fostered the development of services in Spanish. “When serving people, success begins when a need is there and it begins to be fulfilled,” Mangini said. Although retired after 50 years of ministry, Mangini says he will continue to serve in other ways. He is valued as a mentor to many spiritual leaders and has spent countless hours working on local issues like rent control, affordable housing, feeding the hungry and supporting refugees. After raising a large family and running a successful restaurant in Mexico, Rosalia Ramos de Palomera moved with her family to Concord in 1996. She became an active volunteer with her church and her grandchildren’s school, and she educated herself on how policy and politics impacts the lives of immigrant families. “At age 83, my mother Rosalia studied hard and passed the test to become a U.S. citizen because she wanted to vote and make her voice count on behalf of immigrants,” said Luz Palomera Sierra, a Neto co-founder. As the Scout Reach district executive with the Mt. Diablo Silverado Council of Boy Scouts of America, Ronald Berliner works to enrich the lives of more than 14,000 boys and young men. He also serves people with developmental disabilities by providing skills training for work and community integration. “I want to teach more people, both kids and adults, to develop a true passion for adventure,” Berliner said. “Traveling, sailing, kayaking, hiking – it makes you feel alive and grateful.”

ADVOCATING FOR LATINO RESIDENTS Isabel Lara is a community liaison for the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. With her passion for educating and empowering parents, she developed the CLAVE program (Changing Lives Assuring Values & Education) to better serve families in the Latino community. “Isabel goes out of her way to make sure families fully understand how the school system works and how to best advocate for their children,” said Neto board member Brian Beckon. Dave Pitman’s community leadership began by getting involved with his Monument neighborhood association, which led to him working to get much-needed sidewalks installed along busy Detroit Avenue. He has overseen a variety of projects, from disaster drills to block parties to walkability audits. “Dave is a quiet guy, but he sees everything. When he does have something to say, people listen,” said Kathy Renfrow, a Neto co-founder. “He also taught me not to judge people,” she added. Whether his teams win or lose, youth soccer coach Carlos Marroquin leads his players with a big heart and encourages them to play with integrity. “I see myself in these kids. Neto will be accepting nominees I want to give them the oppor- this fall for 2020 honorees. For more tunity I wished someone had information on the group, visit offered to me,” Marroquin netocn.org.

Todos Santos, from page 1

“Plus, a new Chipotle is open across the street from Skipolini’s, at Salvio and Galindo.” He added that I Love Teriyaki is moving to the Bangkok Kitchen location from its spot across Galindo near the Brendan Theatres. In addition, the first Cinnaholic vegan bakery in Contra Costa County will be opening, as well as other new restaurants around the square: Burgerim, known for its sliders, FireWings and Ramen 101 – all the first in the county. The emphasis seems to be

Page 7

on what Montagh calls an industry trend for “quick food,” which he says the city hopes will better serve not only the lunchtime crowd but also the thousands of people who flock to the plaza during the summer for the Thursday Night Music and Market series. SUPPORT FROM RESIDENTS Still, the closing of HalfPrice Books and Bangkok Kitchen have not gone unnoticed by their fans. Hansen says a petition is circulating with more than 3,000 signatures

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

Jory’s Flowers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-0966 Funerals

Ouimet Funeral Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-4242

Payless Cremation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(800) 644-7700 Health and Wellness

Harvest House . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .676-2305 Home and garden

Diablo Lawnscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .381-3757

Interiors Panache . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-7920

Nichols Landscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9955

Skim ‘n’ Dip – Pool Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .348-5609

Waraner Bros. Tree Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .831-2323 Waraner Tree Experts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .250-0334 mailing Services

The UPS Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-6245 Real estate and mortgage Services

Bennett, Nancy – Keller Williams . . . . . . . . . . .606-8400 Clayton Fair Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .685-0324 French, Lynne – Windermere Real Estate . . . .672-8787 Germain, Julie – Rossmoor Realty . . . . . . . . . .849-2884 Klock, Leigh – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . . . . .212-5593 Lopez, Stephanie – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . .305-9099 Mazzei, Matt – Mazzei Realty . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0757 Smith, Molly – Village Associates . . . . . .(415) 309-1085 Stojanovich, Jennifer – Better Homes Realty . .567-6170 Vujnovich, George - Better Homes Realty . . . .672-4433 Recreation and Fitness

Diablo FC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.diablofc.org Senior Services

Clayton Valley Village . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .626-0411

Diamond Terrace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .524-5100 Oakmont Senior Living . . . . . . . . .237-9325 or 326-6482 Services, other

ComputersUSA! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9989

Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-9113 Net Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6029 Travel

Travel to Go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9840

opposing the closing, and Bumphenboon says he has been inundated with more than 300 emails from patrons supporting the restaurant. “We will tell them when we open again,” he says. Obringer said she personally identified an alternative space for Bangkok Kitchen, and Bumphenboon was supposed to take a look at it. Other residents have expressed frustration at what they call the “chaining” of downtown Concord, a sentiment Councilman Dominic Aliano echoed. “It is somewhat of a diffi-

cult situation because I know my colleagues and the community want Half-Price Books to stay, yet the city of Concord does not decide which business come and go,” Aliano said. “It’s is a business agreement between two businesses and not the city of Concord.” Aliano noted that HalfPrice Books is a national corporation with 120 stores throughout the country. “That being said, I am personally concerned with the downtown becoming a little too corporate and not enough local business friendly.”

Page 8

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Sponsored Content

March 15, 2019

Harness the immune system to fight colon cancer

While chemotherapy is still used to prevent recurrence of early stage colon cancer and treatment of advanced/metastatic colon cancer, immunotherapy is playing an increasing role in the treatment for certain group of patients. Immunotherapy targets medications that utilize a Jewel Johl person’s immune system to better recognize and destroy Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer di- cancer cells. It can treat some people with advanced agnosed in both men and colorectal cancer as well as women in the United States. The American Cancer Society certain other cancers that reestimates that almost 101,420 spond to manipulation of the immune system. new cases of colon cancer will be diagnosed in 2019.


Getting past the checkpoints

have tested positive for specific gene changes, such as a An important part of the im- high level of microsatellite instability (MSI-H) or changes in mune system is its ability to one of the mismatch repair keep itself from attacking the (MMR) genes. Doctors use body’s normal cells. To do this, it uses “checkpoint” pro- these drugs for patients whose cancer is still growing teins on immune cells, which after treatment with act like switches that turn on chemotherapy. They might or off to start an immune realso be used to treat people sponse. Certain cancers use these checkpoints to keep the whose cancer can’t be removed with surgery, has immune system from attackcome back after treatment or ing them. New immunotherhas spread to other parts of apy agents that target these the body (metastasized). checkpoints hold a lot of These drugs are effective promise as cancer treatments. mostly in those whose tumors Drugs called checkpoint intest positive for MSI-H. Rehibitors can help people searchers are also testing whose colorectal cancer cells checkpoint inhibitors in clinical trials in combination with chemotherapy for treatment of patients with stage III colon cancer that is MSI-H following surgery to prevent recurrence.

Long list of new food options in Concord

Keeping an eye on side effects

parts of the body, which can cause serious or even lifethreatening problems in the Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and Nivolumab (Opdivo) are lungs, intestines, liver, hormone-making glands, kidneys examples of checkpoint inor other organs. Therefore, hibitors that target PD-1, a we closely monitor these side protein on immune system effects during clinic visits via cells called T cells that norphysical exam and lab asmally help keep these cells sessment. from attacking other cells in John Muir Hospital is particthe body. By blocking PD-1, ipating in clinical trials to see these drugs boost the immune if these checkpoint inhibitors response against cancer cells. can be used in combination Doctors give these drugs as with chemotherapy in early an intravenous infusion every stage disease (stage III) fol2-3 weeks. lowing surgery to prevent reEven though checkpoint incurrence and in advanced hibitors can be effective and are an exciting treatment op- stage (stage IV) to see if these drugs can be used early in the tion for those suffering from course of the treatment, either colon and certain other canby themselves or in combinacers, serious side effects can tion with chemotherapy. occur. These drugs work by basically removing the brakes Dr. Jewel Johl is a board certifrom the body’s immune sys- fied medical oncologist with tem. Sometimes the immune Diablo Valley Oncology & system starts attacking other Hematology Medical Group.

Quick ways to reduce winter energy bills

see daylight around a door or window frame, then it needs sealing with caulking or CHAMBER OF weather-stripping. Also, insuCOMMERCE late attic entryways. LynnE FREnCH Good luck with these small REAL ANSWERS If you’re hungry, Concord adjustments. has become the place to go Q. l especially like when Q. I just moved into my for great new eating establishyou write about high-end new home, and it was never ments. homes for sale. What is new disclosed how high my In the past year, the Conwith winter vacation heating bills would be. I cord Chamber has welcomed homes? didn’t think to ask. What do many new restaurants/bars, A. I found a stunner if you you suggest I do? Concord Mayor Carlyn Obringer, Vice Mayor Tim McGallian including Puesto, Golden Corwant a ski home in Squaw A. Nobody should have to ral, Residual Sugar, Big Coun- and Councilman Edi Birsan join MidiCi owner Heidi Ely and Valley. This four-bedroom, the Concord Chamber for the grand opening of MidiCi Ital- be cold this winter because try Kitchen, Gen Korean five-bathroom estate at 325 they can’t afford to pay the BBQ, Momo N Curry, Coffee ian Kitchen. Squaw Valley Road spreads electric bill. But instead of Shop, Chipotle, Super Duper nearly 5,500 sq. ft. and more spending time and energy tryBurger, Wayback Burgers and February. It is an American, opened a few weeks ago in than 29 acres. Wayne and MidiCi Italian Kitchen. family-style chain serving the Willows Shopping Center. ing to get some recourse, Sandy Poulsen, founders of think about doing some Chipotle, which recently breakfast, lunch and dinner. It The MidiCi group, launched the nearby Squaw Valley Ski opened at the Shops at Todos features a large, all-you-canin Los Angeles in 2015, oper- repairs. You will save money Resort, built and owned the in the long run. Santos, is the 2,500th restaueat buffet and grill. The first ates a franchise model with chalet-style home. Here are some ways to rant in the chain and an exam- Golden Corral Family Steak each location individually The beautiful lodge has curb usage and reduce energy ple of Chipotle’s continued House opened in 1973 in owned and operated. Local everything your winter-loving bills: growth and a newly digitized Fayetteville, N.C. The compa- resident Heidi Ely owns the heart desires, including rustic Lower the thermostat to restaurant experience. The ny has since expanded to 500 Concord location, which wood and stone work and company recently shared plans locations across the United offers Neapolitan Pizza made 68 degrees. Learn more overhead beams, as well as an to open 140-155 new locaStates. the way the Italians invented it about thermostat settings and indoor swimming pool and energy savings at the U.S. tions this year. Golden Corral sponsors 300 years ago. “All of our spa. Private and sheltered, the “The opening of ChipoCamp Corral, a free, one-of- meats and cheese are import- Department of Energy webestate’s expansive grounds site, energy.gov. tle’s 2,500th restaurant is a a-kind summer camp for ed from Italy,” Ely said. leave plenty of room for Seal air leaks. This milestone and a testament to children of wounded, disMidiCi’s mission is to creexploring. This home is listed our great growth trajectory,” abled or fallen military serv- ate a place for people to meet, includes all holes from pipes said Tabassum Zalotrawala, ice members. It now prosit back and be social without and wires that enter/exit the Chipotle’s chief development vides 20 camps in 16 states the media, all while enjoying living space. Look at entrances, pull-downs and officer. and has served more than delicious appetizers, pizza, Golden Corral opened on 4,000 children. pasta and dessert. The wood- attic stair openings, light fixtures, pipes and wires. Diamond Boulevard in midMidiCi Italian Kitchen fired ovens, kitchen and bar Seal duct work. Make take center stage in the sure that all duct work is restaurant. sealed at the joints and interWith continued developsections with duct sealer or ment in Concord, we look silicone caulk. Use foil-backed forward to more new restauAlthough Coffee Lake tape or silicone caulking on rants coming to town. Our sounds tantalizing, especially ducts. current restaurants represent with a little cream, you can’t Change furnace filters more than 25 global cuisines, drink this lake of coffee. monthly. Also inspect heating creating a diverse food scene No Experience Necessary. We will train. Instead, it’s Intel’s code and cooling equipment annuin Concord. Retention/Performance Bonus available—$2,500 bonus for no name for a central processing ally, or as recommended by experience, $5,000 bonus with sufficient experience. Excellent unit (CPU) they recently introthe manufacturer. Have a proMarilyn Fowler is benefits including health, dental, vision, 401K. Company duced. This new CPU blows fessional check and clean furvehicle with gas card provided. president/CEO of the Concord the doors off previous ones, so Open Interviews Chamber of Commerce. For more naces once a year. Include phone number I thought you’d want to know Weather-strip doors, Monday — Friday information on chamber programs, when responding. more about the i9-9900K. window and attic entrycall 925-685-1181 or email 9 am to 3 pm. Intel’s release of its ninth ways. Inspect windows and Bring current DMV report to mfowler@concordchamber.com. 1920 Mark Ct, #190 generation CPU marks a new doors for air leaks. If you can interview. Call 916.215.9309 Concord and exciting phase of computer for more information. tech. The CPU boasts eight cores (multi-core), 16 threads and 3.6 GHz speed – a boost, on average, about 15 percent faster than the 8th generation of i7s. (There were no commercially available i9 8th generation Fd 2323 925-381-3757 CPUs.) According to Wikipedia, “A multi-core processor is a single computing component with two or more independent processing units called cores, which read and execute program instructions. The instructions are ordinary CPU instructions (such as add, move data and (800) 644-7700 branch), but the single processor can run multiple instrucDesign/Build Experts Specializing in tions on separate cores at the ü Landscape ü Pergolas ü Retaining Walls same time, increasing overall Download Our speed for programs amenable ü Hardscape ü Drainage ü Outdoor Kitchens Mobile App to parallel computing.” ü Irrigation ü Lighting ü Grading/Excavating Think of it as multiple owned and operated by a local family www.DiabloLawnScape.com CPUs in one package.


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for $15,000,000. If your budget is smaller, you might want to go to Boulder, Colo., for vacations. A gorgeous lakefront contemporary is an outdoor lover’s dream in winter and summer. Just a stone’s throw from some of the best skiing in the state, the property features bright, flexible spaces, clean lines and views of the water from nearly every room. Built in 2017, the threebedroom, four-bathroom home offers energy-efficient features like solar domestic hot water, solar hot water heat, southern exposure and a high-efficiency furnace. The home also has a sauna, wet bar, kitchen island, media room, steam shower and a deck right at the edge of the lake. It’s listed for $4,125,000. I hope my descriptions paint a picture for you. There isn’t room in the newspaper for photos of them.

Affordable Simple Dignified




In general terms, the threads are the pathways that a core can process simultaneously, or how many cores can parallel process a job. Many jobs can be broken into separate pathways, so the overall throughput of the computer multiplies. For example, opening an app on a single core may take 20 seconds, but split that job among two cores and it processes almost twice as fast. If your eyes haven’t glazed over yet, there’s more. First, one cannot simply replace the CPU in an existing computer because it takes a whole new motherboard (mounting board) to run the new CPU. So be prepared to shell out some serious money for a new motherboard, memory and, of course, the i-9 CPU.

See Tech Talk, page 9

Stay happy and live long March15, 2019


Pharrell Williams sings “Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth (cause I’m happy).” The mega-hit had everyone clapping and tapping their feet, but seniors may have been clapping the loudest. According to a survey by the Brookings Institution, those aged 63-79 scored the highest on the Richter scale of happiness. They were deemed happier than even those in their 20s and 30s. Dilip Jeste, a senior professor of psychiatry at UC San Diego, found in 2016 that older people report higher levels of overall satisfaction, happiness and well-being along with lower levels of anxiety, depression and stress. UNDERSTANDING HAPPINESS

There has been a dramatic upsurge in interest in happiness and the pursuit of it through books like Gretchen Rubin’s “The Happiness Project.” Her study of personal happiness and how to attain it spent two years on the New York Times’ bestseller list. Meanwhile, well-known psychologist Martin Seligman is spearheading a new interest in the psychology of happiness. Researchers say there are

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Page 9

decline as we age. In one study, the rate of cognitive decline was 70 percent less in people with frequent social contact than those with low social activity. Interactions with others on a daily basis help reduce loneliness in the elderly. Those with an active network of friends and confidents live longer than even those who have children and grandkids. The more anniversaries we celebrate, the better. Older adults with good marriages have fewer problems in their relationships and more positive feelings about them than younger people do. A satisfying marriage helps people maintain their happiness levels even when health problems get them down. Being grateful for what we have in our lives also can help create a positive attitude. Grateful people have been shown to be more positive, with lower instances of TIME TO GET SOCIAL depression and stress. Social interactions are How seniors see and expeanother thing that can help rience happiness affects how seniors keep smiling. Having happy they are. When we are social interactions and mainyoung and believe that we taining meaningful relationhave a long future ahead of ships puts people way up on us, we prefer extraordinary that happiness Richter scale. experiences. When we are Having ties that build trust, older and believe our time is connection and participation limited, we put more value on are even more important for ordinary experiences in our seniors, because both health daily lives – thereby achieving and social capital tend to daily happiness.

certain components that help make up a happy life in the senior years. Although a popular cultural norm in the United States considers the road to happiness paved with the right job, car, home or lots of money, author and psychologist Stephen Post disagrees. In a 2005 survey, he noted that while people in the United States and the United Kingdom are wealthier than previous generations, they are no happier as a result. In fact, he suggests that acts of kindness might be more beneficial in terms of positive effect. A sense of purpose also ranks highly for helping people feel glad. And people who feel happy and satisfied live longer. Having work that you love or volunteering scored big with contented seniors, who garnished more satisfaction from it than younger counterparts.

Tech Talk, from page 8

Perhaps it’s time to renew your computer system. If your existing computer is more than 3 years old, then it is time to upgrade. Today’s applications are much more resource (computer power) demanding and will run slowly on older CPUs. For example, Computer

about Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 system made especially for designers. So all you engineers out there, get to work and make Aided Design (CAD) systems, the world better. But that’s a Artificial Intelligence (AI) and story for another time. Virtual Reality (VR) headsets Give your local custom for games and design will strugcomputer builder a call if you gle on computers just 3 years want further details. old. However, they will fly on the i9s. William Claney is an independent If you are considering VR, tech writer. Email questions or comthen you will want to know ments to willclaney@gmail.com.

10th Annual

2019 Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce When Where

Friday, March 29 9 A.M.- 1 P.M. Crowne Plaza Hotel 45 John Glenn Dr., Concord

ATTENDANCE IS FREE The EXPO is wall-to-wall booths showcasing products, resources, services and answers on living your best life for seniors and their loved ones “We went last year when we were looking for a place for my parents. It was all there…all the resources we needed. We saved hours and hours of running around and telephone tag.”

Diane Covington, Concord resident

Activities Entertainment Education


10 years with us.

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For more information, every 10 min. contact the Concord Chamber (925) 685-1181, www.concordchamber.com

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Page 10

SCHOOLS The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

March 15, 2019

Measure C projects winding down as measure J gears up


Voters in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District have passed four bond measures since 1989 for facility improvements in the District. The third of those four programs, Measure C 2010, is winding down quickly while the MDUSD board is about to approve the newest Measure J, which was passed last November. Measure C has sold $350 million in bonds and earned almost $4 million in interest. That revenue funded the installation of solar at every MDUSD school and district site as well as physical

improvements around the District and technology enhancements at every school. The program has spent or committed $334.5 million with the majority of the remaining $20 million to be spent before the start of the 2019-20 school year. The final projects include restroom renovations, hardscape improvements, food service warehouse projects, field repairs, fence enhancements and exterior landscaping. Among the recently completed projects are field improvements at Mt. Diablo Elementary in Clayton. Measure C contributed $310,504 to the project with the school’s PFC adding $360,000 to complete the $670,504 project. A $40,000 Clayton Business and Community Association grant to the PFC was added to a myriad of fund-raising efforts to reach the total. Held in abeyance are Measure C funds due Clayton Valley Charter High School for lockerroom improvements and other projects. The charter school and MDUSD are

CVCHS senior wins Hispanic Youth Award, union scholarship


Carol Alata, a Clayton Valley Charter High School senior, received a 2019 Youth Award from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation. Out of more than 13,000 applicants, she was one of six high school seniors nationally recognized for excellence in the classroom and leadership in the community. The foundation honored Alata last month as the national recipient in health care and science at the 20th annual ceremony, held at the Telemundo Center in Miami. Established by the White

House in 1987, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation is a nonprofit that inspires and prepares Latino leaders in the classroom, community and workforce to meet the nation’s priorities. Alata credits her mother as one of her biggest inspirations in pursuing her dream to become a physician. Her mother was one of the only OBGYN surgeons in her home country of Peru when she decided to leave her career behind to seek more opportunities for her children in the United States. Additionally, Alata received a $60,000 scholarship from the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 39. This competitive scholarship required a rigorous application process and an interview process with a three-judge panel. With a full schedule of AP and Honors courses at CVCHS, Alata plans to attend Stanford, Princeton or Harvard, where she hopes to study neuroscience or chemistry and political science or economics, with a minor in Latino studies.

enhance school safety and classroom performance. The District board agenda for Mar. 25 is slated to include board discussion and action on certifying the bond measure results and set in motion the process to allocate the $150 million of general obligation bonds that will be sold. That evening the board will also establish a citizens oversight committee for the new bond projects. The appointment of committee members is scheduled to take place within 60 days of the board action.

Photo courtesy Carondelet School

Carondelet Dance came away with three first-place awards at JAMZ School and All-Star Dance and Cheer nationals in Las Vegas.

engaged in litigation over the amount of annual payments (in effect. rent) due the District. Charter officials have told the Pioneer they are actively working with MDUSD to resolve the matter. CVCHS has been setting

aside funds to cover the final amount it is determined they owe the District. The District has successfully gone to the electorate four times in the past three decades. Measure A was a $90 million Mello-Ross parcel tax

in 1989 while there were Measure C general obligation bonds approved in 2002 and 2010. The new Measure J will fund repairs and improvements to school facilities, which the District says will

CARONDELET DANCE TEAMS VEGAS WINNERS Carondelet Dance took three first-place finishes at the recent JAMZ School and AllStar Dance and Cheer Nationals in Las Vegas. The CHS varsity jazz and varsity pom both took first place while dance style (jazz) were overall grand champions.

STATE FUNDING FOR MDUSD STUDENTS The MDUSD board approved $2.1 million from the State to go to low-performing

See Schools, page 11

Participation in Walkout for Climate Change is crucial 15. My school, Clayton Valley Charter High School, did not permit particiation in the national school shooting walkout. Therefore, I am uncertain the position CVCHS leadership will take on this important issue. I submitted a request for support to the principal and await an answer as of this writing. My generation needs to be supported as we take the lead. Boomers, Gen X and even Millenials need to realize that the buck will stop with Gen Z. It is our future and that of our grandchildren in jeopardy with inaction.

drastic changes in weather patterns. The end of civilized life on Earth is a very real OLIVIA MOnTIJO possibility by the time Gen Z is the age of the eldest TEENSPEAK Boomers. Species after species of Generation Z – we’re the animal and plants are becomones you’ve been waiting for ing extinct at a breathtaking to save the world. rate. This crushing problem The post-millennial generfalls onto us. If we are not ation is most likely the last allowed to participate in a one that will be capable of peaceful walkout, it will doing something to alleviate demonstrate an undeniable the disastrous effects of clilack of care for the future by mate change. But before we those in charge today. can make meaningful change, I had hoped my email to we need our fellow citizens the principal would lead to an and elected officials to wake intergenerational partnership up. EEN TAKING THE LEAD T in support of a future for I am inspired by all of the My generation is on the NDERSTANDING U Generation Z. Several teachers teens who are stepping up to TODAY’S REALITY have responded, which gives create a livable future for our front lines for change. One My generation has suffered outstanding teenager, Greta me hope, yet leadership generation and generations to through too many emotionally Thunberg, gathered fellow remains mute. come. I plan to do my part by scarring school shootings to teens in the Swiss Alps for the All we want is what you involving myself in this movecount. I respectfully submit World Economic Forum. She who came before have already ment and shining the light on that America’s elders have no urged them to work toward had: a measure of security, this serious issue. I am also idea what it is like to contemmeaningful climate action in some predictability of climate encouraging people to participlate death as a very real posorder to “safeguard future livand the ability to enjoy our pate in the Global Walkout for sibility just from going to ing conditions for beautiful planet. Climate Change on March 15. school. Sea levels are rising, yet the humankind.” Olivia Montijo is junior at Death is also becoming a Thunberg also organized world’s population continues CVCHS. Send comments to edithe Global Walkout on March very real possibility due to to grow most rapidly in lowtor@pioneerpublishers.com lying coastal zones – places where food insecurity is greatest. The most populous places in today’s world are not those where light winters will boost crop or vegetation places but where rainfall is expected to become less reliable. This will likely lead to crop failure and starvation. The countries most vulnerable to global warming’s horrors are among the poorest and least able to pay for medical, social service and technological solutions that must be found to avert or at least mitigate the disasters to come.

March15, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Page 11

A hidden gem at Lake Tahoe preps for summer at Camp Concord JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

Generations of children and families have been going to South Lake Tahoe since 1967 to stay in the El Dorado National Forest at a 29-acre site operated by the city of Concord. Camp Concord has provided life-long memories for children who have taken the bus up to camp for a week-long stay while families have vacationed together at the camp enjoying amenities such as three meals a day, planned activities in the woods and trips to Lake Tahoe beaches, all the while staying in rustic cabins with comfortable beds, electricity and ceiling fans. And don’t forget campfires, crafts, tie-dye, games and s’mores. Parents at family camp get

Photo courtesy Camp Concord

nothing says camp like a campfire. Camp Concord has giant campfires for families and youth campers with songs, skits and, of course, s’mores in the beautiful El Dorado national Forest setting.

to enjoy nature with their children but can also entrust their children to well-trained camp counselors for supervised activities while adults get time at the

Schools, from page 10

nightly social hours to relax and mingle with other campers knowing they aren’t responsible for the usual chores associated with camping.

each student to participate in a rigorous year-long research project and develop a historical topic of their own interstudents in the istration packets are available est. Students enter their projDistrict. Through a somewhat at each elementary school. complicated formula, these stu- Kindergarten/TK intradistrict ect into the National History Day local competition with dents are being identified by transfer applications will be projects judged and students their performance relative to available online only through interviewed about their other students at their school. Monday. TK transfers for research process. two-way dual immersion and “This assignment was so KINDERGARTEN bilingual programs will be ONLINE REGISTRATION different than anything I’ve available online only during ENDS MONDAY ever done in school. Nationthat same time period. Incoming MDUSD kinderal History Day required me For more information, go garten students for the Class to do in-depth research and to the MDUSD Student of 2032 can register now for design a website to present Enrollment website or contact this fall.  Enrollment is also our project. I enjoyed being Student Services at (925) 682open for transitional kinderable to combine my interest 8000, ext. 4069. garten students for Class of in history and design into 2033 – the first year of a twoone project,” said Francesca CARONDELET JUNIORS year kindergarten program. ADVANCE TO STATE Arrigoni. HISTORY COMPETITION The 2019-2020 school year Arrigoni and fellow stuStudents in Phil Miller’s begins Aug. 15.  dents Ella Scarlett, Jasmine A.P. History class at CaronParents can take their Smalling and Carly Oshel delet High School participat- have all advanced to the state online enrollment summary ed in National History Day and required documents to competition in May. their resident school site. Reg- competition which requires

The Happiest Place on Dirt

The camp also offers rides to multiple beaches, hikes to Angora and Cascade falls, crawdad fishing, archery, volleyball, swimming, dances, skis. Camp has 19 family cabins that sleep five to eight people. Family camp is open from June 21-July 13 and July 29-Aug. 9. The Friends of Camp Concord, a non-profit founded in 1983 by local businessman and Camp Concord staff alumnus Dave Goldman, has reserved July 8-13 for youth camp. Friends of Camp Concord does fundraising each year to offer camp for underprivileged children and families. ABC 7’s Dan Ashley is hosting the 23rd annual Friends of Camp Concord Golf Tournament Sept. 30 at Crow Canyon Country Club. Not stopping with the

youth and family camp offerings, Camp Concord also has a Mother/Son Weekend on Aug. 9-11, two 50 and Better Camp weeks in August and a Labor Day Escape Weekend from Aug. 30-Sept. 2. Camp is located off Highway 89, less than five miles from South Lake Tahoe. Fami-

June 21–July 13 and July 29–Aug. 9

John & Sharon Ouimet • Don & Bea Ouimet Jim Esenwein, Managing Partner

4125 Clayton Road, Concord, CA 94521 925.682.4242 • fax 925.682.4281


Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center recently announced its 2019 competitions for local youth in connection with its Creating Peaceful Schools programs. Both are open to middle and high school students in Contra Costa County. The 21st annual Dennis Thomas Art & Writing Challenge has prizes ranging from $25 to $500. This year’s topic/prompt for the Art & Writing Challenge is: Cultivating A Peaceful World: Visions for the Future. Deadlines for Art & Writing submissions and Youth Activist Grant nominations is April 12.  Contest rules, forms and more information may be found at https://tinyurl.com/ 2019CAPS, contact the Center at 933-7850 or email margli@ourpeacecenter.org.

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March 15, 2019

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The Pioneer, Section B

Heartbreak at final hurdle for top area teams March 15, 2019



Ygnacio Valley High boys soccer along with the De La Salle and Carondelet basketball and soccer teams all enjoyed great success this winter season, including in the post season, but all five teams fell just short of their ultimate goal in CIF State competition. The same can’t be said for DLS wrestler Kyle Parco who became the second Spartan in two years to reach the top of the podium with a CIF State wrestling championship. The senior finished the year with 47 victories in 49 matches, winning his last 35 in a row leading to the championship. One of the first to congratulate him on Twitter was 2018 state champ Peyton Omania, now at Michigan State. “Wel-

come to the club young buck” Omania tweeted after Parco’s title match. Omania, 145 pounds, was the first DLS wrestler to win a state title. In reviewing Parco’s season, coach Mark Halvorson says, “Kyle did his job beating a lot of state ranked and state place winners throughout the season, putting himself in position to be ranked #1. But more importantly, he took care of what he could control and did not get distracted with who was beating who throughout the season when the rankings were changing weekly, which is how they seed the CIF state tournament. “Kyle stayed focused throughout the season on the process which I believe put him in position to win the toughest state championship in the United States.” Parco transferred to De La Salle for his junior year

Photo courtesy De La Salle Athletics

Senior Kyle Parco (right) defeated Ryan Franco from Clovis north in the CIF State Meet championship 132 pound match 1-0. Parco survived a perilous final four seconds in the second round to keep the match scoreless and then got an escape in the third round to complete his high school career and become the second Spartan to win State. He had a 47-2 record this year and 165-19 over four years that included three league and Section titles.

and competed in the toughest meets this season. He won his third straight EBAL and NCS championships At State, Parco dominated his first three opponents before wrestling Jose Hernandez in the semi-final. He wrestled a very tactical match, winning 6-2 and setting up a match against explosive Ryan Franco from Clovis North in the finals. His coach said, “In the finals Kyle again stuck to the plan against a very skilled wrestler, pulling out a hard fought 1-0 win in his final high school match by scoring an escape in the third round.” De La Salle earlier won its fifth straight NCS championship and 10th in the past 11 years. Parco, Dwayne Guerrero, Ben Roe, Mario Franco and Ankhaa Enkhmandakh won Section titles for DLS. Teammates Bobby Cuevas, Riley Hilt, Logan Sumulong and Lance Hackett finished in the top three to also qualify for State. Northgate’s Greg Mettler and Cole Sanchez and Clayton Valley Charter’s Jacob Sartorio also made it out of NCS. Sartorio got on the podium at State in eighth place. SOCCER Ygnacio’s boys soccer team got all the way to the Northern California Division IV championship game but their long bus ride to top seed Chico turned sour when they fell 2-0 to the host Panthers. The Warriors of coach Cesar Chavez were seeded second and defeated Corning 52 and then edged Pleasant Valley of Chico 2-1 in a pair of home

Photo courtesy Carondelet Athletics

Since 2003 Carondelet High basketball has only failed to win the north Coast championship three times. For the seniors on this year’s Cougars team they knew nothing but finishing up the Section playoffs in first place. This year’s team included, front row from left, Sydnee David, Annie Bonderer, Jayme Blackard, Emily Howie, Kimani Holloway, Isabella Zumbo, Kristel neypes; middle row, Brooke Phillips, Paloma Barajas, Ali Bamberger, Tatyana Modawar, natalie nicolosi, Erica Miller, Alex Brown, Megan Dickert, Kiana Wannomae; back row, Ryan Rodrigues, Anthony Bonanno, head coach Michael Morris and Brandon Grays.

games leading up to the championship match. Losing in the NorCal finals came after YVHS lost to defending Division III champion Bishop O’Dowd 2-1 in overtime of the North Coast Section title game. The teams were tied 1-1 at halftime and battled through a scoreless second half before the Dragons claimed the D-III crown in OT. Ygnacio was looking to repeat its NCS championship in 2016 and came up just short after posting three straight playoff shutouts before the finale. De La Salle looked like it was headed for a repeat Division I

boys championship before the Spartans gave up three late goals in the title game to Berkeley. For the second time in three years the Yellowjackets beat the Spartans in the Section finale. Coach Derricke Brown summed up the season: “Credit to Berkeley on a terrific season. Some of the soccer they showed in the second half of the NCS final was brilliant. But we certainly won’t let the final score of that match tell the story of our season. Despite having a young squad, the team showed their quality from the start. 20 wins is not easy to earn and it certainly gives us a great starting point for

the 2019-20 campaign.” The Spartans then lost their Northern California Division I tournament opener in Fresno 10 to Central. Carondelet overcame three straight years of heartbreaking losses in the NCS championship game when they beat EBAL rival San Ramon Valley 2-0 for their first Section title since 2011. San Ramon had defeated their crosstown Danville rivals and top seeded Monte Vista in the semi-finals 1-0. Second seed Carondelet did not allow a goal in four games.

See Heartbreak, pg B3

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March 15, 2019

5 local schools’ players named winter league MVPs JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

Three local soccer athletes and one basketball player were named Diablo Athletic League most valuable players while De La Salle’s East Bay Athletic League and North Coast Section basketball champion point guard Thomas Gregorios was his league MVP. Alexa Avelar of Clayton Valley Charter was offensive co-MVP and league champion Northgate’s Carly Ortega was defensive co-MVP in the Diablo Athletic League while Concord junior Anthony Fuller was offensive co-MVP for DAL boys soccer. Concord’s senior basketball standout Cole

Arabian was co-MVP in the DAL Valley division. Gregorios averaged 10 points and five assists per game this season as the Spartans shared the EBAL title with Dublin and then beat State finalist James Logan in the NCS Division I championship game. The team was beaten by Sheldon of Sacramento in the NorCal semi-finals. Sheldon won NorCal but fell to Sierra Canyon in the State finals. “Thomas had a great senior campaign. A true winner and someone that seemed to make huge plays when our team needed them most. We are proud of what he accomplished. He is someone that is very deserving of the EBAL

Photo courtesy De La Salle Athletics


MVP,” De La Salle coach Justin Argenal said. Carondelet continued its domination of EBAL basketball and the senior-laden team ended up with four seniors receiving all-league honors. University of Washingtonbound Ali Bamberger, who was the league co-MVP as a junior, was passed over for the honor this year as junior Paige Gerhart of San Ramon Valley was named MVP. Seniors Erica Miller, Emily Howie and Alex Brown also got all-EBAL recognition. Along with Tatyana Modawar, they all were four-year varsity members of the Cougars, notching NCS championships each year, the last three in Division I. Clayton Valley Charter senior Jacob Sartorio completed a rate double. He was named first-team all-league wrestling in the 285-pound division, matching his first-team allDAL football honors last fall for the champion Ugly Eagles. Sartorio was second at NCS and then capped his winter season by reaching the podium in eighth place at the CIF State Meet in Bakersfield.


Farrell (NG), Samantha Reyes (Ygnacio Valley); 2nd teamMicaela Davis (Concord), Nayeli Martinez (Mt. Diablo), Abigail Chang, Natalie La Rue (NG), Olivia Kreamer (CVC); Honorable Mention- Neftali Ramirez, Julia Morgan, Vanessa Castrillo (Con), Yaznelly Martinez, Stefania Villanueva, Araceli Castro (YV), Ally Liu, Serena Connel, Sasha Chalener (CVC), Nataly Guzman, Asley Renderos, Jessica Contreras (MD), Delaney Cook, Katey Wohlers, Lucy Goller (NG) Carondelet: 1st team- Ellie Ospeck, Jordan Young, Angelina Anderson ; 2nd team- Angelina Scoma, Annaliese Giusto, HanDiablo Athletic League nah Macaulay (5 local schools), Carondelet and De La Salle soccer, basketball Boys Soccer and wrestling athletes getting allDAL: Offensive MVP – Fuller league honors): (Con); 1st team- Paris Ruiz (CVC), Diego Ramos (YV), Daniel ShanoGirls Soccer da (NG), Roberto Barahona DAL: Offensive MVP – Avelar (Con); 2nd team- Edgar Castena(Clayton Valley Charter), Defen- da (CVC), Alex Lopez, Alexzander sive MVP- Carly Ortega (North- Sandoval (YV), Daniel Nakamura gate); 1st team- Jenna West (NG), Sergio Barba (Con); HM(CVC), Julie Hagedorn, Meighan Yovani Villa, Huriel Rodriguez,



Oliver King (YV), Anival Montes (MD), Jack Varble, Felipe Ognian (NG), Jorge Hernandez, Alex Hockenberry, Enrique Guzman (Con) De La Salle: 1st team– Dillon Morley, Seb Maza; 2nd teamTyler Cessio, Ramiro Rosas; HMMatt Ramirez, Ryan Nguyen, Ben Parker, Sebi Ramirez

Zack Martinez (CVC), Aidan Lechner (NG); HM- Cooper Dadami (CVC), Alden Friedman (NG) DAL Valley: Co-MVP - Arabian (Con); 1st team-Jacob Goodwin (Con); 2nd teamAdaryon Bennett (YV), Trevion Williams (MD); HM-Elias Davis (YV), Jalen Sutton-Brown (MD), RJ Serna (Con) DLS: MVP– Gregorios; 1st team – Tim Kostolansky, Gregorios; 2nd team – Cade Arbogast; HM-Andrew Flanigan


DAL: 1st team-Gage Mettler (NG), Sartorio (CVC); 2nd teamCole Sanchez, Angelo Esposito, Nicolas Le Sieur, Mac Graves (NG), Steven Reynolds, Andre Dargani (Con); HM- Ethan Dimitri (CVC), Francisco Espinosa (NG), Paul Diaz (Con) DLS: 1st team- Logan Sumulong, Ankhaa Enkhmandakh, Riley Hilt, Kyle Parco, Dwayne Guerrero, Ben Roe, Bobby Cuevas, Zavion Fernandez, Mario Franco, Lance Hackett; 2nd team- Mateo Sandez, Bradley Moore; HM – Darin Guerrero

Girls Basketball

DAL Foothill: 1st team-Ysobelle Eustaquio, Katriel Segovia (CVC); 2nd team – Tegan Gaines (NG); HM-Susie Kresch, Amy Barry (CVC), Eva Smith (NG) DAL Valley: 1st team- Auxanna Buegre (YV), Alexa Sotto (MD), Sheridan Todd (Con); 2nd team- Darolonie Skyes, Niamey Guillory (YV), Rachel Sanders (Con); HM-Julissa Zazueta (YV), Melissa Becerra (MD) Carondelet: 1st team- BamBoys Basketball berger; 2nd team- Miller, Howie; DAL Foothill: 2nd team- HM- Brown

Diablo FC, MDSA teams win soccer winter titles

Diablo FC 2003 Premier boys captured the U16 Super Black bracket at the Copa Surf earlier this month in San Jose with a 2-1 win over Tahuichi FC. Coach Daniel Rednic’s team also took part in the Las Vegas College Showcase last weekend along with three other Diablo FC older boys teams. Diablo FC 2003 includes, front row from left, Elias Stimson, Danilo Mendoza, Isaac Morfin, Jonathan Wence, Marco Friio, Liam Verhoeven; back row, Matthew Grisanti, Jack nunn, Marley Babb, yousif Alani, Andre Vojtenyi, Hari Stoyanov, Gabriel Perez and Julian Montes. not pictured, Adrian Rodriguez, Marcus Stich and Ryan Chand.

Photos courtesy Diablo FC

Diablo FC 2001 boys won the Super Black U19 bracket at the Copa Surf tournament earlier this month in San Jose. The team defeated Palo Alto FC in the championship game 3-1. Diablo FC 01 includes, bottom row from left, Anival Montes, Soran Grant, Felipe Magaña, Ryan nguyen, Moises Limon, Jacob Craig, Danial Shanoda, Sammy Abas Hamiei, Fernando Escobedo; back row, Conor Lynch, Emiliano Garcia, Brandon Botello, Damian Garcia, Jose Haro, Jimmy Hernandez, Andrew Senna, Jose Carra, Christian Mattos, Griffin LaFleur and coach Zak Kaufman.

Photo courtesy MDSA

MDSA Strikers 2007 boys elite took first at the Copita Surf tournament earlier this month by winning a penalty kick shootout in the U12 bronze/silver finals after rallying from a halftime deficit to tie the game and force the shootout. The Strikers include, front row from left, Grady Rose, Kai Parker, Robert Coronel, Samuel Rubalcava, Andres Watts; back row, coach Jorge Cordova, Javier Cordova, Austin Grove, Cooper Theunissen, Logan Knapp, Aiden Cunningham, Aidan Zingmark, Riley Gary, Marco Tredinnick and coach Brian Tredinnick. not pictured, Isaac Escobar and Joshua Valdez.

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March15, 2019

CVCHS football saga to end soon JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

When Clayton Valley Charter High School football goes to an away league game this fall it will either be by heading toward East Contra Costabased Bay Valley Athletic League schools or south down 680 to the schools in the East Bay Athletic League. The only thing that’s certain is that Ugly Eagle football will not be part of the Diablo Athletic League for the next five years. Clayton Valley Charter leaves the DAL without ever losing a league football game in its three years of existence. That success—and the lopsided victory margins— prompted the 11 other DAL schools last fall to petition the North Coast Section to remove CVCHS from the league for football only because they are “overly competitive school in football.” They requested CVCHS be moved to another league while the rest of the Concord school’s athletic program remain in the DAL. Clayton Valley Charter

appealed that request but when its appeal was turned down, the only options for CVCHS to be placed in the NCS Valley Conference were the EBAL or BVAL. This issue has been a major subject on NCS meeting agendas for several months and the final decision is now in sight. At the most recent meeting of the NCS Alignment Committee the group voted to move CVCHS to the EBAL, the league featuring De La Salle/Carondelet and nine TriValley area schools. Lemmon reports that the EBAL has told him they will appeal that decision. A threemember hearing panel will rule on the appeal. If it is turned down, CVCHS to the EBAL will be final. If the appeal is accepted then CVCHS will go to the BVAL. Lemmon explains that, “Any decision [from the hearing panel] will be voted on by the Board of Managers Mar. 29. This placement is for the 2019 and 2020 football seasons. In August, the Alignment Committee will consider language for what happens after the two-years end.”

Heartbreak, from page B1

Coach Amy Apodaca’s Cougars were seeded second again at NorCal and rolled over Clovis North 5-1 after giving up the game’s first goal in the quarterfinals. That put them back on the field against nemesis Monte Vista in the semi-finals. The Mustangs again got the best of the Concord school 2-1, the same score they won the championship game over top seed

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Page B3

Athlete Spotlight

Alexa Sotto & Trevion Williams School: Mt. Diablo High Sport: Basketball

Sotto and Williams have taken very different paths to end up as MDHS basketball co-honorees in his month’s Athlete Spotlight. Senior Sotto completed her fourth year as “an intricate part of the Lady Devils basketball program. “There’s not enough to be said about Alexa Sotto. She has dominated on and off the court,” says coach Kat Cruz. Sotto— individually and with her team— has willingly participated in several volunteer opportunities. “Her dedication to her community and team is immense. Alexa has leadership qualities that have guided her teammates to several victories.” Sotto was a three-year starting point guard and team captain, two year’s first team all-league and team MVP. This season, she was the third leading scorer in league, second best free throw shooter and third leading three-point shooter. The most memorable game of her career probably came

The Spartans held all four Davis. Monte Vista has won the NCS opponents to 46 points or first two CIF NorCal Regional less. They opened up the NorCal Open Division tournament with soccer championships. a 48-42 win over Weston Ranch of Stockton. BASKETBALL That put them in the semiDLS withstood a tough James Logan of Union City 54- finals against Sheldon of Sacra46 to win its third NCS Division mento, who is led by junior MarI championship in four years. cus Bagley, the younger brother Coach Justin Argenal’s team tied of Sacramento Kings No. 1 Dublin for the EBAL title draft pick Marvin Bagley III. before beating the Gaels 64-62 DLS lost 60-53. Sheldon went in the league tournament finale. on to beat Modesto Christian

last year in a double overtime win for the Lady Devils over Berean Christian with Sotto pouring in 33 points, exactly half of her team’s total. Her coach adds, “Alexa will be missed and unmatched.” Williams was named second-team all-DAL for this play this winter on the Red Devils boys team. The junior guard almost didn’t get a chance for such laurels. Athletic Director Ryan Leuschen explains that Williams was cut from the squad last year for a poor attitude and immaturity and then started off his junior season late last fall by getting cut again. This time, his teammates voted Williams back on the team. And that second chance gave him the opportunity “to grow and mature right before our eyes. The hiatus taught him a lesson. Trevion finally seemed to see the light and grow. He now is a true leader on campus and is doing everything he

58-48 for the NorCal title but fell last Saturday evening to Sierra Canyon for the State Open championship. Carondelet won its fourth straight NCS girls basketball title with an 80-70 victory over second seed Heritage. This was the third year in a row that Carondelet beat the Patriots in the Division I championship game. The Cougars have only been denied a Section crown three times since 2003.

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

First-year coach Michael Morris saw his team get the second seed in the CIF Northern California Open Division playoffs, giving them a first-round bye. In the semi-finals they lost to visiting Pinewood 51-39 to end their season. It also was the final game for the quintet of seniors who enjoyed winning four consecutive NCS titles— Ali Bamberger, Eric Miller, Emily Howie, Alex Brown and Tatyana Modawar.

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needs to do to have a successful future, both academically and athletically,” says Leuschen. Williams let his play speak for itself and he helped the Red Devils to nine victories this year after the team had won only one game in the two previous seasons combined.

For Pinewood, it was revenge for an early January loss in Concord to Carondelet. The Panthers followed up victory over Carondelet by beating Salesian for the NorCal Open Division championship. The small school from Los Altos Hills fell in the State championship game last Saturday to Sierra Canyon, which completed a boys and girls Open Division basketball championship double.

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member of the STEM and the Students for Civil Rights clubs at Clayton Valley Charter. She is a hardworking student who is hoping to study genetics or molecular biology at a four-year university in Southern California. Her top school choices are UCSB and Cal Poly SLO.

Athlete Spotlight

CVCHS student journalist Sydney Skow wrote this Spotlight.

Kaylie Walker Grade: Senior School: CVCHS Sports: Swimming, Water Polo

Walker has been swimming and playing water polo through her four years of high school. She has placed top 10 in the competitive Diablo Athletic League meet finals in the vastly different 50- and 500-yard freestyle events. Last spring, Walker

qualified and participated in the North Coast Section meet in both events. She also swam on the CVCHS 200 medley and frees relays, both of which broke school records. “As a senior, Kaylie has set the standard for the ideal CV swimmer over the last four years. Her dedication and focus in both practice and competition has been at the heart of Clayton women’s swimming and integral to its success,” says head coach Adrian Lohse. On the Lady Eagles water polo team, Walker was the

main sprinter and often played defensive hole set. Last fall, the team made it to the second round of NCS. She has been swimming for 11 years and playing water polo for five years. Walker became involved with swimming on her first summer recreational swim team, the Bishop Estates Barracudas. She now swims for the Forest Park Flyers. Walker started playing water polo for Diablo Water Polo Club in 8th grade after being encouraged by one of her swim coaches to try it. She is a

Mt. Diablo and Concord. The East Bay Athletic League Mountain Division schedule starts this week through May 3 before the league playoffs are May 7-10. De La Salle has won three consecutive North Coast Section Division I championships and five of the last seven. In their recent run the Spartans were ranked second nationally in 2016 and 2018. The NCS playoffs begin May 14-15 with the finals set May 24-25. Lacrosse – The DAL has a single division in both boys and girls lacrosse. Eight schools, including Clayton Valley Charter and Northgate, are fielding teams in each league. Teams are playing a single round-robin weekly schedule that runs through Apr. 26. The league playoffs are Apr. 30 and May 3 and NCS tournaments for boys and girls begin May 7.

Softball – Carondelet won its first NCS softball championship since 1999 last spring, ending a run of Division II titles by Alhambra and Concord, who had won every title since 2010 except 2011. Concord reached the semi-finals last year after winning the DAL Foothill championship. Carondelet took second in the EBAL. The DAL softball schedule mirrors baseball with the double round-robin Foothill schedule running from next Tuesday to May 9 while the Valley Division is Apr. 9 – May 9. CVCHS, Concord and Northgate are in the Foothill Division while Mt. Diablo and Ygnacio Valley are in the Foothill. NCS playoffs begin May 14-15 with the finals May 2425. Swimming & Diving – Five aquatic powerhouses

The Pioneer congratulates Kaylie and thanks Athlete Spotlight sponsors Dr. Laura Lacey & Dr. Christopher Ruzicka who have been serving the Concord and Clayton area for 25 years at Family Vision Care Optometry. www.laceyandruzicka.com

Do you know a young athlete who should be recognized? Perhaps he or she has shown exceptional sportsmanship, remarkable improvement or great heart for the sport. Send your nomination for the Pioneer Athlete Spotlight today to sports@pioneerpublishers.com.

March 15, 2019

3 high point winners spark Terrapins to Arizona meet success The Terrapins placed second behind the host team Phoenix Swim Club at the recent Phoenix Winter Swim Invitational with teams from all over the western United States in attendance. The local competitive team was led by high point winners Abbey Keller (10-under), Mason Wendler (11-12) and Lily Struempf (11-12). Abbey scored in 8 events which included 1st place finishes in the 100fly,100back,50fly and 50back. Mason also scored in 8 events and won an eye popping 7 events which included the100free, 50Breast, 200free, 50fly, 100fly,200IM and 100Back. Lily was at the top of the team with 8 first place finishes in the 50,100,200 free, 50,100fly, 50,100back and 200IM. The three swimmers recently

joined the Terrapins from their Concord summer recreation teams and enjoying success in USA Swimming. The Terrapins up and coming 10-under girls scored over 200 points with their combined efforts. Other top TERA winners were Jessica Larson (won the 15-over 100 fly, 100 back and 50 free), Morgan Wendler (1st in 10-under 50 and 100 breast, 100 fly and 100 back) and AJ Fong in the 13-14 boys 100 fly and 200 IM. The Terrapins are accepting registration for the Spring and Summer Orange group program designed for introductory swimmers age 6 and older and also year-round team memberships for all groups. Visit the Terrapins website at terrapinswim.com for more information.

400 meters and 4x400 relay. His classmate Daylon Hicks was second in the high jump at state last year and is currently ranked No. 1 in the state. This spring, Reynolds is No. 1 in the 200 and second in the 400 in early-season NCS rankings. Hicks tops the high jump charts. Concord middle distance star Rayna Stanziano will be looking for a potential state title this May in her final season and currently is No. 1 in the 800 and 3200 in NCS and third in the 1600. Other local athletes who are No. 1 in their events are Kelly Kern (Carondelet, pole vault), Amy Christensen (Northgate 100 hurdles), Airiana Dargan (Concord, long jump), Austin Kresley (Northgate, 100), CVCHS boy (4x100 and 4x400 relays) and CVCHS girls (4x400 relay).

The DAL track and field dual meet schedule on Wednesdays goes through Apr. 10 while the EBAL ends a day later. The DAL and EBAL league meet finals are May 4. The EBAL Trials are Apr. 26, a day before DAL Trials. The Tri-Valley NCS Championships are May 11 in Dublin, the NCS Meet of Champions May 17-18 at Diablo Valley College and the State Meet May 24-25 in Clovis. Boys Volleyball – The double-round robin DAL Valley schedule runs April 25 with matches on Tuesdays and Thursdays. All local schools except Northgate are in the Valley. The Broncos are part of the Foothill Division that plays matches through Apr. 25. NCS playoffs are Apr. 30 May 9. NorCal championships are May 14-18.

Rain great for the earth, not so much for spring sports teams JAY BEDECARRÉ The Pioneer

League play for high school spring sports will mostly be underway by next week as outdoor athletes in track and field, baseball, softball, lacrosse, tennis and golf have worked their training and competitions around the numerous rainy days, making fields sometimes unplayable. Swimmers, on the other hand, have just dealt with being wet in and out of the pool. Baseball – The Diablo Athletic League Foothill Division begins a double roundrobin schedule next Tuesday while the Valley Division starts Apr. 9. Both divisions conclude DAL play May 9. Clayton Valley Charter and Northgate are in the highlycompetitive Foothill Division while Valley Division includes local schools Ygnacio Valley,

S ports Shorts


Ygnacio Valley High has put tickets on sale for its 2019 Athletic Hall of Fame dinner on Saturday, May 4, at Contra Costa Country Club. Inductees are Ron Thompson (Class of 1972, football and baseball), Joe Del Bene (’78, football and basketball), Xan Halog (’84, tennis, basketball and softball), Doug King (’72, tennis), Shawn McGarry (’84, football and basketball), Mike Ivankovich (’87, football and track; coach and teacher) and Wes Greenwood (coach and teacher). Visit yvathletichof.com for details and to order tickets.


St. Bonaventure CYO spring track and field program is open to boys and girls in second through eighth grades. Practices are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 4-5:15 p.m. at Newhall Park. Saturday meets begin in March and the season runs through May 10, culminating with the Oakland Diocese championships. For more information call 826-7426, email head coach Matt Tillman at matttillman@gmail.com or go to stbonaventurecyo.com.


(including Northgate) are in the DAL Foothill Division with dual meets concluding Apr. 15, same date for the Valley division where CVCHS figures to be the favorite. The DAL championship meet is Apr. 25-27. Concord Community Pool hosts NCS May 2-4 and the CIF State meet is in Clovis May 10-11. Boys Tennis – DAL tennis matches run through Apr. 24 and the DAL championships are Apr. 25-27. The Section team championships are May 7-11 after the singles and doubles tournament May 3-4. Track & Field – Clayton Valley Charter made a big splash at the CIF State Meet last June and the Ugly Eagles figured to do well again this year. Senior Cameron Reynolds, who is headed to UCLA in the fall, finished second in the state last year in the


City Meet champion and County swimming second-place finisher Dana Hills Swim Team of Clayton is taking registration for the upcoming summer rec season. Entering its 42nd year, the Otters welcome boys and girls 3-18 years of age. Signups run through May 3. There are multi-child discounts. Younger swimmers can join the Otter Pups, which is not a “learn to swim” program, but is a “learn to swim team” program. Evaluations for the Otter Pups will be on Saturday, April 6. First day of team practice is April 8 and the season runs through the end of July. Visit danahillsotters.com for more information.


The area’s largest annual youth soccer tournament, Concord Cup, returns for its 26th season at a variety of local parks May 18-19. Boys and girls club and recreation teams from under 9 (2010) through U19 (2000) are eligible to participate. Diablo FC, Mt. Diablo Soccer and Concord AYSO co-sponsor the tournament. Visit concordcup.com for complete information and to register a team to participate.




St. Agnes CYO spring track and field program is open to boys and girls in second through eighth grades. Saturday meets begin in March and the season runs through May 10, culminating with the Oakland Diocese championships. For more information email stagnescyotrack@gmail.com or visit stagnescyo.com.


Walnut Country Swim Team is now registering swimmers 418 years for its summer rec program. For more information and to register for the summer season visit the Walnut Country Swim Team Stingrays website.


De La Salle High and Diablo Valley Soccer Club (Diablo FC) alum Chris Wondolowski will be inducted into the California Collegiate Athletic Association Athletic Hall of Fame. As part of the Chico State soccer team, Wondo led the Wildcats to the NCAA Division II championship game in 2003. He was a fouryear member of the Chico State team and was first team allCCAA every year. His storybook professional career includes 35 appearances for the United States National Team and he now stands two goals short of setting the all-time goal-scoring record in Major League Soccer. The San Jose Earthquakes captain is being called “perhaps the most decorated NCAA Division II athlete in history and one of sports’ ultimate success stories, going from late-round Supplemental Draft pick and bit-part player to one of the league’s most feared goal-scorers.”

Springwood swim team will hold signups on Sunday, Mar. 24, from 2-4 p.m. at Sports Basement in Walnut Creek. Preseason practices begin on Monday, April 15. For more information email Dori Freitas at dorifreitas@att.net or visit springwoodswim.com.

The 2019 class for the Clayton Valley High School Hall of Fame includes three North Coast Section championship Eagles teams. Event organizers are reaching out to locate members of those teams. The honorees will be inducted Friday, May 3, at Shadelands Art Center in Walnut Creek. The teams are coach Bill Smith’s 1978 wrestling team, the 1999 OAKHURST ORCAS SCHEDULE SWIM TEAM MEET boys swim team of coach Matt Chamberlain and coach Gary Gardner’s 1979 girls volleyball team. Players on those teams AND GREET NIGHTS should email committee member Herc Pardi with their conOakhurst Orcas and eighth-year head coach Jasmine Castillo tact info to herc_pardi@hotmail.com. Visit the new Hall of have scheduled meet and greet registration on Thursday, Mar. Fame website for more info and to purchase tickets at 14, and Tuesday, Apr.16, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Oakhurst Councvhshof.com. try Club in Clayton. Early registration discounts are given to families that register before Mar. 14. Registration forms are availDIABLO FC SPRING REC LEAGUE able at oakhurstorcas.com under the forms tab.

Clayton Valley High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame is holding a benefit bocce ball tournament in Clayton at the Ipsen Family Courts on Saturday, Mar. 23 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. The tournament is limited to 16 teams ($400 team entry fee) with a $500 cash prize to the champions. For more information and to register email Herc Pardi at herc_pardi@hotmail.com.

Carondelet and Cal Berkeley grad Natalie Coughlin is being inducted into another hall of fame. Last year she was among the first class of inductees to the Carondelet Hall of Fame and last weekend she was inducted to the Vallejo Sports Hall of Fame. Growing up in Vallejo her earliest swimming memories are at the Cal Maritime pool. She was a national record holder at Carondelet, NCAA champion at Cal and then a 12-time Olympic medalist.

Youth basketball and adult softball leagues, spring tee ball and spring break basketball clinic are scheduled by All Out Sports Leagues in Clayton this spring. AOSL is taking registration online for all those programs. For complete information on All Out Sports leagues, clinics and other programs, visit alloutsportsleague.com.




Diablo FC is offering a spring recreation league for boys and girls 3-12 years of age at Newhall Park in Concord. Diablo FC professional coaches work with parent volunteers to train in a fun, developmental atmosphere. The league runs from Monday, Mar. 18, through May 4. Visit diablofc.org to get more information on the rec league and other club programs.


March15, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Settlers not discouraged by Mt. Diablo’s shaking ground

The most famous quake to affect Concord was the San Francisco quake of 1906. A Concord resident reported CAROL LOnGSHORE that the ground shook like YESTERYEAR waves. Windows broke, household items were tossed about, Long, long ago, the land plaster tore off walls and around Concord was filled chimneys fell – including one with water. of John Muir’s chimneys, History books tell us that which fell onto the front earthquakes deep from the porch. middle of the earth produced In the beginning, however, our hills and mountain ranges. the newcomers were delighted Early settlers found the Photo courtesy of Contra Costa Historical Society with the nearly ideal climate. Concord area as an open fer- A photo of Mt. Diablo from the Concord side taken From Indians and Spanish tile valley, carpeted with wav- circa1937, long before development took over. explorers and settlers to Yaning grass, shaded by great kee farmers and 20th century oaks and watered by swiftly commuters, Concord has years of erosion molded the In the earliest recorded running streams full of fish. beckoned many to make their mountain that greeted the earthquake report, Concord They named the mountain homes in this rich valley. newcomers. founding father Salvio Mt. Diablo. It’s easy to see why ConThen, as now, earthquakes Pacheco wrote: “From 1824 The valley floor was made cord, with its central location, occurred. The early arrivals to 1826 … earthquakes were of adobe soil and sandstone, temperate weather and beautihad no idea that the place very frequent and … (so) interlaced with coal deposits ful setting, has been the they’d selected was between severe, in some localities, as to formed by flowing water. choice of so many. throw down adobe houses and Geologist have discovered that the South Hampton fault to the east and the Mt. Diablo bury inmates in the ruins.” Carol Longshore has been a Conrocks in this area, now called fault to the west. Both conA quake also shook the cord resident since 1950. She is a comthe Diablo Valley, range from nect to the major San Andreas Concord area on Oct. 21, munity leader and past president of the Cretaceous fossils to superfifault. A third fault, the Con1868 – the first earthquake Concord Historical Society. Send comcial detritus. cord fault, ran right through recorded after the area was ments and suggestions for future topics The mountain formed to editor@concordpioneer.com. their land. settled by Americans. eons ago, and millions of


Various ways to help out ARF during kitten season

risk for exposure to illness. Unless there is an imminent threat to the litter, the best ELEnA BICKER thing to do is wait and watch from a distance. The mother ARF NOTES may be looking for food or in the process of moving her With spring comes the pit- family to a different location. ter patter of tiny paws, as kitIf mom comes back and ten season gets into full swing. the area is safe, leave the kitThe warmer weather of tens with her until they are March through September weaned. You can offer shelter leads to a population exploand food, but keep the food sion from unaltered felines – some distance from the sheland a massive influx in kittens ter to avoid attracting other turned into shelters by concats or wildlife to the litter. cerned residents. One of the best ways to Well-meaning people often help save more lives is to vol“rescue” newborn litters of unteer as a foster. Overcrowdkittens they find outdoors and ed shelters struggle to find rush them to shelters, inadver- space and resources to accomtently putting them at greater

Concord closing dog parks for spring cleanup

To prevent any “ruff ” conditions at Concord’s two dog parks, city crews began turf maintenance on March 4. Newhall Dog Park is expected to be closed until March 25 to aerate, seed, fertilize and top dress the turf. The Baldwin Dog Park requires more time to recover, so it will be closed March 25 to May 13. The Parks Department uses organic materials, such as mulch and fertilizers, during these renovations. The city says it never uses pesticides or herbicides in the dog parks.

For more information, call park supervisor Tyce Dekker at 925671-3064.

Unless in immediate danger, the best place for feral kittens is right where they are—with mom.

modate all the cats and kittens in need of a home, especially those who are too young or recovering from illness prior to adoption. Fostering not only frees up space in the shelter for more animals to be saved, but it’s also an easy way to get your kitten fix without the life-long commitment. As an ARF foster, you’ll receive all the essentials: medical care, food, litter, bedding, toys and treats. All you need to provide is time, love and a little bit of space for them to call their own. You can help by opening your home to care for a litter until they are old enough to be placed for adoption. Sign up today at arflife.org/foster and start saving lives.

If you aren’t quite ready to foster, consider joining us at ARF’s Puppy and Kitten shower on April 6 to help us gather foster supplies for kittens and puppies. Learn more at arflife.org. Or you can donate a gift at local Pet Food Express locations or on Amazon at http://bit.ly/ARFpuppykitten. Kitten season can be challenging, but with the help of caring people, we can make a difference. Whether it is by fostering, adopting, donating or even just helping spread the word about spaying and neutering pets, your actions save lives. Elena Bicker is the Executive Director of Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation. She can be reached at (925) 2561ARF (1273)

Say hello to ARF stars Moss and Felix The adoption fee for puppies under 6 months is $300, for adult dogs is $250, and includes a discount on the first six-week session of a manners class.


Two-year-old Moss is a gentle pup who’s pretty unsure about the hustle and bustle of suburban life. This sweetheart is looking for gentle, patient guardians who will reward him

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for bravery with food and encouragement. Moss is incredibly loyal to the people who earn his trust. Moss also finds confidence in the presence of another dog.

The adoption fee for kittens under 6 months $125 and for adult cats is $75. Meet your forever friend at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek, during Three-year-old Felix is a adoption hours: Noon to 6 big, handsome fellow who has pm Wednesday & Thursday, a big purrsonality to match! Noon to 7 pm Friday, and This playful tuxedo loves to Noon to 6 pm Saturday & hang out with his people, and Sunday. play with wand toys. He enjoys exploring, and is hopWould you like to be part of ing his new home has LOTS the heroic team that saves the lives for him to do. Felix has a cud- of rescued dogs and cats? Can you dly side along with a spirited share your talents to connect people side; both will endear him to and animals? ARF volunteers are feline aficionados. Felix will making a difference! For more add much joy to the cat-savvy information see our website, household, who can enjoy his www.arflife.org, or call (925) 256active ‘personality-plus’ self. 1ARF.

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Page B6

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

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‘First Person’ is author’s final think piece A review of Pulitzer prize-winning playwright, actor, screenwriter and essayist Sam Shepard’s last work may be a stretch from the books I generally review, but bear with me. As the title suggests, “Spy of the First Person” is enigmatic, haunting and not entirely accessible – until you think again about the title and pay attention to the opening paragraph. “Seen from a distance. That is, seeing from across the road, it’s hard to tell how old he is …” Shepard continues to describe this person with uncertainty. Certain words, however, suggest a degree of powerful recognition: “Purple. Lone Ranger.” “A rocking chair.” “The baseball cap.” The chapters are short, some no more than a single page, set out to be read almost like photographs. The voice moves between the observed and observer: “Why is he watching me?” And not long after that: “Sometimes, very

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for by those (his children?) who bring him snacks and “sort of gently lower him back down” into the porch chair. “The past doesn’t come as a whole. It always comes in parts.” The parts include the East Coast and California, the mountains, the deserts. Is he speaking to a SUnny SOLOMOn son when he tells of his BOOKIN’ grandmother Aubra Steagle who came to America from a WITH SUNNY foreign country? What makes Shepard’s often, he speaks to himself.” story so poignant is that often And then, “I see that his lips the stories we hear from our are moving. His lips are keepown parents and grandparents ing him company.” come in bits and pieces: treasStories told are barely ures, regrets, colors, objects, remembered snatches of a dreams. past, his or his parents, or The observer takes note of maybe his children: “The sea“one gesture that is very curiweed is soaking. Far in the disous, where he rocks back and tance two people are getting forth.” He then describes up from the beach just in facial movements: “They’re bathing suits folding a huge trying to tell him that things orange towel.” have changed.” He continues, Soon, the readers understand an old man is telling the “Now he has to ask other people. Now he can’t do withstories. A man failing in health, but a man who is cared out other people.”

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kind. Even the most experienced climbers in the world shy away from free soloing. Alex Hannold does not. The Oscar-winning documentary “Free Solo” follows Hannold, an early 30s introvert, on his quest to be the first person to free solo El Capitan. Filmmaker Jimmy Chin and his associates spend a lot of camera time (sometimes too much) debating just how to best capture Hannold’s climb. What if their presence causes Hannold to second guess himself during a critical time? Does Hannold really want them there? What are the most dangerous parts of the climb? These questions and more are all vital to the quest. The cinematography is stunning. Various cameramen expertly capture the scope of the mountains, all while often precariously dangling from ropes thousands of feet off the ground. Getting inside Hannold’s head is important to understand what drives a person to desire such an undertaking. In the end, I wish more time had been spent with Hannold and the mountain. The film gives ample time to

his girlfriend and other climbers, yet Hannold and his “white whale” should be the focus. B+ Meanwhile, the five Oscar nominees for Best Live Action Short are a dreary bunch. Four of them focus on children in some form of danger, while “Marguerite” is about a woman contemplating how to spend the end of her life. The winner was “Skin,” about a racist father who gets his comeuppance. A tough watch, it likely won for its topical relevance and its alternative “solution” to the race issue. My favorite, however, is the Irish film “Detainment.” Its story comes from interview tapes recorded in 1993 from the interrogations of two 10-year-old boys who kidnapped and brutally murdered a 2-year-old boy. The actors are fantastic throughout. The boys’ situation is harrowing, making it all the more disturbing that everything really happened. The shorts are worth seeking out; just try not to watch them all in a row. On the animated side, Pixar’s “Bao” won the Oscar for Best Animated Short. It is a fantastic look at a moth-

As we see ourselves aging, to whom are we telling stories? “I can’t help feeling a similarity between him and me.” And finally, “Sometimes it feels like we’re the same person. A lost twin.” “First Person,” Shepard’s last written work before he died of ALS in 2017, is a must-read. Sunny Solomon is a freelance writer and head of the Clayton Book Club. Visit her website at bookinwithsunny.com for her latest recommendations or just to ‘talk books.’


SCREEN SHOTS er who cannot let her son grow up. Pixar makes some wonderful shorts, yet I found some of the others as good, or better, than “Bao.” “Animal Behavior” is a delightful comedy about various animals in a group psychology session, with a dog as the doctor. “Late Afternoon” and “Weekends” are exquisitely drawn looks into somber parts of life: growing old and divorce, respectively. My favorite short is “One Small Step,” about a little girl who dreams of being an astronaut. Her father, a shoe repairman, helps her along her quest as she gets older and learns about life. It made me teary, but it’s a beautiful tale of achievement through love and perseverance.

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

March15, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

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Auction will be in late April at Clayton Valley High School

Guild of Quilters of Contra Costa County Show April 6-7

Featuring “Raynell’s Beautiful Bees.” 10 a.m.-5 p.m. April 6 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. April 7, Centre Concord, 5298 Clayton Road. $10, good for both days. gqccc.org.

Tuesdays Concord Farmers Market

10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays, Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. pcfma.org.


April 9

“The Presidio: From Park to Post” Park ranger Nate Tusa, hosted by Clayton Valley Woman’s Club. 10 a.m., St. John’s Episcopal Church, 5555 Clayton Road, Clayton. Guests welcome. Free. Call Linda at 415-652-3503 or claytonvalleywomansclub.org.


March 19 Introduction to Mainstream Mindfulness Meditation Relieve stress and reduce emotional and physical discomfort by learning how to be kinder to yourself and others. 10-11 a.m., Arts and Crafts Room, Diamond Terrace, 6401 Center St., Clayton. Free. joe_machamer@comcast.net.

March 21 Growing and Using Herbs

Anna Marie Beauchemin, clinical herbalist, biologist and founder of East Bay Herbals. Sponsored by Sustainable Contra Costa. 10 a.m.-noon, Rodgers Ranch Heritage Center, 315 Cortsen Road, Pleasant Hill. $25. sustainablecoco.org.

April 6 Wellness and Healing Arts Expo

Holistic medicine, alternative medical treatments, resources on healing arts plus raffle prizes. 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Concord Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Circle. Free. 925-671-3320.

April 11 Advance Health Care Directives Clinic

For those 60 and older in the county. 9:15-11:30 a.m., Concord Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Circle. Free. Call for appointment at 925-671-3320.


March 23, April 27 Butterfly Walk

A 2-mile round-trip for beginning and advanced lepidopterists. Rain cancels. Sponsored by Mt. Diablo Interpretive Association. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center, 96 Mitchell Canyon Road, Clayton. $6 car fee. mdia.org.

Sundays through April Vasco Caves Tour

Hike 2-3 miles through this windswept landscape. 9 a.m.-2 p.m., 9450 Marsh Creek Road, Brentwood. $35-$40. 510-544-2750 or ebparks.org.


March 15-16 “La Vida Loca”

A one-man show about a Mexican Immigrant, Los Medanos College Equity Series. California Theatre. $10-$12.

March 15-24 “I Am My Own Wife”

March 15-31 “Peter and the Starcatchers”

A prequel to “Peter Pan,” Diablo Valley College Drama Department, 321 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill. 925-969-2358 or dvcdrama.net. Kate Offer and Eric Howe perform their comic solo song recital. 7:30 p.m., Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church, 1578 Kirker Pass Road, Clayton. $15 at the door. 925-672-4848 or visit cvpresby.org.



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March 16-17 “All John Williams”

Featuring light sabers and Quidditch brooms, California Symphony. Lesher Center. $42-$72.

March 21 “Dreaming under a Starry Sky”

With soprano Shana Blake Hill, Festival Opera. 7:30 p.m., Lesher Center. $20-$40.

March 22-23 “Once Upon a Time”

World premiere of a fairytale adventure, Diablo Ballet with Contra Costa Wind Symphony. Includes a short film about the ballet’s 25 years. Lesher Center. $15-$50.

March 23-24 “Italian Nights”

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dinner and desert. Silent auction, raffle, music and dancing. 5:30-10:30 p.m., Sunset Hall, Contra Costa County Fairgrounds, 1201 West 10th St., Antioch. $60. eventbrite.com/e/2019-crabfeed-fundraiser-tickets-54606108340.

April 13 Concord Stronger Together Gala

Honoring volunteer Rob Andrews and John Muir Health, to benefit Monument Impact. 6 p.m., Crowne Plaza Hotel, 45 John Glenn Dr., Concord. $125. monumentimpact.org.

2nd and 4th Sundays Pancake Breakfast

Eggs, pancakes, sausage, beverage. 8-11 a.m. VFW Post 1525, 2290 Willow Pass Road, Concord. $5, $3 children under 12. vfwpost1525.org.

Grad Night/Prom for Paradise

Operatic tenor Alex Frankel, a Walnut Creek native, with the Con- The Pleasant Hill Rotary Club and the county Office of Education tra Costa Chamber Orchestra. 2 p.m. March 23, El Campanil. 2 are collecting prom dresses and raising funds to provide a Grad Night on June 6 for about 240 seniors from fire-ravaged Parap.m. March 24, Lesher Center. $7-$30. dise. Send donations to Pleasant Hill Rotary Foundation, PHS Grad Night, 621 Reading Place, Danville, CA 94526. Tax ID 04March 28-April 13 3708728. For dress donations, contact Rebecca at “The Savannah Sipping Society” radams0412@yahoo.com. A comedy about four unique Southern women, Clayton Theatre Company. Endeavor Hall, 6008 Center St., Clayton. $20-$25. Cars for the Camp Fire claytontheatrecompany.com or brownpapertickets.com. Donate a running vehicle for victims of the fire in Paradise, sponsored by the Clayton Valley Concord Sunrise Rotary Club and the March 29-April 28 Rotary Club of Paradise. 925-326-5868 or cars4paradise.org.

“Diary of Anne Frank”

An enduring tale of hope, Center REP. Lesher Center. $34-$56.

March 30-May11 “Splash”


Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. Full schedule at ccclib.org/locations/Concord.html. 70th annual spring show, Valley Art Gallery. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues- 925-646-5455. day-Saturday, 1661 Botelho Dr., Suite 110, Walnut Creek. Free. Fridays and Saturdays through April 13. AARP Tax 925-935-4311 or valleyartgallery.org. Services, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Call 925-405-5135 for appointment. April 4-22 March 18, April 15, Coffee and Conversation, 2 p.m. “Pinned Butterfly” March 18, 28; April 1 Adventures in Coding, Exploring the bisexual erasure within the LGBTQ community, a for elementary students. Registration required. world premiere by B8 Theatre. Concord Historical Society, 1928 7 p.m. March 18, April 1; 3 p.m. March 28 Clayton Road. 925-890-8877 or b8theatre.org. March 19, April 16, Forever Young: Adult Book Club, 4 p.m. April 5-21 March 24, Binge-Worthy Book Club, 1 p.m. “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor DreamMarch 27, Adulting 101 for Teens, 4 p.m. coat” March 28, Movie Night: “Green Book,” 6:30 p.m. A re-imagination of the Biblical story of Joseph and his father April 4, Health Benefits of Meditation, with Jacob, Pittsburg Community Theatre. California Theatre. $20Dr. Marshall Zaslove, 6:30 p.m. $25. April 8, Dr. Recycle, 7 p.m. April 9, Concord Art Association Meeting and Demonstration, 1:30 p.m. Through April 9 April 9, National Unicorn Day Celebration, 4 p.m. Call for Entries/“Around and About Diablo” April 11, Talkfest, hosted by Neto Community Network, Juried, two-dimensional Valley Art Gallery exhibit focusing on the 6 p.m. mountain and the communities surrounding it. Entries due April April 14, Mystery Book Club, 1 p.m. 9. valleyartgallery.org. April 18-20, Friends of the Library Book Sale, multipurpose room. Noon-9 p.m. April 18, April 11-28 10 a.m.-5 p.m. April 19, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. “Bell, Book and Candle” April 20. concordfriendsofthelibrary@outlook.com. Romantic comedy about a modern-day witch, Plotline Theatre Company. Campbell Theatre.

April 11-June 23 “Tradition Interrupted”

Exhibit exploring the methods artists use to conflate contemporary ideas with traditional art and craft in a range of media. Opening reception 6-8 p.m. April 11. Bedford Gallery, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $3-$5. 925-295-1417 or bedfordgallery.org.

April 12-May 12 “Matilda”

Adaptation of Roald Dahl’s story about an extraordinary and precocious girl, Contra Costa Musical Theatre. Lesher Center. $55$59.

A one-man show about a cross-dressing antique collector and the LGBT movement during WWII. Campbell Theatre. April 13

March 16 “Aria Kidding”

sy ay Eag d n u S nin Listesic 4-7pm


PleaSe SubmiT youR CommuniTy CalendaR evenTS by 5 P.m. aPR. 10 FoR THe aPR. 19



Page B7

John Lloyd Young

Star of the Broadway musical and film “Jersey Boys.” 2 p.m., El Campanil. $15-$29.

April 14 “Family Concert: Dance”

Diablo Symphony with Diablo Ballet. 2 p.m., Lesher Center. $35.


March 23 Blue Devils B/C Crab Feed

All you can eat crab, salad, garlic bread, pasta, plus wine with

California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. pittsburgcaliforniatheatre.com. 925-427-1611. del valle Theatre, 1963 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek. lesherartscenter.org. 925-943-7469. el Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. elcampaniltheatre.com. 925-757-9500. lesher Center for the arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. lesherartscenter.org. 925-943-7469. martinez Campbell Theater, 636 Ward St., Martinez. campbelltheater.com. 925-350-9770.

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

Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. Full schedule at ccclib.org/locations/Clayton.html. 925-673-0659. March 18, Teen Craft, 6 p.m. March 25, April 8, Clayton Knits, 1:30 p.m. March 25, The Goddess: Images of Power, exploring female deities in Asia, 6:30 p.m. April 8, Book Club, 7 p.m. April 9, Water-Wise Gardening, with Lori Caldwell of CompostGal, 2 p.m. April 12-14, Library Foundation Used Book Sale 10 a.m.-6 p.m. April 13 and noon-4 p.m. April 14. Half price Sunday, plus $5 to fill a large cloth bag 2-4 p.m. Member’s-only preview 4-7 p.m. April 12. Memberships can be purchased at door. April 18, Make Art with Dr. Recycle, 4 p.m.


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

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

1st and 3rd Wednesdays Concord Planning Commission

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

1st and 3rd Tuesdays Clayton City Council

7 p.m. Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. ci.clayton.ca.us or 925-673-7304.

2nd and 4th Tuesdays Clayton Planning Commission

7 p.m., Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. ci.clayton.ca.us or 925-673-7304.


The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

March 15, 2019

Comedy, classics and a world premier Clayton Theatre Company presents the delightful comedy “The Savannah Sipping Society” by Jones, Hope and Wooten, directed by La Tanya Watts, March 28-April 13 at Endeavor Hall. The comedy focuses on four Southern women, escaping their day-today routines and drawn together by an impromptu happy hour. For tickets, claytontheatrecompany.com or 925-222-9106. Auditions for the Clayton Theatre Company production of the Mel Brooks’ musical “Young Frankenstein” are Tuesday, April 9. For details, visit claytontheatrecompany.com. B-8 presents the world premiere of “Pinned Butterfly” by Adam Esquenazi Douglas at the company’s temporary venue, the Concord Historical Society, 1928 Clayton Road. The show explores the issue of bisexual erasure within the LGBTQ community and runs April 4-22. Tickets at 925-890-8877 or b8theatre.org. Center REPertory Compa-

Pittsburg Community Theatre presents “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” starring Luke Cannon in the title role. Bobbie Barlow narrates the reimagined Biblical story. Directed by Keith Barlow, the Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber musical plays April 521 at the California Theatre in Pittsburg. The run includes a special Easter Sunday matinee. For tickets, 925-427-1611 or pittsburgcaliforniatheatre.com. Pittsburg California Theatre also sponsors Los Medanos College Equity Series’ production of “La Vida Loca,” an apolitical, inyour-face odyssey of Mexican immigrant Carlos Manuel. The Jonathan Mercer one-man show is a highly Clayton Theatre’s “The Savannah Sipping Society” runs Mar. 28-Apr. 13 at the historic En- kinetic monologue, March 15 deavor Hall in downtown Clayton. and 16 at the California Theatre, Pittsburg. Tickets at 925ny presents the Pulitzer Prize lesherartscenter.org. in Pleasant Hill March 15-31. 427-1611 or pittsburgcaliforwinning “The Diary of Sophia Gilbert stars in the The musical is the swashbuck- niatheatre.com. Anne Frank,” featuring title role of “Matilda” in the ling prequel to “Peter Pan.” Role Players Ensemble’s Monique Hafen in the title Contra Costa Musical TheTickets at 925-969-2358 or 2019 fundraiser, “A Grand role. Timothy Near directs this atre’s musical adaptation of dvcdrama.net. Night for Singing,” features enduring, real-life tale of hope Roald Dahl’s beloved story. Plotline Theatre Company top Bay Area vocalists perduring the Holocaust, March Jennifer Perry directs the Wal- opens the romantic comedy forming music from legendary 29-April 28 in Walnut Creek. nut Creek show, running April “Bell, Book and Candle,” Richard Rodgers and Oscar For tickets, 925-943-SHOW or 12-May 12. Tickets at 925directed by Randy Anger and Hammerstein classics. The 943-SHOW or lesherartscenfeaturing Anna Oglesby-Smith ter.org. as a modern-day witch who Randall Nott stars in “I casts a spell over a handsome Am My Own Wife,” Doug publisher played by Edwin Wright’s innovative work Peabody. Ian Wilcox, Jerry about Charlotte von MahlsMotta and Jennifer Lynn dorf, a cross-dressing antique Brown Peabody round out the collector whose “museum” cast at the Martinez Campbell served as a key meeting place Theatre, April 11-28. For tickfor LGBT citizens during ets, 925-350-9770 or campWW2. Onstage Theatre belltheater.com. founder Helen Means directs, Emma Curtin is outstandMarch 15-24 at the Martinez ing as a 10-year-old a latchkey Campbell Theatre. For tickets, kid searching her brownstone 925-350-9770 or campbellthe- neighborhood for a pen, a ater.com. story and a community to Ed Trujillo directs Diablo write a school report in “Brooklyn Bridge.” This Marian Bliss. Valley College Theatre’s Aris Bernales Glen Riggs, left, Greg Zema, seated, and Chris Aceve ap“Peter and the Starcatcher” California premiere penned by Jackie McConnell and pear in Role Players “Grand night for Singing” in Danville. at the Performing Arts Center Melissa James Gibson closes Michael Wells dance in DiaMarch 23 at Town Hall in blo Ballet’s “Once Upon a Lafayette. Tickets at 925-283- Time” at the Lesher Center. 1557 or townhalltheatre.com.





show plays March 15 and 16 at the Village Theatre, Danville. Tickets at 925-3243400 or roleplayersensemble.com. Meanwhile, Dana Lewenthal and Alicia von Kugelgen play multiple roles in Charles Ludlam’s “The Mystery of Irma Vep” at Role Players. Mike Reynolds directs the send-up of the gothic horror genre, which opens April 11 at Danville’s Village Theatre. For tickets, 925-324-3400 or roleplayersensemble.com. Children are invited to dress up as their favorite fairy tale characters to enjoy Diablo Ballet’s world premiere “Once Upon a Time.” Join Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland and other favorites in choreographer Julia Adam’s new work, with live accompaniment from the Contra Costa Wind Symphony. The ballet runs March 22 and 23 in Walnut Creek. Tickets at 925-943-SHOW or lesherartscenter.org. Ghostlight Theatre Ensemble premieres “Festival 10: Treasury of 10-Minute Plays,” the company’s inaugural festival featuring actors and directors from throughout East Contra Costa County. The troupe will perform 10 short plays March 30 at the Brentwood Community Center. Visit ghostlightte.org. Kathryn G. McCarty is wellknown around the Bay Area as an educator, playwright and journalist. Send comments to KGMcCarty@gmail.com.

Going solo and being social with art





As a child in El Cerrito, Sandy Leonard used her natural surroundings as inspiration for her art. “I grew up with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge. I used to love sitting alone and sketching it over and over again,” says Leonard, who has lived in Concord for 20 years. After working as an investment banker for several years, Leonard switched gears and got a degree in early childhood education. She spent the rest of her career working with preschoolers in the Head Start program. “My own best memories of school were the art projects,” she recalls. “So I would often place a huge canvas with paints on the classroom floor and let the kids make whatever they wanted. “The process of working together on an art project also helped them with their social skills,” she adds. “Watching kids create was very inspiring.” Making her own art took a back seat to the demands of her job, until she was diagnosed with breast cancer. “I needed something to do during my radiation treatments that was healing and calming. So I enrolled in a class at Mt. Diablo Adult School and fell back in love with making art for myself,”

“Bear Meadow” is among Sandy Leonard’s scenic vistas

she says. “I’ve been cancerfree now for 11 years, but I’m still painting.” Leonard continues to take classes from the adult school for her weekly studio time. “I’ve made wonderful friendships in class, and I really enjoy the social dynamic of painting together,” she says. “Then when I paint at home alone, I put on some classical music and it just takes me away. Painting can be so meditative.” Scenic vistas are among Leonard’s favorite subjects to paint with acrylics. “I love focusing on all the various details of a landscape,” she says. “I usually start a painting with a photo for inspiration. Then after a while, the scene morphs into something completely different that’s in my head.” While Leonard says she’s proud of her work, she has

trouble calling herself an artist. “Maybe it’s because I just paint for myself as a hobby. But then I joined the Concord Art Association to start showing my work, and I’ve actually sold several pieces over the last few years,” she reveals. Leonard, who has work in the group’s current show, appreciates the positive feedback from members and enjoys the growing arts community. “We’re doing great work to build more awareness and keep the arts alive in Concord forever.” “Landscapes of the Mind” runs through March at the aRt Cottage, 2238 Mt. Diablo St., Concord. Lisa Fulmer is a mixed media artist, small business marketing consultant and community arts advocate.

March15, 2019

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Page B9

Spruce up any area with a unique accent wall Lately, accent walls have become my design obsession. I think we’ve all had a fling with an accent wall. You know, that wall in the dining room you painted Polo red because it seemed the boldest choice to bring some life into your ho-hum dining room. In home décor, we often look for a quick fix to create drama, pizzazz and a focal point. While there’s some debate that accent walls may be dated, I think an accent wall can be an amazing artistic addition if done well. FROM BACKSPLASH TO SHOWER

A mural can be a dynamic option for an accent wall.

Accent walls in the kitchen or bathroom are probably the easiest to transform to update existing living spaces or when starting from scratch because the areas that you would be calling out are already somewhat defined.

Although you may still love your granite or quartz kitchen countertops, the backsplash may have become unimpressive. The backsplash can turn into the perfect accent wall, or series of walls, when you add decorative punch. Tiles with bold and exotic colors, interesting hand-painted tiles or uniquely shaped mosaics and patterns will help create a bold and beautiful, or quiet and serene, accent wall. In the bathroom, the shower or tub-shower combination has quite a bit of tiled square footage. White tile is always a clean, fresh-looking material. But when tile starts to look drab and lifeless, consider making one shower wall a work of art. We use slabs of granite and marble on horizontal surfaces all the time, so there’s no reason not to use these same

slabs vertically in the shower. Some granite and marble slabs are absolutely stunning, handmade by Mother Nature, with unique colors and designs. Consider placing an entire slab on the back wall of the shower, free and clear of plumbing fixtures, shower niches or seating that would break up the design. Frame the slab using classic subway tile on the opposing walls; a slab has never been more revered.

TIME TO GET CREATIVE You can feature accent walls throughout a residence: the back wall of the powder room or master bathroom water closet, the main wall in the entry or the wall at the end of a bedroom hallway. Or opt for the wall behind the bed in the master or guest bedroom and even the walls



inside built-in bookcases. All of these spaces can be transformed into accent walls using materials like intricate stone or ceramic mosaics, wallpaper or fabric with unique colors and patterns, reclaimed wood, antiqued metal panels, staggered artwork and, yes, let’s go there: even a Polo red wall.

Jennifer Leischer is the owner of J. Designs Interior Design based in Clayton. Contact her with questions, comments and suggestions at jenna@j-designs.com.

FreshWay a healthy option for seafood



If your 2019 resolution to eat healthy has already gone by the wayside, visit the Concord farmers market to get back on track. The farmers market is the perfect place to find healthy spring vegetables and fruits, grass-fed beef, fresh seafood, local honey and whole-grain breads. FreshWay Fish brings a variety of heart-healthy

seafood, from scallops and shrimp to salmon and halibut, to the Tuesday market in Concord. Established in 2012, the family-owned and operated seafood company started by selling at local farmers markets and took off from there. The Roseville company now sells at more than 50 farmers markets throughout Northern California and Nevada. In addition, they offer a special order service if you don’t see what you want at the market. FreshWay products include fresh fish fillets, smoked fish and other seafood commodities. They smoke their own fish and prepare all ready-toeat products from their own

recipes. You won’t be disappointed with their quality and service at the market. In fact, many customers come back each week to stock up. The smoked salmon is a customer favorite. The U.S. Department of Agriculture finds that 37 percent of seafood found at supermarkets is mislabeled. However, seafood purveyors at farmers markets must be inspected and licensed so you can be assured you’re buying what you were promised. Fish is the No. 1 source for omega-3 fatty acids, which are excellent for heart health. Fatty fish like salmon, trout, sardines, tuna and mackerel are higher in fat-based nutri-

B8 loses to development, seeks new downtown venue KATHRYN G. MCCARTY The Pioneer

The show must go on for B8 Theatre Company, despite recently losing its downtown Concord venue. In addition to producing theater, the company is now tasked with raising funds to secure a new location and convert it into a “black box” theater. According to artistic director JanLee Marshall, the B8 Building Committee began exploring locations near the current Clayton Road theater after learning Browman Development Co. would demolish the building to make way for an upscale housing/retail complex. The theater company is scrambling to secure a new home in a competitive and quickly developing real estate market, said managing director Maureen-Theresa Williams. The company created the “$88 for 8” campaign to raise funds for a new space. Marshall said B8 has been working with the Concord Development Department and hopes the city will include arts as a part of growth. “Sadly, the development of many areas seems to be the demise of the small, nonprofit or locally owned organizations and businesses. The East Bay has had a number of small theater companies lose their spaces due to development,” Marshall said. The company is pleased with the audiences and artists the group has drawn to the area and wants to continue to perform in downtown Concord. B8 prides itself on providing theater, as well as music, improv, dance and visual arts. B8 founders Marshall and

Kathryn G. McCarty

Maureen-Theresa Williams, left, and JanLee Marshall founded B8Theatre Company, which had to vacate its Clayton Road venue.

Williams are seasoned theater artists. Decades ago, the two began working with the “nomadic” theater company originally known as Butterfield 8, performing at the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek, Town Hall in Lafayette and the Schoolhouse Theatre in Pleasant Hill. Butterfield took residency at Cue Productions for two years before moving into the Clayton Road venue in 2016. Now they are on the move again, and Marshall wants the new space to be the theater “we couldn’t find when we were just starting.” When the curtain rises again, Marshall said B8 pledges to continue fulfilling its mission of providing theater education as well as fostering new play-

wrights and performing the “B8 Twist,” in which classic scripts are re-imagined. In April, the company will open a three-week run of the world premiere of “Pinned Butterfly” by Adam Esquenazi Douglas at the Concord Historical Society. The play is a story of division and coming together, which seems an appropriate theme for the company. Although the space for it has yet to be determined, the last show of the current season will be a gender-bending “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” “I like to think I can turn anything into a theater,” Marshall said. “But wherever we go, we’d like to be there forever.” For more information, visit b8theatre.org.

ents. They also contain high concentrations of Vitamin D, a nutrient most of us lack. Pick up some of FreshWay’s products and enjoy the health benefits and fresh flavors.


1 whole tilapia, 1½ -2 lbs. 1 sliced lemon or a mix of lemon and other citrus fruits 5 sprigs parsley 2 lbs. sea salt 1 egg white Olive oil

Preheat oven to 450. Rinse out the fish cavity and face and blot dry on paper towels. Mix sea salt and egg white so that the salt is the consistency of wet sand. Sparingly stuff the cavity with parsley and citrus slices; overstuffing will result in significantly longer cooking time. Spread a third of the salt

Fresh fish for dinner. your heart will love you for it. Visit the Tuesday Farmers Market for a wide variety of heart healthy choices like halibut and salmon.

mixture on the bottom of the baking sheet. Place the stuffed fish on top and spoon the rest of the salt mixture over the fish, patting and shaping the salt as you go, until the fish is ensconced. Bake 20 minutes, then rest 10 minutes. Crack open the crust with a heavy knife, pounding with the side so as to not damage the fish.

Remove and discard crust. Slice the skin along the top fin and gently peel away the skin. Filet the fish, garnish with lemon slices and finish with olive oil and salt. Recipe: Cookin’ the Market, PCFMA

The Concord Farmers Market is in Todos Santos Plaza Tuesdays & Thursdays. See ad pg. B6 for hours.

Page B10

The Pioneer • www.pioneerpublishers.com

Colorful azaleas play well in the garden with others

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•Window Coverings •Design and Project Management •Licensed General Contractor •Hunter Douglas Priority Dealer •26 years of Design Experience •Clayton resident for 20 years

Office: 925.672.7920 email: carol@interiorspanache.com www.interiorspanache.com


March is about green hills, daffodils and the beginning of spring. The recent dreary days have us craving sunshine, warm days and flowers. Folks are probably behind in garden chores, so there is much to do in March. Shade-loving shrubs such as azaleas and pieris rule spring gardens with their soft color palettes. Azaleas are the backbone of a partial-shade garden. They naturally grow wider than tall, making them

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sura has rosy-pink flower clusters. Pieris grows slow and steady, becoming taller than wide. It appears layered when blooming. This shrub is nice grouped but is also successful planted as a focal point.


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March 15, 2019


Fertilize Japanese maple trees now, as their new leaves begin to emerge. They are susceptible to a soil-borne virus called Verticillium wilt. The symptoms of dying leaves and blackening stems are obvious. Choose a fertilizer formulatAZALEA PHOENICIA ed specifically to feed Japanese maples. Look for formulas with useful in many landscape sce- (white), Red Bird (double red- low numbers such as 4-8-5, narios. Consider installing an dish-pink) and Phoenicia with additional mycorrhiza. The azalea shrub if you need a (bright magenta pink) are mycorrhiza helps them stay foundation planting under a among the best. healthy from the inside. The northeast facing window or healthier the trees are, the better GORGEOUS FLOWERS you’re looking for a companthey’ll be at defending themAND FOLIAGE ion evergreen beneath a selves against pest and disease. Pieris is a fantastic evergreen Japanese maple. Crape myrtle shrubs and with pendulous clusters of Azaleas need a good start trees should be pruned now, but white or pink flowers that arch please don’t butcher them. at installation. They prefer a loose soil consistency for opti- on long stems March through Prune away last summer’s seed mum growth, so install using a April. Pieris is commonly called heads, remove crossing and premium soil conditioner built a Lily of the Valley shrub, getweak branches, even out the ting its name from the shape of overall appearance and remove for acid-loving plants. Dig the flowers. holes wider than deep for twiggy, lateral branches. This After the flowers fade, pieris time of year, give a dose of good root growth and take has an onset of fresh foliage. care to massage the roots to granular multi-purpose fertilizer loosen root-balls before plant- The display of new leaf is and water in using a fertilizer almost as dramatic as the flow- assist like Perc-O-Late Plus to ing. You don’t want azaleas ers. The growth emerges dark going into the ground with push the fertilizer deeper into red, just like a Japanese maple. roots looking like they just the soil. This feeding will be a The red contrasts with the rest wakeup for a new set of leaves. came out of the pot. of the shrub’s green foliage, Not all azaleas are alike. Nicole is the Garden Girl at and the difference in color is Some have proven to deal R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. exciting. with our clay soil and hot You can contact her with questions or Pieris Temple Bells has pure summers better than others. comments by email at white flowers, while Pieris KatHappy Days (purple), Alaska gardengirl94517@yahoo.com

Phenomenal February could become Miracle March

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Tahoe area ski resorts are reporting more than 400 inches of snow this season, and we still have March and April lined up to deliver copious amounts of powder. The legendary atmospheric river could drop enough precipitation to push us into the fifth largest snowpack in 40 years. Snow sports enthusiasts confirm the powder has been deep, real deep, so much that we are at more than 152 percent of our historical snowpack in California. Don’t forget that March 2018 brought 212 inches of snow, so fingers are crossed Mother Nature will once again deliver an epic finish to an already monumental year. Whether you ski or board, prefer black diamonds or friendly greens, drool over groomers or like choking on cold smoke, there are 15-plus ski resorts within a modest drive. In a normal year, my annual powder pilgrimage requires plane tickets, shuttle vans, trail map scouting and layovers. Not this year, because all the snow is right here near home. The spirit of powder transforms office jockeys into weekend powder hounds. And this year, we aren’t talking your dad’s ankle-high powder. We are talking kids crying, please don’t lose a ski, it’s almost too deep stuff. But cold days and snowy conditions have kept people off the slopes and left the

Lake Tahoe view from the top of the Sky Express Chair at Heavenly Mountain Resort.

diehards up to their own devices while running laps and getting free refills. (Google it.) Here are a few “on the cheap” tips to get you on the slopes: Gear. You can buy equipment (more expensive), hit up ski swaps (cheaper) or rent all the gear you need at Sports Basement. Rent for a day ($35) or opt for a season rental ($200). They even rent jackets, pants and gloves. All ski resorts have rental departments, but beat the lines and take care of it locally. Lift tickets. Don’t get robbed at the ticket window. Check REI or Sports Basement for deals. Also visit liftopia.com to have online discounts sent to your phone – show and go. If you want to rise to the next level, consider the EPIC Pass that offers a Tahoe Local Pass. You get unlimited riding at three local mountains (Heavenly, Kirkwood and Northstar), plus bonus days in Colorado, Utah and Canada. A must have for the hardcore rider. Road conditions. Check Caltrans before travel at 800427-ROAD. Download the CARR app and always carry water and blankets. Best runs. Here’s my 2

cents, based on a dude who can still turn ’em. I like trees, steeps, powder and cruisers Heavenly. Sky and Canyon Express – High Five, Mott Canyon – Pine Nuts and Dipper. Northstar. Lookout Mountain – Martis, Backside – Rail Splitter trees. Sierra-at-Tahoe. Grandview – Upper Dynamite, West Bowl – Horsetail. Kirkwood. Sentinel Bowl, the Wall, Vista T-Bar Chutes, Sunnyside. Bear Valley. Grizzly Bowl – West Ridge, Monte Wolfe, Tigger’s. Squaw. Attic, Sun Bowl, Rock Garden, Granite Chief. Alpine. Art’s Knob, Promised Land, Three Sisters, Grouse Rock. If I missed your mountain, drop me a line. I’d love to hear about it. This year is the perfect chance to ride the fresh stuff. Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood are extending operations into late April with bonus, three-day weekends. Get out there.

Contact Kevin Parker with comments or questions by email at LukeHollywood@gmail.com

Profile for Pioneer Publishers

MAR 15 The Pioneer 2019  

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

MAR 15 The Pioneer 2019  

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

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