IT’S YOUR PAPER
Final district map approved
From the desk of...
March 23, 2018
TAMARA STEINER Concord Pioneer
Considering ways to keep electorate informed
For the last nine years, I have been producing the survey site PulseofConcord.com, where I ask or echo questions on issues or topics of local interest. They include things like: Should we ban roosters? Do you know someone who is unemployed? Should we have retail cannabis sales? Who are you supporting for president? With the recent formation of City Council districts, I thought that elected officials might produce district newsletters and I proposed regular information columns on my Facebook page. This led to a basic question: What do you want to know about local government or your elected officials? In a district newsletter, I would answer the following questions: • What are the city projects in the district? • What city projects affect the district? • What is going on in the district? • What is going on in the city as a whole? • What are local complaints or concerns? • Whom can residents contact? I also thought it would be interesting to write about this or that local hero, regular folk, or a favorite local dog or (bite my tongue) cat story as a way to introduce people to each other in the district. Elected officials have to be open to all views and weigh everything, but at the same time we have to stand for some things. Do you want an informational newsletter only, or do you want hard-core issues presented but not discussed? The city does not pay for newsletters, postage or anything related to them. A mailed newsletter could cost $3,000 for a district with 6,000 households and maybe 15,000 voters. Do you want another email? Will you read it? And what do you really want in it? We have to be aware that there is division between the wanting to know, the need to know and the right to know when it comes to individuals such as elected officials, as opposed to more apparent things like where your money is going or when is that canyon disguised as a pothole going to be fixed? You have every right to know where your taxes are going, but you have no right to know the ethnic or religious background of the person who is spending the money. So what do you want to know? Tell me at EdiBirsan@gmail.com.
City of Concord
Concord is one of several cities in California to change the way they elect their city council members to comply with the California Voting Rights Act passed in 2001. Beginning this November, Concord voters will cast their ballot for candidates running from their district only. No longer will council members be elected at-large. Voters in Districts 1, 3 and 5 will elect representatives to four-year terms in 2018. Council seats in Districts 2 and 4 will be up for election in 2020. The white hole between districts 1 and 5 is the unicorporated area around Ayers Road.
JOHN T. MILLER Correspondent
Students displayed their ingenuity with hands-on science and engineering stations, robotic challenges and a monster robot demonstration at the second annual Mt. Diablo Unified School District’s STEM Showcase. Hundreds of families, along with school board members, district administrators and Superintendent Nellie Meyer attended the March 11 event at Willow Creek Center. STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and math, and the showcase is the modern-day equiva-
Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Performing Arts . . . . . .16
lent of the science fairs that used to be held at elementary schools. Rather than a competition, however, the selections on display were chosen on a loose set of criteria that asked students to explain why they selected the topic or problem. The students do not move onto any further competition. “The main shift to the showcase from our previous science fair is that we are aligning to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which requires students to think, collaborate and dive deeply into their topics,” said Jan Robertson, a science instructional coach with the
district. The showcase divided the projects into Science Inquiry and Engineering Design. For example, Woodside Elementary student Viran EdussuriyaEssl investigated sourdough batteries for his science experiment, and Braelynn Rigel from Sun Terrace Elementary worked on engineering an air conditioner. Classes could also enter group projects, such as building bridges or a mechanical digging arm. “We have seen a great improvement in the projects over the past few years as
KARA NAVOLIO Correspondent
iation for more than 50 years. It is a creative way to address two housing needs in the Bay Area: seniors who want to stay in their homes and the lack of affordable housing. The program is open to all ages. Seniors who are living independently may be in need of companionship or someone to help with cooking or errands. Renters are often someone who can lend a hand in exchange for lower rent. “It was a miracle match,” Mike said. “I told a pastor at Christ the King Church what I was looking for: a work trade for housing. He directed me to Home Share.” At the same time, Ed’s son
See STEM, page 9
Photo courtesy MDUSD
Braelynn Rigel, a fourth-grader at Sun Terrace Elementary in Concord, created a DIY air conditioning engineering project for this year’s STEM Showcase.
Home Share program looks for perfect matches
Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . .15 From the desk of . . . . . .6
See Plan, page 9
Brainy kids take science and engineering seriously at MDUSD STEM Showcase
Community . . . . . . . . . . .2
The Concord City Council gave final approval Feb. 27 to a district election plan that will dramatically change the way voters have always elected their council members. The city will move to district-based elections this fall to comply with the California Voting Rights Act of 2001. The CVRA says at-large elections are illegal when they “impair the ability of a protected class … to elect candidates of its choice or otherwise influence the outcome of an election,” which happens frequently when minorities are clustered in a geographic area. The new plan is a radical shift from at-large elections that have always been held in Concord where every voter in the city votes for the full slate of candidates. Concord’s map creates five separate districts of equal population (approximately 24,000 each). The CVRA requires that communities of interest (neighborhoods sharing schools, shopping areas, etc.) stay together and that the dis-
Photo courtesy Home Share
Ed Hine, shown here with son Jim, spent the last few months of his life in a successful Home Share match.
Homeowner Ed Hine was 92 and wanted companionship and help with meal preparation. Mike, in his 40s, was looking for affordable rent and a more meaningful job where he could help people. The two found each other through the Home Share Program offered by Covia, formally called Episcopal Senior Communities. Home Share is just one of many services offered by Covia, a non-denominational, nonprofit that has been delivering housing and services to people regardless of their religious affil-
Jim read an article about the program. “It was exactly what I was looking for for my dad,” he said. Max Moy-Borgen, director of the Contra Costa Home Share Program, facilitated the match. Moy-Borgen assists in filling out applications, interviews people to find out preferences, does background checks and draws up contracts. “This is all done to minimize conflict down the road and ensure compatibility,” Moy-Borgen explained. “They make sure everyone is comfortable, and it’s great they handle all the paperwork. He puts everything in writing,” Jim Hine said. “It couldn’t have worked out better for us.”
The Home Share Program of Contra Costa has matched three pairs since its inception about a year ago. A Marin County program has been in existence for four years, with 22 current matches and more than 100 people served. The program recently expanded into San Francisco, where six matches have been made. Mike was homeless for 17 months prior to moving in with Ed in October 2017. He had suffered through a job loss, health problems and separation from his wife. “We watched the World Series together and played cards
See Share, page 5
Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com
March 23, 2018
Olympic star Natalie Coughlin inaugurates her namesake Carondelet Aquatics Center “Today, we usher in a new era at Carondelet that will open new doors of opportunity for all of our young women – now and for generations to come.” Cotter said Coughlin used ‘grit, heart and commitment to excellence” as she set national swimming records at Carondelet, was the threetime national swimmer of the year at Cal and a 12-time Olympic medalist for the United States. Coughlin said this honor is “a little overwhelming and humbling.” She mentioned her appreciation for the sup-
port of the Carondelet family over the years. She talked about the opening of the Garaventa Center on campus during her junior year through a donation from the Mary and Silvio Garaventa family of Concord. She said the aquatics center and other facilities at the Carondelet Athletics Complex provide “hope for future Cougars. I hope you use these opportunities to their fullest. I am delighted to see Carondelet place a high value on athletic excellence and I am so happy to see that this new facility will result in greater
equity for female athletes, and truly, for all current and future students.” Principal Kevin Cushing said the development of the Athletics Complex, which includes the 10-lane pool plus softball, lacrosse and soccer fields, six tennis courts and a 6,000-square-foot student center with facilities for strength training and sports medicine, is part of the “This is Our Time” capital campaign. He termed it “the most transformative event in our history.” Looking towards the girls on the Carondelet swimming
and diving team standing on the pool deck the principal said, “you are worth it. You are agents of positive change.” To fund this project, the capital campaign has raised $30 million to date. Other featured objectives of the campaign are the development of a new on campus STEM Innovation Center to be completed next year, as well as a $7.5 million scholarship endowment. For more information on the project visit www.carondeleths.org.
CV Woman’s Club supports Read Across America
Carondelet president Bonnie Cotter (left) and Natalie Coughlin help dedicate the school’s new Aquatics Center.
Natalie Coughlin graduated from Carondelet High School in 2000 and last month her alma mater dedicated the Natalie Coughlin Aquatics Center in honor of the 12-time Olympic medalist. Coughlin and her family were on hand with city officials from Concord and Walnut Creek as well as CHS administrators, alumnae, the current Cougars swimming and diving team and key figures in fund-raising for the
$14.5 million project that is converting the former ClubSport Valley Vista swim and tennis club in Walnut Creek into the Carondelet Athletics Complex. Carondelet president Bonnie Cotter welcomed Coughlin to the dedication ceremony. “This is an incredible moment in Carondelet history. Our school was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet 53 years ago to inspire excellence in young women.
The Clayton Valley Woman’s Club celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday on March 2 by participating in Read Across America at Silverwood Elementary School. Members brought books to read. Some of the books were donated to the classrooms. The volunteers’ love of reading was met with an animated response from the children. The Clayton Valley Woman’s Club is a non-profit organization of communityminded women who volunteer and fundraise to donate to community organizations and provide a scholarship. Guests are invited to monthly meetings. For more information, please go to claytonvalleywomansclub.blogspot.com.
Photo courtesy of CVWC
Clayton Valley Woman’s Club members Priscilla Manlove, Aleta Huck, Rosemary Harwood, Nancy Boyle, Judy Disbrow, Maggie Gardner and June Gatewood brought books to read to first, second and third grade classes at Silverwood Elementary School for Read Across America.
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March 23, 2018
Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com
Survival of local newspapers takes full community support TAMARA STEINER Concord/Clayton Pioneers
Last month, Bay Area News Group, publishers of the East Bay Times, gave the heave-ho to somewhere between 45 and 50 journalists in a bloodbath that cut its already bare-bones editorial staff by 30 percent. These cuts leave central Contra Costa, including Concord and Clayton, with virtually no local news coverage. It now falls to us, your community newspaper, to step up our game. Community journalism is like a three-legged stool. The publishers and staff are one leg. The Pioneers are owned not by a corporate conglomerate but by us,
Tamara and Bob Steiner, two lifelong Concord/Clayton residents. The staff is also local. Our sports editor, Jay Bedecarré, has lived in Concord or Clayton since kindergarten. Many will recognize him as producer of the annual Kidfest and a longtime Concord Pavilion executive. Our graphic designer, Pete Cruz, also lives in Concord. Calendar editor and customer support guru, Pamela Wiesendanger lives in Clayton. And our professional editors and correspondents are all local journalists. That’s one leg of the stool. You—our readers and advertisers—are the other two.
Letters to the Editor Cannabis Regs
On April 10, City Council will vote on a recommendation allowing recreational marijuana manufacturing, testing, and distribution in Concord. The four locations include the commercial zone behind Costco, behind Hobby Lobby, along Stanwell Drive, and the entire commercial zone north of Highway 4. Unfortunately, this is not the end of it. Retail storefront locations for walk-in sales of THC-laced cookies, candy, and flavored marijuana smokes will soon be identified around the city, possibly including sites in or near residential neighborhoods. This second phase of the “cannabization” of Con-
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JAY BEDECARRÉ SPORTS EDITOR
these numbers and prove it by advertising in our pages. The Clayton and Concord Pioneers are 100 percent advertising supported—the third leg. See where we are going with this? The three-legged stool: one weak leg and the whole thing falls over. Keep community journalism alive. PG&E’s 33 percent. And for Read the Pioneer. And those who want to Opt Up to support our advertisers. 100 percent renewable content sourced from California wind and solar farms, the cost for a typical home is only $2 more per month compared to PG&E. California is only one of 9 states that allows competition in electricity providers, and with competition it’s no surprise that we consumers are getting more for less. Welcome, neighbors.
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Readers love the depth of our local coverage and our numbers prove it. Of the more than 36,000 newspapers delivered free to Clayton and
PETE CRUZ GRAPHIC DESIGNER
I’m excited to see more cities in the East Bay offering residents and businesses a new choice for electricity. In April 2018, MCE will become the primary electricity provider in Concord, Danville, Martinez, Moraga, Oakley, Pinole, Pittsburg, San Ramon, and unincorporated Contra Costa County. In Lafayette where I live, this change happened 18 months ago and I love paying less and getting more. MCE has low— Wei-Tai Kwok ered their rates each year since Wei-Tai Kwok is volunteer I signed on. board member with Sustainable Those nine communities Lafayette will enjoy 2-5 percent savings compared to staying with — Michael McDermott Send your letters to Concord resident PG&E, yet be powered by 50 percent renewable energy vs Editor@ConcordPioneer.com
PAMELA WIESENDANGER ASSISTANT TO PUBLISHER
cord will be presented to the City Council on August 14. City staff has apparently decided the tax revenue from marijuana sales is more important than Concord’s reputation as a safe and family-friendly suburban community. Thankfully this is not a done-deal. City Council can stop Concord from becoming the only city in Central County with wholesale and retail pot shops. Our council members need to hear from you! Call and write. Tell them the promised tax revenues are not worth the harm this will cause. Speak up at these meetings!
TAMARA STEINER PUBLISHER AND EDITOR
Meridian Point — Spacious home boasting approximately 2,791 square feet including 4 bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms. Open floor plan with eat in kitchen. Light & Bright 2 story with large yard with pool. Great location near shopping and easy freeway access.
Ayers Ranch — Gorgeous single story built in 1994 but recently updated to perfection. Approximately 2,368 sq ft of living space boasting 4 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms and a 3 car garage. Upgraded, large tile floors, spacious master suite with 2 closets and remodeled kitchen with huge island.
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Plan zeroes in on Concord’s bumpy roads Page 4
maintenance on collector and arterial streets. • $10 million over five years for pavement rehabilitation Concord city officials have on residential streets. been hitting the streets, literally, to draw up a $27 million • $11 million over five years for major street repair and street repair plan. reconstruction projects and On March 12, the Infraas a local match for grant structure and Franchise Comfunding opportunities. mittee reviewed the projects for inclusion in the five-year Grant matching projects Capital Improvement Program budget. The committee asked include downtown bicycle lane the staff for clarification on improvements along Clayton the program, which will move Road, Concord Boulevard, to the City Council in the next Grant Street and Mt. Diablo Street. Grants will also help few months. pay for a Commerce Avenue The plan includes: • $4 million over five years pavement rehabilitation/bike for localized repair of pot- route and Farm Bureau Road holes and base failures, in upgrades for pedestrian and addition to maintenance bicycle safety near Wren already performed by Pub- Avenue Elementary School. The city plans to apply for lic Works. • $2 million in fiscal year grants to improve Monument 2018-’19 for preventive Boulevard to allow three eastBEV BRITTON Concord Pioneer
Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com
bound lanes to flow continuously on the south side between Lacey Lane and Mi Casa Court. Some street repairs will be in conjunction with sewer line upgrades in the Ellis Lake neighborhood, areas downtown and around the Concord BART station. The Todos Santos Plaza project was slated to begin this week and continue with night work through June 7. About 75 percent of the city’s 310 centerline miles of streets are in the “good to fair” range, with almost half in the fair range. Another 18.5 percent are categorized as “poor.” According to Aldrich Bautista, an associate civil engineer with the city, few streets are considered good candidates for a maintenance treatment vs. rehabilitation or
reconstruction. Those targeted for maintenance are mainly arterial streets with weathering, raveling and cracking. “This makes sense because the city has focused much of their pavement budget on improving their arterial system,” Bautista said in a 71-
page staff report. He noted that potholes and localized pavement failures are the most prevalent issues. “These potholes generate a significant number of complaints,” he said. “And the longer they remain unaddressed, the failure areas
March 23, 2018
expand and contribute significantly to the future cost of repair. Allocating additional resources to address these localized areas will help with maintaining the city’s pavements with lower cost surface treatments and improve rideability on local streets.”
Creekside Arts to focus on on creativity and healing ARLENE KIKKAWA-NIELSEN Special to the Pioneer
Many people find comfort in the health, healing and visual and performing arts circles, enjoying the benefits of the power of creativity. Many can experience those benefits, along with a touch of culture and nature, at the 15th annual Creekside Arts with the theme “The Healing Power of Creativity.” This free weekend fundraising event at the Clayton Community Library will open with the AC5 awarded group Clarinet Fusion at 7 p.m. Friday, March 23, plus professional art awards and animal mascots. There will be free workshops, including Paint your Travels (10 a.m. March 24), the Healing Power of Writing with Janet Kettelhut of the Cancer Support Community (1 p.m. March 24) and the newly popular Artist Trading Cards to create and swap (3:30-5 p.m. March 24). Renowned wildlife biologist “Doc” Hale will talk about local Miwok ceremonial and medicinal plants in the Native American Healing Practices
“Doc” Hale will lead a talk on Native American healing practices at the Clayton Library.
Many participants of the Creekside weekend have faced health challenges, including the ravages of cancer, and they will share their creative forms of healing. As a three-time cancer survivor as well as having been a caregiver, I have found strength, resilience and peace through various forms of creativity. Though hitting big drums with large sticks isn’t for everyone, there are numerous creative ventures – including singing, playing ukulele and hula. I would like to share with others in the community that there are many sources, including the powers of creativity, that may help them get through the most difficult moments. The event opens 6-8:30 p.m. Friday, March 23, and continues 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday (library opens at 1 p.m.) at 6125 Clayton Road. Deadline to participate is March 12. Obtain forms at www.claytonlibrary.org or at the library.
presentation at 2 p.m. March 24. Sunday events include Diablo Taiko drumming (2:30 p.m.), Sound & Music Healing (3 p.m.) and the ever-popular Open Mic (noon-2 p.m.). Throughout the weekend, there will be arts and crafts vendors, a silent auction, a professionally juried artwork by local artists on display and for sale, storytelling and songs, and informational tables with local For more info, contact Kikkawaenvironmental and community Nielsen at 925-864-3805 or creekgroups. firstname.lastname@example.org or .
March 23, 2018
Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com
Convoy of Hope rolls into town with free services BEV BRITTON Concord Pioneer
Convoy of Hope strives to raise spirits through health screenings, job and veteran information, haircuts, family portraits and other free services. This year’s event begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 28, at Meadow Homes Park, 1351 Detroit Ave., Concord. Activities wind down after the free lunch. “The Convoy of Hope event is just the beginning of a longlasting movement that has the power to transform people’s lives, inspire compassion and service, and bring people and organizations together like never before,” says Kat Mulingtapang of Compassion Ministries at Calvary Temple Church. The church is among local religious groups, businesses and community leaders partnering with Convoy of Hope, a faithbased, international, humanitarian-relief organization. According to Convoy of Hope, the goal is to offer more than a million dollars in goods and services, including health and dental care
We specialize in educating you to improve and maintain your wellness Contributed photo
Concord barbershop gives haircuts for the big and small at this year’s Convoy of Hope
evaluations, housing and community services information, career advice, haircuts, veteran services, family portraits, grocery distribution and a Kids Zone. All residents are welcome to attend, and no IDs are required. Mulingtapang said 4,800 guests received services at the 2016 event, with 1,487 people volunteering. Ruben De Avila of VIP Barbershop in Concord will be in charge of the haircut tent for the second time. He is hoping to
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together. We like the same card game – rummy,” Mike said. “I never had a grandfather. Ed told me stories about his time in the service. The family included me in the holidays. We didn’t agree on politics, but we got along great.” For Mike, the nights were the hardest part of being homeless. “So it was great to have someone to come home to,” he reflected. Ed died after only 3½ half months, but his son says his
have 40-50 stylists and barbers on hand, compared with 30 in 2016. “There was about 650 haircuts that went out that year. It was awesome,” he said. “Everyone was really fulfilled, and it was just a great time to be with other barbers and other beauty shops. It was amazing being able to serve the community like that.” For more information, visit convoyofhope.org. To volunteer at the event, visit convoy.org/concord.
find a new match. Moy-Borgen is grateful for the city of Concord for its help. “They are providing us with office space on Thursdays and Fridays at the Concord Senior Center. The Family Justice Center is also giving us space to help with outreach,” he noted. For more information, contact Moy-Borgen by phone at 925-451-9890 or by email: email@example.com .
dad’s “peaceful exit” had a lot to do with Mike. “My dad loved Mike. Mike was a good cook, a good roommate and a good friend. He is now part of our family.” Mike, a musician who plays at weddings and other gigs, wrote a song in tribute to Ed and played it at his funeral. “I’m lucky to have had a great 3½ Covia is hosting a fundraising golf months with Ed, some of the tournament May 21 at the Orinda best months I’ve had in Country Club. Visit www.covia.org decades,” added Mike, who is for more information. working with Moy-Borgen to
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Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com
March 23, 2018
Grayson proposes F r o m t h e d e s k o f . . . bill for housing Helping students find a safe near BART stations JOHN T. MILLER Correspondent
State Assemblyman Tim Grayson (D-Concord) has coauthored a bill with Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco) that would force cities to allow housing on BART parking lots. Assembly Bill 2923, announced earlier this month, would force local governments to update zoning restrictions and require BART to approve new standards for housing development. The bill is, in part, a reaction to the delays at Oakland’s Fruitvale BART station, where ground was finally broken after more than 20 years of squabbling. Concord appears to be ahead of the game, having created a new special district downtown while also planning for the Naval Weapons Station Reuse Project. “When it comes to zoning for Transit Oriented Development (TOD), Concord serves as an example of how proactive communities can retain full control over the development process,” said Grayson, a former mayor of Concord. “The city’s plan for the North Concord BART station achieves the goal of TOD communities: affordability for a variety of income levels; a mix of business, housing and services; and a wealth of transit choices.” In addition to the proposed Transit Village, Concord has approved, or is in the process of approving, hundreds of housing units within walking distance of the Concord BART station. The Argent at 2400 Willow Pass Road has 181 units planned, while Concord Village
will contain about 230 units. It will encompass the entire block surrounded by Willow Pass, Port Chicago Highway, Salvio Street and East Street. Other projects in various stages of the building or planning processes include highdensity housing off Monument Boulevard near Cowell (190-240 units), Avesta senior housing project on Galindo Street (132 units proposed), Avalon Bay on Galindo (300 anticipated units), Renaissance Phase 2 on Willow Pass and Galindo (300 anticipated units) and the Grant, bordering Clayton Road, Concord Boulevard and Grant Street (228-unit apartment project). Future plans may also include a USL soccer stadium under consideration. It would be built adjacent to, and perhaps on, some BART land. All of these projects are within easy walking distance to BART. At a City Council meeting earlier this month, members heard about three recent housing bills that, according to Mayor Edi Birsan, greatly reduce the role of city government. The city of Concord will be voicing opposition to them. “As for Assembly Bill 2923, after talking to Assembly member Grayson, we are aware that there will most likely be changes as the bill goes through the process,” Birsan said. “We will have further discussions with him on the serious concerns of the City Council on local input and controls.” “This bill will move our region forward with smart, transit-oriented development that benefits families, workers and employers alike,” Grayson noted.
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route for self expression
Spring is the time of renewal and growth, but growth can only occur in a safe and caring environment. The Mt. Diablo Unified School District is reviewing student progress and safety plans. We have been proactively working on security, and the
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mote informed and confident student self-expression – through the visual and performing arts, the written and spoken word and thoughtful actions. In our schools, we continue to create opportunities and activities for students to speak up, listen up and stand up for their beliefs. Since they are our future leaders, we believe developing this “voice” is important to the success and well-being of our students, our community and our world. We are working to identify alternatives to any walkout that
can afford a meaningful, hands-on civic experience that helps students see and practice how to effectively leverage their voices. As a community, we are planning to help ensure that activities or protests that take place off-campus are wellsupervised, well-organized and well-managed – allowing students to express themselves in a safe way. Dr. Nellie Meyer is Superintendent of Schools for MDUSD. Email questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
H3, CORE Teams bring needed services to homeless
Homelessness has been a growing reality for many families throughout California. We are no stranger to this challenge in the Bay Area, and this issue certainly touches every corner of Contra Costa County. Last year, more than 6,000 individuals experienced homelessness in our county. On an average night, there are 700 people living in temporary shelters and 900 people sleeping outside in tents, vehicles or parks. The county only has enough emergency shelter beds to meet 48 percent of the need. In response, the county formed the Health, Housing and Homeless Services (H3) Division under the Health
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recent Florida tragedy has redoubled our efforts. We have been collaborating with law enforcement and community groups to increase communication and calibrate efforts. We are grateful that so many support our commitment to school safety. As a nation, we’re seeing a surge among young people standing up and sharing their opinions on issues that concern them. Sometimes, they are pushing for changes to make the world a better place in their eyes. In MDUSD, we’ve always believed it is important to pro-
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The Concord Chamber of Commerce has been involved in education for decades. We have always believed that workforce readiness upon graduation is important to our community. The chamber has sponsored many programs over the years to help in this area, including BEST Day (Business and Educators Shadowing for Tomorrow), KAPOW (Kids and the
Services Department. H3 integrates housing and homeless services across our health system with a community partnership approach that includes multiple jurisdictions and programs. Over the last year, H3 has rolled out the Coordinated Outreach Referral and Engagement (CORE) Teams. The teams go into encampments areas and directly connect with the homeless population to offer them services, such as shelters, warming centers and mental health care. The CORE teams have reached more than 2,500 unduplicated individuals and placed nearly half of them in emergency shelters or the warming center. H3 has partnered with several departments within the county, including the Sheriff, Behavioral Health and Public Works. The CORE teams have also helped develop new partnerships between individual cities
and the county, where cities are paying for a core team to address the needs of the community. So far, the cities of Walnut Creek, Concord, Pleasant Hill and Martinez have partnered with the county. It is important to note that the CORE Teams can also be accessed by dialing 211, a database of resources managed by the Contra Costa Crisis Center. The free, confidential service is available 24/7 and helps connect Contra Costa residents to 700 agencies and 1,600 services. As the county works toward the goal of ending homelessness, H3 has gathered data dismissing the myth that those who are homeless are not from our communities. The reality is that 80 percent of the homeless population in our county lost their housing in Contra Costa County. Only 24 percent are chronically homeless. These people are our neighbors and families who
have direct ties to the community. In an effort to keep public spaces clean, H3 has also partnered with Public Works and local agencies to clean up encampments when they have been cleared and deserted. If you see debris from encampments or illegal dumping, please report it to the appropriate authorities so it may be cleaned up. For more information on reporting debris, visit www.co.contra-costa.ca.us/ depart/cd/recycle/illegaldumping.htm. H3 is always looking for volunteers and different ways to engage the community. If you are interested in getting involved with H3 and other homeless service providers, visit cchealth.org/h3. Karen Mitchoff is Contra Costa County District IV supervisor. Email questions or comments to email@example.com
Chamber emphasizes businesseducation partnerships Power of Work), Ethics Day, a Scholarship Program for High School Seniors and our Student Pathways Showcase. This year, we formed the Concord Business and Education Alliance (CBEA) to strengthen the relationships between business and education. “The CBEA’s role is to essentially serve as a ‘bridge’ between businesses and schools,” said chamber board chair Sharon Jenkins. “Our goal is to continue to strengthen that connection and ensure that the model is sustainable so that the students will continue to benefit from the program regardless
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of who’s leading the effort.” Last month, we held our 21st annual BEST Day, sponsored by John Muir Health. During this one-day program, 39 Mt. Diablo Unified School District career pathway teachers shadowed business partners to gain first-hand knowledge of the working world. Teachers learned about workforce skills that students need to succeed and shared this information in their classrooms. Teachers visited businesses such as the Clarion Hotel, Andeavor, Red Dog Graphics, Visit Concord and the Contra Costa Transit Authority. Last year, a group of teachers shadowed at Sunvalley Shopping Center. That led to a partnership between the shopping center and the Digital Safari Academy (Multimedia Arts and Computer Sciences) at Mt. Diablo High School. The students needed a spring project, so teacher Kat Gallo tasked the students with coming up with five marketing campaigns and a
logo to celebrate the mall’s 50th anniversary. The finished product was displayed in the mall for months and gave students insight into employment opportunities. It was certainly a win-win for Sunvalley and the students. The chamber’s 2018 Scholarship Program has just started. The chamber will give out six scholarships this year to high school seniors in the greater Concord area. Log onto www.concordchamber.com to print an application for a $500 scholarship. The scholarships are funded by the dessert auction we hold every year at our Crab Feed. Concord City Council members all make or contribute desserts in what has become a favorite fundraiser. We appreciate their support to help our local students.
Marilyn Fowler is the president/CEO of the Concord Chamber of Commerce. For more information on chamber programs, call 925-685-1181 or email email@example.com.
March 23, 2018 Sponsored Content
Dr. Christine Chung
Mr. S is a 70-year-old man who noticed a lump on the left side of his nose several months ago. The lump quickly grew, and a biopsy showed squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), a type of skin cancer. He was treated for a squamous cell carcinoma on his arm several years ago with Mohs surgery, a procedure in which a dermatologist shaves off layers of skin to remove the cancer. “I hated going under the knife for my skin cancer,” he told me. “Is there another option?” SCC of the skin is one of the most common malignancies diagnosed in the United States, with more than 700,000 new cases each year. It occurs most frequently on sun-exposed
Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com
Looking at options for treating skin cancer skin in fair-skinned individuals, though it may also develop in people with darker skin. SCC of the skin is associated with exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun (UVA and UVB) and occurs more often in people older than 45. People who have undergone organ transplantation and require chronic immunosuppression are also at greater risk of developing skin cancer. This type of cancer can take many forms, including flat red spots, painless bumps or scaly patches on the skin. A doctor needs to biopsy the skin to confirm the diagnosis of cancer. More than 90 percent of skin SCC cases are cured with local therapy alone, usually surgical excision like Mohs. An advantage of Mohs microsurgery is that the surgeon can look at the cells as they are being removed, to ensure that all of the cancer has been fully excised. Low-risk SCC may also
be treated with freezing (cryotherapy) or a topical cream, such as Aldara. Some patients may need radiation after surgical excision, if the cancer cells have aggressive features, such as invasion into the local nerves, or if the cancer could not be fully excised. Radiation therapy alone is another non-invasive way to treat skin cancers. Highenergy X-rays are directed at the tumor to kill the cancer cells. Using radiation to treat skin cancer is a reasonable option for patients who cannot tolerate surgery or those who have problems with wound-healing after surgery. It is also used for skin cancers in sensitive regions where surgery could be potentially disfiguring, such as at the tip of the nose or the ears. The cure rate for early stage skin cancer is more than 95 percent with radiation therapy alone. Radiation therapy can be delivered in several
ways, including superficial electron radiation or electronic brachytherapy. Electronic brachytherapy with the Xoft system uses a miniaturized X-ray source to deliver radiation to the skin cancer. The treatment is given twice a week for four weeks, and each treatment lasts about five minutes. Side effects can include skin irritation and redness, hair loss in the treatment area, and possible blistering and peeling of the skin. The treatment is not ideal for all skin cancers, but it may be a convenient option for some patients. Dr. Christine Chung is a board certified radiation oncologist with Diablo Valley Oncology & Hematology Medical Group in Pleasant Hill. She has a special interest in treating skin and breast cancer. Chung sees patients in Pleasant Hill and Berkeley. For more information, call 925-825-8878.
Tax guidance for sole proprietors
Q: I have started a business as a sole proprietor but don’t know how to file my taxes. Can you help? A: A sole proprietor files a separate form – called a Schedule C – along with their personal 1040 income tax return. A Schedule C is where you report all business income and expenses to calculate your net income or net loss amount. That figure then goes onto the first page of the 1040 as an increase or decrease to other income, such as W-2 income, sales of stock and bonds or pension distributions.
Q: As a sole proprietor, do I pay income taxes on all of my income combined? A: That is correct. However, you will have additional taxes, called self-employment taxes, if you have a net income from your sole proprietorship business. Q: Can you explain self-
mit that matching amount to the IRS. So, if you had $340 withheld from your paycheck for Social Security and Medicare, the employer would pay your $340 and a matching $340 to the IRS. When you are a sole proprietor, the IRS deems you to be the employee and the employPAMELA BAYER er. So self-employment tax is TAX TIME the employee’s share and the employer’s share of Social employment taxes? I do not Security and Medicare. understand why I would pay extra taxes just because I Q: What is considered a have a Schedule C sole pro- home office for a sole proprietor business. prietor? Can I deduct all A: If you are an employee expenses on my home? of a company, you have Social A: A home office has to be Security and Medicare auto- a 100 percent dedicated space matically deducted from your that you use exclusively to paycheck. Your employer is operate your business. It can responsible for paying it to the be part of a room or garage Internal Revenue Service. The where you store products, but employer must match the it can only be used for busiamount of Social Security and ness. You cannot use the home Medicare that was deducted office space for anything perfrom your paycheck and sub- sonal.
Enter the full square footage of your house and the square footage of the home office space, and most tax programs will automatically calculate the percentage of home office deductions allowed.
Q: What kinds of things can I deduct for a home office? A: Once the percentage of home office use is established, it is applied to the sum of the amount you paid for mortgage interest, property taxes, utilities and homeowner’s insurance. Should you rent, instead of owning, you use the amount you pay for rent instead of the mortgage interest and property taxes.
Bayer, CRTP, is a principal in Bayer and Associates, 2280 Diamond Blvd., Suite 340, Concord. Email your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 925-356-5645.
With Alzheimer’s, early detection is important CHRISTINE KOGUT
A dear friend of mine has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The symptoms didn’t just present all of a sudden. His wife says this diagnosis has been looming for at least three years. Her husband previously refused to be tested because he feared his driver’s license would be taken away. Finally, even he had to admit an evaluation was in order. An Alzheimer’s prognosis can be as devastating as cancer, if not more so. We know that as we age, our bodies are going to start failing us. But a failing mind is frightening and tragic. As symptoms worsen over
time, the disease progresses through three stages. In the early stage, one may notice mild memory loss. But as the disease progresses to the moderate and severe stages, new symptoms may appear or existing ones may worsen. The moderate stage is often the longest one in which patients will require a greater level of care and will typically display the fastest rate of decline. According to a U.S.based survey, nearly 50 percent of people are already in the moderate to severe stage when diagnosed. In the severe stage, the patient may lose the ability to perform daily activities such as carrying on a conversation, managing finances and doing simple household tasks. They may be unable to maintain personal hygiene or may not even be aware of their surroundings. They may feel moody,
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withdrawn, detached and forChristine Kogut has lived in the Bring current DMV report to getful. area for more than 40 years and is a interview. Call 916.215.9309 To diagnose Alzheimer’s, former marketing director for the for more information. doctors evaluate signs and Concord Senior Citizens Club. symptoms and conduct several tests. An accurate diagnosis is Serving Northern California for Over 30 Years an important first step to & ensure you have appropriate treatment, care, family education and plans for the future. Specializing in Large Medications may improve cogHazardous Trees & nition and overall function or Heritage Oak trees even slow down symptoms for Crane Service a time. Tree & Stump Removal Forgetfulness and occaArborist Consulting sional confusion is pretty comArborist Reports 24 HOUR mon in folks our age. These FREE EMERGENCY Pruning/Cabling types of indicators are signs of ESTIMATES Fire Abatement SERVICE normal aging more often than Custom Milled Lumber not and don’t mean a definitive Firewood Alzheimer’s diagnosis. If you’re concerned about Ed Waraner yourself or a loved one, a trip 8861 Marsh Creek Rd, Clayton to the doctor to conduct a few Bonded and Fully Insured simple tests may ease your Lic. #642272 Certified Arborist WE-3386A mind or get you started on an Major Credit Cards Accepted early treatment plan.
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Strategies for preventing house fires
Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com
Q: With all the fires we have had in California, I am terrified one will start in my home. What are some tips to put my mind at ease? A: According to the American Red Cross, 60 percent of
house fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms. If a fire starts in your house, you may have just two minutes to escape. The most effective way to protect yourself and your home from fire is to identify and remove potential fire hazards. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home. Test them once a month, and if they’re not working, change the batteries. Replace them every 10 years. Install carbon monoxide detectors in central locations on
every level of your home. If one sounds, move quickly to a fresh location outdoors or near an open window or door. Develop a fire escape plan with your family. Make sure everyone knows how to get out and where to meet. Practice the plan at least twice a year. If a fire occurs in your home, get out and stay out. Teach everyone to stop, drop and roll if their clothes catch fire. Keep flammable items at least three feet clear of anything that produces heat, such as a space heater or a fireplace.
Tattoo artist stays the course to business success
for bankruptcy but really don’t know anything about it. A: Bankruptcy is a proceeding in a federal court in which an insolvent debtor’s assets are liquidated and the debtor is relieved of further liability. Medical expenses continue to be the leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States. According to the American Consumer Credit Counseling, one of the most important advantages of filing for bankruptcy is that consumers can obtain a fresh financial start. If you are eligible for Chapter 7, most of your unsecured debts may be forgiven or discharged. A secured debt is one which the creditor is entitled to collect by seizing and selling certain assets if payments are missed, such as a Q: I am considering filing home mortgage or car loan.
Cook safely and teach your kids to do the same. Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling. If you leave the kitchen, even for a moment, turn off the stove. Stay home while simmering, baking, roasting or boiling. Check on things regularly and use a timer to remind you. Keep anything that can catch fire, such as pot holders or towels, away from the stove. Use caution with portable fire extinguishers. Keep one in the kitchen, but use it only if you have been trained by the fire department and if the fire is confined to a small area, the room is not filled with smoke, everyone has exited the building and the fire department has been called.
The historic Salvation Army building was moved to its present location on Concord Ave. in the early 1980s, along with the Perry House. Before it was the Salvation Army, it once housed City Hall, the Chamber of Commerce, the police department and the city’s first fire station. It was then located between two buildings on Willow Pass Road. After moving to Concord Avenue, it became a retail store with a crystal shop. In time, the crystal shop became the Perfectory, which if you remember, was a hair salon. Darren Walters worked at Cheri’s Piercing and Tattoos, two doors down on top of the Old Hangout. Walters turned out to be as interesting as the building he bought, remodeled and turned into Blue Star Tattoo and Piercing. He had come from LA to nurse a friend who lived in SF. He had been tattooing ever since high school and ended up working with Cheri after his friend died. Walters fell in love with Concord and its history. When the old Salvation Army building went up for sale, he pounced on the opportunity to buy it and has great pride in the business he designed. He says that when it was the fire station, it had a pole the firemen slid down when they were housed upstairs (which he remodeled to be his dwelling). At that time, Concord had volunteer firemen for this little station. Walters went through all
ON THE MOUNTAIN
Photo courtesy Concord Historical Society
This storied building now houses Blue Star Tattoo and Piercing in downtown Concord.
the hoops of city policies and ordinances to open a tattoo and piercing business – asking neighbors if the idea offended them and what colors he needed to use for his exterior garden and signs. His patience with the rules and regulations was commendable, especially when there were no such rules when he worked for Cheri. Rather than be angry, he decided to understand Concord government a little better. He decided to get involved. He went from voicing his feelings about Concord to getting involved with the Todos Santos Business Association, turning a sleepy association into a wide-awake entity. He then went to Measure Q to the eye watching Naval Weapons Station development. “Tattoos have been around since Jesus, and artists need to live and work in their own environment,” he says. “And the City
of Concord is understanding this because of this community activist that got involved and ultimately saved a historic building by following all the rules by getting involved.” This little building should be happy with its history and proud of Walters for his stamina and patience.
Carol Longshore has been a Concord resident since 1950. She is a community leader and current president of the Concord Historical Society. Send comments and suggestions for future topics to email@example.com.
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We are nearing the end of winter, with Bay Area rainfall still well under normal. It’s easy to become concerned since we are only one wet winter removed from drought conditions. Each month of our wet season had its own rainfall signature. It’s as if Mother Nature turns the rain faucet on and off as the calendar turns. Concord Airport weather statistics bear this out. October was completely dry. The storm track moved over California in November, and Concord reported 11 days of measureable rainfall. Once December began, a strong ridge of high pressure developed over the West Coast. Only two rain days were reported at the local airport that month. Those two days could hardly be described as wet, since
You may be able to keep many of your assets, although state laws vary widely. Collection efforts must stop as soon as you file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. A big disadvantage is that a bankruptcy can remain on your credit record for 7-10 years and can affect future finances and your ability to borrow funds. Also, not all debt will be discharged. Examples of debt that cannot be discharged include child support, alimony, some student loans, divorce settlements and some income taxes.
Send your question and look for your answer in a future column. Email Lynne@LynneFrench.com. French is the broker/owner of Windermere Lynne French & Associates. Contact her at 672-8787 or stop in at 6200 Center St., Clayton.
Ticks don’t have to ruin a perfectly good hike
March 23, 2018
There’s no such thing as tick season in the Bay Area. Our mild climate means that any month of the year gets a thumb’s up from ticks. Still, you’re much more likely to pick up a tick in spring and early summer. As the grasses sprout during the winter rains, the blades grow fast – arcing up and over trails. This gives young ticks, which require blood meals to mature, a perfect path leading to your tender flesh and savory blood. But there are several things you can do to lower your chances of hosting a tick to almost zero. It’s a repellent idea to some, but consider a repellent. Stay on the trail, and if the grass is high alongside, choose a wide, double-track trail. Ticks can’t leap like grasshoppers, or even like fleas. You have to come in contact with them, so they can grab hold. And they will attach if you brush by a blade of grass with a tick dangling at its
very end, forelegs extended in a favorite strategy. Ticks are dark-colored, so you’re not going to spot these little suckers if you’re wearing chestnut hiking pants. Be smarter than a tick and wear tan or beige. Tuck long pants into light-colored socks, sealing off your legs as a freeway upward to warmer, darker destinations. Ticks prefer those, and you do not want them there. Even as you hike, check for ticks. If you pass through grasses or chaparral or sit on a rock in a meadow for lunch, check then and there. Before you go inside at home, scan clothing and gear. Chuck your clothes, do a thorough wholebody check (preferably with help) and take a shower. The water helps wash ticks away and can also prevent a rash from poison oak. Ah, the glories of California. Ticks can carry several pathogens, but Lyme disease is the one we hear about most often. It’s caused by a spiral bacteria living in the guts of ticks. Overall, Lyme is less common here than in the Northeast. Our warmer, dryer climate helps keep our local Lyme carrier, the western black-legged
WESTERN BLACK-LEGGED TICK
tick, in better check. Even if a tick finds you and takes a bite, you may be fine. So stay cool, because otherwise you’ll do something you shouldn’t – like squash the tick. If you remove the tick within 24 hours, it’s unlikely to have made contact with your bloodstream. Until then, it can’t infect you. Remove a tick carefully, slowly, with tweezers, and save the tick. If you develop symptoms, you can have the tick tested – dead or alive. Read up on ticks. The basic info is not complicated, and you’ll be able to hike well-armed with knowledge. You can find out everything you need to know at www.bayarealyme.org. Staci Hobbet is a docent with the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association; mdia.org.
Even with a wet March, total rainfall is still below normal
the total recorded precipitation for December was only onetenth of an inch. January saw a return of storm clouds, at least for eight days. The total monthly rainfall at Concord was almost exactly normal. The hope that wet weather would continue into February was dashed when another stubborn dry high pressure ridge developed over the Eastern Pacific. Three days of showery weather near the end of the month kept February from being completely dry. March is ending up wet. However, even if with the several wet days this month, it is highly unlikely that our winter season rainfall will approach normal. Members of the public and the meteorology community are wondering if we’re headed for another drought. The topic gets a lot of study by the academic community and government. The U.S. Drought Monitor program is a combined effort of the University of Nevada and
several branches of the federal government. Weekly drought map updates provide drought assessments for each climate region of the United States. It’s a complicated process. Several drought types have been identified, including meteorological, hydrological, agricultural and socioeconomic. Many variables that cause or exacerbate drought conditions need to be evaluated, including rainfall, temperature, soil moisture and storage/runoff conditions. The Drought Monitor has six categories that define drought conditions in any given area. Two non-drought categories include no drought and abnormally dry. The abnormally dry category is ascribed to areas that don’t qualify as drought, but have short-term rainfall deficits that could lead to drought conditions. The four drought conditions are moderate, severe, extreme and exceptional. In the last drought, most of California reached the extreme or excep-
tional categories for several years. The most recent Drought Monitor update (late February) shows Contra Costa County in the abnormally dry category. Most of the Bay Area has progressed from the no drought category to abnormally dry since the December dry spell. Based on the current Drought Monitor for California, it is safe to say that we are on a road that could lead to drought. If we are lucky, the monthly flipflopping rainfall pattern of the past winter will continue and this year will end up wet. It would be nice to have enough rainfall to throw a wet blanket on all these drought questions. Find the latest U.S. Drought Monitor updates at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu. Woody Whitlatch is a meteorologist retired from PG&E. Email your questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
March 23, 2018
Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com
Why halt CV’s non-violent protest?
March 14 marked one month since the shooting at a Florida school, and students all over the nation participated in a peaceful protest by walking out of their schools. I thought that as a student at Clayton Valley Charter High School, I would be participating in this walkout. Instead of being able to stand up for my
beliefs in a non-violent, peaceful way, I was deprived of any participation. After the bell rang at 10 a.m., I left my English class and started to walk toward the flagpole where students had agreed to meet. I noted several members of the administrative staff standing in front of the path leading to the flagpole. They were on their phones and walkie talkies, not interacting with the students at all. I further noted that all the gates were locked. I moved to where the principal was standing in front of the locked front gate and asked: “Why are you locking us inside the school when we are trying to be a part of a peaceful protest?” He replied: “The gates were locked like this in Florida and
besides – students said what they felt the need to say right here; is that not enough? What does walking out do?” I said: “It is a protest that people are doing all over the nation for the lives lost and to bring attention to the serious issues of gun laws in this country.” He replied: “We bought a banner to give to the Stoneman Douglas School.” I asked: “What does buying the school where the shooting occurred a banner do? Why wouldn’t we donate that money directly to the school instead of wasting money on a banner?” Instead of having a walkout, the administration had a “walk up” and told us all to be kind to someone today. While that is always an excellent idea, it should not preclude participation in a national, non-violent
action. This protest was not designed to bring attention to inclusion and kindness; it was about gun control I am disappointed in my school. We lost an opportunity to be a part of something larger and come together at a pivotal moment in this country. Instead, there was increased division and disillusionment. I understand that many schools across the country had a profound experience shared by students, teachers and administrators. I hope the students who experienced these life-changing moments treasure them. My friends and I will struggle to make our peace with what happened at our school.
Olivia Montijo is sophomore at CVCHS. Send comments to email@example.com
Strawberry Corner café serves up training for special needs students JONATHAN LANCE Special to the Pioneer
On a recent chilly, cloudy winter day, the long-standing Strawberry Corner café offered a place to warm up and fill up as the bustling little eatery was in the middle of its annual Dine-In Service. Strawberry Corner is a restaurant occupation class training program (CTE/ROP) for students with special needs. The students, ages 18-22, are learning community transitional skills to better assimilate with the general public. Instructor Laurel Patterson says students come from nine school districts in Contra Costa County to the café, which is on the county Office of Education’s Marchus School campus in Concord. “The students are with us for a half of the day and usually spend the second half of the day with independent-living skills programs,” Patterson said. “Here at Strawberry Corner, we teach basic restaurant skill, including cooking, serving, busing, cashiering and dishwashing. In addition, we teach job skills, including how to find employment and how
Students in the CCCOE occupational training program receive hands-on training to prepare them for jobs in food service. Pictured, Elmer (last name withheld) serves a waiting customer while another student looks on.
to fill out a job application.” During the first two weeks of March, the students test some of the skills they have been learning by coming out from behind the kitchen and counter and providing full table service. The waiters and waitresses are professionally dressed in black slacks, white shirts, ties and aprons. On this particular day, there were reservations for parties of
two to four customers. The luncheon guests were primarily administration employees of the county education office. The wait staff greeted the dining parties, escorted them to tables, and took their beverage and lunch orders. The hamburger and meatloaf daily specials were especially popular. The waiters and waitresses served the lunches and cleared empty plates, followed by suc-
“We’ve done everything we can think of to inform people,” she told the Pioneer. “But, a lot of people are on auto-pilot and will be surprised when they don’t get a council ballot this fall.” This November, voters in Districts 1, 3 and 5 will each elect a council member to a four-year term. In 2020, seats in Districts 2 and 4 will be up for election. Incumbents Hoffmeister (District 1) and Tim McGallian (District 5) have already
announced their intention to run for re-election. There will be no incumbent running from District 3, the Monument area. Community activist and Bike Concord volunteer Kenji Yamada moved to District 3 last month and plans to run in November. Mayor, Edi Birsan lives in District 4, the area south of Monument Blvd. Councilmember Carlyn Obringer lives in District 2 which covers North Concord. Ron Leone lives in District 1 but will not be running, he said. The change to district elections is in response to a letter
from Malibu attorney Kevin Shenkman to some 250 California cities threatening to sue if they didn’t immediately adopt a district election plan—whether it made sense for their city or not. So far, only two California cities have fought Shenkman and they both lost, resulting in multi-million dollar settlements. Martinez approved their district plan last month. Brentwood, Pittsburg, Antioch and the Dublin School District are all working on their own plans.
while robotic teams from Valley View Middle, Foothill Middle and College Park High coordinated the robotic challenges and monster robot demonstration. The event included activities from Project Lead the Way, a national organization that helps create engaging, handson classroom projects and empowers students to develop in-demand knowledge and skills. Heather Farms Gardens
also presented a workshop on composting with worms. Students from the Mt. Diablo High EDU-Catering program provided cookies and healthy snacks, while students from Mt. Diablo’s Digital Safari created logos for the event. NGSS, the newly adopted K-12 science content standards, was developed to reflect major advances in science and technology since the last revisions nearly 30 years ago. One goal is to create a set of research-based, up-to-date standards that give local educa-
tors the flexibility to design classroom experiences that stimulate students’ interest in science and prepare them for college, careers and citizenship. Meyer called the STEM fair a resounding success and an example of high student and parent engagement. “When students are engaged in activities like these, they produce amazing results,” she said. One of the robotics volunteers summed up the showcase: “The kids made my heart sing. They are so amazing and curious.”
Plan, from page 1
tricts be contiguous and as compact as possible. The ethnic makeup of an area can be considered, but it can’t be the sole determining factor. The city held four public hearings over two months, sought input on a “Town Hall” website and met with neighborhoods and community leaders in an effort to get the word out Still, Councilmember Laura Hoffmeister is worried that the change will take Concord voters by surprise this November.
STEM, from page 1
teachers are exposing students to the science and engineering practices from the Engineering is Elementary (EIE) program,” Robertson said. EIE is an offshoot of the Museum of Science in Boston, which teaches the Design Cycle as a tool to solve problems. High school students from College Park and Mt. Diablo set up the hands-on science and engineering stations,
cessfully tempting their guests with a delicious dessert of chocolate cake and ice cream. Servers would complete table service by adding the tabs and presenting each diner with a check, then running the payments through a cash register. “The Dine-In Service program is an excellent opportunity for our students to obtain real-life experience, dress for success and receive an excellent simulation of what it would be like to work in a real restaurant setting,” said Dave Fendel, principal at Marchus. “Laurel Patterson does an excellent job of preparing the students to be professional restaurant workers.” Every customer walked out of Strawberry Corner satisfied by a delicious lunch and impressed with the service. At the same time, the servers were proud of the job they did with this life-skills opportunity. The non-required tips they earned were pretty cool, as well.
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March 23, 2018
Spartan Peyton Omania claims 1st DLS state wrestling title
Tony Rotundo (WrestlersAreWarriors.com) photo courtesy De La Salle wrestling
De La Salle senior Peyton Omania, a three-time North Coast Section winner, was seeded No. 1 at 145 pounds for the State Meet last week in Bakersfield. In the semi-finals and championship match he met the second and third seeds and won each match by one point as he became the first Spartan to ever win a State wrestling title. JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer
Mark Halvorson took over the De La Salle High wrestling program 18 years ago and since that time the Spartans have enjoyed incredible success on the mats, winning nine of the last 10 North Coast Section championships and 11 of the past 12 NCS dual team titles. And Spartan wrestlers have occupied every step of the top eight podium at the CIF State Tournament. That accomplishment is now complete following the school’s first-ever individual wrestling championship won by senior Peyton Omania of Concord earlier this month in Bakersfield’s Rabobank Arena in dramatic fashion.
Not only did the 5-5 Omania make history for his school but he’s also just the second wrestler from a Concord school to win a State championship in the past 40 years and only the fifth since the full CIF championships began in 1973. Omania, a four-time league and three-time NCS champ, was seeded No. 1 at 145 pounds. But, as Halvorson said, the California State meet with all wrestlers in a single bracket (no divisions like many sports) is where “Anything can happen and no one is safe.” In his semi-final match vs. No. 3 seed Bernie Truax of Rancho Buena Vista, Omania trailed 1-0 as the match clock wore down. The referee called for a restart and the clocked showed eight seconds remaining. The
DLS staff and other officials said there should be nine seconds and one second was added back. The wrestlers went out of bounds with four seconds left. In those final seconds Halvorson says his wrestler put on three moves and got a takedown in the final second for a 2-1 victory. That’s the second that almost wasn’t there! Truax also finished second a year ago. In the finals, Omania ”stuck to his plan” against second seed Tony Mendoza of Selma, the third-place 138pound finisher right behind Truax last year when Omania was sixth at 145 pounds. Omania grabbed an early lead with a takedown and seemed in control until Mendoza got Omania in a dangerous position with 20 seconds left and Halvorson thought “Oh, no!” His star pupil got out of the danger zone and essentially ran out the final few seconds to make DLS history. Omania is headed to the Big 10 at Michigan State next fall, knowing he’s accomplished something all the Spartan greats who came before him couldn’t do. He started wrestling at the Community Youth Center in Concord when he was six. His coaches there
then—-and now—were Halvorson and Steve Gee. His wrestling prowess was evident at an early age. “When I was in middle school [at El Dorado] people said I’d be the first state champion at De La Salle. It’s almost like it was meant to be,” Omania said. Concord High’s Nick Pica, who was a NCS champion at De La Salle for his first two years, won a State title at 215 pounds in 2009, breaking a 31-year drought for wrestlers from Concord since 1978 when Warren Turnage won the third State crown in two years for Clayton Valley. “Our family is very close to the Picas,” Omania added. He is going to remain a Spartan in the fall, largely because a wrestling
friend Jaden Enriquez encouraged him to talk to his Michigan State coaches. Enriquez and Omania have competed together and against one another for years. Enriquez won a California state title for Mission Oaks of Tulare last year at 138 pounds before starting at MSU this year. At the NCS championships DLS was dominant with eight wrestlers earning State Meet berths with a top three finish and 12 Spartans scoring. The team racked up 330.5 points, barely short of its record set last year of 339.5. Omania became the seventh Spartan to earn three trips to State Meet and the first to ascend to the top of the podium.
Former CVCHS Eagle Kayla Taylor earns all-league basketball honors for Chico State
STATE WRESTLING CHAMPIONS FROM CONCORD HIGH SCHOOLS*
1959 Al Hagerstrand, Mt. Diablo 1963 Pete Laurence, Clayton Valley 1964 Tom Hook, Clayton Valley 1966 Don Ellis, Mt. Diablo 1967 Derrell Hoschouer, Clayton Valley 1972 Malcom Scott, Mt. Diablo 1977 Brian Strock, Clayton Valley Bruce Kopitar, Clayton Valley 1978 Warren Turnage, Clayton Valley 2009 Nick Pica, Concord High 2018 Peyton Omania, De La Salle
*Through 1972 there was only a Northern California championship. 1st State meet was in 1973.
Photo courtesy Chico State Sports Information
Athletic honors are nothing new to 2014 Clayton Valley Charter High School grad Kayla Taylor (with the ball) and those continued this winter while she concluded her senior year on the Chico State basketball team. Taylor was named to the California Collegiate Athletic Association all-conference second team for the Wildcats, who reached the CCAA tournament semi-finals. Taylor played three years at Chico after earning second-team all-state honors as a freshman at Diablo Valley College. She led her team this season in field goal percentage and blocks. Taylor was honorable mention all-CCAA as a junior. She was a volleyball and basketball standout at CVCHS and was the school’s 2013-14 Athlete of the Year. During her final two basketball seasons the Eagles made it to the Northern California championships, reaching the NorCal semi-finals in 2014.
March 23, 2018
Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com
Noah Quichocho Grade: Senior School: Mt. Diablo High Sports: Wrestling
Quichocho was born in Walnut Creek but grew up in Prattville, Alabama. He transferred to Mt. Diablo High for his sophomore year. Wrestling coach Shawn Mietz says, “Noah was an
athletic standout from the start. His work ethic, natural talent and leadership helped to increase the success of the whole team over the past three years.” He won the Diablo Athletic League
138-pound championship last month when he defeated Northgate’s Gage Mettler 2-1 (6-5 decision). In his third straight year at North Coast Section (he competed at 120 pounds as a sophomore and 126 last year) he won six of eight matches to place fifth and conclude his senior year with a 34-8 record. Quichocho has been accepted to Chico State and plans on spending time with his family before starting college in the fall. Besides his wrestling prowess he carries a 3.57 gpa in the classroom. The Concord Pioneer congratulates Noah and thanks Athlete Spotlight sponsors Dr. Laura Lacey & Dr. Christopher Ruzicka who have been serving the Clayton and Concord area for 25 years at Family Vision Care Optometry. 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 email@example.com.
Family ties big part of record-breaking Clayton Valley Charter basketball season JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer
Last month, during a season to remember, Clayton Valley Charter High School basketball player Garrett Pascoe made a pass to a seldom-used freshman guard who sank a three-point shot. The assist on that basket was the 173rd of the season for Pascoe and broke a 32-year-old school record. Sitting in the stands that evening in Dan Della Gym was the previous record holder, John Mahloch, who happens to be the father of the young player who scored the basket, Clayton Mahloch. That the son should help break his dad’s school record is just one of several family and other ties that bound together this record-setting season for CVCHS boys basketball. Head coach Eric Bamberger says his research shows the Ugly Eagles setting at least seven school records this season, including most wins in a season (26), which exceeds the 25 set in 1986 by Mahloch and his team that also featured Brian Sullivan, Rob Oliver and Jon Roberts, among others. Like Pascoe, John Mahloch played four years of varsity basketball for the Eagles. Under legendary Hall of Fame coach Bruce Iversen, he set game, season and school records for assists and free throws. He also set the career mark for 104 games played. He holds the school single season and career scoring records as well. One record he didn’t have was the single-game scoring record. That mark of 43 points was established in 1968 by slick scoring guard Marc Lee. It also fell to Pascoe in January when he poured in 49 points during a double overtime 100-98 loss in Moraga to Campolindo, ending
It was quite a season for Clayton Valley Charter High School boys basketball and there was a distinct family feel to it. Kris Pascoe (left) and her son Garrett Pascoe joined John Mahloch (right) and his son Clayton at Ed’s Mudville Grill on the day the Eagles were announced as No. 1 seeds at North Coast Section. John Mahloch has called Mudville his work home for over two decades. Garrett Pascoe eclipsed some of John Mahloch’s school records this season that date back to 1986 when both Mahloch and Kris Bell Pascoe graduated from the school.
the Eagles record-breaking 18game winning streak to open the season. Pascoe shattered Mahloch’s season career assist record of 413 with a four-year total of 542 and ended with 213 this year. The 2017-18 Eagles also scored the most points in school history. Their 26-4 season ended at the Northern California Regionals to Menlo School. Sitting in the stands when the young Mahloch made the shot against Acalanes were his grandparents Gary and Linda Mahloch and aunt (and dad’s sister) Cheryl Mahloch Hammond, a Concord High grad. That trio were also watching John Mahloch’s games at Clayton Valley from 1982-86. When John Mahloch was playing at Clayton Valley the girls team was also enjoying a lot of success. Among the Eagles girls players from the class of 1986 was Kris Bell. Today she goes by
her married name of Kris Pascoe, none other than the mother of Garrett Pascoe! She and John Mahloch were good friends in high school. In his senior year, Mahloch’s team defeated Ygnacio Valley in the Diablo Valley Athletic League playoffs in an overtime game. The star for Ygnacio Valley was none other than sophomore Eric Bamberger. Yes, that Eric Bamberger. “I fouled out at the end of regulation on a terrible call made by an official who taught at Clayton Valley,” Bamberger says today. Not that he holds a grudge or anything. Bamberger’s Warriors went on to win the Northern California championship his junior season before losing to Mater Dei in the State championship game. A year later Ygnacio was North Coast Section Division II champion and No. 1 seed at NorCals but lost to Menlo Atherton. After graduating, John
Mahloch took his bundle of high school records with him to play at Stanislaus State in Turlock for coach Bob Thomason, perhaps the greatest basketball player ever at Clayton Valley. Mahloch made the first triple double in school history and was second-team all-league as a sophomore. Thomason left Stanislaus after that season to begin a 25year coaching career at University of the Pacific and Mahloch chose not to play his final two years under the new coach. While in college, though, he met a women’s basketball player named Pam, they got married and now are proud parents of twin sons Clayton and Quinton. John Mahloch coached his twins for St. Bonaventure CYO basketball from second to eighth grade and they won the sixth grade Diocese championship. Kris Pascoe has also stayed close to basketball and her alma mater. She was an assistant coach for the Clayton Valley girls team for several years and is the operations director for the powerful California Stars girls AAU basketball program. Daughter Hailey Pascoe starred at Clayton Valley with four years on varsity before going to Lehigh University. She sat out this collegiate season after suffering a knee injury in pre-season practice. The Lehigh junior was a two-time league MVP during her four years at Clayton Valley while her teams won three league championships. In her 2015 senior year at CVCHS she was female athlete of the year, the same honor John Mahloch won for males in 1986. Garrett Pascoe will continue his playing career at Boston University next winter for the Terriers in NCAA Division I basketball.
4 local players named Diablo Athletic League soccer MVPs JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer
Clayton Valley Charter High School defensive standouts Kellen Dresdow and Holly Gallagher were named soccer most valuable players of their respective Diablo Athletic League divisions, joining Roberto Barahona of Concord and Ygnacio Valley Jairo Ramirez as local MVPs who led their teams to the North Coast Section playoffs from the DAL. De La Salle’s Luke Guisto was the MVP of the East Bay Athletic League and was part of the Spartan team that claimed the school’s 13th NCS championship and a berth in the first-ever Northern California Regionals. Central defender Dresdow marshalled his boys team to 12 shutouts as the Eagles won the Foothill Division title with a 71-2 record. The senior was a three-year starter and had earned honorable mention allDAL recognition last season. Senior Gallagher played varsity at CVCHS as a sophomore but sat out her junior year while playing for the nationally-ranked Diablo FC 99/00 team that has been ranked as high as No. 1 in America. Also on that team are Eagles teammates Emily Kaleal and Cassie Bizicki and fellow senior Amanda Zodikoff, who sat out this high school season after suffering a concussion before play began. Kaleal and Bizicki were firstteam, all league honorees this year. Gallagher was an outside defender for CV this season. She finished with five goals and 13 assists and her defense gave up only five goals in 25 games with 20 shutouts. Ygnacio Valley’s boys finished just behind CVCHS in the DAL Foothill Division standings. The Warriors won their first two games in NCS Division II before being blanked in the semi-finals by eventual champion Montgomery. Barahona was co-MVP of the DAL Valley Division with Sam Pinto of Miramonte. Barahona was first-team, allleague the past two seasons. The Minutemen lost in the opening round of NCS D-II. DLS ended a three-year drought from the NCS soccer mountain top when they win the EBAL league championship and then took the NCS D-I tournament, capped by a 3-1 victory in the finals over league rival Monte Vista. That earned DLS a No. 3 seed in the NorCal Regionals where they fell in the opening game to
Clayton Valley Charter soccer teams were well represented on the all-Diablo Athletic League honors list this winter including league MVPs Kellen Dresdow and Holly Gallagher.
ROBERTO BARAHONA CONCORD SOCCER
JAIRO RAMIREZ YGNACIO VALLEY SOCCER
Burlingame. Guisto was also a second-team all-EBAL forward as a junior. Northgate senior Rochelle Arnold was the DAL Valley Division defensive MVP. Carondelet junior Ali Bamberger, daughter of CVCHS boys basketball coach Eric Bamberger, is the EBAL basketball co-MVP after being an honorable mention all-league selection last year as a sophomore. Bamberger was a key member of the Cougars as they won their 13th NCS championship and second in a row in Division I. Clayton Valley Charter senior Garrett Pascoe was an all-league selection for the fourth successive season in a
See All-league, page 13
3 Concord teams earn first-ever NorCal soccer berths JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer
Photo courtesy De La Salle High School soccer
De La Salle soccer dominated the North Coast Section championships with six successive boys titles from 200920014 but for the last three years coach Derricke Brown’s squad came up short in the playoffs. Then this year the Spartans returned to the top of the mountain, winning the program’s 13th NCS championship with a 3-1 win over EBAL rival Monte Vista in the finals.
Ygnacio Valley’s girls, De La Salle and Carondelet were all part of the historic inaugural Northern California Regional soccer playoffs this month but only the Cougars were able to come away with a victory. Fifth seed Carondelet (187-4) had to visit Davis in their Northern California Regional Division I opener. Davis hadn’t lost a girls soccer match since May 2016 but the Cougars came away with a 21 victory as all the goals were scored in the opening half. It was sweet revenge for the Concord school after they played Davis in November and fell to three second-half
goals 3-0. The win put Carondelet in the semi-finals against Monte Vista for the fourth time this year and once again the Mustangs came out victorious, 21, on a second-half penalty kick. Monte Vista went on to defeat Archbishop Mitty in the finals 1-0 to claim the first-ever Northern California Regional championship. North Coast Section champion De La Salle ((17-37) was seeded third and hosted Burlingame in their NorCal D-1 opener. The Spartans fell 2-1 in another game with all the goals scored in the opening half. Ygnacio Valley’s girls (108-1)—-aka the Road Warriors—made it into the Division III NorCal tournament
seeded eighth but gave top- YV traveled north in the playranked Shasta all it could han- offs this season. dle before losing 1-0. It was De La Salle had a six-year the fourth successive time reign from 2009-2014 of racking up NCS Division I soccer championships but the Spartans had been denied another title until this year’s Section tournament when they defeated league rival Monte Vista 3-1 to claim their 13th crown. Their sister school Carondelet, on the other hand, suffered their third consecutive loss in the NCS championship game as they fell 3-1 to nemesis Monte Vista. Carondelet was one of three East Bay Athletic League schools among the eight teams in the NorCal DPhoto courtesy Carondelet High soccer HANNAH MACULAY CARONDELET GOALKEEPER
See NorCal, page 14
Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com
March 23, 2018
Abrupt end for CV, Carondelet, DLS basketball seasons JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer
Clayton Valley Charter, De La Salle and Carondelet basketball each earned a berth in the Northern California Regionals, but the three Concord schools weren’t around long—or not at all—in the NorCal tournament used to determine the North State’s entries in this weekend’s CIF State championship games. Clayton Valley Charter was the fourth seed in Division I boys and DLS was placed ninth in the Open Division seedings. Each team lost its opening-round game to conclude the season. Carondelet can only wish it played a NorCal game, where the Cougars were sixth seeds in the Open Division. The Cougars won their second straight North Coast Section Division I championship on Mar. 2 with a 71-58 win over Heritage of Brentwood at St. Mary’s College right before CVCHS would lose the D-I boys finals on the same floor to the Heritage boys 71-66. The following Tuesday (just three days before the NorCal tournament was to begin) the school announced that it would forfeit its Mar. 9 CIF basketball tournament game “as a result of the violation of team rules at a nonsanctioned event off-campus. “Carondelet expects students to adhere to team and school standards at all times. Carondelet remains committed to the continual learning and growth of our students in all areas of their development.”
Photo courtesy Carondelet Athletics
After notching a 66-game winning streak in the East Bay Athletic League, Carondelet was given the chance to set up an independent schedule this season while playing nine games against EBAL teams that would not count in the league standings. This setup, which mirrors the De La Salle-EBAL football relationship, enabled the Cougars to schedule a killer schedule against the best of the best girls teams in Northern California. It resulted in eight losses in the regular season but the Cougars were still the top seeds at North Coast and won their 13th Section championship with a 71-58 win over No. 2 seed Heritage of Brentwood in the Division I finals.
It’s been reported that Carondelet players held an off-campus party after winning NCS and behavior there broke school rules. The coach of their opponent at NorCal, Pinewood’s Doc Scheppler, was not happy about the withdrawal. “I wish it could have been rectified prior to the seeding meetings” as Scheppler bemoaned a long layoff for his girls before resuming play.
S ports Shorts
CONCORD AYSO NOW ACCEPTING FALL SOCCER REGISTRATIONS
Concord AYSO has begun accepting registrations for their fall soccer program online. The fall season starts Aug. 1. There will be in-person registration events on April 5, April 19, June 4 and June 21 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. and May 12 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Concord Bible Church, 4975 Concord Blvd. The registration fee includes a uniform, ball and insurance. Players who register before May 13 receive an early bird discount of $40. Visit concordayso.org to register and get more information. FREE
CONCORD AMERICAN LITTLE LEAGUE CHALLENGER DIVISION PROGRAM UNDERWAY
Concord American Little League is again offering players with physical and mental challenges an opportunity to play baseball in its Challenger Division. Players from ages 4-18 (up to age 22 if still enrolled in school) can take part in the free program. For more info email Mia Haywood at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 472-8940. For info on all Concord American Little League programs visit callbaseball.org.
DANA HILLS OTTERS SWIM TEAM SIGNUPS OFFERED ONLINE
Concord City champion Dana Hills Swim Team is accepting registration from new and returning families online. Practice begins April 9 and the final day for swimmer registration is May 18. Boys and girls 3-18 years-old are welcome. For more info visit danahillsotters.com.
CONCORD CUP XXV ACCEPTING TEAM REGISTRATIONS
The area’s largest annual youth soccer tournament, Concord Cup, returns for its landmark 25th season at a variety of Concord parks May 19-20. Boys and girls club and recreation teams from 9 under (2009) through 19U (1999) are eligible to participate. Diablo FC, Mt. Diablo Soccer and Concord AYSO cosponsor the tournament. Visit concordcup.com for complete information and to register a team to participate.
TERRAPIN WINTER-SPRING SWIM CLINICS UNDERWAY
Terrapins Swim Team is offering winter and spring stroke and turn clinics on Sundays through Apr. 22 by coaches Dan Cottam and Brian Marker at the new Natalie Coughlin Aquatics Complex in Walnut Creek. The clinics are open to recreation swimmers ages 6-18 who want to get a jump on the summer season. The nationally-ranked Terrapins are also taking signups for swimmers ages six and above of all levels for their year-round swim team. For information visit terrapinswim.com.
CLAYTON VALLEY LL OPENS SEASON SATURDAY
Clayton Valley Little League begins its season with the traditional opening ceremonies this Saturday at Clayton Community Park at 9 a.m. The day also includes team pictures and the fundraising Home Run Derby. For more info on the league and its programs visit cvll.org.
OAKHURST ORCAS SCHEDULE SWIM TEAM SIGNUPS
Oakhurst Orcas and head coach Jasmine Castillo have scheduled meet and greet registration next Wednesday, Mar. 28, and Apr.18, from 6:30-8 p.m. at Oakhurst Country Club. Early registration discounts are given to families that register before Mar. 28. Registration forms are available at oakhurstorcas.com under the forms tab. Spring practices begin Monday, Apr. 23.
CIF executive director Roger Blake commended Carondelet for its decision. He told the East Bay Times, “I’m sure Coach Scheppler will realize that the last thing Carondelet wanted to do is withdraw and not play, but teaching lifelong lessons must be our purpose in education-based athletics. We all should applaud the leadership and administration [at Carondelet].” Last weekend, Scheppler’s
team stunned America’s No. 1 ranked girls team, Archbishop Mitty, in a triple overtime classic to win the NorCal Open championship. Clayton Valley (26-4) soared to new heights before suffering back-to-back disappointments to end the season. Coach Eric Bamberger’s team lost a back and forth struggle to Heritage of Brentwood in the NCS Division I championship game as each team
sought its first-ever NCS basketball championship. Heritage and CVCHS battled through four quarters with the Patriots’ five-point margin of victory the largest lead of the game for either team. They were tied at the end of the second and third quarters. It was a dagger three-pointer by Heritage’s Jacob Williams with 43 seconds left that proved too much for CV to overcome as the Patriots eliminated the Eagles at NCS for the second year in a row. Bamberger told the press after the game, “We’ve played with guys hurt, guys out, nothing has fazed us so far. We got what we wanted [lategame shots], it just didn’t fall. It happens.” The loss came on the same court where Bamberger played his collegiate basketball for the Gaels. Standout senior guard Garrett Pascoe added, “We have another game next week, so we just have to refocus.” Five days later CVCHS lost to visiting Menlo 65-61 at NorCals in a game played at the slower pace which Menlo preferred over the offensiveminded Eagles. The Ugly Eagles started this season with 18 consecutive wins before losing at Campolindo in double overtime, 100-98. They later lost to Las Lomas, which won the Diablo Athletic League Foothill Division with a 9-1 record to Clayton Valley’s 8-2. The Knights eliminated Northgate in the opening round of the NCS Division II playoffs before eventually losing in the finals
to Bishop O’Dowd. Las Lomas is now playing for the State Division I championship this Friday night against SouCal champion Chino Hills, made famous by the Ball brothers who defeated De La Salle in the 2016 Open Division finals. With 26 wins the Eagles set a new record at the 60year-old school. Carondelet (22-9) spent the season playing a “who’s who” of girls teams in Northern California including taking their lumps in most of those matchups, but still earned themselves the top seed at NCS for the seventh successive season. Coach Elgin Leslie’s team was moved up to Division I a year ago after winning 11 of 14 D-II NCS championships between 2003 and 2016. Carondelet won its second consecutive NCS Division I championship—and 13th overall NCS title—by capping a four-game NCS run with the 71-58 victory over Heritage. De La Salle (21-9) lost to Berkeley 54-51 in the NCS quarterfinals in defense of its 2017 Section championship but the Spartans still advanced to the NorCal Regionals as the ninth seed. They lost at Palo Alto 62-49 in the opening round. The Spartans, like CVCHS, lost its final two games of the season. Clayton Valley Charter girls were 5-5 in DAL and 1313 overall when they got a berth and No. 15 seed at NCS. They were pitted against eventual finalist Heritage and came out on the wrong end of a 7033 score.
CLAYTON VALLEY CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL CAMP APRIL 3-5
FOREST PARK SWIM TEAM SIGNUPS UNDERWAY
Ygnacio Valley High’s Athletic Hall of Fame is inducting its newest class on May 19, including swim coach Gino Barsuglia and the 1971 football team. The committee is looking for alumni who swam for the Warriors under coach Barsuglia to invite them to join in honoring him posthumously. Coach Rick Silvey will be accepting on behalf of Barsuglia to share the achievements of his YVHS swim teams winning five DVAL championships and five consecutive North Coast Section championships from 1969-74. Swimmers can get in touch with YVHS via email at email@example.com. The committee is also trying to find nearly 20 members of the ’71 football team. Contact Jim Grace at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are aware of team members.
DIABLO FC HOLDING PLAYER EVALUATIONS WITH TRYOUTS IN MAY
Forest Park Swim Team coach Jeff Mellinger has invited Girls ages 7-14 wanting to improve their skills can take part swimmers of all skill levels ages 4-18 to join the Flyers summer in the Clayton Valley Charter High School softball camp April 3- rec swimming program. Practice begins April 9. For more info 5 from 9 a.m.-noon. Head coach Dave Cooney and his staff will contact coach Mellinger at email@example.com for details. work on all aspects of the game including infield, outfield, pitchCLAYTON VALLEY ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION ing, catching, batting and baserunning. Fee is $50. Contact coach CHEER SQUADS DO IT AGAIN IN VEGAS Cooney at firstname.lastname@example.org for complete details. Team Soar and Team Flight went back to Las Vegas this winNEW DIABLO FC FALL REC SOCCER PROGRAM ter as returning National Champions. Team Flight won a title for the third year in a row with their show cheer win and Team Soar OPENS REGISTRATION Boys and girls of all skill levels in the 6U-19U (1999-2014) collected their second championship performance cheer. Each age groups are invited to sign up for the Diablo FC fall rec soc- CVAA Jr. Eagles squad competed again nine teams. Team Soar cer program which runs from August through October. The went on to compete in the State championship in Bakersfield area’s premier soccer club is offering this new fall season pro- and brought home the State championship. Addison Warren and gram that includes two practices per week and one game per Morgan Wigton were honored with two national championships weekend. Volunteer parent coaches get free registration for their as they were on both teams. Online registration for 2018 begins child. The 8-10 game season includes coaching education pro- April 1 at cvaajreagles.com or email email@example.com. vided by Diablo FC staff. Additional free clinics run by DFC REGISTRATION DEADLINES FOR ALL OUT SPORTS coaches for rec players are offered in addition to team practices. LEAGUES SUMMER PROGRAMS COMING UP Fee is discounted to $145 if players register by June 1. Fee Youth basketball and volleyball leagues and adult softball includes a uniform. Visit diablofc.org for details. league are scheduled by All Out Sports Leagues in Clayton. GEHRINGER PARK SWIM TEAM IN-PERSON AOSL is taking registration online. For complete information on All Out Sports leagues, clinics and other programs, visit alloutREGISTRATION SATURDAY AT POOL The family-oriented Gehringer Park community swim team sportsleague.com. for swimmers ages 4-18 is accepting online registration and an SPRINGWOOD SWIM TEAM in-person registration day will be held this Saturday from 9-11 REGISTRATION DAY THIS SUNDAY a.m. at the pool in Concord at 1790 Lynwood Dr. For more Springwood swim team will hold signups this Sunday from 2information visit gehringerparkswimteam.com. 4 p.m. at Sports Basement in Walnut Creek. Preseason practices begin on Monday, April 23, in its newly remodeled pool. For YGNACIO VALLEY HIGH LOOKING FOR more information email team director Kristi Buchholz at springALUMNI SWIMMERS , 1971 FOOTBALL PLAYERS FOR firstname.lastname@example.org or visit springwoodswim.com. HALL OF FAME INDUCTION MAY 19
CARONDELET GRAD VANDERKLUGT EARNS FRESHMAN OF YEAR COLLEGE BASKETBALL HONORS
Michaela Vanderklugt of Concord earned All-PacWest accolades following an impressive season for the Concordia Eagles. Concordia finished 16-10 overall and snagged a bid to the PacWest Conference Tournament. Vanderklugt was Carondelet High’s senior athlete of the year for 2016-17. She was named PacWest freshman of the year and third team All-PacWest. Vanderklugt made an immediate impact on the Eagles with not only her scoring, but her defensive efforts and work load. She scored 394 points and grabbed 204 rebounds, averaging 15.2 points per game. She was named PacWest freshman of the week three times and PacWest player of the week once with six double-doubles and a career high 32 points in a single game.
Diablo FC 8 under through 19U competitive teams (birth years 1999-2010) hold ongoing player evaluations for prospective new players with formal tryouts scheduled for May. Visit diablofc.org to get more information on the club and signup for the appropriate age group evaluation.
WALNUT COUNTRY SIGNUPS
FOR SUMMER SEASON UNDERWAY
Walnut Country Swim Team head coach Adrian Lohse says the team is accepting registration for boys and girls in the six and under through 15-18 age groups in preparation for the start of practice on April 16. More information and to register for the summer season visit walnutcountryeaglerays.com.
NORTHGATE YOUTH FOOTBALL TECHNIQUE CAMP TAKING REGISTRATIONS
Northgate High School’s Youth Football Technique Camp is June 12 - 15 for players entering second through ninth grades. Campers of all skill levels are invited to attend and learn proper football technique and develop individual confidence within a team philosophy. Campers will be instructed by head coach Ben Ballard and the Northgate football coaching staff with the most current football techniques. Camp fee includes camp shirt, snacks, fundamentals and techniques, competition, offensive and defensive instruction, individual awards, personal written evaluation and professional trainer on site. Visit northgatebroncos.org for more info and to register.
March 23, 2018
Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com
Carondelet, YV announce their Hall of Fame classes
the athletic and professional accomplishments of alumnae who attended the Concordbased girls’ school between 1993 and 2006.” Principal Kevin Cushing said, “These phenomenal women model the characteristics we seek to develop in our students — heart, faith, courage and excellence.” Jayne Appel-Marinelli: At Carondelet she was a four-year letter winner in basketball as well as a three-year water polo letter winner. In addition to being the Gatorade State Player of the Year she earned national honors as a McDonald’s All-American, MVP of the all-American game and an all-American by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. Appel played for the U18 women’s national team at the FIBA Americas. At Stanford she was named Pac-10 Confer-
ence player of the year for the 2008-2009 season. She helped the Cardinal to three consecutive Final Fours, including two NCAA championship games. She held the record as the Pac10 all-time leading rebounder. Additionally, she earned a gold medal at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and went on to play for the San Antonio Stars of the WNBA. Natalie Coughlin Hall: Coughlin became the first swimmer to qualify for the USA Summer Nationals in all 14 events while she was enrolled at Carondelet. She also broke two individual national high school records in the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard backstroke. A 12time Olympic medalist, Natalie was the first woman ever to swim the 100-meter backstroke in less than one minute. At the 2008 Summer Olympics she became the first U.S. female athlete in modern Olympic history to win six medals in one Olympiad and the first woman ever to win a 100-meter backstroke gold medal in consecutive Olympics. Her success earned her NCAA women’s swimmer of the year three times for the Cal Bears, world swimmer of the year and American swimmer of the year three times. She has won 60 medals in major international competitions. Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak: During the 1993 season at Carondelet, Roberts scored 34 goals and had 20 assists helping Carondelet to North
Coast Section and mythical state championships and the No. 1 national ranking. As a junior she took second in the 800 meters at the state track meet. Named the 1994 California high school player of the year, she went on to help the University of North Carolina to the 1996 and 1997 NCAA soccer national championships. She debuted with the USA Women’s National Team while a Carondelet student at the age of 16, won a gold medal in the 1996 Summer Olympics and earned more gold at the 1998 Goodwill Games. Roberts was also a member of the 1999 U.S. national team that won the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup. She played over 100 matches for her country and was a founding member of the WUSA, the first US women’s professional soccer league. She is currently the head coach of the women’s soccer team at the University of Central Florida. 1996 Cross Country Team: The Cougars 1996 cross country team was the first state championship team in the school’s history. The team’s runners were led by senior Kristen (Gordon) Henehan, winner of both the 1996 California State and U.S. National cross country meets. Joining Gordon on the CIF Division III champs were Ginaea (Carrillo) Bauer, Kelly (Piatanesi) Clasen, Cristyn Enea, Kristen Hart, Kerri Bock-Willmes, Maura Kelley, Carolyn King and Katie Nash. The team’s head
coach, Helen Lehman-Winters, went on to coach at USF where her women’s cross country team captured national runner-up honors at the 1997 National NCAA Division I meet. For the Ygnacio Valley induction dinner at the Contra Costa Country Club in Pleasant Hill, social hour is at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:45. The dinner is $70 per
person with children under 12 years of age $20. People interested in attending should contact Debbie Carlin at 518-8455, by email at email@example.com or visit yvathletichof.com. Carondelet will induct the inaugural Hall of Fame class at a special ceremony on Saturday, April 28 followed by dinner and is open to all. Tickets are may be purchased at CarondeletHS.org/HallofFame.
was NCS DIII champ. DAL teams will play a home and home series with league games ending May 17. The NCS playoffs begin May 22-23 with the finals set June 12. De La Salle won the title the last two years and the Spartans have taken four of the last six Section crowns. Boys Golf — The DAL tournament for each division is April 30 while the EBAL tournament is April 20-May 1. The NCS Division I qualifier and D-II championships are May 7 and the DI championship is May 14, one week before the NorCal championships. De La Salle won the 2015 and 2016 NCS team championships. Lacrosse — The DAL has a single division in both boys and girls lacrosse. Eight schools are fielding teams in each league
while Ygnacio Valley is the ninth girls teams. This year, the teams are playing a single round-robin weekly schedule that runs through April 27. NCS tournaments for boys and girls begin May 9. DLS is the defending Division I Section champion. Softball- — Alhambra and Concord have dominated NCS Division II softball, winning every title since 2010 except 2011. The Bulldogs were reclassified to DI last year, opening the door for Concord to end a three-year championship run in D-II by the Martinez school. Concord hopes to move into its new all-weather field on campus as they try to defend their NCS title. The DAL softball schedule matches baseball with the double round-robin schedule run-
ning from April 17 to May 17. EBAL softball began this week and finishes May 10 with the league playoffs the following week. NCS playoffs begin May 22-23 with the finals June 1-2. Swimming & Diving — With five aquatic powerhouses (including Northgate) in the Foothill Division, Clayton Valley Charter will be a favorite in the boys and girls Valley Division. League dual meets run through the week of April 16. The DAL championships are May 3-5 while the EBAL meet is May 4-5 at Dougherty Valley. Concord Community Pool will again host NCS May 11-12 and the CIF State Meet is at the Clovis West Aquatics Complex May 18-19. Boys Tennis — DAL tennis matches in a combined single 10-team league run through
April 19 with Tuesday and Thursday matches. Ygnacio Valley and Mt. Diablo are not fielding teams. The DAL championships are April 26-28 while the EBAL tournament at Crow Canyon CC is April 26-28 and 30. The Section team championships are May 8-10-12 after the singles and doubles tournament May 4-5. Track & Field — Clayton Valley, De La Salle and Carondelet have enjoyed track and field success in recent years. CVCHS boys won the NCS TriValley and Meet of Champions titles last year while Carondelet was first at Tri-Valley girls and third at the MOC. De La Salle won the Tri-Valley boys in 2015 and 2016 and the Meet of Champions in 2016. The DAL track and field dual meet schedule on
Wednesdays goes until April 18 while the EBAL runs on Thursdays from Mar. 22-April 26. The DAL and EBAL league meets are May 5 (trials) and May 12 (finals). The TriValley NCS Championships are May 19 in Dublin, the NCS Meet of Champions is May 2526 at Cal Berkeley and the State Meet June 1-2 in Clovis at Buchanan High. Boys Volleyball — The double-round robin DAL schedule begins next week through May 3 with matches on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The EBAL schedule continues through May 3 as well. Amador Valley defeated defending champion De La Salle in the Section championship match last spring. NCS playoffs are May 8-19 and the NorCal championships are May 22-26.
Diego Ramos (YV), Zachery Lentz, Ryan Roo (NG); HM-Isaac Morfin, John Fuentes, Art Valero (CVC), Jose Reyes, Robert Garcia, Oliver King (YV), Jonathan Louie, Jordan Burkes, Ivan Ostapenko (NG) DAL Valley: MVP – Barahona (Con); 1st team – Enrique Guzman, Bryan Rodriguez (Con), Anival Montes (MD); 2nd teamJuan Hernandez, Nick Armstrong (Con), Jose Rodriguez (MD); HMEmiliano Garcia, Anthony Fuller, Jorge Hernandez (Con), Adrian Canedo, Jonathan Gonzalez, Alberto Romo (MD) De La Salle: MVP – Guisto; 1st team– Jackson Walsh, James Person; 2nd team- Yianni Reynolds; HM- Chris Falco, Dominic Armanino, AJ Tammen, Hugo Ramirez
Juaquin Acuna (MD) DLS: 1st team- Omania, Logan Sumulong, Christian Villasenor, Ankhaa Enkhmandakh, Mateo Sandez, Riley Hilt, Kyle Parco, Dwayne Guerrero, Ben Roe; 2nd team- Zavion Fernandez, Mario Franco, Mitch VanLoon, Lance Hackett; 3rd team – Mathew Peterson
Carondelet: Co-MVP – Julia Gamez, Kaelyn Gemenes (NG), HM-Elana Caligui (YV), Bamberger; 2nd team- Erica Danisha Calloway, Onyinyechi Miller, Emily Howe; HM- Alex Brown Onyeukwu (MD)
JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer
Carondelet and Ygnacio Valley have announced their 2018 classes for the Concord high school’s Athletic Hall of Fames. This will be the sixth annual YVHS Hall of Fame Induction dinner on Saturday, May 19, while Carondelet will be inducting its inaugural Hall of Fame class on Saturday, April 28, with three athletes who won gold medals representing the United States headlining the first class. Carondelet last week announced that Jayne AppelMarinelli (Class of 2006 basketball), Natalie Coughlin Hall (2000 swimming) and Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak (1995 soccer and track) are the three athletes being honored along with the 1996 state championship cross country team. Ygnacio Valley’s Hall of Fame class includes six individual athletes, one coach and a team. This year’s inductees are Alan Bell (Class of 1968 swimming), Craig Johnson (1975 baseball), Rob Tomlinson (1986 football, basketball, baseball), Shanita Bryant Williams (1900 cross country, volleyball, basketball, track, softball), Dave Zawatson (1984 football), Gary Schneider (1970 football, track), swimming coach Gino Barsuglia and the 1971 football team. Schneider and Barsuglia are being inducted posthumously. Carondelet’s first-ever Hall of Fame class is “recognizing
Photos courtesy Carondelet Athletics
Photos courtesy Carondelet Athletics
Tiffany Roberts was such an accomplished soccer player that she missed the last half of her senior year at Carondelet to train full-time with the United States National Team in preparation for the 1995 World Cup where she was a starter for the bronze medalists Americans. She won two NCAA championships plus Olympic and World Cup gold medals.
Prep sports news roundup: Spring sports underway JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer
Spring sports are underway with league and North Coast Section schedules looming before the 2017-18 high school sports year ends in early June. Baseball — The DAL league season begins April 17 with Clayton Valley Charter and Northgate in a highlycompetitive Foothill Division with Acalanes, Alhambra, Campolindo and College Park. College Park has had the most recent success at NCS including the 2014 and 2015 championships and semi-final showings the last two years. Perennial NCS participant CVCHS has been eliminated in the quarterfinals three years running. Northgate was a Division II finalist in 2016 when Acalanes
All-league, from page 11
year where he set several school records and the Eagles team won a school record 26 games. Eventual state champion Peyton Omanio of De La Salle won his fourth straight league champion at 145 pounds that preceded a third successive NCS title and then the school’s first-ever CIF State title. Skyler Morford of Northgate won his third straight league tournament wrestling championship.
(Mt. Diablo); 2nd team- Alyssa Granados (Con), Stefania Villanueva-Castillo, Kalina Campos (YV), Nayeli Martinez (MD), Sarah Freed, Colette Cardinale, Hunter Kenney (NG), Alexa Avelar, Olivia Kreamer (CVC); Honorable Mention- Maggie Soltero, Giselle Lange (Con), Ana Carabez, Andrea Santamaria, Vanessa Gonzalez (YV), Cydney Walker, Lizzie Annison, Savannah Irwin (CVC), Nataly Guzman, Erica Larios, Ashley Galindo (MD), Payton Mannie, Carly Ortega, Lucy Goller (NG) Carondelet: 1st team- Elizabeth Ospeck, Devin Lozano, Hannah Maculay; 2nd team- Cassidy Tshimbalanga; HM- Rory Biles, Angelina Scoma, Natalie Ospeck
DAL Foothill: 1st team- Pascoe, Nick Klarman (CVC); JD Williams, Roman Merritt (CVC) DAL Valley: MVP - Alex Shaufler (NG); 1st team-Alden Friedman, Lucas Shaver (NG), Cole Arabian (Con); 2nd teamJeremy Kaplan (NG), Zach Schaffer (Con), AJ Lloyd (YV); HMDiablo Athletic League (5 local Chris Tavalia (YV), Rayvon schools), Carondelet and De La Rodriguez (MD) Salle soccer, basketball and wrestling DLS: 1st team – Justin Pratt; WRESTLING athletes getting all-league honors): DAL: 1st team-Noah Quicho- 2nd team- Thomas Gregorios; cho (MD), Nic Le Sieur, Morford HM – Cade Arbogst BOYS SOCCER GIRLS SOCCER (NG); 2nd team- Nathan Sutton, DAL Foothill: MVP – DresDAL Valley: MVP – GalGIRLS BASKETBALL Coel Sanchez, Gage Mettler, lagher (Clayton Valley Charter), dow (CVC), Offensive MVP DAL Foothill: 1st team-YsoGreg Ayala (NG), Rasheed Harris Defensive MVP- Arnold (North- Ramirez (YV); 1st team- Paris (MD), Cade Behmlander (CVC); belle Eustaquio (CVC); HM-Kelly gate); 1st team- Bizicki, Kaleal Ruiz, Hasib Miry, Tyler Hansen 3rd team-Gabe Navarro, Maur- Osterkamp, Katriel Segovia (CVC), Katie Hollister, Julia Hage- (CVC), Oscar Mendez, Erick izzio Baglieri, Chris Palacios, (CVC), Sheridan Todd (Con) dorn, Natalie La Rue (NG), Emily Ochoa (YV), Andrew Rinella, Joe DAL Valley: 1st team-Aliza Jacob Coppa, Ben Acebo, Hockenbery (Concord), Karla Besagno (NG); 2nd team- Jose Anantvir Grewal, Jacob Sartorio Roland (YV), Alexa Sotto (MD); Santamaria, Megan Clifton Hayo, Fernando Escobedo, Mar(CVC), David Ma’ake (NG), 2nd team-Auxanna Buegre (YV), (Ygnacio Valley), Daniela Estrada cos Diaz (CVC), Alex Lopez,
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Good dental care will keep your pet smiling sweetly There’s nothing quite like puppy and kitty kisses to brighten your day. But if you’re shying away from Fido’s bad breath, it might be time to think about dental care for your pet. Periodontal disease is common in adult dogs and cats, leading to painful and expensive health problems if left untreated. Dogs and cats are good at hiding pain, so be on the lookout for signs of dental problems that could be decreasing your beloved pet’s quality of life. Symptoms include bad breath, inflamed or bleeding gums, discolored, broken or loose teeth, mouth sensitivity, loss of appetite and weight loss. The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends regular brushing to keep teeth healthy and reduce the need for dental cleaning by your veterinarian. Daily brushing is best, but even three times a week can make a huge difference. While you can use a normal, soft-bristled toothbrush for this, depending on the size of your pet, you may have better luck with a pet toothbrush. Never use human toothpaste, which can contain ingredients
pet’s teeth checked at least once a year by your veterinarian. Early detection is key to save your furry family member from pain and discomfort while preventing an expensive vet bill down the road. Major dental work usually requires anesthesia, special equipment and trained technicians, making treatment costly. At the Animal Rescue Foundation, we recently unveiled a beautiful new dental suite to better serve the oral health needs of dogs and cats we rescue, built by the generosity of supporters Richard Avelar & Associates and Reconstruction Services. Many animals languish in public shelters because they require a simple dental procedure that most rescues lack resources to provide. With our new dental suite, we not only can provide better routine dental care for our shelter guests, but we can rescue cats and dogs in need of more advanced treatment who may otherwise face an uncertain future. Now that’s something to smile about.
toxic to pets. There are a variety of pet toothpastes available in flavors your dog will love. Even a brush moistened with water will work. While many pets will accept brushing with little fuss, sometimes a little training and patience is required. Start by getting your pet used to you handling their mouth and offering some of the flavored toothpaste as a treat. Work up to rubbing toothpaste on the gums, and then introduce the toothbrush. If your pet absolutely won’t tolerate brushing, consider alternatives such as rinses, water additives and dental chews. Avoid hard chews, such Elena Bicker is the Executive Director as real bones, ice and antlers, as of Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Founthese can crack or break teeth. dation. She can be reached at (925) 256You should also have your 1ARF (1273)
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NorCal, from page 11 I girls bracket. Entering the playoffs, Davis was ranked 16th in the nation and Monte Vista rated No. 1 in California and second in the USA. EBAL girls soccer has long been held up as one of the strongest leagues in America. Foothill was the seventh seed in DI and Livermore second seed in DII to make four EBAL schools among the top 10 seeds in NorCal. CIF has been hosting Southern Section soccer regionals since 2008. This was the first time for NorCal winter teams to have playoffs extend beyond the section level. DLS coach Derricke Brown says the hope is for a North-South State champi-
onship game next year but it’s “likely 2-3 years away.” In NCS soccer playoffs, most championship teams need to survive at least one very tight game. For De La Salle it doesn’t get much tighter than a golden goal overtime match. In the semifinals against a tough Pittsburg High team it took a goal in the final seconds of the second half by Omar Khlief to force overtime after Pitt went ahead 2-1 with less than six minutes left. “I’m sure everyone in the stadium thought the game was over when Pittsburg scored with six minutes left. But our team has been in pressure situations all season and they did a terrific job of
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staying calm and doing what they were trained to do,” Brown says. In the first overtime the Spartans got a long throw-in that was headed into the goal by James Person for the winner and another NCS finals berth. It was reminiscent of the golden goal by Garrett Biel in 2009 give De La Salle a win over San Ramon Valley that started the Spartans on their six-year championship streak. Both Person and Biel belonged to the local Diablo FC club soccer program. Coincidently, Person plays for former DLS head coach Marquis White in DFC. League MVP Luke Giusto broke a 1-1 tie in the second half to give the Spartans an advantage over MV and they went on to a 3-1 finals win. Senior Giusto had two goals
BOOKIN’ WITH SUNNY
The year is 1922, and the victorious Bolsheviks, firmly in power, stand in judgment on an unrepentant aristocrat, Alexander Ilyich Rostov. Count Rostov sat out the revolution in Paris, taking no sides. Having returned to a battered Russia, he now resides in a luxurious suite at the still luxurious Metropol Hotel. It’s across the street from the Kremlin, in whose courtroom he now stands. A 1913 pro-Bolshevik poem bearing his name as author saves him from execution. He is taken back to the Metropol, removed from his suite and told he will reside in a tiny attic room of the hotel for the rest
March 23, 2018
Moscow’s ‘Gentleman’ a fascinating adventure of his life. Should he step outside the hotel, he will be shot. From that moment in 1922 until the story ends in 1954, Amor Towles’ “A Gentleman in Moscow” delights the reader in the telling of the count’s reduced life that, in fact, becomes, year by year, a life of such magnitude it could have been penned by Tolstoy. The Metropol’s ballroom, once a dancefloor for the Tsar and aristocrats, is now an enormous meeting room for every manner of political gathering – from union workers to writers to artists. Count Rostov may live in reduced quarters, but he dines and imbibes in the Metropol’s restaurants as he did, years ago, when a member of the Jockey Club. His aristocratic and never-employed background enables him to be erudite, witty, kind and constantly sought after as a companion. The cast of characters
includes a chef, a bartender, a seamstress, a cook who can juggle knives as well as ingredients no longer always available, a famous and willowy actress, a young girl who reminds us of Eloise at the Plaza, various Kremlin-based Russians, a one-eyed cat and another young girl who teaches Count
See Books, page 19
‘Black Panther’ takes on timely social issues with flair Writer and director Ryan Coogler just keeps getting it right. His unforgettable debut, “Fruitvale Station,” led to “Creed,” a fantastic addition to the “Rocky” saga. After those two successes, he accepted the keys to the “Black Panther” franchise. Marvel has been digging deeper into its well of superheroes: “Ant Man,” “Doctor Strange” and now “Black Panther.” The first major black superhero movie deserved Coogler at the helm. As far as spectacles go, “Black Panther” is something to behold. The sumptuous color palette, extravagant costumes and futuristic cityscapes make it unlike most other superhero movies. Coogler begins the movie in 1992 in the slums of his birthplace: Oakland, Calif. He contrasts the drabness of Oakland with the brightness of Wakanda, the Black Panther’s fictional, hidden African home. A running theme throughout the film centers on the extraordinary things people can accomplish if they unite as one. Some of the characters want to expose Wakanda to the world, for good or bad, while others want to remain obscured from the earth’s evils. Michael B. Jordan is one of Coogler’s favorites. After portraying Oscar Grant in “Fruitvale” and the son of Apollo
Creed in “Creed,” Jordan now plays a nasty villain: Erik Killmonger. Growing up in the United States, Killmonger has spent his life turning himself into the ultimate killing machine in order to try to take the Wakandan throne. Chadwick Boseman (“42”) portrays the titular character, still reeling from the death of his father, the king, in “Captain America: Civil War.” Black Panther is a restrained superhero. He does not want his country revealed and fights as a last resort. Killmonger does not believe Wakanda should keep everything to themselves. Instead he wishes to spread the technology to all those in the world with the same skin color. Coogler proves adept at exploring themes of race and equality while keeping the film focused in the superhero universe. “Black Panther” is an origin story; we learn about the character’s history, culture and fam-
and an assist. The victory ended three frustrating years since DLS’s 2014 title that included a pair of penalty kick shootout losses in championship games. Coach Amy Apocada’s Carondelet reached the NCS finals three consecutive times without coming away with their first Section championship since 2011. Carondelet’s seven losses this season included six to teams in the NorCal Regionals. The other loss was to Amador Valley which the Cougars revenged with a 5-0 NCS quarterfinal romp. That was followed in the semis by a 31 win over Foothill, another team holding an earlier victory over Carondelet. Ygnacio Valley won the first-ever NCS D-III championship in 2016 and have
competed in D-II the past two seasons. The Warriors (15-5-5) were the fourth seed in the playoffs and had an easy time with Alameda 5-0 in their opener before freshman Diego Ramos scored in the second overtime to give YV a 3-2 quarterfinal win over Las Lomas in Concord. The Warriors of coach Cesar Chavez—who is also in charge of the YVHS girls team—lost to eventual champ and No. 1 seed Montgomery in the semi-finals. The Ygnacio girls had ventured north three times in eight days in the NCS D-III tournament before finally losing to No. 1 Analy in Sebastopol. Ygnacio girls were seeded 12th and among the surviving 32 teams in the boys and girls NCS semifinals no other team was
ily. If there is a drawback to the film, it is that there is too much origin and not enough story. As with “Justice League,” too much time is spent introducing characters before they finally get to the meat of the plot. The problem here is that we already know the main points in T’Challa/Black Panther’s backstory from “Captain America: Civil War.” We pick up right from there and spend more than an hour with the aftermath (with a detour to a Korean casino, for some reason), while hardly any time is spent with Killmonger. There are also some fruitful, yet mostly unexplored subplots – like the relationship between head of security Okoye (Danai Gurira) and tribal leader W’kabi (Daniel Kaluuya). Coogler’s superhero debut is a powerful statement at a necessary time. “Black Panther” proves that a superhero movie can be successful with an entirely black cast. It explores social and cultural issues that most other superhero movies shy away from completely. T’Challa is a major part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward; his solo debut is a solid addition. B+
Jeff Mellinger is a screen writer and film buff. He holds a BA in Film Studies and an MFA in film production. He lives in Concord. Email comments to email@example.com.
ANA CARABEZ YGNACIO VALLEY SOCCER
seeded lower than sixth. The Warriors first traveled to Marin Academy to meet and defeat No. 5 seed Terra Linda and then they won a shootout 4-2 in San Anselmo to eliminate No. 4 Drake.
March 23, 2018
Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com
sy ay Eag d n u S nin Listeic 4-7pm ucing
Joe Ronco/Owner 925-872-3049 jaroncoconstruction.com
Come join Forest Park Swim Club this Summer! Home of the
Mar. 23-24 .....................................Barrelhouse Mar. 30-31 ................................19-Hand Horse Apr. 6-7 ............................................The Relyks Apr. 13-14 .....................................Triple Treble
Open March 31
Membership info: (925) 278-9988 1766 Mendocino Drive, Concord
35 years Clayton/ Concord resident
Year round, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. pcfma.org.
Second Thursday of the Month Advance Health Care Directives
Legal clinic to prepare and notarize advance health care directives for seniors 60 and older in Contra Costa County. 9:15 11:30 a.m. Concord Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Circle. Free. Call for appointment (925) 671-3320.
Apr. 21 Autism Awareness Walk
Two mile walk. 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Loma Vista Adult Center, 1266 San Carlos Ave. $15-$25. Register by Apr. 11; alc-ca.org. Contact Jordane Tofighi with questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thru Mar. 24 “Lend Me A Tenor”
Madcap, screwball comedy presented by the Clayton Theatre Company. Endeavor Hall, 6008 Center St. $20-$25. claytontheatrecompany.com. (925) 222-9106.
Mar. 23 - 25 Creekside Arts
Arts, entertainment, environmental education. This year’s theme, “The Healing Power of Creativity.” Fri. 6 – 8 p.m. Sat. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sun. 12 – 5 p.m. Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. Free admission. claytonlibrary.org.
ON AND AROUND THE MOUNTAIN
Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve programs are available for registration through ebparks.org. Parking fees may apply. For additional information, contact Black Diamond Visitor Center at (510) 544-2750 or email@example.com.
Apr. 15 Vasco Cave Tour
Windswept landscape accessible only by guided tour. 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Registration required. Meet at Round Valley Staging Area. $30-$34.
Apr. 21 – 29 Wildflower Hikes
Apr. 21 Curry Canyon Hike
ISSUE. ITEMS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY EMAIL TO
Spectacular views of the east side of Mount Diablo. 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Meet at Park n’ Ride, 1000 Peacock Creek Drive, Clayton. Reservations required.
EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Thru Mar. 25 “The Importance of Being Ernest”
Presented by Onstage Theatre. Campbell Theater, 636 Ward St., Martinez. $12-$19. campbelltheater.com. (925) 518-3277.
Mar. 23 “The Music of Pink Floyd”
Performed by House of Floyd. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $12-$29. elcampaniltheatre.com. (925) 757-9500.
Explore the hills framing Riggs Canyon. 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Meet at Morgan Territory Road parking lot.
Apr. 1 Easter Morning Wildflower Walk
Join us for a spring wildflower hunt. 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 pm. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center. Reservations required: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apr. 6 Summit and Oak Knoll Hike
Circle the mountaintop. 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Meet at Juniper Trailhead.
Apr. 8 Wildflower Walk
Diverse display of spring wildflowers. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center.
Apr. 13 Curry Canyon and Windy Point Hike
Outstanding views of the summit, North Peak, Riggs Canyon and Highland Ridge. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Meet at Curry Point Trailhead.
Apr. 15 Round the Mountain Hike
Views in all directions. 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Meet at Juniper Trailhead.
Apr. 20 Windy Point and Riggs Canyon Hike
A 14.5-mile hike. 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Meet at Curry Point Trailhead.
Save Mount Diablo’s Discover Diablo is a free public hike series. Go to discover-diablo.eventbrite.com for more information.
Mar. 24 Photography Skills Hike
Learn effective tools and techniques for capturing the beauty of the area. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Meet at Park n’ Ride, 1000 Peacock Creek Drive, Clayton. Reservations required.
Apr. 12 Concert
Beer only. Good anytime with original coupon. Exp. 4/19/18
Edgar Moreau, cellist. Presented by Chamber Music San Francisco. 7:45 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $50. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.
Apr. 14 Concert
Lacy J. Dalton, country music legend. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $12-$29. elcampaniltheatre.com. (925) 757-9500.
Apr. 19 – 22 “Spontaneous Noir! An Improvised Piece of Pulp”
Presented by Synergy Theater. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $20. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 9437469.
Apr. 20 – 21 Mar. 23 “Zep Live! The Led Zeppelin Concert Experience” “Legally Blonde The Musical JR” Performed by West Coast Performing Arts. 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $45. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.
Presented by SingOut! Musical Theatre. Del Valle Theatre, 1963 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek. $20. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.
Performed by mBody Dance Company. 8:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.
Presented by El Campanil Children’s Theatre. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $9-$13. elcampaniltheatre.com. (925) 757-9500.
Mar. 23 – 24 “Through Feminine Eyes”
Mar. 24 Concert
Performed by Steve Oliver. 8 p.m. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $26. pittsburgcaliforniatheatre.com. (925) 427-1611.
Mar. 24 “Iolanthe”
Political satire on how government should run. Presented by Lamplighters. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $35. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.
Mar. 24 “SuperTrouper: The ABBA Concert Experience”
Performed by West Coast Performing Arts. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $45. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.
Each hike explores a unique plant community and covers steep and rugged terrain. 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at Black Diamond Mar. 24 Mines. “With a Song and a Smile” Presented by the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra. 2 p.m. El Mount Diablo Interpretive Association programs listed are free Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $7-$15. elcamwith the exception of park entrance fee. Go to mdia.org and click paniltheatre.com. (925) 757-9500. on Event Calendar for more information.
Mar. 30 Riggs Canyon and Highland Ridge Hike
2 for the price of 1
PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR COMMUNITY CALENDAR EVENTS BY 5 P.M. APR. 11 FOR THE APR. 20 Tuesdays Farmers’ Market
Karaoke Mon. & Wed. nights Open Mic Thur. nights, 8-11 pm
Pool phone: (925) 686-1333
6096 Main Street, Clayton, 673-0440 Entertainment from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
your kids busy this summer Keep Swim at Forest Park
Mar. 25 Vocal Recital Concert
Presented by Music Repertoire. 2:45 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $15. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.
Mar. 30 “Improv For Good”
Presented by Funny Bones Productions. 7:45 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $15. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.
Mar. 30 – Apr. 29 “Shirley Valentine”
A thrilling, cheer-raising piece of theatre. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $34-$56. centerrep.org.
Mar. 30 – Apr. 29 “West Side Story”
Presented by Contra Costa Musical Theatre. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $49-$71. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.
Apr. 5 – 21 “Tartuffe”
One of the French theatre’s most famous comedies. B8 Theatre Company, 2292 Concord Blvd., Concord. $15-$25. b8theatre.org. (925) 890-8877.
Apr. 6 – 7 Comedy
Performed by Sinbad. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $30-$40. pittsburgcaliforniatheatre.com. (925) 427-1611.
Apr. 7 “An Evening with the Sun Kings”
Premier Beatles tribute act. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $12-$29. elcampaniltheatre.com. (925) 757-9500.
Apr. 8 “Master of the Movies: John Williams”
Presented by Diablo Symphony Orchestra. 2 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $35. lesherartscenter.org. (925) 943-7469.
Apr. 20 – 22 “The Magical Lamp of Aladdin” Apr. 20 – 29 “Next to Normal”
Musical about a mother struggling with worsening bipolar disorder. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $16-$25. pittsburgcaliforniatheatre.com. (925) 427-1611.
Apr. 21 Concert
Performed by Glenn Staller. 7:30 p.m. Clayton Valley Presbyterian, 1578 Kirker Pass Road, Clayton. $15. cvpresby.org.
2nd and 4th Sundays Pancake Breakfast
Veterans of Foreign Wars serve breakfast to the public: Eggs, pancakes, sausage, beverage. 8 – 11 a.m. VFW Post 1525, 2290 Willow Pass Road, Concord. $5, $3 children under 12. vfwpost1525.org.
Mar. 24 Crab Feed
Dinner, dancing, auction. Benefits Blue Devils. 5 p.m. Contra Costa County Fairgrounds, 1201 West 10th St., Antioch. $55. bluedevils.org.
AT THE LIBRARY
The Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at ccclib.org or (925) 646-5455.
Thru Apr. 14: AARP Tax Help, Fri. and Sat., 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Registration required. Mar. 29: Reducing Anxiety through Meditation, 6:30 p.m. Mar. 30: Teen Spring Break program begins. Call library for more information. Mar. 30 – Apr. 13: Teen Scavenger Hunt. Pick up packet at library. Apr. 2, 16: Kindergarten Countdown, 2 p.m. Registration required. Apr. 3: Teen Spring Art Activities, 4 p.m. Registration required. Apr. 5: “Pitch Perfect 3” film screening, 7 p.m. Apr. 9: Make Toys from Recycled Materials, 4 p.m. Apr. 11: Teen Poetry JAM, 4 p.m.
The Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at claytonlibrary.org or call (925) 673-0659.
Mar. 26: “Czeching In: Adventures Beyond Prague,” 7 p.m. Mar. 26, Apr. 9: Clayton Knits, 1:30 p.m. Mar. 28: Junkology with Dr. Recycle, 4 p.m. Mar. 29, Apr. 12: Kindergarten Countdown, 2 p.m. Apr. 9: Clayton Library Book Club, 7 p.m. Apr. 13 – 15: Used Book Sale Apr. 18: Edible Garden and Healthy Soil Building, 7 p.m.
1st, 2nd and 4th Tuesdays Concord City Council
6:30 p.m., Council Chamber, Concord Civic Center, 1950 Parkside Dr. cityofconcord.org.
1st and 3rd Wednesdays Concord Planning Commission
7 p.m. Council Chamber, Concord Civic Center, 1950 Parkside Dr. cityofconcord.org.
Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com
T H E ARTS
Mishaps and mayhem in hilarious ‘Tenor’
STAGE STRUCK Clayton Theatre Company began its season with Ken Ludwig’s very funny “Lend Me a Tenor.” The comedy tells of a world-famous tenor who comes to Cleveland for a one-night appearance. He arrives late and, through a hilarious series of mishaps, is given a double dose of tranquilizers. In a frantic attempt to salvage the evening, the opera’s general manager persuades his assistant to impersonate the star. But the star wakes up and chaos takes over, with two opera stars running around not to mention two women in lingerie. The show runs through March 24 at A must-see blockbuster!
Still one more chance to see Teresa Grosserode as Diana and Ryan Gonzalez as Max in Clayton Theatre’s “Lend Me a Tenor” through Mar. 24.
Endeavor Hall, 6008 Center St., in Clayton, The well-chosen cast includes Ryan Gonzalez, Tamara Filener, Ron Craven, Nathalie Archangel, James Bradley Jr., Peggy Scalise, Teresa Grosserode and Chip Renner and Bill Dietz alternating as Tito, the opera star. Under
Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm’s
“Hooded, or Being Black for Dummies” Through April 7 Thurs.-Sat. at 8 pm Sat. Matinees:
Mar. 24, 31 & Apr. 7, 2 pm
March 23, 2018
A comedic, timely examination of growing up black in America
Custom Made Theatre
533 Sutter Street, San Francisco 2 blocks from Union Square Parking at Sutter-Stockton Garage
La Tonya Watts’ fine direction, the cast plays at a brisk pace to keep the laughs coming. The night I saw the show, Dietz did an excellent job as Tito. I’m always amazed at what this company can do with such a small stage. Once again, they didn’t disappoint, with Michael Wilson managing to design a pleasing tworoom set. Although several actors mentioned that some rehearsals were a bit crazy as the actors managed to literally run circles around each other in the tiny space. I’m equally amazed with Watts and managing director Roxanne Pardi. These women do double and triple duty for each show. In “Lend Me a Tenor,” Watts took on directing and costuming with Pardi as assistant director, stage manager and costuming. For more information and tickets, call 925-222-9106 or go to www.claytontheatrecompany.com.
There’s a new theater company in town, and members are preparing to “entertain, educate and enrich” audiences through diverse theatrical experiences. Ghostlight Theatre Ensemble plans on staging large musical theater productions and plays in East County, as well as small musical reviews in various Delta venues. The group takes its name from the practice of leaving on a single bulb light on the stage to ward off evil spirits while ensuring that crew and cast members don’t crash into scenery or fall off the stage when closing down at night. Ghostlight hopes to fill a gap due to the retirement of Jack and Betty Gaughan, who ran Brentwood Theatre Company for many years. “Several of us got together to think about what we would like to do to fill the void,” said Helen Moore Dixon, vice president and artistic director. Dixon created Ghostlight with executive director Nancy Torres, secretary Kathryn Lopez, treasurer Kami Davis and general manager Shara Main. “It’s our way of ‘keepin’ the light on’ in the Brentwood theater scene,” she says. The new company, which recently filed articles of incorporation, will take over Brentwood’s summer production of “Man of La Mancha” as well as the Performing Arts Youth Academy. To help with costs, Ghostlight will be launching a main stage patron program. For more information, email Dixon at email@example.com. You still have time to catch Onstage Theatre’s production of “The Importance of Being Earnest” at the Martinez Campbell Theatre, 636 Ward Street, in Martinez. The Oscar Wilde com-
edy runs through March 25. The crazy comedy follows two Victorian bachelors and the outrageous deceptions they set up to win over two very attractive young ladies. Hidden identities, a misplaced baby and more make this one of Wilde’s most popular works. Directed by Kim Doppe, the impressive cast includes Justin Hernandez, Wayne Roadie, Rebecca Davis, Rachel Powers, Jeanine Perasso, Christine Sheppard, Jerry Motta and Randy Anger. Motta is especially striking in his understated role as Algernon’s servant Lane. With little physical movement and sparse facial expressions, Motta shows how “less is more” in this classic comedy. While all cast members do a good job, several could take a clue from Motta’s far-more effective understated performance, which shows off Wilde’s wonderful language and funny situations to advantage. Call 925-518-3277 for tickets. Center Repertory has a treat in store as it revives a favorite play with Willy Russell’s “Shirley Valentine.” This one-woman show again features the wonderful Kerri Shawn directed by the equally talented George Maguire. “For Center REP’s 50th Anniversary Season, I looked through the 50 years of seasons to see if there was something that would be especially meaningful to revive,” says Artistic Director Michael Butler. “Of all the shows, Shirley Valentine seemed like it was worthy. Audiences always felt a deep affinity for Kerri Shawn’s much-loved portrayal, and for the play’s messages of renewal and second chances.” Running March 30 through April 29 at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., “Shirley
Kerri Shawn reprises her role as Shirley Valentine in Center Rep’s production running Mar.30 – Apr. 29.
Valentine” opensnearly 20 years after its original run. The story follows a Liverpool housewife who makes chips and egg for her husband while talking to the wall and wonders where her life has disappeared to. An out-ofthe-blue offer to accompany her best friend on a trip to a Greek island awakens the promise of her unfulfilled dreams of adventure—and a chance to find herself again. “I’ve had a lot of people say, ‘I’ve seen it three times and I’m coming back! I’m bringing so-and-so and I can’t wait!’” Shawn says. “I think it’s a story people love.” I would have to agree. I can still literally smell the bacon Shawn was frying up on stage 12 years ago! Call 925-943-SHOW or go to their website www.lesherar tscenter.org. You can also visit the LCA Ticket Office at 1601 Civic Drive or the Ticket Office Outlet at the Downtown Walnut Creek Library. Sally Hogarty is well known around the Bay Area as a newspaper columnist, theatre critic and working actress. She is the editor of the Orinda News. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Artist steps out of comfort zone for solo ‘Magic of Art’ show
Pat Viera’s shop, the Wild Hair Salon, is filled floor to ceiling with her artwork – much to her customers’ delight. Viera has been fascinated with faces from a young age. She drew pictures of her friends in elementary school and honed her skills with art classes in high school. Her parents, though, weren’t interested in her talent. “In those days, most girls were just expected to get married and have babies,” Viera says. “I did that, but I also knew I needed to do something creative with my life and still earn a good living.” Beauty school seemed to fit the bill. “I landed a free scholarship and realized how artistic cutting and styling hair could be,” says Viera, who has been a Concord resident and business owner for more than 30 years. She didn’t draw very much while raising her son and establishing her hair clientele, although sometimes clients would ask her to draw portraits
of their kids. When the opportunity arose to open her own shop, it all came back. “I looked at all the blank walls in my new space and decided to paint them with 8foot tall faces,” Viera recalls. After several years, she replaced the murals with dozens of her framed works. She also has wall space dedicated to the Concord Art Association’s Rotating Gallery program, where she features a new artist every three months. Much of Viera’s work is photo-realistic. Locally, she’s known for her colored pencil drawings of people and animals. “I’ve done a number of commissions over the years. As an artist, I’m lucky to have a business that brings in the public to see my newest work every day,” she says with a chuckle. A few years ago, she was given a gel plate for making monoprints with acrylic paint. Thus began her passion for collage and mixed media. “It really took me out of my comfort zone at first,” Viera says. “But I’ve learned more about color, and I’ve developed a new love for creating art that’s more abstract or representational.” Viera’s latest body of work is on display in her solo show, “The Magic of Art,” at the Raquel Amaral Gallery March 24-April 27. “Magic comes in all forms,” she says. “This show is filled with so many different things
“Red” is one of several mixed media pieces by Pat Viera in her one-woman show.
I’ve made – from dimensional paper weaving, to paintings, to artful jewelry to glowing pieces that light up. I hope people who see the show will find some magic of their own. “My art teacher in high school used to tell me, ‘When people who see your art aren’t sure if they like it or not, that means you’re progressing as an artist because you’ve shown them something unique and different.’ I still believe that’s true.”
The Raquel Amaral Gallery is open 12-2 p.m. TuesdaysSaturdays at 1856 Colfax St., Concord.
Lisa Fulmer is a mixed media artist, a small business marketing consultant, and president of the Concord Art Association. For inspiration and informationvisit ConcordArtAssociation.com
Rim Trail is the jewel of Lafayette Reservoir
March 23, 2018
Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com
Trail, Grand Canyon Rim Trail and even Arnold Rim Trail. Lafayette Reservoir’s Rim Trail also lives up to its name and will dazzle the most dedicated of hikers. Truth be told, I never actually saw a Rim Trail sign. But the dirt trail near the restroom in all its steep and sassy glory screamed “hike here,” so I KEVIN PARKER knew I had chosen correctly. No time to prepare as you are HIT THE TRAIL immediately lifted out of the When you marry the words parking lot, through sections “rim” and “trail,” great things of valley and coast live oak usually happen – Tahoe Rim trees and into the first of many
Lafayette Reservoir Rim Trail
Distance: 4.7 miles Elevation Gain: 700 feet Time: 2 plus hours Level: Moderate Getting There: 3849 Mount Diablo Blvd, Lafayette; parking fees – quarters or credit card General Info: Trailhead restrooms, drinking water and visitor center. Dogs on leash only. Hiking, biking, running, skating, fishing, boat rentals, no swimming. Visit ebmud.com/recreation/east-bay/Lafayette-reservoir.
ups and downs. I had read stories about how this trail was a perfect candidate for rollercoaster tracks, whoop-de-dos and wild rides, and that, my friends, is the truth. Every severe, legburning up was rewarded with a severe, leg-jolting down that repeated itself throughout this hike. Much of the Rim Trail is bordered by carefully manicured neighborhoods, and I wanted to move into every single one. With a small window of sunny weather after a heavy rainstorm, the trails were in good shape and the lush green landscape blasted my eyeballs at every turn. The first portion of trail follows a ridgeline with faint sounds of the freeway heard in the distance. Call this the easy part of the hike, as you maintain a fairly level trail routing that awards you with your first views of the reservoir below. This hike would be a hot burner in mid-summer, so I recommend doing it this time of year. You have options to bail out of Rim Trail via five shortcut trails back to the paved
European river cruises in the spotlight
Photo courtesy Avalon Waterways
The Luminary, an Avalon Waterways ship, cruises the Danube River through Budapest.
ROBERT CASEY PLACES TO GO
Viewers of ABC’s “The Bachelor” tuned in last month to find the remaining 10 women vying for the affections of 35-year-old Arie Luyendyk Jr. while staying aboard a river cruise ship, the B, docked on the Seine in Paris. The B is a refurbished ship owned by the first millennialfocused river cruise line, U by Uniworld. It was the first time in 22 seasons that the show had featured a cruise ship, and it marked a milestone in the evolution of river cruising. U by Uniworld has developed a special add-on package, called U Get the Rose, that costs $150 a couple. The package, which mimics the show, includes a bottle of wine, a romantic turn-down service with rose petals, breakfast in bed, a romantic movie on the deck overlooking Paris and an evening for two at the Eiffel Tower. The B and its sister ship, which both hold 120 passengers, began sailing in April. The programs and décor of each ship are designed to appeal to people aged 21-45. Before the appearance on “The Bachelor,” river cruising was likely most well-known from those ubiquitous TV ads for Viking River Cruises. But now, European river cruises are an option for travelers who value unique experiences. Documenting the rising popularity of river cruising, the Cruise Lines International
Association in 2017 reported 184 river ships with 13 new ones on order – an increase of 7 percent. Cruise Critic, a major online community Website, recently announced its 2017 editor’s pick awards for excellence in river cruising and it included many of the major players in Europe. Here are highlights: AmaWaterways. The winner for best river cruise line and best for active cruisers, AmaWaterways features new ships with dual balcony cabins, yoga classes, active excursions, a fitness room and spa, and heated swimming pools. The wellness program will be expanded to more ships this year, and a partnership with Backroads now includes walking and hiking trips as well as cycling. Uniworld Boutique River Cruises. This company, the parent of U by Uniworld, received the best new river ship award for Joie de Vivre, which features a French bistro, elegant cabins and an excellent supper club with late-night live music. The line also was honored for best service. Avalon Waterways. This line won the award for best cabins, which include a 200 sq.
If You Go
ft. panoramic suite with wallto-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows. Most cabins face the river so you can watch the scenery drift by. Crystal River Cruises. The company was honored for best dining, with sophisticated menus, regional wine offerings and a Vintage Room, where chefs and sommeliers offer opportunities to learn about food and wine. Viking River Cruises. The winner for best enrichment, best for first-timers and best shore excursions, Viking offers programs showcasing music and dance, cooking demonstrations and guest lectures. While many excursions are included, Viking has added more for-fee options, including Local Life excursions (visits to local markets on a culinary tour), Working World tours (to help passengers understand local economies) and Privileged Access tours that give small groups a special experience, such as a winery tour with a princess. Robert Casey is president of Fair Winds Cruises & Expeditions in Clayton. He can be reached by phone at 925-787-8252 and email@example.com or go to fairwindscruises.com.
Shore excursions. On most river cruises, many excursions are included in the price. In addition, most European cities have historic “old towns” on the river. Many excursions involve walking or riding bicycles around town, with options to ride to the next town where the ship picks you up. Flooding. When planning a European river cruise, be aware that flooding could disrupt your journey. Many European bridges are low, which is why river cruise ships have long, low profiles. The major cruise lines have contingency plans for the occasional flooding that involve busing between ports. You can buy “cancel for any reason” travel insurance that adds 10-12 percent to the cruise cost. Many experts say this is a valuable option to consider for river cruises.
trail, but I believe the best scenery in this park is seen by following Rim Trail from start to finish. Past the Canyon Trail junction, you begin the longest uphill grinder of the hike. And just when your legs scream “uncle,” you top out at Rheem Reservoir – which is actually a large water tank. Drinking water is available here, with no other facilities. Follow the trail for 50 more yards and rest your bones on the vista bench, one of many found on this hike. The elevation tops out at 1,038 feet, a mere 700 feet from where you started – easy cheesy. Spend a few moments enjoying views of the reservoir, Mt. Diablo, Las Trampas and Briones. It’s quite an eye full from a single location. The descent from the bench is the steepest trail in the park. A stumble could quickly turn into a dirt cartwheel if you got rolling. But no worries, because Rim Trail is a wellmanicured fire road that is easy to navigate with very few obstacles. (Hint: Bring hiking poles.)
Lafayette Reservoir Rim Trail
Stay on Rim Trail past Big Oak Trail and continue onto Sunset Trail, you’ll see the sign. You know you’ve found it because it’s the final uphill push of the trip, only to be rewarded with a long and thick canopy of trees that form a nature tunnel of sorts most of
the way back down to the parking lot. The wooden staircase lands you on the opposite end of the parking lot from where you started.
Contact Kevin Parker with comments or questions by email at LukeHollywood@gmail.com
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The Happiest Place on Dirt
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Camp Concord is a high quality, affordable family vacation in one of California’s most beautiful locations – South Lake Tahoe.
Our Family Camp allows you and your family to unplug from technology, appreciate nature and spend quality time with each other. From meals and transportation to programming and activities, Camp Concord is all inclusive. Be ready to make memories that will last a lifetime.
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Bike Valet makes it easy for cyclists to enjoy local events
Providing Dignified Professional Services
Michael Nicosia, Managing Partner John & Sharon Ouimet • Don & Bea Ouimet
4125 Clayton Road, Concord, CA 94521 925.682.4242 • fax 925.682.4281
MARYAM ROBERTS BIKE CONCORD
Celebrating 60 years in Concord
Clayton Fair Properties For Lease
Concord – Commercial Offices Active business complex featuring a variety of commercial businesses. Well maintained with friendly atmosphere. Excellent location including ample parking.
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Contact Maureen (925)
March 23, 2018
Design • Installation • Maintenance Commercial & Residential • 925-381-3757
Parking is a pain. We all know the headache of circling a parking lot in our cars, feeling the impatience build as we search for a spot at a crowded shopping center, grocery store or event venue. Bicyclists share that same frustration in places where good, visible bicycle parking racks aren’t installed. More often, it happens at community events where there are more bikes than there are available spots on racks. Not only can sheer space be a challenge, but security for bikes is also a concern. Concord’s vibrant community event scene is gearing up
as the weather warms and the days grow longer. Instead of walking around with your bike through crowds of people, or not riding your bike to an event, consider using Bike Concord’s Bike Valet program. We are excited to bring this service to cyclists in our community again this season. A valet volunteer will greet bikers as they cruise into events where we offer Bike Valet. The valet will lead you through a process that’s just like coat check. All you have to do is enter your name and cell number on a ticket. Half the ticket gets attached to your bike handlebar and you get a matching copy. You can leave your helmet, lights, panniers, etc. with your bike, which will be stowed safely in a secure, supervised bike corral. Only valet volunteers are allowed in the bike corral. When you return and present
that perfect spot to lock up your bike or worrying about your bike’s safety. You can find Bike Valet at some spring events at Todos Santos Plaza: • Spring Brew Fest, the second annual premier craft brew festival, March 31. • Bike Tent, with free bike repair during the Thursday night Farmers Market, starting April 19. • Bike to Work Day, May 10.
We love bikes, and we love keeping them safe for cyclists while they enjoy our city’s community events. We hope Cynthia Armour that our Bike Valet service encourages more people to get Riders can stow their bikes out and ride this summer. in a corral like this through If you are hosting an event the Bike Valet service. where you’d like to offer Bike contact us at your ticket, they bring you your Valet, bike and you’re ready to ride to firstname.lastname@example.org. your next destination. No more lugging heavy Roberts is a volunteer with Bike locks in your bag, searching for Concord.
In cooking up a new kitchen, storage is main ingredient
DESIGN & DÉCOR
If you’re storing spices in your linen closet, serving dishes in the coat closet and pots in your garage, you probably need a little more storage in your kitchen. The kitchen must be able to multitask from the basics of cooking and eating to a place where you socialize, enjoy a cocktail, do homework and, above all, store your kitchen essentials. If you’re starting your kitchen project from scratch, be thoughtful of design choices you make in regard to storage. You can never have enough. Think of how you’d like to store everything from silverware and plastic bags, to the electric mixer and perhaps a mini stepstool. Kitchen storage has come such a long way from typical doors and drawers. Now, you have shelf pullouts so you can get to the way, way back of lower and upper cabinets. There are secret corner caddies that swing out and plugs hidden within drawers to charge your high-tech gear. My favorite storage upgrade are the pantries where rolling units, sometimes as tall as you are, come out into the kitchen so you can fully see all of your kitchen goodies.
In a well-planned kitchen, pull-put shelves and drawers can make sure every inch of space is utilized for storage.
If you’re working with an existing space and you happen to have extra space to work with, you have a few storage solutions to consider. More storage can be created by installing new built-in cabinetry, a new piece of freestanding furniture or, at a minimum, adding hooks and wallmounted baskets to help with organization and keep your necessities at an easy arm’s reach. If by chance you have an empty wall in your kitchen, not living up to its full potential,
you’re in luck. Depending on the space available, this might be a perfect contender for new built-in cabinets. New cabinetry could be a typical lower and upper cabinetry setup, or a somewhat shallow wall of cabinets from floor to ceiling to provide an amazing pantry wall. So what if you have the space, but your cabinetry is 10, 15 or even 20 years old? No problem. Instead of stressing over how you’re going to match existing to new, consider going
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the opposite direction: contrast. You might have the traditional, yellow-y oak cabinets. Sure it might be nice to upgrade the entire kitchen, but you could also consider cabinetry that is stained a warm brown color to coordinate with your breakfast nook table. Or, really make a statement and paint the new cabinetry a faux finished mix of colors with a distressed body. The options are endless. The idea here is to enhance storage while adding a decorative and stylish accent into your kitchen. If built-in cabinetry isn’t the answer for your kitchen, consider a free-standing piece of furniture. An armoire, console table, chest of drawers or a buffet could add a more eclectic look, but also give you the storage you need. If nothing else, add a wall of hooks and farmers market baskets that hold anything from kitchen linens to measuring cups and small bottles of oil and vinegar. The kitchen really is a space where form and function need to embrace. While everyone’s kitchen space is unique, the need for storage isn’t. Creating storage, in sometimes the most unusual way, can be a designing feat. Jennifer Leischer is the owner of J. Designs Interior Design based in Clayton. Contact her with questions, comments and suggestions at email@example.com.
March 23, 2018
I have been educating my male clients that a suit is actually not a suit any longer. Versatility is king when it comes to the essentials in your wardrobe, and a classic navy suit is one of the most versatile pieces you can own. One of the best things about a great navy suit is you aren’t restricted to wearing it just as a suit. You can separate the ensemble and wear each piece on its own. Just like that, your perfectfor-the-office suit dresses down to a perfect-for-date-night blazer. One approach is to keep the general trappings of a tailored suit look, but ease up on the details. Stick with a button-up shirt, but go for a casual cloth and cut instead of a crisp dress shirt. You can also think seasonally – linen for summer or flannel for fall and winter. Even though you’re ditching
Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com
Pair navy suit jacket with denim and it becomes a snazzy blazer
example, if you’ve opted for a March 25 Palm Sunday Services more formal navy suit – i.e. one at 8, 9 & 10:30 am with a fabric that has a sheen or Children’s Processional looks smoother – do not March 29 Maundy Thursday Soup Supper attempt to wear the jacket as a Communion & Program 6:30 pm separate. It’s just going to look “Christian Conflict Resolution WWJD” wrong. This is the main reason why March 30 Good Friday I recommend purchasing your 7:30 pm “Jesus Resolves All Conflicts” first navy suit in a hopsack fabApril 1 Easter Sunday ric. Its more textured appearance Sunrise Service 6:30 am, Rose Garden makes it much easier to wear as Free Community Easter Breakfast 7 to 9:30 am a separate. And if you’re shootService 10 am, Sanctuary, featuring Chancel Choir ing for maximum versatility, Children’s Easter Egg Hunt to follow choose a softer shoulder and a half canvas. 1645 West St., Concord (925) 685-5260 Concordumc.org Let me help you with choosThe right navy suit jacket can take you from formal to caing your look and fabric. As a sual when paired with jeans and loafers. personal stylist, I help build confidence. the matching suit pants, you’ve ultra-classic, fail-safe method for Contact me for a complimentary got plenty of options for bot- dressing down that navy blazer fit appointment at susan.sappingtoms that will keep the look (a.k.a. your navy suit jacket). This firstname.lastname@example.org. sharp but steer you away from is a go-to move for guys who the rigidity of a full suit. A pair wants to stay tailored but keep it of contrasting wool dress pants on the sporty and casual side of takes the dressiness down a the spectrum. notch. Other solid options, There is one important thing including cotton chinos, let you to note about repurposing your really tinker with your level of navy suit jacket as a blazer: Not formality. all navy suit jackets are the same, HOLY THURSDAY- March 29 Wearing a button-down shirt and fabric plays a huge role in Morning Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9:00 a.m. and slim dark denim pants is an whether it’s going to work. For Mass of the Lord’s Supper (Bi-lingual) . . . . . . . . .7:30 p.m.
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St. Bonaventure Catholic Community
Books, from page 14 Rostov what matters most. Wars, famine, revolutionary industrialization and proletariat arts of all genres are brought inside the hotel by its guests and the stories they tell. Food and the amazing dishes served to Metropol guests are a tasty part of the count’s life. Although Rostov remains in place, the staff and guests, new and old, come in and out of his life. Rostov’s prerevolutionary, aristocratic life does not stand in his way of pragmatically fit-
ting in, so it comes as no surprise that eventually Rostov is proud to dress in the smart white jacket of a Metropol server. But why did the Communists allow the Metropol, in all its Bourgeoise excess, to remain? “For however decisive the Bolshevik’s victory had been over the privileged classes on behalf of the Proletariat, they would be having banquets soon enough.” And a good reason to hold onto asparagus cutters: “For pomp is a tena-
cious force. And a wily one.” But the force driving “A Gentleman in Moscow” is Towles’ wily writing. Alliteration abounds, humor, right down to slapstick, is never more than a few pages away, and always, human and humane elements keep us turning the pages – all 462 of them. I’m already planning to reread it, straight through the snow storm headed my way. 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.’
GOOD FRIDAY – March 30
Morning Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9:00 a.m. Stations of the Cross in the Garden . . . . . . . . . .11:00 a.m. Ecumenical Prayer - Church . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12:15 p.m.
In collaboration with Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church, Concord United Methodist Church, and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.
Passion of the Lord: Church (English) 3:00 p.m.
Church (Spanish) 6:30 p.m.
Parish Hall (English) 7:30 p.m.
HOLY SATURDAY - March 31
Morning Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9:00 a.m. Easter Vigil in the Holy Night: (Bi-lingual) . . . .7:30 p.m.
EASTER SUNDAY: The Resurrection of the Lord - April 1 English Masses: Church, 7:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. English Masses: Parish Hall, 9:15 a.m., 11:15 a.m. Spanish Mass: Church, 12:45 p.m.
No 5:00 p.m. Mass on Easter
In Concord 5562 Clayton Rd. (925) 672-5800
Spring is a great time to sell Call Mazzei Realty today. COMING SOON
• 25 Mozden Lane, Pleasant Hill 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, approx. 1488 sq. ft.
Call for more info
Listing agent: Matt Mazzei
SOLD: Buyer Representation • 7496 Inverness St., San Ramon 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, approx. 2142 sq. ft. • 200 Tim Court, Danville 4 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, approx. 2967 sq. ft.
For more information please contact
Ph: 925.672.9840 travel-2-go.com CST #2033054-40
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Clayton Station Shopping Center, 5439 Clayton Road (Suite F), Clayton ‡ FREE gratuities are based on the pre-payment, by Princess Cruises, on behalf of the guest for the suggested gratuities in the U.S. dollar amounts of $13.50 per guest, per day for Interior, Oceanview, and Balcony staterooms, $14.50 per guest, per day for Mini-suite and Club Class staterooms and $15.50 per guest, per day for Suites. This amount is paid on the behalf of all guests (up to 4) in a stateroom. Free gratuities do not include gratuities added to bar charges, dining room wine accounts or Lotus Spa services. Gratuities are not transferable, non-refundable, have no cash value and may not be combinable with other select offers or other onboard credit. ††Up to $300 off air applies to all guests (up to 4) in a stateroom and is based on voyage length. Air discount applies to a discount off flights booked through Princess EZair. Air must be available in Princess EZair to book in order for the offer to apply. Additional airline baggage, change and cancellation fees may apply. Please visit princess.com/ezair for information and to book your flights. *Fares apply to minimum lead-in categories on a space-available basis at time of booking. Fares for other categories may vary. Fares are per guest, non-air, cruise- or cruisetour-only, based on double occupancy and apply to the first two guests in a stateroom. These fares do not apply to singles or third/fourth-berth guests. This offer has limited space regardless of cabin availability and may not be combinable with any other public, group or past guest offers. Offer is not transferable and may not be combinable with other select offers and onboard credits. Offer is available to residents of the 50 United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Bermuda and the District of Columbia who are 21 years of age or older. Fares quoted in U.S. dollars. Low deposit of $100 per guest under the Come Back New Sale is refundable. Note: For assistance reserving a wheelchair-accessible stateroom, please call 1-800-774-6237. Offer valid: February 22 – May 2, 2018. Reference promotion code: N3- ©2018, Princess Cruise Lines, Ltd. Ships of Bermudan and British registry.
Listing agent: Matt Mazzei
Listing agent: Matt Mazzei
Matt Mazzei, Jr.,
Paula & Rod Johnstone
Broker/Owner 925-766-6745 email@example.com
Paula 925-381-8810 Rod 925-286-5765
mazzeirealty.net Clayton residents since 1959
Sales Agent 415-310-2905 firstname.lastname@example.org
6160 Center St. Suite #C, Clayton
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March 23, 2018
Lovely blue ceanothus answers the call of spring NICOLE HACKETT
A sea of ceanothus is flowing in Concord landscapes this time of year. This evergreen native is gracing yards, hillsides and easements with blue clusters of flowers. Planted in the right place, this stable evergreen is rewarding and easy. It tolerates heat, drought and sun, making it a near-perfect installation. Bees
and butterflies also love it. Ceanothus, commonly called California lilac, has clusters of blue, lilac and sometimes white flowers. Depending on the variety, ceanothus can be groundcover, a shrub or small tree. Be cautious when selecting, because young plants all look the same. Ceanothus Carmel Creeper is an easy-to-find, moderately tall, arching groundcover. Once mature, expect 1½ -2½ feet of height and 6-10 feet in width. Carmel Creeper has glossy, deep green leaves and light blue, 1-inch flower clusters throughout spring, with a slight fall display. Plant this evergreen where it has room to become what it wants to be. Heavy pruning to control this native will leave it woody and unsightly. Yankee Point is another
ceanothus to consider for a spreading groundcover. This selection grows 2-3 feet tall and 6-10 feet wide. The medium blue flowers are dramatic in a landscape. Julia Phelps is an excellent choice for a shrub-sized ceanothus, reaching 4-7 feet tall and wide. Julia is great planted on banks and slopes, or as a focal point in a dry, native-style garden. The leaves are small and dark green. With its dark indigo clusters, this ceanothus is one of the best for color and blooms. It is an amazing performer. Ceanothus Skylark will reach 3-6 feet tall and 5 feet wide. Skylark has a dark blue flower and an extended blooming season. Mix it with pink rockrose and golden sunset breath of heaven. Some ceanothus can easily
be considered small trees. You can find Ray Hartman at nearly every garden center, but be aware that this plant can reach 12-20 feet tall and 15-20 feet wide. During spring, large, 3-5 inch clusters of medium blue f l o w e r s appear. Ceanothus is best planted when the soil is wet, so now is the time. Mix a touch of compost into the hole when installing. Resist using fertilizer-based soils or starter fertilizer when planting, because fertilizer can damage the plant. Keep in mind the mature
size of the plants you install. Ceanothus doesn’t like to be controlled and looks best if allowed to spread naturally.
DEBRA MORRIS Pacific Coast Farmers Market
There are only about 250 asparagus growers left in California, producing more than 70 percent of the nation’s fresh market asparagus. The Cecchini family has grown asparagus for generations, but Barbara says they will eventually sell the land to developers because it is now too costly to grow asparagus. “It is too difficult to compete with cheap imports that sell to the large distribution centers, so we reduced our acreage,” she says. There is also a dwindling supply of workers available to hand pick this labor-intensive crop. The process of growing and harvesting asparagus has become more efficient through
the years, but picking is still done by hand – usually from early March through May. They pick it the day before each farmers market. Asparagus is a lot like corn in that its sugars turn to starch if not eaten within 72 hours of harvest. Buying asparagus from the farmers market ensures you are getting it fresh. “We enjoy talking to customers at the market and offer them the best quality asparagus we can. Farmers markets are the best way to direct sell to consumers in multiple areas,” Barbara says. Barbara and Bob are staunch supporters of their community. Barbara is a member of the Knightsen Elemen-
Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. You can contact her with questions or comments by email at Gardengirl@claytonpioneer.com
Family farm hangs on to last few acres of asparagus
Cecchini & Cecchini grows its world-famous Delta asparagus in Brentwood. Owners Barbara and Bob Cecchini operate this familyrun farm with their son and daughter, being the fifth generation to farm asparagus. The family began the farm in the late 1930s in the rich fields of the Sacramento River Delta. The Cecchini family once had about 1,000 acres of asparagus in cultivation in the Delta, but now plants only 15 acres. They are the last surviving asparagus farmers in ConBarbara and Bob Cecchini are the last asparagus farmers in tra Costa County, where once Contra Costa County. there were thousands of acres.
tary School Board, donating boxes of the farm’s asparagus for school sports fundraisers each year. She and her daughter have also created an agricultural park called First Generation Farmers in Brentwood to teach others about farming. Whichever way the wind blows, Barbara and Bob Cecchini will continue to farm. Whether it is asparagus they grow is another story. So please support California asparagus growers at your local farmers market and enjoy the best that can be grown.
The Concord Farmers Market is in Todos Santos Plaza Tuesdays & Thursdays.
Nancy E. Bennett
Recently SOLD by Nancy Bennett
1245 Morning Glory Drive – Concord SOLD
515 Sitka Court – Walnut Creek FOR
• Walnut Creek – 4 bed/2.5
Listed at $800k
5242 Park Highlands – Walnut Creek SOLD
Listed at $1.068M
CEO, The Bennett Team #1 Agent in Concord for the last 6 years combined
Call today to be the first to see.
727 Navaronne Way – Concord
Listed at $635k
Listed at $642K
bath 2700 sq.ft. new construction home on a large lot. Located near the freeway and downtown.
• Concord –
3 bed/2 bath 1538 sq.ft. beautifully updated craftsman home with 3 car garage and detached Au Pair unit.
• Concord –
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Nancy’s Team is as good as it gets! I’ve been working with them for a while now and am continually impressed by the level of professionalism and knowledge they bring to the table. Being the #1 in Concord makes buying easy. People know her, so getting your offer accepted is easy. She and her team know Concord super well. All the ins and outs of the neighborhoods, and specifically, what to look for in different neighborhoods. – Robby R - Concord
Selling more than 8 times as many homes as the average realtor.
Local news from Concord, CA with in-depth features, business, the local arts scene, sports, government, youth activities, great columnists,...
Published on Mar 19, 2018
Local news from Concord, CA with in-depth features, business, the local arts scene, sports, government, youth activities, great columnists,...